A Hope for Global Thinkers

In the movie Pay It Forward, a seventh grade, social studies’ teacher asks his students several profound questions:

1.   “What does the world mean to you?”

2.   “We’re not global thinkers yet, but why aren’t we?”

3.   “What if the world is just a big disappointment, unless you take the things you don’t like about this world, and you flip them upside down…and you can start today.”

4.   “What if it’s possible?  The realm of possibility exists in each of you.”

Many times people procrastinate sharing possibilities–thoughts, ideas, or plans that could change the world–because they are waiting on other catalysts for world change such as political, religious, and socio-economic systems, which are often big disappointments.

To be a global thinker, adults and youth look beyond their neighborhoods, countries, nations, and systems of the world.  They become aware of global problems, and they view themselves and other citizens of the world as catalysts for world change.

The song “We Are The World” sung in the YouTube video below says:

“There comes a time when we heed a certain call, when the world must come together as one…”

“We can’t go on pretending day-by-day that someone, somewhere will soon make a change…We are the world!”

“There’s a choice we’re making.  We’re saving our own lives.”

The movie Pay It Forward and the song “We Are The World” clearly send the message that we are the ones who can and must change our world.

In the book My Grandfather’s Blessing by Rachel Naomi Remen, she writes about our collective human task and how we can serve, sustain, and restore the world:

“We do not serve the weak or the broken.  What we serve is the wholeness in each other and the wholeness in life.  The part in you that I serve is the same part that is strengthened in me when I serve.  Unlike helping and fixing and rescuing, service is mutual.  There are may ways to serve and strengthen the life around us:  through friendship or parenthood or work, by kindness, by compassion, by generosity or acceptance.  Through our philanthropy, our example, our encouragement, our active participation, our belief.  No matter how we do this, our service will bless us. When we offer our blessings generously, the light in the world is strengthened, around us and in us.  The Kabbalah speaks of our collective human task as Tikkun Olam; we sustain and restore the world.”

In the Pentateuch, God asks Moses the question, “What’s in your hand?”  Rabbis, priests, and ministers use this question to challenge people to contemplate who they are and what they have, which they can use to serve God and humanity.

In the same ministerial way, the Pay It Forward social studies’ teacher challenges his class with the following assignment for the year:

“Think of an idea to change our world and put it into action.”

As the Pay It Forward teacher challenged, “What if it’s possible?  The realm of possibility exists in each of you.”  And as God said, “What’s in your hand?”

You might have a laptop with a wireless Internet connection, a cell phone, or some other media device in your hand, which can give you an almost immediate, greater awareness of global problems.

With all the new media devices available, more people also have greater opportunity to become aware of each other’s thoughts, ideas, and plans.  These communication devices now give global thinkers the means to globally communicate with other global thinkers, in a hope to find possible solutions to small or large global issues.

Is it possible that Hope Unites Globally HUG Award Recipients, throughout the world, can work together as global thinkers? Can HUG Award Recipients share their newly established identity and unity and be catalysts to help change our world? IF SO, HOW?

Think big, or think small!  And be sure to leave a comment.  Let’s get a discussion going about possibilities!

If you are not a Hope Unites Globally HUG Award Recipient and would like more information about the award, please read the HUG Award Guidelines at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/

A Hope for Today, sharing about:  life, personal development, spirituality, religion, carpe diem, seize the day, hope for today

Hope Unites Globally HUG Awards’ Update

Two weeks ago, on January 14, 2012, I (Connie Wayne) at A Hope for Today initiated the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for the many, wonderful people who have, by accepting the HUG Award, become a part of a diverse group of people with a plethora of different lifestyles, careers, talents, cultures, nationalities, and ethnic and spiritual backgrounds.

The one thing that HUG Award recipients have in common is they are wonderful, talented, loving people who are doing their part to keep hope alive and make the world a better place to live.

People, WordPress blogs, and other blogs and websites have received the HUG Award,  but the HUG Award has also traveled outside the Internet world to ministers, speakers, musicians, and others.  (The HUG Award is not limited to WordPress blogs.)

In addition, because I have visited several of the nominees’ Internet sites, I am aware of some of the places around the globe where the HUG Award has traveled.  I can truthfully say, “Hope Unites Globally!”

I have received so many encouraging, positive responses from HUG Award recipients.  Many have expressed their heart-felt appreciation and honor in receiving the HUG Award.  Some have even expressed their appreciation for my creation of such a positive award.

