An Open Heart …The Price of Love!

♥ heart shaped leaf and curly vines!:

Love.

The greatest thing ever, most definitely the elusive substance of creation yet also the most complicated, and at times, hardest to understand and accept. Which of course leads me to ask the question:

So … is Love free?

If one thinks about it, love comes packaged in a wide variety of ways. Little loves, big loves, first loves, affectionate loves, caring loves, people loves, animal loves, love of things, love of yourself, love of life, love ever after.

Do they all have a price tag? Or put another way, is there any love out there that comes without a price? Not really.

The price  paid for truly unconditional love is the opening of our hearts so wide that our character stretches in all directions and we are not blinded by valueless meanings. We share,  we care, we give and without expectation. We see the good in others, we forgive, we accept each other’s differences (most especially without judging or pointing fingers) and we accept the responsibility for our role in life as a partner (in good standing) to all living things.

And yet to not only love, but to be loved. Do we come prepared to pay the price?

How about long lasting love? The price for this is learning to give and take in the relationship with both partners involved in this exchange. Recognizing both shortcomings (perceived perhaps) of the other as well as the positives. Each partner gives the other partner room to grow individually as a human being while being there to share in the ups and downs, good and bad.

And what of ourselves? Is there a price to be paid for loving ourselves? Yes! Looking in the mirror of our life and accepting ourselves for who we are and the value we inherently have as our very own unique and special self!

So do we understand what Love is?

Really? Do we? Are our hearts open? Are we stretching our character and growing as a human being?  Are we embracing ourselves for who we are so we can in turn, embrace others?

I hope so ~ I really do! Because right now, in this time and place on our planet, love is needed more than ever.

With sincere affection,

~ Penny

The Heart of the Matter ~ American’s looking for America!

A very dear and cherished friend of mine (not an American, he’s from Scotland currently residing in France)  wrote a flash fiction (100 words or less) story for Friday Fictioneers (a very successful weekly writer’s challenge “based on a photo”. Rochelle, congrats on your third year as the awesome facilitator for this literary blog).

His short story was about a trip he took to my country – to experience America – a few years back. It did bring excellent memories of his time here in the Tri-Cities of Washington, as well as Portland, Oregon, and of course San Francisco and many other towns, cities and communities he visited. Here is a link to his story “Greyhound”.

At the close of his story he shared the video of Simon & Garfunkel singing the song “America”! And while it brought back wonderful memories it also reminded me of where we, as Americans, are today.

It seems we Americans are all searching for America with our many concerns and fears for the now of things and our futures but I truly believe the Heart of America is still where it’s always been … inside each of our hearts. (Going all the way back to indigenous Americans and then the steady addition of each of the many of us whose ancestors and current family members came as immigrants and settled here in our amazing country.)

America is truly an amalgamation of all peoples, races, creeds, religions and of course individual points of view. To find the hope and potential of America, my fellow Americans we’ve but to look within our own loving hearts. There is so much potential for all of us. Working together we will accomplish more than we ever have before.

So now after this long introduction, here is my 100 word flash fiction story based on the photo below:

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ron Pruitt

Quietly waiting for her turn to board the bus, an elderly woman carrying a ticket, small bag and guitar stood in line. While adjusting the items she carried, a young man also standing in line asked if he might help. The man was thanked and given the guitar to hold.

“Where are you going?” He asked politely.

“Downtown.” She replied. “First to vote and then to attend a gathering of fellow musicians to celebrate.”

“What are you celebrating, and why bother to vote first?” He responded.

“Because I can!” She said answering both questions, a huge smile on her face.

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~*~

Thank you, have a wonderful day,

With much affection,

~Penny

 

Fourth of July, Celebrating with Introspection

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Today the citizens of U.S.A. celebrate their country’s independence day.

I am proud to be an American. I’m proud of my fellow Americans, even if I disagree with some of them on various issues and actions.

One of the things that I hold dear is that we can agree to disagree (for the most part) in a democratic government, even with all the problems currently being faced, when adversity strikes, we band together, unified, to make the positive difference.

Today in Richland, Washington, my home, there may not be many fireworks. With unusually ongoing hot weather (100°-110°F) and the outbreak of fires nearby, it is not safe.

So today is a quieter day of celebration and introspection. It has become a good day to reflect on the direction
our country is headed and how …We The People … can help make a positive difference for the good of ALL Americans.

Freedom is a two sided coin, the other side of freedom is accepting responsibility, by making tough choices that insures our right to remain independent. This includes voting, so our free voices get heard and count.

I have faith in uswe Americans. I believe in the awesome diversity of our great country and our people and in our ability to make a positive difference going forward.

