Denise Wilson: Bus Drive Extraordinaire

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video credit: USA Today

 

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Kristopher Hudson: Always Encourage Others

Christopher_Hudson

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video credit: USA Today

 

Extend Your Hand, Don’t Point It

ANCHORAGE — Kenyada Waters was driving through town when she noticed a man on the side of the road. He was holding up a cardboard sign that read, “Laid off 2 long. Anything helps.” Waters noticed all of the cars in front of her drove right past him.

Something in her told her to stop and hear his story.

The man introduced himself as Richard and explained his situation. He told her how he’s been a tree-trimmer for nearly 20 years but found himself down on his luck after getting laid off.

Richard said his cellphone was cut off because he ran out of money. Standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign was his last resort. He told Waters that people would drive by him and yell out, “Get a job you stupid, lazy bum!” Richard told Waters that he had submitted over 20 job applications but since his phone was turned off, he wasn’t able to hear back.

Waters says his story inspired her to help. She decided to pay for two months’ worth of cellphone service for him. “This man cried in AT&T!” Waters said.

As soon as his phone powered back on, there was a job opportunity waiting for him in his text message log.

“It might be you one day!” Waters wrote on a GoFundMe page she has set up for Richard.

“Extend your hand don’t point it!”

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This story originally appeared in USA Today:

Mr. Joe

Mr_Joe_2

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video credit: USA Today

 

A Christmas Candle

Christmas_Candle

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away.
–Eva Logue

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Thank you to each and every of my online friends and colleagues. You are special people in my world. May the joy and peace of Christmastime be your special companion this holiday season and throughout the coming new year.  —Paul Mark Sutherland

 

original graphic credit: unknown

Thank Yourself

A Very Personal Act Of Thanksgiving

To achieve a life of success, no matter how you define it, gratitude is imperative …we all know this. But, our gratitude must also extend to our self. It’s easy for us to forget that. We shouldn’t.

Like me, you may have heard people express regrets as they approach the winter of their years about their shortcomings and failures. Often they are disappointed that their lives didn’t quite turn out they way they had planned, had expected, or had hoped. Most of us enter adulthood full of ideas, spirit, energy, and grand intentions. It seems at the time that we are eternal, if not immortal.

We eventually discover, however, that while life can be fun and engaging, it also becomes progressively more challenging when dealing with finances, careers, families, responsibilities, losses, and so much more. Most of us do an admirable job navigating the changes and challenges. We work hard and do what we feel is the right thing. We set goals and lay out life plans, but often find it increasingly more difficult to stay on track. We find that the years pass faster than we imagined they could. We learn to grow with our years and deal with our tears. Maybe we feel that we will never be able to make the mark that we had planned.

As I write this, the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus”comes to mind. As Mr. Holland, portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss, approaches the end of his career, seemingly disappointed with his mundane accomplishments in work and life, he is presented with evidence that his work ethic and compassion over the years have made a mark much more meaningful than he thought. This opus ends with quite a crescendo.  (If per chance you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend that you do. It is a very moving and uplifting film.)

No matter what you have achieved in life …or haven’t, Max Ehrman, author of “Desiderata,” penned a poem called “A Prayer” that makes it a bit easier for us to accept ourselves for who we are, and to thank ourselves for our efforts in life.

Enjoy, and please do be thankful to yourself for yourself.

A  PRAYER
by Max Ehrman

Let me do my work each day;
And if the darkened hours of despair overcome me,
May I not forget the strength that comforted me
In the desolation of other times.

May I still remember the bright hours that found me
Walking over the silent hills of my childhood,
Or dreaming on the margin of the quiet river,
When a light glowed within me,
And I promised my early God to have courage
Amid the tempests of the changing years. 

Spare me from bitterness
And from the sharp passions of unguarded moments.
May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit.

Though the world knows me not,
May my thoughts and actions be such
As shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift my eyes from the earth,
And let me not forget the uses of the stars.
Forbid that I should judge others,
Lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world,
But walk calmly in my path.

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am;
And keep ever burning before my vagrant steps
The kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me,
And I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams,
Teach me still to be thankful for life,
And for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet;
And may the evening’s twilight find me gentle still.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all. (even  if it’s not a holiday for you today)  🙂

 

 

Paris Open Doors

Paris residents warmed the Internet’s collective heart Friday night by using the hashtag #PorteOuverte, or “open door,” to offer shelter to strangers left stranded after at least six deadly attacks sent the city into chaos. A few hours later, people across the U.S. returned the favor with a hashtag of their own: #StrandedinUS.

PARIS

The hashtag #StrandedinUS began trending overnight Friday into Saturday with offers from Americans willing to help Parisians having trouble making their way back home due to airline cancellations or delays. People offered up beds, couches and hot meals to French nationals in need.

Those having trouble making their way back to France were also encouraged to use the hashtag to ask for help.

 

graphic credit: unknown, information credit: NBC News