Best Birth Order

“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.” “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” John Keats

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was talking with a few friends the other day and the discussion got heated when no one could agree on who had the worst birth order placement. It seems like a silly thing to argue about but try saying it to a group of friends and watch he discussion fly. I have thought about it quite a bit and I don’t like any of the negatives that go along  with any of the positions. When I was done recalling everyone’s complaints I realized we were just talking about life. Continue reading “Best Birth Order”

Trapped In A Half Empty Glass

“In the end it is not the years in your life that count but the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck

I find it so easy being trapped in my own thoughts and seeing life as half empty. I admit that  happy days make it unnecessary to  think so hard about life in general. Difficult days make me review every single word spoken to me. Everything people say and do is a competition. Most of us would definitely say they are not  competing with anyone but the opposite is true. Every second  every day it happens unless we consciously stop the runaway thoughts. Continue reading “Trapped In A Half Empty Glass”

Happy ?

“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.” Anonymous

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” Amit Ray

What does it mean to be happy? If you asked a million people their answers would likely be different. Happy means to be pleased joyful cheerful blissful exultant ecstatic delighted and content. I know the number of people I talk with within a week and they have numerous adjectives to describe their moods and few would mention ecstatic lives. The adjectives used perhaps are more like tired, upset, discouraged, stressed-out, fearful, over-worked, sad, anxious and over-burdened take your pick. Continue reading “Happy ?”

Children Add The Touch Of Love

“It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the water of their lives.”  “The miracle of children is that we just don’t know how they will change or who they will become.” Eileen Kennedy-Moore Paulo Coelho

“Lots Of Valuable Effort is the true full form of LOVE.” Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

“To reform the world – means to reform upbringing…” Janusz Korczak

I and everybody else is aware of checking the labels for any pills we are taking so we can check out the hazards. Many of us try to decide if  the hazards are worth the risk of taking the pills. As I watch the news daily and witness another assault on a child I wonder if kids should also come with all kinds of cautions and beware symbols. Seriously thou there is so much left out of the venture of raising children. Perhaps there ought to be warning signs or at least a book of instructions. Most of us jump in without a lot of hesitation. Continue reading “Children Add The Touch Of Love”

Kids Find Love In Family Life

“Children are like wet cement whatever falls on them makes an impression.”     Haim Ginott

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”     Charles R. Swindoll

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”   Frederick Douglass

“Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.”   President Emeritus of Compassion International

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Children make your life important.”     Erma Bombeck,

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year. Being the season of love and family I really wanted to focus on the family because we all have families in one form or another. From what I can surmise we all have varying degrees of love as well as  condemnation for these individuals. These are likely the people that teach us life lessons. Of course these teachings may be taught in a gentle or cruel manner but regardless we can learn from these encounters and move on, or allow  them to slip away unobserved. Continue reading “Kids Find Love In Family Life”

Grateful

“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we forget to be grateful. we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..”    Joel Osteen

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God gave us minds to think with and hearts to thank with. Instead we use our hearts to think about the world as we would like it to have been, and we use our minds to come up with rationalizations for our ingratitude. We are a murmuring, discontented, unhappy, ungrateful people. And because we think we want salvation from our discontents…”  Douglas Wilson

Holidays are a time to be grateful. When we think of our Holiday celebrations we are brimming over  with excitement and at the same time stressed and fearful about how the they will progress. When we get through the days we are relieved with gratefulnes for what we said or did. We might also be grateful for what we didn’t say or do. Continue reading “Grateful”

Listen With Your Heart

Listen“I will be waiting here….For your silence to break, for your soul to shake, for your love to wake!” Rumi

“Soul, if you want to learn secrets, your heart must forget about shame
 and dignity.
You are God’s lover, yet you worry what people are saying.”
“Brother, stand the pain. Escape the poison of your impulses. The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do. Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun.
Turn away from the cave of your sleeping. That way a thorn expands to a rose.” Rumi

News stories everywhere are absolutely so wild that one would question their honesty. The strangest part is that so many people read or listen to these events while on the train to work or munching their cereal or eating popcorn in their favorite chair. That is perhaps as surreal as the stories. Without a doubt we have lost our sensitivity to the happenings surrounding us. It is just another normal day, so we think.

