Posts tagged with ‘unity’

27 feb

3 Ways Families Are Like Conveyor Belts

RobertCordrayConveyor belts are a great asset to businesses, whether they’re used in warehouses, assembly lines, or other applications. In the same way, families are a great asset when each member supports the others, pitches in, and works for the good of the whole.

There are 3 ways that families are like conveyor belts:

1. Like conveyor belts, families are always on the move.

Life, like business, is always moving, and it seems that something is always happening to upset the apple cart. Unexpected events, like illnesses or accidents, call for changes. Family members are ready to roll with these changes, and help out wherever they can. A family in Dallas had a mom, a dad, and three college-aged kids. When Dad was struck with multiple sclerosis and confined to a wheelchair, Mom took over the driving until Dad was able to purchase a modified car. The kids also helped out with driving and assisting Dad with physical therapy, and cheered him up when he felt down.

Even when no major problems arise, family members often arrive at new milestones in life. A family in Maine had two at once. John graduated from college and entered the military as an officer, and Dad got a big promotion at work. The other family members were supportive and encouraging, congratulating them both and wishing them well. When the conveyor belt of life rushes into new situations, families are ready for both the joy and the challenge.

2. Families work as a team, like an assembly line.

Conveyor belts are often used as assembly lines, and families work as a team on an assembly line, producing happy and productive members. A family in Ohio had 2 kids who loved sports. Their parents attended every game, and their dad coached baseball and track. When the kids wanted to try a new sport, their parents encouraged them, and when the kids didn’t do so well, Mom and Dad told them, “That’s ok, as long as you do your best.” Mom and Dad emphasized that team spirit, fair play, and sportsmanship were as important as winning, and the kids repaid their support by being good team members and good sports.

Another family in Tennessee was not into sports, but they had a favorite project they did together. All good singers and musicians, they sang and played Christmas carols at the retirement home in their community every Christmas. Dad played the guitar, Mom was lead singer, Jeff played the violin, and Sara the clarinet. Just like conveyor belts are used in an automated material handling system, this family work together as a system to making the world a happier and more loving place.

3. Like assembly line workers, everyone plays a different role.

When a conveyor belt acts as an auto plant assembly line, each worker on it has a different job; one worker installs the motor, another puts on the fenders, and another does the painting. In the same way, each person in a family has a role to play, the role he or she is best suited for. In the Smith family, Dad was a model of strength, and taught the others responsibility by going to a difficult job. He was also an example of love, a sentiment President Howard W. Hunter past prophet of the LDS church, expressed in his inspirational quote, “One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Mom taught love and patience by being an example. When 4-year-old Bobby colored on the wall, Mom understood that the wall was very tempting, but explained that paper is for drawing.

Each child was encouraged to discover a sense of self, and to develop his or her best attributes. Sally was very motherly, and helped with the baby. Tom was good at repairs, and put a new cord on the vacuum cleaner. Rob helped Mom learn computer skills. Each person in the family felt that he or she belonged, and had an important part to play.

Like conveyor belts, families are team-oriented, but with a place for individuality. And like conveyor belts, they’re adaptable, but there for the purpose of a greater good.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on February 27th, 2014 in Family, Relationships, Teens | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

18 feb

The Message We’re Not Hearing from Our Politicians: Tolerance, Acceptance, Compassion and Unity

WEJMDUnity is a very important theme. It is critical to the resolution of the many problems facing our nation and our world today because without it we will never be able to engage the necessary solutions.

In this election year it’s painfully clear that there are many people with many differences. Many needs. Many perspectives. Many polarities. Many grievances. Many resentments. Many biases. Many prejudices. A great deal of intolerance. A great deal of hostility. A great deal of rage and aggression.

We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that we originally all came from one Source. We all came from a place of Unity, a place of Universal Acceptance and Love. And then we fell into a dream of separation, a dream of selfish egos competing with each other rather than cooperating, attacking each other rather than living in harmony.

