Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Plus 16 to Minus 1

Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge, tells us something alarming about the ratio of 16 to 1.  Jeff tells us that it takes 16 instances of hearing positive input to counteract the effects of 1 instance of hearing negative input.

Not an easy ratio to overcome.  Throughout our lives we can really have a hard time keeping positive in the lead.  Here’s a factor that compounds the problem.  Your subconscious mind only knows you tangibly, it has no contact with the outside world except through your conscious mind.  Your subconscious mind exists like one of the prisoners in Platos Cave.  If you’re walking down the street, and some guy yells ‘You dumb-ass!’ at another guy across the street, your subconscious tends to register you as the addressee.

You can’t avoid negativity completely.  Sometimes it’s actually a good thing to hear.  A fellow needs to know if his pants are ripped, or his hair is on fire.  Likewise, you need to tell a fellow if his pants are ripped, or his hair is on fire.  With a ratio of 16 to 1, we should consciously limit our exposure to negative input.  Here, again, we should revisit the The Nobel Eightfold Path prescribed by The Great Buddha, Prince  Siddhartha Gautama.

Avoid people who bask in negativity.  Avoid other sources of negativity … yes, the TV, the radio, and the news paper are notorious sources of negativity (HINT: read a good book for entertainment, and find another source for the News).  Count your blessings … really, sit down and name them; I usually tell people at least 50 each and every day.  If you can’t say something good about someone or some thing, or you can’t put what you want to say in positive terms, don’t say anything.  Don’t do anything that compromises your moral standards.  Don’t think negative things, do think positive things.  Be, yourself, a beacon of positivity.  Like forgiveness, these things are more for your own health and hygiene than for anyone elses, although these things will ultimately benefit others in the long run.

Cut back on sources of exposure to negative input.

Till next time, keep it positive, because you are spectacular.



One day Jesus was out there giving a lecture.  He was teaching a revolutionary idea.  He was teaching that it is better to simply forgive the torts and felonies aimed in our direction than it is to not.

Somebody out in the audience perked up and said, “But, what if your brother hits you in the head with a wiffle bat?”

“Forgive him.” Jesus responded.

“OK,” the same guy out in the audience continued, “what if he hits you seven times with a wiffle bat … in the same day.”

“Friend,” Jesus said, “you need to forgive your brother if he hits you with a wiffle bat even if he hits you seven times seventy times in the same day.”

Astonishing concept.  However, who in their right mind would stand there and let themselves be hit with a wiffle bat seven times seventy times?  Jesus also said, “Thou shall not tempt the Lord your God.”  Remove the temptation.

I’m sorry to say, there are people out there seemingly called to test the principle of forgiveness in others.  Till I figured a few things out, I seem to have been a target for such people.

Forgiveness is on the part of the forgiver.  Repentance is on the part of the forgiven.

The mountain lion attacks the deer.  The deer manages to evade the attack, and escape.  The deer may remember the incident, but is incapable of harboring harsh feelings toward the mountain lion.  The brain of the deer did not evolve the capacity to do other than forgive.  Thus Nature has dictated.  The lack of forgiveness is a drain on mental focus, and draws in negative energy to the thinker.  The deer has other things about which to think, as do you.

The deer instantly forgives the mountain lion for its attack.  However, I don’t think you’ll see the deer and the mountain lion hanging out down at the Mall of the Woods.  The deer will steer clear of the mountain lion till either the deer doesn’t mind being eaten, or the mountain lion goes vegetarian.

You are allowed to remove yourself from damaging influences.  If those influences ask for help in reversing their damaging ways, by all means, help them find it.  However, standing there as a target for wiffle ball batting practice does neither you, nor the batter any good.

Till next time, remember, you are spectacular, and, as such, are not required to accept abusive treatment from any quarter.