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What Crime Are You Guilty Of?

This is perhaps an odd question, I suppose.  But perhaps it is not so strange after all.  I had a rare day off from my everyday job this day.  Today is of course, the 4th of July.  Independence Day.  And I started thinking of my life and my day-to-day routines.  Like so many of us, the week consists mainly of rising up, going to work and then going home.  This is followed the next day by rising once again, going to work and returning home.  And the pattern continues day upon day, week upon week and year upon year.  Now indeed we must or at least should work and contribute.  That is a given.  There is no crime in doing so.  So what is it then that I am driving at, you may ask?

My point is simply this.  I realized today that what I have been over these last several months is a willing participant in a crime, a tragic crime in which I have allowed myself to become the victim.  And what is the crime I am guilty of?  I am guilty of having become a thief.  I have been stealing much-needed nourishment from my spirit by being so entrenched in my job that I have not been doing one of the very things I was put on this earth to do.  I have ceased writing over these last few months because I have allowed my job to consume me entirely.  Does this make sense to any of you?  The worst wrongs that can be committed are the ones we commit against ourselves.  I have noticed a marked reduction in my Life energy as a result of the neglect I have shown towards my soul and the gifts I have been given.

The message I am conveying here, although a bit awkwardly, is simply this.  By all means, tend to your job each day and give your best always.  And by all means, tend to your family and those you love always.  Let them know they are uppermost in your heart and embrace them with your Spirit.  But do not do any of these things by committing crimes against yourself.  Do not begin to steal from yourself by not honoring the gifts and talents that our Creator has given to you.  When you become a thief such as this, not only will you suffer and lose blessing in your life but so will those around you, those who reside in the very Spirit you are stealing from.  I trust that this makes a degree of sense to any who read this.  My writing is rusty and my mind is tired.  But I think perhaps you may get an idea of what I am trying to convey.

We are all given gifts in this Life and all of us have a unique purpose we were put here to fulfill.  What might your purpose be?  If you know your Life destiny, then go now and pursue it for there is no other person on this planet who can do it for you.  There are many who await the blessings that only you can bring to them.  If you know not the road that Life has set before you to follow, then be tenacious and seek with diligence the Life path that is your birthright.  For if you do so, what has been purposed for you will become evident.  And yes, there are many who, although they may not know it just yet, are waiting for and in need of the blessings you will bring their way.  Do not allow yourself to become sidetracked or even worse, derailed  by the everyday storms and distractions that will come your way.  I say to you that it is those very storms and distractions that are often designed to keep you from the greatness and goodness of purpose that is destined for you.  Be wise and remember that Life always presents to us choices.  And we must always choose for even if we choose not to make a choice, we have still indeed chosen, yes?  What can be difficult is living with the choice or choices we have made.  Ladies and gentlemen, I would tell you then to choose wisely and even prayerfully.  Remember as well that it is in our blessing and service to others that we are blessed in return and in good measure.

In closing and at the risk of being redundant, I would ask you this question again.  Are you guilty of  this crime, the crime of stealing from your own soul and spirit?  Take time out and do a bit of introspection.  I would also encourage us to be honest during this examination and be sure not to rationalize to assuage our conscience.  By the way, if you break down the word “rationalize”, do you know what you will come up with?  I will tell you just now.  Rationalize broken down to its base really just means “rational lies” and by telling ourselves rational lies, it is so much easier to avoid the accountability that our Destiny demands of us.  And believe me, I am preachin’ to the choir here, as they say.  I have indeed been guilty of crimes against myself as of late.  So then, let us be good to ourselves and true to our Life path, yes?

