In a previous piece, I shared how the violence over the years has shaped me and my children. It was a difficult piece for me to write because it addressed something that brings great pain to me – death and destruction of life. Seriously, my heart hurts. I might not cry, but my heart hurts.
I cannot change what is going on across the world, but I can impact those around me with my thoughts and my actions. As a citizen of the World, not just the United States of America, I am committed to the following:
Those around me will know what life is. I will speak life into others through encouragement and hope. I will live life full out and with passion. I will find the light in others and do my part to help it shine brightly. I will let them know that they matter and that they are valued.
I will not allow hatred to be around me. I will bravely speak out when I see injustice to a fellow human being, regardless of their religion, sexual preference, skin color, socio-economic standing or any other category we place people into. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Along the same vein of bravery is kindness. They are complimentary of one another because often we must be brave to show kindness to those whom kindness typically neglects. It is kindness however that encourages more kindness and in turn a renewed faith in humanity. I will show kindness even when I am tired or feel like I have no more to give. We must wear kindness like a classic fashion trend that never goes out of style. I commit to always being stylish. 😉
Oh boy, one thing I love most about our planet is how diverse it is. It is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated. However, there are many who seek to divide and separate us. I am committed to embracing the differences that surround me. From the man who speaks a different language, to the woman who dresses differently, I will welcome them and treat them with dignity and respect.
It is not uncommon to embrace differences but then lack understanding. Cities around the world have welcomed people who were different than the majority but instead of attempting to understand the culture and values of the other person, they reprimanded them for not assimilating quick enough. I commit to seeking to understand those who are different than I am. I want to know about where they came from and what they value. I want to know what makes us similar while appreciating what makes us different.
To give grace is to show compassion. There are absolutely people who commit crimes and atrocities against mankind with the full intent of decimating the victim. While I cannot say I am at a place where I can give those individuals grace, I can give those who ask for forgiveness grace. Grace says, “I love you and give you a clean slate.” I want to be the one who helps remove the stain by showing them the same grace my Father shows me.
There are enough people in the world who will judge, I commit to not being one of them. Judgement creates divides between people. It prevents us from learning from one another and builds resentment. I want to get to know a person for who they are, not how they look or what I have heard about them. I want to save judgement for food at a restaurant or clothes on a rack, not people passing by.
The world can be a downer if we focus on all that is wrong with it. Our children will be insensitive citizens if allow them to be. So we can’t. And we can’t allow ourselves to be that way either. We must take a stand against injustice and seek a way of living that is loving and inclusive. We must rise together or we will fall apart.
Please comment below with how you pledge to spread love and counteract those who want to inflict pain. Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook.
I have a confession to make to you. I am hardcore, addicted to planning. I make lists. I map out my life. I break down events that are supposed to be enjoyable and measure them to the minute. I have lost several travel companions because of this addiction. I know I have a problem but it is getting better.
Seriously though, I do love planning. Give me an objective and I will break it down into pieces and have milestones associated with it quicker than you can you can bake a cake. I really do enjoy it. I am an ENTJ on Myers Briggs so I think that is where a lot of it comes from, that “T” and “J” working together.
I’m sure you have heard the saying, “if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans,” I know that I have cracked God up multiple times.
So much of my life has not gone as planned but some of the biggest deviations have yielded the most incredible growth and learning experiences.
One of the biggest deviations I have made has been in regards to my career plan. When I started my career I had everything mapped out down to the year, title and location. One day I made a decision to apply for a position that was not in my plan – it was a completely different department and had a completely different function. I calculated that this move would help me advance and really build a solid foundation so I deviated.
I spent almost two years in that role. And you know what, my calculation was wrong. I did not move into the position that I had in my original plan – the role this one was supposed to build a foundation for – instead I moved into a better one, another position that was still not in my plan but that paid more, had better hours and provided greater opportunity.
Fast forward to today and I am happy and my life is rich and it is still not going according to plan (I sing in a band and am starting my own business, so not part of the plan).
Planning is a great tool that gives us structure and provides order at work, but for our lives it needs to be a guide. Our lives can’t be mapped like a project. Set goals and give yourselves milestones but don’t stay too rigid to “the plan,” you might miss something beautiful. Life happens unexpectedly and growth happens more organically when we don’t have a perfect picture painted.
Sometimes it really sucks when the plans change, especially when they change without our permission - death, job loss, divorce. Use these times to reflect in your life. What am grateful for? What can I learn from this? How am I growing from this?
As I look back over the past few years, deviating from my plan was the best thing I could have ever done. Because my plan changed I was able to join a rock band. Because my plan changed I was able to see other talents I had at work. Because my plan changed I was able to be there for my family during a few difficult times.
I still love planning but I know now that the most invigorating and life changing experiences happen outside of the plan.
What has been your biggest deviation from "the plan?" Comment below.