We have lost our way. We have lost our universal identity as a brotherhood of people. So caught up in the distinction of skin color, races and nations, we have lost our true connection with God. And now, amidst all the chaos, the confusion, the rage and the hate, we must find our way Home. We must find a way to re-unite with God and each other before we destroy ourselves. How do we do this?

How do we unify amidst so much divisiveness and venom?

It surely would be a whole lot easier and happen a whole lot faster if we had leaders who made acceptance, forgiveness and love the platform of their party, the priority above all other priorities, the glue holding together their political agenda.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening. When I listen to the various presidential candidates all I hear is what they’re going to do for us. Right now it’s the Republicans, but later it will be the Democrats doing the very same thing, everybody telling us what they’re going to do for us.

No one telling us what WE need to do for us, what you and I, what we the people need to do for ourselves if we want to truly solve our problems. If we want a world where people cooperate and co-exist in harmony, peace and prosperity, we must appreciate that it won’t happen at the level of nations and leaders.

It will happen from the ground up. It will happen first with the choices that WE make, you and I, each and every one of us. The choices we make to be more tolerant, more accepting, more loving, more forgiving, and more generous.

Easier said than done amidst so much anger, grievance, resentment and judgment swirling all around us, so many of us seeing the differences in people rather than the similarities, seeing others as the enemy if they don’t think the same way we do. If they have a different god or a different religion or a different political persuasion, if they’re too far to the left or too far to the right, we don’t just disagree, we demonize them, we label them evil and dangerous, they’re going to destroy America.

All this fear mongering, all this demonizing has got to stop. It solves nothing. It further polarizes people. It makes things worse.

Bottom line: There are too many people with divergent views and needs. For any of us to take extreme intransigent positions and expect the rest of the nation to get on board is unrealistic and counterproductive. We will never have a nation where everyone thinks the same way. We must find common ground amidst the differences. We must find ways to cooperate, compromise and negotiate for the greatest good of all concerned.

How do we do this? One person at a time. One mind at a time. One heart at a time. We do it by example. By role modeling right action. Albert Schweitzer had it right when he said, “Example is leadership.”

Example is leadership.

We cannot rely on our leaders to be the examples of right action. We must be the example. We must be the role models. We must each of us make the personal commitment to discourage the fear-mongering, the demonizing, the rageful, hate speech about those who don’t share our beliefs.

If we don’t do it, it’s not going to happen. All the divisiveness will defeat us in the long run. Not global warming. Not earthquakes and tsunamis. Not nuclear weapons. Not terrorists. Our divisiveness will defeat us.

We are the enemy of ourselves when we lack tolerance and compassion, and lash out at those we disagree with. True patriotism means respecting our fellow citizens regardless of their political viewpoints or religious beliefs.

We have been trained to believe in concepts like “every man for himself,” and “kill or be killed” which suggest that we must compete and battle others if we are to succeed and prevail. We have been trained to believe that aggression is necessary in order to survive.

The truth is that we do not need aggression in order to survive. The truth is that we will not prevail, in the long run, as long as we believe we must attack and subjugate others in order to win.

Most people think that “survival of the fittest” means survival of the strongest, the most aggressive, the most violent and predatory. They are wrong. Survival of the fittest in the final analysis will be survival of the spiritually fittest, survival of those who strive to unite rather than divide, survival of those who strive to let go of judgments and prejudices, survival of those who strive to embrace acceptance and tolerance, survival of those who are dedicated to the application of compassion, generosity and forgiveness.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

“The meek shall inherit the earth” doesn’t mean the weak shall inherit the earth. It means those who are humble, accepting and forgiving shall inherit the earth, those who embrace peaceful methods to solve problems, to bridge divergent ideologies, and to find the common ground shall inherit the earth.

We will not survive as a nation, as a people, as a planet unless we recognize that the solution to all of our problems requires a unified approach that embraces trust, compassion and cooperation rather than further entrenchment in the ideology of war and destruction of others as a means to our peace and prosperity.

