Friday, February 27, 2015

Meum Pactum Dictum

Well I could have simply written it in English, but this seemed to be a little more eye-catching. The Latin phrase here, dictum meum pactum, simply means my word is my bond, but what does that mean?

Have you ever been frustrated when someone told you they would do something, but then did not. "I'll be happy to donate to your charity. Expect a check on Monday." No check comes though. You had been counting on it. "Let me fill that volunteer position on Friday evening." When Friday rolls around, your volunteer does not. There are many examples of people saying they will do something, and then not doing them.

Yes, we are human. Things happen that makes changes necessary. But how do we trust someone if they never (or seldom) do what they say? How can you believe someone who is always misleading.

Just by giving your word, we can be assured that the promise will be kept. That is the meaning of dictum meum pactum. That is the meaning of my word is my bond. How wonderful if we all made it our way of life!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

desired things

The 1927 poem, Desiderata (Latin for desired things) by American writer Max Ehrmann, has long been a favorite of mine. I've mentioned it here before. Since I desire happiness for everyone and I desire that everyone realize his or her importance, it seemed fitting and proper to mention this wonderful prose once again on this Thursday morning. It being in the public domain, I'd actually just like to print it here for you all to ponder and enjoy:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. 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. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What makes you smile?

What makes you smile?  What is it that makes you happy?  Think really hard now - is there an incident in your life that made you the happiest you have ever been?  Think about it.  I'll bet there have been a lot of special times.
Now here's what we can do - this is something every one of us can do.  List those special moments in your life and see what they might have in common.  Were they special because of someone else?  Did someone do something really nice for you.  Was it another person's act that brought you that smile?
Now let us recreate those moments, only instead of us smiling - instead of us being the happy ones, let's try to put smiles on the faces of others.  Here's the things though:  in doing this, I'll bet we'll be smiling just as much as the other person!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sage Advice

Did you ever have a teacher or a friend or perhaps one of your parents or other relative, give you some really great advice? Have you ever given advice to someone else? The wisdom of others is enough for any of us to set goals and to do good.
I came across this sage advice just the other day:  Whatever you are, be a good one.  Simple and straight to the point, this is something we all can live by.  It reminds me in a way of the US Army slogan "Be all you can be."
This is something we can easily urge others to follow.  Once again, "Whatever you are, be a good one!"

Monday, February 23, 2015

get out of that rut

Has your routine become boring and your daily existence rather humdrum?  Well, get out of that rut!  Things can be changed!  Life doesn't have to be a constantly turning hamster wheel, but it is up to YOU to do something about it.  First, know that things can change!

Sometimes you have to spice things up - do things a little differently.  Set attainable goals.  You don't have to change every single thing you do, but some change can be quite stimulating and get the whole positive energy flowing.  Sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone, or at least know what your comfort zone is.

Regrets? No always a good thing. Regret can bring our mood down and toss us into dead-end thinking where we can actually get stuck. Turn that regret around. What if I had done something differently - then actually DO IT differently!
There is no quick answer to getting out of a rut.  Things will be different for each person.  Know too that you might need help and don't hesitate to get it.  There is no shame at all in seeking help.  If addiction or depression is contributing to this rut, do indeed get someone to help you with it.  Just know that things CAN change.

Friday, February 20, 2015

INAM Quote

Ellen Lee DeGeneres has done it all. Not only is she terribly entertaining, but she is very influential. She says things that are funny and she says things that are touching and things that make you think.  She's also not afraid to stand up to the bullies and the bigots and she has certainly seen more of her share of them! Ellen DeGeneres is one of my heroes!

