Saturday, December 26, 2009

Each Gives Which Each Has

Before the final brick was laid on the Berlin Wall, the East Germans loaded a dump truck with garbage and other refuse and hauled it onto the West German side and dumped it. The West Germans were wild over this and rallied to load three or more trucks with garbage and take it to the East German side. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. Instead, they loaded a truck with blankets, medicine, and food. They attached a note: EACH GIVES WHICH EACH HAS.

The lesson requires review by all of us. When someone does us wrong, we want to retaliate. However, revenge is a caustic emotion and destroys the vessel that holds it. Sending love, kindness, and patience, even if undeserved, will benefit you more than anyone else. The message you send to yourself is that you have plenty of love and kindness to spread around.

Recently, a family member directed significant hate toward my immediate family. Sue and I discussed what we should do. We toyed with sending a return letter with an underlying jab. You see, we fell we are right in our position. Even if we are in the right, does it justify such a response? Eventually Sue and I decided no response was the best approach. I didn’t want to sink to that level or get into a pissing contest.

For Christmas, this family member sent my daughters a Christmas card, excluding Sue and me. Several jabs were taken in the letter to place blame and garner sympathy. Rather than fire back a blistering letter, Sue and I sat down thought it through. I remembered the Berlin Wall story from Zig Ziglar. We realized that if we send anger, hate, revenge, or any other negative emotion we would be condoning the activity and telling our own minds that this is all we have to give. Instead, we sent a beautiful basket of flowers with a note attached that in part read: OUR LOVE FOR YOU IS UNCONDITIONAL. WE LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL. WE WISH YOU PEACE OF MIND, HAPPINESS, AND HEALTH.

I enjoyed the warmest Christmas I’ve had in years. I never knew how powerful the positive emotions can be. Sure, I expected they would be uplifting, but not like this. The message was more powerful to us than to them. Still, I pray they feel every ounce of love we sent. Maybe I am crazy, but I feel if life is worth living, it is worth living well. And living a good life doesn’t come from out there, but from in here.

Merry Christmas everyone. May you all be filled with peace of mind, happiness, love, and contentment.

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