Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem

It seems that all we see on the news headlines are more examples of violence, political and religious extremism and racism, one way or another. I’ve often expressed my disdain for all of these attitudes and actions.

Sometimes people are so set that their view is right that they don’t consider other views    “A mind is like an umbrella: it only works when it’s open.” That’s a good saying.

History has been filled by those so hellbent on forcing others to believe the way they do that they used force to elicit change. The enemy of peace is prejudice and extremism. There is another old adage, “Convince a man against his will and he’s of the same opinion still.”

So instead of burning down a business because of something those folks had nothing to do with or beheading someone because they don’t convert to your brand of religion, why not work to educate folks and look at all the facts without “flying off the handle.”

And to learn the meanings and origins of your favorite sayings, order a copy of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions on any Amazon site in the world. They have copies in stock and ready to mail! It also makes a great gift.


Do you believe in miracles?

This morning my wife, Rhonda, was running an errand for another lady, who had given her a one hundred dollar bill to purchase the needed items. When she arrived at the cash register and reached for the bill, it was nowhere to be found. Of course her first impression was, ‘How will I pay for this? I guess I will use my debit card and pay back the rest when I can take her the cash.’ Upsetting to say the least. Then she said a little prayer for guidance and ‘divine intervention.’ She then went to Customer’s Service who told her that a lady from another department had reported finding some money. When she got there, no one knew anything about it. Another prayer. Returning to Customer Service, she had them page the lady who had found the money. Upon arrival, she asked Rhonda how much money she had lost. When her response was ‘A one hundred dollar bill’ the lady reached in her pocket and gave it to her. Whew! A bit close, and certainly a boost for prayer and decent human nature.

So be careful as Christmas approaches. Some people may not be so honest! And keep a prayer in your heart.


2012 Summer Olympics are history

The Olympic summer games have once again come and gone, to become a part of our collective world history. I am proud to be an American. Our superior athletes walked away victors, winning more metals than anoly other country with the following: 46 Gold, 29 Silver, 29 Bronze and 104 total. China took 88 in all for second. But now we are left with some fond memories, and our great athletes have experienced the time of their lives. Rather than mention a few by name, I will just express my thanks to each, whether or not they came home with metals. They are all heros to me. God bless them, and God bless America!


Classic novels

One of the tasks that we are undertaking at St. Clair Publications is to publish in both high-quality paperback and ebook format a good number of classic novels which shaped our literary history. Already Men of Iron by Howard Pyle with a forward by Kent Hesselbein and Silas Marner by George Eliot with the forward by me are out in paperback, and I have prepared The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  by Mark Twain for future publication.

Now I am formatting and preparing the classic Abraham Lincoln novel, A Man for the Ages by Irving Bacheller (1919). Not much is known by many younger people about Irving Bacheller, but he was a great person in his day. After graduating from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York, where he was later granted two honorary Masters and two Doctorial Degrees, he founded the Bacheller Syndicate which popularized of such works as Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage, and those of Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Bachelor was also the author of another popular novel titled Eben Holden. A Man for the Ages  is divided into three books; the first as a niave young man, the second dealing with his self-education, entry into the public arena, and the third with his rise to the presidency and his death. A lot of it deals with the division of the nation concerning the slavery issue. In my youth, my mother read this book to our family, and it had a powerful impact on my sense of values. Well worth the read when we get it out.

Celebrating 103 years

Today is the 103rd anniversary of my mother’s birth in Ducktown, Tennessee. In her lifetime she got around a bit. She grew up in Wyoming and Montana in the days of homesteds and Native Americans settling in the reservations around her. Then after obtaining a Normal Training certificate to teach school, she began in one-room schoolhouses, teaching in Wyoming, and Arkansas before going into Adult Education and graduating from Business College in Georgia in order to teach women how to earn a living while their husbands and fiances were away in WW II. She ended up in Who’s Who in North Carolina Education before marrying my dad in 1945. After that she even stayed with family members and did some tutoring. She also lived in Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina and traveled to many locales, plus going to Haiti on a mission trip. She was a dedicated teacher, wife, mother and Christian. She left this world in 2000 as she was nearing the age of 91. She set a high standard, I still love and miss her.

Deep cleaning

This morning the carpet cleaners came to our home and deep cleaned all of our carpets. Though we will have to endure dampness on those floors over the next few days, there is a fresh smell and a spic and span look to them.

It occured to me how we, too, need to do soul-searching on occasion, and if we discover any attitudes or feelings that need removing, we should do our own deep cleaning. Afterward we may notice some aftereffects that we don’t relish, but the good far outweighs the bad. There will remain a sweet-smelling savor of cleanliness. Have a marvelous day!

Food promotes growth

It seems that Rhonda and I have had poor luck growning plants. I guess that is because we find ourselves so engrossed in our daily lives and matters that seem more urgent at the moment that we neglect the nourishment of the greenery about us. This spring Rhonda purchased a pot of three crisp young tomato plants and we have occasionally sprinkled them down when rains didn’t provide needed drinks of life-sustaining water. That, however, has not kept them from blanching and drooping. They now have five tender little fruit hanging around, but I realized that in order for them not to go the way of our past failed crops, I needed to provide them some fertilizer. We should have done it earlier, right? I have now given them their initial feeding of the brand-name growth hormones, and hopefully they will soon be out of danger.

It also occured to me that we are just like plants in the sense of needing proper sustenance. Not just in a physical aspect, but in a spiritual and emtional way as well. I hope this is on our minds as we plow into another week.


Someone is looking up to you

This morning as I drove to my aerobics class I noticed a sign at a local business that said ‘Someone is looking up 2 U. Don’t let them down.’

It made me think, which is exactly why the business owner put it up there. Every one of us has other people who look to us as an example. We either show them a good or a bad one. None of us can always be the perfect shining individual that we would like for our chidren or grandchildren to think we are, but we can be honest with ourselves and others and set an example that we can be proud of.

People who have read my childhood memoirs, Beyond the Thistle Patch, available at the St. Clair Publications website or on many other sites around the world, know that I wasn’t a perfect child. But I had good parents who taught me honesty, fairness and decency, and set an example before me of those things. I’m really glad today.