Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When You Reach For A Star




This post has been in the works for quite a while, even before I started Sadie's Gathering.

     A few weeks back I decided to write what I hoped would be a positive, uplifting, post about the benefit of belief throughout life.  Since it was the season of Easter, Passover, Ostara, and many other holidays of belief and faith, I thought it would be a good time to post such a piece.
    After starting to write I changed the title to "The Case for Belief & Faith".  Then after thinking about it some more, I changed the title to, "The case for Belief, Faith, & Hope".

     A definition of belief, according to Webster's Dictionary is:  "1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing. Conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon."  Faith is, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof."  The definition of hope: "to desire with a belief of fulfillment".
    As I have stated before, I am a Christian, and have been as long as I can remember.  It is the way I was raised and it is this belief and faith that sees me through.  I remember discussing belief in God with Mom years ago.  I remember her saying, "it doesn't matter if I am wrong, cause if I am, I'll be dead, and won't care either way.  My belief and faith, I know has done me a lot of good throughout my life."
     My life has led me down  many different roads.  I consider myself fortunate to have friends from different backgrounds with faiths that range from the devout to the atheist.  I am also fortunate to have a secure and confident constitution that I have no need or inclination to attempt to "change" anyone.  My convictions are strong; yet so is my love and respect of my friends.  My friends extend to me the same graciousness.
   As such, it was my aim for this post on belief and faith, not to be a religious one.  Spiritual?  Well maybe.  I think it goes deeper though, and that is what I planned to write about.
      However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, a photo on Huffington Post shook me to my core and put this post on hold. I write not only for you, but for me, and at this point it is more likely for me since it is in the first stages of Sadie's, thus making my writing cathartic for mainly me.
      Thankfully, there's a lot to be said for Chicago, a couple of old friends, and the musicality of Phineas & Ferb for helping things seem alright again.  However, that's another post for another day.
      Where does that leave us?
      With yet, a new title for one thing.
     On April 14, the lesser known holiday was, Reach as High as You Can Day.  It brought to mind one of my all time favorite quotes by advertising legend Leo Burnett.  "When you reach for a star, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a hand full of mud either."  Just a little back story on Mr. Burnett- he created memorable characters such as the Pillsbury Doughboy, Snap, Crackle and Pop, and The Jolly Green Giant.  He built one of the most successful advertising agencies in the world.  He did this amidst  World War II and the Great Depression.  One doesn't accomplish that without a healthy dose of gumption and chutzpah.  Optimism doesn't hurt either.
     Today, there is religious rhetoric all around.  We hear it, and read it, and see it.  How often do we feel it though?  Many people have died through the ages for their beliefs.  There are incredibly clever people who will readily tell us what to believe and what not to believe.  We now live in a cyber age where information is obtained at a moment's notice.  We fill our lives with the latest technological gadgets, so we can watch movies, read books,  check the news on a screen that can be one inch or  6 ft.  Didn't get enough sleep?  Grab a little bottle that's less than 2oz. and it'll see you through.  We've achieved so much, so why does it seem that with every friend I talk with, there's sighs like never before?  Before explaining what's new?
     As I write this, "what's new?", is yet another tragedy.  I know today, tomorrow and the next day will bring more.  They may or may not make the news.
     I offer no easy fixes and no quick answers or wisdom.  There's enough reality in my life that I don't watch most reality shows, sad movies, or read "touching" or "deeply moving" novels.
 
 Even so, through life so far, I have managed to learn a few things.
 
     Childhood is the time to create, foster, and inspire magic and wonder; before the world offers up the limits and the doubts.  Do all you can.  It'll do your heart good as well.  I think this is why experts suggest teaching kids a foreign language early.

     Hold on tight to the relationships that matter.  How do you know which ones those are?  They're the ones that work; the ones that last.  Even if it's been awhile, you know who you can call and you'll hear a smile on the other end.
   
     Also, these relationships help with this truth: "Don't ever lose your sense of humor."  And laugh whenever and as often as you can.
 
     Finally, I remember these words from Mom, "Everything is temporary.  So, cherish the good, and remember the bad won't last."  Yep, sometimes it does get worse.  That will change as well though, so just like death and taxes, change is something we can count on.
  
     What better reason to aim high?  I have heard atheists say that life is not a dress rehearsal.  Giving reason to doing all one can while alive for they're a long time dead.  On the other end of the spectrum. there are those that do what they do for their afterlife.  Since I am a Christian, and thus believe that life goes on after we die, I view life as the country that I am currently visiting.  I want to see every tourist trap I can, as well as venture to where all the locals hang out. 
  
     A few days ago I read about Linden Wolbert, a professional mermaid.  In 2005 she quit her 9 to 5 job and donned a tail and became a "full time" mermaid, working Hollywood parties, and promoting ocean awareness.  How cool is that?  What's more, 2005 was I believe when everyone realized that the economic crisis wasn't going to be just a passing phase.  I bet there's a whole lot more crazy, creative ideas out there waiting.
 
     I for one, would not be writing a blog, if I was working my former 60+hr/week job as a restaurant manager.
   
     So, give me the galaxy and in the words of J.M. Barrie, let me go to "the second on the right, and then straight on till morning."  I may be naive, but the alternative seems no fun at all.  A word of caution: When you reach for a star, do watch out for the assteroids.
   
     Even so, I think with belief, faith and hope you can create possibility, and often that can be the beginning of something wonderful.