16 January 2018
refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation
down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear destruction.
I believe that the unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the
final word in reality.
Luther King, Jr.
The greatest friend of truth is Time, her
greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is
Charles Caleb Colton
We all get 24 hours a
day. It's the only fair thing;
it's the only thing that's
equal. It's up to us as to
what we do with those 24 hours.
will succeed best when you put the restless,
anxious side of affairs out of mind, and allow
the restful side to live in your thoughts.
The Navajo have a prayer:
May I walk with Beauty before me.
May I walk with Beauty behind me.
May I walk with Beauty above me.
May I walk with Beauty below me.
May I walk with Beauty all around me.
As I walk the Beauty way.
What is this beauty that the Navajo seek? It is what
pulls us toward life. It is what calls to us when we
despair, seduces us into opening again and again to the
possibility of love and laughter. It is the physical
manifestation of the Mystery--God, Spirit, the
Divine--that surrounds and beckons to us every day of our
lives. It is life that chooses life. The
Navajo prayer expresses our souls' desire to recognize and
receive beauty, knowing that as we do so we become
co-creators of this beauty, of that which urges,
Many spiritual paths--both traditional and New Age--posit
a hierarchy of beauty. If they give any recognition
to the sacred as it is manifest physically, such
acknowledgment is confined to the nonhuman natural world
and relegated to a status below that of the
"purer" beauty of the human spirit or
mind. Often, being in physical form is seen as a
trial, a burden to be endured, a time to learn vital
lessons for the time when we can escape the limitations of
our bodies and graduate to the "higher"
I don't know
what happens when we die. But I do know what happens
when we live with this separation of spirit and
matter. Beauty becomes merely physical packaging,
and those with power define what is pleasing based on
profitability and subjective preferences. It is easy
to become cynical about how the marketplace has used our
desire for beauty to sell us a narrow version of what
cannot be bought or sold. We know the costs of
this: eating disorders, self-hatred, endless
striving for physical perfection. It's tempting to
protect ourselves from this manipulation by devaluing the
physical as meaningless or less important than the
emotional, mental, and spiritual. But this
perpetuates the split that is so familiar. This
separation of spirit and matter leaves us with a
spirituality that lacks the vitality and fire of the
physical, and expressions of our creativity and sexuality
are cut off from the depths of our hearts and meaning of
our souls. . . .
Seeing beauty is not about narrowing our vision,
designating only some of its manifestations as
worthy. It means expanding our definition of beauty,
suspending our judgments, and appreciating both the quiet
joy of riding a bicycle along the lake and the raunchy
glee of driving a cherry-red sports car that hugs the open
highway. It means accepting the truth of being a
middle-aged woman as it is reflected in both the lines and
sagging muscles of my face and belly and the shine of my
eyes. . . .
Tell me, can you see beauty? Can you let it renew
your commitment to life, every day? I don't want to
wait for death to be near us to receive beauty in my
life. I want to be awed every day by the
truth--pretty or painful--and let it open me to the beauty
that surrounds me and draws me deeper and deeper into my
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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The best graduation speeches are short.
Few people remember long speeches. The
Gettysburg Address was two minutes long.
The other guy who talked for two hours?
Few remember the message Edward Everett gave
Lincoln was either humble or naive to say,
"The world will little note, nor long
remember what we say here; while it can never
forget what they did here." We've
never forgotten those words posted next to his
monument in Washington, D.C., that end with
"that government of the people, by the
people, for the people shall not perish from the
I don't remember who spoke at my high school
graduation or my two college graduations.
I've given a commencement address to a high
school, to a college, and to a police
academy. When I consulted what other great
speakers had said, most of them urged graduates
to follow their own path, quoting Henry David
Thoreau, who wrote about marching to the beat of
a different drummer.
How do you follow your own path?
You let life prune you. The job you don't
want could lead to the career you do want.
The lover you longed for but who didn't stick
around may enable you to find the perfect mate
at the next dinner party. Rejection is a
necessary part of the pruning process.
Before I graduated from college, I sent out 30
resumes and got 30 rejection letters back.
The painful process of elimination led me to the
only door left open, the journalism job at a
small paper that jump-started my career.
Never say never. The job you don't want
could lead to the career you do want.
I told myself I'd never write government news
and business news. Too boring, too stiff,
too dry. My first job? Covering city
hall for the Lorain Journal in Lorain,
Ohio. My next job? Covering business
for the Beacon Journal in Akron.
Wrong job, but the right place.