Thank you for your kind attention tonight.  Give thought to what we discussed for it is so much the truth.  Take care with yourselves.  May the blessings of today and those of tomorrow be yours to share.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr

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Choose This Day……

Each day that we awaken and arise from slumber, that new day is a gift and should be treated as such. A gift is something that one enjoys and treasures.  A gift is something that we tend to make use of.  If the gift is an item of clothing or a piece of jewelry, we wear it.  If we receive tools as a gift, we build something or work on our car.  Should the gift be toys for a youngster, they play with their gift.  Whatever it may be, we make use of that particular gift. We choose to do so because that is the logical choice to make, yes?  So, why is it that we mistreat the gift of a brand new day then?  As nice as other gifts are, nothing can quite compare with waking up and knowing that we have before us hours of life, hours filled with resplendent opportunities to pursue our dreams and goals.  With this gift of the day, we can breathe in the beauty of creation around us.  We can use moments within that day to be of a help and blessing to others and be blessed in return.  Throughout the miracle of this gift, this day we can learn something new.  We have the privilege of using our mind and our bodies in mental and physical activities.  If we choose to, we can consider for a moment the miracle of our hands.  When is the last time you thought about how wonderous our hands are?  Our fingers and thumbs flex and move, seemingly on their own carrying out the orders that our brain sends to them by way of our nerves.  I myself paused for a moment or two here considering how amazing it is that I am able to type because of the gift of my hands and the intricate process involved that makes it so.  But you see, I chose to reflect on this.

Everything we do with the gift of each day is a matter of choice.  How did you choose to use your day today?  Did you greet the day with thankfulness by filling your lungs with oxygen, breathing in deeply the gift of Life?  Did you allow yourself the exquisite pleasure of a good full-body stretch, feeling your muscles limber up?  Cats do this instinctively, innately knowing the value of stretching.  It eases the body into the day instead of shocking it into submission.  Did you go look out the window to see the sun in the heavens and the abundance of life?  Or did you stumble into the shower, hoping it will awaken you enough so as to make a hurried cup of coffee before rushing out the door to head for work?  For you see, if that is how you began your day, that was a choice also.  Not a good one, but a choice nonetheless.

Now you may tell me that you dislike your job intensely but you have to make a living so what choice do you have?  This is after all how the world works, right?  Wrong.  You have chosen to be where you are and although it would take a bit of work, you can choose to change the path you are on presently.  And if you do not do so, then that is a choice as well because you chose not to choose. 

I would also say that in any given situation, we can choose to be a thermometer or a thermostat.  If our choice is to be a thermometer, then we will simply reflect the temperature or in this case, the environment around us.  Or we choose to be a thermostat and have a direct say as to the nature of the environment is that surrounds us each day.  What would be the better choice here?  Personally, I tend to lean towards the idea of the thermostat.  By choosing that option, it is so much more likely that your day, your gift will be much more fulfilled and abundant.

I believe that so often we like to believe that Life’s choices are not within our control.  This way we are allowed to feel less accountable for how any given day turns out.  And that day turns into two days, then into a week, a month, a year and before we know it, Life has passed us by.  Then we look back over our life and see that the journey was mediocre and disappointing at best.  But really, what choice did we have after all?  It wasn’t our fault that our life was not excellent.  There were circumstances that were beyond control and we had no choice  but to go with what was placed before us.  I will say this to that.  The manner in which we choose whether good or bad becomes a habit.  We can choose wisely or unwisely but either way, we  make a choice.  Another term for the gift of choice is the gift of free will.  And we exercise our free will on a daily basis.

Our Creator has blessed each one of us with the gift of a brand new day each and every day.  He knows the correct choices we should make to get the most benefit of our days and therefore our Life, our Destiny.  But He has also provided us with another gift which brings with it responsibility.  It is the gift of Choice and the way we choose to use that gift is by exercising our free will.  We are intelligent beings having been created as such. And as such, we have the ability to choose the paths we go down.  We obviously do not always choose rightly.  But that is a part of learning in Life and a part of growing into who we were meant to be.  So, think about the choices you make today and everyday.  Some choices are small and some are large.  However, all our choices are significant and far-reaching.  We would do well to remember this, yes?

Choose well this day and everyday.  Always bear in mind that each day we awaken is indeed a gift.  So, treasure it and use it well.  Be a blessing to all those you touch always.  You never know how your smile and a kind word will affect another’s day.  What will the gift of this day bring to you?  The choice is yours to make.  Blessings to you.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Life is Grand, Ain’t It?

