Friday, December 21, 2012

New Year

"A compliment can truly be all that stands between someone being successful and giving up. Stand in that gap and offer an encouraging word."   Brett & Kate McKay,  Art of Manliness

Civility Lives On, Time For A New Year!

December 21, 2012
Another new year is upon us and here we are contemplating how to begin new habits once again. Last year it was Civility. To be honest, I do believe that between blogging every week about how to become more civil, it did work a little. I’m still working on it mind you, but at least I choose my words more wisely these days and lose my temper less often.
This year, after seeing an article on Encouraging Words on the website, Art of Manliness, I’ve chosen to give compliments more often. See, this fits me to a tee because I tend to be a perfectionist and am not very good at giving compliments. I don’t think I deserve them either so it makes it Even Steven. But after reading how people are much better people when complimented, and knowing I feel better after receiving them, I’m going to concentrate on that.
So beginning in January, I’m working on Encouraging Words. Encouraging words aren’t always compliments, in fact, you might give an encouraging word to someone who doesn’t deserve praise, but we all function better in our lives when we have encouragement. At least I think so.
Idle words are characterless and die upon utterance. Evil words rankle for a while, make contentions and then die. But the hopeful, kind, cheering word sinks into a man’s heart and goes on bearing fruit forever.”  (The Enlargement of Life (1903) by Frederick Henry Lynch. (

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Civility Week Week 50 Dec. 10. 2012

 A Fight For Joy
   Have you ever had that Angel on one Shoulder, Devil on the other Shoulder discussion with yourself? It feels like a war going on inside yourself? You know you should choose happy over mad, joy over hurt, but sometimes it's so darn hard to not get caught up in selfish feelings.
   This week I am struggling majorly with that. I have the opportunity to make peace happen, to entertain joy and not have regrets. Why, you may ask, would I choose to be anything but happy or joyous? Well, for one I feel slighted, hurt, not thought of. Aren't those good enough reasons to sit out and sulk, fold my arms in defense and pout?  Stupid as it sounds, that's been my line of reasoning.
    And honestly up until a few months ago that was how I always approached anything that wasn't going my way. I would get mad, sad, weepy or drag up the old, "Nobody ever understands me" line from the deep wells of sadness and despair. Then my husband would rattle my cage and say, "Just what is so bad in your life that you can't see the happiness more?"
   After fuming at him for a few moments for being so cavalier in his happiness, I would grudgingly have to agree. This time I was trying to do it all by myself. I'm a big girl, I can do this. So I told myself.  So without further ado, I'm working harder on it. This is not a "pat me on my back, way to go moment!"  I am asking you for, not remotely. It's meant as an encouragement. And also if I put this in print, or cyberspace, it means I had better mean what I am saying and not go back on it!
   Anyway, suffice to say, my Civility I think is beginning to rub off on me in unsuspected ways, like this today. I actually felt Joy battleing with Anger. I've never recognized that before. I always gave in right away to the anger. But today there was alittle flame of joy struggling very hard to be noticed, to say, "Hey stupid! I'm in here, just let it go and see me!!! Feel me!!! Experience the joy of just letting go the hurt, the past and moving on to think of the future!"
   Wow, cute little Joy flame! Grow little friend, and help me!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It IS A Wonderful Life!

This quote by Frank Capra whose film, "It's A Wonderful Life" was critized by critics, yet loved by so many thousands of people is a good reminder of what we are here in life to do! 

It's a Wonderful Life wasn't made for the oh-so bored critics or the oh-so jaded literati. It was my kind of film for my kind of people. ...

A film to tell the weary, the disheartened, and the disillusioned; the wino, the junkie, the prostitute; those behind prison walls and those behind Iron Curtains, that no man is a failure.

To show those born slow of foot or slow of mind, those oldest sisters condemned to spinsterhood, and those oldest sons condemned to unschooled toil, that each man's life touches so many other lives. And that if he isn't around it would leave an awful hole.

A film that said to the downtrodden, the pushed around, the pauper, "Heads up, fella. No man is poor who has one friend. Three friends and you're filthy rich."

A film that expressed its love for the homeless and the loveless; for her whose cross is heavy and him whose touch is ashes; for the Magdalenes stones by hypocrites and the afflicted Lazaruses with only dogs to lick their sores.

I wanted to shout to the abandoned grandfathers staring vacantly in nursing homes, to the always interviewed but seldom adopted half-breed orphans, to the paupers who refuse to die while medical vultures wait to snatch their hearts and livers, and to those who take cobalt treatments and whistle -- I wanted to shout, "You are the salt of the earth. And It's a Wonderful Life is my memorial to you!"
Frank Capra, The Name Above the Title
(via Magnificat)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Civility Week 49, December 3, 2012

   So have any of you been counting?  Somewhere along the line of my civility blogs this year, I lost a week. I didn’t really loose it, but apparently I did not do a good job fact checking because there was a week missed, at least in the dates and we are suddenly in week 49 when we will still have 3.25 weeks of 2012 left.

   Hmm…so, does the last week of the year, when it falls in the middle of the week still count as a full week referred to as week 53 or does it get lumped into the new week of the year, the first week of 2013 though it’s not a full week.

I think I am putting off writing my blog this week by addressing this issue. Nonetheless, (I love that word and it’s also fun to type) nonetheless we will forge on, no matter what week we are in, ending up the year on a civil note.

   It’s nearing the end of the year of this civility experiment. I am still working on my civility, but as with any habit it’s a work in progress! Just don’t give up!  Next year I plan on tackling negativity; in ourselves, the news media, social forums and will try to take over THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!! 

   Ahem…out of my Pinky and the Brain mode…we move on or rather back to the civilities at hand…

   I read a quote today from fellow blogger, Julie Davis’s Book “Happy Catholic”. She was talking about transforming ourselves and how the media gets it all wrong saying physically, instead of conforming our wills to God’s. She has the quote from Thomas a Kempis that everyone has heard the last line of, but I don’t think many people know he was referring to the cross:

So the cross is always ready and waits for you everywhere. You cannot escape it no matter where you run, for wherever you go you are burdened with yourself and wherever you go, there you are.”

   Well said. We can never run away from ourselves, no face lift, no heavy drinking, no drug use or new clothes will let you escape from you. So there you have it. You might as well make peace with yourself then and learn to accept and work with what you got!  That’s not to say you can’t make yourself a better person.  It means accepting the person God made you to be and aspire to be.

   So why, after 49 weeks, you ask, am I still trying to learn better civility? Because it’s tied up in the cross.  One of my crosses in life is having a lack of patience, just ask my confessor! But giving up trying to have patience is just not an option. It’s a virtue which means I have to keep working on trying to use it.  Does that make sense? I know, I’m still working on making sense of it too, I just know I have to work on it because not being civil has a negative impact on my family, friends, co-workers and those other people in cars out on the road!

Wherever You Go There You Are!

"So the cross is always ready and waits for you everywhere. You cannot escape it no matter where you run, for wherever you go you are burdened with yourself and wherever you go there you are."
Thomas a Kempis

It's Never A "New" World

I came across a very interesting piece just in nick of time today. I say just in the nick of time because it's been one of those periods in my life when I think, "Am I accomplishing anything in my faith life?" or in my job at church helping passing up the faith.