Archive | September 2012

Life Is…


I created this graphic for one of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes: 

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Homeless Boy Wins $130,000 Peace Prize


 
The obstacles seemed insurmountable for a 13-year-old Filipino street kid. Forced to scavenge for his survival from the age of 2, sleep in a coffin and run away to seek help after he was badly injured, Cris “Kesz” Valdez had every reason to merely look out for himself.

But at age 7, he started a foundation, the Championing Community Children charity, to help fellow homeless kids, and his selfless work has been recognized with the $130,000 Children’s Peace Prize.

You are wonderful,” Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu told the young philanthropist at a ceremony at The Hague. According to the KidsRights Foundation, Cris has helped about 10,000 kids by distributing flip-flops, toys, sweets and clothes in Cavite City, just 18 miles south of the capital Manila.

“My message to children around the world is not to lose hope,” he said. Cris also wants to educate them on good hygiene and their rights.  The prize money will go to fund charities of his choosing. Cris would like to get an education and eventually become a doctor.

Cris’s plight is not unique in his country. About 246,000 street children in the Philippines are subjected to abuse, violence and child labor.

source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/homeless-boy-wins-130-000-peace-prize-142221812.html

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Never Give Up


written by: James Harris; James Wright; Terry Lewis; Yolanda Adams

Visions that can change the world trapped inside an ordinary girl
She looks just like me too afraid to dream out loud
And though it’s simple your idea, it won’t make sense to everybody
You need courage now If you’re gonna persevere To fulfill divine purpose, you gotta answer when you’re called
So don’t be afraid to face the world against all odds[Chorus]
Keep the dream alive don’t let it die
If something deep inside keeps inspiring you to try, don’t stop
And never give up, don’t ever give up on you
Don’t give upEvery victory comes in time, work today to change tomorrow
It gets easier, who’s to say that you can’t fly
Every step you take you get, closer to your destination
You can feel it now, don’t you know you’re almost there?

To fulfill divine purpose, you gotta answer when you’re called
So don’t be afraid to face the world against all odds

[Chorus]
Keep the dream alive don’t let it die
If something deep inside keeps inspiring you to try, don’t stop
And never give up, don’t ever give up on you

[Bridge:]
Who holds the pieces to complete the puzzle?
The answer that can solve a mystery
The key that can unlock your understanding
It’s all inside of you, you have everything you need yeahhhh

Sooooo, keep the dream alive don’t let it die
If something deep inside, keeps inspiring you to try don’t stop
And never give up, don’t ever give up on you

Sometimes life can place a stumbling block in your way
But you’re gotta keep the faith, bring what’s deep inside your heart yeah your
Heart to the light
And never give up Don’t ever give up on you

Nooo don’t give up,
No, no, no, no don’t give up
Oh, no, no, no, no don’t…give…up

Right Now…RISE


Feel free to share if you know someone who would benefit from this message.

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

The Girl with the ‘Zebra Leg’


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jean Nail has been judging cheerleaders longer than most current cheerleaders have been alive. She started as spirit coordinator for the University of Arkansas 30 years ago, and let’s just say her standards are as tough as her name.

So her heart didn’t immediately melt earlier this year when she saw the DVD application of a blonde Texarkana girl named Patience Beard. Nail knew thousands of people would go “wow” when they took one look at the girl, and not in the way most red-blooded males say “wow” when they look at a cheerleader.

Patience was different than any other applicant Nail had ever seen: She had a prosthetic left leg. Nail was sympathetic, but this incoming freshman would have to inspire more than concern to become one of 12 freshmen to cheer for the Razorbacks. The coach would offer “no special consideration” here. Beard would have to do all the stunts, and do them perfectly. There would be no charity for Patience.


When she was six months old, Patience Beard was diagnosed with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD), a disease that affects bone growth. Put simply, her left leg would always be shorter than her right. And over the course of years, that would create all kinds of structural problems. So when she was nine months old, Beard’s parents allowed doctors to amputate their daughter’s left foot and ankle. She would be able to walk, but not without a prosthetic.

