A Step Along My Path: Loving Strangers

What kind of world do you want to live in?  If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t mind living in a completely good and loving world.  Love is awesome, right?  If I could, I’d like to experience Love all the time!  Thankfully, Love is an internally derived state.  As soon as we make the decision to Love, we experience Love.  It is as simple as making a choice.

Then again, choices aren’t so simple!  Sometimes it’s even hard for me to decide if I want to inhale when stepping with my right foot or my left.  We make lots of choices each day, some more significant than others, and one decision that I feel is of great importance is the attitude we project out into the world.

Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, wrote a great book titled, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”  His story is incredible, and one of his primary conclusions can be summarized in a realization he had while in a concentration camp:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

He speaks of a phenomenal power we all have within us, what I consider a Divine Blessing. Even in the most dire of situations, Dr. Frankl rose above his external circumstances and chose to embody an empowering attitude that enabled him to endure tremendous suffering.

If a man entrenched in some of the worst circumstances imaginable can overcome his adversity with a positive mental attitude, certainly we can too.  This world is what we make of it, and I believe an attitude of love and acceptance towards the world is one that allows us to embrace the world with open arms as though it is our dearest friend.

To expand upon the idea of an attitude of love and acceptance, think of a world that is genuinely good.  If you want to participate in this world, you’ll have to be genuinely good yourself.  That means being awake and aware in the moment, cherishing people and the goodness that flows throughout your day.  One of my favorite quotes helped me to more fully understand how we can move through our day tuned in and in touch with genuine goodness.  It goes like this:

“I shall pass this way but once.  Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any person, let me do it now.  Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” 

If we want to live in a genuinely good world, we’ve got to accept the responsibility to create it for ourselves.  As we set an example of living in the moment and cherishing the beautiful life flowing all around us, then others too will enter our world and experience the goodness.  The best way to lead is by example, so choose an attitude of love and share your kindness with the world.

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