SoCS 11-12-22- Pursuit of Excellence

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “starts with or contains ‘cel.’” Find a word that begins with or contains “cel” and use it in your post any way you’d like. Have fun!

“Excellent!”
Have you ever watched a child’s face light up when you say that? That reaction is also an excellent outcome. It’s heartwarming!

That word is not synonymous with perfect, though. Perfect doesn’t actually exist in our everyday lives. It’s a unicorn; great to imagine but impossible to own. But “excellent” does absolutely exist.

Excellent is a worthy goal and looks different in every situation. Doing your best is excellent. Making even a tiny improvement is excellent. It seems that excellent can be a direction to move toward as often as an outcome. But excellent things rarely “pop” out of nowhere. They’re pursued. And in order to appreciate any “excellent” event we need to also know being disheartened and disappointed. Everything is relative.

I personally dislike complaining. And it just occurred to me that people who complain a lot may have unrealistic expectations of achieving excellence. Do we feed that attitude in kids? Are we so eager to see their glowing faces that we dish out the “that’s excellent!” praise too often? I can’t help thinking that we’re giving a terrible burden to kids when we do that. People who complain about everything are visibly miserable and while they are complaining, “hope” is nowhere to be found. Besides Love, Hope is an essential part of life. It gives you courage to “try again” and to persevere. Without it, ‘giving up’ is almost a sure thing.

That brings me to something I have pondered for a while. My parents’ and grandparents’ generations experienced The Great Depression and two World Wars. I was fortunate to know my grandparents and listened to their tales about ‘difficult times’. Why weren’t drug abuse, suicide, frantic outrage, and ‘safe spaces’ big deals then? Do modern day kids think struggling is something new? I think so. In fact, I don’t think modern day kids even recognize what ‘struggling’-real human despair- is.

Here’s a recommended topic of discussion with your kids and grandkids. As all things are relative, ask them to put down their $200.00 devices and chew on this:

“While rates of extreme poverty have declined substantially, falling from 36 percent in 1990, the report’s expanded examination of the nature of poverty demonstrates the magnitude of the challenge in eradicating it. Over 1.9 billion people, or 26.2 percent of the world’s population, were living on less than $3.20 per day in 2015. Close to 46 percent of the world’s population was living on less than $5.50 a day. “


And once you get their attention, watching this video together might give them an idea how to help out their fellow man. Wouldn’t that be excellent?!



Happy Saturday! I hope we all can inspire our kids to seek excellence!


https://lindaghill.com/2022/11/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-12-2022/

Six Sentence Story- Perilous Promises 7

PROMPT WORD:  SPARK

Perilous Promises is my continuing story outline of two young children trying to make it from Honduras over the U.S. border. They’ve traveled for more than a month hoping to make it to their American citizen great Aunt Maria and safety. They made some friends and some enemies along their perilous journey. The first 6 installments are available below:
https://sillyfrogsusan.com/2021/03/24/six-sentence-story-perilous-promises/
https://sillyfrogsusan.com/2021/04/07/six-sentence-story-perilous-promises-2/
https://sillyfrogsusan.com/2021/04/14/six-sentence-story-perilous-promises-3/
https://sillyfrogsusan.com/2021/04/28/six-sentence-story-perilous-promises-4/
https://sillyfrogsusan.com/2021/08/11/six-sentence-story-perilous-promises-5/
https://sillyfrogsusan.com/2021/08/18/six-sentence-story-perilous-promises-6/

Yumi motioned to Ernesto to follow her outside once Abria was safely tucked into bed and offered him an ancient cellphone, a small amount of money, and what sounded like an order for him to proceed to the border without his little sister who didn’t have the strength to make it.

Ernesto knew she was right about Abria but, having every ounce of trust beaten out of him by now, decided to spark a conversation about Yumi’s relationship to Maria so he could be sure that his sister was in good hands.

Theirs was a similar journey 40 years before when Maria was forced to leave her best friend Yumi behind in this little village deathly ill and unable to continue to the sanctuary of the United States of America.

Satisfied of Yumi’s ability to care for Abria until he could send for her, Ernesto bid Yumi farewell with instructions conveyed to her by Aunt Maria for him to reach Mission Texas and set out to reconnect with Mig to complete the perilous trek.
******

George Navarro was just about to the end of his 20-hour border patrol shift in Mission Texas when he heard a terrified bloodcurdling squeal ahead of him and gave his horse a kick galloping toward the sound.

