Freedom comes when we stop looking through the lens
of what we wish we were
or how we want others to see us.
We can admit what we really are,
what we need to improve
and what we need to accept about ourselves.
Instead of drooping because of all the things we’re not,
we can bloom as we alone were meant to.
Fandango’s One-word Challenge this morning: TEMPTATION
Merriam-Webster says: tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment.
This word automatically brings to mind the Bible verse:
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7
You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand that thought. Should some temptation sidle up beside you, if you turn your face resolutely and head in the opposite direction, you will much more easily overcome the thing than if you look its way — even if you’re arguing with it.
In another sense, temptation is like that proverbial rat the dog played with, then buried, but he left the tail hanging out “just in case.”
Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of temptation:
the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.
We do occasionally use the word TEMPTATION in the less menacing sense. We feel a desire to do something, though there’s some question involved. As we face the New Year, the clean page, the sense of starting-over, a lot of us are tempted to make New Year’s Resolutions. I have.
Is this wise? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you keep them? Would you advise a friend to make one, or to abandon the idea?
To be on the safe side, my resolutions are a January-only thing. I’m hoping once started I’ll develop enough momentum to carry them on from there. But for the month of January I’m resolved to:
—spend more time in the quest for physical fitness. (Read: diet and exercise!)
My arthritis is getting me down and I’m resolved to start fighting back
—deal with sewing projects that have lingered in the spare room closet too long
—post a haiku a day on my other blog, Tree Top Haiku
O-E-D defines RESOLVED as firmly determined to do something.
As I understand it, the success of a New Year’s resolution depends very little on the project contemplated, and almost entirely on the resolve of the individual. I know from past experience that the temptation to do something else will certainly come along and crook an inviting finger, just to test the strength of my resolve.
Which reminds me of a quote I just read yesterday: 🙂
Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.
People are asking, “What is Social Media Turning Us Into?”
Here’s one possible picture. 😉
One former Google project manager, Tristan Harris, once claimed that social media is “hijacking our minds.” Studies are revealing that social media inclines young people to depression.
This morning I read a thought-provoking article and decided to post the link here so you can read it, too, if you’re concerned about the overall effects of social media. Read Social Media Detox.
Christina Farr starts out saying, “I quit Instagram and Facebook and it made me a lot happier.” She tells how at one point she kept track of the time spent on social media — and it turned out to be a whole lot more than she’d ever estimated.
Does that surprise anyone?
I’ve never been on any of those social media, unless you count Linked-In, where I followed some writers’ groups. Finally I even gave that up, and GoodReads, which hasn’t done much more than take my time. The world is awash in book and wannabe writers trying to promote themselves — and some are quite successful, more power to them.
I’m probably one of those people who doesn’t manage time well, but at present it’s all I can do to post on my blog and follow some others, never mind all the Tweets, Twitters, Instagram, etc. that one can get involved in. Also, our church has always urged members to not get involved in Facebook and such-like.
If you can find a minute, do read this informative article, especially if you wonder how a person can survive without incoming messages. 🙂
An old BeeGees song comes to mind:
“It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.”
to praise and honour you
to despise and insult you
to blame and incriminate you
to acquit and justify you
to inspire and encourage you
WORDS: Comfort or Cudgel?
Fandango’s prompt word for today is REPRESS
Words are our tools, with which we express, impress, repress
— or resist repression.
ME? A NAZI?
I was working at the doughnut shop one evening, doing a bit of clean-up during a slack time, when one of my co-workers, a young man in his early 20s, walked in. Totally off work and out of uniform, he strolled behind the counter — where he had no business being.
At almost the same moment the staff entrance door at the back opened an ex-employee strode in quite purposefully. He’d quit several months before, so he certainly had no business coming in that entrance. Age: mid-thirties, wearing a long black trench coat, he walked behind the counter like he owned the place and helped himself to a jumbo coffee. Then he turned and handed the first co-worker a fat roll of bills and left by the back door again. My co-worker pocketed the cash and remained standing behind the counter.
I was initially stunned. This was a flagrant violation of our rule about being on shift and in uniform when behind the counter. They were also displaying a major contempt for me — a contempt I’d often felt while working with either of them in the past. I didn’t see the need to speak, since neither of those guys were going to listen to a word I said. You don’t need to say one word to show your contempt for someone. I had a strong suspicion what this was all about, which made it all the more insulting. They were dealing right in my face, as it were.
A moment later I protested to my co-worker that he had no business being behind the counter in street clothes. Maybe he saw me as repressive because he lipped off with this reply: “What are you, a Nazi? Are you the Gestapo?”
I put on my best German accent and answered, “You haff to obey ze ru-els.” His response was a disgusted snort and he walked out.
Could I have claimed “defamation of character”? Since I’m not a racist nor a German, I could hardly be a Nazi. And since I’m not a member of Hitler’s private police, I couldn’t be one of the Gestapo.
Alas! We seem to be in an era where accusations are flying left and right without proof or legal repercussions. I’d better qualify that: unless the recipient of your vitriol is from some racial or ethnic minority or the remark is deemed to be sexist. My co-worker and I were both white and Nazi isn’t exactly sexist. So there I was.
Also without witness. He was always quite careful about that.
For some, the definition’s simple. “Anyone with rules I don’t like.”
In my understanding a Nazi is someone who belonged to the Nazi party in Germany, or at least subscribed to their political platform. Or someone who belongs to the new Neo-Nazi movement I’ve heard about. To my co-worker it meant, “I don’t like you or your ideas and I’m not going to listen to anything you say.” Which might include any parent, employer or worker who thinks their offspring, employees, or co-workers should follow the rules.
Ideologically, my rock-band-drummer-pusher co-worker and I were on opposite ends of the universe. “Nazi” was a handy rock to toss at me right at that moment. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, though. There are a lot worse verbal rocks flying these days.
Well, I have something in common with the US President now, seeing he’s often been called a Nazi. As far as actually subscribing to the Nazi political ideology or being a member of that party, I wonder if he’s any more of a Nazi than I am? I’ll leave that question to more informed people than myself, but to me the term seems to be saying, “I hate whatever he stands for.”
One thing I wonder: Do those folks who suffered such atrocities at the hands of the real Hitler and his real Nazis feel disgusted when we with such cushy lives sling this term around so freely?
WHAT’S A STUPID QUESTION?
I made a quick stroll around the internet this morning and stopped in for a discussion with Kristian (see Tales from the mind of Kristian) about the word STUPID. We’re in agreement: out with it!
If “I didn’t sleep a wink” and “It’s raining cats and dogs” are outdated clichés that must be avoided now, I propose we add the word Stupid to the list of outdated clichés and forget it. Along with Idiot and Imbecile. (Dough-head was one of my dad’s favourites.) You can probably think of a few more.
They’re only words, but cruel ones, and they’ve been around too long.
THE MOST HELPFUL WORDS
I visited J.S. Park’s blog this morning, too, and read his answers to a reader’s question about helping someone get through depression. “Working Through Depression As A Team.” His closing thought is worth echoing around the world. I trust he won’t mind me repeating it here:
What’s the Most Helpful?
Once in a while, tell a person you love them just because. No reason. Many of us who struggle with depression feel like we’re bothering everyone all the time. They need to know they’re loved in the middle of that. That’s a God type of love. “I love you just because.” That’s a really big deal, to be loved that way.
In life we’ll meet lots of people who sling angry words at us and point out our failings. Don’t we all wish for someone to come along side and just care? A friend who looks at us honestly and still sees a few good points, who encourages us and praises our efforts even if we’re down in the dumps? And to be a friend like that?
As the song says, by using our words wisely we can win hearts.