Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum on · 75 comments

Wait for me
Creative Commons License photo credit: lepiaf.geo

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A special thank you to Dr. Holly Latty-Mann for sharing this quote.

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Zeenat{Positive Provocations} January 24, 2010 at 3:27 am

Dearest Lance,
So Empowering…WOW!
Its just all power to the “I” factor in the most loving light!
This quote just so lovingly nudges you towards being the best YOU you can be…and yes it is OUR CHOICE and ONLY our choice to be the best we can be.
And how lovely for the chain reaction….if we treat people like their best selves they will indeed be their best self.
BEautiful way to start my Sunday 🙂
Thank you for this dear friend …
Much love,
.-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..Footprints In The Sand =-.


Barbara Swafford January 24, 2010 at 3:49 am

Hi Lance,

It’s all about choices, isn’t it?

And that last sentence – how powerful :

“If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Thank you for sharing this and reminding me to see past the surface.

Happy Sunday!
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..Blogs – Free vs Paid – Is One Better? =-.


Miz January 24, 2010 at 4:35 am

As Im scrambling in my own life to see how I might make the tiniest of differences in the lives of the orphaned children in Haiti the last sentences resonated with me strongly.

I need to make them my own and realize that it isnt only in times of disaster or discomfort I need to rise up and lend a hand.
.-= Miz´s Last Fabulous Post ..New Balance. New love. (giveaway post). =-.


Mindful Mimi January 24, 2010 at 4:41 am

Wonderful Lance! What a quote for a Sunday. Goethe was a smart man. I particularly like the last sentence. That is so true. It focuses on positivity, on giving people a chance, on letting them see through the fog they may be in, on telling them ‘you’re good and capable’. I think this is very important. It’s what Marcus Buckingham calls ‘focusing on your strengths’ instead of your weaknesses – and that goes for yourself as well as for others.
Thanks for shining this light on our Sunday.
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.


Dr. Rus January 24, 2010 at 5:33 am

Hey there Lance!
A wonderful thought to start a new day, and a new week. We live in a world where many people feel isolated and totally self-centered. But, when we step back and realize we have an impact on our surrounding environment, then we can really see some great things take place.
Dr. Rus
.-= Dr. Rus´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Start Of A New Year =-.


LisaNewton January 24, 2010 at 5:55 am

So true, it’s all up to us. I have to remember this when I’m having a bad day. I don’t want to spread my “badness” to everyone else.

Thanks for the reminder, Lance.
.-= LisaNewton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Leveling the Playing Field – for a David of a price, you get a Goliath of a Sports Car =-.


Barb Hartsook January 24, 2010 at 5:56 am

Hi Lance. I don’t often have the time to stop by on an early Sunday morning. But how glad I am I could today. (I usually get your Sunday inspirations on my tiny blackberry screen, from your email.)

I remember Goethe’s writings from high school — seemed a bit heavy to me. Have never gotten my mouth to say his name correctly, even with coaching from my German grandmother. Haha.

But this quote isn’t heavy. It’s just filled with truth — I’m two generations past my high school years, and understanding of the truth is in the living. And raising kids. And playing with grandkids. And meeting and working with and forming relationships with people (long and short-term) my whole life. Life just fills up more wholely when you practice truth…

Thanks for your ongoing Sunday thoughts. 🙂


Jeanne January 24, 2010 at 5:59 am

Fabulous posting as they are all
.-= Jeanne´s Last Fabulous Post .. =-.


Joanna Sutter January 24, 2010 at 6:09 am

Yes, Yes, Yes! It takes just as much energy to be positive as it does to be negative and just as much energy to do good vrs evil. Powerful words. Thank you!
.-= Joanna Sutter´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday School =-.


Yum Yucky January 24, 2010 at 6:23 am

Oooo. I learned this lesson the hard way in the first few years of marriage. But I get now. Totally get it! LOL!

And I’m teaching my children this lesson NOW. To apply to every area of their life. I’m passing on the good wisdom….

Life is what me make it. I really, really believe that.
.-= Yum Yucky´s Last Fabulous Post ..Woman Seeks Vaccine for Runner’s Disease =-.


