New Focus!

I am somewhat troubled by the “being offended” theme that is constantly celebrated by the news media, on social media, in the public arena and so on.

It is all a part of the negativity of our age. Auggie Squirrel LloydSeems to me that many people are “seeking offense” and that is easy to do if you are looking for it. Human beings are more than happy to comply. And if encouraged, it is like giving a dog a treat for certain behavior, that behavior will continue.

Recently, I posted a video of my dog in a Facebook group. Evidently, she chased a groundhog into a tree. I thought it fascinating, I had no idea a groundhog could climb! Or that my pup would start ripping the bark off the tree! At the risk of sounding like a country girl, I thought it rather funny. (No blood, Groundhog safe, pretending to be a squirrel).

I’ve never had a post get so much attention so quickly, so far, there are over 180 smiley faces, wows & likes. 5 negative emoji responses and about six people telling me off for allowing this to happen. I have been accused of allowing my dog to kill future little kitty cats! And from half-way around the world, “Americans like to kill things.” Oh, and I’m training my dog to be a bully! Where the hell did that come from?

So, why am I posting this on my “Positive Blog?” To make a point. Simply that, to make a point. A few people were obviously offended by this post. That is OK, they have the right to be offended if they would like. However, what do you think I was talking about this morning concerning the responses? I was concentrating on the negative.

  • Ladies, have you ever noticed you could have a thousand, or eight compliments on your outfit, but if one person makes a negative comment you want to go change your clothes?
  • Did you ever get a comment on a paper that received an A- grade and find yourself obsessed with that comment and grade?  It’s an A for goodness sake!
  • Oh here’s one –Try public speaking! You can shake hands with 237 people who are smiling, saying thank you and ONE comment makes you want to crawl under a chair? Or, am I the only one that hears the negative louder?

What concerns me with the current attitude being celebrated in this era is that it will just continue to grow. I think the only way to change that is by concentrating on other words, feelings and responses.

Here are some words that would be nice to celebrate:

Hero

Sympathy

Ethics

Love

Caring

Grace

Resolute

Positivity

Hero (again)

Bravery

Embrace

Joy

Laughter

In a negative world, we must strive to keep from falling into a dark hole where we find ourselves unable to get out in response to negativity. I have a challenge this week, pick a positive word each day, consider it getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, getting the kids off to school, during the rush traffic, at work . . . you get the idea! One word, one day, one encounter at a time, maybe, just maybe we can embrace a new era of attitude. You are more than welcome to add words to this list!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

PS: Photo of said dog, dreaming that the squirrel would somehow miss a branch!

 

 

 

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Grateful

Today is Memorial Day here in America. There will be remembrances in nearly every community. For the most part, those ceremonies have been the same each and every year since “anyone can remember”. I’ve been to many, participated in a few. They make me grateful.

The evolution of this weekend has become a celebration of picnics, the beach season officially opening, summer is here so gas prices rise and traffic jams along the coast & to mountainous resort areas increase for most. Yet, it is good to remember the real reason behind this holiday which has become a good excuse to buy a six pack, or another bottle or two of red.

Memorial day is about Death and Gratefulness. Death has been such a huge part of my life as I was a pastor for 22 years. Death was a reality I was always prepared to face, yet not quite ready to face.  There was an expectation whether that death had just occurred, or was imminent in the next few months that I would be intimately involved in the process. When you are intimately involved with death on a regular basis, it can make you or break you. Think about it, there really isn’t a middle ground, is there? Well, I guess, middle ground would be numb.

Dealing with death has made me grateful. I know it hits others in different ways, but for me, grateful. I live with the understanding that each and every day is a gift. A gift to be opened, enjoyed and used. A gift to show off to your friends, and decide not to share with those . . . . well, you don’t want to share your daily gift with!

Yesterday, I spend some time with a friend at the grave of her father, she talked of his untimely death, “too young”, she said, “he was two years younger than I am now”. He, like my father, served in the Korean War. It was a precious time we had, talking of our Dad’s, being thankful that they served, but didn’t die in the war. Private, personal ceremony. A time to remember, it was beautiful. I walked away grateful.

