You are your own suffering. You are your own happiness.
Wandered into colored pencil pet portrait class on Creativebug.com. Hm. The instructors had cute little terriers with different colors. They could use big, broad strokes with reds, browns and yellows. My dog Opal is pretty much a short-haired black pit bull mix. Short strokes for short hair. My hand got tired.
“Don’t worry if yours doesn’t come out the way you want. It took me seven years to get good at it,” said the teacher.
Ai yi yi.
Well, seven years is going to happen either way. If I’m still around, and I keep practicing, I could get good at this.
Today was the fourth day of summer school (I’m teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combo class). We hadn’t even gotten to the fun stuff yet (math Bingo with M&Ms and vocabulary skits) when one second grader beamed and said, “I love summer school!”
“What part?” I asked.
“All of it!”
Her gratitude was intense and contagious. Other students murmured in agreement. Summer school is the bomb.
She could have complained about waking up, getting dressed and going to school.
She could have dreaded doing math (again).
She could have complained and compared herself to other kids who are going on vacations to California and beyond.
But she was completely present. She was 100% here with 16 other kids and me and we had a great time.
Every zebra has unique stripe patterns – much like humans’ fingerprints.
If we could just appreciate our singularity – and the originality of others, this world would be a more peaceful place.
I like Ram Dass’ observation: When we go out and see trees, we don’t judge them. We don’t say this one is better than that one. We appreciate every tree. We should do that with people. Appreciate every person.
Judgmental people tend to judge themselves fiercely. They believe it makes them work harder and be better. In fact, judgmental people possess an insecurity and sometimes a level of self-hate that disables them to love others.
There is strife in America right now. There is a great divide. But ignorance is being met with consciousness and ultimately, awareness will win.
“Happiness is a living thing. You need to feed your happiness in order to have happiness last. It’s like love. If you don’t feed your love, it will die. Understanding and compassion are the foundation to happiness.”