For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is putting our emotions in perspective. We all get angry from time to time. My hope is that we feel the anger, we deal with the anger, do what we need to do, and then move on to happiness. The more time we dwell on being angry, the less time we have for happiness. I think we all know happiness can cure a lot of ills, so lets hope we all feel much joy in our lives.
"Love is active, not passive. It is our love for one another, for Mother Earth, for our fellow creatures that compels us to act on their behalf." - Laurence Overmire, author of The One Idea That Saves The World: A Call to Conscience and A Call To Action
On Sunday Dr. Neal Jones spoke to us about taking responsibility for our environment out of love, not out of fear. Isn't that how we should live our lives, not just for our environment but for ourselves, our families, our friends, our community, our world? I suggest we would feel better about our day-to-day life if most, or all our actions were done out of love, not out of fear. We may not succeed in achieving all of our goals, but we will know that what we did was done with love and came from a good place.
“As I walked out the door towards my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.” - Nelson Mandela
Many people feel anger, hatred and bitterness towards other people, their situation, a missed opportunity, you name it. I’m also sure we all know how liberated we feel when we let those feelings go. Reverend Charlie Tyler spoke about Lee Horton who spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Lee was recently released, and he now speaks about the jubilation he feels just walking down the street. My hope is that we all feel that jubilation. We will continue to walk away from our bitterness, and enjoy ourselves and our relationships with each other.
“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.” - Robert Frost
Recently the net in our lives is very high. COVID has separated us physically. Social issues have separated us from some neighbors, friends and family emotionally and intellectually. The past year has taught many of us just how nice it is to be on a court with a very low net. Our congregation offers us the place to enjoy life with the net down, and that feels so good.
“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” - Peter Marshall, Presbyterian Minister, appointed Chaplain of the United States Senate (1946-1947). (1902-1947)
Recently, people’s freedom has been a hot topic. The beauty of our congregation is that we see freedom as the opportunity to do what is right. We wear masks to protect ourselves and others, we actively volunteer to help others, and we stand up for the rights of people just to name a few of our pursuits. We continue to work for freedom for all so they have the opportunity to do what is right.
“When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.” - Unknown
This is beautiful. We all have good memories of the people that have touched our lives, and in those memories we have many treasures. As life goes on, we learn that the very best moments come when we treat each other with love, respect and dignity - up to the very end. I hope we continue to create and cherish these new memories, and find joy in knowing that no one can take any of the treasures we have collected. They are priceless.
“Never take a person’s dignity: it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you.” - Frank Barron, psychologist (1922-2002)
Sunday, Debbie Anderson spoke to us about honoring people with Alzheimers or dementia. It is so important that we treat all people with the same dignity that we wish for ourselves, no matter what stage in life they are in. It costs us nothing to be kind to all people, and the benefits are so great for each of us.
"Every soul is beautiful and precious; is worthy of dignity and respect, and deserving of peace, joy and love." - Bryant H. McGill, human potential thought leader, international bestselling author, activist, and social entrepreneur
Sometimes, especially when we totally disagree with another person, it is hard to treat a person with the same respect as we would want from them. There are many current examples of how difficult this can be. My guess is the person or group, who we disagree with is thinking the same thing about us. These are the times that we must look within ourselves and honor ourselves. These are the times we are probably most grateful for having UUCL in our lives.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” - Edward Everett Hale, author, historian and Unitarian minister (1822-1909)
We come together during our services, talk backs, and such groups as the Seven Principles, our book club and upcoming spiritual growth series. We have kept together during the past year, and that speaks volumes for our relationships with each other. As we go forward, we will support each other and work together to keep our congregation strong. We can celebrate our past accomplishments, and we will cherish our new successes.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop
We all receive and give gifts of kindness. These gifts are a large part of our happiness, no matter if you were the giver or the receiver. Even reading or hearing about gifts of kindness between others will give us a smile. We just need to recognize these acts and celebrate the happiness it delivers. The best part is acts of kindness are part of our daily lives, and that we can all appreciate.