(Sunset at Redondo Beach)
This was written two years ago but in reading it again with an abundance of hindsight and further reflection, its message and observations seemed to be reinforced by all that’s elapsed since it was authored.
“Peace is better than war, because life is better than death.” – Mario Cuomo at the 1984 Democratic Convention.
Such a simple, logical statement. I genuinely hope that our country’s leaders remember this before we engage in world conflicts that risk the lives of our young men and women soldiers, those of innocent civilians, and the hearts of friends and families who suffer the loss of either. With two young sons, I need to be assured that these engagements are not for more of what we want versus need, and to protect universal moral and virtuous principles.
We may not be able to change the world on a global scale but we can change OUR worlds on a more individual and personal level if we adhere to basic, inescapable, and unarguable truths. For me, the recognition and practice of these absolute tenets help to cleanse, strengthen, and energize my soul so that I get closer to that utopian existence I strive for.
Now for most of these, I’m sure that the instinctive response is “thank you Captain Obvious” or “no S… Sherlock”! You’re right but if common sense already tells us this, why do I sense that too many still don’t exercise the most logical choice to avoid the most illogical outcome. So read each one quietly to yourself as a reminder and just long enough for it to resonate, hopefully for some benefit and revitalized understanding. At a minimum, just indulge me since connecting the antonyms to various words served as a more difficult challenge to the daily “cognitive crossword puzzles” I still have to solve stemming from my injury. Most importantly, remember that these are about what we should share along with what we want to receive.
Love is better than hate; Kindness is better than apathy; Hope is better than surrender; Encouragement is better than criticism; Generosity is better than self-entitlement; Humility is better than vanity; Truth is better than deception; Honesty is better than duplicity; Accountability is better than denial; Forgiveness is better than condemnation; Sensitivity is better than indifference; Patience is better than interruption; Expressing emotions is better than suppressing them; Passion is better than disinterest; Harmony is better than disorder; Simple compliments are better than detailed critiques; A hug is better than a handshake (or fist bump); A smile heals more than a glare. Etc.
The list goes on and on and feel free to modify or expand on the foregoing but recognize that we always have a choices between whichever option we “want” to exercise. It may take practice, discipline, and maybe some redirection, but remember that what we do for others we end up doing for ourselves so as a result, OUR worlds can change.
I’m close to ending this as I watch the tribute to Stuart Scott of ESPN who died this morning at the age of 49 from cancer. I rarely shed tears over the death of someone I never met but here they are as I recall the countless days I watched him on ESPN (“boo-yah” and “cooler than the other side of the pillow”), and his speech after receiving the “Jim Valvano Award” at the ESPY’s last year. Just someone who made a difference in MY world!
And finally words from another who was literally lost a long time ago but seemed appropriate for this writing. “The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.” – Amelia Earhart
So do “more” good because it’s better than doing the opposite or worse, “nothing”!