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“…one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!”

Happy 4th of July! 🎉🎆☺

~Penny

Beginning of the week – A good time for the beginning of a new mindset!

A little reflection over the weekend and it dawned on me, that each of us (more or less) are partially responsible for the mess the planet is in right now. We really are. In our free country of the USA we take so much for granted. In fact children are being taught (by adult example) that it’s okay to take … and take … and take! Greed is a popular icon here as well as in many other “civilized?” countries which accomplishes nothing but more greed!

Time for a new mindset. We really don’t need so much “stuff”. It would be great if we spent more time caring for each other and the natural world we all inhabit while it’s still habitable. Healthier and happier people would make for a healthier and happier environment and economy. Not the other way around. People (all life) and their well being need to come first!

And in this country and any other country where you can vote (even if some politicians are making it harder for you) it is still your responsibility to VOTE. If you don’t like what the politicians are doing, then vote them out of office.. Your country, your government. Your responsibility. Don’t play the blame game with pointed fingers and words but do nothing to assist in bringing about change!

“Personal responsibility and our planet’s sustainability

must go hand in hand for the needed change to truly happen!”

~ Penny L Howe, 2014

~

Have a great week ahead, with much affection and love,

~ Penny

We Hold The Future in our Hands!

“Life … Masterpiece from the Palette of our Universe!”

We are the recipients!

And…we need reminded of this!

I watched a movie once, “Blade Runner” (a favorite and a science fiction thriller, dark and foreboding of the future). There is a scene at the end of the movie where one of the characters says words that are so piercingly true that I’ve never forgotten them …

“Life lost  in time – is like tears in the rain”

The video below “reminds” us of life – it’s beauty and it’s value. You can hear the words (from the movie’s scene I am referring to) in the background. Please, please watch (just a few minutes) listen to the words, see the beauty and… be reminded!

What we do NOW counts. It matters. We make a difference. Let it be the right ones.

WE hold the future in our hands …

WE need to remind and be reminded … Again and again until we (all of us) understand what we already know in our heart of hearts!

All the tomorrow’s that will ever be, are being created even as I write this.

We are the ones deciding what life will be in our futures. Our choice, our choices have never been more important than they are today.

~

Consider this as you go about your day’s routine today: What is really important to you in life? What really matters? These are things to ponder and weigh in your heart.

We hold the future in our hands…”We hold the future in our hands

We, The Recipients of Life … hold the future – their futures … in our hands!

~*~

Thank you for stopping by, may your day be blessed with happiness and positive thoughts for our future, my friends,

~ Penny

(reposted by request)

Hello November – Let’s make it a good one!

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For parts of the planet the weather is definitely getting colder. For other parts it is balmy and lovely! (I must admit to being a little bit envious for the warmth in those areas.)

It is Monday for most of us, Tuesday for some and a new week and month has begun.

What can we do to improve our day and those days ahead?

Well it isn’t going to be easy, is it? I mean, how can you determine the truth of what’s going on in the world around you sorting through the “heaps and heaps” of untruths, half-truths and play ol’ runaway insanity we are inundated with each day.

Common Sense

So here’s a thought. How about for starters, we use our common sense! For example “all commercials and advertisements” you are viewing online (regardless of what type of mechanical device you are using) – are there for the sole purpose of enticing you to buy something! (Always – No Exceptions, here!) So keep this in mind. Not just as a consumer but as an individual concerned for you and your family’s well-being.

Don’t buy into a “story” no matter how compelling because it’s “trending”. Use common sense. If you’re in a state (USA) where you’ll be voting the same logic should apply. Don’t “vote” just to vote. If you don’t understand the issue (you should) take the time to learn about it. Ditto with those who are running for a public office. Common Sense is an amazing tool when we take the time to use it.

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Yes, ‘Common Sense’ is absolutely better then ‘Omnipotent Hindsight’ which is how most opinions (we read about) are formed today – after the fact (spreading like wildfire) rather than securing needed information first – when the ‘actually facts’ can be of much needed value!

What is your ‘common sense’ quotient? Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised yourself, with how effective this tool can be for you!

Have a good November, make ‘common sense’ your new “norm”. And who knows? It might actually trend its way into some of the areas where common sense is sorely needed (because it’s obviously missing completely in those places).

Happy week to all, Stay balanced (with lots of love thrown in)! And never, never forget –

~ Penny

Confucius, Playing Pool … and Other Government Issues!

(Disclaimer, well not really – I am an American, privately I think some of the things that the Republicans are concerned with are valid, I also think that some of the things that the Democrats are concerned with are valid and I go along with some of the concerns of the Independents. But I am speaking here today as just one American to other Americans!)