I have wondered how long we can continue along n our path of destruction, without seeing the cliff before we fall off. That perhaps sounds  a bit over the top but all you have to do is put things in perspective, and listen to the news for the day. I heard of one story detailing a baby of a year old, having 28 broken bones when he was rushed to the hospital and later died. The stories are so similar except for the way the kids and babies have been beaten, tortured, neglected, disrespected, dehumanized and at long last killed.

Listening to the number of people killed in battles, drug addictions, suicide, alcohol, and bad habits derived from too much stress should probably register a wake up call. Sometimes it appears that we are the sleepwalkers, oblivious to the reality around us. the environment and home lives are upside down. It is time to stop kidding ourselves that it is the fault of the other person over there. What we are seeing, if we open our eyes, is total chaos and uncontrolled people.

No wonder we have addictions of all kinds and anger in every situation. Stress and anxiety from within and without, are controlling our words and actions. If we continue to value peripheral objects and fail to notice the treasures standing in front of us then we are traveling down a paved road to disaster. I don’t say this lightly. I don’t believe people are bad, incorrigible, mean or unkind  by nature. Many forces permeate our psyches and hearts. Perhaps we begin to value the wrong items, trust in the perverted ideas and follow the egos of others. The sad thing is that we end up in the same pitiful place.

All is not over or lost but we certainly seem to be living on the brink of disaster. Finding time to reflect on what we are valuing, saying and doing is vital. Most of us myself included, believe we are off of the hook in our beliefs as long as we have a sense of allowing everyone to follow their own road and thoughts. What we must question is at what point do we think it necessary to contemplate what is happening around us. One can say I wouldn’t do it but it is up to each individual to decide for himself or herself. The next person can alleviate their conscience by stating it is their right to do what they want, even to the extent of harming others. How far is this going to be carried, before we question how ridiculous.

Aborted babies are being used for tissue transplant and other medical procedures, some of which I don’t understand. The hard bit to digest is how unlucky is the baby who is ill-fated to be unmercifully yanked from its mother’s womb, in order to serve another life. It’s own life has no value so it appears. No one has a problem distancing such topics while having coffee. How desensitized have we become?

Using animals for experiments has always caused a commotion and the users have always said well it helps us to develop medicines for people. How do we explain using people to help people? Are we limitless in what we do and in what we will accept? Will privilege give some people a step up?

Again I don’t see  bad people but instead misguided unthinking observers who are too stressed out to conceive of the damage they are doing. Most of us would rush to help another individual. Yet  we only shake our heads at the craziness surrounding us. Unless more people come forward and disagree with what is happening, no relief or solution will be found. Medicine breakthroughs can be discovered in other ways.

Kids are beaten and neglected every day. All of us feel helpless. If we believe we are helpless then nothing will be changed. Like the law recently passed in Massachusetts that allows spanking to be legal. The other definitions in the dictionary are far more disturbing. I guess if we said thrashing, whopping or beating, people might cringe a bit more about that law, but spanking sounds acceptable. The word beating is defined as spanking. We simply turn our heads away washing our hands of the outcome to numerous children.

Perhaps it is time we understood that it is us that needs to pick up the ball. Honestly, we are good people  but we have ignored the cries of the unfortunate for too long. The babies and children deserve  consideration. Our world can be a better place. If we learn how to respect each other as well as all life that we see, we will experience a renewal of love and beauty. Perhaps the shadows will lift from our eyes and allow us to  view a compassionate loving world. There would be no need for rules if everyone cared about each other.

