Category Archives: Inspiration

Show Me What You Can Do

bank of ghana

In 2017 Dr. James Kwegyir Aggrey’s picture was featured on the five cedis note of Ghana’s currency in honor of his educational contributions

Don’t tell me what you know, show me what you can do.  

On Sunday my pastor used that quote in his sermon. Its wisdom can be attributed to Dr. James Emman Kwegyir- Aggrey a turn of the century educational philosopher from Ghana. He obtained numerous degrees from American universities, was an educational consultant in many African countries and in the last years of his life served as the vice principal of a college in the Ghanian capital of Accra. 

Checking out Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey’s impressive biography on various sites led me to a number of other quotes of his that were thought-provoking.  

About racial harmony he said…………If you play only the white notes on a piano you get only sharps; if only the black keys you get flats; but if you play the two together you get harmony and beautiful music.

On education for women he said…… The surest way to keep a people down is to educate the men and neglect the women.  If you educate a man you simply educate an individual.  If you educate a woman you educate a family.

On getting along with others he said…..  If someone scowls at me I smile back. If they scowl again I just smile back. I don’t often find a scowl a third time. 

On contemplating one’s future he said……Be patient, don’t lose heart, don’t hate anybody and make yourself worthy of good things

Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey died in 1927 but his advice seems very timely some ninety years later. 

Other posts………

Wisdom From Dr. Seuss

Things My Mother Said

Sometimes You Just Need A Dose of Precious

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Filed under Inspiration, Reflections

Inspiration from Maya Angelou

Angelou_Obama

President Barak Obama presents author and poet Maya Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

I love Maya Angelou and have read many of her books and poems.  Here is a piece of advice she gave that I am really trying to take to heart especially as I age. It is isn’t always easy.  There are days when I think many people feel the world is ‘going to hell in a hand basket’ and it is tempting to contemplate just crawling into a corner and ceasing to engage, but Maya Angelou’s words inspire us to do anything but that. 

Don’t just survive. Thrive and do it with………….

working in my office writing book

Working on a writing project in my office in Hong Kong. Writing is definitely one of my passions.

some passion,

with children on bolaven coffee plantation in laos

My husband Dave helping children on the Bolaven Coffee Plantation in Laos learn English

some compassion,

dressing up at the museum in quebec city

Fooling around in a museum in Quebec City

some humour and ……….

young girls in the 1940's in dresses they sewed

My mother with her best friend Millie around 1943 and dresses they had made for themselves

some style.

Don’t just survive, thrive and do it with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.

Other posts…….

I Almost Saw Maya Angelou in Person

A Sunny Birthday on a Rainy Day

Fair Trade Coffee and Hope for Laos

 

 

 

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Inspiration From Portuguese Artists at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon

Prudencia by Domingos Rego 2000

I know who I am. When I look in the mirror, I see me. -Tracy Morgan

Family by Sarah Affonso 1937

Families are messy.- Rick Riordan

The Boy’s Lunch by Julio Pomar- 1926

The best inheritance a parent can give their children is a few minutes of their time each day.— Orlando Battista

Untitled by Jorge Barradas 1920

Accept your burden and carry it, with joy. ― John Ajvide Lindqvist

Maternity by José Sobral de Almada Negreiros- 1935

Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. – Sophocles

The Homecoming by Paulo Ferreira- 1935

Home is people. Not a place. – Robin Hobb

Encounter of  Natalie Correia (poet), Fernado Botelho (novelist) and Maria Joao Pires( pianist) -by Nikias Skapinakis- 1974

Anytime women come together with a collective intent it is a powerful thing. -Phylicia Rashad

Cramped by Hunger by Marcelino Vespeira -1945

We can end global poverty and hunger within our lifetimes. – Barack Obama

No Saying Yes by Rui Toscano -1970
(34 radio/music players each with a voice saying “yes” at different times)

The oldest, shortest words- yes and no– are those which require the most thought.- Pythagoras

Evolution of a Square in a Logarithmic Mesh by Artur Rosa 1926

The human heart likes a little disorder in its geometry.- Louis de Bernieres

Other posts…….

Inspiration at The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Hawaiian Inspiration

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Filed under Art, Inspiration, Portugal

One, Two, Three, Four Together

dragon boatsOn a bike ride yesterday I passed the Dragon Boat races.  All the rowers in one of the boats were shouting  1,2,3,4, Together  over and over as they dipped their oars in the river in unison.  What great team work I thought. 

