Thursday, May 24, 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."

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Be a hero of positivity.

Every day you probably hear someone say something that is negative.  Don't let your day be a downer though!  You can be a hero of positivity by always saying things that are encouraging and always looking for the good instead of the bad.
 
That "sunny disposition" is always welcome around me.  I find it so uplifting to see people smiling and happy and greeting each other with a cheery "Good morning!"  Every single one of us can add to that positive attitude.  Imagine how much happier our days might be if the positivity were increased.  We can all increase it by one!  I'm not just talking about doing away with the negative vibes.  It's really much more than that.  Turn up the positive.
 
Say hello to strangers.  Be pleasant with store clerks and restaurant servers.  Say thank you.  Smile.  Spread the positive energy.  Choose to see the good stuff in life.  Let your light shine!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sunrise Sunset

Isn't this a glorious vision?  Wait a moment though - in this picture, are we looking at a sunrise or a sunset?  Can you tell the difference?  Is one more beautiful than the other?  Does it make you think of the time you watched the sun come up with the person you love?
There are those who prefer the rising of the sun in the morning.  It signals a fresh start; a brand new day.  Most of us when we see it are just waking up and are rested and refreshed after a night's sleep.
Some people prefer to look at the sun as it sets.  The day is finished and now, as the sun goes down, a time of rest is approaching.  We have done what we set out to do and there will be another opportunity to do more wonderful things tomorrow.
However we look at the sun though, one thing is certain.  It is beautiful.  Take a moment and just reflect on this picture.  There is beauty all around us.  Take a moment and enjoy some of that too.  In fact, start looking at all the beauty that surrounds you, and I guarantee in will change your day!

Monday, May 21, 2018

how much?

How much do you want to make out of your life?  No, not how much money.  I'm asking if you have any sort of aspirations.  We weren't just born to pay bills and then die.
Are you someone who always wants to do better?  Do you find yourself reaching for the stars?  Is there a limit?  Do you keep going just because you want things better for yourself, or do you have high expectations for your family, friends, and even your community?  How much achievement is enough?  Should we keep reinventing ourselves?
What gives you joy?  What brings you pleasure?  Do you want more and more of these things?  How much more?  Oh my!  For me there really is no limit.  Every day presents new opportunities and I want to take advantage of each and every one.  I hope that you keep wanting new experiences in your life too.

Friday, May 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!

Thursday, May 17, 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.

Wednesday, May 16, 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!