When I think of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the military, and of their families who have had such great loss, of someone they loved gone, usually, “incredibly too young”, I am grateful. I’m grateful that because of them, I have the right to express my opinions on this blog, on social media, at the coffee house or on a public square. I’m grateful that I could choose to walk away from my career of 22 years because I couldn’t accept the ethics any longer. I’m grateful that I could start up and close a business or two. I’m grateful that I can talk on the phone, or text my family. I’m grateful that I can have a dog and a fish.

I started this blog because of the negativity pandemic that is going on in our society right now. I hate it, truly. But I’m grateful that we have the right to be miserable if we choose to be. Although I’m not a march-in-the-streets-protester, I can protest the life-sucking-negativity, in my own way because I have the freedom to do so.

So, my ceremony for today is my new discipline of early morning writing. I’m grateful I have that choice. I’m grateful for the many lives lost that give me the right to be who I am and for you to be who you are. I’m grateful for many years of being intimate with death so that I can celebrate life . . . daily.

What are you grateful for today?

Enjoying the Adventure, (And greatful to have the freedom to do so!)

Dr. Dink

____________________

 

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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New Eyes

I’ve been away for six weeks. When I left Pennsylvania there was snow on the ground and we arrived in the desert to sunshine and 93 degrees. Yesterday, I was surrounded by blue skies and was floating in a pool. I came from the dry air of the desert with warnings of wild fires, back to the Northeast and buckets of rain, buckets!. Everything feels damp, everything. For the past six weeks I’ve been experiencing the world from the eyes of a two-year-old in his toddler proof home. Today, I’m home, surrounded familiar antiques. The opposites are too many to list.

During these six weeks, I’ve been trained by a little human. He has taught me the wowness of the mundane. The excitement of what has been there and taken advantage of as “the norm”. He has shown me to see with new eyes again.

As I sit here this morning surrounded by my familiar,  I realize that there can be no assumptions —everything is not the same, although nothing much has changed. Because I’ve been retrained by this little guy, I do see things differently and with a renewed sense of appreciation.

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I was greeted by Smiley, my African statue and our collection of beautiful antique mirrors begging to give reflection, the best cow oil painting ever and the weather-vane in the window. Memories, comfort, old things . . . seen with new eyes, retrained to see by an inquisitive boy.

 

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Look around you, what do you see? Look again, what is so familiar that you don’t see or appreciate it as it deserves? It may be a trinket, a wedding band, something from your childhood, or the person next to you . . .

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

________________

 

Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Ahhh, the joys of different time zones

Thinking ONLY about yourself: the world is small and limited.

Thinking about others: the world in infinite.

When life situations occur, whether it be a season of sadness, change and life devastation. Or a quick moment of, “Oh no! What will I do now?”. If our response is, me, me, me. It leads to a place of not seeing anything but overwhelming smallness. However, looking to “the other” leads to a path of hope.

While texting a new friend early this morning, she said, “I’m off to bed!” And here I was with my cup of coffee, waking up. In an instant global world, I have to constantly think of time zones. Family in England, Friends and family East & West. Former students in China and India . . . what time is it for someone else?

Aren’t we in a different time zone, even with the person next to us? We enter each day with different perspectives, different backgrounds, moods, health, etc. Generally, it is very natural to respond to that truth. However, if we are too busy looking at “me”, we miss so much opportunity, even in the closest of relationships!

collaboration-community-cooperation-461049Challenge for the day, do “something” for the other. Even if they don’t realize what you’ve done, you have the benefit of knowing the kindness. It makes your world much larger, brighter, and yes, positive place.  It may be a word, an action —small or large, have some fun! I’d love to hear what you decide to do!

Enjoying the Adventure! 

Dr. Dink

 

This post was inspired by the daily prompt: narcisist

Photo: Pexel.com

Please visit my (very new!) other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Too Early?

Is it premature to say that TODAY IS GOING TO BE AWESOME? I think not . . .

I mean really, a cup of coffee, a banana and a phrase to set the day right. What a great way to start. So, now it’s your turn:

Today is going to be __________________?

Enjoying the Adventure, (secretly looking for tomorrow’s start-up word)

Dr. Dink

 

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Greater than Source

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My Dear Friends,

As a shadow lengthens in the sun,

attitudes infect those around you.

hang out with people

who smile and laugh A LOT!

