Monday, April 6, 2009

One Person, One Change


Thank you all for your comments and wise words. One thing that jumped out at me was the universal desire for people to be treated with dignity, kindness, and equality. This came from all over the world. This one desire. Oh sure, we want our collective governments to play fair, get out of the hate game, and do right by us and the world. But the overwhelming response was for people to treat each other as equals. And no matter where you are from, there are always those that want to elevate themselves at your expense. They think they are better because they may have more money, education, status, power. But they are not better, they only have more money, education, status, and power. And we cannot change that. The only thing we have power over is ourselves.

But that power can change the world. One mind at a time. One change at a time.

I have made some changes in my mind over the last few months. I no longer accept e-mails from friends and family that are cloaked in jokes, patriotism, stories, etc., but are actually hidden hate bombs. You know the ones - they start out nice or interesting, but end with you feeling bad, or at least uneasy. They are usually against Obama, immigrants, other nations, other nationalities, other races, the poor. They always have a target. They always have an agenda. Needless to say, this has not made me popular with said family and friends. (And I get far fewer e-mails.) But I felt I needed to make a stand. Just one person, one change. 

What about you? Have you made any changes lately that you feel strongly about?

57 comments:

Job Hunter said...

The lesson we learned in grade school should be applied throughout life, "Do unto others..." I haven't made any major changes, but I think I do try as I get older to be nicer to people whether they are waiing on me at a restaurant, or the frazzled mom in the grocery line. We're not perfect. Truly. So, cut folks a little slack is my motto.

ld said...

I'm glad to hear that you've decided to do this, I know it's a very hard decision. I'm starting my masters this september and I'm trying to decide how I'm going to express my political views to others, knowing that it could significantly effect my future professional career. But I think that as more people, especially older individuals, decide to take a stance, it provides a model and an environment for us younger ones to express ourselves without fear of reprimand (particularly in situations that have so much power-dynamic in them). So I'm glad to hear you've decided to take this on.

(ps - i found your blog through the bloggers of note.)

Rei said...

Yes, one major decision influenced by my experience of the past three months. I have decided to draw nearer to God. His Love is awesome, so it's all I need. And if people pull away from me because of my decision, hey, it's their loss.

ellen abbott said...

The only way to change other people is to change yourself.

Do unto others...yes absolutely.

I did a similar thing with a member of my family, told him I love him and would love to get newsy letters about them but we had vastly different religious and political views so please stop sending those mean spirited forwards.

In my own life I speak out against hatred and bigotry and meanness and intolerance when I come across it.

Lori ann said...

You are so right Love! Be the change you'd like to see. I did a similar thing re emails, I believe,like you, in no tolerance there. I've sent back a message of love or even a picture of something beautiful in response!
Have a wonderful monday
xo♥ lori

Quentin said...

i will view later

Butternut Squash said...

"I no longer accept e-mails from friends and family that are cloaked in jokes, patriotism, stories, etc., but are actually hidden hate bombs." Right on! I know exactly what that is like and have had to tell a few people I love that poop wrapped as a present still smells. My little guy has started a blog, please take a look if you have time. http://crittersnsuch.blogspot.com

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Hi just popped in via Natalie's blog.

I agree with you. I've noticed a lot of this lately and many seem oblivious to it.

One mind at a time... so true.

three sea horses said...

I really like your blog, the things you write - where you are coming from. It is good to read. Thank you.
best wishes

Amy said...

I always find it so suprising when I get these hateful text messages and emails. But if the people who send them to me are ignorant enough to believe them, I guess they are ignorant enough to think EVERYONE believes them.

It makes me sad. And upset.

PS. I love the picture! Did you take it?

jae! said...

I applaud you for standing firmly for your beliefs. I know that we, as individuals often feel that we can't really do much. But I believe that there's always someone who should step up and make a stand. I strongly believe on ripple effects, you don't know how far your opinions go. Like your blog, it touched so many people and you are causing that ripple effect :) So cheers to that and I hope we can see more people standing up like you do!

GreenishLady said...

I'm joining the hordes who have arrived from "Blogs of Note" and realy like your blog. One change I've decided on recently is having a profound effect for me, and that is, having read Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, I'm trying to apply some of his ideas... especially checking whether, if I'm not enjoying doing something, or not enthusiastic about it, can I at least be accepting of it, and if not, considering whether I should be doing it at all. And the occasional random act of kindness lifts my soul too!