Yes, there is something very special about this lady and so today I chose to share a quote of hers with you: "Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values."  I completely agree.
Thanks Ellen!  I really like this quote.  You have done so much for so many, that someday I should write all about that!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

this is what friends are made of

There is nothing more powerful than friendship. It has been said that a true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart.  Indeed.  What I write about here every single morning is pretty simple:  doing good things for other.  Yes, I talk about paying back and changing the world, but that's what comes from these simple acts.  This is what friends are made of.
I try to tell stories that don't directly involve me because after all, this blog isn't supposed to be about me - it's about ALL of us and how we ALL can make a difference.  From time to time though I have to tell you about people who touch me directly and yesterday there was one such event.
Years ago I met a wonderful man when we both lived in San Francisco.  He moved away a long time back but still has family there.  We've kept in touch but don't see each other.  Anyway, yesterday he went to the place where my mother is buried, bringing flowers and saying prayers and then taking a few pictures to share with me.  He knew I couldn't be there.  He even realized it was the first holiday season since she passed away that I would not be visiting.  Early this morning as I looked at the pictures he had taken, I had tears streaming down my cheeks.  His simple act made such a difference.
There are all kinds of examples I could give.  There certainly isn't just one thing that describes friends.  I can tell you though that it is one of the most wonderful things in the world to be a friend and to have a friend.  May your new years be filled with new (and old) friendships!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One of many

One of many. (Not a Star Trek character. You're thinking of Seven of Nine). I was just thinking though of one marvelous thing, but as I did, I realized that it wasn't the only marvelous thing. There are tons of marvelous things and more keep on coming. It was simply one of many.

When you eat a mouth-watering candy bar, remember that there are more where that came from - it's just one of many.  When you have a wonderful day, think of it as one of many. When you hear a great song for the first time, be happy about that, but realize it is one of many. How about that fantastic breakfast you just ate, of the beautiful flowers you saw during your morning walk? There are wonders just about everywhere you look. We are surrounded by all kinds of goodness, but sometimes we just don't see it.

As you go through today, make a mental note of every positive or joyful thing you experience - all kinds of candy bars?  beautiful flowers?  perhaps smiling faces?  As you do it, think of the fact that your list keeps on growing. We aren't just talking about one thing - we are talking about one of many!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Money, money, money

Who does not love money? It's sad to say, but most people put money above everything else. Having money usually means having security, so it is certainly understandable when folks care so much about money.  I'd LOVE to have more money that I do, but somehow I learned that money is not the beginning and ending of everything.  I was very fortunate to be part of a family that was not at all materialistic.  We sometimes didn't have all those "extras," but that was okay.
Through life I have found more and more that the happiest people are not necessarily the richest.  Oh and the people who are the biggest givers are quite often the folks who have the least money in their pockets. I have seen people who can hardly pay their bills, happily volunteering their free time to charity and donating their old clothes to charity drives.  Perhaps it's because folks will little money know what it is like to do without.
Let me be clear in what I am saying here though.  Yes, money is important.  Having and giving really makes a difference.  It's important though to never rely too much on having a full pocketbook.  You can easily set yourself up for disappointment.  The old saying that the best things in life are free has a lot of truth in it.  The worship of money can't be a healthy thing, but all of us do that to some extent.  Try doing without sometimes and you will be amazed at the difference it will make.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Gentle Barn

What a great idea! Actually whenever someone does something positive for kids, I think it's a good idea, but when you include animals, it becomes exceptional. I don't know if you have heard about this before, but there is this incredible place in Santa Clarita, CA that has become home to rescue animals, and a wonderful place for children to visit. They have a simple mission: Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet. Sounds like my kind of place.

Now I'll be honest. I haven't been there. Someone just recently told me about this place and I am excited because it sounds so wonderful. I just looked at their website and learned a lot more. They have an online gift shop with all kinds of goodies, and the founder's message will make you want to put the kids in the car and head there right now! Check them out at

Oh and one more good thing: the are opening a second location just outside of Knoxville, TN this summer. If you live on the east coast of in the middle of the country, you can head that way.

Want to see some horses, cows, turkeys, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, chickens and a donkey? Come to the Gentile Barn. They have volunteer opportunities available and a number of ways you can get involved. There contact information and more information is on their website.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Won't you be my Valentine?

Yikes!  It's Friday the 13th!  no problem.  Tomorrow is a much happier day.  Although it is not a public holiday, folks make a big deal out of Valentine's Day and it's celebrated in many countries all around the world. Just here in the United States, one billion cards are given this day, including those exchanged by school kids. That doesn't include the increasing number of e-cards that are sent out. Oh and get this: The average valentine’s spending per person is over $130! Amazing.

