My mother wrote an article, and I'm going to post most of it here. If you're interested in the sales pitch for organic cosmetics that she included in the email, following the link at the bottom of the email.
But I had to repost this. My mother made me proud today when I read this:
(Please forgive the comic sans font. She's a Mac user.)
We are still hot and sunny here in Florida but being a New England girl at heart, I am happy just thinking of the changing leaves and the cooler weather that will also come to us soon.
This week, I want to have an unusual special based around the subject so vital to a happy life, goals and dreams, purposes and aspirations. These are the thoughts that we need to emblazon on our minds and spirits, for these propel us forward and move us through obstacles to attain high ground and what we so hope to bring about.
These days, we find challenges to well-being and a good night's sleep hitting us in the forehead, wonk! at least a few times a day. I suggest that there are those who wish us to cower and give up. It seems to me that there are those who want us to feel powerless in view of insurmountable counter-intentions.
Man, despite the latest word on us, man is a creative, capable figure proven through time to be able to imagine and think through heavily adverse circumstances to prevail, based upon intelligence and ethics. Man also has a basic goodness, most notable, as I see it, in your "ordinary man," that is. I grew up as a virtual "untouchable" in an elite post-WWII society. I was Jewish and playing tennis, in the day when no Blacks or Jews dared play that gentleman's and ladies' sport. Tennis was a country club sport. No one else knew about it. Yet somehow it reached me and I loved it. With my tennis coach (US champion, famous, absolutely adorable, amazing person), I gave what he called "tennis clinics." He would explain the game for the as yet uninitiated. I almost said "plebians," so exclusive a sport was tennis then...and you can well guess that I'd rather be a pleb ANY day. We demonstrated a serve, a forehand, a backhand, etc., how the game works, and people found out what tennis was. Honestly, the people who attended these clinics had never heard of it til we did this! This was in the late 50's, so realize then that just about NO ONE but the elite country club-eligible set knew of the existence of tennis — other than a very few, like me.
I learned what prejudice is from my tennis tour experiences back in the 50's and 60's ("Mad Men" days) before even Arthur Ashe (a black guy) had shocked the tennis world by daring to be the best. I was darned good and I was a Jew. The country club members who "put up" (invited them to stay for the duration of the tournament in their homes), who put up tournament players traveling from afar, did not want to have to put up me. Some of them threw away their dishes after I had used them (I overheard). Fights about how could the (husband or wife) ever have agreed to accept me into the house and how would they clean it after I had gone. My renowned teacher, whom I adored, almost lost his job at Point Judith Country Club (in the Narragansett area of Rhode Island, quite exclusive) after I drank from the bubbler (a Rhode Island word for water fountain) upon getting exhausted from a long, rough work out. I, state champion but a lowly, foul Jew, was parched. He had gained permission for me to be able to use the courts on certain hours but for me to take a draught at the bubbler was just too much. My saliva...dangerous. I had to practice there since Chazzie (my tennis teacher) was pro there, before hitting the yearly circuit of tournaments which he and his wife drove us to.
It is the saddest thing I can think of, that ANY person actually imagines that he is innately superior to another. Granted our behavior can be magnanimous or petty, caring or hateful, sincere or deceitful, but in essence it is a gross error to assume prior to any actual knoweldge that someone is inferior based upon anything but actions, results and statistics. Even then, we need not assume that anyone must continue to be inferior. It's a pathetic attitude based upon a lie.
Truth is, for me, that we are who we imagine ourselves to be and decide we are. We are basically, though I leave this part up to your own feelings and perception, in God's image. I never feel that God belongs to one group or another, though. That is to cram the concept of God into various small bottles each colored separately, all of which cannot fit on the same shelf. Do you really think that the Author of Life would prefer one group against another? Let's all leap over pre-formed attitudes and simply look at what is NOW in front of us. Prejudice is pre-judgment and to me it means a blind and desperate attempt to assure oneself of one's one validity. It must be borne of serious doubt. C'mon, you can be right/good/valuable/worthy and so can I.
Can we get over our need to be more important than X? Even if it is rough to abolish the feeling, can we rationally see that any person has godly potential and is worthy of the same justice and opportunities in life?
We are potentially perfect as we find unrestricted admiration, respect and love, as we attain certainty of what we perceive, as we firm up well-placed trust. These make for a generous life. By generous, I mean noble in that one cares about others and takes responsibility for more than oneself. That's true nobility, little related to birth-nobility.
Who can say, I am better than you? Because a great-great-grandfather made a fortune? what does that have to do with the package of potential called you? Maybe someone else is better because he/she is more able at the moment, more agile and informed concerning the topic at hand, but know what? I can catch up. I might take this even further, if I trust myself and completely don't agree to limitations.
So, my fellows challenged, as I am, by daily bad news, isn't it time to say, sorry, guys, my self-certainty is unattackable and I will find and connect with others like myself? Isn't it time to trust our honest judgment? To say, my caring and love for life are my guide and I intend to prevail? And best to say to detractors, "Buzz off, those who would like me to see myself as lesser, incapable or owned!"
Your goals are important. You can contribute to a better world and can inspire others. It's almost ridiculous to state it, but there's gobs of room for improvement and inspiration. I mention the prejudices I ran into because of how destructive they can be. I bet that many of you have encountered some form of prejudice. A teacher who was sure you couldn't. A parent who would not accept that you might succeed where he/she had not. A friend who laughed when you broke the bounds of what is acceptable. A stranger who looked at you haughtily yet with no slightest concept of who you are. Anything like that, it doesn't have to be as obvious, and this is the point — other people's evaluations that box you up as smaller than you feel, that label you as a this or a that when you feel as if you are an "anything that you want to be and bigger than the sky."
If we buy the diminishing thought, we may feel inferior and less prone to assert ourselves or, as a reaction, the put-down can invite us to assert superiority not actually attained. That feels just about as idiotic and debasing as making nothing of ourselves. If you've run into any prejudice, it might help to see it as outright stupid and worth no more than being ignored. The truth that can make a difference is going to be found in what you've dreamed, what you hold dear, what you intend to do, what you've managed to accomplish and in the courage and certainty that have served you, despite how others may chide or ridicule, to move closer to your goals.
Are your goals expansive? Do they impinge upon life beyond just you? Goals for just yourself are needed, too. But if it's all about just you, how many will be empowered, due to your accomplishments, with improved lives, skills, peace or understanding?
So this week, please attest to me that you have your own creed written down (what you believe) and that you have your goals written, your aims and fondest hopes. Written down as that helps you settle upon them and helps them become more real. I feel that this is a BASIC to living determinatedly (by decision as opposed to by default) and thus happily.