-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Earlier this week actress Sarah Michelle Gellar used this Emerson quote, one of my favorites, to honor the memory of Robin Williams on the anniversary of his death. Those that know me are aware of my love of Emerson's way with words. This particular quote has always been a favorite of mine, and I took the time to think about it once again.
To laugh, to appreciate the beauty around us, to leave the world a better place...these are all words that I live by and have shared with my children, my students and everyone who reads this blog. Sometimes I forget that it was my teachers and those old philosophers who embedded those ideas into my teenage head. Memories of those college "all nighters" spent arguing the merits of the words of these men who tried to leave their world a better place through their words may fade, but the words themselves will guide me through the days of my life.
As you know, Arthur and I are in the midst of building a new home. This is a venture we are sharing with the 821 other families building in our development. Although our home to be is a tract home and not a custom one, the builder takes pride in offering us a large selection of options to customize it to our taste. As in every aspect of life, there are problems that arise that can sometimes overwhelm us. As I watch how my fellow "new or soon to be" home owners deal with these problems, I grab on to Emerson's words and appreciate the beauty of the process and ultimately the new home that will come from this process. Life is way too short to sweat the small stuff, and if you and those you love are healthy and have food on the table and a roof over your head then hey...the rest is all small stuff.
The end of this particular quote gives us all the opportunity to be successful in our lives. His belief...to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here...describes everyone I know. We all make a difference to someone and have eased many people's lives as we make our own journeys. We can count our patients, our students or the salesperson we smiled at rather than snarled at as people whose lives were positively affected because we exist. We make a difference to the child whose tears we wipe and the old gentleman whose stories we take the time to listen to on a busy day. Interestingly enough, every one of these "differences" we make to others, make an equal difference in our lives. We grow a little more with every smile directed our way.
I would like to make a difference today by getting at least one person to read Emerson's quote, think carefully about his message and then live that message. I promise, it will be a life changer. I would also like to make a multitude of people smile with a suggestion...read Lessons from Tara: Life Advice from the World's Most Brilliant Dog by David Rosenfelt. You are definitely not required to own a dog in order to appreciate this book. Unfortunately, I seem to have developed bad pet allergies and can not own a dog. I do remember our rescue dog, Cindar, and Arthur and I still laugh at her exploits. (I did see a picture of an English Cream Long Haired Dachshund on the internet that made me think that daily allergy shots might be the answer. This dog that looks half dachshund and half Golden was beyond cute). Rosenfelt entertains us again with his amazing wit and a house filled with rescue dogs.
My second reviewed book this week, Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates, may not make you laugh, but it will make you think. Many parents are sending their children off to college this month, and I am sure this book will give you pause. It is a fictional account of just how bad things can go when smart young people act without thought of repercussions. Definitely an edge of your seat read.
As always complete reviews follow this blog.