Art and Music

Art and music are not luxuries; they are essential to being human.

In this challenging economic time, many schools are seriously considering cutting out art, music, and other extracurriculars due to budget constraints.  We have been fooled into thinking that test scores are essential and only math and literacy lead to success in life.  The arts are not entertainment.  They are not something we can do without.  They are essential to our humanity.  I am much more interested in sharing a world with people who have a soul; who can sing, dance, paint, write poetry and prose, sculpt, imagine, create, and dream than I am in sharing the world with people who only know how to pass a standardized test.



Appreciation and gratitude moves us away from self-absorption and negativity.  It is impossible to be grateful and be sad at the same time.  In gratitude we focus on what is right, rather than what is wrong.  One discipline I have always enjoyed is creating a joy list.  All the people, places, and things for which I am grateful.  All those things that bring me joy.  Here are some items on my current list:

Nature... uplifts me.  I feel a part of the universe.  I feel nurtured.  Nature invites my child-like spirit to play.

Play... humors me.  I suffer with terminal seriousness.  So a daily dose of play and laughter is essential.

Values... guide me.  We all teach values in our daily interactions.  We are all in need of daily values guidance lessons.

Commitments... define me.  They help me remember what is essential.  They help me set priorities.  They help me know where I can make a difference.

Simplicity... focuses me.  Keep it simple. One day at a time.

Memories... touch me.  They are my emotional treasures.  They provide daily touchstones to what is important.

Miracles... inspire me.  The miracle of unconditional love.  The miracle of forgiveness.  Forgiving you and the greatest miracle, forgiving myself.

Friendship and Love... support me:  my marriage to Sandra, my children, my friends.

God, My Higher Power... loves me.  The intimate, personal relationship with unconditional love.