Little Lessons

Are You Smiling Behind That Mask?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 10, 2020 4:30:00 AM

mask
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been asked to adjust our lives. Limiting physical contact, keeping 6-feet apart when possible, and wearing masks. For different people, the changes represent distinct levels of difficulty.

Some people may want to point out that our parents (or grandparents) had it more difficult during the Great Depression and World War II. Others will hold up soldiers as examples to follow for toughness. Still others will hold up medical professionals as proof that anyone who complains are whiners.

My parents remain an inspiration for me. The actions of fellow veterans amaze me. I owe my health to the medical profession.

I still have empathy for people who are struggling with the new restrictions.

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Topics: strength, communicate, attitude, positive, moment, little lessons, emotions, parents, empathy, smile

Memorial Day Will Be Different This Year

Posted by Mark Fallon

May 22, 2020 4:45:00 AM

Flag and marker
“Green sods are all their monuments; and yet it tells a nobler history than pillared piles, or the eternal pyramids.” - James Gates Percival

My earliest memories of Memorial Day are watching my father march in a parade with the American Legion. He looked very sharp in his uniform.

When I was a teenager, I marched in Memorial Day parades as a member of two drum corps – the Immaculate Conception Queensmen and the Middlesex County Guardsmen. I remember how silent it became when we entered the cemeteries – just the beat of a single bass drum to keep the entire corps in step.

After my father died, I began marching on Memorial Day again. This time, as a member of the American Legion – a long circle completed.

This year will be different. No parades. No large gatherings at monuments. No readings of veterans’ names at cemeteries.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, love, values, veteran, family, memories, people, little lessons, emotions, father, parents, honor, service, compassion

A Trip to Coney Island

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 21, 2020 5:00:00 AM

cyclone
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

PS – There’s a bonus “little lesson” at the end of this post.

After finishing a productive day at a client in Brooklyn, New York, I needed to decompress. I took off my tie, hung the suitcoat in the back seat, and pointed the car due south. To the tip of the island – to Coney Island.

In the late 19th century, an amusement park opened in this seaside resort. There were rides, food stands and sideshows. The Coney Island boardwalk and beaches transformed the peninsula. Every weekend, throngs of people rode the trains from New York City to escape the confines of the tenements.

This was Thursday, not the weekend, so I didn’t expect any crowds. In fact, that was essential to my plan. I was going to ride the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster – The Cyclone.

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Topics: dreams, inspiration, love, story, happiness, joy, little lessons, emotions, wonder, balance

What to Discard

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 31, 2020 5:00:00 AM

trash and recycles
“The things people discard tell more about them than the things they keep.” – Hilda Lawrence

One of my weekly rituals is a trip to the local dump. Actually, the official name is – the “Residential Waste Drop Off & Recycle Area”. In addition to separate bins for newspapers, plastics and cardboard, there’s also containers to donate clothing, small kitchen goods and books. In the back is the compost area for leaves and grass clippings, plus a place for trees, shrubs and bulky items (for a fee).

With a small house, it’s important to keep to a regular schedule. The cardboard from shipping boxes can take up a lot of space. Magazines and newspapers stack up quickly. New clothes need space in the closet, so something has to go.

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Topics: reflection, values, little lessons, emotions, balance

Refilling Our Hearts

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 17, 2020 5:00:00 AM

groceries
“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Kahlil Gibran

A friend shared a post about how an ordinary task – bagging groceries – brought back memories of her father. And how much she missed him. In a follow-up conversation, she talked about how much she thinks about him, about the hole that he left behind. She ended with, “I’m okay with that, because he is worth leaving that hole, only for him.”

That phrase stuck with me for days, “he is worth leaving that hole.” I thought of all the holes that have formed in my heart over the last few years. Losing people close to me – people worthy of leaving a hole. People worthy of tears in the middle of the night, or while watching a movie, or bagging groceries.

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Topics: personal relationships, love, memories, mother, people, little lessons, emotions, father, parents, nature

All Life is Memory

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 20, 2019 5:00:00 AM

small storybook
"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

A winter evening, sharing the warmth of home and the warmth of friendship. Through mutual agreement, there was no talk of politics or current affairs. Instead, we took turns telling stories – stories of the recent past, mutual history and distant memories.

Recollections of experiences, or at least of how we remember the experiences. As time passes, the way we remember things change. We’re impacted by what we’ve learned since the original event. Certain colors fade while others become even more vibrant. What was once trivial is now recognized as a significant moment.

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Topics: memories, story, people, joy, little lessons, emotions, perspective

Being Good and Decent and Kind

Posted by Mark Fallon

Dec 6, 2019 5:00:00 AM

mister rogers star
“I like you just the way you are.” – Fred Rogers

I love action movies. I’ve seen Die Hard so many times, that I often quote the next line an actor is going to say before he says it. While director Christopher Nolan definitely captured the grittiness of Gotham City imagined by Bob Kane, his movies never would have been created without the imaginative Tim Burton’s Batman of 1989. And no actor takes as many punches as Harrison Ford does, whether he’s Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan or Dr. Richard Kimble.

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Topics: values, optimism, positive, thoughtfulness, joy, little lessons, emotions, kindness, help, good, empathy

Dining Alone

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 14, 2019 4:38:43 AM

burger dinner
"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone." – Blaise Pascal

Because of my job as a consultant, I spend a significant amount of time away from home. Business travel isn’t glamorous, it isn’t miserable, it’s just part of my job. I’ve been a landscaper, a trash collector, a waiter and a soldier. Put into the proper perspective, life on the road isn’t that bad.

I’m fortunate and have wonderful clients. We’ve shared dinners that are more like a gathering of friends than a corporate event. Exchanging stories, including some “tall tales”, that bring smiles and laughter to the table. We create memories, not close business deals.

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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, memories, travel, story, people, little lessons, emotions

The Unhappy Earl

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 19, 2019 5:01:00 AM

downton abbey
“I have no right to be unhappy.” - Lord Grantham

Even if you don’t watch PBS, you’ve probably heard of Downton Abbey. The period drama tells the story of the residents of a country estate in England during the early 1900s. There’s intrigue upstairs among the family members as they try to maintain their wealth and heritage. And there’s equal suspense among the staff, as they strive to make their lives better. Both classes struggle with new technology, the impact of World War I, and the changes transforming British society.

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Topics: attitude, happiness, little lessons, emotions, wonder

What Can I Do About It?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 5, 2019 5:01:00 AM

traffic jam
“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato

It had been a long day. My brain was tired, and my body exhausted. I knew there were still 90 miles left to drive, but traffic was moving along, and I might make it home in less than 90 minutes.

Until everything came to a dead stop.

As we inched along, I started to think about alternate routes. I calculated that the “best” substitute was at least an hour longer. An alert on my GPS device estimated that the traffic on the current road was delayed about 45 minutes. So, I continued forward.

No good alternatives to a bad situation. Or were there?

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Topics: strength, goals, friendship, attitude, challenge, emotions

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Our blog helps the reader focus on the little lessons - taking place every day - that will lead to sustainable, long-term success.

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