Cards are popular and chocolates too. Some give jewelry. For a florist, this is the biggest single day of the year and roses are the most popular flowers given.
A gift on this day doesn't have to be to a romantic partner.  Everyone enjoys getting recognized and a thoughtful Valentine card or a single flower or small bouquet can brighten anyone's day.  I have friends who send out as many Valentine cards as they do Christmas cards.  Yes, it was originally about romantic love, but these days it is more about happiness and bringing a smile to someone's face.  I think that's a great reason to keep up the celebration!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lunch Bag Service

Those of you who read this blog regularly, will have noticed lately the graphic to the left for something called Lunch Bag Service. It's a gofundme campaign for the very talented chef, Brandon Lee, pictured there. I donated right away, because I know how talented this guy is and how starting a new business can be quite a challenge. I hope many of you will donate as well.

If you are regular readers here, you already know about GoFundMe, because I have mentioned a number of their fundraisers. There are all kinds of personal fundraisers and campaigns to help various charities. You can find out more about them at

This campaign for Brandon Lee is one that I can easily support because it involves good quality food prepared by someone who certainly knows his way around the kitchen. I don't live in Chicago, where this business will be, but this certainly gives me reason to visit! I'll come clean here too and tell you that Brandon is someone I know and someone I believe in. Besides being a culinary superstar, he is also an accomplished musician and he is a giver. You KNOW how I like folks giving back and making a difference in the world. I can't tell you how many times Brandon has done things for community based organizations. He truly is making a difference.

Now we all have a chance to make a difference for him. To contribute to this campaign or to find out more about it, just click HERE. Any amount helps! Oh and then when you're in Chicago, be sure to sample his wares. My mouth is watering already.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

what about the next guy?

When I say it's NOT about me, I should add quickly that it IS about the next guy - it's about the future. It's about all of us paying it forward and making a difference.  It's about the next guy and the one after - EVERY single one of us!

What is? Life. Life is about everyone - our children and our children's children and all those generations yet to come. Why do we need to care about future generations? Why do we need to pay it forward?  The answer should really be obvious.  We don't want to be selfish.  We should all want our children to grow up in a better world than we had and for things to be even better for their children.
If we all think about the next guy, imagine how wonderful this world might be.  It can keep getting better and better each day.  So, let's all vow to keep an eye toward the future - to gift it forward to create fun times for the future generations -to think of the next guy!  Oh and May the Fourth be with you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Is it spring yet?

The question many people, especially those in the northeast United States, may be asking: "Is it spring yet?" "Will the weather soon warm up? Parts of Ohio right now are at or near zero and the forecast is saying it will dip all the way to 11 below! Yikes!  Just what did the groundhog say earlier this week?  Sometimes it may seem difficult to stay happy and upbeat with weather like this!
Life sends all kinds of obstacles our way, not just severe weather.  Do we throw our hands in the air and just give up?  Of course not!  While looking forward to good things might be helpful, we can also appreciate what we have.  Several feet of snow doesn't always make that easy, but it is possible.
What blessings does your life have?  Think about it for a moment.  Did anything happen to you yesterday that you are really grateful for?  Are you healthy?  Have you been eating good meals?  Is there someone in your life who loves you?  Did you do something recently that brought you pleasure?  Do you have a warm bed to sleep in at night and nice clothes to wear?  There are probably tons of good things in your life, so why dwell on what negative there might be.  Not enough good things?  Work on building some more!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Be a blessing

We can all make a difference in the lives of those around us.  Let's get with it!  Don't hesitate!  Today will never come again.  We really shouldn't put things off.  Be a blessing.  Encourage others.  Be a friend.  Smile.  Share the love.  Take the time to care.  Make someone feel special.
Imagine how much good you can do just by caring!  Imagine.  It's doesn't need to take a lot of time.  It just takes an open heart.
If every single one of us did something encouraging every day, the positive changes would be incredible!  Being a friend is one of the most powerful things we can ever do.  Let's all resolve to make this world a happier and healthier place in which to live.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Be The Good

