We Were Made For These Times

Anonymous

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The world is made up of stories. A secret web of agreements about what is “right” and “wrong”, what is “normal” and “weird”, and what is “possible” and “impossible”. These stories dictate how we behave as individuals, and as societies. And they can be hacked.

Behind every injustice and act of violence lies an (often unspoken) set of assumptions and beliefs about how the world works. And behind every “miracle” lies a person who dared to believe another world was possible. Our lives expand — or contract — depending on the stories we tell ourselves, and we get to choose which world we wish to inhabit by becoming conscious of which stories we want to share, amplify and embody each and every day.

Today, many of the old stories that people used to make sense of the world are falling apart. Fear, confusion and sorrow are widespread in the face of global pandemics.

We do not get to choose the moments we are born into, but we are able to choose how we respond. And as story-makers and culture-hackers, our words and our actions hold incredible power. They are the muscles of hope. We were made for these times.

Excerpt above is from the site We Were Made For These Times.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that we do not get to choose the moments we are born into, but we are able to choose how we respond? Can you share an experience of a time you consciously amplified stories based on the world you wanted to inhabit? What helps you dare to believe another world is possible?

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18 Previous Reflections:

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    On Sep 18, 2020 Mthabiseni wrote:
    what you think about pre-dominantly or your mental attitude you eventually attract into your life
    what you think about the most you attract it

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    On Jul 24, 2020 Usha Shetty wrote:
    True, none of us can choose a family where we are born. It is beyond our control. Each of us get to face right and wrong, good and bad. It is practically impossible to have each and everything perfect in our life. But with every wrong it gives us an opportunity to learn and with every right it gives hope to better ourselves. Being a girl born in a conservative family, with lots of society norms, I had no right to even decide my own dress, forget about the life partner. Born in a South Indian family, the only freedom I enjoyed was a freedom to education. I never felt its importance when I was little.But this freedom of education opened my path to my beautiful life. Life of hope and independent decisions. Ultimately, our life leads us to the decision we make. Our decisions always reflects in our life. I am fortunate and blessed with life where I get to live the life, which I never thought was possible when I was in my teens. I totally believe that different world is possible because e... [View Full Comment] True, none of us can choose a family where we are born. It is beyond our control. Each of us get to face right and wrong, good and bad. It is practically impossible to have each and everything perfect in our life. But with every wrong it gives us an opportunity to learn and with every right it gives hope to better ourselves.

    Being a girl born in a conservative family, with lots of society norms, I had no right to even decide my own dress, forget about the life partner. Born in a South Indian family, the only freedom I enjoyed was a freedom to education. I never felt its importance when I was little.But this freedom of education opened my path to my beautiful life. Life of hope and independent decisions.

    Ultimately, our life leads us to the decision we make. Our decisions always reflects in our life. I am fortunate and blessed with life where I get to live the life, which I never thought was possible when I was in my teens.

    I totally believe that different world is possible because even after being born and brought up in conservative family, I wear western outfits which I am comfortable with, worked as a counselor in the international level, opted for love marriage and live life with my terms. What more I would expect from life. I am so gratefulto GOD to be blessed and hope in return I could be of some use to people and bring smile in their lives.




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    On Jul 23, 2020 asasad wrote:
    Thank you

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    On Jul 16, 2020 a wrote:
    πŸ’«

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    On Jul 16, 2020 Steve wrote:
    What is the "who" referred to?
    Personal world view is entirely dependent on what is understood to be meant by the word "I" by the person speaking...

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    On Jul 16, 2020 Shailee Shah wrote:
    I was living in one world that I had built around me base on the teachings, upbringing and norms of society and there were some fears in me. But when I faced one big fear of my life, it was the moment I realised that other world exist too.

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    On Jul 15, 2020 Sandip Sheta wrote:
    Time....for Us...

