Saturday, June 30, 2012

Service to Our Fellowman

     Albert Einstein once said, "The education of the individual aspires to revive an ideal that is geared towards the service of our fellowman, and that needs to take the place of the glorification of power and outer success."
     Mr. Einstein was well aware that public service revives not only the participant, but the whole of society. When members of a society partake in public service, a community is strung together like a fine quilt. The threads that hold the quilt together are not of cotton, but of hearts and minds. If you've ever worked on a quilt, you appreciate the time and effort that goes into the project--a slow and cumbersome one indeed--taking weeks, if not months to complete. First, you must have a theme in mind, perhaps portraying your love of nature, a celebration of family and your ancestors or an abstract pattern. It doesn't matter, as long as you have a well thought-out plan and an ample supply of patience. Piece by piece, the quilt is sewn together and a pattern begins to arise.
     A community's success is much like a quilt  with many diverse traditions and ideas woven together to make it strong and tight. Through its commitment to include all citizens to contribute in their own unique way, it sends a message of unity and support.  
     In order to understand how a community succeeds, it is necessary to learn how other communities have prospered. We must seek out the stories of our ancestors to empower us to move forward, giving us encouragement to believe that we too can make a valuable contribution. The pioneers who discovered this great land, were often physically attacked, struggled to feed themselves and fought many deadly diseases. Yet they persevered in life and death situations because they were able to trust and depend on each other.
     These days, life is not so desperate.  But sadly, there are still people who are in desperate need of the basic necessities to survive. Many of us are too busy at work or play to notice them. I'm sure we could all do more to help.
     Children--our greatest hope-are always in need of help. They learn not only by rote, but by example. By our deeds, shouldn't we show them that compromise, compassion and giving are the ingredients of a successful community and that volunteering is a noble and valuable endeavor? I believe that giving is far more rewarding than receiving and that the best things in life are truly not things, but each other. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Please Pay Special Attention To Your Loved Ones On A Hot Day

     My son had four of his friends over swimming today. They are all good kids and had a great time. My biggest problem was the weather. It felt like a wall of heat every time I went out to replenish their water and make sure they had put their sunscreen on. I also made sure they sat underneath our umbrella a few times a day to protect them from the sun's penetrating rays. When I was a teenage lifeguard for the city of Holyoke, we used to make the kids get out of the pool so they could rest and not be susceptible to the adverse affects of heat stroke. I will never forget how it feels. It happened to me when I was around ten-years old. I had the worst headache and spent the afternoon in the bathroom.
     What really upset me today was hearing about two dogs that had tragically died due to being left in a hot car. The owners couldn't understand what had happened. They thought that if they left the windows open enough so the dogs could breath but not get out of the car, surely their dogs would be safe. Besides they weren't going too far. The poor things were trapped. Sadly the owners learned the hard way that even if you leave the windows open it still gets blistering hot within a few minutes. I only let my kitty Minnie out in the morning before the heat and humidity becomes overbearing and dangerous. Thankfully, we have air conditioning where we both can get some relief. Besides, she's afraid of her own shadow and stays close to the house. In the winter I make sure she stays in the house. Hopefully more people will pay special attention to their pets when the weather becomes extreme otherwise more innocent and trusting animals will needlessly perish.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Concerned Military Mom

     I can't believe that I'm still awake, it's so late. My boys are sleeping over their friend's house and my husband is sound asleep. My twenty-one year old daughter joined the Marines in April. She will be home in July. It's been really tough for her and I'm on the verge of tears every time I think of her. I'm so worried about her. I know they are taking good care of her, it's just that I'm not there for her. I've always been there for her. She has written some wonderful letters home that are all encouraging and brave. I know that she's having a hard time. Not that she wants to get out, just that it's so hot, mentally draining and physically hard. I just want to see her beautiful face again and give her a big hug. When she graduates, the Marines will assign her to a post that will be far away. I keep wondering where that will be? I just hope it's safe and that she will be happy with her new job. Until then I am deeply concerned.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Public Servant or Politician?

      It's been a year since I ran for a volunteer five-member select board in my town. I have found it to be very interesting and rewarding. When I initially ran for office I sent out a press release stating my goals. I was perplexed when I was not acknowledged. In the past the press has been very accommodating and instrumental in helping me to raise funds for veterans markers, organize a community watch and coordinate a litter pick up. I am still the same person, nothing has changed. I am not that naive to understand that politicians have been corrupt in the past and that I had yet to prove myself worthy of the position. But don't we believe in America that one is innocent until proven guilty and should all politician be mistrusted and ostracized? I am thankful that I have been given a chance to show what I can do for my town. Hopefully, the press will not ignore future candidates who want to help their communities too.
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