National Coaches Day began in 1972 with the statement, “”Coaches are highly qualified teachers—in highly specialized fields. But more than that, they are friends and counselors who help instill in their players important attitudes that will serve them all their lives.” See https://nationaltoday.com/national-coaches-day/
Who are your favorite coaches? Who inspired you to be your best in a specific field?
“These are the paths to enlightenment. Those who arrive at their destination teach those who are still on the path, while those still on the path are sources of wisdom for their teachers.” See Tao Te Ching – A New Translation & Commentary by Ralph Alan Dale (c) 2002, p.55
“World Animal Day dates as far back as 1925 when Heinrich Zimmermann organized the first celebration in Berlin. Zimmermann, the publisher of a German animal lovers’ magazine, “Man and Dog,” launched the event to raise awareness and improve the welfare of animals. The date of October 4 is also known as the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals.” See https://spiritoftheholidays.org/animal-holidays/world-animal-day/
As highlighted in a 2020 announcement, there are (at least) “seven acts of kindness to animals” we can consider:
Known as the “Father of the Nation” of India, Mohandas Gandhi was also called Mahatma (Great Soul) or Bapu (Papa). Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is celebrated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.
“Gandhi grew up in a Hindu and Jain religious atmosphere … which were his primary influences, but he was also influenced by his personal reflections and literature of Hindu Bhakti saints, Advaita Vedanta, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and thinkers such as Tolstoy, Ruskin and Thoreau… At age 57 he declared himself to be Advaitist Hindu in his religious persuasion but added that he supported Dvaitist viewpoints and religious pluralism.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi)
Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, more popularly known simply as Rumi, was born on this day in 1207 in present-day Afghanistan. He later died on December 17, 1273 in present-day Turkey. He was a 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi Mystic. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and he has been described as the “most popular poet” and the “best selling poet” in the United States. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi)
Rumi was a firm believer in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a means of approaching God. His poetry is divided into common themes: mystical, passion, and life and death. Madonna and Philip Glass are among his many admirers: Madonna recorded readings of Rumi’s poetry, and Glass’s “Monsters of Grace” is based on Rumi’s art. (See https://nationaltoday.com/rumi-day/)
Rumi’s poetry speaks of love which infuses the world. Rumi’s longing and desire to attain the ideal of Love is evident in this excerpt from his book the Masnavi:
“I died to the mineral state and became a plant.
I died to the vegetal state and reached animality.
I died to the animal state and became a man,
Then what should I fear? I have never become less from dying.”
Confucius, or Master Kong, was born on September 28, 551 BCE and lived for nearly 72 years before dying in 479 BCE. Known as a philosopher and master teacher, Confucius presented himself as a “transmitter who invented nothing” yet considered himself a transmitter of values which emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity.
“His teachings require examination and context to be understood. A good example is found in this famous anecdote:
When the stables were burnt down, on returning from court Confucius said, “Was anyone hurt?” He did not ask about the horses.
By not asking about the horses, Confucius demonstrates that the sage values human beings over property (which animals seem to represent in this example); readers are led to reflect on whether their response would follow Confucius’s and to pursue self-improvement if it would not have.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius)
There is an annual Japanese holiday which remembers deceased ancestors. The actual date varies by region but usually falls between mid-July to mid-August. It is not an official holiday, rather a religious and traditional holiday which includes using lanterns to guide the dead, making food offerings to temples and celebrating with dancing. See https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/obon-festival-in-japan
Here is today’s humble haiku which recognizes this holiday, past and future, yet also celebrates the life still happening on this side of existence.
Not all stories are happy. Today I recognize poet Spike Milligan and his poignant poem The Dog Lovers. Briefly, “Terence Alan “Spike” MilliganKBE (16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002) was a British-Irish actor, comedian, writer, musician, poet, and playwright.” He is also cited as having a major influence on The Monty Python Flying Circus. See https://mshistorytoday.com/spike-milligan/
While noted for his comedy, Spike Milligan could also describe tragedy. For example:
The Dog Lovers
by Spike Milligan
So, they bought you And kept you in a Very good home Cental heating TV A deep freeze A very good home- No one to take you For that lovely long run- But otherwise ‘A very good home’ They fed you Pal and Chum But not that lovely long run, Until, mad with energy and boredom You escaped- and ran and ran and ran Under a car. Today they will cry for you- Tomorrow they will buy another dog.