Natalia Burleson January 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

Hi Lance,
This quote speaks to me. I have been struggling a lot lately and I guess my whole life with how I choose to react to situations. It’s only been a few years since I realized that I am in control of how I react. But I still suffer from knee jerk tendencies.

My favorite line: “In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.” What a great reminder. I almost always react before I think, before I process. There are a lot of times that I have a mess that needs to be cleaned up because I didn’t take the time to work through.

I have been working with my son on this concept. We talk about his/my choices on how we respond to things. I didn’t realize I had a choice until I was almost 40. We talk about how we can choose to be happy or mad. We can choose to forgive. Things that are still over his head, but I know that at some point will click and make sense to him.

Thank you so much for your Sunday thoughts Lance! You almost always choose one that correlates with a lesson I need to learn or re-learn!

Have a great day with the family!!

Natalia 🙂


Lisis January 24, 2010 at 6:55 am

Lance, this is my favorite one yet. It is definitely empowering and inspiring in a big way. I feel all of this especially in the contexts of parenting, homeschooling, and blogging. I set the tone. But for me the operative line here is:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.”

I realize these truths… it’s all up to me, and this frightens me beyond words because my daily moods are unstable at best. My personal approach to the world around me varies with that emotional pendulum, and it makes “stuff” a great challenge sometimes. (Goethe would not be proud of my use of the word “stuff”, but I just can’t think of exactly the right word this early.)

Anyway, Lance, thank you for sharing this today. It has trickled down into my soul and is taking root as we speak. 🙂
.-= Lisis´s Last Fabulous Post ..Inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut: Life Beyond Computers =-.


Adrenalynn January 24, 2010 at 7:13 am

Thank you for sharing this powerful quote! Like everyone else said, that last sentence especially speaks to me. I hope the words will stay with me and help me choose my response to every situation this week!
.-= Adrenalynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Confessions =-.


Diane AZ January 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

Interesting thought for the day, Lance. It reminds me of a quote by John Milton, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”
.-= Diane AZ´s Last Fabulous Post ..After the rain… =-.


Evelyn Lim January 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

The last sentence caught my attention too. Simply Wow! It’s a great reminder on how I should also treat my kids. Thanks for the inspiration!
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Planting Seeds of Intent: Creation. Creativity. Gratitude. =-.


Jannie Funster January 24, 2010 at 8:11 am

I have come to the frightening conclusion that your Sunday thoughts always rock and inspire, Lance. Well not so frightening really. Actually your Sunday posts are decisively escalating to the human spirit.

Off to hug somebody now!

.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Yes – Kids Sure Do Say The Darndest Things” Part 2 =-.


Jay Schryer January 24, 2010 at 8:36 am

“In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.”

*This* is so important. People don’t realize that it takes two to argue, and at any point, either one can take a step back and prevent the situation from getting any worse. Just because someone yells, doesn’t mean you have to yell back. Just because someone hits, doesn’t mean you have to hit back. So much conflict, so much pain, so much suffering in the world could be avoided if we would all recognize our own parts that we play, and consciously decide to move towards a more peaceful solution.


Marisa (Loser for Life) January 24, 2010 at 8:39 am

Wow, this is so true! I realize this more and more in dealing with my family members and my children. I am copying this now and posting it on my vision board. What great words of wisdom to read every morning as a reminder of how to go about my day. Thanks, Lance 🙂


Audra Krell January 24, 2010 at 8:53 am

When we treat people the way God designed them we are saying “choices are something you do,” they aren’t who you are. Bad choices don’t have to define people. When we treat people as they ought to be, we are being the change we want to see in the world. It’s very difficult at times, almost impossible, but the rewards are priceless. This quote is tremendous, thanks for sharing my friend.
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..What I Feel =-.


Tess The Bold Life January 24, 2010 at 9:05 am

The line that hit me was how a crisis can be “escalated or descalted” or a person can be “humanized or dehumanized.” Instead of large scale I can bring this to a personal level with my words, thoughts and actions.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord January 24, 2010 at 9:20 am

This reminds me of when I was a kid, and my mom would tell me to ignore the bullies and they’d eventually stop what they were doing. This quote, though, takes it a step further and (in my mind, anyway), says that wherever we see hate, emit love. Wherever we see hurt, apply healing.

