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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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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: THANKSGIVING POEMS & QUOTES

23/11/2020

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” Henry Van Dyke

Motivation Mondays: THANKSGIVING POEMS & QUOTES

Motivation Mondays: THANKSGIVING POEMS & QUOTES

Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life. Rumi
Be thankful for what you have. Your life is someone else’s fairy tale. Wale Ayeni
It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy. Unknown
It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. David Steindl-Rast
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue but the parent of all other virtues. Marcus Tullius Cicero
We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. H.A. Ironside
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. Mary Oliver
Gratitude is a divine emotion: It fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever. Charlotte Brontë
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust
At some point in life, the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough. Toni Morrison
What I love about Thanksgiving is that it’s purely about getting together with friends or family and enjoying food. It’s really for everybody, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from. Daniel Humm

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: On November 26, we will celebrate our very first pandemic thanksgiving, and most of us will observe the rules of social distancing, gathering with only our closest family, and having smaller/quieter meals. We live in unprecedented times, the world is being ravaged by the scourge of Covid-19 – the Coronavirus that reared its ugly head in late 2019 and continues to decimate communities around the globe. While so many of us are grateful for life and the chance to share a meal with our nearest and dearest family, we must all remember to send our prayers, virtual hugs, and well wishes to all who lost loved ones this year. It’s going to be an extraordinarily tough year for so many folks and our support and compassion will go a long way.

Typically, this season is a heightened time of anxiety and stress for people as we juggle gathering with family and friends and trying to figure out who to stay away from or how to complete work-related tasks. This year is different because we won’t be gathering with everyone but the stress and anxiety remain for a slew of reasons that include whether to celebrate at all, and how to handle financial, health, and social distancing concerns. My advice is to keep it simple. Spend more time in a spirit of gratitude and consider offering donations to those in need.

READ: Motivation Mondays: GIVING THANKS
Motivation Mondays: GIVING
10 Tips: Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude & Thanksgiving

Be Thankful by Anonymous via discoverpoetry
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

The Pilgrims Came by Annette Wynne
The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me;
And yet it’s very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving Day.
We tell their story old and true
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.
Every child knows well the tale
Of how they bravely turned the sail,
And journeyed many a day and night,
To worship God as they thought right.
The people think that they were sad,
And grave; I’m sure that they were glad—
They made Thanksgiving Day—that’s fun—
We thank the Pilgrims, everyone!

Thanksgiving Deferred by Anonymous
I bless Thee, Lord, who hast restored my sight;
Where were my thanks through all my years of light?
Thou liftest me again; Thy praise I tell;
Where was my gratitude before I fell?
Thou healest me; glad thanks to Thee belong;
Alas, my thankless heart when I was strong!
My fetters Thou dost loose; all praise to Thee!
And yet I praised Thee not when I was free.
I bless Thee, who dost all my ills remove;
But ah, when all was well, where was my love?

Thanksgiving by William Stanley Braithwaite
My heart gives thanks for many things;
For strength to labor day by day,
For sleep that comes when darkness wings
With evening up the eastern way.
I give deep thanks that I’m at peace
With kith and kin and neighbors, too —
Dear Lord, for all last year’s increase,
That helped me strive and hope and do.
My heart gives thanks for many things;
I know not how to name them all.
My soul is free from frets and stings,
My mind from creed and doctrine’s thrall.
For sun and stars, for flowers and streams,
For work and hope and rest and play —
For empty moments given to dreams,
For these, my heart gives thanks to-day.

“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.” Catherine Pulsifer

Motivation Mondays: THANKSGIVING POEMS & QUOTES

Motivation Mondays: THANKSGIVING POEMS & QUOTES

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. Alice Walker
Be present in all things and thankful for all things. Maya Angelou
I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday that is centered around food and family. Marcus Samuelsson
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Brault
He who thanks but with the lips thanks but in part; the full, the true Thanksgiving comes from the heart. J.A. Shedd
For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile. Elie Wiesel
Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who made the morning and spread it over the fields. Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness. Mary Oliver
Even in the trials of life, if we have eyes to see them, we can find good things everywhere we look. Joanna Gaines
Look at the sky: That is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: Those faces are for you. Miranda July
Thanksgiving day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. E.P. Powell
I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, but it hasn’t changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes. Oprah Winfrey

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING? This year, I won’t have my usual Thanksgiving gathering with my family because we are scattered across the NorthEast, and social distancing and safety precautions dictate that we keep it simple until the vaccine is distributed and the coast is clear. We will chat by phone or Zoom, send virtual blessings to each other and keep our fingers crossed and hearts ready for a Christmas get-together instead. I won’t be able to volunteer to serve at a food pantry, soup kitchens, or shelter either because of the pandemic so, I made a donation instead at my local Stop and Shop so food can be delivered to families in need. There are other ways we can help as many charities like Feeding America, America’s Food Fund, God’s Love We Deliver,  our local charities, and even more, you can find through Charity Navigator, need our support this season.

On Thanksgiving Day, I will share a meal with one of my kids who has been home with me since April. We decided to order Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s Vegan Meal for 2 from Whole Foods. The menu is quite tasty and includes an impressive serving of the following foods: Cremini Mushroom Roast Loaf, Mushroom Gravy, Miso Creamed Greens, Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole, Jalapeño Cornbread Dressing, and Pumpkin Curry Soup. For dessert, we will give the Scarlett Pie a try and wash it down with sparkling water. No alcohol here. No turkey either. I know… it’s really okay. We will share a few stories, give lots of thanks for our meal, and maybe watch a movie. The TWO operative words for this season are GRATITUDE and SIMPLICITY. What about you? What would you do differently?

READ: Motivation Mondays: Thanksgiving Wishes
Motivation Mondays: THANKSGIVING
Motivation Mondays: THANKFUL

How to Observe Thanksgiving by Anonymous
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

Thanksgiving by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives
And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.

But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble.
Farseeing is the soul and wise
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music, we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

Be Glad and Thankful by Anonymous
Little children, are you tempted,
Sometimes, to be cross and fret,
Just because you cannot always
Have your selfish wishes met?
Did you ever for a moment,
Think how very rich you are,
In that little hand so clever,
Full of grace and beauty rare?
Close those eyes so full of sunshine;
Let them never see the light;
Grope your way here ever after;
Let your life be one long night.
Or let sickness touch your body;
Lay you on a bed of pain;
Bid those little feet so active,
Never run and play again.
Now, dear children, tell me truly,
For your hands, or eyes, or health,
Shall I give you gold or silver,
Till you are increased in wealth?
Shall it be ten million dollars,
In your coffers, I will pay,
And from out this three-fold blessing,
You will give one strand away?
O, no, no! not for one moment,
Would you hesitate to choose;
You would quickly spurn my offer
Rather than these blessings lose.
Learn then to be glad and thankful,
And with all things be content;
For behind each little trial
Is a needful lesson sent.

A Thanksgiving Alphabet by Anonymous
T…Turkeys, table spreads, being together,
H…Happiness, and homes to protect us from all-weather,
A…Aunts and uncles, a reunion in Fall,
N…Nieces and nephews, family members all!
K…Kind-hearted kin coming over for dinner,
S…Surely you’ll have fun, but you won’t get thinner!
G…Gourds and pumpkins, mouths open wide.
I…Indians and Pilgrims we remember with pride.
V…Very special times-there could even be snow.
I…Imagine what it was like at Plymouth long ago.
N…Never forget how the settlers led the way,
G…Giving thanks and blessing this special day.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. Oprah Winfrey
Thanksgiving was never mean to be shut up in a single day. Robert Caspar Lintner
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. Henry David Thoreau
An attitude of gratitude goes a long way when it comes to physical and emotional healing. Jill Bolte Taylor
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving. W.T. Purkiser
Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Margaret Cousins
Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Ralph Marston
When you recognize that you will thrive not in spite of your losses and sorrows but because of them… the word for that is healing. Cheryl Strayed
Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. Maya Angelou

 

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for OCT – NOV 2020 are:

