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Hello world!

29/11/2008

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor E. Frankl

Hello world: Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

Hello world: Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

 

Respite Reminder: I'm Taking My Own Advice. Will Check in occasionally. Back in August!

Respite Reminder: I’m Taking My Own Advice. Will Check-in Occasionally. Back in August!

Welcome to Mirth and Motivation! This is a Lifestyle/Motivational blog offering an eclectic mix of mirthful and motivational pieces: Life Tips / Advice, Affirmations/Wellness, Women’s Lives, Food, Travel, Interviews, Inspirational posts, Reviews, Peace, AND Social Media ruminations on people, places, and events that shape our lives. I invite you to stay awhile, read some posts, and share your thoughts with this growing online blog community.

I started this blog 10+ years ago, as a way to help agents/staff at the company I worked for stay motivated. After the market crashed and we were downsized, I decided to keep it going. The main goal was, and remains, to encourage myself and others to keep moving forward. It has been a long and rewarding journey.

Over the years, I have learned a lot about blogging, its many positives, and pitfalls, and how important it is to stay focused on our own Why or raison d’être.  We can choose to focus on one of the fundamental rules of blogging which is to make connections with others by adding value through our message/content, comments, and social interactions. We can also choose to turn our attention elsewhere. It is entirely up to us. One thing I know for sure is that if your heart is invested in what you blog about, you will stay the course. Remember to stay true to who you are and why you blog. It can’t just be about monetization. Add value. Help others. Stay encouraged.

Another thing I know for sure is that we all want to be heard, appreciated, and respected; I know that empowering messages are far more appealing than incendiary angling for blog attention. If your blogosphere surfing brings you here, relax, kick back, and share a positive tidbit on your worldview.

 How do we stay mirthful and motivated?
Read more…

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

21/09/2020

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” John F. Kennedy

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

 

United Nations International Day of Peace Student Observance

#InternationalDayOfPeace: The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly… In 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. UN Background

Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3 KJV
When will we know true peace? Only when we experience the pain of others as ours, only when our hearts beat for comforting others when they are in pain… Mata Amritanandamayi
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie
We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect. Michelle Obama

World Gratitude Day and International Day of Peace: Today, September 21, is both an important and auspicious day because we will celebrate both International Day of Peace and World Gratitude Day. Gratitude Day was initiated at the International East-West Center in Hawaii, in 1965,  and over the years, it became an important celebration of The UN Meditation Group. In our current climate of living during a global pandemic with strife and unrest as part of the equation, we need peace and gratitude more than ever. Where there is peace, gratitude flows, and vise versa. While Gratitude Day might not have the official stamp of the UN, it is a special day that compliments World Peace Day; it gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the things we are grateful for, and on all the ways many of our leaders bring about peaceful and positive change in the world.  If I had three wishes for Gratitude Day, it would be that we use it as an opportunity to express gratitude for the good in our lives, show kindness and compassion to others, and help those in need. Our gratitude should be expressed and shared.

What about the International Day of Peace? Each year, for International Peace Day, the UN picks a suitable theme that becomes the guiding principle and the focus for discussions on peace; the theme for 2020 is Shaping Peace Together.  The idea behind this year’s theme is that the current global Covid19 pandemic has brought a greater awareness around the world that we must work together to fight this virulent enemy and bring an end to wars and strife. As the UN pointed out, “our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security, and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere.” If we are to survive this global pandemic, we must come together as nations and stand with the UN to prevent the use of the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. We must do our part by teaching our children to be grateful and to choose peace over war. Standing up for injustice, speaking out again all forms of oppression, and serving our fellow man/woman are actions that propel us int the direction of world peace and gratitude. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech, “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.” We must heed this advice as our planet struggles to find its footing under our current conditions.

In the UN video above, they are holding a virtual event on the theme “Shaping Peace Together.” It will be a dialogue between UN Messengers of Peace and young people around the world. They will discuss the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire as well as the importance of everyone working together peacefully to fight COVID-19. Join in!

