Little Lessons

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

Small Joys Become a Lifetime of Happiness

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 13, 2020 5:00:00 AM

Dawn
“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Sunday night, I walked into a local restaurant to pick up my order of Chinese food. I looked over to the soda cooler, and saw that they were out of lemonade, my drink of choice. The woman at the counter recognized me and grabbed my order. As she rung in the charge, she looked at me and asked, “You’re not getting a drink tonight?”

I explained that they were out of lemonade. She shared that during the off season, that often happens. I live in a town with a lot of summer tourists, and apparently, I’m one of the few people who drink lemonade all year. She then asked if I’d ever tried pineapple soda. I wasn’t even sure what that would taste like.

“Give it a try. If you don’t like it, next week, the entire meal is on the house.” How could I resist an offer like that?

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Topics: reflection, appreciation, positive, people, moment, happiness, joy, little lessons, kindness, wonder, parents, beauty, perspective

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

Your Favorite Little Lessons of 2019

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 10, 2020 5:00:00 AM

John Wilson
Another year, another 52 Little Lessons shared. Learning to slow down. Learning to listen. Learning to pay attention. Learning to live.

I’m grateful for everyone who takes the time to share my journey and the little lessons that I learn along the way. Your support is essential to my writing, to this blog, and to my next steps forward. Thank you.

Here the countdown of your 10 favorite “Little Lessons” of 2019:

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Topics: reflection, friendship, leadership, personal relationships, appreciation, positive, mother, happiness, little lessons, kindness, help, parents, service, volunteer, nature, walking, quiet

Finding the Positive

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 18, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bentley Class of 1948 daytime
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about my mother entitled, Take Heed of the Quiet Rebel. It was my annual tribute to my first teacher of life’s little lessons. I included stories of her accomplishments, including getting a college degree in 1948. The example of her life remains a guidepost for how I live my own.

A few weeks ago, I received a comment from Liz Baccala on the post. It was the sort of connection only possible in the age of the internet:

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Topics: networking, memories, mother, little lessons, help, social media, parents

What You Think You Know

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 20, 2019 5:01:00 AM

megatrends cover"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." - Mark Twain

Earlier this year, I developed a new presentation with my good friend, Sean Joyce. We wanted to emphasize the importance of humanity in a world seemingly dominated by technology. We entitled it, “Leadership in the Age of Robots.”

In one of our planning sessions, Sean brought up the concept of “High Tech – High Touch” proposed by John Naisbitt in his classic book, Megatrends. While technology is part of our evolution, our humanness is an equal partner. We must strive for balance between useful tools and critical connections.

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Topics: Reading and Books, little lessons, social media, parents, informed, knowledge, information

Can You Spare A Minute?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 30, 2019 5:01:00 AM

coffee_tip
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran

On Day One of the road trip, I was introduced to a great local diner. Reasonable prices, good service and most importantly, an endless cup of hot, black coffee. Looking around, you could sense this was where “the locals” hung out.

I had an 8:00am conference call Tuesday morning, so I arrived at the diner around 6:45. Sitting at the counter, I enjoyed a plate of eggs and ham, followed by a bowl of fruit. Read the daily news on my smartphone, plus caught up with some friends on social media.

My coffee cup was near empty, and it was 7:15, so I thought it was time to ask for the check. Just then, an elderly gentleman sat down in the chair next to me – passing the 3 available seats along the way. The waitress addressed him by name, taking his order for oatmeal. The coffee was poured without a spoken request.

He turned to me and said, “Good morning, how are you today?”

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Topics: story, listen, people, little lessons, kindness, father, social media, parents

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 23, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Boot Camp Letter
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my parents. A lot.

It started with finding a stack of letters my mother had saved. They were letters I’d sent to my parents when I was in the military.

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Topics: reflection, family, memories, reactions, mother, story, listen, little lessons, father, future, mail, letters, parents

Why This Time is Different

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 16, 2019 5:01:00 AM


mark-dolores-aug-2019
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost

In January, my wife and I made what we hope is our “last move”. With an eye to the future, we bought a small house with everything on one level. We remodeled the bathroom with an emphasis on “universal design” – meaning easy access, a walk-in shower with bench, and grab bars.

The last few years, we have lost close relatives, including our parents. That meant cleaning out houses with decades of accumulated belongings.

It was exhausting. Not just physically, but emotionally. We don’t have children. When we died, did we want to add this burden to one of our nieces or nephews?

So, we decided to take a different path.

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Topics: inspiration, little lessons, parents, service, volunteer, empathy, walking

Don’t Fear the Four-Letter Word

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 26, 2019 5:01:00 AM


love sign

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." – Confucius

Last week, a couple of my friends were having a tough time. One was facing a health scare, and the other’s mother passed away. We shared some long phone conversations. Each call ended with “I love you, brother.” And the response – “I love you too”.

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Topics: inspiration, love, learning, support, growth, happiness, joy, little lessons, kindness, father, parents, compassion

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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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