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find serenity in the moral struggle "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein

 We all have varying degrees of flexibility. As children, most of us exhibit lots of flexibility. As soon as a friend calls we are out the door. Growth and maturity appears to dampen our willingness to bend or stretch in different ways. If we think about this situation, we realize the sadness of our plight. We may be free in body but our minds and thinking become more and more enslaved until we perform our duties ritualistically.

We must call our parents, water the plants, clean the house, get a recipe for dinner that will impress our friends, find the right clothes for the right look etc. In all of this commotion have we thought over what we are doing and if we are truly living or simply surviving? Reflect on how much love is given to us unconditionally by our parents. Ponder the living plants and the awesome beauty they bestow on us. House cleaning is overrated as much as connecting with people is underrated. Fabulous meals have more to do with the companionship we have with those who share the meal with us.

Duty and ego have replaced love and affection. When we visit others we look back and recall the great conversations and spirited mood we enjoyed with them. We don’t even think about the manicured yard or neatly picked up house. Maybe it is time to reflect on our inner human focus rather than the outer peripheral nonsense. We would most likely save ourselves time and money.

We all love artistic beauty but not at the expense of the beauty we find in each other. Less time spent on silly jobs leaves us with more energy to give to the important things in life. Our priorities perhaps are messed up at the moment. As children we knew what counted. As adults we get lost. If we keep cluttering our minds with jobs that are really meaningless, we will miss doing what counts.

It is more important to spend time talking to your child than it is to mow your lawn. I watched two dads in two situations dealing with their children while they were working in the yard. Both children were two years old at the time. One dad screamed at his toddler for digging in an area where he had recently planted some gorgeous flowers. The child went screaming and crying alone, into a corner of the yard. I wondered to myself, what had he just taught his child.

Another father in an adjacent lot had finished planting a row of various colored flowers. He stopped to take a long drink of water when his young son was standing in front of him with a fistful of flowers. They were a beautiful bouquet. His young son said as he shoved the flowers into his father’s hands, “I love you da”. I watched for the dad’s reaction. He was surprised when he realized they were the newly purchased and just planted flowers. The dad immediately scooped his son into his arms and hugged him tightly as he said “I love you too and thanks for the flowers.” Somehow I believe those flowers meant so much more in the dad’s mind and heart than they could ever mean to any observer who chanced to walk by them growing in the ground.

Children are a gift from God. Love them and tell them so every day. Recognize your obligation to them by respecting and nurturing them. If you are rough in your speech, or actions towards them especially regarding discipline, rethink and alter your behaviors and habits. Children can teach us to be spontaneous and how to recapture our love of living. They remind us to be flexible because when we are flexible our disappointment and anger decreases while our love and awareness increases.

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend. They shall never be broken." Albert Camus

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