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Four Things You Can't Recover in Life

The stone.....after the throw !

The word.....after it's said!

The ocassion.....after the loss !

The time.....after it's gone !

Did anyone ever tell you just how special you are.

The light that you emit might even light a star

Did anyone ever tell you how important you make others feel.


Somebody out here is smiling, because of something you said or something you did !

Did anyone ever tell you that many times when they were sad your email made them smile. In fact, it made them glad...

Did anyone ever tell you just how much they like you.

Well, my dearest friend, today I am telling you !

I believe that without a friend you are missing out on a lot !

Have a nice day, and I'm glad we are friends!!!

You have read this article Inspirational Words with the title November 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gem-vita.blogspot.com/2010/11/four-things-you-can-recover-in-life.html. Thanks!

Claude Monet


File:Claude Monet 1899 Nadar crop.jpg"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."











— Claude Monet


French Painter


1840 - 1926

















File:Claude Monet - Water Lilies - 1906, Ryerson.jpg
Water Lilies 1906


Why did you become a painter, a writer or a storyteller?  Why did you start playing music and composing songs?  Why do you love to take photographs?  What drives you to be creative?  What is your story?  I began writing poetry when I was a junior in high school and I submitted my early poems as a paper for a social studies seminar.  My English teacher asked me why I had not shown them to her.  At the time I had not made the connection between writing and English class.  I wrote because it was a way to express my ideas on societal problems.  Why are you an artist?  I'd love to hear your story.





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Robert Frost


"A poem . . . begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. . . . It finds the thought and the thought finds the words."















American Poet


1874 - 1963











Does your art grow out of your emotions?  How often does your pain find expression in your painting, your poem or your story?  Does your joy find the words to express itself?  Many times we forget the original emotion that triggered the thought that ultimately finds its expression in our art.  Some art begins in anger, some in love.  And if we paint or write well, our audience feels the emotion.  




Here is my favorite Frost poem.
























The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost












Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,


And sorry I could not travel both


And be one traveler, long I stood


And looked down one as far as I could


To where it bent in the undergrowth;





Then took the other, as just as fair,


And having perhaps the better claim


Because it was grassy and wanted wear,


Though as for that the passing there


Had worn them really about the same,





And both that morning equally lay


In leaves no step had trodden black.


Oh, I marked the first for another day!


Yet knowing how way leads on to way


I doubted if I should ever come back.





I shall be telling this with a sigh


Somewhere ages and ages hence:


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,


I took the one less traveled by,


And that has made all the difference. 








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Ursula K. LeGuin




Photo by Eileen Gunn


"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."












American Novelist


1929 -











We all need a sense of purpose, a goal of what we want to accomplish, but we must not lose sight of today and what we are doing.  Stay focused on the current moment while keeping the dream of what you want to accomplish in your mind.  We must enjoy the creative journey because the achievement fades quickly.  When the first novel is written, you need a new goal, a new creative journey.  When the painting is finished, we need to start another.  When the play is over or the film finished, we must find another part to play.  Are you enjoying today or are you dreaming of tomorrow?
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Nelson Mandela


"We are all meant to shine, as children do.  As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."












South African President/Anti-Apartheid Activist


1918 -














Do you let your light, your inner strength, shine through your creative work?  Each of us is special and unique.  There is not another person exactly like us in the universe.  We all have things in common, but at some level we are unique and special.  So let that which is you shine.  Don't hide your talent under a bushel basket.  Share it with others.  We each have a responsibility to help the people around us with our creativity and talent.  If we keep our light locked up inside us and hidden from the world, we have failed ourselves and others.
You have read this article Blossom / Candle / Child / Creative Journey / creativity / Fear / Heart / life / light / Nelson Mandela / Wisdom with the title November 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gem-vita.blogspot.com/2010/11/nelson-mandela.html. Thanks!

John Cage


"As far as consistency of thought goes, I prefer inconsistency."












American Composer, Author and Artist


1912 - 1992














There is a desire on the part of human beings to make their lives consistent and we become disillusioned when we find that our heroes don't live up to our ideals.  Life is not consistent despite how much we wish it was.  Life is messy, disorganized and inconsistent.  As creative leaders we do not always live up to our ideals.  We make mistakes, screw-up and form bad habits.  Art at its core is inconsistent and messy.  Every picture we paint, every story we write or song we compose is different in nature and form.  Learn to accept the inconsistencies in your life and in the lives of those you love.  You are only human.
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Eric Hoffer


"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."












