Guided By The Golden Rule — Living Happily with Kindness and Compassion

Welcome to my Writing Pages and the first official entry for the new year — 2022!

Wow, where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that the Christmas and Holiday Seasons were just beginning. And now we are already in the second week of January!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? How is it going? Please don’t be shy. Feel free to share your resolutions and progress in the Comments!

I have read that about 40% of Americans make resolutions for the new year and that roughly 75% of people who actually do make resolutions are still successful in sticking with them after the first week. After that, the sticktoitiveness seems to taper off.

Sadly, only about 8% actually succeed in keeping to their New Year’s Resolutions in the end. But, that is 8% of us who are hopefully all the better for the experience! So you go, all you little resolutors out there! We’re rootin’ for you to follow thru to the end and succeed!

The only resolution that I made for the new year is to get back to writing consistently. That involves sharing more new materials on the Writing Pages and lighting a fire under my story character friend Little Red Bear’s furry butt to get some new stories and at least one more book assembled and published by the end of the year. So far, so good, as evidenced by this new post today. But enough about that.


Getting to the subject then, as the new year was just beginning a week ago someone asked me what quotes most influence me regarding how I live my life, guiding principles, etc. I had to think about that. But not for long, really. The answer was quite obvious once I put my mind to it.

As followers here know, I tend to share a number of relevant quotes at the end of each writing piece. Writing topics thru the year here range in subject matter from Positivity, Kindness, Compassion, Children, Family, Environment, Conservation, Wildlife, Writing Topics, and Holiday Features, to plain old silly and humorous pieces now and then just for fun. And the list of my quote influencers is long, from Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin to the Dalai Lama and Dr. Seuss. So, that is quite a range of accompanying quotes from which to be asked to pick out a few favorites.

How about this one perhaps, from “The Simpsons” TV show —

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” – Jebediah Springfield

 

Of course, despite the fine, emboldening quote, it turns out little Lisa Simpson, dutifully doing her due diligence researching more into the town hero’s background, later discovered that Jebediah Smith had previously been known as ‘Hans Sprungfeld’, a murderous pirate. The local town hero was, in fact, a fraud.

And that is always the risk in quickly grabbing any “quote to suit occasion” without researching if it is really true and factual, or not. Abraham Lincoln nailed it right on the head. Or did he really say that?!?  Random quoting can be a tricky business if one is not careful.


Seriously though, ol’ Jebediah and Abraham Lincoln aside, there is no question about my most favorite quote, the guiding principle which governs and influences everything I do in my life and always has — “The Golden Rule”.

      “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”     

Luke 6:31

Growing up, The Golden Rule was always prominently displayed on a kitchen plaque on the wall, placed right above the kitchen table where we could not help but see it. This verse was my Mother’s favorite Bible passage and she never wasted an opportunity to apply it in any situation. I grew up with it, and do my very best to live up to it every day.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Short and simply stated, but it seems to encompass it all, doesn’t it?


In the same vein and going right along with The Golden Rule is another guiding quote and principle in my daily life and the way I go about things —

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple Kindness.”

– Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV


Simple kindness and going about treating others as you would like to be treated yourself. They both tend to get a lot of lip service it seems, but the world would be a lot kinder and gentler place for us all if more folks put those few simple words into true practice, don’t you think?

So, those are the principal guiding quotes in my life, influencing my approach to writing, my Little Red Bear stories, how I conduct myself, my relationships with others and the world around me.  Guiding everything I do in my life.


I invite you to visit with some of my writing friends to see the quotes which most influence their lives going into the new year —

Sandra Bennett → “A Few Favourite Quotes to Live by in the New Year”

Rosie Russell’s ‘Books By Rose’ → “Four Special Quotes To Consider For 2022”

Carmela Dutra → “Favorite Quotes to Live By in the New Year”

Rebecca Lyndsey → “A Whole New Year”

Julie Gorges → “Favorite Quotes to Live By in the New Year”


A simple kind word or gesture costs nothing and yet has the power to possibly help turn someone’s challenging day or entire life around.  Another of my Mother’s favorite sayings was —

“You Reap What You Sow”

I choose to sow Kindness. How about you?

Thank you for visiting today!  I hope everything is going well for you and yours as we step further into the new year now.

Little Red Bear joins with me in sending along very best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy year ahead!

‘Til next time  — Jim (and Red!)   🤠 🐻


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim, & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post and feature!)


“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

   “Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings.”

–  Maya Angelou


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating.

If you enjoy your visits and time with us, I invite you to Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a Non-Monetized site free of distracting advertisements,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of Happiness, Inspiration, Kindness, Environmental Awareness, and Conservation with everyone.

We invite you to Join Us In Making A Positive Difference In The World!


 “Here is the secret of happiness: Forget yourself and think of others.” –  Paramananda


Thank You for visiting with us!
Please feel free to share with family and friends. Likes, Shares, & Comments are truly appreciated and help expand our reach and encouraGE new readers to visit!
Because together, we can do so much! 

 

Discovering the Super Hero Within and Lending A Helping Hand To Others

Happy “Whatever-Day-You-May-Be-Reading-This” and Welcome Back!

A friend stopped by to visit yesterday. That in itself is not so unusual given the ‘usually’ cordial fella that I am. But as so often happens, caught up in the moment and merriment as I was, my unstoppable sense of hospitality outpaced my brain. Not thinking, I invited my friend to stay for dinner.

Normally, that would not be an issue at all, but right now my cupboard and supply of readily-at-hand food items with which to prepare a bonafide dinner are very low, having not grocery shopped in quite a while.

A Chicken Little-Esque and embarrassing feeling of panic set in when my rational thinking left brain caught up with what my good-intentioned right brain had proffered, the dinner invitation still hanging in the air as it was. I had painted myself into the proverbial corner, as the old saying goes. Now, what to do? I was suddenly caught up in a crisis (admittedly a small one) of my own making.

But, not to fear, however, for in a moment my unquenchable spirit of adventure and determination to rise to any challenge kicked in. I began to look about and survey those items which were on hand, determined to rise to the occasion.

Spying a baguette sitting on the counter, I went in search of ingredients to whip up some French Bread Pizza halves on the spot. Knowing my friend as I do, I also knew that pizza of any kind would be received as an acceptable offering at any time of day.

I also knew for a fact though, that I did not have any true pizza sauce or ingredients with which to make a real pizza, but did find a jar of Prego Sausage & Garlic pasta sauce to use in place of a traditional pizza sauce. The pasta sauce was not exactly hiding in the back of a mostly empty cupboard and was easy to spot.

In the refrigerator, I spied what was left of an open bag of Shredded Italian Six Cheese Blend, and then found the remains of a length of Hickory Smoked Summer Sausage. Fetching a Red Onion, Butter, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan, I formulated a plan.

I set to work simmering the pasta sauce for a few minutes in order to reduce it just a bit.  Slicing the baguettes in half lengthwise, I proceeded to slice the onion into thin slices and then separate into individual rings. Taking the summer sausage in hand next, I was able to slice a dozen thin rounds from the bit that was left and set them aside. I then spread butter on each of the four opened baguette halves. Sprinkling each half with a good dash of garlic powder and just a smidgeon of kosher salt for flavor, I placed them in the toaster oven for 2 ½ minutes to give the baguette halves a head start, firming and crisping them up a bit before spreading the sauce over them so they would not be so “bready”.

Removing the lightly-toasted baguette halves from the toaster oven, I covered each with the reduced pasta sauce and a layer of sprinkled parmesan cheese, followed in turn with the shredded cheese, onions, sausage slices, and a dash of sprinkled oregano and red pepper flakes. Back into the toaster oven they went. The smell of baking onions mixed with the sausage and spices filled my apartment.

What emerged from the oven five minutes later was so amazing I was unable to snap any photos before they disappeared. “Hold on for a minute while I snap a few photos,” I asked. My friend would have none of that and dove right in. An impromptu Pizza Party dinner success!


Admittedly, the combination of ingredients on the pizza loaf halves would not be attractive to everyone. In truth, I was fortunate my friend also liked onions and summer sausage, the items I did have on hand. But that’s not really the point.

Oftentimes in life, we are presented with challenges or situations for which we do not feel prepared. Small and large. The outcome and what happens next is in good part determined by how we then proceed – whether we choose to react in a negative manner, feeling depressed, fearful, bitter, or angry; or to respond with confidence and a sense of self-reliance in a positive way.

Do we crumble under the sudden pressure like an empty soda can underfoot, or do we rise to the challenge and do the best we can with it? Whatever “it” might be.

In my case, it was simply a premature dinner invitation offered without anything on hand with which to prepare a real dinner. Not a real “biggie” in terms of many of the challenges we face in life, but still somewhat of a  “react, panic, and risk embarrassment” or a “respond and figure it out” type situation. For me, I live in what I refer to as the “Magical Land of Make Do, Figure It Out, and Get By.”

What challenges might you be faced with today? Situations occur for which we feel we are unprepared or not yet ready in the moment. Certainly, not everything always goes according to plan or as we have scripted it. That’s just part of life, isn’t it?

Last week I learned of yet another, unexpected surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my dominant right shoulder in a few weeks. Torn just about clear-thru the MRI said. Surgery number “Eleven” for those who keep count. To borrow a trite expression – “It is what it is.”

