Make believe there was no tomorrow. What would you do today?
Make believe you could fly with the hummingbirds. What would this be like? http://www.facebook.com/MakeBeliefs
Make believe an angel came to help and comfort you. What would the angel say or do? See http://www.facebook.com/MakeBeliefs
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 but who could not accept it in Oslo, Norway because she was under house arrest at the time and for many years thereafter, was finally free to accept the prize earlier this month. Now a member of Parliament and a leader of Myanmar’s opposition, she said something very special:
”Of the sweets of adversity, and let me say that those are not numerous, I have found the sweetest, the most precious of all, is the lesson I learned on the value of kindness. Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world. Kindness,” she said, ”can change the lives of people.”
Amazing person, she seems to bear little outward anger at military who forced her into house arrest and isolation. In thinking about her words, can you remember when someone showed special kindness to you that helped you in your life, that helped you overcome a terrible problem or situation? Would you consider sharing that with us? And have you remembered to show kindness to the people with whom you come into contact and who need your support?
There was a story in the May 10, 2012 Washington Post about someone setting up a chalk board and basket of chalk on the side of an abandoned building with the writing prompt ”Before I die…” written on the board (”The Art of Their Dreams” by Maura Jukis). Some of the things people wrote, according to the article, would be to eat delicious food, travel the glob, effect political change. ”They want to see the Earth from the Moon. They want to meet God.”
So here’s the question for today: What’s on your ”bucket” list – what is it you want to do before you leave this world? Please share with us.
For me, I think what I’d like to do before I die is find a good, safe way to get healthier and free myself from the physical pain that I feel, and also to find peace of spirit. Big quests, no?
There were these heart-breaking photographs in the April 12 Washington Post (‘A moment of calm’ as cease-fire appears to hold, by Liz Sly and Colum Lynch) that shows four Syrian children holding drawings they made at a school in a refugee camp near the Turkish-Syrian border. They drawings were of their dream homes, and the homes they drew were really no different from the homes that children in the United States or other nations draw about their homes and family. They all drew a simple home surrounded with trees or flowers. And looking at the photographs one had to ask oneself why must this madness in Syria go on, why must these children and their families have to live in refugee camps, dispossessed of their homes in Syria. Why does the world allow this to happen? Why is the Syrian government allowed to do these terrible things to its people? What can be done to stop this? Why can’t the children have what every child needs, a secure home, with loving parents. Why in the year 2012 are we still allowing these terrible things to happen to people?
Do any of you have any answers to these questions, or thoughts?
I read the recent obituary of Dr. Tina Strobos, a woman who during World War II hid more than 100 Jews in her attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, not far from where Anne Frank was captured, and I wondered where did she get the courage to do this. The article in The New York Times quoted her response when asked why she had taken such risk. ”It’s the right thing to do…Your conscience tells you to do it. I believe in heroism…” (See March 2, 2012 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE0DF1F30F931A35750C0A9649D8B63)
I couldn’t help wondering whether I would be so brave as she was in living through such a terrible period in history, risking my life to help others. I would want to believe I would be, but who knows for sure until the situation arises. I can only thank God that there are such people as Tina Strobos in the world — it gives one hope about the infinite goodness and mercy that reside in people despite the terrors of war and the pain, hurt and hunger that so many people face in their daily lives.
Listen to the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered in a sermon, ”The Drum Major Instinct,” February 4, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta:
”Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind…”
He also said:
”We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. … And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.”
Can we live up to his words? Can each of us possess the ”drum major instinct” to do fine acts? What fine acts would you like to do?
My other web site, MakeBeliefsComix.com, has posted a new writing printable for Martin Luther King Day at http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Digital-Write-Ables/Rev_Martin_Luther_King_Jr.php
It asks: Imagine that you could tell the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. what he means to you and our country. What would you say to him?
The MLK graphic prompt is part of a new MakeBeliefsComix writing prompt feature called Digital Write-Ables which allows users to use their computer keyboard and write stories directly on the screen as they fill in the writing prompt. They then can print out their writings. Their efforts to complete the Write-Able can then become the first step in writing longer essays or stories on the same subject. The Write-Ables can also be used with students enrolled in literacy and English-As-Second Language (ESL, ESOL) programs and provide an educational resource for teaching language arts.
When I was a boy and Christmas came around, my happiest chore was to unbox a small artificial Christmas tree and set it up on the night table in the bedroom I shared with my brother. I loved to plug it in and look at the beautiful colored lights — they made me feel so safe at night, protected against the dark. We were Jews living in a building that was largely made up of Jewish families in an Italian neighborhood and I think my parents were afraid of the neighbors knowing that we celebrated Christmas (although my brother and I received Channukah presents, too). I never wanted December to end — not so much for the presents, as wonderful as they were, but for the bright, colored lights which somehow eased all the anxiety and tension I felt growing up in a household beset by so many financial and emotional problems. I still feel that way about the Christmas lights today.
Please share what the holidays were like for you, too.