Good Man

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“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

I’m tired of just talking about how we can make the world a better place.  It’s time for action.  Let’s do this.

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Stop Trying To Control People

22thebestwaytocontrolpeople0aistoencouragethem0atobemischievous220a-default“Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good. That is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.”   Shunryu Suzuki

Top Ten John Muir Quotes

Händkakk_2014I love inspirational and thought provoking quotes.  I love when a complex, intricate, gargantuan subject or idea can be represented with not so many words.  They’re easy to find (thanks to the internet) They’re diverse and plentiful, and they draw me in like a moth to a fortune cookie

This morning, I am feeling a special affection toward the wise words of John Muir.  I’d like to have copy and pasted the entire list from Goodreads and BrainyQuote, but for the sake of brevity, I have only included ten.

10.  “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~John Muir

9.  “As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can”.  ~John Muir

8.  “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”  ~John Muir

7.  “Going to the woods is going home.”   ~John Muir

6.  “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”  ~John Muir

5.  “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”  ~ John Muir

4.   “I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.”  ~John Muir

3.  “The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”  ~John Muir

2. Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  ~John Muir
1.  “The power of imagination makes us infinite.”  ~John Muir
BONUS QUOTE!
I thought this one would go nicely as a tagline on my Unschooling blog Dadosaurus Rex:
“One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”  ~John Muir

Bones in Common

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“When I see people stopped in traffic, in the check-out lane at the store, or walking down the street, I like to visualize their bones.  It helps me remember that, no matter how different we are, deep down we are all the same.”  ~My Chiropractor

No one wants to fail.  No one wants to be miserable.  No one wants to be depressed.  No one wants to have acidic relationships.  Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have been given.  We all have dreams.  We all have vision.  We all have aspirations.  We all have a past, and we all have made decisions we regret.  We all have a spark of greatness, we all have passion, and we all have hate.  We all have secrets.  We all have scars.  Each of us is different, but we are all the same.

Learning From Nature #6

IMG_20140726_161303931“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unself- consciously to the soughing of the trees.”  ~Valerie Andrews

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Exponentially Grow Your Ability to Change the World

I have devoted a lot of time and energy to telling people they are wrong, that I am right, and that they should live the way I live (more like how I would like to live) in order to be happy.  I have gone about trying to change people, and change the world, by talking.  I’ve shared the Gospel,  I’ve spoken the wisdom of Buddha.  I’ve quoted various philosophers.  I’ve explained the health benefits of various diets, and the ills of processed foods.  “If only they knew”  I would think to myself, “If only they knew what they were doing wrong,” “If only they could hear this nugget of precious wisdom that changed my life, then they would be enlightened, and the world would be a better place”

But, as you may be aware, I haven’t saved the world yet.  We don’t live in a Utopia, and we haven’t all linked arms in a giant circle, or came together for an earth-wide embrace.  What am I doing wrong?  What’s missing?

Action.

Words are good, and talking things through can be very helpful, but nothing compares with action.  A hug needs no interpretation, but speaks volumes in any language.  A hand up, a smile, sacrificial giving when its needed most.  These things are real.  They are tangible, and they make an immediate, clear, and tangible change in the world.  Action inspires in a way that quotable quotes could only dream of.  A man who has been helped out of a crisis by a kind stranger will be motivated to do the same for another,

“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.”

 

Top Ten Quotes From “Anne Of Green Gables”

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The kids and I are reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and I just can’t get enough of Anne’s little sayings.  She has a wonderfully marvelous perspective, and a very unique and often humorous way of expressing herself.  That being said, here are my top ten quotes from Anne of Green Gables.

10.  “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

9.  “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?

8.  “There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

7.  “Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them– that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

6.  “Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”

5.  “It’s so hard to get up again—although of course the harder it is the more satisfaction you have when you do get up, haven’t you?”

4.  “It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”

3.  “We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self denial, anxiety and discouragement.”

2.  “It has always seemed to me. ever since early childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, i was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite aside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond-only a glimpse-but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.”

1.  “Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

Lets Just Focus On Helping People

“The difference is slight, to the influence of an author, whether he is read by 500 readers, or by five hundred thousand; if he can select the 500, he reaches the five hundred thousand.” ~Brooks Adams

What a relief.  I was struggling to get 5 readers, never mind 500,000.  There are a lot of people out there artificially puffing up their numbers, using spamy ads that fill up the screen and distract from the content of the posts:  “Sign up Today” “Get Exclusive Content” “Rate This Article” “Read The Next Article.”  Take it easy killer, I haven’t even read the first line yet.

I won’t pretend that I know all about writing, or how to make money blogging, or how to build an audience, but I will pretend that I know something.  It seems to me that we have shifted our focus from helping people to getting followers, or likes, or shares, or pageviews, and many of us will stop at nothing to get them.  But I would rather help just one person to live a better life, than to have thousands of meaningless pageviews.

Aside

Why I Like Quotes

I have found that my favorite quotes from intelligent, amazing, brilliant people haven’t actually taught me anything.  Rather, I am drawn to the quote because it expresses something I already believe, but I needed the reassurance of knowing someone that I respect feels the same way.

I think what makes true geniuses, is that they don’t need someone famous, important, or respectable to speak up and affirm their views before they are willing to say what is on their minds.