SUPPORT

I admire and thank veterans, all those brave men and women who would rather die on their feet than have their Nation fall to its knees.

In most neighborhoods, there's a sour puss, the good-looking one, the tall one, the short one, the polite one, the storyteller, the one who lowers his glance a bit too long --- each passing among the others, each with a social oar, trying to motivate the boat of goodwill. Sometimes it's difficult. In my case, sometimes what are considered my pets becomes my neighbor's poop, and I am sorry for that, but every day I am grateful for the brightly-colored-markers, the fine-gauge crochet, the tolerance of my extraordinary neighbors.

I want to believe there is still hope for the world-- that good and love will win over all, but I bumped my head on the closet door this morning, and I might still be under the influence of concussive strike-- might still have stars in my eyes.

There were times in my life when I felt confused, and times when that confusion lifted when I talked to and listened to a child.

 I am reminded (and comforted by the fact) that the manner in which man wrongs himself and others is in substantial part unintentional, and it could have been avoided only by the great improbability that each of us was wiser sooner. Such is a learning curve of life!

Today I wish you the wisdom and experience of appreciation. I hope all your losses are buffered by the blessings that remain. I hope your day goes without discord and you avoid all the gangsters of your own bad side, all the jealousy and hatred and anger to which the world seems so attached. I hope the day speaks gently to you and welcomes the experience of you in sweet tones. I hope you recognize the rare beauty of things and exercise your imagination, and if you must spend the day alone, that that aloneness is only a physicality and not the condition of your soul. Happy Today! Bless you all!

Let it be said that we each drew a timeline of role-modelable experiences, that we scrawled a few memorable words helpful to others along the margin, that we left sound impressions here and there, and each of us was modest yet enthusiastically cheered others from full or nearly empty bleachers...all this so that our unkind words and deeds (and there are always those) are forgiven and all our humorous, gravy-stains mistakes provide a laugh or two when we are gone.

We all hold our personal self-sufficiency against time's objective indifference, and we feel passionately about individual concerns, but when we at our best, we are sufficiently concerned about the passions of others.

Learn from your past. Don't live in it.

It's difficult to learn from mistakes you've denied.

Avoid heartbreak. Never expect somebody to give what they can't give. Never present yourself as what you can't be.

Although I seldom speak my disappointments, I articulate them by the kind of person I have become, in some ways--good, in some ways-- bad.

I could say that I've learned from every bad thing (not many things in inventory actually) that happened to me, but I'd be lying because I didn't learn anything from a couple of them. They just pissed me off!

Some people look for a fight so they can scratch their way to the top. Some people delight in unvalidated character assassination. They keep adding ingredients to the vindictive pot. They may let it cool down for a while as if tucking it away in a Tupperware bowl, but then they reheat it and serve it again with a few new ingredients. A friend of mine whose integrity is rock solid, whose intent and heart are pure, whose honesty is unquestionable, fell victim to the type. A personal accomplishment of hers was seized, tampered with, and twisted to put her in unfavorable light. Chin up, K. S! Your friends are with you!

There are those who suffer physical pain and emotional anguish on a daily basis. There are those who, in response to that say, “Put on your big girl-boy pants. Throw off the pharmaceutical route. Deal with it!" Most likely, those are the people who have not suffered substantial amounts of pain or distress in their lives, so it is easy advice.” True, we should first call on and rely on the ability of our own body and mind to heal itself. We should muster up strength and not just “wish for,” but “truly believe in” our own healing power. But the degree of the suffering is the basis for the level of response, and sometimes outer influence is indicated. But there is also another need in these circumstances, the need for understanding and tolerance from those who share the lives of these afflicted people. Mocking is not the answer because ridicule counters, so suspends relief, but neither is mollycoddling which further weakens. Rather, struggle to increase understanding to build an atmosphere of support, which, at times, may be no more than providing small physical comforts, patience, and sometimes silence. No one should have to suffer alone, but, bottom line, everyone does. Improve on the lives of your people who suffer by creating a healthy support system.

One does not ever get to totally cast off the burden of loss, but the company of caring family and friends can lessen the burden by sharing the load. May you be lovingly surrounded, and tenderly buoyed.