Archive for June, 2022

June 27, 2022

Facing tough decisions? Conflict?

by Rod Smith

Facing tough or difficult decisions? Facing conflict with people whom you love? 

  • Do what is possible, be kind, be assertive, act within your budget, and then, let the rest take care of itself.
  • Do not explain, try to justify yourself or others, excuse, attack or chase others, and then, let the rest take care of itself.
  • Be as playful as possible – some circumstances need a little mirth and humor – without being flippant or dismissive and then, let the rest take care of itself. There are circumstances, of course, where playfulness is inappropriate. Know the difference.
  • Make no heroes of others, and take no victims, in all that you decide to do, and then, let the rest take care of itself. Healthy people value their own freedom and the freedom of others.
  • Avoid unnecessarily provoking so-called “sleeping dogs” like long-past arguments or long-forgotten scores. Some things are best left undisturbed. Some things must be disturbed. Know the difference.
  • Remember that how you treat others is always about you and reflects the kind of person you are. If you are a “changed person” then the change will be demonstrated in all of your relationships and not a select few relationships. Real change impacts all our relationships and not only those where we endured or inflicted pain
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June 14, 2022

Human or inhuman

by Rod Smith

“Yes, sadly,” I expressed days ago, “we all carry an edge of  inhumanity.”

It was not written to insult but to inspire a deeper look both for you and for me for none of us escapes the common brush of our inhumanity. For most, it is subtle, for  we have highly developed skills to hide the harshness we usually prefer to think is not lurking within. 

Do you experience any of the following? 

Indifference when others, strangers, even neighbors, suffer. Indifference when you read of wars and calamity in far off places.

A cold shoulder turned to the person who’s in trouble by his or her own doing where “but for grace there go I” is forgotten. 

A determined forward stare at a traffic intersection when a hungry child attempts to gain attention. 

An inner sigh of contempt when a friend recounts her abandonment that occurred decades ago. 

The short tempered reaction with what you or I may assume is another’s stupidity with a task or challenge you and I may find offers you and I no challenge at all. 

If you, as I do, recognize any such responses, then you are not unfamiliar with your inhuman edge, an edge that’s waiting to be shaped and make you into a person even more beautiful and kind and patient than you already are.

June 13, 2022

Are you willing?

by Rod Smith

Wait and watch before you judge, dismiss, turn your back on the human you want to reject for a behavior, a look, an appearance that you don’t understand or appreciate.

You may have something to learn from this person. 

He or she may hold a key for you to love a little deeper than before. He or she may indeed put you in touch with a more of your humanity, and shave off an edge of your remaining inhumanity. 

Yes, sadly, we all carry an edge of inhumanity.

But, to find the key, unleash the love, you’ve got to be willing to admit you may indeed have something to learn and discover from someone you might readily rather reject. Often, at the core of our impulse to reject is the heart of the lesson life is aching to teach us.

Look “below” the behavior. 

Listen  beyond the cry. 

Hear what is not being said. 

Do this and you will find a desire for connection, a longing for meaning, a desire for appropriate human touch, a longing to belong. 

It’s – whatever the behavior you despise – a search for significance. It’s a longing to be embraced, understood, accepted, included. 

Take a while, perhaps even a very long while, the person upon whom you’d rather turn your back may be the very prophet you’ve been searching for all of your life.