The time we spend on nonsense items should be called to our attention. We have so much to be thankful for. There is so much beauty inside of us and surrounding us but  we shut it out. I have reached my limit of listening to the  negativity permeating our world. I want to hear feel good stories of heart-warmth love and empathy. It is not old fashioned to want a happy caring place to live. Leave the meanness to the dream state, and wake up to a genuinely empathetic  world. Value your relationships. Make integrity, honesty, empathy, tolerance and kindness universal. Value what counts and find peace.

“There’s no one with intelligence in this town except that man over there playing with the children, the one riding the stick horse. He has keen, fiery insight and vast dignity like the night sky, but he conceals it in the madness of child’s play.”    Rumi

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Running Through Days & Life

“Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant — the digitalis of failure.”~Elbert Hubbard

Optimist: “Okay, we all realize that the situation is temporarily hopeless.” Robert Brault

“If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.”    Oscar Wilde

“After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn’t a pessimist understand?”    Robert Brault

Everyday I fight the urge as well as the attention towards racing through my day. As I look around at other people, listen to their quick speech, I realize they are probably doing the same thing. None of us acknowledge it likely because we are so unaware of it happening. Most times I become more conscious of it when I slow down and quiet myself for a few moments. Continue reading “Running Through Days & Life”

Learning How To Fight Nicely

yes“No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows it’s own weaknesses, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still live with the force of hatred, feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts through life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot—being only human—put asunder what God has joined together.” Whitney Otto

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

I think we might be low on encouragement. We all need it and want it, yet most of us most of the time never get it. Are we all so deprived, or tired that we can’t muster any kind words for each other. I know there are so many times I’d rather lash out at someone, in order to diffuse my anger. It might be that a bit of encouragement would surprise us, and disarm us in the process.

How often  do workers get any kind of compliments. They hardly see the boss, , unless of course something went wrong. How  is it we can attend the meeting to criticize, but not be there to compliment. Sometimes it feels good when someone acknowledges that we are doing a great job. It makes us feel noticed. In this great big world, with more friends than we can count, it is nice to be noticed.

The boss is busy with numerous e-mails, calls appointments and meetings with others. Finding the time for one more thing just doesn’t fit into his schedule. When  others do mess up perhaps they were sick, had a duty call for the baby or kids, or health issues kept them away. We can’t be available and suitable every minute of every day. Those are the times we hassle ourselves about doing a better job. The truth is we are not machines, and we have emotional, and physical issues to confront. How about friends who we rely on for boosts to the ego. Of course they might be burdened themselves and have nothing left for us. I have been there when you run out of close friends to call, when you are experiencing disappointment and defeat.

Those times when we have only ourselves for comfort, appear to be scary. We have come to depend on others for support and answers. Perhaps  that is why there are so many drugs out on the market. Without the personal presence of others, we rely on medicine to alter the pain. The importance of our relationships can’t be overestimated. For good or bad here just are, and always will be those moments, when we want to let someone else steer the boat, and make the decisions. One can call it tiredness, insecurity, dependent or even vulnerable, but the fact remains that we need each other. Facing that reality, and comprehending that it is not a detriment to our character, brings acceptance  to our relationships as well as to ourselves.

Wives and husbands take their  turns at being disappointing. When we least expect it, we find ourselves disappointed by them, and the crushing feeling is painful. Sometimes it happens because they misunderstood what we were trying to say. Other times we misinterpret what they are attempting to explain. Whether we are half listening, tired or in a bad mood, the result is confusion which escalates. It turns into anger, and causes an explosive atmosphere.

Many times I have misconstrued, what others were attempting to explain. Just as many times I have miscalculated, another person’s response. Our humanity is so open to failures in emotional and practical issues. Often it is stated that we only hear what we want to hear. Maybe there is some truth in that statement. If I am in a sad mood, I  take the words, “your work is okay,” to mean my work is lousy. On a good day I would take the same words to imply, Hey you are good, and the work is great.

On a very low day I would only half listen to what another was talking about. likely I would give a quick  irrelevant answer, and in return get a curt remark back. I probably would take offense and walk away angry. My buddy would  likely do the same, in the opposite direction. Upon arriving home, I might consider what just happened,  and why. It would be hard to blame myself, but I am sure I would have no difficulty faulting another.

