Don't be fool enough to think you can know a person's character after a few moments of observation. You can't. You have no idea where his life began or how his saga has unfolded thus far. Only his present state can you witness. To judge him at a glance is like reading one page in an open book, believing it's enough to confidently recite the story from beginning to end. True, one page may tell you much, but not nearly enough to accurately critique a book or evaluate a life. So, either become his friend and learn his entire story, or refrain from commenting on a tale you know nothing about.
Acknowledge that some moments are just plain awful―desperate and gloomy and painful and miserable and nothing at all but anguish. No truthful, cheerful thought in the world will fix it. So let me cry awhile. Don't try to find a sunbeam where a shroud of darkness encloses me. Let me mourn. Then, after the storm, when the tears have run dry and my eyes choose to open, I will look for your rainbow of hope.
When I say I love the silence, I'm not being entirely truthful. What I actually love are the abundant, delicate sounds that amplify when I'm silent. These curious creaks, mutters, and hums compel my imagination.
You can capture this body of mine, take away my freedom and enslave me. You may even have the power to capture my soul and sentence me to the realm of eternal darkness. But my dreams you cannot touch. They are my will―the very essence of who I am. In them I laugh. In them I cry. In them I love. And in them.....I live. My dreams are untouchable and unceasing.
I went to bed without reading, instead staring out my window with the curtains drawn, wondering about boys. Why did they behave so oddly? One minute their teasing was relentless, and then bam! ― they’d stun you with a thoughtful gesture. Either way, their actions made you want to cry. Maybe that was the intent.
Some say freedom is a gift placed in our hands by our forefathers. Some say freedom is a human right that none should be denied. Some say freedom is a privilege that can and will be seized if taken for granted. Some say freedom is the key that opens doors otherwise meant to imprison. Some say freedom is power to do, to be, to say, and to accomplish what the oppressed cannot. Some say freedom is a responsibility —a weight to be carried and shared by those willing to protect it. Perhaps freedom is all these things. But in my eyes, I see freedom as a treasure . It is a gem so rare and precious the fiercest battles rage over it. The blood of thousands is spilled for it—past, present, and future. Where true and unblemished freedom exists, it shines with perfect clarity, drawing the greedy masses, both those who desire a portion of the spoils and those who would rob the possessor of the treasure, hoping to bury it away. Without freedom I am a slave in shackles on a ship lost at sea. With freedom I am a captain; I am a pirate; I am an admiral; I am a scout; I am the eagle souring overhead; I am the north star guiding a crew; I am the ship itself; I am whatever I choose to be.
The sign of a good leader is easy to recognize, though it is hardly ever seen. For the greatest leaders are those who share as equals in the trials and struggles, the demands and expectations, the hills and trenches, the laws and punishments placed upon the backs of those governed. A great leader is motivated not by power but by compassion. Therefore he can do nothing but make himself a servant to those whom he rules. Such a leader is unequivocally respected, and loved for loving.
It's been a harsh fight. You've been pummeled and knocked down. Your body aches, flesh torn and bruised. Your eyes can hardly see through a stream of blood. But you are cognizant and alive; therefore, you rise from the fight. This is life. It will test your will, your strength, and endurance. It will challenge your faith and convictions. It will scar your hopes and try your beliefs. In the end, life validates those who refuse to stay down.
People will insist on building high and wide barriers directly in your path, often with the intent of closing you in. If you treat these obstacles like fencing walls, they will prove mightily so. I choose to see them as grand towers meant to be scaled and conquered, providing an added victory as well as a great view of the journey ahead.
Many people believe they have found the key to Heaven's gate, not realizing that there is no key hole. It is a barrier upon which you must knock. And I believe that it is by our small and simple acts of kindness that we find the gate left ajar.
The sun shines every day without being told that it is brilliant. The mountains stand tall and majestic though no one informs them of their grandeur. The winds twirl and dance with clouds, minus cheers or compliments to inspire their moves. Flowers bloom, showing off colors, long before passing smiles acknowledge any beauty. The ocean claps at its own underwater chorus without topside ears listening. What is the world trying to tell you? Be wonderful because you are. Quit waiting to be told so first.
Today Today is the day that good things come your way, and then bad things to suck all the fun from your play. Today is the day that you stub every toe; blow your nose on a sleeve thinking no one will know. Today is the day the sun bursts from the clouds, and sunbeams rain down as you smile and sing loud. Today is the day that you meet someone new. You'll tickle his fancy―he'll tickle yours too. Today you spend beaming; you'll sigh with a frown. You'll buoy up all happy and cry when let down. Today is the day you will figure things out, 'cause today is called life and that's what life's about.
If you couldn't sense heat, you'd not be alive. And if that heat never grew uncomfortable, you would never move. And if you were stagnant—unchallenged by unpredictable flares—you would never grow capable of shielding yourself from harsher flames. So yes, life was meant to drag you straight through the fire.
I love when the sun plays hide-n-seek for a few days because its invisibility often goes unnoticed. The world seems content that its presence behind the clouds is enough. But as soon as that brilliant sun jumps into the open sky once again―shining in full splendor―our closed eyes automatically turn toward it, and we bask beneath a warm and tender touch, grateful all the more that our glorious sun exists.
In my lifetime I have witnessed far too many miracles to believe in impossibilities, and so I am officially modifying the definition. im·pos·si·ble [im- pos -uh-buhl] Old definition: Unable to be done. New definition: Unable to be ignored until done.
Seemingly insignificant choices are like seemingly trivial seeds. Once planted, they root and grow and spread into something tremendous. Imagine the prickly weeds some choices amount to over time and be careful not to plant them.
A guilty conscience pushed me to try harder—which I did for what seemed like a tremendous amount of wasted time, staring bug-eyed at uncooperative pencils. What was missing? The answer seemed obvious—intense emotional incentive. But at the moment I didn’t feel desperate or angry or afraid. Just severely bored out of my mind and guilt-ridden for feeling so mind-numbingly bored."
I was breaking down, wanting to fade away and cry, yet I feared ever being invisible again. My head lowered to conceal my humiliation behind a curtain of hair where I trembled as if sobbing. “Hey, Gwen, it’s okay. It’s okay. Calm down.” I yearned to feel Daniel’s soft touch meet my temple and then trace along my ear, brushing back the hairs from my face. What I wanted was the comfort his caress always afforded me. He moved as if he would grant my wish, realizing at the last moment that neither of us possessed the power to touch the other. “Your hair, Gwen.” I refused to do what he wanted. I didn’t care for him to see the shame plainly visible in my features. But the next thing I knew, his blue eyes were staring up at me from the ground, a glare reflecting off his glasses. The guy had dropped his books to fall over for a clear view of my face. His desperation made me laugh. “It’s going to be okay, Gwen, I promise." —from "Phantom's Veil
What is the right tool, the best option, the choicest gift, the winning hand, the greatest relief, the finest revenge, the sweetest drink, the perfect response, the working solution, the strongest medicine? The correct answer is kindness.