Category Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration From Dr. King

martin-luther-kind-day-talking-stick-arenaWe attended an NBA basketball game here in Phoenix on Martin Luther King Day.  Before the game started the arena was ringed with words of inspiration from Dr. King. I’ve added a photo of my own for each quote. 

decided-to-stick-with-loveI have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden. 

Photo taken in Dehli India 2007

Photo taken in Dehli India 2007

live-as-brothers-or-die-as-foolsWe must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. 

Our son with a good friend when we were living on the Hopi Nation

Our son with a good friend when we were living on the Hopi Nation in 1990

succumbing-to-bitternessNever succumb to the temptation of bitterness. 

Ringing the peace bell in Hiroshima

Ringing the peace bell in Hiroshima

darkness-cannot-drive-out-darkness

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. 

A candle given to me after my Mom died. I lit it the day of the American election.

A candle given to me by a friend after my Mom died. I lit it the day of the American election.

Other posts…….

Thoughts on Hope

And That Led Me

Costa Rica Inspiration

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Encouragement After the American Election

Last night I had supper with a university professor who had just returned from the American Academy of Religion conference in San Antonio that annually brings together more than 10,000 religion professors, authors and students.  The professor talked about the feeling of sadness that had permeated the meetings in the wake of the election results and said it was striking to see how many of the speakers while presenting their academic research and papers to the conference began to weep. It inspired me to look for words that might offer encouragement and to go through my photo collection to find related images. 

A stained glass window created by Jewish artist Chagall for a church in Mainz Germany as a way to bring people together after World War II

A stained glass window photographed in St. Stephan’s Catholic church in Mainz Germany. It was created by Jewish artist Marc Chagall as a gift he hoped would bring people together after World War II 

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. – Toni Morrison

A trio of Quebec suffragettes who fought for 22 years to get women the right to vote in their province.

A trio of Quebec suffragettes photographed in Quebec City.  They never gave up even though it took them twenty-two years of determined and unrelenting effort to get women the right to vote in their province.

I just want you to know you have to stay encouraged. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference. -Barack Obama

In the Chernobyl Museum in Ukraine A huge mobile contains dozens of threads hanging from the ceiling of the museum and dangling at the ends of these threads are black and white pencil portraits of people who died or got seriously ill because they were 'doing their job' and were trying to help the people in the effected areas. There are sketches of doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, military people, police officers and fire fighters who were called to the scene of the disaster and went without even stopping to think that they might be placing themselves in danger.

Photographed at the Chernobyl Museum in Ukraine where there are a multitude of pencil portraits of doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers who died trying to help the people injured by the disaster. They were heroes just doing their jobs. 

Everytime we think we have reached our capacity to meet a challenge we look up and we realize that capacity may be limitless. This is a time for heroes. We will do what is hard.  – President Bartlett on West Wing

Thomas Edison was good friends with Helen Keller who autographed this photo for him with the words..... Not loudness but love sounds in your ear my friend. Helen Keller

Portrait of Helen Keller photographed at the Thomas Edison estate in Fort Myers, Florida. Helen was born deaf and blind. She became a famous author, political activist and lecturer. 

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

Photograph of our son taken at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown New York with the Jackie Robinson plaque.  Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball.

Photograph of our son taken at the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown New York with the Jackie Robinson plaque. Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball.

Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart. -Ed Koch

Photo taken at the Anne Frank exhibit in Hong Kong.

Photo taken at the Anne Frank exhibit in Hong Kong.

Inspite of everything I still believe people are really good at heart. – Anne Frank

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado. Photographed in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

In a time of destruction, create something- Maxine Kingston

Sculpture photographed in Singapore

Sculpture photographed in Singapore

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. – John F. Kennedy

With Starry NIght at the Museum of Modern Art

With Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Van Gogh suffered from anxiety and depression while creating this beautiful vision of the night sky.

Without the dark we would never see the stars. – Stephanie Meyers

Dream Catcher at a Wendat village near Quebec City

Dream Catcher photographed at a Wendat village near Quebec City

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
― Langston Hughes

Other posts………

A Little Light

That’s How Light Gets In

Thoughts on Hope

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Thoughts on Hope

John Lennon Wall in Prague

John Lennon Wall in Prague

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.
― John Lennon

Palm Tanagers photographed in Costa Rica

Tanagers photographed in Costa Rica

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson

School boys in Boreno

School boys in Boreno

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. 
― Tom Bodett

My Grade Five Class in 1963 with our teacher Mr. Klassen. I am second from the left in the second row.

My grade five teacher Mr. Klassen was an inspiring and creative influence in my life.

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning – Brad Henry

My Mom and Dad with children from a refugee family from Sierra Leone they sponsored

My Mom and Dad with children from a refugee family from Sierra Leone they sponsored

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. Maya Angelou

Photo taken near Sanford Manitoba

Photo taken near Sanford Manitoba

God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us — in the dreariest and most dreaded moments — can see a possibility of hope. ~Maya Angelou

My Dad examining patients in Haiti

My Dad examining patients in Haiti

Hope is the physician of each misery. – Anonymous

Photo taken in Jiang China

Photo taken in Jiangsu China

May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears. – Nelson Mandela

Other posts……..

