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I never thought that a decision as minuscule as growing a beard would [practically] qualify as “civil-disobedience.” I mean, to my grandmother, I might as well be the Henry David Thoreau of the 21st century.

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Today’s Quotation:

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.


Today’s Meditation:

How often do I find myself yelling at my children out of anger or frustration? Too often is the answer. I do not like it when others yell or raise their voice at me, yet time and time again, I feel it is necessary to do so myself just to get my point across. But as Rumi states, “it is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” It is not my booming voice, my harsh or foul language, or the frightening tone of my voice that will best grow others, but the nourishment of my words. I can best teach my children through compassion and love, with thorough explanations, illustrations, and instruction, and by being a strong and positive role model and example in their lives.

Each of us has the capacity and the ability to spread kindness and love. However, having the ability to do so and actually doing so are two separate things. Of course, sometimes we forget–we get too busy or are preoccupied with other things on our minds–and we put kindness and compassion on the back burner. For this reason, it is important that we try our best to remind ourselves throughout the day. Carry a reminder in your pocket. Ask for grace to be more compassionate each morning. Actively take notice of the reactions and expressions others have to your words. We are each called to love and serve one another with compassion, humility, and patience. And the more we are able to do so in our lives, the more “flowers” we will find have grown and blossomed within our lives as a result of our nurturing “rain.”

This world already has plenty of misery, suffering, and hate. Instead of adding to this negativity, bring more positivity and uplifting love into the world around you. Be kind to others… even if they are being rude to you. Help others… even if they have no time to help you. Give to others… even if they do not share in return. The choices you make determine the world you will live in.

Today’s Challenge: Be kind to others today.

Questions to consider:

How many opportunities to be kind have you had today? How many yesterday? Have you taken advantage of these?

Think of some of the most wonderful acts of kindness you have seen… how do they make you feel? How did they affect others?

What effect does kindness have on you when it is directed towards you?

For further thought:

Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song which had lost its way and come on earth. It seems as if they could almost do what in reality God alone can do–soften the hard and angry hearts of people. No one was ever corrected by a sarcasm–crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never.

Frederick William Faber

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