Words of Wisdom No. 16

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Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
-Saint Francis of Assisi

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Don’t wait for something big to occur. Start where you are, with what you have, and that will always lead you into something greater.
-Mary Manin Morrissey

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Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.
-Anne Sullivan

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You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
― Henry David Thoreau

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Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.
-Swedish Proverb

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Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.
― Albert Einstein

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“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

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“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.”
― Maya Angelou

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We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Words of Wisdom No. 10

Purpose: shed light, help keep perspective, inspire, energize, or just make one think.

 

Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you’ve had a bad life.
-unknown

The Bible praises givers and scorns takers. Givers give, because they are grateful. Takers take, because their self-centeredness overwhelms any gratitude they might have. Since happiness flows from gratitude, takers-only breed their own unhappiness.
WWNH

Never be ashamed of how you were created.  Because you are born into one skin.  You can scar it, stretch it, burn it, mark it, tan it, and peel it.  But you are always in it so you might as well love it.
EFL

In life you will realise that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you.  But most important are the ones that bring the best in you.  Those are the ones worth keeping around.
EFL

The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing.  Growing happens when what you know changes how you live.
-M&AHL

Most of the bad things you worry about will never happen.  Most of the bad things that do happen will have never have crossed your worried mind.
M&AHL

Whenever somebody discredits you, and tells you that you can’t do something, keep in mind that they are speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations.
M&AHL

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. . .
-John 14:27

When you’re up, your friends know who you are.  When you’re down, you know who your friends are.
M&AHL

 
N.B. Many, many thanks to Mark and Angel at M&AHL.
Your wisdom and strength inspires me.

What Makes a Woman – a Lady: Manners, Manners, Manners

(a follow up from our series on What Makes a Woman – a Lady)

Manners, no doubt come hand-in-hand with being a true Lady.  Can you imagine an incredibly elegant, successful, graceful woman without a few manners?  No, it’s almost an impossibility!  So it would be correct to conclude that manners definitively form a very integral part of the making of a lady and also the makeup of a well-balanced and prosperous society. It’s like the oil that creates a happy and successful society.

Oddly enough for this current generation “manners” – the little courtesies and expected acts which your parents taught you at the dinner table when you were 4 years old – are now fading into irrelevance and these past forms are being regarded as “old-fashioned” and too “dated” for Generation Z.

This is evident as we breakout into what constitutes “modern society”.  Where the commonplace individual naturally behaves more rudely, making interaction difficult and hence creating an unpleasant social environment that makes people sometimes just want to run and hide.  In today’s society, bad manners can be observed anytime, anywhere. This sort of discourtesy is ever present and examples are too numerous to count or even mention: the disrespectful treatment of elderly people; invitations that aren’t responded to in any way; the lack of commitment to any event, job, or person; confirming attendance with no intention of attending; the strange disappearance of “please” and “thank you” from most people’s vocabulary; line-jumping; serial texters and cell-phone addicts who talk on the phone, as well as read and send text messages instead of paying attention to physically present persons; the friend or colleague who never offers to pick up the bill at lunch, or even pay their own way; repulsive children (the spitting image of their parents) who think that the world rotates around them and behave obnoxiously because of it, etc, etc.

Yet ironically we tend to blame the younger generation for these rude behaviors, but the truth is that the situation is degrading all ages and levels of society. So much that now it is commonplace to see couples openly insulting each other in public and treating each other with absolutely no common courtesy (a sliding scale which leads directly to physical and verbal abuse).  Just as unfortunate, and equally common is disrespectful and dishonest treatment between colleagues in the business world, who fall back on tricks, half-truths and crude vocabulary to make ends meet. And then, to add insult to injury, these issues are left to be resolved by enormous and costly governmental programs, that can do nothing when facing this irreversible deterioration of personal relationships without the involvement and commitment of everyday people in their everyday lives.

So we conclude that we need to put a stop to this seemingly steep spiral of degradation and deplorable behavior.  We need to revolutionize this generation and bring forth some action.

You may sit back comfortably in your office chair and wish me luck but I’m here with a plan of action bubbling with inspiration from my own heart to uphold these values and integrate them back into society.  It is my belief that we aren’t going to convert the whole world into a revolution – with thousands agreeing to raise the standard and step up the plate.  Yet you and I, as humble and common-place as we may be, pacing through our day-to-day activities in life can actually be the change that we want to see today.

Listed below are some of the everyday acts which we can bring into our life.  However modest and humble these qualities may seem – try one and see how much it makes a difference in the lives of those around you and what a presence of joy in shines upon your life.  So lets start small. . .

  • Saying “please” and “thank you”.
  • Never intentionally embarrassing another
  • Never talking only about oneself
  • Not gossiping
  • Not prying
  • Not asking personal questions
  • Not staring
  • Not pointing at someone
  • Not talking loudly
  • Not asking intrusive personal questions
  • Chew with your mouth closed
  • Cross your legs if you are wearing a dress
  • Wipe your feet at the door and take your shoes off in a persons home
  • Offer food or drinks to guests
  • Open doors for people behind you
  • Please, don’t skip in line
  • Apologize to someone if you bump into them
  • Watch your language in front of children
  • Wait to eat until everyone at the table is seated and ready to eat
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Always wash your hands after using the restroom
  • Dress accordingly for events
  • No excessive PDA
  • Ladies first
  • Make eye contact when talking to a person
  • Say excuse me when you wish to speak to someone who is engaging in conversation
  • Ask to borrow people’s personal belongings
  • Introduce yourself to people when you meet them
  • Don’t put your elbows on the dinner table
  • Don’t burp at the dinner table
  • Don’t comment on people’s weight or age (unless it’s positive)
  • Respect your elders
  • Don’t hit other people
  • Don’t lie or steal
  • Say sorry when you do something that hurts someone else
  • Mind your own business
  • Be a good listener. Don’t interrupt.
  • Do not discuss sex, religion, or politics when you first meet someone. Be courteous when you do.
  •  Anticipate the needs of others.
  • Don’t have your radio or TV so loud it bothers others.
  • Use your turn signal.


In the above we have highlighted quite a few of the common every-day acts and gestures.  But since we focus on the making of a woman in this series we feel it apprpriate to highlight some of the deeds that are particularly noticed and appreciated when displayed by a lady.

  • When you mention your enemies speak about them with respect – not matter what they did – they are human and still deserve respect (Yes, I do mean you’re ex too!)
  • Dress appropriately for the occasion. Yes, this is a tricky one but do you’re best.  A lady never deliberately sticks out of the crowd.
  • Cut the whining and complaining.  Seriously, who like a girl that constantly whines and nothing is ever perfect for her?  Take what you’ve been given with grace and use it to the best of your ability – however meager it may be.
  • Honesty.  One of the greatest attributes bestowed upon mankind.  Use it with tact and pride.
  • Project yourself – real, human, feminine, (and slightly imperfect!) with spirit and vitality.  Don’t try and be a copycat.  You’re unique – embrace it.
  • Be charming.  Strive to be lovely, use small-talk and your smile.
  • Cut out the crudeness.  Enough said.
  • Know how to handle yourself and your emotions.  Know what makes you upset, angry, depressed, moody.  Learn how to curb the unloveliness.  Yes, this takes time and effort maybe a bit of actually trying and failing but remember that old saying, “practice makes perfect?”.
  • Be punctual.  If you’re late – apoligise beforehand.

…and finally remember…

Kindness and courtesy needn’t always be deliberate and planned. Spontaneous kindness is an attribute of a person who already is well-mannered and courteous and whose natural instinct for courtesy is demonstrated in everything he or she does.

The Family Circle in Society

“Nations expire, human goverments are constantly re-cast; political systems are built up by one generation to be pulled down and re-cast by another; false religions, accomompanied by the licentious vehemence of human passions, effect the greatest social changes; peace and war, infidelity and revolution, shape and re-shape human destiny: but amid the decay and the wreck, the confusion and the crimes, which constantly disfigure the face of the earth the asylum of Home has never been overthrown.  The family circle…survives amid the waters of universal change…”

– Happy Homes and How to Make Them pg 4.

The Art of Inner Beauty

Gentleness provided out of patience.

Forgetfulness that follows forgiveness.

 Submissiveness as her spirit of cooperation.

Happiness that spreads infectiously.

Joyfulness that inspires greater hope.

Chasteness promised.

Generousness that smashes selfishness.

Delightfulness that makes them smile.

Unselfishness that spreads as example for all.

Neatness that inspires others.

Goodness that sets a shining example.

Faithfulness that inspires.

Have you ever met one of those women who just shine naturally.  Her smile, laugh, cheerful demeanor, love and care for others is known and felt by all who come in contact with her.

I’ve recently been able to meet one such of these incredible individuals at my workplace.  Everyday it was a real delight to work with her and she so inspired me. Oh, and by any stretch of the imagination, did this woman have a carefree, easy-going life?  She faithfully juggled a busy, full-time job, a handicapped school-aged child, a husband who directed and owned a successful business and was in the process of building their own home – yet every day she would waltz into work with a beaming smile and took her work’s commitments with just as much enthusiasm and devotion!

I learned so much from this quietly, powerful woman.  Day by day her glowing presence made me realize that there is a certain beauty that can been seen and positiveness revealed in each day – either good or bad.

Oh, and don’t be concerned if you feel like me and you’re way behind the eight-ball – maybe you’re having a hell of a day.  Well, firstly let me tell you,  if you’re reading this blog, then you’re one step ahead in actually desiring to change.  Secondly, I give an award to any woman out there who has a vision to grow and develop her capabilities and talents.  Start where you are today – whatever you’re doing.  Washing dishes?  Dealing with difficult clients?  Picking up the kids from school?

Capture this moment and shine! Perhaps even pick out a characteristic that you’d like to work on and start with that!  Why not give it a go!

Oh, and if you happen to have a bit of success in capturing this vision and shining – drop your thoughts in the comment box below!