Put As Much As You Can Into Your Heads – Nobody Can Take That Away From You

“Every day in life is beautiful. Every day. It’s beautiful.”

Alice Herz-Sommer’s stellar heath at the age of 109 is not the only thing that makes her special. She is the oldest living pianist and Holocaust survivor, and arguably one of the most optimistic people you may ever meet. This touching preview for the upcoming documentary following her life,  “The Lady In Number 6,” shows how music not only saved her life in the camp, but also continues to carry her through each day after the ordeal.

The camp in which she was placed is a terrifying example of the ultimate living-theatre experiment. In 1944, the German leaders created a propaganda film and presented Theresienstadt as a model Jewish settlement to the visiting Red Cross; it was all an elaborate hoax.

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The Germans “beautified” the ghetto, planting gardens and painting houses. Individuals received roles to play and the Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visiting dignitaries. Hints that all was not well included a bruise under the eye of the “mayor” of the “town.”  In the Nazi propaganda film, Theresienstadt was cynically described as a “spa town” where elderly German Jews could “retire” in safety. Once the visit was over, the Germans resumed deportations from Theresienstadt, which did not end until October 1944.

And yet still, shining examples like Alice appear, wielding hope as an impenetrable shield:

“I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times — including my husband, my mother and my beloved son. Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate.”

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Bite-sized Wisdom: Holmes

This playwright/composer/singer-songwriter speaks on life’s daily adventures. Hope you have a few this weekend!

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“For me, the most memorable adventures are still the perils that we face daily in life and love, from the mundane to the meaningful. Where the comedy is often at our own expense, but where the drama, even if painful, reminds us that we are living and feeling here in the real time, with the ever-recurring possibility that this latest chapter will end with new understanding, hope and perhaps even happiness.”

– Rupert Holmes

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The Challenge of Halfway

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The world does not need people more people who are halfway – halfway happy, halfway inspired, halfway thankful. Society is not in dire need of almost-smiles, of “oh we should sometime”s, and “maybe someday soon”s. We are in all too desperate need of people who come alive when sharing their joy, who can let light find a way through them, and who can weave hope from the fragile threads of pain.
If the world asked you a single favor, to quench your thirst for happiness by allowing yourself to bring happiness to others, would you comply?
Or would you again reply “maybe,” “someday,” “soon?”

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Letting the Heart Have Its Say

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The mind delights in lofty pursuits –
Tête-a-têtes in bilingual prose
And dissections of unsatisfying denouements –
Just to prove it can.

But when words grow weary
And wits tire of the unending race,
May you learn to sing of your longing.

For the soul rejoices in hearing its song,
Strains of melody painting delicate truths,
All heart affirmed, all opposition abandoned
With no chance to be mistaken.

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Time To Fly

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Once upon a time

You scooped up your dreams that lay about and presented them to me one by one.

Each one lit your eyes as you passed it from your lips

To let it hang, for three long seconds, before it hit my ears.

Each thought a marvel of ingenuity,

Aloft with a joy untainted by anything other than anticipation.

“How beautiful,” I thought,

But must have forgotten to say,

For soon you gathered them up,

and tucked them in your chest.

Let me say now that hope is my favorite color on you,

Unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

So pull out the dreams, however dusty, and speak them once again.

And this time when I listen,

I will tell you how they make you shine.

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Bite-sized Wisdom: Stanislavsky

Here’s a morsel to ease you through the weekend. Enjoy the holidays!

“Do not try to push your way through to the front ranks of your profession; do not run after distinctions and rewards; but do your utmost to find an entry into the world of beauty.”

– Konstantin Stanislavsky

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Bite-sized Wisdom: Hammerstein

Little Friday inspiration to send you on your way this weekend. Enjoy!

“I know the world is filled with troubles and many injustices. But reality is as beautiful as it is ugly. I think it is just as important to sing about beautiful mornings as it is to talk about slums. I just couldn’t write anything without hope in it.”

– Oscar Hammerstein II

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