Beacons – August 4 2018

Every time I go in to work, I try to be positive. I say hello. Some of them say hello back. Sometimes some don’t. I try not to take it personally. And then I sit down and these two [who share my work space] just go. They have something negative to say about everybody and everything. And I can’t help it. I just soak it up. It’s exhausting.
Anonymous Person at Anonymous Job
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr., 
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
It is a truism that if my happiness is dependent upon the behavior of another, the fight is over before it even begins. I’m toast. I am dooming myself to being a victim.
But what about when we feel at the mercy of others, like the example above? We can’t change their behavior. And just trying not to not be involved doesn’t help. Their negativity is affecting me. To ask them to stop can be very off-putting, as if I am seeing myself as superior.
What can we do?
If someone begins to talk (negatively) about someone else, we might say something like, ‘well, they can’t be all bad,’ or ‘gee, I wonder what happened to her to make her like that, because she couldn’t always have been so selfish/mean/superior, right?’ We interject one thing which maybe will help to move the conversation in a different direction. 
Or, we simply can change the subject.
It also helps us to remember that consciousness is one thing. What we bring to any interaction, every exchange, affects the whole. If we meet the judgment of others with judgment of our own, we simply build the monster of judgment. In both of us. If we bring love and acceptance into the field of judgment, it begins to change. We affect those around us, always. And, like a cup filled with dirty water, as we pour clean water in, the water in the cup will slowly become purified until, eventually, it will be crystal clear. 
We can be beacons. We can walk into every situation shining the light that is within us, rather than taking on the apparent darkness that surrounds us. Others may turn away from it, but that is their choice. They will be affected by our light regardless. And we will be living from our true self. We will be training ourselves always to give, never to take; to shine, rather than to soak up. This is how the universe operates. This is how we are meant to operate. We walk into the room with our fulfillment intact, knowing that no one possibly can add to or take away from who we are and what we are.
Today I will shine more brightly than yesterday.
Glasses, wet plate collodion tintype, DTPC, LA CA
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober

  1. Your writings are very helpful. I stumbled upon them today and they lifted me up in a way that I can stand stronger on my two feet and be of better service to others. THANK YOU.

  2. I couldn’t agree more! I think Mr. Kober has certainly been a beacon of light in sharing his wisdom and insights with us. I have read many of his daily thoughts and find them very inspirational in helping us to live beautiful lives and sharing our love with the world. His contributions to both the performing arts and now the literary and spiritual arts has been awesome.

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