What If?

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In a past post we have discussed the merits of pining, or looking back. But what about looking forward? What about thinking about the future? Is it an opportunity to consider how our choices can change our life? Is it acceptable, but only in moderation? What are we to think?

This post will weigh the advantages and damages of asking ‘What if?’ as we go through life.

We’ll start by studying some of the benefits of thinking about our possible future.

One positive aspect of speculating about the future is that it can be highly motivating. Sometimes is very empowering to ask ourselves, ‘What if this were different than it is?’ This question can reveal what we are passionate about. It can help us understand what we value and hold dear. What cause or belief we are willing to work for. Continue reading

In Progress (Part 2: Living the Questions)

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Last week we unpacked the first half of a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke. We thought about what it means to love the questions we have. Now we turn to the second half of the quote, which is about living our questions. We will also consider what the halves mean as a whole.

Here is the last part of the quote from Rainer Maria Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet (1903):

“And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, on some distant day you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answers.”

I think this message has great truth. But we must be careful not to misinterpret the words. I do not believe that this quote is suggesting that we will just magically figure everything out by not doing anything. Rather, I hear these words saying that we don’t need to spend so much time worrying about the questions. Continue reading

In Progress (Part 1: Loving the Questions)

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In this post we will briefly discuss the messages raised in the first half of a quote I heard shortly after beginning college. It is from Rainer Maria Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet (1903):

“Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers which could not be given to you because you would not be able to live them.”

I first heard these words in one of my first classes of college. I greatly enjoyed this quote, and I have looked back at it every so often.

I appreciate this quote because it is very realistic. It is not too general and therefore undecipherable, and it also gives an explanation, something not enough quotes do.

This quote gives some pretty tough advice. Yet it does give a reason for such a suggestion. We should be patient for the time when we are able to live the answers to our questions. Continue reading

Saying No

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No. It was my first word, though to this day I have trouble saying it to other people.

Many of us greatly enjoy helping others. We like to be involved in things we believe in and connected to people we care for.

One of the reasons we have problems saying no is that we want to be nice to other people. We want to be kind to others and do what we can to help out.

Another reason we have difficulty saying no is that we don’t want to let others down. We care about what we am involved in, and we want to be responsible for doing our part. By saying no we can feel like we are going to disappoint others.

I highly value loyalty. It is a characteristic that I admire in others and is something that I wish to emulate. I try my best to stick to my word and follow through on my promises.

As good as these reasons are not to say no, they can do a great deal of harm. Always telling ourselves that saying no is the unkind thing to do or that it will let others down can put enormous pressure on us. This weight can trample our will, and harm us mentally and physically. Refusing to ever say no can run us ragged and steal time that should be devoted to self care. Continue reading

How To Be a Hypocrite in 10 Easy Steps

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Some people seem to get a lot of flack. They give their personal opinion and then suddenly other people call them ‘bold’ or ‘outspoken’ or ‘a threat to public safety’. Usually it’s for some silly reason like saying one thing and doing another.

Whatever they’ve done, people termed ‘hypocrite’ sure get a lot of attention. One might think it is difficult to become a hypocrite. That it takes a certain level of skill or talent. Or maybe it’s all about luck.

After being exposed to more publicized cases of hypocritical behavior, many of us wonder, why can’t we be like them?

Well, we can! Continue reading