Monday, August 13, 2012

Manifesto II

I spoke last time about Manifestos. In a talk with some great students at an honors symposium, I suggested they should consider writing one for themselves. Furthermore, I suggested some ideas to consider including in their own manifesto. Here are those ideas:

Realize that Life is Hard.  People get sick. Jobs go away. Money runs out. Betrayals happen. People sin. Mistakes are made. Standards are too high. We fail. Abuse Happens and People cheat.  The list goes on and on.

Before one starts a manifesto, one better realize that life is full of roadblocks and pain. Everything doesn't work out like in the movies. Movies and tv paint this wonderful, magical story about beautiful people and how things work out in the end. Life is not really like that and it is better to figure that out early.

Therefore, Be Kind. The Plato quote says it well which I have above and here again:
Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle.  Plato
There is a wonderful video that I shared with the group and shared here earlier which you can watch here.  And there is a wonderful quote on kindness that I also shared with the group from the book The Shack:
...if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen ... nothing will ever be the same again.
Given that life is hard one should be kind because one never knows what is going on in another's life.  That person honking at you might be racing to the hospital. That person who was rude in the grocery story might have been stressed out because their child was sick was at home. Decide to be a kind person all the time. Be a person of kindness.

Part of the story of Christ is about kindness, hospitality and mercy. Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, restored the lost and forgave the sinners.  While many are critical of Christianity these days, one should look at what Christ did and taught.

Finally, Be On An Adventure. I challenged the kids with the following:

Carl Rogers has a great quote:
The process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. 
It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of ones potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. 

Look, you don't have to write a manifesto. But you should be purposeful about life and not just carried along in the stream of events. Realize that life is hard and choose to be a person of kindness. And be on an adventure.

Would love to hear your thoughts about what to include in a manifesto. What are your foundational thoughts?

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