Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Wonder

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder 
than one closed by belief." 
~Gerry Spence

Remy's first snow / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Giving up judgment

“Often I have asked myself: What would it be like if I no longer had any desire to judge another? Or be controlled by the judgment of others? I would walk the earth with a much lighter heart indeed.” ~Henri J. Nouwen


Sunrise in Vinsetta Park / Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Appreciation

“It's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on all the things you have long taken for granted.” ~Bertrand Russell

Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Accepting our responsibility

"Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our choices, actions, and everything we have done or not done." 
~Hubert Selby, Jr.

Early snow bird / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Funny Friday: political humor

"I don't make jokes. 
I just watch the government and report the facts." 
~Will Rogers


"If I don't laugh, I'll cry" / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reality check

"We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away." ~Zhuangzi

Cindy La Ferle
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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Looking on the bright side

 "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." --J. K. Rowling


Jack B. Nimble / Cindy La Ferle
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Our right to vote

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." 
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Greenfield Village / Cindy La Ferle

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Get out and vote today!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Essay: Our best teachers

“Your best teacher is the person 
who offers you your greatest challenge.” 
~Cheryl Richardson


Apples for my teachers / Cindy La Ferle

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We don't necessarily meet our best teachers in school. In everyday situations, we can learn invaluable lessons from the button-pushers who anger, annoy, baffle, disappoint, enrage, or challenge us in a variety of ways. 

How about that slow-moving stranger at the grocery store -- the one who's always in your aisle -- for instance? Or the raging politician whose propaganda makes you scream at the TV? And what about the careless friend who mistreats or neglects you? There's a message in each painful event or awkward encounter if you look for it. 

Just for starters ....

* Maybe you're always in a hurry. The slow-moving grocery shopper is teaching you to pause and savor the privilege of purchasing food for yourself and your loved ones.  Likewise, when you're stuck in slow traffic, you could seize the opportunity to breathe deeply and count your blessings.

* The obnoxious politician is a reminder to tone down your own rhetoric when you're discussing controversial issues. Or he could be hitting a raw nerve that you need to explore on a deeper level. Or maybe it's time to cut back on cable news.

* If a friend's thoughtless behavior is chronic, it might be your cue to lighten up and invest less emotional energy in the lopsided relationship. Or maybe the lesson here is that you need to start treating yourself with more respect -- and spend more time with other pals who are a better fit for your companionship. 

Sometimes our best "teachers" aren't other people. They can arrive in the form of job loss, ill health, and unexpected challenges. 

I was terrified when I developed skin cancer on my lower right eyelid, for example. I worried about the outcome of my reconstruction surgeries: How would I look after the skin graft and surgical wounds healed? During my long recovery this summer, it hit me that I'd wasted too many years caring about superficial appearances. My bout with eyelid cancer taught me to look deeper for self-worth and validation.

And on it goes. We cannot change unfortunate circumstances, nor can we control the behavior of others. But we can manage our own responses. Once we start seeing negative encounters or hurtful events as opportunities to learn and grow, we can thank those teachers and move on. ~Cindy La Ferle