Sometimes when the world is ready to throw up its collective hands, maybe we need to take a lesson from some who have the right idea about things:
- If someone enters your territory for a little rest, let them.
- Give them an extra push when needed.
- While they rest, you rest.
Life is too short to do otherwise.
Have a great day and enjoy this video below which illustrates the words above. They have the Right Idea! (Great music…click video, move mouse over picture and click on sound)
Our home in Virginia, USA, is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have deer strolling throughout our yard at most any time of day. They are beautiful and besides the fact that they eat our day lilies, we love them! Here is a picture of the most recent one. We’re not certain why she has a split ear, but she seems healthy enough Perhaps she got it caught on a barbed wire fence.
We’ve had rabbits, birds and a bear with three cubs during our time here. It is the deer that are graceful that is truly lovely to watch.
I’m sure that should one of them have a fawn in our yard, as did this man, I would not have the patience to see it through to adulthood…but I thought this video might brighten your day. It is somewhat lengthy, but it has a good ending…and worth the watch.
Every year the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day. It is a time to recognize all those fathers who have spent time with their children…passing along the values and traditions of the family.
BLESSINGS TO ALL from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia Have a relaxing day!
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
Occasionally, I will be going toward the altar at church and will see an elderly person waiting quietly in the pew for the minister to bring to them the Holy Communion. They are usually frail and do not feel that they can walk on their own very well. I am reminded of what my husband, who is also a priest in the Episcopal Church, often says about the elderly…“If they have lost the love of their life or have no family close by, they rarely have the human touch…the hug…the warmth of another human.” Knowing this, I might reach down and pat her (or him) on the shoulder and take their hand, without saying a word just so they know there is a touch in their life.
On researching this need for human touch, I found out the following:
“Upon birth, some babies require a little more attention at hospitals before they can leave with their parents to begin their life. Babies who receive stimulation in the form of touch have shown to grow and gain weight at rates faster than those who lack touch. They also experience fewer health issues in their first year. The simple act of a touch can lower stress levels (specifically the stress hormone cortisol) and regulate a proper body temperature in a baby’s body through the release of hormones.
The connection was realized upon finding out that children who grew up in environments such as orphanages, with less contact and engagement, had higher hormone levels compared to children raised with parents. In turn, this difference in environment can lead to many issues later in life – from a struggle to bond and behavioral issues.
However, some of the damage caused by touch deprivation can be reversed due to a change in environment – a study done in Romania in the 1980’s supports this, showing that in children aged six to twelve, those who lived in an orphanage for eight months or more possessed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to those who lived in an orphanage for four months or less.” (taken from Youngzine..Renee)
When my youngest son was born, he had to stay in the hospital for several days because he was under-weight. As I went to visit him daily, I would often walk in and find him being rocked by a nurse or nurse’s helper. They called him their “Little Cowboy” because his hair had little sideburns. Seeing that he was being loved meant so much.
I also learned the truth about the need for touch and human development when I was teaching at a University in Ukraine. I visited two orphanages. One was State run and the other was a Christian run home for children. The children in the State-run orphanage did not smile. When we put them on our laps to try to talk with them and hug them, they did not seem to know how to respond. Nothing brought a smile to their faces. On arriving at the Christian orphanage, the atmosphere was completely different. The children were laughing, hanging onto their adult workers and seemed well adjusted in so many ways.
Recently my husband posted a video about a man who has made it his mission to give the tiny, often sick or premature babies the human touch they need. I’m going to share this video with my readers today because it is the life story of a senior person giving of himself to a new life on earth. He is making a difference.
Let this video touch your heart and think of reaching out yourself to someone who may need a “touch” of love.
Turn up sound
Little acts of kindness can go a long way, but how often will someone step out of their own comfort zone to do something that will mean a great deal to others? Reaching out does not seem to be a strong point for most people. It sometimes takes courage and certainly takes selflessness.
I read this article recently, written by Bruce Henderson of the Charlotte Observer, and felt it was worth including in my blog. Would you have done this? Rather, would you have just sat in your seat, gritting your teeth, and expecting someone else to take care of the situation? Be honest with yourself as you answer.
