Friday, June 08, 2007


One of my friends recently made a comment to me saying, "I hope the popularity of your daily thoughts doesn't play to your ego". What would we do without our egos constantly challenging us? It is difficult to have no ego. Most spirituality, regardless of the tradition, has teachings about the ego. Buddhists strive for nothingness and an empty mind while Christians strive to die to self in order to put God and others first. Just think of the term "selflessness". It is an easy word to understand. It simply means less of the self. How many of us put ourselves last.....willingly....on a daily basis? The average person is good and does not want to hurt others but they still often put themselves first. We have a tendency towards selfishness. We like ourselves and we often like the glorification of ourselves. We love praise and adulation. I enjoy compliments and I have received more personal compliments since writing these daily thoughts than ever before in my life. It's nice to receive them but one must be careful not to believe all the hype about oneself. I think in the world of celebrities many have met their downfall by believing their own press releases. Some people have been very impressed with the things I say and the way I write. They send me emails telling me so. There is always the temptation to believe that maybe I really am wise and as great as some believe. This temptation is usually squashed when I go home every night. My joke about this is that a prophet is never accepted in his own country...or home. At home I am just Dad. I'm the guy who can be annoying and who occasionally has a tantrum. I am not the Dalai Lama sitting on a mountain top in Tibet. I am the guy getting yelled at for playing music too loud or for picking movies that everyone else thinks is boring. We should not have big egos about anything. If you have a talent for anything, it is a gift to you for others. You are not necessarily a great person because you have a great gift. Some of the most artistic people in the world are jerks. I believe we all have gifts even if we are not aware of them yet. We are all here for a reason. Sooner or later our gift and our reason for being will be clear to us. I am not a person of many gifts but I do think I have a gift for writing. This gift, however, has only surfaced for the benefit of others in recent years. I like having this gift and it pleases me that others enjoy it. When I sometimes write things that impress others I wonder where it came from. My fingers move on my keyboard and thoughts fall out of my head. Most of these thoughts I did not realize were in there. I suppose that my talent for writing, like the gifts of so many other people, have been lying dormant waiting for the right time to reveal themselves. Does the earth have an ego because it produces a flower? No more than we should for producing anything that is good. Be open to the Spirit within you and let your gifts break through the soil of your being and produce joy for others. All the beauty of spring is hidden beneath the barrenness of winter. It's there even when you can't see it. The same can be said about individual gifts.

Yesterday Chloe came to my office and helped me read emails. She was with me for about an hour. She sat on my desk and we talked. While we were talking, we shared three tootsie roll pop (different colors), a bottle of chocolate milk, and some vanilla pudding. We rode the elevator up and down and visited the fountain outside as we walked to and from the parking garage. The only time she was silent is when I tried to introduce her to someone. Of course, everyone who saw her said, "Hi, Chloe!". She must have wondered how all these strangers knew her name. Well, that's what happens when your Pa Paw turns you into a celebrity.

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