One of my favorite comments was in an article a gentleman posted on his Internet site upon his receipt of the HUG Award.  I believe he captured the true essence of the HUG Award when he said:

“I must admit to not being very good at responding to award nominations… I generally find myself busy doing and writing about other things to pick up the baton. However, I feel that the HUG award deserves a prompt response as it clearly has intentions to improve the world we live in by encouraging understanding and compassion amongst people of all races, colours, creeds, etc.”

I know that some of the HUG Award nominees have not been informed yet of their nomination.  I am sure people realize it is too large a task for me to notify all these folks, however, I eventually hope to visit each of their Internet sites and congratulate them on their nomination.

If you received a HUG Award, and you informed me of others you nominated for the award, please make sure you also informed your nominees.

Not all HUG Award nominees are HUG Award recipients.  Some HUG Award nominees have not yet accepted the HUG Award.  Again, they possibly are not aware of their nomination for the award.  Others are not interested in the HUG Award, or awards in general.

And, because the HUG Award is a thought-provoking award, which causes people to be honest with themselves, some people honestly do not believe they deserve the HUG Award.

Because the HUG Award is more than just a blog award, it has challenged people to think about whether they agree with the HUG Award Guidelines at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/.

I encourage people to follow the HUG Award Guidelines for accepting and sharing the HUG Award because, as the award is perpetuated, I do not want it to lose its integrity.  I want all current and future Hug Award nominees and recipients to know what an honor it is to receive the award.

It is my sincere hope that all those who accept the HUG Award understand, appreciate, and work toward living up to the “hopes” in the HUG Award.

If you believe you meet the Guidelines and would like to receive the HUG Award, please visit the Guideline page and leave me a comment.  If you would like to nominate someone else for the HUG Award, please follow the same procedure.

By no later than Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012, I plan to have a page posted at http://ahopefortoday.com/hug-award-nominees/ on A Hope for Today (http://ahopefortoday.com) that will have an up-to-date list of people and/or sites that are HUG Award nominees.  The page will list only the HUG Award nominees, because I have not verified HUG Award recipients.

The only way I know someone has received the HUG Award is when he/she leaves a comment on the HUG Award Guidelines post.  By a HUG Award recipient nominating just one person for the HUG Award, I become aware that he/she has accepted the HUG Award.

I appreciate your patience with me while I try to capture as many of the HUG Award nominees as possible.  I would rather do a page of HUG Award recipients, but HUG Award nominees will have to do for now.

Blessings, Connie Wayne

A Hope for Guidance

Submarines have sonar; airplanes have flight guidance systems and radar; and salmon have an innate knowledge that instinctly guides them.  But what about you and me, when we need, pray, and hope for guidance?  What do we have to help guide us through our darkness?

There have been many times in my life when I have felt like a lost, wayfaring stranger– not knowing what to do, where to go, when to stop, when to go, where to turn, what mountain to climb, what valley or desert to cross, what river to swim, etc.  I hoped and prayed for guidance that I soooooo needed.

Now that I have many years of life behind me, I consider myself a life veteran, who has lived in the trenches and been through and learned from many skirmishes and battles.

As a life veteran, I do not have all the answers, but I have learned that people only learn as they go–learn as they grow.  People can acquire knowledge and skills to prepare themselves well, but they only learn to use those assets when they begin to practice or apply them.

People do not know how to be soldiers on a battlefield until they are soldiers on a battlefield.  People do not know how to be married until they marry; learn how to be a single mother until they are a single mother; learn how to live in poverty until they live in poverty

People do not learn how to live with illness until they live with an illness; learn how to take care of a sick loved one until they have a sick loved one; learn how to lose a loved until they lose a loved one; learn how to be a senior citizen living alone until they are a senior citizen who lives alone, etc.

Because my children are now adults, I have a veteran parent’s wisdom I now share with my daughters.  The one thing I consistently tell them is, “You learn to be a parent while you are a parent.  You only learn to be a baby’s parent, when you are a baby’s parent, and you learn to be an adolescent’s parent, when you are an adolescent’s parent.

You learn to be a teenager’s parent, when you are a teenager’s parent; you learn to be an adult child’s parent, when you are an adult child’s parent; you learn to be a grandparent, when you are a grandparent.  And I am still learning in those last two areas of parenting.

As long as I live, I will continue to think of life as a school, and I will always be an enrolled, actively engaged student.

Until about a year ago, I never had the Internet in my home.  Until six months ago, I never really understood what a blog was.  Until two months ago, I never dreamed that I would have my own website with a Word Press blog platform.  I still feel like I need guidance in this latest endeavor, but somehow I am muddling through and learning as I go.  And, it has been meaningful work that has also been very enjoyable.

Sometimes people recognize guidance as the voice of the Spirit within them; sometimes it is an instinctive or intuitive knowing; sometimes it is just taking a step and seeing where your foot lands and what happens next.  Sometimes it is all of those things.