Good evening to all!  I pray that all those who view these words here and everyone else as well has had a tremendously blessed day.  And I would further trust that you have blessed others in return.  As for the title of this little piece I am writing, I will tell you that I have not forgotten the value, the necessity of proper speech.  To be quite honest, it pained me a bit to use the word “ain’t” because as we all know, “ain’t” ain’t a word!  I will further confess that it was a cheap ploy to hopefully gain your attention here.  However, those first three words there are very much the truth.  Life is indeed grand!  I was going over the various things that I have posted here and discovered something.  Well, it wasn’t so much a discovery , I suppose.  I know myself fairly well and the fact that I gravitate towards the serious is no secret to me.  I am passionate about things, about injustice in our world and about regaining the greatness of our nation, about people coming to know the beauty that is within them and about so many other things.  Given all of this, I sometimes in the midst of being intense, forget about the simple joys that are so abundant in this world.

There is so much to smile at and give thanks for each precious day that we are alive.  For example, did you feel the rays of the Sun today as it gently warmed you?  Smile and give thanks!  What is that you say?  There was no Sun for you and it rained most of the day?  Then smile and give thanks to the heavens for giving to us once again the water that sustains us all.  And perhaps better still, do as you did as a child and turn your face upward to feel those rain drops upon your skin.  Then smile and give thanks for the gift of this miraculous liquid sunshine!  For Life is indeed grand!

Take a moment or two out of your day here and ruminate on the grandeur of Life.  And if some of you are grumbling, saying, “Oh, if you knew what my day has been like, then maybe you wouldn’t even suggest such a thing.  I was stuck in traffic for an hour and arrived to work late and the day went downhill from there!”  Hmmmmmmm……So, you did arrive to work which means you are still breathing, yes?  Take a deep breath even now so as to be sure.  But I want you to savor that breath, really feel that breath and realize the miracle of it.  Now, smile and give thanks for being alive.  That is my suggestion for you on this beautiful day.  There is a line from a Mel Brooks movie that my dear brother reminds me of now and again and here it is  –  “There are so many things you can’t do when you’re dead!”  A bit boldly stated for my taste but very much the truth.  Think about those words.  In fact, print them out and place them where you will see them often.  For Life is indeed grand!

Did someone send a smile your way as you walked down the street today?  And how about the person who held the door open for you because they noticed that your hands were quite full?  And what of that dog or cat that greets you each day, freely giving you their love and affection when you walk in the door?  And do you remember seeing that elderly couple in the store today?  Remember how you smiled when you noticed that they were still holding hands after all those years?  Smile and give thanks for Life is indeed grand!  And earlier today, when you were having that particularly stressful moment and that one song that always brightens your day came on the radio and for those few moments, things became just a bit easier to handle?  My friend, these are all small but precious gifts that Life provides us with each and every day.  If we take the time to notice and appreciate these and the countless other occurrences throughout our day, we will begin to realize that Life is indeed grand!

I should tell you that there was a catalyst that brought about my train of thought here.  Actually there were two incidents that gave me pause and made me think, really think about the grandeur of Life.  The first incident was when a few weeks ago, someone in my immediate family had a series of mini-strokes. And in actuality, the “mini-strokes” were a blessing, as odd as that may sound.  I suppose one could say it was the difference between getting punched in the arm a number of times or getting one swift, hard uppercut to the jaw.  The swift uppercut to the jaw would have obviously been the worst of the two.  There has been much prayer obviously and add to this the fact that this individual is a fighter and the result is a rather substantial recovery thus far.  This has caused me to remember that Life is indeed grand!  It is all too easy to get caught up in our life and forget about Life itself, yes?