American Philosopher/Writer


1902 - 1983














We should give thanks daily for the gifts that we have been given.  The world we live in can be a difficult, negative place and yet we must find a way to celebrate the positive, to believe in that which is good and precious.  As creative leaders our gifts and talents are many.  I am thankful that I can type, that I can read, that I can write, that I can create.  Sometimes it is the small things that are most important.  





Give thanks for what you have been given.  Develop an attitude of gratitude.  Every day write down ten things for which you are grateful.  The choice is yours.  Focus on what you have, not what you don't have.  Don't like that picture you painted?  Don't think you have much skill in drawing?  Don't despair.  Focus on your talent for color or your insight into human nature.  Honor the gifts that you have.  Appreciate your strengths. Celebrate life.  
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Adages of Wisdom Quotes by Master Sheng Yen

A solid step forward speaks louder than a hundred empty, fair words.

***

The more weaknesses you discover in yourself, the faster you will develop, and the more self-confident you will be.

***

Keep your ears and eyes wide open, but mouth tight shut; be quick with your hands and legs, but slow to spend.

***

Only after encounters with hardships will one be roused to vigorous diligence.

***


Be a down-to-earth person with a broad mind; be a sure hand with piercing foresight.

***

Be busy without being disorganized, and weary without being dispirited.

***
You have read this article Inspirational Quotes / Inspirational Wisdom with the title November 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gem-vita.blogspot.com/2010/11/adages-of-wisdom-quotes-by-master-sheng.html. Thanks!

Paulo Coelho





Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

"Don't give in to your fears.  If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart."












Brazilian Novelist


1947 -







Fear causes us to lose touch with ourselves.  When we let fear win, our art will not reflect our heart.  Although fear is a natural part of being human, we need to stand strong and not let fear dominate us.  Listen to your heart and it will teach you how to conquer your fears.
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e. e. cummings


"most people are perfectly afraid of silence"












American Poet/Artist


1894 - 1962


















e. e. cummings

1933




Writers and artists require silence to focus on their work and, yet, many people are afraid of silence.  Silence helps us find our way through the maze of life.  Silence opens like a flower in the morning.  Take time to enjoy the silences of your life.  The hardest silence to find is the silence of the mind.  We are constantly talking to ourselves even when we have silenced the voices around us.  Learn to slow your mind down and quiet the voices talking inside your head.    Rid yourself of your mother's voice.  Your father's voice.  The voice of the critic.  The voice of the editor.  Learn to love silence. 



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Marcus Tullius Cicero


"A room without books is like a body without a soul."









Roman Philosopher and Author


106 BC - 43 BC




















Creative leaders are lifelong learners.  Learning helps to fill the subconscious with fodder for creative thinking.  One important source of learning is books.  Creative leaders spend time reading even if it is only 10 or 15 minutes a day.  I encourage creative leaders to read novels, poetry, biographies, memoirs and history.  The more you read, the more you know.  I usually average about one book a month and I usually read 15 - 20 minutes a day.  I also listen to recorded books while I drive.  Listening to books is a powerful way to learn.  





If you are not a reader, it is never to late to start.  Develop the habit of reading daily.  Set a goal for how many books you will read in 2011 and keep track of the books you read on goodreads.com, a great online method for keeping track of books you read.  And you also will meet other people who read.  If you are looking for some novels to read, I highly recommend the novels I have listed on this blog.
You have read this article Books / CICERO / Creative Journey / Creative Leaders / Habits / Learning / soul with the title November 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gem-vita.blogspot.com/2010/11/marcus-tullius-cicero.html. Thanks!

Peter Ustinov


"The point of living, and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."












British actor/novelist


1921 - 2004











No matter what age you are, the best is yet to come.  No matter where you are in your career, the best is yet to come.  Each day we live provides us with new opportunities, new ways to grow and new things to learn.  Colonel Harlan Sanders was sixty-five when he opened his first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.  Thomas Edison was sixty-seven when he reinvented the phonograph.  At seventy-seven, Grandma Moses began painting.  At eighty, Jessica Tandy won an Oscar for the film, Driving Miss Daisy.  Winston Churchill wrote A History of the English-Speaking Peoples at age 82.  Peter Ustinov acted in the movie, Luther, at age 83.  At ninety, Picasso was still producing drawings and engravings.  At age 93, P. G. Wodehouse was working on his 97th novel when he died.  Remember the best is yet to come.  
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Alice Walker


"Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you.  Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself."









