Archive for November, 2015

Rudyard Kipling

IF…

By Rudyard Kipling

 

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Are Men Happier than Women?

Posted: November 27, 2015 in World On The Edge

file0001125655926My husband sent me this article after he received it in his email.  See what you think.

Are men happier people?

What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Two pairs of shoes are more than enough.. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color.. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.. You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives On December 24 in 25 minutes. No wonder men are happier.

NICKNAMES
* If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
* If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

EATING OUT
* When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
* When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

MONEY
* A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
* A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.

BATHROOMS
* A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
* The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

ARGUMENTS
* A woman has the last word in any argument.
* Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

FUTURE
* A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
* A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

MARRIAGE
* A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
* A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

DRESSING UP
* A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
* A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

NATURAL
* Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
* Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

OFFSPRING
* Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
* A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

A married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!

My Gratitude

Posted: November 26, 2015 in World On The Edge

Translating a World on the Edge

thanksgivingturkeyWhat are the best things in your life–the ones you’re most grateful for?

I’d be willing to bet they’re not “things” at all, but people.

Oh yes, “people” sometimes drive us crazy, hurt us, make lots more work, more stress, insolent remarks, dirty socks, dirty dishes, and confusion in general.

But we know the other side of the coin, too–“people” who are always there for us, who take our side, who run errands when we can’t, who feed us when we’re sick, who wipe our tears and hold our hands when we need the warmth of another human being. People who listen. People who love us.

I give gratitude to those people in my life. I cannot imagine living without those people in my life.

On this Thanksgiving George and I are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in the Atlanta area at the home of our daughter, Sheila, her husband, Matt…

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My Gratitude

Posted: November 26, 2015 in World On The Edge

thanksgivingturkeyWhat are the best things in your life–the ones you’re most grateful for?

I’d be willing to bet they’re not “things” at all, but people.

Oh yes, “people” sometimes drive us crazy, hurt us, make lots more work, more stress, insolent remarks, dirty socks, dirty dishes, and confusion in general.

But we know the other side of the coin, too–“people” who are always there for us, who take our side, who run errands when we can’t, who feed us when we’re sick, who wipe our tears and hold our hands when we need the warmth of another human being. People who listen. People who love us.

I give gratitude to those people in my life. I cannot imagine living without those people in my life.

On this Thanksgiving George and I are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in the Atlanta area at the home of our daughter, Sheila, her husband, Matt, and precious sons, Daniel, Anthony, and Matthew. We will also visit with our youngest daughter, Anne Marie, her husband Pat, and their two children, Caroline and John Patrick. Our youngest son, Patrick and his daughter, Georgia, will be coming along, too.

I am so grateful for all my family, those I will see over the Thanksgiving Holiday and those who will be in their own homes, but in my heart.

I’m grateful, too, for all you who read this blog. Because of your support, I look forward to writing it five days a week.

So children help your mothers, and mothers hug your children. And fathers love your wives.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, all of you.

Paint me a Birmingham??

Posted: November 25, 2015 in World On The Edge
Photo by Beekaboo, 2008, MorgueFile.com

Photo by Beekaboo, 2008, MorgueFile.com

Loss.

We all deal with it. Nothing stays the same no matter how much we might want it to.
This goes for bad times as well good ones.

So, in our bad times, there is always hope.

And in the good times, there is thankfulness for the moment we’re enjoying.

Our lives on earth are short. It is short-sighted not to think so. In fact, it is foolish.

We can moan and groan over the people and things we lose, or we can look for a lesson in the loss.

There is always a lesson.

In the loss of the negative: If we are finally rid of something that we did not want, we may be more careful next time to use our heads and avoid such.

In the loss of the positive: If something wonderful came our way, we will no longer take our joy for granted should such a gift be given us again.

We will be stronger in both situations, knowing objectively that our time here is forever moving from high to low, from up to down.

Vocal: Tracey Lawrence

Photo in Public Domain

Photo in Public Domain

“I decline to accept the end of man… I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.” ― William Faulkner

If we believe there is a God who created each of us, then each of us is a child of God. And each human person has the divinity of God within him, or her. We call this divinity within us, the soul. It is the only part of us that doesn’t die. That makes the soul, and what happens within it, essential. 

As Faulkner says, the soul is spirit, just as God is spirit, and capable of great compassion, enormous sacrifice, and  inexhaustible endurance. We see these capacities expressed in many good people that we know, and sometimes we express those same qualities ourselves.

But often, compassion, sacrifice and endurance are not expressed by a person’s spiritual nature. Sometimes, he expresses the opposite. To an author, this is food for a story. This is the opportunity to illuminate the battle between good and evil as Faulkner does in his work.

Because there is today, and always has been, a battle between what is inherently good, and what is inherently evil, it is natural for an author to write about it. In a story, this plays out in particular characters—-people like us who struggle with what they believe is right and what they know is wrong. All of this happens in the soul, where our intentions lie. And we either shine our soul, or sully it, by our various decisions to accept good, or evil.

Most of us don’t like to hear that we can choose between good and evil. Some of us don’t even recognize immorality anymore. We can’t put a face on it because today’s humdrum, saccharine tolerance for ‘anything goes’ has blocked it out and blinded us to the better call in our own souls. But a thing is not good or evil because it’s trendy or popular.

I think, deep down, most of us know that truth is truth. Deep down, we know that absolute Truth endures, that it is not relative to public opinion, and that it is a twin of immortality. For me, it is most important for a writer to remember that, too.

Suffering??

Posted: November 23, 2015 in World On The Edge

file391252950798 (2)How many of us call ourselves Christians? Probably most who read this blog.

But what does it mean to be a Christian, a follower of Christ? Jesus Christ was crucified. Does it mean we’ll be crucified, too?

It may. At the least, we will surely suffer. Life sees to that.

At times, we cause our own suffering by the bad choices we make. Other times, another person, or a circumstance out of our control, may cause it. We may even be betrayed, as Jesus was for thirty pieces of silver.

But one thing I know. God does not cause our suffering. God is loving, always and forever. He never changes in His love for each of us. And He showed us that on the Cross.

Every suffering we encounter is difficult. We don’t want to go through it. We pray for a way to get out of it, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane when he asked His Father to take it from Him, but assenting that if He would not, then the will of His Father be done. That is the covenant between Son and Father.

Just as with His own son, sometimes the suffering does not leave us. Even when we pray for it to disappear, God allows it to happen for some purpose we may never know in our earthly life.

As my grandmother consistently told me, “Offer up your suffering.” In other words, we may be suffering for others in a redemptive way that only God understands.

This is what Jesus did, according to the will of His Father. He gave himself away, for each and every one of us, leaving His Holy Spirit within us, leaving us as Temples of Himself, leaving our own self to be used by Him. This is the covenant God offers us. The same covenant He offered His Son. But we have to accept it.

Do we really believe that He is within us and that we are to be messengers of His Holy Spirit? Are we ready to give ourselves away as Jesus did?