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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

E's to live by

For the most part, I don’t like clichés. Most of us have heard the following “God, Family and Country” or whatever order it is usually said. It’s a good cliché but it means very little unless each one is defined. I do think, however, that we need to have some basic principles to live by. I’ve thought of some. They are not new and everyone has probably heard them before. But they work for me. They are in the form of an alliteration. I call them “The E’s to live by.”
The first principle is edify. This simply means to build others up. How do we build up others? Not by giving them clichés or the usual pop psychology. But we need to encourage them. Encourage them in their goals and pursuits. Everyone is unique and thus can contribute in a unique way. Yet, we need others to do it. Encouragement plays a big role. Human nature is prone to judge others before encouraging. Judging only leads to people becoming isolated from us. But encouragement goes a long way. We should also build others up by easing up their lives through service. Little things we do for others, insignificant at they may be, can alleviate the frustration and stress that so many of us carry from day to day. Sometimes a simple “hello” or a smile goes a long way. There are things that are easy for us to do but aren’t for others. It’s an opportunity to serve others. We should never be too busy to help others. Anything we invest in others is never lost. Investing in people’s lives is the best we can do in a culture that is consumed with self.
The second principle is to examine our lives. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He had a point. Living our lives without evaluating who we are, what we believe, where we are going, and what we are doing is not worth living. When we examine we evaluate where we are and what we are doing in our lives and see if this is a reflection of who we are and what we believe. Many times we do certain things out of boredom or necessity. We evaluate whether a decision is right or wrong for us. Once we do this then we should enjoy our life. We enjoy our lives within the parameters we have set when we evaluate ourselves. Sometimes we don’t enjoy our lives because we are doing something that is not part of who we are. We enjoy who we are, what we have, and who we have with us.

In a nutshell here are my E’s for living a good life:
Edify others by encouraging them and by easing their lives through service.
Examine your life by evaluating and enjoying it.
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