It's a gorgeous Friday morning (at least where I live) - the beginning of another great weekend, and I am energized!  While it is so often said that things aren't as good as they used to be, I say "Why not?"  We can have good if we truly want to have good.  We have to believe!  
I remember someone I used to go to school with who always said "If you don't like the world we live in, make it a better world."  Indeed.  I don't want this to sound like some kind of fairy tale story, but it really is true.  We each can do good things - every single one of us.  Believe.  We each can change the bad that we see and make things better.  Believe it!  We each, even if only in a small way, can contribute to our world and make these days good, instead of those days.
Do you believe in yourself?  Do you believe in your family and in your friends?  Believe there's good in our world.  Be the good in our world!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wear Red Day

Tomorrow is Wear Red Day, not some fashion designer's promotion, but rather a day to call attention to women's heart health. We often hear about men having heart attacks or strokes, but we also need to focus on fighting heart problems in women because it’s not just a man’s disease.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring some awareness, and you can help!

Some of the things you can do are really quite simple.  When you get dressed tomorrow morning, wear red.  Pretty simple, huh?  Also, use the hashtag #WearRedDay on your facebook posts and tweets.  Change your profile picture to a red one or you may borrow the picture from here and use it yourself.  No red in your closet?  Stop by somewhere on your way home tonight and buy a red necktie or scarf so you will have something! 

Read about women's heart issues and share that information with others.  If you are able, donate money to heart organizations, such as the American Heart Association.  You can set up your own fundraiser too.  Click HERE for some help with that.
We all have an opportunity to make a difference in this world.  Heart disease is very preventable with education and lifestyle changes.  Share the care.  Make a difference this Wear Red Day!  Go to for more information.  Also check out Wise Woman HERE - it's a program administered by the Centers for Disease Control for low-income, under-insured or uninsured women.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Make my day!

Guess how may ways there are to brighten someone's day.  Go ahead, guess how many.  Is that a difficult question?  Perhaps it is just a little misleading, because there correct answer is that you cannot guess.  There really is no limit.  The number of things you might do to brighten someone else's day comes down to just one thing:  you.
How creative are you?  Do ideas simply pop into your head?  Are you always thinking up new ideas?  Think about this then and come up with more great I ideas to make their day!
When you are walking down the street and someone approaches you, the first thing you should do is smile.  What a wonderful way to brighten that person's day!  I see all kinds of things every day, and as I said, there really is no limit. Use your imagination. Hold the door for that person with their hands full with packages.  Secretly pick up someone else's breakfast tab in the restaurant where you eat.  Write encouraging thoughts on decorated paper and place then on car windshields. 
Ideas?  I'd love to hear them!  Do share some with us in the comments section below!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Living in the past

Are you living in the moment or are you stuck where you used to be; where you always have been? Do you have appreciation for the present, or have you gotten stuck in the past? What about the future? Are you looking ahead or do your eyes seem to be focused on your rearview mirror?
I know this blog is NOT about me, but I just have to share some thoughts I had last night.  I was thinking about today and the several things I have planned.  I was also realizing that because I live in a different place than I did last year, there were going to be differences.  Oh my!  Change?  Can't I have the security of doing things the way I always have?  Yes, there is comfort in familiarity, but there is also a complete lack of adventure.  We also never advance or go forward if we aren't willing to take risks and try new and different things.
How about this very minute in your life - are you enjoying it or are you thinking about something from yesteryear?  My experience has shown me the great joy of cherishing every single moment and at the same time looking ahead to the newness of life and the adventures we have along the way. 
"Oh I can't wait for this day to end!"  How many of us have said this?  The sad thing is that we are missing the beauty of now.  Years ago on the radio, I used to say "Smell the flowers along the way.  They're only here for a very short while and they need a lot of love to grow."  Living in the past keeps us from the joy of knowing the now and the future.  Live each moment and be glad!

Monday, February 2, 2015

INAM Quote

You know who was born on yesterday's date, right? I'll give you a hint: we used to celebrate his birthday as a holiday, and he certainly is one of those people who made a difference in this world.

I was thinking of all the famous speeches he made and of all of his writings, and I realized I have tons of quotes to choose from.  The made on the five dollar bill, the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, will forever be remembered for his words, as well as his deeds.  I decided to use a lesser know quote, but when that we should all never forget.

Mr Lincoln said “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Indeed.