The Road to 65, Miles 275-6: Pledge Time

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August 29-30, 2015, Prescott- As I told myself on Friday, this weekend was quiet and not overly ambitious, though I did attend a planning meeting for Hope Fest, 2015, on Saturday and did complete two online Red Cross classes, this evening.

Life is good, even with all the friends, and friends and relatives of friends, who have gone on to the spirit realm, this year.  Work was good last week, and I am sure I will get the work I am supposed to get, as the weeks and months roll out.

It’s always worthwhile, to me, to at least give sincere critics a hearing, though being true to oneself is a pre-requisite for living a good life.  As it stands, I am my own harshest critic, and choose to look towards areas in which I might obviate that criticism, by making improvements.

So, here are five pledges:

  1.  I will continue to stand alongside my friends, as they face their struggles.
  2. I will continue to improve on not crowding people.
  3. I will maintain a sense of ownership of my life and of my choices.
  4. I will support, financially, only what I can support without placing a burden on others.
  5. I will refrain from guilt over what I didn’t do for someone else, so long as I have done my level best.

The Road to 65, Mile 52: Service

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January 19, 2015, Prescott-   This morning was taken up with a short march from Prescott College, to a circumambulation of the Yavapai County Courthouse, then to a nearby Methodist Church.  At the church, there were bagels (“California-style”, which means untoasted), cream cheese and assorted fruit, with choice of hot beverages.  We then enjoyed a fine performance by the St. Luke’s Ebony Christian Church Choir, from Prescott Valley, and an address by their pastor, Reverend Michael Cannon.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s brief life of intense public service is the impetus for this day being held up as a National Day of Service, and Mr. Cannon’s admonition was for each of us to examine our own commitments.  He himself sounds like a man who lives each day in such commitment, judging from the accounts of others.

I have committed myself to acts of service to others, for some time.  Many of these are part of an organized effort.  Others are spontaneous and random, as a given day unfolds.  I don’t really see myself as selfish; nor as a hero.  Day by day, each of us can serve others, from the unsung acts of a dedicated parent, or caregiver, to the First Responder working to bring peace to a disastrous scenario.

There is one thing about service, though, that needs to be borne in mind.  It cannot be forced, nor can it be smudged by those who impose the pain of guilt on others.  Last night, several of us were given an indirect message that we were not doing enough to ease the plight of the homeless, and of a few shut-ins who live in a nearby community.  My reaction is, there is always more to be done, in a suffering world.  It cannot, however, be imposed upon us from the masters of guilt.   I trust that everyone who has good in their hearts will work, in some way, to relieve the suffering of those around them.  So it shall ever be.