This year, in particular, has brought with it much turmoil and strife, providing a rich number of observations and experiences to begin our own self-examination of lessons learned. If you have been paying attention, we haven't had to look too far to witness displays of some of our most unattractive human behaviors, like fingerpointing, name-calling, disrespect, disregard for others --- we've seen plenty of examples that draw us back to our most basic beliefs and values for renewal. Whenever I see the "big" examples that make the news, I am reminded that these same struggles hit each of our lives in ways that are sometimes subtle, seemingly small, and under reported or acknowledged. As we look to a new year, it is a great time to re-evalutate our own behavior and actions, asking...What's going well as we work to lead by example? What isn't? and What will I do differently?
Why do we struggle to be loving, accepting, and tolerant of others?
How does this calling reach out to us as leaders?
Personally, after life's missteps, miracles, my share of tragedies, and years of soul-searching, I have come to believe that the most powerful influence of Grace and Good comes from how we live sometimes more than what we say out loud. For example, I have a friend who is uniquely different in just about every way. We rarely directly talk about our differences, but we have found ways to weave and integrate the good that comes from both our perspectives on life into a meaningful friendship, each growing and changing in our own way, supporting one another.
This morning, I read a passage from Don Miguel Ruiz book, The Four Agreements ...actually I have a little box on my desk with cards in it that have the "pearls and gems" from the book. The four agreements are:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
The two cards on top of the deck today came from "Don't make Assumptions"...
"The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We make an assumption. We misunderstand. We take it personally, then we react by sending emotional poison with our word. This creates a whole big drama for nothing."
"Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them..."
What are you willing to do to make yourself and your life a beacon of acceptance for others that may be different from you?
I would like to know what you think.
Warm wishes to you...