“Do all you can, with what you have….” an inspiring quote from Nkosi Johnson Nurturing Thursdays

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An inspiring quote from Nkosi Johnson, 1989-2001, a child from South Africa who lived for many years with HIV.  He was  a remarkably courageous child who made a significant difference in the lives of many.

Here is Nkosi’s  inspiring suggestion….for us all…no matter what our circumstances, no matter what our challenges…to simply do all we can….

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do all you can 1

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do all you can 2

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do all you can 3
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do all you can 4

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do all you can

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to just try as much and as often as we can

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I first heard that inspirational quote a few years ago, during one of the Sounds True, Compassionate Brain online shows, a truly wonderful, free series of archived shows,  the seventh show, Compassion in the Wider World, featuring Rick Hanson and Jean Houston.

A few minutes ago, I heard the quote again, as I listened to the Week 3  teaching of Foundations of Well Being, also by Rick Hanson.

Tying in with these ideas…. for the past few weeks and yesterday and today, I  helped out with teaching very beginning English to several women who are refuges from Ethiopia and Eritrea…these women speak very close to NO English and I’m sure have many daily challenges…but they are so warm, appreciative and cheerful! They seem to be living examples of the message that Nkosi spoke about.   They are simply amazing women!  They do not give up!

This morning, I got a bit tired as I was  helping them  and thought perhaps I’d better slow the teaching down….and then several of the women asked for more words…more reading English letters…more practice with saying basic numbers…trying so hard to remember English letters and numbers…trying to remember their own phone numbers!

During a short break, yesterday, I watched several of the women (and they are NOT young!)  go outside, where they walked or ran around the track area during the break time!….. what amazingly inspiring women they are!

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“Do all you can
with what you have,
in the time that you have
in the place that you are”

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do all you can earth

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Nurturing Thursday: I’ve seldom missed posting on Nurturing Thursdays, but almost didn’t post today,  because I got SO worn out teaching this morning…but then I thought of the commitment, warmth, energy and persistence of those wonderful women I taught… and of the Nkosi Johnson quote…. a reminder to just do whatever we can….and so, after I heard  that wonderful quote again, I found these “pages,” from November, 2012… continuing inspirations!  Nurturing each other and ourselves….

Part of Nurturing Thursdays, hosted at Becca Given’s blog, On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. Please visit Becca’s site for her Nurturing Thursday post and for links to posts of other frequent contributors to Nurturing Thursdays.  ( I just tried the 3rd revision of that link…. I hope THIS link works!…maybe it’s time for me to take a nap???? )

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Added a few hours later:  I just stumbled upon this video of Ernest Borgnine reading a delightful children’s book…The Rainbow Fish, a book with such an important, warm hearted message…so similar to Nkosi’s message…of the happiness we create as we share whatever we may “have” …sharing that with others…the happiness that is nurtured in ourselves and others…. from living with generosity….

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17 Responses to “Do all you can, with what you have….” an inspiring quote from Nkosi Johnson Nurturing Thursdays

  1. yes, these are words to live by, today, tomorrow, always. Thank you for taking the time to post. Some days this is all we can do, and it is ALL

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    • Yes, today that was all that was left….I guess I had given my “all” for those few hours… how fitting that the very lovely women, their strong motivation, interest and engagement in their own learning and activities of my day tied in with that quote… synchronicities are appreciated!

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  2. Wonderful when it all comes together like that.

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  3. Elizabeth says:

    Glad you posted it, this boy so young and so wise. Your experience with these women should be fantastic, they want to learn, and with all the trouble, they are appreciating the opportunity given to them in a new country and making the best of it. I don’t think you should slow down, but go deeper, they are waiting for it.

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    • I had only signed up to help out one morning a week…but I was so enchanted by the women’s enthusiasm, motivation and hard work that I went back today, too. Also, there was only one volunteer helping the teacher today and it’s much easier if there are two, so that added to my deciding to help more ! This past week, I’ve been creating lots of very basic, new materials to use with them and the women are so amazingly appreciative of those…something that seems so simple and easy for me to make seems to be so valued by them…a real eye opener for me! Yes, I’m guessing that so many people around us are just waiting for us to do whatever it might be that we can do…but we may not realize that… I sure didn’t! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the Rainbow Fish and read it frequently to my Kindergarten students. Then later to my grandchildren. It does have a wonderful message and you’ve tied it in beautifully to the inspiring Nkosi Johnson quote–and his words are made all that more beautiful and meaningful given his short life. You must be a wonderful inspiration to your students!

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    • Wasn’t the Rainbow Fish a lovely complement to Nkosi’s words…. what a dear, generous spirit Nkosi was…and both the rainbow fish and Nkosi giving such precious jewels to others!
      And oh… a Kindergarten teacher??? I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing with helping with adults…I taught elementary K-5th grade kids when I was teaching school….so, a bit of “winging it”…I’m pleased the women are so open and motivated to learn!

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  5. Maria says:

    Dear Kathy,
    I don’t know whether you remember me (3 years ago i stopped blogging on “enermazing”), but I kept following yours and other blogs, at least occasionally.

    My new project, Quilting Oneness (quiltingoneness.wordpress.com), is a blog about patchwork and quilting, but because many quilting blogs focus on new fabric lines and tools, I wanted to offer something entirely different.The twist is about how to be creative and resourceful with limited means – which is what patchwork and quilting are about anyway. “Do all you can with what you have” could very well be the motto…

    But before I even started, I was already having second thoughts, simply because it involves so much I need to learn, like how to present instructions per photos or video. I was about to give in to overwhelm and say “I can’t do that” when I found your post “Do all you can with what you have” in my inbox 🙂 Although this phrase could be a motto for my blog, until that moment it hadn’t crossed my mind that it applies to me and my approach as well! So I opened my heart and mind to imperfections and got started.

