Inspiration of the Self-Reliance 30-Day Writing Challenge

To celebrate Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday (May 25th, 1803), Self-Reliance urges us to trust our intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.

Beginning on May 31st, 2011, The Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance website*** will post a daily prompt. This will continue for 30 days.

This is my unique creation of personal reflection and responses, based on those prompts.

***See link below for the site.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Strong Belief

Day 2 prompt:
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action.
 What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

My One Strong Belief

While I try to be understanding and respectful of other’s beliefs, and always try to view all perspectives, there are a couple convictions with which I stand firm.

If I must choose only one, it would be that we are all equal and connected in some way, regardless of other’s opinions on this subject.  I believe that no one has the right to attempt to control what others say or do.  Although we are all equal, we are each unique in our own personal individualism.  Therefore, each of us must be allowed to follow our own path in this life.  It is not for us to judge or to condemn.

It’s important to show loving kindness and to be compassionate toward everyone whose path crosses ours.  This includes those who may be unkind or rude to us.  It’s important to remember that we do not know what that other person may happen to be experiencing that particular day or moment.  Each of us has a bad day occasionally, so possibly that person who is unpleasant or cruel to you, may be dealing with something awful at that moment.  By expressing loving kindness, even in the face of a mean vicious person, this could be an opportunity to provide emotional support to that person, and help to ease whatever pain they are suffering.  This, in turn, gives me a warm fuzzy rewarding feeling.

This, also, extends beyond such generalization, and includes a few friends or family members who display prejudices to others who may not be exactly as we are.  Strange thing is that none of us are precisely the same.  I often wonder why some people think that we “should” all conform to being identical.  What a boring world this would be, if we were.  But, on the other hand, I remind myself that this is their expression of their beliefs, and so I respect it, even if I don’t agree.

A portion of my inspiration comes from being on the receiving end of bias, judgment and intolerance, several years ago.  Knowing first-hand how this feels, it motivates me not to impose that feeling onto others.

However, the greater part of my inspiration emanates from the wisdom of Buddhism.  While I do not label Buddhism as my religion, I do identify with the teachings and wisdom of the Buddha.  From reading books and learning from discussions with others, who pursue enlightenment, I’ve developed an incentive to remain on this path.  The result has been great improvement in my life, which has offered me much inspiration to actively live it.

What have I done to actively live it?

By keeping my focus on living in each now moment, there’s no room left for thinking about the past (except for a few cherished memories), and there’s absolutely no reason to worry or be concerned about the future.  Much of what happens in our lives is not within our control.  Therefore, trying to manipulate the future may be frustrating, to say the least.  If we choose to exert our energy to the past or the future, we are misusing our “NOW” moments.  The only way to be fully present and mindful is to utilize our energy to focus on this one now present moment. 

It’s not about reacting to what crosses our life’s path; but, rather, it IS all about how we handle the challenges which we encounter.

In addition, I’ve learned that nothing is permanent.  Understanding this helps inspire my strong beliefs.

When we take care of our present, our future will take care of itself. 

In conclusion, my inspiration is a treasure deep within my heart and soul.

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