Daily Thoughts, December 14, 2002
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When people gather the energy level will rise or fall, never staying the same. The dynamic of people gathering, invading another’s preferred space, and thinking about all kinds of potential shared experiences automatically changes our personal energy levels. In my experience it is rare that the majority come into the gathering with the same feeling and attitude. Most of the time neutrality is the common theme. In this setting a small minority can move the group. Truly “a gang of cynics can upset a whole city; a group of sages can calm everyone down.” (Proverbs 29.8)

The challenge when one reflects on this is how one approaches opportunities when we are together with others. I believe that whatever happens, it is a direct reflection of a series of individual choices. We may just let things happen, but that is a choice. On the other hand we can chose to take the high road, full of positive energy, or we can exercise our anger and frustration.

Too often life is overwhelming. The pressures of achieving success, doing what we committed to do, or winning at the task at hand, present a dilemma that never quite leaves us. Am I going to focus on the past and my goal? If so, how much of a price do I want to extract from those who have not treated or responded to my efforts the way that I thought they should? The alternative is very different!

Am I willing to start each moment fresh? Can I learn from history, give each the space to learn (even helping them at times), place buckets of mercy and forgiveness on the table for all, openly communicating my intents, and then follow the path? Never easy! Yet if I really want to win in this game of life is there any other path that will get me there?

The path I describe is something that many, including myself, would love to say they have followed resolutely and completely. The problem is our human weaknesses. Good news, God knows this and is here to help!

December 13, 2002
December 15, 2002