Thursday, February 21, 2013

365 Inspirations—52: New Blog Discovery

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

 I will admit that I don't always have time to read all the blogs I want to read. There are so many inspiring blogs and people out there and I'm happy to have met you all in the blogosphere.

Today is a very busy day for me. I have a split shift at the college and need to go back in about an hour to teach my last class.

When I got home, I posted comments left on my last post and, in that process, discovered a new blog. Whenever someone new stops by here, I try to make a point of visiting them as well. I only had time to read one or two posts and the two I read on this person's blog touched my heart.

I think that's what it's all about really. We don't need to change the entire world, but if we can do a few things to make the world a better place for a few people and ourselves, I think that is so important.

The blog I discovered today is called Blue O'Connell's Musical Adventures  and the two posts I read were called "An Unexpected Gift" and "Man's Best Friend". They were simple, short posts, but they were so heartfelt. Blue is a Music Practitioner and plays music in nursing homes and for the intellectually disabled. Her blog is very simple and she has just a handful of followers. It would make my day if you'd all pay her a visit.

She talks about how we often don't know what a difference we are making in other people's lives. We may feel like we are making no difference at all and that what we do is unimportant. The truth is, every little thing we do is so important and can have such a tremendous impact.

I teach English as a Second Language. I have over 100 students from over 30 countries in my classes.  My students are all immigrants and refugees and I know they need English so desperately in order to make a life in a new place.

I often don't think about the impact I might make on a student until they let me know. Sometimes a student will do this by preparing a dish from their country or making a gift by hand. It's always such a surprise to receive these gestures of appreciation and I often feel like it's too much.

I'm reminded, through Blue's blog, that part of the process of giving is also being able to receive.

Each one of us, in our daily activities and gestures, can make a difference in other people's lives. We are all in this together. What we each do is so important.

*Special Note: Blue is giving away a copy of her CD "Choose the Sky" to those who visit her blog and leave a comment. I visited her website at and learned that she is profoundly deaf and had to have cochlear implant surgery. This makes her beautiful, sweet song and voice even more inspiring. Here's the song "Choose the Sky" on YouTube:

Have you read any new blog posts or blogs that have touched you or made you feel grateful or appreciative? Has any kind gesture touched you today?


  1. Dear Katherine,

    Thank you so very much for your kind words about my simple blog. I started it after my hours were cut at the hospital where I work as a music practitioner. I needed to find a way to put down somewhere all of the good things I see in my work. I am grateful to you for reading my blog as I look so forward to reading yours each day!

    Thanks to all who stop by!

    Best wishes,


    1. I look forward to reading yours as well. It was my pleasure to post about your blog and beautiful work!

  2. Katherine, thank you for reminding us that we don't have to change the whole world, that the little things we do can make a difference, too. And thank you for telling us about Blue's blog. I'll look forward to checking it out! :-)

    1. Yes, I believe it's the little things that actually make the biggest difference!

  3. Thanks today for two things: first, the connection to Blue's blog...very inspiring. Secondly, for the gentle reminder that I need to give a more tangible thank you to my wonderful French friend who does a weekly French lesson with me! I always say 'merci beaucoup,' but it's time to follow that up with...maybe flowers?

    1. Thanks for being here! Flowers for your French teacher are a lovely gesture. Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

  4. Hi again, Katherine,

    I didn't know that you were an ESL teacher,that would be very rewarding. One of my favorite programs I did last year was to teach traditional American songs to ESL students and family. It was great fun! I did this at the University of Virginia International Center and taught them a song from just about every genre of American music from blues (Doc Watson's "Deep River Blues") , jazz (Gershwin's "Summertime") , old time (Fly Away Pretty Little Miss), minstrel ("Buffalo Gals") , dixieland ("When the Saints Go Marching in"), country (Johnny Cash "I Walk the Line"), gospel, ("This Little Light of Mine"), spirituals, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"), pop, "Stand by me" & "Somewhere over the Rainbow") I also did some easy traditional songs like, "You are my Sunshine", "She'll be comin' round the mountain".
    I had the lyrics on powerpoint slides and played my guitar and mountain dulcimer.

    I also played for a couple of ceremonies for refugees when they became American citizens. As a child, I grew up in Chicago and most of my friends and classmates were from other countries, so I feel a special affinity for these people.

    Next week I am applying to be an Artist in Residence at the county school here (Charlottesville, VA) with the idea to teach American songs, their history and social relevance. I am very excited about this!

    Again, thank you for posting my blog! I am so beside myself with happiness over meeting all of you!

    1. What a treat that would be for the students! I wish you lived closer, I'd love to have you come to some of my classes ^_^! The Artist in Residence sounds wonderful. Good luck! So great to meet you too!

  5. I will most definitely check out Blue's blog. And also, thank you Katherine for your inspiring blog. I always look forward to reading it :)

    1. Hi Keith, thanks for checking out Blue's blog. I always enjoy reading yours too!