That is why when one listens to an argument, it is like hearing two different versions. We see it from our own perspective. I bring my past experiences to the table, which obviously differ from your past experiences. I suppose what I viewed between my parents, might also play into how I see our argument proceeding. The same is true for your opinions, which could be shadowed by  your view is of the entanglement. I honestly think many of us have to unlearn the ways we were taught, to deal with problems. Many of us fall into the same patterns as our parents. Unless they were model citizens, we have some adjusting to do.

That is why disagreements can take so many turns in the road. We might find ourselves the victim in places we never meant to venture into. A simple remark can have a huge repertoire of emotions built into it. Unhappily we all learn the signposts in time, and how to  avoid them. It is almost amusing to watch a young couple disagree. They attempt to hold onto their dignity, and rising anger, until the bingo point of certain gestures, words or actions, that stifle calmness, and release fury.

Many times couples are lamenting their sadness over the disagreement, and professing to do better the next time. Most of them will do better, because they learn how to drive the marriage mobile, and avoid the warning signs. All fights  don’t end in disaster. Most of the arguments can lead to a discovery of truth about each other. They realize also that they can’t behave like their parents, because they are two different people. They also learn that the words spoken, were not holding the rebuff they envisioned in their own minds. Love is learned behavior, and so to is fighting. It is so vital that we discover how to fight with a purpose of having a positive and loving outcome.

“Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate. Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful. Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion. Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery. Read it with hope and you will feel positive. Read it with humor and you will feel joy. Read it with God and you will feel the truth. Read it without bias and you will feel peace. Don’t read it at all and you will not feel a thing.”    Shannon Adler

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”  Shannon L. Alder

Living Knocks You Down;Faith Picks You Up

Life Knocks You Down;Faith“If you want to fly on the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”   Amit Ray

“Only God can take our failures and turn them into victories.” Evinda Lepins

“If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete. If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.”  Amit Ray

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres! ~Lucian Bane~”

How easily our lives are changed, and how swiftly we fall down. We begin to feel like summer grass, or fall leaves caught in a turbulent wind. I’m sure there isn’t one person who hasn’t experienced some form of a devastation within their lives, in one way or another. Many people love to joke and say we don’t get out of this world alive. I would add to this,  we don’t get out of life without scars. Some scars heal while others develop infections and tend to drag on with the healing process.

When we are younger we tend to have faith in our own ability to create our own worlds. Although in many ways we do tend to form our own realities by the choices we make,, in other ways we are puppets to the hurts and obstacles life places in our paths. I don’t care for problems any more than anyone else. I must admit, when the struggles befall us, they change us in ways that make us rethink and perhaps differentiate our actions. Out thoughts appear dissimilar prior to the incident. What causes us to evolve? How about those who fight the transformations.

I think about those of us who lose jobs or friendships or even divorce spouses, which can be similar to experiencing a death. Some of us learn from the mistakes we made while others of us fill with anger and hatred for the other people. We can’t see our own faults in the situations and believe the other person was totally to blame. All we accomplish is adding on stress and rage. I wonder if we just haven’t gotten the message in such instances. Nobody is ever entirely right or wrong in any given drama. Of course if we were all able to face that reality in the first place there would be less fighting and more respect and consideration.

Maybe it is all about us. Even divorcing people forget to think about the kids involved, or the extended family who are also victims. We tend to our own pain and suffereing and become totally unaware of another person’s aches. Uncles aunts cousins and grandparents suffer during a divorce and most especially the kids. Nobody is left without scars.  Perhaps if we recognized that we are all in the huge pot of soup together, we might take a look around and conclude we are not the only ones sensing the pains of disappointment or anger.

All the simple pleasures of life are what we are searching for. Anything less leaves us in want. This want can lead to desperation and actions that are out of  boundaries. Of course the results are even more painful, yet we won’t accept our fault in the matter. Our actions and words have so much to do with the issues we create in our lives. We wonder and proclaim to be surprised when things fall apart.  How is it we never go back a page or two in our lives to see our intrusion within the dilemma.