There is great beauty in the diversity of nature. There is great beauty in the diversity of human beings. But instead of appreciating that diversity and glorifying it, we fear it, we blame it, we scapegoat it, we destroy it… and in the process we destroy ourselves. Sooner or later we destroy ourselves with our fear and our divisiveness. Therefore, it behooves us to find a way to rise above the battlefield, to perceive the world in a different light, so that we can appreciate the foolishness of attacking others.

One way to do this is to consider the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. Each jigsaw puzzle piece looks different in some way from other pieces, but each piece is inherently the same, in the sense that each piece is an integral part of the puzzle that contributes to the puzzle’s wholeness. Without every single piece, the puzzle is not complete.

It would be irrational and self-destructive for one puzzle piece to hurt or destroy another puzzle piece because the integrity of the whole puzzle, which each piece is ultimately dependent upon, would be damaged in the process.

We are all puzzle pieces. Each of us looks different but we’re all the same. Each of us a piece of the puzzle, a piece of the total picture, a piece of God. When we attack one another, we are being irrational and self-destructive because we are attacking the integrity of the whole organism, we are attacking the Oneness which each of us is a part of. We are essentially attacking God when we attack any of his children.

And so it behooves us to appreciate the Oneness of Life, that despite differences and diversity, we are all the same, that we were all cut from the same cloth, that we are all part of the whole, that we are all interconnected, that we were all created by God and deserve equally all the blessings of life that God offers, that we need to share our blessings with others, that we need to care about those less fortunate than ourselves, that there is one thing we need to do above all else and that is to treat others as we wish to be treated.

Love ye one another.

This is how we will unify our nation and our world. With love. With acceptance. With tolerance and with forgiveness. This is what we must practice and preach. Love. Acceptance. Tolerance and Forgiveness. This is how we must behave towards each other. This is the behavior we need to role model for our children. Unconditional love, acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness.

We must teach our children well. We must teach our children to recognize their spiritual brothers and sisters in everyone they see, regardless of what they look like, what clothes they are wearing, what country they came from, the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the God they believe in.

We must teach our children and everyone we meet the virtues of generosity, courtesy, consideration, humility and grace. We must teach our children and everyone we meet to be of service to others, to aid others as best we can, to ask the question, “How can I help you?” rather than “What’s in it for me?”

We must teach our children and everyone we meet to find ways to let go of anger and hurt, to see the God in people, the good in people, despite how they’re behaving, to find ways to hate the sin but love the sinner.

We must teach our children and everyone we meet that there is a oneness, there is a wholeness of which we are all a part, that we are all inextricably bound together, that we each have a responsibility to each other, that we ARE our brother’s keeper, that we must exclude no one from our love, that we’re all in this together, that nobody wins if anybody loses.

In this election year and the years to come, try to remember that it is our job not to elect leaders but to BE leaders, to be the role models that our world needs to survive and to thrive. It is our job to find the similarities, the commonalities rather than the differences. It is our job to find ways to unify rather than divide. It is our job to remember that either we all hang together or we will surely hang separately.

Forgive To Win!

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Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on February 18th, 2012 in First30Days Book, General, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

23 feb

The Magic of the Olympics

mike_robbinsThe Winter Olympics in Vancouver have captured the attention of the world. As a former college and professional baseball player (and a lifelong sports fan), I’ve always loved the Olympics and appreciated the incredible athleticism, competition, and passion of the athletes and teams, from a pure sports perspective. However, having been a live spectator at both the Atlanta and Sydney Summer Games, I’ve experienced first-hand the true spirit of the Olympics – which has been on display these past two weeks in Vancouver in a beautiful way.

There’s something truly magical that happens during the Olympics. While many of us are enjoying rooting for our country and we’ve seen some remarkable performances in Vancouver from people like Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White, Evan Lysacek, Bode Miller, and many others – the real magic of the Olympics is way bigger than any individual athlete or even any country. And, if we look deeper, there are so many aspects of the Olympics that can teach us, remind us, and inspire us on our own personal journey.

