Inspiration

Eating Alone

In our home, whenever someone sits down to eat anything, someone else in the home sits down too, just to keep them company.

Not necessarily to make conversation, or eat something too, but just to be with them.

A long time ago, I worked with someone who came from Taiwan. We were talking about lunch, and he said, “People should not eat alone” – this was a deep and fervent part of his up-bringing.

Lonely For New Ideas

I thrive being around people with imagination.

People who can see things that aren’t there yet and talk about them as if they are real right now. Like cars that fly, a practical end to hunger and healing sounds that work infinitely better than chemical drugs.

People who can create – pictures, music, dance, inventions.

People who can see the world in a better way.

Without these people, I feel lonely. Yes, my wife and children fill a kind of loneliness, for which I am very thankful.

Good Enough is Not Enough

Here are some principles to live your life by.

Set high performance standards for yourself. Don't set your goals and standards according to what satisfies others. Set goals that seem a little out of reach. Persevere. When those goals are reached, set new ones at a higher level. Keep doing it.

Never be satisfied with what you've accomplished so far. Always demand more from yourself. When you fail to live up to your standards, don't make excuses for yourself. Accept that you failed and resolve to do better next time.

Doing Nothing

There’s nothing like doing nothing.

I feel liberated, carefree, as if all responsibility is paused, and I am placed in a state of open wonder, able to just be.

Some may find it totally boring, perhaps a waste of time – not me!

My imagination is piqued, and ideas appear, as if clearing away everything that was blocking them. My senses are more, well, “sensitive,” magnified. So, I see and hear beauty around me more easily.

Knowing a Person You Never Met

We have a huge Chinese rug in the living room, 10 feet by 15 feet, 1 inch thick.

It is truly gorgeous. The colors and design are out of this world.

Sky-blue borders, decorated with flowers, all against a crème background. And it feels wonderful under your bare feet.

Who made this carpet I so enjoy? I feel I know him, or her, or them. I appreciate the sheer scale of its beauty and its masterful craftmanship.

Was the design handed down generation to generation, perhaps on rice paper? Or was it kept “in-mind” and shown only when needed?

The Peas

Grandpa always wore a three piece suit with a white Oxford shirt. In the heat of summer, he removed the vest. In the winter, when he went on his daily walks, he added a topcoat and a fedora to his outfit.

Two blocks from his house was a small grocery store where my brother Mike worked as a manager.

Every day, grandpa, in his late eighties, walked to the store to visit Mike and to pick up an item or two.

Best of Friends

Two four year old girls in my nursery school class were the best of friends. When one entered the room, the other would run to give her a big, welcoming hug. They managed to sit side-by-side throughout all activities and held hands when they walked around the room.

These girls were bright, creative and mature beyond their years. Every so often, something of interest would happen at home and they would turn this idea into a little two girl play.

These plays delighted me so much I’d stop what I was supposed to be doing and watch (from afar, of course).

Jingle Bell Run

We live on a quiet street. Each house is surrounded by a wooded acre. Our only excitement is watching small wild animals frolic in our yards.

On the first Saturday in December all that changes. The Community Center holds “The Jingle Bell Run.” The first year of the run, about thirty people participated and they were probably the committee members.

This year hundreds participated.

On the morning of the event, everyone registers at the Community Center and gets a number and a necklace of bells.

College Turkeys

Several years ago, I worked in a computer lab at the university I attended as a graduate student. Since I was the one who usually had to open the lab, I often got to campus very early, and was one of the first people in the parking lot.

Getting up early and commuting on the Merit Parkway was not fun. Sometimes there would be traffic jams. Other times, there was so much ice, I could barely get to work safely.

As much as I hated the commute, sometimes there were nice parts about arriving early.

A Beauty All Its Own

I am drawn to where the past lingers on, like Sturbridge Village Museum in Massachusetts, where people dress up in yesteryear clothes and character. It is truly amazing how these people fit their parts so well, as if being transported back 300 years.

Seeing the farmer in a long coat shepherding a flock of sheep thru the village green.

Seeing the potter casually spinning a clay pot.

Seeing the tinker making a lantern of tin or a candleholder of pewter.

Seeing how they cook in a hearth with an open fragrant log fire.

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