Category Archives: caring
Your Hug for a Thursday
The Mind Journal
I’m finally learning to TELL PEOPLE when they do or say something that touches me. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long; but instead of dwelling on that I’m just trying to not miss a chance to say something that just might make someone’s day, might brighten their spirit a bit, might bring a smile to their face.
As this quote says, it only takes a minute and it might mean a lot.
Just do it.
Simon & Schuster
I write this blog to share the beauty and talent I find all around me in an effort to combat all the bad stuff that can sit on your soul and make you forget.
Two things have shown me lately that we have a shared humanity that fills you up when you least expect it – when we react as one, regardless of our backgrounds, uniting us.
One was when Chris Stapleton sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Usually, I’m not very impressed. Singers tend to use the opportunity as a place to show how impressive their voices are, rather than to share the message of the song. We tuned in late and missed it, but I’ve listened to it on YouTube and then have been watching reactions to it from all over the world. People are uniformly blown completely away by his performance and in many cases, moved to tears.
The second was when I listened to Iam Tongi singing “Monsters” by James Blunt as his audition on American Idol. He had Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie in tears at the audition. The reactions on YouTube have all been the same. I looked up James Blunt and the song, thinking I should hear the original by the person who wrote it – and was in tears, with a lump in my throat. And in every reaction, every man, young or old, has reacted the same.
A third was a performance of “Creep” written by Radiohead, sung by Brian Justin Crum on America’s Got Talent. He was bullied as a child for being overweight and then gay. He channels his emotions into this performance, making you almost shake with what he has suffered and yet inspired by his stunning, powerful voice. Reactions again – regardless of background – uniformly feeling empathy for the boy and jubilant for the man.
It seems that, even in the middle of division, harsh opinions, disgust, and fear, we can come together with our shared values, our shared humanity. It’s a beautiful thing when differences drop away and we react with our hearts.
Filed under caring, Cause for Celebration
What would you do?….you make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one… Read it anyway.My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its
Dedicated staff, he offered a question:
‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.
Where is the natural order of things in my son?’
The audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’
Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..’
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt… I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field.. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the Plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first!
Run to first!’
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third!
Shay, run to third!’
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.
‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.
Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
May your day, be a Shay Day.
Sent to me by my friend, Marsha.
Filed under caring, Cause for Celebration
Heart-Warming Stories 5
“An eye witness account from New York
City, on a cold day in December,
some years ago: A little boy,
about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady approached the young boy and said,
‘My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in
‘I was asking God to give me a pair of
shoes,’ was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand, went into
the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.
She took the little fellow to the back
part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.
By this time, the clerk had returned with
the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes..
She tied up the remaining pairs of socks
and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, ‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.’
As she turned to go, the astonished kid
caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her.
‘Are you God’s wife?’ “
Stories forwarded to me by my friend, Marsha.
Heart-Warming Stories 4
Children’s Dentistry – Fort Valley, GA
Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot
in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott.
Jamie was trying out for a part in the
school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen..
On the day the parts were awarded, I went
with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement..
‘Guess what, Mom,’ he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me…’I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.’
(Sent to me by my friend, Marsha.)
I love this story. It reminds me of a teacher who was on America’s Got Talent with a huge group of kids. He described the voices of his kids (paraphrasing) “Some are great singers, some are good, and some sing with great enthusiasm.” :0)
Heart-Warming Stories 3
Institute for Family Studies.
On my way home one day, I stopped to
watch a Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was ‘We’re behind 14 to nothing,’ he answered with a smile.
‘Really,’ I said. ‘I have to say you
don’t look very discouraged.’
‘Discouraged?’, the boy asked with a
Puzzled look on his face…
‘Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t
Been up to bat yet.’
Thanks to my friend Marsha for these stories
Love Is Toe Warmers
Though my husband won’t admit it, he is a Type II Diabetic. (He just says he has a sugar problem). Among other things, this causes his hands and feet to get really uncomfortably cold. I got him some diabetic socks recently, but he wasn’t happy with them, preferring the really thick socks found recently. Then I think it was my friend Marsha who suggested foot warmers and gave me a URL.
REI Co-Op sells foot warmers. They also sold toe warmers and hand warmers. I ended up ordering some of each, thinking he could try them and we could re-order what he liked. The box arrived today.
He just came into the office where I was at the computer listening to music. He gave me a huge hug and said ‘THANK YOU’ with tears in his eyes. This is very unusual for him, so I just continued to look at him. He went out and returned with the box of warmers. He had taken the toe warmers out and was wearing them with his thick socks in his tennis shoes and said his toes were warm for the first time during the day in as long as he could remember. He hugged me again. By then I, also, had teared up.
