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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.} ========================================================== %RESPOND FAILURE TRAGEDY DEVIL CONFLICT ALIEN 920830 The quality of our lives and the quality of our communities depend greatly upon how WE RESPOND to the failures, mistakes, tragedies, evils and conflicts which we encounter in our lives. Too often our response tends to be to focus our attention upon the failures, mistakes, tragedies, evils and conflicts---and upon those people and circumstances which we regard as being responsible for them. Too rarely do we focus upon the character, nature and consequences of our own responses. Too often we focus upon that which we cannot control and/or influence. Too rarely do we focus upon what we can control and/or influence. Too often we focus our attention upon how we may justify our responses; and upon the failures, mistakes, tragedies, evils, and conflicts which elicit what we regard as our proper, natural and/or inevitable responses. What else can people expect of us! How unreasonable can people be? If we reflect honestly upon our own circumstances we will recognize that what we can most influence is the character and nature of our own responses to whatever happens around us and to us. We can change our own habits of thought, assumptions, and presuppositions; our own attitudes. We can learn to be more creative and less thoughtlessly reactive in our own responses. We can learn to help to resolve conflicts through charitable management of conflicts so that conflicts are resolved; rather than conflicts continuing to be occasions for people taking positions, choosing up sides and conflicting armies---to attack and destroy each other. If we can learn to turn our attention to understanding ourselves reflexively and honestly we may learn how to improve the character and nature of our responses in trying situations. We may learn to understand and respond to each other sympathetically, rather than judgmentally and manipulatively. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================