There is a saying that says, “If you have never made any mistakes, you have never done anything.”  Oftentimes people receive the best guidance from the mistakes they make, and I have made plenty.

My mistakes have given me a certainty, a sure knowing, that the mistakes I made were not the right choices or path for me.  It was then, and only then, that I received guidance to do something else that was the right thing to get me where I needed to go, or teach me what I needed to know.

Life has been both my home school and my home school teacher.  For some reason, I believe, I have needed to experience my life mistakes because they have taught me valuable lessons and made me who I am today.  And today, I can share with others some of the valuable life lessons I have learned.

Now when I hope for guidance, I am aware that I am hoping for Spirit-guidance, an inner instinctive or intuitive knowing, and to have confidence I am not alone when I take the next step.

In my hope for guidance, I know that sometimes I will make mistakes, and I will have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and forge ahead to new life frontiers ahead of me.

I have no clue what my life will be like tomorrow, the next day, the next month, the next year.  I just know that I am receiving, and will continue to receive, guidance as my feet land on unfamiliar territory ahead–yes ahead; not behind me.

Sometimes, when I am overly tired and need wisdom and guidance, I remember the words to an old song I learned when I was a child.  Here’s Monica’s version of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” on a YouTube video.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Hope Unites Globally – HUG Award Guidelines

PLEASE NOTE:  You should send this post or a link to this post to all those you nominate to receive the HUG Award. 

Please do not change or use another image for the HUG Award Image©.  Please do not alter–by changing, shortening, or adding to–the text about the award and how to share it with others.  Either copy the entire article as it is on this page, or please include a link back to this article, when you post on your blog or share award with others. 

I ask you to please honor this request and help me keep the integrity of the award as originally designed, so that future award recipients will know what an honor it is to receive this award.  Thank you, Connie Wayne

 ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES for HUG AWARD©

Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today at http://ahopefortoday.com, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness

The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc.

The HUG Award© is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets the guidelines and wants to be nominated for the award. Please leave a comment on this page if you are interested in receiving this award, or if you would like to nominate someone else for the award.

The HUG Award© is for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people. 

The HUG Award© is for those who, without bias or prejudice, use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.

The HUG Award©is for people who have a hope or an expectant desire that the work or talents they use in things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc., will make a positive impact on the world.

These people do not have to actively use the word “hope” in their work or creative talents.  They only need be conscious of their desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

These people use their available resources–a smile, a hug, a helping hand, a listening ear, a voice, time, money, possessions, education, personality, talent, websites and blogs—to make a positive impact on the world and make the world a better place to live.

The HUG Award© is not specifically a website or blog award.  It can be given to people in your community, at your employment, at your place of worship, etc.  Please make sure they have a copy of these Guidelines, and please don’t forget to submit their names back to this site.

HUG AWARD© IMAGE for RECIPIENTS of HUG AWARD

HUG Award© Image:   Those who receive the HUG Award© may paste a copy of the original HUG Award© image into an Image widget on their website or blog by simply copying and pasting the following image URL into an Image widget:   http://hopesfortoday.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/hug-award1.png.  As the link URL for the image, please insert http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/.

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GUIDELINES for NOMINATING OTHERS FOR THE HUG AWARD© 

1.  If you receive a HUG Award©, you may nominate others who also meet the above guidelines for the award.  You may nominate as many people, websites, or blogs as you want to nominate to receive the award.  I do ask that, upon receipt of the award, you nominate at least one other person.  The award is also not time limited, so you can nominate new people or sites you encounter in the future.  Please try not to nominate those who have already received the award.

2.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTACTING YOUR NOMINEES and telling them you nominated them for the  HUG Award©AND when you contact them…

3.  Please link this page:  When you contact your nominees for the award, please include a link to this page, http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/, so they will have the same information you received about the award.  Then, they also can perpetuate the award by nominating others.  AND…

4.  Please post a comment on this page at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/ with the name and the complete website or blog address of the site(s) or person(s) you nominate.   

5.  If you know, I would appreciate you informing me of the geographical location of your nominee(s) and /or their site(s).

6.  Social Media Sites:  You may also copy and paste unchanged copies of the original HUG Award© and HUG Award© Guidelines’ wording to other social media sites such as Facebook and Linkedin.  You may also print original copies for your personal use for display, etc.

7.  You may print a copy of the HUG Award© Guidelines for people you nominate, who do not have a website, blog, or social media account to which they can paste award and Guidelines.  If they have email, you may email them a copy of the original HUG Award© and original Hug Award© Guidelines.

Thank you for your help sharing HUGs (HUG Awards©) with the people of the world.  Blessings, Connie

The Hope Unites Globally HUG Award© and the HUG Award© Guidelines are the copyright of Connie Wayne – ©Connie Wayne 2012 at http://ahopefortoday.com.  They both may be copied and shared in accordance with the Guidelines established in this post.

 http://ahopefortoday.com

Hope Unites Globally

Free Internet resources and tools have helped me receive early blog confirmations to support my belief that hope unites globally.

“Thank You” to WordPress for providing me a free blog platform, which allows me to know who my blog visitors are.

“Thank You” to the people with different spiritual backgrounds–Buddhists, Eastern and Western Christians, Muslims, Taoists, Yogas, and others–who are either “liking,” “commenting,” or “following” my blog articles.  I consider this as evidence that the language of hope transcends spiritual boundaries.

“Thank You” Flag Counter for the free Flag Counter I recently inserted on my blog.  I consider the stats from The Flag Counter as evidence that the universal language of hope transcends global boundaries.

At the same time I am embarrassed for not remembering where countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia are located, I am humbled that people in countries that far away are reading something I have written about hope.

Even though this website/blog is only about six weeks old, I have met so many wonderful, new blogging friends.  “Thank You” blogging friends.

Thanks to the free Internet resources, tools, and friends I have met, I have been able to learn some of the spiritual and global boundaries, I believe, the “universal language of hope” in A Hope for Today’s articles has crossed.

I am so thankful for the early confirmations of my belief that hope unites globally.  It encourages me to do even more to spread the message of hope to all citizens of the world.

That is why I have created a Hope Unites Globally HUG Award© for people who are embracing and hugging the world with hope.  Be sure to read my next post about the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award©.

I would really appreciate comments from people of different spiritual beliefs about how they also believe that “hope” crosses spiritual and global boundaries.

A Hope in Failure

A hope in failure is a hope that we never give up.

A hope in failure is a hope to learn

from our mistakes, and keep trying to succeed.

A hope in failure is when we “Don’t Quit.”

Please enjoy the YouTube video below of the inspirational poem “Don’t Quit.”

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A Hope in Human Diversity

Because of my love for diverse colors, foods, clothing styles, music, books, art, nature, and eclectic household decor, I believe my life is similar to a kaleidoscope with its many beautiful colors and intricate, changing patterns.

Because I also love learning about different nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities, I wish I could have been a participant in The Human Library Project in Toronto, Canada. about which I recently read.

The Human Library Project was held on November 6, 2010, at the Bloor/Gladstone library branch of the Toronto Public Library, the world’s largest public library.

I wish I could have been among those who used their library cards to check out a volunteer “book” for a half-hour.  I could have had a very personal, one-on-one conversation with several different people from different backgrounds whose lives make good reading.

The first Human Library Project began in Copenhagen about ten years ago.  Its purpose was to help break down prejudice among people of diverse backgrounds.

I believe the Human Library Project and other similar cultural diversity projects may go a long way toward helping people appreciate, accept, and include God’s diverse human creation in their lives.

Children and youth study Biology, Botany, Zoology, Geography, and Astrology in school, which help give them an appreciation and understanding of the diversity in the natural world:  flowers, plants, trees, animals, insects, seasons, stars and planets, oceans, rivers, streams, and geological regions.

As adults most people have learned to appreciate and enjoy diverse foods, which are already included in their diets:  German sauerkraut, Italian spaghetti, Irish potatoes, English Tea, Danish pastry, Swiss cheese, Mexican tacos, etc..

But for some reason, some people still have difficulty appreciating, accepting, enjoying, and including God’s diverse human creation in their lives.

If local libraries and/or schools cannot emulate the Human Library Project, possibly people can find their own ways to educate themselves about human diversity by becoming more familiar with people from different backgrounds.

Some of the people with diverse nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds are neighbors, co-workers, or fellow students.  They may welcome an opportunity to share with you personally or share with a group or organization to which you belong.

In my opinion, it is way past time for all people to accept, appreciate, enjoy, include, and actually find hope in human diversity.

A Hope from a Ridge-Pole: Balance

In the book Anne of Green Gables, Anne’s experience on the ridge-pole of Mr. Barry’s house nearly ended in despair and not hope.

Her classmate and rival Josie Pye dared Anne to walk the ridge-pole of the house, and Anne took the dare because she thought her honor was at stake.

Anne told her best friend, “I shall walk that ridge-pole Diana, or perish in the attempt.”  Not long after Anne began walking the ridge-pole, she lost her balance and came tumbling down into the bushes that broke her fall.

