Rarely do I send out parts of a full article, but here is a good example of seeing great qualities in someone who is struggling. No matter what someone seems to be tied up in, they have so much good in their minds and hearts. Find the good amidst the challenge!
“Charming is the Word for Alcoholics” By Fulton Oursler
Down at the very bottom of the social scale of AA society are the pariahs, the untouchables, and the outcasts, all known by one excoriating epithet-relatives.
Such is my considered opinion. As a journalist it has been my fortune to meet many of the people who are considered charming. I number among my friends stars, and lesser lights of stage and cinema; writers are my daily diet. I know the ladies and gentleman of both political parties; I have been entertained in the White House. I have broken bread with kings and ministers and ambassadors and I say after that catalog, which could be extended, that I would prefer an evening with my AA friends to any person or group of persons I have indicated.
I ask myself why I consider so charming these alcoholic caterpillars who have found their butterfly wings in Alcoholics Anonymous. There are more reasons than one, but I can name a few.
They are imaginative, and that helps to make them alcoholics. Some of them drank to flog their ambition on to greater efforts. The AA people are what they are, and they were what they were, because they are sensitive, imaginative, possessed of a sense of humor…
And they are possessed of a sense of universal truth. That is often a new thing in their hearts. The fact that this at-one-meant with God’s universe had never been awakened in them is sometimes the reason why they drank. The fact that it was at last awakened is almost always the reason why they were restored to the good and simple ways of life. Stand with them when the meeting is over, and listen while they say the “Our Father.” They have found a power greater than themselves which they diligently serve. And that gives them a charm that never was elsewhere on land or sea. It makes you know that God, Himself, is really charming, because the AA people reflect His mercy and His forgiveness.
Liberty Magazine© – 1940
Charles Fulton Oursler (January 22, 1893 – May 24, 1952) was an American journalist, playwright, editor and writer. Oursler grew up in Baltimore, the poor son of a city transit worker. His childhood passions were reading and stage magic. While still in his teens, he got a reporter’s job for the Baltimore American and married Rose Karger. They had two children, but the marriage ended in divorce.
He was Supervising Editor of the various magazines and newspapers published by Bernarr MacFadden from 1921-41. Macfadden urged him to drop the “Charles” from his name. He became editor of “Liberty” after Macfadden acquired it in 1931. Oursler left MacFadden Publications shortly after Bernarr MacFadden was ousted from the company and Ourler’s tenure with the company was continuous from 1921-41, except for a brief period following the success of “The Spider” (1928). In 1925, Oursler married Grace Perkins, who was a former actress, prodigious contributor to the Macfadden magazines. Several of her novels were made into films
Writing as Anthony Abbot, he was a notable author of mysteries and detective fiction. His well known works are “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “The Greatest Book Ever Written”, “A Skeptic in the Holy Land”, and “The Spider”.
“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity. Reduce selfishness, have few desires.” – Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu’s counsel helps us to keep life pure. If we are running from one activity to the next, we are missing serenity in our daily lives. If we are accumulating things, our lives are crowded by materialism. It can prevent us from being clear and free to receive new ideas.
Simplicity allows us to not be distracted. We focus on living a life well lived. We focus on spiritual qualities such as kindness and consideration, which allow our lives to serve others, and ourselves, with the highest good in mind.
The specific birthdate of Lao Tzu is unknown. Legends vary, but scholars place his birth between 600 and 300 B.C.E. Lao Tzu is attributed with the writing of the “Tao-Te Ching,” (tao—meaning the way of all life, te—meaning the fit use of life by men, and ching—meaning text or classic). Lao Tzu was not his real name, but an honorific given the sage, meaning “Old Master.” Lao Tzu’s wise counsel attracted followers, but he refused to set his ideas down in writing. He believed that written words might solidify into formal dogma. Lao Tzu wanted his philosophy to remain a natural way to live life with goodness, serenity and respect. Lao Tzu laid down no rigid code of behavior. He believed a person’s conduct should be governed by instinct and conscience.
“It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”
– Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman
Gifts and giving. We associate so much of that with happiness. Yet our one true Happiness is Loving Others. Oh that sweet presence to just be around those we cherish and feel at home with!
Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel laureate. He is known for his work in the psychology of decision-making. He was born in Tel Aviv, spent his childhood in France, and moved to Israel in the late 1940s. He studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and began his career as a lecturer there. Kahneman has published extensively in psychology, and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on prospect theory. He is currently on the faculty at Princeton.
A past article by fellow Fast Company blogger, Alicia Morga, advised: “Adopt the Cindy Crawford motto: no flaws…stick with the beauty of loving yourself and others.”
As Cindy Crawford says, “Never point out your flaws but do admit to your mistakes.”
What a powerful distinction. Cindy is an accomplished wife, mother, businesswoman, spokesperson and model. She’s demonstrated beauty in so many ways, specifically through her acumen, well-spoken manner, desire to make a beautiful life and home accessible to everyone, and most importantly, knowing that true lasting beauty starts and comes from within.
Beauty is about trusting yourself, appreciating your unique qualities, just as we should for other people. It’s one of our greatest age old wisdoms, to love your neighbor as yourself. And to love our neighbor as ourselves, we have to start with, yes, you and me.
So as Cindy advises…don’t point out areas of yourself that are weak. You might be working on those, and we all have areas of improvement. Do demonstrate your positive qualities of intellect, kindness, graciousness, honesty, selflessness. We recognize and celebrate these abundantly.
There will be a time, many times, when we all need to own up to mistakes or ways we can be better. Then we most assuredly, with rapid fire, should admit our mistake, and where necessary apologize. Part of our beauty is cultivating caring, honest, open relationships where we admit where we could have been better. With this admittance comes strength and a more beautifully enduring relationship with others — and ourselves.
Truth is beauty. We start with the Truth of what is good about us and others. We stay with that until we find a time when we need to admit where we fell down. And we avoid simply putting others, or ourselves, down at all.
Stick with the Beauty of loving yourself and others.
Cindy Crawford was a popular supermodel of the ’80s and ’90s. She has also been involved in fitness campaigns, and appeared in TV and movies. Since retiring from modeling in 2000, she has been working in beauty products and a home furnishings line. Her younger brother, Jeff, died of leukemia when Cindy was ten, and childhood leukemia has been a major focus of her charity work.
“Be prepared to fall in love all over again every day.”
– Michael J. Fox
This is true for every relationship. Whether it is your husband, partner, friend, calling in life, your labrador, or the beautiful sun we greet each day, be prepared… to fall in love again.
Appreciating all we have is the most wonderful, nurturing gift we can wrap for ourselves, others and the world. It envelops everything in the giftwrap of love.
Michael J. Fox is an actor and activist. He has appeared in iconic roles including Marty McFly in Back to the Future and Alex P. Keaton in the TV show Family Ties. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, revealing his condition publicly in 1998. Since then he has been a powerful activist promoting research for a cure. He has been married to actress Tracy Pollan since 1988, and they have four children. Fox is also the author of three books, including the memoir, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.
“Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.”
– John Wesley
John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of the Methodist movement, along with his brother Charles. Wesley went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and taught at Oxford’s Lincoln College. He preached in Georgia, and throughout England, giving over 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. One of Wesley’s best-known doctrines is that of “salvation by faith.” He also emphasized striving for “Christian Perfection,” where the believer lived by the love of God. He was engaged with social issues such as prison reform and the abolitionist movement. Methodism is now considered a separate denomination of Christianity, although in Wesley’s lifetime it was within the Anglican church. At the time of Wesley’s death, there were 135,000 Methodists; today, they number some 70 million.