Be the Best “You” That You Can Be!

the best you

Yes, folks … we’re back … and it’s Hump Day again! Mid-week, Baby! “Who’s complainin’?”

These past few days have been rather interesting for me … nothing serious, very quiet “inside” in fact. Sometimes, when I have so many thoughts dancing around in my mind, I seek solution-type stuff to keep fear from seeping in. Fear is so debilitating!! Yoga helps me a lot with the discipline … the simple thought process … that “I love me, as I love others!” type of thinking going on inside. I miss it when I don’t practice it. It is like anything else, the more you practice it …. the better you get at it! Meditation (quiet moments of thought, reflection and self understanding) is the same for me.

On Monday nights, we usually have Marya as our yoga instructor. Now, she works for a bank during the day and loves working out in the evenings … but she was going on a business trip. So, we had Ernesto, who is a yogi in his own right with his own business as a yoga instructor, as our “substitute”. In many ways, class with him is a gift in disguise as we get to receive instruction from a yogi whose whole life and work is practicing yoga!! Some folks don’t like Ernesto because they say he is too hard … too demanding. He doesn’t play any “mood music” and you cannot turn the lights low in the studio where our classes are held … during HIS classes. He makes some interesting comments about the poses that cause some of us to chuckle from time to time. He also interjects information regarding the health and spiritual benefits of the poses he has us hold for what seems like “forever”. Most instructors also offer benefit information but we spend more time moving from pose (asana) to pose rather than holding one pose for 2 – 3 minutes!! Ernesto challenges some of our basic values that some of us claim to have. I welcome this.

Yesterday was the “International Holocaust Day of Remembrance” which was designated by the United Nations General Assembly back on November 1, 2005. It “commemorates” the genocide of 6 million Jewish people, including mentally and physically disabled persons as well as 6,000 “homosexual” men by the Nazis. On January 27th, 1945, “Auschwitz-Birkenau”, the largest Nazi death camp, was liberated by Soviet troops. Those who know the history of the “Holocaust” and some of its most horrifying stories and ingredients, amongst the best known being “The Diary of Anne Frank”, also know that this, too, was comparable to, if not the worst of slavery of the Jews and other historical disasters of “man’s inhumanity to man”, if you will. Is this the “best that we can be”? I hope not.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself. You are who you are, and this life is an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and your strengths and areas needing improvement, and to work on yourself as you contribute to “humans humanity toward humans”! I also wanted to take a moment to thank a number of people including Stokely Gittens, Gordon Derrouseau, Maureen Shimmon Leon, Gary Hodder, Rafael Ventura Rosa, Mitchell Zogby, A.J. Sherman, Edna Cook and Robert Schulman for your generous donations to Educational Excellence. If I forgot to mention anyone, let me know, please! Robert has been very helpful, and I want to mention him as he is of the Jewish faith, as well as my long time “buddy, confidante and friend”, Peter Zachary (RIP). Don’t count yourself out of anything, while others may. As old school boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson said, “If you want to be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will!” I follow that with, “You don’t have to be “The Champ” today, just be the best “you” that you can be!”


John I. Cook, Director
Educational Excellence
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