Needless to say, ridge-poles should not be used as tightropes upon which only experienced acrobats know how to walk and balance themselves.

They are, however, a good indicator of a house’s condition.  If the ridge-pole of a house is out of line and sagging in the middle, the house is out of balance.  And when a house is out of balance, the doors will not close.

The sagging house condition is remedied when the center sill, which supports the ridge-pole, is raised by placing solid rock between the beam and the foundation.  Then, as the center sill is lifted up, the house falls into place, the ridge-pole no longer sags, and doors open.

When life sneaks up on people and knocks them off-balance, they often look like houses with sagging ridge-poles.  Like the sagging houses, however, their sagging, out-of-balance condition can be remedied.

When people’s spirits are lifted up and held in place by a solid mental, physical, and spiritual foundation, their lives can become balanced, things can fall into place, and doors can open.

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A Hope for Renewal

Many Romans have already started the new year with anticipation and hope for renewal by ridding themselves of the old.

They have done this, not in a symbolic way such as making New Year’s resolutions, but by pitching out the window old things such as clothing, furniture, cracked dishes, and household accoutrements.

Therefore, on New Year’s Eve, many people stayed in their houses or motels for fear of something possibly falling on their heads.

Religions and spiritual concepts teach the value of renewing the mind, spirit, and body.  The new year is an ideal time to make a holistic evaluation of our lives.

It is also an ideal time to start fresh by discarding old, tired, negative thought patterns, renewing our spiritual lives, and initiating healthier eating and exercise  habits.  It is a time to decide what we can do to make ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually fit.

I always have loved the scripture in the Bible from the book of Isaiah, which relates to the renewal of spirit and “mounting up on wings as eagles.”

Now that I am older, I love the scripture even more because I have learned more about the life cycle of eagles.

I loved reading, what is considered by many, a myth about how an aging eagle renews itself during the process of old-age moulting.

Have you ever had nail-biting, hair-pulling, beat-your-head-against the-wall  life experiences after which you desperately needed renewal?

If so, you will enjoy watching the YouTube video below.  The YouTube video was made from a PowerPoint presentation, which has to be read.

You may realize, as I did, that in our older physical and spiritual years, we can renew and “mount up on new wings as eagles.”  We can still fly high and strong and accomplish far more than we previously may have thought possible.

Two of My Neighbor blogs are a health site and a holistic healing energy site.  You may want to visit their sites via the links on My Neighbor page above.

There are also some good My Neighbor blogs for religion, spiritual living, and inspiration.  These Neighbor blogs may help give you some additional ideas to help start your new year in a positive way.

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A Hope from a Hummingbird

The short YouTube video included with this article is a story of hope from a little hummingbird who, I believe, practiced the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

 “Be the change you want the world to see.”

In my opinion, this statement means that each citizen of the world–regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, stature, religion, political inclination, or social-economic status– must do what he/she can do to make the world a better place to live.   Each person can make an impact on the world.

When people want to live in a world of love, compassion, hope, joy, and peace, they begin to internalize and overtly practice and share these qualities.  Then, those people become catalysts for world change.

I hope this video challenges you, as it did me–to always do what I can, even if it seems small by comparison to what others can do.  I will be a hummingbird.  Will you?

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A Hope for a Connected Life: Global Unity

In 1954, Albert Einstein spoke about a hope for a connected life when he said:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

In the book The Color Purple, the character of Celie had a wonderful epiphany of what a connected life is, when she said:

“One day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me:  that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all.  I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed.”

Like Albert Einstein said in the above quotation, Celie’s epiphany “widened her circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.”

The Native Americans use a phrase, Mitakuye Oyasinto express the thought that all creation are relatives, and we are all one.  Chief Seattle said, “We are all connected and whatever happens to the Earth, it will happen to the children of the Earth.”  Lakota Holy Man Black Elk said:

 “Peace…comes within the souls of men and women when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the Universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan Tanka (the Creator), and that this center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. explained:

“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny… and for some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.  To reach our potential, we must be mutually supportive of one another.”

To hope for a connected life is to hope for a life connected to the Creator, to ourselves, to all people, to the natural world and rhythms around us.  It is a hope for the oneness of all Creation, as well as a hope to reach our potential by being mutually supportive of one another.


Copied from Moment of Love Website at http://www.momentoflove.org/

The brief statement below reminds us of the common humanity we share with all people in our world. Take a moment to read these words slowly and drink in the beautiful message here. By choosing to focus less on what divides us, and more on what unites us, we can more effectively build a brighter future for us all.


Every person in the world has a heart.

Every heart has a place within that wants only to love and be loved.