American Novelist/Poet


1944 - 











The appreciation and support of others may be short-lived and fickle.  We need to believe in ourselves and our work.  Our happiness and satisfaction must come from within.  We must learn to care for ourselves and encourage our artistic work.  The world may not understand what we do or why we do it, but we must find the inner strength to keep going.  Pat yourself on the back today and give yourself a compliment.
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Bill Moyers


"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous."












American Journalist


1934 -














Most artists and writers will tell you that there are periods where the work can be boring, dull and mundane.  You feel like everything is on hold and then inspiration arrives in a flash as the light bulb goes off and the sun explodes.  In between the lightning bolts of creativity are hours and days of routine and monotonous work.  But when moment of insight arrives, the heart races to keep up with the mind and elation abounds.  And you know the long wait was worth it.
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Paul Gauguin




Self Portrait, 1893


"Poor artist!  You gave away part of your soul when you painted the picture which you are now trying to dispose of."









French Artist


1848 - 1903













Tahitian Women on the Beach

1891


The ying and the yang for most artists is the conflict between the passion for creating and the need to eat, between time spend painting and time spend selling.  How do we balance these two opposites?  Most of us would prefer to paint, to write and to compose, but we also have the need to feed our families and to a lesser extent ourselves.  Some people take jobs teaching.  Others work in business.  The poet Wallace Stevens spent his career as a lawyer for an insurance company.  How do you balance the need for creating art and the need for cash to live?
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Mother Teresa


"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."












Catholic Nun/Humanitarian


1910 - 1997

















In my experience, I have often found writers and artists to be judgmental and critical of each other's works.  I have participated in writing groups where a writer would present his work and then the others would proceed to tear it apart under the guise of constructive criticism.  Beginning writers and artists do not need criticism.  They need support and encouragement.  For established writers, every new book is a new beginning.  For established artists, every blank canvas is a new beginning.  Both need encouragement and support.  Constructive opinion even at its best is only opinion and often the opinion is way off base.  At its worst, criticism can be vicious and absurd.  As critics we often bring our own prejudices to the table and attempt to impose them on others.  In the words of Mother Teresa, we need to criticize and judge other creative leaders less and love them more.  Look for the good in the creative work and praise the good.  
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Ferruccio Busoni


"The function of the creative artist consists of making laws, not in following laws already made."












Italian Composer, Pianist


1866 - 1924














When I teach people how to speak, I always tell them to learn the rules of speaking, but to understand that they can break every rule.  Speaking is an art, not a science.  Creative leaders understand that there are rules and techniques governing their art, but they have the right to break the rules.  Creative leaders are willing to take a risk and attempt something that lesser artists are unwilling to risk.  If you study the long history of the arts, you will see the pattern — every generation breaks the rules of the older generations and makes new rules.  Think of the changes the impressionists, the cubists and the abstract expressionists  made to art in the last 150 years.  Think about the rules that writers and musicians have broken in the past and continue to break today.  What risks are you taking with your art?  What rules have you been willing to bend and break?  What new rules have you put in their place.  In art, nothing is absolute.
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Henri Matisse


"Creation is the artist's true function; where there is no creation there is no art."












French Artist


1869 - 1954













Matisse, Woman With A Hat, 1905


Most of us are drawn to the arts because of a need to create something, to express what we are feeling.  Those who stay involved with some art form, such as writing, painting or acting, must also learn technique, but if in the study of techniques we forget creativity, we have lost touch with the purpose of art.  Creativity is the very heart of what we do.  The mastery and perfection of technique must never be more important then the creative impulse.  The art we create must be fresh and new, not boring and repetitious.
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Jing Si Aphorism - Inspirational Wisdom Quotes by Dharma Master Cheng Yen

True meditation is to calm the restless mind in everyday living.

***

With an equanimous mind,
reflect on the appearances
and voice
of all living beings.

***

If we are easily distracted
and do not pay
full attention
to the task at hand,
it will be difficult to
accomplish anything.

***


Sow the field of heart with good seeds.
One more seed of goodness means one fewer weed.

***

People always seek “to have”, but “to have” is actually to have misery.

