Just one drop of kindness equals a recipe for success

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Facebook is an overwhelming aspect of social media.  Timeline’s are inundated with nonsense, Farmville and game requests are sent at alarming rates and too much personal information is given away like candy at Halloween.  But every so often a little gem of humanity seeps through the cracks and makes me appreciate the sharing of information.

The video below is one of those rare gems.  I watched it twice because the message really plucked some emotional strings in the orchestra of my life.  I have always been a firm believer in treating others as you wish to be treated, in paying forward a show of altruism and allowing others to benefit from your tenderness and understanding.

Every action in life creates a ripple effect.  Whether that ripple effect is as visible to the naked eye as a drop of water in a pond, or is so infinitesimal that it is unseen by the human eye, there is always a reaction.  A little bit can go a long way and that ripple may spread further than you could ever imagine.

I hope you will take the three minutes to watch this video created by a Thai insurance company.  Its message is heart-warming, emotional and eerily accurate.  One drop of human kindness could change the tides in so many oceans.

 

To covet or not to covet, that is the question

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I remember the word covet securely fastening itself in my brain after I watched The Silence Of The Lambs.  I had always admired the word as part of the English language but never truly gave it the power it so richly deserved.  For having a mere five letters, the word yields much more of an impact than meets the eye.  With the pun intended in that last sentence, I began to realize how it easy it could be to covet something that was so far removed from my reality, yet so much of a presence in my daily thoughts.  I could always see what it was that I wanted.

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Signs and portents of the things we covet will surely present themselves in a myriad of ways and those glowing neon reminders will only serve to keep that item at the forefront of our brains.  Though we may not have access to the object of our attention on a daily basis, the wish plants a small seed in our brain that sprouts and grows every time we give it a moment of thought.  That lingering speculation permeates the moments of our day and the spark of what could be fuels the evolution of our fascination.

By giving ourselves permission to covet, we allow ourselves the opportunity to keep our desires alive, to live with passion.  And, even if those dreams never come to fruition, we were privately granted the right to give that fantasy a breath of life, if only for a few fleeting moments.  There is no legitimate way of telling our heart it was wrong.  It will beat the way it wants to beat and we are powerless to its incessant drumming.

I am intimidated by the fear of not following my desires, of never having opened the door to possibility and thus never being able to define what is truly important to me.  Coveting those things, identifying the wants that truly envelop me but knowing they may be the things that I can never have, affects my world on a scale beyond my comprehension.  But those impervious wants, those things I covet,  allow me to begin to sketch the blueprints of what it is that I truly desire.  The idea that I may eventually attain those things satiates my thirsts and attempts to quench that desire.

To covet is to wish.  To wish is to dream.  To dream is to live.

Finding little pieces of myself along the way

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I lose time.  I don’t mean I have dissociative fugues and the inability to recall past events.  Time simply rushes by me at such a fast pace that I seem to lose little pieces of myself along the way, pieces caught in the vortex of the life I am living that is whirling by at a great speed.

Those missing bits seem to fragment during my busy work days and I don’t always recognize their absence until I inch closer to my day off.  I feel like a part of me has been eclipsed, hidden in a shadow, waiting to be rediscovered.

Today I had the benefit of finding some of those remnants of myself and putting them back where they belong.  Today I came home from work, knowing that tomorrow is a day free from structure, and allowed myself that moment to finally relax and let those misplaced segments of my life re-establish themselves.  Today I put my feet into the wading pool, bought for my dog, and let the water wash away the lingering moments of my work day.  Today I put together the puzzle that is me with the pieces I had lost during the week.  Today I made myself feel like the garden AND the rose.

It is important to take that quiet moment to collect all of the pieces of ourselves that are essential to us and recreate the whole picture of ourselves.  Segments of us will get lost along the way but the significant substance of who we are will always find its way back.  And in the moments that I was gathering the scraps of me that I had left behind, I came across this picture and it all made sense.