Beatriz Kim said...

I'm impressed by your courage and integrity. It's interesting because I just wrote a story about my experience with racism from the police force and my disappointment about this realization. I'm trying to decide if I should post it on my blog, but this has helped me to consider it more strongly.

Thank you.

kaminapaper said...

No time for waiting only.Our herritage is our lives.

CrazyCris said...

"do unto others..." is probably one of the best philosophies out there to make a better world... because unless people are completely masochistic they wouldn't want to be treated the way they themselves treat people (bigoted, racist, sexist...).

Some day we as a species will make it. Even if we have to educate people one at a time. :o)

Owen said...

Taking a stand against hate is a tricky thing.

Hate wants to divide.

We can't divide ourselves from those who hate and at the same time we can't take part in it.

that we may all be one

Jeremy Nixon said...

I am a messed up individual, living in a world full of dressed up people. The deal is, we are all messed up, trying...pretending to be perfect. If we could wrap our heads around the idea of being connected, I believe that big changes can happen. If we can connect with God(Christ), reach outside of the walls of the church, and serve the community...I truly believe that change WILL happen. My heart is that people could somehow connect with Christ through my messed up life!

Adie said...

I like your "hear no evil" approach to the hate bomb emails. My efforts in the same vein usually end with someone patiently explaining to me how my views are incorrect and that the emails are meant to educate me. I wish I could say I've made a change worth making in this area of my life, but the only change I can make is in myself. As such I try not to say or write anything that constitutes a hate bomb itself.

AProvisionOfGod.com said...

I no longer allow my schedule to be changed based on the whims of others. It's weird that the very people who want you to drop everything for them aren't very good at doing the same. It's been about a month and I'm definitely much mure rested.

Bogey said...

As usual, another great post. You, of course, are right. Without taking a stand, even against friends and family, we will never change unless we speak up and voice our own opinion. Perhaps this is what they need to hear.

Even thinking about what I am about to write, reeks of hypocrasy but it is to make a point. A business friend is notorious for making comments about a certain Ethnic background. It's like he can't help himself. It was driving me nuts when I finally had to say somthing. Another bad habit he has is taking other people's inventory. He just goes on and on. I'm not sure if that is just to make himself feel better. Eventually, I told him that I did not want to particpate in those kinds of discussions and he has abated......for now. But now, sharing this, can you see why I feel like a hypocrite. Strange feeling.

Kathy G said...

I actually made a change a few years ago when I removed some "friends" from my life. They weren't winners for me, and I left every encounter with them feeling tense.

Life's too short to not treat yourself well.

Sandy said...

Wow. My husband was in a car accident a year ago which has changed him a lot. He actually started his own blog of positive messages and musings. So he encouraged me to start as well. It's so true that one person can have a profound effect on so many. But even if we only affect one other person in this life, we've done something really special. I will definitely be following your blog. Thank you. And keep it up. We need more positive messages.

Rain said...

I made a huge change in my life 5 years ago. I disowned my family, for many reasons. One big reason I left: I was brought up in a highly racist environment, and it didn't matter what race, or sexuality or religion for that matter, they were all fair game. I felt like I didn't fit in at all and became practically a mute when the famly was all together because I didn't want to join in. I always had that guilty pit in my stomach after family dinners. I remember taking a nice Chinese boy home during high school to meet my parents and was highly embarassed at the way they ridiculed him. Same thing with my ex-friends. They were toxic and made fun of the French. I'm not happy with the language situation in Quebec, but I don't fuel hatred - my solution is to leave. That transition away from my past life was a very big change for me, it actually took me 10 years of pondering and trying, feeling guilty, then going back and then regretting it...to finally do it. It was tough because I had to ignore their attempts at a guilt trip, take their ridicule and anger, then eventually mourn them all from my life. But now I don't regret that decision for one second because I realize how terribly I felt whenever I was around them. I've also noticed that I have become much more compassionate as a person. I have a motto too, zero tolerance for hate and drama! I like your posts LIFE, they are very thought provoking!

Star said...

Congratulations on being chosen as a Blog of Note. You deserve it.
Blessings, Star

Scott Hood said...

Great blog post...

One major change I had to make recently was to put myself first at important times.

Until recently I had always put my friends and families needs above mine, which led to my university work slipping below standard. So I came to the realisation, that some times, not all the time of course, but some times, I just have to put myself first.

TheChicGeek said...

