Tuesday, January 27, 2015

counting your blessings

Years ago, I managed a restaurant for a while and one day I waited on a woman who had no arms. She asked if we might have a table where she could position herself a bit away from it. I wasn't quite sure what to expect at first, but this woman didn't ask for us to feed her. She did everything for herself - with her feet. It was Amazing to watch her function at a dinner table with such a huge positive outlook on life.

You have probably seen basketball games on television played by people in wheelchairs. You normally think of running back and forth on the court, but these wheelchair bound players are simply incredible and so full of life.  Who says you need legs to play basketball?

Have you ever caught yourself complaining about the simplest thing and than realizing how good you have it and how much worse it might be for others? I recall an old saying: "I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet." Think about it. The things we complain about, others might rejoice in.
Life is so full of blessings. Sometimes we are just too blind to appreciate them.  With my recent health scare, I know I am much more tuned in to the little things. I'm personally thankful that I have so many friends too that help keep my eyes on these wonderful prizes every day.  Isn't it great to have people like that in your life?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Oh do you know the muffin man?

It might seem odd to be writing about muffins, but lately I have been eating more of them - a lot more.  I just discovered last week that I am a diabetic, and so am much more conscious of my diet. Muffins are delicious, and it seems an occasional blueberry, bran, or even corn muffin can really hit the spot. I know, this supposedly is NOT about me, but given my current circumstances, I just had to relate a personal story.  There is another reason to mention muffins though. I'm told that today is National Muffin Day. Sorry, but I have no confirmation.

I can tell you that today is Spouse's Day and tomorrow will be Chocolate Cake Day and Wednesday is Punch the Clock Day. Oh and Thursday is Fun at Work Day and Friday is National Kazoo Day and next Saturday is National Puzzle Day. January seems to be filled with a lot of fun!

So what's it all mean? Well I write here about making a difference in the world and I can tell you from experience that whether it's muffins or chocolate cake or listening to folks playing their kazoos, happiness comes from fun activities and happy people, it would seem, are more likely to go out and do something great. Agree? Oh go eat a muffin!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back from hospital

Usually here I talk about how we can all change the world and how we can make a difference. I'm always happy to share stories of hometown heroes. I don't write personal things as a rule because this blog is NOT about me, but this afternoon I need to make an exception. Usually I write here every morning. Today I am writing in the late afternoon and the past two days I wrote nothing here at all. The reason is that I was in the hospital.

I'm home now. Found out by almost dying, that I am a diabetic.  There was definitely several learning experiences here.  One thing is to pay attention to any signals your body gives you.  Even if it is trivial, it might be the sign of something serious, so check.  I don't mean you have to run to the doctor, but check with information sources, and if you ever think you have an emergency, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital!  Another thing I learned is that lifestyle changes don't have to be difficult.  I need to change a lot of things now with diet, exercise, and medication, but I can do it and life can pretty much be the same as it was.
Another thing I learned is that heroes are everywhere!  The number of comments and well-wishes I have received in the past two days has been amazing!  The hospital people were simply incredible.  One of my nurses was named Angel, and she was a true angel!  I'll never forget these past few days!
Tomorrow, I should be up and writing again at the usual time.  Hope you will be reading along then! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy birthday Toan!

