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Laugh Always!

Do you know what the problem is with most folks today?  And to clarify, by “folks” I mean grown-ups.  The problem of which I speak is not a mystery really.  By and large, grown-ups (or adults, if you prefer) no longer laugh.  It seems they have forgotten how to do so.  Laughter is one of Life’s fundamentals.  But somewhere along the way in our journey to adulthood, we become grim and feel the need to be serious about our life all the time!  And in order to be serious, laughter and a happy Spirit must be put up and away on the top shelf and into the darkest of corners.  Consequently, our wide grins and our big smiles, our chuckles and laughter which we once experienced many times daily seem to fade out as we become “responsible adults”.  Happiness, humor and a care free spirit gives way to stress, worry and an often heavy heart, weighed down by the cares of Life.  I paint an accurate picture of so many of us, yes?  And that is simply how the Wheel of Life turns round and round. It is the way of the world, as they say.  Is this not correct?  To this I say, No, no and no once more!!  Nothing could be further from the truth!  This is simply the Big Lie that society has forced upon us.  I say to you this……Laugh Always!  As children, it was a natural, unstoppable reaction.  You remember, don’t you?  If not, make it a point to listen to the children around you.  You will hear it then……the laughter of a child which is purity expressed in its simplest form……unbridled happiness!  This is what we, the grown-ups of this world are lacking.  Laughter has become something that feels unnatural for so many adults today and this should not be so.

Allow me please to pose a question to you.  When would be the last time you laughed?  And I don’t mean the polite laughter that is deemed as proper by so many these days.  I am speaking of genuine laughter, the deep-down, from the gut,side-splitting laughter.  The kind of laughter where you laugh so hard that the tears run down your cheeks like rain and when you try to stop, even beg to stop, you cannot stop.  And those around you begin laughing even if they don’t really know why because laughter is contagious, as you well know.  And why is it contagious you might ask?  I believe I know why.  See if this answer rings true.  It is because Laughter is a gift, one where your heart and your Spirit join in on the chorus which causes one to desire to sing just one more verse and then another.  Laughter comes from deep within the soul and flows outward and upward like a special kind of music with lyrics all its own. You see, Laughter is the music of our soul and those around us are drawn to music always.  That is what my heart and spirit tells me to be so.

Oh and remember something else as well.  Remember when you would laugh and when the laughter finally wound it self down?  As the tears of laughter dried upon your cheeks and the soreness in your stomach ebbed away, how did you feel afterward?  Go ahead….say it!  You felt good, almost cleansed really.  Laughter does that for you, for us.  That is why it is a gift, you see.  So, for the sake of yourself and those you love as well as for the sake of our world which needs our laughter, please Laugh long, loud and always!! May you blessed in your joy and laughter, my friends!

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Which Person Do We Resemble?

It has always been said in Life, there are two kinds of people.  There are winners and there are losers.  I must disagree with this line of thinking. I believe there are mainly three types of people.  There are those who are actively making use of their natural talents and abilities and are therefore living Life as the Creator intended them to do.  Then there are those whose potential lies latent, just below the surface.  Their talents and abilities are as yet undiscovered but will be and soon.  Of this you may be sure for when you look in their eyes, the light of Life is shining, just waiting to blossom into fullness.

And then we have the last group of folks.  Quite honestly, I am not sure whether to be angry with them or to pity them.  When you look for that spark of Life  in their eyes, what you will see instead is a hollowness staring back at you.  It is that disturbing vacancy that has become all too common in our world.  This third section of the populace grows a bit more each day.  These are the people who no longer live Life.  They only live a routine.  Visualize this if you will. (But only for a moment, please.  It is dangerous to stay there for long!)  Picture yesterday, today and tomorrow as a distant memory.  Can you see it?  There is no present and there is no future. Everything is from “ago”.  Consequently, there is nothing fresh or new happening.  Frightening, isn’t it?  That is the perspective that so many live from today.  And sadly, this group of people are unaware that they have passed on.  They have forgotten that Life was meant to be lived.  As previously stated, they simply live a routine.  Their idea of a new adventure is what’s on “Must See TV”.  Don’t laugh for what you read here is true.

