Happy Veteran’s Day 2015

Today is Veteran’s Day and we all took the day off to remember what this day means to Americans. This year we visited Santa Clara University, where they conducted a brief program, wreath laying, and had a special celebration to mark the 240th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

My take away from listening to one of the service men, was that the people who choose to serve in the military, choose to serve others. They choose to sacrifice and give up their comforts and freedom to protect our American values and to represent us and to keep us safe. They go off to Afghanistan and Iraq and other places to fight evil and to protect our freedoms. They give of themselves to give to us. Isn’t this an amazing concept?  What are we doing to serve others? We need to continue thinking about what we can do to create a better world vs. thinking about what’s in it for me?  We get to shape and live our American values through our choices.

Tonight at our children’s gathering at church, the kids and kid leaders worked together to fill over 140 lunch bags with healthy food items and love notes and rain ponchos to give out to others who might be less fortunate.

We are living our values. We are loving each other. We are making a difference, one tiny step at a time. Each child took home 1 to 3 bags so that they could give them out to people they meet in the community who may need loving and comfort. They are learning American values to take care of the less fortunate and to be giving. I am so proud.

So many people fight over religion or race or the color of Starbucks cups, but let’s remember that we get to choose because we are free. We can make the world a better place with one bag, one hug, one smile, one tour, one love. You have power. Use it wisely. Love yourself and love others – love is the great equalizer.

nAMaste and thank you, veterans for your service and for churches who bring people together to serve others.

Dalai Lama – Visit to Santa Clara University


The Dalai Lama visited Santa Clara University today and was giving a talk about business and ethics and compassion. There was a live webcast of the event, of which I got to hear a bit while cooking dinner and cleaning up the kitchen.

Mostly what I heard where the local panelists sharing their life experience and work experience and very little spoken by His Holiness, Dalai Lama (HHDL).  I most appreciated Jane Carpenter-Cohn’s life story about the four stages of life and how she learned the values of compassion as a child and lived those values as an employee, as well as having created a compassionate working environment when she started her own company.

The Dalai Lama was preaching the importance of compassion in life and in the work force for ourselves and for others. “A compassionate mind creates self confidence and inner strength.”  It creates calm and mental comfort and creates happiness. 

“Give more happiness to others, you get maximum happiness,” he said.  The spirit of giving is what creates peace. We need to take care of others and the joy will return to us. We cannot be self-centered and we need to be giving.

Although I didn’t pay attention to the entire program, what I did see was a lot of laughter and pure happiness. He showed up late to the afternoon presentation, because I think the concept of time is not something he worries about.  Everyone else seemed more nervous and on a schedule, but he just seemed jovial and wanted to connect and hear and share. I loved this and wanted to hear and see more.

One other thing he mentioned that caught my attention was that he thought if females were the world leaders, we would have less conflict and less violence. Do you think that would be true? I wonder and think it’s possible. Maybe Hilary will run for presidency, not that I’m advocating for her, but do like the idea of a female president.

At the end of the program, he presented white shawls to the co-hosts and acknowledged them by bowing his head and thanking them. I enjoyed watching this ritual. 

I think his overall message is a good one – 

Be compassionate.

Be loving.

Be kind.

Everyone wants a happy life and everyone deserves the right to be happy.

Be well, my friends.