    1 reply: Amen | Post Your Reply
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    On Jul 14, 2020 Ambika wrote:
    I BELIEVE am here by choice and not by chance. From then on every choice i make is to fulfill my purpose for being on Earth plane. Choices give me ample scope to form my own beliefs, my own moral code. My parenting, environmental influences, education and society have every limited access into my 'Inside'. Who I want to be-inspite of,because of the above said, I decide. I sculpt and chip away all that is not me. Hopefully in this life time I reveal to me my glorious Divine self.. Let me share an incident that I participated in: It was a rainy day, very late iin to the night. Was standing at a bus stop waiting for some mode of transport. It is an auto stand too. Most of the drivers belonged to a particular minority religious community.They are looked at withsuspicion by thelarge majority. I went up to one of the auto's and asked if he would take me to my destination. It was evident that I did not belong to his religion by the looks of me. He asked me if I was not afraid to b... [View Full Comment] I BELIEVE am here by choice and not by chance. From then on every choice i make is to fulfill my purpose for being on Earth plane. Choices give me ample scope to form my own beliefs, my own moral code. My parenting, environmental influences, education and society have every limited access into my 'Inside'. Who I want to be-inspite of,because of the above said, I decide. I sculpt and chip away all that is not me. Hopefully in this life time I reveal to me my glorious Divine self..
    Let me share an incident that I participated in: It was a rainy day, very late iin to the night. Was standing at a bus stop waiting for some mode of transport. It is an auto stand too. Most of the drivers belonged to a particular minority religious community.They are looked at withsuspicion by thelarge majority.
    I went up to one of the auto's and asked if he would take me to my destination. It was evident that I did not belong to his religion by the looks of me. He asked me if I was not afraid to be ferriedby him in such an inclement weather. I replied in the negative. He definitely looked impoverished as most of them did.
    It was pouring cats and dogs and we chatted. I questioned himon hisinquiry of his previous statement. He replied that it was how his community was looked at due to stray incidents reported by the media. We reached my destination. He charged me Rs 100. I handed the fare, thanked him and entered my home.
    Little did I realize that in the dark I had handed him Rs 500. After a lapse of nearly ten days I happened tobe at the same stop. This young chap, whom i had for gotten by then,walked up to me and introduced himself. Told me that on our previous ride I had paid him lots more by mistake . He handed the extra cash back to me.
    Here was light amidst confusion, fear, suspicion, doubt and a myriad other base heavy emotions. I had made a choice to ride with him. He made his choice to return what did not right fully belong to him. There is only goodness every where. It is eachof our lenses that requires constant cleaning. Choice of viewing the worldwith myopicvision or otherwise is a choice I have as much as we all do!

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    1 reply: Amen | Post Your Reply
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    On Jul 14, 2020 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:
    As a survivor of multiple traumas, and someone now studying Narrative Therapy, understanding the choice we have in which stories we choose to focus on and amplify and our choice in how we respond was/is a huge part of my healing journey and in facilitating recovery from trauma workshops for others. In witnessing and listening to other people's stories and perspectives we are given a beautiful opportunity to check in on our own perceptions and our own narrative. We each have a choice to view ourselves, others and the world from different perspectives. Acknowledging "it is all stories" is an important part of the process. I've been doing this reframe work full on since 2016 and prior as well in the building bridges between cultures since 2005... Currently during the pandemic of COVID and of racism, there have been so many opportunities to consciously amplify narratives of potential for change rather than despair or destruction. So, one of mine is focusing on the incr... [View Full Comment] As a survivor of multiple traumas, and someone now studying Narrative Therapy, understanding the choice we have in which stories we choose to focus on and amplify and our choice in how we respond was/is a huge part of my healing journey and in facilitating recovery from trauma workshops for others.

    In witnessing and listening to other people's stories and perspectives we are given a beautiful opportunity to check in on our own perceptions and our own narrative.

    We each have a choice to view ourselves, others and the world from different perspectives. Acknowledging "it is all stories" is an important part of the process. I've been doing this reframe work full on since 2016 and prior as well in the building bridges between cultures since 2005...

