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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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Haiku: A Fragile Ego


“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.'” Marianne Williamson.

Haiku: A Fragile Ego

Haiku: A Fragile Ego

A fragile ego
makes it so hard to see the
forest for the trees

Ego is a veil
where hearts hide their painful tales
Like mine … still healing

Portmanteau moments
False friends arrive and depart
like dying flowers


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Haiku: Here And Now


“Wherever you are, be there. If you can be fully present now, you’ll know what it means to live.” Steve Goodier

Haiku: Here And Now - Be present in nature and in life

Haiku: Here And Now – Be present in nature and in life

Look out your window
What do you see …. here and now?
A tree, a bird … life

We mourn for the past
Lingering on what might have…
Ignoring here … now


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Motivation Mondays: Universal Values


“Some values must be universal, like human rights and the equal worth of every human being.”  Bjorn Ulvaeus

Motivation Mondays: Universal Values

Motivation Mondays: What are Universal Values?

I keep on hearing these same folks talk about values all the time. You want to talk about values? Hard work: That’s a value. Looking out for one another: That’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together and I’m my brother’s and sister’s keeper: That’s a value.  US Pres, Barack Obama
Live your days on the positive side of life, in tune with your most treasured values. And in each moment you’ll have much to live for. Ralph Marston


When you think of Universal Values, what comes to your mind?  Recently, I was having a conversation with a dear friend about what we value most. Is it the same for all of us or is it different? Is it culturally or individually based? Are there values that we can all agree on that resonate with each of us regardless of our background and life experiences? As we pondered these philosophical questions and exchanged  ideas on the subject, I decided to investigate the topic a bit more to find out what the great minds of  the past/present had to say about what we value; what, as Isaiah Berlin explained, we all hold in common as dear to our hearts and universal in concept. Even though we come from diverse cultures and regions of the world, most of us would agree that we value the love and lives of our loved ones, and that we value our freedom to be who/what we believe. As I explored the subject further, I was reminded of both Lord Byron’s quote below and S. H. Schwartz‘s research results from a series of studies/surveys he conducted in 1992 of  25,000+ people, in 44 countries, from different cultural backgrounds.  Schwartz’s results determined that:  There are fifty-six specific universal values and ten types of universal value.[7] Schwartz’s ten types of universal value are: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security.

Essentially, S. H. Schwartz‘s research showed that on any given day, in any given community, the following constructs are universally cherished/valued by people from all walks of life. Do the following breakdowns from his investigation resonate with you? Do they motivate your actions and decisions on a daily basis? What would you keep and what would you let go?  We live in a fractious world with growing areas of conflict and discontent. Could we bring about hope and global change by  shifting our own perspective to respect and value the perspectives of others? It is a tough question and, while you can keep your answer to yourself, it is worth pondering what motivates your daily actions and how those motives impact the lives of others…  After all, we share a planet in common even when we don’t agree on everything.

Here are the 10 value types and their specific related values: Which would you put first and how would you re-organize the value types to match your personal values? On an interesting note, Schwartz tested  spirituality‘, or ‘the goal of finding meaning in life, as an 11th universal value but, he couldn’t find consensus in all the cultures he surveyed.

A Story: What Do You Value?
A Quaker had this sign put up on a vacant piece of land next to his home: THIS LAND WILL BE GIVEN TO ANYONE WHO IS TRULY SATISFIED.
A wealthy farmer who was riding by stopped to read the sign and said to himself, “Since our friend the Quaker is so ready to part with this plot, I might as well claim it before someone else does. I am a rich man and have all I need, so I certainly qualify.”
With that he went up to the door and explained what he was there for. “And are you truly satisfied?” the Quaker asked.
“I am indeed, for I have everything I need.”
“Friend,” said the Quaker, “if you are satisfied, what do you want the land for? All Zen Antics stories via

READ: Shalom H. Schwartz, ‘Basic Human Values: An Overview’


“Always take a stand for yourself, your values. You’re defined by what you stand for.” Oprah Winfrey

Motivation Mondays: Universal Values

Motivation Mondays: What are Universal Values?

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi
There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio: What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? And what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love. Lord Byron


What about the concept of LOVE as a universal value? Did you notice that it was absent from Schwartz’s results even though some of us might consider love to be a universal value? Why do you think Spirituality didn’t make the cut as a value? Even though we know that billions of people around the world have a belief system that they hold close to their hearts, those beliefs are expressed in myriad ways, and are called by different, tradition based names. So when we gather to discuss the foundation of our beliefs, it opens the door to a deeper discussion on what sets us apart rather than what unites us on the spiritual plain. Given that cultures around the world revere their expression of such beliefs, I was not surprised that this was one area where flexibility was not shown and for whatever reasons that people were holding onto their beliefs, trying to interpret them as a universal construct was met with resistance and perhaps confusion. But what about LOVE? What about Lord Byron’s questions above? Our values are shaped by what we cherish most and what we see as worth living/dying for. What I believe I become… Think about where this fits in your life and how it inspires and motivates you on a daily basis.

A Story: We Are Brothers & Sisters
Rabbi Isadore was a wise teacher. A student asked, “How is one to know the precise time when night ends and day begins?”
One student volunteered, “It is when one can distinguish between a dog and a sheep in the far distance, that is when day begins.”
Another said, “It is when you can tell the difference between a fig tree and a date tree, then night is fully gone.”
“No, it is neither of those things,” said the Rabbi. “It is when you can see your brother or sister in the face of a stranger. Until then, night is still with us.

READ: Kofi Annan, ‘Do We Still Have Universal Values’


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August  and September 2016 are:

08/01 –  2 New Moon, 5 Summer Olympics begin in Rio, 07 Friendship Day & Sisters Day, 07 International Forgiveness Day,
08/08 – 08 Peace Festival, 09 Book Lover’s Day, 09 World’s Indigenous Peoples, 12 International-Youth-Day, 13 International Lefthander’s Day, 14 Tisha B’av,
08/15 –  15 Assumption of Mary, 15 National Relaxation Day, 18 Full Moon, 18 Bad Poetry Day, 19 Nat’l Aviation Day &
World Humanitarian Day
08/22 –  22 Be An Angel Day, 22 National Tooth Fairy Day, 26 National Dog Day, 26 Women’s Equality Day, 27 Global Forgiveness Day
08/29 –  29 National Heroes’ Day, 29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day, 30 Toasted Marshmallow Day

09/05 –   Labor Day,  International Day of Charity,  8 International Literacy Day,
09/12 –  15 Day of Democracy Day,  17 Constitution Day
09/19 –  21 International Day of Peace/ World Peace Day, World Rhino Day
09/26 – National Preparedness Month, National Childhood Cancer Awareness, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, National School Success Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

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




— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab


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