Swinging that blue lightsaber

A wise friend of mine said once, “some days it all comes down to whether you’re swinging a red, or a blue lightsaber.”

He was talking about the basic question of whether you will be a force for good or bad.  Will you be self centered or generous?  Gloomy or sunny?  Will you give or will you take?

Some days the world seems so depleted.  It’s amazing how little it takes to give a bit back.  I’m not even talking about charities, money, volunteer work or anything like that.  Those things are great, but it takes so little effort to spread some cheer around.

Today I wrote a letter, a real actual letter, on paper with a pen, and I mailed it to my favorite blog.  I sincerely thanked the founders for all they have done to enrich my life.  I’d been meaning to do that for a couple of years now and it’s embarrassing to recall how long it took me to finally do it.  Just one sheet of paper, and envelope and a stamp – but it was a swing of the saber, and a shot against the darkness.

A sincere thank you goes such a long way.  My current job is so much better than the one I had last year, and much of that is because I feel appreciated.  A smile in the grocery store, letting someone into traffic, a friendly wave to a neighbor, a sincere compliment.  We can show appreciation and share cheer with family and friends as well as strangers.

So cheap, so simple, and so priceless.  It makes you feel good, it makes them feel good, it builds community, and it begins to fill up what’s been depleted.

Thank you for reading!  I appreciate you!

 

via Daily Prompt: Deplete

Disrupted by a thief

I rarely have anything stolen from me.  I can thank three factors.  Caution, luck, and until recently, not having anything of value to steal!  However, that changed recently.

I was at work, busily making a living, and someone decided to take advantage of that fact (and my inattention) by getting into my trunk.  My car hadn’t been locked that day.  My trunk is messy and not all that interesting, so the only thing convenient to grab was my emergency kit.

I learned a couple of things.  One, I rely on that kit quite a bit.

“Hey, do you have any glue?”

“Sure, it’s in my…. oh darn.”

“I need some duct tape.”

“No can do, not unless I restock.”

And so on.

As I was rebuilding the kit, I learned how disorganized the old one was, and realized most of the over the counter medications needed to be rotated anyway.

As I shopped, I had some fun imagining the thief opening the unassuming backpack.  What treasures are inside?  Electronics?  CDs?  Maybe medications?

Nope.  The first thing he’ll find is a big pack of Maxi pads.  They make great semi-sterile compression bandages.  And there are medications all right – aspirin, generic Benadryl, and some oh so exciting Dramamine.  Gauze, tape, glue, emergency candles, and more.

I learned a third thing by this experience.  You can put the different items of your emergency kit into gallon sized plastic bags, the kind that zip with a little plastic tab so they are easier to open and close.  Bandages can be in one, disinfectants in another, small tools in still a third, and so on.  things stay cleaner, more organized, and much easier to get to in an emergency.  I removed the outer packaging on the individual itemsBird of Paradise crop as well, which saved a great deal of space.

I also included a bottle of water, an ounce or so of beef jerky for protein, and some dried mangoes for quick energy.  The kit isn’t meant to sustain a person for days, but rather to get you home safely.  I sometimes have problems with low blood sugar, so having that small amount of provisions could make a big difference if I needed to function at my maximum.

Despite the expense, and the annoyance caused by this major disruption, I know that my kit is much more organized and complete than it was.  I’ve also changed where I park and I always lock my doors.

 

via Daily Prompt: Disrupt

A Radiant Thought

Here is a quote that I have considered many times, even though I am not religious.  Every time I consider it, I find meaning.

 

If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall.

The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding.

Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search.

The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it.

Similarly, someone who does not search – who does not bring a lantern – sees nothing. What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light… pure and unblemished… not understanding that it comes from us.

Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe – God looks astonishingly like we do – or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness.

If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws; and in so doing, better understand the world around us.

 

J. Michael Straczynski

 

via Daily Prompt: Radiant