Good for you! When we love ourselves to stand up against negativity our lives become so much better and more peace filled.

I think I recognize that lake :) Most beautiful in the world!

Have a Wonderful Day!

California Girl said...

Yes, I block the senders of stupid thoughtless emails. I can't deal with them any longer.

Meanwhile, I just watch President Obama and sit open mouthed in wonder.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Very interesting because there are two of us and I hope many more who have made the email stand. About this time last year I got sick of all the anti-Obama and other such emails. So I replied to all those that sent them to please leave me off their list. As you say it has resulted in less emails, but frankly my dear I don't give a damn! Well said.

Breeze said...

I love your blog...sometimes when I get these things I think "do they not know me?"

I hit the follow..we have similar ideas...come visit sometime

Breeze

www.breezedaze.blogspot.com

Kate said...

I completely support your decision to do this. I did the same thing a while ago and get very few e-mails from certain people now. In my request to everyone I said I wanted real e-mail communication, not forwarded stuff. It seems that the forwards are the only way some people know to communicate. Unfortunate.

My big decision lately has been to give myself more driving time so that I can be a more compassionate driver. I still fall into the "get off my road" metality sometimes, but I am working on it.

It may be a small thing, but by small things,great things come to pass.

Lover of Life said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and weighing in on the hate bomb issue. I have tried to visit your blogs, but if you don't see me, I probably couldn't get through.

mikethepikey said...

Yes lately I have started to realise that we have a choice in life; either to be happy or not. This is not entirely dependant on what happens in external reality, but depends on how we percieve the world we live in.
For example we can be driving our car and someone cuts us up dangerously. Now, we have two options here. 1. We can start shouting and honking the horn, this getting ourselves into a state of mind that is not conducive to rational thought, or we can see it as just another part of the day, and therefore remdin calm. After all perhaps that person is in a rush for a good reason and we have all been in that position.
So I feel its all about taking a step back, recognising emotions when they arise and letting them flow. There is no point getting upset of trivial matters, likewise it is fruitless celebrating a happy thought too much as this will also ebb and flow and then we are back to where we started.

Life is easier if we can train ourselves to let emotion crash off us like a wave and then watch it flow back out to sea.

Simplicity is the way forward. Don't take life too seriously;it's only a game.

Mike

My blog:

http://canyouwalkonthericepaper.blogspot.com/

Natalie said...

Hi! I try everyday to improve myself in a little way.

Turn the other cheek lots of times, do something kind or loving just because I can, make a green choice, change a negative thought pattern, smile etc.
I also do not tolerate those emails.
I have also removed plenty of people from my life, in the last two years.
Always onward and upward.

Love to you. xx♥

Linda Pendleton said...

Change does begin with each of us. I, too, noticed in reading all the comments you received that all of us basically want the same thing, no matter where we live in the world. Our optimism, postive thought, and putting out good energy may help to achieve that.

Changes I have made in recent times is expressing myself without being concerned about the reaction.

Deboshree said...

Hey there..well written.The change I have seen in me...
Well,I have joined an NGO and their motto in life had become mine-BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.And that is what I strongly believe in now.
One must take a stand in life and fight for what they believe in.This is what I have realised

Muhammad Subekti said...

I said Life to be good of kindness, and life so of the best to be broken bad.

CrazyCris said...

Your posts and people's comments just keep getting more and more interesting so I've decided to sign up to follow your blog. So keep 'em coming! It's nice to look forward to thoughtful and insightful posts like these!

And thx for the visit! :o)

Fvian said...

every second, every day i have passed, I learn new thing. Experiences are the greatest thing that you can learn for change yourself. All depend to us who want to change or not, or just follow what it should be......
that's me
^_^

mo'ikeha said...

What an incredible blog you call your own.
Probably the most important event which changed me, and still does, was the birth of my son 18 months ago - convinced me to study again.

RTR said...

In the words of Gandhiji - "You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Like you I also try to follow this practice by never blaming anyone else for whatever actions I take or whatever happens to me. I'm glad to find like minded people.

Lisa said...

be the change, accept responsibility- no blame xx

crone51 said...

Hi. I am almost 58 ( ouch) and just stumbled upon your blog - nice to see other older women blogging.