    Currently during the pandemic of COVID and of racism, there have been so many opportunities to consciously amplify narratives of potential for change rather than despair or destruction. So, one of mine is focusing on the incredible uplifting of voices which have needed to be witnessed and heard and the fact that change is happening right now.

    I've also noticed the deeper honoring of people who work in "essential" jobs, not only healthcare workers, but also cashiers, truck drivers, farmers, sanitation worker, postal delivery.... I was always taught that we each play an essential and valuable role, to see others seems to also understand this, gives me more hope!

    Also amplifying the kindnesses and generosity of people seeking to be of service to each other.

    And this gives me HOPE....[Hide Full Comment]

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    On Jul 14, 2020 Sepli wrote:
    I am reminded of The Man Who Planted Trees. In apparent total devastation and chaos, a simple shepherd who lost his wife and only child to the war begins gathering acorns to plant oak trees. Ten years later, he plants other trees. Ten years after that, a forest has developed, streams and rivers return, the empty village begins to return. The I-Ching calls it the Turning Point. "After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that was banished returns. There is movement but it is not brought about by force. The upper trigram K'un is characterized by devotion; thus the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason, the transformation of the old is discarded and the new is introduced....Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded and no mistake is made. The idea of a RETURN is based on the course ... [View Full Comment] I am reminded of The Man Who Planted Trees. In apparent total devastation and chaos, a simple shepherd who lost his wife and only child to the war begins gathering acorns to plant oak trees. Ten years later, he plants other trees. Ten years after that, a forest has developed, streams and rivers return, the empty village begins to return. The I-Ching calls it the Turning Point. "After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that was banished returns. There is movement but it is not brought about by force. The upper trigram K'un is characterized by devotion; thus the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason, the transformation of the old is discarded and the new is introduced....Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded and no mistake is made. The idea of a RETURN is based on the course of nature. The movement is cyclic..., therefore, there is no need to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time. This is the meaning of heaven and earth."

    Sixteen years ago, my wife and the mother of our four children died. The children were 3, 8, 11 and 13. I was devastated and broken in so many ways that it is hard for me to remember this state of being. My brother sent me to the mountains to be alone while his family watched my children. I crossed the river, and climbed up the mountain in the middle of a creek with shorts and boots in freezing snowmelt water. I climbed straight up the mountain for a mile until my body collapsed in the gravel within a small pool of water near a small waterfall and in my mind I screamed at God, "I did not ask for this," and his echo reverberated back in the hinterland of my consciousness, "Yes you did."

    When I returned to my children, I remembered what my mentor said: "It is impossible to feel sad, angry or depressed when we are truly thankful." So, I went to the seashore and began a "thank you" letter to my wife. "Thank you for knitting me this beautiful sweater." "Thank you for making us such healthy delicious food." "Thank you...." Fifteen pages later, my cup was overflowing with gratitude and thankfulness and I knew it that moment that I had been given a gift of such love for 17 years of my life that it was my OBLIGATION to give that back, even if I had to give it back to those others who were not the person who gave her love and life for me.[Hide Full Comment]

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
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    On Jul 14, 2020 Jay Sheth wrote:
    What helps me dare to believe a different world is possible is my own desire and ability to dream a different life in my imagination.

    I am so grateful for it.

    Also things such as nuggets of wisdom and a vision hidden in the works of Arts especially the fiction I read and Osho, Lao Tzu, The Book of Mirdad, etc.

    The Idiot and Some excerpts from The Brothers Karamazov especially content of Father Zossima in works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

    ​​​​​​The desire to connect to God and serve him for the reward of Entry into his World of Peace and Bliss permanently.

    Present Story World is a Testing Ground for Performance which may help us to lead to the Better Dimension, a Better Life after this one.

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    On Jul 14, 2020 Sunil Mor, Bangalore wrote:
    Current situation is the testing time for us to understand/disseminate how strong and powerful our Innernet life-force is irrespective of who/where/when/why we are.This eternal truth dawns as we release ourselves from the physical body consciousness to become soul conscious completely.Subsequently all our thoughts, perspectives and actions are governed with peace at heart. Automatically Fear & worry takes a backseat to accept the situation without any reservations. It reveals the fact that the universe was-is-will be always not only good but also just n fair and we all are meant for that undoubtedly.

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    On Jul 14, 2020 Yvonne McAskill wrote:
    Our stories change when we become aware we need to change our perspective.....until we do that we will forever remain victims of unseen forces.

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    On Jul 11, 2020 David Doane wrote:
    I believe we don't get to choose the moments we are born into -- no one knows for sure. I believe we are able to choose how we respond based on the persons we are which is greatly shaped by experiences we've had and information and awareness we've gained. I think I frequently amplify stories based on the world I want to inhabit, to support my world and the world I want others to see. I believe we each live in different worlds because we each see through different eyes and through the unique conditioning we've had. No two people live in exactly the same world, though we like to pretend we do. The more different the family and cultural conditioning, the more different the worlds. I also think every species sees and lives in a different world. I believe there are as many worlds as there are people, and as many worlds as there are species. I've lived in my own other worlds as my awareness changed over time. The many worlds that have been and are help me believe that ano... [View Full Comment] I believe we don't get to choose the moments we are born into -- no one knows for sure. I believe we are able to choose how we respond based on the persons we are which is greatly shaped by experiences we've had and information and awareness we've gained. I think I frequently amplify stories based on the world I want to inhabit, to support my world and the world I want others to see. I believe we each live in different worlds because we each see through different eyes and through the unique conditioning we've had. No two people live in exactly the same world, though we like to pretend we do. The more different the family and cultural conditioning, the more different the worlds. I also think every species sees and lives in a different world. I believe there are as many worlds as there are people, and as many worlds as there are species. I've lived in my own other worlds as my awareness changed over time. The many worlds that have been and are help me believe that another world is possible. We can learn and grow. We had a major role in making this world, and we can see and make another world.[Hide Full Comment]

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    On Jul 10, 2020 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    It is quite obvious that I did not have my voice to choose when and where I was to be born. That was beyond my control. But I have freedom to make my choices about how to live my life. I did not have control over what genes I was going to inherit from my parents. But I have freedom to create wholesomeinternal environment and external environment. Have I always made the wise choices?Of course not. There were times when I knew what was the right way to go but my actions were not in alignment with what I knew. I paid the price for it, learned from my wrong turn, and took the right path. It is a matter of choice making. I use my "second arrow"-the arrow ofhow to relate to my situations and experiences, as the Buddha has taught us. One of the most difficult decisions I needed to make was about marrying someone whom I loved dearly. She came from a different caste, from an upper class, and from a different religion. I was the first person in my family to have an intercaste marriage... [View Full Comment] It is quite obvious that I did not have my voice to choose when and where I was to be born. That was beyond my control. But I have freedom to make my choices about how to live my life. I did not have control over what genes I was going to inherit from my parents. But I have freedom to create wholesomeinternal environment and external environment. Have I always made the wise choices?Of course not. There were times when I knew what was the right way to go but my actions were not in alignment with what I knew. I paid the price for it, learned from my wrong turn, and took the right path. It is a matter of choice making. I use my "second arrow"-the arrow ofhow to relate to my situations and experiences, as the Buddha has taught us.

    One of the most difficult decisions I needed to make was about marrying someone whom I loved dearly. She came from a different caste, from an upper class, and from a different religion. I was the first person in my family to have an intercaste marriage. I followed the voice of my heart and faced whatever I had to face for making my choice. That was a big and bold step in my life. And that haslaid a strong foundation for me for making right-wise- choices in my life.

    Experience is a great teacher. Book knowledge is helpful but not enough. I need to cultivate and nourish my need to self-actualize. It is not always easy to sing my song when the people close to me either turn their ears away or use their tongue against me. The gate of freedom is narrow and the road is hard.There are times when like RabindranathTagore says, "Walk alone even when nobody cares to listen to yor voice." Love and courage help me to follow my voice.
    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave'[Hide Full Comment]

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