For Love of Children 給孩子的愛
This slender volume opens with the story of Beniah, an infant rescued by sanitation workers from the stack of garbage in which he had been left to die. Without ever losing sight of Beniah and the too many other deserted children, the author, Sharon Emecz, tells the story of the two homes for abandoned children, Happy Life Kasarani and Happy Life Juja Farm, organized in the area of Nairobi, Kenya.
Developed more than a decade ago by two indomitable couples, Sharon and Jim Powell from Delaware in the USA, and Faith and Peter Kamau from Nairobi, the two settings provide the physical and emotional comforts that would otherwise have been denied the 102 abandoned children now living there, as well as having nurtured the many more who have found adoptive homes. More than that even, the two homes have literally saved the lives of all those children.
The book provides detail of the structure and functioning of The Happy Life homes allowing for an appreciation of their organization (as well as a pattern for their replication), and provides as well brief portraits of some of the children saved, of those adults who have opted to share a part of their lives with them whether through work or volunteering, and the adoptive parents who have pledged to share their homes and their love with the children who have become their own. Ms. Emecz gives the reader a real sense of the spiritual journey she has undergone in traveling from London to Nairobi, a journey she and her husband, Steve, now make at least annually.
What I have Lived for 我為何而生
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy---ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for a few hours for this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness---that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what---at last---I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always it brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
Clear Your Mental Space 保持心靈的整潔
Think about the last time you felt a negative emotion---like stress, anger, or frustration. What was going through your mind as you were going through that negativity? Was your mind cluttered with thoughts? Or was it paralyzed, unable to think?
The next time you find yourself in the middle of a very stressful time, or you feel angry or frustrated, stop. Yes, that’s right, stop. Whatever you’re doing, stop and sit for one minute. While you’re sitting there, completely immerse yourself in the negative emotion.
Allow that emotion to consume you. Allow yourself one minute to truly feel that emotion. Don’t cheat yourself here. Take the entire minute---but only one minute---to do nothing else but feel that emotion.
When the minute is over, ask yourself, “Am I wiling to keep holding on to this negative emotion as I go through the rest of the day?”
Once you’ve allowed yourself to be totally immersed in the emotion and really fell it, you will be surprised to find that the emotion clears rather quickly.
If you feel you need to hold on to the emotion for a little longer, that is OK. Allow yourself another minute to feel the emotion.
When you feel you’ve had enough of the emotion, ask yourself if you’re willing to carry that negativity with you for the rest of the day. If not, take a deep breath. As you exhale, release all that negativity with your breath.
This exercise seems simple---almost too simple. But, it is very effective. By allowing that negative emotion the space to be truly felt, you are dealing with the emotion rather than stuffing it down and trying not to feel it. You are actually taking away the power of the emotion by giving it the space and attention it needs. When you immerse yourself in the emotion, and realize that it is only emotion, it loses its control. You can clear your head and proceed with your task.
Try it. Next time you’re in the middle of a negative emotion, give yourself the space to feel the emotion and see what happens. Keep a piece of paper with you that says the following:
Stop. Immerse for one minute. Do I want to keep this negativity? Breath deep, exhale, release. Move on!
This will remind you of the steps to the process. Remember; take the time you need to really immerse yourself in the emotion. Then, when you feel you’ve felt it enough, release it---really let go of it. You will be surprised at how quickly you can move on from a negative situation and get to what you really want to do!
A Unique Job
A father's job is unique.
If parents had job descriptions mine would read: organize bills, playmates, laundry, meals, laundry, carpool1, laundry, snacks, outings and shopping, and laundry.
The only thing on my husband's description would be the word “fun” written in big red letters along the top. Although he is a selfless caregiver and provider, our children think of him more as a combination of a jungle gym2 and bozo3 and clown.
Our parenting styles compliment each other. His style is a nonstop adventure where no one has to worry about washing their hands, eating vegetables, or getting cavities4. My style is similar to Mussolini5. I'm too busy worrying to be fun. Besides, every time I try, I am constantly outdone by my husband.
I bought my children bubble gum flavored toothpaste and I taught them how to brush their teeth in tiny circles so they wouldn't get cavities. They thought it was neat until my husband taught them how to rinse6 by spitting out water between their two front teeth like a fountain.
I took the children on a walk in the woods and, after two hours, I managed to corral7 a slow ladybug8 into my son's insect cage. I was “cool” until their father came home, spent two minutes in the backyard, and captured a beetle the size of a Chihuahua9.
I try to tell myself I am a good parent even if my husband does things I can't do. I can make sure my children are safe, warm, and dry. I'll stand in line for five hours so the children can see Santa at the mall ?? or be first in line to see the latest Disney movie. But I can't wire the VCR1 so my children can watch their favorite video.
I can carry my children in my arms when they are tired, tuck them into bed, and kiss them goodnight. But I can't flip them upside down so they can walk on the ceiling or prop them on my shoulders so they can see the moths flying inside of the light fixture2.
I can take them to doctor appointments, scout meetings, or field trips to the aquarium3, but I'll never go into the wilderness, skewer4 a worm on a hook, reel in5 a fish, and cook it over an open flame on a piece of tin foil6.
I'll even sit in the first row of every Little League game and cheer until my throat is sore and my tonsils7 are raw8, but I'll never teach my son how to hit a home run9 or slide into first base10.
As a mother I can do a lot of things for my children, but no matter how hard I try ?? I can never be their father.
母親永遠成不了父親 A Unique Job
by Debbie Farmer 牧野 選譯