Category Archives: Positive Living

Stop Making Excuses!

Dr.SynesioBy: Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

It’s very easy for anyone to make excuses; what can be difficult is to justify all the excuses. Some are legitimate and can be reasonably defended; their majority, however, is simply made to save face and exonerate one of any responsibility!

Honesty is becoming less and less a factor in human interactions and relationships and one of the ways its absence is noticed, is precisely in the kind excuses that people offer. Society, unfortunately, increasingly suffers on that account!

Many persons don’t take personal responsibility seriously enough. At least, they define differently what they consider to be responsibility and what not. They take a very casual view of what society in general still acknowledges regarding responsibility, based on the dictionary’s definition of that word.

There are also those who easily find defenders of one’s inability to keep commitments, and to act responsibly on other issues. I’ve heard an unforgettable excuse made on behalf of somebody else, to the effect that “he is wired differently” and this explains why he acts in this or that way, according to that faulty assessment!

Excuses can be fully justifiable in several situations, if based on reality and responsibility. It remains a reasonable recourse for the healthy functioning of individuals in society. That’s why its abuses are never received favorably, especially when truth is being unnecessarily sacrificed and violated!

By saying “stop making excuses” I’m not trying to eliminate this possibility from human interactions but simply addressing the masking of truth which most frequently is what animates the offer of those kinds of excuses.

Be courageous at all times, regardless of the consequences. The only valid excuse is the one that is made truthfully. Those who act in this fashion will retain their reputation even if some disappointment may also occur on the part of those affected by the excuse. People are ready to forgive as they realize that nobody is perfect.

Inventing an unjustifiable excuse, based on distortions of the truth, not only leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth, but causes one’s credibility to suffer damage – sometimes irremediable! You don’t desire that, do you?



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People as they Really Are!

By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

It might appear advantageous for any society if people could be recognized and known as they really are. Nevertheless, that is a practical difficulty. Individuals are in the process of perpetual becoming. Some get worse than they were, though many make a significant effort to be always better today than they were yesterday, and so on!

Furthermore, the circumstances of any given moment affect how people will act; the manner one dresses, the location where one is present at a certain time, as well as the nature of any conversation held, brings something different from each person.

Not to be forgotten also, when people are in a group they can easily put up “fronts” and act somewhat differently than they really are most of the time. Even in religious institutions there’s an inbuilt proclivity on the part of some to look, act, and appear better than others which, of course, can never happen since there’s no human perfection on earth. No one can ever reach that level while in the world; any such attempt is just a fake!

It was the ancient, Pre-Socratic philosopher, Heraclitus, who had stated that no person enters the same river twice. Each occasion one descends its banks, the water is new, the gravel at the bottom is different, even the fish will vary.

Much more so is the case with human beings. The experiences of each new day affect one’s thinking and being; new issues learned and attitudes manifested change continually, causing one to act differently. Personal growth or lack thereof, from one day to another, affect the personal projection of one’s self!

Nevertheless, however true all that may be, certain features need to remain constant in each individual, regardless of where she or he may be; certain values acquired may be among those things which never change, and continue to affect human behavior in consistent ways.

More than anything else, one’s identity must be recognizable and a person’s genuineness should remain steady, apart from other changes occurring. While much is in flux in every human life, there’s also much that does not pass away, and such are the traits which can best point to people as they really are, every moment you encounter each!

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Creating Positive Memories!

By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

Every human being is either blessed or depressed by the memories accumulated in one’s mind. I suggest that for the unpleasant memories of the distant or more recent past, you attempt to delete them altogether. You can avoid rehashing what serves you no good purpose except to increase your misery and distress. Just discard them, the sooner the better!

On the other hand, in every human heart there are also pleasant recollections of previous experiences, which can continue to offer encouragement and motivation for today. Give attention to these and see how they can keep you dreaming about a possible repetition of those positive remembrances, or even surpassing them in the present!

In addition, I have a positive proposal: Create new memories, keep them alive, and allow them to influence your days ahead with the lessons they convey and the models they provide. Good things can and should be repeated many times; only what is ugly and unpleasant should be removed from one’s considerations and agenda.

