non-violence in daily life

The list of 64 Daily Commitments to Live By includes a number of different practices. For example:
Today, I will affirm my value and worth with positive "self talk" and refuse to put myself down.
Today, I will turn off anything that portrays or supports violence whether on television, in the movies, or on the Internet.
Today, I will say "No" to ideas or actions that violate me or others.
Some of these are practices that I’ve been working on (and hopefully improving upon) for years. I choose to renounce destructive thoughts and images that impede my spiritual growth.Never use your language against yourself: this is such an important concept and it pains me any time I hear anyone say something like "I can’t believe I was so stupid" or "I’m such an idiot." Words have power, they have energy, especially when said out loud into the Universe where they are carried forth. "I can never get this right." "I hate it when I do that." I am an imperfect human BEing, but I don’t chastise myself for being so.
There’s a song where the refrain goes "Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don’t like you." Hate IS a strong word. To my heart, hate is a violent emotion, a damaging feeling; nothing good comes of hate. Would I feel differently if a loved one was harmed at the hands of another? Thank God, I don’t know and hope to never know. I continue to be inspired and amazed by the witness of faith and forgiveness by the Amish when their daughters were violently murdered. Forgiveness allowed them to heal and to move forward with love in their hearts. Hate would not have had the same effect.
My friends and family all know how I am about violent movies or shows. They’ll rave about a movie they’ve seen, and when I ask if it’s one I’d like, they usually pause, then often say "Uh, no, you shouldn’t see it. It’s too violent." For me, I don’t want the imprint of violence in my psyche, of people hurting one another, killing, maiming, assaulting. OK, I do watch "Law and Order" but those shows deal with the aftermath of violence and the investigation to ensure that justice is done in a fair and considered manner. I don’t watch violent sports where grown men run into one another and try to knock each down. Not just because it’s violent, but it’s just such a silly image to me, all that pushing and shoving and grunting. Baseball , yes; boxing, no. Two men – with no beef or quarrel with one another – punching and hitting one another for money. A human (but not humane) version of cock-fighting. As a kid, my parents once took me to a bullfight – and I was so sickened by it, I threw up and couldn’t watch. It was horrifying! Seeing men viciously attack a creature of God for "entertainment"? Really? As a kid, I was also introduced to the stories of St. Francis, who was friends to the animals and all of nature. That peaceable kingdom image is what I prefer for my world view.
Earlier, I wrote about not doing harm to my body by sitting too long or working beyond the limits of good health, actions that violate me. I used to be very much a workaholic, working 70-hour weeks, available at all times, sacrificing family and friends – and ultimately health. Health issues have made me slow down, have taught me to take better care of my self. As a manager, I’d rarely ask my employees to stay late or work a weekend. There were occasions where it was necessary, but I’d make them rare and I’d take care of my people. If I earned a bonus, it would be split with my employees who made it possible. I would praise them for excellent work, take notice of their efforts each day, provide specific positive reinforcement, have a party and celebrate the "big win"! I don’t believe in working my people to the detriment of their health or happiness. I believe that it violates them and violates those who care about them.
Work is work. It’s not life (unless you’re one of those lucky few who get paid for doing what they love and what they’re passionate about, whether that something is helping others, creating art, music, words, or perhaps creating beautiful gardens). One of my best friends has posted on her refrigerator: No one ever said on his/her deathbed "I wish I could have one more day at the office!" When we know our days are numbered, we yearn for more time to do the things that make us happy, to be with those we love, to do things that really matter in life, that will matter when we stand before God. We read stories about those who are "given" a year to live. Do they continue working 70-hour weeks? No, they travel, they make a list of things they want to do before they move on, they breathe deeper, take their time, smell the roses; they spend more time saying "I love you." Work/life balance is important. Do a great job at your job and then go home happy and satisfied with your contributions. Then do a great job in your personal life, happy with the life you’ve carved out for yourself, well-balanced and grounded. At peace with your self and with the world.
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2 Responses to non-violence in daily life

  1. Lynn says:

    You are so, so wise, Rose.  I will think long and long on what you\’ve written, and do my best to act upon it.
    Peace and healing, Stream sister…

  2. Aimee says:

    wow…you certainly do pack a lot into life…loved your space.. 
    :o) smiles easy to give away they are free… :o) very contagious… :o) so pass one to anyone … :o) to people that you love… :o) and even to those you don\’t… :o) in no time the whole world will be smiling :o)

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