Often, I need the thoughts of others to touch my perspective, to renew my spirit, to balance my focus. Sometimes I would like to send these words to others who in my limited observation appear to need them too, need them for the same reasons I do. So, I share some I value and humbly suggest how they may affect other readers.
For all those who are over-stressed and over-booked, always with an i-phone in hand, those who think life is a race to be won, not a privilege to enjoy, I’d send the words of Nicholas Sparks: “Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you are keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other balls — health, family, friends, and integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginning of balance in your life.”
To all my teacher colleagues in any area of education, I’d send the words of Haim Ginott: “I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
To those of us who are concerned about where our culture is headed, I’d send the words of Gandhi: “Things that will destroy us are politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, wealth without work, knowledge without character, business without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.”
To those who want the word “Success” chiseled on their tombstone, the words of Emerson speak: “To laugh often and much. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To find the best in others. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
And to those of us who are at the stage of life where we say, “Okay, now what?” because of retirement, health, age, I’d send the words of John Wesley: “Do all the good you can by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
There are also a few adages I like whose speakers are unknown:
War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
You have a right to your own opinion but not your own facts.
Life is not a contact sport.
You never get ahead trying to get even.
You do not learn by talking, only by listening.
We judge others by their actions, ourselves by our intentions.
And my favorite: Love is the answer; never mind the question.
I’ve read that people who think make others think… that is what the Intramuralist does, and hopefully these shared words with do that too.
Thanks for this opportunity.