There is also someone I know who is very dear to my heart who recently lost a loved one.  It is a difficult time for them, I know.  And strangely enough, this person is steadfastly giving words of encouragement to others throughout this ordeal.  It amazes me, to be quite honest.  This was the other incident I spoke of previously.  These are the reasons why I am realizing afresh and anew that you and I, that all of us need to savor every precious moment of every wonderful day and to be aware of the many gifts and blessings that surround us always.  My desire is that we consistently smile and give thanks for Life is indeed grand!

Thank you for your kind attention this evening.  Take care, be blessed and live Life abundantly!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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A Few Kind Words for Superstition

I must pose a question to you this evening for the subject has been on my mind as of late.  Are you a superstitious being?  Now, do not answer immediately, if you please.  I would rather that you turn the idea over in your mind for a bit before responding.  For you see, I asked this question of myself and was a bit surprised at my own answer.  I asked myself, “Do I, a rational and intelligent being, indulge myself in any superstitious behaviors?  My immediate response was, of course, definitely not!  I pride myself on taking the logical road when situations, either large or small, present themselves.  However, I was forced to take an introspective look at myself since logic does insist upon honesty with one’s self.  I must say, I wasn’t entirely pleased with my findings.  Now I am not one of those who believes in wearing a lucky shirt or in tossing salt over your shoulder.  Nor do I believe that black cats are bad luck.  And if my right hand itches, it does not mean that money is coming my way or conversely, if the left hand is so affected, that yet another expense is headed my way.  But, I have been known to cross my fingers for luck even though I don’t “believe” it helps.  So, why do it at all?  Perhaps on some unconscious level, I do subscribe to that superstition.  I prefer to believe otherwise.  I only cross my fingers because that particular action is so heavily entrenched in society, right?

And, on this matter of superstition I also had to question myself on another issue.  How many of us, when we are getting ready to leave the house, will check to see if the stove and other appliances are turned off?  We do this even though we know that the appliance is off.  But, better to err on this side of caution, right?  Of course, this is normal behavior.  However, do you ever recheck the iron or the stove before leaving?  I hope some of you have.  Otherwise, I am alone is this.  I have, on occasion checked the front door, making sure it was locked only to go back and check it again before I leave the house.  This same action has occurred in checking the stove or the iron.  I know it is a foolish thing to do.  I mean, it is fairly certain that the dog did not go behind me the first time and plug the iron back in!  Yet I do it anyway.  I believe this would fall under the category of superstition.  I say this because superstition has its base in uncertainty.  A prime example of this is the belief in astrology.  People are so uncertain of what life will bring their way that they “look to the stars” for guidance.  In regards to this, allow me to make mention of an experiment that took place in one of our colleges and then I will close.  A professor made copies of a horoscope and handed them out to his students.  No one student knew what the other’s said.  The professor told them he had these made up for them from a renowned astrologer based upon their month of birth.  The students read their “personal” horoscope and every last one of them said, “Yes, that’s me! How accurate!”  Imagine their surprise when they found out that not only had they all been given the same horoscope but also that it had been written specifically for Jeffrey Daimler.  Wow!!  Unbelievable, yes?  I suppose what I am trying to convey here is that superstitions are, in a word, foolish.  I know this to be true, but still can be charged with this offense.  How about you?  If you are still unsure, just flip a coin. That’s what I do.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Times’ Essence

What day will we die?

Who really can know?

So, while we’re still living,

Let’s give it a go.

Go talk to your neighbor,

stop by, see a friend.

Take time for your family,

that rift you can mend!

I speak from experience,

if you’ve read what’s above.

I now see how time

connects with love.

See, I had a buddy,

a good friend of mine.

He said, “Let’s get together!”

I said, “That would be fine,

Yes, we must get together,

in a few days or so.”

Well, a few days went by,

but I didn’t go.

And now it’s too late,

I realize.

A few days ago, my good friend died.

I’ve learned from this segment

of Life I’ve gone thru.

I trust that this knowledge

has been passed on to you.

What day will we die?

Who really can say?

We may have a century,

or perhaps just a day.

Our time has a value,

too precious to lose.

How will we use it?

This we must choose.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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