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

 

Special Bikes for Special Kids by a Special Man

Bicycles and tricycles for special needs children have adaptations like foot straps, torso supports and adjustable parts. They cost from $800 to $5,000, said Andrew McLindon, 53, founder of the foundation.

Over seven years, the McLindon Family Foundation has given away adaptive tricycles to children in nine states, helping them feel the independence and freedom of riding a bike.

McLindon’s love of bicycles led him to give away adaptive bikes. After success with the commercial construction company he started in 1989, he added auxiliary businesses that became Mainspring Companies, a group of construction, maintenance and real estate development enterprises.

[MORE]

Enjoy!

 

A Pizza and A Coke

Pizza_Cop

Both gentlemen may have slept a bit more contented that evening,
but likely for different reasons.

I’m reminded of the poem “Don’t Find Fault”

Don’t find fault with the man who limps
    or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes that he wears,
    or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
    though hidden away from view
Or burdens he bears placed on your back,
    might cause you to stumble too.

Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today,
    unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall, or felt the same way,
    that only the fallen know.
You may be strong,
    but yet the blow that was his, if dealt to you
In the self-same way, or at the self-same time,
    might cause you to stagger, too.

Don’t be harsh with the man who sins,
    or pelt him with words or stone,
Unless you are sure-yes doubly sure,
    that you have no sins of your own
For you know, perhaps, if the tempter’s voice
    should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him, when he went astray,
    it would cause you to falter, too.

-Author Unknown

 

Enjoy!

 

Homeless Man Gives Beyond His Means

A community in British Columbia is feeling warm and fuzzy after a homeless man’s generosity inspired residents not once but twice over the past two weeks. First, the unidentified man with little to his name found a suitcase with $2,000 in it on a street in Victoria, but turned over the cash to police believing it was “the right thing to do,” authorities tell the CBC.

As the story spread, Mike Kelly of website Victoria Buzz began fundraising to help the guy out and donations flooded in, totaling $5,000—including $255 donated by kids who’d opened a lemonade stand, CTV News reports. But finding the Langford man in his 60s proved difficult. “It’s not easy tracking down a person of no fixed address and no phone, but I kept trying,” says officer Alex Bérubé. “I was touched by the story.”

After hours of searching on and off the clock, Bérubé finally found him on Monday and told him of the money that was his if he wanted it; he didn’t. “Instead of asking how to collect it, he asked me how to donate it” to a local homeless shelter, Our Place, and other food service providers for homeless people, Bérubé says.

Officers told the man to think over his decisiLangford_Letteron, but when he visited a police branch thenext day, his choice was the same. In a handwritten letter, he described his intentions for the money—though he also made one small, additional request: He asked for a job. Kelly says he plans “to do everything I can to help find him a job that fits his personal situation” and is soliciting help.

Enjoy!

This story originally appeared in Newser:
http://www.newser.com/story/208928/homeless-man-turns-down-5k-in-exchange-for-this.html

More:
http://www.gofundme.com/x2y2ajk

http://www.victoriabuzz.com/homeless-man-who-turned-in-over-2000-asks-victoria-buzz-to-help-find-him-a-job/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/homeless-man-who-turned-in-2k-refuses-fundraising-cash-1.3127636

http://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/310574571.html

 

Peace Amid Chaos

I doubt taking care of toddlers is part of police training, or is it? First responders must continually assess and make split second decisions while on the job. Some even go beyond what is required (a lot, probably). That is what officer Nick Struck did for a family and a little girl he didn’t know when he responded to a fatal automobile accident.

 

story credit: USA Today / KUSA

Teenage Compassion – What Goes Around Comes Around

What a beautiful and touching story of giving.

Teenage_Compassion

Enjoy!

 

story credit: WMUR

 

Former Viking Randy Moss Shows Up At H.S. Graduation

A long journey for one Pelican Rapids, MN High School student reached a milestone Friday night. And former NFL star Randy Moss was there to see it. Moss surprised many in Pelican Rapids by appearing at the graduation ceremony. Moss’ reason for being there was to hand a high school diploma to senior Kassi Spier, said Pelican Rapids Public School District Superintendent Deb Wanek.

Spier developed a friendship with Moss during his playing days with the Minnesota Vikings. Wanek said Spier battled leukemia in her youth. Then, in 2004, Spier’s father died in a car accident. And in 2013, Spier was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Yet through it all, she managed to graduate, and Moss wasn’t going to miss seeing it.

“She’s had many struggles in her life, and he’s been there for her,” Wanek said. “He told her he’d be at her high school graduation.”

An Associated Press story in 2003 mentioned that Spier befriended Moss during his rookie season of 1998, when Moss took the NFL by storm with 1,313 receiving yards and 17 touchdown catches. The story describes how Spier in 2003 followed Moss to lunch nearly every day during the team’s training camp that summer in Mankato, with “her tiny hand tucked inside his.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press also published a story around that time regarding the friendship between Moss and Spier. It describes how Moss in September 2000 visited Spier, then a 4-year-old, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester after her leukemia diagnosis. Spier told the Pioneer Press that Moss had a hard time saying goodbye during that visit. “He cried because he didn’t want to leave,” she said at the time.

Wanek didn’t know that Moss would be at the graduation ceremony until shortly before it started. “We had heard there was a possibility,” she said. “But we didn’t know.”

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 Enjoy!

story credit: Inforum/Hayden Goethe

 

A Rose For Mother

A_Rose_For_Mother

Enjoy!

A Rose for Mother
by Cleo M. Shoffstall

Another Mother’s Day is here,
Bringing joy and pleasures new,
On this special day, Mother dear,
I want to remember you.

I cannot give you costly gifts,
And I’ve told you this before,
No matter what I give to you,
You give back much, much more.

I’m giving you a pure, sweet rose,
Gathered in the early morn,
This rose you planted in my heart,
The day that I was born.

In kindly, loving thoughts of you,
And with the faith you still impart,
The rose I give to you today,
Is the love that’s in my heart.