Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Wonderful Christmas Essay from Me

Over the years, I have run into an increasingly large number Over thof people that have said, in one manner or another, that they hate Christmas. They have adopted the mindset that Christmas is a waste of time, that it has become way too busy, too commercial, artificial, trite, and insignificant. They feel that Christmas has become just another point of controversy, another opportunity to argue and one more day to throw money away into the street for something that will be forgotten in a matter of hours. In short, Christmas has been defined by many as a condition to endure instead of a reason to celebrate.

It is easy for most of us to speak about how Christmas is the season of giving, and how this sentiment underscores the meaning of the holiday. Not many of us, even those that have grown tired of the season, could argue with that. Commercialized as it may have become, Christmas affords us the opportunity to give and assigns some measure of purpose to the process. It's Christmas, you go to the store, pick something out, bring it home, wrap it up, then you give somebody a present. Pretty straightforward arrangement. And, yes, the present gets forgotten, the sentiment passes and the day often turns into a blur of flurried activity that trails off into the mist of the morning. And then its over.

I have taken some inventory of the things that have given me meaning at Christmas and very few were the gifts I received. In fact, I can only recall a couple of the presents I've been given over the last fifty two years. I don't remember what I received or from whom I received things, at least not very many.

But what I do remember about Christmas is the activities of the people around me. I remember the efforts they made, the time they spent, in making the holiday better for others. And most of all, I remember the people. My family, those here and now gone. Their faces, their demeanor, their dispositions through the day. What I remember is the love in the presence of one another, the kindness in the giving, and the efforts toward creating joy. These were never without conflict. But the tension always gave way to love, and the love always prevailed.

This is the meaning of Christmas. It is creating an indelible happiness toward one another, often in spite of ourselves. It is friendship. It is forgiveness. It is hope in a better tomorrow. It is gratitude for living another day. It is remembering stockings filled for children at two in the morning, words of such love written that may have never been heard, and darkness broken by a million lights in every street. It is self control and exuberance, restraint and explosions of joy. It is compassion. It is deep and attentive caring. It is the look of "I love you" written into every expression. It is knowing that, for maybe only minutes on this one inexpressibly meaningful day, that life is good, that people matter-really matter-more than any thing in our lives. It is the gift of being alive. It is our best selves.

This year, get a running start on Christmas and leap joyously into the season. Lead with your heart and Love with your hands held out and your arms open wide. Hold the words "I love you" at the ready. And linger a little longer with one another my friends; Your best present is your presence. Merry Christmas.

http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Love is the Centerpiece

Last week, I met up with an old friend. He has come upon some hard times lately, as so many of us have. His circumstances and some choices he’s made have caused him to be somewhat jaded. These days he is cementing his path toward becoming a curmudgeon and he’s barely into his fifties. He is fearful of this world, has been severely anxious over the years and now insulates himself instead with anger. In the process he has lost a little bit of hope in people and in the future.

He’s read my book and he’s listened to me on the radio. And when we last met, he told me that he has come to the conclusion that I am a na├»ve Pollyanna with a very loose grasp on reality. He said that if I’d pay more attention to the problems around me, then maybe I’d change my efforts from writing about “that stuff you write about, like love and kindness and the like” and put more energy thinking about how we can solve some of the more pressing world problems. He felt I needed a more logical approach to life, and become more serious in my pursuit of the complex issues that surround us. This, he said, would give my attitude and my writing a more practical tone, thus becoming something that everybody would find more useful.

After listening to him, I lifted my head slowly, looking at him from underneath my eyebrows, and I told him the following:

“I am no different than you. Throughout more years than I would like to admit I, too, have lead my life with anxiety, anger, worry. I have spent years of unnecessary and wasted time within a state of low grade fear and anger and for what? Did I gain any peace? Did this worry give me any insight? Certainly my anger has accomplished nothing except harm those that I have loved, and I will pay for those injuries for the rest of my life.

I live in the same world you do. I see the struggles and the frustration, the hunger and the poverty. But I do not wish to enhance the process by emphasizing the negative. I am not blind to the suffering in this world; I am dedicated to a profession that attempts to help people, one person at a time.

To be in a loving world, we must begin with our words, actions and intentions to each other. One person to one person. That is all there is. Individual to individual, heart to heart. We will only solve the challenges set before us if we replace anger with love, resentment with acceptance, and judgment with understanding.

It is through love, and only through love, that our difficulties recede. It must be the centerpiece of ourselves if we have any hope to change the lives of others, and the lives throughout the world. Benjamin Disraeli said it best. In speaking of Love, he said that it is “…the principle for our existence, and its only meaning and its only end.”


http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy New Month

In an attempt at something cogent, I thought I'd include you all in a tradition that I've had with at least two of my kids. I wish them "Happy New Month" at the beginning of each, well, new month.
The idea is old: Each day is a new beginning, and every month should be recognized as a collection of newness. Opportunities, reclamations, repair and amends.
This new month, I am going to lose weight. I swear. And I am looking with great caution at the 25th. And if I don't, and my shirt collars still don't wrap around my neck, I will try it again next month.
But I've got my goals. Please stop today and make some, maybe three or four, and put them where you can see them.
You've heard this suggestion a bazillion times.
This month, do it.

http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Social Justice

The two greatest words in the English Language, when put together, allow for perspective, heart, principle and togetherness: Social Justice.