If you are to create positive memories, you are to be at the “driver’s seat,” so to speak. The initiative must come from you, and the creativity of what you produce must also originate in your mind and heart.

This may relate to your children growing up and the cheers that characterized their development, the places you went, the adventures you shared together, the photos you took, the videos you recorded, besides other special events of their personal growth whose details can be perpetuated in your memory.

Don’t forget also the good things which happened to you at any stage of your maturing, which you don’t desire to forget, as well as other kind gestures extended toward you in the course of your past years. Allow these recollections to become a tonic for your continuing years on earth!

You can be stimulated today by your past successes, and those particular moments you experienced which brought you unique joys and life-impacting thrills!

These and similar memories are worth guarding permanently for their continuing benefits, and the fact they also offer you motivation and models to create new ones which you will wish to perpetuate as long as you live!

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Aiming at Humbleness is a Safe Goal!

By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

Most people dislike the abrasive, arrogant, egocentric individual. No matter how safely hidden those qualities may be, they are always noticeable and most often not appreciated. One can be determined, act decisively in all endeavors and, yet, retain the proper measure of humbleness which facilitates human relations and transactions.

Humbleness is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, most often it is a sign of strength and it enables one to achieve far more than the self-centeredness displayed by those devoid of this human quality!

Humbleness is not synonymous with humiliation, with poverty,  ignorance, or any other undesirable experiences or conditions in which many fellow humans find themselves perpetually. Truly humble people are not those on whom others walk on as a means of taking full advantage.

Being humble denotes recognition of not having all answers to everything; having an eagerness to consult others to guarantee the soundness of one’s personal proposals and activities. It is the contrary of forcing one’s way in every situation and demanding allegiance to one’s self and the ideas one advances!

Choosing humbleness as a personal characteristic is a most safe starting point for multiple positive, enduring achievements! It is a healthy goal for every thinking person to pursue and demonstrate by word and deed. It also includes appreciation for what others have to share!

On my Twitter account, where I daily post personal ideas for challenge and encouragement, I once reflected that “being humble is a personal decision you make, a worthy goal you set for yourself, not a report you are expected to give!” In other words, just be humble and that attitude will take care of itself and do good among those who observe it, plus those who are more directly affected by your posture; you don’t need to call attention to it or it loses all its legitimacy!

In my youth I heard a report from a friend, which stayed with me ever since. The city of Wilmington, Delaware was just starting the use of modern city buses, which possessed some new, unique features. This friend took a visitor on a tour of the city so as to experience the comforts of that new bus. As they were reaching their destination to disembark, the host said to his guest when the bus stopped: “Step down and the door will open!” Unfortunately, those words were not understood and that caused them to remain in the bus until the next stop. By stepping down, one would press on a device which would signal the driver that someone was getting off, and the door would automatically open to the departing passengers.

I never forgot that true story because it illustrates that in daily life also, each of us needs to learn to step down in humbleness before doors of opportunity and genuine blessing will open for us!

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Restoring Kindness in Society

By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

I just came across this expressive statement: “Kindness is just love with its work boots on.” It quickly reminded me that kindness is increasingly seldom noticed among fellow humans. At the same time, love needs redefinition, for the ideas people have of it today fail to resemble its noblest and most mature reality!

Ultimately, it’s not the boots, shoes, or plain bear feet that will make any difference. True love can work well without external tools; it usually impacts its objects indelibly, wherever such beneficiaries may reside!

Nevertheless, it’s very true that kindness is usually an expression of love, whether such love is only momentarily expressed, or it will be extended into greater dimensions for the sake of the objects of the kindness.

People need a greater sensitivity to the way world events, regional or national tragedies, personal grief, and other impacting occurrences affect fellow humans everywhere. Instead of thinking only of themselves, individuals should reflect on the positive reactions a friendly word, a kind comment, a polite demonstration can achieve among worrying and hurrying fellow citizens.

The objects of human kindness need not be only people we know. Of course, they need to remain on the list of its candidates. It’s often people we don’t know and may never see again, that could also benefit from our kind words and actions.

