Rain. Water. Tears. Fears. Frustration. Anger. Clouds. Heaven?
Rain. Water. Tears. Fears. Frustration. Anger. Clouds. Heaven?
Justice, Peace and Love. That is what he was all about.
Nelson Mandela. A man I never met, but I am feeling the loss. All I can hope for is that he knows what his sacrifices meant to me.
And though I have vowed to help others, in any way that I can, my heart feels as if it needs to do more.
Tell me what to do. Tell me if I am falling short. Tell me what I am supposed to tell my neighbors.
The only solace that I can find in his passing is that my mother will have her chance to say hello. I imagine them sitting to talk and have tea. I imagine my mom putting gel from her aloe plant on his scrapes and bruises. I imagine her pulling out her pictures and telling him about her kids.
I imagine them becoming friends!
So here I share some of Mandela’s quotes. They are words that spoke to me. And so I share them with you. Read and share with your friends and loved ones.
And remember that we are all people, and should work together.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela
Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation. – National Men`s March, 1997
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – 90th birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Johannesburg, 18 May 2002
“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.” – Long Walk to Freedom
The time is always right to do right. – Nelson Mandela, “The 100 Best Things Ever Said by Men” in South Africa’s Men’s Health magazine, February 2002
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both.
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
A few of my favorites.
So what are you thinking?
Life is full. Life is busy. My body aches. My mind is weary.
I feel like I am writing a poem, but I’m not. Sometimes I begin thinking and my thoughts seem poetic. It’s just the artist in me.
I love reading. I love writing. I love words. What do you love?
Call me weird if you like. I am okay with weird. We are all weird in our own way. You must agree. Right?
Even if you don’t, it’s true. Differences are what make the world go around. I just wish those differences didn’t have to cause our Government to shut down. How crazy is that. Right?
National parks are closed. People are being sent home from work. People are being turned away when trying to visit a monument. Parking lots are closed.
Here’s an interesting question. If the parks and monuments are closed, because they are not paying the employees, how are the guards getting paid?
If the government is closed, why do the Senators, Representatives, Cabinet members and President still get paid?
I’m just asking. If a small business owner closed his or her doors to the public, without honoring its previous obligations, the owner would be chastised, tarred and feathered.
What is the government’s punishment for their behavior? How do we as taxpayers get repaid for their noncompliance of our trust?
I’m just asking. Not that anyone will answer me. Will you? Will they?
We all deserve a response. Our country is such a mess.
Yes people, we do disagree on things. We do have opposite opinions on things. But as a nation we must learn to compromise with each other.
How do you think other countries are looking at us now? “Those crazy Americans. Look at them. Ha, ha, ha!”
Here is a note, specifically for the President.
Dear President Obama,
I voted for you both times, even though it was more because of there not being any other good choice. Regardless of that, I gave you my trust. I had hope.
Please guide our leaders. Please show them the way. Isn’t that your job? I’m not being rude. I’m just asking.
How can our nation improve? How can we grow? How will our economy get better if our government is shut down?
I am utterly confused right now. Please help me to understand.
Your Sister-in-arms and U.S. citizen (I have the birth certificate to prove it),
I know he will never read this. I am just venting. Try it. It helps me. Now I can move on. Now I can just wait and see what they do. Not that we have a choice. Horrible. Isn’t it?
So, as I stress and ponder, I move on. I advise you to do the same.
By Melissa Flynn
Life can be very messy. Life can be very hard. Life can be full of ups and downs. Regardless of all that, life is what you make of it. I have always told my son, “If you want something to happen, make it happen. Don’t sit around waiting for anything. Be proactive.”
I’ve recently been faced with some new trials. Don’t get me wrong; most of them I actually pushed on myself. I’m trying to make some things happen. That’s what I do. I’m not sure I know how to wait for someone else to do it. It’s just not what my mother taught me.
This economy, this election, this new world we live in are all reasons for me to keep trying. I have many questions, but I realize that it will take time to find all the solutions.
