A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

As You Will It

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work. Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

It’s convenient to give others power over us. It’s simpler to claim the world is working against us. Your pain is easier to bear when it’s there because of somebody else. Staying down as a victim will always feels safer than standing up and owning your life. We don’t like thinking that we’re responsible for our own joy and satisfaction.

Still, we are responsible.

We get to choose who we let speak into our lives. Which people will advise us, and who will be our mentors.

While others may still say and do things that hurt us, we control the weight that pain will carry into the future. We control how much their words matter, and how quickly to forgive them.

We get to decide if we will see problems in our home or workplace as the fault of others, or if we’ll see them as opportunities for us to try amazing and interesting solutions.

Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others.

We also get to choose how to interact with the world, and everything in it.

Food. Do we eat for energy? Or for inspiration? Or for comfort?

Money. Do we earn to provide? Or to be charitable? Or to gain power?

We can answer similar questions for our education, our work, our homes, our investments, our toys, and on and on. What is the purpose of each named thing in our circle of influence? In every part of our lives, we can do so much more with it when we clarify the reason why it’s there.

So, what will the next “town” be like for you? It’s as you will it to be. Any change of venue you make will still have you in it. What will you be bringing with you? You do get to choose. Maybe it’s time to unload some of that old baggage so you have the ability to experience something new.

Final Thoughts: Matthew 25 is pretty clear that everything that we have has been given to us by God, and that he expects us to do something with it. If that’s true, why did he give you a home? Also, what if this applies to relationships? What does that mean for the children he’s given us?

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Food and Booze, Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on As You Will It

Quick Hits of the Week

  • We recently went through the pain of reworking our investments. It’s important to get familiar with investing and growing wealth for the future, even if you never plan to retire. It gives you options. Also, it means that you aren’t counting on an inheritance or a handout to take care of you when you need it. You need get in good financial shape so you’ll be able to take care of your own future. Start today.
  • What every home needs. You can assemble one using just PVC pipes, a can of compressed air, and various hardware. Then you just need to find some spiders to load it up with. Alright, so it just sucks the spiders up for easy removal from your home, which is almost as good. If I were trying to fend off a home invader, though, I’d want a rifle that actually shoots spiders. It beats the hell out of the marshmallow gun.
  • This is an important issue to me, given that I love and support friends who feed and care for the homeless as a part of their ministry. More and more cities and communities are making it a crime to feed the homeless in parks and public places. Some cities have made it illegal to donate food to shelters. Baylen Linnekin of Keep Food Legal covers some of the recent outrages, and explains why such laws are Unconstitutional, not to mention horrible and in direct contradiction to what Christians are commanded to do. Don’t let your community become the next place where the least among us are forced out of sight.
  • However, if you’re going to feed the poor and homeless, don’t feed them organic food. It makes people into jerks. Science says so.
  • Finally, I don’t know if I should classify this as an awesome creation of the Interwebs, or if it’s just a case of some schmo having too much time on his or her hands. I couldn’t stop playing with it, though, and it kept making me laugh, so I share it with you. The Pointer Pointer.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

June 14, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • Growing up, I didn’t really learn much about making and managing money. Most of the instruction regarding budgets and savings was done in passing and not nearly often enough. As a Dad, I’m trying to do better, so I’m always happy when friends share articles with me about teaching money management to kids. I only have a couple of points of minor disagreement. First, don’t give your kids an allowance. Pay them a commission for specific chores they perform. It will help them understand that money is earned through work. Second, don’t make your kids play Monopoly. It’s a terrible board game. (Life and Payday aren’t much better, but at least they don’t take as long.) There are much better games out there that will build money or resource management skills.
  • I’m rapidly working my way through Seth Godin’s latest manifesto. It covers his thoughts on how to change education to be more relevant to the current and coming age. Stop Stealing Dreams. As a homeschooling parent, I’m challenged to re-evaluate how we’re teaching our kids, and to root out some of the methods that have been heavily influenced by the school systems that we grew up in. If you’re involved in education I would encourage you to take a look at it.
  • A photographer walks through East Germany just after the wall fell, taking photographs of the stunning, but neglected, architecture. A decade later he re-traces his steps, and recreates his photographs. The transformation is inspiring.
  • A follow up to last week’s quick hit about Pat Robertson again declaring that it’s time to decriminalize marijuana. Apparently that ruffled the feathers of Jimmy Carter’s former secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph A. Califano, who criticized Pat for not having enough concern for the children. Appeals to the safety of “the children” automatically raises a red flag in my head that somebody is trying to pass or support bad legislation by twisting at people’s heartstrings. So, I’m once again in the odd position of backing Mr. Robertson. On this issue.

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • Speaking of change, education has been taking a beating lately. See, the current model that American schools use to educate children has its roots in our Industrial Age, when universal education was implemented. The problem is that the overall structure hasn’t changed much, but we’re in the Information Age now. So, Seth Godin wants to know if we’re going to continue to applaud schools that churn out mediocre factory workers? Rethan Salam reports about how some are working to prepare children for life in this era, by embracing the novel ideas of more personal responsibility, and that everyone has something to teach. While over at Khan Academy, they’re actually doing something amazing and innovative in education. The only way the next decade doesn’t result in an amazing change in education is if we’re scared out of it.
  • Another area where change has been slowly creeping up on the world is the War on Drugs. I’ve read some about Richard Branson recently, and I am impressed with his sense of vision and his love for innovation. So, it was no surprise to me when he wrote that it was time to end the international war on drugs.
  • An area where our drug war has been a massive failure is how it has turned our everyday policemen into pseudo-soldiers. Head over and take this quiz that Radley Balko put together, see if you can tell the difference: Cop or Soldier?
  • While you’re playing guessing games, try your hand at this one: Professor or Hobo? I think this puts a nice bow on today’s Quick Hits. Come back and tell me how you did.

January 26, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week