Begin With The End in Mind. BE KIND!

HOPE YOU ARE WELL.

For “fun,” I have begun a “FACEBOOK NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PATROL.”  The idea came from seeing vulgar language towards people, name calling, and wishing people were dead or would get COVID-19.  Yes, unfortunately, this poor behavior was around political topics. 

On FACEBOOK, I enjoy presenting topics for discussion.  I appreciate folks participating in the discussions.  I understand many get frustrated with “serious” topics.  People want FACEBOOK to be a “safe zone.”  Well, there are plenty of “keyboard warriors” (got that from a friend – love it).  I do believe giving a “platform” for the “keyboard warriors” to express their beliefs / ideas is a good thing.  When folks turn to name calling, then we lose intellectual discussion.  SAD. 

On April 23, 2020, on my “NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH” post, a friend called me out because I had not said anything about my friends calling folks names on my own posts.  ABSOLUTELY was correct to call me out and I appreciate it.  Instead of taking down the post (which is a goal for some), I admitted to folks, I need to do a better job holding my friends accountable to my goal of disagreeing with a “kind tone.” Reminds me of Proverbs 27:  rather be slapped by a friend, than kissed by the enemy (paraphrase). 

On the same “NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PATROL” post, another interesting point:  The neighborhood Facebook patrol seems willing to overlook questionable comments as long as they support a specific agenda…

Questionable comments?  I thought long and hard about the phrase, “questionable comments?”  I want questionable comments!  Why would I not want questionable comments?  Questionable comments give us a chance to be critical thinkers.  I am growing to be a person who wants to see TWO SIDES OF TRUTH.  I want to do all I can to embrace questionable comments.  So here come more questionable comments…

For those who do not know me:  I am fifty-four years old.  In every way, I am a heterosexual male. Married.  I am close to ninety pounds overweight.  I have high blood pressure.  I have high cholesterol.  I have asthma.  Therefore, I am one of the folks who can get COVID-19. 

Knowing who I am, the COVID-19 “Shelter in Place” has reminded me to begin with the end in mind.  I am doing all I can to be positive and kind.  Not that I was not before (questionable comment).  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Knowing that my current physical being is ripe to get COVID-19, I really put more energy in the idea that – for example – we have only one April 24, 2020 (day I wrote this); make it count.  Am I being who I want to be remembered as  being:  kind / loving / compassionate / loyal, and much more (smile). 

I believe in Jesus Christ (questionable comment).  For me to “witness” to others, I need to believe that when I die, Jesus Christ wants me to go to heaven.  When I see so many people stressed about dying, I need to be the example of – I don’t know how long I have, but I do know I am responsible for I how use my timeOur (God / Paul) time.  Need to show a sense of confidence in my relationship with Jesus Christ.  (DISCLAIMER:  Not proselytizing … could care less of how you  get through the day – just don’t hurt me, those close to me, AND frankly – others!).

PLEASE CLEARLY UNDERSTAND.  I want to be here for many, MANY more years to come.  I want to walk Katy (our daughter) down the aisle on her wedding day and giver her away.  I want to hold her children.  I want to spend many years with JP (our grandson) and his soon-to-be siblingS (smile).  I want to celebrate at least 40 more wedding anniversaries with Diana.  So, yeah.  I want to be alive for many more years.  Lowered the sodium intake.  Calories are down.  No more cigars (for now – giggle).  Increased physical activity.  BETTER CHOICES!! 

What challenges me is seeing so many friends / people who are so afraid of getting COVID-19 … and yes, giving it to others … that they are willing to continue on the current path of SHELTER IN PLACE till the bitter end (questionable comment).  Even if if the end means. the downfall of the economy and the current culture we enjoy as Americans. 

From the Shelter In Place, the increase pain others are facing is getting to me. 

As a public high school teacher, I get paid.  I am not one of the twenty-six million who are unemployed.  I know I am getting a paycheck.  Therefore, it is very difficult for me to say to a person, “Hey.  To y’all who don’t have jobs, suck it up.  This is going to be over soon.”  In fact, I will not say that.  I can’t say that.  How do I know when it is going to end?  I know / you know people don’t have what I have and every… EVERY… elected politician has:  A MONTHLY PAYCHECK! 

Bottom line before I lose you …

BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND!  BE KIND! 

Understand that even with all the precautions we are taking:  washing our hands fourteen-times-a-day; go into garage > take off clothes > immediately put them in washer; wear gloves and mask; follow the “orders” of all government officials  at all levels … there is STILL a chance we will get and even give COVID-19. 

Therefore, how do you want to be remembered?  You have that power for that remembrance at your funeral.  Right?  You have the power to be kind.  Sure.  There are seconds / minutes / days when you and I are jerks! (name calling; could have used another “name”).  And, frankly, THAT IS HUMAN! 

Do all you can to put deposits is the RELATIONSHIP BANK ACCOUNT (Thank you Dr. Covey and your son, Sean)!  Smile. Compliment. Keep promises.  Don’t judge.  Say, “I love you.”  So, when those “Jerk-Moments” flair up, you can afford a withdrawal. 

WE WANT THE SHELTER IN PLACE TO END BECAUSE … WE WANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE!  I get it!  AND … Allow folks the opportunity to show / demonstrate responsibility.  Trust people to know the gravitas of the situation.

But, I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon. 

So, in the meantime, begin with the end in mind.  Be kind. 

Know that you and I do not know when this is going to end, but we do know we have the power to be kind people.  We have the power to make good and evil choices. Continue to ask questions / stand-up for what you believe / your opinion is as valid as their opinion … all in a kind manner.  There are going to be people upset with your questions / your thoughts / your beliefs.  It is okay for them to be upset at you … in a kind manner. 

AND FINALLY… Do not allow any government official or a person (family / friend or foe) who truly believes the only way Shelter in Place can end is when all 350 million people are tested and / or there is less than 0.05% death rate and yes … a vaccine is created —  take away the power of choice. 

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“Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.  Viktor E. Frankl 

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  Viktor Frankl

“There were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you become the plaything to circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity.” – Viktor Frankl

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