Words by Gandhi, Art by Me

Do Thy Worst

“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.”
— Gandhi

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American King At Westminster Abbey

I had no idea there was a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at Westminster Abbey — very cool.

“A statue to this modern martyr was unveiled in July 1998 and stands above the west entrance to the Abbey. The sculptor was Tim Crawley.
King’s prophetic vision combined an explicitly Christian language of freedom and justice with an appeal to American democracy. Peaceful protests would affirm the dignity of African-Americans and embarrass their oppressors before the eyes of the world. His approach was essentially Gandhian. Violence bred violence only. Love must reply to hate.”

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Mrs. Steinmetz

I was just reading the winners and nominees list from the 1975 Golden Globe Awards (yeah, I know) and found that Helen Hayes was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for the 1974 sequel to ‘The Love Bug’, ‘Herbie Rides Again’ — how cool is that?
She was still riding high from her Oscar win in 1970 for her classic performance in ‘Airport’ and being the Grand Dame of the theater, she really didn’t take many movie roles so whenever she did appear on film in her later years, people took notice. But she was also really good in ‘Herbie’ — she had great comic timing and was absolutely adorable as Mrs. Steinmetz (see attached clip). Raquel Welch won that year for her comic turn in ‘The Three Musketeers’ and deservedly so (she was great in that — probably the best thing she’s ever done) but the fact that Hayes’ performance was remembered during award season warms my heart.

Mrs. Steinmetz clip

The complete list of nominees and winners from 40 years ago:

http://www.imdb.com/event/ev0000292/1975

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The Apple of Our Eye

Today marks the tenth year since my Mom’s passing. The phrase, ‘time heals all wounds’ is not necessarily true. It diminishes some of the pain for most of the time but that pain can come back and feel as it did when it was first experienced. January 8th is a day when the pain comes back. Part of me feels that the years have passed so fast and another part makes me feel that it’s been 100 hundred years since I heard her voice, saw her smile or felt her hug.

Mom had three eulogies at her funeral — one given by my brother, one by the pastor at her local church and one by a family friend, Sister Jon Julie Sullivan. Sr. Jon is a nun who works in the Boston area — I don’t think I have ever seen her in the traditional nun’s habit — she is what some would call a progressive nun and has worked diligently for social causes for over 40 years. Sr. Jon has always been a source of inspiration and comfort and humor for our family and we were blessed to have her speak.

Although prepared, Sr. Jon’s eulogy seemed natural and unrehearsed. She gathered anecdotes from friends and family beforehand and inserted her own memories. She had brought a large red apple with her to the podium and used it to emphasize the last section of her speech by placing it on Mom’s casket. It was a simple, beautiful and heartfelt gesture.

Mom was definitely the apple of our eye — my Dad, sister and brother, as all that knew Mom in any form, were and are continually blessed to have had her in our lives. I miss her greatly but am forever changed and grateful to have known her and to be her son.

I had forgotten that I had the below copy of her eulogy until recently. I thought I would share it in remembering Mom today.

 

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10 Recommended Weekend Experiments

Do Thy Worst

  • Try not to judge and/or criticize inwardly, verbally or through social media.
  • Go to a library or museum and learn about something that you know nothing about.
  • Go to a local book store and pick up a classic you have always wanted to read.
  • View art. In a museum, gallery, storefront; anywhere you can find it.
  • Create something. Artistically or otherwise. Even if you think you do not have a talent for it (all of us do, we just may not have tuned into it yet) — try.
  • Use handheld communication devices only in emergencies.
  • Be thankful for everything, no matter how trivial.
  • Be positive. For every situation that comes your way today, look at it in the positive light. Avoid the angry and negative route that is so much easier to take.
  • Help someone if you can. Don’t over think it — just help.
  • Have fun.

  • 10.5 — Listen…

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THINK

It still amazes me how grown adult human beings can see something stated on the internet and automatically assume it is the truth. What I’m referring to is the myriads of photo memes and forwarded emails (the majority of which include no source for their claims at all) floating around the internet that people take for the truth without doing any double checking whatsoever. If it fits within their “want-to-believe” category, they believe it unconditionally. They could be totally benign and unintentionally wrong or seriously untrue with intent to hurt or demoralize but, c’mon, this is 2014 — we’re living in The Future. There are no flying cars but there is information buzzing around our heads everywhere — literally information is now accessible anywhere. A simple search engine check can usually tell you within seconds if something is real or not — but most don’t want to take the time to do that…maybe because they want to believe it so much or they’re just too lazy…but I just do not understand how, in this day and age, untrue statements are still being passed around like those annoying chain letters of the past.

Passing around something that is untrue is a terrible way to support your cause or belief — sharing a quote that is actually a misquote or a bogus quote in order to advance your particular way of thinking can only discredit your point. To me, that action shows that most people really don’t want to have a civil, intelligent discussion — they just want to be right and at any cost. If you are passionate about something, educate yourself fully — use the truth to project your beliefs — do your homework. If you only rely on undocumented statements and quotes and stories floating around the internet, you may want to rethink how passionate you really are for the truth. I really believe this is a very damaging phenomenon and it saddens me to see it grow. We’re much smarter than that…aren’t we..?

So, like Sergeant Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues always said, “Let’s be careful out there.” Don’t be part of the mindless mass that passes along whatever comes down the information superhighway — use your grey cells for good — think before ‘Liking’ and ‘Sharing’ — if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. I guess that’s a good rule of thumb for life in general. Did you know that the phrase “rule of thumb” is related to the belief that future British kings and queens never sucked their thumbs? It’s true…or is it…?

 

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Spring Cleaning

Now that Spring is finally here, the Spring Cleaning rituals have begun. This is a great time of the year to box up all your unwanted clothing, towels and linens and make much needed donations to your local homeless shelters and resource centers! Jeans, shoes, suits, dresses, jackets, sweaters, blankets — all are needed in every size and age bracket. It’s simple, easy and not only will you feel good about all that extra closet space but you’ll be making someone’s daily life so much better!
[Pick up an inexpensive package of new clean socks on your way — those are a much appreciated and much needed commodity for the homeless!]

 

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