Tag Archives: inspirational

Paulo Coelho’s Insights on Life

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.

One day you’ll wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do them now.

People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.

People want to change everything and, at the same time want it all to remain the same.

If you want to see a rainbow you have to learn to see the rain.

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.

Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life.

Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.

When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.

Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.

The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.

At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The bicentennial anniversary of the War of Greek Independence

March 25th marked the bicentennial anniversary of the War of Greek Independence.  We rejoice: Zhto H Ellas! 

By George posts on the War of Greek Independence 

Reflecting on the bicentennial anniversary of the War of Greek Independence

A Synopsis of the War of Greek Independence

10 Facts: Greek Independence Day 

Celebrating 200 Years of Freedom – in Photos

Dionysios Solomos and the Hymn to Liberty

Lord Byron and his Support for the Greek Cause

Eugene Delacroix and The Massacre at Chios

A Victor’s Meal: Bakaliaros Skordalia

More on the war and on Greek heritage… 

Wikipedia: Greek War of Independence

Greek Reporter: The History of the Greek War of Independence

How the 1821 Greek Revolution Changed the World

Order of AHEPA: Greek War of Independence and America’s Contribution to the Greek Cause 

Poetry in Honour of the Bicentennial of Greek Independence

Wikipedia: Greek Canadians

Freedom or Death! Zhto H Ellas! 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 Facts: Greek Independence Day

1. Greek Independence Day is a national holiday celebrated annually in Greece on March 25, commemorating the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821.  The “Greek Revolution” was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1830.

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2. In celebration of Greek Independence Day, towns and villages throughout Greece hold a school flag parade, during which schoolchildren march in traditional Greek costume and carry Greek flags. There is also an armed forces parade in Athens. Around the world, Greek emigrants and those of Greek descent also parade and conduct flag ceremonies in celebration of the 9-year victorious struggle to free their country.

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3. Greece had been part of the Ottoman Empire since 1453 with the Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks. Greeks remained under the Ottoman rule for nearly 400 years. Through these years, Orthodox Christians were granted some political rights, but they were considered inferior subjects. The majority of Greeks were called “Rayah” by the Turks, a name that referred to the large mass of non-Muslim subjects. However, through the centuries, Greek religion and their sense of Hellenism remained strong, as did the desire for some form of independence fostered, in large part, by the Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the survival of the Greek language.

4. The Greek revolt was precipitated on March 25, 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of revolution over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese. Thus began the 9-year revolution for freedom.

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5. Here is a summary of the war. The Greeks experienced early successes on the battlefield, including the capture of Athens in 1822, but infighting ensued. By 1827 Athens and most of the Greek isles had been recaptured by the Turks. Just as the revolution appeared to be on the verge of failure, Great Britain, France, and Russia intervened in the conflict. At the naval Battle of Navarino in 1827, the combined British, French, and Russian forces destroyed an Ottoman-Egyptian fleet. A Greco-Turkish settlement was determined by the European powers at a conference in London and Greece was declared an independent monarchical state under their protection in 1830.

6. The struggle for the liberation of all the lands inhabited by Greeks continued. By mid-1832 the northern frontier of the new state had been set along the line extending from south of Volos to south of Árta. In 1864, the Ionian islands were added to Greece; in 1881 parts of Epirus and Thessaly. Crete, the islands of the Eastern Aegean and Macedonia were added in 1913 and Western Thrace in 1919. After World War II the Dodecanese islands were also returned to Greece.

7. The Greek struggle had elicited strong sympathy in Europe, and many leading intellectuals had promoted the Greek cause, including and most notably the English poet Lord Byron. His prestige and his role as a representative of the philhellenic London Committee (which raised both moral and financial support) came in a critical time for the course of the Greek cause. Lord George Byron also fought in the rebellious areas of Greece from December 1823 until 7 April 1824, when he died at Missolonghi.  Dionysios Solomos wrote a poem Ode on the Death of Lord Byron (first verse) which honours the poet and the liberal revolutionary:

For a moment, Liberty,
Let the war, the bloodshed sleep;
Hither come and silently
Over Byron’s body weep.