Let us connect with that place of love in our own heart

and in the hearts of all around us.

Let us take a moment now to open to the heart connection

we share with all people through love.

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A Hope for Last Year’s Husks

Last year is gone, leaving in its wake a menagerie of “husks,”  

for which there is yet hope. 

“Wherever there are bright new wings, there’s always the ‘husk of waiting’ somewhere in the corner,” says author Sue Monk Kidd in reference to the spiritual art of cocooning.

Life is full of cocoons.  We die and are reborn again and again.

Therefore, there are always discarded “husks of waiting,” in the corners of our lives.  There is hope, however, for the further usefulness of these husks if, instead of leaving them in the corners of our lives, we celebrate them as trophies and give them a place of honor in our lives.

Then, every time we view our husks as trophies, they can remind us of our triumphs, and we can remember what we discarded, created, gained, or learned while we lived in our “husks of waiting.”  We can also celebrate the metamorphosis or the transformation of life that occurred and the new life that emerged from those husks.

“If I have inside me the stuff to make cocoons, maybe the stuff of butterflies is there too.”

Taking Trina Paulus’ quotation one step further, I say, “If I have inside me the stuff to make cocoons and butterflies, maybe the stuff to make trophies from the cocoons is there too.”

Even though cocoons or husks often represent dark or negative times in my life; nonetheless, they were a part of my life, and I try to celebrate and honor all parts of my life by attaching positive outcomes to negative experiences.  That is why I like the idea of transforming husks into trophies.

Here is a short list of “husk of waiting” trophies:

Husk of Mistakes Trophy:  Knowledge emerged from my mistakes.

Husk of Failures Trophy:  Triumph and success emerged out of my failures.

Husk of Shortcomings Trophy:  Self-forgiveness emerged from my shortcomings.

Husk of Sorrow Trophy:  Sorrow gave me a greater knowledge and appreciation of joy.

Husk of Grief or Loss Trophy:  Compassion and empathy emerged from grief and loss.

Husk of Fears Trophy:  Faith emerged out of the husks of fear.

Husk of Suffering and Pain Trophy:  Comfort and/or healing emerged out of suffering and pain.

Husk of Poverty Trophy:  Gratitude emerged out of periods of poverty.

As well as many other people, I still have a few 2011 “husks of waiting” in my life.  In 2012, I not only want to emerge transformed from these husks, but I hope for a day soon when I can drag the husks out of the corners of my life and honor them.

I hope to transform my “husks of waiting” into trophies that serve, in the new year and my new life, as reminders of their meaningful and useful purpose.

Have you learned the purpose for any of your “husks of waiting,” which you are willing to share with readers?  If so, I hope you will share about it in the Comment Section below, or you also could leave a comment to let me know you read and enjoyed the article.

Happy New Year, Connie

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A Hope from a Windchime

I have learned to have awareness and appreciation of the simple things in life that give me strength, peace, and hope for today when I need it the most.

I had such an awareness and appreciation during my recent experience with a windchime.

After my sister suffered a heart attack, I slept on a cot in her hospital room for several days; and, needless to say, I slept very little and very lightly.  Later, while my sister recuperated at home, I stayed with her for several more days.

At my sister’s house I was able to sleep more; but, because I wanted to hear her if she got up during the night, I still slept very lightly.  Amazingly, however, I slept very peacefully.

I owe the peaceful sleep to the neighbor’s windchime, which was like a Tibetan singing bowl that hummed throughout the night, resonating with my spirit, to entrain me into a semi-meditative trance.

Whether awake, asleep, or somewhere between, I was aware of a soothing tranquility that tiptoed into my bedroom and enveloped me with calmness and peace.

The slow, peaceful, rhythmic movement of the windchime created a melodic lullaby that embraced and hushed me to sleep, over and over again.

Somehow I was consciously aware that the windchime mesmerized and held me in its magical sway.  As it lulled me into a calm rest that my body needed, even though my mind resisted, it soothed and hypnotized me with whispers of strength, peace, and hope.

Every night, as a heavenly breeze animated the windchime, it was as if I heard God breathing outside my bedroom window.   The gentle breath of God repeatedly stirred the windchime to make it dance and sing its beautiful, magical lullaby throughout the night.

The windchime faithfully sang every night, all night, like a mother singing a lullaby to her sick child:  “Sleep my child, and peace attend thee, all through the night.  Guardian angels God will send thee, all through the night. “

And every night the peaceful lullaby resonated in my spirit to remind me that I could calmly rest, renew my strength, and have hope for my sister’s full recovery.

The windchime was not as large as the one in the following YouTube video, but it had a smaller, similar sound.  Listen, and you will understand how God used a simple windchime to give me hope for today when I needed it the most.

