Let’s all be good architects and build lives of love and generosity instead of anger and bitterness

May 30, 2022 | 2 comments

By Jan Dynes

It is time to start thinking like good builders. We are the architects of ourselves and the world around us, and the way we connect to it. Are we a good support system or are we contributing to erosion and mildew?

If we are repeating our shortcomings or ills and pains, we are giving them more power over us. We don’t improve anything by focusing on the worst part of any situation. Where we focus is where we land. To help ourselves see how lucky we are is powerfully healing. Doing everything we can do to be better is progress.

An Italian restaurant in the historic district gives out food every morning to hungry Cuencanos.

If we aren’t helping someone else in a worse situation, then what can we expect to improve? Globally, are we pointing out the awful news while doing nothing toward improvement and thus missing the miracles and joys? Practicing gratitude and smiling from the inside, beaming out on everyone you meet can build a better structure.

7,868,872,451 people occupy our big blue marble. Just imagine if they all started smiling more and being angry less? What if they all fed a homeless person and gave a compliment to a stranger, let someone pull in front of them in traffic, or just didn’t beep their horns. What if people quit assuming anyone in a different political party wasn’t worth talking to and no determination was predisposed to dislike them.

If a construction foreman receives a shipment of warped wood or badly fired bricks that are crumbling, he doesn’t build with them unless graft, payoffs and corruption are involved. No, he refuses the faulty materials and insists on better materials. Intelligent people work with quality materials, kindness, moral strength, caring and reason and they throw out petty slights, addictions, anger, and crumbling morality

Expat Peter Dudar shares a moment with a Cuenca street vendor.

Yet so many people constantly point out and demonstrate their flaws repeating all the same problems over and over, instead of making a repair plan. Might I suggest all things and people need maintenance? Replace crumbling, cracked, ill fired bricks in ourselves and in our countries and the planet, stop whining and start rewiring bad connections, clean up the mold that makes your judgements tainted.

Really and truly listen to your own rhetoric, has it been static and the same for a very long time?  Study the people around you who are the mortar you are using to stand stuck in old thought patterns. If you are all ‘birds of a feather’ and your friends lack diversity and new people have not been welcomed in to your inner circle to offer new ideas, you are simply reinforcing a cracked and flawed foundation which always takes place over time without repairs; it may be time for a new foundation without old decay.

If you consider being staid and unchanging as a virtue, read more, listen to opposite ideas, if you carry around anger, you are poisoning yourself incrementally. Yet if love ad generosity flow from you, you are a healer for yourself and those around you too. Which do you want to be?

I wish all of us to never quit growing and flowering and filling those around us with positivity. Norman Cousins proved he could cure his disease with laughter. ‘Anatomy of an Illness’, starring Ed Asner tells his story. I use his methods all the time. I beat cancer with it. If I am having a down moment, I force myself to count my blessings, think of all the good things in life, if I have a pain, I refuse to give it any attention and am just happy I am moving about anyway.

Rolling stones gather no moss, so keep learning, doing things you enjoy, laugh a lot, smile at strangers and most of all try to see the best part of others instead of their flaws. Embrace diversity and start off with a plan to be kind to everyone no matter how they act to you. Be the honey to their vinegar.

Never allow anyone else to steal your joy, if they can’t be nice, sympathize for their misery and move on quickly. Angry people should simply encourage your rolling stone to keep on rolling.

Feel incredibly grateful you aren’t sharing in their Kool-Aid!

Jan Dynes, the author of Refraction, Dottie’s Gift, Jamal’s Story, The River and Hear Our Voices moved to Cuenca on Easter four years ago and fell in love with the city and its people. She lives on a finca high upon a mountaintop, 25 minutes out of the city at 10,400 ft. She found her paradise above the clouds looking out over her beloved Cuenca which serves as her muse.


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