September — What a Month!

Hi and Happy last Monday of the month.  How did that happen?  How have I not written but one other time this month?  Why has the time been flying so fast?  We have been super busy with homework, PTO activities, family business, a business trip, writing a story, and much more.

We have been making some great memories and going about the business of living, but I keep forgetting to log onto this site and write.  And, I miss that.  I am going to do my best to write more frequently in the future, but realize that things may come up again.

We watched several Star Wars movies this month and that was fun.  Although a quote in the movie when Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side of the force gave me chills. “If you are not with me, you are my enemy,” he says.  We stopped the movie to discuss this with Ian and are glad that we did.

We are thankful that he is learning that disagreements and different opinions are okay.  And, that we are to respect others as they should respect us.  Also he is learning how to treat others, to have compassion, to be caring and kind, and to love.

As with most children, he hasn’t learned to hate others or to mistrust them because they are different.  We are doing all that we can to help that from ever happening.  Listening to his insights, his opinions, and how he feels about issues has been a real blessing this month.  Our almost 10-year-old is developing into a lovely young man.

Also we have been concerned and worried about our loved ones and those we don’t know who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires.  So much going on in nature and with catastrophes that we cannot believe keep happening.

We have heard a lot about climate change both that it exists and that it doesn’t.  No matter which way you believe, I hope that we can all become better stewards for ourselves, our families, our neighbors, strangers, and our planet.  The fact that more devastating storms keep occurring should give us pause to think if things can be done better.

In the last month, we have seen the best in people and we have seen the worst.  We have seen people reach out to help strangers.  We have seen people walk through standing water to save others from their home.  We have been brought together by common problems and have realized that we are in this together.

We have also seen people stealing from those who lost so much.  We have seen threats of violence and harm to others, we have seen hate, we have seen violence, and we have seen the worst in humanity.  All of this saddens me greatly.

We have talked a lot with Ian about these two extremes.  We have talked about how wrong it is to harm and bully others, how important it is to show kindness, caring and love to everyone he meets.  We have talked about so many things with him and he has been listening, asking questions, and sharing his thoughts.  It has been an amazing blessing.

We continue to talk about the fact that just because someone in leadership tells him how to think that he has to believe it and go along with it.  He doesn’t.  There is entirely too much of that going on these days.  We instead want him to think, mull it over, ask questions, and then decide if he agrees or doesn’t.  We live in the land of freedoms to think and believe as we see fit.

Recently I have been wearing a button that says “Think.”  I want to spread the message that we should each use our own brains to think, to reason, and to decide what we believe.  We should research, pray, read, and discover why we believe what we do.  We should not be treated like cattle with no brain of our own or no way to reason for ourselves.

My prayer is that we remember to show compassion for others, to realize we all have struggles that we are dealing with, that we all have feelings that can be crushed or supported and, that we are all of value and worth knowing.  And, to remember to always, always, always love.

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Remembering To Think

I was cleaning out a bag a few days ago and came across a pin that I had forgotten about.  It says, “Think.”  Great, right?  Simple, to the point, and something that is easy to do.  Or at least it should be.

I got that pin at a convention and was thrilled when I did.  I used to wear a variety of them back years ago. These were popular when I was in high school and college — to wear favorite bands, sayings, and pictures.  I have seen many people over the years wear favorite pins.

After finding this word, I started to wonder how many people these days think before they speak, before they act, or before they interact with others.  Many seem to react without thinking and that gives me some concern.  I want us to think first and then take action.  I just hope that we can work on that.

Merriam Webster has several definitions for the verb think:

  • To form or have in mind
  • To have as an intention
  • To have as an opinion
  • To reflect on
  • To call to mind
  • To have as an expectation
  • To center one’s thoughts on

A lot of definitions for this small word.  It is small and mighty, isn’t it? My husband and I are trying to teach these concepts to Ian.  He has time to play, read, talk with friends, and to think about what he sees, reads, and hears.  We encourage him to ask questions and discuss things with us.

Remember the movie “Dead Poet’s Society”?  This was a great story of a teacher trying to help young men think for themselves.  The administration of the school and many parents didn’t want that, but the boys learned how important it was.

Also, in “Mona Lisa Smile,” students at a women-only college had an art teacher who came in and tried to teach them to think out of the box and to think beyond what was expected of them.  She too faced problems from the school and the parents.

Interesting.  Do we not want our young people to think?  Do we not want to help teach them what is right, what is wrong, and then for them to decide for themselves how to act?  Each thing we say and do has a consequence, whether good and bad.  As a parent, I feel it is my place, job and responsibility to help our son understand that and think about what he is doing and saying.

And as he is growing up, I want him to learn to think while I am there to answer questions, talk with him about his choices, and be a role model of how to act and behave.  I make lots of mistakes and that is okay.  I want him to know that as well.  I want him to not only learn from adults who are good role models but also those who are showing how not to behave or speak.

A few things I want for adults and our children:

  • Let’s think before we speak.
  • Let’s think of others and their feelings
  • Let’s think for ourselves
  • Let’s think when someone tells us something that we don’t believe is right
  • Let’s investigate these things
  • Let’s encourage our young people to think and find their own path in life
  • Let’s be there to support them as they do so
  • Let’s know and remember that not agreeing with someone does not make them an enemy
  • Let’s try to learn from others instead of tearing them down
  • Let’s not bully one another but instead practice kindness
  • Let’s stand up for what we believe but not attack or cause harm to others
  • Let’s practice love

A few quotes about thinking:

  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein
  • “Most of the problems in life are because of two reasons: we act without thinking or we keep thinking without acting.” — Unknown
  • “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” — Henry Ford
  • “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” — Carl Sagan
  • “Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.” — Plato

I have always liked Winnie The Pooh.  This sweet clip art picture from Power Point shows him thinking.  He seems to put all of his energy into it, doesn’t he?  I only hope that we too can think before we speak and act.  And that we can decide what we think and why.

What do you think?  I would love some comments.  God Bless and have a great day!