Thursday, December 27, 2007

greatness in two hours a day

This past summer we went to a performance of the Five Browns:

Actually, it was a musical fireside at church, so they each took turns playing and speaking. They are each such good pianists. Since there was only one piano on stage, the most that could play together was three of them. I imagine it would be wonderful to hear all five at the same time.

The father said they get a lot of compliments on how talented their children are and he said that his usual response is, "Well, you do anything for 2 hours a day for 16 years or so and you'll get pretty good at it, too."
(That's not an exact quote, but that's the gist of it.)

So, what do I spend two hours a day doing that I am becoming great at?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Want to change the world?

E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”

Inspiring Quote

From 'A Thomas Jefferson Education" Revised Edition, p.112

"As a ... wife and mother, some of you will face a seemingly never-ending pile of laundry, dishes and housework. You may wonder what happened to the 'great expectations' of leadership ablilites that you learned in the classics.

Yet it is in exactly such circumstances that the character of leaders, statesmen, Founding Fathers and Mothers is forged. It is in the small and simple things that greatness is obtained. When the day comes that you are called upon for what the world calls 'great things,' you will see clearly that they are no greater than the things you did at home.

By the way, that call will come. If you have paid the price of greatness through classics and mentors, and if you continue to pay the price of greatness in the next phase of your education - the everyday life phase- you will become great, and you will be called upon to change the world."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Small and Simple

Many a time I find myself bogged down in the drudgery of day to day living. So much of our time is spent in the day to day maintenance required for living: eating, cleaning, sleeping, things we have to do every day, day after day, just to maintain life and comfort and health. By no means am I a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning, but I am much happier when my house is presentable.

Sometimes, I dream of escape from the daily grind, but even on vacation, we have to eat and brush teeth and maintain order in our space and go to sleep and wake up and do it all again; granted in a hotel, you don't have to do nearly as much cleaning and in a restaurant you don't have to prepare your own food, but those things are too expensive to do for very long or often.

I wish that food preparation were more interesting to me. I do think it is a valuable skill to be able to bring flavors and textures and colors of food together in a healthy and varied enough way to bring interest and joy to eating, and it can be a great family bonding time to all be in the kitchen working together. We would also be in better health if we ate foods grown locally, in season. That's something I want to work on, but not really.

I was teasing my kids about eating, one was complaining of hunger, and I jokingly said, "What's the point in eating, you're just going to get hungry again." One of them responded, "Well, if you quit eating, you eventually won't be hungry ever again." I said, "That's true." Then we immediately went home and ate lunch.

My point is: Life is precious and is meant to be enjoyed. Certainly sleep and good food are a big part of that, considering we spend about a third of our lives sleeping (8 out of every 24 hours), and about 8 percent of our lives eating (half an hour for breakfast & lunch + 1 hour for dinner = 2 hours out of every 24), not including prep time, cooking and clean-up...rambling again... back to the point...

I am a person of faith, and surely there is wisdom in God in the order of this universe.

Surely there must be a reason why we are set up on a daily schedule, doing mostly the same things day after day.
And I think the answer is found in this verse in the Book of Mormon:
Alma 37:6
"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."

I tire of repetition, but what am I supposed to learn from it? This is the thing to think about.