Silver Lining

A loving community finding the silver lining.

A story :)

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I have always loved the first day of school. I have no care for the rest of the year–just the first day. Everywhere you turn, excitement follows. To your left, you see a group of seniors, rejoicing their final year. To the right, a timid freshman holds her class schedule, attempting to find her next class within the four minute passing period.

 

I step off my bike, eyes scanning the crowd for my friends. All of a sudden, I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder. Well, “gentle” is not exactly the proper word to describe Kara.

“HI!!” she exclaimed, pulling me into a large embrace. “How’s your summer been? I mean, since last week.” Kara and I had just had our annual “End of Summer” sleepover with a few of our other friends.

“Busy, but great!” I laughed. “I forgot, who’s your first period.”

Kara watched me lock my bike to the rack. She took a moment to respond as she silently went through her schedule in her mind.

“Umm, Richmond? I think. Hold on let me check.” she said, fishing her schedule out of her dark Jansport backpack as I shook my hair out of my helmet.

“Yeah. It’s Richmond. For History. How about–” Kara paused.

“What?”

“Your hair. What happened to it?”

“Umm, oh yeah. I dyed it. Just a few days ago. Remember, I was telling you last week that I was planning on doing it before school started.” My hair had been jet black my entire life, but I decided it was time for a change and bought myself a DIY bleach and dye kit over the weekend. The dark, straight ends had been replaced by a subtle red blonde.

“What do you think? Do you like it?” I smiled, giving my hair little toss like how they do in movies.

“Yeah! It’s cool, I guess. I don’t know, blonde isn’t really my thing. I thought you said you hated what blonde hair would look like on you. Also, won’t your hair get really dry and frizzy?”

“Uhhh…I mean…I don’t know, I thought I’d just deal with it. And I never said I hated blonde hair.”

“Yeah, no, I know you like blonde hair, but like, on you…never mind, it looks great. Really.” Kara said, waving her hand in the air as if she was shooing her previous statement. “Hey, class is going to start soon, I’ll see you later, kay?”

“Okay. Bye.”

Coming to school, I felt so confident. I was proud of my hair; for a first time DIY dye, I thought I did a good job, but now, I wasn’t too sure. Kara has always been honest. That’s one thing I admire about her. So if she doesn’t like my hair, it’s safe to say that the majority of the people I will meet today will think the same. I rummaged through my bag, and stuck my hand all the way at the bottom to find a navy blue beanie I stuffed in there for this exact situation. I ran into a bathroom near me, hoping that the beanie will be able to fit my hair into it. Opening the door, I felt a sudden gust of air from the freshly cleaned bathroom, filled with the faint scent of Pine-Sol. I stood in front of the mirror staring into my dark eyes and pale skin. And then my hair. I curled my red-blonde ends earlier this morning. I vaguely remember the bright smile on my face and the sparkle in my eyes as I felt proud and confident of myself, ready for the new year. All of a sudden, the door opened as another girl walked in. She stopped as soon as she saw me.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Yeah.” my voice cracked out. I turned back to my reflection and surprised myself with tears streaming down my face.

The girl looked from my eyes, to my beanie, and to my hair. Then she smiled.

“It’s beautiful.” I must have looked confused because she nodded and pointed slightly up. “Your hair. It’s beautiful. Which salon did you go to?”

“Uhh, I didn’t. I did it at home.”

She looked confused. “Well, it looks amazing. Please don’t cover it up. It’s beautiful. Don’t lose your confidence just because of what one person thinks. All that matters is what you think. And I’m pretty sure you think it looks amazing. You have to be crazy to think that your hair doesn’t look amazing.”

I looked back at my reflection. The smile and shining eyes. All that matters is what I think.

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Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

There are actually many different reactions that people have to different things. We all react to different things, no matter what it is. Many times I look at how others react to a similar situation as mine and think.. “Wow.. I should have done that”. Then I end up changing my reaction to have that :).. Although not exactly the same. During times of adversity we react. And the way we react during these times really shows how we are… who we truly are.

Here is a really cute story that talks about this:

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

The story was found on:

http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories

Beauty is Not Flawless

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Beauty is not flawless; it shines even through your flaws.

“Beauty is not flawless; it shines even through your flaws.”

So often, we associate beauty with perfection. It’s about having that perfect Instagram filter to make your skin appear sun-kissed and smooth, about maintaining a certain body shape that fills out a dress to what society wants, about creating a persona that is humanly impossible. Though there are many ways to create these fake personas in this day and age, beauty can still be so real. As the quote reads, true beauty is able to shine through the flaws. It really allows us to know that beauty is something that can be attained (yes, even if you are not a supermodel!) It has to do with how you deal with your imperfections. Imperfections are completely normal, and those who never learn to deal with them don’t shine in the way that beauty should.
How should beauty shine then? It should shine when you’re doing something you love, when you’re hanging out with your friends, even when you eat your favorite dessert! It’s the natural glow that anyone can have when they smile. Cheesy, I know. But there’s a difference between that natural smile and the smile of someone masking their interior personality with their exterior beauty.

