Archive for July, 2012

“You Is” — I’m Standing in Your Balcony

To Encourage Sincerely perhaps ranks at the top of gifts we can give one to another.  I will never forget the first time my daughter Amy and I ran, with tens of thousands of other runners, the annual July 4th 10K Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.  (Perhaps “ran” is much too dynamic a word to describe what I did during those 6.2 miles.)  At each mile marker, and actually various places in-between, folks would appear in my peripheral vision with cups of cold water in outstretched hands, yelling phrases such as, “Keep it up, #4932, you can do it!” and “Just look at you running so fast!”  I would turn a corner or reach a hilltop and hear blaring cheerily from loudspeakers the theme song from “Chariots of Fire” or “Rocky.”  Such encouragement made me feel like an actual runner.

In a post from way back, I introduced the concept of Balcony People:  “Balcony people are those folks in your life who encourage you, lift you up, give of themselves to you in some way.  They make you feel valuable and important.  They climb the steps up into your balcony, lean over the railing, gaze back down at you as you struggle through life and yell, ‘You can make it!  Keep going!'”

In another post, Balcony People-Part Two, I introduced five guiding principles of Balcony People:

“1.  Balcony People are willing to take risks.  Because when we reach outside of ourselves to help or encourage someone else, we take the chance of being rejected, laughed at, embarrassed, or even thought of as a little weird.  ‘Old Man Saye, why do you keep telling me my yellow dress is just so very pretty?!  Please back away me!'”

2.  BP realize that what you reap, you sow.  Staying in balconies makes you happier and healthier.  Crouching in dank basements is unhealthy.

3.  BP give to give, not to get.  Because giving away good to others is simply the right thing to do.

4.  BP look for the good in others.  They realize the truth of the statement that we usually find what we’re looking for.

5.  BP express encouragement sincerely.  They don’t flatter or lie.  Okay, maybe except when I couldn’t think of anything good to say about one student’s essay, and all I could come up with was, ‘Cool font.'”

I know I have mentioned on the blog before that Kathryn Stockett’s The Help stands as one of the best novels I have read in the past few years.  I loved the story of black maids in the 1960’s south so much that I used it in several composition classes at Georgia Southern.  The book went over amazingly well, with many students telling me that they loved the book and would be passing it along to friends and family to read (and also telling me, disturbingly, that the book was the first one they had ever actually ever gotten all the way through).  The book ENCOURAGES the voiceless to realize that yes, they too have voices.

In the twenty-second scene below from the movie version of The Help, Aibilene explains to her young charge exactly what the girl is, and what she needs to believe about herself.  Oh, how our world would be beautifully improved if we would all see each other the way Aibilene sees Mae Mobley.

*******************************************************************

I challenge you to find someone today, tomorrow.  Encourage.  Lift up.  See the good.  Get in someone’s balcony.

I’m Going to Be Happy

“I’m going to be happy. I’m going to skip. I’m going to be glad. I’m going to smile a lot. I’m going to be easy. I’m going to count my blessings. I’m going to look for reasons to feel good. I’m going to dig up positive things from the past. I’m going to look for positive things where I stand. I’m going to look for positive things in the future. It is my natural state to be a happy person. It’s natural for me to love and to laugh. This is what is most natural for me. I am a happy person!”

Abraham-Hicks

“You Is”

To Encourage Sincerely perhaps ranks at the top of gifts we can give one to another.  I will never forget the first time my daughter Amy and I ran, with tens of thousands of other runners, the annual July 4th 10K Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.  (Perhaps “ran” is much too dynamic a word to describe what I did during those 6.2 miles.)  At each mile marker, and actually various places in-between, folks would appear in my peripheral vision with cups of cold water in outstretched hands, yelling phrases such as, “Keep it up, #4932, you can do it!” and “Just look at you running so fast!”  I would turn a corner or reach a hilltop and hear blaring cheerily from loudspeakers the theme song from “Chariots of Fire” or “Rocky.”  Such encouragement made me feel like an actual runner.

In a post from way back, I introduced the concept of Balcony People:  “Balcony people are those folks in your life who encourage you, lift you up, give of themselves to you in some way.  They make you feel valuable and important.  They climb the steps up into your balcony, lean over the railing, gaze back down at you as you struggle through life and yell, ‘You can make it!  Keep going!'”

In another post, Balcony People-Part Two, I introduced five guiding principles of Balcony People:

“1.  Balcony People are willing to take risks.  Because when we reach outside of ourselves to help or encourage someone else, we take the chance of being rejected, laughed at, embarrassed, or even thought of as a little weird.  ‘Old Man Saye, why do you keep telling me my yellow dress is just so very pretty?!  Please back away me!'”

2.  BP realize that what you reap, you sow.  Staying in balconies makes you happier and healthier.  Crouching in dank basements is unhealthy.

3.  BP give to give, not to get.  Because giving away good to others is simply the right thing to do.

4.  BP look for the good in others.  They realize the truth of the statement that we usually find what we’re looking for.

5.  BP express encouragement sincerely.  They don’t flatter or lie.  Okay, maybe except when I couldn’t think of anything good to say about one student’s essay, and all I could come up with was, ‘Cool font.'”

I know I have mentioned on the blog before that Kathryn Stockett’s The Help stands as one of the best novels I have read in the past few years.  I loved the story of black maids in the 1960’s south so much that I used it in several composition classes at Georgia Southern.  The book went over amazingly well, with many students telling me that they loved the book and would be passing it along to friends and family to read (and also telling me, disturbingly, that the book was the first one they had ever actually ever gotten all the way through.  The book ENCOURAGES the voiceless to realize that yes, they too have voices.

In the twenty-second scene below Aibilene explains to her young charge exactly what the girl is, and what she needs to believe about herself.  Oh, how our world would be beautifully improved if we would all see each other the way Aibilene sees Mae Mobley.

*******************************************************************

I challenge you to find someone today, tomorrow.  Encourage.  Lift up.  See the good.  Get in someone’s balcony.

Sunday Morning Quote — 7/29/12

“Happiness is not a station to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”

Margaret Lee Runbeck

“I Believe in Me. I Love Me. All Is Well … And So It Is.”

I love stories!  Always have.  True or fiction, it doesn’t matter.  There’s something about “Once upon a time …” that is just SO excitingly inviting.  I have learned that stories, that fiction even, can teach us so much about living fuller, happier lives.  My great success with using in writing classes the wonderful Kathryn Stockett novel The Help once again proved to me how a great story can transport the reader/listener into another realm–in this case, racist Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960’s where a group of black maids learned how significant their never-before-heard voices really were.

I love it that Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church here in Savannah embraces a full range of artistic expression, including storytelling.  The video below features talented  raconteur Dottie Kluttz telling The Story of Two Pots.

 

Here I am with Dottie back in May at Savor the Flavor of Savannah–a local food tasting event benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association of Coastal Georgia and hosted by Deborah Hargroves of Dancing Stars of Georgia.

“I believe in me.  I love me.  All is well … and so it is.”

Five Friday Happy Bringers (Really) (7/27/12)

It was so hot yesterday (Thursday) that I thought it was Friday (today) and somehow posted my weekly Five Friday Happy Bringers (all about air conditioning).  I’m so beet-red embarrassed from that foolishness (well, and from the heat) that I’m trying it all again this morning.  So now that it’s really Friday (I think), here are five things I’m tickled pink about.

1.  From yesterday:  air conditioning, air conditioning, air conditioning, air conditioning, air conditioning.

2.  Learning from grandsons Daniel (5) and Gabriel (3) what BeyBlades are, and becoming pretty darn minimally adequate at spinning them.  Here’s Daniel with his dad Orte spinning the BeyBlades:

I played with D yesterday afternoon.  Daniel began spinning his top (can I call it that?), screaming phrases such as, “Abu, Beware!  Pegasus, blast him off the floor!  Gan Gan Galaxy alert!  Gingka!  Masune!”

I stared dumb(founded) for a few minutes until he yelled, “Abu!  Blast it off now!  Last one shaking!”  Then I somehow get mine (my “what”?  I’m not even sure what it is) spinning.  But little  Gabriel began squealing with laughter as my top slammed into the hall wall, and both D and G taunted me with, “Shaking!  Shaking!”  Huh?  What?  How did I miss all this?  I resisted the urge to spank them both.

3.  This little chest.

4.  Playful Squirrels. 

5.  As Paula Deen says, “Waking up on the right side of the dirt!”

Somehow have a cool last weekend in July 2012!

Five Friday Happy Bringers (7/26/12)

1. Air conditioning
2. Air conditioning
3. Air conditioning
4. Air conditioning
5. Air conditioning