Expand the box. Instead of waiting for
your boss to give you a title and job
description, give yourself your own title and
grow into it. Don't say, "I'm just a
(fill in the blank)." Act as if you
are more. Meet your boss's agenda first,
but always meet your agenda, too. Rather
than wait for your new lover to say "I love
you" first, why don't you take the
chance? Take risks and love first.
Love the work in progress that you are right
now: You aren't a finished product.
You are constantly evolving. Honor the
great design of the Master. Uncover the
blueprint of your soul. Be creative.
Outrageous. Be an original. Be
you. I remember hearing about a man who
was so enamored by the work of Mother Teresa
that he wrote her often about coming to Calcutta
to make her work his life's work. One day
he finally got a letter back. Her words
stunned him: "Find your own
Create your own map. Instead of finding
your place in the world, design one. Don't
use someone else's map. The problem with
maps (besides the fact that you can never fold
them back up) is that they will only take you to
where someone else has already been.
That's why there is no map for the rest of your
life. Plus, maps are too
conservative. There are no exclamation
points on a map.
Don't go to Notre Dame just because everyone in
your family went there if your heart is set on
Georgetown. Don't go to college if your
real dream is to work on the railroad and you've
heard that whistle blowing in your heart ever
since you were a child. Don't stay in the
small town you grew up in and work at your
family's business if your heart's desire is to
be onstage in New York or in a director's chair
When you run out of a map, use a compass.
We each have one. It's inside of
you. It points to your true north, the
place designed for you alone, to your heart's
desire, to that spot God designed for you
alone. Consult it whenever you feel lost.
Listen to yourself. Silence the voices all
around you. People will come by and shake
the snow globe that is your world. A
critical comment, some idle gossip, a slammed
door, and the snow starts swirling. Be
calm, be quiet. Let it all swirl. It
will all settle and you'll discover that the
treasure inside remains steadfast and strong.
There's a true place for everyone. Yours
doesn't belong to anyone else.
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
picture that appears
in the new
window, and choose
"Set as background."
photo's from a spring
day at Lake Louise)
x 800 - 1440
years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
surprised when I hear people claim limitations in the
world. At school meetings, I regularly hear people
say things like, "Society doesn't allow us to say
things like that," or "You can't do that in
today's world." We start to look at the ways
that "society" (whatever that is)
"limits" us, and we accept as fact those
limitations and never do anything to work past
them. Usually, it has to do with negative things
that human beings tend to do, such as using racial slurs
or harming other people, and the common conception is
that these things just "can't be done."
This isn't true, though. As human beings, we can
do whatever we desire to do--as long as we're willing to
face the consequences of doing so. I can use any
racial slur that I want if I'm willing to hurt and
offend someone else. The fact is that I'm not
willing to hurt other people in that way, so I don't use
The fact is, though, that nobody is preventing me
from doing so.
Legally speaking, of course, there are certain things
that are or have been prohibited for certain groups of
people. Women couldn't vote for many, many years
in our country, and in some places in the world, they
still can't. In that situation, human beings
really are keeping other human beings from doing
On the other hand, there are laws about driving and age
that are designed for public safety that keep young
people from driving. Or do they? The simple
fact is, of course, that a 12-year-old can get into a
car and drive it whenever he or she wants--that person
just needs to be aware that they will face consequences
if they're caught doing so. The same with drinking
laws--any 16-year-old can (and very often does) drink
whatever he or she wants; it's only when they get caught
doing so that they face social consequences.
are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, there are thousands
to prophesy failure. There are thousands to point out to you, one by
one, the dangers that await to assail you. But just buckle in with a
of a grin, just take off your coat and go to it; just start to sing as
you tackle the thing that "cannot be done," and you'll do it.
This dynamic concerns
me because I so often hear students talking about
what they "can" and "can't" do
in the world because of things they've been taught
by their parents, teachers, and fellow
students. Very often, they're saying that
certain things are impossible--and they talk
themselves into not even trying them because of
their perception of the impossibility. Many of
these are positive things, such as starting their
own businesses, becoming dancers or artists or
musicians, or even going to college. Often,
those beliefs of impossibility are based on their
ethnicity--"This town won't elect a Mexican to
the town council," or "People of my race
just don't get into that profession."
I know a lot of people who have been on the planet
longer than others, and they see their age as a huge
limitation--"no one will hire someone my
age." "You can't teach an old dog
new tricks." "I'll never get this
new technology, so I'm not even going to try."
