Sunday, April 28, 2013


Today's topic is letting go and holding on. Sometimes these two are intermingled. Sometimes you have to let go to hold onto your sanity.

Sometimes you have to let go of the past to hold onto the future.

This is all part of know, that thing no one really likes -  but it constant, ever pressing and ongoing.

One must be changeable and adaptable to survive. Flexible is not enough. If we want to grow as people we have to be willing to dive right into the pool of change. Step right out of our comfort zone and into the abyss.

This past year has made me Gumby like and I am sure it will continue.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recent events have weighed heavily on my heart. The Boston and Texas tragedies serve as a reminder of how precious life is. Too often we take it all for granted. I spent time in Massachusetts and I thought of all the people I knew that could have been particpating and/or watching the marathon. After all it was Patriots Day.

Sometimes we go through our days oblivious to others around us. Lately, I find myself watching/studying people. I am not sure why. It is something that I have done for years off and on. It has given me many things to write about. Sometimes you can feel the life of a can walk around in their heart and mind maybe just a little bit.

I wanted to write about some of the people and/or events I witnessed in the last couple of weeks.

Ancient Eyes

I watched a man today,
He must have been a hundred years old.
What he wanted to say...
Was left untold.

I stand as his proxy,
Because no one seemed to hear,
No on seemed to see
And no one seemed to care.

An ancient man shuffles down the street,
Handing out smiles to the children there.
He gazes into defeat
As the children just stare.

My friend continues on slow moving feet
Passing out a random good day,
But again...he is beat
When he is told to go away.

With his eyes cast down
He rounds the bend
In search of anyone who will listen.
In quest of the friend he has been missing.

To catch up I quicken my pace
Ready to take in a tale or two.
I looked up into a lined face
Revealing all that he had been through.

Why did it take so many tries?
I wondered
As I looked into those smiling ancient eyes.

© Cheryl Wilcox 2013

Strangers in My path

She asks me if she's pretty,
A furrow in her brow.
I tell her she is beautiful
Peace envelops her now.

He smiles at me
With laughter in his eyes.
I smile back at him,
He is caught by surprise.

In silence, he tells me
The story of his life.
He doesn't need to please me,
I've seen the grief and strife.

He doesn't want me to know
What his life is all about
That he lives on the streets,
Hungry inside and out.

I smile at him
Acceptance he doesn't realize
When I look at him,
I see Jesus in his eyes.

© Cheryl Wilcox 2013

Until our paths cross again.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Who Are You

Who Are You?


Are we mice or men? Leaders or followers? Winners or losers? Action takers or bystanders?

Most people would probably answer that we are men, leaders, winners and action takers. The sad truth is, that this is simply not true. The media has shown portrait after portrait proving this point.

The bystander effect has invaded our world. At its best, it is a twist on mob mentality. It is not a new phenomenon. It’s history dates back to the bible. For example, this is clearly seen in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus tells a story to a lawyer, who, in all other ways, is blameless and upright in God’s eyes. He obeys the Ten Commandments, and loves his neighbor as himself. But he asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus then in parable form explains, that everyone is everyone’s neighbor, and that help should be offered to anyone in need, regardless of who or what that person is.

A Jew is walking down a road and is attacked by bandits, who beat him profoundly, strip his clothes, rob him and leave him for dead. Sometime later, a priest walks by and when he sees the Jew, he moves to the other side of the road. He walked by without helping in any way. A Levite sees him as well and continues on his way without helping this man either.

A Samaritan (considered by the Jews to be outcasts) comes by, sees and immediately helps him, He takes the beaten man to a nearby inn, cares for him, and pays for his keep.

. “Which of these is the neighbor of the Jew who is beaten by robbers?” Jesus asked. “The merciful one,” replied the lawyer. Jesus told the lawyer to “Go and do likewise.”

Let’s take a look at Thomas Edison and his followers. Edison is famous for his many inventions and electrical achievements but did you know his experiments were cruel and unusual?

Thomas Edison electrocuted Topsy the Elephant and many other animals including: horses, lions, tigers, and bears. Edison was happy to aid the state of New York by executing these “menaces to society.” He did this by employing alternating currents, but his ulterior motive was designed to show the world the danger of the alternating current, invented by Nikola Tesla, which was his arch-rival. Edison’s direct current didn’t have the strength to electrocute an elephant, and he considered it safer. How did he show the public how safe the current was?

On January 4, 1903, at Luna Park Zoo, Coney Island, Topsy the Elephant was connected to Edison’s lighting plant, and electrocuted with 6,600 volts of AC. Of course this was after she had been fed cyanide soaked carrots to ensure her death. Topsy had been determined to be a permanent threat to humans because she had killed three handlers on three occasions. One of the incidents involved a handler, who regularly whipped her and tried to feed her a lighted cigarette just to watch her suffer. She stomped on him.

Amazingly 1,500 people watched, and no one said a word in complaint. Edison filmed the electrocution, which is available on You Tube. Isn’t it outrageous that the ASPCA, which is supposed to protect the rights of animals, considered hanging to be cruel, but had no problem with cyanide poisoning and electrocution?

There are many other incidents of the bystander effect in our history. Probably the most famous example would be the Holocaust. Let’s just all close our eyes to man’s inhumanity to man. Let someone else take care of it.

Today, not only is the bystander effect still in existence but there is also the technology available for it to go viral through social media and by other means. We can now truly destroy a person in all ways.

The recent rape conviction of two 16 year old Ohio teens is just another example of the bystander effect. Many teens were witnesses. Did they help the incapacitated teen? No, they took pictures and sent text messages to their friends.

Do you think any of these people are leaders and winners? If you do, maybe we all need to take a harder look at the definition of these terms. In closing I want you to ask yourself…who am I?