As the New Year approaches, something to think about…
As the New Year approaches, something to think about…
When the race is done or won, let us exemplify grace…
“I will walk in love,
In dignity and grace,
Now the race is done, or won,
Share hope and mercy, peace.
Each one by one, or one on one,
Much needed now:
Let hatred cease…
We recently had a neighbor move in on the corner of the block. The house he purchased had exchanged many hands over the course of the past twenty-two years, or so. It was owned by a not-so-present landlord and was frankly, an eye-sore. Frat-boys partied it up, two kids dug a hole in the front garden, digging half-way to China, weeds encroached the yard’s border, making us cross the street for an evening walk. Paint was chipping and peeling, the lawn was unhappy and the old house was putting a frown on the neighborhood’s face.
I spoke with the new owner, “Joe”, and thanked him profusely for the great job he was doing renovating his new home. He said a simple, “thank you, Ma’am”.
In the ensuing conversation, I inquired about his life’s history: he’s a business owner, a former Marine, a family man. His politeness echoed back to his military background. I asked if he’d mind if he were featured on this blog and if he preferred his name be mentioned or not. True to form, he was happy to accommodate, yet humbly declined the use of name. But, he didn’t mind our sharing his pretty cool tattoo!
So, we wanted to take a minute to honor his polite and humble ways, his can-do attitude, his “fixer-upper” spunk, investment and service to our city, neighborhood, country and lives.
“So, why make a fuss” you might ask? “Someone bought an old house and is fixing it up. They are doing it with investment in mind. The neighborhood is happy because their property values will rise”. Point taken.
But I say, anytime effort, substance, beauty, or investing in something worthwhile occurs, it’s worth a kudos. In a society often fixated on the negative, where an eye-for-an-eye is condoned or even encouraged, where people carry a spy-glass in their pocket, examining flaws, downfalls and ineptitudes, isn’t it worth making an effort to highlight good things, people, those positive efforts?
Our city struggles with neighborhoods and housing, at various times and places. Someone chose to stay here and invest, fix up the old and run-down. Hooray! It doesn’t mean he’s perfect, it means he’s trying.
So how about finding someone to encourage when they are doing something right? Look for those who are being helpful, kind, putting forth an effort. Put the spotlight on them, and take it OFF all the negative noise and brew-ha-ha.
Joe is the first in a series of spot-lights, featuring everyday heroes and plodding pedestrians, moving in the right direction. We’re just taking a moment to say “thank you, you’re just great”!
Take a minute to pour a little water & sunshine on your fine self!
By Sherrie Robins
My nephew popped over to the house last night. He’s a talented young photographer/videographer, who’s starting a business with my son. Their work is fresh, hip, young, knowledgeable, practiced & informed.
I’ve learned a few things from them both.
“Hey Jordan”, I said. “Wanna see the new ‘video’ I made”?
Now, though I’m a practiced and ardent “photo-snapper”, my ‘video’ happened to be a photo compilation-slide show of a family weekend gathering, something I’m relatively new at, and a far cry from their professional work. (I wish them the best).
But he liked it!
Then he said this: “I love the way you’re not afraid to try new things and continue to grow. Most people your age just settle. Stop growing. Maybe they find something they enjoy, but they stop there and just do “that” for the rest of their lives. How many people do you know that keep trying and expanding; reaching? You’re great”!
Wow. What a compliment.
It brought to light a new perspective. Because of different life situations, I’ve had to wear many hats and have sometimes seen this as a negative. Others have told me so. I haven’t always assessed these accomplishments as assets: a positive!
Here’s a couple of thoughts: as one continues to grow, some old things must be left behind, some for a while, some for always. Knowing which is which can be a challenge. And we can’t expect everyone to understand where we’re coming from. If we stretch, there’s always the chance of rejection.
Also, we have been told that in order to be good at something, really good, you have to stick with that thing forever! But what about a different take. You’ve heard it before, “he was a real Renaissance man”. This is referring to an individual’s proficiency at a number of abilities. This used to be a “thing”. Not so much anymore as society often seems to box people into roles: teacher, business person, entertainer, artist. Any Mother knows that just ain’t so! Children are even taught that, at least up to high-school, through a well-rounded education. But many of us leave behind the variety upon reaching adulthood.
And here’s are some additional perspective: the more we become proficient at a variety of things, 1) the more it rounds out our personalities, 2) enables us to relate to wider circles, and 3) we begin to see one gift as feeding off the other.
1) Each new lens we look through allows us to see life a bit differently. Having been an artist and photo-snapper, for example, has caused me to go from looking at each single flower, leaf and stone to taking in the vastness of the world around me.
2) Personally, being able to relate to my son and nephew in their world of photography, another nephew with his writing, my daughter in her’s of cooking and travel, and many others in singing, piano, blogging, teaching, etc. This ability has enriched my life on so many levels.
3) When one is developing any gift, artistic or otherwise, it seems the additional become easier to access. I’m sure this has a scientific base, but I’ll let YOU google it!