Friday night I hosted a birthday party for my husband with 50 guests.  My son, his wife and our friend Jon who is visiting from Denver helped me do all the clean up after the party.  The four of us together had the kitchen put to rights in record time. What great teamwork I thought. 

Teamwork divides the task and multiples the successes.  – Steve Jobs

Other posts……….

Teamwork in Vietnam

Supporting Each Other

Advice From Doctor Seuss

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Mending What We Can

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within reach.  – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

combine dadMy parents grew wheat on their hobby farm to donate to the Canadian Food Grains Bank. This grain was sent to needy countries around the world. Mrs. Claudette Brown daycare ownerClaudette Brown runs a non profit day care in Runaway Bay Jamaica. The day we visited one hundred and forty children were in attendance. street children indiaThe Salaam Baalak Trust is a charitable organization started by movie director Mira Nair. On our visit to Delhi India we saw how the profits from her films help provide street kids with food, medical care and education. jill morse talks about land mines

Jill Morse is a retired banker from California who does education work at an orphanage and Land Mines Museum in Siem Reap Cambodia. Here she completes an educational presentation at the museum for my high school students.

vi voluntary serviceMy aunt Viola worked as a volunteer in a children’s program in Washington D.C. in the 1950s. 

Connie's team MS walk
My extended family participates in the MS walk every year to help raise funds for research efforts to end the disease.

with children on bolaven coffee plantation in laos

My husband Dave with kids on a coffee plantation in Laos owned by a man named Sam Say.  Sam was a Laotian refugee brought to Canada in 1977 by a Mennonite church in Alberta. Now a successful commodities trader Sam uses his money to help impoverished Laotian families become self-sufficient coffee farmers. 

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within reach.  – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Other posts………

Visiting a Land Mines Museum

MS Walk

Street Children of Delhi

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Sisters

mom and sisters oct 1934

My mother and her sisters in 1934.

For there is no friend like a sister  in calm or stormy weather   – Christina Rossetti 

Easter 1957 – With my sister in dresses sewn by our mother

You can fool the world but not your sister. – Charlotte Gray

My father-in-law’s sisters around 1940

A woman without her sister is like a bird without her wings. – Moosa Rahat

My maternal grandmother and her sister in 1902

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.- Marion C. Garretty

My father’s sisters winners at a music festival early 1950s

Once sisters are grown their relationship becomes the strongest in the family.  – Margaret Mead

grandma peters

My paternal grandmother far left with her sisters and sisters in law.

A sister is both your mirror – and your opposite. ~ Elizabeth Fishel

My mother-in-law and her sisters  in 1931

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden- Author Unknown

Other posts……….

Brothers

Siblings

Birthday Books- A Hundred Years Old

 

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Let Me Count The Ways

 

Let Me Count The Ways……….

 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”  – Luke 10:27

 

heart of compassion

my mother listening to people…. as if what they had to say to her was the most important thing in the world

those women in my church hugging me and quietly sharing their own stories of loss

my mother-in-law’s nurses whispering words of love to her as they tenderly provided palliative care

 

soul of wonder

Grandma teaching me to split open pea pods with my fingernail

watching my son hold his infant son against his heart

marveling at that black sky over our mesa just jam-packed with stars

 

strength of spirit

my husband’s grandmother surviving that week she hid in the cellar with her four little boys while the bandits terrorized their village

my father supporting my mother through more than a thousand dialysis treatments

my son’s music group continuing their international tour even after thieves stole all of their instruments

 

mind of curiosity

that Old Testament professor making us reconsider all our assumptions by assigning an essay about the geography of our faith

the inspiration of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her friends who in 1895 wrote reflections about every single woman mentioned in the Bible

the children I guide at the art gallery who are always finding things in the paintings I’ve never seen before

 

neighbor as self

my husband stopping to listen to the stories of the people who ask him for money on the street

my sister opening her heart and home to that refugee mother and her children

my former church congregation singing in full harmony at the end of every gathering …..ubi caritas et amour deus ibi est

Where charity and love are, God is there.

 

Other posts………

Encouragement 

Wisdom from Dr. Seuss

Wisdom on a Wine Bottle

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Filed under Inspiration, Religion