Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gratitude - Letter "B"


This post is part of the 2012 A-Z challenge, created by the intrepid Arlee Bird at: http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/


“B”
The scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz sang, “If I only had a brain” and learned he’d had one all along. I used to wish I was smarter, even though I skipped 8th grade and was always in the smartest class in the grade, it wasn’t enough. I would focus on the one thing I couldn’t do well, like math, and allow that to color my perceptions about myself. Now I do know better. We all have strengths and weaknesses, flaws and things that make us shine. They are the things that make us unique. So today I am grateful for my very own brain and how well it has carried me so far.

Blessings,
Karen

40 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved today's post. A good B word.

Yvonne.

Kathy said...

Great take on the letter 'B'. You are blessed to have a brain that is so well developed..
I liked to r 'A' post too. I live in Canada, so we have the same freedoms and are equally blessed...even if I have Loyalists blood flowing through my veins.
I'm a new follower and am looking forward to more of your posts.
Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

Bish Denham said...

Ah yes, the wonderful mysterious brain. I learned long ago, one can be well educated and not very smart. One can be very smart and have little education. Education and smarts are not the same thing.

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, thanks so much
Kathy, welcome and thank you
Bish, you are so so right about this. I used to think I wasn't smart because I hadn't finished college. In my 50's I went back and got the degree. It didn't make me any smarter, but I did feel better about myself.
Karen

Heather M. Gardner said...

I'm grateful for your brain too!

Great post.
Heather

Kristi said...

Ahhh...I love the Wizard of Oz and how meaningful that one lesson really is. Often times we have things all along that we take for granted. :)

Great post.

Miranda Hardy said...

I am thankful my brain functions well, that's for sure. Great post.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's all relative. Someone could have a really high IQ but no common sense, which would make him appear dumb.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Heather
Kristi, I so don't want to take anything for granted.
Miranda, yes, me, too
Diane, yes, that's true. Or someone could be a bad speller and people think they're dumb when they are really brilliant, just can't spell.
Karen

Tracy said...

ahhh, so you ARE like the Scarecrow; my favorite wizard of Oz character by th way...you both discovered that you have a brain even though you doubted it.
I wonder often how smart I am and curious as to what my IQ is but as I've learned through the students I teach-sometimes it is not a matter of what your IQ is is how you utilize it...great post!

Marian Allen said...

Karen, the smartest thing anybody can do is appreciate what they have at any given moment, right?

Love your theme! I'm looking forward to all your sparks of joy. :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Tracy Jo said...

So true and great lesson! Have to focus on the good in ourselves so we can share it with others. I am grateful for your brain too. :-)

Hart Johnson said...

I was insecure when young because I was a slow readers, so I felt stupid... took a really good teacher to sort of push me pas that. I had a chance to thank her for that a couple years ago... I'm glad I did.

Kelly Barnes said...

I'm with you, because of all the offensive words, "stupid" is a big one for me.
Everyone knows things I don't. If I, or worse, they, think they are stupid, how're we going to learn?

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Now, I'm singing that tune. hm hm hm hm hm. Anyway, you're right. I feel sad when people knock down each other for not be "smart" at certain things. If given the right course, they will surely shine in their own way.

Play off the Page

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Good point about focusing on our strengths and being forgiving of our weaknesses!

Suze said...

Good morning, Karen.

When I was in 8th grade, I was put in a special math class with two other boys. We were taking Algebra, while everyone else took Pre-Algebra. By the time I got to Trig in my junior year, though, I became quite lost. I had a very, very difficult time plotting on three-dimensional graphs. Analytic Geometry just about killed me. I hired a tutor at home and came into school before classes to see my AG teacher -- she was truly awful -- and the highest I was ever able to score in that class was a 77. I was crushed. Nevertheless, I signed up for Calculus, senior year. In the first week of classes, I got a 24 on a pop quiz. The teacher encouraged me to drop.

My primary interest is in science but my mathematics instruction has always lagged frightfully behind and I never encountered the teacher who could help me bridge my weakness in aptitude after Mrs. Patterson, eighth-grade year.

Sometimes, it's not who we are or what we're capable of, sometimes other variables contribute to where we end up. For what it's worth, I think you're brilliant -- and a damned good memoirist, to boot. Can't wait to hear of more progress on your novel. Remember, the weight of centuries hides in your eyes.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's great, Karen. We all need to focus on our own unique gifts and strengths. :)

Siobhan said...

Thank you for the inspiration.

Tracy Makara said...

You've done it again Karen! I love the way you encouraged all of us to focus on our strengths and the things which make us unique instead of nitpicking at ourselves for the things which we may not excel at.

Dawn Malone said...

So wonderful you can focus on your gifts now instead of areas of weakness. Thanks for the inspirational post!

Julie said...

I love this. I've done the same thing for so long, focus on the things I can't do instead of appreciating the things I can or have. Very inspirational post!

Claudia Moser said...

Good one for the B :) this challenge is nice!

Karen Walker said...

Wow, these are such wonderful comments you awesome blogger buddies. Anyone else struggling to keep up with responding individually, visiting commenters blogs and visiting new ones?
Karen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We can't be good at everything, but if we discover what we are good at, we can then excel at it.

Cynthia said...

It's great that you've reached a point where you can be content and appreciate who you are.

To answer your other question, yes, it has been a little overwhelming trying to visit everyone's blogs, but I'm having fun with this at the same time.

M Pax said...

It is a great thing to learn to appreciate what we have, instead of focusing on what we don't. When I learned to do that, I became so much happier.

Jemi Fraser said...

One of my favourite characters, songs and movies! I try to teach my students it's okay to not know something and not to be great at everything. I sing a couple of lines of this song all the time to remind them! :)

cleemckenzie said...

Having a brain is definitely step one. Using it another matter. I do try. Thanks for the great gratitude posts. And thanks for stopping in at the Write Game to say hi during this challenge.

cleemckenzie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rch said...

Yes it's good to appreciate your brain, and to let us admire it also through your thoughtful writing.

Jules said...

I hate math as well, never could add a+b and end up with c. Now that scarecrow had a brain but he needed a sprinkler system. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Heather Murphy said...

As someone who works with those who are developmentally disabled, I too am grateful for a brain that is functional MOST of the time :)

Jo said...

As a parent, I've had an upclose opportunity to watch the way we seize onto the things we can't do well, instead of the things we can.

I have identical twin girls... Early on, we decided to split them up in school so they wouldn't compete with each other as much. That's probably the wrong word for it... more that they wouldn't COMPARE themselves with the other as much. It wasn't so much that they would try to be better than the other twin.

Casey has always excelled more in mathematics, while McKenzie excels more in language-based academics. But Casey could only look at her sister's writing ability and wail, "It's not fair! McKenzie is so much better at writing than I am!"... but could never see that SHE had ways that she excelled too. She could only see the areas that she didn't. And then, it went the other way with Mckenzie.

Jo
In Which We Start Anew

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

You've been reading my mail!
(Great minds think alike, methinks!
Happy A to Z!

Ann Best said...

Every blog I go into on this challenge is unique. I say this because that is how I felt when I read this. Your theme is awesome, Karen. And to come up with, "If I only had a brain"... Well, I'm still smiling. Thanks!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Patricia Stoltey said...

I like my brain, too, Karen, even though it didn't always make wise choices.

Patricia Stoltey

Rosalind Adam said...

Wonderful sentiment. I too wished I was smarter for many years but we all have our strengths.

I’m doing the A to Z Challenge too at A to Z of Nostalgia

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I couldn't agree more - my brain has certainly improved since I've been blogging - it's burnished with broad knowledge now!

Cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

It's good to keep one's brain in good shape. Never stop learning!


Lee
Places I Remember
Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog