Choose Wisely

What do the following have in common? 1) A doctor dedicated to healing through alternative therapies; 2) a renowned artist sitting in Fairfield, Ohio meditating 6 hours a day for world peace; 3) a right wing Republican concerned primarily with defense of Israel, and 4) a former General Manager of a BMW dealership with little time for politics?

Answer:  They’re all friends of mine.

I like to think of myself as a reluctant optimist.   And a realist.  My optimism is hard earned. I didn’t use to be this way. In fact, I used to spot every dark cloud on the horizon before it was even formed.  But I spent a lot of years, and tears, learning that pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We get what we focus upon and so, reluctantly, I exchanged fearing the worst for anticipating the best.

As for being a realist…. well…that’s a little more difficult to explain.  The reality I see is unique to me.  So it is with each of us.  Which is why, two people can witness the same auto accident and recall it differently. It’s all a matter of perspective and what preconceived ideas we bring to each moment.

At the moment, the reality I see is one in which human evolution is at a critical fork in the road. One fork leads to a breakdown… the other to a breakthrough. If we take the fork leading to breakdown, we will encounter increased indebtedness, increased violence and decreased personal freedom ending in slavery to someone or something.  If we take the fork leading to a breakthrough, we will learn to honor and conserve our resources, choose peace as way of life, and comprehend, once and for all, the correlation between personal freedom and personal responsibility.

I see both realities as “potential” because I am that realist I mentioned earlier.  The reluctant optimist in me knows (with almost certainty) that we will choose wisely.

Now, back to my friends. They are decidedly different in their views of the world. Yet I value and honor each of them because it’s only in the allowing of differences that we stand the greatest chance of choosing the correct fork in this road. I also proceed upon the premise that on any given day, at any given moment, any one of them is capable of teaching me “something I do not know… the knowing of which will change everything.”  It’s a great quote. It belongs to Werner Erhard, founder of EST and The Forum, late 20th century transformation models and self-awareness programs.

Like each of us, Erhard was a work in progress.  Before he was Werner Erhard, awareness guru, he was John Paul Rosenberg, a used car salesman in Philadelphia.  At some point, he reached a fork in the road and chose wisely.

May we do the same.


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