A Look At A Book 13

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken.

This charming colorful book tells a fable for our times and celebrates the joy of giving and sharing.

A generous quilt maker, with magic in her fingers, sews the most beautiful quilts in the world. But she does not sell them. She only gives them to the poor and those who need them.

A greedy king, with every treasure he can stuff into his storehouse, remains sad and lonely. He yearns for the one gift that will make him happy.

Could that gift be a quilt?

Will the quiltmaker sew a quilt for the king?

Can the quilt maker teach the king to be happy?

What will the king do with all his splendid treasures?

QM 2

Look for clues to the story in the quilts–all 250 of them!!!

Strive For Excellence Rather Than Perfection

Ah, the new year! Fresh, unused, filled with potential! What to do . . . what to do. Sounds so exciting, but maybe a bit overwhelming too. I could just go to bed and wake up everyday. Too easy! I know . . . I should develop some resolutions. Those things I should improve in myself or at least I should want to improve in myself. Make a list of the dos and don’ts of becoming “perfect.”

Now that’s a challenge! Perfect? What exactly is perfect? First, I don’t think it’s actually attainable. Second, I don’t think it’s actually advisable to try. I would rather strive to be excellent, which is the best me I can be. Perfect is . . . well, it’s less than excellent.

Because perfection can never be achieved, it is a cause of constant frustration, anger and fear. Perfection requires abnormal control, harsh judgment, and much self-doubt. It allows no relaxation, flow or spontaneity. Striving for such an artificial state makes for unhappy, miserable people, who, not surprisingly, have a difficult time maintaining this negative way of life. It is exhausting with almost no payback. Why waste your life in such a pursuit?

As the U.S. Army says, “Be All You Can Be.” Be excellent! In contrast to perfection, excellence allows for risk, with the possibility of failure. I like that. I find I learn much more from mistakes than from accidently getting it right. A life of excellence is a life of giving rather than taking, filled with confidence rather than doubt and based on acceptance rather than elitism.

I would hope I could better myself a bit everyday instead of hoping for the grand slam in my final hour. My New Year Excellence Resolutions would read something like this:

1 – Express my gratitude tangibly for every gift and kindness given to me.

2 – Greet people with a smile, every time, especially those I love .

3 – Express my love and joy to my grandchildren at every available opportunity.

4 – Provide warm hospitality to everyone who enters my home, whether friend or stranger.

5 – Look for the good and wise in others.

6 – Laugh as often as possible.

7 – Enjoy wealth more often by what I give and less often by what I get.

8 – Say “yes” more often.

9 – Ask for help when needed and give advice when requested.

10 – Forgive as often as necessary

I intend to strive for excellence for as long as it takes. And it will take the rest of my life, of that I am sure. But excellence is a journey, not a destination. And I do so love a good long trip!.