Freedom Is Not Free

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For to be free

is not merely

to cast off one’s chains,

but to live

in a way

that respects and enhances

the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2014 #13

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how to judge success

deeclarknz.com

i made my first attempt at making a carrot cake yesterday.

major fail.

i burned it. it didn’t cook in the middle and burned on the outside.

i was so hopeful when i started.

when i removed it from the oven, it did not resemble my hope. it was a mess.

funny thing is that it’s just a cake but failure in any form brings disappointment.

a friend of mine shared recently that when she went back to college after being out of school for several years, she made a 12 on her first Algebra exam. yet, she completed her degree and reached her goal.

many great successes occurred through a journey of failures…

and questions of whether or not time, energy and efforts were being wasted.

the key is that nothing is ever wasted unless you stop trying.

my husband always tells me, concerning his research and development project with oysters, “the problem always points you in the direction of the solution”.

failure can show us what can be improved; what didn’t work so that we can move onto what will.

it is important to believe in who you are and the value of what you are doing.

it’s easy to think that giving up leaves little consequence…sometimes that may be true…but really, no one can do your part and the world needs your great and the small victories.

the world will not be changed by the fact that i successfully make a carrot cake…but it will delight my husband’s heart to be presented with his favorite cake as a gesture of love.

my friend works as a counselor helping people through their dark hours.

the business, my husband and i have been working to build, is an important piece of a puzzle that the the aquaculture industry in NZ is missing. no one sees all of the struggles and failures we have walked through. no one will ever fully understand what it has cost us to keep going. what has become apparent is the “need” it is meeting and who can benefit as we keep going.

what we can’t see is that somewhere in the future someone’s job, business, and future could be forming by what we are doing today. someone who will benefit by the charitable kindnesses we give is waiting out there in the “one day”…people i do not yet know…who will cross my path and need what will be within my ability to give.

the people we admire who seem to have impacted the world in great ways could never have imagined the faces of the multitudes who were impacted as they began by reaching out to one.

you, dear reader, can change the world…

by being who you were created to be…

by getting up when you fall down…

by using the talents, resources, and energy you have within your hand right now…

by reaching out for one…then another…

success for you will look different than it looks for me, or than it looked for Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela…

but it will be success nonetheless…

and the value of that success can not be measured or judged by conventional standards of greatness…

it is judged in the heart by those it touches…helps…and rescues…

i burned a cake yesterday, but my husband hugged me and thanked me…because it touched his heart.

D

What Nelson Mandela Believed About Love and Hate

20131206-160616.jpglove!

i love this!

it’s so true.

no one is born filled with hatred…we teach it to one another.

love is powerful.

love is healing.

love answers so many if life’s dilemmas.

as my friend, Jeannie, posted today on Facebook with this photo:

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.

You taught us much about hope, perseverance and forgiveness.

Thank you.

i quoted Jeannie because i couldn’t have said it better myself. (Thank you, Jeannie, for your thoughtful heart, encouraging spirit and inspiring life! you cheer my heart almost daily…and you should know that you make a difference in my world!)

it’s the Christmas season and we are focused on an atmosphere of love…

may we all look beyond the outer package and see the heart with eyes of love…

and honor the examples that have gone before us to show us the way (even in the face of much adversity).

D

(i could not find photo credit. as always, if anyone can provide information…i will be happy to provide appropriate credit).

The World Needs Heroes and Leaders

20131206-112447.jpgi woke to the sad news today that Nelson Mandela had passed away.

what a sad loss for earth.

i realize that this year many a hero has left their earthly home…whether a world reknown hero or a less well known but family or friend kind of hero.

our heart aches at the loss of those we love and those who have touched the world with their specialness.

as i thought about Nelson Mandela and all that he accomplished, it made me think of how easy it can be to sit back in comfort knowing that someone else is changing the world for the better.

however, the world needs heroes and leaders. hearts need someone to rely on, to help, to encourage, to strengthen…

i suppose as we loose and miss the great ones…it’s our turn to step up…

to do our part…

to be…

and live…

in small and great ways…

that make a difference to the world.

i give honor to the life that Nelson Mandela lived, i pray for comfort for his family, and pray he rest in peace (he’s earned it!)

Now…

it’s your turn!

and mine.
D