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Becoming Better, not Bitter

Dr Ralph Smedley"Fault-finding, without suggestions for improvement, is a waste of time." -- Dr Ralph Smedly, founder of Toastmasters International

"As evaluators, our job is to help others become better and not professional speakers." -- DTM Lynn Desker, advisor to the Division D executive committee

ATTENDED AN EVALUATION WORKSHOP by the District 51 Toastmasters committee yesterday afternoon. After that, the words of Dr Smedly and Lynn Desker kept ringing in my mind for some time. Yes, how true. Not only is such fault-finding a waste of time; it can also be unkind, self-serving, even vicious....


Stella S. wrote in response to an online message in a Catholic forum that i subscribe to, "When I read your email, it dawned on me that here's an example of how we're often not practicing true friendship and transparency among fellow believers. We criticise so much behind the backs of the choir, priests, altar boys, wardens, fellow churchgo-ers, etc, but never speak to them personally about the issue with love."

Conversely, if only we can see that when others err (or sin), they are merely 'falling down' (spiritually), and that our goal is to help others become better and not perfect. Then we would become less demanding (or judgmental) and more supportive. Both critic and receiver can then become better (not bitter) from the exchange.

St ThereseAs St Therese of the child Jesus (also known as "the Little Flower") put it so beautifully in Counsels and Reminiscences, "It is God's will that in this world by means of prayer Heavenly treasures should be imparted by souls one to another, so that when they reach the Fatherland they may love one another with a love born of gratitude, with an affection far, far exceeding the most ideal family affection upon earth.

"There, we shall meet with no indifferent looks, because all the Saints will be indebted to each other. No envious glances will be seen; the happiness of every one of the elect will be the happiness of all."

Another beautiful saying of St Therese: A novice once remarked to her, "It grieves me to see people suffer, especially those who are holy." She instantly replied: "I do not feel as you do. Saints who suffer never excite my pity. I know they have strength to bear their sufferings, and that through them they are giving great glory to God. But I compassionate greatly those who are not Saints, and who do not know how to profit from suffering. They indeed awake my pity. I would strain every nerve to help and comfort them."

And ahhhhhh, an interesting message on the Web entitled "Don't Get Bitter, Get Better!!" by a Harry L. Jackson. Some snippets:

"Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." -- Hebrews 12:12-15

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." -- Ephesians 4:30-32

"The historian and educator, Carter G. Woodson, said that a people who did not know from where they had come were a people who were not going anywhere. So it is sometimes a good thing to look to the past. In doing so, we are enabled to obtain a much clearer view of the present, which can be helpful to us as we progress towards the future.

"And yet, generally, when many of us look back, we tend to do so in a negative way. Instead of allowing our life histories to be a source of satisfaction, that we might understand that we, through the grace of God, have accomplished great things, we find ourselves ashamed. Instead of rejoicing, and embracing our past experiences as glorious testimonies to the greatness of God, we become sorrowful. Instead of being hopeful, we become angry. We become vengeful, we become prejudiced, we become... bitter."

"Song: Oh, What A Change

Something on the inside,
Working on the outside,
Making a change in my life
Something on the inside,
Working on the outside,
Making a change in my life
I got something on the inside,
Working on the outside,
Making a change in my life
Oh, what a change
In my life..."


by tree#138680 on Sun Sep 07 03 11:57 pm | profile

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