Beauty…

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“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

Franz Kafka

 

Beauty is something that is referenced so much to, yet is still so vague. Society sees beauty in cherry blossoms, elegant swans, waterfalls, and the perfectly chiseled jawline. We see beauty in the things that simply appear beautiful, things that are easy on our eyes. And There’s nothing wrong with seeing the exterior beauty of something. But it doesn’t last. We must know that.

 

From the quote above, Franz Kafka recognizes what it means to stay youthful, or to live with the utmost innocence and curiosity. Once we weave past the exterior beauty, finding inner beauty in all things keeps us alive. It may not be easy, but it does spur innovation and change in the way we look at the world. So being able to see beauty in everything, no matter how difficult, is enlightening. In addition, finding beauty in more things just inspires you to smile more! All beautiful things are engaging for a reason, and you’ll end the day smiling more if you find beauty in more things.

The White Rose

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In a garden filled with bushes, out from between a load of grass and weeds, there appeared, as if from nowhere, a white rose. It was as white as driven snow, its petals looked like velvet, and the morning dew shone from its leaves like resplendent crystals. The flower couldn’t see herself,so she had no idea how pretty she was. And so it was that she spent the few days of her life, until wilting set on, without knowing that all around her were amazed by her and her perfection: her perfume, the softness of her petals, her elegance. She didn’t realise that everyone who saw her spoke well of her. The weeds that surrounded her were fascinated by her beauty, and lived in a state of enchantment at her aroma and appearance.

One hot, sunny day, a girl was strolling through the garden, thinking about how many lovely things Mother Nature has given us, when she suddenly saw a white rose in a forgotten part of the garden. The rose was beginning to fade and wilt.

-“It’s days since it rained,”

she thought,

-“if the rose stays here till tomorrow it’ll be totally withered. I’ll take it home and put it in the lovely vase I got as a present.”

And so she did. With all her love she put the wilting white rose in water, inside a lovely colourful glass vase, and placed it by the window.

-“I’ll put it here,”

she thought,

-“so the flower can get some sun.”

What the young girl didn’t realise was that the reflection from the window meant that, for the first time, the rose got to see herself and what she looked like.

-“Is that me?”

thought the rose. Little by little her drooping leaves began to rise, once again stretching up towards the sun, and, gradually, the rose recovered her former appearance. When she was totally back to her best she looked at her reflection and saw that she was indeed a beautiful flower. She thought

-“Wow! Till now I hadn’t realised who I was, how could I have been so blind?”

The rose came to realise she had spent her days without appreciating her beauty, unable to see herself, unable to know who she really was.

If you really want to know who you are, forget everything that’s around you, and just look into your heart.

 

Credit: http://freestoriesforkids.com/children/stories-and-tales/white-rose


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The story of the $20 bill

We all have our ups and down. Sometimes we feel like we are only having downs. During these times we feel like we aren’t worth it… we are worthless. But that is NOT TRUE. We are worth the same the same as were in the beginning. We are all worth it… and even if you do feel down… just remember: “We need to have the downs in our lives to appreciate the ups” 🙂

Now… here is “The story of the $20 bill

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked. “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you – but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked. “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. “My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you. The worth of our lives comes, not in what we do or who we know, but by …WHO WE ARE. You are special – don’t ever forget it.

A friend to all is a friend to none.

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A friend to all is a friend to none. -Aristotle

I had this philosophy that in order for someone to be your friend, they have to first like you. Now, that isn’t particularly wrong but to me, that meant trying my best to be kind and understanding towards everyone to a point where I would be able to walk down the hall in school and wave at just about everyone I knew. This went on for a few years and the first time I started to realize my mistake was when I pulled up Facebook (after going on a hiatus) and wanting to chat with someone. When I found some familiar names, however, I didn’t feel all that comfortable talking to them, even on social media because I knew that they were friendly but not really close. As I kept scrolling down the list, I was forced to face the truth: no one was really my friend. By being nice and reaching out to every single person that I knew, it was impossible for me to spend quality time with a few people that I have closer connections to, but I ignored that and let some very valuable friendships slip away. It’s still one of my biggest regrets.  After a few years, I was finally able to change that when I met a group that seemed to share interests and to have similar personalities. From then on, I spent time with only them and paid less attention to the floating groups I sometimes visited. Many people that were nice to me before drifted away but I didn’t really pay them any mind because I had my own group of close friends.

Cherish the people who really care about you and want to take time out of their lives just to spend with you. Instead of trying to make everyone happy, look inside. Are you really feeling happy too? If you already have close friends, hold them close. They know that you will be there for them so they want you to know that they will be there for you. Friends is just one of those things where it is quality over quantity.