Article: Spotlight: Words: Automatic

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Image Spotlight: Words
By Sharon Brown on August 2, 2016

For every day

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Imagepajonica
Aug 2, 2016 8:59 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
I'm having trouble with this quote, a thank you has become for me an automatic response to almost any interaction with another person. On the other hand gratitude, real gratitude is for me somewhat different from the casual thanks. It is a truly wonderful experience when someone is truly grateful for a deed you have done.
Fortune favors the brave.
Tickling is no laughing matter.
http://cubits.org/DIYcomfortheserious/
ImageSharon
Aug 2, 2016 11:15 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I agree with you, Jon, truly agree. Thank you, I'm glad someone else sees it as I do.
ImageZanymuse
Aug 2, 2016 11:53 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Thanks and thank you, are courteous responses used in many seemingly insignificant interactions with others. They can also be said out of deep and genuine gratitude. The situation and tonal inflections determine if the words are a courtesy or a heart felt response.
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ImageSharon
Aug 3, 2016 12:57 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
And expressions, body as well as facial.
Imagenap
Aug 3, 2016 5:23 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."

Repeating the quote here, I think that the "thanks" referred to are the ones felt in the heart and the soul and the mind, rather than the words spoken in response to a deed or compliment. I think he is talking about the thanks and gratitude that one feels as opposed to that which is expressed. In other words, even after one speaks a thank you, it is still brewing in the heart as we walk away from the words. We continue to think our thanks and ponder them afterwards.

As for the second part of the quote, happiness doubled by wonder makes me think "Wow, how could something so wonderful be happening to me? I don't deserve such reward." I have thought that kind of gratitude many times in my life, when in prayer.

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, I hope GK Chesterton doesn't mind if I apply my own interpretation.
ImageZanymuse
Aug 3, 2016 10:10 AM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Nap: " I hope GK Chesterton doesn't mind if I apply my own interpretation."

I agree with your interpretation. I think GK Chesterton would as well, and would feel gratitude that this quote has made us stop and think about the importance of it.
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ImageSharon
Aug 3, 2016 4:35 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I think all our Spotlight quotes inspire our thoughts and how the words apply to our individual life experiences, just as quotes should do.

We are all blessed, truly blessed in many ways and I know we are all most thankful for those blessings.

I count my greatest blessings like this:

I have two wonderful, joyful, amazing children, the very best 12 year old grandson, wonderful son in law, dearly beloved and beautiful daughter in law and they truly love me.

On the outside closest edges of my life are my brother and his entire family who drove the 400 miles across the state to come to Ashley's wedding . . . including my brother's beautiful 8 year old granddaughter and 2 teen aged grandsons. Three SUVs full. True love brought them here.

The only health event I ever had till January '15 was polio in the late 1940s. It is because of polio I know all I ever learned about KY's native plants. I was paralyzed from the waist down, but following braces and my grandmother's own kind of years of therapy (climbing that mountain until I could climb with no more help) and most importantly, all that help from God, I've never even limped. As I age, my legs are weakening, but that's just fine. I'm old enough now, done almost all the things I was ever supposed to do, I think, and have climbed all the mountains I ever needed to climb.

And then there was the best career ever for me, and the Creative Spirit that has kept me writing and painting all my life. That includes 37+ years of teaching those very subjects I loved so much myself. God given abilities. They brought me thousands of students; so many of them grew up to become friends . . . about 2000 that I still occasionally hear from, living all over the US now and some who are only 3 years younger than I am . . . now those who live closest come help me clean my flower beds, mow my grass, help me with not even a phone call request from me. And when I hug and thank them so much, Penny speaks for all of them when she says, "Don't thank me, Ms. Brown. Don't thank any of us. You made us believe we had some value. You taught us that life was beautiful, worth living and that we all could contribute well to it and be thankful for it. You taught our hearts." But they still get my heartfelt thanks and gratitude through my actions or through the written words that we share or the phone calls I still occasionally get and they feel it. Love, thanks, gratitude.

