Coffee and Contemplation: Self-Improvement Month

September is Self-Improvement Month. There are all kinds of ways for one to improve themselves. It depends on what kind of person they want to be and what they have to do to get there. It could be something as simple as learning to recipes for dinner or saving money for a new car. I want to share some of the things I’ve done to improve myself. Most of these things I’ve been doing for almost a year. I recommend using Self-Improvement Month as a starting point for short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals being less than a year and long-term taking a year or longer.

I made a list for myself and am happy to say I crossed off all my short-term goals and even a couple long-term. These were simple things like saving money and getting some new clothes. There were many other things that weren’t on my goals list. For example, I had money saved to get some dental work I’ve needed. I had to get a root canal and a crown. I’ve been reading more books and writing a lot more. I’ve even planned a little road trip for my birthday weekend. So what are you doing to improve yourself? 

National Day of Encouragement

Sometimes a few kind, uplifting words from someone make a difficult situation better. Sometimes encouragement comes from friends or family. Other times it might come from a total stranger. I’m a fan of the phrase “Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.” Encouraging others is another form of kindness. Mayor Belinda LaForce of Searcy, Arkansas proclaimed the first Day of Encouragement on August 22, 2007. The project began as the brainchild from the Encouragement Foundation at Harding University in Searcy. A month later, Governor Mike Beebe, proclaimed September 12, 2007 the “State Day of Encouragement for Arkansas. Later President George W. Bush made September 12th the National Day of Encouragement.

How does one participate in this national holiday? Encourage others. Reassure, inspire, or tell someone how important they are to you. Think about someone other than yourself and say a few kind words to them. If someone feels like giving up, tell them to keep trying. Or at least listen to them vent their frustrations. Sometimes having someone listen is enough to encourage someone to keep fighting. At some point in our lives, we all need encouragement. We all need a little push to see the positive and keep going when all hope is lost. If you’re struggling, things will get better. Even if it doesn’t look like they will.

Flashback Friday Poetry: Richmond Sky

a crisp warm day under the Richmond Sky
i sit on a bench and wonder why
why the world changes as it does
why there isn’t more peace and love

all beautiful days
encompassed by rage
no hope for anyone
buried under the sun
the dreams of the voiceless
surrounded by darkness
the cries in the violence
heard only in silence

the cold and dark day of the Richmond Sky
drives everyone away and inside
the wonderful day that once was
shatters at the death of a dove

Early poetry from James. From the poetry collection Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry.