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

Acting With Intent

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 17, 2020 4:45:00 AM

boat lake

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.” - Oscar Wilde

A trip to the grocery store. Work responsibilities and schedules. Conversations with friends. Keeping close to family and loved ones.

With no part of our lives untouched, we’ve been forced to abandon many routines and rituals. The impact of the smallest decisions may carry serious implications. We have to weigh the potential consequences of our actions. Before running the simplest of errands, we must ask, “Why?” and “What might happen?”

Normally this type of questioning is reserved for life-changing actions – taking a new job, buying a house, getting married. But today, any physical contact may be life-changing. Anytime we leave the house, we need to know the intent of our actions.

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Topics: reflection, Reading and Books, thoughtfulness, moment, challenge, little lessons, social media, perspective, informed

We All Need Someone to Lean On

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 20, 2020 5:00:00 AM

hug
“Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of intelligence.”

The current crisis has revealed the worst and best of human nature. The number of internet scams and criminals trying to take advantage of people’s fears is disheartening. Just as unfortunate is the number of people unknowingly spreading misinformation through social media.

There are also stories of ordinary people demonstrating the power of goodness. Friends organizing trips to the store for senior citizens. Teachers using innovation and technology to deliver lessons to homebound students. Parents finding ways to provide stability in uncertain times.

Then there’s the professional caregivers – the doctors and nurses on the front lines. Being separated from their families and love ones during extra shifts and rotations. Putting their lives at risk to save others and prevent this disease from spreading. We owe them an unpayable debt.

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Topics: strength, reflection, positive, people, little lessons, team, empathy, 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

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

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

Gathering Threads for Our Tapestries

Posted by Mark Fallon

Nov 8, 2019 5:00:00 AM

Oct 2019 Road Trip
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

I’ve spent 7 of the last 8 weeks on the road. My travels took me from coast to coast and north to south – Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean, Lake Michigan to Lake of the Ozarks, and crossing the Mississippi 4 times in a car and 8 times in a plane. Along the way, I visited 10 states plus the District of Columbia.

Food is always an important part of my journeys. Breakfast in a tucked away diner. Dinners in steakhouses and other restaurants accompanied with wine. Lunch at a hotdog stand. A wedding at a castle. Breaking bread at the family table on a friend’s farm.

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Topics: reflection, friendship, personal relationships, family, journey, travel, story, people, little lessons, time, wonder, perspective

Who Are You to Whom?

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 25, 2019 5:00:00 AM

dice
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – Carl Jung

A client and I were discussing reliable sources of information on our industry. After reviewing different websites and blogs, we moved onto individuals who offer insightful posts.

“Are you on Twitter?”, I asked.

Long pause. “Well, my Twitter account is really for my musician persona. I don’t use it for corporate work.”

Musician? That never came up in our previous discussions.

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Topics: reflection, personal relationships, generation, honesty, story, people, little lessons, perspective

Your Choices, Your Values

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 27, 2019 5:01:00 AM

small scales
“"Happy, contented people make conscious, careful choices about their life focuses that endorse their individual values." – Gail McMeekin

I believe in goals. Over 25% of the posts on this blog have had something to say about goals. Having an objective helps provide direction and purpose. Of course, we need to make sure we have the right objectives.

Hard work is an important part of our lives. Sometimes the effort is a combination of physical, mental and emotional. We can’t expect accomplishments without labor and sweat. But we also need rest to allow our bodies and spirits to recover.

Success – reaching our goals through hard work and determination – is a great sensation. Knowing that we’ve achieved what we set out to do, that we’ve overcome the obstacles and challenges before us. Winning feels better than losing. However, the obsession to succeed can blind us from what’s really important.

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Topics: success, hard work, goals, reflection, values, honesty, challenge, happiness, little lessons, wins, balance

Fast Pace/Slow Pace

Posted by Mark Fallon

Sep 13, 2019 5:01:00 AM

meadow
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – W.B. Yeats

It was a perfect September day. Warm sun on our shoulders, with a slight breeze cooling our faces. We sat on a bench enjoying an ice cream, a defiant act to the calendar’s declaration that summer was over.

At first glance, the meadow just looked like an overgrown field. The longer we sat, we could see the butterflies roaming from one plant to another, performing the pollinating ballet. Following their flight, we could see the multitudes of distinct colors of the flowers – purples, yellows, browns and so many shades of green.

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Topics: reflection, inspiration, little lessons, time, social media, beauty, nature, perspective

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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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