You have read this article Inspirational Quotes / Inspirational Wisdom with the title November 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gem-vita.blogspot.com/2010/11/jing-si-aphorism-inspirational-wisdom.html. Thanks!

Muriel Rukeyser


"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."












American Poet


1913 - 1980




















The universe is alive with story.  Without story, much of what we as humans know would be meaningless.  Through story we understand the world around us.  Through story we understand our lives and why we have lived the way we lived.  Story provides meaning to the events that have happened and the sorrows we have experienced.  As creative leaders, we are driven to share our story whether that be through a poem, a painting, a novel, a song, a sculpture, a film or a dance.  What stories are you telling in your art?  What stories are you telling that define who you are?  Our lives are filled with story.  Share yours today.
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Santoka Taneda


"Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life."












Japanese Haiku Poet 


1882 - 1940














What is your painting, your story, your dance, or your song?  Is it a shriek?  A howl? A sigh? A yawn?  Or is it the deep breath of life?  As creative leaders we need to be creating art that produces the deep breath of life.  Art that is just a shriek or a howl leaves people feeling empty.  Art that is a sigh or a yawn puts people to sleep.  Our art needs to come from deep within and we need to breathe into it the breath of life .
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Leonardo Da Vinci




Mona Lisa


"The first goal of a painter is to be able to make a simple flat surface appear like a relief . . . this is done by the correct use of light and shade.  The one who can do this deserves the most praise."












Italian Artist


1452 - 1519











The arts are about illusion.  The painter paints an object, a person or landscape and wants us to believe that it represents the real thing.  The writer tells a story and wants us to believe that what he is telling us is real.  A musician plays sounds and wants us to believe the notes tell a story.  If we are good at our craft, people will believe what we show and tell them.  Leonardo reportedly took four years to paint the Mona Lisa.  Perfecting illusion takes time.
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Kahlil Gibran


"In every winter's heart there is a quivering spring, and behind the veil of each night there is a smiling dawn."












Lebanese Artist and Poet


1883 - 1931






Hope is an essential gift of living.  Without hope, we are wandering through a dark, desolate world.   In even our worst moments, we need to remember that life will get better.  As artists and writers, we need to believe that the next painting or the next poem will be our best.    If we quit now, we may never know what is around the next corner.  Keep dreaming.  Keep hoping.  Keep believing.


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Zelda Fitzgerald


"Nobody has ever measured, even the poets, how much a heart can hold."












American Novelist, Artist


1900 - 1948











The heart is stronger than we think and able to recover from some of the most painful sorrows.  People through the centuries have seen and heard some of the ugliest behavior of mankind from starvation to murder to genocide.  And writers and artists have produced great work out of this pain.  When I was in college in the midst of the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement, I thought the world would explode within five years.  More the forty years later the earth still circles the sun and men and women continue to suffer and survive.  How much can your heart hold?  How much pain have you suffered?  How much love have you given?  How much of your heart can you see in your work?
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New Interpretation of Chinese Legend "Turning An Iron Rod To A Needle"

One day there was a mother who taught her son.

"Perseverance is the foundation of success. Whatever may be accomplished as long as you are really keen to do it."

"Provided that you are diligent, an iron rod can be ground down to become a embroidery needle."

Twenty years later...

"Look ! The iron rod become a needle now. This proves that as long as you have perseverance, no ambitious goals that can not be achieved."


"Mother, you devote your precious youth, but mother only gets a small needle."

There is nothing wrong with turning a iron rod to a needle...but a small yield for a large investment is not commensurate.


From Heart Sutra, Illustrated & interpreted by Tsai Chih Chung
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Pablo Picasso


"Art is the lie that reveals the truth."












Spanish Artist


1881 - 1973








When we stop and think about it, we realize that art is not real.  It is an attempt to create  reality, but it will never be reality.  As Picasso says, it is a lie.  Whether you are a writer or a painter, the world you are creating in your stories and pictures is not real.  But this lie can reveal the truth of the world that cannot be perceived in reality.  Now there is the paradox:  the lie reveals the truth.  





The question you must ask yourself:  Does my art reveal the truth?  Or is it only an illusion?  Only a lie?  Art that does not reveal the truth remains a lie.  What is the truth in your writing?  In your painting?  What insight do you have into life and living?


















Here is one of my favorite Picasso paintings.  I have written a poem, Sing A Sad Song, about the painting and the truth that it reveals.