8. The popular cry “Freedom or Death” became the motto of the revolution and was constantly heard throughout the liberation. This war-cry is also a significant part of the Greek flag: it is believed that the nine lines of the flag reflects the number of syllables in the Greek phrase “Eleftheria i Thanatos” = Freedom or Death. Not only the flag, but the the Greek National Anthem “Hymn to Liberty” was born of the revolution. Dionysios Solomos wrote the lyrics in 1824, Nikolaos Mantzaros put it to music in 1828. (This English translation of the revolutionary ballad is by Rudyard Kipling in 1918.)

We knew thee of old,
Oh, divinely restored,
By the lights of thine eyes,
And the light of thy Sword,
From the graves of our slain,
Shall thy valour prevail,
As we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!
As we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!
As we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

9. Greeks celebrate the 25th of March as a double holiday: a historical and a religious one. Independence Day coincides with the Greek Orthodox Church’s celebration of the Annunciation to the Theotokos, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bear the son of God.

10. A custom across the country on this day is to eat crispy, fried cod fish with garlic sauce (Bakaliaros skordalia). This has to do with the Lent before Eastern, where no animals or animal products should be eaten. However the Orthodox Church allowed an exception for the celebration of the Annunciation and that it the Cod fish! Here is the recipe for Bakaliaros skordalia.

Sources (and further reading):

Encyclopaedia Britannica on Greek Independence Day and War of Greek Independence

Wikipedia

Keep Talking Greece

Crete History

Lord Byron

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lord Byron and his Support for the Greek Cause

Lord Byron was one of the most renowned English poets of the Romantic Era and he is the most celebrated philhellene volunteer of the War of Greek Independence.

Lord Byron travelled to the theatre of war in 1822, providing funds and supplies. His enchanting verse and vocal advocacy for the Hellenes stirred many to the Greek cause.

In Messolonghi in 1824, while preparing to lead patriots into battle, fell fatally ill. Upon his untimely death Greek poet Dionysios Solomos wrote Ode on the Death of Lord Byron in which the first verse reads:

  For a moment, Liberty,
Let the war, the bloodshed sleep;
Hither come and silently
Over Byron’s body weep.

Lord Byron’s presence in Greece, and in particular his death, created an even stronger sympathy for the Greek cause across Europe. As a direct result of his passing, philhellenic committees sprang up in Europe and the United States to raise money for war efforts and further relief of the Greek people.

Lord Byron died a national hero and Hellenes to this day revere him. Here is a statue in his honour in Athens.

Byron often wrote of the beauty and majesty of Greece… and this is two stanzas from one of his poems evoking the glory of the Greeks’ past to deliver them a victory in the War of Greek Independence.

The Isles of Greece

The mountains look on Marathon —
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream’d that Greece might yet be free
For, standing on the Persians’ grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

Must we but weep o’er days more blest?
Must we but blush? – Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae.

For more information from Wikipedia and British Literature Wiki:

Lord Byron

The Isles of Greece

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Sir Anthony Hopkins on life and love

Let go of people who aren’t ready to love you yet! This is the hardest thing you’ll have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing: stop giving your love to those who aren’t ready to love you yet.

Stop hard conversations with people who don’t want to change. Stop showing up for people who are indifferent to your presence. Stop loving people who aren’t ready to love you.

I know your instincts do everything to win the good mercy of everyone around you, but it’s also the impulse that will steal your time, energy and mental, physical and spiritual health. When you start manifesting yourself in your life, completely, with joy, interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to find you in this place of pure sincerity. That doesn’t mean that you have to change who you are. That means you have to stop loving people who don’t want to love you yet. When you are excluded, subtly offended, forgotten or easily ignored by people you give time to, you don’t do yourself any favour by allowing them your energy and your life.

