March 9, 2020
“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
Dalai Lama XIV
These are trying times for many of us. The Coronavirus continues to have a devastating effect on many of our communities. The disease is now spreading rapidly in our country due in part to the slowness of our government to take the steps necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Many of us have seen the value of our retirement accounts plummet. Other of us have had to cancel travel plans, as well as avoiding attending church, restaurants and anywhere where people gather. Worst of all some folks are no longer being paid as workplaces shut down.
Yes, these are trying times but the worse thing we can do is let them take us down. We need not concentrate on what might happen but rather on how most of us are OK and doing what we can to avoid the risk of infection.
It does us no good to become cynical, it never is. Here is apiece from the bittersweet blog that is worth your consideration.
Cynicism is sneaky and subtle. It creeps upon one’s hopes frame by frame, snatching hatchling hope with suspicions of corruption and incompetence, permitting our hearts to remain unaffected and unengaged—wholly ours and not each other’s. The needs, too big, and my little, not enough. This cynical worldview centers on issues, polarities, and the magnitude of it all to the degree that action seems futile and fatigue inevitable.
But it’s false and dissatisfying, precisely because cynicism is a way of not seeing. It requires no commitment, spreading and thickening without our conscious choice. It’s easy to settle in the defaults presented to us, accept the sweeping narratives of despair and confusion.
So how to turn toward that which is lovely and just, right and beautiful? What is the practice, the posture? This takes extraordinary commitment and intention. But unlike cynicism, it is not exhausting. This practice draws us in a deep way toward meaning, humility, gratitude, and respect. Toward fullness. Of heart and soul, of belief and hope. With this choice to reject cynicism and see beyond it, we are reacquainted with awe and wonder and the joy of mystery and life. We are freed to see people as infinitely dimensional and unconditionally worthy of respect and listening—not condemned and small, but expansive and perfectly made. Each of us given to each other. This way of seeing turns bleakest terrain treasure-filled, every plain rock a marvel gem.
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Bob had finally made it to the last round of the $50,000 Question. The night before the big question, he told the host MC that he desired a question on American History.
The big night arrived. Bob made his way onto the stage in front of the studio and TV audience. He had become the talk of the week. He was the best guest this show had ever seen. The MC stepped up to the mike.
“So, Bob, you have chosen American History as your final question. You know that if you correctly answer this question, you will walk away $50,000 dollars richer. Are you ready?”
Bob nodded with a cocky confidence — the crowd went nuts. After all, Mike hadn’t missed a question all week.
“Bob, yours is a two-part question. As you know, you may answer either part first. As a rule, the second half of the question is always easier. Which part would you like to take a stab at first?”
Bob was becoming more noticeably nervous. He couldn’t believe it, but all of a sudden he was not sure, but… American History was his easiest subject, and so he decided to play it safe.
“I’ll try the easier part first.”
The MC nodded approvingly. “Here we go Bob. I will ask you the second half first, then the first half.”
The audience grew silent with gross anticipation…
“Bob, here is your question: ‘And in what year did it happen?’ ”
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”
I was addressing some mail when I noticed that my card file of frequently used addresses was missing. Thinking it must have fallen from my typing table into the wastebasket, I called the office janitor.
“I’ve lost my Rolodex,” I told him. “It may have been picked up with the trash. Is there any way you could find it?”
He said he would conduct a search. When the janitor informed me he had searched every trash container for my Rolodex, with no luck, I thanked him for his trouble.
As I left work that evening, the janitor met me at the door. “Good night,” he said smiling apologetically. “Sorry I couldn’t find your watch.”
“I’ve never been married, but I tell people I’m divorced so they won’t think something’s wrong with me.”
The rabbinical student is about to leave for America. When he asks his mentor for advice, the rabbi offers an adage that, he tells the student, will guide him for the rest of his life. “Always remember,” the rabbi said sagely, “life is like a fountain.”
Deeply impressed by his teacher’s wisdom, the student departs for a successful career in America.
Thirty years later, he learns that the rabbi is dying, so he returns for a final visit.”Rabbi,” he says, “I have one question. For 30 years, whenever I was sad or confused, I thought about the phrase you passed on to me, and it has helped me through many difficult times. But to be perfectly frank, I have never understood the full meaning of it. Now that you are about to enter the realm of truth, tell me, dear rabbi, why is life like a fountain?”
Wearily, the old man replied, “All right, so it’s not like a fountain.”
“My wife hasn’t spoken to me since the baby was born because of a teensy misunderstanding… she called me at work and said her water had broken, and so I called the plumber.”
To help a friend lose weight, I told her that she should switch to lower-fat foods, including skim milk. When she said her family would drink only whole milk, I suggested that she keep their regular container and refill it with skim milk. This worked for quite a while, until her daughter asked one morning whether the milk was okay.
“Sure, it’s fine,” my friend answered, fearing she had been found out. “Why do you ask?”
The daughter explained, “Well, according to the expiration date, this milk expired two years ago!”
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
When I went with my stepdaughter to visit a prestigious university, our student guide pointed out the nationally ranked library and state-of- the-art science facilities. She told us that the professors were the best in the world, and she recommended my stepdaughter apply early to improve her chances for admission. “We get so many applicants,” she boasted, “because of the stature the school.”
After the tour I asked our guide, “So, why did you choose this school?”
“Oh,” she replied matter-of-factly, “because my boyfriend goes here.”
““I think I am going to have to supercharge my optimism to arm myself for the battle ahead. Trust me, it is going to be a battle.”
– Rebecca Bloom
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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