Do you save notes and pieces of writing that inspire you or have immediate impact, kept aside for a ‘rainy day’ or ‘just in case?’ Recently, looking through my file of such papers I came across this piece, a quote from Winston Churchill.
“They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent… Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have entered a period of danger. The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences… We cannot avoid this period, we are in it now…
– Winston Churchill – 12 November 1936
While this was written about the Government of the day as World War II was approaching, I couldn’t ignore the fact that it seemed to apply even now to the world all around us.
Whether you are looking at financial instability, political maneuvering or climate change, it seems like “The era of procrastination… is coming to its close.” Somehow I feel a desperate urgency to do something…but what action can I take that will make a difference? What is inspiring about our leaders today that I would want to emulate? Is it what they say or the way they live?
I have come to learn that my biggest theatre for taking action is myself—my thoughts – beliefs and concepts – and my emotions. How much of the lethargy and laissez-faire is in me—do I have the courage to think for myself and then speak my mind? Or, do I just take the easy road and keep quiet in the face of opposition? Do I even know how to express what I think? Or, do I just grumble away, forever living a chronic frustrating experience?
I have learned to note what is moving in my thoughts and feelings, to acknowledge them and endeavour to name them as specifically as I can so that they no longer hold unconscious sway over me. I have found it is much easier to let frustration go when I have checked the cause of the frustration and the reason it triggers me.
I noted Churchill’s comment about consequences, so I specifically try to do what I say I will, or not say anything if I cannot carry through. I believe follow-through is very important. Completion, of projects or even relationships, seems to be something that sometimes doesn’t happen very consciously. It is important to close the door on the closet or the home when you are leaving.
These may seem like small actions with little or no impact but what about the energy field we all live in? I believe the accuracy and consciousness with which I live contributes to the overall atmosphere of the world in which I live. Being responsible for my actions means holding myself accountable. I know what I am thinking and feeling so the only person I am fooling is myself. So I will own up to an action that was not so thoughtful or one where I may have hurt another. I am my bottom line when it comes to being accountable.
I love the opportunity to be straight up and honest, admit mistakes as needed, and to do and act fully as myself with no masks or equivocation. And to bring that in humility, always aware that I do not know everything and cannot see things from another’s perspective!
Here are the points again that I referred to:
- Do what you say you will
- Follow through – completion
- Take responsibility for all actions – hold yourself accountable
- Admit mistakes
- Integrity— honesty, authenticity, genuineness, humility
Will this make a difference in the world? Will this stem the deluge of apathy and resignation? If my presence in this world rises above the miasma then all around me, and my whole world, will feel the influence and that will be communicated beyond—it only takes six degrees of separation and we touch the whole world!
– Ruth Buckingham
RUTH BUCKINGHAM is a teacher of Primal Spirituality and travels internationally offering courses on spiritual awakening and transformation. Her practical approach encourages people to discover the truth of themselves.