hope, persistence, life, light, inspiration, quotation, Steve Biko

Never Give Up the Light of Hope

Today I spent some time thinking on Steve Biko, a South African freedom fighter, and his words on hope:

“The sense of defeat is what we are fighting against.
People must not give in to the hardship of life.
People must develop hope.”
– Steve Biko (1946-1977)

As I randomly scrolled the Internet, Oprah featured an article written Dr. Robert Leahy How to Overcome Your Feeling of Hopelessness. Dr. Leahy listed the following “litany of thoughts” and wondered how many, if any, did we keep running wild in our minds.

  • Why bother? Nothing will work out.
  • I’ll never be happy.
  • My relationship can never get better.
  • I’ll never be able to get what I want.
  • There’s no use in trying.
  • There aren’t any good men (women) left.
  • I’m too old (ugly, poor, boring, damaged, etc.)
  • I can’t compete.
  • I’m cursed. The world is against me.

I found myself saying yes to a few, oh, okay, the whole thing! Thankfully, Mr. Biko’s words inspired me to keep up the good fight and continue to develop hope for others and myself.

Taking what is popular these days, I created a quick photo quote image. I hope you can find some inspiration from it as well.hope, persistence, light, inspiration, life, fight, develop hope

It’s time to throw out the litany of troublesome thoughts,
bury the spirit of defeat
and live in the light of hope!
What do you say?

Water for Elephants: A mini review

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you read, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen?

It is a captivating historical romance novel set during the early Great Depression.

Here are a few interesting facts about the book:

According to Wikipedia, Water for Elephants came together in part for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the story parallels the biblical story Jacob from the book of Genesis.

From the author’s notes included in the back of her book:

On inspiration for the novel

“…the Chicago Tribune ran an article on [photographer] Edward J. Kelty, who followed traveling circuses around America in the 1920’s and ‘30s. The photograph that accompanied the article so fascinated me [Gruen] that I bought two books of old-time circus photographs…”

On research

“I [Sara Gruen] spent the next four and a half months acquiring the knowledge necessary to do justice to this subject, [circus life] including taking three additional research trips…[to] Sarasota, Florida‘s Ringling Circus Museum…Circus World in Baraboo…and Kansas City Zoo…to learn about elephant body language and behavior.”

On historical data

“The history of the American circus is so rich that I [Gruen] plucked many of this story’s most outrageous details from fact or anecdote…”

My favorite (funny) “outrageous detail” from this story comes when someone begins to steal lemonade from the Spectacular Show on Earth Circus. The financially poor circus just made camp for another show and being summer, it was hot. The only logical people to steal a cool drink would be the tired and thirsty circus workers.

The author writes:

“…an elephant [from historical notes]…repeatedly pulled her stake and stole the lemonade…”

I bet you can guess who was drinking up the cool lemonade!

Water for Elephants is a perfect weekend novel to enjoy as you sit under a cool shady tree sipping ice-cold pink lemonade.

What are your favorite scenes from Water for Elephants? 


CARPE DIEM Tan Renga: “red tear-stained eyes”

Hello friends!

This week’s Carpe Diem’s Tan Renga #7 Challenge is to complete this haiku stanza by Chevrefeuille:

Decomposed flowers
Silent witness of a relative
Red tear-stained eyes


The challenge is to create two, seven-syllable lines that follow the first stanza to complete the Tan Renga.

My offering this week deals with firearms at home because careless gun owners that fail to lock up their guns and/or unload their unattended weapons, cause unfortunate gun accidents that take the lives of many young children every year.

According to an article by USA Today, “Guns in the Home Proving Deadly for Kids,” it says:

“Although mass shootings get more attention, children are far more likely to be killed at home…” (by unattended and not stored properly, firearm)

Second stanza:

gun horseplay bleeds disaster
Curious child pulls trigger

Let me put it all together with a picture to go:

Dreamland Wikimedia Common

Decomposed flowers
Silent witness of a relative
Red tear-stained eyes

Gun horseplay bleeds disaster
Curious child pulls trigger



My Most Perfect Prayer for April 2013

photo source: Pinterest via http://winning-path.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-year-thoughts.html?m=1

photo source: Pinterest via winning-path.blogspot.com

As promised, I challenged myself to another month-long Grateful 4 daily list. I admit, due to my sheer laziness, I failed to update the list on a couple of days, but my free flow list of gratitude still lives on!

Prolific writer, G. K. Chesterton once wrote:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

If we constantly live in a state of perpetual thanksgiving, then imagine the enormous wave of happiness flowing abundantly over the world. Thanks to everyday gurus| Kozo for the inspiration to begin daily gratitude expressions.

Let the world become the happy place we wish it to be.

My April’s free flow grateful 4 list: the gift of laughter found in funny movies, all needs provided for, goodness found in people i meet, lounging house cats; Andy Andrews’ book: The Butterfly Effect book| How Your Life Matters; early morning rain ♥ turkey leftovers, banking system...

Divine Love that shines through even during a cold and very rainy gray day  

The Bed of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb; gas stations, good health; warm, sunny days to dry up all rain puddles ♥ pizza fully loaded, three bags of groceries, smiles i found on many people’s faces, battery operated weed eaters–so much lighter in weight than gas-powered ones; riding lawn mowers, steaming hot bowl of soup made all day in your crock pot! FRIDAY…stay up late, sleep in Saturday ♥ public libraries, clean & reorganized work desk, plate full of hot grits, eggs and Spam…

Half-Price Books 2013 calendar & how this company commits to give over a MILLION BOOKS each year for worthy causes 

..infinite GOODNESS that flows from the Divine; delightful actors, James Franco & Rachel Weisz in the movie, Oz, the Great & Powerful; lazy Sunday afternoons;

 Sr. Joan Chittister‘s thought: “DOUBT is something to be grateful for…” 

Frontline flea/tick prevention for dogs & cats, dry marker erase boards,days that flow smooth from start to finish,cranberry/pomegranate juice! thunderstorms and rain, galaxies full of bright stars ♥ glass of cold almond/coconut milk…so yummy! 

honest & hard-working auto mechanics that go beyond to help fix your car; April showers ♥ Strawberry Planta strawberry plant that somehow survived from last year’s planting season; yoga pose, Hanumanasana, that really gives a good stretch to hamstrings and groin. ouch!  rain or shine…15-minute mindful meditation.

safety pins, flannel pillowcases, spaghetti dinner, Elephant Journal; my hair stylist, because no matter when I call on a last-minute moment, she manages to squeeze me into her busy schedule;

♥all the blog friends that share their beautiful heart thoughts♥

French toast, lots of butter and warm maple syrup & hot coffee, friends you can text/call and unload your mind with; lazy Saturday mornings just to sit, read & relax… 

finding out your favorite animal feed store has a no sales tax day today, hot and delicious rotisserie chicken & baked potatoes with lots of butter and sour cream

♥ catching myself thinking negative thoughts about a person but quickly change it to well wishes instead

one little girl at Sunday School with the ☼sunniest personalityWeekly Photo Challengesfresh bottled water, early morning appointment at the hair salon, cup of lemon-ginger herbal tea,

the Ligo Haibun team and weekly writers & for the special mention of the post, Poverty Triumphs 

warmer spring weather, daily prayer devotional booklet, not having any major damage during the earthquakes this early morning; baking time:pineapple breakfast muffins…except it needs more sugar but guess that’s what jam is for;

the opportunity to photograph a dress rehearsal for the next community stage play ♥ severe thunderstorms because it reminds me the Divine is really in control, homemade Indian Taco lunch served at church fundraiser;

really sore leg muscles after yoga session…reminds me how exquisite the human body is! 

living with fixed limited budget so as a reminder that everything that flows through my day truly is a gift, fresh bag of navel oranges; gift of vision…to witness Divine glory that surrounds us❤ new buds & leaves coming up, volunteers that generously give their time teaching illiterate adults how to read;

finding blog friends who took some time off but are now back in the mix of things...Sonel’s Corner, for example…

Terrific Chinese food buffet restaurants that make you eat way more than your body can comfortably handle;Unforgettable musical stage performances ♥ Miniature horses, Family time ☺ National Library Week April 14-20, Earth Day pot luck with church family ♥ Dyson vacuüm cleaner,

St. Francis Peace prayer…especially for those at the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy

smooth river rocksjuicy grapefruitanother night of severe thunderstorms to appreciate the calm clear nights, central heat during a strange spring “freeze warning” kind of daycheerful friends, $1 bargains over @ Wal-Mart ♥ pasta dinner;

cattle grazing in pastures, the wild rabbitshelp from Akismet staff; quick help from WordPress Forum/support; chocolate swirl ice creaminspirational yoginis, night at the theatre, dependable Ford Ranger truck;

Poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson wisdom words: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies WITHIN us.” ♥

fresh donuts and hot coffee before church; rooster who crows at odd hours…like 3 am?!? clean clothes, @ symboldandelion weedsdelicious pastrami sub sandwich, tasty buttermilk brownies,

special mention @ Ligo Haibun for Broken♥Hearts post, 

breezy, just right temperature day today, musical concert featuring very talented college students performing in combined choir & orchestra ♥ last day of April; 

A Ben Stein moment:“The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.”

…phone text capabilitiescrazy friends that make you laugh; assisting a stray calf on the highway who managed to escape from pasture…bad calf; y’all who keep me inspired and challenged…AMEN! 

Thank you for being part of this perfect prayer for April 2013.

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What moment in April found you totally giving thanks and thus increasing world happiness?

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“Our Hearts Are Broken…”

“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.”

~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Newtown, Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy:

“Evil visited this community today.”

The community being a southern New England town called Newtown, where a young, 20-year old decided today, December 13, 2012, he had enough.

Entering a classroom where his mother was a teacher, he tragically shot her and 20 students ranging in ages from five to ten years old.

President Barack Obama:

“Our hearts are broken today.”

This short post goes out to the parents who lost their children in this horrific situation, the witnesses, especially the young ones and to our nation that seems to be slowly unraveling.

Since this killing spree involved guns, naturally the public discussions are turning to  gun control. I admit my total lack of knowledge about gun control, so I ask, do we need more gun control or less? How can a nation stop the current violence against its own people?

SUNDAY POST : Natural Resources–Most

The Water“We must treat water as if it were the most precious thing in the world, the most valuable natural resource.

Be economical with water! 

Don’t waste it! 

We still have time to do something about this problem before it is too late.    ~Mikhail Gorbachev

my thoughts today…

…it is common to see people throw away half consumed bottled water without a thought about the most valuable natural resource we have, clean water. A friend of mine decided to collect these half-filled water bottles whenever she attends an event. Her houseplants thrive with the extra and free water supply!

…it is nice to know water companies now make smaller water containers instead of the usual 20 fluid oz bottles. The smaller bottles pack easier in a purse too!

…water is just one natural resource among many others and if you want more on Natural Resources, please visit Jakesprinter’s SUNDAY POST for more contributors and information on how to participate in this weekly event.

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Do you find it easy to be economical with a valuable natural resource like water?

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