Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

I just made some oatmeal/cranberry/chocolate chip cookies. Spectacular.

The recipe wasn’t spectacular.

My mixing and baking technique wasn’t spectacular.

It’s what I did with those cookies that proved spectacular.

I put some in a plastic bag and personally delivered them to co-workers.

The cookies were part of an experiment I conducted.

I was testing the effect of kindness on my co-workers, who are under pressure every now and then.

Thing is, I don’t go to the office often because I work from home. So, my experiment required me to find time in the day—a time when I knew my co-workers wouldn’t be bombarded with deadlines—and I delivered the oatmeal/cranberry/chocolate chip cookies to the office.

We chit-chatted for a few minutes. I thanked them for specific tasks they’d performed in the last few weeks.

Every time I run this experiment of taking time away from myself and acknowledging the good accomplishments of others, the evidence piles higher and higher. My job runs smoother. Communication is clearer. And, life feels hopeful.

I’ve run this experiment without cookies and it works just as well.

Once, a co-worker made a big mistake that affected me unhelpfully. When I walked into the office, I could see tangible relief come over her face. She realized I wasn’t angry. We were able to discuss the mistake with the desire to make sure it didn’t happen again.

I have to admit, I’ve conducted this experiment of taking the time to thank others, and it has backfired. But, I’ll keep experimenting, this way I won’t start assuming I know exactly how things will turn out. I won’t write someone off. Experimenting with kindness hasn’t truly failed me yet.

With Thanksgiving peeking around the corner, I happen to associate moral courage with the holiday. It all started when I was talking with Marie, who was asked to be a Bride’s maid in her friend’s wedding.

Marie said yes. Marie figured it would be a modest wedding. The bride and groom, both have children from previous marriages. The date is set for next September, giving the couple time to test if this relationship can work.

But then, the couple’s plans climbed sharply until they gouged simplicity. The wedding was moved to an expensive hotel. Hundreds are planned to be invited to a fancy dinner. Expectations for dress wear became unreasonable for Marie.

Marie decided to speak personally with the bride and bow out of the bride’s maid duty.

The news of course was taken with sadness.

It takes courage to act on that which might not go over real well or fit the norm. It also takes kindness. Marie was kind when she bowed out of the wedding.

Marie was morally courageous. She didn’t try to convince herself the more money spent on this wedding the better the chances the marriage will survive.

In thinking about Thanksgiving, I can act on this moral courage also. I can bow out of overeating. I can bow out of stress. I can bow out of making an impression with a turkey.

I can enjoy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

Illegal and illicit activities occur. They don’t normally set very well with society and they certainly don’t promote happiness or health.

What is illegal and what is illicit? That is debatable. And, the definitions change over time and according to known laws.

Today, it’s generally accepted that it is illegal to steal because it breaks the law of the land, and the law of respect for one another.

These laws develop over time.

I’m reading an eye-opening book by John Barry, Roger Williams with The Creation of the American Soul. The book conveys how laws were developed to separate state and church.

Roger Williams was born at the turn of the 17th century, in England. He grew up to become involved with politics and religion, considered inseparable at the time.

Laws were written and enforced, such as, if you didn’t attend church, your ears could be cut off.

But, England’s 17-century, King James, believed he was above the law. He had the last word.

Williams felt the king was not above the law.

Roger Williams became a controversial figure because of his ideas on freedom of worship and civil freedom. Williams was so controversial that he fled to America to save his life.

This idea resonated with me as revisionist of Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy. I feel revisions are requisite, mainly because that is what Eddy said in Science and Health, on page 361. However, it occurred to me why Eddy could say revisions were requisite.

Science and Health is not above the law of progress.

 

 

Researchers spend time trying to understand how the body’s immune system works. The immune system is responsible for fighting foreign invaders to your body and also for destroying cells within the body that become diseased.

Although disease is not a joke, people joke that they didn’t eat enough dirt when they were a kid to develop a strong immune system. Society has realized the importance of cleanliness, however, too much clean reduces the need for a strong immune system and immune deficiencies result.

This scenario sparks the question, How is my spiritual immunity?

Spirituality is vital. Our spirituality fights off that which invades our peace and health. However, in order to have a strong spirituality, with a strong spiritual immunity, we must not be afraid to eat some dirt.

First, we can’t confuse immunity with being on the defense as though there is a potent evil force in the world.

Second, spirituality is wonderful, especially when it does bring peace and health. But we don’t want to fool ourselves and think we can create a sterile peace and health by hanging out with likeminded people or avoiding situations we think will adversely affect our spirituality.

There is no sterile environment here on earth. There is no pure tradition, teaching, or lifestyle. Challenges exist because progress is a law, and spirituality is in a constant state of progress, therefore we can go into the world and build up our spiritual immunity.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Entire immunity from the belief in sin, suffering, and death may not be reached at this level, but we may expect a decrease in these evils; and this scientific beginning is in the right direction.”