OCT

10/01 – 01 Nigeria Independence, 01 National Poetry Day, 02 World Smile Day
10/04 – 05 World Teacher Day, 10/10 World Mental Health Day
10/11 – 11 International Day of the Girl, 12 Columbus Day, 16 World Food Day, 17 International Day for Eradication of Poverty
10/18 – 21 World Mission Day, 20 World Stats Day, 24 United Nations Day
10/25 – 26 National Pumpkin Day, 31 Halloween
National Breast Cancer Awareness, National Domestic Violence Awareness, National Disability Employment Awareness, National Energy Awareness Month, National Substance Abuse Prevention, National Cybersecurity Awareness

NOV

11/01 – 01 All Saints Day, Daylight Savings Ends, 02 All Soul’s Day, 03 Election Day, 05 Guy Fawkes
11/08 – 08 National STEM Day, 10 Science Day for Peace & Development, 11 Veterans Day, 13 World Kindness Day
11/15 – 15 National Philanthropy Day, 16 20 Universal Children’s Day
11/22 – 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 26 Thanksgiving Day, 27 Black Friday
11/29 – 30 Cyber Monday
National Diabetes Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, National Adoption Month, National Native American Heritage, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, National Veterans and Military Families, National Family Caregivers, National American History and Founders Month

 

MORE BELOW

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Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

13/11/2020

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Stephen Grellet

Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness. Khalil Gibran
Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. Dennis Prager
The mission of the World Kindness Movement (WKM) is to inspire individuals and connect nations to create a kinder world. TheWorldKindnessMovement.org

What does kindness mean to you?  Even though today, November 13, is the official World Kindness Day celebration, it can’t hurt to be reminded during this coming holiday season that kindness is an everyday affair. Each of us can perform acts of kindness to help others. We can share our goodwill with our loved ones, folks in need, strangers, and perform exhilarating random acts of kindness that create ripples of love and harmony around the world. We can share our food, shelter, and even a smile. Every kind act we perform will be multiplied because goodness spreads in a ripple effect that touches many people. Sadly, the same can be said for unkind actions so, choose wisely. In case you’d like to know more, World Kindness Day is the brainchild of the World Kindness Movement which originated in Japan in 1997.  WKM’s purpose remains to bring people and nations together by creating communities of kindness and caring globally.

Today, over 25 nations participate in events organized by TheWorldKindnessMovement, and you can join in and share your goodwill too.  No one is an island unto him/herself and we all benefit from the kindness of others. In a world that has grown rift with violence and anger, we need to remind ourselves, and those around us, to be kind, to be compassionate, and to be grateful. If there is anything we need more of in the world today, we can say that kindness is sorely missing and needed. Kindness should definitely be one of the top 5 on our list. It is up to us to choose to be/act kind. We can start by thinking kind thoughts and matching them with actions that uplift us and others.

 

Kindness By Naomi Shihab Nye – 1952- via poets.org
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

 

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu

Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

Motivation 2020: World Kindness Day

Motivation 2020: Happy Diwali - Festival of Lights

Motivation 2020: Happy Diwali – Festival of Lights

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mark Twain
Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. Barbara De Angelis

Who have you shown kindness today?  While we might not always be able to perform random acts of kindness, we can all remember to extend a smile, a kind word, and a conscious act of goodwill to all life forms. Instead of always trying to be first or disrespecting the earth and others around us, we can make a conscious effort to be considerate of all around us. When our acts of kindness are sincere, they water the earth with rich deposits of goodwill that nourish the soil and all who come in contact with it. Give with an open heart and a sincere spirit. What we practice becomes second nature. What we resist persists, and what we remember stays fresh in our hearts. Stay motivated on the path of kindness and it will bear great results for you and all around you. Here’s wishing all a very happy and kind holiday season. Who have you helped today?

How can we find a place for kindness in our hearts and homes? When we open the door to allow kindness to find a place at the center of our lives, it will rise to meet us. We must start wherever we are. It is neither forced nor feigned. When we feel compassion and kindness for those in need, it is our spirit of gratitude shining through. So on this special World Kindness Day, let’s consider as many solid reasons as we can think of to help us get out there and make a difference; begin with a random act of kindness to your fellow man/woman. The spirit of compassion and kindness is always around the corner waiting for us to acknowledge and share it.

