Some of you will remember that I first started sending out Newsletters – in hard copy – about 15 years ago. Today of course with a much larger list of recipients for what is now called “Mind Matters News”, it would not be possible or feasible to send out Newsletters by so-called snail-mail.
Email is now the way of course. However I decided to have a look back through some of those old Newsletters to see if there might be any ideas that would be worth “re-cycling” and of course there is a wealth of information there. For a while at that stage I had Mike Cotter from Melbourne as my Editor and for this Mind Matters News I am going to retrieve one of Mike’s Newsletters and send it to you in instalments. Back then it was 26 pages long and with our current fast pace of life and perceived lack of time I don’t think anybody would believe they had the time to read 26 pages. So, below is Part 1 of this Newsletter from September 2000 which in the current climate, when we are confronted by many disasters – through natural causes and man-made ones such as the troubles in the Middle East, seems to be quite relevant.
Thanks to Mike Cotter - 15th September 2000
"The Earth has fallen out of orbit and is being sucked into the sun at such a rate that all life will cease to exist in just seven days.”
Imagine that’s the message that appears in all media today and is supported by top scientists around the world.
The President of The United States goes on CNN worldwide to confirm this is fact, and that there is nothing that can be done about it.
Well, apart from the initial shock and panic of the vast majority, what do you think would be the dominating characteristic in the behaviour of people towards each other, in those final hours?
Now, let me ask you the same question but with the change of just a single word:-
“What do you hope would be the dominating characteristic in the behaviour of people towards each other in those final hours?”
Perhaps your answer to the first differs from the second, or perhaps they are identical. As for me, my answer is the same for both.
Still, there is often a huge difference between what we think people will do and what we hope they will do, isn’t there?
To complete this hypothesis, let’s imagine that on the 6th day, we are all informed that some unknown force has moved planet Earth back into its original orbit, and the threat of extinction is over. Well, after the celebrations had settled — what do you think would be the dominating characteristic in the behaviour of your family and yourself in the ensuing days and years ahead?
Is it possible the dominating characteristic reverts back to what it was prior to the threat of extinction, or is it possible that out of that experience a new and more positive dominant characteristic actually evolved, and has imbued itself into the hearts and minds of your family and yourself?
If it is the latter — what do you hope this characteristic would be?
Here Are Some Thoughts -
Perhaps it’s a combination of these, or something better, whatever it is, the question is:-
Why wait for some threat of extinction? Why not foster more positive characteristics — right now?
And, whilst this should be inspired and nurtured by all leaders, any one of us can initiate something positive that has a chain reaction, as the following illustrates.
How Anyone Can Start a Chain Reaction on Kindness
In the US, an employee of Edeleman Worldwide was watching a tape of an Oprah Winfrey program. Oprah was showing examples of how her ‘Angel Network’ was helping thousands through the acts of ‘kindness’ of hundreds of participants.
This sparked the idea in the mind of the Edeleman employee to do at least two acts of kindness for her co-workers every day, in the hope that this would set off a chain reaction, and it did.
So successful was it, that it reached all the way to the top, and then found its way as a headline story on to Oprah’s TV program.
Within days, employees at other companies had heard about this ‘Kindness Chain’, and a chain reaction was off and running.
Imagine if you and your team (family) members committed to doing just — two Acts of Kindness to each other every day. Imagine the positive effects this would have on everyone within your company (family)?
I’m willing to bet that this would even spread outside the company (family), and it wouldn’t be long before the media heard about it and ran with such a good news and hope filled story.
Whilst ‘Acts of Kindness’ cause us to break out of our comfort zone and do something, there are times when we can do these by not doing something.
• using language that offends
• creating rumours
• talking negatively
• bad mouthing anyone, to their face or behind their back
• being judgmental
I know people who are constantly overwhelmed by the ‘Acts of Kindness’ they receive, and often say they don’t know what they’ve done to deserve them. I do!
They’ve built their lives around doing little ‘Acts of Kindness’ for others, and that’s why they’re reaping such a harvest.
For some, Receiving actually comes in the Giving, ie. to give is to receive.
But, if anyone is unhappy with what they’re not receiving ie:- kindness, respect, thankfulness, trust, loyalty etc, then they only have to check into — what they are giving in those areas.
If someone feels they are not getting the respect they think they deserve, it's odds-on that they are not giving respect to those, they expect if from.
On the Same Oprah Program
The same Oprah program also told of the business owner known as ‘Mr Bully’ who for years simply ‘barked’ orders at his employees, including his wife, whom he hired and fired three times.
One night she turned the tables and insisted he watch the tape she had made of Oprah’s program on Kindness. Reluctantly he did, but an hour later he had received a revelation.
No more would he ‘tell’ people, rather he would ‘ask’ them, and he made a commitment to look to do sincere ‘Acts of Kindness’ for his employees.
Within a few weeks he was able to rebuild relationships with all his employees and his wife. As he became kinder to people in his life, he discovered that life was kinder to him, and that truly shone through in his Oprah interview.
So, I hope you liked reading this and I think you'll enjoy the next instalment. Notice how Mike uses "don't" - I always say "what to do - not what not to do".
All the best
"Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it."
I have a new online shop which has all my product in it including all the instanly available downloadable meditations, books and packs. It is at www.calm.com.au/shop
I would love to receive any feedback on this - it is never too late to change.
I'm getting on a bit now - aren't we all! I still use PP all the time after learning it from you many years ago now, and it is to my great benefit and advantage - it's changed my life. S.J. Vic.
I wanted to let you know that I got accepted into University (Bachelor of Behavioral Science) and will soon commence studies. I am light years away from the young woman I was a year ago and after much self work I am pleased to say I have had a massive growth spurt and am now the person I always knew I could be.
I still listen to your meditation CDs almost every day (actually I use them to go to sleep and wind down) and am sure the positive messages have woven their way into my subconscious and have contributed to my excellent state of being. Thanks for your support. M.R. WA.
Thanks for the birthday greetings. Life is good and of course, Peaceful Place plays a daily part in my life. Each morning when I sit down to write, I play my Peaceful Place CD and do a short meditation and PPP goals and then into my writing for the day with the remainder of the CD playing and quite often I keep it playing all day as I write. No wonder I wore out the last one! I am in the last days of revision of my completed 80,000 word novel and I'm looking forward to working with my mentor to compile a submission to agents/publishers. I have also just commenced a one semester university writing unit this week with the possibility of commencing a Masters in Creative Writing next year - I'll see what unfolds. I want to continue building my craft. So all good. I hope you are too and that your work flourishes. Thank you for keeping connected. P.S. Tas.