A Brief Hiatus


I will not be doing a blog for the next month or so.
My sister & I are relocating to North Carolina.  We are sorting and packing and saying our good-byes   There will be out of town company coming to say good-bye to us, and generally it is a very hectic, slightly insane time, in the middle of which  have another back treatment.

When I have time, I will try to read some of your blogs, to keep up with everyone.

I will miss our conversations and I know I will be very glad to be back writing again when the move is finished.

I will be back with you all towards the end of June.

Namaste,

Barbara

Creed for Optimists


Years ago, I received a wonderful book For This One Hour, from my father.  It’s a first edition, published in 1969, and has separate sections for being Grateful, Cheerful, Optimistic, Unselfish, Forgiving, and Generous; for spending Time in Prayer, looking for the Best in Others, helping to Make Someone Happy, and living in the Present.

 

It’s a wonderful source of inspiration to me, and has been for many years.

 

Today, with so much negativity in the world, I thought I would share one of my favorite passages, the Creed for Optimists:  10 simple things we can all strive to do for ourselves and our world to make both better.

 

 

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The Creed for Optimists 

  1. Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind
  2. Promise yourself to talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  3. Promise yourself to make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  4. Promise yourself to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  5. Promise yourself to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  6. Promise yourself to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  7. Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and to press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  8. Promise yourself to wear a friendly countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  9. Promise yourself to spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.
  10. Promise yourself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble

–Christian D. Larsen, from For This One Hour, compiled by William Arthur Ward, copyright 1969, Droke House publishers

 

 

 

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Coast of North Carolina Copyright Barbara Mattio 2012

 

 

Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870


Another year has come and gone, and in the last year, so many mothers have lost their sons in senseless violence.  Some of these losses have made the national news, and have become losses for the entire nation, as our cities are rocked with violence and unrest protesting the deaths, but this doesn’t help the mother who buries her son in the ground and faces what may be her first Mother’s Day without that card or flowers or just a hug from her baby.

Women — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts — have lost beloved women in their lives — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends too dear to be merely ‘friends’ — to breast cancer and other forms of cancer, and still no cures to be found.

Mothers  have lost brave sons and daughters in the military, heroes who have given their lives for their country.  And Mothers have sons and daughters who have blessedly returned alive from combat, but who are damaged in ways visible and invisible.  To these mothers, we send our love and thank you for the gift you have given to your country.  We don’t want you to feel as if you’ve been forgotten, for we know that it is not only your child who made a sacrifice, but you as well.

To all who have lost beloved women in their lives, I share a tradition I cherish when I think of those I have lost:  As long as one person lives who remembers their name, they are never truly gone nor forgotten.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women of the world.  May your light shine everyday and may you always know how much are loved and respected by those around you.

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Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870 – Julia Ward Howe

“Arise, the women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly
“We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking of carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes with
our own, it says ‘disarm! disarm!’
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Ceasar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.”

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Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

Premio Dardos Award


I want to say thank you to Wilson Agaba, who was kind enough to nominate me for the Premio Dardos Award.

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His blog is definitely worth checking out.

The Premio Dardos Award exists to acknowledge the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

The rules are simple: You can accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his or her blog. Include the image of the “Premios Dardos” in the post. Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement!

My nominees are:

  1.  Dr. Rex
  2. Inavukic
  3. Xena
  4. Rellick
  5. Willowdot21
  6. BusyMindThinking
  7. lobotero
  8. Petrel41
  9. Ivon Prefontaine
  10. Maverick
  11. Wandering Professor
  12. Moorbey
  13. Petchary
  14. ProfessionsForPeace
  15. LucidGypsy
  16. NewsFerret
  17. Return of the Modern Philosopher

Science and Spirituality


I wanted to share another TED Talk with you — Jeff Lieberman, an MIT-trained artist, scientist and engineer, makes a scientific argument for mystical experience. He asks us to challenge our perception of what we are, our relationship to the universe, and our relationship to one another. Our minds are “thought-generating machines.” What we would happen if we could turn off the machine? If we could transcend our individual experience of the world?

Most of you know that I am a very spiritual person, but I believe in science as well, and I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive.  Do you?

 

Alice Dunbar-Nelson


Alice Dunbar-Nelson was born in New Orleans to a seamstress and a merchant marine. Though not a famous poetess, she was published and  was an interesting woman. She used her life to help make the world a better place.

 

Alice was raised in creole culture and lived and worked in New York, Washington, DC and Wilmington, Delaware. She first became a teacher, and a journalist. She was also a political activist for African Americans’ and women’s causes. She also kept one of the surviving diaries of a 19th century black women.

 

Sonnet

I had not thought of violets late,

The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet

In wistful April days, when lovers mate

And wander through the fields in raptures sweet.

The thought of violets meant florists’ shops,

And cabarets and soaps, and deadening wines.

 

So far from sweet real things my thoughts had strayed,

I had forgot wide fields; and clear brown streams;

The perfect loveliness that God has made,—

Wild violets sly and Heaven-mounting dreams.

And now—unwittingly, you’ve made me dream

Of violets, and my soul’s forgotten gleam.

 

—Alice Dunbar-Nelson

 

 

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Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Alice Dunbar-Nelson