Tag Archives: Today

You must be the change you wish to see in the world

During this season, as we celebrate Christmas, we are inundated with requests for charity.

When I think of charity I have some rather deeply personal views on this topic.  I am challenged by what charity means to me and what I do or don’t do about it.  We all have our own motivations for being charitable.  These may range from religious or spiritual beliefs held dear and close to heart, a general sense of benevolence, or a desire to make a difference in this world.

Charitable actions come in many different shapes, forms and varieties.  To some charity is generous financial contributions to organizations undertaking charitable work.   Others contribute to the community by preparing nutritious meals for those facing hunger when they, themselves, are living with limited means.  It could be the gift of time teaching a class for students in need of additional tuition.  Then there is the senior citizen I know who sits all year knitting wool beanies, despite her arthritis, for orphans in need of winter woollies.

I am humbled by the many examples of charity around me that I encounter on a daily basis.  I am blessed and inspired by people in my life who, I believe, are the epitome of what it means to be charitable.  You don’t talk charity, you live it daily in your lives.  You seek nothing in return.  You do not look for your name on a plaque placed prominently on [insert any donated object here].  You do not go about selective charitable donations to get a tax refund.  Charity is not a once off event on your calendar.  When you feed a hungry family you do so without fuss and bother, without alerting the media to your efforts.  Day in and day out, 365 days a year, you are tirelessly and selflessly giving of yourselves to others.

Personally, I understand charity to being committed to the continuous giving of oneself, in a meaningful way, to aid and assist others without expecting anything in return.

Okay, great, so I have developed my own understanding.  But having such a noble and lofty understanding is worthless without my own, personal, call to action.  Words without action are a waste of breath.  Until I get up, out of my comfort zone, and actively do something about my personal call to action I am wasting my time writing this article, not to mention wasting your time reading this.

So, I ponder more on this topic, and think of the words of Mahatma Gandhi:  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.  It all starts with me.  If I don’t want to see hunger in the world, for example, why am I not making an extra sandwich, when preparing my daily lunch, for the hungry person I pass on my way to work each morning?  Small example, but food for thought [no pun intended].

As I write this I am reminded of the article I wrote – Just for Today.  As I continuously seek to be a lifelong learner I need to challenge how I choose to live my life in order to grow and move forward as an individual.  So I challenge my status quo.  I have now added charity to my “Just for today” daily motivational.  As I step out into this unchartered territory I do not yet quite know how this is going to play out.  I know this, without taking the first step I’m never going to get anywhere, never move forward, never make a difference, and most certainly will never contribute to the change I wish to see in the world.

I dedicate this article to all the wonderfully inspirational people in my life who, without knowing it, challenge me to my core on this rather personal, and for some, sensitive topic.


Be the change you wish to see in the world

Yours in lifelong learning,

Laura

 

Just for Today

Each morning I need to choose how I want to live my life today. The choice is entirely mine.

So how do I want to live my life today?

A few years ago I came across some literature from Alcoholics Anonymous titled “Just for Today”. One of the statements reads like this:

JUST FOR TODAY I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.”

I printed this out and placed it prominently by my desk. Each day I am reminded how I want to live today. Is it that easy? No it’s not. It is a new commitment to myself every morning. It is an active decision I make.

Looking back on my life over the past few years I have come to realise that making this conscious choice each morning, by committing myself anew each day, has had a tremendously positive impact on my life. Slowly but surely abrupt rudeness has given way to courteousness. My unkempt appearance has cleaned up significantly. My desire to control other people has dissipated and been replaced with greater self-control and regulation. These changes did not take place overnight. They have been so gradual it’s only when I stop, look back, take stock, do I notice the improvements that have come about in my life.

There are folk who have only met me in recent years. Some do not believe I was once such an obnoxious person to interact it. And obnoxious I was! Have I changed or was I always that “Just for Today” person waiting to come out?

There is an old saying that a leopard can’t change its spots inferring that a person cannot change who they are. I know this, I am not a leopard! I am a person. As such I can choose my attitude. I can change my mind. I can change my decisions. I can choose my outlook on life. I can expand my world-view. I can choose to change.

I don’t care to worry much about leopards and their spots. I care to look in the mirror each morning and choose how I’m going to live just for today.

Just for Today

Yours in lifelong learning,

Laura

I have prepared my whole life for today

I have prepared my whole life for today.  This is what I say to myself each morning I get out of bed.  Think about it.  Each day, each moment, is a learning and growing opportunity preparing us for today.

Too many of us get up in the morning and don’t give much thought about how we have prepared ourselves for today.  I’m not just talking about having a list of tasks to tick off on completion throughout our day.  I’m talking about being prepared for living today.  Not living in the past, nor living in the future.

As I write this I have lived 16 338 days (How Many Days have I lived Calculator).  That’s a lot of preparation for today.

Today I will learn new lessons and thus be better prepared for tomorrow.  I live in each moment.  I pay attention to how I react, what I do, what I say, how I say it. I draw on all of my preparation and experience to live today to the fullest, then improve on that for tomorrow.

The challenge to me is to find the right lessons in each moment of today.  By being aware of this I prepare myself for each future step I take on this journey of life.

I am fully aware tomorrow is never promised.  Tomorrow might never dawn for me.  But I set my alarm clock each night in hope and faith.  When tomorrow dawns I will have prepared for 16 339 days for the new day ahead.

Too often we are so caught up in planning for our future, dreaming dreams of future success, we lose sight of living today.  Don’t get me wrong, planning for our future, working towards future goals is both necessary and good.  Don’t forget about living in the moment that is today.  Celebrate all that today has to offer.

I have prepared my whole life for today.

Prepared my whole life for today

 

Yours in lifelong learning,

Laura