As I wait, I’m determined to do my part to help our society—to do my part to help our fellow man. Sounds a bit rehearsed, huh? I am serious though. I’m all about making lists, having goals and reaching for… Well, that last thing isn’t important. Regardless of our goals on paper, most of us have our mental list also. It can be a secret; no one has to know. Just be reaching for something.
I’m sounding off and thinking of my words from yesterday. And this time, I’m reminded of not one, but two blogs from the Cheshire Patch. So, for the last time this year, I’m sharing again. The two together may seem longer than my usual, but it’s really not that long. Be patient and read on. You might just agree with what I have to say. And feel free to comment, if I have provoked any feelings.
The Answer Lies in the Question
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:00 am
The cure for what ails us all is what? I don’t know about you, but every day I search for the answers to the world’s questions. Why are we all here? What is my purpose? What religion is the real one? Who decides who is right and who is wrong? Can we see what goes on once we are dead? Can people really talk to the dead? How can I get to talk to the dead?
I know you are all thinking that if she figured them out she wouldn’t really be sharing them on Cheshire Patch. Maybe that is right. And I definitely do not have the answers. I, like many others, have no clue what is going on. We are all in the dark together. No man has these answers.
I will tell you what I have figured out though.
Life is what we make it!
Sounds so cliché, huh? Oh well. It is the truth. So, if you are unhappy and don’t like your life’s direction, then do something to change it. Get up, get out and make something happen.
A few weeks ago, my 21 year old son was telling me that he can’t find a job. Okay. Is it that he can’t find any job? Or is it that he can’t find the job that he really wants.
Recently, I came across a quote about writing that rings true for many things in life.
“If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
“If there is a job that you really want that you can’t find, then create it.” Melissa Flynn
And as you fumble along in the dark trying to figure out how, share your story. That’s how we make the world a better place, by sharing what we figure out.
Reflections of Hope and Faith
Posted on January 27, 2012 at 9:50 am
Recently, I had an incident that shook my faith in people. Losing confidence in people and our society is not a complete rarity for me. And in the past couple of weeks, I realized that I should not allow this. I’m not going to share the specific experience with you all, but I will say that people can be cruel. Having said that, I believe we all possess a power within, and we must not allow anyone to steal it. You decide how you see the world – how you approach its trials and tribulations. And with this particular incident, my vision was blurred – not by choice, of course, but hurt can do that to you.
Honestly, for a while I was numb. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. And believe it or not, I didn’t have anything to say. I was mad. I was sad. I wanted to
scream. I told a friend that I wanted to scream, but if I did, no one would hear me. She told me that seeing how close we live, “I might hear you from my house.”
She probably wouldn’t hear me, but it was a sweet thought. Just when my cynicism seemed tenable, someone reminded me that people aren’t all bad. Times are hard. And we are at a time where people are looking for answers. We all need a reason to have hope. I believe that knowledge yields hope. So, let’s continue to educate ourselves, and we will all grow together. Our nation is a melting pot, and
ignorance should no longer be allowed as an excuse. Instead of putting someone down, maybe have a conversation and see where they are coming from; you might just learn something.
We can’t grow if some of us are too busy enjoying life while others are fighting to survive. All people matter. No one human gets to define another. We all have stuff, but that stuff doesn’t define who we are and what we can do. So, wake up people and get off your tush, lend a neighbor a hand, don’t take what isn’t yours and realize that we will get further if we work together.
I know I sound a bit tough. That’s me – ‘tough love Melissa’. It’s something I picked up from my mom. “You fall; you get up and keep trying. You don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” That was her thing. “I don’t ever wanna hear you say you can’t.” Her premature death convinced me further that life is short; take hold of it and make it your own.
We all have dreams and not all of us get to live our dream. Don’t let life pass you by. Get on the bus and go wherever you desire.
I, myself, figured out the key to my low moments. My cure is time. I just have to remember that I do have aspirations; I’m either inspired to do something or I’m not. I am. So, I do.
No matter how much I’m pushed, I am going to push back hard and keep teaching me. There will always be ups and downs in life. Don’t let life get you down.
And I leave you with the words of the late, great John F. Kennedy. “Let us think of
education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
Let us think of my words as a means to the end. Read. Share. And then let’s get started. Remember, Melissa and moving on are synonymous.
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