Rochel Groner made a decision that impacted the life of a little boy and many others. Race or religion did not matter or the fact that they were strangers. She decided to reach out.
“She’s a shy Jewish woman from Charlotte. He’s a little boy, apparently African and Muslim, who was screaming aboard a transatlantic flight.Their July 14 encounter between Brussels and New York made the eight-hour flight go easier for their fellow passengers. The virtually wordless connection – neither spoke the others’ language – also offered a lesson in compassion that has circulated widely online.
By her account, Rochel Groner, 33, is among the least likely people to make a public display. “I’m the type of person who would let somebody step on my foot for like a half- hour before I would say something,” she says. But about an hour into the flight, a return home after Groner and her husband Bentzion chaperoned teens to Israel, Groner heard sounds of distress behind them. Not cries from a baby. Not a bored teen.
“It was just kind of a shrieking without any words,” Groner says. “I recognized it right away as a child with special needs.”
Groner knew this not through training, although she used to teach elementary school, but from experience. She and her husband run Friendship circle, which pairs teen volunteers with children with special needs such as autism. They also run ZABS Place, a Matthews thrift boutique that employs 28 young adults with “special talents.”
Social connections work a special magic, Bentzion Groner says. As a 16-year-old diagnosed with leukemia, he says, visits and gifts from friends “literally changed everything. I’m a big believer in that. It’s something that we as adults forget, that friendship could be a life changer.” And so it was over the Atlantic aboard Brussels Airlines Flight 501.
As the wailing continued, tension mounted. Sleeping passengers woke up, startled by the noise. Others stirred, restless and increasingly irritated. The phone between the attendants’ station and flight deck kept beeping. After 15 minutes, Rochel Groner could sit still no longer.
“I kind of felt this responsibility, like, I know what this is, but I’m not sure if anybody else knows what this is,” she says. “You cannot fly for eight hours with someone crying, you just can’t.”
Autistic people, in particular, dislike enclosed spaces, Bentzion Groner said. They need to be in control of what’s around them. The boy’s identity and condition are unknown. The airline didn’t respond to an Observer email.
Groner got out of her seat. She asked for a pen from a flight attendant, grabbed a nausea bag and threaded her way down the aisle. The boy looked to be about 8 and wore an African tunic and pants. He stood at his seat and sobbed, tears streaming down his face. His mother, who wore Muslim clothing, sat beside him. Groner put her hand out. The boy looked at her, stopped his wailing, and took it. They walked into the aisle and plopped down together on the floor near an emergency exit.
“I put him in my lap and gave him a firm hug and I just started to rock him,” she says. His body had been tensed. Soon, “you could feel his muscles start to relax.”
Groner doodled on the nausea bag, tracing the outline of her hand as the boy watched, absorbed. Groner talked and smiled at him, and grabbed more nausea bags. At one point, the boy traced his own hand. So it went for another hour or two. A travel pillow, some orange juice and cookies helped calm the child. The boy spun a fidget spinner and held it to his cheek, soothed by its rhythm. He even smiled and laughed.
The rest of the trip went smoothly, Groner said, although one crew member suggested to her husband that she didn’t need to intervene. Another attendant thanked her after the flight, and so did several passengers. The boy’s mother, in a few words of English, also thanked Groner. She did not get their names. Groner believes God put her on the flight.
“Everybody’s been on a flight with a screaming child, and this is another way to defuse the situation,” she says. “Just ask: is there something I can do? Smile, don’t scowl.”
by Bruce Henderson
Thank you, Rochel. You are a special person with a caring heart. There should be more people like you in the world.
All acts of kindness: “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 …and in doing so, we will feel and know our Savior’s love.
VIDEO: Voices of children “I feel my Savior’s Love”
Did you see that person sitting on the street while you were shopping? Did you wonder who he is or where he came from? Should you take a chance that he needed someone and that someone might be you?
In cold climates, the heat may be off in the homes of many children and their families. Could you see that the heat is turned on ?
Can you take food to the food pantries…or serve in a soup kitchen? Reach out this Christmas. Count your blessings and be generous.
