Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Can My Work Serve This World?

As part of the centennial celebration of its founding, Anderson University presented "An Evening With Author Sue Monk Kidd,"  author of the bestselling novel turned movie, "The Secret Life of Bees." The novel addresses issues concerning race, gender, folklore, religion, and ethics in South Carolina in the 1960’s. 
What I recognized about Mrs. Kidd was Southern eloquence at it's best. She was poised, graceful, and sophisticated but demonstrated charm and humility. 
She shared her story of growing up idolizing her father and how her love for storytelling developed through the voice of her father and his love for telling stories. She offered us a glimpse into her life as a child growing up in the deep South and the pain she witnessed first hand while growing up in the 60's, a time of racial hatred and disarray. In less than an hour, she had painted us a picture of the warm inviting home in which she grew up, the tragedy of racism she had so often witnessed, and an understanding of who she was as a young writer and the woman she had become through her love for storytelling.
She offered great insight to take away as writers, students, mothers and neighbors but what I walked away with and what I will remember is what she taught me concerning the significance of the value of our work. She explained how she had always been taught to ask the question, "How can this world serve our work," but she came to a place where she understood that we should invert the question to ask, "How can our work serve this world." She explained in a very delicate fashion how fiction, if written with the intentions of enriching the world, has potential to develop empathy within the heart and mind of an individual. She develops her stories and characters in hope they will serve the reader as a compass to finding home. 'Home' being that of self-worth and a love for oneself, life and others. I was inspired by her expression of a vision to better the world through her work; a world absent of hate between men because of their differences, whether it be ethnicity, social status or belief. 
I have always favored autobiographic and inspirational works but after absorbing Mrs. Kidd's argument that fiction has the potential to create compassion among a generation, my mind has opened up to much greater possibilities.  

So I ask you, "How can your work serve this world?"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A "Red Letter Day" Or Should I Say An "Orange Letter Day" For My Brother!

My brother had the unexpected pleasure of breaking bread with a very special personal icon of his today, Ex-Clemson University Coach, Danny Ford.
He shared with me their conversation about America's favorite pastime - baseball, the coach's love for farm life, and the many years he coached the Clemson Tigers.
This was a blessed happenstance for my brother. He graduated from Clemson many years ago and has loyally lived his life as a 'Diehard' Tiger. 
It's certain this day will be duly noted as a "Red Letter Day" or should I say, an "Orange Letter Day for my brother?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
You don't need the "Luck of the Irish" to laugh out loud today and make it a happy one!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Warhorse is defined as an experienced person who has been through many battles; someone who has given long service. 

A horse is a vain thing for safety - Even the horse, with all his fleetness, is no sure means of escape from danger: the lion or the tiger can overtake him or he may stumble, fall, and destroy his rider.
Psalm 33:17

Man, as complex a creature as he may be, with the ability to create, invent and aspire is not infallible or incapable of falling short of his promise. But we are a people, especially, if we call ourselves "Christian" with high expectations. What amazes me is why we would expect perfection from our fellow man when we, ourselves, are going to fail on a daily basis. And yes, there are degrees and levels of failure and intentions but we tend to exclude the 'human factor,' especially when that person is in leadership or their name carries a certain title. 
The warhorse, though wise through experience and tested by time, is still a horse and to place our complete trust in his reputation of strength and swiftness would be a fallacy at best.

More on the 'Warhorse' to come...........

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

C4YW (Conference for Young Women BC Survivors), Orlando 2011

This year's 'Conference for Young (Breast Cancer Survivors) Women' was incredible. 
Hundreds of beautiful, courageous young women from all over the world who have faced the painful challenge of breast cancer with determination and grace.
As I listened to some of the stories from the women in their early thirties, I was reminded of the pressures, pains and questions that I, myself, faced at the age of thirty-one and again at the age of thirty-six. 
I am thankful I can serve my younger survivor sisters as a mentor, understanding the sensitive issues and adversity the younger generation faces when diagnosed with breast cancer or cancers below the belt.
I was thirty-one when diagnosed with the rare stage 4 vulva cancer and thirty-six when diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
Vulva cancer has been viewed as a cancer of the elderly woman and breast cancer has always been thought of as a cancer that only older women face. It's not true. Young women do get breast cancer and the issues that the younger woman face are great and sensitive.
The C4YW confronts these issues and I commend them for the openness and honesty of the effects of breast cancer for the younger woman.