The truth is that you’re not for everyone… And that not everyone is for you… That makes this world so special, when you find the few people you have friendship, love or a true relationship with…

You will know how valuable that is… Because you have experienced what isn’t…

But the more time you spend trying to make you loved by someone who can’t… The more time you waste depriving the same connection…

There are billions of people on this planet, and many of them will end up with you, on their level, with their vibration, from where they stand… But…The smaller you stay, involved in the privacy of people who use you as a pillow, background option, a therapist and a strategy for their emotional healing… More time you stay out of the community you wish for. If you stop showing up, you might be less wanted…

If you stop trying, the relationship might stop… If you stop texting, your phone stays dark for days and weeks… Maybe if you stop loving someone, the love between you will dissolve…

That doesn’t mean you ruined a relationship! That means all this relationship had was the energy that only you and you hire to keep it in the air. It’s not love. That’s attachment. That’s wanting to give a chance to those who don’t want it!

The most valuable and most important thing you have in your life is your energy. It’s not just your time because it’s limited… It’s your energy! What you give every day is what will become more and more in your life.

It’s the ones you give time and energy that will define your existence. When you realize this, you start to understand why you are so impatient when you spend your time with people that don’t suit you, and in activities, places, situations that don’t suit you. You’re starting to realize that the most important thing you can do for your life, for yourself and for everyone you know, protect your energy stronger than anything.

Turn your life into a safe sanctuary where only “compatible” people with you are allowed.

You are not responsible for saving people. You are not responsible to convince them to be saved. It’s not your job to exist for people and give them your life, little by little, moment after the moment! Because if you feel bad or if you feel obliged; you are the root of all of this by your insisting, afraid they promise you the favours you won’t give them…

It’s your only fact to realize that you are the loved one of your destiny and to accept the love you think you deserve. Decide you deserve a true friendship. Wait then… just a minute… And look how everything is starting to change…

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Happy Birthday Dolly Parton! (Remarkable quotes and smiles)

Today, American country music icon Dolly Parton turns 75 years young. To honour her birthday, USA Today celebrated with some very special quotes from the lady herself…

On having big dreams growing up in a small town: “I imagined it, I dreamed it, I worked for it, and God was good enough to let me have it.”

On her iconic look: “The whole magic about me is that I look artificial but I’m totally real. People can see that. They forgive me for being gaudy. They forgive me for not being stylish. They forgive me for not being as smart as some educated people might be. People see me. I want them to know me. I’m not bashful.”

On performing: “I love the fans. I love that energy. It just really is restoring. You know when you’re first in love, how it energizes you? I get that from the fans. That’s a great empowering, restoring kind of energy. I think entertainers are addicted to that feeling. It’s … just knowing that you can do something to change somebody’s life or make somebody happy, even if it’s just for an evening.”

On her classmates laughing at her big dreams to be a music star: “You can’t dream at someone else’s expense. You’ve got to get out there, make those dreams come true. You’ve got to be the one to sacrifice what you need, to lean on who all will help you. You’ve got to get out there and put legs on them, wings on them, feet on them, hands on them, fingers. You’ve got to get out there and work it.”

On the secret to her success: “We grew up knowing Jesus loved us and through God all things are possible, so I’ve carried that all the way through my life and gathered a lot of strength from that as well. I just always felt like I knew who I was, and I just try to stay anchored within myself and my beliefs.”

On gaining a newer generation of fans: “I’m so happy to be an inspiration to women and to young girls because I did it back in a time when it was even harder. I kind of understand men, and I was never intimidated by them. I’m just redneck enough that if things ain’t exactly how I want them to be, I’ll find a way to get it that way. I always say I can tell you where to put it if I don’t like where you got it, and I’m kind of like that.”

On facing adversity: “You cannot live in this world and be successful and not have heartaches, troubles, disappointments. It’s how you deal with it. I’ve had a lot of dreams, and most of them have come true, but a lot of them have not.”

On her unwavering good mood: “People say, ‘You always look so happy.’ I say, ‘That’s because of the Botox.”

On changes she would like to see in the world: “If we could just be peaceful, if we could just try to work through things with a little more peace, a little more love, a little more harmony, a little more understanding. I pray about it every day.”

On what drove her to create new things during the coronavirus quarantine: “Even with as bad as things have been during the COVID, I’ve been very productive. I feel like I’m doing things to try to uplift people, things to bring a little light into the darkness. That’s kind of my purpose in life. Hopefully, I’m getting it done.”

