“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.” — Kahlil Gibran
What a beautiful quote from Kahlil Gibran, a philosopher and leader who was so conscious of living in tune with nature, our feelings and our sincerest intentions.
Gibran was born in Lebanon in 1883 and emigrated to the United States as a young man. He is best known for his work of philisophical essays, The Prophet. He is the third best-selling poet in the world, after Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu–excellent company to be in!
Heartfelt advice is such wonderful wealth. And it’s even more meaningful when it’s in a letter, which someone took the time to write, and shape with their own beautiful language, handwriting and style.
This is one of my favorites, between a father and a son. John Steinbeck wrote to his son about the meaning of love. I really don’t need to say anything else.
Enjoy this sincere, kind wisdom. I almost feel its warmth emanating from the page…of care, of experience, of hope, of trust. May we all trust love.
“Love…is an outpouring of everything good in you–of kindness, and consideration and respect–not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable…[This] can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had…And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens–the main this is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”— John Steinbeck, to his son Thom
John Steinbeck was a Nobel Prize-winning author, whose most famous works include The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck’s works often address social issues such as ecology, cultural standards and the condition of laborers.
Jainism is a group that believes we should leave barely a footprint on this earth. They believe in gentility, kindness, and care for every living creature. It’s even to the extent of not eating root vegetables, because pulling up the roots makes the plant die. Jains honor every living thing.
Founded in a similar time frame as Buddhism, Jainism primarily existed in Hindu parts of India. In the present day it is a small but powerful minority among the world’s religions, with some 4 million followers in India and growing communities elsewhere in the world. A few core beliefs of Jainism include that every living being has a soul; non-violence is the path to right thinking; attachment to possessions should be limited, and one’s life should be lived to be useful to others.
May we be gentle, respectful and observant of the preciousness of life in all its form.
A person is fully human “when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.”
G.K. Chesterton certainly let us know what we need to focus on: joy. And what a life force it is! We don’t realize how much our thoughts impact us, our minds, our actions, our responses. And therefore how it affects others’ minds, actions, and responses. He also points to the vapidness of negative thinking. What can it do, how can it build? It only tears down. And so we should, as best as possible, obliterate it from thought.
We can contribute so much in this world. It starts with our thoughts; it starts right now; and that joy can carry us to an entirely different level of harmonious living.
Thank you to Gilbert Keith Chesterton for such wonderful advice. G.K. was a profound English writer of the 20th century who contributed across philosophy and poetry, as well as fiction. Two of his best known works are Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. He also wrote a weekly column in The London Illustrated News for thirty years. He was known for his incredible intellect, desire to decrease political divisions, and strong reasoning skills.
I am one of those fortunate people who did not need to board a flight this past holiday. My family is local: My parents live 45 minutes away on the Peninsula, and my sister, brother-in-law and three nephews and niece live about 1 mile from my parents.
That’s truly been a joy for me, the simple presence of family. Being able to babysit last minute; experiencing the chaos of taking care of kids during ‘meltdown time’ at 5 pm with a 6, 4 and 1 year old when they were growing up ; celebrating their progress on their soccer field; scootering with them to ice cream on a warm summer night, after dinner.
Why do we allow ourselves to live apart? Why is it so accepted?
I know I am fortunate. Sometimes people have to move because of marriage. A new job. Taking care of an elderly parent. All very legitimate reasons which contribute to family, and yet, also separate…
In a recent Gallup Poll, 16% of the world said they would like to move to another country. This comes from both dire situations (such as Somalia) to the desire for luxury or adventure. But in one region the rates are lower than Europe and America: Asia. Due to progress in political freedoms and enhanced economic opportunities, many Asians are staying put: Only 10% desire to move. But there’s another factor as well: Close family ties, and a cultural commitment to taking care of family, keeps the desire to move low.
Let’s learn, if we are so fortunate, from this cultural and familial commitment to keep family close…
“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” –David Hawkins
Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.
We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper. When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side? When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend? Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list. When you receive a box of a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts. Let’s think creatively about our trees…