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Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

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“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” John F. Kennedy

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

Aldebert – La vie c’est quoi ? (Clip officiel)

Optimism by Jane Hirshfield
More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs — all this resinous, unretractable earth.

Happy 242nd Independence Day!: As we gear up to celebrate this very important day in American history, I can’t help but stop to reflect on why this truly matters. 242 years ago, on July 4 1776, the forefathers commemorated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence; it was an auspicious day filled with optimism for the future of this newly birthed, great nation. It signified the birth of the United States of America and the liberation of her original thirteen colonies from British rule. The actual legal separation occurred on the 2nd but, the 4th is the date the documents were ratified and, like life, the circuitous  journey that many took to this new land in search of a new life reached a milestone. Let us not forget that this is a nation built on the backs of millions who had a dream of a better life; of gaining personal freedom.  What I love about this day, especially as an immigrant woman, is that it is a reminder of the possibilities that can inspire the human spirit to act and persevere. We embark on the journey of life with a million questions: Why/What/How/When? We keep asking, answering and reflecting on them until we take our last breath. It is that optimistic spirit that spurs many of us into the unknown and sends us on adventures that invariably become life changing and shape-shifting.

Optimism is a vital quality on the road to Independence: It is the same tenacious spirit the forefathers had that Jane Hirshfield sees in nature, plant life and invariably in human life. We carry our resilience with us throughout our lifetime, turning this way and that way, taking this circuitous pathway or that other serendipitous route as we find our way. Each person’s journey is unique and imbued with a measure of grace to help one through the dark periods of life. It is that same spirit of optimism that saved the lives of many who arrived on this soil against their will, as a last resort, or in an act of desperation. So, as we spend this day joyfully setting off fireworks, attending parades and enjoying picnics with friends and family, let us remember all who came before us … and all who continue to come with an optimistic dream of freedom in their hearts. Let us remember the families, the children and the dream they hold in their hearts.

READ: Reflections: On A Happy Fourth of July…
Motivation Mondays: Happy 4th Of July – Independence Day
Motivation Mondays: Dream BIGGER – Independence Day

Aldebert – La vie c’est quoi ?
C’est quoi la musique?
C’est du son qui se parfume.
C’est quoi l’émotion?
C’est l’âme qui s’allume.
C’est quoi un compliment?
Un baiser invisble.
Et la nostalgie?
Du passé comestible.
C’est quoi l’insouciance?
C’est du temps que l’on sème.
C’est quoi le bon temps?
C’est ta main dans la mienne.

English Translation of Lyrics: What is Life? by Aldebert
What is the music?
It is sound that perfumes.
What is emotion?
It is the soul that lights up.
What is a compliment?
An invisible kiss.
And nostalgia?
From the edible past.
What is carelessness?
It’s time we sow.
What’s the good times?
It’s your hand in mine.

C’est quoi l’enthousiasme?
C’est des rêves qui militate.
Et la bienveillance?
Des anges qui s’invitent.
Et c’est quoi l’espoir?
Du bonheur qui attend.
Et un arc-en-ciel?
Un monument au vivant.
C’est quoi grandir?
C’est fabriquer des premières fois.
Et c’est quoi l’enfance?
De la tendresse en pyjama.

What is enthusiasm?
It’s dreams that have effect.
And benevolence?
Angels who invite themselves.
And what is hope?
Happiness waiting.
And a rainbow?
A monument to the living.
What is growing?
It’s marking the first time.
And what is childhood?
Tenderness in pajamas. Contd below



“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” Peter Marshall

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

What is Independent Life? As I sat pondering which direction to take on this post, I was struck by how much I wanted to consider the subject through a different lens. Sure, Independence Day is about celebrating our freedoms and enjoying the company of friends and family with a BBQ to boot but, it symbolizes a lot more and carries enormous weight in our lives. From the time we are born until the end of life, we inherit a legacy passed down from generation through generation that carries or contains an energy, passed down to us, pithy with inquiry and meaning. That energetic bond leads us in different directions in search of answers to goals and dreams deposited in our psyche or discarded by our ancestral ties. We feel them as impulses throughout our lifetime. Some pursue these impulses with a zeal and frightening focus that might lead to remarkable discoveries. Others meander through life, debating what to do with the impulses; we go from embracing the urge to investigate to simultaneously rejecting the impulses. They fascinate and frighten us. We carry these family stories in our DNA coding from birth to death. We ask this question again and again and the answer remains the same: C’est quoi l’essentiel? C’est de toujours y croire./ What is the essential? It is always to believe.

La vie c’est quoi/What is Life? Most of us are inquisitive in childhood and, like the little girl in Aldebert’s piece, we ask a zillion questions about life, death and more… As we mature, our questions might change but the impulse remains as we search for a way to achieve our version of a personal independence day … what some call our life purpose. We might grasp its meaning at some point and feel peace in our bones with the sudden realization that La vie est là, la vie est là/Life is here, life is here.  We might stay rattled and decide to keep exploring, to keep digging deeper for answers and searching for a denouement that might never arrive. No matter what, we must all stay motivated to ensure that our Independence remains a lifeline to freedom for us, for others, and for all generations. How? We do that by staying active in our communities; both local and global. We do not live in a bubble and what we wish for ourselves, we must wish for others because we share a planet and our global community matters even more today.  Our freedoms aren’t free; we must work to maintain them. We must also work to ensure that freedom is extended to others.

