Saturday, February 23, 2013

What’s Your Treasure?

What makes a great gift? I received a pine tree during the holidays. The plant only measured about eight inches high, but with time and the right environment, it could grow up to two hundred feet. Now that’s a gift. Isn’t it amazing that something so small has the potential to grow so large? The next time someone asks me if anything is new I may say, “Well, I am growing a two-hundred-foot tree inside my house.” There’s a conversation starter.

I’m sure we all have a few unique items sitting in our homes, items with a story about how we acquired them or why we think they’re special. Perhaps you have a collection like one of these:

                                  Britain’s 5

 As a child, I collected unusual pebbles and kept them hidden in a small, white box under my bed. I remember admiring the smooth or glittery ones the most. I still like finding pretty shells at the beach and I’ll usually bring some home, but no more than a handful. The collections in the video started small and then took on a life of their own. Items often become favorites when they’re odd, evoke wonder and emotion or because they’re connected to a special event or person.   

What’s your most treasured item and why is it so special?       

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wishing Well

I got it! The problem is I kept forgetting that I had it. After much deliberation a few months ago, we finally picked out a new vehicle.  I’m sure we made the right decision. In fact, I love our vehicle’s conveniences and features—and its many cup holders!

A funny thing happened for awhile after we purchased our vehicle. If I saw someone driving the same model down the road, I ’d think, “Awww, they have the vehicle I want.” Of course, seconds later I’d remember that I was driving the vehicle I wanted. What’s that about?

 Sometimes we’re so busy pursuing goals that we forget to enjoy what we have right in front of us or to chase the things that truly make us happy. Listen to this video:                                           


 What are you wishing for?     

Friday, February 8, 2013

Want a Time-Out?

My family still has a problem with my selection of television shows. I don’t know why they complain about programs on Egyptian pharaoh tombs or balk at documentaries on the ferocious honey badger and how it got its name. Who wouldn’t want to see a show that describes how WWII ended? Oh, cable! So many stations, so little time.

Growing up, we had access to about ten TV channels. Three channels could hold my attention all evening. After school I watched cartoons, then switched to a different station that aired game shows like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy, and just before bedtime I caught the sitcoms on a third channel. Today if a TV show doesn’t grab our attention in the first fifteen seconds—flip—we’re channel surfing to the next one. We want quick clips and constant blips of action. How much have our attention spans have decreased over the past twenty years?

During high school I had the opportunity to attended Quaker church services.  Instead of singing and listening to a sermon, we sat for forty minutes in silence until one or two people stood up to share a brief, thought-provoking comment. Even back then it wasn’t easy to stay still for the entire time. Watch how this guy handles it:  
We haven’t had a test in a long time. Try this one. Sit for twenty minutes with no talking, reading or moving, no listening to music, television or a friend. Once you’re done, tell us how it felt. How might this experience benefit you?                                      

Friday, February 1, 2013

War and a Little Piece

Right now we have Pie Day on January 23rd, Groundhog Day on February 2nd, and Chip and Dip Day on March 23rd. You’re probably thinking that’s more than enough. I propose a day that spurs people to meaningful action, a national day that goes beyond pie, critters, and chips. There’s no use in creating a new national day when we have one on the calendar that cries out for more recognition.

The National Day of Peace falls on September 21st. According to the United Nations, it’s a day to think about how to “strengthen the ideals of peace.” Can’t we take this one step further? Let’s beef up the day by calling on individuals and countries to refrain from warring against each other. Imagine a global cease-fire with no shootings, no fighting—just kind words and handshakes, and hugs if you’re feeling familiar. The new National Day of Peace could look something like this:

Yes! Take your hugs to the streets! I’m not sure how well this will work across war zones, but it should make it difficult to resume fighting once the day ends. If you could add one more special day to the calendar, what national day would you suggest?

Note: Too late to create Global Belly Laugh Day, it already exists (January 24th).