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Think of Others

Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in a way that stands out for me. He bracketed every second line as a gentle reminder to remember those who have less than us.

Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving at different times, but part of the celebrating is thinking about the good fortune we have and how others may be missing what we call good fortune.

Perhaps, the measure is not material. Perhaps, the measure is in those people and things that are immeasurable.

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark).

Just Dance

Just Dance.

Author and educator William W. Purkey is credited with the following quote:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

I have seen it credited to the great Satchel Paige who pitched in the Negro Leagues and was pioneer in breaking the colour barrier in major league baseball.

The link is to a short article with a quote from Anne Lamott that ends with the line: “Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance!”

What links the three together is the story-telling quality they share. Sometimes we have to trust the person–the character–we are. This is revealed in the stories we tell and the living we undertake. Living life is a gift and when we live fully, trusting who we are in living this life this one wild and precious life paraphrasing Mary Oliver.

Wisdom

Wisdom.

Dr. Seuss’, Theodore Geisel, books explained abstract concepts fairness, being honest, and accepting differences for children and parents. The irony was for most of his writing career he had no children of his own. It was only when he married a second time that he had two step-daughters.

Whether he intended to or not, Seuss was a social justice teacher. He introduced children and their parents with his writing to unforgettable characters who demonstrated what we could learn on Mulberry Street.

His unforgettable lyrical prose imprinted itself on children in ways they were recalled and, even if misspoken, it made little difference. After all, the words were often made up by Dr. Seuss. Perhaps, we find wisdom in our imaginations? Imagine a world where we treated each other with respect and dignity.

“Nature Has No Need Of Fortune”

“Nature Has No Need Of Fortune”.

The article linked has a wonderful and lengthy quote from Michel de Montaigne about character. Character is an aesthetic masterpiece words and deeds are expressing. It is reflected in and through living. We are painting a picture, writing a story, and becoming someone without knowing the next brush stroke, the next letter, and the next step fully.

When I looked at the accompanying image, I was struck by the space in the foreground and how the background was more cluttered. We move in the spaces provided in the immediacy of the moment without knowing for sure what is revealed. When we look further afield, we realize how the past is cluttered and the future uncertain.

It takes confidence to step into the unknown. Although the next step appears spacious, what will appear is not certain despite our best plans, our material resources, and our victories.

A Smile To Remember – Charles Bukowski

A Smile To Remember – Charles Bukowski.

Charles Bukowski is a poet who uses wit, sarcasm, and everyday experience, good and bad, to catch my attention. In this poem, domestic violence is the topic he explored.

I don’t know if he was a product of this violence, but he provides an insight that is perhaps a survivor’s insight and poses a question that needs exploring.

What do we notice in life? Is it the trivial things? Or, is it the major things? What happens in a child’s life when she/he live in violence? What can we each do to reach out and touch the lives of those living in violence? Perhaps, it is a smile to remember making the difference.

Day of the Imprisoned Writer: a letter to Mahvash Sabet

Day of the Imprisoned Writer: a letter to Mahvash Sabet.

We have many people around the world who are imprisoned for their political and religious beliefs. Usually, I find when we put a face on those that are somehow different they become real and human. It is important to reach out and take the hand of those who suffer persecution at the hands of others regardless of the reasons. It is important to make people real and human.

When I did my undergraduate work, I was able to take one special education course. In the course, a point that was made several times and stuck with me was that we are more alike despite obvious differences than we are different. It is overwhelmingly so.

Do we need science to tell us the obvious? Or, can we see the humanity that lies beneath the differences we want to see?

quotation: Don’t put money before everything else -Pope Francis

quotation: Don’t put money before everything else -Pope Francis.

In the West, this is a hard concept to understand and grasp. We need money to live and perhaps even survive. What about when money becomes our raison d’etre? What happens when money takes over our lives and, for that matter, we obsess over one thing at the expense of living?

This is an open question we should live with, embrace, and explore daily. How does our living make the living of others better? There are no easy answers. In fact, there may not be an answer. Each time we explore this question, it may pose new questions.

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