I read an article by Bill O What-his-Face in the paper today. The anger in that man just comes flying out of him, doesn't it? I truly wish he would've worked on his issues with his Dad. His old man must have just tore him a new one weekly to place that much angst in that little boys heart.

But that's pretty much where he rests, emotionally. That of a little boy. His rant in the paper is so...well, frankly, a little dim. He's not the smartest guy out there, is he?

He takes these words "Social Justice" and turns against them. Two words that imbue kindness.

Only when one has such difficulty being kind, these words have no meaning.

Embrace the idea of Social Justice and find out what, and how, this concept can clear your path to a greater understanding of one another.


http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Love and Politics

It is such a common thing for all people to gravitate toward love and loving one another...

Politics has become a sociological endeavor. People argue about politics now. They never used to. Never something you spoke about much. Now, it's a "Us against Them" game. It's like a Cub fan vs. a Cardinal fan, an Packer fan facing off against one that loves the Bears. Politics keeps us aligned with a group of like thinkers. It's become an emotionally insulating affair, and it distorts a sense of being. It isolates you against "them".

It's so unnecessary. It violates the basic tenets of what begins a good discussion: I respect you as a human being, I love you as a brother or sister of mankind, and I want to listen to your story. "If you judge, you cannot love" comes from Mother Teresa. She knew what she was talking about...we must leave judgement aside. We must step out of our political safety zone.

This is what begins our path toward loving each other. Leave your allegiance aside, and look at one another as just one more chance to experience love.

http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I am" or "We Are"

"I am" or "We are."

Which do you choose?

http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wonderful quote

Kindness in words creates confidence.Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ~ Lao Tzu





http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Human Being is Part of the Whole

Einstein - A Human Being is Part of the Whole

A human being is part of the whole, called by us "universe," limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.







http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From the Book of Bob: "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain. So hit me with music." Amen.







http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bumper Sticker

Heard this said by Anne Lamott: "It's only one six billionth about you." Added by me:

"But is is ALL ABOUT EACH OTHER."


http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Romance, responsibility

Just need to mention this:

A comment from "Anonymous" came in about being responsible in Romance, otherwise it's just a fairy tale.

She (or he) is right. Romance without intent is irresponsible. It is the behavioral prerequisite to Love

It should always, always be that way.




http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Romance

On my birthday last year a great friend of mine gave me The New York Times Book of Essential Knowledge. I opened the book at random and the first entry I laid my eyes on-and I swear this is true-was the definition of Romance. . It begins: “Literary form containing characters that seem removed from the real world by fantasy or improbability.”

.The New York Times didn’t get it entirely wrong, but they were close.

The source of this word is Greek, meaning “appears in imagination.” Romance, therefore, originates in a dream. It is the possibility, the “what if”, the “maybe this will work” of Love. In short, Romance gives love style.

I’ll give you some examples.

Love is the smile. Romance is laughter. Love is saying “goodbye.” Romance says “until we meet again.” Love says “I love you.” Romance whispers it in the ear. Love is a hug. Romance makes their ribs squeak. Love is bringing a dozen roses. Romance is the arrangement. Love is an apology. Romance is the amends. Love is sympathy. Romance is empathy. Love is commitment. Romance is passion. Love is Music. Romance is Brahms.

Love is the birds in the trees. Romance is the seed in their birdhouse. Love is the Sun. Romance is the rays on your face. Love is the beautiful blue sky. Romance is the drift of the clouds. Love is the wind. Romance is the breeze.

Love is sweeping the driveway. Romance is twirling the broom. Love makes the coffee. Romance fills the cup and sets it on the table. Love washes the dishes. Romance looks at the reflection in the wine glass. Love lifts. Romance carries.

Love is the bed. Romance is the blanket. Love buys the presents. Romance wraps them with ribbon. Love looks at the moon. Romance sees your lover’s face in the moonlight. Love celebrates. Romance parties.

Love is laughing at a joke your friend told. Romance is laughing at it the fifth time they told it. Love is the old friend who knows your every move. Romance is the old friend that never gets tired of the same old moves.
.
Love is calling your parents. Romance is listening to them share their stories. Love is visiting the sick. Romance is holding their hand. Love encourages them to good health. Romance helps them laugh away the pain. Love is caring. Romance is carefree.

Love loves you even as we age. Romance knows how great you look with grey hair. Love is wearing your favorite colors. Romance is wearing them every day. Love is champagne. Romance is champagne with a hamburger.

Love feels beauty in your soul. Romance feels beauty with a tear in your eye.

Love is Life. Romance is Living.










http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

A client told me that "It's not the Cancer, it's the Lonliness." I have been told that twice in my life, the first person was my father.

Reach out to those everywhere in your life. And spend time. A wise person once told me "You only spend time with what and whom you love."

Friday, June 25, 2010

KYXY LoveSongs

Saturday Night, 7-12pm. "KYXY LoveSongs, Call in with your concerns and I will answer your questions about matters of the Head, Heart and Soul: 1-800-560-9650





http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What "Letting Go" Means

I have the Serenity Prayer on the wall of my office: God, Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Here's how you can really simplify this prayer.

The first stanza: The "things I cannot change?" That'd be EVERYTHING.
The second: The "courage to change the things I can?" THAT WOULD BE YOU!!!!

Now the "wisdom to know the difference" comes rather easily, doesn't it?






http://www.edmcshane.com/Copyright Ed McShane - Happy Scribbles, Inc.