Wednesday, February 28, 2018

We Start Softly

We Start Softly

I knew a young lady in my Toastmaster’s group, when giving her first speech, stood at the front and never uttered a single word for a full 7 minutes.  She just stood there, so full of fear, all she could do was smile, which soon after turned into tears.  We were able to watch her go from that quiet beginning to becoming club president, and area governor for Toastmasters and a fine speaker in her own right.

But she never said a word in her first attempt.

We were all surprised that she came back to the next meeting, but she did.  After some great coaching from her mentor, Paula started making speeches.  Sure, she fumbled and faltered a few times, but she learned.  Her voice grew stronger, and we witnessed a transformation.

I’m teaching my grandson how to play drums.  He’s not ready to join his local rock band but he is making progress.  He’s not necessarily a soft player; he just is learning.  Same thing. 

We learn, don’t we. 

We take baby steps.  We show up.  As Brene Brown says, “we get wet.”  She used those words in a story about her daughter and a swim team event.

When I look at my first blogs, I’m not very proud.  But I had to start somewhere.  I even wondered if I’d have enough material to sustain me for one month. 

Nine years later I’m writing four to five posts every week, and the ideas keep flowing.

We start softly, we start with fear and trepidation, we begin easy … and look at what we become.

We are becommers.

I like that!

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Sunday, February 25, 2018

We're Always Afraid

We’re Always Afraid
When I first started blogging, I was afraid every time it came time to press “Publish”.  And I pressed it anyway.  It took about a year for the fear to go away and for me to stop thinking about it.

It snowed here last week.  Carolyn needed to go out for an hour or so and I was fearful for her because of the icy conditions in our condo parking lot.  She came back safely. 

When I was released from the hospital after my heart bypass surgery I was fearful of climbing and descending the steps leading into our condo.  You should see me go now.  I’m not perfect but I’m getting better.

Fear is everywhere. 
~We drive on the freeway and we face fear.
~We go to the doctor and we face fear.
~We go to the movies and are fearful a bad guy with a gun might come in and wreak havoc.
Fear is everywhere.

And life goes on.  We go on.  We do life because it is necessary, sometimes in spite of our fears. 

We are brave and courageous in the face of fear because that is who we are, and we have lived long enough to know that most fears are manufactured in our minds and have no connection with reality. 
  Yes, we are cautious. 
    Yes, we pay attention. 
      Yes, we look both ways when crossing the street.

We GO in spite of fear.  Sometimes we go hand-in-hand with our fears.

And we don’t let fear win.  Oh no.  We never let fear drive. 

We let courage drive.  
We let faith drive.  
We let good 
sense drive.

Is it a cloudy day?  Will you ever see the sun again?  Yes, for as surely as there are clouds in the way, the sun and moon are still there.  Have no fear.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ninety-nine Cents and a Smile

Ninety-Nine Cents and a Smile

It was a Mr. Goodbar.  It cost me 99 cents, and it brought a smile to his face.  That was my repayment.

My friend, George, the recipient, used to come into the place where I work.  He was my age, a quiet-spoken man, who moved slowly and shyly through life.  I’m not sure of his education level.  All I know is he worked at a minimum wage job before his illness. 

His health deteriorated.  He needed help in a lot of ways, and his steps crossed my steps.  So, I helped in a few ways.

The first thing I did was help George get signed up for his Social Security benefit check.  He didn’t seem to be aware that this was his to claim.  What timing, for his job played out and his last paycheck coincided with his first benefit check. 

And then the health issues came.  I’m not sure all that was wrong, but enough that he had to be put in a long-term-care facility that would accept the amount of money his benefits allowed. 

His niece told me about this and said, “George would love to see you sometime.”  And so, I went.

We had a short visit, I found out more about his condition and we set about drawing up a Power of Attorney naming the niece with the power. 

That’s when the Mr. Goodbar came up. 

On my next visit, we executed the documents, and I gave George his Mr. Goodbar.  His smile said it all.  He was a man of few words, and fewer expressions, but his smile thanked me. 

He didn’t put me in his will, or give me a tip plus gas mileage.  He thanked me.  That was enough.

I do what I do sometimes simply because a fellow human being needs a helping hand.  I can’t heal him, I can’t pay his bills, I can’t give him a haircut or shave him, but on that day, I could give him a delicious candy bar that he enjoyed as if it were a prime steak.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration