Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Smile, what's the use of crying?

One of my favorite song lyrics says "Smile, what's the use of crying?"  Indeed.  Charles Chaplin, John Turner, and Geoffrey Parsons gave us something very special in that song they wrote.  I can almost hear it right now.  I love Petula Clark's version, and even Michael Jackson's,  but the best known of course is from Nat King Cole.

Song lyrics can change our mood, and so it's those happy words that I want to hear the most of!  Our little road trip from San Francisco has features a lot of happy songs and a lot of singing.  I'm even getting a little hoarse. (Chaplin, by the way did the music and the words came from Turner and Parsons).  You certainly can't go wrong when the title is Smile!  Smiling is just about the happiest thing a person can do! 

The last three simple lines of that song really say it so well! 
 
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Monday, August 13, 2018

You are a child of the universe

Last night I kept hearing the words of this poem in my mind, and so I decided to write about it today - The Desiderata. Early in 1972, Les Crane's spoken-word recording of this poem (a poem with a very confused history, but I won't go into that), peaked at #8 on the Billboard chart. I can still remember listening to it over and over back when I lived in Nashville. As you all know though, this is NOT about me.

The words are quite inspirational. "As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons." Who can argue with that? "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." Certainly this is another good thought. The poem is full of them! The words - the ideas - the list of things to be desired (the actual translation of desiderata) here are so uplifting!

My favorite part of the poem, is a section that was used as a refrain in the recording: "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

Friday, August 10, 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."

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Life After Birth

This is one of those stories that circulates and nobody knows who the author is. I've posted before things that I didn't write, and I want to do it again today because this one can really make you think. This one is about faith -

In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?"

The other replies, "Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later."

"Nonsense," says the other. "There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?"

"I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths."

The other says "This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short."

"I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here."

"No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere."

"Well, I don't know," says the other, "but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us."

"Mother??! You believe in mother? Where is she now?"

"She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world."

"I don't see her, so it's only logical that she doesn't exist."

To which the other replied, "sometimes when you're in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her." I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality."

As I said at the beginning, these words are not mine, but I wanted to share this beautiful perspective on faith with you. Of course we all know that there is indeed life after delivery from the womb. How many of you believe in life after delivery from our earthly journey?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

F NOT Fitzgerald

The other day I read a wonderful quote that had been attributed to F Scott Fitzgerald. It was one of those encouraging things that often will end up on a poster, but as I was reading it, I also learned that the words were not his. Oh my! The article actually went on to say that there are many instances these days of quotes wrongly attributed on the internet.

Now Fitzgerald was an incredible writer. There is no denying that. He died at a very young age, but had he lived longer, there is no telling how many more wonderful stories he would have told. Among his works are This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. In addition, Fitzgerald penned dozens of short stories.

The quote I was speaking of though is the very kind of thing I like to share here. It likely came from a screenwriter by the name of Eric Roth. There is much evidence that it was not Fitzgerald's. Still, it's a wonderful quote:

For what it’s worth … it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Kindness

If you don't already know, in addition to this blog, I also write another one.  "Of Being Kind" is a short daily thought or two about kindness.  I write something there seven mornings a week.  I invite you to check it our at http://ofbeingkind.blogspot.com/ and tell your friends too!
 
This blog, It's NOT about me, has been going on for some time.  I try to write things that are inspiring.  Most of the entries here are either general in nature or are about specific people (heroes I like to call them) who are helping to make our world better.  If you are not a regular reader, I invite you to come back for more.  Tell your friends about this too!
 
Now that kindness blog could use some help by the way.  I'm not an expert.  I try to be a kind person, but sometimes I just can't think of anything that is all that inspiring.  If you read that blog, would you kindly leave a comment or two as well?  Your thoughts could be very helpful.  Together I really believe we can make this a kinder world!

Monday, August 6, 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!