Today I'd like to introduce myself by introducing three of my heroes. These are the healers that have most influenced my thinking and whose ideas influence everything I write.
So, in chronological order...
Lao-Tsu is considered the primary sage of Taoism. I guess I've been a Taoist since I fell in love with Winnie-the-Pooh as a youngster, though I didn't know it until as a freshman I read the "Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. Fantastic book. It's a great introduction to Taoism and much easier reading than the major writing of Taoist philosophy, the "Tao Te Ching."
That extraordinary work is an ideal leadership manual if ever there was one. "If you want to be a great leader, you must follow the Tao. Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts and the world will govern itself."
Taoism is very healing. It offers an optimistic view of the world: Relax and let good things happen. Don't force it. "I let go all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass."
If you force it, you'll be forced yourself: "Violence, even well-intentioned, invariably rebounds upon oneself."
Skipping forward a few thousand years, Jesus Christ is my savior and God. He spent most of his time preaching, "Love God and love your neighbor," and then he showed us the awesome depth of his love by allowing himself to be martyred on our behalf.
God loves us so much that he gave us free will. Obviously he wants us to choose his way, but he pointedly leaves that choice to us. Jesus showed us what to do with our freedom. He lived what he preached: "Turn the other cheek" and "Do to others as you'd have them do to you."
He taught that we'll "reap as we sow" -- our lives and future will reflect our actions. He didn't want us to force people to be good -- he could have done that -- but he wanted us to choose to be good ourselves.