Elwood vs. Ebeneezer

Like many of us who research via various information banks (or libraries) sometimes an odd factoid (as in ‘not necessarily a fact per se) POPS and sends imaginations on a side path. That phenomenon is akin to walking a dog, who suddenly pulls hard on the leash as it encounters a squirrel. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what motivates human beings to pursue a life philosophy. You know, we all have a basic philosophy that influences our daily actions. Some notions serve us well. Often, we can observe, a mindset fails to aid us in becoming worthwhile people.

Well, this morning I was fooling around and looking up things on the internet. For fun, curiosity urged me to look up Harvey. As many of you who have followed me (or at least peeked at my blog) I am an AVID film and theater buff. The quote I wanted was found in the Wikipedia article on Harvey. It goes like this:

Years ago my mother used to say to me, She’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

  • James Steward as Elwood P. Dowd

Harvey (1950)

As I read the above quotation, its opposite fictional character came to mind. Ah, yes, Ebeneezer Scrooge. My ‘dog chased that squirrel’. How do these characters compare?? 

Elwood

  1. Background – an upper middle class gentleman who pursues his gifts of hospitality and compassion.
  2. Lives with sister and niece with whom, for his part, fondness and concern are the hallmarks of his behavior.
  3. Manages to overcome the misunderstandings that prompt his sister to have him committed to an institution.
  4. So, Mr. Dowd and his beloved pookah, Harvey, continue in their amicable relationship.

Ebeneezer

  1. Background – an upper merchant class Englishman whose father rejected him (due to the death of his mother, as he was born.)
  2. Lived reconciled with his father and sister, until he was apprenticed in an accounting firm.
  3. Mr. Scrooge only manages to find redemption due to the intervention of his deceased partner (Marley) and the famous three Spirits of Christmas.
  4. Awake to his failings to live with others with compassion and consideration, he ends his days with a new set of values that benefit everyone else in his life and community.

CONCLUSION:  I, too, recommend PLEASANT.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan

On Dealing With Another ‘Blow’

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This image of an ocean at sunset always promotes a thoughtful mood for me. Even better, when I get to go out on the Gulf Coast beach nearby and revel in a real-moment experience. It’s been hard for me to get back on this blog in the past three weeks. Our family had to bid goodbye to yet another family member, my neice. If we’re keeping score, that makes four children my sisters and I have outlived, for one reason or another. I lost my oldest son four years ago to cancer. Enough said.

The post ‘The Grief Never Leaves You’ resonated with me so much that I reblogged it to share a couple of months back. I spoke with my sister whose daughter had just passed away, leaving four children behind. All I could offer was a quiet understanding, because we are no strangers to grief and loss. It is an undeniable fact of life. What we hold onto is the belief that we will see them all again, all those loved and lost.

We call these set-backs  a blow in our culture, because it is very much like being stunned by a violent punch. Experience enough of them and you become numb to the impacts. I have learned, the hard way, to care deeply without engaging in too much of the “could have, should have or would have dones” simply because I firmly believe that:

  1. Dealing with loss in the here and now is best and
  2. It is good to remember the good in the person,
  3. It is even better to love them as they were and forgive them for what they weren’t,
  4. So that you can embrace those left behind with you and
  5. Be in the present moment, ready to lift them up and continue to care about their welfare.

So, it’s undeniably true: the grief never leaves you. You have to find the strength to live on and do the best you can at any given point. After all, you must move on, keeping your people close to your heart and gleaning what strength you can for the rest of this journey of life.

Always, Sue

 

Life Outlook: My Worldview#1

It’s one of those nights when another “scathingly brilliant” thought crops up and won’t let you sleep without doing something about it. What do I believe and would anyone care to know?

For one thing, I believe that a person must “keep on keeping on.” With that said, what does that amount to? The word is perseverance. Everyone persists in their worldview/outlook as things happen to them in life. Feelings color our perception of life’s events. When I wrote about “Scars” I found that it’s true: the intensity of our original interpretation of a life event changes. We make choices to forgive (or not). We choose to carry a grudge in spite of how much it hurts us in the end. The remark “will it matter in 100 years?” helps when you try to let go of the anger and choose to forgive the offense. Forgiveness does not mean we’re letting the offender off the hook. We forgive for our own sake and to enable ourselves to recover. This way we can move forward in a more positive way. Trust me – enough has happened to me in six decades + of existence that it’s a good skill to acquire.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by! Regards, Sue