Friday, June 22, 2007

Compassion and Kindness in America Today

In regards to the recent family issue, I would like to state the bottom line on it, since I have been told to "shut up" and that the lines of communication in regards to healing this collective situation are closed.

What happened: Some close relatives and a close friend did something--while not "wrong"per se, they behaved "wrongly."

I reacted to it in a severe way and exhibited some behavior--tho I was not "wrong" to feel what I felt (no one ever is) I exhibited my feelings "wrongly."

The difference is -- I apologized from my behavior.

I was upset and I responded -- I rejected their behavior.

They were upset and responded -- they rejected me as a person/human being/soul.

Lack of kindness and ability to respond to another person with compassion is a very serious spiritual illness. It is never considered "the right thing to do" in any religious or philosophical frame of reference, professional or personal.

But meanness in American society is on the increase, much to the detriment of our country and individual people trying to deal with everyday life in an increasingly hostile society. I will never find cruelty to be correct (or even as entertainment as current "reality" television demonstrates.)

For the sake of "harmony" part of my extended family and my friend who was like a sister to us, cowardly have to save face and continue to insist they did nothing wrong.

For the sake of harmony, I have to stop allowing myself to be a repeated victim of emotional abuse every time I try to open a dialog on the subject with hopes of healing the rift.

This breaks my heart over and over again.

The show of a lack of respect, especially for the older generation, is appalling. In my family I was raised in, we might have thought someones behavior was bizarre or silly or even downright bad, but we never condemned our own relatives and friends for being who and what they were regardless of their behavior. While we were not especially spiritual as a family, we had respect and a commitment to acting in a loving manner because we believed we were loving and it was the right thing to do.

I believe, if someone claims they're a loving, spiritual-based person, they need to act in a loving, spiritual way to be truly consistent mind, heart and soul. And when they fall short, even if it is unintentional--and being human we all will fall short--people need to recognize it immediately, take responsibility for the fact there are consequences to everything one does (like it or not) and do something positive to counteract it.

Ignoring the consequences that result from your behavior is not a thinking, feeling, enlightened way to resolve a problem.

There is nothing more I can say to these particular people without them heaping more rejection and/or abuse on me. I cannot put the initial situation behind me because of the severe and continued abuse that has been continued as a result. It's not just in the past, it's on-going and continuing into the here and now over and over.

My husband and I are living in a state of shock, heart-break and grief. So if you can't help us get over the pain of our loss of family, lost harmony and acceptance, and personal and professional setbacks: please, leave us alone. You are being part of the problem, not part of the solution. We will turn to the love and kindness of other sincere people and, of course, to Spirit to heal.

Love and Light, Sandy Schairer
Photo, copyright by Ted Clarke, Kalamazoo Michigan

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Apology: A Lost Art and Skill?

What is the matter with people today? What ever happened to a simple, "I'm sorry," to handle situations before they get all blown up out of proportion? Why do people think they have to battle for being right instead of kind?

An apology is not an admission of"guilt" or of being "wrong" or even of being "bad." (Though it certainly can be--and if you're guilty of something bad, or merely wrong, speak up and admit it as soon as possible; don't try to justify it or make excuses.) Respond quickly with "I'm sorry," shows that you didn't intend it or hurt someone on purpose. How else would they know? If you just insist that you didn't do anything "wrong" that doesn't address the problem. It's like answering a question about emotions and behavior with a mathematical solution...sort of like apples and just doesn't fit. "Why did you throw away the cake I baked for you?" "Six times 6 is definitely 36, and if you don't believe that, too friggin' bad. I'm right." What does that have to do with cake and hurt feelings? apology is a response to another person's feelings. If you claim to love the person, you will care about their feelings and be moved to respond to them and put making yourself right on a back burner, for godsake. You will respond with an apology if you see that someone is hurt and angry over something you did--even if you didn't do it on purpose or intend to hurt the person. If you hit them with your car because you didn't see them, you didn't maliciously hit them, but certainly if they were injured you would respond with concern, not try to make it all justified and declare they were at fault for the accident by being injured. That is all backwards. You can apologize for hurting someone, even if it was an unintended accident.

Saying the other person has no right to feel hurt or angry, that you didn't mean to hurt them, is the same excuse a pedophile uses...he didn't mean to hurt the little children, he loved them, they shouldn't feel bad or hurt or angry. HAH.

