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It All Begins With You

A Summer Prayer for Peace

WAKE UP CALL!!! There are currently 7,000,000,000 folks living on planet Earth. The world does NOT revolve around you! Do you treat others with kindness and understanding, or do you act as though the entire rest of the population of the world are merely "bit players" in the drama of your life? BE HONEST! Read on and take my little test. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself!

In 1970, Ron Dante and The Archies recorded a song entitled, "A Summer Prayer for Peace." The song was unique in that, between verses, it featured a spoken dialogue between Ron and producer-songwriter Jeff Barry in which Ron would recite the name of a country or a U.S. state, and Jeff would respond with the current population of that region. The song's refrain included the sobering reminder that we lived among (at the time) three billion people!

It is astounding to note that, in the 40+ years since that song was recorded, the world's population has more than DOUBLED! Yup, Pals 'n' Gals, that's not a typo -- we are up to SEVEN BILLION-with-a-B souls! Now more than ever, we need to heed the words of that song in which Ron implores us all to love one another and treat each other with respect, not rancor. We're all in this together.

First, a little math lesson.

It is difficult for most people to comprehend the number one billion, much less six times that amount. So let's start with a more realistic number, say, one hundred. Most of us can comprehend a hundred. Now all we have to do to get to a thousand is to multiply that hundred by ten. Ten groups of one hundred. That's a thousand. Now to get to a million, we just multiply that thousand by itself. A million is a thousand thousand. Still with me? Next, to get from a million to a billion, all we need to is multiply the million by another thousand, and here we are. A billion is a thousand million. And there's not just one billion folks on earth, there's SIX TIMES that many! Small wonder why so many regions are facing overcrowding.

"A Summer Prayer for Peace" dealt with the very serious subject of world peace. But the fact of the matter is, peace of any kind begins in our own back yards.

Let's start with the all-too-common phenomenom of discourtesy behind the wheel. Most folks, when they drive, treat other people in ways they wouldn't dream of doing if they were face-to-face with them without the protective armor of their vehicles.

When you're driving, and the directional signal of the car in the lane next to yours comes on, indicating that the driver wishes to merge into your lane, what do you do? Do you slow down and allow the other vehicle to get into your lane ahead of you? Or do you speed up and keep the other car from getting "in front of" yours???

It's been my personal experience that most people do the latter!

This never ceases to amaze me. If you and I, strangers, were entering a building at about the same time, would you deliberately barge ahead of me, walk through the door and slam it in my face? Because by refusing someone the simple, costs-nothing courtesy of allowing them to change lanes, that's exactly what you're doing!

And why? This isn't a race. You don't win anything by being ahead of the other car. It certainly costs you nothing in terms of time or anything else to yield to another vehicle. Such a simple thing to do and so very much appreciated!

What if somebody cuts you off? I'm sure that's happened to you at one time or another. It's a fact of life that when you share the roadways with other vehicles, sooner or later somebody's going to make an error in judgment.

How do you respond? Do you shrug your shoulders and pull back a bit? Or do you speed up, get right up under the bumper of the offending vehicle, blare your horn, open your window, yell obscenities, and give the errant driver the one-finger salute? Or, worse, get out of your vehicle at a stop light and confront the other driver?

WHY??? What are you gaining by this? It's over! The driver probably realized his or her mistake as soon as it happened. The major difference, however, is that on the other driver's part, it was an honest error. On your part, it's deliberate, childish, and extremely dangerous! GROW UP! We all make mistakes, and I'm sure you've cut people off yourself at some time or another.

Road rage is nothing to take lightly. If you think of it as a competition every time you get behind the wheel of a car, then do yourself and me and the rest of the world a favor and stay home. The roadways are not a race course, and you're not playing a video game. You're operating a heavy piece of machinery which is extremely capable of maiming or killing somebody, including you.

Those two examples cite behavior on the road. But it's important to treat one another with kindness and fairness at ALL times. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!

Don't make thoughtless comments. Think before you speak. One of the hallmarks of maturity is the ability to THINK it without actually SAYING it. Once those hurtful words leave your mouth, there's no retrieving them. You may think that by blurting out your thoughts, you're showing the world how smart you are, but more often than not a person's intelligence is revealed more by what he DOESN'T say than by what he DOES say!

One more thing. I've saved the most important for last. Unless it is in self-defense or to save someone else from getting hurt, DO NOT EVER hurt somebody physically. You have absolutely NO RIGHT to do that. None!

We all live under one God, but God created us with free will so that we would take care of one another. It isn't all up to Him. It all begins with you. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Don't be mean to people. If you're having a bad day, don't take it out on others.

How can we hope for world peace if we can't even get along with others in our own back yard?

We're all self-centered to a degree. It's natural to be that way. We came out of the womb that way, as a survival mechanism so that our basic needs would be met. But self-centered doesn't mean SELFISH! Never forget that we share the world with 7,000,000,000 other souls. Treat each other with kidness and consideration, and if you can, help out someone less fortunate. There but for the grace of God go you.

ROAD RAGE (Why You Shouldn't!)

How Does Prayer Work?

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