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True or False ballot

How often have we seen a Facebook meme that instructs us before we speak to make sure that what we have to say is true, kind and necessary?

This “filter” as it is sometimes called, has been attributed to Buddha, the Sufis and guru Sai Baba.

The Rotarians have a similar expression. Many gentle religions, including the Quakers and the Unitarians, have embraced this philosophy.

Facebook memes are easy to spread around. Just hit “Share.” Many memes promote kindness and positivity. Some memes are cute and funny. I am a huge fan of Grumpy Cat.

The term “calling” is often used to describe the urge to embrace a religious vocation. But religious or not, we all have a calling. We all have gifts and talents to share. We all have a purpose.

Some people hear their calling early in life and have meaningful careers that support them financially and provide satisfaction and a sense of identity.

Others have jobs to sustain them and find their calling to be something they do for pleasure rather than profit.

American patriotic holiday celebrations sometimes make me cringe just a little. I am not sure of the purpose of declaring one’s country the “Greatest Nation on Earth.” Why can’t we celebrate the greatness of all nations, and of all cultures, along with our own?

I have pride in my country, just as I am sure most people do. When I say “most people” I mean that people of every country have pride in their country.

I also know that friendly competition is healthy. In sports and in the marketplace vying with competitors creates excellence.

I think I’m both lucky and smart in love. I’m lucky because I married a great guy almost twenty years ago. I’m smart because I am able to use tarot and intuition to help all sorts of people in all kinds of love life situations. Just as nothing can be more joyful than love, nothing can be more frustrating and painful than romantic difficulties.

Over the many years I’ve spent helping people sort out their heartaches a few things have become clear to me. Here’s one of them.

A glucose monitor

I have never seen Paula Deen in action. I have never watched the Food Network. The only reason I know about Paula Deen, other than her two recent controversies, is that I saw her face on a magazine in Publix and loved her bright blue eyes and white curly hair.

Public Domain William Shatner picture

I’ve never identified myself as a “Trekkie” or a “Trekker.” I don’t go to conventions or speak Klingon. But I do have a deep appreciate of the Star Trek franchise. Seeing the recently released feature film “Star Trek: Into the Darkness” got me thinking about why I value Star Trek so much. Other than the shear entertainment value of it, of course.

After threatening to do this for some time and a few feeble attempts, I am finally gardening with some good results.

I am humbled by the feeling of helping things grow and the honor of watching life happen day-to-day.

There are so many lessons that come up for me as I tend my garden.

One lesson is about selective nurturing.

I was initially thrilled that I have snails in my garden. I think snails are really cute.

I was devastated when I realized they were harming my plants. I could nurture the snails or the plants, but not both.

A Helping Hand

While at the movie theater waiting for the new Star Trek movie to start (Awesome!) I saw a trailer advertising a new reality TV show scheduled to start on TNT on June 6.

It’s called “The Hero”.  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as nine contestants endure weekly tests of physical strength, courage and character. In the end, America will decide which one deserves to be named “The Hero.”

Before I begin my rant about this stupid premise, let me give two caveats.

What if we could consciously put aside our expectations, our prejudices and our cultural conditioning? What if we could really talk with each other and hear each other without an expectation of agreement?

What if we each spoke our truth without the fear of judgment?

What if we were able to hear each other’s’ truths without judging?

What if we stopped categorizing everything as right and wrong, and instead simply listened to each other and honored each other’s feelings, whether or not we agreed?

There seem to be people who believe that being polite equals being false. These people suggest that it is impossible to be honest and be nice at the same time.

I think these people lack intelligence as well as good manners.

In 2013 manners are not about when to stand and what to wear, or which fork to use.

Modern manners are about compassion, and making people feel comfortable.

Even when we need to give bad news or have an uncomfortable conversation, there are always ways to be kind.

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