Hello, Weekend! Here are some of this week’s favorite finds. Enjoy!
1) Theme from Howl’s Moving Castle – When a theme for a movie goes beyond the scope of the film’s story, it’s intriguing and all the more beautiful. “The Merry-Go-Round of Life” was composed by Joe Hisaishi as part of the score for the film Howl’s Moving Castle. Classical guitarist Nathan Mills (Beyond the Guitar) has winsomely arranged this piece for guitar.
I’m not a musician nor have I ever been a fan of instrumental (even classical music) until Nathan began playing. His music has given all who know (or have discovered) him. Even within his preferred genre (arranging covers of movie, TV, and video game themes), he has opened up musical worlds that I might never have discovered.
This piece exactly does that. This lovely theme from a Japanese animated film would have been lost to me except for Nathan’s music.
His podcast, in its own right, does the same thing – drawing our attention to pop and arts culture and what we can learn both for disciplines in life and musicianship, as well as the joy in the journey.
2) Fathers – Fathers are a great benefit to children. We all celebrate our mothers and their role in nurturing us through our growing up years. Fathers, too, make a huge difference. For whatever reasons they are absent, hopefully we look to men in our extended family or friend group, or teachers, neighbors, and city leaders.
Dr. King was the father of four. He died too young (from an assassin’s bullet at the age of 39). His children were still very young, but they have the legacy of his public life and whatever private lessons he taught his children. We have all certainly learned from him. His speech on this day 57 years ago resonates today.
“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!” – Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
This week I discovered two other fathers expressing excellent, somewhat counter-cultural counsel to the younger people in their lives and in our country.
Brilliant and powerful. https://t.co/XF6o8cQZDR
— Coleman Hughes (@coldxman) August 28, 2020
His bold and straight talk had a cost for him, but he would not stand down from the imperative to speak for the sake of those he represented.
The last father I’d like to feature here is Dr. Glenn Loury. He is a Brown University professor in social studies and economics. His commentary on the YouTube channel Blogging Heads has really opened up my thinking on many varied topics. He talks on a recent podcast about the issue of race and agency (how we make decisions and take personal action). This part of his talk begins at 42 minutes.
His “father talk” emphasizes taking up our own battles, not depending on another group of people for our future (equality), push ourselves toward success, avoid victimhood, get an education and needed training, take care of our families.
“Take responsibility for your life. No one is coming to save you. It’s not anybody else’s job to raise your children…Take responsibility for your life. It’s not fair…Life is full of tragedy and atrocity and barbarity…it’s not fair, but it’s the way of the world…Equality of dignity, equality of standing and respect, equality of feeling secure in your position in society, equality of being able to command the respect of others…something you have to wrest with hard work, with your bare hands. You have to make yourself equal. No one can make you equal.” – Dr. Glenn Loury
We depend on our fathers to tell us the hard things…but the true things. Our fathers, like our mothers but different, can empower us to know our value and our possibilities.
3) Best Bits of the Republican National Convention – Okay, so I watched both the Democratic National Convention (last week) and the Republican National Convention (this week). I wish, from the beginning, that I had jotted down the speakers that were especially gripping. Only recorded some of this week’s favorites. Most of them were not even on the published schedule. Sweet surprises. So forgive the candidate endorsement or laments if you can…just enjoy some of their stories. Both conventions showcased the lives of many Black Americans. In these days, it was a step toward healing.
Photo Credit: Flickr
- Herschel Walker – retired NFL football player, from my home state of Georgia, 37 years of friendship with Donald Trump
- Daniel Cameron – first African-American attorney general of the state of Kentucky
- Senator Tim Scott – U.S. senator from South Carolina. His grandfather died in his 90s and Senator Scott said, “from cotton to Congress in one lifetime”. That’s his story.
- Rep. Vernon Jones – state representative in Georgia. Right-leaning Democrat
- Andrew Pollock – father of Parkland High School shooting victim, Meadow. He is an activist for school safety. A School Safety Commission was appointed after this school shooting.
- Maximo Alvarez – (CEO, Sunshine Gasoline Distributors). Immigrant from Cuba. He loves America. As he watches the rioting, he said, “I hear echoes of the former life that I never wanted to hear again”.
- Jon Ponder – former felon and founder of the re-entry program “Hope for Prisoners”
- Jack Brewer – former NFL football player, founder of Black Voices for Trump
- Clarence Henderson – civil rights activist; president of the North Carolina chapter of the Frederick Douglass Foundation
- Ja’Ron Smith – assistant to the President and advisor on domestic policy
- Sean Reyes – attorney general, Utah
- Ann Dorn – widow of Capt. David Dorn, retired police captain, killed in St. Louis riots
- Carl and Marsha Mueller – parents of daughter Kayla, kidnapped and killed by ISIS in 2015
- Alice Marie Johnson – first-time non-violent offender sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years. Received clemency after 22 years by President Trump
Again, these were from the Republican National Convention. Just a few voices on the side of one political party. It was odd that many of their brushes with the current President’s administration were unknown to me.
There were inspiring speakers at both conventions. Who were some of your favorites at DNC or RNC?
4) Handling a Narcissistic Boss – Volumes have been written on narcissism. One definition that fits here is: selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
Leadership consultant Lolly Daskal gives a 10-point list of actions to help us work effectively with narcissistic bosses. I’m just posting the points but her commentary on each is definitely worth your read.
- Understand the source.
- Respond, don’t react.
- Set clear boundaries.
- Don’t allow them to get under your skin.
- Don’t feed the beast.
- Don’t empower those who don’t deserve it.
- Fact check everything.
- Don’t argue.
- Don’t be provoked.
- Stay focused on what’s important.
Read the rest of Daskal’s article. Narcissistic people can be in positions of authority and influence. Knowing how to “get along” can mean the difference in impact, work gains, and quality of life. It’s worth the effort…if this is your situation.
5) Late Summer Garden – My husband’s garden is winding down for the summer…and it is still beautiful and fruitful. Here’s a look-see:[Three goldfinches feeding on seeds, I’m supposing, on this little petunia plant.]
Hope you have a peace-filled weekend. Hope also you find grace for the losses of this week, with shootings, violence in the streets, and hurricanes. Trying times, but we are not alone in them.
A dear friend, Barb Suiter, has published her first book – out this week – Whispers on the Journey – A Practical Guide using the ABCs in Prayer and Praise. Check it out.
Photo Credit: Richmond Justice Initiative, Facebook
Photo Credit: Helen Elizabeth Phillips, Facebook