I’m fortunate enough to have grown up with a very small vegetable garden that my parents maintained. We often ate vegetables for dinner from the garden, picked flowers, grew corn, potatoes, zucchini. We also had our “volunteer plants,” meaning seeds that happened to pop up, nurture themselves, and volunteer their wonderful offerings to us. Sometimes it might be a type of berry, a different tomato plant, or a flower.
Let’s encourage all the “volunteers” in our lives. Whether they be unexpected gifts, new people, or effortless events that pop up into our lives to help, inspire, or encourage us. Not everything has to be done through an act of will. Sometimes goodness shows up on its own… and we should embrace and be grateful for its welcome entrance into our lives…
Try to use all the natural light that comes to us from our earth. Green light is light from the sun, and not fluorescent bulbs.
In fact, I’d even go so far to say that what a wonderful world it would be if we operated based on when our day was light — and our night was dark. Our body rhythms would be in tune with this natural course of living. Perhaps light is sending us a message of when we should work, engage with people, and when we should sleep, rest, rejuvenate.
“When you learn something from people or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve that gift and to build on that gift.”
– Yo-Yo Ma
Appreciate the gifts people offer you…and thank them by passing on their gift to others, whether through appreciation, gratitude, love, recognition, sincerity. Life and music are about giving.
Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world’s most famous cellists, and has won multiple Grammy awards. Ma was born in Paris, though the family moved to New York when he was five. He comes from a musical family. His mother was a singer and his father was a violinist; his older sister is also a violinist. A child prodigy, Ma began playing the cello at age four, and performed for John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower at the age of seven. He attended Julliard at age nine, and went on to study at Harvard. He has performed with orchestras around the world, and has put out 75 albums. Ma currently plays with the Silk Road Ensemble; their goal is to bring together musicians from the countries which are historically linked by the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking southeast Asia through the Middle East to northern Africa and the Mediterranean coast of Europe.
“There are two types of people: those who see difficulty in every opportunity, and those who see opportunity in every difficulty.”
— Winston Churchill
Be, see, and live opportunity.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Noble Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. He was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. Churchill married Clementine Hozier in 1908 and had five children: Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold Frances, and Mary.
Every day you can make a step towards your goals. Every day you can be a kinder person. Every day, you can give and receive more love. Inhale the courage to do so, exhale any fear that is preventing you.
Thank goodness he struggled, persevered and progressed. It helped him, me and our entire world be fairer, more compassionate, and true in our relations with one another.
We all struggle. And we all face lovely times of hope and joy. That joy is indeed waiting for you, which aids all mankind.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping slavery, Douglass helped lead the abolitionist movement, acquiring a distinguished repertoire of his oratory and writing against slavery. He proved the slaveholders’ argument wrong in their claim that slaves did not possess the intellectual capacity to be independent American citizens. Douglass participated as an impressive player in changing history: rather than quietly living the rest of his life as a free man after escaping slavery, he risked that attainment to speak out for freedom and better treatment for all African Americans.