The Triple-Filter Test . . .

MMWNA LogoThe Triple-Filter Test

Author Unknown

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“Umm, no, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

Consider this: Apply the test!

Be Who You Must Be . . .

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Be Who You Must Be

Diarmaid Cronin

I don’t know where you are on your path
I have never stood in your shoes
I see not with your eyes.
I know not what your purpose is here
In this stage of your evolution
But I feel blessed to know you
As you are not in my life by chance
And you are my teacher
As I hope you learn from me
I pray I show reverence to you
I pray not to judge you
I wish to let you be
Who you are
Who you dream of being
I will just be beside you
And watch you grow
And the day will come for sure
When we will know why
Our paths crossed this way
And until then my friend
Be who you must be.

Consider this: Be who you must be?

I Care and I Am Willing to Serve . . .

MMWNA Logo“I Care and I Am Willing to Serve”
by Marian Wright Edelman

Lord I cannot preach like Martin Lurther King, Jr.
or turn a poetic phrase like Maya Angelou
but I care and am willing to serve.

I do not have Fred Shuttlesworth’s and Harriet
Tubman’s courage or Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s political skills
but I care and am willing to serve.

I cannot sing like Fannie Lou Hamer
or organize like Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin
but I care and am willing to serve.

I am not holy like Archbishop Tutu,
forgiving like Mandela, or disciplined like Gandhi
but I care and am willing to serve.

I am not brilliant like Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois or
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or as eloquent as
Sojourner Truth and Booker T. Washington
but I care and am willing to serve.

I have not Mother Teresa’s saintliness,
Dorothy Day’s love or Cesar Chavez’s
gentle tough spirit
but I care and am willing to serve.

God it is not as easy as it used to be
to frame an issue and forge a solution
but I care and am willing to serve.

My mind and body are not so swift as in youth
and my energy comes in spurts
but I care and am willing to serve.

I’m so young
nobody will listen
I’m not sure what to say or do
but I care and am willing to serve.

I can’t see or hear well
speak good English, stutter sometimes, am afraid of criticism
and get real scared standing up before others
but I care and am willing to serve.

Consider this: Do you care and are you willing to serve?

Turning to One Another . . .

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Turning to One Another
By Margaret Wheatley

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Assume that many others share your dreams.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.

Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.
Rely on human goodness.
Stay together

Consider this: Talk to people!

Today . . .

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Today

Author Unknown

We shall do much in the years to come,
but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer
but what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
but what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
but what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
but whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
but what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,
but what have we built today?
‘Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
but here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
“What have we done today?”

Consider this: Seize today, now!

It’s You I Like . . .

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It’s You I Like!
Frederick ‘McFeely’ Rogers

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear.
It’s not the way you do your hair,
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you
Not your diplomas…
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like,
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue,
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself, it’s you
It’s you I like!

Consider this: Who do you need to share this with today?

It’s better to . . .

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It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something that we can give.
The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other’s illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.

Merle Shain

Consider this: What seeds are you planting today?

Turn Your Face To The Sun . . .

Turn Your Face To The Sun
Maithri Goonetilleke

Beloved,

There are days when nothing seems right. When every shell you pick up on the winding shore is broken. When the silken treasure slips through your fingers too quickly. When comforts are empty. And the world is noise.

On those jagged edged days, when the wind is screaming for a reason only she understands. And you find yourself all alone.

Turn your face to the sun.

There is goodness in the world, that even the river of tears cannot erase.

There is love in the world, that the numbed armies of fear can not destroy.

Sometimes that goodness is everywhere apparent. It pours from the heart of every moment. From the light of every smile.

On those soft days, love hides in the eaves to drop like sweet honey on your forehead and sings her lilting lullabies in the arms of the winds.

But on some days, Beloved. On days like today….

We need to look, to see.

So turn your face to the sun.

Even when she is nowhere to be seen.

Go inside yourself. Find a speck, a splinter of beauty to be grateful for.

‘Yes’, the day has worn you. And ‘Yes’ our mistakes have been so many.

But say ‘Thank you’ anyway.

Take account of all that is in your possession.

A mind. A heart. A body.

A life that breathes, even if for just one more day.

Now count the eyes that have smiled
at you on your wild journey,

the hands that have held you tenderly,

the ears that have listened,

the prayers that have been made on your behalf.

And whisper your ‘Thank you’ again.

Count the sky that has watched you grow
with His painted eyes,

The heaving waves that find their echo
in the tides of your breathing,

The little birds that have sung
you their songs,

The stars which have been a lamp
to your path,
and are your
rightful inheritance.

Count unexpected laughter,

Count undeserved grace,

Count Passion and Love making and Dreams yet to be born,

And bow your head and say ‘thank you’,

Now count the lives who still need your light,

The hungry, the sick, the helpless,

Count the children who will die today

and imagine if with the breath of your body
you could help just
one.

Turn your face to the sun,
And know yourself as a child of the light.

You are the Goodness that cannot be extinguished,

The love that burns through the darkest night.

And perhaps,
In turning
You will see what i have seen,
that this day where everything seemed wrong,
was not your curse,

It was your gift,

Your chance…

To find inside yourself a forgotten ‘thank you’,

To smile in the face of the grim suppressors,

To stand in the heart of the glowering darkness
and turn your face to the sun.

Consider this: Ah, turn your face to the sun!

Gratitude . . .

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Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful.

If you are blaming, you are not being grateful.

If you are complaining, you are not being grateful.

If you are feeling tension, you are not being grateful.

If you are rushing, you are not being grateful.

If you are in a bad mood, you are not being grateful.

Gratitude can transform your life. Are you allowing minor things to get in the way of your transformation and the life you deserve?”

— Rhonda Byrne

Consider this: Are you grateful today?

The Cracked Pot . . .

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The Cracked Pot
Author Unknown

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of it’s water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Consider this: Appreciate who you are.