So, think out of the box! Don’t be afraid to expand, develop, grow in whatever you’re already good at, and more. It’s okay if it isn’t in our comfort zone or we make mistakes. We all do. Whether it’s a new hobby, a new work challenge, relationship growth or trying a new recipe, it’s all ripe for the picking.
Learning is the stuff that keeps us fresh, young, vital. It helps us to reach others and become our best selves. So let’s grow, Grow, GROW!
*Thanks for reading lessonsinperspective. Feel free to follow, like and share!
Here’s another one of Sherrie’s blogs: https://2chicks2go.wordpress.com/ https://www.facebook.com/2chicks2go/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
and her Facebook art page: https://www.facebook.com/sherrierobinsart/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Photos and Graphics can be purchased: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sherrie-robins.html?tab=artwork
Another shot rings out. Another life is taken. How can this be?
This great hatred must be addressed with equal power.
For how could a platitude, a simplicity, applied in another millennia be pertinent to us here and now? Don’t be trite. Don’t be ridiculous.
But the small voice, like that as unto a child, cries out from the darkness…”Shine”.
For one candle, one light invites another.
One bloom, one blossom beckons a garden.
Even if it is buried beneath the dirt, the evil, the dark, it will endure,it will come forth, it will bring forth new life.
Let’s be the light.
Be the garden.
For LOVE is the answer. LOVE never fails. It’s what the WORLD NEEDS NOW.
In our world today, there is not often time for peace and quiet. Schedules, priorities, demands and responsibilities make solitude and rest seem unattainable and even antiquated. Work and family pressures close in on us, making escape mandatory. So, we often turn on an easily available screen.
But, taking a few minutes out for yourself by going on a walk or a run (without the headphones), or sitting on a park bench or even your back yard, is a beneficial and even necessary adjustment for one’s well-being. It is great for “defragmenting” and coming to know one’s own mind.
Through silence comes awareness and knowledge. We often don’t know our own minds when other’s voices and opinions drown out own. Sometimes we suppress things we should be dealing with, through distraction. We may even become aware of a knee-jerk reaction towards someone else’s opinion because of our own prejudices regarding an individual or a situation. Various things may come to light.
On the other hand, peace and quiet, a moment of calming greenery, fresh air, a cozy corner with a sleeping pet is re-vitalizing. Breathing a prayer, having a thankful heart, not only on the fly, but taking a moment to ponder can be healing or course-changing.
And for my over-worked friends, those of you who truly don’t have a minute to spare, that is what eyelids are for. Close them on the train, in the passenger seat of the car, even in the ‘necessary’ and remember your beautiful place. Be transported even for a short while. Turn off the noise. Shuttle in the blessed quiet. It takes purposefulness, but it is possible.
So, let’s not neglect ourselves. We have so much to give and people who need us. Let’s give them our “best-selves” and not a half-portion of a frazzled or burned out, expectation-driven, tired or even resentful self. There is a place of beautiful restoration. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. It only takes a moment.
Sometimes I can see it as clear as crystal. There are days I wake up and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt with straight as an arrow accuracy, like it’s shot forth from the sun, aimed true, arriving whole, point on.
… as a mirror,sheer, sharp, angled in a reflective and repeating pattern that goes on into infinity.
Other times it’s shadowed and billowy, like smoke, hiding in the twilight, blurred and hazy.
What is this that I think I know? What is it that rings clear with truth, a pure tone, one note alone?
It is the truth of a humble heart.
For the world clamors with the noise of power and control. It pays its respects to the prosperous and those with clout and prestige, bowing to the mighty. But how have they arrived? By walking upon the the backs of the broken, wounded or needy?
…while quiet servers, builders of beauty, contributors of strength, often go unnoticed.
…the people of substance.
I’m not speaking of the pitifully pious; the stone-hurlers. Far from it. There are those who follow the true spirit of a sandal clad Christ, feeding multitudes, healing the hurting and crying with the wounded.
Nations rage, hands grasp, turmoil surges. Divisions of color, race and creed multiply like the fish of the sea.
But the humble heart is open. The humble heart is love. It is giving and kind, serving and empathetic. It clothes the naked, houses the orphan, helps the single mother with no food on her table. It doesn’t search out the bottom line or interest accrued. It reserves judgement and overlooks faults. It cares for those on the perimeters, regardless of creed, color or identity.
They will be the first to say they are far from perfect, but isn’t that the essence of humility?
There are those who are on my list of heroes, and their names aren’t etched on walls. My heart pushes past the boisterous arrogance of pulpit pounding and self-promotion, leaning in to watch as these men and women wash the dirty feet of neglected children and wipe the tear-stained faces of long-forgotten wards and hollow halls.
Not only are they the nurturers, but they are also the creators. They are those who create light, hope and purpose along the darkened pathway of a world too-often seduced by the covert, or the clamor, or sometimes shallow meanderings.
…And those humble-hearted souls are quietly plying their trade of words, images or ideas – uplifting the world as an air current does a dirigible; steering, guiding, directing the rigid or otherwise rudderless.
So, yeah. The sun is shining brightly today, shooing the clouds away, lighting up the crevices and crannies. It knows what it’s doing.
And I can see all the better for it.