“Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted. . .
He lived happily ever after.”
I M A G I N E
t h a t
Who Cares - What Matters
“Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted. . .
He lived happily ever after.”
I M A G I N E
t h a t
It’s kind of amazing isn’t it. . .
It’s Valentine’s Day week,
Which means it’s a great day for people who really love each other
but not so great day for people that are grieving
or folks who have lost
or others who are alone. . .
Wonder if it
about that kind of love
Wonder if Valentine’s Day
was actually a gift that you give to somebody,
that includes Everybody
no matter alone
no matter grieving
no matter sad or happy
What if it was a day that you
just to love
and maybe even better
Wonder if it was just a day to love
the way a person deserves to be loved
now that would be quite a day
we’re celebrating, right
and guess what
. . .not just on February 14
How about let’s make it that kind of a day
not only on Wednesday
but each day
T O D A Y
before the 14th of February
(or the 14th of any other month)
S E E. . .
When Valentine’s Day is more than just a day
it has the greatest opportunity to become a
l i f e s t y l e
Uhhhhhhhhhhh no caption necessary, huh?
In fact, depending who you are, it’s going to cause a huge knee jerk reactions
EVEN Vegas is in on this and will be cashing out this Sunday for the Super Bowl on how many times the camera will be focusing in on Taylor Swift, GOOD/BAD and mostly all of the in-betweens
SO. . .before you quickly click out of this post, (IF YOU EVEN MADE IT THIS FAR) would be humor me, hmmm, and Taylor just a little longer with the following:
I’ve gotten increasingly disappointed watching talented, strong women get degraded in the media. Let’s create a culture of praise by saluting both …women and men …who have amazing accomplishments and stand up for human rights.
See the facts as well captured by Author: Megan K Hall
Below is a remark about how social media sways public opinion and how the patriarchy is still alive and well in American society today.
If you’re not listening to Taylor, you cannot objectively claim a lack of talent. You cannot objectively claim she’s overrated. And you definitely cannot claim to not like her “genre” (unless you listen solely to like death metal or trap).
Taylor has recorded 10 studio albums in 17 years! She has fluidly moved between country, pop, rock, synth, hip hop, folk, alternative, and indie genres.
She has written or co-written 243 songs, some in collaboration with or even for such names like: Little Big Town, Miley ray Cyrus, Sugarland, The Civil Wars, & Andrew Lloyd Webber.
In her 200 million records sold, Taylor has won 324 awards, including 12 Grammys, 23 MTV Video Music Awards, 40 American Music Awards, 40 Billboard Music Awards, 12 Country Music Awards, and an Emmy.
She is the most-awarded artist of all times at the AMAs and BMAs, and she ties with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, & Paul Simon for most Album of the Year Grammys.
Swift was “the most streamed artist of 2023 on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music; the first act to place number one on the year-end Billboard top artists list in three different decades (2009, 2015 and 2023); and the first living artist to simultaneously chart five albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200.”
Rolling Stone described Taylor as “a songwriting savant with an intuitive gift for verse-chorus-bridge architecture,” and scholars and critics have compared her to literary figures such as Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and John Keats, as well as to modern songwriters such as Bob Dylan & Paul McCartney.
Over 20 universities include a Taylor Swift course in their catalog, including Harvard, Mizzou, Berkeley, Stanford, and Brigham Young.
Taylor has acted in 5 movies, headlined 6 tours, & can play guitar & piano. She has developed, written, & directed several of her own music videos.
She has influenced the music business by revitalizing vinyl records, championing artists’ rights on streaming services, and changing the way label contracts are written. Her journey to take back her intellectual property by re-recording her first six albums is one of the best business and personal decisions any artist has made regarding rights.
She’s not just a talented performer and savvy businesswoman. She is also very human and fights for things she believes in. Taylor speaks up for the rights of women, LGBTQ, and artists.
She has donated millions to charitable relief and philanthropic efforts, as well as to the arts. She generously gave millions of her revenue in bonuses to her Eras Tour team.
She was sexually assaulted by a DJ in Colorado & reported it. The DJ was terminated & sued Taylor for $3 million in damages, so she counter-sued for a symbolic $1 & spent over 2 years in a legal battle that ended in a jury deciding in her favor. Since then, Taylor has been even more active in fighting for the rights for women to be heard.
She genuinely enjoys her fans and has fun leaving clues and hints in her music to keep her fans engaged and like they’re part of the story. She always seems sincerely delighted to be doing what she’s doing.
Her 17 years in the industry have proven her talent. It shows that she’s earned every fan she has and dollar she’s made. (And if you think she’s only country-pop, then you need to spend a day with Folklore or Evermore.)
