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#428: Giving Hope

Monday, November 22, 2010

What do these people have in common?

* Jackie Gleason -- actor & comedian
* Kate Smith -- singer
* Minnesota Fats -- professional pool player
* Robert James Keeshan -- TV's Captain Kangaroo
* William Conrad -- actor
* Rodney Dangerfield -- actor & comedian
* Santa Claus -- Christmas star
* Cass Elliott -- singer
* John Candy -- actor
* Roseanne Barr -- actress
* Luciano Pavarotti -- opera singer
* Pillsbury Doughboy -- product pitchman

Give up?

They are or were (some have passed on) overweight! emoticon

But do we think of these real people and fictional characters as fatties or do we perceive them as accomplished professionals and lovable imaginary creations?

When I think of Jackie Gleason, for example, I readily think of the Honeymooners TV sit-com, the Smokey and the Bandit movies and his dramatic portrayal as the famous Minnesota Fats.

When I think of Kate Smith and Cass Elliott I think of their beautiful voices raised in song. emoticon

And can we ever forget the antics of Captain Kangaroo who provided so much laughter when we were kids? emoticon

It is a shame that some overweight people are the harshest critics of others like themselves. But I believe that most overweight people have more respect for others in a similar situation, walking and having walked the proverbial mile in their shoes. Most of us know the frustration, embarrassment and insecurity of being overweight and I believe most of us do not think someone has to be famous for us to understand their plight and to look past their weight to the person they truly are.

So why do people look at some other people and see a person who is overweight and yet look at others and see past their weight? Is it the familiarization they have with those from the list above and others? Is it because of the power of the personalities of the famous people that causes these critics to see them merely as people?

Don't we each want to be judged by who we are and not what we look like? Don't we all want to be respected and treated with dignity despite our weight?

Then let's make it a point not to be one of those critics who find joy in poking fun of others who are heavy but who can not see that they are exactly like those they judge. Let's support others who are trying or who would like to lose weight. Let's show them this site and offer suggestions, if they want them, on healthy eating and exercise. Let's show them the many inspiring stories of people who have lost 25 or 60 or 200 pounds or more. Let's build up their confidence that they, too, can succeed if they try. emoticon

In other words, let's apply the Golden Rule and treat others as we would like to be treated. For in lifting up others we gain so much more for ourselves than we can ever give away. If we can help one person who is crying on the inside because of their weight emoticon, we will have accomplished something far greater than anything else in the entire world. emoticon

We will have given them hope. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLOVE 11/27/2010 6:47PM

    emoticon

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YW84FRIDAY 11/25/2010 8:23PM

  emoticon emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 11/24/2010 12:49PM

    Thank you!!!

Wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NANHBH 11/23/2010 8:52PM

    Lou,

There is no greater gift that we can give someone than the gift of hope! Great blog!
emoticon
Nancy

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YATMAMA 11/23/2010 8:32PM

    Such wise words, Lou. Thank you.

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BUCKHOLDT 11/23/2010 8:30PM

    That's great; but don't let yourself think it is alright to be other than physically fit.

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LESLIES537 11/23/2010 12:14AM

    I LOVE this blog! One of my favorites from you so far! (Do I say that every time? lol) It was very well said. "We will have given them hope." *tear* emoticon

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LINDA25427 11/22/2010 11:50PM

    Great blog . Happy Thanksgiving . God Bless.

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SPARKIE1964 11/22/2010 11:41PM

    Your message is what SP is all about! So grateful that we all are here to support one another 24/7 from around the globe...

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LALASLAND 11/22/2010 11:36PM

    Just a quick note to tell you I enjoyed your blog tonight! Just got in and there is no time left in this day! emoticon emoticon

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SONGOFJOY27 11/22/2010 10:19PM

    Paul wrote to the Corinthians that those who compare themselves to each other are not wise. Each of us is a unique person - we need to treat each other (and ourselves) with dignity and respect.
Thanks for the reminder!

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IAMWINNING 11/22/2010 8:47PM

    Thanks, Lou for the pep-talk. I think most of us are guilty at times of juding others. It's a case of seeing the speck in someone else's eye, while we have a beam in our own eye! (Thanks, Jesus, for the imagery)

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/22/2010 8:47PM

    A person is never their weight, color or ethnicity. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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GOSPELCLOWN 11/22/2010 8:31PM

    I'm so glad this world is not a bunch of cookie-cutter people. Now, if we could all get along and stop comparing....

