Seeing the trailer for Tom Hank’s new movie where he portrays Mr. Rogers, was truly nostalgic. To say, “I am looking forward to seeing it,” is an understatement. He is the perfect actor for this role.
It made me wonder, if there was a movie about my life, who would play me? Perhaps the more important question to ask is, would the movie be worth watching?
From day to day as I go about my routines, running errands and performing tasks, I may overcome minor obstacles, but ultimately my days are governed around my own needs. What would our world be like if everyone spent their working hours purposely trying to be effective in the world. That’s what Mr. Rogers did.
When the market crashed in 1929 everyone was desperate. Workers needed money and businesses needed buyers. Everyone went that extra mile hoping to be of value to others. Manufacturers made products meant to last and workers proudly put all their energy into their work. As the economy gained some footing, peoples’ future grew more secure. Has ease and comfort robbed us from our need to make a valuable effort?
Mr. Rogers focused on his neighbours. I recently learned the word neighbour in ancient Jewish text meant ‘the person close to you’. The stranger behind us at the check out, the cashier ringing in our groceries and the person climbing in the car parked next to ours. These are the neighbours Mr. Rogers cared about; the people who crossed his path. I am going to try to make it a habit to acknowledge my neighbours as I go about my day, and I will begin by acknowledging you. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Diplomacy is the management of relations between nations. It involves skill; the ability to handle affairs without raising hostility. It takes effort, and a great deal of discipline. [Yelling, name-calling or stating a false accusation is not being diplomatic]
Vindictive behaviour, is a targeted attack with pure vengeance. It happens every time one purposefully inflicts harm on another or prevents someone from achieving their goal. [A bully who takes your lunch won nothing – they simply stole your food]
Governance without diplomacy demonstrated within its own walls that allows vindictive behaviour to be excused or over-looked is opening a door to dictatorship.
Diplomacy used to be common, sadly, it is so rare today that people are surprised when they see it. But that is what makes it so powerful.
One spark of admiration can raise the standard. One can witness diplomacy and be inspired to follow suit. Diplomacy is self-respect and moral judgement in action.
Motive, intention, reason, excuse(s) are all wrapped up in what each of us calls Truth. The truth is; it is what it is. No excuse can justify it, and no tears can erase it. Cold I know, but cold hard truth always shows itself while our emotions try to avoid it.
We all have a project to finish, or something we have set aside for later; a room to clean up or paperwork to fill out. We can find someone or something to blame, but the truth is; nothing will change until we accept what is. This involves changing the way we look at it. Emotions keep us stuck, but facts can help us see the bigger picture. It’s not finished – period. It doesn’t matter who, when, where, what or how ~ all that matters is a simple equation; the effort we put in will equal the result. No effort, no result. If we have a ‘that’s good enough’ attitude, then the result will be just that ~ not good enough. If we take shortcuts, it’s almost a guarantee it will fall short. If we try to put the burden on someone else then we won’t be able to feel the satisfaction of achieving our goal. [And we know they won’t do it the way we want!]
The cold winter months can be debilitating for some, making it hard to get motivated. But there is an advantage in being trapped in doors – it gives us time to work on those projects. I am going to take a few minutes every day to work on my project – I’m going to make it a habit – turn it into a regiment always remembering that I am doing this for me – it is something I have always wanted – because if I don’t start now – when will I start? Let’s hope we can all set aside our excuses and face the simple truth ~ it is what it is. [But each day I can make it just a little bit better!]
After gathering my recyclables I headed out the door for the depot. In a split second my feet hit the ground and my back slammed the slippery-when-wet stairs. Yes I cried out in pain. Probably cursed too. It took awhile to walk it off and I know I will be feeling the bruises for days, but something wonderful happened. In telling my friend she immediately offered to take me to the hospital to get checked out. Generous offer? Absolutely. But this was more than generous. She hates driving – she only does it when she has to. And she avoids the highway at all costs. The fact that she offered to drive me was beyond generous. She ignored her own fear. Her desire to help me was greater than her own need to protect herself from the discomfort of driving on the highway.
There’s a line in the Bible, “there will always be poor”, that I found odd, kind of dismissive and thoughtless. But I think I get it now. Giving our old clothes to the poor, offering left-overs to soup kitchens, or throwing a bit of loose change in donation can is not real generosity. In these situations we give without loss. It may even be an advantage for us to give these unwanted items away. “There will always be poor,” there will always be a place we can discard our unwanted items. But I think real generosity involves a sacrifice of sort. Like giving a homeless person the shoes off your feet. Travelling a great distance to visit a sick relative. Or, ignoring your fear of driving in order to help a friend.
I may be a little battered and bruised today – but I learned a valuable lesson in life that broadened my perspective; I was the recipient of the gift of real generosity.
After fumbling and stumbling and running behind every hour of the day I came to the conclusion that no progress of any sort, on any front, in any way was made yesterday. However, there was an interesting light at the end of my day. I looked up at the stars. There he was, the constellation Orion, demanding my attention. It was a site to be held. Then a shooting star crossed between us. I had to blink. “Was that a … ?” Then a second shot by verifying the first. And then to my amazement a third!!! I don’t know if there was a meteor shower last night, but I am definitely taking it as a sign from above. Like Scarlet, holding up her carrot vowing to the universe that she would rise again, I decided to cease my tomorrow. And so today, I will rise up and shoot for the stars. But I will be sure to tuck a few bandages in my pocket in case I bump into anything [again].
While scraping my windshield this morning the dread of winter crept in my mind. Like falling dominoes more like-minded thoughts popped in my head to add more weight to the dreadfulness of the cold dark months ahead. Thoughts like; the clocks going back; and the diminishing daylight hours. As I continued to scrape my mind drifted in dread like a raft floating down a river. Then I stopped to take the time to notice the amazing pattern on my frosty windshield. The glistening sun created colourful prisms in the jagged ice. I suddenly became aware of my altered state, or rather, the change in my attitude. By simply noticing the beauty of the sparkling frost, a youthful thought stirred within me. I remember getting so excited for that first winter snow when I was a child. I used to wish for the snow. I couldn’t wait to put my snow suit on so I could go out to build a fort. Where did that enjoyment of winter go? Adulthood tends to steel our wonderment and replace it with a cynical knowledge. We know what’s in store. We know what to prepare for. We know what tasks are required. We know how hard and frustrating it can be. The dread of it all prevents us from noticing the beauty winter offers. This knowingness limits our experiences. We believe we can’t do this or that because of the snow. Oh the innocence of childhood. To see the frost and get excited for that first snowfall. Kids don’t know how to dread winter [yet]. They only know how to live in wonderment – they notice the beauty in front of them and anticipate the fun they will have playing in the snow. I hope you can take a moment today to toss any dreadfulness you may be feeling and instead seek wonderment in all your tasks ahead.
While strolling with my morning coffee and pondering what to write I found myself enjoying the sun’s warmth. Leaves were scattered all around me, birds were making themselves known and as I looked up to the magnificent blue sky I found myself feeling very grateful to witness such a pleasant morning. And in my gratefulness I realised the opportunity provided with this site – I know how hard it is to get published if you don’t have previous work to show a publisher. It’s hard to get a record deal if you haven’t recorded any songs. So many of us wait for others to give us a break. And in our waiting we unconsciously feel a sense of rejection. It’s next to impossible to step into the future we want when our mood is low. So boost your spirit, lift yourself up with the drive and determination that is needed to open your own damn doors. My advice for today; use your talents and abilities and start doing what you enjoy most and appreciate the opportunity you have given yourself.