He spotted a real four-legged coyote yanking a lone small child by the hood of his jacket to the ground with four other pack members drawing a closing circle, so he lifted his rifle and neutralized one sending the rest scattering as George swiftly dismounted and swept the sobbing child into his arms.

Haibun Monday-d’Verse Poets Pub- Sharing a Song

  • Write a haibun about a special moment in September and post it on your blog.
  • Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name and direct url to your work.
  • Add a link for dVerse on your page so others can find us as well.
  • Visit other poets on the list to read their poems and comment.
  • Visit our virtual pub and say hello.
  • Have fun!


The most memorable songs that I learned in grade school were about Autumn. I’ve taught my favorite ones to my granddaughters and just this last weekend, a cool breeze accompanied by the sound of migrating geese made us break into song.
“Autumn leaves falling and Autumn birds calling. Nippy cool weather for flying South together.
Leaves of warm orange and leaves of golden yellow, cover the hillsides with colors soft and mellow.”

I cannot find this 1960s children’s song anywhere on the internet. How delightful that I was able to pass it along!

Beyond September
Nature will hearten seedlings
Topped by tattered leaves

————-
As an afterthought, I looked for an old video of my oldest granddaughter singing our song. I found it!
She was four in the video… just this month she just turned 17. Follow my Facebook link to hear it.
https://www.facebook.com/susan.st.pierre.50/videos/177162813827

Haibun Monday: Look up!- An Imagined Storm

Today I want you to write about a time you looked up and saw. . .something. If nothing comes to mind, then look up now. What do you see? Write a haibun about it.
___________________________



“BOOM!”
Out of nowhere, an extremely close clap of thunder shook my bones. It was the kind that crackled as it dissipated.
Four pairs of bewildered, less than 5-year-old, eyes looked up examining my face for my reaction. Keenly aware of my role as an interpreter and guardian, I smiled and said, “Whoa guy! What do you think those angels dropped this time?”.
A cacophony, almost as intense as the thunder, surrounded me with suggestions:
“A bowling ball!”
“I think it’s a statue that gots tipped over!”
“It’s a bookcase one of them was climbing on! I heard papers falling like when I did that!”
“Oh no it’s not. It sounds just like my Daddy’s hammer smashing a window when Mommy locks him out!”
Luckily, not a moment later, a series of quick flashes changed the subject until the same child, who was just exposing sensitive family business, spoke again,
“Yep. I was right! There’s Mommy’s shooting our fireworks back at Daddy!”


Seedlings grow on a promise
Spring’s hopeful bounty
Fated to weather some storms


[The fireworks and hammer are fictitious but the reaction of children when startled and their humorous tendency to expose and embellish stories about their parents during my family daycare years, are quite true.]


https://dversepoets.com/2022/08/01/haibun-monday-look-up/

Six Sentence Story- Progress Shouldn’t Hurt

Prompt word: labyrinth



She’d always thought her grandparents- born at the beginning of the 20th century- were the generation who witnessed the most dynamic human change in a lifetime, but the cultural changes of her sixty-six years eclipsed those industrial, medical, and technological advances they had beheld.

Her stomach twisted every time she reminisced about her childhood of jumping rope on the playground and feeling completely safe only to return to her present, a place and time of declared progress yet tragically foreign and ominous.

She’d like to blame it all on the 1960s but on closer examination there really was a labyrinth of cultural rot that went unnoticed while the rapid “advancement” of the human experience was cheered along.

The hippies, militaristic feminism, and the drug culture, were just the first glaringly emboldened movements to take center stage; all made possible by the everyday comforts and prosperity that the enormous leap of the sciences had secured.

Earlier, when she walked by the schoolyard, small children stood separated wearing surgical masks just twirling in circles with one child erupting in a rant filled with vulgar language getting no notice from the teacher nearby.

One child’s eyes widened with shock and met hers, but to steal her hoping to guard her precious innocence was not possible, so she wept for her instead as she walked home praying for all those children’s future.

https://girlieontheedge1.wordpress.com/2022/07/06/its-six-sentence-story-thursday-link-up-219/