Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013
This year is the 100 year anniversary of the book Pollyanna. To call someone a Pollyanna in this day and time is to label them a naive optimist. If you read the story, Pollyanna was nothing of the like. An orphan living with a cold and distant aunt, Pollyanna was an intuitive child who learned the art of gratitude through the "Glad Game", a game her father taught her before he died. She suffered alot of loss in her young life so she was not immune to pain, but through finding reasons to be glad she was able to keep gloom at bay and teach by example the townspeople that their lives were filled with more blessings than they realized. She fell short and succumbed to human weakness in her ability to always be glad, but more times than not she prevailed. It was a deliberate choice to be glad and not trust her feelings.
I suggest we all recapture our childlike hearts and play the glad game every day. It is simply declaring the things big or small that make you grateful. It could be a promotion at work, a cup of tea, a warm sunny day, just be glad! We all have something to be glad for. I suggest we also openly express gratitude to others for what they have contributed to our lives. Did you know that according to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, one of reasons Rabbis, Ministers, Pastors, etc. experience burnout because of the lack of gratitude from those they serve. The daily practice of gratitude is not just for us, but for others.
What are you glad for?
Monday, February 11, 2013
|Rhianna at the 2013 Grammys|
Modesty at the Grammy Awards
Memo from the CBS office:
Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible "puffy" bare skin exposure. Please avoid commercial identification of actual brand name products on T-shirts. Foreign language on wardrobe will need to be cleared. OBSCENITY OR PARTIALLY SEEN OBSCENITY ON WARDROBE IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR BROADCAST. This as well, pertains to audience members that appear on camera.
When I read this, I was relieved that finally some standards are being required of these entertainers when they attend the Grammys (I hope it will be a standard for all the award shows going forward) I have seen on the red carpet more than I would I like of half naked women in the name of so called cutting edge sexiness. What I find disturbing about this scenario is that CBS had to send out a memo in the first place to a group of adults who should know better. Certainly no one is asking these celebrities to dress like nuns, but why is being one step from naked a necessity?
|Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammys|
|Jennifer Lopez at the 2013 Grammys|
|Adele in a cute floral number at the 2013 Grammys|
|Adele in Armani at the 2012 Grammys LOVE IT!|
|Dorothy Dandridge at Carmen Jones Premiere|
|Clark Gable and Grace Kelly|
Dressing appropriately for the occasion, is not just for the celebrities but for their audience as well. With millions of people all over the world watching them, would it not be in their best interest to put their best foot forward? Especially with young impressionable children also watching how they carry themselves in the eyes of the public. In reviewing some of the red carpet footage, some of the celebrities clearly disregarded the memo in the name of self expression.
|Katy Perry in a peek a boo dress|
Friday, January 25, 2013
I admit the pinnacle of my video game skills peaked at Pac Man (Google it youngsters). I have been informed however that video games have evolved to rival major motion pictures including a rating system. Gamers can also play with other gamers online around the world. With this global village to available to test your skill level, there are bound to be some toes stepped on and so again rules must be implemented to keep the playing field civil, no matter how much your game mate in Sri Lanka is annoying you by rubbing their latest victory in your face.
1. Play Fair
Don't cheat, if you want to win, sharpen your skill level until you do.
2. Be A Good Sport
Win or lose be a gracious victor or opponent.
3. Save the Caps for the dentist
It's the text equivalent of yelling at everyone, keep it lower case.
4. You Were a Noob (newbie) Too
Learning a new game and getting familiar with all the details can be unsettling no matter what your skill level. Joe Cocker said he can get by with a little help from his friends, lend a hand and help the new player get up to speed instead of giving them the scarlet letter of "noob" and giving them the brush off. After all isn't a game more fun when all the players present a challenge? Makes for good game playing if you ask me.
5. There is no "I" in Team
Yes it is an over used cliche' but still holds true. If you are playing as part of a team, keep it that way, every persons participation is important.
6. Don't Be a Quitter
Unless the enviroment is toxic, don't run at the first sign of defeat, keep playing and if you find that you keep losing the battle, enlist the help of a fellow gamer to address your vulnerabilities. Sometimes we are completely unaware of our blind spots.
No matter how well you conduct yourself, there is always someone who likes to hit below the belt. When someone insults you, the best thing to do is to ignore them. If the insults continue, most chat and voice systems have 'ignore' functions that enable you to block them. Returning the insults only escalates the situation and has the potential to poison your connection with other gamers in your cyber circle. If you ignore them and they continue the abuse, others will quickly recognize where the source of trouble is.
8. Enjoy the Game
It is simple as that, enjoy yourself. That is what you are there for, to have a good time. Don't let your fun be drained away by becoming obsessed with the game.
With these suggestions in mind, I wish you happy gaming!
|Scotty Maloney (Center)|
I usually profile icons in history, but this story is too precious to pass up. Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs and Zeke Grissom were all nominated for Homecoming King at their high school in Tennessee. They decided that no matter who won, they would bestow the honor to their fellow classmate Scotty Maloney, who has Williams Syndrome, a neurological disorder that affects learning and speech.
"I've been blessed with so many things," Cooper told ABC News' Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV. "I just wanted Scotty to experience something great in his high school days."
"He's always happy, so he deserves some recognition for who he is," Gibbs said.
|Scotty (Center) with Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs and Zeke Grissom and another classmate.|
When Scotty's name was announced at the ceremony, he received a standing ovation as the medal was placed around his neck. This story was a beautiful example of how to treat others. These young men saw this as an opportunity to give to publicly honor a fellow classmate and treat him like "one of the guys" .
Scotty's teacher Liz Hestle Gassaway felt this selfless act by these three young men set a wonderful example that others would be wise to follow. "We want people to have more empathy towards people, not be scared of people with disabilities," she said. "We want them to embrace them, more like the boys did."
|Scotty proudly shows off his medal as Homecoming King|
Actions like these make me proud to know that not everyone in this generation has succumbed to the abyss of reality television and the sometimes mindless social media. Kudos to these outstanding young men!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Gratitude is one social grace that never goes out of style and everyone has a tradition of how they express gratitude for the pleasure of dining. Those of the traditional christian faith give thanks before their meal, those in the Jewish community give thanks before and after, and others have their own expression of gratitude for the pleasures they enjoy. In my research of unique dining utensils, I came across the "Notation Knife"; a beautifully crafted knife was created around the16th century. It is believed that this utensil was used to both carve and present the food, probably meat, to nobility. The knife, whose origin has not been confirmed (though some suspect it was made in Italy) is made of steel with a handle made of brass, ivory and silver.
The knife was beautifully inscribed with notations expressing gratitude for the enjoyment of a good meal. The inscription on one side of the blade reads "The blessing of the table. May the three-in-one bless that which we are about to eat." This would be sung before the meal was taken. On the other side the inscription gives thanks after the meal, "The saying of grace. We give thanks to you God for your generosity."
Being an avid music lover I was curious to know what these songs of gratitude would sound like in that time. Luckily Flora Denis, an Art Historian for the University of Sussex did the research to bring these beautiful melodies back to life. (See the last 2 minutes of the clip). It is a delightful melody with beautiful harmonies. I would have found it quite enjoyable to listen to if I had lived in that time at the beginning and end of my meal.
This lovely knife is very rare and highly valuable so should you come across one at your local thrift store quietly pay your couple of dollars for it and sing your way to your nearest "Antiques Roadshow" for a huge recompense.