By: Dave Jones
(It was excellent good fortune and timing to have the great UCLA basketball coach — "The Wizard of Westwood" — holding forth like this for a crowd in the first week of NCAA March Madness.)
Many were moved to tears by the segment on the armless/legless young man, Nick Vujicic, who is such a deeply inspirational speaker on the subject of Gratitude, and living each day to the fullest. Also profoundly moving was the sermon by Mormon elder James E. Faust on the topic of Forgiveness, as was practiced in an Amish community of Pennsylvania, where a grief-crazed young neighbor man had massacred eight young Amish girls in a schoolroom there, killing himself in the process, and the Amish overwhelmed the dead man's family by swarming to his funeral in great numbers, and embracing his family in the spirit of God's love and Forgiveness. This was not a matter of grabbing for notebooks and pens so much, then, as digging into purses and pockets looking for Kleenex.
Still, several residents hung around after the main discussions were over to copy notes off of resident Jeannette Allen's notebook, though I was regularly reassuring them that they could also find and explore these quotes via the computers in the Computer Lab, seeking these resources out in the Library section of CLN.
Resident Frances A. was profuse in her thanks for the evening's thought-provoking themes and messages: "This is the wonderful thing about your Connected Living evenings," she said. "These aren't just 'shows' where we sit and stare at a movie screen. But they aren't really 'lessons' like some people say they are, either. You really get us thinking and talking. But we're having fun doing it. It's a very special thing we do here."
My GRATITUDE for a person like Fran at that moment could of course know no end. We were thankful then, too, that all she was asking in return was a repeat screening of the Susan Boyle "I Dreamed A Dream" video clip. That was easy to do for such a dear and thoughtful participant.