I Demand Justice!

Revenge v. Justice

Haven’t you ever wanted to see someone who’d hurt you “get what they deserve?” Most of us have. Grandma Esther used to say, “Every dog has its day.” Rest assured she wanted to be there to watch it happen, if not personally take part in the act.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. - Confucius

Grandma wanted revenge, not justice. There is a big difference between the two. Revenge satisfies our ego. We get to be right. We are there to observe the punishment. We get to feel vindicated, justified, and may feel like we’ve turned the tables on the person who we allowed to victimize us. But it will never give us what justice does:

In his new documentary series on The National Geographic Channel, actor Morgan Freeman examines how peoples all over the world deal with the results of war, and how peace is possible. In one episode, he sits across from a Tutsi woman whose family was killed by the Hutu people during the genocide in Rwanda.

Next to her sits the man who was part of the Hutu militia. The man was personally responsible for killing those family members. Over two years of communication has resulted in these two people from different tribes becoming friends through the help of a local bishop in the area. They are part of an “ambitious reconciliation program.” The man who murdered her husband, brother-in-law, and two children now helps her with her farm to provide income for her family, making amends for his actions.

We are more aware today more than ever before of the injustice in the world. This is so because of 24-hour-a-day news coverage, the Internet, and our smart phones. Because of the information we receive it can become extremely easy to react to events and reports, often without a full understanding of the complete picture. We want to stop the violence, but we frequently lack any knowledge of why such horrible events are happening in the first place. We can become so fixated on the solution that we ignore why the problem exists.

Revenge is easy. Justice takes time. We must gain knowledge; we seek to understand; we can then act in wise ways to correct the problem; and, we begin the healing process.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” is a phrase attributed to Pashto origins, shows up in the Italian culture, and even said to be of Klingon origin in Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan. Regardless of the actual source it dooms us to a cold, heartless, and unsatisfying life, instead of warming us to a brighter future.

In the television series, Revenge, a “double infinity” symbol was used emphasis unending love – in a sense, “double forever.” That same symbol reminds me every day that revenge, not justice, continues the cycle of hate, anger, and lack of forgiveness.

Is there someone in your life upon whom you are seeking revenge? Are you investing your time, treasures, and talents in the pursuit of getting back at another? Seek this week to heal those thoughts. Determine to forgive, so that the psychic bindings holding you to that person or situation are severed for all time.

We have within us the power to change. It’s a quality which we are born with, but often fail to use. We are only victims of the past if we chose to be so.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Listen up, Buttercup!

Do You REALLY Listen?

“YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!” How many times in your life has someone screamed that at you? I’ve been on the receiving end of that frustrating communication. And, speaking solely for myself, I have to say that almost without fail when those words were thrust in my general direction I most certainly WAS listening.

The problem was that I didn’t want to hear what was being said. I can listen to a garbage truck outside picking up our weekly refuse. However, it’s not exactly the sound I want to have whilst doing my daily meditations.

The response to the accusation above is usually something along the line of, “And, YOU are not listening to ME!”

Of course, we aren’t talking about listening, are we? We’re often trying to get one of two points across to the other person. The first possibility is that our idea of the other person listening is that they agree with us, tell us we’re right, and then beg our forgiveness. The second is that while we are listening, we aren’t “listening aright.” Instead of listening to understand, we’re listening to be understood.

Here’s what I mean by that. Have you been in a conversation with someone and you can tell beyond any doubt that s/he doesn’t believe a word of what you’re saying? This fact is verified as soon as you take even a small breath or dare to pause. Immediately the other person will begin telling you all the reasons you’re wrong, why they are right, thus proving they are more interested in preaching than discussing.

As soon as we seek to understand, rather than trying to be understood, we open a completely unexplored avenue toward peace with one another.

Okay, enough about “them.” What about “us?” In the midst of a much divided world, with the polarities of human thinking at such opposite ends of the spectrum, what we do with regard to communication is probably more vital than ever before. We can find peace and mutual aid by seeking to understand the viewpoints of people whose philosophies or ideologies are diametrically opposed to our own.

In spite of how wrong we might think someone is, they have a right to their opinion and belief. If that person is a stranger on a street corner we pass once in our life it doesn’t much matter. It’s a completely different scenario if the individual with whom we clash is the one in our bed. And, of course, there are all the people in between.

Just for today, would you be willing to engage others in new and open ways to understand them? This suggestion should never be undertaken in cases of someone attempting physical or psychological harm to us, but hopefully that’s not your experience of life. The payoff by seeking to understand is that the other person senses the shift in our consciousness, an openness to communicate, and will thereby be far more willing to entertain our point of view as well.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Point of Order

How’s your knowledge of parliamentary procedure? I’m spending five days right now with a couple thousand teenagers from all over the globe who already know far more that I do about the subject.

I’m in New York City for the 2017 National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) conference. I’m one of five chaperones who have accompanied the 60 students from Carlisle High School to the Big Apple. It’s my ninth year and these young people continue to amaze me.

The students I watch over are nonchalant with gender fluidity and don’t think twice about a mixed-race relationship. They are quick to question authority, but just as quick to listen to dialog and be willing to engage in honest debate with integrity and respect.

Can we adults say the same? Are we posting information on our social media accounts that point out the splinter-sized issue in groups with whom we disagree, yet unwilling to see the rafter-sized problems in the eye of our own cause or organization? Do we listen intently at what the other person is saying during a conversation, or are we too busy waiting for them to take a breath so we can interject our viewpoint, totally disregarding the ideas being expressed?

Young people are idealistic, often unrealistic, and frequently in a state of utter dismay when their schemes don’t go according to plan. We probably were, too, when we were in our teens, groping about in life trying desperately to find our way. But in some ways, we are still right there, stumbling through the dark when all we have to do is turn on the light.

What are your dreams, your aspirations and your desires? What’s it going to take to get from where you are to where you want to be? Perhaps it’s time to stop and take stock. The students I’m with this week are very familiar with the term point of order in their various committee meetings. It’s a statement that something needs to be addressed or corrected.

I believe I have a “point of order” moment that you might find useful in your life. Next Wednesday, March 22, I’ll be presenting a 30-minute webinar, live with a Q&A segment included. The topic will be,

“What’s Stopping You From Being Magnificent?”

Here at NHSMUN 2017 I’m more excited today about this upcoming webinar for next week than I was when I first planned it. When I’m around these students it’s impossible for me to not be infected by their excitement and hopes for the future of our planet, as well as their own lives, as they unfold into adulthood.

This will be a free, live broadcast at 1:00pm and 8:00pm, U.S. Eastern time, Wednesday, March 22. Here are the links to sign up and reserve your seat:

1pm:  https://expertise.tv/webinar/what-s-stopping-you-from-being-magnificent/landing/4070

8pm:  https://expertise.tv/webinar/what-s-stopping-you-from-being-magnificent-2017-03-23/landing/4069

Join me for at least one of the sessions – see you next Wednesday!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

“Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you.”

Do you know where your cell phone is? Perhaps not. Many of us misplace them more often than we’d like to admit. Today, of all days, we might take a moment to appreciate why we have them in our lives.

It was 141 years ago today, in 1876, that Alexander Graham Bell is purported to have spoken the words of today’s blog title to his assistant, Thomas Watson. “The rest is history” pales at best considering where we’ve arrived today. But exactly where is that?

It’s been said that the Millennials don’t know how to communicate because we find their noses in their phones instead of talking to one another out loud. The opposite is actually the case. That generation keeps in touch in real time more effectively, in the sense of exchanging information, than does any other generation. The instant social media platforms are their apps of choice; email and voicemail are for older people. Communication, however, is not the issue.

The problem is the lack of meaningful, physical connection that Millennials don’t seem to have. But they are not alone. What so much of today’s society has become – both young and old – are communicators without intimacy. The emojis and other pictographs aren’t the same as seeing the smile of our beloved, the sparkle in someone’s eyes, or receiving the hug we desire.

That day in 1876 Bell was not interested in conveying information to Watson; the inventor wanted to see his assistant in person. We can learn from that on the anniversary of the beginning of telecommunication. Our devices are tools to be used by us, not gadgets to enslave us. Yet the latter is exactly what they have become.

May I offer you a suggestion? This idea will be as psychologically and spiritually uplifting as it is economical – you’ll save on your data plan! Here it is:

Stop getting constant updates on all your apps.

We have become a “what if” society. We don’t want to risk missing out on anything. We may feel compelled to be the first person to post the latest travesty of government or tragedy of a celebrity onto our social media pages.

Starting right now, check your email no more than twice per day, then disconnect from it. If someone really wants to get a hold of you they will text or (gasp!) call you. Set your other apps so that you have to access them to get information, as opposed to being pinged, tinged, jangled or otherwise alerted every other minute.

Seriously, our brains aren’t evolved enough (yet) to handle this kind of information overload. According to recent studies being bombarded data has become one of the top reasons for stress, anxiety, depression and anger in our society.

How much we resist this idea of disconnecting is a glaring indication of how addicted we are to our electronics devices. Consider all the time you’ll have for other activities when you aren’t spending all your time occupied by what others are doing, or deleting yet another spam email every three-to-five minutes. Amazing! Join me?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

Similar and Different

Have you ever met someone, thought how similar you were, but then discovered some glaringly different beliefs? It can be most unsettling. We think we’re on the same wavelength and suddenly realize this isn’t true at all.

I remember accepting a temporary secretarial position many years ago that required proficiency with the Word and Excel programs. While my abilities were more than sufficient, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I sat down at the Apple computer in front of me. I’m a PC guy and couldn’t even figure out how to turn the darn thing on.

When situations like this occur it can be quite jarring to our sense of peace. But it’s also a great reminder that one of the great constants in the universe is change, as paradoxical as that may be. The question is not so much whether change will occur in our lives, but how we will deal with change when it’s staring us in the face. I was at that temp job for three months and got along smashingly with my new Apple friend!

If everything in our lives were similar or identical it would be pretty boring. Consistency doesn’t have to be sameness. We have evidence in nature of how just different landscapes can be yet all beautiful in their own way.

Perhaps the next time you think one thing is happening only to discover that some very different is occurring you’ll think of this discussion. Take a deep breath and relax into the change that’s happening. Even in the differences, what can you find that is similar?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone
#IAN1

2016 © Terry Drew Karanen

The Small Stuff

It’s the little things that make a difference in our lives. We have the choice whether seemingly insignificant events are going to produce happiness, sorrow, regret or gratitude, among many other emotions. In fact, it’s the small stuff that can actually be a life saver for us.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson is credited with writing this small piece of wisdom:

No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.

If you are willing to get by the masculine noun writing style of the day this quote bears a tremendous message. Throughout the day we are bombarded with information. It’s not just what we read on social media or hear on the news. It’s far more subtle, yet infinitely more important.

The small stuff about which the good doctor speaks is our power of observation. It’s being open to noticing the energy of a person we meet; a split second before she stood tall and smiled she was slightly slumped, her eyes gray with disappointment, or perhaps despondency. Might we be a tad more loving and considerate if we had taken the time to be more observant?Blog

We may be lamenting the problems in the world, of which we are many, yet if we open to being more aware of our surroundings we notice one driver signally for another to go ahead in an act of courtesy; an elderly woman holding the door for a young father with three young children in tow, giving the guy just what he needs not to feel so alone; or, the cat who insists on us taking the time to pet her, just when we need to stop the craziness of the day.

It can also be hearing something intriguing or helpful and saying, “That’s really interesting! I’m going to remember that when I need it,” instead of, “I wish I could remember stuff like this, but I’m so forgetful.”

Are we are willing to believe there is only One Divine Consciousness with which we are all connected? If so, we understand that by training ourselves to believe in Divine Timing we’ll know that all knowledge is ours to have when it’s needed.

What will you observe today that you’ll recall in the future? Are you willing to enjoy the day, enjoying all you observe, and without rushing through it just to get to the end? I’d love to know what you experience today!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
#IAN1

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Casting Stones in Judgment

How do you feel when someone judges you unfairly? Probably pretty lousy, or perhaps very angry. It might make you sad because the opinions of others can feel so undeserved and wrong.

Yet, we all judge. We judge ourselves most severely, but we don’t hesitate to make determinations about others throughout the day that may or may not be based in truth. Jesus said to judgmental people of his day wanting to stone an adulteress that the person who was sinless should be casting the first stones.

Just look how we judge today! Take the hajib head scarf that is worn by Muslim women. Modern society often sees that as a means of suppressing women and their rights. Some have protested loudly to stop this custom. But that’s not at all how many of the women who wear them feel! To them it’s no more an issue than a Jew wearing a kippahBlog0808 (yarmulke) or the Latin American woman who covers her head with a lace mantilla before entering the church for Mass. They all represent devotion to faith, a sign of reverence.

