Happiness-Quotable Quotes

1. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw.

2. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain.

3. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant – Robert Louis Stevenson.

4. We don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way WE are – Talmud.

5. I have found that if you love life, life will love you back – Arthur Rubinstein.

6. The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be – Marcel Pagnol.

7. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu.

8. Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive – Howard Thurman.

9. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

10. Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like – Will Rogers.

11. I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been – Wayne Gretzky.

12. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional – Anony-mouse.

13. Every man dies. Not every man really lives – William Ross Wallace.

14. Life isn’t a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘Woohoo WHAT A RIDE’!

15. There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle – Albert Einstein.

16. Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security – John Allen Paulos.

17. You are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor should you feel the world must live up to yours – F Perl.

18. How you do one thing, is how you do everything. Be aware.

19. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing – Helen Keller.

20. Life is not about kissing a**, it’s about kicking a**!

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Celebrating Daddy

By Semiha Abdulmelik

Losing my father was an exercise in a kind of growing up, an exercise in trying to comprehend as well as giving up on understanding, an attempt at resurrecting and reconstructing memories, buffing some and trying to darken others. It has been over time, trying to understand absence over time, and to borrow the words of another, ‘For a long time I stressed the absence, the hole. Now I find it is the shape which has become more important.’

Loss is an exercise in remembering and the funny amnesias. I can remember that it was a Sunday, and the minute details of the day, including the quick shower before heading out to what I thought was going to be a hospital visit, and I remember running to the living room to watch between the hexagonal grill the ambulance enter the driveway. But I can never remember whether it was the 20th or the 21st of February. Every year, mid-February, I turn back my calendar to February 2000, to check which was a Sunday. This major pilgrimage was always difficult, always different. The date, regardless that it was confusedly straddled between the 20th and 21st became a shrine in my mind that I visited and revisited.

Perhaps this year, I will try merely to celebrate a father’s, my daddy’s, love. His love was comforting-a comfort borne from being known, flaws and all, and loved deeply nonetheless. It was a love that saw all my colours and hues-bold, muted, hideous, beautiful. It was not loud or demanding, just certain, constant, and always present. I did not ever turn behind or around to look for it, certain as I was that it was always with me. It was that trusted gabi, neither too heavy and suffocating, or too light and unreliable. It was the feeling of sitting indoors, spoonfuls of cardamom vanilla honey laced oatmeal on a cold keremt day, whose sensation lingers into the summer days. His love I think come before and beyond my story-indeed when pressed, he would tell me, ‘I loved you the moment I knew you were conceived’.

If matter is neither created nor destroyed, perhaps so it is with my father’s love.

Desiderata

by Max Ehrmann, 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or 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 in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. 

You Have Reached the Women

-By Phenomenal women from all walks of life
(representing voices from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe and the US)

You have reached the woman
Who keeps her eyes wide open
Her pain closed tight against pessimistic winds
So she can release them in Remembrance deep in the night….
The woman
Who was never told why
She was brought up in North America
Instead of North Africa
Why she could be not be African nor Arab nor American
But every one by different ones…

You have reached the woman
Who is a mother trying to raise a woman
Who will stand up for justice and truth
Who will be successful
By being capable, confident, content
Ambitious and determined.
Who will fix things wrong with this world
Who will find her passions and create.
Pray, love, dance, live, believe.
Laugh, breath, swim, write, sing.
Hope, wish, and achieve.
Who will mend the wounds of those who cry
And sew the holes of society.

You have reached the woman
Without regrets of what was and without fear of what will….
Who refuses to fit the mold,
Refuses to give in to the expectations
Of the person she’s supposed to be
Instead of being the person she desires to be…
The woman
Whom passion drives her…
Compassion humbles her…
And faith solidifies her….

You have reached the woman
Whose words are not buried beneath her tongues,
Who crafts metaphors & similes like
She tends to the garments of her inner untouched souls:
That place she can call her own
You have reached the woman
Who has dared to stop and take stock
And realise the images in the broken mirror are not hers

You have reached the woman
Who gives thanks
With complete understanding
That what’s here may be gone tomorrow

You have reached the woman
Who understands that happiness
Cannot be bought, travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed
Who takes after
The movers and shakers, the truth-seekers and peace-makers,
The woman
Who is soft-spoken yet outspoken.
The one who has often fallen yet never once broken.

You have reached the woman
Who wants to be held tight,
But doesn’t want to be held back;
Who resents being told to “never mind,”
Because, little do you know,
You have reached the woman
Who would rather die trying than give up
Who has the vision and dedication to create & grow;
Who one day hopes to fear nothing but God,

You have reached the woman
Who is first and foremost
Human. Muslim. African. Ethiopian. Hareri.
Who adapts to changing circumstances
And still dares to be different
The woman
Who can reach for the stars
And still keep her feet on the ground

You have reached the woman
Who loves to learn but is still counting the days till summer
Who longs for peace but finds truth in Fanon
Who breathes in colors,
Dreams in life, dwells in languages
The woman
Who writes backwards and walks forwards

You have reached the woman
Who speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and Swahili
Whose native tongue is Poetrese
Who runs wild in the global streets
Who dwells outside of boxes
The woman
Whose favorite book is her passport,
And her country is the earth

You Have Reached
Mouna
Sumaya
Wala
Batsirai
Mariana
Nasim
Samar
Nebila
Agazit
Cassandra

You have reached the women
Who will keep rising
Who will stand tall
Regardless of how many times they fall
Who embrace their fathers, their brothers, their sons
As they do their mothers, their sisters, their daughters

You have reached the women,
Who will not ask you –
Who are you to be extraordinarily fabulous?
Rather, you have reached the women
Who will ask you –
Who are you not to be?!

