The Action Reaction

Kevin MacAskill

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Wikipedia defines a reaction as being a response to some other action. And actions abound. We are surrounded, immersed, caught up in action at every moment. We have been accustomed to responding to these events in an almost automatic way, even tuning out the activities around us, out of a need for self preservation. We are steeped in hype, from the evening news to the commercials which punctuate it, to bill-boards, bumper stickers, tee shirts… The list goes on. No wonder our senses become dulled and we fail to become activated or engaged by this incessant deluge. Turning down the volume provides some necessary, blessed relief.

But then, what about the actions we should take, for our own fulfillment, our prosperity, our happiness? We all have whispers of intuition, which come to us in fleeting thoughts or all too seldom inspiration. Einstein asked “Why do all my best thoughts come to me in the shower?" When we have an Einstein moment like that, we tend to rinse these showers of inspiration away with the soap suds, negating their value. We owe ourselves better. Just suppose that our reaction to these ideas was different. Suppose that our reaction would be to honor these promptings by acting on them. When we go to the Doctor and he takes out his little rubber hammer, we know what’s coming. He taps our knee in just the right spot and our leg kicks out. We have no choice in this reaction, the healthy response is automatic.

We read all manner of inspirational self-help books and our knee-jerk reaction is to go out and buy another book! This behavior is so addictive that I once made a pact with a friend that if either of us found a book titled “How to Stop Reading Self-help Books" we would immediately buy it and send it to the other. Down deep inside we realize that one more book; one more inspirational message will not cause us to change. Rather, it becomes an excuse to procrastinate. What is needed is to develop an ACTION REACTION. When intuition whispers then, react vigorously, with positive, concrete steps to turn the whisper into a shout. We have been exhorted down through history to take action. Goethe’s quote comes to mind… “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. For boldness has genius, power and magic in it. " Ben Franklin committed to giving strict attention to just one virtue for an entire week. He felt that it would then become a habit. One week! That’s almost instant gratification.

Here’s your assignment then, if you chose to accept it: Every day, for one week, act immediately, vigorously and with boldness on your inspirations. Once the habit is formed, the ACTION REACTION will kick in, automatically. You will become an action-inspired person and your world must change in response. Goethe would be proud. As for me, I can’t wait to start. Right now, I’m going to take a shower!

To your prosperity.

Kevin MacAskill works at home in British Columbia, Canada, surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. This prompts him to reflect on life and the human condition. You may use this essay in an ethical manner, by including this resource box.


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