Many times life extends hardships which are out of our control. Some of these were never seen coming nor could they have ever been conceived. We don’t plan on parents getting old, children growing up and making big mistakes, nor diseases and handicaps rendering us less potent. It really does appear to happen without warning. Even television is constantly portraying lives that are loaded with so many choices that lead down so many diverse roads. Most of these destinations are not for the better. We enjoy the movies but don’t recall them later when we are faced with similar decisions. I am not displaying television as an item to watch but we miss so much even within our own lives.

We might see a relative go through a nasty divorce or situation with teenagers yet we find ourselvs one day repeating the same problems. Perhaps our pain sends us cowering into a corner and without any positive thoughts of restoring us to health. I wonder at times if we are almost afraid to have faith and hope. Just when we believe the world is a bright and wonderful place, we manage to  experience a let down. As they say, we expect something to go wrong when too much is going right. That is so sad. Perhaps our expectations need the changing.

Are we looking for the perfect fun filled life or the rewarding, faith packed life. Nobody likes pain, myself included. However, the pain I have experienced within my life has caused me to understand the value of people and relationships. It has also made me question my own fault in every situation that causes a crack. I am more aware of forgiving becasue I have had the need of forgiveness. My own tears have instilled me with more empathy for those who are aching inside. I know that when there is tremendous pain in one’s life, the only remedy is love and faith if one is to be restored. No money, fame or power will help. There is no material item to bring relief. People and their love are the cures.

Painful situations allow honesty and understanding to filter through. the more we understand, the less of a need we have to be understood. When we comprehend why a starving person might steal, we learn the meaning of tolerance and love. As much as we all search and yearn for the same things in life, we also experience many of the same injuries to our minds, bodies and souls. I suppose at those times it dawns on us that life is more than material comforts. Life is truly about learning how to develop all of the virtues poets write about.

When one always wins, they have great pride and happiness. They don’t recognize the suffering the loser experiences. We go deeper within when we are hurt. If we are ostracized, we understand tolerance, acceptance and love for others through identifying with them. Manifesting virtues benefits our learning . We can observe some of the lessons of life by sharing another’s pain. Running away from our own hurt or the sufferings of others shadows the meaning and purpose of growth in life.

Experiencing trials and tribulations doesn’t have to equate with unhappiness. It is how we relate to our situations that matters. In the end we are left with our emotional understanding. We encounter a deep wisdom of hope and faith far greater than ourselves. Perhaps we are afraid to look that closely and our fear drives us into useless tasks and fruitless busy work, along with wasteful social activities. The value of time and attention to virtue has become obsolete. Time is passing and we are changing for the better or worse. Although it is so hard to recognize good in hurtful situations, open your eyes and experience a new look.

We obviously can’t encounter every lesson involved in life. We can become more aware of absorbing another’s pain. Paying greater attention to the person beside us, teaches many life lessons in faith and love. The hardest experiences bring the most profound feelings. If we experience or witness ostracism, we can be transformed by it. We may evolve into being bitter and angry, or accepting others like we never have before. Loss can leave us bitter, or make us appreciate and cherish what we have. Dwelling on lack can become a pastime. Valuing what we have developed and acquired can turn into a good habit.

Faith is believing what we cannot see with our eyes, but what we can sense with our hearts. Faith is a commitment to having hope, when we are at our lowest. Not having the ability to witness the whole picture, at moments, can allot us feelings of despair. Trusting that there is more to the picture, beyond the canvas, turns disbelief into loyalty. Sharing our hardships with others and reciprocating when others are in pain, renews our love in life and in living. As Martin Luther King once stated, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.”
Albert Einstein
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life… as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”    Booker T. Washington
 “We ask for long life, but ’tis deep life, or grand moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”    Marie Curie
“As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: ‘What do I really need right now to be happy?’ What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.”
Sharon Salzberg