The Importance of Mentors


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Mentor” by “The Daily Post.”

Who were your #mentors in life? Who are your mentors? Have you or are you currently being a mentor to someone? Throughout our lives, we all have had and/or will have mentors to help us along the way. Those special, important few that stand out in our lives  above all others we know and will come to know in our lives as having a very large impact in the direction we take on the “road #of life.”

Mentors offer to us, individuals, to look up to and encourage us in our lives and our pursuits. They are there to give advice, to point out our gifts and faults and to help us correct our faults and improve on and grow our gifts. While mentors can and often are family members and one’s parents, usually when we talk of who our mentors in life have been/are, we are talking of those who we have met in our lives outside of family relations. Teachers, college professors, and coaches being among some of the most common mentors one will have in life.

Having a mentor/s in life can be and is very helpful in growing and advancing in life, but so too is being a mentor to someone. Not only are you helping out someone as you were helped out in your life journey but the relationship between mentor and mentoree is not a one-way street. It is very much two-way with each one giving and receiving. The mentor can learn from his/her mentoree just as much if not more as the mentoree gets from the mentor.

I know who most of my mentors have been so far in my life (a couple previous college professors, and friends from church). I also know of some who while did not really mentor me pre say did give me great advice and/or insight at one time that played a big part in my life.

I am extremely grateful to have had them in my life and to have learned from them. I have not really been a mentor my self as far as I know per say, but have given advice and have been there for others in the past (which is what a mentor does). I look forward to the day when I do become a “fulltime” mentor to someone where I can help out as I have been so far in life.

So who are your mentors in life and have you been a mentor yourself yet? Please do share your thoughts and viewpoints on the subject. All are welcomed and wanted. 

To Have a Glimmer of Hope


This is #a response #to the one-word prompt “Glimmer” by “the Daily Post.”

How important is it to #have#hope” in tough situations? Is it actually encouraging and helpful or is it really damaging in the long one? These are questions that people have struggled with forever. On the one hand, “hope” does seem to allow us to get through our challenges in life by focusing our attention less on the bad situation/possible outcomes and more on something positive that gives us reason to “push on.”

Yet “hope” can indeed be damaging if those positive outcomes do not materialize. We then will “lose hope” and become even more demoralized. Although I would say that the danger here lies not so much in “hope” but in reality “false hope.” Wheres “hope” can give us something to hang onto that encourages us to “fight on” despite how bad the situation may appear; it never does so by “magically changing” the situation we may be facing, only how we perceive it.

Before getting “hope” we already had the “tools” and ability to “get out” but our “despair” prevented us from seeing that. With “false hope” we are given something positive to hold onto, but when we really don’t have the ability to make things better. So the problem with “hope” is not that there are times when we can get “too much” #of it, but that we can confuse “false hope” for “real hope.”

To have real hope in our lives, at our “deepest lows”  is to the have the “tools” needed to “get out” at our disposal and the “vision, courage, and drive” to make use of those tools. “Hope does not give us anything new that we don’t already have, merely a reason for us to make better our situation.

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share, all are welcomed and wanted. 

To be “A Blink of the Eye”


This is #a response #to #the one-word prompt “Blink” by “The Daily Post.”

What exactly is meant by the phrase “a #blink in the #eye” or “a blink #of the eye?” Obviously is it is referring to the blinking of one’s eye/s. Usually, it refers to the speed of the blinking and how fast it happens. So when you describe something happening as “a blink of the eye” you are saying that it either has or will happen so fast that you will miss it if not paying attention. That is how the phrase is usually used but, I think it could just as easily mean and refer to the ease of blinking one’s eyes and thus suggesting something may #be very easy.

The Power of Routine


Do you have a #routine; if you say no think again. Even when your life, day in and out may not seem very routine but actually chaotic, chances are there are still some things that you do each and every day without fail that require very little thinking/decision making to do so. Things like brushing your teeth in #the mornings and evenings. How often one goes to the restroom and when day to day. It is all these little things in life that seem so insignificant that makes a routine; even though the rest #of it and one’s days seem anything but routine; does not mean there is no routine at all.

It is this very nature of routines that make them so powerful in our lives. For small routines can lead to lager one’s that absolutely govern how we live our lives be it for our good or ill. Routines are by themselves neither good or bad, they just are. I actually tend to think it depends on how aware or not aware we are to our routines; as well as how ridged the control they have on us is, that makes them good or bad.  It also depends on just how much if any stress is caused by the routines in our lives.

But the one thing that truly shows just how much #power routines have in our lives is the possibility that even when our lives seem to have little to no routine in them; that in its self may just be a routine. For example, do you get up from bed at the same time each and every day?

alarm clock having a good day in morning.

Closeup alarm clock having a good day with background happy woman stretching in bed after waking up, sunlight in morning.

Or do you have trouble waking up when you want/need to day after day? Both can be argued to be routines for both happen regularly and repeatedly. We don’t tend to think of the second as a routine but the truth seems to point that it is. The implication right there is a not so little fascinating to me. The possibility that the absence of a routine may actually be a routine in of its self just shows the power they play in our lives.

So what do you think, am I wrong or is there something to this power of routine in our lives?  Let me know your thoughts and viewpoints. Please do share, all are welcomed and wanted.  

 

 

 

 

 

A Gathering of Friends; Helping out after Hurricane Harvey


When disaster strikes and you hear about it and see the effects on the news about all the hurt and heartache, and all the people and communities coming together and even though your emotions are triggered it still is not the same as seeing first hand without the lens #of #a television.  Being there in person and seeing up close the effects of the disaster just brings it to a whole other level and makes it real.

