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Emily Dickerson

Not In Vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.


Thirty Years of Learning
By: Mary (Jaeger) Campbell-Shaw -  2002

     If the next generation would listen or understand, I would tell them what it took me more than 30 years to learn:  Do not worry about what other people think.  Seek to please God in all you do and if He is pleased, ignore the others.  Stand up for what is right.  Fight what is unjust.  No, this life is not fair, but we all need to take an educated stand.  Set aside your prejudices and realize that when it comes down to it we are all alike in some way.  There are "angels"  and "jerks" of every nationality.  Eat healthy, exercise daily (yard work, walking, playing with kids), and throw away the bathroom scale.  Be neat and hygienic.  If others avoid you, or tease you, because of the way you look or dress, it is their loss.  Survive and succeed, that is your best revenge.

    Do not be ashamed of the mistakes you make.  Remember, some divorces are truly for the good of the children.  Most of the time, you will learn more from your failures even if it is only who your friends are.  If you have children, create a stable, loving home life.  If you always have family to count on, life is easier to deal with.  Remember, good friends, true friends are as good as family.  If you are not blessed with a good family, make good friends by being a good friend.  Do not be afraid of being alone; if you are in an abusive relationship, you are better off with me, myself, and I.

    You will look back on you life with regrets:  should of, if only, I wish . . .  Do not let the regrets stall you along the way.  If there is something you did wrong, correct what you can . . .  and realize that may have been what was meant to be.  Hindsight is 20/20.  It is easier to look back and see why God had me make the decisions I did after I am further down the road.

    Find a Bible verse or a poem that speaks to you, that tells you why we are here.  Mine is Emily Dickinson's:  Not In Vain and this line, especially, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. Read the whole poem.  I know that there is at least one person in my life that can say because I was there, because I did what I had to do, I made a difference. 

    Look at children.  If you have none of your own, observe closely and think back to your own childhood (hopefully it was good), or the childhood of another.  My mother is a saint and an angel; I am much like her and I have always cared for others, but it is my children . . .  my son and daughter that taught me the most about love.  Keep a small part of the child alive in your heart . . .  that part that always wonders, that enjoys a good animated movie, that part that likes to laugh, that part that looks to the best in people, that part that sees the beauty in each rainbow and butterfly, the part that can see pictures in the clouds.  Stand up for the children; they truly are our tomorrow.

    Remember, the grass always does look greener from a distance . . .  get too close and you see the weeds and dog poop.  People put up false fronts.  Try to be different . . .  live your life transparently.  If you are doing something you do not want anyone to know about, then by golly, it is something you should not be doing in the first place . . .  so quit it.  Morals do matter.  Please elect leaders that seem to have morals  (we can all be fooled, but to vote for someone who obviously has problems with honesty . . .  who is the fool).

Mary (Jaeger) Campbell-Shaw 2002
Contact Mary:

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