While I Walk

Today, as on many days, I walk along the Saginaw River as I listened to a book on tape. I finished the newest book byby Glennon Doyle Melton titled  “Love Warrior”. I cannot begin to tell you how powerful a message she shared . She gives us an understanding of what love is. It is a very profound  reality as she opens up about the “rules of the world” she  believed and the way those beliefs or should I say “lies” she used to guide her choices and the choices of those she trusted. These “lies” lead to some very grave problems and separations that have destroyed many people and families. This was the very first thing I have read by the author. As she shared things about her life and journey, I knew such things really do happen in this world but she shared her behaviors. What they did and eventually the meaning these insights opened on her journey of healing. The honesty and tragedy of some of the events broke my heart and I found myself, as a male, waiting to see if the broken bits of her life would ever find a positive resolution. If I hadn’t had things to do when I first began to read, I most likely would have read this book straight through.

Along the River

Along the River

As I finished listening, today,  a ship taking cargo downriver passed by. It happened about the same time the author recognized or shared that she saw herself as a ship bringing gifts to “her people” as she called them throughout her book. The gifts she gave them and us included love, courage, vulnerability, true beauty and wisdom. As I list these few gifts, I know in my heart this list of blessings she bring or gives is very incomplete. I wish I could share all the unique ways this book’s message touched me, I struggle to remember it all at this time, but please know this if more people had the courage to make such a journey our communities would be much better off. Check it out.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Wisdom, Courage & Vulnerability of Others, Jolly John

Getting Started

It has been a long time since my last post. A friend of mine told me I should get writing no matter what. So today I am going to start once again. The challenge is writing something that will be worth reading. Something that will be coherent and clear and make a difference for those who take the time to read it. With millions of blog posts flying out into the world wide web, how can the words I write be found, let alone bring the skills of positivity to people so they can incorporate them into their daily lives? I am concerned about grammar and punctuation, logic and value, but will I be able to fulfill that standard. Right now, I am content to admit I am a novice when it comes to getting everything right and perfect before I share it with the world. However, I have insight, courage and a message that could help others and so I can’t remain silent even in the face of my fears.

In Elie Wiesel’s acceptance speech before the Nobel Peace Prize committee, in talking about his experience of surviving the evil of the German Concentration camps, he said, “I must explain how naive we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.” These words echo in my ears as I think of the challenge of helping people to see the dangers that our cultures face from the enemy called, ‘Ignorance.’ Then Elie goes on to say, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”  Interfere when bullies act, when intimidation and shame are heaped to gain power and supremacy to keep awesome, creative people from reaching their full potential. Being and remaining positive helps people by providing their brain, mood and body with the best building blocks necessary for find the creative solutions for peace, harmony and life. The truths are available for us when we listen to those who won’t remain silent.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Sharing Positivity, Jolly John

Courage To Be Yourself

Old Port Washington Light

Old Port Washington Light

On August 12th I received a phone call from my mother telling me that my father had died. While he had cancer and it had spread to his bones, he courageously endured until he became so weak he could hardly walk. With a blood sugar above 800, he was taken to the hospital where he spent another week or two. Then to a rehab nursing facility where he was not really happy. All he wanted to do was go home. With my mother at his side, he is now with the Lord. If there is one thing I saw in my father’s life it was the confidence and courage to try new things. He invented a die casting machine, had it built and attended trade shows in hopes of selling his machine to the industry. It didn’t happen. That didn’t stop dad. He continued to think, plan and put his ideas into practice. He was creative and always looked for a good and positive solution to improve the world and the work that he did. In our world it seems as if the media and the dominate culture is telling us that we should be, “Like everyone else.” So we buy the clothing others are buying. We choose houses like everyone is living in. We vote the way everyone else is voting, but does this really bring a feeling of positivity? Or does it really leave us feeling as if, “we are not enough”?  If you are tired of these negative feelings, you have the power to change them. Build positive skills into your life. Write a thank you note to someone who touches your life. Keep a gratitude log of three or four things or people you are truly grateful for. The more you look for the blessings of life the more you will see.

Blessing, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John