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My spare time is a “write” off

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Knowing the fall-out I may face, I’ll admit it – I miss the fall and winter nights but only because I miss the time I had to write and to read blogs.  The summer months are unforgiving when it comes to spare time.  I miss the words that used to come so easily and I miss being able to read the words of those I follow.

My imagination used to be ready and waiting as soon as I sat in front of the laptop but recently my muse has been accused of taking vacation and enjoying the summer weather along with the many guests at the resort where I work.  The time I used to have to read the many blogs I follow seems to be non-existent and the pond of creativity I had the benefit of floating on is now a dry well of sand and I am stuck making angels in the dust.

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But in those moments of creative drought, I have the good fortune of interacting with many smiling faces so all happiness is not lost.  The forecast for my upcoming day off looks promising for a day on the couch, laptop in position and hopefully a few creative thoughts will drop like the rain that is supposed to fall on Monday.

 

Don’t be offended, but I am not a fan of the Beetles

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In May of 2014, I bought a young Birch tree and planted it in my mom’s memory.  The tree is just outside of my living room window and, recently, my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews came over to place the river rocks around the tree that we collected at her celebration of life.  Each rock contains a word or two that was written by friends and family to share their memories of our mom.

I have been faithfully watering the tree each day and trying to make sure it thrives in its new home.  Last year I had noticed some of the leaves were beginning to yellow.  Upon closer examination, I also discovered the tree had become home to a bug that I have never seen before and this particular creature loves to devour the greenery and skeletonize the foliage.   Had these pests been named John, Paul, George or Ringo I may have been a little more forgiving, but these Japanese Beetles waged a war that I had sworn to win.

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(image credit: walterspropertyservices.com)

 I diligently tended to my tree at least three times a day to pick these creatures off, one by one, to rid the poor tree of this unnecessary destruction.  Google and the garden center staff seemed to agree that this is the most effective way to eradicate these pesky bugs.  I only hoped that I could put an end to them before they put an end to my tree.

My tree blossomed beautifully again this spring but the creatures are back with a vengeance.  If anyone is going to Japan in the near future, save some room in your luggage.  I would love to send these iridescent insects packing!!

A warped sense of entitlement

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I have never been one to define myself by my generation but the more time I spend just existing in each day the more I realize how profoundly different my perspective is on what this world owes me compared to the twenty-somethings of this new generation.

When I was in my twenties, and even now, I never for one moment thought the world owed me anything.  It was up to me to put in the work to earn my place on this revolving planet and prove to everyone that I deserved my spot here.   And I have continued my journey in that paragon of reality.  But so many of the generation of today feel a sense of entitlement and hope to gain the greatest amount of accolades with the least amount of effort.  They seem to expect everything for nothing.

The thought process plagues me and I spend countless hours wondering where this ideology began.  Where did they acquire this sense of entitlement?  How is it they can feel so exempt from basic human nature as to not strive for achievement and the resounding sense of accomplishment that follows without putting in the work?  They have become a generation of people willing to rest on the laurels of others and take the credit for the blood, sweat and tears that they have not emitted.  They live in the pampered dog world – not the dog eat dog – world and it makes me fear for their longevity in the authenticity of being a member of the human race.

A sense of attainment is based on hard work.  You get back what you put forth.   That dog eat dog world promotes the attitude of “survival of the fittest” and those who are deemed fit are those who actually compete.  If you are sitting on the sidelines and simply relishing in the victory of the team without playing, you are winning by default.

There are some members of this younger generation who have made it out from under the blades of “helicopter parenting” and are becoming successful adults who are willing to work hard and take responsibility for their own success.  But the vast number I have encountered rely heavily on others to do the work for them.  A word to the not-so-wise, if your mom calls to get you a summer job your resume will find itself at the bottom of the pile.

To those particular slackers, I say – participate in the outcome of your own journey.  You can only blame other people for so long for any supposed limitations before you are forced to subject yourself to a heaping dose of introspection.  The only limit in your life is the amount of effort you are willing to put forth to strive for personal success.   Life isn’t easy, but the satisfaction achieved when you are successful is well worth the energy exerted to create that success.

Hey twenty-somethings – reality is calling….it wants you to join us.