You have reached the women
Who genuflect to the power of language
Whose swords are ballpoint, felt tip and fountain
Who believe that revolutions don’t get televised
They get poeticized, ripped, & spit at open mics

So let us now leave you
To desilence yourselves
In the language of your truths
Translating if you choose

So please, speak your peace
After the beep

© November, 2010

You are oh so loved

You are oh so loved,
By those who are no longer
With us, not passed/gone but
Freed, not here but close
The memory of a girl with
A beautiful soul, extraordinary soul-
Live forever in a special place
And those that still remain
The privilege of
Watching
The girl
Blossom
Into a
Woman-
Soul still
Intact unblemished or unhardened
Hope, reminded
That the miles
-or dimensions of life
and death
do not
mean we do not dwell on
you

with lots of love,
Semiha the author and Siham the “supporter” of the artistic vision
July 31, 2003

Excerpts of the Fifth Mountain


By Paulo Coelho

P15
But most of the prophets, who roamed the streets flagellating themselves and preaching the end of the world for its corruption and lack of faith, had accepted conversion to the new religion.

P19
Criminals, prisoners of war, fugitives were usually accepted as mariners because it was a profession more dangerous than the army. In war, a soldier always had a chance to escape with his life; but the seas were unknown, populated by monsters, and when a tragedy occurred, none were left to tell the story.

Pg 21
Souls too, like rivulets and plants, needed a different kind of rain: hope, faith, a reason to live. When this did not come to pass, everything in that soul died, even if the body went on living; and the people could say: “Here in this body there was once a man.”

Pg 28
“It was part of your apprenticeship. When a man journeys toward his destiny, often he is obliged to change paths. At other times, the forces around him are too powerful and he is compelled to lay aside his courage and yield. All this is part of the apprenticeship.”

“But no-one can lose sight of what they desire. Even if there are moments when he believes the world and others are stronger. The secret is this: do not surrender.”

Pg 33
“..I have never seen the ocean but I know it is like the desert: it slays those who challenge it….”

Pg 53
“Every man hath the right to doubt his task, and to forsake it from time to time but what he must not do is forget it.  Whoever doubteth not himself is unworthy—for in his unquestioning belief in his ability, he commitheth the sin of pride. Blessed are they who go through moments of indecision.”

Pg 75
“The best warrior is one who succeeds in transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Pg 121
“I shall not live a second longer than the Lord desires…It is He who decides, not you.”

Pg 127
“The best [at using a sword] is the one who’s most like a rock…without drawing its blade, it proves that no one can defeat it.”

Pg 128
“All life’s battles teach us something, even those we lose.”

Pg 135
“…the Lord demandeth of people only that which is within the possibilities of each of them.”

Pg 137
“no one dieth. The arms of eternity open for every soul, and each one will carry on his task.

There is a reason for everything under the sun.

“There is no tragedy, only the unavoidable. Everything hath its reason for being: thou needest only distinguish what is temporary from what is lasting.”
“What is temporary?”
“The unavoidable.”
“And what is lasting?”
“The lessons of the unavoidable.”

Pg 149
Courage is fear that preys.

Pg 180
“…they had not found what they were seeking, for they carried with them, along with their bags, the weight of their earlier failure.”

“If you have a past that dissatisfies you, forget it now…imagine a new story of your life, and believe in it, Concentrate only on those moments in which you achieved what you desired, and this strength will help you accomplish what you want.”

Pg 183
“Everything that could have happened but did not is carried away with the wind and leaves no trace…

Life is made of our attitudes. And there are certain things that the gods oblige us to live through. Their reason for this does not matter, and there is no action we can take to make them pass us by.”

Pg 204
From heaven, God smiles contentedly, for it was this that He desired, that each person take into his hands the responsibility for his own life. For in the final analysis, He had given His children the greatest of all gifts: the capacity to choose and determine their acts.

Pg 206
God was infinite in His mercy, and implacable in His severity with those who lacked the courage to dare.

Pg 212
“…a warrior is always aware of what is worth fighting for. He does not go into combat over things that do not concern him, and he never wastes his time over provocations. A warrior accepts defeat…after all this has passed, he licks his wounds and begins everything anew.  A warrior knows that war is made of many battles; he goes on.”

Mental Feng Shui

Mental Feng Shui

Perhaps some life lessons and guiding principles for 2012 & beyond…

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.
FIVE. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely
TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.

DISCLAIMER: not my words, sourced from elsewhere

Student of life, seeker of knowledge

I met a man who told me, among numerous other things, that he was a student of life, a seeker of knowledge….apparently this man speaks 7 languages, all of them self-taught, among which is Amharic. He demonstrated that he could write his name in Ge’ez, which is not an easy task considering the Ge’ez alphabet contains numerous letters, and variations of each letter family…he found a contradiction in my having been an ethiopian woman who went to school at UCLA, he was convinced as well that he was the most intelligent man on this earth which was why the US in particular, and the West in general was out to kill him, that Idi Amin was in fact not the treacherous tyrant that he was made out to be…this man could easily be dismissed as being crazy and paranoid, as were many of the geniuses and pioneers in history simply because people didn’t understand them. In some ways, they were too intelligent for their own good…which I think was the case with this man…. Despite not having finished high school, you understood that he was an intellectual, more intellectual than most with second or third college degrees, he was a man thirsty for knowledge, and able to distinguish b/n knowledge, understanding, and wisdom….although I didn’t agree with many things he said, he left me yearning to be what we all should aspire to be: STUDENTS OF LIFE & SEEKERS OF KNOWLEDGE

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