The previous articles in this series explained how Portia Nelson's awesome poem, Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, identifies some of the difficulties in overcoming challenges in life, which she calls holes in the sidewalk.

Illustrations can be very helpful, so let's look at some conduct in the various chapters.

Chapter One
The primitive revenge cycle of killings by what can only be called socially unaware although often educated individuals. There are numerous ongoing cases in many societies, fortunately less prevalent in the West.

One instance is the long-standing sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, perpetuated by the Protestant Orange Order's marches celebrating three hundred year-old victories. They maintain it's not their fault and refuse to see that such supremacist policies incite their rivals.

This does not mean that Catholics aren't equally responsible for the ongoing violence. The energy both sides put into revenge cannot help but energize revenge.

Chapter Two
A couple who blame each other. They both point the finger at their partner's actions, while pretending not to see that whenever you point one finger at someone else, you have the other three fingers pointing back at you. They are both engaged in the situation, and both have 100% responsibility for their part in the events. Eventually one makes up with the other, but the issue is buried rather than resolved.

Even if you've done absolutely nothing, and so feel you're totally blameless in the situation, you need to become aware that your lack of action contributed to the situation. So you can still take 100% responsibility for your part.

Chapter Three
You exercise intermittently. You know you "should" exercise, yet find it easy to fall off the wagon and into "the deep hole in the sidewalk." But you know it's good for your long-term health, so you keep restarting rather than giving up. In Vince Lombardi immortal words: "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up."

Chapter Four
You have stopped arguing with other people, but some still want to argue with you. But you walk around the deep hole, and don't try to persuade them to change their opinion. You're willing to put in the effort to understand where they are coming from but, unless it makes sense, you don't change yours. When their opinion does make sense, you transcend both by coming up with a higher perspective that integrates the best of the old and the best of the new.

The man who declined the opportunity to condemn although face to face with the Middle East kidnapper who had murdered his daughter is in this chapter. Although he could never agree with that action, he knew that negativity - the negative energy of condemnation - never solves anything. What a man, what a powerful demonstration of a highly evolved perspective.

Chapter Five
Having shaken his hand, it's obvious that Nelson Mandela bears absolutely no malice and bitterness although he was imprisoned for some twenty years. He's not avoiding resenting his treatment, he just doesn't hold a grudge against those responsible. He is walking down another street. What a mellow outlook on life, what a hero!

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so please +1 and share this widely!

Food for Thought
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

- Nelson Mandela born 1918, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, South African Statesman

Author's Bio: 

Cris Baker has much practice in overcoming adversity, he's been screwing things up for years! Why suffer the consequences of your own mistakes? Now you can benefit from real knowledge, crucial know-how gained from his vast experience with extensive pain and suffering!

You'll find enormous joy in overcoming your self sabotage; check out the many secrets of success at Life Strategies and discover how to change your life!