You Are A Hero

Did you ever know you are my hero? This verse from the song Wind Beneath My Wings written by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley in 1982 and popularized by diva singers Bette Midler and Patti LaBelle should be the success anthem.

Knowing that you have heroes in your life and that you are or can be a hero to someone else is POWER! This kind of power is priceless, beyond the materialism that comes when you buy something for someone and then wash your hands, thinking that is enough. Hero power is beyond sentiment, where you randomly mouth how are you? and expect all is fine so you move on without interest in the other person.
Heroes don’t wear capes, but they stand up, speak up and dress up the wounds of others. Patrick Mayer is a hero. He created the company Wheelblades to simplify snow travel, though he himself is a quadriplegic and wheel-chair bound. Mayer says, “I am convinced that Wheeblades don’t just assist you but also bring you a lot of joy.”

Heroes bring joy. In spite of her personal pain from childhood cancer and the harsh treatments, Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004), then 4-years old in the year 2000, told her family she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex manned that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of joy and hope.

Heroes shrug fame or fatuousness, instead preferring to say, “I had to do something.” This world is full of people who do extraordinary things to serve and care for others without the grandiose glare of the media. You are a hero when you wipe up a spill on the floor in a public place that might injure someone. You are a hero when you stop someone from using sexist or racist remarks that degrade other people. You are a hero when you say thank you in your own powerful way.

These seemingly small acts of kindness, generosity and selflessness spring from the soul of heroes. Dr. Zimbardo, in John Quiones book Heroes Among Us, believes we can all build our “heroic imagination” by imagining heroic scenarios and figuring out how you would react; how you can be a hero to somebody. You can cultivate heroic genes, you can anticipate what would you do if ….

Quiones’ quest to find everyday goodness from common “heroes” stem from the hit primetime ABC television series, What Would You Do? that he hosts.  This is a pivotal question, what will you do? How will you help?

“Nothing liberates our greatness than the desire to help.” ~Marianne Williamson

There are heroes among us, YOU!

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Monday Miracle: Passion

What is it that makes you sing? What is it that takes your breath away? What is it that stimulates you so much that you live, breathe, and think about it all of the time?

The answer to either one or all of these questions inform your passion.  Think about your answers, because therein lies your passion-a passion that fuels everything that you manifest.  It is a true axiom that you you think about happens and to take it further, what you are joyous enough about to sing about it, what takes your breathe away or what occupies your heart and thoughts all of the time-will happen.

You will see it come to be. You will realize your wants. You will create your passion IF…. The big IF is when you are practicing your passion with active energy. This passion we are talking about here is beyond physical passion – far beyond. The passion which allows you to manifest what you want or something better is a deep inner spark or fire that drives your every move and thought.

Henry Miller says, “what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.”

Fire for fire. Ignite the fire flame by:

  • Taking action. First make it real in your mind. Know what you know-inculcate that belief in your passion deep within. But, then take action. Do something every day that moves you closer to creating the tangible manifestation of  your passionate fire.
  • Being unrestrained. Be as unrestrained as the wind. Flow with it, create it. Breathe it, feel it, know it without any closure conditions or boxed-in thinking. Abandon conditioned thinking and embrace open solicitation and expectation.
  • Seeking. Don’t settle for selfish grandiosity.  Instead, seek resources that will strengthen your passion. Consult with others who have achieved to a level that you want to, but be very careful to make sure you are moving forward and not stalling by seeking too many opinions and remaining in the realm of safety while doing too little to flame your passion.
  • Asking. Be clear enough about your passion and ask from that space of truth and clarity for exactly for that. Nothing else, no more than that.

Have a strong passion. Live expectantly from that passion. Act deliberately in pursuit of your passion. Find an unshakable inner joy from passion. These are some of the steps advanced by Chris and Janet Attwood in the Passion Test.

Be passionate.

Do You Care or Curse?

Do You Care or Curse?

Ultimately, that is the choice we make with our feelings hundreds of times a day-care or curse? The difference between the two often means happiness inside or despotic misery.  The choice is real, most of the time automatic and situational, but once you begin to pay attention to your feelings and thoughts you will begin to realize that yes you do make one of the choices.

Interestingly, our natural proclivity is to care. You learn how to curse a situation.  Watch the natural choices of a mother in the animal kingdom and you will see an innate caring instinct. But, for survival purposes that mother teaches her young how to curse, or become a predator, in the wild. Humans, who have the added faculty of intelligence, make the same choice-we learn how to curse certain situations based on feelings.

But, human choice to curse is usually made under the guise of the same notion of protection found in the animal kingdom. But, this is wrong. We learn to curse the unknown or what we fear, curse each other as competitors, damn those who are different, curse obstacles that come into our lives as an impediment which was dumped into our lap to make our lives difficult.

The natural human choice is to care. In spite of how often we are bombarded with instances where the volume of cursing is turned up to shrieking noise, caring still happens. Three four and five year old girls decided to sell their own drawings which they made with crayon and color markers to help the tsunami victims in Japan two days ago.

Why did they do it, they cared. A high school baseball coach donated a kidney to one of his players. He did it, in his words, “because I cared.” A young man stops to help an elderly couple after an accident-he cared too.  Teachers teach because they care. Doctors and nurses save lives because they care. Daycare workers care. Architects care about the safety of a structure. Fathers care about their children. When you listen to someone without judgment, you care.

Those who curse care too, but in an inverted way. People who curse measure their care based on past memories of pain which them provokes them to shield caring in a cloak of bitter internalized nonchalance. But, the caring is there not far from the surface if you studied the air of a grumbling curmudgeon.  Reasonably, this is true because it is natural to care. So, even though someone exhibits a hardened shell that looks like they curse the world, a persistent dose of caring attention will usually soften their seemingly bitter heart. They too have happiness inside and a caring sensitivity toward others.

This is not a sentimental musing. Honestly, it is not. F. W. Sears writes, “when w permit ourselves to condemn a thing because we say it is “bad” or condemn some person for any cause whatever, that is taking a destructive attitude toward that thing or person no matter how just we may think our position in the case may be we cannot relate with these negative, destructive currents in our thought world and expect constructive and harmonious effects….”

Make it a practice to care about the bitter and downtrodden, lots of people do.  Pause for a moment to pick out caring moments that others do. Just last week I watched this new show, Secret Millionaire, on ABC. The tagline is giving back never fet soo good.” The premise of the show, from its premiere episode, is for millionaires to live undercover, where others do not know they are wealthy, and spend time in the community with people who are serving are caring for others and then give a portion of their money away to strengthen the work those caring servants are doing which benefit others.  On the premiere episode a woman, Dani Johnson, who was once homeless but became a millionaire, spent time in a food kitchen where two elderly twin ladies prepared hot food for those in the community who needed a hot meal. For the housebound, their volunteers visited with them when they took them their meals; what they did was care because often the visit was more healing than the food. Another lady on the show devoted her time, talent and money decorating rooms and granting wishes for children who were very sick. Even though she was a busy mother and wife, it was her calling to care to decorate these rooms with bright and cheerful motifs to uplift the spirits of the ill child and their devastated parents. The millionaire funded both of these causes with a gift of a check, but as importantly she connected to her heart of care.

You may not be a millionaire, neither am I, but what we do share is a willingness to care. Care just a little more about your neighbor, check in on someone who is sick or elderly, send a card you have not seen or talked to in a while, smile, show your happiness inside.

The main rule for caring is to do something for others with tenderness. Be tender and patient even with the one, human or animal, who has been scarred and appears to curse the world. Let them feel your care.  Make a care investment  everywhere, it is the harmonious thing to do.

Recommended Reading:  The Prosperity Bible (compilation)

What is Love?

Woody Allen makes a point here:

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Whether you think Woody Allen’s comment is funny or not does not matter (I think it is privately humorous), the question here is what is love?

American relationship/marriage statistics are alarming (if you choose to focus on the divorce probability) unless you counterbalance those data numbers with heart memories. This is one reason I often refer to a book written by Julie Rainbow, Standing the Test of Time, that debunks the myth of divorced, dysfunctional Black families as she tells the story of Black couples who have been married fifty years or more and are still standing together.

I have other reasons for my knowing about love, my parents. My parents were married 53 years (until my Dad’s death in 2008) and his last words on this earth were to my Mom, saying “I love you.” Their eternal bond taught me something.

Adding another personal note, now that I have eulogized two brothers, one my twin, but both whom I loved deeply, I had to ask myself what am I learning about life through this experience?  I have been taught that love is a jewel that sparkles as brightly as you do. Well, I want to dazzle because that is the type of love that I want before I leave this earthly plane!

I have learned that “love” endures pain. It is an unquestioned face that relationships that mark years of longevity face pain. Even so, the pain of infidelity, disaster, trauma, or other disruptive issues do not destroy the core of love between two people who are devoted to each other.

I have learned that “love” smells different. Sometimes love stinks. But, like you learn to love your baby’s poop, love is the reason. Other times love smells like a fragrant rose, scented by time and passion. Love among two people may smell different from time to time, but each smell you learn to love.

I have learned that “love” ages. The longer you bottle love the more of an aged bouquet it has. Time and stillness together can create a bonus of a barrel of savory love.

What love is is individual. My impression of love is distinct from yours and you can bet yours is distinct from mine. When I was younger I equated love with lust, thus a divorce as soon as the hots cooled off. Now after taking years of celibacy instruction to heart, I have learned that even though love may lead to suffering, I’ll suffer any day for the aged, sweetness of love.

Recommended Reading

Throughout the year I will post books for recommended reading as a new information feature of Anita Answers.                     My recommendations for January are:

Love and Power in a World Without Limits Terry Cole Whittaker

A Course in Weight Loss Marianne Williamson

The Magic of Believing – Claude M. Bristol

The Prosperity Bible – complilation  (Napoleon Hill, Benjamin Franklin, Florence Scovel Shnin, Wallace Wattles, et al)

As A Man Thinketh James Allen

Embracing Fear – Thom Rutledge

I have read all of these books and can make a qualified recommendation. Enjoy learning!

Please feel free to share your reading list – I will post your suggestions too.