If you’ve ever been to inner city Rome, you come back to the states with a deeper appreciation for stop signs and traffic laws.

If you’ve ever worked in an organization that tries to run entirely by consensus, you appreciate true leadership even more.

If you’re lost in the woods, trail markers are a lifesaver.

I’m convinced very few of us get thru this life without some stop signs, trail markers and guides along the way.  We might not adhere to the more conventional ones, but I think anyone who’s making this life count eventually lands on a set of operating principles they measure their lives by… a set of steps or philosophy they generally follow to make each day matter.

Maybe it’s a set of core values your family passed down; maybe it’s the 10 commandments or the 12 steps….   Most people find something that works for them.

This year I’ve committed to studying 40 wisdom teachings that are not my mainstay… not from stuff that resonates deep within me and that I’ve already become familiar with in my own life application.   My intention is to widen my skull.. to see and feel and love as fully as I can and not miss out just because my wounded mind is full of judgment and opinions.

Like working a new muscle at the gym, I want to feel the burn and force my mind to stay open to more and more and more.

Today I’m exposing myself to the “Beatitudes” which is the beginning of The Sermon on the Mount and awesomely described as “a state or mindset of supreme happiness” or “the steps to real happiness”.

I fancy myself a guy very open to supreme happiness. Jesus said that supreme happiness would come to people who keep certain perspectives… here they are:

((I propose any non believers or folks who follow different paths to just insert “the god of my understanding” as to not lose the intentional focus of this wisdom))

  • The poor in spirit may lack money, fine clothes, luxury cars or even the necessities of life, but they put their trust in God instead of in worldly things.
  • Those who mourn feel sorry for any bad things they have done.
  • The meek are gentle, patient and ready to forgive other people.
  • Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness have a deep longing to obey God perfectly.
  • The merciful are generous, forgiving and compassionate. They try to relieve the suffering of other people.
  • The pure in heart are morally upright and sincere. Their thoughts and motives are pure as well as their outward actions.
  • The peacemakers work for reconciliation and understanding to prevent bitterness, family disputes, lawsuits, hostilities and war.
  • Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake may suffer teasing, ridicule, discrimination or even physical harm because of their faith. We are not to seek persecution but to accept it cheerfully as the price of God’s blessings.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds”