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Brava, and this is the clarity of vision dawning on people who have been told they are just not trying hard enough! When you are swimming upstream and something bad happens, you just fall farther and farther behind. It's the way the system is built: it is NOT you.

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Thank you, Kate.

In addition to being told that I was not trying hard enough I was told (and am still being told) that people like me who believe in creativity, compassion, and care for the planet do not belong. I have finally realized that who I am - what I believe and want to create based on those beliefs - is what is desperately needed. I am only one, but I aim to be a very vocal, bright, and encouraging one :-)

I am really looking forward to reading more of your work. You have already inspired and given me hope. HUGS!

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Oct 21, 2023Liked by Jena Ball

Yes! This!

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Oct 21, 2023·edited Oct 21, 2023Author

Thank you, Anna!

P.S. Laughed out loud about the fitted sheets. It’s a true life skill!

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Jena Ball

Interconnected-ness is absolutely vital for all life on this blue fragile orb.

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Oh yes, and interdependence. We don't often stop to see it that way - how the life of a bee, or a tiny microbe living in the soil, or blue whale - is linked to and can affect our own lives. Humans are so self-absorbed :-) The truth is we are only one tiny piece of a huge web of life that our own lives depend on. What hurts one hurts us all.

Thanks for weighing in, Tom!

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Jena Ball

Excellent!

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Thank you, Laura. HUGS!

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Powerful post! And riddled with hope, nonetheless! Thank you, Jena! 👏🏼👏🏼❤️

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Thank YOU Mo!

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Thank you, Jena. I think I have actually been fortunate to raise my kids surrounded by family and in a small town where, for the most part, the people are decent and kind. I had a conversation about this not long ago with my son’s best friend’s mother. They have been friends since kindergarten and just graduated from high school ! They, with several other life long pals, were very active in the music program at school. We were discussing the fact that it’s a beautiful thing that this group of kids support and encourage one another and there’s no competition or back stabbing. We are proud to unleash these beautiful souls into the world with the hope that their compassion, empathy and love will be contagious !! 🩵

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Oh, so good to hear these encouraging stories.

I hope you will continue to share your experiences and anything they have to say or would like to add. Music and poetry are the foundation of this Substack, so their input would be welcome. Hugs!

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What happened to love?

What happened to compassion?

Where did the light go?

Has everyone’s hearts

Turned to stone?

How do you turn your back

On a starving child?

Why don’t you care

About an ill veteran

Living on the street?

When did it become normal

To laugh at someone struggling?

This is the world we have built

This is the legacy

We leave for our children

A dark and angry world

Devoid of a soul

~wjc

***********

How do you find serenity

When the world is on fire

Pretend that you don’t see

Broken lives thrown on the funeral pyre

Ignore your neighbors’ desperate pleas

Or

Could you open your heart

Create a space of peace

A solitary person

May not be able

To alter the whole world

A solitary person

Can alter someone’s world

Love someone who feels unlovable

Calm someone’s moment of panic

Shine a light

Spread some joy

A solitary person

Can unite

Solitary people

Together

Together

We can extinguish

The flames

Of fear

Of pain

Of loneliness

Of hatred

Together

We can extinguish

The flames

Together we can create

Serenity

~wjc

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how

love

slipped

away

when

compassion

faded

adrift

did hearts grow cold,

indifference

the new norm?

a child's hunger,

ignored, unseen

a veteran, ill,

left unnoticed, unseen

streets their only home

laughter mocks the struggle

oh,

how did we get here?

the world we've shaped

reflects our darkness,

anger echoes through its core

an empty existence,

passed down as legacy,

is this what we leave behind?

our children,

our future,

do we bequeath them

a desolate, soulless realm?

halt,

ponder

reflect on the path

ignite the flame once more,

love, care reignited

let compassion

illuminate

a brighter world

-ghy

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Sep 30, 2023·edited Oct 2, 2023Author

This line, “indifference the new norm?” says so much. It’s as if humanity has retreated into individual shells - every man/woman/child for themselves. You have to wonder what will break through - personal experience of cruelty, hunger, oppression, war? Or perhaps the love of a place or creature that seeps between the cells of the denial that forms their shells and takes their hearts hostage? Let’s work on that :-)

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This is heartbreaking and beautiful Wendy. And the questions are ones we should be asking and seeking to answer on a daily basis. IMHO the lack of empathy and compassion begin with how and what we teach our children. Emotional intelligence, like language skills, needs to be developed and practiced to become strong and healthy. Our education systems do not do that. They foster competition, judgment, comparison and the belief that some are better than others and so more deserving.

Thank you for sharing this. It is proof that kindness and compassion are alive and well.

HUGS.

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Jena Ball

Those salary numbers for the average American are stupid. Also, after a certain amount of money you cannot buy happiness or peace of mind or gratitude or...anything good. The fact those numbers were thrown about shows a lack. A lack of what??? Wisdom. Basic Wisdom. Which no amount of money can a human glean wisdom from....

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Sep 28, 2023·edited Sep 29, 2023Author

Well to me those numbers show how truly insecure people feel. They believe that having enough money can buy them happiness and that large sums can help prevent and/or stave off the troubles of life. Our culture has taught us that we are each alone with these problems as opposed to seeing humanity as a whole working on ways to tackle problems together. I think people not only feel broke but isolated and lost as well.

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Jena Ball

I 100% agree with you Jena.

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It's kind of sad, really :-(

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Utterly sad😪

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To complement your choices, here's a pairing I believe carries the same essence:

Poem:"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

This poem speaks of resilience, pride, and the indomitable spirit of the black woman throughout history. While it directly addresses racial and gender struggles, its theme of rising against adversity is universal.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Song: "Rise Up" by Andra Day

This song is an anthem of perseverance and hope. Andra Day's soulful voice coupled with the powerful lyrics inspires one to rise against challenges and be the beacon of hope.

And I'll rise up

I'll rise like the day

I'll rise up

I'll rise unafraid

I'll rise up

And I'll do it a thousand times again

Both Angelou's poem and Day's song revolve around the theme of resilience. Despite the odds and challenges faced, both pieces remind us of our inherent strength and the human spirit's ability to overcome. They both exude a sense of empowerment, calling on the listener or reader to remember their worth, to keep pushing forward, and to rise above adversity. This pairing reinforces the idea that, no matter how many times we're knocked down, we have the capacity to rise up stronger and more determined.

In times of exhaustion and hopelessness, it's vital to remind ourselves of the strength we carry within and the legacy of resilience that has been passed down to us. Poetry and music are wonderful conduits for this message, transcending barriers and touching the soul.

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Sep 28, 2023·edited Sep 29, 2023Author

Love, Love, LOVE!!! Especially the Maya Angelou poem.

Thank you.

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Jena! This is your banner! This is where your voice is needed!

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Thank you. I am gradually finding the best ways to carry it. HUGS!

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I agree with you, Jena!

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$233,000? Most blue collar workers and even professional teachers and medical personnel don’t make 1/4 of that a year.

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