If you have a negative reaction towards her as a person, it’s because our society still goes after successful women in a way that men avoid. The media turns on celebrities – especially women – who dare to do things like countersue a sexual assault case, speak against corrupt politicians, or not laugh at misogyny.
I will never apologize for being enchanted by this one. She is a poet, and she’s possibly the most self-aware artist I’ve ever heard speak.
Sometimes FUNNY is less HA HA HA
and a lot more of AHHHH-HAAAAAA. . .
DARE WE BE QUIET. . .
DARE WE BE STILL. . .
NOW THAT YOU HAVE HEARD/SEEN THE POEM
R E A D
KEEPING STILL Pablo Neruda (Translated from the Spanish by Dan Bellm) Now we will count to twelve and let’s keep quiet. For once on earth let’s not talk in any language; let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. A moment like that would smell sweet, no hurry, no engines, all of us at the same time in need of rest. Fishermen in the cold sea would stop harming whales and the gatherer of salt would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and go for a walk with their brothers out in the shade, doing nothing. Just don’t confuse what I want with total inaction; it’s life and life only; I’m not talking about death. If we weren’t so single-minded about keeping our lives moving and could maybe do nothing for once a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves, of threatening ourselves with death; perhaps the earth could teach us; everything would seem dead and then be alive. Now I will count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
we were told
and often were offended
by this not-so-gentle
but power it is
Shhhhhhhh yourself down
Hush Hush yourself
to a Peace that be found
no other way
Let the self-imposed Stillness
SCREAM at you
what you truly need to hear
(FALLING SILENT IS THE GENTLEST FALLING DOWN THERE IS)
(And have a HAPPY MONDAY in your own ‘shushed’ way)
Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about
well. . .there’s never not a time to
THINK AGAIN. . .
Sometimes I feel like a snow bank
that has never been found
and like a snow bank
especially one like that
not for more snow
that could build upon me
but for what can become
maybe a snowman
maybe a snow fort
or maybe just someplace
something to be seen
to be recognized
to be identified
to be known
Sometimes I feel like a Snow Bank
w a i ti n g
until some warm rays
find their way to me
and thaw away
And remember. . .
before you completely melt away
P L A Y
Go get cold on purpose
and then go to your warm place and
R E M E M B E R
Ok, I’m a little confused here, and now, maybe you are, too.
Does anybody know what the ORANGE PEEL THEORY is? I mean, I really thought an orange peel, was uhhhhh, you know, AN ORAGNE PEEL? You?
A new thesis regarding relationships has gained popularity all over TikTok in recent weeks.
Dubbed the “orange peel theory,” the idea involves the ability to understand your partner and their feelings; it’s based on their tendency to perform simple tasks for you whether asked to do them or not ― like peeling an orange.
Videos have surfaced all over the social media platform with folks urging their partners to peel oranges for them or, more generally, requesting help with something you’re easily able to do yourself.
“The orange peel theory focuses on the idea that small acts of service are not just about the action itself but about what it represents in the relationship,” said Kate Truitt, a board-certified psychologist and applied neuroscientist. “They signal care, love and commitment, and the repetition of the act enhances the overall health and happiness of the relationship. These gestures, often simple and seemingly mundane, are in fact pivotal in nurturing a loving, supportive and enduring partnership.”
Georgina Sturmer, a registered counselor at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said that the trend is really a commentary on “the nuts and bolts of a relationship.”
In fact, many on TikTok have come to celebrate ― or negatively comment on ― romantic relationships based on observations made with the orange peel theory in mind.
Does your significant other peel an orange for you without you having to ask because he or she knows how much the smell of the skin bothers you, for example? Or does he or she complain about your “constant asking” when you do request a favor?
“The idea is that we are all subconsciously seeking signals from our partner to reassure us of their affection,” Sturmer said. “Signals that show us that they have an intimate knowledge of our likes and dislikes, and that they are prepared to go out of their way to make us happy.”
According to Truitt, “regular, positive interactions are fundamental in creating a sense of security, trust and emotional bonding.”
That is all to say: Consistent acts of affection will not only prove that your partner cares for you, but they will also allow you to feel comfortable enough to explore the relationship further and, perhaps, deepen your connection. By demonstrating his or her appreciation for you through seemingly meaningless efforts, your partner will subconsciously give you the green light to feel even more secure in your relationship.
Truitt explained that kind gestures help build a positive emotional atmosphere that then “triggers the release of vital neurotransmitters like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.” These chemicals have been shown to reinforce positive feelings and, therefore, emotional connections.
In addition to providing an immediate sense of satisfaction and joy, these acts of kindness work to bolster the “foundations” of a relationship and one’s own sense of self, according to Truitt.