You never know what will make a difference. Since he really liked the toe warmers – and PROMISED me he would monitor things carefully to make SURE they weren’t causing him problems, (he has numbness in the toe area on his left foot) I will just monitor him carefully, checking his feet at night to see if I can see any problems.
Since I had only ordered six pairs of toe warmers, I researched the item to see what the range of prices was. I found a good deal at Amazon and ordered a large box. They’ll be here next week.
Who would have thought that one definition of ‘love’ is ‘toe warmers’?
Heart-Warming Stories 2
Teacher Debbie Moon’s first graders were
discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted.
A little girl said, ‘I know all about
Adoption, I was adopted.’
‘What does it mean to be adopted?’, asked
‘It means’, said the girl, ‘that you grew
in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy!’
Thanks to my friend Marsha for this story.
Filed under caring, Family, Favorite Things
My friend Marsha sent me some beautiful stories I’d like to share. Here is one of them –
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once
Talked about a contest he was asked to judge.
The purpose of the
Contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was:
1. A four-year-old child, whose next door
neighbor was an elderly gentleman, who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old
Gentleman’s’ yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his mother asked him what he had
said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, ‘Nothing, I just Helped him cry.’
It’s easy these days to be down. Things become more and more challenging, frustrating and downright scary in our world. It’s hard to listen to or read the news because of all the bad stuff.
It’s important to stay informed, but I’m determined to focus on the beauty around me – not to be a Pollyanna or put my head in the sand like an ostrich, but not to let it all stomp me into the dirt psychologically.
Every day I look at what talented people have created. I search for it because I find people creating music, books, paintings, photographs and sculpture so beautiful it makes me forget for a bit what a mess we are making of things. It doesn’t matter what the medium is. Someone can look at it and see it in a different way, seeing its potential and bringing forth beauty that makes you cry. What a gift!
People focus on making plants grow or practicing a skill until it’s an art form. Teachers light a spark that causes a fire in a child’s heart that cannot be extinguished. Someone’s speech makes you want to help or turn your life in a different direction.
The fact that we live on the same planet as these talented people is almost unbelievable, and yet it’s true if we only look for it.
We can realize that not everyone is rushing headlong into the scary. We can keep our eyes open, protect ourselves and our loved ones as much as possible, try to help in any way we can, and keep the faith.
As Anthony J. Dangelo said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”
Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, character-building exercises, Encouragement
SHOUT-OUT 1 –
To Cathy, just home from the hospital yesterday. May you rest and recover well, free from any further problems.
SHOUT-OUT 2 –
To Susy, working and taking care of her husband who is recovering from cancer. Stay strong, sweet lady. I’m here if you want to talk.
SHOUT-OUT 3 –
To Kay, mother of son who recently married. May the new union be strong and give them joy for many years to come.
Filed under Bright Ideas, caring, love
Dealing – Not Dealing
DEALING – Sometimes I want to get involved, doing what I can to change the world for the better. I want to engage, to discuss things that are happening, trying to figure out compromises and solutions. I want to find areas in which we agree, or at least “civil-ly” agree to disagree, and that we can still value one another whether we agree or not.
NOT DEALING – More often these days, I put my head in the sand, trying to escape from all the hurt and ugliness – what appears to be HATE at any differences in beliefs or goals.
I escape to my art room. I listen to music – wrapping it around me like a blanket. I dive into another world with a book. I immerse myself in my garden. I do yoga- trying to fold myself into a paper airplane, or at least try to stretch myself from one side of the room to the other. I laugh with our pets. I talk to my friends. I hug my husband. I sleep. None of these SOLVES anything, but at least they keep me reasonably sane. (I think. I HOPE.)
Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes
This is one of my many faults. I’m aware of it, though, and work on it constantly. My mom did it, too. It was much easier for me to recognize it when SHE did it, than to acknowledge that ‘I’ did the same thing for many years. I try to stay CONSCIOUS of my tendency. If I find myself jumping up and down inside to say something, I know I’m doing it again.
Yes, you want to share. When someone is saying something to which you relate because of your own experiences, you want to tell them that you understand. But if you DO jump to tell them, some people even interrupting the other to share, you miss out on so much of life.
When I was in my ‘holier-than-thou’ period of teenage years, I would try to get my mom to change, to make her aware of what she was doing. When she would visit with someone, she dominated the conversation. She would be so eager to talk she would interrupt the person who was talking to tell her story, using the very same words she used the LAST time she related the story. I was very critical as a teenager – being perfect myself :0) – and would ask my mom what the person she had just visited had said about 1), 2), and 3). My mom looked startled, and then said she didn’t know. (I found out many years later – when I had finally quit being ‘perfect,’ that she actually knew quite a lot about her friends. She just found out details at different times than when I was listening.)
I found myself doing the same thing and was horrified. Yes, I wanted to share if I thought something we were doing might interest my friends, but I wanted to know what was happening to THEM, too.
The way I finally got my own attention about this problem was that I wanted to be able to tell myself what was new in each of my friend’s lives and how they felt about it after we had visited. I wanted to come away with a feeling of closeness and understanding – maybe even an idea of their hopes. If they weren’t forthcoming, I would ask questions, showing I really was interested, and LISTENED to their answers, and then responded to what they had said, or asked another question.
It’s a work in progress, but it’s one at which I really want to be successful. My friends are wonderful and deserve my ears and attention.
Filed under Attitude, caring, Encouragement, kindness
Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, caring, Encouragement, hope, kindness
Filed under Attitude, caring, Encouragement, kindness
Filed under Attitude, caring, Encouragement
Life is hard these days. Harder, I think, in many ways, than it’s ever been. Not only are there differing opinions on almost everything, but the opinions quickly escalate into divisiveness, factions, name calling, and hate. There seems little we can DO about any of it.
I find my own personal reactions vacillate from being appalled at the actions of sick, hate-filled people, grieving about the innocent lives lost or forever changed, and frustrated that the problems are caused by problems so complex that they are almost impossible to solve. I’m numbed by the mindless spouting of rhetoric on all sides that hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. The actual problems are so much deeper that people are scared to really examine the causes or possible solutions.
I alternately listen to and read everything I can, then get depressed and avoid exposure to any more news than I HAVE to. I escape with reading, music, time outside in my yard and garden, time in my art room, time on the computer, etc. I get “huggy,” – worried that things will get much worse. I clean things. I re-organize things. I chop things down. Anything I CAN control.
What it boils down to, I guess, is each of us caring, doing something if we can, and coping with whatever is happening. The picture at the top says it better than I – “Life would be better if we wore more tutus…”
Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes
Filed under caring
Charles Schultz Philosophy
The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.
You don’t have to actually answer the questions.
Just ponder on them. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.
- Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies.
Awards tarnish …
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money … or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
Pass this on to those people whom you keep close in your heart.
“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia!”
“Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!”
- Sent to me by a dear friend.
Filed under Blog Repost - Wonderful Posts, caring, Family, Food for Thought, Friendship, love, making a difference, memories
Words to Live By
Filed under caring
It seems to me that our world is a mass of mixed signals and confusion. It’s hard to know what to think, what to feel, which way to jump.
I’m kind of like a deer frozen in the headlights, concentrating on one day at a time, trying to do what I can, when I can, one careful step at a time, with a lot of trying to escape thrown in, too, since there is so much happening that I can’t do anything about.
The only thing I can come up with is to try to personally stay as strong as I can, continuing to look for any ways to try to make things better wherever I can find.
I wish I were a fairy godmother, able to wave my wand, think good thoughts, and save the world.
Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, coping mechanisms
You Are Not Alone
When bad things happen, or scary things that MIGHT happen hang over my head, I tend to implode emotionally, spiraling down to use all the tools in my imagination box to picture the worst scenario. The stupidity on my part can be held at bay while I’m awake and functional, but tend to overwhelm me in the middle of the night.
I found out lately that I am not alone when I’m trying to be an adult, but failing. I’m feeling like the luckiest woman on the planet right now because 1) the scary thing I feared didn’t happen; and 2) several kind people showed me they are here for me if I need them to encourage me to be an adult, or help me handle the bad stuff emotionally. If I had even ONE person in my corner like that, it would be wonderful. To have SEVERAL people who care is miraculous.
Now that my scary scenario is gone, I will concentrate on trying to show these wonderful people that care goes both ways. THEY are not alone, either. I will do everything in my power to help THEM through any bad or scary stuff.
Every Day Should Be Hugging Day
Share the hugs far and wide. :0)
Wherever You Go…
Filed under caring, Encouragement, giving, kindness
Filed under caring, Challenges, Family, Friendship
As we continue to hear bad news from all sides, we concentrate on anything we can do, as individuals, to help – either at the source of the bad news or the people reeling from it. We try to stay calm, keep our heads on straight, our hearts open, and keep on keepin’ on.
Filed under caring