Next and likely the most important, are the last 10 years I've successfully spent mostly alone except for the 3 years my daughter lived with me, she in her part of the house and me in mine.

And that includes surviving a heart attack, followed days later by minutes of flatline and the months of cardio/polio therapy that followed. And now, here I am 18 months following the heart event, working hours, weeks, months helping create my daughter's wedding. I've had a rough 2 days following the wedding now, but today I ran the vacuum through my too big house and worked in one side flower garden with Sunshine, my dog, right beside me. I think she might be glued to me for the rest of my forever, great dog.

So in my own way, I am so truly blessed, 73+ years of blessings and thanks and with the most gracious gratitude I can give. And every day when I stand outside among all the old historic plants I brought from my mountain, rain or shine, ice or snow, even hailstorms don't exclude me from doggy walks, you better believe I turn my eyes to Heaven . . . just as my grandmother taught me . . . and I say my most heart felt Thank You to My Creator. Sometimes that makes me so joyful I feel like dancing.

And I would if I could, even when sleet freezes my eyes shut. So very thankful, grateful, for all my life's blessings.
ImageZanymuse
Aug 3, 2016 4:47 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
That is counting your blessings. We each have so much to be thankful for and, when we take the time to do so, we are further enriched.
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ImageSharon
Aug 3, 2016 4:55 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
True Zany but read again my first line: I think all our Spotlight quotes inspire our thoughts and how the words apply to our individual life experiences, just as quotes should do.

It's all in our own individual interpretation.

Imagenap
Aug 3, 2016 4:58 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
Beautiful words, Sharon. You are a perfect example of Mr. Chesterton's intent, I believe.
ImageMoonhowl
Aug 3, 2016 7:04 PM CST
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA
In the eyes of a child you will see
"I would maintain that gratitude is the highest form of thought; and that thanks is happiness doubled by wonder."

---Moon
What I don't know is why books are written.
ImageSharon
Aug 3, 2016 7:56 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
It's a little like I see and feel thankfulness and gratitude in the form of love because of this:

Ist Corinthians 13:1 . . . If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal, (2) If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have faith that can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. (4) Love is patient, love is kind, love is not proud. (13) But now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I realize I've forgotten some verses and some words might be wrong but I can't remember more of it. Along with being Scriptural, it is incredibly poetic and such good words to try and live by.

Now I realize a thank you to a server in a restaurant is not the same as a loving thank you to a close friend, but my interpretation of the quote and Chesterton's words, 'highest form of thought' and 'thanks is happiness doubled by wonder' didn't exactly mean he loved every waiter in every restaurant he visited. I thought he was talking about a higher form of thanks and gratitude which equates to blessings and love in my love.

However, maybe we should read Mr Chesterton's book: 'What's Wrong With The World'. He wasn't known as the Prince of Paradox just for nothing. Seriously read that book. It was required reading for one of the English writing or lit classes I took years ago but I have the book here somewhere. I think I also did a research paper on that book. He is an Englishman and though his words might sometimes be paradoxical, the meaning is wonderfully deep and intense and so true. Very religious man, he was too. I've always remembered that one book of his and several of his quotes. Can't remember his birth year but think it was mid to late 1800s. Can't remember much, only the Paradox thing.

Thanks for putting up with my wordiness today. Obviously I'm catching up on a non writing month or two.
The End. Promise.
Imagenap
Aug 4, 2016 4:46 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
No, I want a promise that it is NOT The End.
Imagepajonica
Aug 4, 2016 4:49 AM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
Who else is going to shine a light into the dark corners?
Fortune favors the brave.
Tickling is no laughing matter.
http://cubits.org/DIYcomfortheserious/
Imagenap
Aug 4, 2016 4:56 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
That she does, Jon. That she does. And she keeps us on a steady path. Sharon is actually the reason I have stayed with Cubits all these years. And the reason why the Spotlight cubit even exists. Sharon and her encouragement and compassion have kept many of us going forward. She's like everybody's best friend.
Imagepajonica
Aug 4, 2016 1:49 PM CST
Name: Jon
Japan, Ibaraki
Now there's gratitude. Lovey dubby
Fortune favors the brave.
Tickling is no laughing matter.
http://cubits.org/DIYcomfortheserious/
ImageSharon
Aug 4, 2016 5:01 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Jon, I have to tell you, Nap's words to me and about me are always inspiring, but your words today . . . oh my goodness. That's so beautiful.