“This might sound obvious, but many of us carry around an inner critic that tells us that we are undeserving of kindness,” she said. “So when our partner offers a kind word, gesture or action, this strengthens the relationship between us, and it also boosts our own confidence and self-esteem.”
Some may contend that sporadic grand gestures may prove one’s love in their own way, perhaps even more than constant, small-scale actions — but the therapists don’t necessarily agree with that.
“Popular culture celebrates the grand gesture, like a proposal at the top of the Empire State Building, a dramatic race through an airport departure lounge,” Sturmer said. “These can be wonderful statements, but, in our everyday existence, the consistent caring interactions tell us that someone cares.”
Although the orange peel theory is clearly based on a specific action, the concept refers to a larger category of behaviors: everyday acts of tenderness that may not catch your attention immediately but, when put together, offer a pretty clear picture of your relationship status.
Examples of these quotidian efforts, according to Sturmer, include “cleaning dirty boots after a walk outside, collecting your partner at the bus station when it’s raining, refilling the gas in the family car when it’s running low.”
The key, according to the expert, is that the simple gesture goes unannounced and perhaps isn’t directly requested.
“It’s not accompanied with fanfare or an explicit requirement to show your appreciation,” she said.
Other examples may include ordering your partner’s favorite menu item from a restaurant before they can even ask, doing the dishes or bringing the mail in.
Truitt takes it a step further than the actionable aspect of the conversation, mentioning how certain behavioral dispositions fall under the scope of the theory, like active listening, expressions of appreciations, small feats of affection (“holding hands, hugs or a thoughtful note”), support during stress, quality time, consistent check-ins and celebrating successes.
It’s important to note that everyone has a different way of showing their appreciation and affection. However, if there is one thing that the orange peel theory has proved, it’s that small, consistent acts of kindness certainly help deliver the message that you care about someone. So how can you make sure that your partner knows this?
According to Truitt, there are a few ways. To start, lead by example.
“Often the best way to encourage behavior is to model it yourself,” she said. “Engage in small acts of kindness towards your partner regularly, which could range from a thoughtful note to a warm embrace, demonstrating the kind of affection and care you value.”
Communication is a big part of the subject as well, but, according to Truitt, it’s important to understand that the goal of any conversation is to enhance the relationship, not to “criticize your partner.”
You should therefore choose the right time and setting to bring the conversation up, focus on the positive aspects of your connection while also being specific about your desires. You might have to “clearly express what small gestures” you’re talking about, Truitt explained. Being direct is always the best course of action.
Don’t forget to also ask your partner’s take on it, Sturmer said. In addition to role-modeling the behavior, she suggested talking about what’s stopping your partner from fulfilling your needs.
“Maybe they’re assuming that you might find him or her doing things for you patronizing,” she said. “They’re worried about annoying you.” The solution? Direct communication.
One more tip: To ease into the conversation, Sturmer said, you might actually want to show your partner the various viral videos. “It gives you a chance to chat about it without making it feel personal.”
SERIOUSLY. . .
ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU KNOW THIS, NOW?
(so sorry; I couldn’t resist)
Pretty good story and even a better way of having Mark Twain, uhhh, tell it, right? What made me dig a little deeper about this is the following:
Did you know that if you put 100 black ants and 100 red ants in a jar, nothing will happen? But if you shake the jar hard, the ants start killing each other. The red ants consider the black ants their enemies, and the black ants consider the red ants their enemies. The true enemy is the one shaking the jar. The same thing happens in human society. So, before we attack each other, we should think about who is shaking the jar!
Where is gets even more interesting is that I searched exactly what book or article of Kurt’s did this come from only to find out it was often attributed to his great book, CAT’S CRADLE, but alas, further digging led me to another of my favorite, author’s, Mark Twain.
WHICH LEADS ME TO ASK ONE MORE OF A GA-ZILLION TIMES
WHO’S JAR ARE YOU SHAKING?
HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .
We don’t quite say that the way that we do
HAPPY NEW YEAR
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
h u h. . .
Like most Monday morning blogs this is not a video that I researched or that I sought out, it is one that found me and now haunts me. As I listen to this video from Martin Luther King Jr. about the Good Samaritan, which was a part of his I HAVE BEEN TO THE MOUNTAIN TOP speech, I quickly realized that not only am I not the Good Samaritan, I am not even close to being the not-so-Good-Samaritan.