HAPPY DIWALI – On another note: I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Diwali – Festival of Lights and the start of a New Year in India. Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.” It is often associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, as an expression of joy after Lord Rama returned to Ayodya upon killing the demon Ravana, and as a celebration of many other deities depending on what part of India you come from.

Seeds Of Kindness – Poem by Annabel Cruz via poemhunter
Every seed of kindness
That you plant today
Will one day
Be a bouquet
That they’ll lay
Upon your grave
For no one is loved
For the money that they’ve made
No one is remembered
For the people, they’ve betrayed
It is your thoughtfulness
And kindness
That will live
When you are gone

 

A Story: Killed By False Kindness
Once upon a time, there were two merchants, who were friends. Both of them were getting ready for business trips to sell their merchandise, so they had to decide whether to travel together. They agreed that, since each had about 500 carts, and they were going to the same place along the same road, it would be too crowded to go at the same time.
One decided that it would be much better to go first. He thought, “The road will not be rutted by the carts, the bullocks will be able to choose the best of all the grass, we will find the best fruits and vegetables to eat, my people will appreciate my leadership and, in the end, I will be able to bargain for the best prices.”
The other merchant considered carefully and realized there were advantages to going second. He thought, “My friend’s carts will level the ground so we won’t have to do any road work, his bullocks will eat the old rough grass and new tender shoots will spring up for mine to eat. In the same way, they will pick the old fruits and vegetables and fresh ones will grow for us to enjoy. I won’t have to waste my time bargaining when I can take the price already set and make my profit.” So he agreed to let his friend go first. This friend was sure he’d fooled him and gotten the best of him – so he set out first on the journey.
The merchant who went first had a troublesome time of it. They came to a wilderness called the ‘Waterless Desert’, which the local people said was haunted by demons. When the caravan reached the middle of it, they met a large group coming from the opposite direction. They had carts that were mud smeared and dripping with water. They had lotuses and water lilies in their hands and the carts. The head man, who had a know-it-all attitude, said to the merchant, “Why are you carrying these heavy loads of water? In a short time, you will reach that oasis on the horizon with plenty of water to drink and dates to eat. Your bullocks are tired from pulling those heavy carts filled with extra water – so throw away the water and be kind to your overworked animals!”
Even though the local people had warned them, the merchant did not realize that these were not real people, but demons in disguise. They were even in danger of being eaten by them. Being confident that they were helping people, he followed their advice and had all his water emptied onto the ground.
As they continued on their way they found no oasis or any water at all. Some realized they’d been fooled by beings that might have been demons and started to grumble and accuse the merchant. At the end of the day, all the people were tired out. The bullocks were too weak from lack of water to pull their heavy carts. All the people and animals lay down haphazardly and fell into a deep sleep. Lo and behold, during the night the demons came in their true frightening forms and gobbled up all the weak defenseless beings. When they were done there were only bones lying scattered around – not one human or animal was left alive. Contd Below! Via Zen Stories on Jataka Tales

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for OCT – NOV 2020 are:

OCT

10/01 – 01 Nigeria Independence, 01 National Poetry Day, 02 World Smile Day
10/04 – 05 World Teacher Day, 10/10 World Mental Health Day
10/11 – 11 International Day of the Girl, 12 Columbus Day, 16 World Food Day, 17 International Day for Eradication of Poverty
10/18 – 21 World Mission Day, 20 World Stats Day, 24 United Nations Day
10/25 – 26 National Pumpkin Day, 31 Halloween
National Breast Cancer Awareness, National Domestic Violence Awareness, National Disability Employment Awareness, National Energy Awareness Month, National Substance Abuse Prevention, National Cybersecurity Awareness

