Making the World a More Positive Place

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. I don’t know if it has been raining where you are, but here in Knoxville, we are soaked. As a writer, I sometimes get my inspiration from unexpected places. For the next few weeks, I will share what was written on the paper slips inside the last four fortune cookies I opened while enjoying Chinese food. It will be an interesting experiment, so thank you in advance for staying with me. I just want to see if these “slips of wisdom” can be taken at face value. Enjoy your weekend, and stay dry!

Quote of the Week: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” –Confucius

Song of the Week: The song I would like to highlight this week is “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. We have all heard this rich song describing things from skies of blue and trees of green. It reminds us that the world around us is, in fact, a beautiful place. It talks about beauty not only in nature, but also in people. We must never forget that everyone was created with a purpose and has at least one thing that makes them uniquely beautiful.

Fortune (Cookie) of the Week: You find beauty in ordinary things. Do not lose this ability. It’s okay if you’re thinking, “Are you seriously writing a blog post from the words of a fortune cookie?” To be honest, I have done stranger things…such as writing a poem about Shrek to entertain students in an art class.

So, back to finding beauty in ordinary things. I can almost hear you asking, “Does this even matter?” The answer is “Yes, it does.” Every day, people worldwide experience a barrage of negative things: sickness, the loss of a job, bewilderment over how to help a child get through a traumatic experience, and so many other situations. I cannot honestly say that I am always happy, but when I intentionally set out to find beauty—the silver lining, or however you describe it—I feel content. One thing that surprised me was an ant hill I saw at the park near our house. Have you ever seen an ant hill resembling a Walmart smiley face? Neither had I. I figure if ants can be happy and content with ordinary life, why can’t I?

Of course, I know that is an overly simplistic take on this fortune cookie message, but I think we all need to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to shout out to all of the artists, writers, and dreamers who spend time making the world a more positive place. Without your vision, it would become easy to take ourselves and life too seriously. May you never lose the ability to find beauty in whatever inspires you…even fortune cookies.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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