Creativity & Courage: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Are you creative? Have you run up against brick walls? Naysayers? People who won’t encourage you? Join the club of creative people. George Lois, American art director, designer, and author gives a blunt talk to college students about the courage they will need to be creative. If you need a creative pep talk, this Vimeo video is for you.

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Keep on Doing

I wonder how my mom felt when her mom died when she was two. I wonder how my dad felt when his father died when he was fourteen. I wonder how he felt when he had to quit school in 8th grade to help support his family. I wonder how he felt when he was drafted to fight in a war he didn’t start and had to leave a wife and child at home. I never asked them. I never thought to ask them. I didn’t have the wisdom to ask them. I missed important lessons I only learned through lived experiences.

My mom and dad, like so many people who face setbacks, kept on going, not complaining. They keep on doing what they had to do because they had to do it. Other people depended on them. That is how they were built. They didn’t look for a handout or a hand up. They kept on doing. I like that phrase, they kept on doing.

Today, I will keep on doing. I will keep on doing what I have to do because that is how I am built. It is the way you are built to. 

KEEP ON DOING

keep on doing

Grateful for the Storms

A Grateful Hearts Sings A Joyful Song

I’m grateful for the storm
Made me appreciate the sun
I’m grateful for the wrong ones
Made me appreciate the right ones
I’m grateful for the pain
For everything that made me break
I’m thankful for all my scars
‘Cause they only make my heart
Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, oh
Grateful  (Written by Diane Eve Warren; Performed by Rita Ora)

Some years ago Babe and I and our five daughters and dog moved to a small western Massachusetts town. I had a new job. Four of the girls were going to new schools, and the youngest, only two years old, stayed at home with Babe while I went to work. The town, Belchertown, is in a picturesque setting near the Quabbin Reservoir, built in the 1930’s. Quabbin.pngThe state appropriated four towns and flooded them to provide water for Boston and 40 other communities. The reservoir is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the U.S. Soon after moving to Belchertown, I rode my bicycle out to Quabbin. I had no idea it existed at the time. My route, not by design, took me past Quabbin, I turned in, crossed a huge dam and soon began to climb a steep road, a mile long. The view from the dam and climb were breathtaking to me. When I reached the top, I pulled my bicycle into a pullout and stared at the water, huge hills jutting out of the water, and eagles soaring high in the sky. Excitedly, I rode home, packed Babe and the girls in our Volkswagen van and headed back to Quabbin. As months went by, we always enjoyed hiking and berry picking in Quabbin. Yet, the initial excitement and wonder disappeared. We became used to it. I think that is why we need storms in our life to appreciate the sun. I don’t like the pain, nor wish pain for anyone, but the storms turn on a gratitude button within me that I want to make present 24/7.

I appreciate the extraordinary wisdom the songwriter expressed in this song. Her wisdom touched me at a deep place in my human spirit.

I’m thankful for all my scars
‘Cause they only make my heart
Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, oh
Grateful