Why Not?

The other day I asked Siri “Why not?” and she gave me a brilliant (and somewhat sarcastic) answer that I really liked. And apparently it’s actually a meaningful quote so I thought it was worth sharing. It certainly is an inspiration for creativity and exploration.

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not?”

– George Bernard Shaw

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On MLK Day

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

It is frustrating when people ask/complain why we get off of work/school for Martin Luther King Day, but then I realize that that’s the point: when everyone understands why we have the day off, we will no longer need it. On MLK day, I reflect on from where we have come and on how much further we have to go.

Before I started in the Social Justice Living and Learning Community at the University of Denver, I read Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Here is just one (of many) powerful quotes that are still true today:

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.
— “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

We’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne

I am going to Denver for New Years. I was supposed to be boarding a plane about now, but it got delayed. In the meantime, I thought I would share my wishes for a happy, healthy, peaceful, prosperous new year for everyone!

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS

The Special People In Our Lives

I haven’t posted anything in a while. I do want to share what was on a recent birthday card from my Grandma. This is certainly true of the special people in my life –

The Special People in Our Lives

by Emily Matthews

The things special people
just naturally do
Make all our lives brighter
and happier, too –
It might be the warmth of a welcoming smile,
Or the time someone takes
just to visit awhile…
It might be a hug
or a heart-to-heart talk,
A companion who’s willing
to go for a walk…
It might be a favor,
a kind, helping hand,
A listening ear,
the words, “I Understand.”
They’re little things,
but we know beyond doubt
Each one’s at the heart
of what life’s all about.

Quote #29 – Another Reason I Love Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds always has the best quotes. Here is one from tonight’s episode:

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”

– Joseph Campbell

Rosh HaShanah/Yom Kippur Reflections

Last night I went to see the movie 50/50. It was a fantastic and powerful movie.  I think what hit me was how real the story was – and how incredibly relevant it could be. I hope to never experience anything like that and I hope no one I know has to experience it either. Movies like 50/50 typically make me rather introspective. One of the things that I remembered was that I had yet to post some thoughts on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the Jewish New Year.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. This period, including the days in between, is often used for reflection and exploring hopes for the year to come. Importantly, it is also a time of asking for forgiveness. So, I ask everyone with whom I have interacted in one way or another to please forgive me for anything I may have done, said, thought against you, whether intentional or unintentional, during the past year.

What a year it has been! I met some amazing people. I have gotten to be better friends with old friends and made new friends, some of whom I wish I had known much earlier. I have learned a lot. I graduated from college with two degrees. I traveled around the world. I explored my understanding and grew my experiences of diversity and inclusion. I started a new job and the next stage of my life.

It hasn’t been easy. I have had amazing people supporting me. Sometimes I have let them down or have done things I should not have done. I am and will constantly challenge myself to do better and to be a better person. I know that I repeat mistakes, but I am trying to learn from them.

This coming year has a lot of potential. The job is still new. I have the potential for a lot of travel – personal, in addition to professional. I am able to spend more time with family. I need to stay connected with my friends, wherever they may be. It will be a big challenge, but I hope my wonderful friendships can and will continue. I also need to meet new people and grow my community in St. Louis. Who knows where that will lead?

Steve Jobs recounted a quote in his 2005 Commencement Speech to Stanford: “If you live each day as if it were your last, some day you will most certainly be right.” He followed that by saying that he asks himself a question every day: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” This could be a little more of a negative outlook thank I like in some ways – but on the other had, I agree 100%. Life is short.  Make the most of it.  I hope that this coming year is one of life, happiness, health, success, and prosperity – filled with family and friends. I hope to be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life. But since I cannot know what my future holds, I need to do the best I can with the life I have.

G’mar Chatima Tova!

Almost Rosh HaShanah

In about two weeks it will be the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah.  Here is a video to start getting in the mood:

Quote #28 – Interpretation/Outlook

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

– Henry David Thoreau

Big fan of Henry David Thoreau.  Such an insightful quote.  I definitely agree.

Quote #27 – On Decisions

“Life is the sum of all your choices.”

– Albert Camus

Quote #26

“A sound head, an honest heart, and an humble spirit are the three best guides through time and to eternity”

– Sir Walter Scott

These also happen to be things that should influence and help determine major decisions.