Category Archives: Helping Hand

Why Do It? Don’t Wait, Do it Now!

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We don’t have to wait for a deep passion or for a good reason or for all of our ducks to be in a row before we craft our soul-prospering life. Below is a poem that underscores the importance of starting now to do what we can to start living our soul-prospering life–or a little bit of it.

 

Lost Opportunities

 

“When I am rich,” he used to say,

“A thousand joys I’ll give away;

I’ll walk among the poor I find

And unto one and all be kind.

I’ll place a wreath of roses red

Upon the bier of all my dead;

I’ll help the struggling youth to climb;

In doing good I’ll spend my time;

To all in need I’ll friendly be

The day that fortune smiles on me.”

 

He never guessed that being kind

Depends upon the heart and mind

And not upon the purse at all;

That poor men’s gifts, however small,

Make light some weary traveler’s load

And smooth for him his troubled road.

He never knew or understood

The fellowship of doing good.

Because he had not much to spare

He thought it vain to give his share.

 

Yet many passed him, day by day,

He might have helped along the way.

He fancied kindness something which

Belongs entirely to the rich.

And so he lived and toiled for gold,

Unsympathetic, harsh and cold,

Intending all the time to share

The burdens that his brothers bear

When he possessed great wealth, and he

Could well afford a friend to be.

 

His fortune came, but, oh, too late;

The poor about him could not wait.

They never guessed and never knew

The things that he had meant to do.

Few knew how much he’d planned to give

If God had only let him live.

And when at last his form was cold,

All that he’d left on earth was gold.

A kindly name is something which

A man must earn before he’s rich.

~Edgar A Guest

 

Let me know what you think of the poem. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Why Do It: An Inspirational Poem

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This reminds me of The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). I like the difference here, though, where the author is asking to partner with The Universe–or God. This seems to me to be a great way to achieve your destiny and live a soul-prospering life!

 

A Plea

 

God grant me these: the strength to do

Some needed service here;

The wisdom to be brave and true;

The gift of vision clear,

That in each task that comes to me

Some purpose I may plainly see.

 

God teach me to believe that I

Am stationed at a post,

Although the humblest ‘neath the sky,

Where I am needed most.

And that, at last, if I do well

My humble services will tell.

 

God grant me faith to stand on guard,

Uncheered, unspoke, alone,

And see behind such duty hard

My service to the throne.

Whate’er my task, be this my creed:

I am on earth to fill a need.

~Edgar A. Guest

 

 

Let me know what you thought of the poem.

You’re Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

What Do I Want? 10 Things About Dad

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We’ve been discussing several techniques designed to help us craft our soul-prospering life. One of the tools is to observe people, not only for the cautionary tale that a life poorly led gives you, but also study the people you admire. Take note of the habits, disciplines, and thought patterns they have. Follow their lead!

Today would have been Dad’s 91st birthday and, even though he’s been gone for several years, he’s still leading the way. Here are ten of his character traits that I strive to emulate every day:

~He was always there to pick us and dust us off and never said: “I told you so” or “That was a dumb thing you did”;

~He was good at knowing when to offer a piece of advice and when to keep his mouth shut;

~He was always there for his family but yet he gave us plenty of elbow room to live our lives the way we chose;

~He never turned his back on a friend or loved one no matter how badly they behaved;

~He went to work every day and did his level best to provide a good life for his family;

~He fought against his inevitable decline and pushed himself to get up out of bed or off the couch and get out into the world;

~He was interested in the world around him and was an excellent example of a lifelong learner;

~He was kind to all people no matter their race, belief system, gender, their choice of partner, etc.;

~He took time to notice and be moved by the simple beauties of Mother Nature whether it was the delight in spying a cardinal on a tree branch in the dead of winter or if it was being deeply touched by a breathtaking landscape;

~He never passed by an ice cream store without stopping in, especially if he had kids in the car!

 

I hope this abridged list encourages you to step up your game, too!

Thanks, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: Stop Comparing Yourself!

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When we find ourselves thinking that we’ve nothing to be thankful for–or very little to be thankful for–it’s probably because we’re comparing ourselves either to others or to some standard of perfection we’ve concocted that, in reality, is unattainable.

