Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the worth of souls

everyone has a story.
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

Good conversations are my favorite. I love hearing about people's day, and little tidbits, but I love it even more when you break the barriers and just talk about your thoughts and views on life. I find I am really good at surface level conversations with people, and while I love these deeper, thought provoking conversations, I struggle to know how to bridge from "how has your day been" to "how do you view life"

Last night Holly and I went for our usually Tuesday night swim- but with the weather becoming warmer we decided to walk rather than drive. The walk there was beautiful. It was nice to get fresh air, and we passed lots of people coming back from campus on our way. The swim was good. Tiring- but good. I ran into an old friend from freshman year and was able to catch up with him. After completing out goal we made our way to the sauna to dry off before walking home. I had a lot on my mind from my integrity class a few hours earlier and started telling Holly about it. We had talked about defining moments in life- as I told her about what we had defined these "defining moments" to be I asked her what she would consider a defining moment to be. She told me about an experience in high school where she decided that when everyone else was gossiping she would always say something positive- even if it was "She has nice teeth"

Our conversation quickly turned from that moment in time- to our lives now. And just our lives in general. We talked about how we should be kind to everyone- even if they are not kind in return. We talked about how everyone is a son or daughter of our heavenly father and how their worth never chances no matter how they act. We talked about how it is easy to view someone as a problem rather than a person with their own story.  We talked about how you don't know what someone is going through. I love the line in the hymn "Lord, I Would Follow Thee" that say "in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye cant see." My mom always would joke when driving if someone cut her off that it was because they just really needed to go to the bathroom. I loved her example of assuming the best. I think often times we immediately assume the worst in people. We just others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions.

Last week in our staff meeting, Kayla shared a thought about Dallin H. Oaks. She shared something his wife (whom he raised his children with) had said. She said that she had never heard him complain or say something negative. If there is anyone that you can feel justified in complaining to it is your spouse. but how wonderful is it that he didn't complain. As we complain we look for the negative. more things to justify in saying mean things. but as we look for the positive life becomes brighter- happier, and you stop dwelling on the negative

On our walk home we also talked about excuses. How often we excuse our bad behavior. When we make excuses we are just telling ourselves that the behavior is okay- and if it is okay then we find no need to change. to be better. This morning I was late to work. I had woken up early and decided in the 20 extra minutes I would drop off our electric bill rather than go back to sleep. The customer service office had just moved, and I read the address wrong. I went to 2251 west rather than 351 west. how I read it that wrong- i have no idea. (it could be that I tried to read the small sign from my car- not the smartest). I arrived at work 5 minutes late, instead of the 5 minutes early I normally am. I apologized and my supervisor smiled and said it was not a problem. I so wanted to give her the list of excuses, and I eventually told her the story of how I failed at reading. So my question is- what is the difference between an excuse and telling them what happened?

If I had to give an answer- and mind you, I am no expert- I would say the main difference lies in the quality of your heart. Are you justifying your actions? "It is okay that I was to work late because I had a good reason." or are you shedding light on the situation. "I am so sorry I am late, it wont happen again- this is what happened." but even then isn't telling why you were late giving some sort of justification. So then do you just not explain? oh brother my head is spinning.

One thing I think is a symptom of justification (or living inhumane) is that we elevate ourselves about other. We elevate our needs above theirs. Its okay that I left them waiting because it was important that I do "such and such" a thing. You are saying that your time is more important than theirs. Have you ever noticed how things start later and later. People aren't there so you can start, and the people aren't there because they don't want to wait for it to start. But if everyone and everything just started on time we would never have the problem of "mormon standard time" 

so we talked and talked and talked as we walked home. pondering life. but pondering means nothing without action. what good is thinking about how you can be better without actually doing it. so our goal. go 24 hours without saying anything mean or negative about anything. I am sad to say that I had to start over half way through today, but I know I will eventually be able to go 24 hours- and hopefully be like Dallin H. Oaks and have those closest to me say they have never heard me complain, but until that day I will keep trying.

side note: while these are easy things to talk about- they are a lot harder to put into action. i am so far having the mind set I wish I had. 

tidbits from the day:

i planned my life today. it was perfect. I was able to go in and talk to someone about seminary teaching and my course of action to get to where I want to go. I figured out the classes I need to take to graduate, and signed up for next fall. I even came up with a back-up plan. yay life. except when has life ever gone as planned....stink.

today we were able to go talk to the new group of student going to london this spring and share our gems of knowledge. i loved being able to reminisce, but it is amazing to think that a year has already gone by. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the prep class listening to people who had been. I wish I was going with them- there is magic in London.

after talking to the class Lauren and I walked home together. problem. i drove to campus. so i had a nice chat with my mom as I walked back to get my car. luckily for me it started to lightly rain as I walked in the door after getting my car. yay for tender mercies.

half marathon number four- signed up for. may 5th. provo city here we come.

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