Friday: Self and Others

“Keeping Our Peace”

by Dr. Susan Nettleton

Who or what can rob us of our Peace? For each of us, there are areas of life where we are especially vulnerable. Self-knowledge doesn't mean we conquer every area of difficulty for us, but it does mean we are aware of where we are vulnerable, our own blind spots, our limitations as a personality. When we find that despite our best efforts to relax, have faith, become stronger and more confident, there are some circumstances, or people, or events, that still disrupt our inner well-being, it may be time to take stock. When does the cost of maintaining a given situation or relationship, or even attitude exceed the benefit of keeping things the same? If we place a high value on Peace in our life, and if we continually lose that Peace because of our vulnerability, we may have to make some choices to take a new step. Whether this step is a decisive shift in our inner sense of things, or a decisive change in our behavior, or confronting or even walking away from that which constantly disturbs us, we redefine our authority over our lives. Who or what can rob us of our Peace? No one, nothing, really.


by Dr. Larry Morris

Lawrence Leshaw once defined "normal" as "Someone I don't know very well." In spite of attempts to fit individuals into certain molds or categories, if we look deeply enough into human nature, we realize that human beings are not one-sided, but, like a diamond, have a multiplicity of facets. It's easy to sum up someone's character with a facile phrase: "He's cheap" "She's mean spirited" or so and so is "good-hearted." But in fact, we all have many sides to our character: we are driven by different and, at times, conflicting motives and purposes; we want to achieve our aims and fulfill our goals, yet we also want to be kind and generous. We want to find deep inner realization, yet we also want to be responsive to our family, friends and community.  We want to please others, and we also want to be ourselves. We can either despair at this lack of uniformity within our characters or, we can rejoice in the richness and fullness of human potential existing in each of us. As Walt Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself; I am large, I contain multitudes."



Sometimes there is a crucial moment during a wedding ceremony. This is the moment when the groom is asked by the minister or priest or rabbi to put the wedding ring on the bride's finger. There is a pause while everyone holds their breath—will the ring slide on or not. Yet the ring always manages to fit, no matter how nervous or anxious the couple may be. The ring, being in the form of a circle, symbolizes the idea of wholeness or union. In our life, no matter how nervously or anxiously we try to fit things together, there is always a point where everything comes together and harmony, order and peace prevail. As the ring always fits the bride's finger, so things will always fit together in our lives. We just need to be willing to assume that things will work out for us and they do.