One For My Sister

The hospital I worked in during my stay in Swaziland sits atop the beautiful and very steep Lebombo Mountains. In this part of the world people often have to walk 40 kilometers or more in order to see a doctor.

As you can imagine there are many people in the community who are simply too sick or too poor to get to a hospital. This is where home-based care comes in. The home-based care team consists of several nurses who jump into a small truck/van every morning and travel out to the community to tend to the health needs of the truly destitute.

Before I went out with the team I used to buy potatoes and carrots and apples to give to the people we met – because health care in Africa is often just as much about the provision of food as it is about medicine. I would always make sure I also bought a bag of sweets to give to the beautiful children we would meet out in the community. I have learned that sweets are one of the great unifiers in the human world – we might look different and speak different languages – but most of us – especially the young ones – love sweets!

One day we stopped at one of the 15,000 orphan-led households in Swaziland. Inside the hut we found a beautiful little girl with huge brown eyes. Her name was Tanzile. I gave her a sweet from my bag and she said something back to me in Si-swati, the native language, which the nurse next to me translated:

“She wants another one doctor – to give to her little sister.”

I said “of course” and gave her another. After we had tended to a man with tuberculosis a bit further down the road, we passed by Tanzile’s house to say goodbye. To our surprise she seemed to be holding on to that extra sweet I had given her.

I remember saying to the nurse “this little darling is clever – she has taken two for herself. If I was her I’d probably have asked for the whole bag!” But after the nurse had asked her some more questions this is what we learned:

Tanzile is 7 now. Two years ago when she was five her mum and dad both died of HIV/AIDS like so many have in this country. At the time of her parents tragic death, she was separated from her baby sister who was three at the time. Tanzile has not laid eyes on her since. But ever since that time, whenever Tanzile receives anything from anyone, including food, – she refuses to accept it, unless they give her two. Two carrots, two toys, two sweets – one for her and one for her baby sister (who in all likelihood didn’t survive.)

In fact, in the little mud hut where she lives, we found a pile of old things which she has been collecting to give to her sister one day.

My friends, people sometimes look at faces of African children or kids in the developing world and think that they are somehow different than our kids – that somehow they dont feel pain or sadness or love. But that is not true. Their pain is deep. And so is their love.

I can still remember the nurse trying to convince her that “if someone gives you food Tanzile, you must accept it – even if it is only one piece and not two – for your own health and safety.” And it was so hard for us to keep the tears from our eyes as she shook her head defiantly. Her hope and her love was all that she had. It mattered more than anything else.

When I returned home that day, I was shocked to find that this was not an isolated story but others in the hospital knew of orphans just like Tanzile – waiting with a little pile of things in their hut, for their sibling or their parent who they havent seen in so long.

I think of that old Eagles song – “when we’re hungry, love will keep us alive.” I pray that for Tanzile’s sake and the other beautiful children like her that it will.

– Written by Maithri

Reposted with permission from Nigel Alston of Motivational Moments

What kind of people live in your community?

Good People . . .
An old man sat outside the walls of a great city. When travelers approached, they would ask the old man, “What kind of people live in this city?” The old man would answer, “What kind of people live in the place where you came from?” If the travelers answered, “Only bad people live in the place where we came from,” the old man would reply, “Continue on; you will find only bad people here.”

But if the travelers answered, “Good people live in the place where we came from,” then the old man would say, “Enter, for here too, you will find only good people.

– A Yiddish Folk Tale

What kind of people live in your community?

Reposted with permission from Motivational Moments by Nigel Alson.

Dad, what are we going to do?

There is a lot of stress related with losing your job.

How will we pay the bills? Will we have to relocate for a new job? What about health insurance? How am I going to find a new job? And lots of other worries that will cause pain for the adults involved.

Becoming unemployed means a lot more than the loss of income, it can affect your children’s performance in school, in some cases it can result in your child having to repeat a grade.