I truly only meant to thank everybody for their words and their opinions and interpretations following the quote, I failed to do that. My 'The End' only meant that I had written all I could write about Mr Chesterton's quote. It was my end to all my writing about it. I was trying to explain why I felt that the highest form of gratitude should come from love that is freely given and received.

I've spent half my life teaching teenagers and when I wrote 'The End' I felt as if I had done the same thing to you all and you certainly didn't need that. I should have really said that but I get too wordy sometimes and have too many taught and received classes behind me.

One of the most energetic and classes of great fun was when I would show a painting to a class, one we had never discussed before, and then ask them to think about it for a few minutes and decide what they thought the painting was telling them. Then they could each tell the class how it made them feel. There would be discussion about that opinion though that discussion from each student could only last 3 minutes. Pro or con. Their own interpretation.

At the end of the discussion that might take a few entire class periods with overflowing classes and only about hour long classes it was really fun. I always shared with them my interpretation and/or that of the artist, too. The kids who wanted to stay after the day was finished could come back at 3 pm and I would stay another hour with them just for the fun of the discussion. The kids loved it and by the end of that class there wasn't a child in there who couldn't easily form great opinions about paintings.

Look at Van Gogh's Church with no doors painting. That was one of the fun discussions that I remember. They had no access to Google at the time so no laptops and actually only supplemental books were used occasionally. Their opinion could only come from the slide projection or I had videos and they could see a large screen TV, that old heavy kind that mounted on the wall. But they could only see what was on the screen and that was the painting alone. Usually we had studied the artist but not the painting.

See, that's what I did to you. Same thing. I am so sorry about that.

I never meant to end Spotlight quotes, sometimes we still can find an interesting member to write about. Thank you, Jon!!

And by the way, did you notice Moon's reversal of the words to the quote? She was dead on. She made it say exactly what I was saying . . . In only one change in phrase structure and no extra words at all. Thank you Moon for that stroke of brilliance.

Here's Van Gogh's church painting, don't look it up but tell us what you think it says to you or if you know what or why he painted it this way, then speak up. I won't say a word, Promise!!
Church at Auvers
Thumb of 2016-08-04/Sharon/aae14b
ImageZanymuse
Aug 4, 2016 5:54 PM CST
Name: Brenda Essig
Rio Dell, CA
Sharon, I wish I had had a teacher like you when I was in school. I was taught that art is supposed to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. But never how to express why or how that response should or could be expressed in words.

What I feel looking at this painting is that the church is above the people. It promises a beauty, comfort, and peace that is encouraging one to climb up to, but never to be entered into. It makes me sad.
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ImageSharon
Aug 4, 2016 6:30 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Zany, my words were directed at you in that one comment because I was trying to get you to think deeper, to open your mind to other directions and see what you came up with. I was treating you as a teen aged student instead of the wonderful technical writer that you so obviously are. You are direct and to the point no matter if the answer is yes or no. No need to ever change that because today the world needs more technical writers than it needs creative writers. Two different natural abilities, both of important value. How many times have I asked you for help with something computer-ish? Too many. But your words told me what to do every time, and if my Mac couldn't do that, you simply told me. See what I mean?

I'm not going to say anything about your Church painting comment yet. I want to see if we get any more comments about it, so later tonight. OK?
Imagenap
Aug 4, 2016 7:18 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
This is crazy, but I have looked at this painting for a couple of minutes and I see something different from what Van Gogh probably intended. I see a church with doors. They are there, on the other side. The walkway goes around it, so you just have to follow the path to find the door. The lighting on the church and the shadow of the church make me see that although the sky is very dark, the sun is also present.

Sounds rather religious. The doors are there, follow the path, the sky is dark but the sun is present....

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