Enjoying the Adventure, (A wee bit taller today)

Dr. Dink

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Something to Live By . . .

Want something to live by?  We’re All Gonna Die! Let’s face it, ALL of us are heading to death. Now, that is unavoidable and can be scary.

Wasn’t that nice of me to remind you that are going to die? You know, just in case someone hasn’t shared this nasty truth with you yet. Your welcome! I’m not so concerned with death, as much as it is an unwelcome part of life. Rather, I am more concerned with life. How will you choose to live your life? Will it be one of ultimate doom, “I’m dying, so why bother?” rather than, “I’m going to do my best to take each and every day for what it’s worth and look forward to the next.”

I think that every human being has his or her place in history. Some are known more than others. Some acquire super-stardom. Others end up working at a dead-end job, going through the daily routine, just biding time. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Then others just stop living. On the other hand, there are people of every race, gender, creed and economic strata that LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!

I am convinced that life is what we make it. I will be the absolute first one to admit that life can be pretty freakin’ shitty sometimes. Ask me, I’ve been there on more than a few occasions. You name it, I’ve either lived through it myself, or have walked with others in the middle of horrible life circumstances. Because of this, I have adopted an attitude of “making the best of today”. I think that might be the answer to not getting stuck in a pile of shit. After officiating more funerals than I can count or remember in 22 years of ministry, I realize that I may live to 104, or die in a tragic accident today. So, what does that leave me? Today, simply today. That doesn’t change the fact that there is a future to plan for and things to look forward to, but they are not guaranteed. Only now is guaranteed.

Over the years of officiating funerals, I’ve celebrated the lives of young children to, yes, 104! They represent community leaders and heroes, people from big families, little families & just normal everyday people. However, there are two that really stand out because it was so difficult to do their eulogies. The first was a guy, I’ll call him Tim. When I met with his family, I asked many questions about his life. All I could remember was them telling me, “He was a no-good-rotten-son-of-a-bitch!” Literally, the only positive thing they could tell me was that he donated his organs. On the opposite end of the spectrum was a woman, let’s call her Mom. She had no accomplishments, no group memberships, few interests other than weaving plastic canvas & she made the best potato salad ever. Hers was a very short eulogy. She was simply the “best mom ever!” Two opposite lives. Both influenced the lives of others. At the end of the day, the important thing is knowing that our effect upon others results in knowing they were loved. It doesn’t matter what titles we have, what awards we’ve received, or the amount of money we’ve made. It is what we do in our everyday lives with the people we encounter along the way that is appreciated now and remembered later.

So, what will you do with today? What dreams need to come out from your thoughts? What project do you want to accomplish? What beautiful things are there to see right beside you, in your yard, 20 miles away or across the world? What recipe have you been wanting to try? What words will you chose to use? Most importantly, how will you express to those that you love how much you truly do love them?

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

Project Positive 101

I’ve noticed that there is an awful lot of complaining on social media about all the negative posts many people are making. They can be upsetting or just plain annoying. There are some things that you can do to change what you see! Social media is controlled by algorithms. Please don’t ask me to explain what that is —-consider it the brain of your favorite site!!! I’m just proud of myself that I know the word.

The algorithms of various sites work together too, for instance, have you ever looked up something on Amazon & before you know it, you see that product showing up in ads on Facebook?  So, here are some ideas you can do to help the algorithm understand you better –I’ll use examples and vocabulary from Facebook, adjust accordingly for other social media:

Do a slew of searches for things that you DO want to see.

  • Search for pages of topics that your interested in & “like” a few
  • Join groups of interests you have. (Can you guess that I’m in German Shepherd groups? Yes, the beauty in the photo above is Auggie, I just wish she would stay off social media, I mean, really —go outside & fetch a stick, or race a Harley or something!
  • Do searches on sites like Amazon & Google—-I guarantee you will start seeing similar ads & posts.

“Like” pages and posts with positive influences, or pictures of bunnies and puppy dogs, or whatever it is that makes you happy.

