Gifts of ideas sustain us on New Year’s Day and beyond

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For those of us who love ideas, people who can think wonderful thoughts and get them expressed shower us with gifts on New Year’s Day and throughout the year.

Following is a shower of gifts that we might open at any time during 2018 and benefit from the sustenance and pleasure that each gives. All of the following gifts speak for themselves, and each giver shares wisdom willingly and lovingly.

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I’m with you kid, let’s go.” — Maya Angelou

“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” — Oscar Wilde

“We are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” — Ray Bradbury

“One way or another, we all have to find out what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.” — Joseph Campbell

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” — Dalai Lama

“So come, and slowly we will walk through green gardens and marvel at this strange and sweet world.” — Sylvia Plath

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver

“If we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” — Regina Brett

“Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” — Hermann Hesse

“You gain strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” — Norman Vincent Peale

“The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty. Look at this. Try to become more like the ground. Give back.” — Rumi

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” — John Wesley

“Hope is the thing with feathers /That perches in the soul, /And sings the tune without the words, /And never stops at all.” — Emily Dickinson

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein

“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your greatest joys.” — Rita Schiano

“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” — Wayne Dyer

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.” — Mark Twain

“Blessed are the happiness makers. Blessed are they who know how to shine.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your affairs on your thumbnail.” — Henry David Thoreau

What a delightful and varied shower of gifts we have for 2018, and this shower barely covers the surface for our understanding. We can become better people with a little help from our friends who know how to touch our spirits with their thoughts.

Let us enjoy these gifts and others that have the power to sustain us to the end of this year.

And in 2019 and all other years we will surely have gift showers for the taking.

Sanda Baucom Hight is retired from Wilson County Schools after serving as an English teacher and is currently a substitute teacher in Wilson County. Her column focuses on the charms of home, school and country life.