回复 1 楼 2016-10-10
For Love of Children 给孩子的爱
This slender volume opens with the story of Beniah, an infant rescued by sanitation workers from the stack of garbage in which he had been left to die. Without ever losing sight of Beniah and the too many other deserted children, the author, Sharon Emecz, tells the story of the two homes for abandoned children, Happy Life Kasarani and Happy Life Juja Farm, organized in the area of Nairobi, Kenya. Developed more than a decade ago by two indomitable couples, Sharon and Jim Powell from Delaware in the USA, and Faith and Peter Kamau from Nairobi, the two settings provide the physical and emotional comforts that would otherwise have been denied the 102 abandoned children now living there, as well as having nurtured the many more who have found adoptive homes. More than that even, the two homes have literally saved the lives of all those children. The book provides detail of the structure and functioning of The Happy Life homes allowing for an appreciation of their organization (as well as a pattern for their replication), and provides as well brief portraits of some of the children saved, of those adults who have opted to share a part of their lives with them whether through work or volunteering, and the adoptive parents who have pledged to share their homes and their love with the children who have become their own. Ms. Emecz gives the reader a real sense of the spiritual journey she has undergone in traveling from London to Nairobi, a journey she and her husband, Steve, now make at least annually.
回复 2 楼 2016-10-10
Three Days to See( 节选) 假如给我三天光明
All of us have read thrilling stories in which the hero had only a limited and specified time to live. Sometimes it was as long as a year, sometimes as short as 24 hours. But always we were interested in discovering just how the doomed hero chose to spend his last days or his last hours. I speak, of course, of free men who have a choice, not condemned criminals whose sphere of activities is strictly delimited.
Such stories set us thinking, wondering what we should do under similar circumstances. What events, what experiences, what associations should we crowd into those last hours as mortal beings, what regrets?
Sometimes I have thought it would be an excellent rule to live each day as if we should die tomorrow. Such an attitude would emphasize sharply the values of life. We should live each day with gentleness, vigor and a keenness of appreciation which are often lost when time stretches before us in the constant panorama of more days and months and years to come. There are those, of course, who would adopt the Epicurean motto of “Eat, drink, and be merry”. But most people would be chastened by the certainty of impending death.
In stories the doomed hero is usually saved at the last minute by some stroke of fortune, but almost always his sense of values is changed. He becomes more appreciative of the meaning of life and its permanent spiritual values. It has often been noted that those who live, or have lived, in the shadow of death bring a mellow sweetness to everything they do.
Most of us, however, take life for granted. We know that one day we must die, but usually we picture that day as far in the future. When we are in buoyant health, death is all but unimaginable. We seldom think of it. The days stretch out in an endless vista. So we go about our petty tasks, hardly aware of our listless attitude toward life.
The same lethargy, I am afraid, characterizes the use of all our faculties and senses. Only the deaf appreciate hearing, only the blind realize the manifold blessings that lie in sight. Particularly does this observation apply to those who have lost sight and hearing in adult life. But those who have never suffered impairment of sight or hearing seldom make the fullest use of these blessed faculties. Their eyes and ears take in all sights and sounds hazily, without concentration and with little appreciation. It is the same old story of not being grateful for what we have until we lose it, of not being conscious of health until we are ill.
I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.
回复 3 楼 2016-10-10
What I have Lived for 我为何而生
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy---ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours for this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness---that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what---at last---I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always it brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
回复 4 楼 2016-10-10
Clear Your Mental Space 保持心灵的整洁
Think about the last time you felt a negative emotion---like stress, anger, or frustration. What was going through your mind as you were going through that negativity? Was your mind cluttered with thoughts? Or was it paralyzed, unable to think?
The next time you find yourself in the middle of a very stressful time, or you feel angry or frustrated, stop. Yes, that’s right, stop. Whatever you’re doing, stop and sit for one minute. While you’re sitting there, completely immerse yourself in the negative emotion.
Allow that emotion to consume you. Allow yourself one minute to truly feel that emotion. Don’t cheat yourself here. Take the entire minute---but only one minute---to do nothing else but feel that emotion.
When the minute is over, ask yourself, “Am I wiling to keep holding on to this negative emotion as I go through the rest of the day?”
Once you’ve allowed yourself to be totally immersed in the emotion and really fell it, you will be surprised to find that the emotion clears rather quickly.
If you feel you need to hold on to the emotion for a little longer, that is OK. Allow yourself another minute to feel the emotion.
When you feel you’ve had enough of the emotion, ask yourself if you’re willing to carry that negativity with you for the rest of the day. If not, take a deep breath. As you exhale, release all that negativity with your breath.
