Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Ultimate Motivation

Today, I reflect on why it is that people do what they do?

Fear of Punishment?
Peer Pressure?
Cool Points?

Yes, why is it that people do the things that they do? And how do you use the idiosyncrasies of human nature to motivate them to do choose to do good.

There have been times when I have considered the implications of forcing certain people to wise up and make good choices. When I have seen the heart ache and the suffering created by human nature for other humans to enjoy on this earth, I thoroughly ache.

With more time, and more perspective, I realize that you can never force anyone to do anything. God has given us the gift of agency and no one can take that away.

The only way that you can help people to change and to want to choose the better life for themselves is to help them find motivation. But as all are different in life path and experience, one may question how one could ever stumble upon a common motivation, or even a common theme to encompass motivations.

And yet throughout scripture, world history and time, there is this theme that appears that moves so many of us.

A father who would work three jobs to scorch the hunger and cold

A beggar who sacrifices a days earnings for the comfort of another

A mother who would brave the elements for a hope of a brighter day for her ailing child

and even the greatest of them all...

A Savior who would sacrifice everything....

...all because He loves us.

I am so amazed by the love that my Savior Jesus Christ freely gives to me daily. I am so grateful and so moved by His example. In times when I just feel like I'm barely holding on, I am able to access that love and not only is it sufficient for me, but if I allow it, it feels me to overflowing so much that I am enabled with the capacity to forget myself and move forward following His great example as I get lost in His great work.

You may call the term cliche, but to me, love is the force that can change us, make us want more for ourselves and for those we care about. This kind of love is healing, it is alive and progressive. It is sometimes the only thing that can keep me going. I feel that it is so hard to live if just for oneself, but if you consider all the people that you could possibly come into contact with in a day, each day, each hour, is so precious and so way more than worth it. And even when I'm not my best self, when I'm distracted and weak and forget what it's all about, if I am reminded if even for just a second and remember to help just that one person today-than maybe that one person will feel of this power and question why people do what they do.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I hear footsteps, and I switch off the flashlight. It's dark. I rustle underneath my covers and assume the asleep position. I don't want to get caught for---reading. Of all the sneaky things I attempted during my childhood, I believe reading was my most frequent crime. I'm pretty sure my parents knew I was up late---but looking back I am grateful that they allowed this love affair with the written word.

Without classes and reading lists, I now have more time to peruse the great collection of the local library. In the past few weeks I have found a young adult fiction novel I've been wanting to read for years, a few books written from the life of Boyd K. Packer, and like always, a nice selection of juvenile literature. I seem to just love children's literature. I feel that working with kids has only given me an even greater excuse to love and read it quite frequently.

Recently I have found myself looking online for deals on picture books, and browsing book fair catalogs. An obsession---possible. Still acceptable---I choose to believe it's still appropriate for someone of my age.

I love the kid section of libraries. I wish it were more acceptable to find young adults just chillin in the kid section---reading one of the caldecott award winners. Why is it that only the children's section of the library has a reading section with pillows and comfy benches? If only these comforts were appropriate in the rest of the library.

Why is it that I love books?

I love to imagine the story as I read. I love to imagine the colors, the smells, the place, the people---I feel like I can escaped to another paradise for a time or two. It's fun to imagine, it's therapeutic to imagine, it's distracting and necessary to just sit down, relax and pick up a good book.

Favorite place to read

Hammocks, couches, grass lawns, orchards, under the shade of a big tree, on my porch at night when the mosquitoes aren't out, in forts, tents, and under the light of a flashlight when my roomie is trying to sleep.

In some ways, things haven't changed much. Still stay up too late reading---but now I just don't have to turn off the flashlight as often.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift-that is why it is called the present

I feel so blessed...
So grateful...
So humbled...
So glad to be alive...

I feel like there is so much to observe, so much to learn, and certainly so much to do to help. All I can do is try to see each day for what it is...a gift. Lately I wonder how much I miss...was there a new flower that I forgot among the tall grasses, was there a stranger that I walked past that could have been a friend? With the clock ticking and the people rushing-how is it that I can see, and hear, and understand the importance of each day?

It all comes back to how carefully I listen, how diligently I search, and how faithfully I act. It appears that although there are so many things that are still beyond my locus of control, there so much that I can do within the realm of the present. Even with all that my past has dictated, even within the confines of the consequences chosen by those around me, I still have the choice to choose how I will act.

I can make everyday a not so ordinary day, I would even dare say an extraordinary day. Now, I know in a very real way, that this pathway is not easy. But nevertheless, I have faith that it is possible, and that's what keeps me going.

A gift.
A present.

Some thing freely given,
something given in return?

But if we did give thanks,
what is it that we do?

Can we thank the giver?
for He freely gave
and keeps on giving.

Just as we give to Him,
we give to others.

And so all must give,
because He gave so purely,
so humbly,
so completely,

as only He-

could give.