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DEB4HIM1 11/22/2010 8:27PM

  Thanks for sharing this!

I want to be respected and treated with dignity despite my weight. Unfortunately, I am my own worse critic. I need to be nicer to myself.

Debbie

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#427: Unexpected Happiness

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"If you are open to it, happiness will find you." emoticon

When I posted that to the friend feed this morning I did not anticipate the lesson would present itself today, but I am thankful it did.

As I drove home early this afternoon, I passed an event in a shopping center parking lot. Lots of motorcycles and a smoker pumping out wonderful food smells. Also lots of men and women in black biker gear. But the food smell drew me in. I parked and talked to a few members of the "Wings of Gold" motorcycle club who explained they were having their annual fundraiser -- t-shirts, jewelery and other gift items for sale, raffles and all you cared to eat buffet for $10.00. emoticon

I went into the bar/lounge where lunch was set up and was faced with a roomful of black-clad bikers. I was only the third person in there not in biker garb. But I was immediately greeted and welcomed, paid my money and began the circuit of smoked chicken and pork, meatballs (one of my downfalls), various pasta dishes, desserts (I refrained) and numerous other dishes emoticon.

I found a table I could stand at, began enjoying the meal, listening to the music played by the live D.J. emoticon emoticon and looking over the crowd. The longer I was there the more relaxed I became.

Several people passed by and asked how I liked the meal. We talked about the fundraiser and the different charities the club assisted. I finished eating and wandered to the gift tables set up outside, found Christmas presents for my young niece, my firefighter nephew and my sister. Almost bought myself a beautiful black onyx ring but none would fit. Guess I need to lose a few more pounds. emoticon Had a nice conversation with the women selling the items and several more bikers who were also looking.

Although I do not frequent bars emoticon, one waitress told me that this one was home to a large number of charity fundraisers, often more than once a month. She laughed and said yes when I asked her if I'd be welcome if I didn't drink, unless they had a diet cola emoticon.

So, for today, the stereotype biker image was not what I perceived during the time I spent there. The people were friendly and outgoing and the food was absolutely delicious emoticon.

Will I stop there again? Not to drink or to hang out, but if there is another fundraiser underway when I pass by, then sure I will. Because, as posted, if we are open to it, happiness will find us, even in unexpected places with people we normally would shy away from. I learned, too, to take people as they come, that friendliness most often draws friendship in return, as does respect and politeness.

I enjoyed 90 minutes of happiness, good food and pleasant conversation I could have easily passed up if I hadn't been open to stopping to ask what was going on.

How about you? It may not be a biker event in a bar, but do you allow yourself to be open to trying things you normally wouldn't? Do you open yourself to happiness?

If not, think of what you could be missing and the people you might meet, perhaps at a yard sale, or church or school bake sale and carnival, a neighborhood get-together or numerous other activities that occur around us every day. All we need to do is open ourselves to new experiences and let the resulting happiness flow through us. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YW84FRIDAY 11/25/2010 8:26PM

  It really is fun to meet new people and learn about them. I'm usually not shy about that, but sometimes I forget to take the time to just chill out and enjoy the company.

Thanks for another great blog.

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GOSPELCLOWN 11/22/2010 8:33PM

    So glad that you were open to new opportunity!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 11/22/2010 3:12PM

    Nice blog Lou! (as usual)

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YATMAMA 11/22/2010 2:07PM

    Sounds like a grand time, Lou. Bikers are big hearted folk who do a lot of good for a lot of people. At least the ones I know are. I'm so glad you happened upon the fundraiser. I have a feeling if Jesus had been passing by, He'd have stopped in, too, and visited with these generous bikers. Thanks for sharing your day with me!

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WENDYSPARKS 11/22/2010 12:45PM

    Thank You Lou!!! I enjoy tag sales and craft fairs and fundraisers etc. I smile and say hello to all who come my way! Bikers around here are big at fundraising and charity events and have a big heart!!

Wendy :)

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LESLIES537 11/22/2010 10:30AM

    What a wonderful lesson! Those biker dudes don't sound so scary afterall! emoticon I'm glad you enjoyed your Sunday afternoon and WTG on skipping dessert! That's often the most tempting thing of all! emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/22/2010 9:57AM

    What a neat story and lesson.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/22/2010 4:57AM

    Sounds like fun!



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NANHBH 11/21/2010 10:37PM

    Lou,

Such a lesson in not prejudging people! Sounds like you had a good time!


