This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Monday, November 30, 2009

You'll Never Walk Alone

(photo by Ken R. Young)

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.

- from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel"

Ghandi Quotes

Born in Porbandar, India, in 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would have been 146 years old today. One of the most recognizable leaders of all time, Gandhi was (and continues to be) revered for his satyagraha — nonviolent civil disobedience — philosophy in leading India to independence and inspiring civil rights and freedom movements around the world. 

Ghandi was often called by the title "Mahatma", which is Sanskrit for "Great Soul".

1. Be the change you want to see in the world.

2. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

3. The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.

4. There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.

5. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

6. Suffering cheerfully endured, ceases to be suffering and is transmuted into an ineffable joy.

7. Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.

8. Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.

9. Nobody can hurt me without my permission.

10. There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.

11. My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.

12. Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.

13. Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

14. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.

15. Just as the body cannot exist without blood, so the soul needs the matchless and pure strength of faith.

16. When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.

17. We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.

18. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.

19. It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

20. You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.

21. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

22. Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

23. The only tyrant I accept in this world is the 'still small voice' within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.

24. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

25. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.

26. The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.

27. A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.

28. A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

29. In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

30. You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Flying Free

There is a place I call my own
Where I can stand by the sea
And look beyond the things I’ve known,
And dream that I might be free.

Like a bird above the trees
Gliding gently on the breeze.
I wish that all my life I’d be
Without a care and flying free.

But life is not a distant sky
Without a cloud, without rain.
And I can never hope that I
Can travel on without pain.

Time goes swiftly on its way,
All too soon we’ve lost today.
I cannot wait for skies of blue
Or dream so long that life is through.

So life’s a song that I must sing,
A gift of love I must share.
And when I see the joy it brings,
Life’s spirit soars through the air.

Like that bird up in the sky,
Life has taught me how to fly.
For now I know what I can be,
And now my heart is flying free.

- Jenna Lynn

The Sea: Thoughts and Quotes

(photo by Ken R. Young)

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
-Jacques Cousteau

The waves of the sea, Help me get back to me.
-Jill Davis

Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.
- Michelle Held

May your time be filled with relaxing sunsets, cool drinks and sand between your toes. - Unknown

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. - Kate Chopin

My love, I would like even more;
to be an ocean if you are the wave;
to be a wave, if you are the ocean.
- Nicolas Guillen

If you're lucky enough to be at the beach, you're lucky enough. - Unknown

Moments in paradise, when life touches heaven, include:
1. Walking along a soft, white sand beach while the gentle, rolling tide caresses your feet.
2. Viewing the magnificent splendor of ocean beauty at sunset or sunrise.
3. Sitting near the ocean shore, watching and listening to the breaking waves rolling in.
- Ken R. Young

Sea More at: Beach-Sea-and-Ocean: Quotes-and-Sayings.

Thanksgiving Quotes

1. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie

2. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. - Meister Eckhart

3. Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. - E.P. Powell

4. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

5. Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. - Edward Sandford Martin

6. What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? - Erma Bombeck

7. Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. - W.J. Cameron

8. He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.
- J.A. Shedd

9. Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. - Robert Caspar Lintner

10. Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast,
And toast the sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased.
- Alice W. Brotherton

11. Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.
- Wilbur D. Nesbit

12. To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. - Johannes A. Gaertner

13. A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. - Cicero

14. Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. - Seneca

15. Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. - Unknown

16. The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands. - Unknown

17. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. - William Arthur Ward

18. May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
- Author Unknown

19. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" - William A. Ward

20. If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. - Frank A. Clark

21. None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. - Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

22. The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts… nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. - H. W. Westermayer

23. Gratitude is the heart's memory. - French Proverb

24. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. - W. T. Purkiser

25. The unthankful heart...discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! - Henry Ward Beecher

26. We should spend as much time in thanking God for His blessings as we do asking Him for them. - St. Vincent de Paul

27. Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts." - Henri Frederic Amiel

28. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. - Tecumseh

See George Washington's proclamation on Thanksgiving at:

See more quotes on Gratitude at:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Impossible Dream: Ken's Thoughts

In learning how to deal with the struggles in my life, the song “The Impossible Dream” from the musical “Man of La Mancha” has become a spiritual mantra for my quest to come closer to the Lord by conquering my weaknesses and fighting “the unbeatable foe”. I have thought a lot about the meaning of each line in the song and how it can apply to my life and my quest.

Following the below song lyrics, I review the words of each line in the song with my personal interpretations.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

This is my quest to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far;
To fight for the right without question or pause
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause!
And I know, if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable stars!

From “Man of La Mancha”
Lyrics by Joe Darion, Music by Mitch Leigh

“To dream the impossible dream”
It’s like a challenge to dare to dream, to accomplish something that may seem to be impossible, either because of our own insecurities and doubts, or because of what is generally accepted in society as being either very difficult or impossible. But taking the step forward in allowing ourselves to dream that which seems impossible, begins to make it possible.

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
- T.S. Eliot

“To fight the unbeatable foe”
Who is the unbeatable foe? Does such a being exist? If anyone, we might think it to be our own selves. Yet our true inner self is the force which is doing the dreaming and the fighting; so it becomes a matter of letting the inner self, or spirit, to become the captain of the army which is fighting. Fighting who? Most likely, that would be Satan. But is he unbeatable? I don’t believe so, though I know he can put up a good fight. He is our enemy and would love us to believe that he is unbeatable, so that we will lay down our weapons and quit trying. When we do that, he has won. But it is we who hold the weapons and wear the armor, and as long as we hold fast to these, we shall beat the unbeatable foe.

"I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." - William E. Henley

“To bear with unbearable sorrow”
Sorrow for sins, mistakes, grief for a loved one’s passing, un-kept promises – there are many ways in which we experience sorrow here on earth. I believe that when we are able to experience the burden of heavy sorrow, we taste a bit of the pain and sorrow the Savior had in our behalf at Gethsemane. He who bore the most unbearable sorrow of all can help us bear the sorrow we must have to overcome, conquer and improve. The extremity of unbearable sorrow can be the launching pad for our journey towards heaven, fueled by the Lord’s atonement and His love for us.

When we look upon our sins and mistakes as things which increased the burden of sorrow which fell upon the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, we can, and should, muster up greater determination to not do anything more which will have added more to His sorrow on our behalf.

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." – Moliere

“To run where the brave dare not go”
At times in our lives, we are faced with the opportunity to stretch ourselves and take steps in directions we have not previously pursued, or down paths that frighten us. The courage it takes to face our fears and to pursue a path that we know will ultimately bless and benefit us, but which may also provide pain and soul-stretching, is tremendous. It requires that we have our eye on the end goal, the reward for blood, sweat and tears. It requires a no-matter-what-it-takes attitude. It requires that we “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

Many who might otherwise seem brave may not dare to go down such paths. Only by inviting the strength of the Lord to be with us can we dare such a venture.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To right the un-rightable wrong”
First off, nothing we do is “un-rightable”, or not able to be made right; unless, of course we deny the Holy Ghost. But we may believe sometimes that the wrong we have done is so bad, or has caused so much damage to ourselves or to others, that we are unable to fully overcome it and be completely forgiven. We need to truly believe in the Savior’s atonement, and to accept its power in our lives. We need to truly believe in ourselves, that we are capable of fully repenting, of being forgiven, and of having a change of heart. We need to look forward to the day that we no longer desire to sin, but seek only after righteousness.

Perhaps life has wronged us in some way we couldn't control, or we have been wronged by others. These types of wrongs can sometimes seem insurmountable, or "un-rightable". We can get so bogged down by their effects, that we are unable to move past them, and ultimately we fall victim to our own acceptance of them in our lives.

Satan wants us to believe that our lives are “un-rightable”. He wants us to accept the wrong situations in our lives as normal, or not worth the effort to remove. But I believe that the reward of increased happiness, spiritual strength and blessings, and the assurance of eternal salvation and exaltation are extremely worth any efforts we take to make our lives right. And, it is important to remember that, in the end, it really is the Lord who makes us right and relieves our burdens; it is through his infinite grace and mercy for us that we can be made right. We only need to take the first step and invite His love, grace and atoning power into our hearts and lives.

"I will write of him who fights and vanquishes his sins, who struggles on through weary years against himself…and wins." – Caroline B. LeRow

“To love pure and chaste from afar”
This is an interesting combination of words, which can have so much meaning. To have love which is pure and chaste for everyone would go a long way to making us more like the Savior. This kind of love given non-discriminatingly to others would change a lot of what we do and what we think. It would serve as a very strong armor in the battle for righteousness and against sin and temptation.