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A Hope for More Than Human Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is the greatest amount of stretching a material can withstand before it tears.  Sometimes people’s only hope for today is to have a tensile strength that helps them safely, without breaking or tearing, make it through the circumstances or events of the day.

On those days when life takes people by surprise and presents them with an unexpected challenge, crisis, disease, or death, people need a strong, inner, tensile strength.

Because mere human tensile strength is weak and susceptible to breaking or tearing, people need a strength that is stronger than their own.

Two days ago, on Christmas Eve, I faced a family crisis for which I needed strength greater than my own.  Late in the evening, I received a call from my brother-in-law, who informed me that my sister was in the emergency room of the hospital.

As I hurried to the hospital, only five blocks away from my house, I began to cry and pray for my sister.  I was totally distraught; however, upon entering the hospital door, an amazing calm overtook me.

By the time I reached her bedside, I was able to calm my sister who was highly disoriented, anxious, and showing signs of a stroke or heart attack.

After my sister and I spent Christmas Eve night in a freezing cold emergency room, the hospital admitted her on Christmas Day.  Later that day, we learned that her EKG and blood work had shown evidence of a heart attack.

It is now four days later, and my sister is still in the hospital at which I have also stayed for the past four days; and, hopefully, she will be able to go home today.

While I make plans to continue to help my sister in the immediate days ahead, I am also faced with another family crisis.   My younger brother, who lives in another state, was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Tomorrow he finds out how far the cancer has spread throughout his body, and on January 9th he has surgery.

I am the middle child in my family, and I am now in the middle of a crisis with both my siblings.  This is a time when I need more than my own tensile strength to get me through the days ahead.

Physically, mentally, and emotionally tired, I am aware of a spiritual strength within me that is empowering me to cope with my current family crisis.  I know that inner strength is Spirit-might, which is greater than my own tensile strength.

When I returned home today for breakfast, a brief rest, and fresh clothing to go back to the hospital or to my sister’s house,  I discovered that a fellow blogger and new friend, who had no awareness of my current family situation, had nominated me for the Candle Lighter Award.

I learned from her blog that “The Candle Lighter Award belongs to those who believe, who always survive the day and those who never stop dreaming, for those who cannot quit, for those who keep trying.”

Thank you Woman at the Well for allowing God to use you and the Candle Lighter Award to confirm the Spirit-strength that never breaks or tears.  I face the days ahead with new and greater strength.

A Hope from Winter: More Light

As winter days become longer and more sunlight gradually and slowly returns to the earth, winter is the season of hope. The earth wraps itself in a cocoon of hope and awaits its re-birth in the spring.

In its cocoon, the earth is quiet and appears to be sleeping or resting, but it is not dormant or stagnant.  The earth is still moving and re-generating itself through a metamorphosis of life.

Winter is also the season of hope for many religions and spiritual people, and their winter celebrations are celebrations of hope and light.

Even though they represent diverse spiritual beliefs, these celebrations all have several similarities.  They are events for which people carve time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with their family and friends.

And, during these times of celebration, families and friends often give gifts to each other as expressions of their love, and people are much more charitable to the needy.

These winter celebrations are reminders of humanity’s great need to share more spiritual light with one another.  By sharing more spiritual light, more hope, love and compassion are shared with all humanity.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these winter celebrations of greater light, greater hope, greater love, and greater compassion could last all year?

As more spiritual light gradually and slowly returns to the earth, people will no longer view each other as strangers, but as fellow human beings with the same need for hope, love and compassion.

Regardless of your personal religious or spiritual beliefs, may you be blessed with and share greater spiritual light during this winter season of hope.

I hope you enjoy the YouTube video below called “Don’t Call Me a Stranger.”

This article is the copyright of Connie Wayne – © Connie Wayne 2011-2012 at http://ahopefortoday.com.  All rights reserved.  Please feel free to re-post this article with my copyright notice.

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A Hope That Ripples

The following is a wonderful “hope” quotation by Robert Kennedy.  It is about ripples of hope and how they can build into a current to sweep down mighty walls:

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal,

or  acts to improve the lot of others,

or strikes out against injustice,

he  sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,

and those ripples build a current

which can sweep down

the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Please watch and listen to the following, beautiful video about the Ripple Effect.  The Ripple Effect is rooted in the belief that we are all connected by our shared Humanity.

If you enjoy the video, please send or share this article as a Thank You to those who are creating a ripple effect with their lives, words, art, music, work, and humanitarian and volunteer efforts.  They are helping to change our world one ripple at a time!!

