Monday, February 23, 2009

Les Miserable

One of my favorite movies of all time was Les Miserable. When it came out in theaters several years back, I had never before read it or seen it onstage. I had only heard that it was good and knew that it was a classic, so I decided to go and see it. I LOVED the story line! It tells about a man who in France who was thrown into years of hard labor because he had stolen a morsel of food because he and his family were starving. In prison he is treated like a piece of garbage. When he is finally released, his traveling papers label him as a convict, so he is unable to find a job or even a place of lodging. Finally, he asks for lodging at a parish and is admitted. The priest treats him like an honored guest. In the middle of the night, Jean steals the gold silverware and splits. He is caught by the law and brought back to the priest, who suprisingly tells the officers that the silverware was a gift, and that Valjean had forgotten to take the candlesticks, which he then gives to him. The officers then release Valjean. Valjean is confused and the priest explains to Valjean that he has now been redeemed and has the opportunity and obligation to make something out of his life. From this beginning, Valjean works hard, always sacrificing and helping his fellowman. Even though he is always humble and does not seek attention or fame, he becomes very successful in business and society, accomplishing much good for his town.
This is a very short and simple synopsis. The play and book are even better.
It is one of my favorites because I love this example of how faith in God, in one's fellowman, and in oneself can make a monumental difference, not only to one individual, but to all the lives that he touches. This is how I try to live my life.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I never expected to post a rant, but here it is.
I just read a story on Yahoo about a woman in Southern California, Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets at the end of January. Well, octuplets isn't even the shocking part. The shocking part was learning about her life situation. She has 6 other children, ages 7 and under (so now she has 14 children age 7 or less)! On top of this, she is single, lives with her parents, owes $50,000 in school loans, has been unemployed for several years and is currently collecting several forms of welfare from the state of California. While I can understand finding yourself in a situation where you're temporarily unable to provide for yourself and your family, I do not understand purposely compounding the situation. What in the world is she doing in a fertility clinic? I personally love being a parent and understand and support the whole pursuit of happiness thing, but not at the expense of others. What about personal responsibility? Why should your and my tax dollars be spent on someone who is being so irresponsible. Isn't there some reasonable way to protect society from this kind of insanity without curtailing the freedoms of reasonable people? While I have compasion for them as people and hope that they get the help that they need, I also hope that part of that is getting her the help that she needs to be responsible for her actions.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Some of you may have noticed that I included my age in my personal description. In our culture it may be a bit suprising that a woman of my (haha) "advance" years is willing to reveal that information. Personally, I find age an item of great interest. It can be a type of benchmark to give you a more complete understanding of a person's experiences, young or old(er). I'm also of the opinion that in many areas of life, it is not chronological age that makes a person old. Attitude, perspective, maturity, behavior, knowledge, wisdom - these are some of the many factors that can be used in assessing one's "age".
I've really enjoyed my 44 years, even though some of them have been extremely difficult, and am pleased with the way they were spent, so I don't mind claiming each and every one of them.
I'm also one of those "strange" women who doesn't color her hair. I do have gray hairs, and I've earned each and every one of them. In fact, if earning were a factor, I'd have quite a few more. I've decided that I love them, partly because mine aren't gray - they're silver. I love shiny things. They're beautiful. So when I see my silver hairs in the mirror, it feels like a celebration - like putting tinsel on a tree at Christmastime.
I think that age, in some ways, could be compared with a tower in a large garden. The view of the garden at the bottom of the tower is beautiful. The climb to the top of the tower can sometimes be difficult and tiring. But once you get to the top and take a look around, the view is breath-taking. Never could you say that the view from the bottom is more beautiful than the view from the top of the tower. I think it's marvelous that life is give us the opportunity to enjoy both views, and, if we're wise enjoy the journey in between.