Welcome to my weekly adventure to “Occupy the Blog-o-Sphere” each Thursday. I offer this hopefully uplifting picture and message to brighten your day and bring something buoyant into your life. As you move through your day with a renewed outlook, may you pass it along.

Well, not if you’re yelling at me like that. Take a deep breath and try a little kindness, Jack, old Buddy, old Pal.

Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean. From the very beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty but also of compassion and respect for what we see.

Pema Chodron, Buddhist Nun

I offer up this quote for several reasons.

  1. When I turned 50 (4 1/2 years ago), I made a solemn vow–a gift–to myself to speak my truth with kindness. I didn’t steal this idea from Pema consciously, but I was just beginning to read some of her teachings. For too long (approximately 50 years) I remained silent or suppressed my truth to preserve peace and harmony for others. I decided the time had come to release my voice, but wisely and kindly, not recklessly. When I did, A LOT changed. Initially, not all of it felt good for me or those around me. Those who could handle my truth are still with me (including me); those who could not, are not (with me, this is). But all of my truth-telling was done with a compassion heart. It still is.
  2. I’m not aiming to convert anyone to Buddhism, yet there are some wonderful and transformative lessons for living that I’ve discovered since I’ve adopted this practice. I think it would be selfish of me not to share them with you every once in a while.
  3. I have a niggling sense of unease. It comes from lots of sources. One of them is the proliferation of duplicitous behaviors I see at every level in our culture: within our families, communities, states, and nations. The people we turn to as leaders and role models are caught in lies and those that aren’t are under suspicion of something nefarious. In short, I believe we need a dose of honesty wrapped in compassion at all levels of social discourse. This may not cure all of our social ills, but it may go a long way toward easing the pain.

Click on this link to find out more about joining this cyber-movement to lighten up and brighten up our world so you can decide if you want to be part of it.