If we could only truly believe that we all are children of God, and that we all have both the right and responsibility to love and be loved in a pure and chaste manner, how could we ever desire to do anything to or with another person that wasn’t pure and chaste? This is the pure love of Christ, of which we all have a portion and need to seek to obtain or develop more.

Sometimes we need to learn to love “from afar”. To recognize that because of our differences, or challenges, or physical separation, our love will sometimes be at a distance. The distance can sometimes be hard to understand, but the love can and needs to be there and continue to grow. Sometimes a pure and chaste love can only occur when it is “from afar”.

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." – Moroni 7:47

“To try when your arms are too weary”

To keep on trying after it seems we have become worn out from trying is a difficult thing to do. Yet, it seems that is where the real reward or benefit comes. The saying, “no pain, no gain”, is true in so many ways.

I’m reminded of the story of a man who was in the Martin Handcart Company, one of the many groups of Mormon pioneers who crossed the plains, who related his struggles and efforts to keep trying when his arms, legs and whole body were too weary from pulling a heavy handcart over the plains and Rocky Mountains. He told of how he would choose a landmark ahead of him and decide that when he reached it, he would quit, because he felt he couldn’t go on any further. After reaching the chosen landmark, he felt as if the cart was pushing him, and so he continued on. He bore testimony that it was the strength of the Lord and his angels that allowed him to go on.

I believe that there is an extra storage of strength for all of us to tap into, when we feel that our own is gone. If our pursuit is righteous, the Lord will “prepare a way for [us] that [we] may accomplish” whatever is required of us (see 1 Nephi 3:7).

To “try when your arms are too weary” is too have an attitude of never giving up, of relying on the Lord for extra strength, and of having faith that we can do it - because the Lord wants us to.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." – Philippians 4:13

“To reach the unreachable star”
By having an attitude of never giving up and having sufficient faith in the strength of the Lord, we are then able to reach heights, or stars, that would otherwise be unreachable to us. This is where the grace of the Lord comes into play – when we not only have done what we can do, but have exercised faith and earnestly sought and invited the Lord to take over and lift us higher.

Our part includes setting high goals, aiming high. A favorite thought of mine is that if you aim for the stars, you may only hit the top of the tree, but if you aim for the top of the tree, you may only hit the trunk. The Lord’s grace, when invited and applied, will allow us to aim for the stars and to hit or reach them.

What is the “unreachable star”? For me, it is to return to live with Heavenly Father in His kingdom and partake of all the blessings of Eternal Life with Him. And to do this with those I love. Sometimes, as I stumble through life, I wonder if I can ever prepare myself enough for that. Do I have what it takes to be worthy of such blessings? Maybe not on my own, but with the Lord’s strength and grace, I believe I do. So, it’s up to me to make room enough for Him and his grace in my life so that I will reach my star.

"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life." - Robert Louis Stevenson

"This is my quest, to follow that star"
That word "quest" seems to really fit how I feel about what I'm after. A pursuit, a journey, a path with a goal. My quest to follow and reach that star is what motivates me onward - it is my purpose for living and for trying. My star is my vision of being complete, strong, purposeful and happy - living with God and those I love. It's a star, though far away, that continues to shine in the sky, twinkling as if to remind me of how pretty it is and how much I really do want to reach it.

So my life's journey must be to continue watching it and following it, and never losing sight of it.

"Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" - Robert Browning

"No matter how hopeless, no matter how far"
Sometimes it can feel almost hopeless in pursuit of a goal which seems so far off or difficult to achieve. But that which is worth having is worth striving for. No pain, no gain. The prize is worth the price. I'm sure if I could only have a constant and clear vision of the glorious award and joy that awaits me in the celestial kingdom, I would do all I could all the time to achieve it. Ah, but that is where faith comes in. We are told and are given testimonies of that glory that we are striving for. It is our faith in the Lord and his gospel which keeps us moving forward "no matter how hopeless, no matter how far".

Building a strong faith and a determination to do what is required - whatever it takes - is what will carry us onward. A determination to not give up, to always get up when you fall, to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. You have to decide in your heart that reaching that star is of utmost importance and that you will not allow yourself to be deterred, slowed down or stopped. Dedication to a goal is the key to achieving it.

I must decide to continue being faithful and dedicated to righteousness and the pursuit of that star, "no matter how hopeless, no matter how far". It may be far, but I am sure it is not hopeless.

