The benefit of personal growth and self-discovery is that we become better human beings with the strength to endure and carry on, and then we may experience something magical when we begin to reach out to others. We discover a feeling that is so rewarding and fulfilling: that fact that we can make a difference. Here is to your willingness to begin with making a difference with yourself!Michael James
A few years ago I spent Christmas and New Years alone. No family. No friends. No gifts. A little tree with some lights on it. A small Christmas dinner (in a can). Far from home but with a lot of good memories of it. I didn't feel too sad because I knew things would change for the better because I knew I would change them for the better. It was all up to me, not fate, or luck (although understand that those are big players in this game too). If I didn't like where I was at that moment I couldn't feel sorry myself and blame someone else, play the victim. I was the one who put myself there and I knew I was the one that had to change. So I did. See, misery is never very far away from us (it lurks around every dark corner) but neither is joy. You've got to roll with that black horse when it visits, ride that bitch out if you can but you've got to enjoy the hell out of the other too, when it chances to come your way. Above all, you've got to recognize joy when it shows up to dance with you and, sorry, that's not nearly as easy as it sounds. You've got to fight tooth and nail in this life to try and be as happy as you can with the circumstances you've been given. You've got to fight with every inch of your being for that and grit your teeth and stick out your chin while you're doing it too because although without a doubt it's the right fight to be in, it's going to be hard sometimes. So hard that maybe you'll be blind to everything else. Along the way however, always remember one thing: even though there are people out there in the world who will take the heart right out of you...there are those who will put it right back in again (let them). Learn to recognize who they are because that's something really worth knowing. But it's up to you in the end. It's up to you to embrace the wonders in this life and to deny the darkness (and there are plenty of both). Be strong, be brave, be kind, be noble and above all, slay your dragons and keep on moving. Don't stop. And finally, even if happiness forgets you for a little while, never completely forget about it. It's there waiting for the other to pass. Even in your darkest hour don't ever doubt that for a second.
In the years that followed the Harrison campaign, many candidates—from Colonel James 'Young Hickory' Polk in 1844 to Lieutenant John Kerry in 2004—had their 'humble origins' and/or 'war leadership' highlighted in political material. Often coupled with these tactics was a corollary, to create an image of the opposition candidate that was highly negative—from John Adams as a 'monarchist' to John Kerry as a 'flip-flopping, windsurfing elitist.
A good shell has to have life and resiliency to get in harmony with the swing of the crew.
It is the character of lived experience I want to explore, not the nature of man.
I love to draw—pencil, ink pen—I love art. When I go on tour and visit museums in Holland, Germany or England—you know those huge paintings?—I’m just amazed. You don’t think a painter could do something like that. I can look at a piece of sculpture or a painting and totally lose myself in it.
To appreciate beauty is to experience humility-- to recognize that something larger and more powerful than oneself is at work in the environment. And humility, it turns out, is key to recognizing that in order to survive, you must adapt yourself to the environment, that it won't adapt to your needs.
Don't stop until you get enough.
Religion has no power if God is not truly 'dangerous,' but religion also seeks to manage God, and make God safe.The second commandment speaks against the management of God. We cannot help but make our images of God, for God has given us imagination. But every image we make of God is finally a box: a cage, potentially an idol, from which the living God keeps breaking out. And if we try to keep God there, then God comes out with 'jealousy' to overturn our careful construction.The third commandment speaks against the management of God. To take God's name in vain is to make God useful to our projects and ourselves. We are wont to trivialize the truth of God and then disparage it for being trivial. We are told God's name in order to love this God, but loving God is not managing God but fearing [respecting] God. And with God, the attitudes of love and fear [respect] are not contradictory but complementary.
...heroes are sometimes the most ordinary -seeming people. It reminds us that as ordinary as we might be, we can, if we choose, take the harder road, walk forth bravely under the indifferent stars. We can hazard the ravages of chance. We can choose to endure what seems unendurable, and thereby open up the possibility of prevailing. We can awaken to the world as it is, and seeing it with eyes wide open, we can nevertheless embrace hope rather than despair.