Here are some of the most important elements and lessons of the Olympics:

1) Ceremony. The Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver were breathtaking and spectacular (as was also true with the Summer Olympics in China in 2008 and with most of the Olympic opening ceremonies of the past few decades). Beyond the amazing technology, creativity, and spectacle of these ceremonies, there is a deeper commitment to beauty, ritual, and reverence. The Olympics are also filled with ceremonies throughout – medal ceremonies, the Closing Ceremonies, and more. For us to live lives of meaning, purpose, and spirit – it’s essential that we honor ourselves, others, and life in a ceremonious way.

2) Excellence. The Olympics, as much as any other sporting event, are all about excellence. The intense training, incredible competition, and extraordinary pressure of having to focus a lifetime’s worth of experience into one single performance, create an authentic sense of drama that is unique and exciting, albeit nerve-wracking. However, when we think of “excellence” in regards to the Olympics or other things in life, we often think about “winning.” While there’s nothing wrong with winning and our culture puts a high value on it (just look at the attention and adulation given to the gold medal winners in Vancouver), there is much more to real excellence than simply winning. Every athlete in Vancouver has made a commitment to excellence – even though the vast majority of them will not win medals and we’ll never even know their names. On our own path, it’s important for us to make a commitment to excellence – to go for it, dig down deep, and give it our best shot – whether or not we end up “winning.”

3) Passion. The Olympics are filled with passion – from the athletes, the host city, and the fans – in person and around the world. The emotions experienced and expressed during the Olympics, as we’ve seen these past two weeks, are intense and passionate. We’ve seen the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat” on display each and every day. It’s this passion that makes the Olympics so intriguing, exciting, and fun to experience. In our own lives and on our own journeys, passion is a key component to growth, success, and fulfillment. So often we hold back our passion – waiting to see how things will turn out. However, to live life with depth, purpose, and aliveness, we have to tap into our passion in an authentic way and use it as inspiration, regardless of the outcome.

4) Play. One of the greatest things about the Olympics is that they are called “games.” This is a wonderful metaphor which reminds us that while sports (and life) can be intense and pressure-filled, they are really just games we are playing. The games played at the Olympics, not un-like in many aspects of our own lives, are played at a pretty high level and are done so with fairly high stakes. But, at the end of the day, they are all just games. Each athlete in Vancouver started in their sport as a child because it was fun, not because they wanted to win a gold medal, be on TV, or get big endorsement deals. This is a great reminder for all of us. We often get so serious and caught up in results, we forget to play. Play is essential. Scientific studies have shown that the same brain waves are generated in a high state of play as in a high state of meditation.

5) Unity. The athletes at the Olympics come together to represent their countries and to compete for something bigger than themselves. I had the privilege of playing for the USA baseball team in the World Championships when I was 18 years old. It was one of the greatest honors of my life and such a profound experience. And although in the Olympics there is a big focus, especially by the media, on individual performances as well as country competition (i.e. medal count), at the deepest level, the Olympics are about a greater sense of unity amongst all nations. There is a sense of mutual respect, admiration, and appreciation that exists at the Olympics – both with athletes and fans. I felt it on the streets of Atlanta and Sydney when I was there and see it on TV whenever I watch the Olympics now. The Olympics provide a stage for the world to engage, compete, and interact with one another in a beautiful way. One of the most important elements of our personal journey is to recognize that we are more alike than we are different. Those whom we compete against, have conflict with, and want to “beat,” are just people, like us, who have similar hopes, fears, and dreams. At the most basic and yet profound level, we are all one. Anything and everything we can do to see, remember, and remind ourselves and others of this innate unity – gives us access to deeper connection and truth.

I love the Olympics! Not only do we get to watch extraordinary athletes complete at the highest level – but we get to tap into something profound and magical that can remind us of our true power, passion, and oneness.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on February 23rd, 2010 in General, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,