Quips on Quotes™

These Three Things

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, and compassion.  These three things are your greatest treasures.”  – Lao Tzu

One of the first things I do, after the day has a rhythm, is to open my Email.  Today one entry offered very sad news, news that breaks my heart. News that reminds me of Tzu’s quote.

A friend, Kay, has been moved to Hospice; and it seems that there is little hope of a recovery.  I am beyond sad; for this is a woman who has had compassion for many, myself included.  But more than that, she added the simplistic joy of teaching me how to grieve the death of my mother; and, she gave to me tools that I would use eight years later when one of our son died so unexpectedly.  Kay  understood the importance of patiently waiting on others as they wander through a grief process to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Sitting here now and writing to  you, I wonder how many there are who can offer this to another…  Kay did.  What a woman!

 

Right now we all pray or lift up or whatever good thing we can from our souls to

What’s in a Word

“The only thing to fear is fear itself.” – These are the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address. What is the fear that Roosevelt described?  Could it be that it is the fear of ourselves that is the culprit, for we are the ones who allow it to grip our lives. Fear only lives if we allow it to live. We are the masters of our choices.

Recently several persons have discussed with me the subject of fear. They’ve believed me a strong person, and with that strength in mind, they’ve wanted to know what I myself fear? Further, what do I think fear really is, and can I help them eliminate fear from their own lives. (Would that I could eliminate fear from one’s life, including my own for I have had moments of fear.)

At the time that Roosevelt said those words, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” the entire United States of America was gripped in the worst depression the country had ever known. This president was looking for a way to help the country find something beyond despair in this horrible time. He was hoping that we would stop thinking about

Pugnare et Vincere

“Horses love to run.  But thoroughbreds love to race, and furthermore they like to win!”  –  Pugnare et Vincere

Hubby was raised on a horse farm; that said, he didn’t care to live the rest of his life around horses.  Who knows why and who can understand it, yet it’s the truth.  He left the farm for thoroughbred; I, in my own way am his pony!

Just call me his thoroughbred race horse, as I’ve been running a race of some kind all of my life.   Not only run but run for the win!  And not win for myself but for all… The Win/Win.  It may seem a bit unrealistic, but then I am one of  the Utopian Girls…  We shoot for Venus and get the Moon.    Like any racehorse, the race isn’t always what one expects….  Yet, it’s always a win when one aims for two finish lines:  Tot place and/or the finish line of knowledge.  We can always learn; and, when the world thinks we’ve lost, knowledge can even be the bigger win.

From this person’s perspective, competing against yourself is always a success story.  Audition against life and make it one’s best effort; watch everything and everyone around to

Four-Footed Saviour

Dogs.  Do you have one?  I do.  His name is Lewis, after C.S. Lewis, one the foremost writers of the Twentieth Century.  Lewis, AKA Lewie, came to our home about a year and half after the death of our son.  We know death, Hubby and I.  He lost his mother at the tender age of sixteen, just as he was getting to know her as an adult and friend.  I lost my brother at the age of twenty-three, just when we were getting ready to share our lives after his stent in the navy.  We’ve both lost our fathers now, and my mother is also gone…  My mother lived with us until her passing, so many of her things are here while she is not (yes, dispersing an estate from a home you shared with the deceased leaves holes that are exhausting but true). We had just recovered from my mother’s passing when our son suffered a massive cardiac arrest in our home and died three hours later in a hospital.  Death.  Yes, we know you well.

After Nathan died, we did all kinds of things to change it up. We redecorated almost every room in colors that were happy and up-lifting.  We framed his

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai

The mute button was invented by an engineer in 1955 (Polley by name) who worked for Zenith… Although a man named Robert Adler, who invented the television remote, should also be mentioned…  i.e. No remote, no mute button.  Anyway, they both did us a favor.  MUTE on the television means that one can temporarily stop the sound emitted from the television.  One would guess that which one mutes, would be the myriad of commercials that we would otherwise sit through to watch just one tv program.

Ah, silence!  It has always been my friend; so, when my family bought a television set that had this wonderful mute button, it was heaven for me.  One minute some woman is vomiting her vocabulary about her painful twenty-eight day cycle and the next, I have muted her!  No more discussion.  And, let us not forget the many commercial moments about medicine…  Twenty seconds of medical description followed by forty seconds of horrifying disclaimers, as to how this health providing med might also maim or kill the consumer.  MUTE!  How glorious thou art!

In the course of one TV program, there can be as many as six commercials per commercial break.  My parents would hit the mute button and then proceed to read or do cross word puzzles,

A New Vision

All this time, I’ve been quoting other people whom I believe to have said something worthwhile.  We need to hear and read things that are worthwhile, as this is a medicine to the brain and to the soul when times are confusing or difficult or both.  Today I’d like to give you a few of my own words in the hope that they will help in these troubled and confusing times.

 

We all are aware that we have two questionable persons running for the office of President of the United States of American.  We don’t personally know these people, but we have an idea that they are not a statesman or states woman… They seem self motivated or political or both.  And, as citizens, we need (not just want) someone who can not only lead but take us in a direction that is forward. At any rate oh-so-many of us are convinced that our best interests are not at hand where these candidates are concerned; and the people of America are deeply agitated as to the possible direction of our future.  And yet…  Is it they who are important, or is it WE?  We the People!  WE started this country and

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams:  A statesman who served this country as the sixth president of the United States of America… He also served this country as a diplomat and a senator and also in the House of Representatives.  He could and did rally people!  He could draw you to think… Not the kind of thinking that happens during commercials between scenes of one’s favorite TV show or out on the golf course… He made you think and learn and act! And, I believe he was right when he said, that when one’s actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, become more, then you were a leader… He was describing himself.

I hesitate to mention the up-coming election because we’re all fed up.  But here goes…  Are we choosing an actual leader for our country, or are we trying to solve the discomfort we may be living in for the moment… Because some of that can only go away with time and no leader can change it in a term of office.  Our focus is not to make ourselves comfortable by electing someone, because every one of us must work for that ourselves.  Again, we have to work for that.

Jingle Bells, and All That Jazz

I walked into a large department store around the middle of November, and what did I hear…  Jingle Bells!  And, I do mean bells ringing, not the song.  I stopped mid-step and burst into tears because this holiday season, I and my family will pass through these days without our third of four sons who died suddenly in late August.  I knew the holidays were going to be tough… Hearing those unexpected Christmas bells caught me off guard.  WHAM!  It was a sock in the mid-section.  Oh, I got my act together again quickly …  I did what all other people do, who lose someone and feel so very sad from the loss; I found my Saturday face and stepped back into the day.  But though successfully compartmentalized, all that pain was just sitting there waiting to come out.

Pain after losing a loved one is very much like having an infection of the body; only it’s your soul that is not doing so well.  We have to get rid of that pain, that infection (if you will).  Pain leaves by purging; and, while crying is certainly a part of that, getting our minds on other people as we help them

“A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.” – Stewart Alsop

We’re all familiar with that moment when we just can’t keep our eyes open another second, some may fight it, (and I am one of them who has) but in that next moment we’ve betrayed our resolve, we’ve dropped into slumber…  It happens without our permission and without even our knowledge; then we awaken to laugh at how needed that rest really was, and how much better we really feel!  Alsop reminds us that death is the same. You and I can fight it if we wish, but it’s coming none the less.  And yet, this thing about fighting death… I think we do fight and rage against it until we somehow know intuitively that it’s time to lay down the fight and allow God the clear path to do the rest.

Sometimes that letting go can lead to a miraculous recovery!  Sometimes God just wants us to get out of the way, so we can feel Him do what He and only He can do for his children.  (And, when I say children, that is all of us, whether we see that He’s there or not.)  Other times, it really is a sign or some kind of knowledge sent to

“I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusion of voices. What voice does silence have in all of this?” – Federico Fellini

A good question… This idea that silence is a part of our process.  It is the yang to the ying, the rests to the notes, and the pause to the run.  We Americans are losing the art of quiet, with all of our running off at the mouth.  should we say something when we’ve yet to consider the wealth of what has already been said?  And, to even speak without listening, or before knowing what thoughtful peace is worth, demonstrates our willingness to consider singularly, our own opinion.  No one… Let me say that again… No one knows enough wealth of thought to speak all of the time.

I value those who can be with me, and enjoy the silence.  I cherish those who can listen and not interrupt.  When I’ve watched recent televisions programs, it is clear that even the writers and directors have no understanding of the importance of simply shutting up, and letting a moment of silence say volumes.  (Are they in a rush to go to commercial?  Where is the story without time to think?)  I find myself walking away from news programs because I don’t see the participants listing to each other… They all seem to