As a kid I don’t think I could have done this, but as an adult, it’s something I strive for. I don’t always succeed, but I become more and more aware every day.

Thank you, Lance and happy Sunday!


Evita January 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

Lance, these types of words/messages/pieces of wisdom I think are my ultimate favorites. For I know that when we realize that we create, that we are accountable and responsible for our happiness that everything in our lives changes. This is the platform from which the greatest dreams and miracles happen.

Thank you for sharing these such valuable words!


Janice @ The Fitness Cheerleader January 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

You know that is so true – it’s not the situation that determines our happiness, it’s how we approach & embrace the situations life brings our way that determines our happiness. Thanks for the much needed reminder Lance! PS – I’m a facebook friend of yours and am now a new subscriber. Cheers! 🙂

Let me motivate you!


Nadia - Happy Lotus January 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hi Lance,

Goethe is such a powerful writer and this quote is another reminder of this fact.

We are more powerful than we realize and we are the creators of our reality. Whatever we experience is a reflection of what we put out there. Think the world is a horrible place and that will be experienced. Think the world is a wonderland and then that will be experienced.

Life is not that complicated. We have complicated it for no reason. We think there is a reason but there is not. Life is meant to be beautiful, simple and to be enjoyed. We are here to grow and learn. No where does it state that we are here to be miserable or small. We are pretty awesome…we just lose sight of it at times. It is people like Goethe that reminds us our inherent power.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful quote with all of us! 🙂


Lance January 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

@Zeenat – The chain reaction…yes, I love that thought. It’s like we live up to (or down to) how others treat us. And there is so much power in our choices…

@Barbara – Seeing people for what they can be…so powerful, and so empowering!

@Miz – Moments of disaster (i.e. Haiti right now) rally people together to make a difference, and that’s great. It’s in the ordinary day to day life that we can really make a difference, too, though. Thanks for the reminder that there are always ways to help.

@Mimi – That is a great way to look at this, through “focusing on the strengths”. I had the opportunity to hear Markus Buckingham speak about a year ago, and hearing him touch upon this exact idea really did resonate. And it really does tie in with see people for what IS possible with them.

@Dr. Rus – Hey there Dr. Rus! That’s such a great way to think about this! We all do have an impact, and what impact is that which we want to leave?

@LisaNewton – …and we all have those days…days which just aren’t our “best”. Still, we always have a choice on what we put “out there” into the world, and how we treat others. So, thank you, Lisa, for this reminder too!

@Barb Hartsook – Hi Barb. I know! His name is a hard one to pronounce! And right, when we can live by these truths, how much better life is…for us, and for those we connect with. And that right there is pretty wonderful!


Carla January 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

The last sentence made my life. People don’t change if you just accept them as-is. Treat them better than they come across and hopefully they will the value and evolve.


Avani Mehta January 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Wow Lance, this is so empowering. Throws the responsibility for your life and others right into your lap. It’s all up to you.


Lance January 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

@Jeanne – Thank you Jeanne.

@Joanna – I love it, Joanna! As long as we’re putting out energy, it might as well be positive!

@Yum Yucky – Josie, this is a great lesson to teach your kids. We all have the power to create the life we desire…I really believe that. And you shine this, in everything I see from you, you are putting yourself out there, connecting, and really creating the amazing person that YOU are!

@Natalia – Hi Natalia. So…reacting. Yes, I’m sure we have all done this at some time. I know that I have, and afterward I really feel bad about it. And you are there now, Natalia. And everything I’ve seen from you, Natalia, is all about seeing the good in others, being love, and loving those you care for. and I know, also, that it’s in those moments that challenge us when this is the most difficult. You are doing great Natalia, and I really believe you are there…living this out.

@Lisis – I’m smiling, Lisis. See, what I witness from you is nothing but love and light into the world. Now, granted, I’m not seeing you always. I am seeing you uplift, though, in such powerful ways. And it’s your beauty shining through. So, know that I very much see the mood you set as one that only lifts people to a higher place within themselves. So, when all that “stuff” challenges you (as it does me sometimes, too), know that I see you as a shining light in this world.