The amount of stress and harm job loss can have on your children in part depends on how you deal with it, especially in front of your children.

Letting your children see your stress, worry and even the spousal conflicts can increase the likelihood of stress and emotional problems for your children.

Here are some tips I found on various blogs that may help children of unemployed parents:

  • Talk with your children  Let them know about the changes you have to deal with. Share this information in a positive and hopeful manner. You’ll be surprised about how they will handle it if you discuss with them in a positive manner.
  • Stay positive  Not only will this be beneficial for your children, but it will help you as well.
  • Don’t fight in front of the kids I can’t tell you not to fight, (I suggest you communicate rather than fight), but if you must get in a heated debate do it as far away from your children as you can.
  • Use your added free time to help kids with their studies Let your children benefit from your new availability. Help them study, read and even play.
  • Make weekends and summer vacation fun  Take the kids to the park, the playground, the library. There are plenty of outings that don’t cost a cent.
  • Investigate Freebies You have to look for them in your community, but they exist. Ask, don’t be ashamed of not having income, take advantage of the community support and then when you get your income back up, offer to help others in return.
  • Manage your stress Regular exercise can help lift your spirits and reduce stress – your children will see the benefits it provides you.
  • Become part of a faith community If you are not a member of a church, temple or mosque, plan to attend services this week with your family. Having a group of people praying for you and your children can be  great encouragement. This is also a great place to network for employment opportunities.

Finally – pay attention to the changes your unemployment have on your children.

What suggestions do you have? What worked, what did not work for you and your children while you were unemployed.

 

Stop rushing time

Benjamin Franklin said, “Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of. ”

Tom Wolfe said, “We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.

We’re always wanting to rush away from the present to the future.

Yet we look back at the past and we let our memory wander. We treasure the past with our vivid memories, pictures, videos and books.

Yet we want to rush away from the present, the point in time where we actually make these memories. The only point in time where we can actually change our future memories.

The future arrives like clockwork every moment, every minute, hour, day, week, month.

Spend time in the present and enjoy each moment before it slips away into the past.

Don’t wish for the future to come sooner.

Furthermore you never know when the future will stop coming altogether.

Hope that your present is the best present you have ever lived and not that the future will be better.

Your now, as short as it may be, will always be the best it can possibly be and if the future arrives, your memories will be true treasures.

Teddy Burriss

 

I want to know

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

– Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Canadian Teacher and Author

Reposted with permission from Nigel Alston of Motivational Moments

Believe in yourself

Believing in yourself is not just for you; it’s for every person who has touched your life in a significant way and for every person your life will touch the same way five minutes from now, or five centuries from now.

– Jaye Miller

Shared with you with permission from Nigel Alston & Motivational Moments

Too busy for a Friend?

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature..

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his ocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’

Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’

‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary.’

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists.’

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

May Your Day Be Blessed As Special As You Are

Source attributed to Sister Helen Mrosla a Franciscan Nun – http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/m/markeklund.htm

Thanks for sharing it with me LouAnn Showers

Hello Handsome my name is Rose

Hello Handsome my name is Rose The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.
I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, ‘Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?’
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant squeeze.
‘Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?’ I asked.
She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids.’
‘No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
‘I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!’ she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.
We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.’
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ‘ We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.
There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!
There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.
Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.
The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..’
She concluded her speech by courageously singing ‘The Rose.’
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.
One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

I received this story from a friend who received it after 9 email forwards. Instead of emailing it, I decided to blog share it.  I wish I could find who to attribute it to.

Thanks Bill.

[subscribe2]

The True Meaning of Stress

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’….. she fooled them all… “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… pick them up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you’ve rested.

Some other points that will help include:

  • Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!
  • Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
  • If you can’ t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  • Never buy a car you can’t push.
  • Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  • Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  • Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  • The second mouse gets the cheese.
  • When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  • Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  • You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  • Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once. Or too stupid to do again !!!
  • We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Life is short. Enjoy it! Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.