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JULIEFRANCES112 11/21/2010 10:27PM

    90 minutes of good food and pleasant conversation, who could ask for more. And you managed to get some Christmas shopping done too. Sounds great, glad you enjoyed it. I'm all for being happy!
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TEDYBEAR2838 11/21/2010 9:09PM

    I'm so glad you had a nice, new, pleasant experience.

You are Kewl!

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SONGOFJOY27 11/21/2010 7:54PM

    Sounds like a wonderful, unexpected bit of joy! I'm glad you took the risk and stopped to partake. I do like the mental image of Lou the Biker!!!
Have a great evening!
Carol

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BOVEY63 11/21/2010 6:45PM

    What a nice experience for you - and I'm sure for those who had the chance to meet you.
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LIBBYFITZ 11/21/2010 6:44PM

    emoticonI felt the same yesterday when I went to a fundraiser and the whole event was in Spanish! The joy was there and there were some lovely items for sale made by the intellectually disabled adults. There was singing and dancing. A great afternoon! emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/21/2010 6:03PM

    So glad that you took a chance & had such a happy & fun time. It has been my experience that bikes, for the most part, are often generous & kind. Lots of love to you my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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LALASLAND 11/21/2010 5:42PM

    emoticonLou the BIKER! I can just see it now! VRRRoooom! VROOOM! emoticon

Glad you got some good vittles! emoticon

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#426: Do You Dream Big Dreams?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I read once that the seed is an apple you can't yet see. Much like the thin person emoticon inside many of us we can not yet see but the one we dream of every day. Sometimes, though, our dreams lack size and conviction and stymie our progress. Do yours? Or do you believe you can move mountains with enough determination? emoticon

Victor Hugo admonished that we should "Dream no small dream." Do you dream and think big like the cartoon character Hagar the Horrible? One day Hagar and his young son sat on a log together as Hagar tried to teach the boy about the magic of thinking big. For an example, Hagar held up a string with a peanut tied to its end. "What's this?" he asked his son. "A string with a peanut on it," was the reply. "No," Hagar said, "it's an elephant lure."

Many people dream small dreams and have small goals because they have never allowed themselves to believe they could attain greatness. Their lives have been ones of insignificance and lack of accomplishments. They do not believe they can reach skyward and grab a star emoticon.

This is the thinking we need to wipe off the slates of our minds. We need to imagine grandiose challenges and develop a conviction deep in our souls that we can not only reach those challenges but surpass them.

Dreams have no expiration date. We may not reach our goals and fulfill our dreams overnight. Nothing worthwhile rarely is. But if we keep our eyes wide open, our focus straight ahead and realize that some dreams may take a lifetime to come true, we will eventually reach higher plateaus than we would have ever believed possible.

Imagine the first space scientists gathered in an obscure lab discussing space travel. Is it believable that their goal was to build a ship that could reach the clouds emoticon? Of course not. They dreamed of reaching the moon emoticon and Mars and beyond to undiscovered galaxies. They thought and dreamed big and consequently have capsules still racing through space after years of high-speed travel.

Dream big. Allow your mind to be unfettered from the constraints others will try to put on your thinking. Naysayers are plentiful. Ignore their small-minded thinking. Pursue life with vigor and steadfast determination. Believe that nothing is impossible. Believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. emoticon

Yes, seeds are apples in disguise. Johnny Appleseed knew this as he sowed his fields. He didn't dream of one apple tree but had a big dream of an entire landscape covered with such trees.

So, when we experience those moments when our faith is tested, our resolve is weak and our determination falters, let us remember that those small seeds can create enormous orchards that feed multitudes of people and remind ourselves to dream BIG! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROUSTEN 12/2/2010 9:20AM

    going to sow some seeds of my own now....

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BROUSTEN 12/2/2010 9:16AM

    going to sow some seeds of my own now......

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YW84FRIDAY 11/25/2010 8:28PM

  Thanks for the encouragement, Lou. You're awesome!

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WENDYSPARKS 11/22/2010 12:40PM

    Thank you Lou for this blog!!! You can do it too!!

Wendy :) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 11/21/2010 3:17PM

    emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/21/2010 10:28AM

    Another good one. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SPARKLOVE 11/21/2010 2:11AM

    Very inspiring blog Lou, but I think my dreams need an expiration date. LOL If not I might be working on them forever ...always striving and never arriving .

emoticon for your encouragement to dream BIG. Joy

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NANHBH 11/21/2010 1:38AM

    Great blog, Lou,

I'm heading to bed now and going to dream BIG dreams!
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JANETLP 11/20/2010 11:49PM

    Yes, Inspiring! You can count the # of seeds in an apple, but only God knows the # of apples in a seed.

