Lead with gratitude
The air in your lungs, the sky above you.
Proceed from there.
– Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel has teamed up with Ben Platt and arragner Alex Lacamoire for this beautiful mashup of his The Story of Tonight from Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen’s You will be Found to raise money for combatting gun violence. A portion of the proceeds from every sale of this MP3 will go to March for Our Lives.
This is a subject that is close to my heart. My personal connection is minimal – my daughter is the same age as the murdered children at Sandy Hook, and my cousins attended and had graduated from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I believe in gun control, but more importantly and more universally, I believe in not only being safe, but feeling safe.
For the rest of Lin-Manuel’s Hamildrops, new Hamilton mixes dropping each month, go to Hamildrops.
You can buy this MP3 from all major music sellers. I use Amazon. You can also donate separately.
In my reflection of November on Thursday, I talked a bit about gratitude. Today, while many are going to enjoy fall activities of seeing families, playing or watching football, catching up on reading, applepicking, and other fall favorites, and getting ready for Thanksgiving, I will be at my church, and have been since about seven-thirty in the morning for our second annual morning of service.
At last count, we have over three hundred volunteers who will be helping out at nursing homes, Habitat for Humanity, the local city mission, day cares, and creating projects at the church to be given out to a variety of places like Ronald McDonald House, Operation Christmas Child, and other local charities.
There are many ways that we all give back for what we are lucky enough to have. We donate clothes, food, money, and time in all kinds of ways.
One organization that has helped my family and many, many others is the St. Vincent de Paul Society with the Catholic Church. If you want to donate money, time, or items, contact your local Catholic Church, and ask them how.
A second organization that comes highly recommended to me is Catholic Charities.
In many cases, you do not have to be Catholic to utilize their services, and you most definitely do not need to be Catholic to donate to them.
My favorite group to help and support is Random Acts. They are the epitome of teaching that each of us can do a little, and it all adds up. Small gestures mean big things to many.
This year, in particular, I would recommend Hispanic Federation. They take care of all kinds of needs, but especially this year, they are doing important work for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Help them if you can.
And if you can’t help these groups directly, please share their names and contact information on your social media accounts so that others may help if they are able.
Thank you for all that you do.
Lin-Manuel Miranda can be found all over online. He is currently (at least physically will be back after the tonight’s Oscars) in London working on the Mary Poppins sequel. He has a lively, vocal, opinionated, kind, social media presence. His official website is http://www.linmanuel.com and has all of his current projects and official means to follow him. Other ways of seeing and hearing him are: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
He spends a lot of time, along with his projects, talking often about his family, but he guards his son’s privacy. Please remember not to post pictures of his son if you see them out in public.
As a writer, I am drawn to other writers and their processes. It is one of the main reasons that I follow pepole like Connie Schultz, Wil Wheaton, Neil Gaiman, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Another writer who I follow and get inspiration from was also recently the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
I’ve titled this based on Entertainment Weekly’s article with a comprehensive list of Mr. Obama’s book recommendations.
Last week, he spoke to the New York Times about how reading and writing was his secret to surviving those White House years.
Beginning today, and for at least the next eight weeks, I will share one his book recommendations. I will also share if I’ve read it or if I plan to read it.
It was recently revealed that President Obama gave his oldest daughter, eighteen-year-old Malia a Kindle filled with books. I actually did this for my mother-in-law a couple of Christmases ago. It’s a wonderful gift for any avid reader. One of the books he put on it for her is The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing.
That is my first book suggesetion to you.
I have not read this book, but with my introduction about writers, and this book being about a writer and writing, I thought it a perfect initial choice. I have already added it to my reading list for when I get my next Amazon gift card.