The Mountain

A few days ago, I came upon a poem.  Typically, I pass right on by most poetry, for unless it’s very short, like a limerick, I rarely understand it.  In college, poetry thoroughly defeated me, even the simplest of them.  But, for some reason this one caught my eye and I read it … once, then again. And I thought, “BINGO!”  This is how I sometimes feel, as if I simply can’t do what needs to be done.  However, being a stubborn wench I typically give myself a good ‘talking to’ and get on with the business at hand.  But this poem struck a chord, and its message is, I think, beautifully and yet simply conveyed.  The poem, titled The Mountain, is by Laura Ding-Edwards of Herefordshire in the United Kingdom.  Since I enjoyed it, I thought perhaps you might also …

The Mountain

The Mountain

‘We Are The World’ …. “🌎 We Always have Been, We Always will Be 🌎 …. “!!

It has been yet one more week that has bombarded our sensibilities with hate, with ugliness, with things that we didn’t think could happen, couldn’t possibly even imagine two years ago. The ‘man’ in the Oval Office was allowed out of the Oval Office to travel abroad, where he left a trail of offal, for lack of a better word. Today, I think we all need a break from it, and our very dear friend Dr. Horty Rex has provided a most wonderful and apt respite that I would like to share with you all this afternoon. Thank you, Horty, for this beautiful song to remind us, to give us hope for the future, and for implied permission to share.

It Is What It Is

~~July 13, 2018~~ 

TURBULENT TIMES

~We Always have Been, We Always will Be~

I find myself so pulled by the negativity and awful events taking place in our world nowadays. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming that I can’t really breathe.

I can’t fathom or wrap my head around the level of inhumanity, greed, vileness, evil, violence, crime, injustice and so much more that inhabits this world.

Music helps me.

Here’s an example.

HortyRex©

RedLineBYael Silver (Tony-winning producer Once On This Island), Robin Carus and Van Dean (Broadway Records, President) today released “We Are The World,” a music video featuring an all-star roster of theater artists and calling for healing and unity in the world today.

“More than ever, people need to know that their voices make a difference and their voices together are incredibly powerful,” said producer Yael Silver.

“We Are The World spoke to…

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Good People Doing Good Things — Kat, Chris, and Jahkil

I had some help with this, my first Good People post of the new year, 2018.  About once a month, I receive an email from President Obama with news of what Barack, Michelle and the girls have been doing, etc.  This month, his letter was about optimism, good things that are happening in the world, and specifically three good people doing good things.  One of the three good people, Chris Long, I highlighted in a good people post back in October, but the other two were new to me.  I liked President Obama’s letter, its positive, hopeful and upbeat tone, and I adored the three good people he highlighted, so I thought … what better way to start the new year than with this message of optimism and three good people who give us reason for hope?  Without further prattle from me, here is President Obama’s letter:

I’ve always liked counting down to the new year. We get to reflect on what we’ve been through, and prepare for what’s ahead. There’s something inherently optimistic about that.

I know optimism isn’t always fashionable. Certainly not when we’re fed a steady stream of cynicism on television and through social media. We face some extraordinary challenges, but consider the long view. If you think about it, by almost every measure, America and the world are better than they were fifty, twenty, even ten years ago.

I was born at a time when women and people of color were systematically, routinely excluded from huge portions of American life. Today, women and minorities are rising up in the ranks of business, politics, and everywhere else. That’s just one of the significant shifts we’ve seen. And when you measure it against the scope of human history — it happened in an instant.

Around the world, we live in a time when fewer people are dying young and more people are living not only longer, but better. More girls are in school. More adults can read. More children get the vaccines they need.

These are good things. And none of them are lucky accidents. They happened because countless people, toiling for many years, fought to make this progress.

More than anything, that’s what’s needed now – the engagement of everyone who wants to see a better future for our children. The kind of collective action that has always driven human progress. And even in the face of cynicism and division, it’s those kinds of stories from 2017 that I’ll remember.

Kat CreechWhen Kat Creech, a wedding planner in Houston, Texas, saw a rapidly strengthening hurricane approaching her state, she and a couple whose Labor Day wedding she was planning decided to postpone. At Kat’s suggestion, that couple instead invited their wedding party, family, and friends to join together and volunteer to support those affected by the flood. Inspired, Kat kept going. She started a Facebook group to help connect and coordinate with fellow residents who wanted to volunteer. That became Recovery Houston, hundreds of volunteers strong. They helped clear more than 120 homes in a single week. Asked what she hopes others will learn from her story, Kat said, “You can move mountains and really make a difference in someone’s life.”

That’s a story from 2017.

Chris-LongIn the wake of this summer’s violence in Virginia, Chris Long, a defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, gave his first six paychecks of the season to fund scholarships at the high school he attended in his hometown of Charlottesville. But, like Kat in Texas, he wanted to do more. He decided to give away the rest of his paychecks for the season as well. An entire season’s salary. “Be that contagious light that spreads energy to other people,” Chris told a group of high school students this year. “Be contagious in your energy.”

That’s something else that happened in 2017.

jahkil-jacksonAt just five years old, Jahkil Jackson had witnessed the struggles of Chicago’s homeless families when his aunt took him to Lower Wacker Drive to hand out food to those camped there. He found himself restless, wanting to do more. With a spark of inspiration and the help of his family, Jahkil created “Blessing Bags” — kits full of socks, toiletries and snacks that he could offer to those in need. Now, as a 10 year old, through his organization Project I Am, Jahkil has enlisted the help of his school and community to pursue his goal of handing out 5,000 Blessing Bags, all because he wanted a simple way to help his neighbors. Just yesterday, with the support of his friends, Jahkil reached his goal.

A 2017 story.

Kate, Chris, and Jahkil were all living in the same country, during the same time, as you and me. They chose not to be daunted by challenges, but to stand up and make their world better.

I saw that spirit all across America in people who chose to get involved, get engaged, and stand up not only to defend their rights, but more importantly, the rights of others. People who rejected cynicism and pessimism and pushed forward with a relentless, infectious optimism. Not a blind optimism that ignores the scale and scope of our challenges, but rather a hard-earned optimism rooted in the stories of real progress.

It’s a belief that each of us can make a difference, and all of us ought to try.

You only need one person speaking with conviction, speaking with courage, and yes, with optimism, and you’re going to change some minds.

Those folks won’t just be convinced — they’ll be motivated to go out and spread the message that swayed them. They’ll be its best ambassadors.

And on it goes, one conversation at a time, until you’ve got yourself a movement. A movement that can change the world.

I’ll believe that as long as I live. So go keep changing the world in 2018.

– Barack

It Will Get Better

For those of us who are not enthralled with the antics of the man in the White House and his minions, it is sometimes difficult these days to keep our perspective, to see that ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. More than once, I have been sagely advised to look back at history, to note that these dark periods always come to an end and saner heads ultimately prevail. Today, I share with you a post by my old friend and fellow-blogger, Erik Hare, that I found especially encouraging, and I hope you will too. Thank you, Erik, for helping us remember to put everything into perspective, and for your implied permission to share your work!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

The big meal is over. The Vikings beat the Lions in a thrilling game. All across the nation people are wandering home, full of obligations fulfilled and too much food. Many have had the chance to actually count their blessings, the real meaning of the day, and understand that they are indeed wealthy.

Not everyone is so blessed, of course. Far too many people are alone and afraid, hungry and isolated. For all of the riches of our land they have been distributed unevenly and, at times, apparently at random. Yet this is indeed a good time to be alive to see the world come together, no matter how difficult it seems.

We have much to be thankful for.

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