In a recent Reader’s Digest article, “The Best Advice I Ever Got,” one quote really nailed it when it came to how we are to approach life. Composer Paul Williams said:
Twenty-four years ago, when I quit drinking, an old-timer in recovery asked, “How are you treating the world today, Paulie?” I responded, “Don’t you mean ‘How’s the world treating me?’” He answered quickly. “No, I mean exactly what I said. No matter how the world is treating you if you are caring, loving and kind in the way you treat the world, your journey will be easier.”
Great advice. How many times do we live in a grumpy state of mind simply because we think the world owes us? Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the world does not revolve around us. We get out of the world exactly what we put into it. Sometimes it may seem like the whole world is against us. It may seem like even if we try to be nice, like a dog with a bad attitude, the world keeps biting back.
Our happiness in life does not depend on what the world can do for us, but what we can add to the value of humankind. In one of my former jobs, a certain employee was envious of the way people would come in and greet me with a smile and a happy “hi!” She complained that I always seemed to have clients who liked him. After several comments like this, another employee spoke up and pointed out that people like Bill because Bill likes people. I am not saying it will solve all of your problems but sometimes simply being nice to the world will help the world and our fellow travelers be nicer to us.
In my record collection is a song by Bozo the Clown that has been a guiding force in my life. The words to his song go something like this:
I like, I like, I like to like people.
I like the likes of everyone and life can be a whole lot more fun.
If we only like
If you like people, they’ll like you.
For the most part, this philosophy will work. If you like people, they will be more likely to be pleasant to you. Of course, there are some who seem to have a harder outer shell to break but as Eeyore, the gloomy donkey from the Hundred-Acre Wood would say: “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” The same is true with people. Once you get to know them it is a lot easier to like them.
How are you treating the world around you? Jesus points out the easiest way to get the world to like you is to follow what has become known as The Golden Rule.
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get” (Matthew 7:12, MSG).
In other words, if you want a smile, then smile yourself! If you want gloom and doom, then surround yourself with that as well. It’s as easy to be a flower as it is to be a weed. Go bloom in your neighborhood!
Have a great week all!
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