The Old Guitarist, 1903, Oil on Panel, 122.9 X 82.6 cm. Pablo Picasso, Spanish (1881 - 1973), The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection, 1926.253.











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Harry S. Truman




Harry S. Truman


"I was an avid reader of history and particularly the lives of great men and women.  I found that some were born to greatness, some attained it by accident, and some worked for it."












American President, Author


1884 - 1972











As creative leaders we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before.  What do you know of the lives and works of these earlier artists, writers, musicians and storytellers?  What were the challenges they faced and the difficulties they overcame?  What creative ideas did they have that have made our work easier?  What knowledge did they have that has now been lost to the dustbins of history?  Which painters, writers and musicians are your heroes?





Most people are not born to greatness.  They usually work hard to achieve what they desire, but in the end the fame they find is often by accident.  So my advice is to work hard every day and enjoy what you do.
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Piet Mondrian





Composition #2 Piet Mondrian

"Everyone knows that even a single line may convey an emotion."












Dutch Painter


1872 - 1944











The line is one of the smallest elements of a drawing or a painting.  The line is the beginning of what is to be.  And in that beginning the line conveys the emotion to come, the story to be told.  All art begins some where.  For the artist it is the line.  For the writer it is the word.  For the musician it is the note.  And the line becomes the skeleton, the core of what is created.





I recently discovered the drawings of Michael Kirby.  He has the powerful ability to convey emotion with simple lines.  Check out his blog at:













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W. S. Merwin


"We are the echo of the future."












American Poet


1927 -











Wow!  These seven words can change the way we see ourselves.  We see ourselves as flesh and bones and full of life, but in the big picture to those who come after us we are only an echo of the person we were.  We think everything that is happening to us now is important and wonder if we will be able to survive the onslaught of problems that we face.  But in the blink of an eye that is our lives we are gone.  And as artists, writers and musicians all that is left are the works we created — the footprints we left behind.  The echo of person who was us.
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John Sloan


"Color is like music.  The palette is an instrument that can be orchestrated to build form."












American Artist


1871 - 1951








The arts are interrelated and interconnected.  If you are a writer, you can learn from artists and musicians.  Don't just study writers, study artists.  Learn to paint and it will make your writing better.  If you are an artist, you can learn from film and theater.  Learn to act and it might make your painting better.  Why do you think some actors turn to painting or writing when they are not engaged in making films?  Don't feel you have to limit yourself to one form of art.  Explore them all.  Do you have writer's block? Go paint a picture.  Don't know what to paint?  Play the guitar.
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Inspirational Song : One Moment In Time

Each day I live
I want to be
A day to give
The best of me
I'm only one
But not alone
My finest day
Is yet unknown

I broke my heart
Fought every gain
To taste the sweet
I face the pain
I rise and fall
Yet through it all
This much remains


I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

I've lived to be
The very best
I want it all
No time for less
I've laid the plans
Now lay the chance
Here in my hands

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

You're a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will be
I will be
I will be free
I will be
I will be free

A Song Lyrics Performed by Whitney Houston
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Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."












American Writer & Poet


1803 - 1882











Sometimes we let our worries, doubts and fears control us.  There is nothing we can do to change yesterday and the things that happened.  Yes, we may alter the consequences by apologizing, but the action is still there.  Worry is creative imagination.  We create all kinds of scenes and stories in our minds that are not based in reality.  





My mother was a worry wart.  She was always dwelling on something that happened or was caught up in what she thought was going to happen.  And she seemed to get worse with age.  She and my father had a big fight on the morning he died of a heart attack.  He had been sick and she did not want him to go to work.  Being the stubborn person he was, he went anyway and died on the job.  My mother never forgave herself.  During the nine years after my dad died, she worried about what happened and punished herself.





So, of course, some of this worrying behavior rubbed off on me and there have  been  days when I struggled to overcome it.  But the older I have grown, the less I worry.  I have learned to accept what happens and to forgive myself.  But every now and then, worry will raise it's silly head and bite me.  





Are you a worrier?  Does your imagination run wild?  Have you learned to forgive yourself when you make a mistake?  Take heed of Emerson's valuable advice:  Begin each day anew!
You have read this article American Writer / Fear / Forgive / imagination / Mother / Ralph Waldo Emerson / Worry with the title November 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gem-vita.blogspot.com/2010/11/ralph-waldo-emerson.html. Thanks!