I have changed my mind several times about what to write for the blog this month. I have written several and tossed them aside as they seem too political. I struggle now to find the right words to speak or rather write.
My heart grieves for our nation right now and for the pain and the many divisions we are experiencing. We are now faced with how to move forward from so many events and situations that have divided us so deeply.
With each event bringing forward more angst, the one thought I continue to have is this. Words spoken from a place of anger will never bring forward good. And actions taken from a place of hate will breed no good will either.
Love for All
I am currently reading a book about a leader I adored. His name was Gordon B. Hinckley and he was, for part of his life, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I had the pleasure of meeting this great man when I lived in Hawaii, and it was such an honor to stand in his presence. He illuminated light. The element of light is associated with understanding. And when you met him, you felt understood. It was such a remarkable thing to feel. It was even more remarkable to me how just his presence could produce this affect.
As I read more about him, I can see the makings of his spirit and the light he carried. I can see the work he put in to find common ground with others without wavering from his own beliefs. What I witnessed the day I met him and what I understand as I read about him, is that his heart was truly full of love for all people. Though the leader of a Church, he met with great and powerful leaders from all over the world who were seeking counsel in how to accomplish certain tasks. The variance in beliefs between him and multiple world leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs in no way hindered his ability to communicate well with them. It did not prevent him from sharing many ideas with these leaders and being heard.
I know it is because of the love and understanding he held in his heart for all beings. I know it was because nothing anyone would say would cause him to rise in anger or be pulled off balance. He was steadfast in where he stood yet open to all who were in front of him. This love he emanated allowed for very open communication without any kind of threat. This example of great love, of a heart wide open, impacted me greatly.
I have a rich desire to be a person of such balance, grace and humility. I think I better understand that his ability to be this way was because of the great love he held for all, not just those who believed as he believed. He had found a way to hear others without being offended. He did not take what was said by another as a challenge to who he was, or what he believed. He just listened and because of this he was able to share his thoughts and was often asked to share them, even sought after to share them.
He was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom when he was 94, the highest civilian award given in the United States. He was able to reach beyond his religion, or perhaps because of, and make an impact on the world with those from different backgrounds. He even stood well in an interview with the relentless interviewer, Mike Wallace, and made a new friend.
Most recently, we lost another great leader steeped in strong religious beliefs who also was able to reach others and be heard. Billy Graham was revered by many, and his counsel was sought after because of his openness and the love he held for his fellow man. He shared what he believed without placing judgment.
What I am doing my best to share is that we will be heard best when we stand in a place where we are whole and emotionally available. When we have cultivated all that lies within, our ability to be effective in the world will be much greater and easier heard.
Widening Our Perspective
Life at best is difficult, and it can be full of hardships that challenge us and demand that we reach deep to find understanding for what is taking place in our lives. So much of what each of us is experiencing creates new opportunities for us to see beyond our own viewpoint. We walk around knowing what we know and viewing life from a lens colored by our own experiences. It takes a very conscious being to see beyond what is just happening to them, and to take a look out another person’s window. But on the rare occasion that we do, we see another piece of the picture that we couldn’t see from our current stance, and here is where we get a chance to widen our perspective to hold and possibly understand more than we did before.
I pray for this great nation that I love, and this world that houses all of us. I pray for the ability to understand others and where they are coming from, and I am hopeful for a world that seeks to blame less and understand more.
I appreciate more the ones in my life who challenge me to see things from their point of view so I can widen my lens to see more of the big picture and not just the view from where I stand.
Copyright 2018 Melody White. All Rights Reserved.