READ: Motivation Mondays: PEACE & GRATITUDE
A Gift for World Gratitude Day

I Dream A World by Langston Hughes (Peace Poem)via allpoetry.com
I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

My Work is Loving the World by Mary Oliver (Gratitude Poem)via awakin.org
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird –
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

 

“Learn to be thankful to everyone, to the entire creation, even to your enemy and also to those who insult, because they all help you to grow.” Mata Amritanandamayi

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

Motivation Mondays: International Day of Peace & World Gratitude Day

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. Eleanor Roosevelt
There can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development. Peace, justice, and sustainable development are all mutually reinforcing… Peter Yeo
Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible. Anonymous
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world, you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.] John 16:33 AMP
Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. Wayne Dyer

Celebrating UN 75th Anniversary and 2020 Theme: Shaping Peace Together. Since this is the 75th Anniversary of the UN, celebrating Peace is a key part of the festivities. If you recall the history of the United Nations Organization, it was initiated in 1942, when 26 nations joined forces as a Declaration of United Nations to fight the so-called Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis and named by then-President Theodore Roosevelt. However, the UN was officially created at the end of World War II in 1945 as 50 nations gathered in San Francisco for an international conference and signed the Charter of the United Nations on 26 June 1945.  The organization came into full force on 24 October 1945. The main goal of the new UNO was and remains to preserve peace and help build a better world. This year, there will be a Peace Bell Ceremony, featuring the UN Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, and the Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN, as well as a performance by the Universal Hip Hop Museum and other festivities.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together,” and the UN is inviting us all to join forces by participating in #UN75 which gives us a chance to dialogue, complete a survey, share the UNToolkit and help raise awareness about the global effort they make towards peace. There are more ways we can join in as the pdf below suggests. we can 1. ) Organize a UN75 Dialogue. 2. Educate yourself about PEACE. and 3.Engage in acts of kindness and solidarity.   We can all celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic. We can stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so that we can shape peace together. Come back later for more!
Resources:
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP PDF
The world needs solidarity. Join #UN75
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry via gratefulness.org
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world and am free.
Gratitude – Poem by Lucy Maud Montgomery via poemhunter.com
I thank thee, friend, for the beautiful thought
That in words well-chosen thou gavest to me,
Deep in the life of my soul, it has wrought
With its own rare essence to ever imbue me,
To gleam like a star over devious ways,
To bloom like a flower on the dreariest days­
Better such gift from thee to me
Than gold of the hills or pearls of the sea.

For the luster of jewels and gold may depart,
And they have in them no life of the giver,
But this gracious gift from thy heart to my heart
Shall witness to me of thy love forever;
Yea, it shall always abide with me
As a part of my immortality;
For a beautiful thought is a thing divine,
So I thank thee, oh, friend, for this gift of thine.
Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace, Saint Francis Prayer via catholic.org
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for JUL – AUG 2020 are:

AUG

08/01 – 01 SUMMER, 04 Obama Day, 07 Purple Heart Day, Cat Day
08/09 – 09 Book Lovers Day, 12 International Youth Day, 15 National Relaxation Day
08/16 – 17 Nonprofit day, 19 National Aviation Day, World Humanitarian Day, World Photography Day, 22 Commemoration of Victims of Religious Violence Day
08/23 – 23 Slave Trade Remembrance Day, 26 Women’s Equality Day, National Dog Day
08/30 – 30 Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance Day, 31 Drug Overdose Awareness Day

SEPT

09/01 – 05 International Day of Charity, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
09/06 – 06 Read a Book  Day, 07 Labor Day, 11 Patriot Day
09/13 – 13 Grandparents Day, 18 Rosh Hashana Starts, AIDS, and Aging Awareness Day
09/20 – 20 Rosh Hashana ends, 21 International Peace Day, World Gratitude Day, 22 Start of Fall
09/27 – 27 Yom Kippur starts,29 National Coffee Day,
National Preparedness Month, National Childhood Cancer Awareness, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, National School Success Month, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery, National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness, National Hispanic Heritage Month

 

Read more…

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

26/08/2020

“You cannot be neutral. You must either join with us who believe in the bright future or be destroyed by those who would return us to the dark past.” Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin

Motivation 2020: Women's Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women's Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

