“If evil is contagious, so is goodness. Let us be infected by goodness and let us spread goodness!” – Pope Francis @Pontifax

Unless you’ve been away to the Antarctic the last few months, you are well aware of all the Northeast Corridor train problems. Riders, especially daily commuters, as tired of having to deal with not only long delays but also derailments that have led to injuries, and the impending cutbacks in service that Amtrak is proposing to fix all of this.

However, there is no quick fix to this as the entire rail system is over 100 years old and in grave disrepair. When I was a commuter from NJ back in the 80’s and 90’s train problems came with the lifestyle. I kept my sanity by writing, especially poetry, or engaging my fellow commuters in some positive conversation. However, there were times when service ground to a halt and friendly people became angry monsters. Enjoyable conversation was transformed into storms of hatred, nasty words became the order of the day.

Today people have to contend not only with train problems but expensive parking on the other end, long days at work, and fears of a terrorist attack. Kind words, happy words, words of encouragement, all of this are in short supply. We, the commuters, can’t fix the train problems but we can change the way we react.

Words, whether uttered out loud or spoken internally, have an effect on everything around us. What if, instead of using words of anger, we’d dispel some of the darkness with words of light. A joke, a smile with a kind thought behind it, an uplifting comment, all these would make the unbearable more bearable. Or say a prayer. Praying, especially formal ones like the Jewish Psalms or the Catholic rosary, not only are supposed to go up to God, they also have a calming effect on the one who prays. Every religion has its prayers, so whether you are Hindu or Muslim, or Native American, there are words you can utter that will lift you out of the present misery and fill the time with something more divine. And for the aetheists amongst us, read some poetry! As a poet I have always believed that poetry uplifts the inner person and connects one to the greater good in this universe (that need not be a god). Whenever you are trapped in a negative situation, remember words matter whether spoken or thought. They have power over the one who uses them, to your neighbor, and to the world in general. So…try a prayer today!

Quote of the Week

Posted: June 1, 2017 in Quotes
Tags: , ,

“Life calls the tune, we dance.” – John Galsworthy

Fun With Words

Posted: May 25, 2017 in Fun with words

How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crêpes.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

After yesterday’s horrendous act of violence in Great Britain, I’m sure many people want vengeance. This morning I came across a quote from Pope Francis. He said it during his Angelus Address on Feb 19. It reflects on Jesus’ teaching about turning the other cheek and how the law of love overcomes that of retaliation; it describes the difference between justice and vengeance:

“We are allowed to ask for justice; it is our duty to practice justice. On the other hand, we are forbidden to revenge ourselves or to encourage vengeance in any way, insofar as it is an expression of hatred or of violence.”

What a difference the location of a little “:” can make

THE ART OF TASTING PARKING:”

The subject header of the e-mail had it correctly placed “The Art of Tasting: Parking at lot 4A”

but I got a chuckle out of the rewrite in the body ( Are VWs sweeter than Subarus?)

 

When reality collides with fiction

 

This quote was uttered by a fictional character on the ABC TV series Quantico, May 1st episode:

 

“It’s a post truth world. Nobody wants a boring fact. They want a good story and

the better the story the more faith they have in the person who tells it.” – Henry Roarke, Speaker of the House