God Bless,
Janet

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PONYFARMER 11/20/2010 11:36PM

    I only wish I knew how?

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WILDFLOWERR_ 11/20/2010 11:01PM

    Thanks again Lou! You are always inspiring us to preserver!

emoticonand Blessings,
emoticon

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BOVEY63 11/20/2010 10:48PM

    Like the saying goes "Shoot for the moon - even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
emoticon
Sweet dreams Lou and have a blessed Sunday!
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LALASLAND 11/20/2010 10:42PM

    emoticonOK, here's a dream!

Next year at Christmastime, Drex and I dream that we will have two surreys made and we will do Christmas rides with Willie and Silver for the students at LCU!

How's that for a dream!? emoticon emoticon

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LESLIES537 11/20/2010 10:41PM

    Lou = Inspiring emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/20/2010 10:42:55 PM

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YATMAMA 11/20/2010 9:49PM

    What an inspired blog, Lou! With the faith of even a mustard seed, such a tiny, tiny thing!!

*hugs*

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#425: Feeling Like a Dinosaur?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Have you ever felt like a dinosaur, out of touch with the world? emoticon I did recently.

I was sorting through some of Mom's things from after she died and discovered a large collection of 45 and 33 1/3 rpm records. I put the ones I had with them, set up a record player and listened to music as I went through more boxes. Then I made the mistake that really made me feel as outdated as an old Model-T Ford -- I called my young nephew and held the phone so he could hear the record.

"Hey, Bobby, how do like this music?" emoticon

"Pretty cool, uncle Lou. What radio station is that?"

"It's not a radio station, it's a record."

"What's a record?" This from a boy whose younger brothers and sister barely remember cassette tapes as preoccupied as they are with their I-pods and MP-3 players.

Talk about an having old-timer moment.

That's how the world is today. Advancements in technology occur nearly every day, making it difficult for some people to keep up and to keep from feeling outdated.

But there is one very important way we can overcome such feelings -- stay in touch with people. Call them, email them emoticon, send cards and actual letters, meet for lunch or church emoticon or group activities. People are real, with emotions and feelings that machines can never express.

When you are happy emoticon, real people, your friends, family, co-workers will be happy for you. When you are feeling down emoticon, a close friend can be a supportive sounding board. People are what is important in this technologically advanced world, not machines.

We can love a person and have that love returned emoticon. No machine can do that. We can share joy with a person, joy that a machine can not comprehend. It is people that keep us grounded, not machines. Experiencing the thrill of holding a new-born baby emoticon, getting married emoticon, sharing our life's achievements and disappointments with a person provides us with the human contact we all need. No machine can do that. emoticon

So, yes, some of us may feel like dinosaurs as far as technology goes, but as long as we remember it is people who enrich us, we will forever be far from extinct. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YW84FRIDAY 11/25/2010 8:31PM

  This reminded me of the time my daughter, (at age 5) wanted to watch TV at grandma's house. She stood there for the longest time and then asked how to turn it on. Then she watched a show she totally didn't understand until I asked her why she didn't just turn the channel. Her answer? "Where's the remote??" She didn't know that all she had to do was reach over and manually turn the knob. LOL!!

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SPARKLOVE 11/21/2010 2:20AM

    I am running way behind in technology , I am so thankful for my grandchildren who help to bring me up to speed. LOL
Good Blog Lou, it made me smile and anything that makes me smile is good. Hugs, Joy

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PUDLECRAZY 11/20/2010 6:20PM

    Thanks, Louisaurus for another great blog!


Happy memories,
Chrisasaurus

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LESLIES537 11/20/2010 12:57PM

    So, so true! I just love these heart felt blogs, Lou. They hit home on so many levels. emoticon emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 11/20/2010 12:26PM

    I love memories!!


Wendy :) emoticon

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SONGOFJOY27 11/20/2010 9:14AM

    Great memories! I've got a stack of LPs and remember the thrill of buying a new one.
But the point you're making is so true - it's not the technology that's important, it's our connections with the people around us!
Thanks for being a thoughtful SparkFriend!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/20/2010 12:10AM

    Wonderful blog. I was babysitting the granddaughters one day and pulled out my old Shirley Temple record to play for them. My eldest granddaughter said "Wow, grandmama, that's the biggest cd I ever saw!" LOL Then they just couldn't understand why they couldn't dance around because my house is old & the bouncing was making the needle skip all over the place. We had fun & they loved it but sure were surprised to see such OLD STUFF!