This exercise seems simple---almost too simple. But, it is very effective. By allowing that negative emotion the space to be truly felt, you are dealing with the emotion rather than stuffing it down and trying not to feel it. You are actually taking away the power of the emotion by giving it the space and attention it needs. When you immerse yourself in the emotion, and realize that it is only emotion, it loses its control. You can clear your head and proceed with your task.
Try it. Next time you’re in the middle of a negative emotion, give yourself the space to feel the emotion and see what happens. Keep a piece of paper with you that says the following:
Stop. Immerse for one minute. Do I want to keep this negativity? Breath deep, exhale, release. Move on!
This will remind you of the steps to the process. Remember; take the time you need to really immerse yourself in the emotion. Then, when you feel you’ve felt it enough, release it---really let go of it. You will be surprised at how quickly you can move on from a negative situation and get to what you really want to do!
回复 5 楼 2016-10-10
The Goodness of Life 最美好的生活
Though there is much to be concerned about, there is far, far more for which to be thankful. Though life’s goodness can at times be overshadowed, it is never outweighed.
For every single act that is senselessly destructive, there are thousands more small, quiet acts of love, kindness and compassion. For every person who seeks to hurt, there are many, many more who devote their lives to helping and to healing.
There is goodness to life that cannot be denied.
In the most magnificent vistas and in the smallest details, look closely, for that goodness always comes shining through.
There si no limit to the goodness of life. It grows more abundant with each new encounter. The more you experience and appreciate the goodness of life, the more there is to be lived.
Even when the cold winds blow and the world seems to be cov ered in foggy shadows, the goodness of life lives on. Open your eyes, open your heart, and you will see that goodness is everywhere.
Though the goodness of life seems at times to suffer setbacks, it always endures. For in the darkest moment it becomes vividly clear that life is a priceless treasure. And so the goodness of life is made even stronger by the very things that would oppose it.
Time and time again when you feared it was gone forever you found that the goodness of life was really only a moment away. Around the next corner, inside every moment, the goodness of life is there to surprise and delight you.
Take a moment to let the goodness of life touch your spirit and calm your thoughts. Then, share your good fortune with another. For the goodness of life grows more and more magnificent each time it is given away.
Though the problems constantly scream for attention and the conflicts appear to rage ever stronger, the goodness of life grows stronger still, quietly, peacefully, with more purpose and meaning than ever before.
回复 6 楼 2016-10-10
The 50-Percent Theory of Life 生活与理论对半分
I believe in the 50-percent theory. Half the time things are better than normal; the other half, they re worse. I believe life is a pendulum swing. It takes time and experience to understand what normal is, and that gives me the perspective to deal with the surprises of the future.
Let’s benchmark the parameters: yes, I will die. I’ve dealt with the deaths of both parents, a best friend, a beloved boss and cherished pets. Some of these deaths have been violent, before my eyes, or slow and agonizing. Bad stuff, and it belongs at the bottom of the scale.
Then there are those high points: romance and marriage to the right person; having a child and doing those Dad things like coaching my son’s baseball team, paddling around the creek in the boat while he’s swimming with the dogs, discovering his compassion so deep it manifests even in his kindness to snails, his imagination so vivid he builds a spaceship from a scattered pile of Legos.
But there is a vast meadow of life in the middle, where the bad and the good flip-flop acrobatically. This is what convinces me to believe in the 50-percent theory.
One spring I planted corn too early in a bottomland so flood-prone that neighbors laughed. I felt chagrined at the wasted effort. Summer turned brutal---the worst heat wave and drought in my lifetime. The air-conditioned died; the well went dry; the marriage ended; the job lost; the money gone. I was living lyrics from a country tune---music I loathed. Only a surging Kansas City Royals team buoyed my spirits.
Looking back on that horrible summer, I soon understood that all succeeding good things merely offset the bad. Worse than normal wouldn’t last long. I am owed and savor the halcyon times. The reinvigorate me for the next nasty surprise and offer assurance that can thrive. The 50-percent theory even helps me see hope beyond my Royals’ recent slump, a field of struggling rookies sown so that some year soon we can reap an October harvest.
For that on blistering summer, the ground moisture was just right, planting early allowed pollination before heat withered the tops, and the lack of rain spared the standing corn from floods. That winter my crib overflowed with corn---fat, healthy three-to-a-stalk ears filled with kernels from heel to tip---while my neighbors’ fields yielded only brown, empty husks.
Although plantings past may have fallen below the 50-percent expectation, and they probably will again in the future, I am still sustained by the crop that flourishes during the drought.
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