Family History: Discovering My Heroes – Discovering the Hero Within

To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root Chinese Proverb

Doing family history is more than simply recording who lived and died. Genealogy is more about discovering the people who are the origins of the characteristics that mold who we are and potentially who we can become. While studying the life of my great-grandfather, Augusto Galieti, I came to know the man who would become a hero to me, as well as the man who, by example, unlocked potential greatness within myself.

Born in 1896, Augusto Galieti grew up in an Italy steeped in political turmoil and economic change. Shortly after marrying Margherita Cuomo, Augusto was threatened to either join with the rising totalitarian political party in the country, or die in 14 days. Augusto abandoned the life he knew in Italy to bring Margherita to the United States and start a new life away from the threat of oppression and away from family.

Finding work in Ohio, Augusto and Margherita built a home and started a new life filled with promise and freedom. After living in the United States for 14 months, Augusto came home to a crying and distant, seven-month pregnant wife Margherita. After pressing her as to the nature of her distress, Margherita eventually revealed that a man came by the home delivering a single piece of paper bearing the mark of a black hand. The man demanded a sum of money (in the name of protection) to stay the threats from what some would define as a mafia-type organization.

Having recently left Italy to escape oppression, Augusto had grown tired of living a life directed by threats on his freedom. After discovering the mystery man’s identity, Augusto accosted the man sending the clear message that any threats on his family would be returned in kind.

Months later, as an Italian heritage fraternal organization was forming in Ohio, the mafia sought to gain control over this organization as well. Augusto feared what could result, and was fed up with the influence of those who seek to oppress. Augusto stood up in the officer election meeting, offered a commanding speech calling for the expulsion of mafia influence and for the membership to vote accordingly.

Understanding that such an act of blatant defiance could likely result in his death, Augusto still chose to be a man of integrity. The members of the fraternal organization were so empowered by his speech and example, that he was elected as the organization’s first president.

The more I study Augusto Galieti, the more I come to know a man who stood for what was right regardless of opposition. Freedom and family were principles he defended with his life. Knowing these principles are “in my blood” helps me to know I can follow his example, stand for what is right and just, and perhaps be a hero to future generations as he has been to me. When the time came to go to the temple and perform exalting ordinances on his behalf, the experience was more than obligatory officiating on behalf of a stranger. Instead, it was a honor to have a part in saving my hero, my great-grandfather, Augusto Galieti.

Today’s post was written by Nick Galieti. Nick is a writer, documentarian and sound engineer with www.independentmusicstudios.com. Nick and wife, Heidi, own and operate Custom LDS Scriptures, online at www.customldsscriptures.com. This post is shared from the following website: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865552111/Family-History-Discovering-my-heroes-discovering-the-hero-within.html

 

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Ways to Live a More Meaningful Life

Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games Babe Ruth10 Ways to Live a More Meaningful Life

It can be easy to run through the maze of life without pausing to think of its meaning.

Does what I’m doing matter?

More importantly, does it matter to me?

Feeling that what you’re doing has a real purpose and meaning that matters to you can make a huge difference in your life. It makes getting up each day the most exciting thing in the world. You can’t wait to get started. Forget trying to force yourself to work hard, it becomes more important to remind yourself to take breaks to eat!

But how can we cultivate a more meaningful life? The answer is usually complicated. It can depend on many factors. I’ve written down 10 ideas that I believe will help you find meaning in your life every day, so that you can’t wait to get up in the morning and see what the day will bring.

1. Know What’s Important

Know what’s important for you. Write down your top 5 things that you believe are the essence of how you want to live life. This can include things like “family time,” or “sing every day.” It could also include more complex ideas, like “honesty” and “simplicity.”

2. Pursue Your Passion

I believe everyone should pursue their passion in life. It’s what makes life worth living, and gives our lives true meaning and purpose. Each time you work on something you love, it creates joy inside you like nothing else. Finding a way to use your passions to give back to the world will give your life ultimate meaning.

If you can’t manage (or aren’t ready) to work on your passion for a living, be sure and make time for it every day. By working on your passion and becoming an expert in it, you will eventually have the opportunity to make money from it. Be ready to seize that opportunity!

3. Discover Your Life’s Purpose

If you had to give yourself a reason to live, what would it be? What would you stand for? What principles do you hold highest? Is your life’s purpose to help others? Is it to inspire others with great works of art, or you words? Finding your life’s purpose is a daunting task, and when I first heard the idea, I had no idea where to start. For methods on discovering your life’s purpose, I recommend Steve Pavlina’s blog entries on the subject. I also recommend reading the article What Makes Life Worth Living.

