“Blessed are the righteous, for they will be filled.”

In a talk given thousands of years ago, Jesus of Nazareth said, “Blessed are those who seek after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

So many times in our society today, we are seeking righteousness in others. There is a lot of criticism of those who happen to be in the opposing political party, or of those who have a different view of the world than we do. I am alarmed at the visceral attacks against our fellow human beings. 

It brings to mind another one of Jesus’ famous moments of reminding us that when we think we have it all figured out, we likely don’t and shouldn’t call out anyone else’s “speck” before inspecting the “plank” in our own eyes.

We all have a tendency to be critical of others and even ourselves. When we feel ourselves falling into this pattern, it’s a good time to examine the righteousness (or lack thereof) within our own minds.

It all begins with how we think. Are we automatically critical of the people around us, without considering what might be going on in their life? Are we being positive to ourselves and others? Is our self talk about our own capabilities and patterns positive? Or negative? Are we concerned about the feelings, thoughts, and motivations of others or just our own?

We all have a tendency to go negative – with others and ourselves. In the unbelievably tense environment we find ourselves in right now it shouldn’t be a surprise to see this pattern widespread. But, we have a choice. We have a choice to take our thoughts captive, and we have a choice over how we treat the people around us.

Check Your Thoughts and Then Your Actions

I have found that when I see life well, it starts with quiet time in the morning to set my mind right. To focus on positive things. My blessings. This, in turn, makes me more positive towards others.

At Seaworld, I engaged in discussions with the CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S. who was supposed to be Seaworld’s “enemy.” I found we had a lot in common, more than we did not, on our animal welfare view. This happened because we had a dialogue and did not “monologue” distrust or hate to each other. As a result, our companies forged an agreement for the betterment of animal welfare over time.

Part of the reason we were able to have this dialogue and a positive outcome was that we were both in a place to make it happen. We wanted an open conversation. We both wanted to move in a positive direction.

While every situation and conversation will not be positive on both sides, you always have control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Starting in a positive place internally can lead to powerful external results.

What about you? Do you practice positive self-talk? Or destructive thinking? In my life, my biggest mistakes came when I started with unhealthy thinking that poisoned my heart. This led to actions that hurt others too. I learned that there is no way to be kind and forgiving to others if I am not working on kindness, forgiveness, and positivity in my own heart and life.

This week, make it your goal to take your thoughts captive and keep them positive. When you have negative thoughts, focus on your blessings. When you feel negativity towards others around you, focus on those you love and try to love the ones you don’t with that same kind of affection. You will see how much better the world looks.

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