Reflecting

I sort of have a morning routine that I go through each day. I get up and my morning newspaper is my iPad. I actually go through several newspapers that I have in my RSS reader. I also have a series of comics that I read.

That caused me to think this morning about when I was a young boy and I always looked forward to the Sunday newspaper. It was huge in comparison to a daily paper. We lived on a farm and our paper was delivered by car. Gasoline was obviously not $4.00 a gallon.

My favorite section was the comics. My mom, sometimes my dad, would sit in a rocking chair and read them to me as I sat on the floor listening to every word.

There was Alley Oop, Dick Tracy, The Katzenjammer kids, Little Abner, Little Orphan Annie, and a few others.

For me this was a real event in my life, that I looked forward to each week. There was no television and we only had one radio, on which I remember hearing Joe Lewis (the brown bomber) knock out Jersey Joe Walcott in Joe’s last fight. Between the radio and the newspaper, the Sunday Funnies were my most desired entertainment for the week.

I liked for my mom to read more than my dad, because she put so much expression into the characters. Each had their own voice and she had a real knack of making it fun.

I never understood all of the political satire that was embedded into some of the strips. I expect that is what kept it fun for my folks when they read them to me.

Who could forget the shmoos in Little Abner? Al Capp’s schmoo delighted me, but the political connection was above my head. I always wished I had some schmoos. I think many around the world would want them today. Having everything one needs without having to work for it is becoming the norm.

Times were definitely simpler then. My parents had great hopes for my future and the world situation following WWII, really looked great in the U.S. I am sure my folks felt that if they provided me a good education, I could do anything or become anything I wanted.

Today is not quite as serene as it was then. The expenses for a child going through school is mind boggling. Many with PHDs are unable to find jobs today. Amazing!

The division between rich and poor is increasing at a rapid rate.

While the same world pressures are in Panama that are in other parts of the world, I see that there are still many here that find joy in the simple life.

For instance, Lilliam loves her plants. She has a cactus collection that continues to grow. She loves sharing plants, herbs, etc with others as well as receiving plants she doesn’t have from others.

The other day, a lady showed up at the door with some plants for Lilliam. The lady has worked in the neighborhood for over 30 years and knows almost everyone. She had heard that Lilliam was interested in some cuttings and since she was doing some trimming, she brought several to Lilliam.

She expected nothing in return. Of course Lilliam was thrilled and thanked her profusely. Lilliam talked to her for over 30 minutes and this was the first time they had ever met. Lilliam’s gratitude was not artificial, but heart fell and the lady could tell that her cuttings were really a treasure to Lilliam.

A few days past and it was raining about 8:00 PM one evening when there was a knock at the door. There was the lady again with more treasures. Some mangos, passion fruit, and some white flowers that smelled like heaven.

Now this is what the world needs more of. Giving when there is no expectation of a reward other than a smile and a “thank you”.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be in an area where the simple things are still an important part of life.

When we approach the time in our lives where we closer to the end and farther our beginning, it is more important that we enjoy each day. Not only that, but we will enjoy it more, if we put more enjoyment in someone else’s life.

Pass out a few smiles. They won’t cost you a thing and others will feel better. Pass out a “Gracias” and a “Que tenga un buen diá”. The lady at the checkout stand will appreciate it.

Give the bag boy a tip for bagging your groceries. Remember that they are not paid by the supermarket, but work only for tips.

Remember that this is the first day of the rest of your life. Go out and enjoy your day. That is what I am getting ready to do.

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