There must always be a remedy for wrong and injustice if we only know how to find it.” Ida B. Wells
We have made a way when there was no way.” Rosalyn Terborg-Penn
I appeal on behalf of four millions of men, women, and children who are chattels in the Southern States of America, Not because they are identical with my race and color, though I am proud of that identity, but because they are men and women. Sarah Parker Redmond
Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance.” Mary Church Terrell
The crowning glory of American citizenship is that it may be shared equally by people of every nationality, complexion, and sex. Mary-Ann Shadd Cary
Now is the time for our women to begin to try to lift up their heads and plant the roots of progress under the hearthstone. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues, and civic causes, your children won’t either. And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out. Marian Wright Edelman
There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before. So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again. (Equal Rights Convention, New York, 1867) Sojourner Truth

Are You Familiar with Women’s Equality Day?  Women’s Equality Day is on August 26, and it is the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote in the USA. It commemorates the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. While many black women participated in the movement, they were excluded from the historical records celebrating this achievement. According to the book, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (1998) by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, which some saw as a response to the “History of Women’s Suffrage,” a six-volume work, begun in 1881 and edited by Anthony, Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, the American suffrage movement erased from historical records, the many black women who attended suffrage meetings, organized suffrage clubs, and promoted the cause to grant women the freedom to vote.

Rosalyn Terborg-Penn‘s book identified more than 120 black women, including Sojourner Truth, Mary-Ann Shadd Cary, Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell, Sarah Parker Remond, and many other black women who were described as “hundreds of nameless black women.” These notable women and others had participated tirelessly in the suffrage fight. The black suffragettes continued their efforts because they knew the goal was bigger than them and to give up would be dangerous for the plight of black people. The racial divide grew and became glaringly obvious in 1913 when the white organizers of a major suffragist parade in Washington ordered black participants to march in the rear. So, even though the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, said that the right to vote could not be denied on the basis of sex, Blacks of both sexes, especially in the South, were effectively barred from voting by poll taxes, literacy tests, and many other forms of intimidation that included lynchings. It was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that black people found their footing in the polls. Many of the photos, in the collages in this post, are of African American Women in the Suffrage Movement and a few notables from a long list. Do you recognize any of the women featured in the photos? I have also included at least one quote from the many women featured here. Please share in the comments

African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (1998)Rosalyn Terborg-Penn
National Women’s History Alliance: Returning the Suffrage Heroes to the Pages of History
Motivation Mondays: International Women’s Day #GenerationEquality #EachforEqual

 

Voting Rights for All After the 19th Amendment
The 19th Amendment did not guarantee that all women and men in the United States could vote. Securing this essential right has been a long struggle that for some, continues on to this day.
• 1924 Indian Citizenship Act – Native Americans deemed US citizens, but states continue to decide who votes. Many continue to disenfranchise Native Americans.
• 1943 Magnuson Act – Chinese in America granted the right to become citizens, and therefore to vote (the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 previously prevented this).
• 1962 New Mexico is the last state to enfranchise Native Americans.
• 1965 Voting Rights Act – African Americans and Native Americans continued to face exclusion from voting through mechanisms like poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 eliminated many of these. From “The 19th Amendment: A Crash Course,” National Park Service, nps.gov

 

 

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” Ida B. Wells

Motivation 2020: Women's Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women's Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women's Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women's Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

Motivation 2020: Women’s Equality Day #womensvote100 #equalitycantwait

“Lifting as we climb … we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance.” Mary Church Terrell
“The true aim of female education should be, not a development of one or two, but all the faculties of the human soul, because no perfect womanhood is developed by imperfect culture.” Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
I do not think the mere extension of the ballot a panacea for all the ills of our national life. What we need to-day is not simply more voters, but better voters. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
“Countermovements among racists and sexists and Nazifiers are just as relentless as dirt on a coffee table…Every housewife knows that if you don’t sooner or later dust…the whole place will be dirty again.”Florynce Kennedy
When the ballot is put into the hands of the American woman the world is going to get a correct estimate of the Negro woman. It will find her a tower of strength of which poets have never sung, orators have never spoken, and scholars have never written. Nannie Helen Burroughs
“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.” Harriet Tubman
“Whatever glory belongs to the race for a development unprecedented in history for the given length of time, a full share belongs to the womanhood of the race.”Mary Mcleod Bethune
Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey
If any of us hopes to survive, s/he must meet the extremity of the American female condition with an immediate and political response. The thoroughly destructive and indefensible subjugation of the majority of Americans cannot continue except at the peril of the entire body politic. June Jordan

