Setting Boundaries - Reflections of a Young Man™

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Setting Boundaries

Bill Clinton narrates in his autobiography that he was once swarmed by bumblebees while mowing grass but they never stung him. He ran away from them but decided to go back near their nest thinking that the bumblebees had figured out that he meant no harm. But alas! On going back, he was stung mercilessly. And one of them got caught up in his belly making it sting him again and again - something bumblebees can do that honeybees cannot.

That Clinton's incidence teaches us that bumblebees are very wise. They know how to set boundaries, a concept well explained in Talane Miedaner's charming book: Coach Yourself to a New Career.

Setting boundaries is about limiting what others can't do to us or in our presence like bullying, lying, yelling, beating, talking coarsely or violating personal space. It is essential to happiness as Talane points out in her book. And it opens doors of great opportunities. Think of it this way: if we allow others to mistreat us without speaking up, we will end up nursing hatred and resentment: the devil's natural joy-killers.


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Lessons From an Eagle

When the spacecraft carrying the first men to the moon made its lunar landing, astronaut Neil Armstrong radioed back to the earth and said, "The Eagle has landed!" The American space agency (NASA) must have christened the spacecraft as "Eagle" because of the enviable character traits of the eagle, a bird that is a popular source of reference for preachers and motivational speakers.

The enviable character traits of the eagle include its clear vision, its focus on achieving its vision, its ability to overcome storms by soaring above the clouds, its preference for eating fresh meat and its renewal process when it reaches advanced age. Great character traits, aren't they?

Today, let me focus on the eagle's character trait of overcoming storms by soaring above the clouds; a trait that gives it peace as the world beneath is buffeted by stormy weather. The kind of peace that St. Paul described as surpassing all understanding.

Life is full of storms. There are sicknesses, injuries, loss, theft, criticism, rejections, mistakes, conflicts, discouragements, fears, career failures, rude remarks, technological problems, financial constraints - just to mention but a few. No one is immune to most of those storms regardless of wealth and physical looks.

We have an obligation as human beings to develop ourselves to a point where those storms no longer affect our serenity. It should be our aim to live peacefully in times of prosperity as well as adversity. By so doing, we will emulate the eagle that experiences peace in times of stormy weather by soaring above the clouds.

As for me, I want to live like an eagle by rising above every challenge by not allowing it to corrode my happiness. And when I die, I want angels to welcome me by shouting rejoicingly, "Yahoo, the eagle has landed!"


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The Almighty God vs. the Devil

To the earthly human eyes, the sun and the moon appear to be of equal size. But the truth is - the two are entirely different in their stature.

On the one hand, the sun is massive and very massive indeed. It possesses 99.9% of the mass in the solar system which is why all planets in the solar system revolve round the sun. It also produces enormous amounts of energy without which life on earth would be impossible. And so intense is its energy that gazing at the midday sun results in eyesight complications.

On the other hand, the moon is celestially-speaking just a tiny round piece of rock. It is so tiny that it has to depend on earth in its revolution round our planet. And the moon never produces its own light; it just reflects the portion it receives from the sun.

While the sun is always spherical and rises every morning, the moon keeps on changing shapes and disappears during new-moon days. And when the sun shines, the moon is overwhelmed out of sight.

I have narrated those scientific facts because of the parallels between the stature of the Sun vs. the moon and the stature of the Almighty God vs. the devil. Let me explain.

God is a mighty supernatural being who remains the same in every age and is always with us every day. It is due to His power that we exist. He is the source of light without which we lead miserable lives. And when we allow Him into our lives, the devil is overwhelmed out of action.

On the other hand, the devil is a weak being who derives his power from God. And he depends on us human beings for his satisfaction. The devil - how weak he is!

Can you see the parallels between the sun vs. the moon and the Almighty God vs. the devil? Let us therefore resist the devil and turn to God by shunning wickedness and doing right.


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