The Fourth Day of Happiness – The Brightest Star in the Sky!

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On the fourth day of Happiness a young girl and a little older boy (brother and sister) were looking up at the evening sky staring at the glorious blanket of seemingly endless sparking stars spread out across the heavens.

(The following is a true and recent conversation that I heard and witnessed. These children lost their loving dad to an unfortunate and sudden accident several years previously, As a result even the happiest holiday season is poignant with memories of times past for these young ones.)

“Look,” She said pointing to the brightest star in the sky. “It’s daddy, I know it is.” Her brother looked and was quick to agree with her.

“Yes it is Daddy. He is the brightest star in the sky,” her brother said smiling proudly.

The little girl was just as quick to answer her brother. “Of course he’s the brightest star. He’s shining down and smiling at us from heaven because he loves us and is happy we are doing okay.”

The two young ones watched for awhile, content to stare silently up into the starry sky. Their thoughts a combination of longing for their father interwoven with the enriching feeling that they and their dad were still a part of each other and the Universe (both the seen and unseen).

We are all blessed. And whatever our beliefs, all of us derive a happiness when looking up into the majestic night sky to view eternal stars shining in the sky, and yes some stars definitely shine brighter than others!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe children of this story!

We are so lucky when we consider, and remember the stars in our lives! Happy New Year everyone. Take care of you as you begin your new year most definitely with lots of hope and love (and dreams)!

With much love and affection to all of you,

Penny

Our Matrix, which pill (blue or red) and baked cookies!

How many of you have seen the movie “The Matrix“? If you haven’t, much of what I’m suggesting might be lost in translation but here goes anyway!

In the movie, most of the people live in ‘the world of now’ that has actually been created by a computer program (The Matrix). In the matrix everyone goes about their daily lives believing that everything they do is real!

When Neo (the protagonist, hero) is asked to chose between taking a symbolic red or blue pill, each pill has a purpose that will allow his mind to either see the falsehood of the matrix world (blue pill) or make him forget that the world he is living in isn’t the real one (red pill).

To confuse the issue even more, he is told he may be the “chosen” to lead humans out of this Matrix world they are trapped on. But how can he know this? In fact he finds it hard to believe. So he meets “The Oracle”, a highly intelligent psychic resembling a sweet middle aged lady who “knows” things and who loves to bake cookies.

Today I’m baking cookies (like the Oracle) sugar cookies in the shape of autumn leaves and we’ll be painting them with colored confectioners icing after they finish baking. Fall colors of course.

And what does baking cookies have to do with red and blue pills and the movie The Matrix? Pretty much everything. Because we are living in a fantasy. I mean honestly, is it realistic to gorge ourselves on fast food and pre-prepared food to the tune that we have become an obese nation with many illnesses as a result.

Is it realistic to live in a country where while we argue about the reopening of the government and the reasons why we need to continue government business as usual, we are still so many trillions of dollars in debt that it boggles the mind.

And is it reasonable for people to get up (except for those in the starving countries – many – although in the matrix of our lives they don’t exist except as intruding sound/video bytes of information that get quickly moved aside for something more interesting that’s – trending) and go through each day, knowing things are not really okay but just keep going anyway – by tuning in (electronically) and tuning out what they don’t want to hear or know about! Yes definitely the Matrix at work here.

Time to take a pill my friends. The red one – oblivious continuation of ignoring what we are doing to ourselves and others, living in a fantasy world of unrealistic expectations. Or the blue pill, accepting responsibility and changing your life style to begin the long road of fixing things.

As for me. Well I’m going to go back to baking more cookies. After all it’s what I do best, apart from reminding you of all the important things in life, like each other, and that I truly believe in you. Still not sure about things? Well, for right now, take a cookie, I promise, in a little while you’ll feel “right as rain”!

Penny

A Candle for One

The crowd began to gather at dusk. On the far end of the city park. The local community had been doing this, once a week, for over a year now. Ever Friday evening, various individuals and families would show up, quietly holding lit candles to remind them of someone they had lost to inner city violence so widespread on the city streets today.

This evening was no different and as it became darker the crowd grew larger, each person carrying a lit candle. There was a small stage with a platform set up in the back. One by one they’d walk up to the stage, turn and face the crowd, reverently mention the name of his or her “lost” relative or friend, turn and place their candle on the platform with the other candles and then leave the stage to make room for the next person.

As the sky darkened overhead, the amber glow from the stage increased. Those in the large crowd still holding candles waited patiently for their turn, while the ones who had placed their candles on the platform stood nearby towards the back, heads bowed.

At the very edge of the crowd there appeared a single candle glow, much brighter than the others, and all those standing and waiting, turned to view this candle being held by a young girl, weaving very slowly between the people in the crowd. They began to part, clearing a pathway for her as she made her way, candle held in both hands, to the the front of the stage.

She was given a helping hand up onto the stage steps and then she walked to the center and turned to face the gathered crowd. She spoke not a word just lifted the candle high in front of her. An adult walked over to her and said, “Would you like to say who this candle is for my child?”

She nodded, still holding the candle strongly out in front of her. The candle glowed more brightly than ever. Softly but clearly she spoke.

“I live around the corner, in a small house. It is just my mother and myself. My mother works long hours so I spend a lot of time alone. When you started your candle light tribute a year ago I began to watch and I’d come and listen to each person speak of those they had lost. And then the other day I realized someone had been forgotten so I am here tonight for that one.”

She paused at this point, still looking out at the silent and spell bound audience. They, enchanted by this young girl standing there so solemn, her candle flickering slightly in the evening breeze.

The adult leaned over again and asked her, “And who might this candle be for my child?”

The little girl’s answer was quietly spoken yet heard all the way to the back of the gathering.

“I hold this candle for the one no one remembered. The one who had no one who cared. Who came and went alone in life. For this person then do I hold the candle.

So none be forgotten, this candle is for that one.”

~

Millions of children, in the United States alone runaway each year. Many are never found. Many many more millions of children around the planet are homeless and all too often also end up being alone. It is a sadness beyond belief that on our (civilized?) planet today so many children suffer and die needlessly and alone.

~

Penny L Howe, 2013

Predator/Prey or enlightened human beings!

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An Official Rant! Brought to you by myself. It is long, but I’d appreciate it if you’d take those few extra minutes to approve or disapprove of what I am expressing here. Thank you! And so the ranting begins:

We are a thinking species. At least I’d like to think so. All of us consider ourselves as intelligent and most believe we have spirits (souls) within us, so it begs the question that if those things are true, why do we still live in the animal world of predator/prey mentality of life.

Our civilization is not civilized as long as any one single human being (much less the many) starves, is killed, mistreated, discriminated against, judged, and by virtue of a “going with the crowd theme” making fun of (for being different) and at the extreme end of the spectrum killed for that difference. Exactly what part of that is “being civilized”!

When animals kill one another they do so to survive. The purpose of war is to protect and preserve “a way of life” – but it has always been and will always be at the “expensive” expense of life, always! To me this negates the purpose, at least one would think so. Can there be no “other solutions” for solving man’s problems? And why isn’t more money spent on solving international problems from a “not killing” perspective instead of the trillions spent on designing and building new and improved weapons.

Are we still only just surviving? Haven’t we (in this socialized world of today) moved beyond that? Most obviously not. In politics, one of the first things one hears is that it’s a cut throat business (?)  Finding any groups of elected officials actually coming together to work as a team is almost unheard of anywhere today. And in business, it is not about finding and selling a product that humans need, but filling the “consumer addiction” for all things new, fun, and different – all for the purpose of “making money” (often at the disregard and expense of those they cater to). I speak nothing here that you don’t already know is true!

And then there’s most all of us. The “we” of it all, just going along with the flow where ever we happen to be. Making no waves. Overspending, overeating, overdoing (at the expense of time that should be spent in the nurturing and teaching of values such as honor and honesty) so desperately needed in the slowly disintegrating family environment of today). What are we doing to ourselves guys? Is this then our future?

We prey upon the negativity that permeates the news. It looms large every single second of every single day making sure that in all the various mass media no one will miss out (ratings rule – not happy people) on what’s going wrong instead of embracing that which we are getting right. That which is nurturing. that which is uplifting, that which is loving, giving, caring, and sharing.

But just imagine! What if … what if we woke up deciding to get along, try harder to be there for our family, friends and others. What if we reached out to those who needed help and support. (There are a handful of people, around the world, who are already doing just that.) What if there were many many more of those others (such as ourselves) waiting there  … to help make the positive difference through the rough spots of life.

We’d no longer be predator and prey but the human race, working and loving together (as a whole) to overcome and conquer the most important part of what being a human being is all about – to love, nourish and support all things living.

“For the well being of all, the primary purpose on this planet is not to destroy but support life.”

Thank you,

Penny L Howe

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The amazing and true value from the words of a child!

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It’s amazing how many very wise things a child says because he or she hasn’t yet been taught or told not to question.

Take a listen sometime soon when a child asks a question, you might be pleasantly surprised by the common sense intelligence and true love and and caring compassion that comes out of them, in their longing to know and understand people and life!

Thank you,

~Penny
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In life … Indifference is not acceptable!

Bullying is a world wide problem, it begins with children and if not stopped carries on into adulthood. It affects those being picked on, sometimes in the worst way possible, and it creates a mindset (if not stopped) in the bully that says it’s okay and cool to be “cruel” to another human being!

  • Bullying another person is not okay, not never, not at any time, for any reason!
  • A Bully has no reason to be!
  • So if you see someone being bullied, pause with what you’re doing and make a difference, do what you can to stop him or her!
  • Be an activist when it comes to stopping cruelty.
  • You are a part of the reason it exists, if you do nothing!

There is no “EXCUSE” for not getting involved. Indifference is not okay. In fact it is just as bad as the bullying itself. So be responsible! Be involved, step up to the plate and … CARE!

~

Thank you,

~ Penny L Howe

Believe … Let go … and …Trust!

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The Trusting Heart

Now that’s a tough word isn’t it? TRUST!

I know it is.

I think that most of us have had issues with that one, both in the past and present.

Quite a difficult thing to maneuver around. Lack of trust does seem to get in the way of many things.childs trust

It is so extremely hard to trust sometimes, but not trusting can become an anchor that weighs you down.

Have you ever had a child leap off of something towards you and say “Catch me”? You barely have time to acknowledge their request when your arms go out to catch them. They trust you.

They haven’t learned any painful lessons yet that can make it harder to trust so unconditionally.

Brutal lessons in life can take innocent belief away. But for your own health and well being and as difficult  as it may be – Let go, forgive (as you can and then move on towards the trusting heart!

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I believe in you!

~ Penny

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