This I Believe

Shari - Kankakee, Illinois
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

American Tao

By ShariS.Lengel

Of Religion

Shame not another’s religion, for each takes that religion as likes him best.

Do not preach religion, for that must, by nature, turn another away from desire of such knowledge: seek rather, to inspire by word and deed, answer questions without superiority, shame or fabrication.

Take not the teachings of a single religion to heart with blind belief, but question always why.

Learn of any and all religions you can, and then take that part of each which feels right deep within you… This, then, is your True Faith, not just a religion, which is sterile and institutionalized.

Of Learning

Observation is the best way to learn; asking questions the second.

Learn, then, how to be completely still before you try to master movement.

Stillness of mind creates stillness of body; stillness of body creates stillness of mind.

Knowledge of one’s ignorance is the beginning of learning; learning the extent of one’s ignorance is the beginning of knowledge.

Learn at all times, from all people, in all places, from all sources, for even from the most ignorant of infants can we learn.

Know ye this: there will always be someone with greater knowledge than you, and every person has some knowledge that you do not yet posses.

Take all learning as with a grain of salt, for all things are temporary. What is of great concern today tomorrow is useless; what is a solid idea now, may later be a sour tale; what is fact at this moment, the next may be fiction.

Wisdom is common sense put into words, good wisdom is using that common sense: great wisdom is knowing what wisdom to apply when.

Of Humanity

Man’s biggest challenge is Man.

A person’s biggest challenge is himself.

All people have their given station in life. Do not reproach one whom you may consider less than you for their choice of (???) for without them our life would be that much more complicated.

Even the greatest of leaders is but human, with faults and virtues alike.

If you put someone else on a pedestal, they are likely to kick you in the head…repeatedly! Leave pedestals to the statues.

Do not pity yourself or seek pity from others, for around the corner is another whose plight is worse than yours, just as yours may be more so than another’s.

All people wear a mask before others; seek to see behind that mask before you judge someone a clown.

Being polite is not limited to those outside the home, but rather begins and ends with those closest to you.

All people are our responsibility; therefore help when it is truly needed, even if that means to turn aside an unworthy or detrimental request.

We are here for a short time and are allowed to borrow this earth, therefore have a care and abuse it not, even more then you would your own home.

Of Life

There can be no light without dark

There can be no sun without rain

There can be no man without woman

There can be no life without death

There can be no good without evil

Life cannot remain stagnant but must, by nature, change.

Sometimes the movements in life are like to those of a tree: we can barely see it changing, maybe not at all, but it is there.

Each life is but a drop of water in the river of the universe, yet each drop is precious and as great as the universe itself.

Treasure each moment for, in the span of time, life is barely a flicker in the universe.

Life is a responsibility and a privilege.

There are no wrong choices in life, only different paths we choose to follow, although some of those paths may be bumpier than others.

Of Children

Children learn best from the examples of the adults in their lives… actions not words weigh more to their eyes.

A child that is screamed at learns to scream, a child that is hit learns to hit.

Do not be afraid to let a child know that you made mistakes as a child and continue to do so now, but temper that with knowledge on learning from each mistake.

Remember that children take all you say to them to heart therefore name not a child a certain way (bad, good, stupid, genius) but name their actions.

Show children how all that they say and do has a consequence, even if that consequence is not apparent to them, and especially if it may be more emotional or mental in nature than physical, as children do not grasp these easily.

Remember that emotions are valid in children, too. Do not discipline them for the showing or having of the emotions, and make it clear that discipline, if warranted, is for inappropriate action, not the emotion.

Remember that because a child has not mastered the art of speech that she is not able to understand or communicate.

Communication is usually not verbal and begins at birth.

Children are born curious; do not destroy this gift, as it is the door to knowledge.

Answer a child’s curiosity with a care to the answer, as it may be a base for many things in his life. If he asks a question that makes you uncomfortable, do your best to answer him as honestly and simply as you can, and do it immediately, even in such areas as body parts and functions, for you may not get a chance to answer him another way.

The younger the child the greater the capacity to learn: scorn not to teach them all you can as early as you can. Think not that because they cannot fully comprehend or avail such learning at first that it will not remain with them, for it may.

Children are the clay of our future: however we mold them is what the art will reveal. If it is good, it shall bring beauty and joy into our lives. If not, it will only be a piece of dried mud on the shoe of society.

Of Yourself

Do not blindly accept another’s belittlement of you, but examine each word with a care to the source.

Learn from your errors and your triumphs. Go forward and build on this knowledge, but dwell not on regret or past glory, for they no longer exist except in the mind.

The greatest changes wrought began with a small voice from one person.

The biggest changes, the most difficult, are the ones we bring about from within ourselves and for ourselves alone.

One cannot change another, but we can alter the path traveled together by changing our actions and ourselves.

If you make another do for you what you can do for yourself, you become less than you were before.

The more you do for yourself the more you will learn. The more you do for others, the better person you will become.

All emotions are valid, seek not to deny them or hide from them lest they destroy your mind and its peace. There is no shame in any emotion, but all must learn when and where and how to show them.

The simpler you seek to live your life the simpler your life shall be.

Truth is a strictly personal concept unique to each individual and is never stagnant but grows as the person grows.

Right and wrong are but examples of truth and are, therefore, personal and unique, even if shared by many.

No matter the pain of honesty it is always immensely less painful, in time, than falsehood, whether to yourself or to others.

The things we hold most dear and strive for in life the hardest are those we cannot see: love, knowledge, power, ability, and emotions, to name but a few.

The tighter you try to hold on to a thing, or a person, the easier it is to escape you.

Value yourself high, for others will take you most often at that level which you set and live for yourself.