More Than “Thoughts and Prayers”

A Guest Post by David Stipes

Recently I shared a simple motivational poster on Facebook, “Make America kind again.”  It received only a couple of responses, the most poignant one being, “I wish.” I felt sad as that person seemed to have given up or did not see their personal opportunities to make kindness happen. 

In our society and, maybe, in the world, people are descending into depression and feelings of futility over what appear to be overwhelming greed, fear, and hostility.  

Contemplating global scale issues can paralyze many into immobility and frustration. 

We ask: 
“What can I do?”

“What difference can I make?”

“What’s the use?”

“Why bother?”  

Most of us do not, individually, have the opportunity or ability to effect huge changes to the world. Most of us cannot physically stop a conflict in some troubled spot in the world or individually change the outcome of a national political race.

Being overwhelmed, too frequently, we collectively look to others to save us. We look to political parties, public figures, angels, aliens, ancestors, and God to save us from ourselves or to fix situations. It is called “diffusion of responsibility” where, in groups, an individual assumes that others have taken or will take action in a situation.  When the perceived savior does nothing, we go to anger or blame; “Why did God let this happen?”

We can forget aliens, angels, or politicians helping and start to help ourselves at the level of the individual with self awareness and responsible personal action when possible. We can each ask, “What can I do to help? Where can I help? How do I help?


Contrary to the prevalent attitudes, we do have great power to make our little part of the world a better place. First we must recognize and remove the paralyzing effect of futility or diffusion of responsibility in our thinking and emotions.  We each can choose to make a positive impact in our world or in someone’s life.  

My experience with the work of American clairvoyant Edgar Cayce has offered insight and comfort. The Cayce readings urge souls to “start where they are” and apply the qualities desired in the situations they find themselves. 

Edgar Cayce urged that, “… to have love, give love to others; to have patience, manifest same in thine own relationships; like begets like.(Reading 2905-3)   

Cayce further tells us that “Spirit is the Life, Mind is the Builder, and the Physical is the Result.”

To have kindness, be kind.

  • I can seek opportunities to be kind mentally, spiritually, and physically.
  • I can pray and meditate for greater universal attunement and wisdom.
  • I can forgive, bless, and release others and my past.
  • I can think kindly and positively about persons or situations in my family, work, associations, and around the world.
  • I can choose to take no offense from others.

These are powerful techniques but, often, too subtle to see. Thus we see the backlash against “Sending thoughts and prayers” in popular media.

 “The physical is the result” can be a challenge especially if we think we must do great deeds and act directly on situations.  That is literal thinking that minimizes our efforts and ignores the wonderfully subtle energies at work in the world. I do not have to be in a war zone to be kindly or merciful.  

So, the statement to be kind has much to offer beyond the response “I wish.”  I have learned that to have kindness in my world I have to demonstrate and live kindness in small deeds and actions. To see good qualities in others, I have to start living the qualities and they will have an influence. As in baking and in the Bible,  “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9) 

I need to measure my actions by the ideal I wish to see and experience. I have to change my awareness and behavior before I can demand it of another.

It is not always easy to consciously change a life of attitudes and behavior.   

To help the change I use “I AM” self-talk to remind and reinforce my new attitudes and behaviors; “I AM love manifesting here”,  “I AM living kindness today.” Saying such phrases has changed my awareness, attitudes, and actions.



I do it a step at a time; making a choice each moment to act differently than how I did before.

As Cayce said, Put into practice day by day that as IS known. Not some great deed or act, or speech, but line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.”   (Reading 257-78)

Be the kindness you wish to see. Be the love you wish to see. You can do it, step by step!

David Stipes is a two time Emmy® Award winning VFX artist with over 40 years of experience in the film industry in various aspects of visual effects and animation. David worked as a Visual Effects Supervisor on four Star Trek series: “The Next Generation,” “Voyager,” “Deep Space Nine,” and “Enterprise”. David championed the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) for Star Trek, which completely changed how the visual effects are created for the shows.

Prior to Star Trek, David created visual effects for a number of science fiction television series including “Buck Rogers,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Flash,” “V” and “Intruders.” David also operated his own studio for more than 12 years producing visual effects for such feature films as “Circuitry Man,” “Creepshow,” “Lawnmower Man,” and “Real Genius.” David has had over twenty industry related articles published and spent 19 years as an instructor at The Art Institute of Phoenix.

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