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Archive for the ‘Attitude’ Category

What Would Atticus Do? Lessons from a man of fine character.

In Attitude, Movies on August 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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I have just finished watching the movie To Kill A Mockingbird again. I never grow tired of watching it and never lose my awe at how Gregory Peck portrays Atticus Finch. Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird agreed,
“In that film, the man and the part met.” Harper Lee

These are some of the life lessons Atticus can teach us:

*Choose your battles with your children and with other people.

*Stand by your beliefs and stand up for what is right.
(On defending Tom Robinson) “For a number of reasons. The main one is that if I didn’t, I couldn’t hold my head up in town. I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do somethin’ again.”

*Don’t cause unneccesary embarrassment for others.

*React to anothers’ bad humour with compliments and kindness.

*Tell the truth. Give your children truthful answers when they ask a question.

*Teach your children to respect others, no matter their circumstances, and model that behaviour yourself.

*Be affectionate with your children.

*Read with your children. Read in your leisure time.

*Put yourself in other people’s shoes. Try to see things from their point of view.
” If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

*Don’t over-react.

*Try not to resort to physical violence.

*Practise eloquence. Have a command of language, speak clearly, passionately, when called for without undue raising of the voice and refrain from profanity.

If only we all could have the noble character and integrity of Atticus Finch. If only all children had the benefit of such a father figure.

What has Atticus taught you?

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

In Attitude, Books, Excerpt, Poetry, Quotes on July 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

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Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1927.

Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) was an American lawyer and poet who wrote the Desiderata in 1927. He wrote in his diary,in relation to it;

” I should like if I could, to leave a humble gift- a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some humble moods.”

Desiderata is translated from Latin as “desired things”. It is an inspirational message of faith and hope. During WWII it was estimated that about 1000 copies were distributed by Merill Moore, a U.S Army psychatrist with the objective of helping soldiers with their treatment.

The Desiderata was also used on posters during the ” Make Peace, Not War” movement of the 1960’s, and also has been recorded to music.

It has mistakenly been claimed to have been found in “Old St. Pauls’s Church, Baltimore” in 1692, however Ehrmanns’ family has proved copyright.

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 5

In Attitude, Books, Excerpt, Poetry, Quotes on July 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

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Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

Hopefully, as we grow older we will have some wisdom and have learnt from our mistakes- or maybe not! Maybe we keep making mistakes and misjudgments, maybe it is immaturity and the way the young have the luxury of thinking they are immortal. When we are young we can fantasize about a perfect life, neglect ourselves and our loved ones and take risks with a more blase attitude. With a little age,experience and wisdom we know that life is short and impermanent. Some times there is no second chance, no do-overs and all things, good and bad will pass.

Knowing the concept “This too shall pass” is a good mantra to strengthen your spirit when things seem too hard and to remind yourself to enjoy the good times while they last. This realisation brings us back to the moment, as it IS, not with worry and anxiety over what might happen and how things could get worse. We could think about what we are experiencing right now with gratitude, as maybe things could be better but they could be worse. We can see that we can handle this moment and then handle the next, as it comes. Oh, grant me this wisdom!

I will have to be patient with myself for being a slow learner and so sensitive and anxious. I will continue to take baby steps along the path and keep my eyes on the path. Being gentle with ourselves is hard. We often are more forgiving of others than we are of ourselves. I think that looking at our mistakes and faults with a little objectivity rather than beating ourselves up may be the key to learning from our mistakes and breaking negative patterns.

Finding some peace with ourselves and some peace of mind means we can look forward, improve ourselves while accepting ourselves.

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 4

In Attitude on June 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

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Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Be yourself? Who are you? Who am I?
If you have been a people pleaser, one who gives in to keep the peace, one who is too shy or scared to go against the crowd, you may not be sure who you are and what you stand for, what your strengths are and where your faults lie. You may not know your ‘self’ until you stop with the automatic ‘yes’s’ and think ‘what do I think about this?’ and ‘what do I want?’ and then follow through on that and whatever consequence that brings.

You may have everyone thinking that everything is o.k or the relationship is going along just fine or what they say and do is perfectly acceptable because you put on a happy face and take it.
If you let every mistreatment slide, if you do things against your will, or just go with the flow constantly without ever asserting you needs and wants, then you are not showing much faith in yourself or others. It shows lack of self-esteem and insecurity about accepting yourself and your needs and opinions as important. It shows lack of faith in others in that you think ‘they’ won’t like you if you are not compliant or are different or even an imperfect human.

Maybe if you show yourself more genuinely, some people won’t agree with you, or won’t like you. The people who are happy being pleased at your expense are draining and probably not so giving of themselves to you, and will probably move on when the free ride stops, or their ego is not being massaged.

The people who truly love and/or respect you will find a way to accept you and support you as you really are, and you will know who you can trust and rely upon. To believe this is possible will help you lower your defenses and find your authentic self and show it. To find relationships with people who offer this acceptance and to find unconditional love are lifes’ most valuable treasures.

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 6

In Attitude, Books on June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

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You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

If each of us is a child of the universe, and the happenings of the universe are unfolding as they should, then we are here for a purpose and the things that happen in our lives must happen for a reason. To make peace with the fact that we are important and our blessings and hardships are occurring as they should is to make peace with God or a higher power,instead of asking “Why me?”
“Why do I have so much and others so little?”
“Why is my life so hard?”
“Why did my child get sick?”

Maybe it is the tone of the questioning that makes all the difference. With trust that our life has a purpose, we can ask ” Why me?” with a heart open to learning a lesson or using my experience to help another person. Maybe there will be no answer that we will ever find-in this lifetime, yet, we can trust there is a higher purpose to our lives.