Beard’s mom and dad worried about their girl falling down. Patience, however, didn’t seem to have those concerns. When she was 3, her dad made her a bike with training wheels and a special sleeve that could accommodate her prosthetic leg. Patience demanded the training wheels be removed. Mom said no, but Dad relented. And off Patience went, riding along without training wheels.

There would be trying times, of course. Patience remembers going to the beach in fifth grade and feeling embarrassed when everyone around her started noticing her leg. “What happened to you?” they asked. Patience told her mom she wanted to wear pants. Her mom told her no.

“That’s who you are,” she told her daughter. “Don’t be ashamed. This is you.”

Over time, Patience became a little bit of a show-off. Not in an obnoxious or arrogant way, but in a proud way. Instead of hiding her disability – and that term should be used quite loosely here – she was happy to draw attention to what she could do. She started gymnastics at 4 and cheering in seventh grade. She learned to do pretty much every stunt imaginable, including running flips that look like something out of Gabrielle Douglas’  playbook.

In ninth grade, a time when girls are at their most self-conscious, Patience asked her doctors at the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas to outfit her prosthetic leg with a zebra pattern. She kept thinking of new designs, the way most of us look for sleeves for our iPhones. One of her favorites is an M&Ms skin. She also had an American flag skin around the time of 9/11. Patience would win over her high school classmates so much that they named her homecoming queen.


It’s a long way from Texarkana to Division I football. Nail knew the cameras would be all over Patience, and some people watching at home would not be kind. Beard would not only have to master all of the difficult moves the squad executes during a 60-minute football game, she’d have to withstand the glare of the spotlight, too.

But she’s been fine with that. Beard laughs when told some people in Northwest Arkansas are already describing her as “the girl with the zebra leg.” She’s still “in shock” that she made Arkansas’ cheerleading squad and was deeply moved when a 4-year-old boy with a prosthetic right leg noticed her at a recent Hogs game and wanted to meet her. It was one of the proudest moments of Patience’s life.

“She’s the kind of person we want,” Nail says. “She’s a good role model. And she’s absolutely qualified.”

So qualified, in fact, that when the cheerleaders run laps around the edge of the football field for warm-ups each day, Patience has never come in last. Not once.

The challenges are mostly unseen. That’s the thing about cheering – it’s supposed to look effortless. You don’t see the pain Patience feels from jumping, running, even walking the hills around Fayetteville. All amputees feel it because no prosthetic feels completely comfortable. But you’ll never hear Patience mutter a word about that. No special consideration from her coach, no excuses from her.

There is a bit of a challenge, however, for Patience’s partner, Kevin Ellstrand. He’s the one who has to lift her, and he admits it’s a little bit tricky holding a girl up with one arm when a disproportionate amount of her weight is on one side. But Ellstrand and Beard haven’t had any issues in the three home games so far. They know the smile should remain even on a rainy Saturday when the team is losing 52-0 to Alabama.

“She’s the most positive person I’ve ever met,” says Ellstrand, 22. “I’m inspired every day.”

And soon he might be a little bit jealous, too. Patience is considering asking her Dallas hospital for a new prosthetic, in Razorbacks red. “How many people do you know who have an Arkansas leg?” she asks.

For now, she’s the one on the sidelines with the zebra leg. She explains she uses that one the most because it goes with just about every outfit she wears.

“You know,” she jokes, “I’m a girl.”

source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf–the-girl-with-the–zebra-leg–wows-hog-country.html

Ohio Man Aids Same Stranger Twice in Eight Years


By Matthew Jaffe | Good Morning America

In a turn of events described as “miraculous,” an Ohio man helped the same stranger twice in the span of eight years, most recently in a potentially deadly situation last weekend.

