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When Autumn Darkness Falls

A Little Romance

When autumn darkness falls, what we will remember are the small acts of kindness: a cake, a hug, an invitation to talk, and every single rose. These are all expressions of a nation coming together and caring about its people.
Jens Stoltenberg

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A Call To Kindness

I have been considering something for a few weeks now:  A decision to learn how to sow kindness and  grace more fully.

 

We are exposed to so much that is crass, angry, hateful, prejudiced and just plain rude; it is time to build more noble things up.

 

My goal is to be a lady in the true sense of the word:  Someone who honors others for who they are.

I want to create a place of hospitality, where people are safe and free to be real.

 

Believe it or not, that does not mean accomodating the same sort of violent, crude speech we have become accustomed to using and hearing.  Instead, it calls people to a higher level.

 

Being a sower of kindness  means having real backbone and strength of character.  Such a person  takes a stand when that which is negative, unkind or hurtful is being expressed.  it means refraining from gossip and complaining, even when everybody around you seems to be joining the fray.

 

To promote grace, kindness and love is to be a leader instead of a follower.

 

Here are a few quotes to inspire you:

 

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
Audrey Hepburn

 

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
Confucius

 

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.
John Gerzema

 

As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.
Caroline Kennedy

 

First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be. We should watch our own gossiping and anger. We should model the kindness we want to see.
Brene Brown

 

The true greatness of a person, in my view, is evident in the way he or she treats those with whom courtesy and kindness are not required.
Joseph B. Wirthlin

 

The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
William Wordsworth

 

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Stephen Grellet

 

Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.
Mother Teresa

 

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.
Barbara De Angelis

 

One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all – to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.
Ezra Taft Benson

 

The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.
Charles Kuralt

 

Kindness is always fashionable, and always welcome.
Amelia Barr

 

I have understood that the most important things are tenderness and kindness. I can’t do without them.
Brigitte Bardot

 

When I pontificate, it sounds so, you know, Oh, well, she’s preaching. I’m not preaching, but I think maybe I learned it from my animal friends. Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself. I think that keeps you feeling young. I really do.
Betty White

 

Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.
Khalil Gibran

 

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
George Sand

 

One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.
Sophocles

 

I, for one, am profoundly grateful to feel the hand of God at work in my life. But at the beginning and end of the day, when my default setting is to show kindness and love to others, I never regret it. And to me, that is what faith is all about.
Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick

 

Deliberately seek opportunities for kindness, sympathy, and patience.
Evelyn Underhill

 

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 

Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused.
Tommy Lee Jones

 

It is still breathtaking to me to watch people bring love, preciousness and kindness to their inner world, allowing the light of God to shine through their eyes so that the beauty of their soul can come forth.
Debbie Ford

 

Heroes In a Troubled World

This morning, I heard a story on the BBC about a journalist who had spent a week on the MSF Dignity.  She told about the people being rescued and their hardships.  She said they rescued more than 500 people while she was on board.

 

I had heard of Doctors Without Borders, but had not given them much attention until this morning’s account.  I was truly inspired:  Here are people who are invested in rescuing, providing medical care and reaching out to ones in need, even when they are in very dangerous areas.
Here is part of a story I found at
http://www.msf.org/en/article/mediterranean-msf-assists-rescue-3000-people-single-day

 

30 August 2016
On 29 August, MSF search and rescue boat Dignity I contributed to the rescue of around 3,000 people drifting in about 20 rubber dinghies and several wooden boats in the central Mediterranean, one of which carried between 600 and 700 people.

“This is one of the largest numbers of people we have assisted in any single day since our search and rescue operations began over a year ago,” says Nicholas Papachrysostomou, field coordinator for Dignity I. “This unbelievable number speaks to the desperation people are facing in their countries that pushes them to risk their lives to seek safety and protection in Europe.” The Dignity I boat can hold a standard capacity of 400 people, yet due to the extreme situation yesterday MSF boarded 435 men, women, and children. For the other people in distress, MSF distributed all of their stock of 700 life jackets and used our RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) in order to transfer as many people as possible to other search and rescue vessels in the area.

“We have a remarkable story of rescuing twins who were premature babies delivered at eight months and were five days old,” says Antonia Zemp, medical team leader. “The mother was traveling alone. One of the boys was not well. He was vomiting, had hypothermia and was non-reactive. After a first triage, our medical team decided to request an evacuation due to the fact that his health was so fragile that he would not have survived the long journey to Italy in our boat. We transferred both mother and twins to another vessel that could evacuate them to shore.”

