Writings: Success stories…and they start where the money ends

successWhen I dropped by the doctor the other day, I got the chance to look over the magazines in the waiting area, partly because it took an hour for her to get to me, and partly because I thought my appointment was at one (it was at two). This gave me an opportunity to review the success stories that were celebrated in the stories of business magazines, “people” magazines (unlike anyone you or I have ever met), sports magazines, and National Geographic.

Cool ’nuff, except it appears to me the writers (and editors who accept their stories) have never read the Ten Most Important Things According to Brother Ian, one of which says: “The more things you own in the world, the poorer you are. Count your days & hours by the number of hugs, smiles & laughs.”

young-farmer-former-soldier-with-tractor-GroundOperations-326x244So, regardless of what they say in their glossy mags, I’m gonna suggest these are stories of real success, with real people, in the real world around me:

• There are brothers & sisters who have come back from active duty to literally turn swords into ploughshares – there’s a highly successful program that is matching up growing things with folks who have PTSD & other wounds, and the healing begins. Here’s more & here’s a little video about it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.21.12 PM• A good friend of mine was jogging last December and came across a guy assaulting a woman. The guy ran away, and my friend volunteered to testify. Charges were brought, and in a case of “he said, she said,” in which the guy denied doing what he did, the final verdict (guilty) was returned, and the DA indicated my friend’s testimony turned an uncertain result into a sealed deal. It took guts & bravery & courage, and I’m so proud of her.

• A shy mom-friend of mine got two days off from her two jobs, so she could hang with her kids. The brave part? It’s really, really hard for her to talk to bosses & ask for what she really wants & needs. She did it. If you see her tomorrow at the park, she’s the one with the huge smile & the kids who love playing with her.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.21.58 PM• Talked to a street singer named Steve two nights ago, here in Victoria, who was wrapping up for the night with I Shall Be Released. I asked him how long he had been playing that evening.

He said for four hours…he hadn’t made enough money as of an hour before, so, as he said, “I got to play for an extra hour – it was awesome!” I asked if he had made enough, and he grinned big & said, “Beats me – I haven’t counted yet!”

• Try this: I got to help two friends – mom & college-aged daughter – move to a new place this week. All their stuff fit in two small-load cars. Keeping it simple – who NEEDS so much stuff? Not them.

• Last one for this week: Another mom-friend had a (nearly) no-cost birthday party for her kids. It took a little talking (she had three other mamas to call, and one papa), but they agreed all the eight & nine year olds coming to the party would bring a present of a certificate/card about something they could do with the birthday kids (their birthday were two years & two days apart, so they have it together, on the same day).  The certs suggested coming over for a Netflix movie, taking a hike along the trail that went to the beach, coming over to the giver’s house to make cupcakes, having a board-game night, even helping babysit the two kids’ two year old cousin. Birthday cake? Everybody cut up fruit & sprinkled nuts & granola & a little whipped cream on it.

Then everyone went outside & played soccer, and yes, the girls beat the boys. None of the adults kept score, but the kids did.

And they declared it the best birthday party ever, and said they wanted to do theirs like that.

There’s success all around…it’s fun to think up ways to make it happen!

Love you & wishing you great success in the coming weeks…

Brother Ian

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