Monthly Archives: October 2015

Your Weekly Noodle: October 21, 2015

We all have stories to tell and they are not just for children

We all have stories to tell and they are not just for children.

Noodle* on this…
Humanity’s legacy of stories and storytelling is the most precious we have. All wisdom is in our stories and songs. A story is how we construct our experiences. ~ Doris Lessing

Stories have the power to move us to action, to inspire us, to teach us and to give us hope. As a writer, I’m not a very good story teller. I am more of a reporter of facts and concepts. But, I know a good story when I read or hear one and my sister Andrea shared the following story with me. It may be true or it may be urban legend; not even Mayor LaGuardia’s biographers know for sure. But, it is a lovely story. So, read and enjoy it.

 

Mayor LaGuardia talks with children displaced by World War II

Mayor LaGuardia meets children displaced by World War II

In the middle of the Great Recession, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, worked to understand what life was like for all the people living in the city. It was not unusual for him to ride with the fire fighter, go on raids with the police and take field trips with orphans. On a bitterly cold night in January, 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took the bench. Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told the Mayor that her daughter’s husband had deserted the family; her daughter was sick and could not work; and her two grandchildren were starving.

However, the store owner, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. “It’s a real bad neighborhood, Your Honor,” the man told the Mayor. “She’s got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.”

LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the woman and said, “I’ve got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions. Ten dollars or ten days on jail.” But, even as he pronounced the sentence, he reached into his pocket. He took out a bill and tossed it into his hat, which was sitting on the bench, saying, “Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”

The following day, New Your City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered woman who had stolen a loaf a bread to feed her starving grandchildren. Fifty cents of that amount came from the store owner along with money from petty criminals, people with traffic violations and New York City police officers, all of whom gave the Mayor a standing ovation.

Tell us your story.

Tell us your story.

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…
You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it. ~ Margaret Atwood

Now, it is your turn. You have a story – one that inspired, moved you to action, or taught you an important lesson. It may be a personal experience or story you read or heard. Share that story with us in the Comments section. If the story is not personal, please include a source citation for the story, so we can give credit where it is due. For example, the source for the Mayor LaGuardia story comes from snope.com. I’ll share the stories in Your Weekly Noodle.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm

Photo Credit

Your Weekly Noodle: October 7, 2015

Businesspeople Playing in the Ocean

Noodle* on this…
We’re in a society where we have to justify play, But play reminds you of your better self and how happy you can be. In play, there’s a wonderful lightness of being ~ Sara Stieglitz

Play is not just for kids. It is just as essential for adults as it is for children. In fact, adult play  is a serious matter, just like humility, resilience and compassion. As with these topics, play enhances our immune systems; reduces our stress levels; helps strengthen interpersonal bond; enhances creativity, flexibility and productivity; and supports our well-being.

What is play?
According to Professor Peter Gray of Boston Collegeplay “is self-chosen and self-directed,” an imaginative, non-literal activity in which means are more valued than ends with rules that are not dictated by physical necessity but emanate from the minds of the players. Adult play can involve organized sports, playing a musical instrument, painting a picture, flying a kite or any activity that gives us pleasure, challenges us and is not mandatory or is not results or goal focused. Psychologist Stuart Brown writes that humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun – they are forms of play and that play is not just joyful and energizing – it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence.

Play has no purpose other than enjoyment whether it is the challenge of a chess game, the fresh air; sunshine and people watching that come with a walk on the beach or an evening of board games at home with family or friends.

Dogs know how important it is to play. It is so important that they send their humans a special invitation – the play bow.

Dogs know how important it is to play. It is so important that they send their humans a special invitation – the play bow.

Why is play important? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It also  makes you less productive and less creative. Play give you a natural high which leads to smiling which elevates your emotional state and stimulates your brain to produce endorphins, which produce feelings of confidence and satisfaction. Playing helps release your emotional energy in a safe way. Play also allows you to trade routine for excitement and procedure for imagination and spontaneity.

Finally, how you play is as unique as you are. Each of us plays in ways that show who we are as people. Play is a free open expression of the essential you! That is not something we get to do often enough in our busy, task driven culture.

Even animals understand the importance of play. If you have a dog, you are familiar with the “play bow” – a signal that the dog wants to play.

In summary…

  • If you want to be healthy and happy, play. It strengthens your immune system and reduces stress.
  • If you want to be creative or solve a problem, play. It stimulates the brain.
  • If you want to be successful, play. It increases productivity and cognitive ability.
  • If you want strong relationships, play with others. You are more genuinely you when you play than at any other time.
  • Just play for no reason at all!

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…Creativity
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. ~ Carl Jung

How will you play this week to support your well-being and creativity?

Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm.

Image credits