It seems I am saying something here at least once a month about Toan Lam, so what else could I possibly write about the creator of Go Inspire Go?  Well for one thing, today is his natal anniversary so it is appropriate to send our best wishes.  Also he recently sat down with Lisa Yokota on her San Francisco tv program Bay Area People, and discussed how he got from being a television host and reporter, to setting up and operating Go Inspire Go.  Click HERE to watch that seven minute conversation.
Now this blog is not supposed to be about me (and yes that is me with Toan in the picture), but I will hastily point out that although we have met and do keep in touch, I seldom see him - he's a pretty busy guy, and he also is exactly what we do write about here - he is someone who is making a difference!
Go to http://goinspirego.com/ to find out more about them, if you don't already know.  Send them some inspiring stories or videos too.  You can even donate to help sponsor their coverage of wonderful inspiring people.  This is Toan Lam's idea.  This is Toan Lam's creation.  He continues to make it happen every day.  I urge you to click on the links there and watch some of the videos.  You will indeed be inspired!
I mentioned knowing Toan, and want to point out that I have seen firsthand that he is an inspiring person, not just when he is telling a story for Go Inspire Go, but wherever he is and whatever he is doing.  His tweets and facebook posts make you smile and help your spirit soar.  The encouraging and uplifting presence of Toan Lam is contagious too.  Check out his website regularly and you will be moved to a new level of goodness.
So, thanks for all those wonderful moments of inspiration Toan, and Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Change it yourself!

With all the requests I make for folks to comment on my words here, I sometimes forget that I do receive feedback from other avenues. Last night one of my dearest friends sent me the picture you see here and immediately I thought about what I would be saying this morning.  "Life has no remote.  Get up and change it yourself!"
Lying on the couch or in bed and expecting our lives to change without even lifting a finger, is an unreal expectation.  We see on the news more and more incidents that we think are unfair, and yet all we do is grumble.  Will anything change all by itself?  Now the fact that many people do get involved means that things can and will change, and often things in our lives change without us doing a thing.  Do we really want others to do all of our heavy lifting though?  Shouldn't we step up and contribute as well?
On Saturday I told you about Carlos Morales, a man in Phoenix who had just lost his wife after she gave birth prematurely to quadruplets.  Many people might have thought about how difficult the road ahead will be for this man and his four brand new babies, but most who hear the story aren't just thinking about it.  People are getting involved.  People are helping to make the changes needed to help someone else.  (By the way, the online fundraiser has already gotten 4,000 people involved in just four days, raising $145,101 and your help is most welcome too!  Just click HERE to donate or to get more information.  There is also a facebook page HERE).
It is heartwarming to see more and more people every day doing what is needed to make changes in their lives, in the lives of others, and in this great big world.  Yes, we cannot simply click a remote control, we need to get up and chance it ourselves!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Read any good books lately?

Have you read any good books lately?  Seriously.  That might sound like an odd question here, but books can be powerful tools!  if you don't read much, you should try it.  You will find amazing things!
I book can bring you a lot of information too.  If you love cooking or building or designing or any number of hobbies, books can be of great help.  They can show you how to do things and even give you ideas of things you might never have thought of.
How about a nice adventure story or trashy romance novel or a suspenseful murder mystery?  The fiction on your bookshelves can transport you to just about anywhere.  Having a tense day?  Perhaps a book of poetry can help soothe things.  How about a volume of jokes and riddles?  Maybe what you need is just a nice coffee table book filled with great photographs.
If your home is without much of a literary selection, surely there is a library not too far away.  If you're lucky, there might even be a nice little bookstore with selections that not only might bring you joy, some titles you might bring home for others too.  After all, the joy of books is good to share. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

We can all dream

Forty seven years after The Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr's death, there still exists a divide between his dream and reality. It doesn't have to be that way though. We can all dream. We can all stand up for what is right. We can all make a difference in this world, just like Dr King did.

Today we reflect on the life and legacy of Dr King on this holiday that was created in his honor. I am inspired by a new generation of young activists and leaders who are continuing the fight for racial justice in America and are reminding the world that Black Lives Matter! In fact, as I have written here often, ALL lives matter. Our Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers matter. Our gay, lesbian, and bisexual friends matter. Our transgender friends matter. Our Hispanic and Asian friends matter. The lives of every single human being matter.

In honoring Dr King’s legacy, let us all recommit ourselves to the fight to dismantle systematic racism, homophobia, discrimination, disenfranchisement, hatred, and the unjust targeting and killing of anyone in our society. We can not only ALL continue the dream, but we have the power to make Dr King's dream a reality!