I came across this poem that I think sums it up nicely:

 

Hard Luck

 

         Ain’t no use as I can see

         In sittin’ underneath a tree

         An’ growlin’ that your luck is bad,

         An’ that your life is extry sad;

         Your life ain’t sadder than your neighbor’s

         Nor any harder are your labors;

         It rains on him the same as you,

         An’ he has work he hates to do;

         An’ he gits tired an’ he gits cross,

         An’ he has trouble with the boss;

         You take his whole life, through an’ through,

         Why, he’s no better off than you.

 

 

         If whinin’ brushed the clouds away

         I wouldn’t have a word to say;

         If it made good friends out o’ foes

         I’d whine a bit, too, I suppose;

         But when I look around an’ see

         A lot o’ men resemblin’ me,

         An’ see ’em sad, an’ see ’em gay

         With work t’ do most every day,

         Some full o’ fun, some bent with care,

         Some havin’ troubles hard to bear,

         I reckon, as I count my woes,

           They’re ’bout what everybody knows.

 

 

         The day I find a man who’ll say

         He’s never known a rainy day,

           Who’ll raise his right hand up an’ swear

         In forty years he’s had no care,

         Has never had a single blow,

         An’ never known one touch o’ woe,

         Has never seen a loved one die,

         Has never wept or heaved a sigh,

         Has never had a plan go wrong,

         But allus laughed his way along;

         Then I’ll sit down an’ start to whine

         That all the hard luck here is mine.

 

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: The Flow of Thanks and Giving

 

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To me, this poem encapsulates Thanksgiving and how to bring this special time into every day of our lives:

What we wish for ourselves, we wish for others; what we do for ourselves, we do for others.

Such a wonderful way of keeping the flow of thanks and giving going!

SELFISH

  I am selfish in my wishin’ every sort o’ joy for
you;
I am selfish when I tell you that I’m wishin’
skies o’ blue
Bending o’er you every minute, and a pocketful
of gold,
An’ as much of love an’ gladness as a human
heart can hold.
Coz I know beyond all question that if such a
thing could be
As you cornerin’ life’s riches you would share
’em all with me.

  I am selfish in my wishin’ every sorrow from
your way,
With no trouble thoughts to fret you at the
closin’ o’ the day;
An’ it’s selfishness that bids me wish you
comforts by the score,
An’ all the joys you long for, an’ on top o’
them, some more;
Coz I know, old tried an’ faithful, that if such
a thing could be
As you cornerin’ life’s riches you would share
’em all with me.

~Edgar A Guest A Heap ‘O Living’

 

Keep Thanksgiving alive!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: A Happy Thanksgiving Wish

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Thank you, dear Friends and Pep Pals, for subscribing to my blog. I appreciate it very much.

I wish you a lovely day that infuses your spirit with the awe and gratitude for all the gifts, beauty, and goodness that is woven into your life every day. And my wish is that this reverence for all you DO have stays with you throughout your days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: What Really Matters

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I’m reading the book The Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Buettner. He is the researcher credited with coining the term Blue Zones to denote towns, villages, cities, and countries where the people enjoy high levels of happiness and contentment. In the book I am reading, Buettner gives tips and techniques from the world’s happiest people.

As you’d imagine, people in the “happiness zones” had commonalities. They were active, not only physically active but also active within their family, social circle, and community; they ate moderately with fresh fruits and vegetables making up the bulk of their diet; they were devoted to work that was meaningful–whether or not the work was paid–and they took time for rest and recreation. In short, these people were thriving in their lives, not just surviving like a large percentage of people do.

But happiness and thriving means many different things to people. Buettner summed these up into three categories: pleasure, purpose, pride. He found that if you have high levels of pleasure, not hedonistic pleasure but rather that derived from enjoyed activities and warm and welcoming people; if you have work–whether or not it’s paid–that is meaningful to you and brings you pride that comes from giving it all you’ve got and doing your very best, and if you have many opportunities to socialize with people who like you and encourage you, then you, too, can craft a life where you thrive.

A life of thriving is the same as a soul-prospering life!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren