As I was gathering my thoughts for this column, a friend came limping by. Yesterday, she was walking through her yard and injured her ankle in a small, hidden pothole. Family was near and actually …
As I was gathering my thoughts for this column, a friend came limping by. Yesterday, she was walking through her yard and injured her ankle in a small, hidden pothole. Family was near and actually heard the ankle give way. Shock waves of pain raced up her leg and then the throbbing began. Now she’s on her way to get an X-ray in order to find out what damage she might have done.
It’s amazing how quickly our bodies can be thrown out of balance. A twisted ankle and the struggle to cross a room, or simply stand upright, become challenges. Equally amazing is how quickly our lives can be thrown out of balance. There are many potholes where we can easily step, that twist our lives in directions that leave us throbbing with pain, wondering how we might, if ever, regain our balance.
As important as balance is to walking, balance is important to living. The Quakers understand this and have come up with 10 essentials for maintaining balance in life. Every day, they challenge each of us to take time to:
1. Work: It is the price of success. Lack of productivity fuels depression. Find what and where you can contribute, and seek to make a worthy contribution.
2. Play: It is the secret of perpetual youth. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. If you have a busy work life, schedule playtime every day. You will feel younger and contribute longer.
3. Think: It is the source of power. Think beyond the mundane thoughts of every day, the grocery list, what’s for dinner, what you will wear. Take time to think about life and how well you are living.
4. Read: It is the fountain of wisdom. Turn off the TV and discover the wealth of information available to all of us that makes life an immeasurably richer experience.
5. Pray: It is conversation with God. Prayer takes us beyond ourselves and gives a wider perspective to life. With that perspective, a better direction often emerges.
6. Laugh: It is the music of the soul. Humor is key to success. Laughter may not change the conditions of your life, but it certainly will change the quality of your life.
7. Listen: It is the pathway to understanding. Have you ever wondered why you have two ears and one mouth? Perhaps we are meant to listen twice as much as we speak.
8. Dream: It is hitching your wagon to a star. Show me a person who has no dreams and I will show you a person who has little reason to live. Dreams, goals and aspirations keep us alive.
9. Worship: It is the highway of reverence. True worship leads to reverence as we become increasingly aware of the specialness of the precious gift of life
10. Love and Be Loved: It is the gift of God. A life without love isn’t worth living. Love yourself and seek opportunities to express love to others.
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