Love this quote:
‘Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’
— E.B. White (Author of Charlotte’s Web)
Just yesterday, our property was brutally ransacked by thieves. A lot of valuables, sentimental and personal items were taken. There was considerable damage.
We are beyond shocked, distressed, and disgusted.
But, this travesty has one silver lining. Our neighbors. People we’ve never actually met. One-by-one, they have been calling us long-distance, telling us what had transpired, calming us, and kindly informing us that they will help to secure the property and help us ensure that the perpetrators will never set foot in our neck of the woods ever again.
This gives fresh meaning to the concept of “Love thy neighbor.”
To these wonderful men and women, my husband and I send you our heartfelt thanks.
My first reaction, in the wake of this tragedy, was to cancel our family Easter celebration. But, if I did that, the bad guys will have won.
Instead, I will focus on the blessings of this season ― my wonderful husband, my pets, friends and family, and ― my neighbors, who are simply awesome.
Photo via unitedwaycfc.org.
“When there’s an elephant in the room, introduce him.”
The study of human nature is interesting, isn’t it? Take, for example, the way people often react to uncomfortable situations. Silence, avoidance or complete retreat are common responses that we, as humans, have – when faced with an embarrassing or awkward moment. In an effort to avoid unpleasant confrontation or negative reaction, we often choose the path of least resistance – by acting “pc” (politically correct) or “civilized” … which translates to “we don’t say what we mean or mean what we say.” We either say nothing or give a very watered-down version of what we really want to say. This, in my opinion, does everyone a disservice. Kind, constructive criticism or commentary may be quite helpful to the person for whom it is intended – that is, if that person chooses to hear, digest and heed it. The choice (of hearing, digesting the information and heeding it) is always his/her prerogative, after all.
Now, I most definitely do NOT advocate mean-spirited criticism or commentary. That does no one any good.
Nor, by contrast, do I agree with ego stroking or pretense.
What I DO support is that people cut the BS and simply say what they mean and mean what they say. As the late Professor Pausch once said, “introduce him”…. the elephant, that is. Deal with the elephant in the room, gently and elegantly – but deal with him.
It is far better to clear the air, than to leave things unsaid … because when things are left unsaid, they often fester.
This, I know for sure.
Photo via vet.cornell.edu.
A heartfelt “Thank You” to those of you who have ordered a copy of my new book, Casualties of the Recession Depression. Book orders are coming in. I am thrilled and also extremely humbled.
Recently, a very old friend of mine ordered a copy and then, not two minutes later, ordered a second copy for her parents (who were very excited for me because they remembered me as a little tyke with glasses, always with my nose in a book). Their enthusiasm and support brought me to tears. Isn’t it funny how it’s often the people who “knew you when” that come out, years later, to cheer you on?
I’m sure they didn’t realize it at the time, but they made my day.
To those of you who are reading this post, please spread the word! And, consider getting yourself a copy. It’s a timely and feisty book that champions the resilience and strength of the middle class, in the face of adversity – namely, this interminable economic downturn.
I welcome your feedback.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Stay tuned for Monday’s blog post: “Is There an Elephant in the Room?”
Photo via evomag.co.
Back in the day, late night comedian Arsenio Hall had a segment in his comedy act (The Arsenio Hall Show), called “Things that make you go hmmm… “
Now, we’ve all had those moments when we’ve heard or seen things that simply defy logic. Afterwards, we’d walk away, shaking our heads in amazement or disbelief and muttering to ourselves: “Did he really just say that? Am I missing something?” or “If I didn’t see that with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it!”
To start out the week with a chuckle, I thought I’d share some of my recent “Hmmm” experiences with you.
1. Measure twice, cut once. Translation: “No worries, man, so what if we’re off by a few inches? Who’ll notice it?”
So, several homes in my neighborhood are in various stages of restoration. Most are being rebuilt or refurbished by licensed contractors and overseen by certified architects. Their work is being performed in strict accordance with the county’s building code standards. Then there are the homeowners who, for reasons of budget or simply bureaucratic defiance, choose to hire unsupervised day laborers. One particular home has been the source of many “hmmms” among the neighbors. The homeowner, residing in another country, hired these men (sight unseen) to do a quickie, makeshift reno on a house that is a dilapidated eyesore (one step away from being condemned). Every weekend, the men bring their tools and their generator (the county pulled the house’s power meters out when it was discovered that the day laborers had installed the meters improperly and without a permit) and they work steadily, hammering and sawing. To their credit, they do work hard and with very few breaks. However, when they installed new ingress and egress doors, they didn’t seem to worry about the two-inch high opening across the top of the doors. Perhaps they thought the house needed some open air ventilation.