@Adrenalynn – Lynn, that last line really does seem to connect with everyone today. And I think that’s because we all can see just how uplifting this can be. And perhaps when we’ve experienced that ourselves, we also know just how good it feels ourselves.

@Diane AZ – Diane, that quote you shared sure does fit with this from Goethe. We can make the good bad, or the bad good. It our choice…


Lynn January 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Wow – it is our choice. And I love this quote. Thank you Lance.


Elaine Helle January 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm

This January 24 Global Belly Laugh Day people around the world – New Zealand, Australia, Dubai, Egypt, Switzerland, Luxembourg, England, Canada, Africa, South America, Mexico, USA (even in libraries) have chosen to make the day joyous with a smile and laugh out loud moment. Laughter is contagious. Thanks to all of you for catching your laughter.
with a smile and a belly laugh,


diantha January 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

This is a beautiful quote and the last sentence “If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” lies at the core of my work. I just realized this as I read Goethe’s amazing quote. You know how much I love quotes as so many of my own posts contain them! But this one shows how powerful our co-creation is and will be one of my favorites from now on. Thank you!


Davina January 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Hi Lance.
I wish I was there in that picture 🙂 This quote makes me think that when it comes down to it; it really IS all about us after all. Not necessarily what we get, but what we put out and how and what we respond to.


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now January 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Treating people as we want them to be is a great way of saying it. Too many people try the “eye for an eye” and it never works. It just makes everyone even more mad.

It comes down to creating the life that will make us both parties happy.


Aurora January 24, 2010 at 4:03 pm

So very, very very true.
And as by degrees I implement that way of perception into my life, more and more is positively transformed.
How grateful I am for the learnings that bring such joy and freedom with them!

It’s my first time to visit your blog – looking forward to returning soon:)


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings January 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Lance, I really LOVE this Sunday (or rather, Monday for me) thought. As my Dad used to always say when we were kids, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” As an adult I’ve also added, “treat others as you’d like to be treated”. I’d rather inspire, humour and heal thanks very much.


Lance January 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

@Evelyn – That’s a great observation, Evelyn! My first take on the last sentence didn’t take me immediately to my own kids, and as I read that from you…so good! It can start right here at home!!

@Jannie – …standing in line (for that hug!). I guess we can make it virtual for now, ok! Hugs! Jannie, you sure have a way of making me feel good! I’m putting the wine away, I’ll just read your comment over and over! (you are awesome!)

@Jay – Right! It doesn’t have to be “an eye for an eye”. We live in a society where we accept this, though. And that’s not to say we should be a push over, because I think we can resolve a lot of things in humanistic manners and still stand up for what we believe. Great point, Jay!

@Marisa – Some words are so worth reading over and over. These are some of them. We have so much power with what we say and what we do – and sometimes we don’t even realize just how what we are saying might be affecting someone else.

@Audra – Audra, what you have said is beautiful! And so “right on” when we look at people and the choices they make. Those choices don’t have to define them. And we can help them to see what IS possible. Thank you so much for writing this…

@Tess – And what a great place to bring this to – to a personal level. When we start within our sphere of influence, we are starting where we have the biggest impact on a deeper level. So, so good…

@Megan – “…wherever we see hate, emit love”…Megan, that is so wonderfully stated! Not easy as a child, and with all the pressures we perceive at those ages. And not necessarily easy as an adult either, although we CAN do it. All of us. So I’m with you…let’s emit love out into the world!


Lance January 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

@Evita – I agree so deeply with what you are saying. This message by Goethe, and others like it, are words that touch upon some at a much deeper level. And when we truly let them do that, to touch upon our soul…so many great things can happen!

@Janice – Hey, I recognize the gravatar!! Hi Janice!! Right, we can choose…and I choose happiness! Just like having you here makes me happy!!!

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. I love all that you are saying! And there really is so much to be in awe and wonder of with our world – that’s such a great way to view life and everything in it! And that’s part of the choice too. We are way awesome! All of us! And especially you, Nadia! You are a shining light of goodness and beauty in our world!

@Carla – That last sentence really is so great, and so uplifting. When we can share that genuinely with others, they will rise up to the greatness that is within them. Just as you, Carla, are rising up to that amazing greatness in YOU!

