Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Wishes Grow Wings

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Dog In A Hat

THERE IS a well-known Cat In A Hat and The Red Hat Society hats but it is a much-loved "dog in a hat" that brings back fond memories of the Christmas season.

Although I agree with those who say putting people-clothes on pets isn’t a good idea, I made an exception one year and put a festive hat on our dog, Bubbles, who has since passed away.

His photo reminds me of how a pet can make a house a home not just on special occasions but on every day of the year. While many thousands of pets are being bought in pet stores year-round, this is the season where hearts are more charitable than usual. There are thousands of discarded animals desperate for homes and waiting to be adopted and they are not necessarily in pet stores. If a live creature is something you are considering as a gift for Christmas, the BCSPCA might have exactly the pet you are looking for to bring joy into your home.

(It should be noted that buying and/or adopting a pet as a sudden emotional response to Christmas can lead to unhappy results if the idea has not been thoroughly thought through prior to the hectic season.)

Thank you, Bubbles, for all the warm and fuzzy memories. We miss you!

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle for more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Under The God Umbrella

AS CHRISTMAS APPROACHES thoughts about the existence or non-existence of God inevitably appear as they did today on BC Blogger where comments about atheism found their way.

A few weeks ago, Vancouver blogger, Curious Dad, also asked a related question with the focus on children that drew responses, including mine which I am restating here to ask:

Does religion give humanity a sense of morality it lacks or does humanity invent religion to communicate an inborn desire to distinguish between right and wrong? And is it wrong for parents to teach their children moral lessons through their religious or non-religious beliefs?

Perhaps morality and religion are separate issues placed under the same umbrella for convenience sake. History shows that mankind is ever evolving and perceptions of right and wrong are constantly changing, shifting and deepening. But even if morality does not need religion to exist, religion (some say atheism included) can give meaning and purpose to family life. It can offer a social network and places to gather where ideals are refreshed through contact with people of like minds.

For better or worse, small children cannot help but be influenced by what their parents believe. Ironically, even when they break away (as they often will) in teenage or later years, they often return to their religious roots when their own families begin.

Therefore, it is perhaps incumbent on parents not only to explain why they believe what they believe but to also impart non-judgmental attitudes towards what others believe. Being curious about wide-ranging views on spirituality, faith and philosophies in unbiased ways surely enriches a child’s life, if explored in age-appropriate ways.

Of course, live and let live becomes difficult and more complicated with some fundamentalist beliefs that actually put a child’s life or society at risk due to skewed interpretation of dogma.

So perhaps it is not evil to impart your religious or non-religious beliefs on children as much as it is harmful (even immoral) to ignore or facilitate fanaticism, hate and destruction to self and/or others, whether such signs are found within your own group or within the group of others.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Let A Teacher Be Your Umbrella

PENELOPE PUDDLE doesn’t carry her umbrella simply for protection against weather. Her umbrella plays a major supportive role that channels Penelope’s imagination and can-do spirit, especially when they are waning.

The umbrella can be likened to many teachers who play a similar role. Whether learning sports, math or music, a teacher’s presence is particularly important for students who have difficult issues to overcome and need someone (or something) special to “hang onto” for brief periods of time.

Reassuring yet challenging, instructors at the local pool were exactly what I needed to start overcoming my fear of deep water and swimming that developed after becoming seriously disoriented in a pool as a teenager.

Unable to accomplish what many five-year-olds can easily do seems unacceptable for the co-creator of a character who is fearless around water. So although my feet have been solidly attached to the ground for a very long time, I am (with considerable difficulty) yanking them out and choosing the Path of The Puddlist, gaining confidence and learning to swim with help from my trusted umbrella-teachers. Thank you teachers!

Path Of The Puddlist Concept:

1 a : beliefs and practices based on the idea
that one can overcome great odds and do wonderful
things by rekindling the optimism, imagination and
wonder of the child within
b: the paths to enlightenment are infinite and most
often found outdoors where possessing the resiliency
of a good umbrella is essential to weather life's storms
c : when it pours, a dry soul must jump into puddles
and bloom, despite the fear of getting wet

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms