• 124th International Peace Meditation “Taking Off the Rose-Colored Glasses”

    “Taking Off the Rose-Colored Glasses”

    April 1, 2007–We are good people. Everyday we meet other good people doing good things. Many choose professions with outcomes that help others. Some choose service professions. Some use their skills and opportunities in business to help others. Some volunteer time, resources, and expertise to provide needed services for others.

    Why do we do this? What are the benefits we accrue personally by helping others? What needs of our own are met? What is our philosophical basis for serving? When is service not helpful? How can we tell the difference?

    Many of us come from spiritual and religious backgrounds where service, giving to others, is valued. We may have learned that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ We may have learned that we should treat others the way we would want to be treated. Or, we may have learned that the highest level of giving is when the giver is not known by the recipient. Whatever we learned about giving has no doubt influenced our lives and our personal and professional decisions.

    However, there may be other messages we received about giving. In Administration classes we learned to “meet their needs first.” In other words, by meeting our customers’ or clients’ or staffs’ needs first, they would then meet ours. While on the surface this appears to be giving, in reality, it is manipulation. It is setting up a situation where the other may feel obligated to do what is requested. In other words, there are strings attached. True giving, spiritual giving, does not require a return on the investment.

    Another way that giving is used for manipulation is to purchase another’s loyalty. This is even more dangerous to the recipient. In this case, in order to get one’s needs met, one is expected to give deference and priority to the giver. Consider politics. Almost all situations, whether business, family, or religious, contain politics. Often, in acknowledged political arenas, receiving is met with “owing one.” Before a favor is requested, a comment may be heard that he or she “owes me one.” This is not the kind of giving that we were taught in our spiritual backgrounds. This is manipulation for favors, and loyalty to another’s leadership.

    This is only a brief review of giving, but should be enough to make us consider the motives of the giver. Some have the highest motives. For example, some work for peace as they understand it, devoting their lives in service to their spiritual purpose. However, the opposite of this kind of giving can be seen in the child predator who over time gains a child’s trust so that the child will put himself or herself in a situation of jeopardy. This is manipulation of the most heinous kind.

    This raises a most important issue. How can we tell the difference? How can we know when another’s motives are for our highest benefit, or when we are being manipulated for political, personal or business gain?

    Consider for a moment the ways companies reward employees. Some set up bonus structures or raises so that employees have an opportunity to give extra service, and thus be compensated and able to benefit their family or personal life. This kind of company giving when done with integrity has a win-win outcome. The company and the employee benefit.

    However, there are other reward systems that are manipulation. They function based upon the employee’s need for recognition. They function best with low-esteem employees who are fearful they could not get another position, and who can be manipulated by promises that are rarely delivered, and acknowledgement systems that give no remuneration. In these cases, the company benefits by the extra work of the employee, with little or no cost to the company, and no real benefit derived by the employee.

    True giving is not “giving to get.” Beware of those who promise peace. One cannot be given peace. One can only open oneself to the peace process.

    Trust is important in personal relationships. Yet, it is essential to know the motives of the giving by others. Often there is only one way to know. Trust Knowledge, the profound sense of Knowing, within you. Knowledge, sometimes referred to as our “gut instinct”, can keep us alert to the motives of others. Manipulation is not for our own good; it is for the good of another.

    In the coming days we will each have chances to practice “Knowing” the motives of others. This is essential if we are to be adults, and responsible for our own actions. Part of being an adult is not allowing ourselves to be used for others’ purposes. And if we do decide to stay in a detrimental situation, to do it, Knowingly, until we have the opportunity to improve our situation safely.

    Living successfully includes being alert, meeting our needs in ways that are safe and healthy, trusting others who truly have our best interests in mind, and giving our lives in service to our Spiritual Purpose.

    This Meditation is dedicated with gratitude to all who have given in order that our lives would be enriched.

    Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
    Executive Director

    Please join us in prayer/meditation during the 24 hours of Sunday, April 1, and again the first Sunday of every month. The International Institute for Human Empowerment, Inc. is completing 10 years of continuous International Peace Meditations. Forward our Meditation to all in your address book; make copies for your religious and spiritual brochures and bulletins.

    The International Peace Meditation invites people of all faiths to participate. The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc., a 501C3 charity registered in New York State, is not a member of any religion in order that it may serve all.

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    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is a
    501 ( C )( 3 ) tax-exempt organization recognized by the United States Government. Your contribution within the USA is tax-exempt.
    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P. O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York  12203   USA
    (518) 393-9491

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