In the wake of the last couple of weeks (governmentally speaking) Confucius came to mind as I watched the government “close” and then “open” the way you might see a sign on a store. Yesterday we were closed for business, today we are open, tomorrow (a few months) – the sign may say closed again!

As if it were no big thing. If you don’t consider the damage done to our economy in the last few weeks of “closure” approximating 24 billion dollars (but more to come because now consumers are shaky and not in a buying mood, and businesses not in a hiring mood), no big thing; if you don’t consider the damage done to thousands of people affected by the “closure” to their homes and families, if you don’t consider our military who have and are bravely serving our country, hurt by this temporary closure, if you don’t consider the damage done to our country’s fiscal reputation as a leader in the world, if your don’t consider … I could go on for quite a while but you get the point so here is something you might consider …

Credit line: © Pixattitude | Dreamstime.com

Confucius and a few of his well-known quotes about people and life:

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.

He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

and he also said

“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

~

This country should be ashamed of not providing for our poor … and sadly, there are more than a few involved in the governing process who should be ashamed of the wealth they have accumulated and the wealthy they work “on behalf of” … at the expense of the poor and the hard working middle class!

And I refer to all the party members, especially those who come in with a private and personal agenda, related to power and money (greed); be they – Democrats – Republicans – Independents or other, consisting of every race, creed and religious belief. Absolute power does corrupt absolutely. And so does money! In fact in this country money speaks louder than anything!

It is a truth or should be understood that no country survives when it is at the expense and well-being of other humans. As in never! History proves this out. Why haven’t we learned this yet?

My recommendations to my fellow Americans: Contact NOW your congressional leaders and members who the majority of you – “voted” for (If you didn’t vote, then “by absentia” you may well have voted for the person you didn’t want in office). And when you email or call, or snail mail to your legislative leaders … say “NO to more closures.  In the next few elections vote in more minorities, because the amazing truth here in this country is – the “minorities” are in the majority! So shouldn’t we have representatives that actually represent us? Do the math!

Vote in those qualified, who will not only represent you (their constituents – which by law they are sworn to represent) but who also have the strength of character to stand up and represent you, not waffle and sit on the sidelines. Regardless of party, there comes a point when you’re not just a Republican, Democrat or affiliated to some other group who “believes a certain way” you are AN AMERICAN! So start doing your job to strongly remind your elected representatives and Senators what they SHOULD BE DOING – THEIR JOB! Keeping our country free!

My reference to the game of “Pool (Billiard)” in the title is an obvious one:

Credit line: © Claus Mikosch | Dreamstime.com

“When playing the game, you may have the cue
but you still can’t play the game with no balls!”
~ Penny L Howe, 2013
*

If our budgetary concerns don’t get resolved (at least in a direction where all political parties are working together for a resolution) – then the ones who haven’t been doing their job is YOU!

Penny L Howe

Who will we throw away tomorrow?

Throw Away Society

I first posted this last fall. Some things bear repeating!

We are the definitive “throw away” society. I include myself, as I am in that group as well. We compose approximately 18 to 25% of the people on the planet. The other 75-82% may/will go without food, sanitary water, clothing, shelter. More than 5 billion if you’re into numbers.

So as I was saying, we are the throw away society. It is so very easy.

The interesting thing is we do this mostly without conscious thought of our actions. It is just what we do. Quicker, Easier, More convenient and so on. The value of what we eat, drink, wear, or where we reside is secondary to our convenience. Isn’t that interesting? A way of life. Just throw it away, replace as needed. Just about everything is expendable, price not withstanding.

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We throw away life too. Another interesting thing. Also done without much thought. If certain criteria aren’t met, it seems the simple thing is to remove those (from your lifestyle) who interfere with the mode of “quicker, easier, more convenient methodology. And the rationalization used for being a “throw away” society stretches the bounds of incredibility.

I’m thinking included in this group can be the elderly, the poor, children, families experiencing a life altering transition in life (loss of income, illness or the death of a family member for example), those who may be viewed as handicapped or disabled in some way, minority groups or those who may not think the way you do, a country that isn’t up to speed yet as a throw away consumer themselves, animals, living plants and trees of the planet that are vital for keeping the ecological system running smoothly.

There, that’s about it. Thought you might like to know. But I do wonder? Who will we throw away tomorrow … or more to the point what will we do when we run out of things to throw away?

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Our choice – as always!

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Just a few things to ponder, I do believe I speak of all our tomorrows. Thank you for stopping by!

~ Penny