Monday, March 27, 2023

The Good Life


Muscle Shoals, Alabama
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."
Bertrand Russell

Philosopher and prolific writer Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) believed that happiness is a by-product of two qualities: love and knowledge.

The power of love inspires kindness, compassion, and the enthusiastic pursuit of passion. Love gives meaning to life and helps us find satisfaction in our relationships and accomplishments.

What is love? The answer is not always easy to find or explain, but love starts by digging deep, opening your heart, and giving. When someone struggles, take the time to notice, listen, and offer words of encouragement. Love is heart-driven and best when unconditional. You can volunteer your time, forgive someone who has hurt you, or simply choose to be kind.

However, love alone is not enough. You also need knowledge to practice critical thinking, guide and question, make wise choices, solve problems, and better understand the world. Take the time to evaluate and test your beliefs. Knowledge enables informed decisions and fosters great discoveries.

What is knowledge? Knowledge is about finding new ideas and innovative products, providing services that benefit society, staying up-to-date with the latest developments, and sharing knowledge with others through teaching or mentoring-- using your values and gifts.

Russell once said, "Nothing is so exhausting as indecision" when it comes to stepping up to life and learning all that you can in your quest for knowledge.

When we combine love and knowledge, we create a good life, full of joy, fulfillment, and purpose. So, remember that love and knowledge are both essential ingredients for a happy and meaningful life. May you always strive to cultivate both in your life.

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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Growth and Self-Transformation

University of North Alabama Highway (157)
"It is not possible to delegate growth and self-transformation."
Lewis Mumford

As I drive towards Muscle Shoals early on a Saturday morning, it takes me two hours to reach Kayla's new home. I'm currently on the University of North Alabama Highway (157), near Battle Ground. The heavy rain and tornado warnings from last night have cleared up, and the morning sky is now a beautiful array of colors and emotions, like a visual palette.

Kayla's recent promotion fills me with pride, but I'm still adjusting to her move. As I gaze at the open road ahead, I realize that it's up to me to work through these changes and losses for "growth and self-transformation."

As I keep driving, a sense of gratitude fills my heart, and I whisper to myself, "I'll be okay. It's good to be alive." The road and sky inspire me, and I plan to capture them in a watercolor painting. Though I'm alone, the vast sky feels like my companion, keeping me company on this new journey.

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