Just do it! But when?

Bird Droppings August 15, 2011
Just Do It! – But when?

“I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” Helen Keller

I have always held a great respect for Helen Keller. To have overcome such odds and become the world traveler and speaker that she did is almost unfathomable. Maybe this is why the story of her childhood is entitled “The Miracle Worker”.

“There are two kinds of people: those who do the work, and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” Indira Gandhi

As I read this morning these two statements stood out. These two great people were tremendously influential in their time. Helen Keller blind and deaf yet addressed world leaders and lectured throughout the world. Indira Gandhi daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and the first woman prime minister of a leading world country. To simplify their remarks, “Don’t just sit there do something”. So often people sit and wait many times for someone else to do whatever needs to be done.

“Don’t wait for someone to take you under their wing. Find a good wing and climb up underneath it.” Frank C. Buraro

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” Benjamin Franklin

Each day I see teachers and students hesitate, myself included, “I can get it done tomorrow” or “I can’t do it”. In the end so often what gets done is only adequate and could have been so much better. We hesitate, we procrastinate, and we except partial over a whole, and or we will take a 70% on a paper “its passing”. I see and hear red when I hear that and yet I remember when I too would accept that grade and walk away happy. It was less work and much less studying.

“Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!” Donald Gardner

“There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.” David Lloyd George

Everyday it takes effort to try and explain that it only takes a bit more effort a bit more energy for a A over a C. Is it human nature to seek the easy path in life?

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”. Napoleon Hill

“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.” George H. Lonmer

I had a student explain why it took so long for him to finish projects. He wanted to be sure it was right. I told him it was because he didn’t work at it. However he assured me it was seeking perfection was his down fall. But is it the data, the key to many choices in life. Yesterday my perfectionist unknowingly was observed for ten minutes. In each half of ten minutes anytime someone mention anything he would get up and walk over to see what it was or come over to me to see what I was doing. So in perfecting his work nearly two thirds of his time was getting out of doing it. I made a comment, “if you put that hard work from the three or four minutes out of ten you actually worked into all ten minutes you would be done in time and have plenty of time to spare”.

“How soon not now, becomes never.” Martin Luther

“Don’t wait for extraordinary circumstance to do good; try to use ordinary situations.” Charles Richter

We wait, we pause, and we hesitate so often in life. I wonder at what point in our evolutionary makeup pausing came in. Perhaps it was a modern contrivance, maybe with remote controls invention. I would think if you paused when a saber toothed tiger was chasing you it would only be once. It had to be when remote controls came around.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie

“During a very busy life I have often been asked, “How did you manage to do it all?” The answer is very simple. It is because I did everything promptly.” Richard Tangye

When it is time rather than putting off and often doing only a partial job of knowing when to and when not, but not wasting time either. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have back those ten minutes here and there?

“The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.” Dawson Troutman

“The best labor saving device is doing it tomorrow” Source unknown

Each of us will have excuses for waiting but in the need perhaps we should put aside excuses and get the job done myself included. Today keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.
namaste
bird

Walking agian in the morning

Bird Droppings May 9, 2011
Walking again in the morning

It is hard for me to describe the feeling of losing this aspect of the day. It has been now nearly eleven years since each morning I would get up and walk upwards of five miles before dawn. Many of those journeys were with a good friend discussing various topics be it politics, theology, education and or philosophy. The past years I find myself more simply going into the early hours and listening alone to the quiet and stillness of that fraction of time before the sunrises. As I went out this morning walking the dog for a few minutes as she went about her morning business I could not help but here the sounds of spring were returning. Our morning had been rather cool and tree frogs and crickets had been silent for some time.
As I looked into the sky I noticed a small smile of a moon I feel as if I have lost time I have nearly missed a full moon cycle. The moon was barely visible through the trees now nearly filled in. In a few more days my teaching school year draws to an end, only a handful of days the next two weeks. My own schooling begins anew in a day or two as I get back seriously to my dissertation back to reading and writing it seems graduate school is composed of reading and writing.

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.” William Ewart Gladstone

On a morning where the news headlines is filled with headlines of retaliation, suicide bombers, conflict, war, mayhem and death it is new week what a better way to start then to think of peace.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Teresa

Through out her life she set an example lived her life for others less fortunate than she and always striving for peace in her actions.

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I think back to my high school days and how Emerson was approached I never did learn who he was until my later years somewhere in grad school. He was one of our great thinkers and philosophers so and often we by pass him in literature a passage here and a note there leading into Thoreau and quickly go to Moby Dick and Melville. So many authors listened to and asked him for advice and mentoring. As I read Emerson today I have many websites featuring his works tagged on my computer for quick reference.

“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.” Napoleon Bonaparte

One of the great warriors of all time saw peace as a veil that men in general never wanted hence the constant pin pricks.

“The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.” Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Maybe it is the work needed to be at peace maybe it takes too much and we seem to always choose the easy way that of quick and complete destruction.

“The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.” William J. Clinton, 1997

While we can argue his morality and personal life for many days on end Bill Clinton was an astute and intelligent man. As I read this passage I find this is the basis for so many of the world’s wars, clinging to his past. It often is not whether it is right or wrong but just clinging to it, that tradition or ritual. My Westie this past weekend has a stuffed toy bone she has carried every where made it hard to get her outside to the yard without it. She slept on it, carried it everywhere, she is obsessed with it. Many nations and peoples are like this as they wage war no practical value and definitely no humanitarian value, just because it was this way.

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” Indira Gandhi

Interesting how in India where Mahatma Gandhi taught peace so many leaders have died trying to attain that goal including Gandhi himself.

“Peace hath higher tests of manhood, than battle ever knew.” John Greenleaf Whittier

We have always known it takes far more to walk away then to fight but we succumb to our human nature and take a swing. Seems we always want to get in that first blow.

“Five great enemies to peace inhabit with us: avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. If those enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.” Francesco Petrarch

As I look about this morning how do we even attempt to banish these when they are the basis for so much of the world’s leadership perhaps when we vote next time around.

“There is one armor that the world of men and women, as a world, has never yet put on. The churches have long bungled with its fastenings, but the world has gone unfended, and few have been those in whose hands the mystical sword of the spirit has shone with daily use. This armor, waiting to be worn, is the armor of brotherhood and sacrifice, the world of unselfishness, a conquering sword, with the power, where used, to unite the world in love. And there are none who may not put it on.” M.A. DeWolfe Howe

Why is it the word love keeps popping up I recall my earlier years as anti war demonstrators in the 1970’s used peace signs and many times the word love was written right next to the peace symbol. One of my all time favorite movies of all time, Billy Jack contains a song, One Tin Soldier, recorded and sung in the film by the group Coven.

“Go ahead and hate your neighbor, Go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end. There won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgment day, on the bloody morning after…. One tin soldier rides away.” Lambert-Potter

Actually briefly back in the day it was a hit song for the group. The song and short animated film of the song are based on the ends justify the means. I find it amusing how war never does seems to bring peace. World War II ended and we went into the cold war and Korean War, war does not bring peace. I was watching, The Scorpion King over the weekend and there is a scene where the bad guy says he is going to bring peace after conquering and slaughtering all in his path. The heroine, the sorceress turns to him and says you are bringing not peace only oppression.

“I think that people want peace so much that one of these days’ governments had better get out of their way and let them have it.” Dwight Eisenhower

General Eisenhower fought for peace as commander of he allied forces in World War II during World War II and then served our country as President.

“We have all taken risks in the making of war. Isn’t it time that we should take risks to secure peace?” J. Ramsay MacDonald

Maybe weapons of peace just aren’t as cool as weapons of war and with so many video games featuring destruction who knows.

“We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

True peace is about freedom and choice and understanding.

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.” Robert Fulghum

I wonder if any US funds have been spent on this weapon. I wonder if the current Congress would even address such a weapon. I wonder if Brown and Root have an inventory of Crayolas around somewhere in anticipation along with their corporate partner Halliburton.

“A warless world will come as men develop warless hearts.” Charles Wesley Burns

Peace is not an easy task when so many are against the idea and reap profits off of war and destruction. It seems so often companies who profit from destruction also make fortunes on reconstruction.

“We shall never be able to affect physical disarmament until we have succeeded in effecting moral disarmament.” J. Ramsay MacDonald

It is not an easy task seeking peace in a world so intent on war. I remember peace activists being jailed and beaten by police for being nonviolent which to me is a paradox of sorts. Gandhi was punished for being nonviolent and killed eventually because of his beliefs. Martin Luther King Jr. died advocating for nonviolence and peace. So many die for peace. Is a death in peace more notable than a death in war? I wonder if there is a congressional medal of honor for dying trying to achieve peace. Both dying for what they believe. As I search my heart this morning as I wrote I borrowed a passage from Dr. Wayne Dyer.

“When you know rather than believe you will discover the necessary abilities to carry out your purpose. Beliefs are handed to you; hence they are received with some doubt. Knowing comes from within.”

It is about knowing not simply believing. Please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.
namaste
bird