Monday, February 11, 2013

And I Knew

Met a man today
Lying in the street
His clothes were tattered
He'd nothing to eat
But he looked at me
With a smile so sweet
And I knew that he was special

Met a woman today
On a bench in the park
Her shopping cart empty
Her future rather stark
But she looked at me
With eyes that held a spark
And I knew that she was special

Met a child today
Face pressed against a pane
His clothes soaking wet
As he stood out in the rain
But he looked at me
With a love he couldn't feign
And I knew that he was special

Met a person today
That I've known for years
For the first time, though
I could see through her fears
And she looked at me
With a smile in spite of tears
And I knew that I was special

Compassion is for everyone and that includes you! Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 10-16, Be kind to others – be kind to yourself .....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Four-One-One on God

What is the process by which we find out more about something? Nowadays it is an extension of our fingertips. Technology and information is a click away. A nano-pause and a blink. Presto. You now have thousands of references directly in the palm of your hand.

A few years back it involved a trip to the library or, at the very least, a walk to the living room to fact check in the family's proudly displayed Encylopaedia Britannica or World Book Encyclopedia. Often friends didn't own such a splendid set of reference books and had to make an appointment to borrow one of the coveted volumes. Some families insisted that the friend conduct their research right then and there. The books never left the house.

Yet, if you go back even further, back to a time when books were limited and computers, handheld devices and the like did not exist, what was the path to enlightenment? How did one glean information, gain knowledge on any one topic? What was de rigeur when fact finding, discovering or verifying? How did one conduct any sort of research?

The 4-1-1 of the Physical World
Once upon a time, people had to physically search out answers to their questions: What happens when you reach the horizon, what determines gender, is there a God? These were big questions and, while some have been well researched and absolutely determined at this point in time, others still  remain a mystery – a mystery because the physical world does not reveal all.

Magellan and Elcano circumnavigated the globe back in the 6th century. It was a practical, hands-on experiment that did not go awry! It proved to the world that the earth was a sphere, not a plane that abruptly ended. Miescher, Watson and Crick all played a prominent role in the discovery of DNA. DNA is responsible for identifying, among other things, gender.

Listen to Your Left Chevron Three
But what about God? Is there an answer? Does God exist? Probably the biggest, deepest, most mystical, spiritual, unanswerable question ever posed. Who among us has the answer?

Quoted Charles M. Schultz, "I know the answer! The answer lies within the heart of all mankind! The answer is twelve? I think I'm in the wrong building." 

Mr. Schultz juxtaposed a profound thought with a side note of humor, buffering a serious and long researched subject that continues to baffle humankind. Yet the answer is partially revealed in this quote. All of life and its contents are researched in the physical world. To find the intangibles one must look within. Note that Mr. Schultz states, "within the heart of all mankind." It is collaborative, not singular. Perhaps this is a little hint of a major find – we are all connected.

"God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animal and thinks in man." 
                                                                                                               – Arthur Young

You might question Mr. Schultz's authority on this topic, but you cannot ignore the fact that until Magellan successfully circumnavigated the globe, there existed no prior proof of his capabilities. However, he was able to manifest a result in the physical world. How do we receive a definitive answer to the question, "Does God exist?" And if you question Mr. Schultz's significance in this discussion, and rightly you should, where is there some combined spiritual and scientific research that gives even the tiniest glimpse into the most profound question of all time? Certainly a cartoonist cannot and does not hold the key to the question of all time?

"The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth."       – Peter Abelard

There are many books on this subject, however, one stands out brightly among the rest. You might try picking up a copy of Uell S. Andersen's Three Magic Words. I highly recommend it as one of the foremost tomes on this topic. He reveals a wealth of insight into the 4-1-1 on God. While a definitive answer does not lie behind door number one, two or three, this book offers some very profound thoughts and concepts on the subject. It's a good place to start your own spiritual conquest.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love on a Budget

You don't have to hire a sky-writer to announce your feelings to the world for that one special person in the world to you. You can write a note on a post-it. It is small. It is intimate. It is personal. It is real. It is your commitment. It is in your own words and needn't be shared with anyone else. Take poetic license. It is your message of love. It can be scribbled across a napkin and tucked into a lunchbox. It is your choice, your creation, your declaration. It is your vow.

You needn't buy the biggest bouquet of flowers to express your love for another. You can pick one buttercup from a field. You can place one dandelion in a pickle jar. You can draw flowers on a scratchpad. You can tell your beloved that her face is prettier than an English countryside filled with blushing pink roses.

You can compliment your beloved's perfume or the scent of her hair, freshly washed, stepping out of a shower. You can inhale her essence and tell her how you take comfort in knowing that she shares it with you and you only.

The biggest heart-shaped box of chocolates cannot replace the sweetness of a gesture, meaningful compliment or act of kindness. One crimson-colored lipstick heart, lovingly drawn on the bathroom mirror, goes far beyond any store bought trinket, for it speaks of what is in your heart not what is in your wallet. One homemade, pink icing-covered cupcake is as sweet as an entire box of chocolates. It is baked with love. It is the secret ingredient. You can taste it.

As February 14th approaches, think about what you are feeling and how you care to express your feelings: with words, acts of kindness, in writing or in silent companionship. Then think about this ... there are 364 more days in the year. February 14th is just one of them. One day to express love and devotion to another. Love on a budget need never end. The well does not run dry. It is full. It is available. It is real. It quenches love's thirsty needs. Drink with gusto from the well of true feelings. Share your well with your special one. True love does not rely on a swollen bank account. Love on a budget is grand. Love on a budget is special.