Written by Gerald Boerner
Good Morning, My FB Family…
Well, I’m back to my regular wake up time — about 4:30 am! I love getting up early enough to get my thoughts straight, watch the morning news to catch the breaking events of the day, and start posting my different pieces. I had always thought of myself as a night person; but now I really thrive on the early morning hours. While I was taking my photography classes, this would be the time that I would get ready to leave on my morning trek to my favorite photo spots to catch the predawn and period right around sunrise. I got some of my best photos at this time. It was also a time that I could catch the Metrolink train to go into downtown LA or down to the beach area of San Juan Capistrano.
I’m partially back, in that I am now able to get up and start functioning at this early hour. Perhaps when I get a lift for my new power chair on my Sequoia, I’ll be able to get to the Metrolink station to begin my daily treks again. I certainly hope so. (Too bad the Dial-a-Ride shuttle doesn’t start moving before 8 am! I could use a ride to the Metrolink station at about 5 am. Oh well…) What’s great about retirement is that I can get up early and start my day while letting my wonderful Gracie sleep in to awake on her own schedule.
So, this morning I was greeted by a relatively warm temp of 48; that’s about what was predicted. The high today is predicted to be in the low 80s. And this is the 3rd of April? I guess Mother Nature is going through her schizophrenic phase where she can’t decide whether to be winter or summer. The solution seems to be bouncing back and forth between the two seasons. But, well, this is SoCal after all. What we consider cold is a very desirable temp for others in my FB and genetic family. Isn’t life a fun journey through the days of the year.
I guess, we all need to be thankful that we do wake up each morning. That is a sign the good Lord has given us another day in which to show our appreciation. So I am happy for each day that I’m given. It is indeed a gift and I want to make the most of it. My postings and writings are part of my celebration of this gift. I want to share my memories and thoughts while I am still breathing the air on this good earth. GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 2043 Words ]
Quotations Related to Maya Angelou:
[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/maya_angelou.html ]
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
— Maya Angelou
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou
“For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.”
— Maya Angelou
“I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water.”
— Maya Angelou
My Musings of the Day: April 3rd…
Thinking about Life…
We see a lot about how to live healthy in adds by Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. These ads emphasize the relationship of living well and thriving; they have emphasized the theme: "Live Well and THRIVE…" While these ads are intended to bring in more business for the health care giant (and I have been a client of Kaiser for nearly forty years now!), they send everyone an excellent message. There is a relationship between good health and thriving in life.
Today’s poster was shared by one of my FB family, Lynn; it features some important elements of thriving in this life. I would like to explore some of these ramifications of this in the present posting.
How much would our lives be enhanced if we looked at the mission of our lives is not to merely survive, but to THRIVE. I think that the Kaiser ad campaign draws much of its effectiveness by its exploration of this concept. We would do well to do so with our own lives. Let us examine what our mission, or purpose, is in this life. It should be more than to just exist from day to day. That would mean that we are living at a bare survival, subsistence level.
An acclaimed psychologist, Abraham Maslow, put forth a theory in the early 1940 in which he attempted to explain human motivation. This theory of developmental psychology looks at life’s motivations being based on a hierarchy of needs. It start out by looking at basic existence being at the Physiological Level, while safety of our family, loved ones, and ourselves is at the next level: Safety. From there it progresses from Love/Belonging, Self-Esteem, and capped with the Self-Actualization level. I think the Ad Men for Kaiser knew this theory well and built upon it to encourage us to move from a survival to higher and higher levels on this hierarchy.
Maya Angelou’s poetry and speaking addresses many of these same issues. This poster speaks of living with Passion, Compassion, Humor, and Style. You might think about these concepts and how they play out in your own life. This is a personal thing; it cannot be done vicariously by someone else for us! We see in these statements elements of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s concept of the "Passionate State of Mind." This allowed him to transcend the interment in the Nazi death camps during World War II and think himself above his physical limitations. It is the thing that gives us hope. It gives us a reason to live. It allows us to THRIVE!