Thanks for the message. Your blogs always touch my heart. Love, Dawn emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/19/2010 11:56PM

    True on so many levels. emoticon

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LALASLAND 11/19/2010 10:28PM

    LOU!!! I have felt like a dinosaur so many times! But not TONIGHT!!! The t.v. I bought for Drex last night would not get our favorite channel, and he just couldn't get it to work! I DID IT! LOL I am not a dinosaur yet!

p.s. I loved my records, and there just isn't anything like a record you can put the arm over on so it will play over and over! Those were the days! (Ok, I'm sounding like a dinosaur!) emoticon

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#424: The Lesson of the Tree

Thursday, November 18, 2010



As I looked at this picture of some gorgeous flowers in Japan, I was struck by the tree's shape, sort of bent and gnarled and curved over, not at all the perfect posture of the majestic Redwoods in California or other trees around the world that reach straight toward the sky emoticon.

But, to me, this tree's attraction lies in it's obvious imperfection and it reminded me of how many of us are judged by others because of our imperfections, such as being overweight or balding or too short or taller than average or because of a physical deformity or for numerous other superficial reasons.

When people judge like that, I believe they deprive themselves of seeing true beauty that is visible if we accept that not everything nor everyone is perfect. We're all different sizes, drive different age vehicles, live in different kinds of homes, wear different clothes, have different types of jobs, or no job, and a plethora of other differences that make each of us unique.

So, why are some people so quick to judge?

Could it be because they, themselves, feel insecure and think by demeaning or belittling or judging others that they in turn will then feel better about themselves?

But imagine what the world would be like if all of us wore the same clothes, same colors, same shoes, drove the same kind of car emoticon, lived in the same kind of home emoticon, were the exact same height and weight. It would be a pretty bland and boring world, wouldn't it?

When we see someone who is not "perfect" let's look at them for their inner beauty and their strength of character. Like looking at a Bonsai tree versus a Redwood versus an orange tree or like the one above whose beauty is a result of the effect of years of nature upon it.

We age and change appearance. We are thin emoticon and we are heavy
emoticon. We have smooth skin and skin that sags. Changes occur and there is nothing we can do to stop them, changes that mold us into the individual people we are, full of experiences and knowledge and skills that are vastly different from those of all other people in the history of the world emoticon.

When we are tempted to judge someone for one or more of their traits, let's remember the picture of the tree, a tree that is bent and gnarled and curved over and see beyond it's imperfection to it's natural beauty and realize people are just like that tree, if we only look past their so-called imperfections.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YW84FRIDAY 11/25/2010 8:34PM

  Beautiful analogy, Lou.

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WENDYSPARKS 11/20/2010 12:28PM

    No one is perfect in every way...love that tree shape!!!

Wendy :) emoticon

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TINKERBELL200 11/19/2010 6:21PM

    People can be so cruel! God made us all different for a reason, down to our fingerprints! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they are so right on! I love the tree too, because it is different! It's beautiful!

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SPARKLOVE 11/19/2010 5:40PM

    I heard said before "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", so if you (as in anyone) can't see the beauty in others and all around you then maybe you need to improve your vision. I believe everything is beautiful in its own way and yes I am glad we are not all the same. I am glad God, made different type's of trees, flowers, birds and people! Thanks for reminding us Lou, to look for the beauty in those around us. Everyone has beauty! God Bless you . Joy

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LIBBYFITZ 11/19/2010 1:52PM

    emoticon

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BBURGER62 11/19/2010 1:13PM

    Thank you so much for writing this. I really needed it.

I have been doing some soul searching the last few days because of how my son was treated by some friends. My son was born with hydrocephalus, developed epilepsy, and has some physical and educational issues. That being said he is in college. It may take him a while to get through at just 3 classes or so a semester since it takes him longer to complete assignments, but he is there! I get so hurt when people treat him like he doesn't understand what is going on! Recently a friend tried to "forget" my son asked to help him with a project. Rather than just tell my son he didn't need the help, or they couldn't use him, he just put him off, then said, "Oh, I didn't know you were interested!" Of course, my good natured son was hurt but didn't say anything.

My son may be a bonsai tree, but he is beautiful to me.

