George H.W. Bush and MINDFULNESS
Thursday, December 06, 2018
I respect George H. W. Bush for his example of service to all Americans. I used to view myself a liberal Republican, then as a conservative Democrat, then as a Republican, but like President George H.W. Bush, my obligation has never been to one party or another, but to the well-being of America as a whole. Because of many, many good examples, I believe in the goodness of the American people as a whole. For we are all human and I believe that all humans have interests in common with each other, especially with our fellow Americans. To me, however, the problem with America stems largely from a sense of apathy due to a feeling that we individually cannot make a difference in the well-being of our communities, let alone the well-being of our nation. That is not our responsibility, it's the responsibility of our civil servants and our elected officials, we tell ourselves. And besides, who am I to think that I can solve problems or that jf I speak out, my opinion will make a difference! Thus the majority of us seldom take note of the weekly or daily events of our communities, or the nation, or act upon them. Thus, the future of our communities and our nation is left to the chance that our best interests are not addressed.
America is in fairly good economic shape but life can still be demanding and difficult for some. We have many who have difficulty coping with their life situations, such as many veterans who have PTSD, those who have grown up in very distressed and violent inner cities such as in parts of Chicago, those with very difficult broken family situations, or others with stressful issues. However, professional help is often unavailable or very expensive. The answer for them, and us, is to some how find support from or engage in community services or charitable organizations; and to engage in the practice of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the situation of the present moment and taking action as appropriate, even in the mist of other forces that are trying to keep us down and struck in the past or the uncertain future. Truly mindful persons are able to find peace with their past, figure things out, connect with others who will support them; and, usually if possible, work to develop a self reliant belief in their ability, and to overcome all obstacles and succeed. Thus mindfulness results in less stress and better ability to deal with difficult situations. We develop mindfulness by daily counting our blessings, expecting the best of our efforts, and spending time each morning or evening to meditate or pray to plan our days, and to act with continual awareness of our surroundings and opportunities.
Mindful people are not apathetic. And if we practice the discipline of mindfulness, regardless of what values we hold, our communities, our nation will be much better off. We will begin to see that all Americans are really connected to each other. That our greatest sense of personal fulfillment comes from Improving the welfare of others. That merely by being members of our community, we have an obligation to look out for each other and see that everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential if they too practice mindfulness. We will cheerfully greet and offer comfort to our neighbors by small acts of kindness. We will have less stress and be healthier as a result. And we will find that mindfulness is contagious and that others more and more also show kindness and look out for the welfare of others. Finally, we may each make a few mistakes but as a whole, we will be able cope with both our mistakes and the mistakes of others, and build on our successes for the benefit of us all.
God bless the American dream and all Americans regardless of their current beliefs.
I did think of adding a paragraph giving examples of ways in which we can practice mindfulness to benefit our communities etc., but decided that too many would just read through it and give it no extra thought. I decided instead to ask my readers to think of, and even comment on (if desired), examples of how they have or intend to make a difference in their community or nation by practicing mindfulness. It may be as simple as acknowledging that you voted in the past election after considering the positions of each candidate and a variety of opinions, both con or pro, on the issues; or will do so in the next election.
My thanks to you for reading and considering this. Yours truly, Bob