Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Don't Bury Your Head

Some people just might claim that the ostrich is the most imitated in all the animal kingdom.  I'm sure you know people who bury their heads in the sand - perhaps not literally, but certainly figuratively.  "Let me close my eyes to all the bad things and pretend they aren't even happening." Of course that doesn't accomplish a thing!  It does absolutely nothing! Bad things still exist, even when you refuse to look at them.  When you turn on the tv news or pick up your local newspaper, you will see negative stories galore.
 
Now I don't usually write about what NOT to do, because I have always preferred the more positive side of things.  So instead of suggesting that we not bury our heads in the sand, let me suggest instead that we go through life with our eyes wide open doing the best we can and looking for chances along the way to make change and to do good.  Yes there is a lot of bad, but instead of moaning and groaning about it, let's think of ideas that will make a difference.
 
We all have the power to make change.  Sometimes it might not seem like it, but even small things can make a difference.  I was reminded the other day about the power of a simple smile.  It feels good to contribute.  It really does.  Burying your head only makes us feel bad in the end.  I much prefer the good!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

For him it makes a difference

Another one of those "internet parables" came my way the other day, and although you may have heard it, this one again is worth sharing. Like others I have shared here in the past, I have no idea who the author is.
 
It seems an old man was going for a walk one day when he noticed a little boy feeding a thin, shaggy looking dog with bits of bread. He went up to the boy and asked him why he was sharing his bread with the dog.

The little boy answered, "Because he has nothing. No home, no family, and if I don’t feed him he will die."

"But there are homeless dogs everywhere," the old man replied. "Your efforts don’t really make a difference."

The little boy looked at the dog and stroked him. "For him, for this little dog, it makes all the difference in the world."

I wish I knew who wrote this because they get it so amazingly right. Did you ever hold back from donating money or food or anything else because you could only spare a small amount and thought it wouldn't make a difference? If we all fed those homeless dogs - if we all fed those homeless people, it would make such a difference. I'm thinking we just might wipe out homelessness!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Often is heard an encouraging word

Originally written by Dr Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas as part of a poem entitled My Western Home, back in the early 1870s, the line "Where seldom is heard a discouraging word," is familiar as part of the song Home On the Range. Around here we borrow from that idea but state it in the positive: Often is heard an encouraging word!
 
Why not?  It is so uplifting to raise others up too.  Speaking to cheer or to console or simply to refresh is such a positive experience - it warms your heart!  Besides, who needs all the negativity?  How much more rewarding it is to see the good in our world and to encourage more of it!
 
I really like looking our at the beauty and the positive energy in our world.  Dr Higley's poem has another very uplifting line later on too.  He writes

          "How often at night, when the heavens were bright,
                                                         With the light of the twinkling stars
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours."

Friday, July 13, 2018

the smile on your face is there because

The smile on your face is there because you are happy?  Are you always happy?  Do you realize you are smiling or is it something that just comes naturally?  When you meet someone for the first time, do you notice whether or not they are smiling?
 
Okay so it might look like a toothpaste commercial to some people, but so what?  Isn't a happy appearance a better option than an unhappy one?  I think when someone is smiling, it makes me smile, and not just on my face - I find myself smiling inside.
 
If you see someone today without a smile, why don't you give them one of yours?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Some thoughts on the fourth

The Declaration of Independence, which we celebrate today, says that we ALL are created equal, and that we are endowed with certain rights. Unalienable Rights it calls them. It lists three: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Now it doesn't say we have a right to be happy, but only to pursue that happiness.
 
On this July 4th do you feel your country is allowing you to pursue happiness?  Do you feel that everyone in the country is treated equally?
 
Most Americans are familiar with a sentence or two from this document, but take a moment to read the whole thing.  Is today's America the same one they spoke of back in 1776. 
 
There might be a picnic, a parade, or even some fireworks on your agenda today, but add one more thing:  think of some way you can make a difference in the life of this country.  What can you do to make the equality spoken of a reality?  What can you do to see that everyone is able to pursue happiness?  There are many things you might put on such a list, but may I suggest the first one?  VOTE!  Make sure your voice is heard!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Be the reason

Have you ever walked down the street early in the morning and had someone smile and say hello to you? It actually used to be quite common. It still happens here and there, but mostly in smaller communities. I don't know about you, but that kind of friendliness can really make my day. Their smile becomes my smile!

Of course there are many reasons to be happy. The barista who serves my coffee, remembering exactly how I like it from my previous visits, and who hands it to me with a smile. His smile, becomes my smile! The same thing happens when I am crossing the street and a driver waits to let me go ahead with a wave and a smile. I think you know where this is going. Her smile becomes my smile!

Being nice is always a good thing. Sharing the joys of life not only makes others happy, but can help to keep you happy. It's like a circle. Happy people don't have to put a lot of effort into it. It just comes naturally. Some of us have to think about it a little more. Whatever the case though, be happy, and share it. Be the reason someone smiles today!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Stand up for animals

Abusing an animal is one of the most horrible things I can think of. An animal cannot call the police. An animal cannot send an email. An animal cannot contact a doctor when they are injured. Animals are among the most vulnerable, and yet they are taken advantage of at an alarming rate.

Neglect and abandonment are the most common forms of companion animal abuse in the United States. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the shocking number of cruelty cases reported every day in the media is only a small part of the picture. Most cases of animal abuse are never reported, and most animal suffering goes unrecognized and unabated.

This is one of those things that CAN be solved though. This is a people problem. People can stop being cruel. Of course that is the simple answer. The bigger answer is that we all have to care and we all have to get involved and do our part. At the top of the list: do not tolerate any cruelty to animals!

Know who to contact in your area if you witness or suspect animal abuse. (Your police department is always a good place to start). Teach children how to treat animals and to respect them as living creatures too. The earlier the better. Let kids know that it is NOT okay to abuse an animal EVER.

If you have animals of your own, take care of them. If you don't want putties or kittens, be sure to spay or neuter your animals or don't let them spend time with other animals while they are outside.

Support the local shelter or humane society and get to know the work they are involved in. Donate also, if your are able, to your local shelters, pet abuse organizations or the ASPCA.

Animal abuse and neglect can be ended if only we all just care.