“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” ~ Luke 2:13-14
Words have power: They can soothe the cries of an infant; blossom into a poem that touches the face of God; midwife a novel inspiring the reader to personal revelation, and evolve into a mesmerizing stage or screen play. To say I love you, three simple words sincerely expressed, can bring immeasurable joy, expanding the heart of another.
I have pondered over a list of positive words, phrases, some notable quotes (not directly attributed*), others less so, and still others merely my own. I intended this to be an exercise. Once started, I realized this ‘exercise’ was inexhaustible. Still, it was illuminating.
How many positive words do I use in a day? How many negative? How many to encourage another? I hope what follows stimulates you along the same compass of thought. Words become reality for good and for bad. Our world is permeated in most communication venues with negative, indecorous thinking, eventually formed into words: We are numbed to the underlying stealth of violence and fear. Words, cobbled into a sentence that become a paragraph, or a Tweet, once uttered, are capable of destroying a nation, or wounding a child’s heart.
There is positive power, emanating from right-thinking, in words well chosen: Words reflecting our better angels to teach as well as inspire right-action; non-violence; loving and caring for others; giving of ourselves; feeding the poor, and so very much more. What follows barely skims the surface.
Giving, Caring & Sharing
- Give; then give more
- Share and never stop
- Feed the poor
- Let no child, no person, no animal go hungry
- Let no one be without shelter
- Adopt children, or a family
- Adopt a senior citizen
- Adopt animals
- “Live simply so that others may simply live”
- “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”
- Listen well; then listen again for what one is really telling you
- “Stop working for a living; begin working for giving”
Respect & Humility
- “Treat others as you wish to be treated”
- Be humble, for in humility there is great strength
- “We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them.”
- “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”
- Use right speech
- “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”
- “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”
- “What day is it?” asked Pooh.” It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day.” said Pooh.
- “I tell you not to worry about everyday life ~whether you have enough food and drink, or clothes to wear ~ Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not work, or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.”
- Let go of hate: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
- Fear not…”The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
- “Fear tolerated is faith contaminated”
- “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content.”
- Have gratitude always
- “For as we think in our hearts, so we are”
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Forgiveness & Kindness
- Forgive always
- Lay down your anger: “Practice non-violence, not anger; for anger is the enemy of non-violence.”
- Love your enemies: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
- Lose negative thinking for it is a dark, malignant thing: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”
- Lose pride; it is the absence of humility and strength…and feeds on anger
- “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
- Love; then love more
- “Imagine all the people living life in peace…I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”
- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
- “We are not enemies, but friends…Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
- “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love…But the greatest of these is love.”
About The Images
The following images were taken from November 1st through the day of this writing. I take joy in the process of writing, and I am grateful for what the Lord presents for me to photograph. Though many pictures were taken this past little while, only the following created a petit frisson for me.
During a long walk, I found one remaining flower in our woodland. I thought it was an aberration for it was already November. I photographed the first image outdoors; the second one indoors with my micro lens. I was curious about this flower’s inner universe.
Though the trees already lost their leaves of color, I was not disheartened. I adore leafless trees, each with its unique architecture, or bones. When they’re encased in a dreamy fog, a form of ice-crystals in the air, I can sense, for all too brief a moment, the vastness of God’s presence and beauty.
You’ll see a skeleton with a sense of humor, and an image of our woodland trees just before the days of autumnal color faded for winter’s respite. Our great American Flag appears…look closely for it’s there. A pileated woodpecker I named Red stopped by to say hello. There is a boat…well, the picture tells all. Abbey, my constant companion, appears as well. And, the Season of Light (at the top) is simply a crystal candleholder reflecting its prisms on the wall; an everyday occurrence that I finally stopped long enough to admire.
Christmas is a ‘season of light’ and a sacred time to say thank you. For as darkness surrounds us more each day, there is always the Spirit of Light, living in our hearts as well as through delightful crystal prisms. I hope you enjoy the work as it was done with love and gratitude for, and with, my Co-Creator…and you!
Wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and a healthy, peace-filled 2017!
And, may there be peace and goodwill toward all ~
*I gave no attribution to the more notable quotes to test your mettle, but I’ll help and say they include: Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus, St. Paul, Ted Sorensen, Winston Churchill, FDR, John Lennon, and the Declaration of Independence.