Thursday, November 26, 2015

There's always reason to be thankful

The inaccuracy of the first Thanksgiving story we generally hear, is causing more and more people to re-think any kind of celebration this day. Just what are we to be grateful for? Genocide? Certainly not! I do understand how uncomfortable it is to tell that untrue tale and to romanticize those Pilgrim-Indian feasts though, so  let's stop doing that!

Wait a second though. I'm not saying there is nothing to be thankful for. I'm not saying a harvest festival is a bad thing or that being grateful for the good things in our lives is wrong. We just need to make some changes. First, let's stop telling the untrue story and admit our past horrible deeds. Next, let us move forward, vowing to never do anything like that. Let's also look at the good things we have done and the good that have happened in our lives. Our ancestors committed horrors, but they certainly did some positive things as well. We might personally have never done anything that can be described as horrible, but we can still apologize on their behalf. Then, we need to move on.

The good in our lives can and should be acknowledged. There's always reason to be thankful. Did you have food to eat last night? Did you have a warm bed? Do people love and care about you? Look! There is reason for gratitude right there. Gathering family and friends together and having a good time over a meal, is not a bad thing to do.

Thanksgiving Day has baggage to be sure - in fact, with the atrocities committed, baggage is an understatement. I'm not suggesting we should ignore it either. Perhaps we need to re-invent the day. My suggestion though is that we continue to give thanks; that we continue to gather together. Let us do so honestly though, making reparations for our past, and looking ahead with thankful hearts for all the good that we can be.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious order (which consists of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries), once said "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus." It is no wonder that I admire her so!

Mother Teresa did and said many wonderful things during her lifetime. One of my favorite quotes I refer to as her "anyway" message:

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

Are you rich?

It's amazing to me how so many people measure wealth. Do you own your house? How many cars to you have? What about jewelry? Stocks? Money? Do you consider yourself rich?

Okay, that might be an odd question to ask, but I want you to think about it for a moment.  Are material things important to you? Are you waiting for that big break? Do you dream of marrying a wealthy spouse? Are thoughts of a huge inheritance frequently in your thoughts?

I wanted you to think about this for a moment because if material wealth is always on your mind, perhaps its time to rethink.  Maybe you already are rich, but just in another way.  The everyday heroes we talk about here, are heroes because the put more importance on the everyday. Perhaps rich is really a state of mind. Take a closer look at the blessings already in your life, and you will discover riches of a more important kind.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The eye of the beholder

What is the most beautiful thing you can think of? Your mother's smile? How about a colorful flowerbed? Perhaps a gorgeous piece of jewelry?  Maybe a child peacefully napping?  The bright golden sunrise? Beauty might not just be something you are looking at, but perhaps you think first of the beauty of a deed that someone does.
Think about it for a moment. Did you recently hear someone remark "Oh, that's so beautiful"? Do you remember what they were talking about? I remember thinking just that when I watched the Ellen DeGeneres tv show yesterday. Ellen has a way of doing some pretty wonderful things that touch your heart. I have a number of friends who are always doing beautiful things too.
Of course beauty isn't always the same for everyone. It's in the eye of the beholder, some say. Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac back in 1741, "Beauty, like supreme dominion, Is but supported by opinion."

So what do YOU think is beautiful? Please give us some examples in the comments below. I'd really love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Baby it's cold outside

Although winter doesn't officially come to the US until next month, the temperatures have already dipped in a number of places. Here in Arizona where I live, it's been down in the 30s every night this week, and we even had a significant snowfall already. Now is a good time to remember your farm animals or pets and to especially remember the homeless who are outside all the time.

Nice clean warm socks, sturdy shoes, and warm blankets to cover yourself, and of course a good sturdy overcoat are all so very helpful to those in need. A Texas organization called Project Warm Us can use donations and volunteers. Find out more at A Nashville based organization called Soles4Souls distributes shoes to needy people and, I'm told is also now distributing coats. Their website is There are churches and other organizations in communities across the country that do collections and give these things to the needy. Check around where you live, and if you don't find anything, consider beginning a program of your own. The thanks you get back will warm your hearts!

When I lived in San Francisco, we had an annual memorial for people who died outside on the street. Many of those died because of the cold. Most of those deaths could have been prevented. Let's step up and do something.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Read all about it

Recently there seems to have been more horrifying violence all across our nation and around the world. I could list the instances of hate crimes, police brutality, terrorism, and various other terrible news stories, but you already know what they are. What about good news? Is there any? Isn't it time we saw more of that?

What I try to do here each day is tell you positive stories, and there are many of them. I talk about ways we all can get involved and make things better, and I talk about those wonderful people who are already doing just that. There are tons of heartwarming tales that deserve to be told. The mainstream media may not spend much time on it, but that doesn't mean there is no good news.

Of course you can help too! Have you heard about an individual or an organization that is doing something really great? Leave the information below in a comment, so we can read all about it. Share this blog with your friends too and invite them to tell some good news stories that we can all benefit from.

With Thanksgiving coming up soon and then all of the end of year holidays and celebrations, we generally hear more of those positive stories. How wonderful to remember that while there are bad people doing good things, there is still a lot of good in this world!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

a slice of pie

Pie. I love pie. Here in San Francisco, where I am visiting, there are so many places where I can get some good pie! My favorite is strawberry-rhubarb, but a nice cherry pie is good, and pumpkin is quite satisfying too. Now I know this blog is not about me. It's about making a difference in the world, so what does pie have to do with that?

Happiness is one of the greatest things we can experience, and different things make different people happy. Pie is one of the things that makes me happy. Do feel free to tell us about some of the things that make you happy. I remember an old time television program where the maid was always giving slices of pie, or sometimes fresh homemade cookies, to people. It made them happy. I had some wonderful neighbors once who did the same thing. There would be a knock at my door, and one of them would be standing there with something delicious for me to eat. My mom's landlady did it with bread. She was always baking bread, and there would always be an extra loaf for Mom. If you haven't tasted fresh hot bread, straight out of the oven, you are missing out.

Do you bake? Think about sharing with someone. Bring cookies in to school or to work. How about that deliveryperson who is always doing extra things for you? A slice of pie (or even a whole pie), can be quite a reward. You get the idea.  You can easily make someone's day with very little effort.  A slice of pie might not change the world all by itself, but what a delicious way to start!