Friday, July 21, 2017

Live in the now

One of the biggest mistakes some folks make is to live a live filled with regrets.  I'm talking about those who strive so hard to get to another place, that they miss all the joys of being where they are.
 
There is nothing wrong with having goals.  In fact it is quite healthy to plan new adventures and to want change.  It can become unhealthy though if it is an obsession. Stop waiting for Friday to come as if you can only be happy on you days off from work.  Stop waiting for your vacations with the mindset that you are miserable the rest of the time.  Look with joy to relaxation of course, but never feel like the rest of the time is bad or the bus will simply pass you by.  I know of people who dread Mondays. As for me, I'm excited for each new week I'm alive and I greet Monday (and pretty much every day) with a smile.
 
Do you know anyone who is desperately waiting for someone to fall in love with them?  This is the same thing.  Yes, it would be lovely if you had a life partner and who would not want to be loved, but don't focus on that above all else and stop living your live in the here and now.  It certainly won't make you a very attractive candidate for romance.  Even worse, it won't be good for you.
 
When we live in the now and find enjoyment in our daily lives, we are much happier people.  The world can always use more happiness!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

One person can make a difference

Several years ago, when I wrote my very first entry here, I spoke of changing the world; of giving back to society; of making a difference.  The theme of this blog has remained the same throughout and I trace it all back to my childhood when John F Kennedy was the US President.  Kennedy challenged us to dream.  He challenged us to make a difference.

It has been more than fifty years since his words were spoken, but they carry the same encouragement now, as then. On January 20, 1961 at his inauguration at the US Capital, Kennedy said the line most often quoted: "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." The President was challenging every single American to contribute in some way to the public good - to make a difference. We still can answer that call!

I don't remember if it was Jacqueline Kennedy or John Kennedy who said this (it has been attributed to both, although Caroline Kennedy credits her father with the words in her forward to the anniversary edition of Profiles In Courage). "One person can make a difference and everyone should try." Indeed. Everyone.
 
I know this blog is NOT about me, and I don't know of my success here, but every day, through my blogs and activism, I want to do something that benefits someone else.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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 18, 2017

Good cop Good cop

The other day, Stanley Roberts, a reporter at San Francisco tv station KRON4, told the story of two San Jose, CA police officers who did a wonderful kind act.  In the course of their day, they came upon an elderly man who according to Roberts was "distraught and visibly upset...nearly in tears."  After patiently questioning him, they found he had just lost a son and that earlier in the year, another son had passed away.  Pretty bad, huh?  To make matters worse, this poor old man could not afford to make the trip to his son's funeral. 

Now you might expect that these police officers would at this point, have wished the gentleman well and been on their way, but as Stanley Roberts tells the story, they went way beyond what might be expected.  Immediately they made reservations for the man to fly to the funeral, paying for his round-trip fare and also paying for his ride to the airport.  They apparently didn't even make mention of this deed.  It was someone else who spilled the beans, and the story continues now to be retold.

So many police officers go way beyond their job requirements.  The San Francisco police recently tweeted about two of their officers who rescued a Canadian Goose who had been spooked after stepping into traffic.  It was another heartwarming story about two cops.  I could fill page after page with such stories, because there really are a lot of good cops, despite the negative reports we too often hear.

Now, I'm not saying all cops are perfect and that there is never any abuse of power.  Sadly that simply isn't the case.  Let's hear more about those good cops though.  I know there are a LOT of powerful stories and I invite you to share ones that you know of, in the comments section below. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Circle the Wagons

It was a few years back when a California woman received her cancer diagnosis and she was determined to beat it.  Early treatment was successful, but earlier this year the cancer returned and this time it had the upper hand.  Doctors were not optimistic. 

As this year began, a southern California man had a scary situation.  He suffered a brain hemorrhage and then was in a coma.  This vibrant young man lay helpless in a hospital bed with an unknown future.  Friends and family members came and were by his side.

Both of these stories are true.  In both cases a cry went out to circle the wagons - to unite for the common cause of helping a beloved person return to health.  People not only gathered in person but hundreds sent messages and posted on social media.  People cared.  As it became obvious that the woman would die, the love and the prayers continued to flow.  She passed away a few days ago, and her husband has already commented how helpful all of the prayers and concern have been.

The young man has a happier ending to his story.  Actually, it isn't an ending but a new beginning.  He was just discharged but now faces a lot of rehabilitation.  He was on the brink of death and for weeks he didn't walk or talk, but now he's on the mend.  A great encouragement along the way has been all the folks who came to visit and all the prayers.  Over 400 people kept tabs on him via facebook.  Wow!  He and his mother have said how grateful they are for all the concern, in fact at his discharge he wrote "Thanks for the thoughts, love, support and prayers."

When we circle the wagons, we can do incredible things.  Just our presence can be pretty wonderful to folks who need us.  Of course we don't have to wait for a crisis.  How wonderful it is to be there for others even when all is going well.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Let's keep walking

Over the weekend, the 30th annual AIDS Walk San Francisco, a 10k fundraising walk to fight the epidemic will take place with money raised benefitting Project Inform, Project Open Hand, a pilot program on HIV and aging at San Francisco General Hospital Ward 86, and more than 40 Bay Area AIDS service organizations.  It's a huge deal and one where you find lots of heroes.

The very first AIDS Walk was back on July 28, 1985 in Los Angeles where $673,000.was raised.  The next year was the first AIDS Walk in New York City and over 4,500 walkers raised $710,000.  It was 1987 when I got involved with the first event in San Francisco.  Now there are AIDS Walks in cities large and small, all raising funds for HIV/AIDS organizations in their area.

If I look for examples of people making a difference, here it is!  Volunteers doing all sorts of things, the walkers of course, and all of the sponsors and donors.  I've mentioned this year-after-year, because it's important, and I'll continue talking about it until there's a cure.  If you want to walk, you can still participate in the San Francisco event this Sunday morning.  If you would like to donate, I'd be thrilled to have you as a sponsor!  You can sponsor me HERE and also click the links to find out how to walk.  If you are in another area, find out about AIDS Walk near where you live and get involved!

I'm sometimes amazed that folks are less and less aware of AIDS than when these walks first began.  We need to share information.  Let's stay involved.  Let's end any suffering and any stigma.  Let's keep walking.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

some summertime notes

First time here?  Well you are certainly welcome!  Usually I write here about those folks in our world who are making things better - the heroes in our lives - the people who make a difference.  Sometimes I write about how we can all follow their lead.  Every single one of us can make a difference you know.  Today, I have a few notes to share.

Apparently folks do read this.  Last week I wrote about a local bus driver and later in the week I received a lovely email from the superintendent for the transit system which read in part "We are all very saddened that her had to leave so abruptly, but it will be a good move for her. I appreciate your kind words and I’m certain that it will mean a lot to her to know that she made such an impact."  Well it meant a lot to me to hear these kind words.

Oh and speaking of kindness, I also write a blog about kindness and you can find that seven days a week at http://ofbeingkind.blogspot.com/ - feel free to leave some kind words there for me.  Oh you can do the same here as well.  Right below, there is a space for your comments.

Some of the people I have written about, I keep on hearing more from various sources.  I especially like hearing stories about Chieh Huang.  This guy is making a huge difference (he's the CEO of boxed.com) and I know we are going to keep hearing great things about him.  I'm sure some of you have heroes in your life.  Let me hear about them.  Seriously.  Let's tell the whole world about the wonderful things some people do.  I hope to hear from you soon.