Thanks again. emoticon

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LESLIES537 11/19/2010 12:04PM

    Oh, so true! Fantastic blog! You are one talented writer! emoticon

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HUMLADY1 11/19/2010 9:50AM

    Thank you so much for sharing yet another one of life's fabulous lessons. The gnarls and cuts on the surface of the tree only reveal that it withstood some of nature's most severe testing. Yet how many times do we stand in awe as we view it and marvel at the magnificence and "beauty," considering how frightful and punishing that storm must have been, which demolished all of its neighbors. We are amazed at the strength of that tree to remain.

But how many times do we look at people who are crippled or have obvious "handicaps" with a variety of reactions. We turn away. We are embarrassed. We are "repulsed". We pity them. We are glad we aren't them, etc.

If we would only stop and reflect on what they must suffer on a day by day, moment by moment basis, we probably would come to realize that WE are really the "handicapped" ones!!

Sorry I added to your comments here - I got lost in my thoughts and just started typing!!

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SONGOFJOY27 11/19/2010 9:42AM

    Beauty is so much more than skin deep! Think how boring life would be if we not only all looked the same, but had the same desires, dreams, and interests! Our Father certainly loves variety!

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STEINERMOM 11/19/2010 7:19AM

  Every day we have a choice. We can look at the people that we come in contact with (and the situationas that we experience) and see the beauty in them while keeping the attitude that "we are all doing the best that we can". Or we can look at them through the lens of judgement and criticism which highlights perceived flaws and imperfections and keep the attitude that "something is wrong with them/this". No matter which perception we have, we are the ones who live and benefit or suffer as a result.

I really enjoyed your blog.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 11/19/2010 12:43AM

    As awlays, a very ncie blog Lou! Victoria


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YATMAMA 11/19/2010 12:28AM

    Variety is truly the spice of life. Differences are to be embraced and celebrated, not feared and shunned. Such a great blog. Thank you!

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JOYATLAST 11/19/2010 12:15AM

    I took the girls for a walk in the woods today. They kept noticing the things that were "different" like bright yellow leaves amongst all the green or the darkness of a piney wood vs. an open deciduous grove. So, we talked about how God loves diversity. We even talked about how our "new" dog is so different from our "first" dog, but we love her too.

Some people don't enjoy walking the trails and would only see a hole if we pointed it out. But our eyes see not a hole, but a home and we wonder who lives there. Sometimes you are the teacher and sometimes the student. Never the Judge!

Peer pressure and cliques are right around the corner with all the harsh, uncalled for judgments. I hope they remember!!!

This really struck a chord with me tonight. Thank you for sharing it.

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LALASLAND 11/18/2010 11:14PM

    Oh, Lou! How do your blogs keep getting BETTER?

I love this blog! Yes, if we were all the same, all in uniform, the world would be too boring to bear! emoticon

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PEPPERLEAH 11/18/2010 11:11PM

    Wonderful blog, Lou. There is a Crepe Myrtle tree standing in the center of our courtyard/garden. It always reminds my husband and I of a Bonsai tree, because it is also very twisted and gnraled looking. Yet, every Spring it is covered with leaves and buds, which later become beeautiful pink blossoms. So many people look at the tree and think it should be cut down. It has weathered many storms, even a few hurricanes. Yet, it stands proudly in the center of the garden, providing beauty for all who look at it, shelter for countless birds and squirrles, and shade for many children and adults.

It has purpose even though it is not "perfect". As do all of us...each 8in our uniqe way, just as you stated so eloquently in your blog. Thank you!

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ALYFITN 11/18/2010 10:32PM

    Wow, this was a great read. Beautiful! emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/18/2010 10:10PM

    This blog has touched me more than any other I have read. When I was going through some very VERY intense therapy years ago, my therapist shared a short story about a bonsai tree. Much like your blog, it described how experience twists and turns a tree. Another time, during a spiritual retreat, I read a beautiful story about a tree & it's roots. Trees, that are given everything... plenty of light, water, fertilizer do not develop the same strong intricate root system that trees in the wild do. They have to fight to reach down to the water tables and reach up through the other trees to get the light that they need. When the strong winds of storm come along, THESE are the trees that stand firm. The ones with no roots topple at the slightest wind of challenge. Both stories have changed my life forever. Your blog has touched my heart, just as your friendship has. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. Love, Dawn PS: I collect pictures of trees. The more gnarled & intricate the better, ESPECIALLY pictures of trees in winter because THEN, during the toughest of times, the true beauty of their branches is seen... THANK YOU! emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/18/2010 10:03PM

    I love trees with gnarled trunks. I also love all the things that make us different. Great blog. emoticon

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