Aldebert – La vie c’est quoi ? Contd Above and below
Mais dis, papa,
La vie c’est quoi?
Petite, tu vois,
La vie, c’est un peu de tout ça, mais surtout c’est toi.
C’est toi.

But say, dad,
What is life?
Little one, you see,
Life is a bit of all that, but most of all it’s you.
It’s you.

C’est quoi le remord?
C’est un fantôme qui flâne.
Et la routine?
Les envies qui se fânent.
C’est quoi l’essentiel?
C’est de toujours y croire.
Et un souvenir?
Un dessin sur la mémoire.
C’est quoi un sourire?
C’est du vent dans les voiles.
Et la poésie?
Une épuisette à étoiles.

What is remorse?
It’s a ghost that loiters.
And the routine?
Desires that are going bad.
What is the essential?
It is always to believe.
And a memory?
A drawing on the memory.
What’s a smile?
It’s wind in the sails.
And poetry?
A landing net with stars.


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for APR 2018/MAY 2018 are:


06/03   –  05 World Environment  Day, 06, D Day, 08 National Best Friend Day,
06/10   –  13 St Anthony,  15 Eid al-Fitr,
06/17  –   17 Father’s Day, 18 Int’l. Picnic Day, MTV Movie Awards 19 Juneteenth, 20 World Refugee Day, 21 Summer Solstice, Int’l. Yoga Day, World Music Day
06/24   –  24 St John the Baptist, 26 Day against Drug Abuse/Illicit Trafficking


07/01   –  TBD
07/08   –
07/15  –
07/22   –
07/29 –


Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2018?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab



“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” Denis Waitley

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day

Motivation Mondays: Optimism. Life. Independence Day


Optimism is Imperative: Why is Indifference dangerous? When my friend and neighbor, Thouria, sent me the link to Aldebert’s piece,  it took me back to my own childhood days and the endless questions I asked my parents and siblings. Being inquisitive about life is necessary for our growth and survival. If we are indifferent to our surroundings and others in it, we close the door to the development of friendships and life prolonging memories. It was Elie Wiesel who said that the opposite of love is NOT hate but indifference because indifference can lead to tyranny and the oppression of others. When we are blinded to the hum of life, we no longer give it our attention or affection.  When we have no curiosity about how things work and how they impact our lives, we languish. When we close our hearts and eyes to injustice, we become part of the problem not the solution. We must stay vigilant about the world we inhabit. Love thy neighbor as thyself is not a tired cliche but a life affirming message of hope and connection with others. Optimism resides there.

In La vie c’est quoi by Aldebert, the philosophical dialogue between father and daughter is one that we ought to have with ourselves because it forces us to consider the world we inhabit and how it is all tied together. As the father says to his daughter’s question in the piece, C’est quoi l’indifférence? C’est la vie sans les couleurs./What is indifference? It’s life without colors…  Who would want to live in a monochromatic world devoid of the vibrancy of nature’s rich bounty? Who would want to live in a monochromatic world devoid of the diversity and richness others bring to the conversation? Shed your indifference to others and live. The late Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, once said that Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. To combat evil, to grow, we need to be fully engaged in the world; the indifferent need not apply. Here’s to another great Independence Day!


Aldebert – La vie c’est quoi ? More Above
C’est quoi l’indifférence?
C’est la vie sans les couleurs.
Et c’est quoi le racisme?
Une infirmité du cœur.
C’est quoi l’amitié?
C’est une île au trésor.
Et l’école buissonnière?
Un croche patte à Pythagore.
C’est quoi la sagesse?
C’est Tintin au Tibet.
Et c’est quoi le bonheur?
C’est maintenant ou jamais.

What is indifference?
It’s life without colors
And what is racism?
An infirmity of the heart
What is friendship?
It’s a treasure island
And truancy?
A croak-paw at Pythagoras
What is wisdom?
It’s Tin-Tin in Tibet
What is happiness?
It’s now or never

Mais dis, papa,
La vie c’est quoi?
Petite, tu vois,
La vie, c’est un peu de tout ça, mais surtout c’est toi.
C’est toi

But say dad, what is life?
Little one, you see
Life is a little bit of all that but most of all it’s you
It’s you

Dans tes histoires, dans tes délires, dans la fanfare de tes fous rire,
La vie est là, la vie est là
Dans notre armoire à souvenirs, dans l’espoir de te voir vieillir,
La vie est là, la vie est là

In your stories, in your delirium,
in the fanfare of your crazy laughs,
Life is here, life is here
In our treasured cupboard, we hope to see you grow old,
Life is here, life is here


Have a happy, peaceful and productive week ahead!

Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: Live life with a spirit of optimism, love, and independence for yourself and for others. Embrace it!

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts


PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos, July  via Pixabay,  AND/OR  via  Wikipedia


Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancie permalink
    30/07/2018 4:07 am

    Without optimism I think we shrivel up and life is long. Plus, there is so much to be optimistic about. I’m looking outside right now, and sun is beaming off my deck. 🙂


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