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Rainbows and Stars, Second Chances and Kindness

I hate to say this, but we live in an angry world. People are overwhelmed, frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, mistreated, misinformed, and apathetic. It’s hard to say how we got to this place, but the “wonderful world” Louis Armstrong sang of seems to be foreign to many people.

I had a rather unsettling experience last week when I ventured to Super 1 Foods to buy groceries. I don’t go there often, but at times, it’s the quickest and easiest place to forage for food. As I was pushing my buggy to my car, a young man rode by on a bicycle, and was insanely screaming, “I didn’t do a f—ing thing you mother f—er. What are you looking at?”

I had no idea who he was yelling at, but I hurriedly threw my bags in my trunk, pushed the buggy to the “return cart” place and decided to get the heck outta Dodge. Quickly. As I was walking back to my car, I looked up to see where the young man had gone, and at that very moment he looked at me and our eyes met. He was about 50 yards away, but his anger pierced through me. I was scared to death. I jumped in my car, and when I looked up again, his bike was parked and he was gone. I left the parking lot in the opposite direction, and said a prayer for this troubled man.

As I drove away, I started wondering how he got to that point. What life experiences caused the rage that was embedded deep within his soul?

Most everyone we meet is fighting some sort of battle. That’s why it’s always important to be kind, as well as to stay in your lane when it comes to judging others. What appears on the outside is not always a true reflection of a person. People are good at hiding the parts of themselves they don’t want others to see.

Abbie, the main character in my book, A Southern Girl Re-Belles, was a warrior. She fought demons from her past unbeknownst to most of the people she encountered on a daily basis. Her battles were not only due to the tragic circumstances she experienced in her early life, but also with herself. She was misjudged often, and counted out more times than she could remember.

Fortunately for Abbie, she was given a second chance from a most unlikely source and situation. Abbie learned to look at the people around her, and began to understand that everyone was put in her life for a specific reason. She recognized that opportunities and second chances are available to those whose hearts are open to change. In order for her to move forward, she had to let go of her past, accept who she was, and imagine who she wanted to be.

And she had to learn to walk by faith, just like Jeremy Camp sings about in his song.

Click here to listen

I love rainbows. They make me happy. Whenever I see a rainbow I know it’s a reminder of God’s promises. Rainbows are mentioned throughout A Southern Girl Re-Belles and symbolize/represent several things:

  • the idea of second-chances, or do-overs
  • the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a connection to Abbie’s past
  • rainbows represent faith, hope, love, and new beginnings

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worthy of repeating. The morning after I completed writing the book, I awakened to the sight of a double rainbow. If you have read the book, you will understand the complete awesomeness of this occurrence. For me, it was a reminder from God to keep my faith, never give up, and always believe that He keeps His promises. I maybe stretching things, but I also believe it was a message of reassurance to me that my book and character had a story worth telling.

Abbie Winchester isn’t any different from you and me, or the screaming man on the bicycle. Yes, some people are dealt a pitiful hand of cards, but within each of us is the power to change. It is up to us to choose to make changes in our lives if we don’t like where we’re going. At some point we have to decide that moving forward, as hard and difficult as it may be, is far better than staying where we are.

I’m not naive, and I understand some people seem to have greater obstacles than others, but at some point, we have to stop being victims and take responsibility for the direction in which our lives are going. We need to stop blaming others and take charge.  It is definitely true that people will never change their lives until they change the things they do daily.

Some need more help than others. I believe it is our duty to try to help when we can, and at the very least to be kind to everyone we meet. Remember, we’re all fighting those silent battles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to give it. Kindness is contagious, and if we all try to do something for someone without expecting anything in return, our world would be a much happier place.

When you try your best to do what’s right, and you honestly seek the wisdom and help of those around you, your attitude will begin to change. As Brian Tracy says, “Look for the good in every person and situation. You’ll almost always find it.” This is great advice whether you’re the one struggling, or you’re simply struggling to see the good in the world.

For those of you who are in a tough season of life, rest easy and walk in faith. Don’t give up. Keep moving on. And always remember, when it rains, look for those rainbows, and when it’s too dark for you to find your way, look for the stars….

And for the rest of us:

Be a rainbow.

Be a star.

 

HERO OF THE WEEK: Anne Frank

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

     

 

SONG OF THE WEEK: (listen to the words….and SPOILER ALERT: this song will play a part in the sequel to A Southern Girl Re-Belles.

“Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves Click here to listen

BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING:

I’m actually waiting for the book His Other Life: Searching for My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams, by Melanie McCabe. I’ll let you know what I think next week.

 

CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK:

Perform a random act of kindness. Please share your experience of spreading kindness, or how you have been touched by a kind act. You can complete the contact information below and send me your comments, or you can simply email me at sharonbrownkeith@gmail.com and share your story.

**If you follow my blog, you will notice a new format. When I taught U.S. History, I used this approach. I taught a lesson, and also included cultural things from that era, including famous people, art, literature, and music. This gave students “the bigger picture,” and they began to synthesize and understand how art, and music, and philosophy, and literature are a reflection of the times. My hope is that you will think, and laugh, and be moved emotionally to reach for the stars, get out of your comfort zone, and do great things. And I will do the same…

Until next time my friends, always remember to re-belle like a lady.

 

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