I wish that all children had an opportunity to learn some form of music. It is so good for the soul and I honestly believe it helps them to be able to learn other things as well more easily. If every child in every culture, every nation, had music from such an early age, do you think we might have a more peaceful world?
I have a number of heroes in this life, and I think heroes are good for all of us. We all need others who inspire us and give us something to keep us going when the going gets tough. One of Zig Ziglar’s quotes I always remember is “Get a checkup from the neck up and avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ and hardening of the attitudes.”
In these times, we all can benefit from our heroes. The daily news is often dismal, the sign of a dysfunctional society for sure. It is easy to get down when we read nothing but the worst of the worst in human behaviors throughout the world.
Zig Ziglar was not born a privileged man. His father died when he was young, and a younger sister died a couple of days later. His mother kept the family together, and he worked hard all his live after that, serving in the military and then working in sales. But he took what he had in life and made it work for him and his family, and he is today remembered as one of the greats in inspiration. His first book went through some 30 publishers who thought it was a waste, and then a publisher picked it up and it sold half a million copies right away.
No matter where we have come from or what we have been through, we CAN make our lives better. But it doesn’t happen if we sit there and wait for someone else to do it for us. And remember that no matter how difficult our lives may be or how challenged, there is always someone who would feel wealthy if they had what we do.
I have many heroes in all sizes, shapes and colors that I follow. I will ultimately reveal all of them over time, and some I have already mentioned. Who are your heroes in this life and why?
This is one of my favorite pieces of music. It says so much about our integrity and sacredness as human beings. I hope you enjoy it as much as i do. It is definitely on my regular listening
I loved for my Grandmother to read to me, even when I was a teenager. I remember sitting next to her rocking chair and kneading her soft skin and telling her lovingly that it felt so good, like a turkey. For some, that may have been a dreadful thing to tell a Grandmother, but mine understood that it was soothing for me. She would always sit and tell me over and over the fairy tales I always requested. Strangely, both of these stories seemed so dismal on the surface, but I always interpreted them differently.
This is my conscious interpretation of the story. It is true that it was likely in Victorian times in England. It was Christmas eve, and it was very cold as citizens found their way around the area seeking last-minute gifts and special foods to celebrate.
The little match girl, a poor child who would represent reality in those times for a lot of children, was out in the street, poorly dressed for the cold. She held up her matches, for she knew she dare not return home without selling them. Her family did not have the good foods that others had to eat. She perhaps had not eaten all day or even several days. No one noticed the matches she held up in the cold.
Desperate to do something in this dismal time, she lit one of the matches. As the long match glowed in the dark, it warmed her a tiny bit, and in that moment, she saw a vision of possibility. She saw herself in a warm home with food and presents, and a beautiful Christmas tree lit with many colors. The other children with her were all aglow with happiness that permeated the cold, dark sky.
The match did not last. With a sort of strange bit of hope, she lit another match. Once again, her heart was filled with joy and happiness, if just for that moment. You know, it only takes a moment for a miracle. If we can experience the joy of being alive in our minds and our souls, just for that moment, we experience the true miracle of life.
As the matches continued to be lit, finally culminating in the lighting of the remainder of the matches all at once, she was able to transcend that reality of her life.
We are sometimes faced with ugly realities in our lives, and we don’t have to accept them as our forever reality. We can see the best even in the worst of times, and know that life will change as it always does. We are all sacred in this world, as is every plant, every animal, every grain of sand. We are not alone. We are part of the larger universe, and we would not be here if we were not meant to be. If we are here but a moment, we can make it the most beautiful miracle of a moment ever.
As we continue a season of holidays, I want to wish you the very best life has to offer, no matter what set of holidays you choose to celebrate. I wish you peace, joy, and an appreciation of the sacred in this world.
This is a time of renewal, and a time of quiet contemplation about the world that we have been given in which to have the experience of being an important part of the universe with its many different dimensions. As the world seems to sleep, new life is forming quietly in so many different places and going unnoticed until it bursts forth in all its glory when spring awakens.
I remember that my mom had more “mom-isms” than probably most of the moms on my block. If you don’t know what a mom-ism is, your mom probably never had one, but you might ask her what mom-isms her mom or grandma used to use. A mom-ism is when you make a remark, such as “Oh Mom, I can’t.” And your mom replies, “Really? Did you know that there is no such word as ‘can’t’ in the English dictionary?” Or perhaps she might say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Think back on some your mom or grandma might have said. I know some of you have some in the back of your memory. They were intended to have us not give up easily, or perhaps guide us in some other area of life. The quilt that is painted and stitched below is one of my mom’s mom-isms. I would say something like “I just am not sure if I can do it,” or perhaps “Mom, I am afraid to do it,” and she would reply, “Oh, take the bull by the horns.” I have no clue where these mom-isms came from, but they were definitely an important memory in my youth. I will look forward to seeing some of yours. Perhaps you have pop-isms, or grandma or grandpa-isms. And you know, these worked too. Look how worried this huge bull looks compared to the little cowgirl. Have fun remembering!
“Take the Bull by the Horns” by Anne Copeland
This photo is a baby girl named Anne, and it is some 76 years old approximately. Oh how she loved to be read to aloud, or how she loved to “read” her own little books. There were never enough books, and her favorite person to read to her was her Grandma. She was still sitting on the floor next to her Grandma in her rocking chair. And Grandma would tell little Anne stories to capture her memory and to make her days memorable.
I dedicate this story to my friend Jennie, who teaches preschoolers at a private school back East. Her favorite way of teaching is reading aloud to the students, something they all love so much. She combines it with so much creativity. One day, she was asking the children if they wanted to have a new story, and instead of telling one child who was talking a lot, she told the children if they wanted a story to say “Ravioli, Ravioli.” It changed the climate immediately and all the children began to say that.
I am so glad I grew up loving to read. To this day, it is perhaps one of my most wonderful adventures in life. I hope any of you who have children will take the time to read to them as much as possible. Let them pick out books from the library. And teach them to ask in funny ways such as “Ravioli, Ravioli!”