Posts Tagged ‘We Are Connected’

          Although it sounds cliche, pay-it-forward is the approach I take in most things I do. This especially applies to teaching and working with youth. I guess it’s my way of paying tribute to the people who saw beyond my mistakes and through my insecurities and

pay-it-forward
Courtesy of Google Images 

poor self-image. These people consist of the “others” in my life. The ones who had the heart and foresight to look past everything within myself I perceived to be negative. The ones who refused and refuted my excuses, who saw and drew out qualities and abilities I didn’t know I possessed.

          The “Why” statement for my life is this. “I want to help young people not make the same mistakes I made…to help them discover, develop, and deploy their own value and sense of purpose in life. I want every youth with whom I have contact to know they are valuable and have purpose and something meaningful to offer this world.”  I am confident that emulating and honoring the memory of loving, supportive “others” in my life is the strategy that will propel me to success in my endeavor to make a difference in the lives of young people.

          I consider myself to have achieved success and happiness in life. For this, I am grateful to God and appreciative for the “others” He has placed on my path. I know,

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Original Art by Joe

without doubt, that every measure of accomplishment I have achieved or will ever obtain is due, in no small part, to the “others” who have answered the call to pour and sow into my life. One of my prime goals, now, is to honor my “others” by answering my own call to be an “other” to as many people as I can. From my perspective, this is how we overcome evil by doing good.  And…isn’t this exactly what the world we live in needs?

          When we fight hatred with hatred, hatred wins. Hate focuses on what is negative…the differences between us. Not only that, it thrives and feeds on negatives and differences. Love, on the other hand, looks past the negative and promotes the positive. Love sees how we are all similar and how we are all connected. Love is what motivated the “others” in my life to look past my differences and negatives. The love OF “others” FOR “others” is the only thing that will make a meaningful difference in our world. I know I now have a responsibility to those who have sown into my life to sow into the lives of others. This is how the movements of Paying-It-Forward and Honoring-The-Others combine to perpetuate the power of goodness. By taking responsibility and showing gratitude for being the beneficiary of the goodness of others in your life.

          And…if you’re being honest, you would have to recognize that you have had them, too. Do some self-reflection. Think about the people who saw good in you when nobody else did. Not even you. Think about those people who didn’t give up on you when everybody else did. Even you. Think about those people who looked past the mistakes and failures, who, when you fell, extended their hand to lift you up one more time. These are the “others” in your life. Write their names down. List their contributions to your life. If they are still alive, thank them. Then… GO…

…do the same for someone else.

Peace and blessings…

~joe

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If skin color is all you see, keep looking.

The issue in society is not the low opinion some folks have of others. Rather, it is the high opinion they have of themselves. 

Humanity is not a color.