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National Child Day

November 20 is National Child Day in Alberta (across many other jurisdictions too) and the premise is;

National Child Day is celebrated annually to mark two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

There are many reasons to celebrate children, but most of all because children deserve to be recognized as important members of our community.

  • All children have the right to an adequate standard of living, health care and to play.
  • All children have the right to express their views about things that affect them and to participate in communities, programs and services.
  • All children have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.

Children also bear the burden of tomorrow. So often I hear ” I am putting my hope in the next generation”. I too have great hope in children , I have great kids and remarkable grandkids but it seems irresponsible to throw our hands in the air. It is like saying ” we screwed up badly and hope you can fix the mess” without really accepting responsibility and trying to change things. The statement of faith in the next generation absolves us of doing everything in our power and ability to make things right.

Have hope in children and their future impact but also have hope that our individual and collective actions can leave them with a gift and blessing.

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How Far Can I Go?

Is it hope that let’s us try outrageous things? Can I aspire to be or do something audacious because of hope? Is there such a thing as rose coloured glasses?

Yes, Yes, Maybe.

If I set out to test my mettle this Saturday and run as many kilometers as possible in 12 hours, is that crazy? What if I ran for 30 minutes and rested for 30 minutes? Is 50k just insane? Am I pushing the outer limits of a 61 year old body that 8 months ago was 30 pounds heavier?

What if I started  this Saturday by seeing how far I can go in 3 hours? Did caution reign or is it still aspirational?

I am a hopeful guy. More so, after changes in the past year. Is it possible to be overly hopeful?

If you follow the stream of thought in this post you see hope battling caution battling cynicism and fear of humiliation. How many times have I/we given in before we even let hope carry us another few steps, days, laps?

I am hopeful that some of the readers here will leave a comment (hopeful comment) giving their opinion on my Saturday challenge.

 

Make Today Remarkable, by setting a hopeful outrageous goal,

B

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The Smallest Things

I read an essay on Aeon this morning ” Engineering the Ocean”   abou how tiny plankton may be the solution to global warming. I am not a scientist but the solution that include increase the iron intake of plankton so it flourishes and consumes carbon and eventually dies sinking the C to the bottom of the sea. If it works and there seems to be evidence that it does/could it is elegantly simple.

plankton

How many times do we resist putting our hope in small actions, small solutions? My hope is that our individual in situ environmental efforts (as small an insignificant as they can seem) will help make a remarkable difference. Every can I  recycle, every light I turn off, every drop of water I conserve contributes to a tsunami of impact as millions join me in these small actions.

Every smile I exude, every door that I hold open, every protest I make, every dollar that I give generously makes a difference and if I am joined by hundreds or thousands, the force of hope rolls across a continent.

Take small actions today. Celebrate small commitments of others. Make a difference and watch hope blossom like the plankton bloom swallowing up the negative and dangerous.

 

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What If?

What if you knew that you couldn’t be dissuade? Defeated? Disturbed?

What if you knew that you would succeed? Maybe not exactly as you imagine but succeed remarkably?

What if you knew that you are always loved? Always on the heart and in the mind of those who care? Had greater compassion and confidence in your relationships?

What if you knew you could do more? Be more? Live more?

What if today’s tragedy turned into tomorrow’s triumph? What if today’s actions turned the next corner in your quest? What if you discovered the as yet unimagined strategy?

That is what hope offers you. Seek hope and she will manifest in front of your eyes and fill your path with choices, challenges and great cheer.

Make Today Hope Full,

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Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality. ~ Jonas Salk

The sun came up, just as I was reaching 6 kilometer mark in my morning run today. I was churning step after step and thriving in the brisk (-2 degress C) morning air and was long past the mini-wall of turning for home. There were a couple more k’s before turning around and from past experience, I know that these are when the best stuff gets freed from my imagination and clarity about what I need to do over the next few days to make immediate, relevant and concrete decisions about imminent and important projects. Even on the days when barriers and burdens press hard, I am lifted in hope that I can only uncover by exertion and distance from the details I am trying to work out.

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. ~ Joseph Addison

I am grateful that I have all three and that happiness is another tendency that I lean towards more often than not. It isn’t mystical, mythical or metaphysical. The happiness is real, partly because I believe it and mainly because I do something every day to make it so.

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Rome ne s’est pas faite en un jour.

November 15, 2016, the middle of Hope Month. I have had hopeful highs and seen hope manifest itself and it’s providence in front of my eyes. I have also struggled to see hope, especially in light of the terrorist acts in Beirut and Paris. But without hope I would have been dragged into the world of the radicalized who have no hope for a better world so they resort to victimization and violence. Radicalization or any form of cultism erases hope and replaces it with vengeance or mindlessness. Neither lead to happiness.

Today, it is more important than a week ago to seek hope and let her invade your life. Allow hope to help you see the reality but also encourage you that there are better times ahead. We need radical hope – hope not based in reason but hope that spills out of us and washed over everyone we encounter. Hope isn’t the way to success, prosperity, love – it is success, prosperity and love. Hope leads and chases. Become a hope chaser and embracer today. Pray for hope. Think about hope. Act in hope. Encourgae hope in everyone you encounter.

Make Today Hopeful,

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Reason

Hope has power beyond a  reframing tool. Hope can be a significant and positive motivator. It can and does deliver a reason to keep running the race, staying in the contest, believing in yourself and your goals and values.

Hope can be, on many days, the only rationale to say ” I am valuable, I am powerful, I am right” . Entrepreneurs are full of hope. Their idea gets tested, gets started, gets funded, gets adapted, gets funded again and gets adopted gradually. Only hope is string enough to ride the ferris wheel of one step forward and two back, one side step, one small step and one leap.

If you are feeling dejected, rejected, neglected then hope can gently  lift up your chin or swiftly kick you in the butt. It can nudge you into one more week, push you into another month, encourage you into another day. Give hope a chance and then continue to do the work.

Make Today Remarkable, by using hope as your reason to continue – you have nothing to lose,

B

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World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day 2015.  The only minor disagreement I might have with the organizers is the idea of random acts of kindness. I believe that we need to be intentional about all things including our acts of kindness. Hope can help with the intentionality of kindness. Hope in this sense isn’t a future expectation, aspiration or prayer. It is a commodity that you carry with you in the present sense like a pair of glasses or a worldview that brings clarity and sharpness to the blurred vision we can all have from living in an oppressive fearful overwhelming paradigm.

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Step back, take 5 minutes and do yesterday’s exercise again. Now step out and take up three intentional acts of kindness and observe 3 instances of others in your field of vision acting with intentional kindness. These suggestions might be helpful in getting started. Make up a personal act that you share with a stranger – small or large, it will have impact.

Remember that just because today is WKD doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enlist Hope to help you practice intentional kindness tomorrow and all your tomorrows.

Make Today Remarkable, by being kind,

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A Programming Error

If you find yourself wallowing in despair, manufacturing cynicism, or dreading in depression and a run, a head shake, or a change of scenery (temporary) you may need to do a reboot. When you are running HOPE as your default program for the first few years, it may act a bit buggy and need a soft boot to get the algorithm that sees the positive working properly again. A soft boot can be a walk in a park, a stroll by the sea, a ride along a pathway can usually restart HOPE and set you back on track.

If a hard boot is required it takes 5 minutes. Sit down quietly away from distractions. Take out a pen and pencil. Write the names of 5 people that you love, beside each name identify one characteristic they possess that explains you love them. (2 minutes). Next write 5 things that you are extremely grateful for and beside identify in one word why you have gratitude. (2 minutes). Take one minute and read the two lists twice each. Hear your voice reading the names and reasons, the thanks and reasons. Now get up and head into whatever is facing you knowing that HOPE has rebooted and will help change your view of the situation and open you to as yet unimagined possibilities.

Make Today Hopeful,

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Hope in Something

We extend hope in something; a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust. A better tomorrow for a new generation rises from a hope in our systems changing. A loving relationship that lasts a lifetime grows in the hope that our heart can’t speak. Individual liberty to pursue a passion and opportunity is a seed of hope that our mind enlarges. But…

But, hope doesn’t change our world or bring us a lover or do the work to create something new. Hope is the frame to view all this and much more. Through hope we see the lover in the distance and can race towards her. Hope allows us to work hard everyday at being a great partner so that we can live happily after. Hope’s frame is expansive and when things are good, she tells us it can be great. When great, hope whispers “it can be remarkable”. Hope is in our past reminding us of the amazing person we are sharing our life with and hope is in our future encouraging us to do more/be more for them and with them Hope says, usually loudly, ” in order to have a remarkable partner, you need to be a remarkable partner.” Hope will dissolve selfishness and create selflessness.

Today, November 11, I remember those who selflessly sacrificed for the hope of a better tomorrow that they never got to enjoy.

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Make Today Remarkable, through hope,

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