Paula here. I’m still grieving the senseless Orlanda LGBTI bombing, but I know that in times of violence, I have to paint my own canvas. I cannot change the world, but I can draw my life canvas and place on it what will sustain me and others.
Talking With Teens:
I was talking with teens about painting their own canvas. I told them to put a symbol in their minds or on paper for things they might take for granted-
Sight: We should be thankful for sight to see people we love, nature, dogs and cats and domestic animals. Imagine life without sight.
Hearing: Without hearing we are deprived of the voices we love, music, laughter, cheering crowds, children at play. One of my favorite sounds is that of birds singing. Imaging never hearing conversations.
Speaking: Without a voice, we cannot sing or yell or say words of love. We would be reduced to sign language.
Mouths can savour food and cool milk shakes, but many people can only obtain nourishment through tubes.
Movement: I have worked with Special Needs children born never to walk and to eat through tubes. It is true that we moan when our muscles ache, but they recover and we can walk and use our hands.
Food is Limited
The majority of kids in our western world arrive home and ask what there is to eat. Often they have a choice.
In many developing countries, children arrive home and ask “Is there food to eat tonight?”
Friends of mine in large cities speak of the remains of unfinished meals which they ask to be put in cardboard containers. Many people stop and ask people sleeping on the street if they would like this meal. The majority of times it is taken and enjoyed.
Put on brightly colored clothes – thanking the blue shirt for the sky, the yellow underwear for the sun, etc. etc.
Open the fridge and be grateful for food and refrigeration. Sip that tea or coffee and decide that you will make a difference in the world – make them simple things. Smile at a senior citizen, wave to a neighbour, pay for a coffee for the next person in a drive through, stop and look at a floral arrangement. Treat or reward yourself. At the end of the day, look in the mirror and say, “Well done!”