@Avani – Empowering. Such a great word here for this. It really empowers us both to go out and live these principles, and to allow them to enter into our lives when others show these wonderful qualities toward us. Awesome stuff!

@Lynn – It IS our choice!! Thanks Lynn!

@Elaine – I’m sending a great big belly laugh your way TODAY!!! Woohoo!!! HaHaHaHa!!! Happy Belly Laugh Day!!


Laura Hegfield January 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Lance…I know as a parent, teacher, artist and coach this is always true…we must see the potential in everyone (and everything). Sometimes an individual cannot see their own radiance…they are blinded by their own light…with distance we can see the fullness and then let them know how beautiful they already are, encouraging them to keep going/being their most glorious self.


Lance January 24, 2010 at 5:58 pm

@Diantha – Diantha, wow!! What a realization, and what a beautiful place to work from! I am so glad this one resonated with you, it”s filled with so much wonderful goodness.

@Davina – Hi Davina. I wish I was there at that picture, too (especially on this cool and rainy Wisconsin day). We have so much power, don’t we. Power with our words and actions…to do so much good, or so much bad. That’s what I really draw deeply from this…

@Karl – The “eye for an eye” method of resolving life’s challenges rarely works (if ever). When we can really treat others as we would want to be treated, that is where we can get to making real inroads into life and living.

@Aurora – Hi Aurora. Perception is such a good word here, too. We can easily perceive things based upon facial expressions, demeanor, etc. And that’s why this is all so important, too. It all plays a role in how we treat other people. Thanks so much for visiting!

@Sami – Hey Sami! Happy Monday morning to YOU! There is so much great truth in that – treating others as we’d want to be treated. Deep down, we are not all that different. And Sami – you most definitely shine at bringing sunshine, inspiration, adn humour into the lives of everyone you touch – like me!! Be well, dear friend…

@Laura – And when someone can’t see their own radiance, what a beautiful moment if we can help them not only see it, but live it! Laura, that is such a wonderful thought! Keep on shining this beauty and goodness into the world!


Diane Fit to the Finish January 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm

It’s just a beautiful thought that we can empower other people by uplifting them and treating them to their full potential. Thank you!


Wilma Ham January 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Oh Lance, this one is great; “If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.”
At the moment yes, because we are NOT our greatness.
Howver I do want to treat you how YOU are, with kindness by saying thanks to kindness.
Now and how are you taking that, Lance?


Jillian January 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Hello Lance,

I always visit your site but shy away from commenting since you are already so infiltrated with responses.

But, I couldn’t stay away from commenting on Goethe’s quote. It touches me to the core.

Thank you!


Tim January 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Hi Lance:

Thanks for sharing this powerful quote. Its a good one to refer to next time I’m ready to blame something or someone for my circumstance. We really do have more power to control our situation that we think we do. Thanks for getting the week off to a good start!


Lori (JaneBeNimble) January 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm

“It is my personal approach that creates the climate.”

Wow, Lance, this is deep. I’m reading it kind of late on Sunday night, and it’s really hitting me.
We’re mirrors. And we’re also the tools of the trade.
I want to be a hammer of love, grace, and service.

Thanks for hanging out with us this weekend, Lance. You’re such a beacon of light.
I feel bathed in your brilliance and blessed to know you.


Lance January 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

@Diane – Just by seeing what’s possible, we can help others to see that in themselves too! That’s a pretty wonderful thought!

@Wilma – Wilma, you are so sweet and kind (that’s how I’m taking that!). I mean it, you shine such goodness here always, and I am so lucky to be the recipient of that – thank you, very deeply, for being here and shining your amazing goodness into my life.

@Jillian – Hi Jillian! These words by Goethe are so powerfully touching, and I think they take us right to our soul, and to where these principles reside in all of us. Thanks so much for sharing today.

@Tim – Hi Tim. The blame game. Yep, I’ve played that one. (not that I’m proud of it) And these words really touch upon just how much power we have within ourselves. So, so good to remember.

