Until Next Time

Well, my friends, we’ve come to the end of the line. Five years later and 250 shows and blog posts finished and cataloged for the future on my website and on iTunes.

This is my last edition. Not sure what is next, but I am working on a few ideas that I will let you know about in the new year.

Allow me to express my appreciation to you for listening to or reading my weekly opinions and thoughts. I trust our time together has been as profitable for you as it has been enjoyable for me. Simply stated my friends, I’m going to miss talking to you.

So with my weekly post ending, I want to leave you with my final thought, and it is about doing your part for your future and for others.

Like many of you, I am concerned about our world. There is no hiding the fact that we are in an age of change, but no matter what happens, I will not lose my focus on the long game that I have written out for myself. I am hoping, trusting and praying that you do the same.

Every day something in our world is changing–issues come and go, people come and go, life moves on, and the world continues to spin on its axis–but in the midst of all that change, some things stay the same. Always be mindful that just because others are running scared doesn’t mean you have to follow…ever. In fact, what you should consider doing is leading or leveraging or, if need be, leave for a more perfect future. Don’t waste a minute of your time following the wobbly crowd. They don’t know where they are going. They have no plan, they run after one issue or another with nothing to be done about it but hurl angry comments that no one is listening to.

Instead of being afraid or worried or angry, I hope you will put your energy in focusing on the good that is in the world, your community, your friends and family.

The older I get, I realize–and I’m guessing you do too–that the “Chicken Little” story we read to our kids is still very much alive in the world today. And while others allow the outside voices to affect their outlook, their attitude or their self-confidence, friend, don’t let that be you. No one on the outside should be able to get into your head with their misinformed opinions and push you off track or mislead you down a path that has no purpose or value.

There is much good all around us and, yes, sometimes we have to look a bit harder, but it is there. And if it is not there, then you need to step up and put it there for others.

On Facebook and other social media sites, I am always happy to read stories of the good that is going on all around us whether it is neighbor helping neighbor, kids caring for the elderly or people saving animals. If you look, you can find it no matter what the media or others with an agenda tell us. I think we would all do well to focus on the good or make the good happen for others. I can think of no better gift given by you to others than to be a source of light and love, especially during the upcoming holidays.

What will it take to make that happen? Well, that’s the hard part, because what it takes is a mindset that sees the good in others even when you know of their past mistakes.

It also takes an open heart and mind to see truth and then find a way to make it better–whether it is a person or a problem or a situation that with your direction could be made whole or better or settled. Sometimes issues just hang around because no one wants to be “the heavy” and put the issue to rest. Sometimes tough love is what is needed for the betterment of all involved.

I also believe that to focus on the good takes a willingness of spirit to make good happen and we can all, in our own way, always make good happen.

Let me go back to the idea of having a mindset that sees the good in others. Within an instant, we all make a judgment about someone. Sometimes we are right, and sometimes we misjudge; either way, we choose to hold over the head of others our opinion of them. No doubt your instincts are good and for the most part correct when it comes to meeting someone who is a crook or a nut or a deceitful person. Good for you. Never let them close enough to cause you harm. But sometimes we choose not to open our hearts because we just don’t like the company others keep or the way they look or the — you can fill in your own reason. If that is the case, would you consider, within reason, a new view on those you don’t know well or don’t know as well anymore?

I work with a wide range of clients. One thing I have seen repeatedly is that when someone who is on the margin is welcomed into a group, they quickly warm to the group and become a productive member of the team. All they needed was a welcoming gesture to make them feel secure enough to leave the edge of darkness and walk into the light.

Imagine that. One welcoming gesture could change a life for the better, and it costs nothing but a “chance” so the outsider could be welcomed in, all because you put into the world the mindset that sees good in others. Talk about a gift of life for the lonely. I can think of nothing better.

Without a doubt, you have a list of those in your life who deserve a sack of coal for Christmas. Some people are just impossible… there is no easy way to say it. With that in mind and keeping with my theme of focusing on the good or making the good happen for others, let me encourage you to open your heart mindfully and see the truth about others.

Every family has a black sheep (or two or three). Every one of us has a “friend” that makes us put our phone on silent so we don’t have to listen to their bellyaching or complaints or lies. And we all know of at least one person who by just being in the world exasperates us. Yes, all of them should get together and be friends, but alas, all they want to do is be with us and make our lives miserable. So how can we make a bit of an exception or a way out for them and their crazy ways in this season of joy and love? Hard, I know, and yes, I fully understand that they don’t deserve you or your time–I get it. And while I am not asking you to be their best friend or even a casual friend (because the truth is they will not change their cheating, lying, stealing ways, and there is no need for you to lose any more items that seem to disappear when they show up). I am asking that this year you handle the situation as kindly as you can or be a gentle force to help them solve any open issues that are festering and will not go away.

When you open your heart and mind to see truth, it doesn’t take away the facts–all it does is provide a way to bring open issues to conclusion, and sometimes that is the best remedy. It’s not easy to do, and for most cases, I would encourage you to take a friend or witness to verify any outcome.

As this year comes to a close, consider being the boss and doing the hard job of settling any outstanding issues. Consider helping others end the discord, pay past due bills, give back borrowed items (better than they were given to you), repair things that are broken or clean up a mess that was made. You can still hold them responsible, but with an open heart and mind, you are now allowing a whisper of peace and finality to happen as you close out this year.

The two themes I have mentioned can be summed up in this final thought of having a willingness of spirit to make good happen. Are you required to do this? No. Should you do this? Perhaps. Would it settle old issues? Maybe or maybe not. What it will do is remind you that–as my favorite phrase always reminds me–there but for the grace of God go I.

Many people we know are one paycheck away from scarcity or one heartbreak away from depression or one missed payment away from homelessness. While we cannot fix the world, we can–just by being in the world–be a light for others. And all that takes is a willingness of spirit to make good happen.

I know you are busy with your own life and family. I also know that if you had the time, you would give it to others, but the truth is we have to make time or take time to go beyond our normal circle to be of help to others by giving and using the gifts we already have. If you and your friends and family are open to making good happen, I believe you will be amazed how easily it will come about just by being a willing vessel to pour into the lives of others this holiday season.

We all agree that someone at sometime needs to step up to make good things happen. That someone is you, and although your kind actions are not always seen or appreciated by others, it does not change the spirit or the outcome of your kindness. I doubt deep inside you’re doing it for yourself–most of the time we have to call on our better angels to help us through. Sometimes you have to push the envelope to solve issues that others have gotten themselves into, but to make it easier, to make it happen and to have a final outcome, yes, you might need to help solve the situation for an acceptable outcome.

I know I am leaving you with a long list of “to do” items, but I also know that you can do whatever you put your heart and mind to, so I don’t feel as bad leaving you with a work list.

I do want to thank you for being a kind and caring person with a mindset that sees the good in others and for opening your heart and mind to see truth, but most importantly, having a willingness of spirit to make good happen and being willing to be the peacemaker this holiday season.

Your wisdom, kindness and benevolence might be the best gift ever for those who are in need.

Thank you for all the good memories, kind words and thoughtful notes.

Until next time.

Thanks for reading. If you have a friend who needs to hear today’s message please forward this email.  I am reading this week’s podcast in the link below – it is a 14-minute listen. You can listen now or download for later. Download all my podcasts from iTunes, Stitcher, Podkicker or Soundcloud. I am now publishing on Medium – please follow me here