I have had to fight the demons of being sorry for my loss of mobility and my poor health to move on to the higher levels. I have given careful consideration to the issue, in my own life, of the quality of life. After avoiding the abyss of depression over my current state and seeking only to survive, I have had to reach within myself to grab ahold of the strength within me. I have had to look at my past experiences and try to weave them into a tapestry of existence that led me to blogging and sharing my story with my FB family and friends. I approach each day with a renewed passion for life, a thankfulness for each new day that I am given.
Last Year, on my Birthday I took a fall that required us to call out the
Riverside Fire Department Paramedics to get me up off the floor.
It took four of them! This was a turning point.
Yes, I still deal with limitations, but I’m trying to attack those limitations straight on. Contrary to what some of my health care providers have felt, I will strive to THRIVE, to make the most of my situations. I am starting into my photography again, I am motivated to write about my life experiences for the benefit of my FB family, and to leave a legacy by which my grandkids can know me when I pass. This has also renewed my interest in topics of equity, equality, and fight discrimination. How do I deal with some of my limitations? Humor; I need to laugh at them and surmount them. I have found in my writing and photography my own style, that which makes me distinctively ME. I will THRIVE.
I hope that this little exploration of the psychological and my experience will encourage you each to think about your own lives. Be thankful for each day, each challenge, each issue and mount our horse, grab our lance and tilt at the windmills like Don Quixote. Look inward and see how you can develop a new passion for life so that you, too, can THRIVE…
Musing for Today…
Do I believe in fate? Not necessarily. But I think we encounters two types of challenges in our daily activities. We also, as we have been discussing in recent days, found out that our genetics, environment, and previous life experiences become translated into "filters" that are used to interpret the meaning of different behaviors (actions or words) and treats in people and situations into which we are thrust during the day.
Some people consider this fate and yield themselves to the inevitable consequences. It’s almost as if they have applied, in the extreme, the theological concept of "predestination" to their daily life. We need to remember that the theologians who developed this concept, especially John Calvin and John Knox, were interpreting how they saw God affecting the lives of men; this is not undisputable, factual evidence at all. The quick lesson here is: don’t jump to conclusions just because you think something is happening because of that unforgiving fate.
Our poster of the day starts out with some very good advice. Never expect (something to happen). Never assume (something will happen regardless of what we do). In this circumstance, I am interpreting "expect" and "assume" are giving ourselves over to the fates over which we have no control. That is not always true!
Here is a good time to remember the words of the Serenity Prayer. It goes: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." There are, indeed, some things in life that we cannot change; we need to avoid wasting our energy and building frustration in doing so. But there are other things that we can change and it is our right and obligation to make every effort to make a difference. By directing our attention, energy, and resources at those things under our control will simplify our lives and give us much happiness.
The latter part of this poster is a bit convoluted, but I interpret it as saying that if something was meant to be it will be and if it is one of those areas over which we can change AND WE TAKE ACTIONS TO DO SO, things will end up being to our liking. The most important part of this whole conversation is this: exercise your mind and wisdom to take on those challenges on which we can make a difference. This will not only be more productive, but will lower our frustration level which will make us even more productive — productivity times two, if you will!
Think how this could help you in your daily battles. Be smart. Be wise. Be HAPPY! Think about it…
Photo of the Day:
For our photo of the day, I want to share a photo I took last weekend on our trek to downtown Riverside. We had intended to visit the Farmer’s Market on the downtown walking mall, visit the Mission Inn, and go to the downtown library. This was to be a combined photo expedition and exploration of these downtown landmarks.
When we arrived, we discovered some real treasures. On the mall, the city had installed several monuments to individuals making significant contributions to mankind. I share with you one of the photos I shot of the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi known for his advocacy of non-violent resistance as a tactic for organizational change. There is a lot of detail about the base, but that will need to await another day. Given our discussions above, I think Gandhi personified one who has put several of the suggestions into practice. Enjoy and be edified…
Tribute to Gandhi. (Photo Credit: ©2012 Gerald L. Boerner)
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:
Wikipedia: Abraham Maslow: Theory of Motivation — Hierarchy of Needs…
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: In Memoriam — Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Dying for his Christian Duty…