@Lori – Tools of the trade. Lori, I completely love this statement, especially as you see those tools – filled with love, grace, and service. Words that ring so true to the words the Goethe shared above. And Lori, it was a complete pleasure to hang out on your site this weekend, what a wonderful series you have created with the Front Porch stories. Thanks for having me!


Erin Prais-Hintz January 25, 2010 at 12:05 am

Great googly moogly! That is the message I needed to hear right now. As I prepare to go off to “work” yet again in a very dismal situation, I have to make the best of it. I am my own weather…that is powerful stuff! Thank you for sharing it. Now I just hope I can live up to it tomorrow…oops…today! Enjoy the day! Erin


J.D. Meier January 25, 2010 at 1:26 am

I’m a fan of lifting others up and Goethe found the right words.


Hilary January 25, 2010 at 2:19 am

Hi Lance – what an amazing quote .. and how wonderful to explain a day in that way .. we do make the sunshine, even if it’s grey – or white as recently – we can sadly make people cry or change those tears to hope; we can watch our words and actions so that we don’t harm others; we can set examples for all and do unto others as we’d like and hope people will treat us.

Good words to remember each and every day to help ourselves, our friends, our environment and ultimately a some tiny way the world – we are the climate for the day ahead .. be sunny and warm ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Hilda January 25, 2010 at 4:52 am

“In all situations, it is my response that decides…” … everything! I think this is so powerful Lance and so true. It’s not the situation itself that matters quite so much as how we choose to respond to it.


Mama Zen January 25, 2010 at 9:48 am

This is fabulous!


Holly Latty-Mann January 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

Lance, what perfect timing for you to share my favorite quote (I feel honored) – I just finished a marathon weekend self-awareness workshop (same one you experienced in the middle of your PLDP), and this quote truly does capture what is fundamental to supporting the growth of our human spirit.

You draw the most beautiful, sincere group of people to your Jungle of Life postings, and reading over all these comments connects us all in such a profound yet powerfully simple way. Lance, you set the stage for that in your unconditional acceptance of everyone. When I read of struggles going on (truly in this jungle of life), I feel a certainty of healing taking place within each person sharing, and I am grateful for the deep connection you make possible for us. The Jungle of Life is a healing center that you created for the growth of the human spirit for all of us visiting, and I am richer in spirit for reading everyone’s comments.
I am like Jillian who reads and doesn’t want to overload you, yet at the same time, it is all these soul-awakening postings that contribute to the community that you envisioned when you created the Jungle of Life. Lance, buckets of thanksgiving for you for the oasis we all can visit for refreshment! Holly


Kristin Hutchings January 25, 2010 at 10:04 am

A very powerful quote. We all have so many choices and the more we realise that all our actions and decisions have consequences, the more aware we should be of the power we wield. We really can make a difference not just to ourselves but everyone around us.


Lance January 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

@Erin – Hey, I love that phrase -…”great googly moogly”!! I wonder how I can work that into my vocabulary today!?!? You bring up a great point, Erin. Sometimes we might be in “less than ideal” situations. Still, we always have the choice in how to respond to that situation…always. Erin, while I don’t know your work situation completely, I do know that as a person…you are a shining example of goodness on this earth. I am sure you are creating weather that is the best possible given all other factors. Keep on being YOU…always…

@J.D. Meier – Goethe definitely found the right words, they ring very true for so many.

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. Right, we can help our hurt with our words and actions. Even if it’s not intentional, we still can cause harm to others. I think that plays very much along the line of being cognizant of our surroundings and the people in it…and caring always.

@Hilda – That response of ours…our choice. And how are we choosing to respond…exactly as you have stated! So true, thanks Hilda!

@Mama Zen – It really is fabulous, thanks Mama Z!

@Holly – Holly, thank you so much for introducing me to this quote. I’ve held onto it since you did, knowing this would become a “Sunday Thought”. So, know that I am so grateful for our paths crossing in this world, and for the light you’ve shined into my life. And yes, there is a deep connection created here in these comments. Words that really come to life, and take on new meaning with the caring input of others. Holly, also know that your words describing this as a “healing center” are words that very much have touched me at my core. You are a true gift in my life, and I am deeply honored to have you here on this journey.

@Kristin – Yes, we really can make a difference. And in fact, I believe we all do – it’s just a matter of what kind of difference are we making? All part of the choice we have on what we put out into this world.


Suzicate January 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Thank you. I so needed to hear those words today, to be reminded of the power we possess in helping make others lives happier.


Robin Easton January 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Dear Lance, I just LOVE this part: “If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” I was just talking to my husband about this and am about to do a two part series on a somewhat similar topic. I am a big believer in speaking to the most beautiful part of people…even if it is hidden. This does NOT mean that I bury my head in the sand and cannot be honest with someone about themselves…if they ask me for that. It only means that I have found that when we speak to the greatness in people — whether they see/feel it or not — more often than not they will rise up to become who they already are and “ought to be”. They will rise up and reach for the goodness in themselves and all they are capable of. I find this true over and over in my own life. And as a result have TREMENDOUS faith in humanity.

I’ll save the rest for my posts, but I just LOVE the quotes you pick and the photo with this one is deeply reflective and inward…even evokes loving compassion. A beautiful photo. Thank you for confirming something I feel inside. You do that so many times…just in being yourself. Thank you for being in my life, for being in the world. You create a great sense of comfort for those in your circle…including me. Much love to you sweet friend, Robin


Sagan January 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

We have the POWER.



Ralph January 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Great thoughts.

“If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

This is something all leaders should embrace.


Jodi at Joy Discovered January 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Hi Lance!
Great quote, as always! I think some people can look at this as though it is a burden but really it is such an opportunity to make your life as great as you can imagine! There are times when I’m feeling down or looking at something with a bit of a negative slant and I think, “This is all me. I can turn this around.” That little pause helps me to look at things in a refreshed light, positive and hopeful again.
Thanks and have a great week! 🙂 Jodi


Angelia Sims January 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Boy there are times when it’s tempting to react to the ugliness that comes at you from someone elses bad day, or bad life. When we respond in love and hope for their spirit, it really can affect them and in turn boost us higher than before. That’s our choice in how we recycle and make it better. Great Sunday thought. I love what you chose. 🙂


Jan January 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Simply stunning. This touches me deeply and feels so true in me. May our words always bless rather than heal; our presence uplift rather than trample. This is a powerful recipe for living. You are such a man, Lance…


Lance January 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm

@Suzicate – We DO possess the power to affect others lives…for good and for bad. And it’s good for me, too, to be reminded of just how much power we have. Bring extra joy into the lives of others is a pretty special thing. Thanks so much for the visit today Suzicate.

@Robin Easton – Robin, I am so looking forward to what you have to share in your upcoming posts. Yes, it’s if we can see beyond the surface, to what is possible…possible can become reality. And what a beautiful gift to give to others. There is greatness within everyone, sometimes that which is possible lies dormant until someone sees what can be. And Robin, I know of no one who shows such loving faith and belief in humanity and in really the brilliance that is within every one of us! That is a gift I have witnessed in you so many, many times…and it is beautiful. With love and caring, know that you hold a special place in my heart…

@Sagan – Yes, we have so much power…power we don’t even realize at times. And how we use that power is so important…

@Ralph – Well, that’s a really wonderful thought, Ralph! If more leaders focused on what is possible instead of just what is, what possibility that would give to people…possibility to rise up in great ways!

@Jodi – Hi Jodi! Hey, that’s a new picture of YOU! I like it!! And what you have shared…that’s really a deep belief in self. So, so important. Jodi, thanks so much for bringing this up. When we believe in ourselves…this can really help tremendously to pull us out of whatever low spot we are in.

@Angelia – And that’s so true…it’s easy to let the attitudes of others rub off on us…good or bad. If we can respond in love, though, what a place of beauty to base from. And that can really turn the whole mood around…for everyone involved. And that’s all sorts of wonderful!

