Random Acts of Wisdom: Wise Comments from Wise Readers

I have a confession to make: My readers are amazing!

Thank you, my dear readers, for the comments you’ve left, so filled with wonderful questions, open honesty, wisdom, insight, inspiration and so much human decency. I have been blessed greatly by reading what you have had to say here at Meant to be Happy.

Your comments have deepened my own understanding of the things I write about. They have broadened my vision. They have made me a better man. And I thank you for that.

I was recently looking over some old comments, toying with the idea of incorporating some highlights into a post, when I came across this comment left on A Satisfying Life is Good Too by Debbie at Happy Maker Now:

“I have found that blogging itself helps me to grow and learn. As I teach others, they teach me with their comments.”

And thus in an instant a new feature here at Meant to be Happy was born — where quotable excerpts from your comments will introduce topics in a series of posts creating a veritable smorgasbord of insight, a buffet of inspiration and wisdom.

I hope you’ll enjoy this first course at the buffet of your own making (with, of course, a little help from me :))!

Note: I have edited some of the comments for grammar, spelling, punctuation, brevity and, in some instances, clarity. I believe, however, the meaning has been left unaltered. Still, in no way should the reader suppose the commenter necessarily endorses what follows their words.

Two from Wendy at Give Love Create Happiness commenting on 10 Ways You Can Stop Being So Easily Offended:

“[When offended] I like to stop and take a moment to reflect if what I am hearing sounds like truth. If it does I take it in and decide what direction I want to go with the information. If it doesn’t I brush it off and keep moving forward.”

A woman once went to her religious leader demanding he do something to discipline another woman who had gossiped about her. The leader politely listened to her long tirade. When the woman had finished making her case, she demanded to know what the leader would do.

This was his wise reply: “Well, let me tell you what I do whenever I hear that someone has said things about me I know to be untrue. I first reflect on the last interaction I had with that person and try to remember if there was anything I said or did that could have given the impression of offense. And the thing is,” he continued, “I usually find that I had. I then go to the offended party and apologize. And typically, that’s the end of it.”

The woman left incensed but was taught a powerful lesson, one, perhaps, many of us could benefit from.

“Having love and compassion for yourself makes it easier not to take things so personally.”

To the degree we are dependent on external validation for what we do and who we are, the external world will be empowered to offend us.

Become self-validating and it won’t matter much what others say or how they say it. Your esteem won’t come from them, so they will lack the power to uproot it.

BWJ commenting on Embrace your Inner Mosquito:

“I’ve been married for a little over a year now, and I’ve realized that if I want a certain type of marriage, I have to be a certain type of person.”

To raise the kind of children who are loving and well-mannered, self-motivated and responsible, courageous, compassionate and forgiving, we have to become the kind of parent that produces the kind of qualities we most hope they acquire.

To have the respect of others, we must become respectable.

To have others’ trust, we must be trustworthy.

To be loved, we must first be loveable.

To require or expect behavior from others irrespective of our own is the height of immaturity and will eventually lead to unhappiness every single time.

Marianne at Grandeurvision commenting on Live Instead of Die:

“I’ve been in the hospital a couple of times over the last three weeks. It’s been a very scary experience, but as your quote says, I guess my mission isn’t finished yet because I’m still alive and thankfully so. This recent experience has given me new food for thought.”

I believe we have so much to accomplish and become in this life. Our mortality affords us a timed race to live our lives within a relatively short duration in a way that lifts and builds others and ourselves.

The winner of this race isn’t determined by who crosses the finish line first or who carries the most expensive stuff in their pockets as they cross the line.

Rather, it’s determined by the spread of our love, the reach of our service, the rate of our growth, the depth of our passion for goodness and decency, the measure of our character, the persistence of our perseverance and the frequency of our forgiveness. It’s measured in how we treat people we don’t need to impress and how we treat ourselves in the quiet of our minds.

On some measure, it can be identified in the richness of our lives and the width and breadth of our joy and happiness and our commitment to things that matter most.

Carolyn at Wonder of Tech commenting on 31 Things that Add Joy to My Life:

“I love stopping to appreciate amazing things in life. Sometimes I will pull over in the car when I happen upon a wonderful view, waterfall, old barn or covered bridge.”

It is in those moments when we stop and breathe in the world, when we are filled with wonder and awe, that an undergirding sense of gratitude that is unthinkingly, spontaneously expressed replaces the cynicism and granted taking and jaded responses we can otherwise have for the seemingly mundane.

It is then in those moments of appreciation for the little things everywhere, for what usually goes unnoticed in the hurried pace of most of our lives, that life becomes a sacred experience.

Let’s face it, parts of life can get really tough. But that wonderful curiosity and spontaneous appreciation elevates life above the difficulties to something akin to holiness.

Karen commenting on Where Have all the Heroes Gone?:

“Oftentimes, one learns true kindness for having experienced unkindness.”

Our trials and hardships are, well, trying and hard! We don’t like them, and shouldn’t. But we can learn to appreciate them. We can learn to draw from the wisdom our challenges teach us.

You see, Karen is right. When we confront ugliness, we can come to appreciate beauty. When we see poverty, we can learn to better appreciate the blessings of our relative abundance. When we are denied love, we can more deeply appreciate it when it is extended.

We see the intent in a door held open for us to pass through. We feel the love in the meal that has been prepared. We see the tenderness in the hand that is extended to us.

The negative experiences in life often teach us more profoundly than the good in life. Gandhi, after all, only became the man he ultimately became in the heat of abuse and opposition.

Sometimes trials reveal our inner selves. And sometimes trials help create an inner self worth revealing!

Natasha commenting on 10 Ways to Act Yourself Happy:

“I think everyone needs a little push once in a while”

The human condition is one that easily falls into routine, predictable pattern, comfort zones, taking things for granted, resting on laurels, waiting, delaying, procrastinating, taking paths of least resistance, getting by, doing just enough, and otherwise wearing ruts of habit like grooves into the paths that make up the road in life we travel.

And so Natasha is right as well. We all need a push at times, a shove in the right direction, a kick start or a kick in the rear to get us up and running again, remembering why it is we do the things we’ve committed to doing.

Should you need it, therefore, let this post, this day, be that kick for you.

Now go and change your world!

And have a great day doing it! 🙂

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