In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Seven Wonders.”
Self discipline, Empathy, Self love, Gratitude, Simplicity, Spirituality. Service.
Self discipline , with it we can achieve a wonderful life and without it I think we only glimpse a wonderful life.Self discipline is something I struggle with at times and many times if I had incorporated it into my life many of the little disappointments would have been less painful. Lets face it less discipline less care and carelessness sometimes causes pain.
Empathy for me often translates into that old saying ‘always unto others do what we would have others do to us’; or having an open heart that allows us to walk in the shoes of others at times in order to glimpse what life is like for them. We can do this when we acknowledge that our lives have been blessed in many ways and sometimes not all of us have been blessed with an abundance of care and love in our lives; and who knows how we ourselves may have been affected if things had been different in our lives in the years we grew up in. When I was younger I often thought goodness was rooted in every human being and if people strayed from goodness they could sort of be rescued and steered on the right path, as I age and find out more and more about the world we live in my beliefs have been shaken by some of the atrocities that have happened in my lifetime through the hand of another human being. I just cannot understand how anyone can willingly hurt another and I fear I may have been wrong in the belief that we as human beings have this innate goodness within us. I am not sure any more , I am a little more street wise I suppose. This stream of thought I will carry into my next word which is simplicity.
Simplicity and the explanation I will give is just ‘ keep it simple’, we do not always have the time to figure out everything philosophically as I was trying to in the previous paragraph which raised the question for me of what to do with a situation I am just not prepared to have empathy with , can I just keep it simple and send good karma towards the perpetrator of some terrible deed and send the same good Karma towards the victims also. How do I keep it simple when my outrage is tempted to roar ? Keeping it simple could translate as being the best person I can be,this is really the only person we have power over and by being the best person we can be; we are perhaps adding to the pot of goodness in the world. Personally I find to mind my own business is at times a way to keep it simple . I am not saying that one should be indifferent towards evil of course we can often become peace activists and try to promote change in many situations that harm our fellow human beings but to spend a large part of our lives focusing on the evil will not really improve any situation. So perhaps keeping it simple would be to make sure we ourselves are striving to be the best we can be and in order to do that my next word will be self love because if we are not happy that we are working towards becoming better people we may find it hard to love ourselves and in order to love others genuinely we have to feel happy with and respect our own efforts of filling the pot of goodness in the world .
Self love has to be really important I think , sure there is a lot of self help books devoted to it with lovely titles that indulge our senses with a passion to treat ourselves. I do not think self love is about treating ourselves unless we have been greatly doing without a certain amount of pampering rather I think it is about respecting ourselves and for me to respect myself I have to be doing my best really , this doing my best would be creating discipline in my life , having a certain amount of empathy when dealing with others and keeping my counsel with myself simple. Hope is a big a part of self love for me when I fail at something hope is a lovely gift it means I can try again , all is not lost ; with a little more diligence and consideration for my self I can pick myself up just like I used to pick up my children when they were learning to walk and we are all learning to walk , for me life is a learning experience and the gems we pick up along the way help us to clear the way at times.
I once came across a great little gem , just a few lines and it advised a few things to do each day in order to keep a certain harmony and discipline I suppose in one’s life, I found that when I practised these little ideas my life did indeed flow with certain harmony and even when I felt like roaring the roar was hushed to a more active and beneficial conversation sometimes with others and more times than not just within my own head.
The gem I am talking about was just a small piece of writing with a ton of wisdom in the words ,I will try to explain what it said now in my own words because within it are my next two words ; gratitude, and spirituality.
Every day make yourself as presentable as possible, this would also incorporate eating healthily and providing one’s body with the essential needs for optimal health. Every day do at least 3 things that you really do not want to do, things like those you keep putting off , it may simply be the ironing , writing to someone, phoning someone, getting to the dentist , just 3 things you don’t want to do. Every day learn something new , read something about something you did not know yesterday. Every day write 3 things down that you are grateful for , the sunshine, the coffee you had for breakfast , some good news, anything just 3 or 5 even; things you are grateful for .
When one talks about service it does not really mean just going about our daily work this piece of writing advised that every day we do something for someone else without telling anyone we did the good deed , this can be a simple smile to a stranger , a kind remark to the tired sales person, a genuine smile of understanding to the disgruntled shop assistant , just a simple good deed that you keep to yourself. I am not sure what the writing said about the spiritual life but whatever belief one holds in a higher power one can trust in daily , I like to feel that there is a higher power working through this little gem and helping us to achieve a source of goodness through the practising of those steps.
Conclusion: Life is a gift we can open the present with surprise each day as it unfolds and sometimes as we do so we encourage others gently to do the same because our surprise is often infectious and often the simple gifts within the gift are those that bring the most joy ; the smiles of encouragement ,the nice meal prepared for the visitor; the welcome in your heart and the empathy in your understanding.