Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Matters That May...or May Not Matter

Freeing Yourself from Regret
(Excerpts from the Chicago Tribune)

“To err is human, to forgive divine,” wrote English poet Alexander Pope.  When it comes to regret, the person you most often must forgive is yourself.  A recent study from Baylor University found that making amends with individuals you have wronged increases your likelihood of self-forgiveness.  It is important to identify how your behaviour escalated out of control, say “I'm sorry, and keep this lesson in mind.”  Most of the regrets tend to be about relationships, either romantic or familial.

Just the simple act of acknowledging your regret can start you on a path that is so liberating and freeing.  Remember that many other people undoubtedly have experienced similar mishaps and moved on with their personal recognition ~ followed by  acknowledgment to their respondent with apology for these past regrets which will lift the burden, (whether the recipient accepts the apology or not.)

“Little happens in a relationship until the individuals
learn to forgive and learn to trust each other.
(David N. Johnson)

“He Who Hesitates...is Lost!”

My sister, at age 56 died of an unsuspected  brain hemorrhage   She and her husband had two teenagers 15 and 17 years of age.  After rising early to tend to office work re his funeral business, he went to the washroom to shave. He called into the Master Bedroom to assure she was up, knowing she would prepare breakfast and have their son and daughter off to school.  With no response, he found her sprawled on the floor.  Immediately an ambulance came and took her to the local hospital in Goderich.
Medical staff diagnosing  her coma, forwarded her to Western Hospital in London, Ontario.

On that Monday morning, I left my real estate office to meet with Bob at the hospital. My sister remained in coma-state. We earnestly prayed for her recovery.  Three days later, doctors advised us she would remain “as a vegetable”; we were stunned and shocked ~ making a joint decision to “pull the life-support-plug on her-never-to-be-continued life”. It hit us like a “rogue wave”! Bob was in deep remorse, emotionally wrought and with regret he sobbingly told me there was so much he had wanted to discuss and apologize to her over situations that they hadn't resolved.  “Now she's gone...and it's too late!  HOW can I live with this?”  He was really lost! For a couple years, he had appointments with a therapist to mend his broken mind and spirit.

The Three Monkeys

(Thanks to Sherrie for the significance of this “trio”.)
Originally, this stemmed from a Japanese adage...depicted with monkeys.

The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes who sees no evil.
Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil.
Iwazaru, covering his mouth who speaks no evil.
Sometimes, there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others:
Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of do no evil.
He may be shown, crossing his arms.
This was intended to say, you should focus your eyes and heart on doing good and doing no evil.  However, in the western world, the saying, “Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil,” has changed to a different meaning; used now to describe those who feign ignorance.  They pretend to be good by ignoring the bad.  The idea is that if they “ignore the evil, see no evil,” they will be seen as good people.  Often in business, in politics and within friendships and families...if they ignore a bad situation, they cannot be criticized for it!

Prayer for the “Soon-to-be-Retired”

Sketch shows a man so supplicant on his knees amid much paper money,
looking heaven-ward through a starry sky that spells D-O-W-N,
he beseeches the Universe to answer his plea:

Stock market, stock market I'm down on my knees;
You've got to recover ~ I'm begging you, please.
I've gotten used to easy cash;
My wife and I had quite a stash.
Stock market, stock market please go higher.
If you crash, we can never retire!


Don’t think too much ~ you’ll create a problem
that wasn’t even there in the first place!
Enjoy little things in life that may or may not matter to others.

Can you get a sunburn even if it's overcast and cool?  (3 letters)
What is the capital of Afghanistan?  (5 letters)
What was the only thing left in Pandora's box after she opened it?  (4 letters)

Did you know...there is good reason for people to conserve Fresh Water? Of all the water on Earth, the life-sustaining resource of Fresh Water makes up about 3% ( much of the water is in the salty oceans).
Did you know...that Earth is divided into large regions called biomes within which  a certain climate and species exist?  Major biomes include tropical rainforest, desert, grassland, deciduous forest, tundra and taiga…the latter two exist in our northland.
Did you know...the Canadian lynx is one of four species of lynx in the world?  It lives in Canada and in northern parts of United States.  This cat, a good climber, has thick paws to help it travel on  snow.

Gretzky Lover:  There is a hockey memorabilia collector in Fort McMurray, Alberta, owning a huge number of Wayne Gretzky items ~ from hockey sticks to jerseys to skates ~ all worn by the famous NHL player known as “The Great One.”  Shawn Chaulk, who has collected sports mementos for 20 years started his Gretzky collection quite a while ago.  He's made many friends with fellow collectors and he even had the opportunity to give a tour of the items to Gretzky himself.  Recently, Chaulk decided to auction off the memorabilia, and it is likely that he'll be a rich man afterward.  For example, he owns100 hockey sticks...each one worth thousands of dollars.

Why didn't the little girl tell the doctor that she ate some glue”  Because her lips were sealed.
If chickens rise when the rooster crows, when do ducks get up?  At the quack of dawn.
Johnny:  “Dad, what is influence?”  Dad: “It is a thing you think you have, until you try to use it.”

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled July 30, 2014
Comments most welcome...e-mail to:


  1. MY SON WRITES: "I read your article on my phone, on the PATH train to NYC. Quite a passionate story about Bob and Lee ~
    I often regarded Aunt Lee as my favourite Aunt."

  2. The relationship you had with her was reciprocal, I assure you, and one that should have lasted much, much longer! I frequently questioned why her life was so shortened ~ as a "pillar of strength", she contributed greatly to her family, community and society.

  3. RICHARD COMMENTS: "Liked the 'freeing from regret'. I was once advised to be 'bigger than them' when I was faced with having to go to court to collect unpaid debt owed to me. I didn't go to court and they now avoid me in their guilt...a bigger burden on them than on me."

  4. Richard further commented that, "The Three Monkeys should be sent to the religious right in the US. What a bunch of hypocrites!"

    The advice you took, was profound!
    "Silence is the Best Rebuke"...a discovery I made several years ago which is very effective! Thank you, Richard, for your insight and continued interest in my written articles.

  5. SHERRIE WROTE: "Great writings today on your blog about life
    in general and in honour of your sister. It's a sad day today with all the happenings written in the press ~ but you brought us great light, Merle!"

  6. Thank you Sherrie for this recognition. When personal experiences "come to light" the impact is so instrumental in realizing how fragile Life really is! And it is our responsibility to create a Life that is meaningful, not only to ourselves (which becomes our legacy), but also to others.

  7. MEG WRITES: "I took 40 years to learn to forgive myself (I'm a slow learner). I have also loved the 3 or 4 monkeys.
    Here is my version of them. These brown monkeys are very happily adjusted offering their Life Advice: Don't SEE everyone's flaws. Don't LISTEN to everything you've heard. Don't SPEAK if it is not kind. Always look for the good in people. Not everything is the truth. Only speak words of kindness. Live Life positively! These 4 cute monkeys, with an open computer screen in front of them, demonstrate with their front paws ...their messages for us!

  8. Meg! What a wonderful message you convey! "Forgiveness is such a simple thing...once you surrender to it!" wrote Susan Biggs in her novel, Just Breathe. As we age, we learn more & more about Life, which is called Wisdom if we apply it with sincerity.
    It takes a wise person to sense it and to act accordingly!
    Thank you for your thoughts and the Four Monkeys!

  9. DAVID COMMENTS ~ "Read your posting on "Regrets"...very good. If I may quote Sinatra...Regrets...I have a few, but then too few to mention."

  10. Thank you, David for your words and interest in my writings
    and may we continue to encourage each other in our blog presentations!