Charity. Do it. There is no fail.

I was with a friend not too long ago, a gent I’ve known for about ten years now.

We’re in a Lions service club together (one of 46,000 Lions clubs around the world).  He’s been in about 30 years, me about those ten years noted above.  We were talking to a brand new member about service work, and finding the time to do the work in the midst of busy lives.

My friend wisely shared one thing he’d been told early on in his membership some thirty years ago.  He recalled how one night he’d met a few Lion members in a pub (he lived in the UK at the time) after work.  A bit later in the evening, after a couple pints and a good chat, these Lions invited him to join their club.  

My friend politely protested at the idea. He explained that he’d  started a new job, had three little kids at home, and his wife was due with their fourth child pretty soon.

One of the Lions replied with a bit of timeless wisdom about doing charity: “Busy people find the time to do a bit more….”, and I think that’s true.  

There’s plenty of need in the world, plenty of people that could use a hand.  If you’re so inclined to lend that hand, DO IT.  You might be busy, you might have a “lot on your plate”, you might think, “Not now, maybe when things slow down a little…”

But the better answer is, DO IT.  Get involved.  If you feel inspired, listen to your gut, and take action, take the cause on, give a little time.  In the end, a lot of little efforts amount to more effort that existed before, and if it’s for a good cause, it’s worth that effort.

Naysayers, critics, know-it-alls may have critique for your efforts, either in quality or in quantity of time afforded…but don’t listen to them.

In charity work, there is no fail.  Because giving of your time and talents in whatever manner you can to help others is ALWAYS the right answer.

And my friend?  Well as I mentioned, he’s been a Lion ever since that chat in the pub.  Making a difference where he can.  You can too.

A Poem: “Freedom Isn’t Free” [Guest Post]

I’m delighted to share this poem from a like-minded human, a believer in God, a light in the darkness. She’s been through that darkness herself, she knows. 

Sincere and massive thanks to Anita Grace Brown for allowing me to share this poem on this blog. 


resist the urge to scream

So. hard. to. be. thankful. for. these. dark. days

telling all
in confident terms

all is well

freedom’s at hand!

back inside

there’s no escape

a vice-like grip

on heart and mind…

soul like a specter

slipping through

bony, superhuman restraint

resist

resist the urge

resist the urge to scream

focus on the blue sky

thy kingdom come…

in the luminous darkness

i remain

See the original post here:

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/freedom-is-not-free-anita-brown-poem/

Anita’s website: http://www.smilingheartyoga.org/#home

Find Anita on twitter via: @namasteanita

Slack

There are lots on applications for this word. One basic meaning. See the dictionary.

In work, at home, in communication,  in relationships, in the pace we live our day-to-day. You need slack in the mix occasionally to keep things in balance. 

You need to give it to others, and yourself from time to time.  It’s a necessary mechanism for successful living and doing. 

An important caution:  Don’t make a habit of expecting it. That approach will dull your blade, slow your game. Better to stay sharp, ready to take actions as needed.

But on the whole, slack is necessary. It’s the counterbalance to constant tension, it provides some respite, an opportunity to recharge.

Sometimes slack means forgiveness. I’m into that. But give it too often or more accurately, too fast, and accountability suffers.  

You lose the sense of quid pro quo – I’ll trade “this for that”, what’s fair is fair. 

What does that mean?  In other words, give a little slack ( a little forgiveness), to get a little more (effort, time, commitment, etc.) next time. But if it doesn’t play that way, if someone takes more than they give, that can cause problems. 

There’s a reason that phrase is in Latin – it’s a concept humans have struggled with for millennia: when to tighten up, when to hold out, when to give slack.

Like lots of people, I find the struggle in trying to balance when to hold tight, when to let up.  It’s a life-long lesson.  It applies in so many facets of our lives:  study, relationships, work, exercise, and on and on.   

When to keep it tight, when to give some slack. It’s a life-long lesson for sure. Learn it. Keep refining your application of the practice.

It will serve you well.

 #Blessed

Like that lyric from Bruno Mars, “…got to blame it on Jesus…Hashtag Blessed…”.

Another word for “blessed” might be “thankful.”

Often in my life I feel this way.

I’m right in the middle of a big pile of quality family time right now. You might guess I feel super blessed right now, and you’d be right. 

Board games, country music, foggy days, late mornings, hot breakfast, sandy walks, spontaneous dancing and singing…all covered with good chats, and deep, easy family time.

Yep, I’m super thankful. 

Funny thing. Last week I was right in the middle of a pile of sick peeps at home. 3/5 of the fam was illin’ with a stomach flu. Not fun…but somehow I still felt blessed. After all, these were the people I’m most responsible for, and I love them a ton, and they’re my family.

I’m very thankful for them. I’m grateful for the opportunity they give me everyday to be a husband and father.  They raise my awareness of timeless good, my sense of God, they deepen and re-affirm my faith.

The people in my family strengthens my clarity of purpose, my sense of direction. They provide a unique depth and diversity of relationship I hadn’t considered would exist. I keep learning and loving and being thankful. Wonderful.

Hashtag Blessed.

Village

Recently we had a little gathering at our house. It was an informal get-together before a dance performance our daughter was in downtown.

As people milled about, talked in small groups, munched on the pulled pork that my wife had made, I was late coming home from work.  The village was waiting.  Grandparents, several aunties, neighbors, other friends.  Eight little kids being minded by several different adults.

I came in and got into the groove as quickly as I could.  And while I stuttered a little in the process, all the while I was thinking, “it’s great to have this group together in our house.”  It’s was great to have that particular energy of the collective, so nice to have that sort of community for our kids to grow-up inside.

This thought, this feeling comes to me pretty frequently.  I considered how blessed we are, to have a fantastic group of friends and family that care about us and want to be a part of our lives.   

Pretty soon we’re headed off with some of the same folks for what’s become an annual beach trip these last few years as the kids have gotten older.

When we get there, everything will slow down.  Screen Time will be eclipsed by Beach Time.  Schedule will be measured by the sand, water and other outdoor adventures we can get into between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime.

I don’t suspect I’ll be checking the time too often.  When the sun comes up, and when it sets will be the only real parameters of the day I’m concerned with.

I will be doing more self-checking, self reflection, too.  I’ll consider further the village of people my little family is a part of, and how fortunate we are to have that sort of quality time together with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Being together, soaking up family, enjoying every little bit of each day for what it is, and what really matters.

[010 Week-old Whiskers]


Liked this intro from an Instagram post so much, had to put it in the blog. 

“Week-old whiskers, day-old clothes, lots to do. GOOD.”

Sorta channeling one of my favorite voices, Jocko Willink. I’ve mentioned him before.

I’m no where near as focused or accomplished as he, but I share his perspective pretty close most of the time.

I’d finish that caption in extended fashion this way:

“Things not to your liking! Later than you’d like it to be? Not going to get as much sleep as you hoped for? 

Ok. 

Shift your attitude, find a little humor, make the best of it. Now do what you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get done. 

Good. Now get it done.”

BOOM.