My feeling anxious or bitter about going thru yet another surgery and extended one-handed rehab period following recent surgery on both hands this past June would do nothing to change the fact that I have a severe, perforated rotator cuff tear in my dominant right arm and shoulder, and that I may need a complete left shoulder replacement at some point in the future, as well. I am looking at this as more motivation to finish getting my new apartment in order beforehand, followed by an opportunity for a few weeks of quiet reading, study, and research while rehabbing to benefit my writing and work both here on my Writing Pages and in my Little Red Bear adventure stories.

The next time you may feel caught off-guard or confronted with an unexpected challenge, I urge you to set fear, doubts, and worries to the wayside, and instead gather your courage and respond in a positive way. Look at it as a challenge. Maybe take a cue from the approach of Mr. Hyde –

“Trouble? I call it sport.”

 – Mr. Hyde, “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”

Do not give in to anger, bitterness, worries, doubts, and fears. However bothersome or distressing, try to view the situation as an opportunity to be creative, stretch your abilities, and grow. Have fun with it if you can.

However the issue may resolve in the end, you will have emerged stronger and more confident on the other side for having done so, and more prepared to deal with the next surprise life may have in store. Have faith in yourself and you will be surprised just how much you can do and accomplish when you set worries to the side, put your mind to it, take action, and put your best, positive foot forward.

You may even tap into some inner, previously undiscovered Super Powers you weren’t even aware of in the process. I have faith in you. Do you?


Along the same lines, if you see a friend perhaps suddenly confronted with an unexpected challenge or calamity in their life, what words of encouragement or support could you offer to help them thru it?

Perhaps, just maybe, what your friend is going thru could also be a call and another opportunity for you to step up. Putting your hands on a friend’s problems can remove the focus on yours for a while. At those times when we reach out to help another with their problems, it seems that our own issues and challenges frequently diminish in size. When we help another, we end up helping ourselves, as well.

We are all in this together, and none of us are prepared or has all of the answers all of the time. Everyone can benefit from a friendly helping hand and words of encouragement now and then. The beastly thing that may loom very large and intimidating when finding oneself standing all alone in front of it, is not quite so menacing when standing side by side with a friend.

Sometimes we all could use a helping hand and are in need of a friend. Sometimes, we ourselves can be that helping hand and friend for another.


Thanks always for stopping by to visit. A smile and kind words have the power to better someone’s day and maybe even turn a whole life around. Will you share your smile and a kind word or gesture with someone today?

Until next time — Best Wishes and Blessings!  – Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  and  Wishing You Deep Peace, Love, Happiness, and Joy –  And A Very Good Day! 

(New Visitors — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” and “About the Blog, Jim & Little Red Bear” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” — Psalm 145:16

                “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”                 — Albert Camus 


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” — Charles Dickens


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                      No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.” — Alana Stewart


 

Kindness and The Power of Words

My Mother, who I consider to quite possibly be the wisest person I have ever known, raised me on the adage of —  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  Her intent was to both support me when on the receiving end of hurtful barbs sent my way, and to make sure that I learned not to launch any in the direction of others myself.

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With all due love and respect to Mom, that’s plain hogwash.  Sticks and stones may break our bones, but Words can be truly hurtful.  We need to be especially careful, supportive and encouraging with our chosen words for children, whose self-images and psyches can be so fragile.  And with everyone, really.  Words have the power to hurt or heal.  Support or discourage.  Build up or tear down.  Words can serve to create or to devastate and crush a young and loving spirit.  Broken bones and wounds tend to heal well over time, but poorly chosen, hurtful words can leave lasting impressions and scars that stay with us forever.

An unkind word is like toothpaste.  Once out, it is impossible to put back.  Hurtful and demeaning words may be forgiven, but likely never forgotten.

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A kind word can mean the world to someone who may be going thru a rough stretch of road. And we never really know what someone may be going thru from outward appearances. Oftentimes, all a struggling person may need to turn a life in turmoil around is a kind word to know someone else cares.  On how many occasions after someone has passed, have we heard the sentiment — “If only I had told them . . . . “?

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We should never let pass the opportunity to lend a hand, help someone, or as William Makepeace Thackeray put it — “Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.”

Thanks as always for stopping in to visit.  Share a kind word, and make someone’s day a little brighter.  — Jim   (and Red!)

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Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

 

Plant Only Love!

As we head outdoors into the gardens and flower beds with springtime now, let’s also carry this wonderful thought along from the 13th century poet Rumi, below.

In the garden of life, plant only love wherever you may go, and watch it blossom.  Wishing everyone a wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day weekend! — Jim (and Red!)

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