Tag Archives: courage

A Random Act of Kindness

I have been blessed by a random act of kindness many times in my life. The one that wowed me most happened a number of years ago when I was in the process of moving and two friends showed me compassion.

Random Act of Kindness, Brad W. Smith photographer, two men pull ropes on the deck, sunny day, blue ocean, coastline visible

Whether best mates or strangers, we can lend a hand when the need arises simply because at that moment, we can fulfill someone’s need.

The new place was not yet ready for me, so I stored several boxes in a friend’s basement.

Granted, this is not a big deal. It’s something we can easily see ourselves doing. But then, while I was away at a conference, I received a pre-dawn call from her. Rain, and an accidentally unplugged sump pump, meant there were a few inches of water in her basement.

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Filed under Respect

Pants On Fire

Most of us are in the habit of telling the truth, as we understand it, most of the time. We practice honesty in everyday things like where we are going and what we are doing, and we are genuine and authentic in how we present ourselves to others.

2 profile and 2 full facial images revealed in the sand

When the sands shift and the face of truth is revealed, we have choices to make. We want to remain loyal to our relationships, yet we must also remain loyal to our own values and boundaries.

We do not live in the pants-on-fire red zone of a moral and factual truth-o-meter.

We expect others to be equally honest and truthful about themselves and their actions. We overlook the little lies to smooth over a rough spot in a relationship or the occasional taking of undeserved credit for a share of the work or success of a project. We expect that on the whole, others will accurately present to us their beliefs, values and personal conduct, and we will do the same. That’s why when we discover someone has intentionally and radically lied about these things, we feel violated and betrayed. 

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Filed under Honesty

When We’re Wrong to Accept Ambiguity

In August I wrote a piece called “I Don’t Know.”  about how some people need to always give an answer, even when they clearly have no idea what they’re talking

man who has fallen off the front of a surfboard, two feet protruding upward on either side of the board, body submerged.

Some people hide from the truth, preferring a murky and unsustainable existence while missing the great experiences and view in front of them.

about. Today I address the flip side of that to talk about how some people lock ambiguity in a bear hug and hold on to it for dear life.

They engage in a Gregorian chant of “I don’t know. They claim a need for irrefutable proof in order to accept the truth. They call this certainty, or even closure. For instance, when a terrible event like the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center leaves no reason to believe there are any additional survivors, some family members insisted Herculean efforts be made to find and identify the remains before they would accept that their loved one had died. It is the same with widespread natural disasters, horrific plane crashes, fires, or a building collapse.

Insisting on irrefutable truth gives us the excuse to stay stuck where we are in our grief and pain and anger. We hold on to a shred of imagined uncertainty so that we do not have to move forward. We close the door to what is and stay mired in what was. Continue reading

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Filed under Courage, Openness