for the Common Man
I am moved frequently by the courage of others. Besides our amazing police, firemen and other emergency teams, I’ve
• brave family members caring for their dying loved ones, smiling, encouraging, yet weeping
• a tiny old wizened woman run out of her apartment with a baseball bat to defend a neighbor,
because she heard her being beaten by her husband.
• a grandmother suddenly and willingly become
mother to her 4 grandchildren after her daughter’s death.
• a woman deathly afraid of snakes
grab one and hurl it away from a fresh water pond where her niece and nephew were swimming.
a mother run into traffic to protect her little girl.
• tears in childrens’ eyes when they
are told that a beloved pet would be put to sleep because of its pain, but wanted the best for their pet.
• a car-less father walk door to door to find
yard work to care for his family.
• doctors work long past their shift to tend to patients.
What makes a hero? It's one who unselfishly aids another in need. I salute and honor
the millions of heroes who never get recognized, yet toil for their loved ones, even going without so that their needs may
be met. Most mothers are heroes to me.
You can never tell when you might be the next hero. At Ke'e Beach on Kaua'i a young man was recovering
from foot surgery and was on crutches. A wave had knocked a visitor away from the safety of the reef, and she was being swept
out by the current. That young man threw his crutches down and went out after her, and saved her life. There is a very good
chance that you are hero material, and will shine in others' eyes one day.
The Lesson of the Candles
Candles play a very important part of the Lourdes, France experience. Even though I am not Catholic, and wasn't ailing,
I spent five days there in 1999. I was fascinated by St. Bernadette. Bernadette Soubirous was a 14-year-old girl when
she carried a blessed candle with her to the grotto at Lourdes on her seventeenth visit to meet "the Lady". It had become her custom to do so. That time carrying the candle would enhance her credibility.
Dozous watched her cup her left hand over the candle flame. The wind blew the flame over her hands, but Bernadette,
being in a state of ecstasy, didn't react. Dr. Dozous timed it at fifteen minutes. When she came out of ecstasy she had
no burns. Dr. Dozous then put the flame near Bernadette's hands, but she cried out that he was hurting her.
Bernadette didn’t know who “The
Lady” was until near the end of the apparitions, but she listened to her intuition to visit Mother Mary. Mary told her
to tell her priest to build a chapel by the grotto, and in time they did. Thousands have been healed at Lourdes. One can see
crutches, wheelchairs, canes, braces, and the like on the walls of the churches.
It has become the custom to bring candles to the Grotto, which they conveniently
sell, although I observed 6 foot tall beautifully decorated candles from parishes in Ireland and Italy there. One makes a
prayer and the prayer continues as long as the candle is lit. I visited one June when the winds were gusty. Many of the candles
had blown out. I relit them with my candle. Then I noticed something. The wind would practically blow out a candle so that
it would be barely burning. If I placed my candle, also weakened with the wind just next to it, both of them would light up
and burn brightly again. It became for me a visual representation of how we strengthen our own light when we share it
with others, sometimes by just being there. Have you been aware of how someone's caring has warmed and strengthened you?
It also feels as good when you also are the strengthening candle.
The Gift of Truly Listening
I hope that you have had good listening modeled for you. You deserve it. It helps people have good self-esteem. When people
listen to you, it demonstrates that you matter to them, and that feels good. This acronym may help you remember to listen better:
L - Love: Think, “I love you.” to the person. You’ll
soften, and most likely they will too.
I – Interested: Project or even state that you are interested in what they have to say. It will energize them.
Sincere: Be sincere. Be your authentic self. It will help them
be their authentic selves.
T - Time:
Give them permission to take their time. Don’t finish sentences for them, or get distracted.
E - Empowerment: Believe in them and their ability
to handle the situation involved.
N- Non-judgmental: We’re not capable of judging anyway. Be respectful. It is an honor to receive someone’s
is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states of the USA. It is celebrated on November 11th each year, or the
following Monday if it falls on a weekend. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries.
On November 11, 1918, there was a signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. My grandmother taught me that she was told
that World War I was the war to end all wars. It can still happen. I believe that we can peacefully create a peaceful world.
I am also thankful for our veterans. My father and uncle were decorated veterans. The following was sent to me via email, without an author. It touched
me, and I pass it on.
“What Is A Veteran?
A 'Veteran' - whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is someone
who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of
'up to, and including his life.' That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who
no longer understand that fact.”
May we truly believe that we can create a long lasting peace! May our planet heal from the ravages of war.
A Minister Ministers
The dictionary's definition of a minister is someone in the clergy, especially
in Protestant religion. It generally denotes the church leaders. To minister people is to attend to their needs.
When the apostles were working hard to spread Jesus’
teachings to the world, the Grecians “murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily
ministrations.” Then the twelve asked the majority of Jesus’ disciples to find 7 worthy members who would take
care of these women and others. The twelve “prayed, and laid their hand on them”. The ministry increased.
Stephen, one of the 7 did great miracles and wonders. Some leaders in the synagogues falsely accused him of misquoting Jesus
and stoned him. Before he died, he saw Jesus and the glory of God, and asked that his oppressors be forgiven. (Acts 6 and
7) Paul Solomon called Stephen the first deacon and martyr.
In some Protestant churches a deacon is lay officer appointed to assist a minister. All churches have members who have many
needs. Let those who are called serve their churches and truly minister to their needs. It’s time to remember how to
do great miracles and wonders, and do them. The key is in allowing our personality to step aside while we humbly asks that
God, Spirit, All that is, uses our love, our hands and our hearts to serve those who come before us.
"It is not me, but the Father in me Who
doeth the works." Jesus