Of late, I have suggested on LinkedIn that “#Consideration is a virtue, a strength of character. Consider that. Read and reflect on the Card below. Consideration can be practiced with regards to our own thoughts, words and actions. It can be practiced with respect to their respective impacts on others, and ourselves. Considered countenance and gate manifests a Dignity and Thoughtfulness that stands in the face of “opinions” and the “knee jerk”. Consideration grounds itself in Discernment, and Empathy and Understanding. With it, we listen to others and ourselves. We deliberate and come to our best decisions with Consideration.” With that in mind and heart, I ask that you consider change, and our strengths to face it or make it.
Change can be external and out of our control. Change comes often in ways unbidden. Indeed, the Serenity Prayer speaks to this in terms of accepting the things we cannot change.
That said, I suggest such Serenity is advanced in manifesting Flexibility and Faith; both virtues or strengths of character, in practice.
Flexibility is the capacity, not unlike water, to adjust and adapt in the face of forces outside of us. Faith is the capacity, again not unlike water that “knows where it is going and will get there”… to know all will be “OK” somehow. In the face of the forces of external and uncontrollable change, we need both for our best Resourcefulness. By the way, I see both as inherent strengths of our Humanity… and Humanity is our highest standard, inhumanity our lowest. In the face of change and challenge, we need develop the practice of both. And, they are practiced. More to follow below.
That said, there is also the kind of change initiated by us… either in response to change thrust upon us or born of some inspiration to affect change.
This kind of change is advanced by Courage; that capacity to dare to step out of our proverbial and often cliched comfort zone. Courage is the firestarter. Indeed, it is the fire.
Commitment, on the other hand, continues to stoke the fire. It is the continued logs for the fire; the oxygen for it… if you will. It does not allow the embers to burn out. It keeps fueling the fire so that our Patience and Perseverance win out and answer our Faith.
Thoughts on Practice
Now, as part of crafting the path forward in the face of change or making change, I also humbly ask that you consider the 5 Hindrances… or mind blocks to change along our path… including the obsession with comfort, the avoidance of difficulty, tiredness, restlessness, and being consumed by doubt. We can effectively deal with them through the practice of first simply and acknowledging recognizing our state of mind, accepting life as it shows up, more deeply investigating our state of mind in response, and being an observer throughout.
So, how do these connect and align? I suggest that Flexibility is born of this practice. In the manifestation and practice of recognizing our mindset, meeting life on its terms, diving deeper into our response and acting as observer, we forge a sharper clarity to respond to or initiate change. We are more flexible. These 4 practices move the needle on our Flexibility and keep us present on our best sense of where we are going and the mountain we are climbing; we better hold to our Faith by dealing with the hindrances to it. Oh and, it takes Courage to step forward thusly… out of those comfort zones and desires for ease. Finally, these practices reinforce our demonstration of genuine Commitment to keep walking our own mountain path. They are our footsteps; our logs on the fire. They help make real our own heroic life story.
For me, these are practices around which I am studying and considering as I forge new lengths of my own life path; my own climb. They will impact my walk around health. They will impact my work as educator and entrepreneur. They will better set my own study and practice around applying the virtues to my life at home, school, work, business and community.
Change requires change. Everything we Soulfully desire requires everything we Soulfully are. That requires change, a shedding if you will. But, wouldn’t you rather? I would.
And in so doing, we can ever move forward together, stronger.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, The Unity Guy with Epic Engage.
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln