Inspiration

My First Year of School

In summers, during most of high school and college, I worked in a summer camp. My assignment was, pretty much, to protect and entertain a cottage full of three-to-five-year-olds. It was such fun that I decided I’d like to teach children as a career.

After graduating from the university, our certificates covered: nursery, kindergarten, and grades 1-8.

As luck would have it, before graduation I was hired to teach in my hometown. The year was 1969, a year of many problems and few jobs. So this was a blessing.

Journey to Art

Some say infants are born with wisdom and abilities. It is a thought to ponder.

Let’s take a journey watching a young artist create and grow.

When a baby is old enough to manipulate small objects, he should be given one crayon and a white piece of paper. He will be beyond delighted when he realizes that he has the power to make this crayon work. You’ll see a big, happy, toothless smile! Share in his joy.

I Saw an Angel

I saw an angel. Actually, I saw one, then a second, and then a third. The first was a young adult about 14 years old. The angel wore a white gown or robe. It looked like linen.

Upon the robe was exquisite and unusual golden trim and gold embroidery. It seemed as though the gold was alive, as if it were the energy identity and the “life” of the angel – its core essence.

The gold “writing” sparkled, too. The angel moved but was completely silent. It had no wings.

The Creaking Floor

I love floors that creak. There’s a power, a personality to it, as if the floor acknowledges me there, greets me, in a way. The house feels homey and lived in, in some sense imprinted.

Old houses have creaky floors and stairs, for sure. It’s not clear if it’s the personality of the people who lived there coming through or the personality of the home itself. But, to me, it always seems inviting and cozy.

It makes me mindful of the moment, more fully present with more of my senses focused here and now.

I also love doors that creak and drawers that squeak.

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.

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