Three People I Admire

Who Was Frida?

I just read the book entitled What Would Frida Do? It’s a guide to living boldly. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who became famous, as much for her joie de vie, as for her art. Overall, she was her own woman, doing self-portraits long before selfies came into fashion.  

Nothing stopped Frida from pursuing her passions, even the multiple health issues she encountered throughout her lifetime. Unfortunately, this included a leg amputation below the knee. But even that didn’t stop her from living life to the max.

 To quote Frida, “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” She did exactly what she wanted to do in her own passionate way without regard to outside influences or opinions, and in that way, she was a model for women today. 

I felt energized when I read about Frida. Her biography is like a permission slip…permission to be who you really are.

We Miss You, Amelia

Another woman I admire is Amelia Earhart. Aviation was her passion, and in following that passion, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She visualized what she wanted to achieve and went for it. To quote Amelia, “the most effective way to do it is to do it.”

How many times are our dreams blocked by procrastination, fed by insecurity or the imposter syndrome? If this sounds like you, channel your inner Amelia. Her life grants you permission.

He Slipped the Surly Bonds of Earth

Finally, having purpose and passion aren’t gender specific. One of the bravest men who’ve walked the planet in my lifetime is John Glenn, Jr. In 1962, he became the first American to  orbit the earth. This was a first. There were no safety nets below. He was putting his life on the line while the whole world watched. I admire his wife, who supported him in a mission with no guarantee of success or survival. 

So, next time you gaze at the moon, think of John Glenn and his wife, Annie.

You Too!

Finally, how can we emulate the courage of these three pioneers of space, art, and aviation?

If your first inclination is to say, “No way, Jose”, I have news for you. Anything you desire with passion and purpose is within your reach. It may not manifest in exactly the form you ordered, but keep your expectations alive. It’s germinating. 

But first, you have to get started. So, start now. Create the steps you need to take. Don’t wait. As Amelia would say, “the most effective way to do it is to do it.”

Worked for her…it can work for you.


Why You Can Call Yourself Courageous

Yes, You Really Are Courageous!

I’ve read that only the most courageous souls volunteer to come to earth.

If you’re reading this, count yourself among the courageous. 

The Evidence

As a former history teacher, I’m well aware that horrific times have occurred with each generation …the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, the atomic bomb, and multiple other atrocities you can probably name if you’re a student of history.

Man seems always ready to conquer. There has to be a winner, which means there has to be a loser. Maybe that’s why they call it “the game of life.”

It seems most exploration on the planet is merely a race for autonomy…a need for power and acquisition, determining who can conquer the world first. 

 Is it any surprise that the first act after landing on the moon was to stake the American flag into the moon’s sandy surface? This isn’t a criticism…just an observation.

Our Changing Planet

I used to live on Amelia Island in Florida. This beautiful island has been under 8 flags…Spain, England, France, the Patriots Flag, the Green Cross Flag, the Mexican Revolutionary Flag, the National Flag of the Confederacy, and finally, since 1862, the U.S. Flag. A lot of nations wanted this island. 

When I was a kid, our family had a globe. I used to study it to see where different countries were located. Now, that globe is an anachronism. It’s obsolete. Just look at Europe. Look at Russia. The boundaries have moved and the names have changed. Little stays the same. 

Do We Question our Courage?

So, what makes us so special, so courageous? Maybe we’re not. Maybe this belief is simply a balm for our overall lack of meaning… a band-aid for the soul. Maybe this is what Thoreau meant when he said, “most men lead lives of quiet desperation”. 

Now we’re involved in the race for space. I think this is programmed into our DNA. It’s not a bad thing. I define it as being pro-active. What if we’re hit by an asteroid? What if our earth, for some reason, becomes inhabitable? Having a condo on Mars may someday be as common as a summer home in Aruba. So, this type of exploration makes sense…it’s critical to our survival as a species.

Throughout history there have been challenges. But here’s one of the challenges of this century. We now have the ability to witness worldwide calamities in real time. Social media and the 24-hour news see to it. It takes courage to live in a world where there are no blinders. It reminds me of the scene in “A Clockwork Orange” where they force the guy’s eyes open so he has to watch the film they’re showing. There’s no place to hide.

The Good News

But before you get too depressed, here’s the good news. There’s an antidote, and it’s called purpose. Knowing your purpose is the answer to serenity.

 On a spiritual level, you need to believe you’re here for a reason…at this time…in this place…in this way. 

This is why I love the quote from Richard Bach in his book,” Illusions”, where he says, “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t”.