4. Be Self-Aware

Be aware of yourself and your actions. Remain mindful of what you do at all times, and make sure you are living life according to your principles, your life’s purpose, and what you are passionate about. Review your actions each day, taking stock of those that strayed from your path. Work towards correcting any incidents in the future. Meditation is a great tool for accomplishing this task. It helps us increase our self-awareness throughout the day.

5. Focus

Rather than chasing 3 or 4 goals and making very little progress on them, place all of your energy on one thing. Focus. Not only will you alleviate some of the stress associated with trying to juggle so many tasks, you will be much more successful. Try and align your goal with something you are passionate about, so that there will be an intrinsic drive to work hard and do well.

6. People More Than Things

Often, we are faced with wanting to buy material goods. I recommend you consider carefully what you purchase, and think more about spending your money on experiences with friends and family. Not only will this give deeper meaning to your life by focusing on your relationships rather than material wealth, but you will be a happier person as a result.

7. Live With Compassion

Both for yourself, and others. Keep in mind the following quote:

"One must be compassionate to one's self before external compassion" - Dalai Lama

For some, compassion is the purpose of life, what gives it meaning, and what leads to ultimate happiness.

8. Find a Way to Give Back

Do something that both honors your beliefs and passions, while giving something back to the world. By giving something back, we inevitably find purpose in the act. By cultivating more of these activities, you will find your life has more meaning and purpose behind it.

9. Simplify Your Life

By simplifying your life, you’ll have more time to do what fulfills you and gives your life meaning. It can also help reduce stress and make your overall life easier to manage. It can also greatly improve your productivity. If you’ve never tried to simplify things before, it really is a great feeling.

10. Set Daily Goals

In the morning, before you start your day, create a list of 3 goals that you find fulfilling and meaningful. Make sure they adhere to your set of principles and beliefs. Tackle the hardest things first! Don’t make this list too long. By placing too many things on the list, you’ll feel the urge to multi-task, which is not good, or you’ll feel overwhelmed, which isn’t good either. By trying to do less, you’ll end up doing more.

Doing all of these things at once may seem daunting, but you can pick one thing at a time and slowly incorporate the ideas into your life. Life is about the journey, not the destination. Living a life of purpose gives both fulfillment and meaning to your journey.

Today’s article was written by David Loker and is shared from the following website: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-ways-to-live-a-more-meaningful-life.html

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How to Build Your Personal Mission Statement and Transform Your Life

A personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every decision we make Stephen CoveyHow to Build Your Personal Mission Statement and Transform Your Life

In order to know where you’re going, it helps to know where you’ve been. All right, I promise, only one cliché for this piece. Keep me honest and bear with me! I start with this to say that in order to best position yourself for a life of happiness, it is extremely helpful to have a philosophy around what you hope to be, and what you intend to accomplish.

Some people call this a personal creed or mission statement. This is written documentation that establishes three things:

1) Your Purpose
2) Your Direction
3) The substance of things that matter to you

Your purpose — or your raison d’être — is the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing with your life. As I wrote about previously, I encourage you to look at this from a blank slate in order to get to the brass-tacks truth of what you really want your mission to be in life. This should be organic and developed only by you — free and unfettered from any influences or emotions of the moment.

Your direction is your plan — and the actions that you must take in order to fulfill the requirements of your plan. Too often, many people doubt themselves because they don’t think they’re ready to begin moving in the direction of what they want to accomplish. They think it’s not their time, they’re lacking in a particular area or they’re too young — they’re hindered by limiting beliefs which beget doubt and fear.

Oftentimes, it simply makes sense to begin even with very tiny steps toward completing tasks and goals that match up with your purpose. This is where writing out your goals and putting them into a plan comes in. This is your direction — the compass that will guide you when life gets in the way, you’re too busy, too tired or hungry. Planning is essential.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya Angelou

The substance of things that matter to you are part and parcel of your purpose, and should be incorporated, as much as possible, into what you do each day. These are the core values, ideals, principles, people and also the things that bring enthusiasm and passion to your life. Beliefs or activities that get you exciting and mean something to you.

In other words — as Bono once sang, “all that you can’t leave behind.”

The Power of Planning

Successful businesses, schools, hospitals, sports teams and individuals begin by stating their goals and addressing how they intend to achieve them. These collective individuals understand the importance of accountability, and the power behind committing to a specific philosophy. They understand their purpose, what dedicating time and effort to a cause means and what taking ownership over something is all about.

Equally as important as writing a mission statement, is to define — for yourself — what your definition of success is. Never let anyone else define success for you. You should always take the time to do this for yourself. In a competitive landscape, it’s easy to be concerned with how others are doing. To stress and worry about such things is natural. It’s human.

When you have a mission statement, you’ll realize the power behind deciding for yourself how successful you can and will be. Your mission statement and definition of success serve as the foundation for all future attempts at becoming who you hope to be. Several years ago, I wrote mine. Here it is:

To live each moment to the fullest by having a positive attitude, a smile and a genuine enjoyment for life, while giving everything I have to love the people and environment around me and make it a better place.

You’ll notice that this is indeed a philosophy, a high-level view of how I’d like to conduct myself in this world, and a few of the actions I’d like to take. This is not a series of marching orders or specific goals intended for a short duration. Your philosophy is strategic, while short-term goal setting is tactical.

Setting goals helps you focus on specific things you aim to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish them. The mission statement is crucial for establishing the things that matter to you. This leads to the development of your own personal values and principles.

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” — Zig Ziglar

There have likely been millions of thought impulses that have flashed through your mind during the course of your life. Even for those of you in your teen years. These thought impulses are acted upon, left in the recesses of your subconscious mind or ignored. Your thoughts lead to your life’s experiences and those experiences are often shared in the company of others.

All of these things have an enormous impact on how you make decisions. Your decisions will impact your course in life and whether you will find yourself happy, ambivalent or disappointed.

When I think back to putting together my philosophy, I reminisce about past relationships, experiences, thought impulses and emotions. I think of the times when I’ve been happiest, times I’ve been down, moments of peace and distress, and the times I’ve found my greatest inspiration. My inspiration is derived from my core philosophy.

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” — Mahatma Gandhi

My motivation comes from the “fire” inside of me, the indescribable power that fuels my dreams and inner creativity. I acknowledge this “fire” as a gift that God has given me. A beautiful, divine power that I believe all of us can tap into if we have the desire and we believe.

This power will lead us to personal freedom, greater clarity of thought, vitality and energy to bring into our everyday lives. All this requires is a willingness to believe in God and yourself, and the desire to get to the core of what fuels your inner fire. Introspection and deep, personal reflection are key to living a life of freedom.

They help us to analyze our experiences and thoughts, and determine how we can use them to our future advantage. They provide us with a greater sense of direction and purpose. Along with your mission statement, they form the backbone of your future destiny.

Today’s article was written by Christopher D. Connors and is shared from the following website: https://medium.com/personal-growth/how-to-build-your-personal-mission-statement-and-transform-your-life-5b77e59717d8

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The Stories That Bind Us

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. -- Alex Haley

I hit the breaking point as a parent a few years ago. It was the week of my extended family’s annual gathering in August, and we were struggling with assorted crises. My parents were aging; my wife and I were straining under the chaos of young children; my sister was bracing to prepare her preteens for bullying, sex and cyberstalking.

Sure enough, one night all the tensions boiled over. At dinner, I noticed my nephew texting under the table. I knew I shouldn’t say anything, but I couldn’t help myself and asked him to stop.

Ka-boom! My sister snapped at me to not discipline her child. My dad pointed out that my girls were the ones balancing spoons on their noses. My mom said none of the grandchildren had manners. Within minutes, everyone had fled to separate corners.

Later, my dad called me to his bedside. There was a palpable sense of fear I couldn’t remember hearing before.

“Our family’s falling apart,” he said.

“No it’s not,” I said instinctively. “It’s stronger than ever.”But lying in bed afterward, I began to wonder: Was he right? What is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy?

It turns out to be an astonishingly good time to ask that question. The last few years have seen stunning breakthroughs in knowledge about how to make families, along with other groups, work more effectively.

Myth-shattering research has reshaped our understanding of dinnertime, discipline and difficult conversations. Trendsetting programs from Silicon Valley and the military have introduced techniques for making teams function better.

The only problem: most of that knowledge remains ghettoized in these subcultures, hidden from the parents who need it most. I spent the last few years trying to uncover that information, meeting families, scholars and experts ranging from peace negotiators to online game designers to Warren Buffett’s bankers.

After a while, a surprising theme emerged. The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.

I first heard this idea from Marshall Duke, a colorful psychologist at Emory University. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Duke was asked to help explore myth and ritual in American families.

“There was a lot of research at the time into the dissipation of the family,” he told me at his home in suburban Atlanta. “But we were more interested in what families could do to counteract those forces.”

