Wednesday, December 31, 2008

World Still Has Eyes

"An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind." - Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869-1948, Father of the Nation, India

There is hope because the world is still not blind! But, even as the year closes to an end, bombs are being exchanged between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Many innocent people have lost not only their eyes, but their lives. I really hope someone there will find wisdom in Mahatma Gandhi's quote above and stop the violence.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


"We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one's own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness." - Dalai Lama Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndru 1935)

The image that comes to mind is the Walmart black Friday incident last month whereby a store employee was trampled to death by an onslaught of shoppers desperately seeking bargains. It would seem most people in the crowd only had one thing in their minds: their own happiness.

I wish everyone would let the wise words of the Dalai Lama guide us in our pursuit of happiness. What is the value of our own happiness when those around us become unhappy as a result of our own relentlessness?

I truly admire those who could set aside their own selfishness to help others be happy. Bravo!

This coming year, I will ask myself whether I have done enough for those around me and those whom I encounter less fortunate than me. I hope you will do the same.

Monday, December 29, 2008


"Peace begins with a smile." - Mother Teresa 1910-1997, Roman Catholic Nun, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

How, I wonder has the world forgotten, or not know, this simple little phrase. As I write this, bombs are exploding, guns are being fired, and people are being killed. People are killing people. What's wrong with that sentence. It doesn't sound right at all. No, people are not smiling at each other. That is the problem, though I suspect in today's world, someone smiling at another can be a cause for bombs, guns and killings.

Peace is what must happen. A kind, gentle and sincere smile has to be the catalyst. There really is no other simpler solution than that.

At a smaller and no less important level, we can resolve to smile more at those around us; we can resolve to make peace every single day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Be Grateful

"I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet." - Chinese Proverb

As some may fret about our dwindling wealth this year, it is paramount to remember that there are those with nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nowhere to live, sickness, or a combination thereof, or something even more severe. This has probably been said many times by many people before but it is worth repeating.

In our society of privilege, it is too easy to take for granted what we have. This is especially true for, but definitely not limited to, children. For those of us who have, or have influence over, children, it is so vital to instill in them a sense of gratefulness for what they have.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

See The Light

"We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival." - Sir Winston Churchill 1874-1965, U.K. Prime Minister, Nobel Laureate in Literature

The power of the human spirit is amazingly resilient. Even in times of extreme suffering and hardship, we can find the will to not only survive but to inspire and motivate. The incredible fifteen words above from Sir Winston Churchill are a testament to this spirit.

It can seem difficult to overcome set backs when all options seem to have been exhausted. This can lead to drastic and regretful actions. You MUST resist and have faith that there is a world of possibilities. Even the darkest and fiercest storms will pass to make way for the inevitable rays of sunshine!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pursue Your Dreams

"All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney 1901-1966, Cartoon Artist and Producer

Do you remember as a small child how scary jumping onto a slide in the playground must have seemed? There you were standing there on a platform of what seemed like six stories from the ground, but you see other kids go down and it seemed so much fun! You wanted to experience it too.

You slowly sat on the edge, hands tightly gripping the rail. With a small push, gravity took over. Thrill and excitement followed as you slid back down to earth.

Dreams are no different. To make them a reality, give yourself a little push!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Brave Fishermen

"The fishermen know the sea is dangerous and the storms are terrible, but they have never found this sufficient reason to remain on shore." Vincent Van Gogh

The fishermen know that if they are to survive, they must continue to move forward, for if they stay ashore they will surely starve. To brave the storm and go out to sea to fish, they risked their lives but have a chance of catching some fish.

Staying still in the face of adversity is to admit defeat to fear. Tread cautiously, yes, but move forward!