While writing my book on joy, the importance of brotherly love was given to me. I didn't really know what it was and had to do some research. I never knew that Philadelphia meant brotherly love – although it is written in the Bible. And Chief Seattle's quote reinforces what is all through the Bible.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's important we consciously do this because whatever you do to yourself, you are doing to others and the planet. Whatever you do to others and the planet, you do to yourself.
Are you responsible? That means do you consider others and your world? Do you do what you are supposed to do? What you are paid to do, contracted to do, or agree to do? Do you keep learning and growing? Do you use your spiritual gifts to help others? Do you throw junk out of the car littering and polluting? Are you awake to the crisis in our environment and do you consider how you can save energy or resources in everything you do? Do you try to conserve water? Do you take your own reusable shopping bag or keep clogging up the seaways with plastic bags you toss away. Do you turn lights off when you are not using them? Do you avoid environmental toxins in your gardens and when you work with your lawn?
YOU DO make a difference. Positive or negative – that's the choice you make. You cannot not affect the web in which you live. EVERYTHING you do affects someone or something else. What will you choose to do today?
Every person, environment, and situation you encounter, will be affected by you. Which way will you choose to affect it? That's why reacting is never the best course of action. Responding respects all parties. Reactions are usually triggered by instant, negative emotions that run away with us and make us blurt stuff out without any thought of the impact it will have on others and the situation. Reacting usually begets reacting!
It takes courage and willpower to breathe in the face of someone else's reaction (verbal or non verbal, in person or via email or letter) and to see the bigger picture of what is really going on. If we can pause and look for the truth rather than the mish mash of negative feelings swirling around in us, it gives us time to respond to what is really there – to see beyond the negative projections of the other person and see that some things are not about us – but about them.
Sometimes it is, of course, about us not them! And we are the ones treating others badly! Remember that we are a strand in this web and in different parts of our lives we are different parts of the web. In some cases we are one of the main structural threads; in others we are an intricate part of the center but no matter where we are in the web, we are connected to every other part of it – directly or indirectly. And what we do will somehow change everything else – everything we do is a contribution – negative or positive.
Make sure that your contributions will all be positive and uplifting. Everyone is your brother strand... love every strand and treat it well!