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Bruce's Blog || Just sayin'. . .

Character counts. Comparison kills. Love cures.

Posted on March 16, 2019 by Bruce MacNaughton

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,

Thank you for inviting me in, put the kettle on, time for tea.

This week, I started to think about the forms we need to complete seeking Federal government permits to import butterfly pupae from around the world.  It also had me wondering about the Monarch Butterfly as they prepare to make their journey north from Mexico this time of year.

There has been a record number seen in Texas so far, so it is looking good as far numbers go.

It amazes me that these beautifully designed creatures weigh less than a postage stamp, yet can fly on average 50 to 100 miles / 80 to 160 km a day.  

Monarch butterflies only migrate during the day. They come down at night and gather in clusters. A cluster of butterflies is called a roost or a bivouac.

Adult Monarchs live only three to four weeks; it takes several generations of butterflies to migrate north from Mexico.

The sheer miracle displayed is only surpassed when the last generation, called the Methuselah, each fall head out from their summer breeding grounds in the northeastern U.S. and Canada and travel upwards of 3,000 miles to reach overwintering grounds in southwestern Mexico.

After waiting out the winter in Mexico, these winged charmers head part of the way back north to warmer climates such as Texas, where they mate and lay eggs on milkweed plants. This regeneration repeats as they keep moving north before the last generation (Methuselah) is produced in Canada or the northeast US.

For those who are reading this blog and are unaware, as part of a non-profit that Shirley and I set up we operate a Butterfly House to support the Gardens of Hope. More about our non-profit here.

The Amazing Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly might convince those who think that we are part of some cosmic accident to reconsider. Amazing video.

I mentioned in last weeks blog that I was speaking to a class of high school students who are seeking career direction.

It was a rewarding experience on many levels but mainly because it started a thinking process and desire to know about how one can plant seeds of encouragement and appreciation into fertile minds with a hope to make a positive impact.

While trying to keep things positive with my blog, I’ll stay away from the sad statistics that point to high levels of anxiety in our younger generations, and the negative consequences flowing from it. Instead, I will try and speak to solutions, not the problems.

Perfectionism is an issue in society, and this quick video lays a foundation for some of the problems.

I started wondering what if classes were designed to foster creativity and community instead of where the one with the highest mark wins.

Being measured by numbers alone should be reconsidered. With the meritocracy system being challenged this week in the US as college seats being more or less purchased by those who have the capability to pay, undermines the heart's desire of those who honestly work hard to get ahead, nothing to say the trust lost in ALL institutions.

Numbers should not be the sole factor used in deciding one's value.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” – Albert Einstein

I know nothing about the professional education system other than what I experienced long ago. Speaking about it here perhaps will reinforce my ignorance on the subject. Please forgive me.

So this is just an opinion, mine, not necessarily formed from the best of place — apologies up front.

Educators have such a tough job, with split families, no dads or no moms at home, the blended family scenario, etc., young children dealing with so much, it has to be hard to deliver education to young ones dealing with mild or severe trauma.  My heart goes out to them all.

Character counts. Comparison kills. Love cures.

“It doesn’t really matter whether you’re first rate, second rate, or third rate, but it’s of vital importance…that you do the very best you can with the powers that are given you. It’s idle to strive for things out of your reach, just as it’s utterly immoral to be slothful about the qualities you have.” – Lawrence Durrell, The Paris Review interview

Cheers to our personal growth, but extreme individualism must be balanced with some extreme version of self-sacrifice as well, or our society will continue to get out of whack.

How about a personal character measurement based on “doing good” for others.

Students will have a happier and more successful journey if taught skills in wise decision making, self-awareness, personal responsibility for health and wellness, life long learning, money management and community service.

The future will be that place where jobs for life can no longer be expected and AI (artificial intelligence) is coming at us real fast, and there is no stopping that train.

More important than skills, is the power of a positive attitude earned from the grounding in how the essence of self-esteem works will work to increase curiosity, the joy of life, teamwork all the while building healthy, considerate communities.  

"Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavours. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an Encourager. Always." Roy T. Bennett

Any thoughts? If you choose to comment, please share your solutions.

I was thinking of things I could do today, that doesn’t involve scrolling my phone. Please add to the list of things that we all might consider via the comment section.

Instead of scrolling on my phone this weekend, I think I will…

  1. Plan a coffee/tea date with a friend
  2. Take a long walk
  3. Write a thank you note.
  4. Read a magazine
  5. Read a book
  6. Visit a friend in a senior home.
  7. Call an old acquaintance and play catch up.
  8. Call a niece or nephew to encourage.
  9. Tidy. Organize for next week.
  10. Just hang with my best friend, Shirley.

Have a beautiful day, a lovely weekend and all the best till the next time you invite me in for tea.

With love from Prince Edward Island,



Happy St. Patricks Day

Q: Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?

A: Because they're always a little short.

Thank you Mr. Chaplin!

Posted on February 03, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton


As I Began to Love Myself...

As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY.”

As I began to love myself, I understood how much it could offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
the person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT.”

As I began to love myself, I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY.”

As I began to love myself, I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE.”

As I began to love myself, I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do,
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

-Charlie Chaplin