- When it comes to music - to me it's one of the beautiful things in the world and throughout life. I think it's the one great equalizer to all peoples in the world, no matter what language we speak - it seems just about everyone can connect with music. My example that I shared with my students today was from the band "Chicago" & the range of emotions that come with listening to their songs. One of their songs was on my '80's station that I listen to in my classroom throughout my day when class is not going on. I always think back to the year the song came out, where I was at in my life's journey along with the people in my life during that time. Some of them, sad to say, are not alive anymore which is emotional in itself. Also there are the range of emotions that I think to the times my wife and I have seen Chicago in concert (something we love to do & hopefully will get back to doing soon this summer)... the memories, enjoyment, etc., at these concerts with her are just so full of gratitude and emotion. The energy at a live concert is something that cannot be duplicated on a recording. We forget about the worries and concerns of life and lose ourselves in the live performance, even if it's just for a little bit of time. Nothing like it.
- Nature - places that we like going to was the second part. My first thought was to Traverse City, Michigan. The "Chateau Chantel" is the place my wife and I stayed at in November of 2020 and we had a great time. One of the days was an amazing 75 degree day and the night that went with it was so crystal clear too. When we sat outside on the deck, I was lost in all of the stars that I saw! Never in my life have I seen that many stars so clearly and with such awe!! It made me think about how small we all are in comparison to our universe and beyond. Powerful reflections and gratitude on that night for my wife and I.
- People - amazing examples of Beauty and Excellence are all around us throughout life. First person who came to mind - was Dr. Wells Cook from Central Michigan University. I met him my first class at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning starting out my Sophomore year there. Within 15 minutes of meeting him and hearing his story (former high school business teacher, turned college professor), I knew I wanted to become a high school business teacher. Up until that time I was thinking of 3 different careers the year before, but by this time I knew I would not go into any of them. So I was on the plan of getting a business degree when he came into my life. Next to my parents and my wife, Wells changed my life tremendously. He was all about excellence in everything he did & the difference that he made in my life along with thousands of others too. He is the main reason I become an educator and I can't thank him enough. I thanked him many times up until he passed away around 2005.
I think this topic is one for all of us to grasp onto and connect with. These are just 3 ideas or examples. There are many more that we all can connect to and we should connect to them as they will help us to focus on other things than just ourselves. Good stuff that should be part of life.