We are more vocal about our displeasures than about our delights. But if we have to criticize, shouldn’t we keep that as private as possible? And when we have the opportunity to commend someone, shouldn’t that be the “news” we want to publicize?
Our family, friends, and coworkers deserve our best. Indeed, life itself deserves our best. It comes down to the question of whether we’re going to go “all out” to achieve excellent results or be content with the meager products of lazy living.
We need to appraise accurately the points at which we’ve gained some strength and identify carefully the areas in which we’re weak. Most of all, we need to make sure we don’t mistake our weaknesses for strengths, which is what many people do.
Thought and communication are among our highest endowments — and they should be used carefully. So when we speak, let’s communicate clearly defined thoughts. And when we act, let’s act as people who know exactly what we are — and what we are not.
One meaning of “attentive” is “marked by devoted attention to the pleasure or comfort of others.” Attentiveness gets us out of ourselves. It connects us to the larger reality that we’re a part of and opens our hearts to active, other-centered love.
To serve other people, we must be able to let go of what we want for ourselves. And we must learn to make costly sacrifices for others, letting go of things that we desperately need and can hardly do without, so that others will have what they need.
Chastity, or purity, for single people means waiting until marriage, and for those who are married it means not violating the exclusiveness of the relationship. Sexual purity is important for every person in the world, whether married or unmarried.
Our connections to other people will, at least some of the time, involve some discomfort. But even so, we’re better off being connected than disconnected. If there’s a price to be paid for relationship and involvement, it’s a price worth paying.
Our thoughts and habits have to be managed just as surely as our money and our time. But here the level of difficulty is much higher. Out of any one hundred “external” managers, there might be only one or two who are good at “internal” management.
We need to be careful what ideas become fixtures in our minds, but if we are unwilling to be influenced at all, then we’ve cut ourselves off from good influences as well as the bad ones. People whom others can’t influence are people who don’t grow.