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A Song-er

Raoul’s Two Cents: September 22, 2023


(Serious stuff. Move on to the jokes if not interested.)

Florence Littauer gave an excellent talk about the importance of giving words of encouragement. Do listen to it (CLICK HERE). It inspired today’s topic.

After listening to Florence, I made sure I encouraged my grand kids when I picked them up from school. I am slowly becoming the grandfather I wish I had when growing up. Sure, I knew my grandparents loved me, but I don’t remember having any deep conversation with them. No, I don’t blame them for not sharing their wisdom. Some people aren’t good at expressing themselves. I still consider myself fortunate to have good parents, uncles and aunts around me.

Sadly, I have friends who are deeply scarred from their distant and even abusive relationship with their parents and adult oppressors (especially during their young impressionable years). A wise man said our past should EXPLAIN us and not DEFINE us — ie. although our past experiences form our World View, we should always seek positive adjustments. Of course this is easily said than done but it’s still true.

The Cancer of Bitterness

I was watching the news. Are you alarmed by the genuine insanity we face in our modern society? The conspiracy theories are endless … and for good reason. Who are the puppet masters orchestrating the coordinated and unabated crime and the senseless judicial system? I believe these narcissists and hypocrites grew up with discouraging words and are products of abuse.

I wouldn’t be surprised if these deranged influencers grew up in dysfunctional families. The most dangerous are those who grew up with resentment and bitterness and have hardened their hearts. Go ahead, choose any of these evil, power-hungry politicians and you’ll find missing Dads, addicted Moms, pedophiles and bullies. They were not treated with love. Looking for the anti-Christ? He will be one of them.


I grew up hating math. I didn’t understand the concept. I used to have nightmares. My anxiety reached its pinnacle when my math teacher called his weak students “stupid.” Then, when I was a freshman in high school, I was determined to get over my phobia. I studied ahead. And my teacher was full of encouragement. I excelled in Algebra. In fact, in the first semester of my 2nd year, my teacher was surprised and told me I had the highest grade in the whole year. Of course, I was overconfident and things went downhill from there. No, today I am still not a fan but I can get by.

I know this isn’t a new insight. But I just had to remind us all. A word can springboard ideas to benefit mankind or it can dash dreams to the ground. A word can shape a hero or it can harden the heart of a future dictator. A word has endless possibilities.

Of course this is just me. TGIF People!

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Instruction does much, but encouragement — everything.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing
— 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, California

Original art by Raoul Pascual

Parting Shots

Thanks to Bob of Placencia, California and Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre. CA

Thanks to Dean of Vancouver, B.C.

Thanks to Richard of New Manila, Philippines

I found these

In Memory of my dear friend, Loree, who passed away last Monday

The Traveling Boy

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.


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  1. Heather

    September 22, 2023 at 10:05 am

    My quiver has many words and I enjoy giving them out to anyone who needs encouragement. I raised my children with this guidance… “What comes out your mouth is how you feel about yourself”. If that remark doesn’t get you thinking, you might need your million mile tuneup!
    In 1945, we had a neighbor who was a widow who gave 10 percent of her income to her church. Doing this meant she couldn’t buy her four amazing children milk. So my mother bought her milk. We stayed friends with them thoughout our lives and they adored my mother and father.

    I’m one of the fortunate ones because my parents suffered as children because one lost her mother at nine and the other his father at 12. But their loss was my gain because both made up for what they lost by loving one another and all of us kids.
    Generally, we give what we got and if our parents etc didn’t provide us with the soul food we need, it’s because they didn’t get it! Failure to thrive is actually a medical diagnosis!
    Over and out my friend. I’m grateful for the bounty that you spread each day. You are a genuine cornerstone of good stuff. I’m your biggest fan. Heather


  2. Merwynn

    September 22, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for sharing Raoul.


  3. Tom

    September 22, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Thanks Raoul. Great Ideas this week and I enjoyed your experience with Mathematics.
    I felt the same way. Tom


  4. Larry

    September 22, 2023 at 10:08 am

    Me too. Math was never my interest. They called me a walking dictionary in elementary school and they didn’t mean it as a compliment. Anyway, hate math. You know the lyrics from “What a wonderful world this could be” — “don’t know what a slide rule’s for” — That’s me. TGIF!


  5. Oscar

    September 22, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Awesome TGIF! I hate math too!


  6. Lois in Oregon

    October 6, 2023 at 6:59 am

    I agree that your grandkids will look look back fondly at the times you spend with them. Spending time with my grandmother was one of my favorite things to do. In fact, when I was a child, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say “a grandmother” . . . . and, BTW, I got my wish. Sadly, only one of my grandchildren lived close enough for a geographically close relationship, my granddaughter, who, incidentally, gave me my tenth great grandchild three days ago. Happily, she lives an hour away so I can also have a close relationship with my new great grandson.


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