Let’s celebrate Women’s Equality Day because, as I pointed out above, today, August 26, 2020, is Women’s Suffrage Centennial Day –  the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Even though so many women here and around the world continue to suffer from discriminatory practices and all forms of gender inequities, we must never give up. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The road to equality has been a tough and hard-won battle, and it took the collective effort of so many women from all walks of life to achieve it. Did you know that in 1944, skilled female workers earned an average weekly wage of $31.21? Despite federal regulations requiring equitable pay for similar work, their male counterparts in similar positions earned $54.65 weekly. When the war ended, some women were ready to return to their pre-war domestic lives. However, others who wanted or needed to continue working, found their opportunities were limited as men returned home and the demand for war materials decreased. Today, women earn between 83-98 cents on the dollar for the same jobs that men do for more money. Minority women earn less than white women and the efforts to extend equity to all women remain a bone of contention in Congress. As we gather to celebrate 100 years of having the vote, we must not forget our sisters who are voiceless, stuck in minimum wage jobs with no healthcare, or with limited resources and education. The gender pay gap is real and remains a challenge here and elsewhere. Come back for more on the history of this Important Event.

Smithsonian: Five You Should Know: African American Suffragists
Motivation Mondays: Women’s Equality Day #Quotes
Thoughtco: Important Black Women in American History

 

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain’t I A Woman?
Delivered 1851 Women’s Rights Convention, Old Stone Church (since demolished), Akron, Ohio via nps.gov

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say. [1]

 

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for JUL – AUG 2020 are:

JULY

07/01 – 01 SUMMER, 04 Independence Day, 06 D-Day,
07/05 – 07 World Chocolate Day
07/12 – 18 Nelson Mandela Day,
07/19 – 24 International Self-Care Day
07/26 – 28 Parents Day, 30 International Day of Friendship, World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

AUG

08/01 – 01 SUMMER, 04 Obama Day, 07 Purple Heart Day, Cat Day
08/09 – 09 Book Lovers Day, 12 International Youth Day, 15 National Relaxation Day
08/16 – 17 Nonprofit day, 19 National Aviation Day, World Humanitarian Day, World Photography Day, 22 Commemoration of Victims of Religious Violence Day
08/23 – 23 Slave Trade Remembrance Day, 26 Women’s Equality Day, National Dog Day
08/30 – 30 Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearance Day, 31 Drug Overdose Awareness Day

 

 

Read more…

Motivation 2020: Invictus and 12 Poems for Courage

05/08/2020

“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

Motivation 2020: Invictus and 12 Poems for Courage

Motivation 2020: Invictus and 12 Poems for Courage


Oprah Winfrey MOTIVATION – Best INTERVIEW MOMENTS

How would you define Courage?  Recently, I was watching the motivational video above on Oprah. She shared some of the principles that have guided her and I was moved by the story she shared on how she got to recite Invictus for a school event. She was a child and had to learn it in a few days. It takes courage to say Yes to things and then realize you need to honor your commitment immediately. I learned Invictus and many other inspiring poems in school and Oprah’s memory jugged mine. I grew up surrounded by books, music, and poetry, and my love for the medium has stayed with me all my life. As a nursery school kid, I learned nursery rhymes and popular children’s poems of the day. I wrote a few ditties myself and had fun creating, inventing, and reciting poems with my friends. It was a time of innocence, creative play, and adventure.  As the years flew by and life’s unpredictable events unfolded around me, I learned songs and poems of courage to sustain me. Invictus is Latin for “unconquered” and this is a season that demands great courage. In this post, I will share 13 poems on courage that have given me great joy.  Read on.

Invictus By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul. via poetryfoundation

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. via poemhunter

Courage by Claude McKay
O lonely heart so timid of approach,
Like the shy tropic flower that shuts its lips
To the faint touch of tender fingertips:
What is your word? What question would you broach?

Your lustrous-warm eyes are too sadly kind
To mask the meaning of your dreamy tale,
Your guarded life too exquisitely frail
Against the daggers of my warring mind.