People today have lost their sense of identity and look to regain it through buying toys and watching television.  Friends and neighbors, I say to you that happiness will not be found there.  No sir!, no ma’am!  Do not become one of the living dead.  Challenge your mind daily.  Read books, go running, develop friendships with those who are alive in their spirit.  And above all, Live Your Life!!

 

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Well Done, My Child. Well Done.

I had occasion to speak with someone today.  How the conversation began I am not quite sure.  But I do know how it ended and it was the subject matter that gave me pause.  It caused me to turn my gaze inward and do a bit of self-examination.  This individual spoke to me of her husband of many years who had died just 3 months ago.  She said he was in good health overall but had a tendency to work far too much.  As she spoke, one could tell that her husband was a good man gone too soon.  The look in her eyes and the measure of her voice told you that this was so.  It started me to thinking about some things.  I will share with you two of these thoughts here today.

The first of the two is a bit of a mental snapshot put into words.  The thought behind it is succinct and easily entreated.  It simply comes down to the old adage we all have heard many times.  “Take time to smell the roses.”  Those words are very much a truism.  Yet so few of us put into practice the message conveyed in those words.  We need to, for the sake of our health and our families, learn to slow down and ease up as we go about our day-to-day routines.  Our life is but a small series of moments strung together, if we are fortunate.  Then we are gone like a breath of wind.  I wish to encourage us, you and I to stop and allow ourselves to truly see the world around us, if only for a few minutes each day.  The wonders of this world are there to be seen, to be felt.  A life directed is indeed important.  Just do not become so focused on the map you are holding that you forget to look up and see where it is you are headed.  And be sure to notice life’s wonders along the way.  Please, I ask of you this one thing.  Remember that a rose is a thing of beauty to behold.  However, you cannot truly appreciate its beauty until you pause long enough to drink in the fragrance it offers you.

Now I did say that there were two thoughts I wished to share with you this day.  The second road, if you will, that my mind traveled down is longer.  Or perhaps I simply walked a bit further along that road.  But if you will indulge me, I believe this walk to be worth  the few extra steps.  So, come along with me now.  Let us wander down that stretch of road that exists only in the mind.  I trust you are wearing your walking shoes.  Now, on to the road, that road of reflection.  Are you ready?

The first road of thought we had explored here was all about the appreciation of life and our need to put into practice that appreciation.  It was telling us the importance of maintaining a balance.  A balance of focusing intently on our goals while still enjoying not only the path we are on but also the world along the way.  To ignore the need for balance will only serve to make our journey intolerable which is a direct route to failure.

Now this other road we are on presently is also about the appreciation of life.  But it also is about the appreciation and recognition of others.  It involves something a bit more intangible, a bit more human.  Is this a contradiction in terms?  Perhaps.  I am hoping it makes more sense as we continue our walk together.  Let me try to explain………Okay, let us try this and see if it’s a good fit, shall we?

As children growing up, there were certain words that we always longed to hear, needed to hear actually.  Those words were ones of encouragement and approval spoken by those we loved and who loved us.  Those words were “Well done, my child. Well done.” or a variation of the same.  Words such as these were incredibly powerful and played a large part in the molding of our respective characters throughout childhood.  The approval of our efforts and actions by our parents and by others were vital to us.  The blessing bestowed upon us by these simple words meant more to us than any college degree or job position we could ever obtain.  “Well done, my child. Well done.”  In actuality, these six words served as a catalyst, helping to build our self-esteem and confidence thus making it possible for us to grow, to stand toe-to-toe with life and exchange blows if need be.  These six words made it possible to obtain that college degree or promotion.  And yes, because the proper foundation had been laid already, it even gave one the courage to ask that special someone out for the first time!  All these things and more could be accomplished because of these small but powerful words.  “Well done, my child. Well done.”  Those were important words then and equally important now.  Perhaps even more so.  Yes, I am aware we have left the arena of our childhood.  But the new arena we reside in, that of adulthood can be just as difficult and just as fearsome, can’t it?  Oh, and when something is true, it is still okay to agree no matter what today’s world says.  So, just nod your head to indicate this is correct. Because it is.  These six words we keep referring back to carry much importance and influence as we continue to grow in our lives.

