I changed my mind about reality and my relationship to it this year, this month, this week, and today. Perhaps no one has noticed, but I have this year moved from being friendly to other people to being more helpful; this month automatically giving acts of kindness to hostile people; and this week to observing the changes of an after-the-event habit; and this last twenty-four hours to asserting publicly a better human legal policy. With that in mind I have been buffing up the take-home messages selected from Lillian E. Watson’s insights in Light from Many Lamps: A Treasury of Inspiration.
The Universe is infinitely wonderful! It permits all things that can be done; it prevents all things that can’t be done.
When arising in the morning I whisper to myself, “What wonderful things am I going to do today?”
It is wisdom to know that idleness brings boredom and despair; a happy life is filled with kindness, humor and accomplishment.
Unless we observe others, and do something to help them toward their goals, we miss the greatest source of happiness.
Act now on those things where action now is appropriate, and helpful.
You are the only one who can do what’s before you right now, and no one can do it better, right now. This is true of everyone, all the time.
Participate in your world. Make the best use of what is in your power, and be contented with the rest as it happens.
Place yourself in the midst of people of wisdom doing wonderful things.
Your occupation in this world is to act the character that is given to you, and act it well. The time and place of your existence is beyond your control, so do what is right for where you are.
Fear is a natural response. Fear can help you avoid disaster, but it can also prevent you from performing easy, safe and worthwhile actions. Know the difference, then act with dedicated effort.
Your time and attention are your most precious possessions. Use your time well! Without time you can do nothing, and without your attention everything is meaningless.
The end and aim of education is appropriate action. Development of the character and the skills needed for action requires wisdom to know what are the right actions that need to be learned, and that is best done by studying with those who have proven they know the subject.
Be careful when choosing what you think about and identify with, because what you identify with is what will influence your actions.
Keep your promises to yourself, for if you can’t do that you can’t choose to do anything.
Decide what needs to be done, learn what actions will be needed to do it, and practice those actions diligently. To be good at an action requires plenty of practice.
Now is a wonderful time for action, if you have a goal, if you are prepared, and if you are practiced. Now is a terrible time to accomplish anything, and you can do nothing, if you don’t know your goal, are unprepared and unskilled.
Every moment you live is an opportunity to do a conscious act to help another person live a better life. Use those moments wisely, as they will never come again. Do what clearly needs to be done here and now, and don’t waste time and attention on the unknowable distant things.
The best portion of a good man’s life,—
His little nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.
All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Jesus – Matthew 7:12 Give others life, and help them live it more abundantly. John 10:10
That version of the Golden Rule is positive because it emphasizes doing what should be done to help people live their lives more abundantly. The more modern translations emphasize childish pleasure and property gains as gaining in abundance.
Avoid things with little payoff and probable irrecoverable injuries like base jumping with parachutes. It is more productive to take other kinds of risks, such as speaking up and challenging famous people and authorities in appropriate situations. This type of action may bring a great payoff, but there is little permanent damage associated with failure.
To live is to function, to do something useful beyond one’s transient self. That which exists beyond one’s consciousness has entered the cosmos, but that which is wholly within oneself soon vanishes forever.
My ongoing challenge to the wholly inner qualities like hope, faith and love is that they go to the grave with one’s death. I support and encourage those seemingly similar actions which are generally thought of as confidence, optimism and kindness, because those are acts which help other people live their lives more fruitfully. I encourage people to understand that philosophy, and to help other people learn how to be kind to others. These are external actions, that go far beyond the invisible qualities Faith, Hope and Love, because kindness brings in all people involved, one’s self included, to a happier and more contented life. A kindness is external to one’s thoughts and becomes part of the observable universe, and thus part of eternity.
We live because of our star, the Sun, but it is only one of one hundred billion stars in our galaxy, and our galaxy is only one of one hundred billion galaxies. The number of potential homes where our Earth might get by just fine orbiting almost any of those other stars if it were located in the Goldilocks zone, approaches a one with twenty-two zeros after it. Our human moment in time is similarly tiny compared to the cosmos. But, of that vast number we are here, so let us appreciate our wonderful gift, and use it well.
Always be doing something productive even if it seems trivial.
Greet people with modesty and with offers of help for their problems.
Even in comedy be dignified, self-confident and kind.
The quickest way to learn is to be with and study with those who have succeeded.
People instantly respond to how they are treated.
He who respects all people, himself included, will be respected.
Watch for kindness and you will see it;
Listen for humor and you will hear it;
Strive for wisdom and you will have it.