When we can use our life experiences in a positive manner and not continue on in guilt or shame or fear, we can then make the peace with our soul that allows us to be content and happy. We can then see beauty in the world, in abundance and simple pleasues, in plans gone awry that end up being the right path anyway, even in suffering and pain and it’s gift of compassion. Looking for the purpose,the beauty, the faintest glimmer of a silver lining is an effort that can bring peace and happiness.

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 3

In Attitude, Quotes on June 20, 2012 at 12:43 am

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Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Your ‘career’ is whatever you do in your daily life and whatever that may be is important. A parent who stays at home and cares for the family and house, a person who serves at the deli counter and helps and infirm parent with their meals and laundry, a bank manager, a teacher- it is all useful and necessary and if we see it that way and put in our best effort it is blessed work.

Take care that you are treated fairly, you are deserving of your rights. Know your business, your finances, the legal rights regarding your employer or your landlord,etc, and also your personal rights. Protect yourself and stand up for yourself. If you can find worth in yourself and your daily tasks, you will have the self esteem to ensure you are treated fairly and well.

Still trust in others who show they honour you. We need the help and support of others, it is a great gift to give and recieve help. If you look for the good in people and are open to their grace, you will often find it. Most people are good hearted and giving, a crisis shows us this. When a community hears of a family facing health or financial troubles, or if there is a natural disaster we see the human spirit rally in its’ basic need for connection to others and the urge to ease the suffering of others, and people feel compelled to help in anyway they can. Many people have been in the position of giving more than they can afford, or even risking their safety for the sake of helping a fellow human.

Seek goodness and acknowledge it. Accept goodwill and give it too.

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 2

In Attitude, Quotes on June 14, 2012 at 5:54 am

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Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans
.

Sometimes we can’t physically avoid loud and aggressive people, you may live with one, work with one, they can be everywhere, at the supermarket, on the train, even blaring out of the radio or television.

Mentally being able to avoid noise or agression is my aim. How? Daydream, go within, practise mindfullness, concentrate on breathing deeply, strive to attract peace and positivity by emitting peace and positivity. Above all, try not to let aggression or anything said to you or about you that is negative affect your mood or how you feel about yourself. Find a way not to take it personally.

Not letting anothers’ opinion drag you down takes self-esteem. If we have a belief of not being enough, then the words and actions of others will matter too much. Without anyone saying a word, without even knowing someone we can feel inadequate because their life seems better. Even when think we are better than someone else, it is our lack of self-esteem trying to boost itself. If we compare ourselves to others, when someone is always better off or worse off, we will never measure up. It is a judgement of them too.

Self-esteem is accepting the way we are right now, strengths and weaknesses, and still being able to set goals for improvement, and strive for these goals honourably. We can take pleasure in our strengths and achievements in a gracious manner. False modesty does not show gratitude for our gifts and blessings. We accept ourselves and others as worthy when we have a healthy self-esteem.

Can anyone share any advice for either avoiding agression or building self-esteem? Please leave a comment.

Desiderata- Stanza by Stanza. Part 1

In Attitude, Books on June 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm

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Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

How hard it is not to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life, the rushing, the needless spending and eating, the petty arguments and fights, the worry and panic that the news provokes, the drama and gossip that reality tv incites. How hard it is not to add our two cents to the negative conversation, to not share the gossip or to not strike out or back with our words.

The more we could practise stillness and curbing our tongue, the more we could respond rather than reacting and express every single emotion, the more inner peace we could have. Our inner peace would grow and grow and bless others.

How used to planning our next response, or checking text messages, rather than listening when someome speaks to us. How often do we miss hearing something important or lovely? How often does a child, or partner or parent or friend walk away not feeling heard? How often do we hear the words, or some of them, and end up not getting the true message. How often do we ignore or reply dismissively to someone who is different to us, who we think is boring or weird or dorky? What about a person who is dressed differently, or of another race or religion, do we already have a judgement on them before we know their story?

What if we could listen with all of our concentration and an open heart? How would our life and our world change?

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick by Molly Ringwald

In Attitude, Books on May 29, 2012 at 6:27 am

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When Molly Ringwald, the actress famous for her roles in 80’s teen movies such as Pretty in Pink turned forty and became a mother she felt she had lost her ‘pretty’.

Molly writes, “What is pretty anyway? Not just beauty. It’s an attitude towards life, a frame of mind.”

Molly has written a book about redisovering or redefining the sense of self that brings the confidence necessary to be ‘pretty’. With chapters on style, love and friendship, food, exercise, and family and parenthood, she shares advice and personal annecdotes on acceptance and making the most of yourself and your life at any age.

Getting the Pretty Back is fun to read. It is informative, humourous and honest with cute illustrations, but I would have liked to have seen photos in the book to accompany the annecdotes, especially a picture of Molly in Paris, or a shot of her unsuccessful pixie haircut!

The hardest word

In Attitude on April 14, 2012 at 8:54 am

People believe that “sorry” is on of the hardest words to say- there is at least one song about it.
I was just thinking that “thank you” may be even harder, but may heal the soul more than hearing a well deserved “sorry”.

Thank you for firing me, now I can think about what I really want to do.
Thank you for leaving, I am finding my own strength.
Thank you for being hard to get along with,you are giving me many chances to practise patience and compassion- one day I will master it.
Thank you for the illness- I know what really matters now- and it isn’t money
Thank you for the endless messes,the bickering kids,the empty wallet- I will be sorry when this time is over.

If you need to hear “sorry” and it just doesn’t look like it is going to happen, try saying “thank you” until you feel better again.

Someone remind me to do this,O.K?
You are welcome to comment and some more “thank you’s”.