There is no part of the unyielding earth,
Even bare rocks where the eagles build their nest,
Will give us undisturbed and friendly rest.
No dewfall softens this vast belt of dearth.

But in the socket-chiseled teeth of strife,
That gleam in serried files in all the lands,
We may join hungry, understanding hands,
And drink our share of ardent love and life. via poetryhunter

If- by Rudyard Kipling
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! via poetryfoundation

 

“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides

Motivation 2020: Invictus and 12 Poems for Courage

Motivation 2020: Invictus and 12 Poems for Courage

When has Courage played an important role in your life? I was a shy child so every step I took out of my comfort zone was an act of courage. I found courage in the company of my more daring friends and their enthusiasm for play and adventure emboldened me to step out of my shell and embrace life.  Of course, some of our childhood play was quite dangerous and we sustained bruises and broken bones for daring to be so stupid. One story that stays with me is of a competition we had to see who could jump over a high fence. As our game progressed, our attempts at higher fences became an attempt to scale a wall. A wall separated our home from our next-door neighbor’s and I was convinced I could jump over that wall. My courageous attempt was a huge mistake because the wall was too high. I fell backward and broke my left leg. The lesson learned was that courage also requires a measure of wisdom…

One of my most courageous acts was to leave the comfort and safety of my family home in the UK and move, alone, to the US. I took a huge chance to leave everything I knew, the friendly, and the familiar, to venture into the unknown in a new country. Courage and grace brought me here and both have sustained me. Every immigrant story is a story of courage because it is never easy to move from a country you grew up in, leaving behind friends and family who love and know you, to new terrain.  All of us left home for various reasons; for love, study, adventure, war, and, for some, a better life. It takes courage to start afresh with hope and dreams, and it takes courage to know when it is time to change course and try something entirely new and different. At different points in life, we all have to take that leap. Some of us balk and maintain the status quo, while others leap and expand their horizon to grasp new worlds and grow. Change is inevitable and courage helps us get there. What is your one act of courage you’d like to share?

COURAGE by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Whether the way be dark or light
My soul shall sing as I journey on,
As sweetly sing in the deeps of night
As it sang in the burst of the golden dawn.

Nothing can crush me, or silence me long,
Though the heart be bowed, yet the soul will rise,
Higher and higher on wings of song,
Till it swims like the lark in a sea of skies.

Though youth may fade, and love grow cold,
And friends prove false, and best hopes blight,
Yet the sun will wade in waves of gold,
And the stars in glory will shine at night.

Though all earth’s joys from my life are missed,
And I of the whole world stand bereft,
Yet dawns will be purple and amethyst,
And I cannot be sad while the seas are left.

For I am a part of the mighty whole;
I belong to the system of life and death.
I am under the law of a Great Central,
And strong with the courage of love and faith. via ellawheelerwilcox.org

Dreams by Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Langston Hughes via poemhunter

Don’t Quit by Edgar Albert Guest
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
when the funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh,
when care is pressing you down a bit –
rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about
when he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
you may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
when he might have captured the victor’s cup;
and he learned too late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
and when you never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar;
so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit. via UBSW

On the Gift of a Book to a Child by Hilaire Belloc
Child! do not throw this book about!
Refrain from the unholy pleasure
Of cutting all the pictures out!
Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.

Child, have you never heard it said
That you are heir to all the ages?
Why, then, your hands were never made
To tear these beautiful thick pages!

Your little hands were made to take
The better things and leave the worse ones:
They also may be used to shake
The Massive Paws of Elder Persons.

And when your prayers complete the day,
Darling, your little tiny hands
Were also made, I think, to pray
For men that lose their fairylands. via poetryfoundation

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for JUL – AUG 2020 are:

JULY

07/01 – 01 SUMMER, 04 Independence Day, 06 D-Day,
07/05 – 07 World Chocolate Day
07/12 – 18 Nelson Mandela Day,
07/19 – 24 International Self-Care Day
07/26 – 28 Parents Day, 30 International Day of Friendship, World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

AUG

08/01 – 01 SUMMER,
08/05 – TBD 07, Purple Heart Day
08/12 – TBD
08/19 – TBD
08/30 – TBD

 

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