December 28, 2006

Natural Highs

Falling in love Laughing so hard your face hurts A hot shower No lines at the supermarket A special glance Getting mail Taking a drive on a pretty country road Hearing your favorite song on the radio Lying in bed listening to the rain outside Hot towels fresh out of the dryer Vanilla milkshakes A bubble bath Giggling A good, deep conversation The beach Finding a twenty dollar bill in your coat from last winter Laughing at yourself Looking into their eyes and knowing they love you Midnight phone calls that last for hours Running through sprinklers Laughing for absolutely no reason at all Having someone tell you that you're beautiful Laughing at an inside joke Friends Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleepYour first kiss with someone Making new friends or spending time with old ones Playing with a dogHaving someone play with your hair Sweet dreams Road trips with friendsSwinging on swings Making eye contact with a cute stranger Getting or giving a massage Making cookies Having your friends send you homemade cookies Holding hands with someone you care about Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you Watching the sunrise Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day Knowing that somebody misses you Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think Getting a great list of natural highs from a wonderful friend named Zoe

December 26, 2006


As I spend time looking at myself, not just in the mirror smiling and grinning but introspectively, I find my reflections bring with them the need for great fine tuning. The way I treat others, the way I think about friends and the ways I spend my time could all do for some adjustment. Somewhere along the way, for example, I started looking at people and wondering how they could help me rather than how I could help them. I started to look at people who have always helped me and even asked this question. I took my friends, my family and everyone else for granted. I was too important to spend my time wondering how I could help other people, too smart to do menial tasks and too educated to be talked out of whatever conclusions I had thought up. It doesn't take long for that way of living to catch up with you though. People know when you're using them, when you don't really care about them and when you are out for yourself. The family and friends you took for granted will slowly disappear. Everyone else who was so helpful before will become impatient and cold. The life that once, based on service, was so enjoyable becomes lonely and desolate. "What in God's name is love?" I found myself asking. Maybe what is done in God's name is love, I found myself hearing in response. Maybe helping others to get what they need will provide for you all that you need. Help others. Care about the well being of others. Ease their suffering. Become at peace with yourself. Success will come then after you do these things, not the other way around.

December 17, 2006

My Advice

Wake up early Meditate Exercise Go to sleep early Write in your journal Relax Don’t worry Care about others Clean your car Don’t bite your nails Drink vanilla bean frappacinos Eat Krispy Kreme donuts Take plenty of pictures Go on plenty of adventures Consider everyday an adventure Don’t ask what will happen to you if you act, ask what will happen to others if you don’t act Drink plenty of water Remember whether you think life is good or bad, you’re right Think multilaterally Share Don’t take more than you give Simplify, simplify, simplify – Thoreau Be nonviolent Plan, but don’t forget today Learn as if you will live forever, live as if you will die tomorrow – Gandhi Live like you never lived before, love like you never loved before – Amy Eat at Akito Change yourself, then your family, then your friends, then your community, then your country, then your world – Confucius Be a good person – The Dalai Lama Be the change you wish to see in the world – Gandhi Blow bubbles in bubble gum Be patient Go camping Be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, clean and reverent – The Scout Law On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times and to obey the Scout Law, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight – The Scout Oath

December 15, 2006

Banana Night Special!

The second installment of Gandhi Gazoo was made featuring his most recent adventure: Banana Night at Lynch House. Banana Night took place right before exam week at Campbell and was a welcomed relaxation before the storm of tests and studying. The entire idea was created by none other than Wee Wan, our favorite Malaysian housemate. We should have a party with all things banana, he told us early on. Not only did we have that party, but we were proud to welcome Gandhi Gazoo too. Thanks for a great night Banana King Wee, it was fantastic!

December 7, 2006

Hunting Dogs

This morning I saw a dog walking outside the house while making a phone call by the window. That isn’t too unusual I suppose, as there are dogs on campus sometimes, but my reaction this morning was unusual. I went outside and found it very close to the backdoor, holding its rear leg up and staring into my eyes. She was old, hungry, scared, tired and injured. I don’t know when she was injured, but I don’t suppose I ever will. A few minutes after petting her, I was calling her owner and directing him to our house. He was a few miles north of campus and said he would be right over. Garrett pet her a little while I waited on the lawn for him to arrive. Reba, as he called her when he got out of the truck, hobbled over to him ready to jump in the large back cage of the truck. He apologized for the inconvenience, but it really was my pleasure. I love dogs, miss our dogs from home and haven’t petted a dog like that for quite a while. As she drank from the water bowl in the back of the truck and he drove away, I thought of what I had said to Garrett when we were sitting together. I don’t usually think to come out for a dog, even if it has a collar on, but maybe I should. Regardless of whether I know the owner, every animal deserves humane treatment including as painless a death as possible. To ignore my place in that treatment is decided indifference and I don’t believe that is acceptable. I hope I will respond in kind next time, whether I see a collar or not, to do what I can.

December 4, 2006

Powerful Beyond Measure

Over Thanksgiving Break I was lucky enough to talk with my Dad for hours about success, happiness, knowing what we are meant to do with our lives, meeting challenges, staying focused, finding purpose and living well. One of the quotes that stuck with him and that he passed to me was a quote by Nelson Mandela. After finding it, I noticed he quoted it very closely. It was given by then President Mandela during his Inaugural Speech in South Africa. Quoted by a man who was imprisoned for 26 years (1964 to 1990) because he opposed the apartheid system in South Africa, I think this quote is especially compelling.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson quoted by Nelson Mandela in Inaugural Speech

Overcoming that fear means realizing we are powerful beyond measure. We are great, large, capable and responsible to act. We can and should serve the world around us with our every moment and we know it. I think me being powerful beyond measure has been felt in every great project I’ve ever accomplished, every time I have ever approached something just because I believed I should and every time my dreams and wishes have come true because I worked hard toward them. It’s daily, I think, the overcoming of this fear. It has also been a test of my integrity, honesty and humility. It’s about being myself all the time, as much when people watch as when they don’t. It’s something I think I’ve moved away from, but that I can get back. It can be overwhelming, but if it weren’t, I wouldn’t call it my deepest fear.

December 3, 2006

A Wonderful Life

I think I’m beginning to understand the quote that “there can be too much of a good thing.” I’ve found it only takes a few favorite websites before they become overwhelming, a few fun classes before there isn’t enough time to do well in them, a few best friends before there isn’t time to spend with each of them and a few service clubs before I am spread thin.
When we die nothing can be taken with us but the seeds of our life’s work and our spiritual knowledge,” says the Dalai Lama and similarly “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away,” said the photo from the movie It’s A Wonderful Life which I watched tonight. George Bailey, the main character in the movie, says early on “I want to do something big with my life.” His dad tells him that we they do at the Building and Loan company is big, in their own little way, but it isn’t until late in the movie that George learns this lesson. I thought of many things when I watched this, including the saying of Confucius that we must first change ourselves, then our families, then our friends and so forth to make big change. And I also thought about my life. I have always said I wanted to do something big, but as I think about what I can really take with me from this wonderful life I believe it will always be what I leave behind. It’s a wonderful lesson.