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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for May, 2005

What Are the Things That Give You Hope?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

When I read recently that the ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought to be extinct, had been seen in Arkansas, I thought of the words in a beautiful poem by American poet Emily Dickinson in which she wrote: ”’Hope is the thing with feathers. — that perches in the soul…”
Share with me: How does ”hope” look to you? What are the things that give you hope? Write about them and remember what you write so you won’t ever forget hope, no matter what life brings to you.

Responses to Let’s Make Believe!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

UniversalL sent in these responses to this web site’s Let’s Make Believe section:
If I Had Wings to Fly: I would fly high over cities and towns and countries, soar over different cultures far away to see what good things I could learn to bring back to the people in my life.
If I Had Characteristics of My Favorite Animal: My cat’s trust and patience would be nice.
If I Could Leave A Message for Loved One: “I hope this day brings you sunshine and joy!”
If I Could Have A Chosen Dream Come True: All people of the earth interacting with only the best, selfless intentions, creating one gentle, helpful human family.
Now, what about you? Why not go to the Let’s Make Believe! section and send in your own responses to the questions asked?

Read Some Dog Wisdom

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

This is a bit of animal wisdom sent from JMR:
Wisdom From Dog: When you find a warm and loving home, don’t bolt away
suddenly to chase a mail1317man who may have a treat for you in his truck.
There will always be plenty of love and bones at home.
Now, what about you? Any wisdom to share that your learned from your pet? If so, please send it in.

Being Given a ‘Feeling of Assurance’

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

I read today about an athlete who had been temporarily paralyzed from the neck down while playing football. While he was in the hospital, his family and friends formed what he called a ”feeling of assurance” around him to communicate their love and hope for his recovery. He has since made great progress and is walking again, even although doctors initially only had given him a 3 percent chance of doing so.
This made me think about what if each of us also knew we were surrounded by a ”feeling of assurance” and support from those around us. Wouldn’t that give us extra strength in dealing with all of life’s problems and hurts? Wouldn’t that strengthen us? How much different would our lives be with such good feelings directed at us? But, to receive such love, wouldn’t we also need to be able to offer such assurance to others, too, and without any reservation? Afterall, to receive we need to give, don’t we?
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you ever felt such a ”feeling of assurance”? What was it like? How did it affect you?

Tell About Your Most Courageous Time

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

When I’m not writing books, I teach English to immigrants who have come to the United States to make new lives for themselves. I think they are very courageous people — they have had to give up their homelands, leave their families and all that they know and start a new life in a new country. They do this to fulfill the same dream that most of our ancestors had — to build a better life. For the most part, they struggle mightily to learn a new language so that they can find work and secure their families well being; learning English can be a daunting experience — it is a difficult language and I see my students trying to muster all their confidence in school as they strive to say the new words in their new language. They come to school before going to work or after work, and their lives are very hard and challenging. I ask myself if I could have the courage to do what they are doing. I admire them very much.
Each of us, whether we are born here or come from other places in the world, also have to perform courageous acts as we make our lives as human beings. Life is never easy, I know. What is the most courageous thing you have had to do in your own life. Please share with me.

What Are Your Important Words?

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

I lost my father when I was very young and missed hearing the words that a boy growing up needs to hear from his dad. One Sunday before Father’s Day a few years ago, nearing the anniversary of his death, I missed him especially. Seeking comfort, I found myself writing a letter from ‘’him’’ to me saying some of the things I longed to hear from him — that he was proud of the person I had grown up to be, that he had loved me very much.
Writing to my father reminded me of the words to a Fats Waller song, ”I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter, And make believe it came from you…” Penning that letter eased a little of the pain I felt, and spurred me to begin a book of encouraging words to young boys. It is titled 100 Things Guys Need to Know and has just been published by Free Spirit Publishing. (Excerpts can be found in the Discover Words of Encouragement Section of this website.)
You see, I tried to write the book I needed as a boy. I think, now, that in writing the letter I was really reaching back to comfort the lost boy whom I was decades ago. And, I know from experience in working with children over the years that all young people – those with fathers as well as those without – need to hear words that guide them, encourage them and comfort them. None of us ever hears enough of such words.
My own father was not one to write words on paper – in fact the only ones I ever received from him are those he wrote in my autograph book when I graduated from elementary school. He wrote: ‘’I wish I was gifted with words good enough to tell you what a swell boy I have for a son. God Bless You. Love, Daddy.’’
Just 26 words. But they stayed with me all my life.
Now its your turn: Why not share with me and readers of this site the most encouraging words that someone ever said to you — or the words which you wish someone had said to you in your life? If none come to mind, then what would be the words of encouragement you would offer to a young person in your own life?