Inspiration in Quebec City

Rumi Inspiration

A Balm for my Soul

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And That Led Me

This morning my brother who is traveling in Bulgaria sent me a photo of the spectacular view he encountered as he hiked above the tree line in the Pirin Mountains.  His only comment in the e-mail was……… What a wonderful world it is!

That led me to a poem by Mary Oliver…………

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime

wild flowersAnd that led me to remember my visit to the house in Rome where Keats died at age 25 and these lines from a Keats poem…….

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

And that led me to start this day, 9/11, with a prayer to look for and appreciate the joy, the beauty and the wonder that it may bring. 

Other posts……….

Beauty on the Beach

Beauty in Ordinary Things

The Beauty of Surgery

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Thinking About Work On the Day After Labor Day

My son's band performing to a full house in Toronto

My son’s band performing to a full house in Toronto

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs

english department ics

My colleagues in the English department of the highschool where I taught in Hong Kong

Motivation comes from working on things we care about….with people we care about. 
― Sheryl Sandberg

My Dad putting in the dock at our family cottage at Moose Lake

My Dad putting in the dock at our family cottage at Moose Lake

We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work
― Thomas A. Edison

singapore scultpure coolies takea break

My husband with a sculpture called Coolies Take A Break in Singapore

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.       -Anne Lamont

With one of my students at the tutoring centre where we worked in Jamaica

With one of my students from the tutoring centre in Jamaica

If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.
― Plato, The Republic

My daughter-in-law with her patients in South Africa

My daughter-in-law with her patients in South Africa

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. 
― Theodore Roosevelt

Regional Champs

My son with the highschool basketball team he coached

Whatever your life’s work do it well. -Martin Luther King

My daughter-in-law conducting her boys choir

My daughter-in-law conducting her boys’ choir

Let what you love be what you do.  – Rumi

My father-in-law tending his greenhouse plants

My father-in-law tending his greenhouse plants

Without work nothing prospers. – Sophocles

Other posts……

The Pool of Bethesda

Housework

Visiting a Teacher in Borneo

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A Religious Opinion

Although regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in politics. –George J. Mitchell

Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump- Photos by Gage Skidmore from Wikipedia Commons

Photos by Gage Skidmore from Wikipedia Commons

I used to display different quotes for my high school English students at the beginning of each class and ask them to write quick responses. Here are some quotes about religion that tended to evoke strong opinions. 

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” “No,” said the priest, “not if you did not know.” “Then why,” asked the Inuit earnestly, “did you tell me?”

~Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Artwork on the wall of a tavern in Quebec City

Artwork on the wall of a tavern in Quebec City

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.Benjamin Franklin

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado in Seacliff Park Leamington Ontario

Lighthouse carved from a tree damaged in a tornado in Leamington Ontario

All religions must be tolerated… for… everyone must get to heaven in their own way. ~Frederick the Great

Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature

Holocaust Memorial on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature

In the matter of religion, people eagerly fasten their eyes on the difference between their own creed and yours; whilst the charm of the study is in finding the agreements and identities in all the religions of humanity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tao Fong Shan our church in Hong Kong

Tao Fong Shan our church in Hong Kong

To befriend the one who regards themselves as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion.

Mohandas K. Ghandi

Statue of Gandhi at The Forks in Winnipeg

Statue of Gandhi at The Forks in Winnipeg

We are punished by our sins, not for them. ~Elbert Hubbard


Faces of child victims at the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev Ukraine

Faces of child victims at the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev Ukraine

It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it. ~G.K. Chesterton

Logo for the Daily Bonnet a website that pokes fun at all things Mennonite

Logo for the Daily Bonnet a website that pokes fun at Mennonites

Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Statue of Jesus Weeping at St. Joseph's Church across the street from the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

And Jesus Wept statue across the street from the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.  ~Author Unknown


Stained glass window in a cathedral in Santa Cruz Costa Rica

Stained glass window in a cathedral in Santa Cruz Costa Rica

Other posts………

What Did Jesus Look Like? 

Getting to Know Oviloo

Do Buildings Have Souls? 

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A Little Inspiration From the James Taylor Concert

Shed A Little Light
james taylorThere are ties between us,
All men and women living on the earth.

My brother learning about alternative farming methods from a Chinese farmer

My brother learning about agriculture from a Chinese farmer

Ties of hope and love,
Sister and brotherhood

Our son with a good friend when we were living on the Hopi Nation

Our son with a good friend when we were living in Hopi territory

We are bound together
In our desire to see the world
Become a place in which our children
Can grow free and strong.

I learned so much from this elementary school principal in Cambodia when I worked at her school

Elementary  principal who taught me so much when I worked in her school in Cambodia 

We are bound together by the task
That stands before us and the road that lies ahead

Roof top school for street children in Dehli India

Meeting place for street children in Dehli Indi

We are bound and we are bound.

With children at a daycare in Jamaica

Meeting warm and friendly kids at a daycare in Jamaica

Shed a little light, oh Lord,
So that we can see

Maori Jesus in the window of the Faith Anglican Church in Rotorua , New Zealand

Maori Jesus in the window of the Faith Anglican Church in Rotorua New Zealand

Other posts……

A Maori Jesus

This Woman Is a Saint

Visiting the Hopi Indian Nation

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