The War on
As many of you
know, our family has faced a number of medical crises over the past
2 years. My husbands father, Bob, has been in the hospital
since the beginning of this month and has endured two surgeries
and numerous changes in status since his arrival. Some of the difficulties
that he has experienced, we feel have been due to the care he has
received. That of course has been quite a bit frustrating for us.
I am starting to realize and appreciate that we experience the same
situations and frustrations when we have a lesson to learn. As for
this latest encounter with doctors and hospitals, it has made me
realize how easily I slip into a non-helpful cynical mode when I
am faced with something that I have little control over.
I am the first
one who will tell you that you have to be your loved-ones advocate
in a medical crisis. But what I have to remind myself very often
of is to not be negative and cynical towards others when they do
not meet my expectations and standards. Negativity never solves
anything. Never, ever, and it makes you feel bad too! When we feel
negatively about someone, they get that energy. That certainly does
not help them do their jobs better. In fact, it leads to lack of
communication, hostility, and arrogant attitudes.
I used to walk
around looking at life as hopeless. So much violence, so much pollution,
so much illness and death, so many self-centered people (I should
have put myself at the top of the list, of course), it all seemed
hopeless. Slowly and painfully (at times), I am learning that the
world does not have to be hopeless. But in order to make effective
changes, I have to focus on the changes I can bring about in myself
first. I have to change my negativity, if I want to change the worlds.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans
12:2b Because our thoughts shape the world we live in. If we want
to effectively fight the war on cynicism, we must start with ourselves.
describes this process as revealing your Hitler. In
other words, we all have this negativity in us. The only way to
heal the world is to uncover our personal negativity and deal with
it. It takes practice. And we are given plenty of opportunities
to work on these things, if we open our eyes to see. For example,
whenever I start to sense my part of a conversation switch to a
complaint, I remind myself with a thought complaining.
Or if I make the judgment, He is arrogant. I remind
myself with the thought judging. The more we do this,
the less we will have to. Eventually, your habits will change. We
will complain less and less. We will adopt a judgmental attitude
less and less. Eventually, our cynicism will cease. Once we get
very good at identifying our negativity, we can then stop and practice
giving the person or situation love and compassion. That creates
real change in people at a personal level that then expands in ways
we cannot imagine. By conquering these little battles on the home
front, we are, in a sense, deploying a weapon of mass unification
that leads to much love, compassion, and peace being spread around
the world. Our family extends to those we once considered enemies,
and world peace becomes a reality. To paraphrase Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,
we turn our Hitlers into Mother Theresas. And we create heaven on
good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to
anything back. Luke 5:35
live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow
man; and along those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions
run as causes, and they come back to us as effects." - Herman
Most High and
Awesome God, You have given us the choice. We can love or fear.
We can love or hate. We can have hope or despair. We can have hope
or be cynical. We can have peace or violence. We can have peace
or war. Help us always see these choices clearly. Help us always
choose love, hope, and peace. Amen