MSF’s medical teams treated people who were exhausted and experiencing bloody diarrhoea, dehydration, fever, hypothermia and skin diseases. Of the 435 people rescued by Dignity I, 353 were male and 82 female. This included 13 children under five years of age and 110 minors, 92 of which were unaccompanied.

Currently, Dignity I is heading to Vibo Valentia, Italy in order to disembark the 435 people on board. It will return to sea as soon as the boat has been restocked to continue its search and rescue operations.
Since 21 April 2016, when MSF’s search and rescue operations began this year, MSF teams on board the Dignity I, Bourbon Argos and Aquarius (in partnership with SOS Mediterranée) have rescued a total of 11,365 people in 85 different rescue operations.

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At a time when we hear so much negative “stuff,” it is refreshing to consider people who are excelling at doing good in the world.

May you be warmed and inspired by this story.

 

These are only snapshots of what Doctors Without Borders do.  If you search for articles an dvids, you will find many.  Here is one that tells a bit more:

 

“A Day On the Front Line”

A LONG, RICH HISTORY

Eastern Oregon and the surrounding areas were havens for Native Americans. Many of these tribes, including the Nez Perce, Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Shoshone, would spend their summers in the bountiful Grande Ronde Valley, where they would forage, hunt, fish, and bathe in hot springs. Tribes that may have been hostile toward each other would live together harmoniously in the “Valley of Peace”.

 

The Astor Expedition passed through the valley in 1811; then it became a waypoint along the Oregon Trail for people headed to the Willamette Valley.  Every traveler who left a record of passing through the area spoke about it with favor.
Well, almost…

 

This lovely place was also the home of the largest “Used Oxen Dealership” on the Oregon trail.

It was an especially important part of that historic route, from the 1840s up until the Civil War broke out. Once an emigrant party had made it to the Grande Ronde Valley, it had straggled across hundreds of miles of the Great Plains, crossed the Continental Divide in Wyoming and thrashed through hundreds more miles of the Rocky Mountains and the blistering, arid Snake River Desert in Idaho – throughout which they were constantly fighting off attacks by hostile native tribes. By the time a party got to this tiny, fertile valley, it was typically pretty played-out.

 

This was more applicable to the animals than the people. After all, the people could rest when they needed to, sitting on the wagon while the oxen dragged it up yet another mountain pass. Exhausted from their ordeal, severely under weight and unhealthy from lack of suitable food, the oxen could not be helped by the pioneers.  What they needed was a long period of pasturing and rest.  That’s where the Native Americans in the region could help … for a fee.

 

The Nez Pierce, Cayuse, Walla Walla and Umatilla tribes had no use for oxen, except maybe for the occasional bad winter when better meats were unavailable. But they quickly figured out that they could make a lot of money on them.

 

These tribes would take skinny, exhausted draft animals off the emigrants’ hands for, basically, 50 percent of their value. Then they’d equip the party with fresh draft animals, ones purchased from immigrants during the previous travel season, and send them on their way to the Willamette Valley another 300 miles or so of Blue Mountains, Cascade Range and terrifying river voyages still ahead before the parties would get there.

 

The Native Americans made good money with his business venture.  Pioneers didn’t always like it, but they needed the fresh animals and the Grande Ronde Used Oxen Dealership” was the only shop in town.

“The Nez Pierce can beat a Yankee peddler in a trade,” one exasperated – and out-of-pocket – emigrant groused.

 

Early pioneers chose not to settle in Eastern Oregon, perhaps because they were intent upon reaching the Willamette Valley, it was too far from a supply base, or they feared the Native Americans in the area.

 

The first permanent settlement in the Grande Ronde Valley was established in 1861 byBenjamin Brown, an Englishman who had originally settled in Michigan.
Not long after, the Leasey family and about 20 others settled there. Serving as a travelers inn, the settlement was originally named Brown’s Fort, and then Browns Town or Brownsville.  Since there was already a Brownsville in Linn County, the name was changed to La Grande.

 

Early settlements were in the more arable northern parts of the valley, because the southern end had more alkaline soil.  It was also often swampy and subject to flooding. In 1862, Conrad Miller settled the opposite side of the valley. This settlement grew into the city of Union, the second largest community in the Grande Ronde Valley.  Island City, Cove, and Summerville were not far behind.