It was late Saturday night on a country road near Chagrin Falls, about 20 miles east of Cleveland, when Christopher Manacci and his wife were driving home from watching their son’s football game for Case Western Reserve University and noticed a van, towing a boat, moving very slowly.

“I passed him and, for whatever reason, I noticed his front-left tire looked flat,” Manacci told ABC News. “I dropped my wife off at home and said, “I’m going to take the guy a can of Fix-a-Flat. It’s 11 o’clock at night in a rural setting, so there’s not a lot of places to go. There are no tire stores, no anything. When I returned, I pulled behind him about 100 feet away, completely off the road and went up to ask him if he wanted to use the Fix-a-Flat for his tire, which I noticed was shredded. He and his son were outside the van evaluating the tire.”

Suddenly, a pick-up truck, whose driver turned out to be allegedly drunk, came tearing down the road, smashing into Manacci’s car.

“We didn’t even see this truck until it impacted the car,” Manacci recalled. “It strikes my vehicle and causes the truck to go up on the left two wheels, airborne, missing this guy and his son by about three feet.

“The guy looks at me and goes, ‘What just happened?’ I just said, ‘Thank God he hit my car.’ Because had he not struck my vehicle, he would have struck this guy and his son head-on at 50 miles per hour.”

That was when a strange situation became even stranger. Gerald Gronowski, the owner of the van who was returning from a lake fishing trip, asked Manacci what kind of work he did. When Manacci replied that he is a nurse practitioner at Case Western’s School of Nursing, Gronowski recounted an incident that had taken place eight years earlier.

“He tells me about this story where he was fishing on that same lake,” Manacci said. “His son at that time was on the dock where you launch the boats and I heard him say, ‘Is anybody here a doctor?’ I was kayaking with my son on the lake. His son says, ‘My dad’s hurt really bad.’ I say, ‘Let me take a look at him.’ He had three [fishing hooks] hooks deep in the palm of his hand, deep into the tissue of his hand. Fortunately, I had with me a medical kit to remove this hook out of his hand without causing any more extensive damage.

“He’s telling me this story and I go, ‘Yes, I know that story well.’ He looks at me and says, ‘You do?’ I say, ‘Yeah, it was me. He says, ‘Oh, my God, it was you!’

He thanked me for that last time and says, ‘You know, there’s no doubt, tonight you saved my life.’ I said, ‘I didn’t, but I guess my Lexus did.'”

The remote chances of Manacci helping Gronowski twice in eight years were not lost on the two men.

“To have this perchance meeting a second time when he was in significant danger and for me to play a small role in the outcome, it’s a blessing,” Manacci said.

“I’m a nurse practitioner and in 30 years I’ve done helicopter rescues and jet rescues in every place across the globe, so coming to help people is part of my DNA , I guess,” he said. “Of all these things, I probably know the least about mechanics, but I do know when somebody’s in trouble and that was the sense I had [Saturday].

“It’s really quite a miracle if you think about it, a miracle that I was a part of,” he said. “And it’s a miracle for that [alleged] drunk driver since he does not have to live with the horror of knowing that he killed a family. No matter how you look at it, it’s really quite amazing. For me, well, you know, I’m just a small piece of it.”

As the two men stood by the side of the road Saturday in disbelief about what had just transpired, Gronowski offered to take Manacci fishing to thank him for his help.

“I said, ‘No disrespect, but given the luck you have surrounding the fishing,” Manacci said he replied, “It’d be better off if we went bowling.

“And I said, ‘I want to be clear that I limit rescues to two times per person in a lifetime.”

source: http://gma.yahoo.com/ohio-man-aids-same-stranger-twice-eight-years-214414472.html?_esi=1

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

The Optimist Creed


The Optimist Creed

I promise myself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness, & prosperity to every person I meet.
  • To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything & make my optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, & to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful expression at all times & give a smile to every living creature I meet.
  • To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, & too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
  • To think well of myself & to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.
  • To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.