Mirrors of Goodness

November 21, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton

When I was in the business of performing weddings, I always took the opportunity to remind couples that, in a very real sense, each was a mirror for the other. Whenever a wife gazed at her husband, it is often not the husband she sees but rather the wonder of herself. The same is true for a husband encountering his wife. Each spouse in tasked with a profound power, the power to make or break the self-worth of your partner.

When I Look at You I see the Value in Me

It may be a startling idea, but you are a mirror for other people to discover their own value, even when they are feeling “less than.” If my wife sees me as a valuable, loving, and contributing member of our family she cannot help but to demonstrate that in her eyes and smile and demeanor. I look at her and oddly I feel good about myself.

We all need mirrors—all the more reason to become mirrors reflecting the goodness in people, especially when they are particularly feeling a sublime sense of goodness within themselves.

Not the Absence of Judgment but the Presence of Love

I was listening to a lecture by psychotherapist Jim Finley. He talked about how so many of his clients “felt safe” in his presence and in his office. Jim was quick to point out that while most people attributed their feelings of safety to the lack of judgment and condemnation they found in the therapists domain, there was something more impactful and even more stubble to going on.

Jim Finley was able to discover the goodness of every person in his office and the to transmit that goodness by means of non-verbal communication—eyes, tone, gestures, and facial expression.

What if?

What if we all took on that responsibility? Instead of looking at the competition or the roadblocks we often find in others, what if we looked for their goodness and their need to be affirmed? And what it we were the ones with that assignment?

What if we saw in others the light of the divine, created in the image of God?

As Mirrors of Goodness, I believe our impact on the world would magnify substantially.

Look at Me

I am the Best Mirror You Will Ever Gaze Into

Photo courtesy of Kuzmichstudio at istockphoto

#172 Terry Hershey: Chasing Fairy Tales

November 17, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

Who doesn’t love Fairy Tales?

Today Terry Hershey and I will engage in yet another very impromptu discussion. This time we plan to dive into the, may I say, treacherous waters of Fairy Tail.

As kids, so many of us were “Walt Disneyed” with challenging and happy-ending Fairy Tales, which offered hope for overcoming the hardships and trials that come with real life. And the messages from Fairy Tales continue to influence the way so many of us project and plan our futures.

But not all Fairy Tails ended the way Walt Disney Productions portrayed them did they? Cinderella, Snow White and The Little Mermaid originally had rather grim endings. And speaking of grim, just think of the Brothers Grimm tales. In fact, the fairy tales written by the Grimm brothers were not even intended for children… the stories were indeed quite “adult.”

But today we are still, in our most optimistic moments, prone to compose stories of a particularly hopeful future. While I, personally, think that is a good thing to do, but the question arises, “Are personal fairy tales helpful?”

Let’s see what comes up in my lively conversation with Terry Hershey.

Visit Terry at www.terryhershey.com .

For more with Charlie Hedges please visit www.thenextchapter.life

 

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Losing Our Soul

November 14, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

In George Orwell’s book 1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Huxley’s Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us; Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us. I fear that Huxley may have been right.” Thoughts from Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

Neil Postman, in a book written in 1985, prognosticated exactly the state of the America in 2020 when he foresaw our fondness for distraction and the pleasure associated with it.

On Becoming Narcissistic Autobots

With social media, biased published media, TV, movies, and smart phones we are indeed amusing ourselves to death. I fear the price for self-centered and narcissistic entertainment is costing us our very souls. We are in danger of becoming inhuman autobots, arrested by a hunger for amusing electronic toys.

Children no longer “play make-believe.” When I was a kid we did two things: Played make-believe and baseball. And now, as adults, instead of thoughtful soul-searching activities (like reading or writing or painting or hobbies), we seem to be more fascinated by an engagement with sycophants on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Endangered Values???

Candidly, in the November Elections of 2020 I feared the power of the one party to seriously endanger my core democratic values of freedom, meritocracy, and individualism. As it turns out, that while the some political party may chip at the edges of my values, it is our own predilection for distraction that will prove to be our downfall—anything to keep us from having “to work at thinking.”

This, I believe, is induced by a belief that the ultimate goal in American life is the acquisition of money, which many of us use largely to purchase pleasure.

The Soul-Enriching Pleasure of Doing Nothing

“Everyday life,” as we once knew it, cannot satiate our newfound need for sustained titillation. Therefore solitude and the pleasure of a cup of coffee while lounging outside in leisure soaking in the bliss of a garden becomes an abhorrent abyss of boredom. A garden or some setting in nature genuinely satisfies the soul, while our amusing “toys” arouse only the senses. What we are facing is yet another bastardization of Epicurus. Like love, we seek pleasure in all the wrong places.

The loss, I fear, is greater than some aberration of my core democratic values. The real loss is the negation of my soul.

Losing Our Souls

And Loving Every Minute of It

Photo courtesy of Antonio_Diaz at istockphoto

#171 Haley Chapman: Daring to Dream Big

November 11, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes

It is so good to be back in studio. I so prefer working with you in here rather than remotely in my home office. Now that’s odd coming from an introvert. But I think perhaps I am only a “partial introvert,” I still enjoy live conversations with interesting people.

And “interesting” certainly describes our guest today. I have known Haley Chapman for longer than fifteen years, all beginning when she was just 9 or 10 years old. And in the meantime Haley has grown up to become an impressive and enthusiastic young woman with unique talents and most challenging dreams.

Her bio reads: Haley Chapman is a young entertainment industry professional living in Los Angeles, CA. Most recently she has worked as a publicist at multiple record labels, television and film production studios, including Dick Clark Productions. Haley is also a most gifted singer / songwriter, having released her first EP at 18 years old. She attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where she received her degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industry Studies.

I am keenly interested in chatting with Haley about the challenging and ultra competitive journey of a brilliant and creative artist.

With that let’s bring Haley Chapman on the show.

You can contact Haley at haleychapman25@gmail.com

Listen to Haley’s Songs Here: https-//soundcloud.com/hal#4375

 

For more with Charlie Hedges please visit www.thenextchapter.life

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