Show God’s love to the least of society’s down and out people. Maybe their decisions have put them in the place they are in…or maybe it had nothing to do with their decisions. So many have lost jobs this year. They have families to support and there may not be much hope in finding another place to work. So many reasons…so many heartaches. Those with addictions need to be shown a place where they can get help. Will you walk by or reach out to offer that information or a resource…a place to rescue a life?
You can be God’s messenger of hope…of promise of newness of life. Reach out. Be HIS hands. Open your heart to the least of these.
Footnote: After posting this blog, I received a comment from a reader in Ukraine that touched my heart. He wrote: “Recently I bought dry socks to give to a sick street man in Ukraine. He asked me for bread, so I bought him a loaf of bread too and when I returned I placed my hand upon his hooded head and prayed for him. I prayed in English and know he didn’t understand a thing, but Jesus heard my prayer and that is all that mattered.”
Video (turn on sound)
This is only one incident of a policemen going the extra mile for someone they can help. With all the publicity of a few cops who didn’t do the right thing, it is a privilege for Boyer Writes to give honor to Officer Robinson who did.
It seems that a young, African American man whose sister had died was trying to get to his family’s side, but did not have a car. He asked a friend, who had a warrant for his arrest and a suspended license to take him. Actually Mark Ross had a warrant himself and his license was suspended also. Speeding down the road together, Officer Robinson stopped them. Ross believed he was going to be arrested.
After hearing why they were trying to get to the family, you will hear the genuine concern in the officer’s voice when he offers to help them. As a Christian, the office prayed over the young man before taking them in his patrol car for about a 100 mile trip to find the family of the sister who had been killed in a car accident.
Here is the video with the entire story. One thing that Mark Ross had to say after the incident was that he had “always hated police, but this man gave him HOPE.”
Stop and think before criticizing all police. They have a job to do and most do it well. Most also have good, understanding hearts. This story could have gone a different direction if the men in the car had tried to flee or pulled a weapon…or even had a bad attitude with the policeman, seemly trying to resist his instructions or questions. See what actually happened. Video of Policeman and Mr. Ross
( You may also want to see a previous video that was shared on Boyer Writes on what to do when pulled over. )
(What to do if you have a permit to carry a firearm and are pulled over. Extremely important because a policeman must be certain you will not harm him…and you do not want a mistake to happen because you do things the wrong way. See video
If people are not trying to kill you, it may be a good idea to lean back into babyhood when communicating. The word “communication” sounds so sophisticated and grown up. We may have to learn from babies and children what it really means.
By this, I mean, start with a little face to face. Go straight to a little sound or two. Grab his/her hands…keep looking into the eyes and then give those words and sounds all you can muster.
Take a look at these two in our video below. They get the idea…and maybe we can also. It seems so simple and yet we have so much trouble with communicating. . Maybe it takes interest…Yes, that is it. How interested are we really in the other person? Do their little sounds or sighs mean anything to us?
There are different forms of communicating. We first have to realize that there are those sitting right next to us that are as surprised at what is happening around them (and in the world) as we are!
Sometimes we just have to cry together!
Sometimes we just have to listen when someone is trying to tell us something.
Other times we communicate by just being together….quietly.
Eating together is always a fun thing to do. Just remember to turn off the phone…and give that person full attention.
“Out of the mouth of babes” we are often taught. Communicating seems to be a natural thing…built in…and waiting to happen. Somewhere along the way, we have made it a hard thing… perhaps becoming fearful…which was not the way it was meant to be.
For 2015, take a few “baby steps” to communicating…listening…and appreciating one another.
CLICK FOR VIDEO but be certain to notice the light in the eyes…the expressions of “I’m just glad you are here!”
Yesterday, I talked to a friend who had just gone to a spiritual retreat. Because he is a Hindu, what he was about to tell me made sense to him. He had gone to the “Hugging Woman ” from India, who makes tours around the world and simply hugs. It must have a definite effect on people or why would so many flock to see her?
ABC News carried an article on her with one interviewed person expressing it this way. “I’m not religious,” a 28-year-old banker tells me. “I saw her four years ago in Houston. Now, I just go to her every chance I get. She may be just an old woman who hugs. But there is some beauty in this. Maybe we have to appreciate our need to hug and be hugged — to care for each other.”
