Sep 26, 2016

The Trouble With "Stupid"

English: Albert Einstein Fran├žais : Portrait d...
English: Albert Einstein Fran├žais : Portrait d'Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Albert Einstein

When I was a young woman I happened to be in the Smithsonian when it was celebrating Albert Einstein's 100 birthday. It was 1979.  As I stood before the exhibits, I wondered how such a smart man could have struggled so with school. I was a teacher and I began to wonder about how I taught and what I was missing.

I am always inspired by such an awesome intellect. While I have no idea how physics works, I do know that Einstein's did spend time thinking about things that I understood. One website described him as "humble, likeable, kind, played violin and could talk to anyone. " ...and he was very quotable. He said:
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
I fell a bit in love with Albert Einstein back all those years ago. But I had not thought about him lately. Then this morning a friend sent me this cartoon in an email. Read the quote and tell me if you understand why he was saying it. His mind did not work like everyone else's did. When he was put in the classroom with material that fit everyone else, he did not succeed. He was a fish that could not climb a tree. When he talks about education he is speaking from personal experience.

Stupid is not a word I use lightly. I don't allow my grandchildren to use it ever. When the urge to swear that word outloud comes to my lips, I remember that the person I am getting ready to blast may just be different and might even be a potential Einstein. Like the fish that tried over and over to climb the tree, that person probably has not been put in the water yet.

Sadly enough, what we believe about ourselves is a self fulling prophecy. If we were told or shown that we are less than worthy, it was hard not to believe it.

Luckily Einstein managed to overcome school. They thought him retarded but his stubborn nature won and he did not buy it...not in the end. Eventually he swam in a very big ocean. We can all be thankful for that.

Any thoughts?


Sep 24, 2016

How Do You Feel About Bragging?

I noticed on twitter that the #beautifulblog gets a lot of traffic. Should I use that to promote MYSELF? Would I be bragging?
Beautiful Enough?

Yesterday I found a beautiful blog called Nature Whisper. This young blogger gave tips on making Chocolate Ball and included images that took my breath away. When I used twitter to support her, I led with #BeautifulBlog. I'm not as good at using that media as I could be and I wondered if the hashtag went out there into the web without a notice. Today I checked and #BeautifulBlog turns out to be a well used hashtag by lifestyle bloggers.

I don't usually tweet myself up but once in awhile it seem appropriate and when I do that I often include a # to get more attention. Does it help...I have no idea.

It occurred to me that I think my blog is beautiful! Call me a bragger if you want but if I won't vote for myself, why should anyone else. Still, for some reason, it just doesn't seem right to brag does it?

What do you think? Do you promote your blog on twitter and what # do you use?


Sep 23, 2016

"I want to do what your doing," she said.

Elena with Carole's goats, age 12
Earlier this summer I wrote about the most important investment my husband I had ever made. It turned out it was not about money or mutual funds or retirement plans...not that we didn't take advantage of all those things... but that was not it. It was the investment we made in the lives of our children.

You need to understand that I was told from the time that I could understand what "work" really was that I needed to get an education or I would end up having no choices. My father said going to college was the only way to avoid doing the things I might hate.

That guidance somehow changed the way I saw the world. Education became my bell-weather for so many judgements made for myself and my family.

Today one of my grandchildren checked into her dorm room at a college here in Oregon. She is bright and strong willed. As we were shopping for school clothes the other day she said that her goal was to be like us. She wanted to have the money to travel and see "everything" like we had.

That is the other side of being educated. That learning opened door for not only us but for our children.

As I said earlier this summer in that post, the best investment we ever made was the upbringing and education of our children. She is the next generation. And it remains important to get an education. If she has children I hope she remembers to pass that gift on as it is being passed on to her.  She will find that what she sows, so will she reap.

So, the beat goes on. Family grows up, leaves home, finds new traditions and lives of their own. And those of us that invested in them will benefit from what they learn and do in so many ways. It is all good.


Note: The notion of education has changed a lot in the last few years. The ways that young people can arrive at their goal can are varied. Traditional college education is not the end all be all anymore.

Sep 20, 2016

Voices Inside My Head

b+ 2016
I am taking a class on nutrition right seems that my blood sugar is going up a little each year. My doctor suggested that I go because she knows that I think I know everything and doesn't have the time to argue with me.

I thought I would hate going to school. But, as it turns out, I kind of like it! For one thing I am glad that I am as healthy as I am. And the instructor is good and asks us some very interesting questions not related to eating. She has me thinking that what goes on inside of our head has as much to do with our general health as a lot of the food choices we make. Interesting huh?

So the other day she asked me to pay attention to what effect walking has on my writing. Could there possibly be a cause and effect between being VERY active and how my brain works. Maybe.

For many years I woke in the morning with the first sentence of a story running through my mind. I had no idea where the story would go and I never found out because life got in the way. Now I awake clear headed and there is no sentence at all. But, if occasionally there is a sentence, I simply sit at my computer and write. I love that part of my life.

But as I walk, I find solutions and make decisions and remember what I thought I had lost. The very act of walking fast and running out of breath frees my mind up to let all the drawers open. Things come tumbling out I thought I would never remember and I return to my house with enthusiasm for the rest of my day.

On a recent walk I decided that I would plant herbs in our new empty bed in the front. It also became clear to me that all that food planning could be a lot simpler that I originally thought. I have cleaned cupboards of clutter and am letting a lot of stuff go. It is evident to me that old spices are never going to be used and one patterned napkin is of no use.

But best of all is have discovery that I actually like to walk every day possible. Each time I go out I am surprised at what I find both in the world and inside my brain.

So yes, there are voices inside of my head but they are mine and I am working on one problem while solving another. I like that a lot.


Sep 19, 2016

The Obituaries Asks "How remarkable are you?"

I originally posted this article in 2012 and then forgot all about it. I think it asks a question that we need the think about. How remarkable must you be before your family or friends will pay to see your life in print?

I am not a reader of the obituaries. However, my husband needs to keep me up to date on the news and sometimes the obituaries catch his interest. No matter how much I beg, he will continue reading like he did not hear me (which is entirely possible). I will admit I like to listen to him.

Obituary for Pere Antoine in the 20 January 18...
Obituary for Pere Antoine in the 20 January 1829 
edition of "The Bee" newspaper, 
New Orleans. (Wikipedia)

As for the obituaries, I am amazed at the lives that people have led. This morning it was a Russian woman. She was a refugee during WWII as a small child. She was thrown on a plane with another family and raised by the family as their own. She graduated in cybernetics from university and later worked inside the Kremlin in the archives. She was acquainted with the leaders of Russia at that time. She had lived in the United States for 20 years. Her obituary said that she believed that we must accept our family because they are just that, but friendship must be earned. Then there was a list of friends. I liked that.

Another man was an activist that pushed against the grain and fought to have more minorities admitted to his university. He graduated in the 1960's with a doctorate in Social Science. He sought out minority men and women to introduce as possible candidates for a upper education for many years. He taught at various colleges throughout the United States. I admire a human with a purpose.

So what is my point? We all know that nothing is free. Obituaries were just one of the many services that newspapers provided to their community for the past. But now, if a family or friends want to see those words in print, they must pay. So the question that came to mind was: How remarkable must you be before your family or friends will pay to see your life in print?

Just a thought!


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