Monthly Archives: October 2013

If it weren’t for great people like you…


I’m inspired by this card and act of kindness by my colleague, Anne.  We have a professional relationship based on mutual respect.


Building mutual respect is essential in building strong and happy relationships.

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I am so inspired by this gift that I’ve been sending a donor, colleague or volunteer a brief note of appreciation each day.


I’ve met so many people who just want to see positive change for good in the places they live, work and play.


 Autumn Lily Pad Reflections 

Autumn Lily Pad Reflections 1

Effective leaders:


  •   Don’t lead alone, instead they empower others.


  •  Take responsibility for their actions and encourage the responsible behavior of others.


  •  Collaborate and follow through on assigned tasks.  Collective experiences and perspectives can foster the best possible ideas, opportunities, solutions and outcomes.


  •   Establish and maintain mutual respect by establishing respect for the values and perspectives of others.


  •  Use effective communication tools such as reflective listening.  Listening and immediately repeating back what was said, ensuring things were perceived correctly.


  •  Have the drive and inspiration to turn challenges into opportunities. “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have”. –Teddy Roosevelt.

The Human Service Forum shared this TED Talk that examines how happiness inspires productivity.  The happy secret to better work:

Daniel Goleman shares Don’t Write Off the Coaching Leadership Style:  This post gives some great tips on how to help employees grow and become more engaged.

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Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein


Autumn ReflectionsMy late sister used to say, “I love Autumn because every year God paints the earth for my Birthday!” To celebrate we would arrange a free afternoon together.  We would take a ride and enjoy the local Autumn view, and the companionship of our sisterhood.  We always finished her day with a maple flavored cup of coffee.


She chose to share her gifts of compassion, empathy, humility and gentleness as a nurse.  She also volunteered at her local church as treasurer of the World Missions Committee.  She took pride in accounting for all the donations that would be sent oversees to help provide missionaries and their communities with food, shelter, medical supplies, including Band-Aids.  World missions was a cause she felt deeply compassionate about.


As I made my journey through town today, I passed the church my sister attended her entire adult life. Although she has been gone for more than a decade, I reminisced for a moment about the people who helped our family carry out her final wishes.


At her passing we learned that the funeral could not be in her church.  The back steps and ramp were covered in snow.  They had rotted out and could not support the weight of a casket.  Our community made my sister’s final wishes a reality.  A kind soul plowed out the entrance, and a small “interfaith community build” began.  New steps and a ramp were installed by volunteers, including the owner of our local hardware store, along with family, church and community members.  All materials were donated at cost.


This freed my soul, so I could grieve and write her eulogy, including this excerpt: “As my body began to weaken, I as you, realized that my “Golden Surgery” would never come to pass.  I am now home in heaven.”  “My life here on earth mattered because of the relationship I shared with each of you.  My sorrow is for you, as I am now in a far better place.”


Today, as I turned to walk up the hill, a gentle breeze brushed my face, and then I noticed the sun glistening over my sisters final resting place.  Daisies placed delicately by her side in remembrance of her mind, body and soul. Gone but never forgotten!  Her gentle and humble spirit continues to inspire her family, friends and community.


This day will only come once for you and I, so be sure to enjoy it, and help someone else enjoy it, too!


Now, I will indulge in a cup of maple coffee.


Articles, resources and tips.

Network for Good posted some resources and inspiration for the next 90 days:


Harvard Business posted this quick but good read:

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“The best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk”. ~ Dalai Lama.

Colorful Autumn Pond Reflection 1

This photo was taken on a long and winding country road.  Fall has always been one of my favorite times of year.  The beauty that surrounds New England is breathtaking.  I always look forward to the change in seasons!


This photo was taken so far from Washington and the looming government shutdown.  Yet the lay offs (furloughs) are impacting more and more people everyday.  From nonessential Technicians on our military bases to Early Education…


Still our elected officials continue to be paid while also accruing benefits.  Perspective – From the beginning of the government shutdown until its resolve, the least each of you can do is donate all your gross earnings – not  just a portion – to a charity!


What will be the legacy of this government shutdown – these elected officials?  


As posted in my last blog: What impact will the “Government Shutdown” have on individuals, families, communities, nonprofits and charitable giving, …?  This article by The Chronicle of Philanthropy caught my attention:  “We elect officials to govern, and when they fail in their obligations they get a failing grade from us,” said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofit and foundation leaders said at her organization’s annual meeting today. “Shutting down government hurts communities, it hurts poor people, it hurts families. It’s time for them to get back to the business of governing.”


We need to strengthen individuals, families and communities! 


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October 4, 2013 · 9:28 pm

Legacy Reflections

Legacy Reflections

I took this amateur photo last Saturday. 

As I reflected, I pondered what I will be remembered for?  What is my legacy to my children, grandchildren, family and community? What can I give?  Time, talent, integrity, love, empathy, resources…?

What do you want to be remembered for?


Food, Family & Fun

Food, family and fun!  

I spent last weekend visiting with family and friends.  It was my great nephew’s Birthday.  My nephew smoked a brisket along with some pulled pork.  We had a family picnic by this fireplace – laughing and celebrating life.  


Life can be so bittersweet! We laughed and fought back tears, often at the same time.  It was a happy and sad day.  It was the one year anniversary of the death of a family member, “Uncle Piggy“.  Last April he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on September 28th, 2012.


Perspective – My sister and her husband worked their entire life, like so many people, and never had the opportunity to retire.


Gone, but not forgotten! “Uncle Piggy” earned his nickname some 35 years ago when he told my sister she was “a piggy for eating coffee ice cream”.

Auntie & Uncle Piggy

His niece looked up with wide and resolute eyes, purposely sharing: “Auntie is not a piggy, you are”!  That nickname stayed with him through my sister’s funeral and his – not just by my family, but by his entire family and all of our extended friends, too.


Knowing we all belong to the family of humanity, and life is finite inspires me to listen to others and work toward lasting change for good – Inspire it…Enjoy it…Do it!


My boss shared this insightful GuideStar article.


“Self-confidence combined with interest in other people. These are individuals willing to look me in the eye, offer a firm handshake, and show curiosity. They’re willing to engage, and, most important, they show a talent for listening… The first three letters of fundraising are “f-u-n,” after all.”  –  Thomas Wolf


Thank you GuideStar for sharing this blog post yesterday on Google+: Teaching philanthropy – yes, it works!


That blog post links to a study on How Parents Teach Charitable Giving matters:


What impact will the government shutdown have on individuals, families, communities, charitable giving, nonprofits…?  This article from Philanthropy Today caught my attention:  “We elect officials to govern, and when they fail in their obligations they get a failing grade from us,” said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofit and foundation leaders said at her organization’s annual meeting today. “Shutting down government hurts communities, it hurts poor people, it hurts families. It’s time for them to get back to the business of governing.”


What will be the legacy of this government shutdown – these elected officials?


We need to help strengthen individuals, families and communities!

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