Go First and Change The World

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world.” … Anne Frank

Other than the light rain that taps upon the rooftop I haven’t focused my attention on anything in particular this morning. I welcome an unexpected day off from work with no plans except to relax. My aching bones plead for relief from the thud of a hammer, and the weight of my woodworking trade.

Today, I can do whatever I choose.

Yet, as often happens, life has other plans, and has presented me with a compelling opportunity.

The rain still sounds upon the roof, louder now, and I exchange the tools of my trade for words that fuel the dreams of a waking man.

How cunning life is, to place inspiration in my path when I thought there was nowhere I needed to be. It amuses me, my presumption that life might require my presence in any place other than the moment.

The real world places requirements and expectations on our lives. Perhaps much of the world is not as real as it seems.

As I write, lightning cracks, thunder roars, and the hailstones that fall from a blackened sky leave no doubt that nature’s energy is indeed real.

Be Where You Are

Nature and the Universe invite us to be mindful, to remember who we are, and to literally smell the roses.

Gaze at countless stars in the darkness of night. Listen to the swaying treetops whisper in an ancient forest. Weave a wandering trail of footprints in the ever shifting sand.

Tell someone you love that your love will never die.

I know, smelling the roses won’t pay the bills, and tomorrow I’ll once again be swinging a hammer, creating progress, and enduring the aches and pains.

Yet, bills will get paid, progress will be made, and though I truly enjoy what I do, I will continually ask myself, “Is this my true purpose in life?”.

Be Patient

Life can be endlessly burdened with questions. Perhaps we must, as Rilke wrote,

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves”.

If I someday understand and implement this wisdom, then my love will be limitless. I have many, many questions.

Though you may ask many of the same questions I do, the surest answers you find will always be those found only within you. I simply want you to know that you are not alone.

If each of us shares a small amount of love every day, what a world this world would be. If you think love is what you are, share it, not because you want to be loved in return, but simply because you have it to share.

I hope that everyone with whom I have crossed paths, has found reason to be grateful. For those who haven’t, perhaps we’ll meet again, and I can offer a more enlightened recognition of your beauty. For those I have yet to meet, know that your beauty precedes you, and the pleasure of your acquaintance will be mine.

Breathe deep, and know that in this moment you are indeed okay.

You’re Invited

Today I received a timely answer in the form of an invitation. It read:

“You are invited by life to elect yourself a spiritual leader, and to take office today. What does a spiritual leader say? A spiritual leader does not say, ‘Follow me’. A spiritual leader says, ‘I’ll go first’.

Decide today to take the oath: I promise to ‘go first’ in demonstrating forgiveness, compassion, understanding, generosity, kindness, cheerfulness, positivity, and love.”

What better way to improve the world than by being a spiritual leader?

Alas, in no way do I consider myself to be a spiritual leader, and I certainly don’t expect anyone to follow me. I’m just an ordinary, often puzzled inhabitant of a Universe that gives freely all the answers, yet tenders an overabundance of questions with its perceived complexity.

But then, I never have had a problem with going first, and to be honest, the unending questions come from my own simple mind. The Universe is what it is.


And so I take the oath. I promise to go first. I promise to create positive change within my own heart. I promise to encourage positive change wherever I am.

You can too can take this oath. You too can be a source of inspiration.

Within each of us there is much courage to forgive, great compassion to understand, a generous and kind heart, and a boundless capacity for love.

Within each of us are the answers we seek.


Follow your heart. Go first. Seek the wonders of Nature, and the Universe, share them, and stir the spirits of everyone you meet.

Something as simple as a warm, friendly smile radiates the love that comes from deep within your heart. Allow love to flow through you, and be grateful for every opportunity.

Each day is a new beginning, and the world awaits your unique beauty.

Who will go first?

Kindness Has Nothing To Do With You

“Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life,
and share with people the same happiness.” … Kahlil Gibran


Why is it so easy to visualize negativity?

Not for others mind you. I wish no ill will toward others.

Yet everyday it seems minimal effort is required to picture debt that threatens any possibility of a bright future. Often we view relationships as inadequate, crumbling under the weight of daily stress, and perhaps not addressing our needs. We routinely perceive Universal laws to be working against us, rather than with us.

Why is it that catastrophe is so appealing?

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer.

Anybody?Thank You

I do have a theory. But then, I’m just a dumb carpenter. After more than 35 years I still hit my thumb with a hammer. I suppose practice makes perfect.

But it really doesn’t matter who I am, what I do, what my experience is. The words I’m writing find life in the moments that you read them. Or not. I’m still going to write them, and the choice is yours whether they have any value or not. I give them freely.

Not long ago I became aware of words written by a beautiful woman in a faraway land. The words written by her as a guest writer on another blog stirred my spirit, and brought a smile to my face. I have told her so, and also remarked about how refreshing it was to read what she had to say. She inspired me to keep writing, and here I am again, wishing to return her kindness.

It’s irrelevant that I’m half a world away, interesting how the internet makes distance disappear, inconclusive that I make any sense, and irrefutable that I do have a theory.

I’ll call it the me, me, you theory.

When I can’t see past the end of my nose things often look bleak. My future in jeopardy, my days full of worry, I wonder how the world can pass me by with such indifference. Self pity secures blinders upon my eyes, and I see nothing but struggle.

