Equipment . . .

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Equipment

Edgar Albert Guest

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You’ve all that the greatest of men have had;
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
And a brain to use if you would be wise,
With this equipment they all began–
So start from the top and say, I CAN.

Look them over, the wise and the great,
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes;
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you’ve all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will;
You’re well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have arms and legs and a brain to use;
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place.
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know;
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself my lad,
You were born with all that the great have had;
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say, ‘I CAN.’

Consider this: Use your equipment!

The Given Light . . .

MMWNA LogoThe Given Light

Barbara Hug

Once upon a time a man had heard, that in a foreign place, far away, there was a holy flame burning. So he got up and left his home to find the holy flame and bring some of its light back home to his house. He thought: ‘When I have this light, then I will have happiness and life and all the people I love will have it too.’

He travelled far, far away and finally found the holy flame, with which he lit his light. On his way back he had only one worry: ‘That his light could go out.’

On his way home he met someone who was freezing and didn’t have any fire and who begged him to give him some of his fire. The man with the light hesitated for a moment. Wasn’t his light too precious, too holy to be given away for something ordinary like that? Despite these doubts, he decided to give some of his light to the one who was freezing in the darkness.

The man continued his journey home and when he had almost reached his house a terrible thunderstorm started. He tried to protect his light from the rain and the storm, but at the end his light went out.

To return the long way back to the place where the holy flame was burning was impossible, he wouldn’t have had enough strength to go back this far – but he was strong enough to return to the human being whom he had helped on his way home.

………and with his light he could light his own again.

Consider this: Share your light and keep yours burning.

The Invitation . . .

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The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Consider this: Can you be alone with yourself?

The Triple-Filter Test . . .

MMWNA LogoThe Triple-Filter Test

Author Unknown

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“Well, no,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now, let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“Umm, no, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

Consider this: Apply the test!

Be Who You Must Be . . .

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Be Who You Must Be

Diarmaid Cronin

I don’t know where you are on your path
I have never stood in your shoes
I see not with your eyes.
I know not what your purpose is here
In this stage of your evolution
But I feel blessed to know you
As you are not in my life by chance
And you are my teacher
As I hope you learn from me
I pray I show reverence to you
I pray not to judge you
I wish to let you be
Who you are
Who you dream of being
I will just be beside you
And watch you grow
And the day will come for sure
When we will know why
Our paths crossed this way
And until then my friend
Be who you must be.

Consider this: Be who you must be?

I Care and I Am Willing to Serve . . .

MMWNA Logo“I Care and I Am Willing to Serve”
by Marian Wright Edelman

Lord I cannot preach like Martin Lurther King, Jr.
or turn a poetic phrase like Maya Angelou
but I care and am willing to serve.

I do not have Fred Shuttlesworth’s and Harriet
Tubman’s courage or Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s political skills
but I care and am willing to serve.

I cannot sing like Fannie Lou Hamer
or organize like Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin
but I care and am willing to serve.

I am not holy like Archbishop Tutu,
forgiving like Mandela, or disciplined like Gandhi
but I care and am willing to serve.

I am not brilliant like Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois or
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or as eloquent as
Sojourner Truth and Booker T. Washington
but I care and am willing to serve.

I have not Mother Teresa’s saintliness,
Dorothy Day’s love or Cesar Chavez’s
gentle tough spirit
but I care and am willing to serve.

God it is not as easy as it used to be
to frame an issue and forge a solution
but I care and am willing to serve.

My mind and body are not so swift as in youth
and my energy comes in spurts
but I care and am willing to serve.

I’m so young
nobody will listen
I’m not sure what to say or do
but I care and am willing to serve.

I can’t see or hear well
speak good English, stutter sometimes, am afraid of criticism
and get real scared standing up before others
but I care and am willing to serve.

Consider this: Do you care and are you willing to serve?

Turning to One Another . . .

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Turning to One Another
By Margaret Wheatley

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Assume that many others share your dreams.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.

Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.
Rely on human goodness.
Stay together

Consider this: Talk to people!

Today . . .

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Today

Author Unknown

We shall do much in the years to come,
but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer
but what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
but what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
but what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
but whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
but what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,
but what have we built today?
‘Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
but here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
“What have we done today?”

Consider this: Seize today, now!

It’s You I Like . . .

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It’s You I Like!
Frederick ‘McFeely’ Rogers

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear.
It’s not the way you do your hair,
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you
Not your diplomas…
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like,
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue,
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself, it’s you
It’s you I like!

Consider this: Who do you need to share this with today?

It’s better to . . .

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It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something that we can give.
The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other’s illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.

Merle Shain

Consider this: What seeds are you planting today?