On her inspiration as a storyteller: “When I was back home and we didn’t get to go to the movies or have stories, I would perform them and, really, it was like my family was getting’ to go to the movies. I would sing these songs, and I would create all these stories and pictures in my songs.”

On how long she’ll continue to perform: “As long as I feel good. I had a little problem in 2015… got stumped up with kidney stones, but it didn’t slow me down. I was even working on the phone every day getting that TV movie together, even when I was in the hospital for a week or so. I’m amazed at this point of all the interest in my life. I’m never going to retire. I just want to do greater work. As mom would say, I’m letting the spirit lead me.”

On advice for people who feel hopeless right now: “You just have to pray, if you’re a faith-based person, for strength. If not, you just have to keep your wits about you and lean on your higher wisdom to know that things happen, and most things we get through, and usually, we come out better on the other side.”

As the USA Today article recounts, “She would stand on the porch of her Locust Ridge house in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee, put a tobacco stick in the cracks of the porch and place a tin can on the stick for a microphone. Then she would sing to the chickens and the pigs and the dogs and the kids and picture a bigger world.…”

Read Nicole Carroll’s interview with the legendary Dolly Parton here. 

On her Twitter account Dolly tweeted this morning: “This year my birthday wish is a call for kindness. We can’t just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. So today, January 19th, let’s get to unearthing love.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

#1 Christmas Movie : “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Through the years, By George Journal has featured “It’s a Wonderful Life”, well, it’s the best Christmas movie we have – a moving account of a caring, community-minded, family man who struggles with inner-doubt and comes to fully appreciate the love of family and friends. In our crazy, mixed-up world, it doesn’t get better than this.

Here are quick links to our Journal’s posts on this must-rewatch-this-holiday film. 

Drop us a note and let us know when you view “It’s a Wonderful Life” this Christmas season. Enjoy!

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Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The Folded Napkin

(A story forwarded from a friend to pass along.) 

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counsellor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn’t sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Down’s Syndrome. I wasn’t worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don’t generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The ones who concerned me were the mouthy college kids travelling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded ‘truck stop germ’; the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn’t have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn’t care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a breadcrumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.

Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home.

That’s why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Down’s Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn’t unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine. Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Bell Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Bell Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. ‘OK, Frannie, what was that all about?’ he asked.

‘We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.’

‘I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?’

Frannie quickly told Bell Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’s surgery then sighed: ‘Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be OK,’ she said. ‘But I don’t know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re barely getting by as it is.’ Bell Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn’t want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

‘What’s up?’ I asked.

‘I didn’t get that table where Bell Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off,’ she said. ‘This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.’

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed ‘Something For Stevie’.

‘Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,’ she said, ‘so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.’

She handed me another paper napkin that had ‘Something For Stevie’ scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: ‘Truckers!!’

That was three months ago. Today is a week before Christmas, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he’s been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday. He called ten times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn’t stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

‘Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,’ I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. ‘Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!’
I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins ‘First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,’ I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had ‘Something for Stevie’ printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. ‘There’s more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. ‘Merry Christmas.’

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes
from the table…. Best worker I ever hired.

Plant a seed and watch it grow.

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

At this point, you can bury this inspirational message or forward it, fulfilling the need! If you shed a tear, hug yourself, because you are a compassionate person. So, send this story on and share the joy. 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

The iconic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 1984, Director Frank Capra expressed amazement on the film’s elevated status: “It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. The film has a life of its own now and I can look at it like I had nothing to do with it. I’m like a parent whose kid grows up to be president. I’m proud… but it’s the kid who did the work. I didn’t even think of it as a Christmas story when I first ran across it. I just liked the idea.”

(According to American film historian Stephen Cox, in a 1946 interview, Capra described the film’s theme as “the individual’s belief in himself,” and that he made it to “combat a modern trend toward atheism.”)

BTW – Director Frank Capra later sighted this film as his personal favorite. Likewise, James Stewart said that George Bailey was his favorite performance.

Director Frank Capra on the set of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Poetry for the day; sentiments for the ages

Here are three remarkable poems that capture the solemn and significant essence of Remembrance Day. These poems express sentiments for the ages.

Timberline Remembrance Day Ceremony

For the Fallen – Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

 

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

 

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

 

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

 

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

 

poppies-2

 

In Flanders Fields – John McRae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

poppies

Dulce et decorum est – Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

(ed. – DULCE ET DECORUM EST are the first words of a Latin saying taken from an ode by Horace. These words were often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean “It is sweet and right.” The full saying ends the poem: “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” which is “It is sweet and right to die for your country.”)

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lest we forget

Poignant quotes and verse, lest we forget…

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  • The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them. – Czeslaw Milosz, The Issa Valley
  • The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. – William Havard
  • We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart. – Albert Einstein
  • When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? – George Canning, The Pilot that weathered the Storm
  • And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave. – Joseph Drake
  • When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today. – John Maxwell Edmonds
  • The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. – Aaron Kilbourn
  • They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. – Henry Ward Beecher
  • To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. – Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground
  • I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?’ -Eve Merriam
  • In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. – Jose Narosky
  • For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. – William Penn
  • They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. / At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. – Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
  • In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. – American General Douglas MacArthur
  • And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Nurture your minds with great thoughts, to believe in the heroic makes heroes. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. – Michel de Montaigne
  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. – Billy Graham
  • The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • Heroism … is endurance for one moment more. – George F. Kennan
  • The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Give me American supply lines, British planes, German officers and Canadian troops, and I can take over the world. – German Nazi General Erwin “The Fox” Rommel
  • Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear. – William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well

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Remembrance Verses

Our cheer goes back to them, the valiant dead!
Laurels and roses on their graves to-day,
Lilies and laurels over them we lay,
And violets o’er each unforgotten head.

– Richard Hovey

 

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country’s wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.

– William Collins

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Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forcast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

– Will Carleton

 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

12 quotes in the name of peace

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  • Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. – Baruch Spinoza
  • A people free to choose will always choose peace. – Ronald Reagan
  • It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Peace begins with a smile. – Mother Teresa
  • Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous. – George Bernard Shaw
  • The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. – Ronald Reagan
  • I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace. – Dalai Lama
  • I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility, with or without religion. – Dalai Lama
  • You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. – Indira Gandhi
  • Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. – Elie Wiesel

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Mary Anne Radmacher bons mots

The boldness of endurance is the underline to almost every success.

At first glance it may appear too hard. Look again. Always look again.

Live boldly. Laugh Loudly. Love Truly. Play as often as you can Work as smart as you are able. Share your heart as deeply as you can reach.

Find your balance and stand with it. Find your song and sing it out. Find your cadence and let it appear like a dance. Find the questions that only you know how to ask and The answers that you are content to not know.

It takes courage to reinvent joys, to reinvent opportunities, to reinvent dreams, to reinvent connections, to reinvent hopes that you have set aside.

There is no small act of kindness. Every compassionate act makes large the world.

As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.

Lean forward into your life…catch the best bits and the finest wind. Just tip your feathers in flight a wee bit and see how dramatically that small lean can change your life.

May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.

Speak quietly to yourself and promise there will be better days. Whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort. Console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes. Offer comfort in practical and tangible ways – as if you were encouraging your dearest friend. Recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes. Tomorrow comes more brightly.

Mary Anne Radmacher is an American writer and an artist. She conducts workshops on living a full, creative, balanced life, teaches Internet writing seminars, and works with individual clients. She has been writing since she was a child, and she uses her writing to explore symbols and find meaning. She is the author of Lean Forward into Your Life (Conari Press, 2007), and Live Boldly (Conari Press, 2008). 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

20 Remarkable Quotes Reflecting On “Gratitude”

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – G.K. Chesterton

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop

“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.” – Robert Braathe

“I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice.” – Mike Ericksen

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne

“Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” – Albert Schweitzer

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” – Ralph H. Blum

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

“Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present-oriented.” – Sonja Lyubomirsky

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” – Eileen Caddy

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” – Lionel Hampton

“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.”  – Michael Josephson

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

45 Life Lessons (written by a 90 year old)

Regina Brett is not 90, but actually 54 years old. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she wrote down a list of life lessons the very night before her 45th birthday. Over that past decade, these lessons have gone viral on the Internet amid claims that she is 90 years old. Regardless of her age, this is a remarkable list and By George is passing along these universal lessons, which should be relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life.

