As usual my first words are the answers to last week’s sentences which you were to finish: I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked God for forgiveness. Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
Last week there was a column by State Senator Gayle Slossberg. My comments are not meant to criticize her but about how she and society view their problems. The title of her column was, Things worth fighting for. She discusses how we survive the challenges life presents us with by remembering what we are fighting for; good paying jobs, an education for our kids in a safe environment, money in the bank and to grow old with dignity in our own home. She says she works hard and makes tough choices to achieve these goals and fighting to limit state spending.
What am I concerned about? That her focus is on fighting. The fact is that when you fight you empower your enemy and focus your energy on the wrong thing. Why, when Mother Teresa was invited to an anti-war rally did she refuse? When the disappointed people were turning to leave she said, “I will not attend an anti-war rally but if you ever have a peace rally call me.” Those words have helped me a great deal because when we fight wars against disease and society’s problems look where it gets us. We need to resolve our problems and heal our lives and eliminate their difficulties. It is also not just about having material things. I know we all have basic needs but I also know miserable millionaires and their children one of whom said to me, “My father ruined my life. He gave me a million dollars for my birthday. So I have to be a success.”
We need to care for and about each other so people will always have their dignity and create a society where this is available to everyone. We are a rich country but we do not have the best health record for children or longevity and more. It is time to stop waging wars and start healing our lives and the wounds of our society and country. I find politics very frustrating because of the effort and time involved in accomplishing things which are good for people and I think that is what Senator Slossberg is saying but I don’t think fighting is the solution. Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro, in response to my comment about politics said, “Bernie it’s about the potential. It has taken me five or six years to get some laws passed but they are now doing people some good.”
She is talking about what is needed to create change. We need desire, intention and determination so good things do eventually get accomplished in all our lives. It is not just about politics and economics it is about our consciousness and life. Quantum physicists understand this better than politicians. To quote one, “Desire and intention alter the physical world causing things to occur which would not normally occur if they were not desired.” I like to add the word determination to the desire and intention and whether it is in politics or your desire to overcome an illness those things are necessary. You don’t give up on the good things and bringing them into your lives.
I am also not saying that there is not appropriate anger or righteous indignation. When we are not respected we need to speak up and be heard so that we are treated properly, whether as a patient in the hospital, or a U.S. citizen. I love this quote from Winston Churchill, “You have enemies. Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life.” I think Senator Slossberg is planning to do that but I think we all need to focus on standing up for something and not waging a war. Think about what Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished without finding things to fight over or waging a war. Ahimsa, or non-harm and non-violence, is what the world needs now and they lived it. The tragic ending to their lives shows that Churchill spoke the truth.
I received bumper stickers from organizations which read, “God Bless America” and “God Bless Our Soldiers” My reaction was to write over them and change them to God Bless Everyone. I think that blessings, love and kindness are what we all need if we are to eliminate the problems of life be they personal or planetary. Kill with kindness, torment with tenderness and you will drive everyone nuts. When we find happiness we will be successful and wars will cease.
How we see our problems is a part of the issue. Rather than for homework let me ask you now; when facing a difficult time in your life, how would you respond to the question; how are you? Would you say, “I am not happy” or “I am unhappy?”
If you think about it choosing the latter answer just leaves you in an unpleasant emotional state while the latter gives you an opportunity to find happiness by making changes in your life. That is what we all need to do and I think when families, businesses and politicians seek change for the benefit of their family members, employees and constituents the world will become a better place for us all.
I may also add that just as physical pain is necessary to protect us from harm so too is emotional pain necessary to direct us to seek nourishment through the compassion and love of and for our fellow man. I don’t want to be distracted or numbed by society and politics so I do not notice their pain and mine. I want it treated and cared for personally and for the family of man. So next time you feel hungry and go get something to eat think about the emotional and physical hunger that is being felt around the world as well as next door and know that you can make a difference because what the world needs now is love sweet love that’s the only thing there’s just too little of. We have enough wars. So stop fighting and start loving today. As St Francis of Assisi’s prayer begins, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love.”
Forgive the sermon but I try to live the message. Now to lighten things up. These are parts of quotes from well known persons whose names I will reveal next week. How would you finish them?
“Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself………..”
“I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: ……”
“Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister……….”
Bernie Siegel, MD
Reward and punishment are the consequences of our thoughts, speech and actions; they are cause and effect.
We are all sheep, the same color inside, no matter what color our wool.
- Dr. Bernie Siegel
What the world needs is some do-give-a-damn pills.
- Dr. William Menninger