Thursday, December 6, 2018

What Are Your Favorite Christmas Songs?

Don Shetterly
What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Even with all I went through during childhood, Christmas music was special to me.  I enjoyed playing it on the piano and listening to it on the vinyl record albums we had.

For me, the melodies are simple and peaceful.  They are full of joy and calmness.  I'm talking about the classics of Christmas.

Whether it was playing these in church Christmas programs or caroling at nursing homes, they were a special part of life to me.  They took me out of the difficult experiences I was going through and helped me give back to others who heard me play these songs.

I'll never forget the year my piano teacher, Mrs. Tucker, bought me a book of Christmas piano music.  I was only around 8 years old at the time.  I loved learning those songs and still treasure them all these years later.

Several years ago, someone wanted me to record a beautiful CD of Christmas songs that I played on the piano.  It is nothing "fancy" but more the simple songs that I played when I was a child.

If you like simple music, I hope you will give a listen to the sound clips of this CD.  If you download them, you help support my life's work and creativity.

By the way, the last track on this CD is my version of three songs.  Can you guess what they are when you hear them?

Christmas Songs (Tracks)

  1. Silent Night, Holy Night
  2. Angels From The Realms Of Glory
  3. Away In A Manger
  4. The First Noel
  5. What Child Is This?
  6. We Three Kings
  7. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
  8. Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  10. O Come All Ye Faithful
  11. Joy To The World
  12. Deck The Halls
  13. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  14. Christmas Morning Bells
  15. Christmas Medley

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Stand Opposed

Written By Don Shetterly
These days it feels like everyone hates one another.  I'm not sure there is anything but hatred these days.  So much is shared online of how we should love one another.  We say it to those who agree with us, but the premise remains the same.

If you're not in a specific thought bubble on whatever subject it is on, then somehow you're a bad person.  You're wrong and stupid and all the other adjectives that one could list here.  That's how it is portrayed online each and every day.

It isn't just about one subject that gets screamed about every day.  I've seen it lately from things that you wouldn't expect it to things that do not seem to be controversial.  As I've found, don't you dare disagree because you are the one that will be outcast.

Far too much of this comes from those who don't want to discuss issues but think everything they say is right (and all others are wrong).  Much of this comes from those who profess love and acceptance of everyone, but give them an online comment and they will get down in the mud pit with everyone else.

See, I think these statements about love, acceptance, and rising above everyone is just codeword for you don't agree with me and I don't want to talk to you.  I may be wrong, but I see more and more evidence of this.

If we just stand opposed on every subject under the sun, then how does that make us a civilization?  How are we a part of the human experience if we only want to hear the things that we agree within a day?

Sure, everyone says they want this, but far too few actually put it into action.  Remember when you get down in the mud pit of life and wrestle with everyone, no one can tell you apart.  Everyone in the mud pit looks like the other.

We've got enough issues in this world and to create more just for the sake of screaming along with the crowd, that's not being human.  In fact, that is ego driven in my view.  It is born out of fear that overtakes a person.  Human is a long ways off.

I wish this world would jam the gear in reverse, but I'm afraid we're going to go through some painful experiences before things reverse.  No one cares about one another these days (unless it is someone in your own tribe).  No one knows how to show respect for each other.  Yes, they can spout off memes, thoughts, and bible verses showing how loving and compassionate they are.

Maybe we just need to step back and see how we respond to situations.  Have you really looked at what you say and do?  Is it truly done out of respect, or is it hateful and spiteful?

The other day, I had an exchange with someone and I'll let you read what happened when instead of being sarcastic or spiteful, a simple reply with respect changed the course of a day.  It can be that simple, but first, we have to get it right within ourselves.  The following tweet was just part of the conversation that helped change the course of the day with another individual.

The person responded

LOL thank u Don, for I have certainly roasted couple severals of people to a charred crisp. While I think they deserve it, they also deserve love/compassion. So today is that day I'm sending it out to them & ALL, including you. I don't know u, but I love u for the person u are.

To which I said,

One day is better than nothing.  

Sometimes just a different response can mean so much to the whole world.  May we all try to give a different response - one that is respectful, compassionate, and kind.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Lip Service Compassion

Written By Don Shetterly
Lip service compassion seems to be the norm these days.  It is pretty awful how humans are treating one another.  Everyone claims it is the other people that do this, but they fail to see their role.

You've got the ones that have their beliefs and nothing is going to change them.  They shout their beliefs and views from the mountaintops, caring little what others think.  They believe they are right and everyone else needs to see their way of looking at everything in life.  It is nothing more than lip service compassion.

There are those that get up and scream at everyone thinking that all of the noise is horrible.  While that may sound great, there are far too many that only give it lip service compassion.  They want everyone to see things in their view and they will not entertain anyone else's thoughts, especially when they go against their beliefs.

You will also see people who feel they do have it right and might be closer to being human, but then they go out and start screaming to the world how stupid everyone is.  If you try to suggest you do not want to be part of the screaming, they tell you how privileged you are.  In their mind, they are noble, but it is nothing more than lip service compassion for the world.

I don't care what subject it is, there will be people that will take offense to whatever you say.  If you said there was a rock on the sidewalk, some would claim it should be there.  Some would claim it should not be there and others would not see it.  All the while, everyone would act as if they were right and everyone else is wrong.

At this point, I'm so tired of hearing the screaming disguised as lip service compassion.  No one is changing anyone's mind because everyone is screaming rather than listening.

The holidays are a time when we come together to give thanks for all we have along with those we love.  It is a time when we celebrate peace and joy on earth.  Unfortunately, our lives don't give proof to what we say.  We practice nothing more than lip service compassion.

If you find yourself blaming some group of people or political difference, they aren't the problem.  You are!  If you find yourself demanding that others are wrong and they only need to listen to you, then you're the problem.  When you spend more of your time pointing out the faults in others, they aren't the ones to blame.  You are!

Of course, only you can change what happens.  No one else can make you into a compassionate person especially if you don't truly see yourself.  No one else can make you change your behavior because that is solely up to you.

We as a world, need to stop the lip service compassion.  We need to find a way to embrace one another as fellow travelers on this journey called life.  If we keep standing opposed and self-righteous to one another, we will not make it.  If we think we have the answers and everyone else is wrong, we're adding to the horror this world faces.

It is time for us to wake up as a people and stop lip service compassion towards one another.


Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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