Friday, February 26, 2010


"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

I adore that quote!  I really adore it!  It is me.  And truth be known it took me way too long to understand that this is the only way to live.  I feel certain that there are those who do not care for me, are envious or jealous or don't like the color of my hair or lipstick or whatever!  But you know what?  That is okay and just fine with me.  They don't have to like me. They just have to get out of my way. And I mean that in the most respectful, honest, and sincere way. They don't know what it is like to walk in my shoes, anymore than I know what it is to walk in theirs.

Passion elevates the spirit and heart to great things and not everyone has this passion. To spend time criticizing, gossiping, whispering, or grumbling about another person is madness.  It is also equally mad to spend time listening to it. 

Maya Angelou says it best, "Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, 'I'm with you kid. Let's go.'" Who has time for frivolous gossip or meaningless chitchat when there is so much life to be lived? There are kind words to be said and loving and compassionate words to be said and words of gratitude and appreciation to be shared.  Disregard the people who have nothing nice to say.  They eat up your time and your spirit! 

Today I met a Korean War veteran at the rehab hospital while I was there with Kelsie.  He instantly noticed the PTSD SUPPORT DOG patch on her vest and the SOLDIER'S ANGEL patch.  He told me he was a veteran of the Korean War.  As I always do, I thanked him for his service to our country.  In seconds, tears came to his eyes and rolled down his cheeks.  I took his hand and sat next to him. With great sorrow, he explained to me that I was the first person that had ever said that to him.  Can you imagine? I was the first person who had ever thanked him for his sacrifices and service.  He had been surrounded by troops dying in front of him, troops he had to leave bleeding to death on the battlefield.  He witnessed things I choose to not share with you because of their graphic nature.  But suffice it to say, he, at the very least, deserves to be appreciated and thanked for his service and sacrifices. 

It raised the question, what is wrong with people?  Why was this man never appreciated for what he gave? Why was he never thanked?

He loved on Kelsie, petting her endlessly, as I told him about her work with our wounded warriors. We talked about people being so consumed in their own lives they have little time for anything or anybody else.  We talked about people who have no desire to know what our soldiers are enduring hourly in Iraq or Afghanistan, or are completely disinterested.  I told him my car was packed with 'baby wipes' and toothpaste and toothbrushes to send to the troops who have no running water and no ability to bathe for weeks!  We talked about how we take running hot water for granted, pillows and clean sheets, and how these guys must use dirt to clean themselves.  "Nothing has changed," he said. 

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." We need to weigh the words we say, we need to find value in them, we need to say thank you. 

I know there are people that have no interest in what I say or speak or write about, and they are not afraid to tell others what they think.  Many times people are so busy planning the next thing that they want to say that they barely hear what anyone else has to offer.  Words can be powerful weapons, some more painful in their own way, than bullets.  A few ugly words, or the lack of a few loving words, can make others break and cry in sadness or anger.  Constant criticism can make anyone feel inadequate.  No good ever comes of making others feel bad.  Satisfaction found from flinging ugly words fades quickly, and the pain of these words eventually comes back on the person who said them one way or another.

Today make it a point to not break someone's spirit or passion.  Say thank you.

I personally admire people who just keep going, without bragging or feeling the need to tell everyone about it.  Try being one of those people! It is what our soldiers do everyday!!


"To know even one life has breathed eaiser because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."
~Coco Chanel~

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