I have kind of the opposite issue about expressing myself politically- I have been doing so, loudly, since I was a kid and it has been a source of both good things and bad. I told myself a few years ago that I was going to cut back on that - but I can't. I am compelled to speak up when people say hateful things. I just need to find ways to do it that won't alienate everyone . I live in a conservative area after many years of living in San Francisco ( where hardly anyone disagreed with me) . Moving here was incredibly culture shocky ( that being a new term I just made up). Anyhow... nice blog. I shall return!

Kate said...

Lover of Life - You are very welcome to my blog. I have it listed as private to protect my children, who are my life! I wish we didn't live in a world where I felt that was neccessary. It was originally a public blog, and I didn't mind visitors from all over the world as much as the unidentified local visitors. Go figure.

If you'll send me a note at kjweierholt@yahoo.com, I'll send you an invite! Keep up the deep thoughts!

C. S. Thurman said...

We are instructed to love others as we love ourselves. How many of us truly love ourselves? The need to belittle someone else in order to feel better than them has it's origins in the lack of a good dose of healthy self-love and esteem. This is the change that I have been working through, a greater appreciation for who God made me to be. I have found that as I grow in this knowledge, the love for others grows as well.

critterlover said...

I agree here too. I'm all about "be the change you want to see in the world."

I take a lot of flack from family, even my own daughter calls me left wing hippie extremist. Mainly because I'm vegetarian and very environmentally conscious.

I too no longer accept e mail hate bombs in the guise of humor or otherwise.

Even though I get heat, I do get a lot of questions and from those folks, they actually go home and consider my answers. Then they think about their actions and may or may not make changes.

So, you go! Good for you.

critterlover said...

I agree with this as well. I am all about "be the change you want to see in the world." I have also stopped accepting hate e mail bombs. Most of which come from family. I'm not amused. I and my husband are very environmentally active and vegetarians, have been for about 6 years, much to the dismay of most of my family. Even my own daughter calls me left wing extremist. Oh well, I am rubbing off on people at work, people do ask me regularly why I choose what I choose and I'll be damned if they don't go home and give it some thought. That's a start huh?

critterlover said...

Sorry about the double post.

lencey said...

I think that your blog is very peaceful and serine. I think that from reading this that I have found a little peace at heart and anytime that you reach someone that way its a blessing.

immortality said...

Many young people are not into Political games, coz it's not fair game you know. Have you ever watched Zeitgeist? That is what is political view of some guy in USA. USA tells us that they have democracy, but it is not democracy what they show in the world. I hope that Obama will change that stereotype.

Joan W. Page said...

I have just begun a blog on blogspot and I hope you will check it out and give me some feedback...looks like you are a pro and I am a rookie!
My title is:
"50 something woman"
thanks for your consideration.
YOUR pictures are amazing!
Sincerely,
JOAN

MzzLily said...

I hate those e-mails! I have one relative that persists even though I have asked him to stop. The biggest problem I have with it? I'm a Christian and so is he. How can a person consider themselves a Christian and pass along hatred and bigotry? Does it help our own self-esteem to look down upon others?

Blind Enough said...

I have embraced my blindness. I am partially blind and a 37yr old mother of a 14mo old. Over the last few years my sight has worsened and I continued to act as though I could still manage just as well. I was getting cranky & attracting the like! I have recently embraced my self totally, and embracing that personal identity has given me strength & a cane to wack away at the cranky people! :) In this embrace I have found Gods Grace and it is filling my life.

ferretmonster said...

the change that i've made is always go back to thinking positive no matter what happens. it is normal to react to traumatic events but when the initial shock wears off it is necessary to make a conscious shift to looking optimistically at the present and future...it's all we have. i really don't think i had a choice in this change at all, i saw it necessary for my continued existence. we must evolve in our minds to keep up with the future world. i'm excited, hope you are too!

N.sherpa said...

Hi!!

how ru ? i m new in blogger and i visit ur blog i like it and i also want to make my blog nice like urs ...could u share some ideas with me?.....

Cubil said...

Neat to find you. Here's something I decided just this week: I'm not participating in the "us and them" conversations, and I already don't do fear talk. My new stance is to leave the room, change the dial, whatever it takes to remove myself from it. People who are wrapped up in that conversation get the point soon enough.

livenomad said...

Hey, stumbled onto your blog through the blogs of note page. Great blog with insightful posts.

I agree with lots of your opinions and I do the same with forwarded emails. I have also stopped watching tv news as it is filled with depressing stuff and believe in choosing what I think and what I want to be influenced by.

Thanks for your openness as well.

Cheers.

http://updateweekly.blogspot.com/

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