 

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
  5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for things that matter.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  27. Always choose Life.
  28. Forgive but don’t forget.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
    grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
  42. The best is yet to come…
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

(ed. – Source: http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/45-life-lessons-written-by-a-90-year-old-woman/ar-BBhwKAN )

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

12 quotes by Maya Angelou

Here are a dozen remarkable quotes from the remarkable American poet and writer Maya Angelou.

  • Achievement brings its own anticlimax.
  • Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
  • Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
  • I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
    If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
  • If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
  • Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
  • Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.
  • The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
  • There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
  • My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

John Wooden: 10 of Life’s Lessons

Leafing through a old February 2000 Esquire magazine last night, I came across a “John Wooden: What I’ve Learned” article. Here are ten short observations on life from the legendary basketball coach. He was 89 when he gave this interview:

  • You can do more good by being good than any other way.
  • Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.
  • If I am through learning, I am through.
  • Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.
  • Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.
  • I don’t believe in praying to win.
  • I had three rules for my players: No profanity. Don’t criticize a teammate. Never be late.
  • If a player’s not doing the things he should, put him on the bench. He’ll come around.
  • Never let your emotions overrule your head.
  • Passion is momentary; love is enduring.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Mom, Tarts, and Life Lessons

Jessica Outram is a very creative school educator. Jessica is a playwright, director, actor, singer, publisher, as well as a poet. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. In June 2019, she was appointed the Poet Laureate for Cobourg Ontario.

Jessica writes a delightful blog called Sunshine in a Jar and a few years ago wrote a wonderful piece: Meet Mom and Her Homemade Butter Tarts. Here is an exceptional extract from Jessica’s post about her Mother.

Five Things I’ve Learned from Mom and Her Tarts

  1. Heart: Mom makes tarts to show her love. (She doesn’t even eat the tarts!) The butter tarts are a sign of her generosity, talent, and kindness. She enjoys making the people around her happy. Mom teaches me the importance of putting heart at the centre, of giving our best to others, of creating something excellent to spread joy and express gratitude.
  2. Attention to Detail: Mom attends to perfecting each step in the tart making process. She inspects everything along the way, reflecting on how to make it better. By attending to every small detail, her tarts are absolute perfection each and every time she bakes them. Mom teaches me the importance of being methodical, following a plan, adjusting the plan when needed, and learning from the plan as time passes.
  3. Community: Mom uses tarts to bring people together. From family and friends to community groups to passersby, mom creates a sense of belonging by giving away butter tarts. Mom teaches me how to connect with others through generosity and to give the most to the people who are closest and part of our every day. It’s important to use our skills and talents in the service of building community and belonging.
  4. Practice: Mom worked hard to become an amazing cook and baker. She asked for help when she needed it. She utilized the lessons from her teachers. Mom teaches me that if we practice something, we will improve. If we practice it long enough, we can become experts. She chose to perfect her butter tart making not because it was her favourite thing to bake, but because of the joy the tarts brought others. Every year Mom and Dad continue to adjust the butter tart baking process to improve efficiency and excellence.
  5. Embrace the Crown: Mom has earned her crown as Queen of Tarts and she wears it with pride. It’s important to celebrate our achievements and to accept the compliments of others. Mom teaches me to take pride in my creations, to make space for others to celebrate, and to happily wear a crown when it’s been earned.

(BTW – For the record, Mom Outram uses raisins!) 

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Greek Wisdom

On our Facebook page through this past week, By George has featured sage Greek sayings from some of the world’s greatest classic philosophers and leaders. Below you will find five of our FAVs.

“Like” By George Facebook to see the full selection of Greek Wisdom (to be featured through next week as well).

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.