Reflecting Acceptance: Calm in the face of a storm of rage

Varqa’s story leaped to my mind immediately when I began pondering the virtue of acceptance.  Though some may not see acceptance as a virtue but rather as an action, I see it as a powerful virtue that requires many other virtues to achieve: courage, compassion, love, detachment, discipline, faith.  We must accept ourselves as we are if we are to progress in our development.  It takes courage to look at ourselves honestly.  We must be compassionate with ourselves to break the cycle of guilt and blame.  Love is possible when we are compassionate with ourselves.  With that love, we can find the ability to let go of the constant desire to control our circumstances.  We can more easily accept them for the lessons they are.  Discipline is required to maintain that sense of serenity.  And we must have faith if we are to believe that we are the beautiful, noble human beings God created, and that we can develop, we can advance.  This process applies when we think of those we love as well. 

So pondering Varqa’s story, and that of his son, has been helpful to me to deepen my understanding of the first virtue in this year of reflection.  What are your thoughts?  What lessons has your life taught you about acceptance?  What lessons have other’s examples taught you?

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Reflecting on Purpose

Louis Gregory, champion of justice

There are so many stories I want to tell!  I think of amazing women like Martha Root, Lua Getsinger or Tahirih.  How many people really know their stories?  What about Louis Gregory or George Townsend?  These names are completely unfamiliar to most of the world, and absolutely beloved by a small, but growing number of people.  Their stories are worth telling in a way that engages and transforms, because that is what these people did.  And I keep learning new stories that are ideally suited to digital storytelling.

But here I am, stumped for whose story to tell first.  I have learned many wonderful things about digital storytelling.  There are so many options!  This is both a blessing and a challenge.  Now I am also stumped for how best to tell the stories.

So I here is what I think I will do.  I will re-focus my blog on reflection.  This is Looking Glass Stories, after all.  But what I want to reflect are the qualities that make human beings so extraordinary: love, courage, honor, humility, truthfulness, compassion, justice.

Martha Root, lioness of courage

Over the next year, I will choose virtues in alphabetical order, then find stories that reflect those virtues.  Because the virtue is pre-determined, I can choose the stories as I find them, and match them with the right virtue.  I can begin to plan the method of telling the story ahead of time.  This will be an exercise in discipline, especially if I give myself  deadline of one per week.  This means I have to research the story, choose the storytelling tool and create the content in a consistent manner, no matter where I am or what I am doing.  It reminds me of that great movie (that came from a blog, incidentally) called Julie, Julia.  In that story, Julie Powell gives herself a challenge to make every recipe in Julia Childs’ cookbook, and write about it, one recipe each day.  Pretty intense discipline, if you ask me.  But that’s essentially what I want to do.  I want to create something and then present the story in this blog, as I have done to some extent with Mona’s story, and with The Heart Stone.  I will begin the first week of January, 2011, and finish the last week of December, to include 52 virtues, and 52 different stories.  And in doing this, maybe I will begin to reflect more discipline!  Ah ha!  Double bonus!

Let me know if you have stories that you think reflect these virtues, listed by the week covered.  (Special thanks to The Virtues Project for helping me come up with this list, and with learning more about them):

George Townsend, beacon of faithfulness

  1. Acceptance
  2. Assertiveness
  3. Beauty
  4. Caring
  5. Compassion
  6. Confidence
  7. Consideration
  8. Courage
  9. Creativity
  10. Detachment
  11. Determination
  12. Diligence
  13. Enthusiasm
  14. Excellence
  15. Faithfulness
  16. Flexibility
  17. Forgiveness
  18. Generosity
  19. Grace
  20. Helpfulness
  21. Honesty
  22. Honor
  23. Humility
  24. Idealism
  25. Joyfulness
  26. Justice
  27. Kindness
  28. Love
  29. Loyalty
  30. Mercy
  31. Moderation
  32. Modesty
  33. Obedience
  34. Orderliness
  35. Patience
  36. Peacefulness
  37. Perseverance
  38. Purposefulness
  39. Reliability
  40. Respect
  41. Responsibility
  42. Reverence
  43. Self-discipline
  44. Steadfastness
  45. Tact
  46. Thankfulness
  47. Tolerance
  48. Trust
  49. Trustworthiness
  50. Truthfulness
  51. Unity
  52. Wisdom

In the mean time, I will reflect in my next post on my favorite digital stories to date, and what they have taught me.  This will tie this year up, and prepare me for the next year of focused, disciplined reflection!  Wish me luck.