Thursday, March 30, 2017

Philosophies Are My Guiding Lights

In early January, The Hamilton Spectator published a request:
What is the principle, belief or idea that guides you most
in your day-to-day life...and where did it come from?

While house-sitting in January at my daughter and son-in-law's country home
in West Lincoln, I responded to the above request...compiling my thoughts
under the guidelines given to any writer.

Like the lighthouse, isolated on a rocky crag, behooving the sailor to heed 'this guiding light' when his ship is tossing in stormy waters, the beacon beckons him to a safe harbour.

A child, when growing, may feel lost in the sea of life; without direction, he gains little or no independence. Parents are often too busy sheltering him with the essentials of life: home, clothing, food and the discipline of behaviour.

In the mid years of High School, I admired Mary, a senior student who had the character for which I yearned: attractive, chic clothing, a ready smile, great poise...and participated in the sports and culture of High School activities. Could I emulate her? I discussed my inner dilemma with Stella, a church friend. Her advice was, “Just be yourself...don't try to be someone else!” BE MYSELF? WHO IS MYSELF? HOW DO I FIND ME?

During post-secondary education, I pondered my confusing quandary. When a crisis arrives, one can accept the consequences (hoping it will disappear) or one can search for actions to cope/rid the crisis. Since worry creates stress...I discovered there is always a solution to alleviate the situation, preventing further worry and emotional frenzy. When resolved, considering the circumstances, it was personal satisfaction to overcome it. When there was nothing I could do, with all options facing me in this troublesome crisis, I created a philosophy that has stood the test of time:
Do not fret and worry about matters over which you have no control!
This resolve has quieted my mind many times...and sub-consciously accepted that “Whatever will be, will be!” Time can be a valuable healing asset in solving a dilemma; surprisingly, small wonders may later open doors that afford a postivie outcome.

The secret to 'finding me' was an ongoing effort. I studied and observed other people. Then, the 'lighthouse of my mind' was lit!” To achieve happiness and success, isn't just a dream; in life, one must set GOALS! Realizing the solution was within me, a formula written by an author, gave me the impetus to exercise it. Arthur wrote:
The dream written down with a date, becomes a Goal!
A goal broken down into steps becomes a Plan!
A plan backed by action, makes your Dream Come True!
This became my personal project. The significant factor belying all else, was to maintain a Positive Attitude! I discovered there is always more than one solution to any predicament. Biblical advice states, “Seek and ye shall find.” Because physically we have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. OBSERVATION and LISTENING are greater assets than a ton of conversation!

During my careers of teaching and sales, positive philosophies on three small colourfully illustrated wooden plaques inspired me. Hanging beside my desk, they were like beacons directing my daily tasks.
Hang In There!
A snoozing lioness drapes her streamlined body
over a sturdy limb high above the ground.

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life!
A serene scene of blue waters rippling from the far horizon
to a quiet sandy beach.

Man tires quickly of new discoveries and adventures,
but never of the beauty and wonder of nature! (D.L. Paul)
Depicted by a mountain-scape of bluish peaks
with delicate eidelweiss flowers blooming at its base...
this view, having a calm effect on my being.

Retired now, these three illustrated philosophies are displayed near my telephone, computer and printer...daily reminders of the stepping stones in the discovery of:
Who is Myself?”

Merle Baird-Kerr...personally submitted January 30, 2017
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