My fervent wish is that we have a kinder, gentler, more heartwarming new year. In a small effort to make my dream come true I am going to share something with you that may make you pause for a moment and wish the same thing. It is in the little things that we do that sometimes tells the bigger story. I saw this on the blog of one of my favourite bloggers, David Kanigan, who has become a good friend I have met only in words. He posts on his blog everyday—and his words, and those he chooses to share of others good words are always inspirational. I hope you find the little tale I am about to share one that will lighten your heart in the dark days of winter. I am not sure of the source but at the end of the story newsflare.com is cited.
Without further ado, prepare to be heart-warmed:
“While feeding my horses on New Year’s morning I noticed a solitary sparrow perched upon the steel fence near the water tank. The tank is heated to keep it from freezing. It is not uncommon for birds to drink from the heated tank. Apparently, this unfortunate bird had gotten its feet wet and, while making its exit, had become frozen to the fence in the prevailing near zero Idaho temperatures. First, I attempted to warm the feet of the frightened bird by pressing my palm against both the fence and the bird’s feet, while also gently restraining the bird’s flapping wings. It then seemed that warming the bird’s feet with my warm breath would bring quicker success. Gentle sideways motion with my thumb brought freedom for the frightened bird and a smile of satisfaction to my face… a delightful way to start a new year.”
I have “gotten” my feet wet many a time, and I have people in my life who have warmed them and helped me become unstuck. And I hope I have returned the favour, or just helped without any thought of reward. That is what a kinder, gentler, heartwarming life is all about—doing the little things that help us face the bigger, unkind, harsh realities of life. And let there be no mistake—there are lots of horrors in the world; and while they cannot all be overcome, they can be overshadowed.
On Another Note: Keeper of the Word
Today on the CBS television show Sunday Morning, Faith Salie provided the viewing audience with her rift on the word “curate” and hypothesized that “nowadays everyone’s a curator of their favourite things”. She does not think that our favourite things deserve to be “curated” and that it is a much over-used word that she wants eradicated from our vocabularies.
She points out that Oprah “curates her favourite things” for the world at large–going through all the new and wonderful things that commercialism offers us, filtering them through her red-framed (somewhat rose-coloured) lenses and presenting them as things we “must have”. If you have followed her lists of favourite things over the years, you know that many of us may find her $100 boxes of candy and $300 Sherpa slippers a bit obscure.
Getting a little off-topic here, and showing you that I may not always have my feet planted firmly on terra firma, I often wonder why no one cares about my list of favourite things. What has Oprah got that I haven’t got? I understand that my platform is much smaller, my venue almost non-existent, and my readership perhaps in the hundreds and not millions but why is her opinion so much more valuable than mine?
Anyway, back to the topic at hand: curating. I did not realize this was a thing until today. Salie seemed quite hot under the collar about the subject. She describes the word’s historical roots and what she thinks of as the bastardization of its true meaning. It should be saved and only used when talking of art, or things of historical significance, or quite simply, things of consequence. Apparently, your collection of something does not warrant the use of the word “curate”. Even the Queen of Everything (Oprah) does not have the right to curate. According to Salie, only those true professionals in the loftier worlds of art and artifacts are true curators or “keepers of the guard.”