Around that time, Dr. Duke’s wife, Sara, a psychologist who works with children with learning disabilities, noticed something about her students.

“The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges,” she said.

Her husband was intrigued, and along with a colleague, Robyn Fivush, set out to test her hypothesis. They developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer 20 questions.

Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?

Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush asked those questions of four dozen families in the summer of 2001, and taped several of their dinner table conversations. They then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests the children had taken, and reached an overwhelming conclusion. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.

“We were blown away,” Dr. Duke said.

And then something unexpected happened. Two months later was Sept. 11. As citizens, Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush were horrified like everyone else, but as psychologists, they knew they had been given a rare opportunity: though the families they studied had not been directly affected by the events, all the children had experienced the same national trauma at the same time. The researchers went back and reassessed the children.

“Once again,” Dr. Duke said, “the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress.”

Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?

“The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family,” Dr. Duke said.

Psychologists have found that every family has a unifying narrative, he explained, and those narratives take one of three shapes.

First, the ascending family narrative: “Son, when we came to this country, we had nothing. Our family worked. We opened a store. Your grandfather went to high school. Your father went to college. And now you. …”

Second is the descending narrative: “Sweetheart, we used to have it all. Then we lost everything.”

“The most healthful narrative,” Dr. Duke continued, “is the third one. It’s called the oscillating family narrative: ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.

Leaders in other fields have found similar results. Many groups use what sociologists call sense-making, the building of a narrative that explains what the group is about.

Jim Collins, a management expert and author of “Good to Great,” told me that successful human enterprises of any kind, from companies to countries, go out of their way to capture their core identity. In Mr. Collins’s terms, they “preserve core, while stimulating progress.” The same applies to families, he said.

Mr. Collins recommended that families create a mission statement similar to the ones companies and other organizations use to identify their core values.

The military has also found that teaching recruits about the history of their service increases their camaraderie and ability to bond more closely with their unit.

Cmdr. David G. Smith is the chairman of the department of leadership, ethics and law at the Naval Academy and an expert in unit cohesion, the Pentagon’s term for group morale. Until recently, the military taught unit cohesion by “dehumanizing” individuals, Commander Smith said. Think of the bullying drill sergeants in “Full Metal Jacket” or “An Officer and a Gentleman.”

But these days the military spends more time building up identity through communal activities. At the Naval Academy, Commander Smith advises graduating seniors to take incoming freshmen (or plebes) on history-building exercises, like going to the cemetery to pay tribute to the first naval aviator or visiting the original B-1 aircraft on display on campus.

Dr. Duke recommended that parents pursue similar activities with their children. Any number of occasions work to convey this sense of history: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers, even a ride to the mall. The hokier the family’s tradition, he said, the more likely it is to be passed down. He mentioned his family’s custom of hiding frozen turkeys and canned pumpkin in the bushes during Thanksgiving so grandchildren would have to “hunt for their supper,” like the Pilgrims.

“These traditions become part of your family,” Dr. Duke said.

Decades of research have shown that most happy families communicate effectively. But talking doesn’t mean simply “talking through problems,” as important as that is. Talking also means telling a positive story about yourselves. When faced with a challenge, happy families, like happy people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming the hardship. This skill is particularly important for children, whose identity tends to get locked in during adolescence.

The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.

Today’s article was written by Bruce Feiler and is shared from the following website: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/fashion/the-family-stories-that-bind-us-this-life.html

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The Importance of Friendship…

A friend is one that knows You as you are, understands where You have been, accepts what You have become and still gently allows You to grow William Shakespeare
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books, and I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.”

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran right up to him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.

Then he looked up, and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get a life.”

He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!”

He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke.

I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class and I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

On Graduation Day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one), and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.

“Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met . He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker, so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later, and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.

“Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”

I agree with this. Your one action can really change a person’s life. or motivate someone. And friends are the most important part about your life. A friend does have a major impact on you. Many times i have found myself being depressed and lonely. I don’t know if its hormones or just me. But a message from a friend on whatsapp or facebook instantly makes me forget about my  depression and I’m all happy and cheerful again. 🙂

Like Aristotle said –

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ”

We are all social animals. I have never found or met anyone who “does not partake of society”. And now days there are so many social networking websites, I don’t think this generation can ever feel lonely, You can always connect with someone online or just call them up.

So, don’t judge people by their appearances, be kind to all and keep smiling 🙂

Today’s comments and inspiring story were shared from the following website: https://mischievouseyez.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/a-heart-touching-story-of-friendship/

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