Can such a practice be misused? Of course. Anything can. But we can also easily take something about which we know little and judge it severely. Consider the religion of Islam, for example. We could ask people who actually practice the faith or research for ourselves from accurate, reliable sources what modern-day Muslims in our country believe overall.

Instead, far too many of us decide to listen to propaganda via the news media, much of which is colored with bias, slant and prejudice fueled by a political agenda designed to divide and conquer. Some who cast the largest stones at Muslims might be quite shocked to find out that Catholics are the only ones to practice a “cafeteria-style” faith in this country or around the world.

Islamic practices today can be as different from the fundamentalists’ interpretation of the Qur’an as Christian daily practices are from the Bible. Whether we think all Catholics disapprove of abortion under any circumstance or are opposed to same sex marriage, or whether we have decided in advance what any person, culture, ethnic background or religion is all about, we’d all do well to take a step back and seek the truth.

We can ask ourselves, Do the assumed beliefs about my faith, sexual orientation, lifestyle or race really reflect accurately who I am? Would I want others to judge me on popular opinion instead of who I am? Am I seeking to understand or just using my own bias and prejudice to justify the promotion of hate instead of love?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TerryDrewKaranen
@TerryDKaranen
#IAN1

Terry Drew Karanen © 2016

Do You Want to Be Alone?

Theme for the week of April 11:
You Cannot Disconnect From Life

Affirmation:
We see a world in which we live and grow as One Global Family
that respects and honors the interconnectedness of all life.

Do you ever want to get away from it all? As complicated as our modern lives can get at times it’s no wonder if you do. We all deserve a break from the daily grind. Or not! We could talk about when we let ourselves get into jobs or lives that are a grind, but that’s not our topic.

11Apparently, Greta Garbo has been mis-quoted for decades – that happens a lot more than we’d like to admit! She didn’t say she wanted to be alone; she said she wanted to be let alone. There IS a difference!

I once heard a saying, “Wherever you go there you are.” In other words, we can't run away from our problems, at least not for very lone. The same is true if we try to completely disconnect from life. It’s not possible. Sure we can go camping for the weekend in the woods, or go completely off the grid, but we are still interconnected with all life around us.

To some that might feel like we can never be alone with our thoughts. To others it might be a comfort to know we always have the support and energy of others with us. How do you feel about it?

It can be exhausting if we think we have to do it all, go it alone or tough it out. As long as we can get our ego to suspend judgment, asking for help or working with others provides something that we all crave on one level – connection. The physical, social, philosophical and sexual connections we experience nurture and sustain us as we move through our spiritual experience in our human forms.

Over the next week on the Facebook® page of Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation we’ll be discussing how to increase our awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. And, we’ll look at new ways of using our connections to have truly amazing lives. Join us!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone

Powerful Healing

Theme for the month of April
The Global Vision:  Kinship With All Life

Theme for the week of April 4:
Place No Limit On Principle

We believe in healing through the power of this Mind.”
– Ernest Holmes

Did you know that some people won’t pray for the “little things,” because they’re afraid they’ll bother God? “God’s got bigger problems to deal with than my bad back, relationship issues, etc.” Seriously?

Divine Mind or Universal Intelligence, other terms for God – that power that is greater than us, but which we exist through – doesn’t have time management issues! If such an intelligence and power could both conceive of our universe (and countless others, no doubt) AND continue to see that creation expand without end, don'tcha think It can handle it?!?

We believe in a power greater than us that, through us, heals all that we perceive needs healing. We pray affirmatively, with power and conviction, to adjust our consciousness and know the truth of our being.07A

That truth is that we are one with all living things around us. We are intricately and eternally connected to the planet upon which we live and the ground on which we stand, as well as the water and air that give us life.

This week on the Facebook® page for Spirit, Mind and Body Foundation we’ll be discussing healing, the interconnectedness of life and how we can more perfectly align with the energies around us. That may sound more like a nine-week course, but we’re going to give it a shot anyway!

It’ll be fun to push ourselves, challenge our misconceptions about this divine power at our disposal and, yes, participate in the healing of ourselves, others and our beautiful planet. Come play with us!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#TheGlobalVision
#AWorldThatWorksForEveryone