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A Hope from a Wisdom Marinade

Amidst all the challenges, choices, and decisions in life, who among us does not hope for wisdom? Wisdom, however, does not always come easily. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people, but many fewer wise people.

Why? Because wisdom is not knowledge learned.  Wisdom is knowledge earned because a person has lived it.

KNOWLEDGE EARNED:  We may often envy other people’s wisdom; but, upon closer observation of their lives, we may not envy what they have experienced to earn that wisdom.

AUTHENTIC LIVING:  Actress Jane Fonda said, “You can’t really be wise until you are authentic.”  Becoming real or authentic is a process, so wisdom is earned by process living.  To earn the knowledge to become wise, sometimes a person must go through a process of pain, suffering, or loss.

In the children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit, by Marjery Williams Bianco, the Velveteen Rabbit describes the process of becoming authentic or real:

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly…”

Author Sarah Ban Breathnach has written much about authentic living, and she said, “An authentic life is the most personal form of worship.  Everyday life has become my prayer.”

LETTING GO:  Again speaking about wisdom, Jane Fonda also said, “Wisdom is knowing what you don’t need anymore and letting it go.”

To become wise, people must be willing to let go of old knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, dogmas, and doctrines that no longer align with their authentic life and truth.  That same wisdom also helps people simplify life by letting go of possessions and relationships they no longer need.

AWE or REVERENCE for the CREATOR:  The Bible offers yet another definition for wisdom:  “The fear (the awe or reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

A WISDOM MARINADE:  Author Marianne Williamson offered a very insightful definition of wisdom when she wrote:

“Wisdom is like marinade. First you take what a book said, or what a teacher said, and then you mix it with your own ideas. Then you add experience and pour in a few buckets of tears.  Add memories of lost love, a pinch of personal humiliation and a teaspoon of deep regrets. Add to that a cup of courage. Leave it to soak for a few years and–voilà!–darn it if you have not become wise.”

Following Marianne Williamson’s advice, I mixed together what I have learned and written about wisdom with what she, Jane Fonda, Sarah Ban Breathnach, and the Bible said about authenticity and wisdom.

Voilà!–a new marinade for wisdom.  I think I will post this recipe, this marinade for wisdom, on my refrigerator door:

A HOPE FOR WISDOM IS A HOPE TO:

1) live in awe or reverence of the Creator

2) live knowledge earned from experience

3) live and let go of what is not needed anymore

4) live an authentic life

5) live personal form of worship and everyday life that becomes prayer

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I hope you enjoy the YouTube video below of Jane Fonda’s interview about wisdom.

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A Hope for Wholeness

People who live fragmented lives hope for wholeness.  They may not realize it, but a hope for wholeness is a hope for balance and variety.

The creative work of living a whole, healthy life requires learning how to find balance in life, and balance requires variety, the spice of life.

Even though wholeness is often pictured as oneness, wholeness has many parts.  Each single part is a part of the whole, contributing something essential to the whole.

Life becomes imbalanced when one part of life rules or dominates all the other parts, i.e., “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” says an old proverb.

Use this illustration to visualize a state of balance:  Visualize two children on opposite ends of a teeter-totter as they practice “setting the table”.  The children “set the table” when the teeter-totter balances itself, and neither end of the teeter-totter is up above or below the other.

In order to “set the table”, sometimes the teeter-totter is adjusted to compensate for the difference in the weight of the children.  After the adjustments, each child has to distribute or balance his weight on the teeter-totter to “set the table”.  Then, the “table is set”, and the teeter-totter is balanced.

When life gets out of balance, a person might need to make life adjustments to “set her table” or restore balance to her life.

People need to balance work with play; sleep with activity; sameness with change; structure with spontaneity; social activities with solitude; noise with silence; physical exertion with rest; inside activities with outside activities; and a balanced nutritional diet, etc.

Then, in turn, each of those life parts needs to have its “weight distributed” or balance itself.

I love the Biblical passage from Ecclesiastes that begins , “To everything there is a season”,  because it is a passage about balance, i.e., “There is a time to plant and a time to reap”… “A time to build and a time to tear down”.

This Biblical passage challenges me to ask myself these questions:   “What is it time for now?”  “What can I do to restore balance in my life today?”  “How can I attain wholeness in this moment?”

I and others, who hope for wholeness in life, should daily balance our lives.  The Creator has created a plethora of things we can choose from to holistically maintain our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being or wholeness.

Please enjoy the Byrds singing, “To Everything There is a Season” on the following YouTube video.

“A Hope for Wholeness” article is the copyright of Connie Wayne – © Connie Wayne 2011-2012. All rights reserved.  You may re-post this article if you include my copyright notice and a link back to this article.

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