Months later, the gaps remain. And flying palmetto bugs (South Florida’s version of cockroaches) happily fly into the house on a regular basis. At least it’s no longer unoccupied.
2. Beautiful tropical flora be gone, I say, be gone!
One day, I decided to take a leisurely stroll through The Grove (Coconut Grove, that is). I stopped suddenly when I saw a man waving a big machete, frantically hacking away all the lovely trees, vines and bushes surrounding a little cottage. When he stopped to wipe his face with a cloth (it was a hot and humid mid-afternoon), I asked him why he was destroying all the beautiful foliage. He said that the homeowner preferred a stark, easy-to-maintain yard. I suggested that if he really wanted to remove the foliage, he would need to pull them out by the roots or else they would grow right back. He said that that’s what he was trying to do. (Note: the only tool in sight was a machete). I looked at him, just to make sure that he was copis mentis (of sound mind). Then, I shook my head and walked away. When I saw the yard a day later, I was horrified to see a barren yard with roots and stumps sticking out from everywhere.
By the summertime, the cherry bushes and jasmine vines had grown and blossomed. The garden was restored (almost) to its rustic glory. It’s like a tropical rainforest over here in South Florida. Everything grows at warp speed.
Share some of your “Things that make you go hmmm .. “ stories. I’d love to hear from you!
Photo of Arsenio Hall via Comicbooksdaily.com.
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, I wanted to share some sage words from Irish Playwright/critic/political activist, George Bernard Shaw (b. 1856 in Dublin, Ireland; d. 1950 in Ayot St. Lawrence, England).
Incidentally, George Bernard Shaw was a co-founder of the London School of Economics and a charter member of the Fabian Society. Founded in 1884, the Fabian Society is a middle-class organization in England, whose mission is to promote socialism through peaceful, non-revolutionary means.
In 1925, Mr. Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Although he accepted the award, he rejected the monetary prize and requested that it instead be allocated towards the translation of the works (from Swedish to English) of fellow playwright August Strindberg.
If you want to have an online read of some of George Bernard Shaw’s works (novels, short stories or plays), visit: Readbooksonline.net.
It’s a new day in Vatican City.
He doesn’t wear elaborate attire or red leather loafers, but prefers the simplicity of a black cassock.
He forgoes the luxury and safety of the bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz for the normalcy of the public transit system.
He favors frugality and simplicity over lavishness and ostentation.
He is inclusive, not exclusive.
He is warm and embracing, not reserved or standoff-ish.
Already, he has changed history.
He is the first Jesuit to become Pope.
He is the first Pope to hail from the Southern Hemisphere (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
He is the first Pope to choose the name “Francis.”
Yes, he is conservative. However, unlike some of his conservative predecessors, he is humble and approachable.
If anyone can bring the Papacy back to the people (where it really needs to be), Pope Francis I will be the one to do it.
As a Roman Catholic myself, I am proud to call him my Pope.
Update on Book Distribution Channels:
Dear fellow book lovers,
I’ve still been getting a lot of queries about where to get a copy of my book, Casualties of the (Recession) Depression. At the moment, the book can be purchased through:
– Amazon.co.uk (it is also available in Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es)
It is not yet available in Amazon.ca.
May the newly elected Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, reign in the spirit of the Saint whose name he has chosen.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
I am pleased to announce the release of my new book,
Casualties of the (Recession) Depression.
Once again, from the back cover:
“Has economic activity returned to close to normal levels?”
Did the “Great Recession” really end in June 2009?
Is the American economy in a recession, a depression, or on the road to recovery?
Do our political leaders and economists truly believe what they’re saying, or are they deluging us with “feel-good” marketing rhetoric?
In her own evocative and mince-no-words style, Heather Joan Marinos argues that American economic activity has not returned to close to normal levels.
Through a writer’s lens, we catch a glimpse of some of the poignant moments in the lives of the people most affected by this economic downturn ― the middle class. Marinos takes the reader on an American odyssey from 2006 to the present day, through a collection of vignettes and scenes, and some passionate commentary along the way.
It is, after all, the people who tell the real story of our economy. Their challenges and triumphs are not rhetoric. Their resilience and humanity is what gives us hope for a prosperous and triumphant future.
I am also in the process of completing DEMOKRATIA IN ACTION, due out in 2014.