Notable Quotable – A simple act of kindness

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

Simple acts of kindness never cease to amaze me in terms of how lingering their effects are felt. For example, just the other day I was taking my Mom to see her heart surgeon. She just had open-heart surgery (valve replacement and repair) last month and we were on our way into her follow-up appointment. She’s very weak and needs assistance walking. She was leaning on me and I asked her if she would rather go up the three steps or did she want to walk up the ramp. Keep in mind that I’m also walking with a boot on because I have an unfused ankle (the two ankle fusion surgeries did NOT work and I’m left with an unfused ankle and have to constantly wear one of those big ugly gray surgical boots). We must have looked like quite the pair: me in my boot and mom leaning on me for support.

This very kind gentleman was coming out of the building and heard me ask my mom if she’d rather take the steps or the ramp. He stopped and asked us if we needed help. I thought that was so nice of him. It was a very simple act of kindness but it lingered with me all these days later. He probably thought nothing of it as it seemed to be quite natural for him. Just a nice guy. But it stuck with me. Something so simple as that.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered kindness in so many realms. Maya Angelou has it right: those times are never forgotten because they ignite something in the heart.

In this crazy busy life, may you always remember to be kind. And when someone extends kindness to you, don’t forget to express thanks and gratitude. Let people know how much their kindness means to you.

When was the last time a simple act of kindness stuck with you?  When was the last time you did something kind?

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Notable Quotable: Timing

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb

Have you ever felt yourself regretting those things that you didn’t do years ago when the opportunities presented themselves? We all do. There are always regrets. The “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’s”. But with most things, it’s never too late.

It’s never too late to pursue a dream. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m a firm believer in that and I think the oft heard saying goes splendidly with the Chinese proverb above.

As with many Chinese proverbs, this one is powerful.

How do you feel about this proverb? What have you regretted not doing that you could still do now? And will you?

Notable Quotable: Envy

 

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”   ~Oprah Winfrey

 

How many of you suffer from what I do: envy? I always look at people with mansions and big huge pools and acres of land and I want it. Advantages that I don’t have. Even though I have a nice home and a nice yard and nice stuff, I don’t have THAT. And sometimes it gets me down. I’m left thinking when am I ever going to be able to get all THAT?

But on those rare occasions when I take note of how lucky I am and what all I do have, I realize I have much to be grateful for. And I realize that I ought not want for anything because I actually do have it all. I have all I need, that is.

Oprah’s quote therefore really spoke to me. If I look at what I don’t have in life, I’ll never have enough. True, that. If I look at what I have in life, I’ll always have more. That’s true too. In fact, I have more than I need.

Thanks again Oprah!

(Although I truly wish I had all that she has… I’d really be happy then! )

 

How do you feel about Oprah’s quote? Do you often find yourself in a state of envy? Are you truly happy with what you have now and do you think it’s enough?

 

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Notable Quotable – a Two-fer on Luck

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.  ~Dalai Lama

In other words, as quoted from the novel No Country for Old Men:

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”   ~Cormac McCarthy, American novelist and playwright

 

How often have you wanted something so badly and were terribly disappointed that it didn’t materialize, only to later realize that had you gotten what you wished for, it would’ve been a terrible fate?

Not getting what you want helps you gain perspective. It can often make you see that what you wanted wasn’t what you really wanted after all.

Like that relationship that didn’t work out and broke your heart … and then you later found out that the guy ended up being a deadbeat bum. Or that great relationship that ended in disaster, leaving you shattered, only to later leave you open to an even better and more loving relationship.

How about that job you interviewed for, the one that you were convinced was the only stepping stone that would enable you to get where you wanted to go, but you didn’t get…and then, after months of pissing and moaning, you later ended up with a job way better than the one you lost out on.

Or the bid on the house of your dreams that you lost. You were convinced it was the only house that could make you happy and that you’d never find another like it. But then you later learn that the people who did get the house are facing costly repairs due to a faulty and shifting foundation.

Sometimes not getting what you want is an incredible stroke of luck. Has that happened to you? Tell us about it.

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Notable Quotable – Fear

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

                                    ~ Christopher Columbus

Fear. It holds us back from so much. It is so powerful that it can keep us from realizing dreams.

I love this quote because it serves to instill courage, courage to take that plunge into the unknown. For some, the unknown can be so outrageously scary; for others it is the excitement that drives them.

I think I fall into the latter category, at least most of the time. The unknown to me was always thrilling. I left home (Niagara Falls) to move to a new city (Washington, DC) to start my career. At that time the population there was 3.2 million people. I was fearless (read: young) there and I found getting lost in the city my way of exploring. I was never afraid of getting lost, even in the bad parts of town. Those were the years that I lived life on the edge.

But I soon tired of the big city and yearned for a slower pace. I had visited a good friend in San Antonio, Texas and found the friendly laid back attitudes so inviting that on my next vacation I set up 12 interviews (in the beer industry in San Antonio and both in the beer industry and the radio industry in Austin). I ended up getting a job offer at a radio station while on vacation and came back to DC, packed up my shit and three weeks later I was moving into a condo in Austin and starting a whole new chapter in my life.

That particular chapter lasted for three years when I grew weary of radio advertising sales and decided to open a bar. I didn’t know anything about running a bar…I had just spent a great deal of time drinking in them. I always dreamed of having a little neighborhood bar, similar to the ones that I grew up with back in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, so I took a vacation from the classic rock radio station and opened one. It was one of the scariest things I ever did, giving up a lucrative career in advertising sales and throwing caution to the wind to devote my life to an 1800 foot beer joint with two pool tables and a few dart boards. But I decided that if I was going to do it, I had to throw myself into it 100 percent. I came back from my vacation, went into my sales manager’s office and told him I was leaving to open a bar. (His response was awesome: he put out a memo to the whole station about me opening a bar and announced that my going-away party was going to be at my bar and for people to bring a lot of money to put in my cash register. How cool is that?!)

The unknown, although scary, was also thrilling. I learned a lot from those experiences and know that should the opportunity come again where I might lose sight of the shore, I’ll be able to dive right in.

Because the one thing I realized through all my ventures: God doesn’t bring you this far only to hang you out to dry…

May you always find the courage to lose sight of your shore.

sailing away

When was the last time you did something scary? Did the prospect of “losing sight of the shore” ever keep you from taking the journey? If so, do you regret it?

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