Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32
Last night my son showed me a podcast by a woman who had her podcasts impact her husband’s business. She says it won’t deter her. She is going to talk about things she thinks need to be talked about.
I bought a book the other day The Gift Of Change by Marianne Williamson and in the very beginning of the book she says. The times in which we live are difficult, more difficult than a lot of people seem willing to admit. There is an abiding sense of collective anxiety, understandable but not easy to talk about.
My son was asking me the other night. Did I think I was a good communicator with my Toastmasters, blogging, writing, etc? Yes, I told him I think I am a pretty good communicator. My son and I have the same problem we love to hear ourselves talk. We think we are pretty good at it. That is not communication. If we want to communicate we have to become good listeners.
In my life, I’ve incorporated listening and asking questions more but not enough. Instead of just discounting what someone says I should question what makes them feel that way, or look at it that way, or feel that is the right course of action.
We are hearing in the news about groups whose goal is to get rid of capitalism. They want to replace it with something better. The only problem is, what is better? No society has seemingly found better. We live in a society that mostly works. How do we build a society that is fair to every citizen? It is impossible I believe because those who have talents, skills, ambitions; others do not have will do better. Do we only want to offer equal opportunity equal to those without any opportunity?
My mother has many grandchildren and their abilities, talents, interests, goals are not the same. One of them has Down syndrome, should everyone’s opportunities and choices be limited because his choices are? How else could we make it fair? What would fair look like? If everyone has the opportunity they go after without imposed ceilings on their accomplishments outside of themselves, isn’t that better?
Many of us impose conditions on ourselves; we say we can’t do something because of our own limiting beliefs, not anything imposed by society. We all have to deal with that.
George Bernard Shaw was asked who he would have been in all of history if given the choice. He replied, “The George Bernard Shaw I might have been.”
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
There are so many opportunities and choices we could have made. Every choice eliminates other choices. We can’t possibly have taken advantage of every opportunity. Many opportunities we don’t recognize until we look back. We need to go forward in life with some humility, trust, and kindness towards our former self. Did we do the best we knew how to do? Sometimes it is hard to believe the choices we made were the best we knew how to make. Why out of all the choices we had, did we make the worst possible one?
Maybe we have lessons to learn we can learn no other way. In Marianne Williamson’s book, she says sometimes we need to illuminate the changes we need to make. Only when we can really see them through an obvious screw up can we decide to change and go forward, better.
Oprah says life sends us a whisper, then a holler, then maybe a brick to our head. At some point, we need to recognize there is something within ourselves we need to change. If we can recognize and change things within ourselves perhaps we can have some empathy for other people and where they need to grow and change.
What if we could try and understand where some of the people are coming from who seem hopeless and lash out at society in the worst ways? What are they trying to tell us? How are we failing as a society to meet the needs of everyone? Who are we privileging over others? Who used to have the privileges? Who feels they have no opportunity?
Many men these days feel we are privileging women over men. I see in my own life that I have privileges by being a woman. As a woman, we are more allowed to dabble in things than get serious about life and be able to support a family. We still have the opportunity to choose motherhood over paid work. The Government even helps us do it. It seems we have some women choosing the security of the Government stipend over that of a husband. Men are feeling rejected by women, used by women, judged by women.
My son tells me he thinks it is much harder for an ugly man than for an ugly woman. Monogamy works especially for men where there is a woman for pretty much every man. Maybe some men are finding it hard to find a mate now that women have more choice? With the choices we women have, are we making the right ones? Aren’t many of us putting off marriage and motherhood too long? When we choose motherhood without a husband, and our children have no fathers in their life don’t our children and society suffer?
Our ambitions outside of motherhood can often be attained after motherhood is no longer an option. If my brain holds out my writing can continue if I’m lucky until I die.
It’s a little late to go back and be the “barrel racer” I might have been.
I never thought of myself as old fashioned but I am embracing family values and religious principles that our society was built on because what is the moral compass to replace them?
We control ourselves or we become controlled. Throughout history, it seems women were controlled. If we don’t want to be controlled we will have to control ourselves. Self-control in men is called being a gentleman. Self-control is equally important for women. We need to become our own control boards; we need to censor our own behaviors.
We can do it if we choose to. How long will the window of self-control and responsibility be an option? If we don’t take it will we go back to being controlled?
Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. Titus 1:8
“I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.
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The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life Paperback – Jan 3 2006
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