NOV

11/01 – 01 All Saints Day, Daylight Savings Ends, 02 All Soul’s Day, 03 Election Day, 05 Guy Fawkes
11/08 – 08 National STEM Day, 10 Science Day for Peace & Development, 11 Veterans Day, 13 World Kindness Day
11/15 – 15 National Philanthropy Day, 16 20 Universal Children’s Day
11/22 – 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 26 Thanksgiving Day, 27 Black Friday
11/29 – 30 Cyber Monday
National Diabetes Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, National Adoption Month, National Native American Heritage, Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, National Veterans and Military Families, National Family Caregivers, National American History and Founders Month

 

More Below! Read more…

Motivation 2020: Veterans Day Poems & Quotes

11/11/2020

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy

Motivation 2020: Veterans Day Poems & Quotes

Motivation 2020: Veterans Day Poems & Quotes

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! Maya Angelou
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory. President Woodrow Wilson
In order to ensure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Dwight D. Eisenhower
It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Barack Obama
The theme for Veterans Day 2020 is: “Vision: Veterans in Focus.” All Veterans make a sacrifice to serve their country, whether physically, emotionally, or by being away from their loved ones and missing important life moments.

What does Veterans Day mean to You? Every year, on November 11, we gather to honor and salute all of our brave armed forces; about 18+ million male and female Veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces.  Veterans Day, also known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day; is a time when we honor those who fought wars so the rest of us could have world peace. As I write this post, in the throes of a global pandemic with Covid-19 numbers rising, our servicemen and women continue to serve on US bases around the world. They are our eyes and ears abroad, ensuring our safety at home.  Even though I’ve shared the genesis of this important tradition in previous posts, it is imperative that we revisit the history of Veterans Day, learn and teach our children about it, and honor all who gave selflessly and fearlessly in service to this country.

On November 11, 1947, Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, organized the first Veterans Day parade, (it was called Armistice Day back then), to praise our servicemen and women for their efforts.  Later on, U.S. Representative Edward H. Rees of Kansas proposed legislation for a name change from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day, and everyone honored that date until another change occurred fourteen years later. Throughout this post, I have added poems and quotes to help us all connect with the insights and memories of many who lived through wars or had a loved one survive or die in a war.

 

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen – 1893-1918 via poets.org
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares, we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro Patria Mori.

 

A Veteran BY REGINALD GIBBONS via poetryfoundation
My father came down not killed
from among others, killers or killed,
for whom he’d worn a uniform,
and he lived a long afterward,

a steady man on the flattest of plains.
I called after him many times, surprised
when I heard the catch in my own voice.
He didn’t know how to find the solace

of listening to someone else speak of
what he’d seen and survived.
He himself closed his own
mouth against his own words.

In the wrong sequence, his spirit,
then his mind, and last his body
crossed over that infamous, peat-inky,
metaphorical water that has no far shore.

I think he was carried like a leaf
in currents so gentle that a duckling,
had it been alive, could have braved them,
but too strong for a leaf. And saturated

with minerals that steadily replaced
organic cells, the water turned my father,
an ex-soldier, to leaf-delicate stone, inscribed
with the axioms of countless veins.

 

Thanks by Yusef Komunyakaa – 1947- via poets.org
Thanks for the tree
between me & a sniper’s bullet.
I don’t know what made the grass
sway seconds before the Viet Cong
raised his soundless rifle.
Some voice always followed,
telling me which foot
to put down first.
Thanks for deflecting the ricochet
against that anarchy of dusk.
I was back in San Francisco
wrapped up in a woman’s wild colors,
causing some dark bird’s love call
to be shattered by daylight
when my hands reached up
& pulled a branch away
from my face. Thanks
for the vague white flower
that pointed to the gleaming metal
reflecting how it is to be broken
like mist over the grass,
as we played some deadly
game for blind gods.
What made me spot the monarch
writhing on a single thread
tied to a farmer’s gate,
holding the day together
like an unfingered guitar string,
is beyond me. Maybe the hills
grew weary & leaned a little in the heat.
Again, thanks for the dud
hand grenade tossed at my feet
outside Chu Lai. I’m still
falling through its silence.
I don’t know why the intrepid
sun touched the bayonet,
but I know that something
stood among those lost trees
& moved only when I moved.

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