Unfollow Friends that constantly post Toxic Shit

  • Sorry, but it’s true, there are people that you truly do like, but they have gotten into a negative roll of BS. I know . . you look at the things they post & are like, “WHAT?”  You really don’t have to volunteer your time, your eyes & psyche to the negativity!!!!!!
  • If you “unfollow” they don’t get some notification in red that says, “Guess who doesn’t want to see you on their wall anymore!”  Nope, you are the only one that knows. You can still search their name every now and then to see how their dog is . .
  • You can also unfriend. (Oh, ouch, but are they really a friend?)

LIKE & LIKE & LIKE & HEARTS & SMILEY FACES & WOWS!

  • I think this is the most effective. Just let that old algorithm know what you’re interested in.  Have some fun in the next few days—- look through and respond with positive signs some posts that you enjoy & even as fast as tomorrow—- you will see more like it!

I hope this helps in your quest for a more positive world. Let me know how this works for you!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

 

A Good Word

This is what I asked people as they passed by: What’s a good word for today? Here they are in the order I heard them, they speak for themselves!

Starbucks

I don’t know

Hope

Jesus

Beautiful

Sunshine

Joy

Education

Kindness

This question resulted in people smiling back at me and four great conversations about:

  • good coffee,
  • faith
  • what a local elementary school is doing to promote a healthy-attitude-environment for kids.
  • the need for people to be more positive in such a negative world.

So, it’s your turn . . . What’s a good word for the day?

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

 

Chance Encounter

OK, so the first thing I said to one of the ladies was, “I love you, you are my new best friend!!!!” I was heading to my favorite area to walk and was pulled by this magnetism from a mile out of the way. I mean, really, don’t yard sales pull you in too? When I arrived, she started googling over my grandson. She was instantly in love with his two year old self, then I overhear her saying, “Are you taking a nice walk with your Mommy?” (Meaning me, lol). She said it about 5 times when I said, “Mommy is at home—- I’m Grandma.”  Her response?  “You’re so pretty!” Now, let me ask, “don’t you want her to be your best friend too?”

I spent a while there looking around, mostly because I was enjoying their company so much. I did buy a couple of tank tops, but most of the clothes were out of my league. The casual dresses were so pretty & fashionable that I think if I bought one I would be compelled to join the local country club so I’d have a place to wear them! Not my down-to-earth style.
IMG_20180428_073828347_HDRAs I was getting ready to leave, I said to them both, “You two women are so wonderfully positive! You have made me smile the entire time I’ve been here. I’d like to know what drives your joy —can you tell me a story about your life? Your day? Was it the 8 cups of coffee you drank this morning?”

One Sister looked at the other and said, “Tell her.”

She began by saying, “I’ve had a lot of tragedy in my life.” Personally, I thought, “Did you not understand the question?” Her story was fascinating. Many years ago, she had been involved in a vehicle accident and was left for dead. Miraculously, physicians were able to revive her and after years of recovery, she had her life back. She embraced life with the attitude, “I guess God wasn’t done with me yet.”  As she continued, I heard of an illness that nearly resulted in, “this doctor about killing me again!”  They came from a family of 14 children, two had died, one of which was murdered.

I interrupted her, asking, “Many people would be bitter, sad, or fearful, how do keep that beautiful smile?”  Her answer was something like this: she has always been grateful. It seems that having near death experiences have brought her to a place of embracing life to the fullest each day. Who has time to waste on negativity?

Then she giggled and told me about her zip-lining experience a couple of years ago. I shook my head and snickered as I remember the thrill of zip-lining myself.  Imagine my shock when she said, “It broke!”  As it turns out, something was wrong with the line and when she jumped off the platform the apparatus broke. She ended up hanging by the line for a long time and then her hands could no longer hold. . . yes, she broke her back in the fall. (Darn, Karen, this is supposed to be an uplifting blog!)  Amazingly, she had a smile on her face the entire time she was talking. I walked away grateful for life, grateful for health, grateful that my zip-line trips have held tight & grateful that someone else was crazy over my grandbaby!

I believe that when you set out to embrace the positive that it will draw you in like a magnet. These beautiful sisters got up this morning, not knowing how much they would touch someone else’s life, but by chance, I am wonderfully changed by their stories.

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink