by Rod Smith

Packing for the journey, be it a short or extended, preparation pays off. 

Through contemplation (reading, prayer, meditation) build your reserves of kindness, goodness and patience. While you are at it, find Grace for yourself and for others then, with humility, venture out with courage. You’re topped up with every good thing and ready to enrich the world around you. 

Keep I mind that everyone has a story to tell. If you have the patience and listen you may make someone’s day. Being willing to listen will distinguish you from the bulk of humanity who seem committed to wanting to talk. I’d suggest that your willingness to listen may indeed save someone’s life. I know this to be true.

Increase your awareness. There will always be people with a transactional approach to life. Any kindness, special favors, displays of hospitality you experience from them is a down payment on what they want from you in the future. This is neither good or bad, it is simply how some operate. As long as we understand these differences among people all will be well. 

I find it helpful – although not foolproof – to have a mantra for the day like “I will love, I will listen, I will learn” and it colours my lenses enough to keep me out of trouble.

[The Mercury — Monday, February 13, 2023]

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