Woe is me wraps its wily arms around my wallowing mind.

This is not a perpetual affliction, mind you, but it does often accompany thoughts of my own well being. It is only when I abandon these thoughts, and focus on how I can touch the lives of others, that the uncertainty and confusion disappear.

I am no Saint, far from it, but when I focus on what I can do for others the worries about outcomes vanish. I explore what it means to cast aside my own needs and desires, and genuinely wish good fortune for others

I smile with the written word, I embrace with inspired action, and I find joy in selfless service, not because I’m a helluva guy, but because someone reminded me that this is the way things should be.

As I said, I’m no Saint, but that’s the beauty of this theory.

I don’t have to be a Saint to do something good for another person.

I have all the power of the Universe within me, as do you.

Generous hearts create great change with the ripple effects they set in motion. Good intentions made real by inspired actions bring us together.

Spend a day smiling at everyone you meet, and you’ll see what I mean.

Now, you may think me irresponsible to encourage a life of selflessness amidst the demands of everyday realities, and suffering economies, where a wrong decision could mean our future. Well, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, I’ve done many good deeds, and when I recognize that I cannot change the past, nor determine the future, I find that in this present moment I am indeed OK.

As are you.

Awash in my good fortune I choose to live this moment saying thank you to a happy spirit, her good intentions, her encouraging actions, and the positive effect they have had on me, and no doubt many others. Did I say refreshing?

In a world screaming for return to a life of the spirit, there are endless opportunities to recognize, and perhaps even reveal, the goodness in everyone you meet.

How nice it is to thoroughly abandon all thoughts of yourself.

In the words of Neale Donald Walsch, “Life has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with people you touch.”

I am happy to have the opportunity to thank someone for touching my life, and helping to make it less difficult. Thank You.

When your mind cries “me, me, me”, and your spirit whispers, “why?, why?, why?”, listen very closely, and be grateful for the opportunity to answer, “you, you, you”.

You, and everyone you meet, are good.

You are kind. You are giving. You are the spirit of unconditional love. You are cups of happiness, and when your thoughts and actions find their purpose in touching the lives of others, well, all is right with the Universe.

Kindness Is The Child In You

 “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.” … George Eliot


As I grow older, and perhaps a little wiser, I gladly trade small measures of newfound wisdom for the youthful beauty of unbridled imagination.

Truthfully, I am reverent in embracing and nurturing wisdom, and every day find opportunities to rekindle imagination.

Every day, I question, how does one turn back the years, cast aside learned habits, detach from unnecessary thoughts, and believe once again that anything is possible?


Be like a child!

As children we asked, “Why not?” Why not climb the highest tree? Why not ride the bicycle with no training wheels? Why not travel to the ends of the earth, however near or far they may be?

Adventurous invincibility was all the armor we needed in our quest for knowledge of the world. A dime store telescope was our spaceship to the stars. We didn’t yearn for our spiritual selves, we were our spiritual selves.

Life was simple. We had faith in something we didn’t comprehend. We didn’t have to comprehend. We were already well on our way to our next adventure. The past was left in the dust.

Yet life does throw curveballs. Young children suffer through painful illness, and very often pay for the mistakes of others.

As adults we talk about righting the wrongs, all the time forgetting to make each moment profound. Attempting to correct the past, we lose sight of the present, and continually condemn the future.

As children we threw fastballs. Or not! The only thing that made true sense was an embrace of detachment from outcome.



Hafiz said it beautifully,

“Every child has known God, not the God of names, not the God of don’ts, not the God that does anything weird, but the God who knows only four words and keeps repeating them, saying: ‘Come dance with me, come dance with me’.”

I am a marginal dancer, at best. Perhaps God pokes a little fun at my expense, having given me two left feet. I’ll allow Him a bit of humor. He never leaves me sitting alone.

We dance every day.

We dance with the first smile, the first hello. We dance as we listen to songbirds welcome a rising sun, and when we comfort a close friend enduring pain. We dance as we smell the roses, radiate kindness, and remember the faith that inspired adventure.

We dance when, like children, we are mindfully aware that we are indeed alive, and the world is ours to explore.

Come Dance With Me


Be grateful.

Every moment of our lives is a gift. A gift not for ourselves, but meant to be shared with others. One cannot pass a day without finding opportunities to smile, to initiate pleasant conversation, and to offer the world a genuine act of kindness.

Kindness is powerful.

Kindness encourages others in their efforts to be a positive force in the world. That encouragement may be the necessary nudge another needs to continue on their path. A little goes a long way. The effects lengthen and deepen, pass forward to others, and are unstoppable in their pursuit of goodness.

Be grateful that you have the power to inspire courageous ambition. Give thanks for opportunities to demonstrate love and compassion to everyone you meet. Everyone you meet deserves them.

Be grateful that the child in you, the invincible adventurer, the spirit propelled headlong toward the unknown with no thought of looking back, the dreamer of dreams, is now a builder of goodness.

Be courteous, be dependable, be loving, be kind, and watch with awe the power of your touch on the lives of others.

Find the noblest part of yourself, nurture it, cherish it, and most importantly, share it.

The world will be grateful, and will return your goodness, perhaps not when you would like it to, or in ways you might expect, but it will return.

The child in you knows this to be true, because anything is possible, and possibilities are endless.