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Good Morning
by Jim Brinkley

It seems to me that one of the things sorely lacking in our culture is common courtesy. To put it another way, common courtesy, like common sense, is not all that common! Several mornings each week I take a five-mile walk through a park on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. It is a wonderful place to walk because there are fantastically beautiful views of the coastline, the ocean, the greenery and multi-colored blossoms of the park, sea birds, and even from time to time, a school of dolphins! Depending on the day of the week, there may be just a few locals out walking or there may be many tourists as well. But there are never so many people that I cannot say good morning to each. Their reactions are interesting.

Some people are genuinely surprised and break into a big smile and give me a hearty good morning in return. Some merely respond with a nod of the head or a brief grunt. Others do not respond at all, leaving me to wonder if they heard my good morning or even noticed me! Once in a great while, I receive a negative or even a surly reply.

My favorite response is when I am one of a line of folks walking in one direction and there is another line of folks walking in the opposite direction. While there is enough space between us for comfort, I am close enough to those in front and those behind to hear their reactions. Those walking in my direction but behind me are silent. Those people coming toward me pass those walking ahead of me silently until they get to me. Once they hear my hearty "Good Morning!" they respond in kind and then suddenly they are greeting each person they pass, causing all those behind me to begin doing the same. Often, those folks coming toward me hear and see what is going on and join in. Pretty soon, there is a chain of folks greeting each other with a cheery "Good Morning" all throughout the park!

As in the physical world, there are both laws and rules in most spiritual systems. When I use the word law, I mean an explanatory principle. This applies to principles that explain how things work in the spiritual world, just as the laws of nature explain how things work in the physical world. For example, the Law of Gravity states that in the physical world of separation, the attraction between two bodies is equal to the product of their masses multiplied by a constant and then divided by the square of the distance between them. Similarly, the Law of Attraction states that in the spiritual world of connection, reflection, and unity, we attract to ourselves what we think about.

When I use the word rule, I mean a regulation governing conduct. For example, there is a rule in the physical world that states we are supposed to stop our vehicle at a red light. Similarly, there is a rule in the spiritual world that says we should honor our father and mother.

In this sense, laws are helpful in understanding how the world works. This understanding allows us to formulate more effective behavior. Rules are helpful in establishing order, which also helps us to formulate more effective behavior.

In my view, the most important spiritual law is the one that states that everything is a reflection. We each create our own reality with our thoughts and with our actions. What we put out into the universe is reflected back at us. Therefore the most important spiritual rule is the one that we all know but often fail to heed: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Try applying this rule to the simplest of interactions throughout your daily routine. Try using your directional signal before changing lanes, saying "How are you today?" and "Thank you to the sales person in the department store, allowing someone with only one or two items to go ahead of you in the checkout line in the supermarket, reaching up to get something off a high shelf for someone unable to reach it, or simply being patient with someone who is trying their best to help you but having difficulty performing their job. Any of these actions can brighten someone’s day. Occasionally, you may even start a chain reaction that makes many people feel just a little better.

The next time you despair about all the inequality, hatred, suffering, and injustice in the world and wish there was something you could do, remember that there is. It may not seem like much but just put out into the universe in thought, word, and deed whatever it is that you would like to receive.

Thank you for your attention and GOOD MORNING!

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