Day 282 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

It was nice to begin my Monday quietly today after much running around the last two weeks: time to take a deep breath and potter while listening to my favourite radio programs.

In fact, I was listening to a panel of three women on ABC radio called The Better Half Panel. I love listening to the topical views of these women and today, even though I didn’t get the whole story (I got waylaid) I heard the women talking about … well about women! Women in politics and business etc. I did hear something about women “out there’ who are coming together to work for world peace.

It seems that these women are trying to find common ground despite differences in religion, politics, race and other factors. I was so pleased to hear this and wished I had got the full story. When I Googled “women and peace” I was amazed at the number of organisations there were working for peace: International Women for Peace, Coalition of Women for Peace, No Women No Peace and Women to Women for Peace, to name a few.

In fact, it brought to mind a piece that I had read today in my little Inspirational Book:  “Quiet Places of the Heart” entitled Shine up Your Neighbour’s Halo. In common speak it was all about getting along with people. It was a piece taken from the book “A Touch of Wonder” by Arthur Gordon that has  inspired me these last few weeks.

Aaah ‘Wonder’ … that word which conjures up so much for me! Now folks, this is the story that captured my attention:

“On Sunday morning, drowsing in a back pew of a little country church, I dimly heard the old preacher urge his flock to ‘stop worrying about your own halo and shine up your neighbour’s!’ And it left me sitting up, wide-awake, because it struck me as just about the best eleven-word formula for getting along with people that I ever heard.”

A story that gives cause for thought doesn’t it? A lot of it is about EGO I feel. Conflicts often arise because we think someone else should think or act as we would think or act. And when they don’t (surprise! surprise!) we get all upset. Oh, don’t we all know this one folks?

Watch for a halo to shine

So, Arthur Gordon is saying the secret is to treat other people as we would like to be treated. It’s a strange thing, but I have found when I can’t help myself and I want to point out failings of any kind to my adult children and end up blurting it out, I offend them and then have to apologise because it is no longer my place to ‘parent’ them as if they were children.

However, when I encourage and give them praise, it inspires them to want to be better people and they will then find their own way … without any help from me! (again surprise! surprise!) Arthur Gordon makes this point in the last part of his piece:

“I like it (shining halos) for its implication that everyone, in some area of life, has a halo that’s worth watching for and acknowledging. I like it for the droll celestial picture it conjures up: everybody industriously polishing away at everybody else’s little circle of diving light.”

Note those operative words: “everyone has a halo worth watching for and acknowledging.” That implies that we need to be on the watch for reasons to acknowledge and praise and encourage others. Now, isn’t this precisely what women are good at doing? Possibly, the women who are coming together to work for peace, will get results because they know it is all about ‘RELATIONSHIPS.’ I feel excited about this.

Let’s not be like these birds folks …

How can you harm someone of another religion or culture, if you have a relationship with them? It was like my meeting up with Anood, the Muslim girl from Saudi Arabia, whilst waiting for a ferry and chatting happily for thirty minutes. So much in common yet from two different cultures. How could I possible judge her now that I feel I know her?

So friends, today I want to put it ‘out there’ that we try harder to stop judging people too readily. Let’s concentrate on the things we have in common and not the things that divide us; let us encourage not condemn, let us start shining up our neighbour’s halo and stop worrying about our own. Perhaps, we as women will start a snowball effect and start a small revolution for peace far more than we could possibly realise?

In conclusion, I want to  leave you with the last word from Arthur Gordon in A Touch of Wonder:

“I like it (shining halos) for the firm way it shifts the emphasis from self to interest and concern for others. Finally, I like it because it reflects a deep psychological truth: people have a tendency to become what you expect them to be.”

And folks … that about says it all,  but it is worth repeating and remembering:  People become what you expect them to be so … SHINE UP YOUR NEIGHBOUR’S HALO TODAY …