Quick: if you could describe your life to this point in just one single word what would it be? Seriously, mine might be ENCHANTED. I live a ENCHANTED LIFE; I really do. I am a severely white privileged male that has never really felt what racism is all about; or poverty; or disadvantage; or choice of sexual orientation, or. . . . Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten and I’ve tried to do right by another person, not just by treating them the way that I want to be treated but really trying to go the extra step past the Mountain Top and finding out how they would like to be treated and then actually treating them that way. I have never joined a demonstration. I have never participated in a March. I have never protested. I would like to believe that part of me being a Caring Catalyst and trying to be a better One each day, is trying to convince myself that person by person the world itself changes and that I have an active part in participating in that every single encounter that I have with every single person.
No, I’m not a Good Samaritan. I’m the guy that is too busy to stop because I have business to do; important business, maybe even business that affects peoples lives. No, I’m not a Good Samaritan not because I don’t stop and help, or because I’m sometimes afraid I may to become that victim I too, may be misunderstood or harshly judged. No, but possibly because I have a great way of RATIONALIZING everything away so that I can feel just a little bit better about myself (one-not-that-all-important-act-but-makes-me-look-good-without-trying-all-that-hard. . . .
I don’t do good with vacations or paid time off, so every year I rarely take a week or two weeks off at a time. I’m better at taking days off especially Friday and Mondays. I, on purpose, take my birthday off. I take my wife, Erin’s, Birthday off. I take off good Friday every year usually the Monday after Easter and yes now Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I usually take these days off to spend them with people that I love and people who love me. In particular, I take off Martin Luther King Jr. Day, just like Good Friday, to reflect, to ask myself, ‘why am I not the not-so-Good Samaritan; why am I the one that would go to the other side of the road; why am I the one, that being as privileged as I am, would make myself feel better by literally, just writing a check and mailing it in? Tough questions, but not always elicit the most honest answers. Somehow, just asking the questions helps, eases me as it inspires, challenges me not by attempting to answering the questions with my words or my mouth, but with my actions. Hoping, just hoping, that what I might do for ANOTHER, personally, intentionally, and yes maybe even, intimately, will not only be world changing for them but also mean the universe to me, too.
HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY
. . .today. . .tomorrow. . .for-an-ever
let’s not pass each other by
but attend to each’s wounds
and heal as we are healed
no matter what
no matter who
no matter when
no matter how
to get one step higher than
THE MOUNTAIN TOP
W A I T. . .
W H A T. . .
C H R I S T M A S
O V E R
(UNLESS IT ISN’T)
and all of the festivities are down
and safely packed away
and now the memories
safely secured and kept
some 18 days
P A S T
christmas but. . .
I’m a firm believer that
Christmas isn’t a day
or a season
or a 12 Day song
so much as a
L I F E S T Y L E
and that the greatest
don’t come all at once
or on a given
day, season, song, event, occurrence
BUT ALL OF THE TIME
When I first saw this, I didn’t read the following caption/words; I let it shout everything I was seeing that my ears could no way hear but my heart heard perfectly…
The image above is an Anglican Rosary. It was made by the loving hands and intention of Reverend Rosalind Hughes at
Church of the Epiphany
Episcopal Church of Euclid, Ohio
This Rosary is made from a melted down gun that was safely surrendered through the Church’s Guns to Gardens program.
The wood is from the handle of the gun and the beads are from the metal.
I’m going to pray on this powerful Rosary of transformation, in order to release all my own personal triggers. I’m going to pray on it in order to ask for forgiveness for my own thoughts that are of judgment and attack.
I’m going to pray on it for the children of Cleveland and Gaza and Israel and Ukraine.
I’m going to pray on it for all of us. That we may learn to drop our swords, heal our triggers and find our truest safety by loving and caring for one another.
May you be blessed by loving kindness and mercy during this season of light. And may we all find our way towards uncovering the internal and ever lasting light that shines within us.
Blessed Be We. Love and Blessings to all.
When I read my colleague, my friend’s Mary’s post, I immediately reached out to her and asked her about this beautiful Rosary; I wanted one, and instead of telling me first where she got it, she actually brought me one she also had that had not been gifted to her but now she wanted to Gift to me. . .
Ohhh, but wait, CHRISTMAS IS JUST A DAY, A SEASON, A sentiment in a set of songs or carols, uhhh, not THAT DAY, NOT THAT MOMENT; THE GIFT, as it often is was THE GIVER and my, my my, did a get GIFTS from GIVERS who turn out so powerfully to be my most precious GIFTS of all. . .
I would like to think that I am not a humble Receiver but a most grateful Beneficiary of some of the most generous-blessed-wrapped-in-flesh-bestowers beyond imagination.
So when the 25th of every month comes around for the next 11 months and I shout out to you:
HAPPY PRACTICE CHRISMTAS
I hope it’ll have your Yule log glowing bright
and your Christmas Heart beating strong
And how about one last
from this grateful Given