Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

It’s a common question after reading the headlines or listening to the news. Piece after personal piece of information regarding the lives of our elected officials and out of office celebrities. The media is abuzz with news of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child, Maria Shriver’s succinct and personal plea to respect the privacy of her and her family as they work through the trauma and tangle of their family issues.

The Reverend Bill Graham has thankfully been released from the hospital and is at home recovering from the impact of his bout with pneumonia.  It is a  balancing element that I remember something he said when headlines were again evoking a “can you BELIEVE it” response.  Rev. Graham has been a treasured advisor to many a public figure, including numbers of Presidents.  And in the midst of the news, speculation and judgements about President Nixon, Billy Graham gently reminded, “Everybody has a little bit of Watergate in him.”

Just this morning a friend of mine who lives in Iowa was expressing a lesson she is in her fifth decade of trying to learn…overtly passing judgement on the path of another hardly ever leads to a positive end.  Learn.  Take a lesson.  Use the news to become more responsible and reflective about the specific and immediate events of your life.  Recognize the tenants and guiding principles that direct the path of your own life – and celebrate them.  And in all this, amidst the buzz of the latest news flash, hear the grace that Rev. Graham was able to express.  We all carry challenge, burden and the results of less than stellar decisions.  Every human faces their humanity in the mirror, daily.  And some humans, those who live with the companion of international celebrity, look in that mirror with thousands of others looking over their shoulders.

For me, in this day, I am being circumspect in my assessments toward the lives of others.  It is not my place to join the fray and cast my stones against the back of another.  Today, I will choose to look in the mirror of my own choices, with grace and forgiveness…knowing that my road is my own.  Compassion in my own mirror allows for a little more compassion as I glance at the lives of others.

If a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do.  Think up something appropriate and do it.  – Edgar Watson Howe –

If a man wants to be of the greatest possible value to his fellow-creatures, let him begin the long, solitary task of perfecting himself.  – Robertson Davies –

Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration.  – William Hazlitt –

Fame is the sum of the misunderstanding that gathers about a new name.  – Rainer Maria Rilke –

The world, like an accomplished hostess, pays the most attention to those whom it will soonest forget. – John Churton Collins –

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