This is what happened to me over the weekend #after Hurrican #Harvey, in the Greater Houston Texas area. A couple who have been very good #friends with my family all my life was one of the countless many who had their house flooded. So I went down Friday and Saturday to help #out with cleaning up and moving their things to storage.

When I got down to the area and was driving through the neighborhood approaching the street my friend’s house was on; I was just amazed at seeing all the damage done by the flooding. Front yard after front yard was just filled with furniture and trash from the cleanups being done to the houses and both sides of the streets had cars lined up and parked with people going here and there like ants.

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Again seeing it all first hand was just so surreal and of putting things into perspective; yet at the same time witnessing the destructiveness and livelihood interrupted caused by “Harvey” I also learned of the unexpected blessings that can come out of such things. Blessings like friends, family, and neighbors coming together to help, and still finding time to enjoy life.

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The above has me in the middle.

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In the end, from time to time we will have devastating storms and natural disasters, and people will lose their homes and livelihoods and be left to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

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But as long as we all have friends and family to depend on, that’s all that matters. It is the coming of together of community in times of good and bad that make life worth living (even with all the crape) it throws at us.

The Passport of Life


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Passport” by “The Daily Post.

If you travel regularly around the word or just to the country “next door,” you are very familiar with your #passport and do have one. Its pages will be filled with stamps #of all the foreign places you have been. In other words, a passport is a log/journal of all that you have seen and experienced, of the wider world in your #life so far. But if you think about it the passport of your country of origin used for travel, is not our only passport in life.

When one creates photo albums filled with photos of the things/events in your life that have affected you deeply, you are in a sense making a passport to log the significant parts of your life. When we keep a diary/journal, that is basically doing the same thing as a passport. All of our lives are/will be filled with lots of amazing, beautiful, and yes, even scary, ugly events and experiences; and throughout time, we humans have always wanted to remember them, record them for future generations to experience and learn from, and even have “keepsakes of.”

From journals, photos, antiques, letters, and keeping old tools even when no longer used; all of these are just some of the extensions of our 2nd “passport of life” that we keep. What is your passport like? How many filled “pages” does it have? What are some of the experiences recorded in it? If you don’t have one, why not?

The Importance of having a Love of Literature


But #the Cyclops is also one #of the many examples, in the Odyssey, of people who are sub- political, and that is the first thing we are meant to notice about the island. For Odysseus reckons up the place with the eye of #a landsman and a leader. The Cyclopes have excellent bottom land for growing grain; the fields lie overrun with weeds. The Cyclopes have wild grapes growing everywhere; they do nothing with them. They have a harbor for ships; they do no sailing. They herd, and that is all. They have no marketplace. They have no assemblies. Each Cyclopes is the despot over his wife and offspring, and every family ignores its neighbors. –Anthony Esolen, “Out of the Ashes Rebuilding American Culture” 

The quote above by Anthony in his book is in the context of the #importance of the “Polis” or political place and the importance that Ancient Greeks put into it and how it is very important to the United States historically. His going back to and using the Odyssey to make his argument is both very informative and beautifully well done. In the end, Anthony’s arguments not only make the case for the usefulness of the “Polis or political life” to civilization and Western and American in particular, but it also indirectly makes the case for why reading and studying great #literature and the “classics” is so important to humans and human civilization.

As we see from the quote above great literature is not just about telling a great exciting story about heroes and monsters and such. It is about life and how to live and get along with fellow human beings. Great literature is about offering up lessons on life in new creative ways that the attended audience will pick up and listen to. It is also about answering the “great questions” of human existence and of the times. This is very true of the epic mid-evil saga Beowulf. Beowulf besides being about monsters and a hero “kicking ass” is also chuck full of lessons about life from the virtues required to be a hero, the conflict of good and evil, and how humans are supposed to get along and how they don’t get along.

What great literature is at heart are stories, but not just any stories, but stories of learning; for we as humans learn best with being told stories. Great literature is admired, remembered and told throughout the ages because of the fact that they don’t just entertain but tell/answer something of great significance about life, the world, and/or human existence and the meaning of life.

Going back to Anthony and his quoting of the Odyssey, he was arguing the case in his book that American society needed to return to a “polis” like based society where everyone was a part of the “political life” and did their part to help each other and society function. He quoted from Odyssey because he believed that its underlying purpose was to teach those who read it (Ancient Greeks) the importance of the “Polis.” If one is going to argue for a “polis” mentality in society than one obviously has to go back to the civilization that came up with and practiced the idea, the Greeks. Then, of course why not make the point by using what the Greeks used to teach the importance of the “polis” to political life, stories.

I have engaged in this meditation upon the Odyssey for several reasons. First, it was the Greeks who gave us the very word, polis, from which is derived our word for action that has to do with the passage of laws: political. Second, it was the Greeks who invented the study of political structures: Aristotle famously says, in his Politics, that man is a zoon politikon, a political animal. Third, the Greeks bequeathed to us also the form of government we have or believe we have, in part: democracy. And yet-this is my most impressing reason-those same Greeks would not recognize what we have as political at all, but as a corruption of the political, transformed in part by our cultivation of idiocy. –Anthony Esolen

This here is what Literature is all about, finding a new and creative way to teach the importance of and the values of the way things are the way they are in the world and society and why. For Odyssey, and the Greeks, it was what exactly the “polis” was and its importance to society and the “political life.” For the Greeks, it was the everyday interaction of everyone in society and their participation in the political life of the “polis;” that is “getting along with people.” One of the things that was important to the life of the “polis” was that one had to be small to function properly and that the bigger one got the more problems that would emerge to break one down. This was one of the messages in the Odyssey and why literature/stories are so good when they offer up lessons or discuss the questions of life.