Radical Thoughts: Choose the Good

On this Super Fat Tuesday I was faced with so many thoughts about my next post.  Rather than go into the finer points of politics or Mardi Gras what comes to me again and again today as I ponder the season of Lent which begins tomorrow is simply this: 

Choose the Good. 

I don’t know how many times each day I get the chance to make the “good” choice but it feels like…um, a lot.   The number of times I choose to do, think or act the good is perhaps not as high a percentage as I would hope.  So I’m putting this radical thought out there, really for me, as I approach the next 40 days…if it helps you as well, then that is a very good thing too.  We shall journey it together. 

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24 thoughts on “Radical Thoughts: Choose the Good

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Mrs. Each day we make the conscious choice to choose good from bad. Sometimes it is one of the hardest things we have to do. Choosing good isn’t always the easy path, but it is the most rewarding.

    Choosing good in word, thought and deed, is the hard road to choose, but in the end isn’t it really the only one?

    But if you do make a mistake be able to forgive yourself and learn from it and move on.

    Choosing good shows you what you are made of. We role model to our children by taking this path. It also makes the world a better place to be in and it does change the human condition. If more people were to ‘choose good’ just think what an amazing world we would live in.

  2. I suppose everyone has their own idea of what ‘good’ is though, and although some people think they are choosing good it is not a good choice – think in larger terms such as Hitler, 9/11 attacks – it is all relative to what YOU think is good.

    We celebrate Lent in this house and instead of giving something up we try to DO something proactive as a family – spend time in a soup kitchen, stock shelves at a pantry, and do something to broaden our horizon and scope. It’s much harder to explain to your kids why there are homeless people in your area than to explain why people give up meat on Ash Wed. and on Friday. My brother used to give up huge things – caffeine in college, television, etc…. I was always amazed when he did that, but what good did that produce? My brother is a good man, excellent husband and father, but I would rather see people choose to DO something good rather than just give up something.

    I’m rambling….snow day here in WI and all the kids are HOOOOOOME

  3. Waving to PPPJ, wish it were a snow day here. I like your idea for lent, of doing something constructive for the community rather than ‘giving something up’. Way too cool idea.

  4. Several years ago I started a tradition of picking not only given something up, but choosing to complete a difficult task within the forty days of lent. Once the task was forgiving a friend who had hurt me. Last year it was coming clean about a situation that I had known about but choose to ignore – keeping someone else terrible secret. This year I am helping out a friend in need due to illness. Choosing good.

  5. I think of Lent as a time of renewal, cleansing if you will.

    7 to 10 inches huh PPPJ, can you ship some up here so we can build a snowman. It seems everytime I do the SNOW DAY chant it snows everywhere but Victoria. Maybe I should stop, because obviously you guys are getting the snow instead.

  6. Choosing good means actually doing good… and not just talking a good game while leaving a trail of destruction. Thank you for another thoughtful post, MrsM!

    *waving to HH*

  7. Hm…while I would agree PUR that action is ultimately the goal I would have to say that my struggle begins first in my brain and in my spirit. This is where I fall down far too often. I’m like the co-worker who might seem impeccably tidy in her cubicle but then when you visit my house you realize I’m well on the road to becoming the neighborhood loony cat lady who also collects newspapers and old soup cans in her livingroom.

  8. Well, MrsM, to respond to your metaphorical comment (nothing personal to you) sometimes we need to surround ourselves with people in life who will encourage and support and only tolerate our good deeds who won’t just settle in between the soup cans and start tossing their own on the floor and eventually move in with their own crazy cats. Maybe it begins not only by talking ourselves into getting off the couch and doing good, but choosing to surround ourselves with people who also choose good. Choose better friends, maybe?

    *hugs!*

  9. LOL…maybe so….maybe so. I’m working on it. I am pretty sure I’m not the only “can collector” I know but at least we’re all laboring toward getting the right focus, yes?

  10. Ah, but you see…here is the rub. Most of us…hm….all of us are either present or would-be can collectors in one form or another….the REAL trick is to join the “can collectors anonymous” club and pull each other up as we are willing and able. Make ourselves better friends as we move along. : )

  11. Well, I guess you could try to drag your current friends along with you… but sometimes you just gotta just cut some of the more stuck ones loose before they drag you down into their own sicknesses and habit collections. You can lead a horse to water and all that…

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that one. Maybe I should let it go and take my own advice?

  12. Let’s not mix our metaphors now…cat ladies, can collectors, horse traders….ah, nevermind, it’s all good.

    I get what you are saying. I know a number of “permanent adhesive” people and yes, I have had to close relationship with them. It is always grief laden and also relief filled.

    It’s the nature of community, PUR…we take the good and the bad and the indifferent and the apathetic and we look higher than all of us here in the ditch to find the “right.” This is where faith in something higher figures in.

    I guess what is required, really, is a common vision…a commitment and a desire to WANT to move into a better thing…when that is absent (at least on the higher levels of how we choose to behave) then we begin to find the “stuckness” feels more permanent.

    Thanks for stimulating the good stuff, PUR…always good to hear your voice.

  13. See I am not such a good metaphor writer. I tend to lump habitually sick cats stuck in dumped cans collecting mode all together. I need some writing skillz.

    So good for you for peeling off the stuck adhesive. I had no idea!

  14. Interesting post.
    While I agree that choosing good is based on your own vision of that concept, I don’t think that murders, killings, genocides, etc. are seen as good in the people who commit the acts. Every human being is taught from a young age, don’t kill. However, there are mental illnesses, radical and extremist teachings.
    They KNOW it’s not right to kill, but they still give in to the acts.
    It’s a double edged sword.
    Choosing good, I do believe starts at the very base of ridding yourself of the people who consistently bring people down, or are constantly down themselves. While the release of the relationship maybe filled with pain, there is no way you can expect yourself to choose the good and grow in your life journey when that particular person’s “issues” are constantly being implanted in your mind and subconsciously bringing you down the same path.
    After ridding yourself of these “friends”, doing some soul searching and figuring out where you stand on the basis of good, figuring out what else in your life that you need to let go of.

  15. Because I am so often seduced into calling the “less painful,” the “good,” I am also helped by something I heard — from a de-clutter expert, no less — on Oprah, still no less — which is: “Don’t choose the easy; choose the good.” Which makes such sense to me, because the good is often the more difficult (in the moment).

    On a retreat I attended a couple years ago, the speaker’s theme was “Choose Life.” This biblical injunctive has been all but commandeered by certain political groups to mean basically one thing, which is “Be against abortion.” But it means so much more than that, and it relates to “choosing the good.” It’s about choosing what is life-giving, whatever the circumstance. In the food we eat, the way we organize and beautify our homes, the way we do relationship with one another….

    Thanks, Mrs M, for this reminder today to “Choose the Good.” To “Choose Life.” To accept the invitation to Love’s Table, wherever it is set for us.

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