Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Extending A Hand Of Peace"

We choose,
whether to attack
or to embrace
each other.
~ Joseph Rosendo

There are a million shades of gray between acceptance and rejection, or between peace and war. These confusing gray areas often make it extremely difficult to keep civility in life, and we often fail in maintaining peaceful relations even if we don't wish it to be that way. But sometimes in an adverse situation, a brief window of opportunity will open where we have the chance to extend our hand across a distant gulf between ourselves and another, to build a bridge of peace where there once was none. Even if the effort may not be accepted and the window closes, the best we can do for the world is to try. If we don't try, the moment passes unfulfilled and we have been negligent. And if the attempt is rejected, hopefully the gesture will not go out in vain and may somehow create a small ripple of peace in the world that will carry on.


"An olive branch has long been a symbol of peace, deriving from the olive leaf which a dove carried back to Noah to mark the end of the flood (Genesis 8:11)."
http://www.theolivebranchoc.net

Monday, October 12, 2009

"The Zen Of Being Productive"

"It's an absolute tragedy if you
don't have something that's
really your life's purpose"
~ Julia Child



Julia Child found herself in Paris with her husband who was assigned there by the U.S. State Department. With no children, she searched for something to do with her life. She soon realized that since she loved French cooking, she should master it. The rest is history and now Julia's entire home kitchen is preserved in the Smithsonian Museum. Success comes when you find work that you love to do and dedicate your life to it. May we all be so blessed.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/juliachild/

Friday, September 11, 2009

"WTC"

If I only could
I'd make a deal with God
And I'd get him to swap our places
I'd be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building
If I only could

~ Kate Bush ~


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Happy 9-9-9"

Happy Birthday to my Private-I friend, Jonny Algiers! Hope that you have a great one. :-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"One Pebble Creates a Ripple"

I was reminded of a story that I had heard long ago, when I just read it again on a fascinating new blog that I found, http://artofmanliness.com :

A man walking on the beach saw a child reaching down to pick up small objects and then throwing them into the ocean. He called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The child looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" To this, the child replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the man commented, "But do you not realize that there are thousands of starfish? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the child bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one." ~ Adapted from Loren Eiseley "The Star Thrower"

Which reminds me of a favorite Charles Dickens quote, "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." Which means that, assisting someone in any need enriches your life and the life of the person that you help, so that both parties have reached their purpose of meaningful existence, together.

More on Joel Barker's wonderful enterpretation of Eiseley's story: http://www.starthrower.com/star_thrower_story_script.htm

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Happy Man On The Moon Day"

It's been forty years, and there is still no national American holiday to celebrate the first time mankind ever set foot on a 'planet' not his own -- the ultimate frontier. I fear that one day it will all be forgotten once those of us who saw it happen are not around to remind people. Please, kids of the future, don't let that happen. You may not understand how wonderful it felt when it happened for us in our time, but if you forget, it might never happen again -- for you or your children to experience.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Be Your Best Anyway"

These words by Mother Teresa of Calcutta have gotten me through some very difficult times in the past, and in the present. Not only to keep me pressing on and to not give up trying to do what I know is the right thing to do in the face of oppressive odds, but to also remind me that all the efforts of life are no good if I don't show love to others in the process. In the end it doesn't matter what other people think, if you keep you doing everything with kindness and to the best of your ability.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"The Tao Of Kung Fu"

video

Even though I follow Judeo/Christian beliefs, I can also appreciate the benefits of Zen concepts applied to everyday living. The TV series "Kung Fu" came at a point when I seriously needed to make some sense of certain things in the world, and the precepts approached in the series filled a void in my psyche. As shallow as it might sound, the Kung Fu series to me was one of those milestone markers in your life that changes it forever. It is a mere TV show, but it's not really different than being profoundly moved by a novel, a piece of music, or a work of art. My soul will always belong to God and what the Bible teaches and I won't compromise that, but some of the Zen/Tao teachings help me apply my Christian beliefs to the corporeal world that we live in as humans, until the spirit world will come to take me one day.

David Carradine: December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009

If you enjoy the peaceful teachings of the Kung Fu series, a fine collection has been posted on Youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=yinyangnature&view=videos

I recently found an excellent blog that is reviewing the series here:

http://kwaichangcaine.blogspot.com

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Learn And Live"

"Learn as if you'll live forever.
Live as if you'll die tomorrow."

- Gandhi

"Song of Shambala" painted by Nicholas Roerich

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Ward's Words Of Wisdom"

"When a person's made a mistake,
that's when they need understanding the most"

Ward Cleaver

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Lenten Reflections From EWTN"

For those who participate in celebrating the Lenten traditions by giving up some worldly conveniences or luxuries, Eternal Word Television Network (aka Mother Angelica's Catholic satellite station) begins their annual Lenten daily devotionals with a positive way of engaging in the spirit of respectful abstinence during this time. Even if a person does not believe in the Easter message, the world could be a better place with the above reflections practiced as habits by all of humankind, including myself. Have a blessed and uplifting Lenten season.

http://www.ewtn.com/
http://www.ewtn.com/faith/lent/

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Keep Trying, Keep Going"

"Start by doing what's necessary,
then do what's possible,
and suddenly you are doing
the impossible."
St. Francis of Assisi

http://www.assisiweb.com/vita_san_francesco_en.html


Sunday, January 11, 2009

"2009: The International Year Of Astronomy"

From the "Astronomy Picture Of The Day" website: "Astronomers all over planet Earth invite you to experience the night sky as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This year was picked by the International Astronomical Union and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization because it occurs 400 years after Galileo turned one of the first telescopes toward the heavens. Peering through that small window, Galileo discovered that the Moon has craters, Venus has phases, Jupiter has moons, and Saturn has rings. This year you can discover these and many modern wonders of the amazing overhead tapestry that is shared by all of humanity. If, like many others, you find the night sky wondrous and educational, be sure to attend an IYA2009 event in your area, and tell any schools and children that might be interested. Also, please feel free to explore the extensive IYA2009 web pages to find international media events that include blogs, webcasts and much much more."

If you just want to take an armchair approach to the stargazing, you can see some especially nice astronomy images at these sites:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/