Being Open

I love dogwood trees. The first time I saw one, I thought the tree had butterflies on it. I grew up on the west coast, and where I lived, I had never seen a dogwood tree before. Now they are one of my favorite trees. The blossoms on a dogwood are open and, to me, represent being open.

For me, being open means, trying to accept what happens in my life. It means to try to be less judgmental about others. Being open also means I don’t get to control everything. Stuff will happen over which I have no control. Accepting what happens in my life does not mean I am resigned about what happens. It means I get to choose how I will respond to what happens in my life.

To be open, I try to be kind and loving towards everyone, including myself. When I am not loving towards myself, I have a hard time giving that love away. The kind of loving I mean here is I try to be compassionate. This is not always easy. If I anger someone else by telling him/her/them how I truly feel in the kindest way I can, I have to remind myself not to take their reaction personally. They will respond how they respond.

If I am fearful of others, I can’t be open. Fear is a closed door or wall that keeps others out. I do not like to live in fear. It is a good signal to myself that I might need to ask for help from an understanding friend or work on something in myself.

I must also remember everyone has an opinion and that often, that opinion will differ from my own. If I am willing to listen to others and be open, I don’t have to agree to respect that other person. Last week I saw a story about the famous singer, Joan Baez, who is very open to listening to others. Please read this story.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/08/13/765667/-Joan-Baez-diffuses-right-wing-protest-at-Idaho-concert

To read this story you may need to cut and paste the above URL. At least, that was the only way I could get it to work.

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”
– Bob Marley

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Caring and Kindness

warning note

warning about plant on a trail

When I found this note already on a plant on a trail, I thought it was an act of caring and kindness towards all people who would be walking that trail. This is the kind of caring behavior we humans are capable of displaying. When I see thoughtful actions such as this, I have hope for all of us and the whole planet.

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s  all who ever have.”  – Margaret Mead

 

elementary school

Elementary School

For me as a former teacher, this is a place where caring for the next generation of children needs to take place. I have the good fortune to volunteer for a reading program and experience the privilege it is to help the next generation of children. At this school I have seen in action children who are being well taken care of.  However, I have lived in other states where teachers are ridiculously underpaid for the work they do. In those states, who cares about the teachers, so that the next generation can learn and be well cared for?

 

sign

Sign to save Bees

I love bees. They are so important to our growing food because they pollinate so many things we eat. To me this is sign reminds me about protecting and caring about all animals and insects. We need all of what we have on this planet. Truthfully, I’m still not a fan of house flies, roaches, or poisonous spiders, but these are all part of my world.

 

walkway

cared for walkway

Where I live there are many great places to take walks. This walkway was so well cared for and leads to another trail which is along the river where I live. This kind of care of providing lovely places to walk for everyone, feeds my heart and soul with gratitude and reconnects me with my surroundings.

I found this touching story about caring.

https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/…/a-beautiful-story-of-caring-and-compassion/

This quote from Harvey Fierstein said it all for me. However, I added one sentence to it.

“I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.”  – Harvey Fierstein

My final sentence is: “And I do believe in taking care of myself.”

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