 

Many factors contributed to the growth of the valley. Some of these were the continuing presence of emigrants from the Oregon Trail, and the discovery of gold mines in the surrounding area:  Baker in 1861 and the Powder River Mines in 1862.

 

The name Grande Ronde means “great circle,” and this productive area, the second largest enclosed valley in the world, does indeed contain much of Union County’s economy, including nearly $100 million in annual agricultural sales, a figure that has doubled since 2001. Small towns like Cove, Island City, and Union, and the county seat, La Grande, depend on this economy to support local businesses, while visitors since the days of the Oregon Trail have marveled at the valley’s unique beauty.

 

In honor of this long, rich heritage, I offer this poem:

 

Great and lovely valley,
Filled with so much life:
Cougars, deer, elk, eagles
Crops, forest, livestock;
Place of fullness.

 

Seasons chase each other,
From hottest to cold:
Summer heat to bright fall;
Snow to rains in spring;
Ever changing.

 

Small towns, farms and woodlands
Make a giant quilt,
Looking down from high peaks,
Surrounding the land
Where quiet lives.

 

Place where native peoples
Hunted and foraged;
Laid down hostilities,
Lived in harmony;
Valley of peace.
(First posted on September 3, 2014)
REFERENCES:
1.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Ronde_Valley
2.  https://www.friends.org/trail/granderonde
3.  http://www.offbeatoregon.com/H0912d_GrandRonde.htm

WHAT DID HIPPOCRATES KNOW!

Hippocrates was born c. 460 bc , island of Cos, Greece.  He died c. 375 , Larissa, Thessaly.  He was the most famous ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicin.
Here are some quotes from him.  Given our current knowledge, how would you say he did?

 

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.
Walking is man’s best medicine.
Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.
There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
Life is short, the art long.
Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
Everything in excess is opposed to nature.
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I’d say he did quite well.
It’s amazing, how ancient wisdom turns out to be right on!

AMERICA IS GREAT…ALREADY AND STILL

Trump’s campaign Slogan:”Make America Great Again.”

There is a gigantic assumption in this statement:  America isn’t great.
Who says she isn’t?  Who gets to determine that?

I say America is as great as her people!  I say we determine that, not someone trying to get elected!
If we have problems, we get to solve them.  Any lack of greatness is up to us; it’s not China’s fault; it isn’t those “bad Mexicans” who come here looking for work and do the jobs caucasions refuse to do.

There are simple things that every American can do to make this nation even greater than it already is:

1.  Take care about who you listen to.
There is an old assumption that news organizations are objective and report without bias.  Not so.  First, they are run by people who have their own bents, just like the rest of us.  Next, they are owned by corporations who have invested interests in what gets said and how.  That it’s on the news doesn’t make it accurate or true.

2.  Build on what is good and right.
If you look for one positive thing each day – an accomplishment, an act of kindness, something built, a difficulty overcome, you will find it.  Celebrate; find a way to build on it in your own life and community.
When you meet someone whose attitude and demeaner exudes positivity, highlight and mimic it.  If you are that person, thank you.  Keep spreading the cheer.

3.  Look for solutions.
Complaining tears down.  It digs the hole deeper.
Finding a solution brings light and healing.

4.  See to your own self.
Or as my father used to say, “Tend to your own knitting.”
Blaming also tears down.  It promotes anger, bitterness, feelings of powerlessness and chronic dissatisfaction.
If you create or find just one small part of the solution to a challenge, you become a hero.  You build something strong and good.
Each of us is responsible for choices and behavior; no one else makes us think, feel or do anything.  Take that responsibility and run with it!  Use it to build a great life.

5.  A great nation begins with great individuals; build in your own life and community.
If you are concerned about unemployment, find a way to get just one person back into the work force.
If literacy is on your heart, teach adults to read or spend some time reading to children.  IF this isn’t for you, buy some books.
If the matters of food and shelter concern you, donate to the local food program or shelter.  If you have the time, energy and inclination, volunteer.
You get my point:  Do your part!

The wonderful thing about all of these suggestions is, you don’t have to have a pile of money!  Anyone from the most wealthy to the most impoverished can join in making a stronger America..or England, Cameroon, South Africa, Australia, …

America is great; let’s make her even stronger!