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Archive for May, 2018

You Start Dying Slowly…

 

You start dying slowly

if you do not travel,

if you do not read,

if you do not listen to the sounds of life,

if you do not appreciate yourself.

 

You start dying slowly when you kill your self-esteem…

when you do not let others help you.

 

You start dying slowly if you become a slave to your habits,

walking everyday along the same paths…

if you do not change your routine,

if you do not wear different colors

or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

 

You start dying slowly if you avoid feeling passion and its turbulent emotions,

those that make your eyes glisten and your heart beat fast.

 

You start dying slowly if you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job,

or with your love, or with your surroundings.

 

If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,

if you do not go after your dream,

if you do not allow yourself, at least once in your lifetime,

to run away from sensible advice…

 

You start dying slowly.

 

Pablo Neruda

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“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try accepting yourself exactly the way you are and see what happens!”

 

The Useless Eyebrows

Once upon a time, a person’s eyes, nose, and mouth had a meeting.

First the eyes said,

“We, the eyes, are of utmost importance to the body. Everything must be seen by us to know whether it is beautiful or not, big or small, tall or short. Without eyes, walking around will be very difficult. So we, the eyes, are very important. But we have been improperly placed under the eyebrows, which are of no use. It is just not fair!”

Next, the nose said,

“I, the nose, am the most important. Only I can distinguish a good smell from a foul odor. The act of breathing is also dependent on me. If I do not let the breath pass through, everybody will die. So I am the most important. As important as I am, I have been unfairly placed beneath the useless eyebrows. I am most unhappy.”

Then the mouth said,

“I am the most important part of the human body. I can speak; if not for me, there would not be any communication among people. I take in the food; if not for me, everybody would die of hunger. Such an important part as myself has been placed in the lowest part of the face. The useless eyebrows, however, have been put on the highest part of the face. This I cannot accept!”

After the others had spoken, the eyebrows spoke slowly,

“Please do not fight anymore. We, the eyebrows, are surely the most useless things; we admit defeat. We are willing to be placed below you.”

Having said this, the eyebrows settled down below the eyes. Unfortunately, the person no longer looked like a human being. Next, the eyebrows settled down below the nose. It was still horrible; it still did not look like a human being. Then the eyebrows settled down below the mouth. This looked even more ghastly!

The eyes, nose, and mouth huddled to discuss the situation again. They concluded it was best if the eyebrows returned to their original place on the face; it was the most appropriate spot for them.

When the eyebrows returned to their original spot, the appearance was once again that of a human being. Thus, we can see that what appears to be the most useless thing, may be perfect exactly the way it is.

Master Hsing-Yun

Be the perfect human being you are. By holding ourselves as imperfect beings, we can easily find fault with ourselves, make ourselves wrong and resort to self-blame and criticism.

Isn’t there enough of that negativity in the world? Wouldn’t it be better to accept ourselves the way we are and simply change what we choose to?

 There’s no need to be negative or heap bad feelings on ourselves. Let’s be gentle, kind and understanding of our humanness, while always seeking standards of excellence.

Thank you to my daughter, Gabi,
 for sharing this story with us.

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Given the current state of our country’s cultural climate, I think it’s a good time to share this short story. I hope it disturbs you greatly. 

“When I was in seventh grade, our teacher put on a video for us to watch and asked us to take notes. Ten minutes in, she threw the lights on and shouted at Steven Webb Sladki, telling him he wasn’t taking notes and he should have been.

But the thing was, Steve was taking notes. I saw it, we all saw it. The teacher asked if anyone wanted to stand up for Steve. A few of us choked out some words of defense but we were immediately squashed.

Quickly, we were all very silent. Steve was sent to the principal’s office. The teacher came back in the room and said something like, ‘See how easy that was?’

We were reading ‘Anne Frank’. I started to understand.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that what you see with your own eyes isn’t happening.”

Author unknown

My fear is that for some of you, the message of this story will be but a blip on the screen of your daily activities…Do not allow yourself to slowly slide down the slippery slope of the dumbing-down of America.

Speak up! Don’t be silent when the human rights of others are being violated or when the human dignity of another is being demeaned or ridiculed.

Stand up! Demand that laws be followed (not innocent people). Be a person who interrupts injustice and prejudice when you see it, hypocrisy when you hear it, and ignorance when you experience it.  

YOU matter. YOU make a difference and YOUR voice makes a difference.

Thank you to my good friend Sharon Larkins-Pederson 
for this short story.

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