Thursday, December 3, 2009


This past Tuesday, I volunteered at Kennesaw Mountain High School for the "Character Education" program that brings in local community leaders once a month to teach moral/ethical principles to the students.  The topic of the day was compassion.  I began a discussion about the subject with the class I was assigned.  I asked them about what it means to the giver, the receiver, and the 3rd party observer of a compassionate act?  How does the experience and expression of compassion change and transform our day from an individual standpoint, a community standpoint, and a worldwide standpoint?

The students told incredible stories of compassion that they have given and received, small acts of kindness, and larger acts of generosity.
  Many of the events took place years ago, but the stories came across as fresh as yesterday.  Simple things such as a smile, a pat on the back, an uplifting word at a critical time seemed small in the moment but have left a lasting impression in the minds of both the giver and receiver.  The room was emotional, many were in tears, and all were touched.  Myself especially.   

From a biological standpoint, we have a "mirror gene" that drives a reaction within us to reflect the attitudes and behaviors we are surrounded by.  Mirror neurons were first discovered by a group of researchers led by Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti, using electrodes to test brain activity in monkeys.  Interestingly, they found that some of the neurons were activated not only when the monkeys performed certain acts, such as picking up food, but also when they saw someone else (experimenter or another monkey) pick it up. Further research into this phenomenon identified regions in the parietal and inferior frontal cortex that fire in similar patterns in the human brain when certain attitudes and behaviors are observed.

Scientists have hypothesized that these specific neuronal mechanisms are the foundation for empathy, imitation, and communication.  Certain neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders such as autism have been shown to exhibit malfunctioning mirror neurons.

These neurons develop the patterning behavior of group conformity, where individuals act in certain ways that are different than they would individually in order to fit into the popular mentality of the group. From a negative perspective, it drives many to take on strategies and behaviors that lead to disaster.  We have all been affected at some point in our lives by negative, pessimistic, depressed, defeated, or highly critical people.  Their behavior has rubbed off and triggered our "mirror" gene to believe that this is a socially acceptable and desirable attitude.

It also stimulates an innocent, uninvolved bystander to tears as he watches a random act of kindness done to a lost and broken soul.  It drives a level of compassion and empathy deep within our heart & spirit to reach out and be an uplifting presence in the lives of those around us.  Whether we know it or not, like it or not, we are driven by the behaviors of those around us.

The Power of Community:     Com:  Together or With            Unity:  Acting as one.

A strong community, embraced around doing what is honorable and right, not in the eyes of man necessarily, but in God's eyes, is an extremely powerful tool to reshape a lost and broken world.

When we come together and act with compassion to our fellow man it stimulates a heartfelt desire for those around us to do the same and the same and the same.  This "momentum" principle when driven with enough force is what creates worldwide change.

The Exodus Health Center Community:  My dream, desire, and intention for Exodus from the beginning was and still is: To create an atmosphere full of positive education & encouragement in the areas of health & wellness.  Our goal is to fully empower people to live out their God-Given potential in life & health.  We stand for one thing:  Community wide transformation.

I believe in my heart that God gave us our physical bodies as a gift, a pure and holy vessel to be used to carry the spirit through challenges and experiences in order to grow, mature, and prosper.  Taking great care of this "Temple of the Spirit," is, in my opinion, a powerful act of worship.  Desecrating this temple with neglectful living, stress, worry, and selfish lusts, desires, and addictions is painful to God, our family, friends, and those we influence (through mirror genes).

Personally, throughout my life, I have too often influenced others in a negative manner with inconsistent behaviors that are out of integrity with who God says I am.  Fortunately, I know that I am forgiven, saved by grace, and that when I ask for it and call it out, God brings His blessing down and instantly everything I lay my hands on is blessed and prosperous.

I wake up every morning burning with passion to make a difference in the lives of those around me.  My prayer every single day is that God cleanses and purifies me so that I can be completely truthful in every area of my life, so that I can share my heart with those around me.  I pray that He uses me to break every yoke and stronghold off of those I influence because of His presence in my life.   

At Exodus Health Center, I am so proud to be a part of a community of leaders that lovingly accept people where they are in their lives while encouraging them to take the next step toward their health goals.  Through your generous and loving spirits, many people have been uplifted and set free from defeat and addictions in this office.

One of the most exciting things about life is the concept of community.  When enough people unite in spirit, body, and mind...amazing and incredible things happen.  I encourage every one of you to get involved in strong and uplifting communities (at your church, civic group, or wellness center) that encourage the attitudes and behaviors that will help you achieve the goals & dreams you have in your life.     

Of course, we would be blessed to have you join in our community movement at Exodus Health Center.  Please join us next week for an incredible community dinner where we will celebrate the holidays and I will share effective strategies to increase our daily peace and improve our health during the most stressful times of our life.


Monday, December 7th              7pm

Exodus Health Center

Fully Catered Dinners Will Be Provided:

Please RSVP by Monday at 12pm