Saturday, May 09, 2009
A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
The Great Depression of 1929 was taking its toll with so many people unemployed people, which were mostly men who were the breadwinners for their families. I was three years old and with my family, living in Dallas, Texas. My father had been out of work and finally secured one of delivering blocks of ice. Few people at this time had electric refrigerators. Most of the people had what we called iceboxes. The ice deliveryman would load up his truck with 25 or 50 lb blocks of ice and drive to houses on his route where with a leather pad on one shoulder, he would take large tongs and grip the ice block between the points and hoist the ice up on his shoulder. He would then deliver it to the house and place the ice in the icebox. This year my father had injured his back while delivering ice and was laid up for for a long period of time.
My family and I were fortunate because we had relatives in Dallas who supplemented our income until my father could find another job. There was no welfare during those days. There were ‘poorhouses’ for the destitute people who were primarily the elderly and disabled. Those who could physically labor were forced to do so on ‘poorhouse’ farms. This gradually faded away after the Social Security Act of
1935. I also learned later that my mother’s family who were in better financial situations also sent money or clothes.
My sister and I were secure in the love of our Dallas grandparents, aunts and uncles. We were the only children on my father’s side of the family and they doted on us. My grandmother worked as a seamstress in downtown Dallas and my grandfather was on a small state pension due to an injury he received while working for the Texas Highway Department. One aunt and uncle who were not married lived at home. To make ends meet, two rooms were rented. This meant my adult aunt, uncle and grandparents all slept on a ‘sleeping porch’ that was an addition to the house.
Another aunt had married and she was a shrewd businesswoman. Her husband had a garage where he repaired automobiles and always smelled of oil and grease. Aunt Jewel invested their money in apartment houses and usually had a nice income coming in. She was the mainstay of the family during these hard times.
Christmas of 1932 was upon us. We were given a tree and we had some beautiful ornaments that had belonged to my mother’s mother. The tree sparkled and I know I felt secure and excited that Christmas morning would be the time to wake up and run into the living room to see what Santa Claus had left. Then this would be followed by the unwrapping of presents. Later we would drive over to my grandparents’ home for Christmas dinner.
This Christmas morning Santa had left my sister and me each a china tea party set. When we opened the presents, we found we each had received another china tea party set. Of course my sister and I felt very fortunate to have received two sets! Then Mother suggested that Gloria and I take the extra sets next door where a family poorer than we were lived. They had two little girls almost the same ages and Gloria and me.
We learned that the family had to wait until Christmas Eve to get a leftover tree and when we took our gifts to them, we saw there were no gifts. I can even now remember standing and gazing at their tree. They had made balls out of cotton and strung popcorn around the tree. In my childlike wonder, it was the most beautiful tree I had ever seen.
I learned at this early age the reward of a random act of kindness. My gift was and is the memory of that beautiful tree. This is not the Christmas season; however it is always a season for Random Acts of Kindness. Each of us in our own way can reach out and do a random act of kindness. We can even do it for our self.
When was the last time you treated yourself with kindness? Did you forgive your neighbor? Did you forgive a parent, a relative, a co-worker, an employer for deeds you thought were detrimental to you? Forgiveness cleanses the past and is a kindness to one's self. Why not make every day a Random Act of Kindness beginning with self?
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
REGARDING MARGARET STARBIRD
Today I received a comment posted on the Guestbook of my website www.magdalenescrolls.com. The one who posted the comment asked if I had read the books of Starbird and saying that she lived in Washington State. The guest commenter went on to ask why don't I get together with Starbird - or something to that effect.
This brought up a memory reaching back to 2005. I had just published the first edition of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls. I listed Starbird's book "Woman With the Alabaster Jar" in my bibliography. I met another author who suggested that she, Starbird and myself create a documentary regarding our views and research on Mary Magdalene. Each of us had different approaches. Starbird was approached and thought it was a good idea, however after asking her publisher, Inner Traditions, she declined following the dictates of her publisher.
Yes, I knew Starbird lived in Washington State and I admire her for what she has written. The commenter wrote that Starbird was a student of divinity. I am a retired ordained minister of Divine Science and for those of you not familiar with Divine Science, it was founded by three women in the early part of the last century. There were a number of great teachers and books that were spawned by Divine Science, i.e. Dr. Joseph Murphy who authored The Power of the Subconscious Mind to name one.
I have done extensive research on the background of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and also the Bible. I have also written articles on my research and my research uncovered a different history than what the traditional so-called authorities found. I submitted my 2nd edition of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls to The Writers Digest competition and although I was not a winner, I was a winner - the reason being that the judge gave me a hi-5 in all five categories and had this to say in answer to questions posed:
What did you like best about this book?
"Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls is a tantalizing story depicting the discovery of ancient scrolls about Mary Magdalene and Jesus. Though it covers some of the same ground as the Da Vinci Code, the writing is infinitely better and far more believable. The heroines in the story are more realistic and the adventures described in a truer voice along with a possible time-line--something very much lacking in Dan Brown's tale. Whether the reader choose to believe what is revealed in story form or not, the book is entertaining from beginning to end."
How can the author improve this book?
"No suggestions--the author knows how to write and tell a compelling and convincing story. Hopefully the promotion for this book will be enough to make those who read the Da Vinci Code want to read the Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls."
Having received awards for Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls and Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy, I don't know if having been part of a documentary with Margaret Starbird would have benefited me. On the other hand, the book could have been made into a movie or a mini-tv series. However, I am not ruling it out as anything is possible.