    Thank you for this instant booster and timely reminder to Just Do It!

    Love,
    Maria

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    • Maria!!! 🙂 …hello, hello hello! Of course I remember you! It’s wonderful to hear your “voice!” How wonderful that you’re starting a new blog to share your creative ideas! I just peeked at your new blog and it’s wonderful: clear, concise, visually appealing, great photo explanations! Here’s a direct link to Maria’s quilting blog, if others are reading this http://quiltingoneness.wordpress.com/

      I’m so happy that the ideas from Nkosi Johnson resonated with you….they sure did with me! And Maria, how interesting that you offered “hope” when I was discouraged a few years ago and now I’ve been able to share a “booster” with you….wow! You just never know who or how one might have a positive influence on others! Amazing! (Here’s a link to Maria’s words about Hope: simply beautiful words https://pocketperspectives.com/2014/06/19/hope-comes-from-a-large-family-a-family-with-many-siblings-2/ )

      For the past few months, I’ve been inspired and motivated by some other simple ideas I read in a book by RamDass and Mirabea Bush. They suggest some steps for getting going on projects: Be brave, Start small, Use what you’ve got, Do what you enjoy, Don’t overcommit. I keep little cards in my pocket that have those steps on them! I also made a pretty mobile that spins in our front yard, with those ideas hanging from them…blowing gently in the breezes out there. https://pocketperspectives.com/2014/07/23/compassion-in-action-be-brave-start-small-do-what-you-enjoy/
      Maria, I’m so happy to hear from you and pleased that you found something helpful in the ideas I share…. please take very good care and be well…. Warmly! Kathy

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      • Maria says:

        Thank you so much, Kathy, for your warm “welcome back”! 🙂

        Do you know that I had completely forgotten Hope and her siblings?? I just had a look – hard to believe that I wrote that…

        Maybe I had forgotten this (and probably a lot of what else I wrote) because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with Enermazing. It’s still online because I just couldn’t get myself to delete it – not because of what I had written, but because of the many lovely people like you who I met this way.

        “Don’t overcommit” and “Keep it simple” is advice I can’t hear often enough 😉 … despite all I’ve learned a lot during the past years… Anyway, I want to revive Enermazing once Quilting Oneness is running smoothly. At the moment I’m still spending a lot of time testing and figuring out how to present things.

        I really appreciate your feedback – thank you, and also for following and for posting the link! 🙂

        And also thank you for still making your beautiful, uplifting collages! As for “I helped you – you helped me”, I think this kind of reciprocity – without expecting anything back – is the only true exchange, and completely natural, innate to our true nature. And despite all the chaos (or maybe because of it?) more and more people are waking up to who they truly are 🙂

        Maria xxx

        PS: Do you quilt?

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        • “Hope and her siblings” really was an insightful piece of writing!

          I agree about the ideas of “keep it simple” and “don’t overcommit”… I can get “carried away” by my own enthusiasm and then look around and wonder “what happened to my free time and calm, peaceful state of mind?”…in fact, that happened this afternoon! But it does feel so good to feel engaged and contributing to the well being of others!….perhaps, one project…or just a few…..at a time!

          Maria, your new blog really does look good…very clear and “clean” and easy to understand the instructions…really good!!! ( new emoji list from word press…see if this one works :clap: 👏 )

          I don’t quilt. I LOVE art quilts that have lots of motion in them…but I haven’t tried making them. I did buy a nice sewing machine a few years ago, but haven’t used it more than a few times. My daughter, who is 27 years old, quilts, so I sent your link to her and asked that she pass it along, if she knows other people who quilt or blogs/websites etc for quilting.

          Maria, the timing of your comment this morning was lovely. A few minutes before I saw the comment, I had the thought that I didn’t know whether things I create or ideas that I share have any impact on, or contribution to, others… even if only one or two. Pocket Perspectives has lots of subscribers, but one never knows in the virtual world whether people are “getting” or resonating with the ideas, if they don’t comment. And so in a moment of discouragement, I thought…”oh why bother with sharing these ideas or ‘creations?’ I don’t know whether people ‘get’ them or if they’re helpful to anyone else but me “…and then….whoosh… your feedback arrived about the Nkosi Johnson quote being helpful to you. What a timely surprise! What I try to go back to is to simply “offer out” what I have, create or am thinking about…. and let it go after that…. Warm smiles, Kathy

          PS…this is the motivation I try to go back to… http://reflectionsfromafriend.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/to-have-good-motivation-or-intention-in-whatever-we-do/

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          • Maria says:

            We’re all connected – and there to help each other 🙂

            Synchronicity (some call it miracles or divine timing) is normal, we’ve just forgotten that it is. And often our daily life is so noisy and busy that we don’t follow our impulses that make it happen.

            I know what you mean by being discouraged about lack of feedback; to me it feels like swimming in a void. But I trust that when my intentions are pure – that is I offer what I offer from love and joy, not from greed or fear – the exchange will happen in lovely and joyous ways like this 🙂 Like attracts like!

            I wish you a wonderful weekend ❤

            Maria

            PS: Thank you for passing the link on!

            Like

    • Ps…. oh this post expands on those basic steps from Ram Dass… I was trying to get myself going for volunteering with helping some wonderful women learn English. It worked! https://pocketperspectives.com/2014/10/13/id-like-to-help-out-i-wonder-what-i-could-do-to-be-helpful/

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  6. Pingback: Journal: Exploring Possibility and Choice/The Life that Wants to Live You

  7. Pingback: Journal: Exploring Possibility and Choice/The Life that Wants to Live You - Opening to the Possibility

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