Now, you may be reading this and saying, “Not me!  I don’t need anyone’s approval to live my life!”  If that is your response, then you may want to rethink your position.  We are, all of us connected and often times in ways we are not even aware of.  It long has been said “No man is an island unto himself.”  As true as that was so long ago, it is even more relevant in todays’ world.  Consider that for a moment.  However, I digress.

My uncle and very good friend had his own version of “Well done, my child. Well done.”  He always said “Everyone needs strokes!”  Simple, straight and to the point.  That was Paul Boyd.  I am blessed in my life to have known him.  To this day, I can still hear his voice in my mind encouraging me along.  And whenever I met with success, he was there saying “Well done, my friend. Well done.”  These words serve to propel us forward in the direction of our dreams and goals.  All of us, children and adults alike, need encouragement and recognition, even approval at times.   We all need strokes!  It is a prideful spirit that will make one deny this truth.

I would also add that as we receive encouragement and approval, we are to give it as well.  It is absolutely vital to do so.  Were you aware that when water flows into a lake, it must be able to flow out somewhere else?  If this does not occur, the water will stagnate and everything in that lake will die.  Everything must be cyclic in order to live and grow.  If you have any doubts concerning this, simply look around you.  The laws that dictate our world and the universe are evidenced everywhere.  It is impossible to miss.  The give and take in life is necessary to sustain such life.  In our own lives, part of our purpose here is to be an encourager.  It is a privilege really.  Our children we are to guide, to nurture and encourage and to offer the words “Well done, my child. well done.”  Where loved ones and friends are concerned, we are to do the same and offer the words “Well done, my friend. Well done.”  And to your spouse, “Well done, my love. Well done.”  Of course, it is up to you to fill in the blank, as it were.

“But wait”, You may say.  “Do these words apply to all?”  To that I would have to say, “Yes indeed, to all.”  Right on down to your dog, cat or any other pet you may have.  If anything, our most pure and honest responses would come from our furry and feathered friends.  Am I correct?  This is due to the fact that they are selfless and loyal.  They have no ego to get in the way.  I think it safe to say that we could learn much from our pets.  Would you agree?  Yes,?

And as our respective adult lives wind down into the golden years and beyond, what then?  Well, providing that we have given of our hearts, our talents and our minds without the selfish expectation of return, ( Let me clarify here. We are to expect good for our life. But we are to give selflessly) , we will indeed know in our spirit and our heart a certainty.  What is that certainty, you may ask?  It is simply this – When we pass from here, the place we have known and go to that new place, our home in heaven, God will look at us and He will know.  And when He has looked and He knows, we will once again and forever hear those six words that we, all of us, need to hear.  “Well done, my child. Well done.”

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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A Field of Dreams

You’ve seen that movie, yes? “Field of Dreams”.  I would imagine that most of us have.  And if not, do something good for yourself and watch it.  I have seen this movie many times.  However, I really saw the movie for the first time just recently.  Let me explain, if I may.  There is a particular line in this movie that one hears many times. “If you build it, they will come.” I thought this line to be good, very good actually.  But I never picked up what was really being conveyed there.  I get it now.  “If you build it, they will come.”  means that if you believe in your dream and build it, no matter the obstacles, people will come. People cannot help but be drawn to growth, to what is being built.  And in coming, they help to fortify and strengthen your dream and cause it to grow. And in blessing you, they are blessed in return.  It is a cycle as natural as life itself.  Elsewhere in the movie, you will also hear this line “If you build it, He will come.”  In the movie, “He” was the main characters’ father.  In our lives, it would reference God or if you prefer, our Creator.  Our Creator is very much interested in our dreams.  After all, He placed them in our hearts, our minds.  And if we build those dreams, then He will indeed come and participate in those dreams with us.  And that is part of God’s natural cycle!  Give this a bit more than a passing thought, if you will.  “If you build it, they will come.”

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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