An article by Vivian H Ortiz and Sarah Hodd continues… “She is not selling salvation or offering physical healing or a chance at prosperity. Instead, Amma seems to have tapped into a deep and essential human need — the need for affection and the human touch. Some people, it is true, don’t get enough human contact.”
They may not have been held or hugged when they were babies or small children…and don’t know what to do with hugs as adults. My husband saw orphaned babies in Russia that did not get warm, close attention stand for hours in their cribs…rocking back and forth….as to make themselves feel something...anything. When I was in Ukraine, I visited a State orphanage and no amount of hugging would make those children smile. They simply were not used to it and did not relate to close human contact.
Too many hugs or over-eager huggers are not often accepted in the “American way” of life. We ,in general , like our distance. (unlike the Italians and others). At one of our favorite restaurants, the owner’s wife (who speaks very little English) comes around the tables and gives hugs…sometimes very big hugs…with her large bosom in close proximity to the faces of the customers. This is not to say that some don’t enjoy it! Nevertheless, it becomes a little far-reaching for the “not in my space” Americans.
There are definitely different types of hugs. I like what A.K. had to say on this subject.
“A hug kind of depends on how long it lasts : Just a quick and polite hug is just that, polite. Oh, and the patting on the back, that is definitely non-romantic. If he pats you on the back you might as well be his Aunt Liz.
A romantic hug will last just a little longer than it should and it will end when he leans back and puts both hands on your upper arms, just below your shoulders. That is the “oh baby” hug. If he does that, you’ve got him. He’s yours!
Very few first hugs will be a romantic hug though. If he is really interested, the first hug will be somewhere between “Aunt Liz” and “oh baby”. This one may end with him stepping back but leaving one arm around your waist or slightly rubbing your back vertically. This is the classic “whew, you are awesome, I can’t believe you let me hug you” hug. That’s when you look at him, smile slightly, and then look away. Powerful stuff!”
Even animals like to curl up and cuddle. We had a cat in our neighborhood climb between the paws of our Golden Retriever; curl up and just enjoy the closeness.
Nothing can take the place of the peaceful, relaxing, mothering hug that warms our heart. Hope someone has given you a special hug today…or you have given one. It will probably come back to you in some form.
Policemen are often criticized by the public. People don’t like it when they are pulled over even though they may have driven too fast or broken the law in some way. That’s why we call them Officers of the Law. Yet, sometimes the “bad apples” that get on a police force ruin the reputation of the many who do their jobs far beyond the call of duty.
I have often thought how frightening it could be to walk up to a strange car,especially in the middle of the night, not knowing if that person will pull out a gun. It has happened to many policemen who were just doing their job. Some never lived another day. It takes a “tough guy” to meet the challenges. Nevertheless, I was touched by a story of a policeman whose heart-felt empathy broke the image of the police tough guy.
We found out about Officer Larry DePrimo when a tourist saw the policeman on Seventh Avenue near 44th Street in New York City. She snapped the picture shown here where Officer DePrimo encounters a homeless man sitting on the street in cold weather with no shoes.
(A write-up followed in the New York Times by J. David Goodman)
“…The officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, readily recalled the encounter. It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,” he said in an interview. “I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.” . ..They started talking; he found out the man’s shoe size: 12. As the man walked slowly down Seventh Avenue on his heels, Officer DePrimo went into a Skechers shoe store at about 9:30 p.m. “We were just kind of shocked,” said Jose Cano, 28, a manager working at the store that night. “Most of us are New Yorkers and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”
Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75. Officer DePrimo has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, “to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.”
We at Boyer Writes are certain that Officer DePrimo is a little embarrassed about the publicity that he has gotten for a simple act of kindness. I would say this to him. Thanks for being an example of love and caring, especially at this Christmas season. You did something that you did not think anyone would know but the man, the storekeeper, and you. God sees what we do and sometimes…just sometimes… He rewards us openly. So, “Tough Guy”, keep on being who you are. We need more Officers of the Law just like you. Merry Christmas!