Thursday, August 26, 2010

People - Less Frustration

So many changes are happening - almost daily, and sometimes every moment these days.  Many blame it on the computer and it's demand on our time, but I think we all like the anonymous way we can sometimes link with others online.  Many of us pay bills online - there are no more face to face with the people at the phone company!  We don't even write checks, we do it at the bank site or our creditor's sites.   Speaking of phone sites, who still has land lines these days with all the cell phones out there?

We've become disengaged in so many ways...but is it really because of the computer and all the technology?  For me the choice to be a techie and people person in much of my life is as balanced as I can make it.

Because of all the disengagement in my own world these days, I really try to be more involved with the people around me and do something that is almost unheard of here - I talk to people in line at the supermarket.  We all know that  we wait in all sorts of lines these days at places like Walmart.  While waiting you have a choice of how you spend that time in line - you can stand and day dream, get hot under the collar, or you can do what I choose to do.  I spend that wasted time getting to know those who are held captive with me.  It keeps me happy, and can often diffuse a tension-filled line at the check-out.

So what do you do?  Are you a friend-maker in line?  How do you handle that hurry-up-and-wait time?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Special Find

I enjoy used book sales, and our library has one every year in the bowels of the building that seems to be overflowing with tables that only really attempt to contain the mountains of books they have to sell.  This year I went from room to room, and table to table enjoying the feel, the smell, and of course the many titles that were there for perusing and buying.  To me, a book is alive with the thoughts and friends that people the flat worlds on its pages and I enjoy the discoveries I make at events like this one.

There were three books I picked up while getting to know some of the toms that leaned together on those tables to make a part of my very small collection (I haven't much room, so I have to truly love a book to make it part of my family.).  One of the books was a small gem that I know I'll be quoting from for a long time.

Leo Buscaglia was a college professor who was loved by his students, and also by the many viewers who got to share in his lectures that were taped and shown on PBS stations around the country during their pledge drives over the years.  Known as Dr. Hug, he spread a message of by stepping out of yourself and really getting involved with people you come in contact with, as well as with life itself.

He touched my own life through those lectures.  I use to watch them in the middle of the night during pledge drives from my local PBS station.  Often repeated over the years, those lectures were absorbed and loved by many who saw his message as totally opposite of what we're hearing from leaders now so many years later.  Today, we are told that this group is evil, or that group is out to get us.  Maybe so...but how does that kind of fear help us, or change anything?  Reaching out from your heart is the ONLY way to change lives and often times that can cost you everything, but it also can change everything.

Leo caught me unaware in the depths of a nasty part of my life and changed the way I look at the world, and live in it.  I can honestly say that it changed the way I look at the people around me every single day.  When I began to read this tiny book called Papa, My Father, I was once again drawn in by how the man lived his life, what he said, and how he used examples from his own family to tell a story about what is really important in life.  I laughed and giggled in parts, and did more than just feel like crying in others.  He often would cut his own life open so you could see everything.  It was the way he shared what gifts he had to give to the world.

I finished the book yesterday and the last few lines in one of the last chapters have become my own life's mantra.  Words on a page are nothing until you somehow chew on them a while, and digest and find that warm glow of life from them for your own life.

A Code For Life
by Dr. Leo Buscaglia
Dance, sing and laugh a lot.
All things are related.
Don't waste time trying to reason with pain, suffering, life, and death.
An animated person animates the world.
Find a quiet place for yourself.
Don't ever betray yourself.
Birth and death are part of a cycle.  Neither begins or ends with you.
Stay close to your God.
It's crucial to love.
Idealism is strength, not a weakness.
People are good if you give them a chance to be.
Discrimination, for any reason, is wrong.
Self-respect is essential for life.
Except in the eyes of God, people are not created equal, so we are 
       all responsible for those who can't help themselves.
Cruelty is a sign of weakness.
Commitment and caring are the basic ingredients of love.
Love is indestructible and therefore the most powerful human force.
Change is inevitable.
People who think they know it all can be dangerous.

I know my motto is a bit long, but I think it really says it all.

Thanks for the reminder, Leo.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vicious Attacks Happening Right in Your Own Backyard

Is anyone else fed up with the vicious attacks that are occurring these days?  You know those attacks flying to and fro between the Republican or Democrat running for office in your area?  To differentiate themselves they are really getting nasty these days.  That's not totally true...but this year there is little respect for each other and besides the normal rantings and ravings there has been a bit of smear campaign going on here - even AFTER the election.

I do so detest all things political.  There is little truth in any political ad, and they never tell you how they're going to fill the job requirements for whatever office they are aspiring to attain.  I really want to ask each of them to give me their actual qualifications and why they would have the qualities necessary to fill the job.

I believe that the pack of them are simply enjoying running us into the ground simply to satisfy a need to dominate their world, and ours.  We  really need a few real people with real jobs to get into those offices and remind them that those normal, wealthy representatives and senators haven't a clue what life is like down here among we average citizens...that my friends is a very sad fact to face just after any kind of election.