Grandma’s Wisdom

Be it a true tale or not, the following story, circulating on Facebook, is fraught with wisdom. Perhaps you have read or heard the story before. We can always be reminded of our abilities to make empowering choices. Perhaps, the story is a new one that will open your minds and hearts. I can almost hear my own grandmother speaking these words of warmth. Enjoy and pass on. Sammy@TURNINGSTONEchoice

“The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised, and proud lady, fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. ‘I love it,’ she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight year old having just been presented with a new puppy.
‘Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room . . . just wait.’
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ she replied. ‘Happiness is something you decide on, ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged; it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice: I can spend the day in bed, recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and, as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.’
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.”

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit

Mandela – Passing on the Lessons


It is arduous to articulate the legend, Nelson Mandela, in a little blog, but my weakness with words should not discourage the attempt. At the very least, I will respectfully contemplate and share his wisdom to gain some of my own. The prisoner turned president educates past and present pupils with uplifting lessons on humanity. When enemies attempted to silence his words by lawfully forbidding his image or speeches from the people who he served, they in turn gave greater influence and meaning to the truth he refused to tolerate. The power of words were never lost on South Africa or Mandela who savored every thought and gave even greater reflection upon spoken words while imprisoned. Today, his words are applied to teach people all over the world not only the incredible history changing events in South Africa, but on courage, struggle, independence, education and character. Parents and educators, we can celebrate his life with our children, teaching them the example of a man who made sacrificial choices that freed a nation and influenced millions of people. He had reasons to be bitter and seek revenge for the atrocities that were handed to him and his family. Yet, his 27 year incarceration brought about a wisdom that knew forgiveness was just and reconciliation was healing. Contemplate the quote below with your students and children. Ask them about their thoughts on these wise words. It is with respect and honor we give tribute to Nelson Mandela by passing on his lessons.

“I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred; he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as sure as I am not free when my humanity is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.” The Long Walk to Freedom, 1994

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit
Written works by Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom
Conversations with Myself
Notes to the Future