"The worth of every conviction consists precisely in the steadfastness with which it is held." - Jane Addams

"To fight for the right, without question or pause"
To fight- that's really what we are doing. We're in a battle against the devil and his cohorts, whose influences are around us everywhere, as well as all the negative situations in our world. It takes courage to go to battle, a courage fed by faith, testimony and a desire for something better. It also requires fear - a fear of what might be if we don't fight. It requires a good deal of confidence and trust in the Lord, our captain, that he will lead us through successfully, and trust in the strength of the armor that he has given us. The gospel itself, the scriptures, prayer, inspiration from the Holy Ghost, our covenants, the commandments, the temple and many other things make up the spiritual armor that we wear into battle.

It's strange how, even though we've been given so much strong, effective armor, that sometimes we choose not to wear it, or we decide to lower our shield. And, somehow we fool ourselves into thinking that by removing the armor or not carrying the shield, we will still be fine and unscathed in battle. Satan knows when our armor is removed and where our weak points are, and he will most assuredly target them.

Sometimes we "question or pause" in battle, when the going gets tough, or we lose faith and confidence. Or, maybe we pause because of an attractive distraction and feed a weakness. When we pause, we stop in our progress. We lose ground and Satan pushes us back. Effort already expended is wasted because we have to fight again to re-gain ground.

To be successful in fighting for the right, we must be so dedicated to the goal and so confident in the Lord and his armor, that we refuse to question or pause - and we march forward.

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." - Ephesians 6:13

"To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause"
It seems there really is a battle going on, on the road to heaven. At times we are required to "march into hell", a period or series of very difficult challenges that can and do test our mettle and faith. It's keeping our eyes and thoughts on the "heavenly cause" that can help us through the hell. In facing and overcoming my life's challenges, I have had several marches through hell. The influence and impact of these have been quite strong at times. And although at times I have and do falter, I have an overall desire and will to march on towards heaven, even though I must pass through some hell.

Facing a particular problem, challenge or weakness, and working to conquer it can be very hellish. I have a testimony that Satan is real and he knows our weaknesses. When we pledge to overcome and do better, he pledges to knock down our resolve, and trip us on the way. So, our determination to reach the goal and our constant seeking for divine assistance becomes essential. We must be willing to endure the inevitable trial of our strength, faith and determination, knowing that the prize is worth the price - that reaching heaven is worth suffering through some hell.

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott

"And I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest"
To be true to the truth is the key. True in keeping the course and being dedicated to the cause - always - in everything I do. That is a daunting task and a quest in itself. Shakespeare, in his play "Hamlet", said "To thine own self be true". To be true to my own self is to follow the path which my heart and spirit dictates. It is being true to my inner self.

Recognizing that this truly is a glorious quest is also significant. It is glorious in that it is a path to glory. A way to achieve and experience glory.

What is glory, anyway? Without looking it up in the dictionary I would describe it as beautiful holiness, joy in perfection, peace and happiness in ultimate fulfillment. If that is what such a quest is, or leads to, then my inner (own) self greatly desires it. So, to get the rest of me to get there, too, I need to be diligent in following the course and "be true to this glorious quest".

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!" - Joseph Smith, D&C 128:22

"That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest"
To leave this world with a peaceful and calm heart seems to be something everyone desires, yet it doesn't always happen. Many things can keep us from peace, but an inner peace is something that can and should be achieved before we die, no matter what our earthly circumstances. That inner peace is obtained by feeling like we have followed our heart and have tried to become one with God.

In trying to become one with God, I must continue to pursue my quest and reach that star. To know when I am dying or have died that I kept trying, kept improving and worked hard to develop a good relationship with the Lord will allow me to achieve a peaceful and calm heart.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars." - Henry Van Dyke

"And the world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars"
I have no doubt that I will be well scarred, from the many errors and failed attempts to do my best and overcome weaknesses, by the time I die. Already, I have had many scars. But scars can heal and be removed through the love and atonement of the Savior. I have seen and have faith in that. I need to have greater faith in myself and my abilities to continually seek the power and influence of His atonement in my life.

The vision of a man trudging forward in faith and courage, very visibly beaten up and scarred, and yet brightened by hope and determination, is a powerful picture. It is one in which I want to see myself.

All those who follow this course will most certainly cause a better world - for themselves and for others.

"Bad breaks need not break a good man. They may, with God's help, even make him better." - Neal A. Maxwell

"Still strove with his last ounce of courage"
Down to the last ounce. To have the determination to continue to go forward, using my last ounce of courage, is also very powerful and challenging. Again, I think of that pioneer who continued pulling his handcart until he thought he could no longer, and then recieved heavenly help to go on.

I believe that if we continue to strive and push forward, even when we feel our courage is nearly gone, that we will gain new courage and strength, and be blessed for it. If we fear pushing forward because we think we may not have enough courage or strength to meet the test, and we then choose to stop trying, then perhaps that is when our courage is depleted. To gain greater strength in our physical muscles, we need to work out and exercise them. To gain greater spiritual courage and strength, the same is true.

"So long as man’s courage endures he will conquer; upon the courage in his heart all things depend." - H.G. Wells

I desire to have the determination to always strive to overcome my weaknesses and be a better person, a better husband, father, son, brother, friend and servant of the Lord - no matter what, no matter how much courage I have left. I can see and I can feel that by doing so, I will be able "to reach the unreachable star!"

This is my quest.

- Ken R. Young

P.S. - Here's another quote that makes a good cap to this dissertation:
"In the end the great truth will have been learned, that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize, or rather that the effort is the prize, the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game." - Benjamin Cardozo

Also, see this nice version of the song:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life is an Amazing Journey

This great thought is from my friend Kay Stott:

"Life is an amazing journey; sometimes while climbing it seems like you will never reach the next ridge. Yet, when you finally do, it is so truly amazing to look back and realize where you have been and what great accomplishments you have made, just getting to where you are at this moment! Never give up, the best is always yet to come! Keep the faith and enjoy the moments."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The View at Twin Peaks: Ken's Thoughts

(photo by Ken R. Young)

Situated near the geographic center of San Francisco is a tall hill known as Twin Peaks. It offers the best unobstructed panoramic view of the city and the San Francisco Bay. While on a recent trip to San Francisco, I came upon a picture of this striking view, and was lured into finding my way to the top of this hill. Without consulting a map, I decided to drive to the hill and up to the viewpoint near the summit.

I could see where the hill was, and driving towards it, I determined that it should be quite simple to find a way up. But I soon learned, that although there are many roads leading up the hill, most of them do not reach the top. By taking several wrong turns, I explored many roads and various sides of the hill. Some of the roads looked as though they might reach my intended destination, but had either a dead end or a turn leading back down. At one dead end I was actually able to see the road that led up to the top, but I could not get to it. It was not until I frustratingly drove back down a good portion of the hill, being almost ready to give up, that I discovered and made a turn on to the right road. The right road even had the right name: “Twin Peaks Boulevard”.

So simple and so obvious. Had I only looked at a map before beginning my hilltop journey, I would have easily been able to start on the right road, and make it to the top a lot sooner. Perhaps stubbornness or pride played into that – I’m a man, you see, I don’t need directions! As I drove up, I could see that this was the road I had been searching for, and had full confidence that it would lead me to the top. The drive going up was not easy – both steep and winding – and yet each new bend and increased level of elevation offered previews of the fantastic view that was to come.

How happy I was to finally reach the top and take in the beautiful views! Blue skies allowed clear vision for many miles stretching across the San Francisco Bay Area. The majestic city, the Golden Gate Bridge, the pretty bay dotted with islands and sailboats, and the green hills of the north and east bay areas all played part in the awesome visual experience.

The journey up to this spot was long and frustrating (more than it needed to be!) and at times, fraught with dead ends, downturns, steep inclines, and winding curves. I’m sure there are many people who have taken this journey and experienced breakdowns or flat tires, or for some reason were not able to make it to the top. There are probably also many others, who having heard of this viewpoint, did not feel it was worth the time or the effort to make the journey, and never came, never saw. Then there are also those who are unaware that such a place exists. And, like me, I’m sure there are others who have tried to make their way up without the help of a map, but who got lost on the many roads that don’t lead to the top, and at some point gave up.

It struck me, as I enjoyed the view at the top, how similar this all was to life’s experience. Following directions, taking the right road, not giving up, learning from mistakes, being willing to come down a bit in order to rise again better, and conquering the steep and winding road ultimately will lead us to success and happiness.

- Ken R. Young