How lovely it is to stand still in the enormity of your questions. To realize that what you know is minuscule in relation to all there is to know. To let your curious mind take you on a journey of discovery. How liberating it is to lay down the facade of expertise and acknowledge that, in this world, we are all students.
Slow and steady wins the race. We get discouraged and stop, or chase after another enticing goal, or turn back. But, if we stay true, we will make progress. Remember the tortoise and the hare? They had a rematch recently:
How many kids these days are seen by their parents as just another way to show off? Look at my honor student, or my beauty, or my accomplished someone. It’s a way of vicarious puffing–if my kid is so smart, beautiful, wonderful, popular, surely the parent must be, too. But that’s not love; it’s pride. Love loves without having to be earned. It is steady and true. The parent who truly loves their child delights in their essence, in their idiosyncrasies, in all the ways they are their own person. That kind of love sustains a child and lets them lay down the shackles of constant performance anxiety and welcomes them home.
Consider Thomas Edison. We think of him as one of our most brilliant inventors, a shining star. Would it surprise you to know his teachers gave up on him and sent him home to be educated by his mother? She, needless to say, did not give up on him but helped him thrive. We all could use a love like that!
The artist creates something from nothing. Being artistic requires a commitment to keep working, to keep seeing with fresh eyes, to keep trying. Each individual creation may or may not be beautiful, but the artist keeps creating, for it is how they express their love.
Love creates something from nothing. Where once there were strangers, now people are joined by an invisible bond that has substance if not weight. Maintaining that love requires constant effort. Like the artist, the lovers keep creating, keep striving for something more perfect, keep expressing their love.
Both art and love are expressed in the doing.
It’s remarkable to realize how much power is in a put-down, how those words stay with us and make us small and afraid, hesitant to speak or step out, content to be less than. But, too, there is much power in a compliment, in noticing someone’s strengths and kindness, in pointing out someone’s promise and achievement. We wield this power every day, with our children, co-workers, family, friends. What are we choosing to do with our words?
In this remarkable video, Lisa Nichols tells of the impact her teacher’s negative words had on her a child, but don’t worry her “story didn’t end there”!
Lisa Nichols is remarkable. She realized that other people’s perceptions of her shouldn’t hold her back, but not everyone is so resilient. We must be careful with our words, to encourage rather than criticize, so that the world can be a brighter place all around!
Don’t worry. Be happy. There is so much good still left in the world to be grateful for. For a delightful around-the-world look at the secrets to what makes people happy, check out this wonderful compilation put together by Hometogo.com.
From listening to birds sing in the morning to a shared meal and conversation with friends, these secrets to happiness are shared the world over.
What makes you happy?
Standing up to fear changes a person. It helps you to put matters in perspective. Where once fear loomed over you, insurmountable, now you can honor the courage it took to move past it into unfamiliar territory.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a courageous woman. Despite her husband’s attempts to placate the South, she regularly bucked segregation and was a vocal proponent of civil rights. She was able to call out racism and force others to see it for what it was:
By 1939, ER decided to attack the hypocritical way in which the nation dealt with racial injustice. She wanted her fellow citizens to understand how their guilt in “writing and speaking about democracy and the American way without consideration of the imperfections within our system with regard to its treatment . . . of the Negro” encouraged racism. Americans, she told Ralph Bunche in an interview for Gunnar Myrdal’s American Dilemma, wanted to talk “only about the good features of American life and to hide our problems like skeletons in the closet.” Such withdrawal only fueled violent responses; Americans must therefore recognize “the real intensity of feeling” and “the amount of intimidation and terrorization” racism promotes and act against such “ridiculous” behavior.
You can’t clearly see a problem before you if you are too scared to look at it and call it out for what it is.
How much of your life is planned and scripted? How much has become routine or ordinary? What if today you venture out into new terrain, take unexpected chances, engage with different people?
What if today is an adventure? You never know what unexpected surprises and delights you’ll discover!