Earth Day Wisdom

Yesterday was Earth Day, I hope you spent some time in nature or made time to help nature.  Since Earth Day is really about all of us coming together to support the world we all share, I thought I’d share a few quotes about the earth with you today.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  John Muir

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”  Gandhi

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” Rachel Carson

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.”  Einstein

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”  Henry David Thoreau

“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”  Walt Whitman

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”  Lady Bird Johnson

“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”  Thomas Fuller

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

“Man is still the greatest miracle and the greatest problem on this earth.”  David Sarnoff

“Dear old world…You are very lovely, And I am glad to be alive in you.”  Lucy Maud Montgomery

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  Albert Einstein

“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”  Karle Wilson Baker

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.”  Khalil Gibran

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

Lessons of the Seasons

I don’t usually like to share things from people who are anonymous, because it takes away some of the meaning for me (can you even really call it a “quote” if you can’t quote someone about it?). I know that on particularly divisive topics people may not want to or be able to reveal their identities, but for the most part there’s no reason not to share your name and take credit for your wise words. But as we finish out this month’s look at seasons, I was touched by this quote:

“Better late than never, but never late is better.
You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Time is the cruelest teacher: she first gives the test, then teaches the lesson.
If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.
All good things must come to an end; but some bad things can continue forever.
Time wastes our bodies and our wits, but we waste time, so we are quits.
Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.
Time is like a handful of sand: the tighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.”
Author Unknown

You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, you don’t know if you’ll make it to tomorrow, let alone next season or next summer. It’s up to each of us to choose to make the most out of each and every day. You can’t get back the days that have passed, you can only live in the days that are here and yet to come. What will you do with the summer that stretches before you?

Remembering Maya Angelou

Last week another brave and amazing woman finished her journey on earth.  I will share thoughts on her and some of the things she’s said in future blog posts, but today I felt that the most appropriate way to honor Maya would be to share some of her words with you (if you have a favorite Maya Angelou quote that isn’t shared here I invite you to share it in the comments too).

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.”

“What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.”

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

“Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.”

The Guarantee of Right Now

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  Oprah Winfrey

Life doesn’t make many guarantees for us anymore.  We could be hit by a crazy senior citizen driver, eat bad food or fly on an airplane.  There’s no way to guarantee life, and there never really has been.  We’ve never been given a guarantee of living here on earth.  We may have a guarantee of the next life from God, but there’s no guarantee on today or tomorrow, no matter how healthy we are or how hard we try to stay alive.

If you’ve read the book of Ecclesiastes you know the conclusion reached early on was that life is meaningless.  I beg to disagree: life is only meaningless if you don’t do anything with it and don’t live the life you’ve been given.  It may not be possible or smart to seize every moment and live each day to extremes, but most of us don’t do the most with our lives that we could.  Oprah also said:

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.”

Not everyone will be as successful as Oprah, but we certainly can be more successful than we are simply by being more responsible for our lives.  Being responsible includes taking big actions when called for, and knowing when taking a day off is the right thing to do.  If you aren’t responsible for yourself you will find out pretty quickly that no one else will be either.  I can’t make you be successful or happy if you don’t want to be and/or aren’t willing to put forward the effort.

What will you choose to do with today?

Bright Ideas from Benjamin Franklin

One of the great men of America, Benjamin Franklin, celebrates his birthday in January, January 17 to be precise.  As I was looking for some inspiration to share with you, I found too many good bits of wisdom to only choose one (for now anyway, I may share more on them individually in the future).  So here are some of the wise sayings of Ben Franklin:

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Disney’s Dreams

With the holiday season surrounding us, dreams of mistletoe and carols, and magic in the air, what fits better than Walt Disney and the most magical place on earth?  Since today happens to be Disney’s birthday, I thought some inspiration and motivation from him would be appropriate:

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”

“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”

“Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.”

What about Disney and the magic that he and his co-creators have made over the years has inspired you?

Hope Says

With our topic of hope this month, I thought I’d share some quotes that make me hope!

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”  Shel Silverstein

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”  John Lennon

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” Robert Fulghum

“Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.'” Alexandre Dumas

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” Barbara Kingsolver

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”  Dalai Lama XIV

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”  Nelson Mandela

What quotes inspire you?  Share them in the comments below!