If you decide to become indiscriminately kind to others, this quality will flow spontaneously from your being toward others who will benefit from your words and actions. You may not receive immediate responses but the effect shall always be positive! As Dr. James R. Kok expresses in one of his books on this subject, “people are thankful for acts of kindness, no matter how little.”

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Finding the Right Words


By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

Having a vocabulary is essential for all human interactions. It is with words that we share our accumulated knowledge, and communicate our deepest emotions about any issue important to us, or a new idea being considered by us.

People remain free to convey such feelings, or not, but it is with clearly formed phrases that our evaluation of any situation can best be expressed, and our personal opinion made known! Again, we need the right words if what we say is to be understood and a positive impact is made!

Nevertheless, there are situations in life when the most loquacious persons find themselves at a loss for words which best verbalize their mindset at a particular moment.

It is also true that sometimes a person’s actions speak louder than words. Children, which might fail to employ the magic words “thank you” after receiving a present, may still manifest their enormous gratitude.

Most often, it comes by the interest immediately shown for the gift, by the manner of treating the gift, and by a variety of other positive reactions to it, short of the specific, appropriate terms of appreciation.

Right words, however, remain the best vehicles to express one’s thoughts and anything a person wishes to communicate. Some people may utilize bumper-stickers on their cars, wear T-shirts with a message, carry posters or banners to manifest their opinions on a variety of concerns. Yet, words coming directly from a person’s mind and mouth are most preferred. This is so, especially, in conversations between individuals.

Developing a good vocabulary is the most adequate way for anyone to select the right words in any interpersonal, human exchange. And the most effective manner to be in control of language is through much reading and the quick employment of new terms learned, as one converses with others, writes in a diary, produces an article or essay, or utilizes public platforms to address any audience.

Using the right words in any situation is always the most ideal route to follow. Addressing any issue with clarity seldom leaves any doubt in people’s minds as to what is being conveyed. The communicator is the one responsible to make the ideas fully lucid, for the benefit of readers or hearers. This is especially significant when to goal of what is conveyed demand the right words to convey our messages, regardless of their content!

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A World in Turmoil

By Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.

In addition to personal distresses and disasters, frequently affecting many individuals and entire families, quite a lot is also happening around the globe that can bring reasonable concern and legitimate fright to most inhabitants of planet earth.

Just think of natural disasters, political turmoil, economic instability, moral decline, and spiritual confusion, just to name a few aspects of the problem, which perhaps are the most noticeable to many! These, and other factors, seem to abound in recent seasons, adversely affecting large multitudes in diverse quarters.

Endless wars, new conflicts, and additional rumors of war also continue to decimate the population of many nations. An entire region of the world is currently engulfed in confusion, conflicts, and bloodshed, the end of which is not in sight, for no one can safely imagine or ascertain if a conclusion is humanly possible.

Blatant robberies and assassinations in cities, and now even in the high seas, are becoming more and more common. Crimes against humanity which earlier occurred in a much lesser scale, have now reached unprecedented, new levels of acceleration due to uncharacteristic, unseasonable, unmanageable, blatant greed!

Previously well-understood moral issues, which facilitated blessing and prosperity to flow into so many persons’ lives, now beg for alternate definitions and new connotations which are causing the withdrawal of divine favors to several who could’ve remained their regular, perpetual beneficiaries, both individuals, families, and nations.

Major earthquakes, devastating tornadoes, powerful blizzards, mighty floods, gigantic mud-slides, and other heretofore natural disasters not endured by many, are now consistently claiming the lives of countless individuals, while maiming others, in most diverse locations and regions of the planet. Those who once possessed something, and often left with nothing!

Agricultural sowing, food crops and production, are being unfavorably devastated in many lands on account of sudden, unsuspected climate changes and other adverse factors and conditions in several regions of the globe.

All this, and much more, may be viewed as “signs of the times;” it’s another possible divine warning to those willing to recognize that God remains Sovereign over all creation, and continues to superintend over the affairs of men and nations. He shall fulfill all that His Word affirms concerning His creation and His purposes for it! All humans better beware!

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