Friday, 16 August 2002

August 16, 2002 Chautauqua



From the Editor's Computer

   Ahhhhhh….those lazy days of summer…

   Vacations are wonderful!  I am currently enjoying a wonderful holiday at the perfect spot – a luxury cabin (the owner’s description!) by a lake.  I am enjoying the ‘break’ from routine – with my final exam but a distant memory, and the anticipation of my next course still in the future – I have had the opportunity to do something different. 

   For instance, I have gone for lakeside walks, caught up on some reading, sorted some personal files, and visited with various friends.

   I attended the Beach Days events, and I plan to watch the Pony Chucks & Chariots this weekend.  I attended Meibion Llywarch, a men’s choir from Wales, at Ponoka last weekend, as well as the Cowboy Sunday activities in Mirror.

  When I feel real ambitious, I just sit and watch the sun set over the lake in the evening.  Yes, I really am taking a break, even though I am still going to work each week, and I’m thoroughly loving every moment! 

   Too often, I put something aside ‘to do someday.’  Of course, how many days and weeks and months pass before someday arrives?  Well, I had planned to use this month to catch up on all my ‘someday’ projects, but it seems like something else has come up, or I have attended a fun event instead.   It has been said that life is what happens while we make other plans.  I know that I will still get a chance to tackle a few of those ‘someday’ projects before the end of the month, but even if I don’t, I will not let it interfere with my holiday.

   For the rest of the summer, try to take a moment and just enjoy the sun (when it shines) and the green grass and the lovely flowers.  Take a moment to look at the sky and identify shapes in the clouds overhead.  Or, just sit and let the peaceful laziness of the day flow over you.  Pause and watch the sun set.  Let this summer time be an opportunity to slow down and recharge your batteries.

Beth

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Friday, 2 August 2002

August 2, 2002 Chautauqua



From the Editor's Computer

   Socrates was sitting outside the gate at Athens watching the travellers passing by on the road.   One traveller stopped and asked Socrates, “What are the people like in this city?”  Socrates replied, “What were the people like where you came from?”  The traveller proceeded to tell Socrates, in great detail, how terrible the people were.  Socrates replied, “I’m afraid the people here are the same.”  Disappointed, the traveller continued on. 

   A while later, another traveller approached Socrates and asked him the same question.  Socrates asked this traveller too, “What were the people like where you came from?”  The traveller proceeded to expound on the good natures and the caring and compassion  displayed by the people from his previous place of residence.  Socrates smiled, “You will find the people the same here.  Welcome.”

   It is sad, but true, if you are grumpy don’t be surprised if the people you meet all seem to be grumpy and out of sorts.  Fortunately the reverse is also very true...when you smile the world smiles back.

   I frequently talk to people who say that we need to do more to help the poor, the exploited, the abused, and the oppressed peoples of this world, and they generally tell me they want to do all they can to help these distant souls.  It is true, we should do something to help the less fortunate, and desiring to do so is a very admirable pursuit, BUT...it is absolutely meaningless if you do not live out your convictions right here at home.  What I find tragic is that far too many of these people I talk to are at the same ones who ‘can’t be bothered’ to take an extra minute of their time to hold the door open for the person (with arms full of something, of course) following through behind them.  They are the same people who ‘can’t be bothered’ to take a couple seconds and say ‘Thank you’ to the person behind the counter who just performed a valuable service for them.  They are the same people who ‘can’t be bothered’ to even smile at someone they see on the street, because everyone knows that all the residents around here are merely  grumpy, gossipy, complainers.

   Did you know, provided you can afford to pay the extensive fees, that there are courses and workshops offered to teach people how to perform random acts of kindness!  I’m serious!  What is our world coming to when we have to teach adults how to smile and say ‘thank you’ to a bank teller, or to let someone with only 5 items go ahead of you in a check-out line? 

   Kindness can, and should, happen anywhere and everywhere.  We should all be ’bothered’ to do what we can, where we are, to make our small corner of the world a better, happier, kinder place.  I challenge you to smile at everyone you see today, tomorrow and the next day.  In doing our own little part, the ripples of our actions will then spread out to those around us, and will even be felt by others around the world.

Beth


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To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.