And this new age attitude that we are responsible for everything that happens to us, is just a way for crude, unkind people to let themselves off the hook for being nice to the rest of the world. More of the "blame the victim" methodology. Why don't people just realize that what they say and do can be misunderstood or it can directly cause pain and suffering for others. Things we do, cut people to the soul. We can gain our own peace of mind (egotistically at least) by making everyone responsible for their own hurt feelings. In my opinion, the joy and humor in today's world based on being mean to other people (especially on those reality shows and talent shows) is downright immoral, abusive and cruel. People may have the right to be that way, but they do need to realize the consequences that behavior has on others and eventually themselves. It is not funny for a judge in a contest to rudely tell someone who just sang their heart out that they "stink, so get off the stage." There is a way to be critical without being judgmental and hurtful. But if people don't seem to know that, telling them that isn't going to work. The only think I can do is hope those mean people are on the receiving end of unjustified attack someday so they'll understand how it feels and can adjust their behavior accordingly.

Arguing with a hurt person that they have no "reason" to feel hurt, doesn't take the hurt away either. It makes it worse. It's a flaming indication that your feelings are way more important than anyone else's. The question becomes then, not would you rather be right or happy, but would you rather be right or kind. Choosing being right regardless of everything else speaks loudly in it's silence. And it is not a pretty message. It is just sad.

Blaming a person after they respond to something you did, using it as an excuse for what you started in the first place, isn't fair. It's a way to make your own feelings feel okay again, not helping the situation or other person at all. So criticizing them or getting angry that they reacted out of pain and anger to something you did is NOT an indication that what you did was "justified" and they deserved it. Just look how they took it, they must have deserved it, right? NO WAY.

I am a very loving, supportive, forgiving, giving, caring person. But if I don't receive apologies from loved ones and dear friends, I am not going make all the effort to heal relationships by myself. I am not going to give out blanket forgiveness to unapologetic people. I am out of the door-mat business, so if someone wants to be in my life again, if they genuinely care about me and my feelings, they can show it the way I have requested they show it. Say you're sorry. I am not bending over backwards to do all the fixing and sucking up to others so they will "like" me. They can suck up to me and try to fix their rude, mean, unkind behavior. I am tired of being the one that gives up my feelings and consideration for my own well-being so that everyone else can feel okay and comfortable all the time.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Dear All beloved,

I had a wonderful celebration on June 3, my birthday. I gave out "presents" to my MasterMind group at church of CD's (of free talks and music downloaded from a wonderful inspirational internet site, and yes, I did make a donation!)

Then I went to a party for someone who has the same birthday. And got to talk to people of all ages. It was a festival of love and joy. Wonderful. The husband of the birthday girl is recovered from colon cancer and back to his enthusiastic self. He's a sculptor in his medium of wood...a woodworker like my husband, he also builds exotic furniture and specialized in magnificient doors!!! Blessings on them and their whole family who attended---old folks as well as children. Now that's a real party--intermingling all the generations with respect and equality as well as love and joy.

This birthday gal is younger than I, but another friend with the same birthday day June 3rd is older than I --- he is proud and brags that he is 89 -- aiming for 100!! I think he will make it, too, and maybe beyond. He also recovered from colon cancer at age 79. He is a spiritual teacher and also teaches and practices Tai Chi!!! (See his celebration letter below.)

Best of blessings to everyone also born on June 3rd.

Love, Sandy

My Spiritual Twin Brother: Octogenarian Celebrates! June 3, 2007

Dear Friends,

Rick Cramer’s Birthday is today – he has reached the age of 89 (going for 100!), and wants you to help him celebrate it! His friends and students (of T’ai Chi) at the Senior Centers call him a Role Model for Seniors”, and one of them quipped “89, and ‘fit’! – You must be doing something right!”

Well, “something” includes doing T’ai Chi and 2 hours of other exercise every day, I have eliminated ‘junk food’ from my diet in favor of more fruits and veggies, developing a positive (and be happy) attitude towards life. Additionally, I meditate daily, and do mental exercises. My hobby is making up “fun” quizzes – about almost any subject you can name. “Living In Today’s World” is probably the largest category. I call these “Generic Quizzes”. Others, of a specific nature, include: People, Current Events, “Where In The World Is ______?” (a favorite), Cars, Motorcycles, and Driving, Travel - any mode, any time, Nutrition (the latest in nutrition – phytonutrients, omega 3, free radicals, etc.), The Science of Mind, and lots of other categories...(He's sending the quizzes to select friends and awarding them some books left over from his bookstore which he owned and worked until he was in his late 70's.) Love, Rick

Photo by Ted Clarke, Kalamazoo MI, copyrighted