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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %MUTUAL ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS 861008 We can achieve and control only some things. There are other things which we can not achieve or control. Some of what comes to us we have we do not achieve and can not control; e.g., many features of our nature and our desires we do not achieve and we can not control. Much of what we are is a gift which we did not achieve, did not come to us under our control, and we may for various reasons not accept with grace or thanksgiving. The nature of our mutual lives depends much upon the manner in which we accept or reflect upon such gifts. If we are unable to accept the gifts with mutual grace we are likely to experience difficulties due to that inability. The meaning in our lives of gifts which come to us depends on how we mutually define their meaning within the context of our communal living. We may define actions to have meaning, just as we may define words to have meaning. We may define the communal meanings of words, actions, fears, desires, guilts, faith, belief, etc. The meanings of these realities are culturally dependent, and so are not objective realities. Different cultures assign different communal meanings to such personal realities, but not always with both personal and communal integrity. The integrity of a community depends strongly upon the integrity of the definitions it assigns to personal realities which come as gifts to the members of the community. Gifts are not earned, not fully understood, are unpredictable, and can not be fully controlled with meaning. Communities give meanings to gifts, with, or without, integrity. The integrity of a community depends upon how well integrated is the pattern of meanings which the community and its members assign to their gifts. Definitions have power to the extent that they effect our lives. They may effect our lives with integrity, or with disintegration; depending upon the extent that the definitions have integrity within the context of our total communal and private lives. Some realities have existence independent of human choices and definitions. Human choices and definitions which fly in the face of such independent realities are bound to lack integrity and be disintegrative, regardless of human sincerity and dedication. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================