In all of these cases, we allow our perception of
the world and how the people of the world see us to
limit what we're willing to try to do for
ourselves. You may be right--this company may
not want to hire someone your age. But what's
keeping you from applying anyway? What
obstacle is in your way that keeps you from putting
your name and experience out there? If you
don't do so because you're convinced that you won't
get hired before you ever find out if that's a true
belief or not, then the only obstacle in the way is
you and your beliefs.
we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd
have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be
Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time
and build your wings on the way down.
It's simply a question
of limiting our own potential because of our beliefs
and perceptions. We spend much of our time
thinking worrying about how other people see us,
what they think of us, how they judge us.
Usually, we don't want to cause harm to other people
or to do things that would make us pariahs in our
own communities. So we avoid doing certain
things that would cause that to happen.
But we also want to be protected against other
people who don't care about how much harm they
cause, either physically, spiritually, or
emotionally. That's why there are laws against
such things as hate speech, sexual assault, and
murder, among many other things. We always
have to keep in mind, though, that there actually
are people who truly don't care about the harm they
cause others as long as they receive some sort of
personal gratification for their actions.
These are the people who cause much harm in our
societies, and it's that harm that we're trying to
avoid and prevent when we make laws
"prohibiting" certain actions.
The truth of the matter is that very often, the law
isn't the reason that many people don't do many
things they feel the urge to do--the threat of
punishment after the action is the true motivation
behind a person not committing certain acts.
What stops people from
trying new things and taking new risks?
They keep doing
the same thing over and over, expecting that
they will get different
results. Their ideas
and habits keep them in
the same restricted path, like the polar bear at
the zoo who was
tethered when first placed in his enclosure, since it wasn’t finished
and there was
the danger that he might escape. After
was completed, he was freed
of the tether, but he continued to pace
in the same restricted area.
we sometimes do ineffective
things over and over again, and view things
the same way over and
over again, and therefore stay stuck where we
want to be (and don’t have to be, I might add).
So is my point that we
all should just do whatever we feel the urge to do
whenever the urge hits us? Of course
not. But it is important to make sure that we
realize the full extent of actions that are
available to us, and to make decisions about which
ones we're willing to take and which ones we're
not. I'm willing to speak out against an
injustice, even if doing so makes people angry at me
or makes me
unpopular. I'm not willing to use hate speech
to make a point--any point--because I know that the
harm from my speech will outweigh any value that
might result from the speech. And that's harm
to other people and to me. I'm not willing to
harm others for my own gain.
I'm also willing to take a risk when I've considered
the consequences of both failing and succeeding and
found them to be worth that risk. I'm willing
to take on a new responsibility when I know that it
won't compromise my ability to fulfill my current
responsibilities, and when I know that it will be
worth my time.
I can do anything I want to. Sometimes taking
a huge risk may mean that I spend several months
living on almost no money at all--but I can still do
it (and have done so).
Let's not let "society" tell us what's
right for us. Many of society's rules are very
important for protecting people and keeping order,
but many other ways that societal norms tend to
limit us can be harmful to us. Look at the
possible consequences, make sure that you're not
going to harm someone else just for your own gain,
then make a decision one way or another--that's
really the only way that we're going to turn our
lives into extraordinary lives.
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Being busy does not always
mean real work.
is production or accomplishment
and to either
of these ends
must be forethought, system, planning,
intelligence, and honest
purpose, as well as perspiration.
to do is not doing.
Thomas Alva Edison
You Are, Be There
One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or
to create a unique lifestyle is because we have not yet
mastered the art of being.
While we are home our thoughts are still absorbed with
solving the challenges we face at the office. And when we
are at the office we find ourselves worrying about
problems at home.
We go through the day without really listening to what
others are saying to us. We may be hearing the words, but
we aren't absorbing the message.
As we go through the day we find ourselves focusing on
past experiences or future possibilities. We are so
involved in yesterday and tomorrow that we never even
notice that today is slipping by.
We go through the day rather than getting something from
the day. We are everywhere at any given moment in time
except living in that moment in time.
Lifestyle is learning to be wherever you are. It is
developing a unique focus on the current moment, and
drawing from it all of the substance and wealth of
experience and emotions that it has to offer. Lifestyle is
taking time to watch a sunset. Lifestyle is listening to
silence. Lifestyle is capturing each moment so that it
becomes a new part of what we are and of what we are in
the process of becoming. Lifestyle is not something we do;
it is something we experience. And until we learn to be
there, we will never master the art of living well.
talk about the middle of the road as though it were
Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the
Things are not all black and white. There have to be
The middle of the road is all of the usable surface.
The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.