@Jan – When we can uplift others…we give hope and possibity new light. And what a gift that can be for someone who’s feeling down. I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too. Not every moment of every day is filled with wonder and beauty…or at least it sure doesn’t always feel like it. So, when someone helps to lift us out of that place, what a wonderful and beautiful gift. Jan, thank you so much for your caring and sweet words tonight…


Katie West/The Levity Coach January 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Wow Lance. That IS a beautiful quote.
And it reminds me of the one I have been thinking about for the last couple of months. “If you want to love, so love.” Rather than seeing ourselves as passive receivers of life, we can be active by creating the energy we want in our bodies and letting that exude into the world. I think our society can be a little shy of such personal accountability, but ultimately, it is a relief to know we are a contributing part of the cycle of life and its flow.
As always….it is wonderful, wonderful at the Lance cafe.


Caroline January 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

This is brilliant Lance. How often we forget the power we have…the power of choice. Too often the ego takes over and creates a force so strong that we can’t choose wisely. It’s when we step back and harness the power of out heart that our lives change. But it takes great courage to do this…but I am learning…


Jen January 26, 2010 at 1:18 am

Beautiful! Thanks Lance. 🙂


Fatibony{self help wellness} January 26, 2010 at 4:11 am

Amazing Lance the power of choice and perhaps responsibility come up for me here , awesome food for thought for the week 🙂


Lance January 26, 2010 at 5:00 am

@Katie – Or…what we give to the world, we get back. It’s the universe, conspiring to work for us, when we touch upon the deeper humanity in all of us. And that is love. Even within that person who has a hard time showing it, I believe we are all rooted in love. So, what you have shared is so fitting, because I believe that we all want love. And we get that by giving it. That really is the tremendous power we have to affect others, and ultimately ourselves. Katie, your thoughts are always deeply appreciated…thank YOU!

@Caroline – Wow, I really feel this goes right along with what Katie was saying. Our of our heart, in it’s purest sense, comes love. When we can listen to that, and speak it’s truth, we are touching lives in deeply good ways. And yes, there is a certain level of courage, as it can also feel vulnerable in opening up like this. When we do, though, we give others wings to fly!

@Jen – Thanks much for being here Jen!

@Fatibony – “Choice” is something that I’ve thought much about as I’ve let this quote settle into my soul. “Responsibility”…as in, we have a responsibility to care for our fellow travelers on this journey through life…I like that. It’s all part of taking care of each other, and when we are fully doing this, what an even more amazing world we will live in!


Jody - Fit at 52 January 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

WOW, as always, amazing quote!
.-= Jody – Fit at 52´s Last Fabulous Post ..Hunger & Mood Journal for Weight Loss =-.


Jen January 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

that is so powerful, LOVE it and will pass it along!
.-= Jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..What comes around… =-.


Lance January 29, 2010 at 7:19 am

@Jody – Powerful words, for sure. Thanks Jody.

@Jen – I know, these words really touch deeply at how much power we each have, and sometimes don’t even realize. Thank you Jen.


Hilary January 30, 2010 at 3:49 am

Hi Lance and Lori – congratulations 16 years ago yesterday! Brilliant next post. This comment is closed for reply comments! Just enjoy your weekend – have a fantastic time .. my gosh you’ve been through somethings together .. hairy and scary! Love life = you both definitely do .. so good to know you. Love Hilary
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Wigmaker, “Cottonpolis” and the first factory =-.


Lance January 30, 2010 at 5:26 am

Thank you!! It is wonderful to celebrate our days together, and I deeply appreciate your sweet words today. Have a beautiful day!
With Love,


Hilary January 30, 2010 at 5:44 am

Hi Lance .. thanks for replying! It is wonderful here today – blue, blue sky, lots of sun & very cold, but about 35 miles away there’s a blanket of snow, roads shut et al .. so we count our blessings together .. this little island .. just enjoy the weekend .. not too much blog time – someone else is sooooo special today. Be good, have fun and lots of laughter en famille .. love H Seriously no reply!!
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Wigmaker, “Cottonpolis” and the first factory =-.


Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach February 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

Hi Lance!

I’m catching up on your posts since I’ve been gone for several days. This one stopped me in my tracks! It’s obviously in line with all that I do here at MIY, but I hadn’t seen this particular quote before, and it’s just so powerful. I love how he admits right there in the very first sentence that it can be frightening to truly embrace how powerful we are in determining the course of our own lives and the quality of our lives. That admission hooked me immediately because of its truth and his transparency.

Thank you for sharing another very impactful message!

Big hugs,
Laura 🙂


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