Something Happens

This wonderful poem was posted by a favorite blogger of mine. Thank you, Sara.

The Practical Mystic

Shakti - Zeng Hao Shakti by artist Zeng Hao

My dear friends, I read this today and had to share it with you. It is the final prayer in Tosha Silver’s book, Outrageous Openness, and no matter how many times I read it, it always seems so perfect and appropriate, so calming and reassuring.

For you today, and all days:


Something happens after you align with the Divine for a while.

You begin to feel on a cellular level
that things are unfolding exactly
in the way that they should.
At the rate and timing they need.

You start to trust the process.

You relax from the endless pushing
that most of us learned at birth.

On some fundamental, mysterious level,
you just let go.

Not with that bitterness people feel
when they fear the (ego’s) dreams won’t occur.
Not with passivity
as right actions DO get shown.

Rather you relax…

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The Paradoxical Commandments




by Dr. Kent M. Keith

  1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.
  2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.
  3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.
  4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.
  5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.
  6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.
  7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
  8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.
  9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.
  10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

The above verses,  in a modified form that reflects a more spiritual outlook, reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India, and are commonly attributed to her.  Her final lines are:

“In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”

(Special thanks to Diane Ravitch for calling my attention to this advice)




Making the World a Better Place


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“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil.  We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good. . .Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
–Pope Francis


Doing the Right Thing


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We look to the wisdom of all religions as a guide to ethical behavior

The wisdom of Swami Vivekananda:

“All religions are, at the bottom, alike…. It is not the man who believes a certain something, but the man who does the will of the Father in heaven, who is right. On this basis—being right and doing right—the whole world can unite. “

It is not easy to step up and do the right thing. As teachers we tell our students to speak up when they see someone being bullied. That is easy for us to say, but not so easy to do.

Teachers now are in the position where they must speak up for what is right in education. The world of public education is being bullied by corporate reformers who do not work for the best interests of the many, but rather to accumulate wealth for the few. Speaking up is not easy. But we must do the right thing.

“A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob can do in a century”.—Swami Vivekananda.

Let us all work together to effect a change in the direction of public education.


Be the change…


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I remember being a teenager out with some girlfriends at a restaurant, and seeing them pocket packs of gum. My friends made a game for themselves of stealing small things from stores and from the pay counters of restaurants. I didn’t do it. When I asked them why they did it (since I knew they were not poor and could afford to buy the things they took, they told me that they did it for the fun of it—it gave them a kind of thrill to get away with it. I thought about that, and thought about why I didn’t want to do it, and realized that it went beyond the fear of getting caught (although I did have that fear). But it was something else.

Later I discussed this with a young rabbi who led a youth group I belonged to, and he gave me a good reason why I didn’t want to do it.

“Do you want to live in a world where people steal from each other?” he asked.

“No” I said.

“Well, people do steal from others and ordinarily there is not much that you can do about it. But there is one thing you can do. You can be a person who doesn’t steal. And in that way you are helping to make the world a place where people do not steal from each other.” The Talmud teaches the importance of the individual in the world.

I liked that explanation very much. It made a great deal of sense to me.

Later I heard the quote, attributed to Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Regardless of the controversy over whether or not Ghandi ever said it, I take it to be an apt aphorism representing that lesson I learned as a teen.