Sunday, December 26, 2010

We are peace

We are joy
World is joyful

We are love
World is loving

We are hope
World is hopeful

We are peace
World is peaceful

Happy New Year everyone!

(Ron Cooper)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

10,000 visitors!

Dear Friends,

Thanks to you for breathing life into "Inspire!" where everyone can get re-charged with positive messages. "Inspire!" began in January 2010 and has created a community of kindred spirits interested in peaceful, insightful messages meant to build us up and brighten our days. Soon we will top 10,000 visitors!

Please feel free to sign up for my Facebook fan page, found on the right-hand panel of this blog, where inspiring messages and probing questions are posted daily.

Let's "Inspire!" the world!

Kindest regards,
Ron Cooper

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Wrap yourself in a cocoon of warmth where loving thoughts reside with tender graces. Create your own peace. Hold to it fast. Always.

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


There is a far worse death than the inevitable one—the death of imagination. Imagination is the source of our dreams, the fount of our hopes, our eternal playmate. May you preserve and pamper this precious natural resource. Long live our imagination!

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, December 13, 2010

Facebook fan page tops 1,000!

Hi Friends,

Thanks to your help, "Inspire!" fan page has topped 1,000. Let's try to make 1,500 by New Year's Day! Each day, I post up to five inspirational quotes—all original work of mine. You'll find the button on the right-hand side of my blog page. Or put this in your browser:

Thanks for helping to create and support the "Inspire!" community!

--Ron Cooper

Hope and joy

It is heartening that we have both joy and hope in our lives. They comfort us and leave us feeling exhiliarated. Cheers to hope and joy!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fortress of love

If you build a fortress, make it a place whose walls do not block affection or deny love.

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The goodness

You are tender in the eyes of your loved ones, precious in their minds, cherished by their hearts. On this every day of Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on the goodness surrounding you. It is the hallmark of a happy and fulfilled life!

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Facebook page!

Hi Friends,

Feel free to visit and click "like" on my new Facebook fan page, "Inspire!" You'll find the button on the right-hand side of this page. Each day, I post up to five inspirational quotes—all original work of mine. I would love to have you as a Facebook friend!

--Ron Cooper

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day heart

Gratitude is the language of a thankful heart. Hearts speak love everlasting. I feel deep gratitude today for my family and friends and send warm wishes and fond thoughts to all of you on this blessed day.

--By Ron Cooper
Thanksgiving Day 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dream, believe, love!

Is your mind free to dream, or imprisoned by your reluctance?

Is your heart open to believe, or stalled by nagging doubts?

Is your soul committed to love, or suffers from fear of rejection?

Free yourself.

Open yourself.

Commit yourself.

To dream, believe, and love!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love's purest delight

Nature’s purest delights are elusive. A flitting bird. A fleeting rainbow. An errant breeze. But love’s purest delight, you my cherished one, are far from elusive. You are near. You are dear. You are mine.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hopeless romantic?

Ever been told you’re a hopeless romantic? No such thing. The romantic soul taps into the deepest interior of the heart, the place where hope has a permanent home. This is a place of quiet, soft caresses and gentle, soulful sighs. It is, above all, a truly hopeful place!

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tender soul

Beauty, a rose, a smile, a caress. All the essence of a tender soul.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Love is the soul of generosity.

(By Ron Cooper)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let love begin

Give voice to the heart and your longing will cease and loving begin.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Keep the vision!

Many projects
Yet undone
Ah, if only
I could complete
Just one
So little time
So much ambition
My biggest task?
Keep the vision!

--By Ron Cooper
(Dedicated to my children)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inner light

Our Inner Light is the goodness, the well being of humankind. It shines brightest when we welcome it, fastening it to our consciousness moment by moment. The Inner Light prevails. Let us recognize it, embrace it, hold it dear. It shines in one and all.

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Do it alone
You miss this:
A shining spirit
To deeply know

Do it together
You find this:
A soulful place
To truly grow

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The rose

The rose brings wonder to all who embrace it, who see in it youthful freshness even when the bloom is gone and the scent is faint. The rose is as much of a symbol as a reality, and strikes deep into the tenderness of the human spirit. The rose is the spirit that loves beauty and the soul that craves perfection.

The rose shall never die.

--By Ron Cooper

Clear choice

We create our own contentment through wise choices--friendships, relationships, career and home life. Our happiness is our choice.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Inner voice

Embrace your inner voice, trustworthy and genuine, intuitive and supportive, honest and warm. A voice worth listening to.

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Loving me

Woe to one who thinks or cares so little for oneself. We must first treat ourselves with gentleness, self-respect and love. From that bounty of goodwill toward self may spring a generosity that will embrace the hearts of others.

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, October 25, 2010

Above all, be kind (a letter to my granddaughter)

Dear Greta,

If you learn to do just one thing well in your life, make it to be kind.

First of all, be kind to everyone, treating all with the same high regard and deepest consideration. One person is no important than another. We each share a fundamental human dignity.

Be especially kind to the poor, weak and discouraged, for these are children of God just as you are. These souls may be invisible to most that hurry by and don’t seem to notice. Treat them with compassion and lift them up.

Be kind to your family, for they hold you in the highest esteem and have taught you the important lessons of life: Kindness, compassion, service, and faith. To family you owe your best to live up to the highest principles and convictions passed down to you.

Finally, be kind to yourself. Balance your high expectations with compassion and humility, and your hard work with rest and solitude. Remember that love brings fullness to a life that would be otherwise be sterile, and that acts of kindness bring happiness to others and purpose to your own life.

Grandpa Ron

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The most fulfilling thing you can do for your tender spirit is to feel the essence of now.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mystery Patient

Dear Mystery Patient,

Thanks for cancelling your appointment at our doctor's office today. I was able to slip in at 9:00 a.m. and get the treatment I needed.

It was busy at the office due to the nasty cold-and-flu season besetting us. Our doctor was completely booked today. If you hadn't canceled, I would have been forced to go to the Immediate Care Center.

It was a simple, thoughtful thing that you did--calling ahead yesterday so that someone else could fill your slot.

One last thing, Mystery Patient: I hope you canceled because you are feeling better....stay well!

Ron Cooper

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hold the moment

Hold the moment
In close embrace
Feel your heart beat
In a soulful place

Be here
Be now

Hold this moment

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Be the light

Be the light
That shines aglow
Be the light
That loves
That knows

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Be lovable...that's great advice. There is a real integrity in the human heart. It is and will always be for its own sake. Lucky we are if we are appreciated and even loved for who we are. But above all, be your own best loving self.

--By Ron Cooper

Friday, October 8, 2010


Energy is finite, potential is infinite.

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, October 3, 2010


It feels good to give.

I like to choose a single word and build a poem or story around it. Today, I asked my waitress to tell me her favorite word. It was "sunshine." Seeing her light up in saying "sunshine" sparked my creativity.

I wrote:

"Sunshine, nature's smile, peeks through the darkened day, lighting up my world. The sun shines if only for a glorious moment. The gathering clouds may swallow up the welcome rays but, determined, the sunshine reappears and defeats the gloom. Welcome, sunshine!"

I gave the waitress the poem as I got up to pay my bill.

It feels good to give.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


There it is. Resplendent in the dawn. It is the beauty of a new day. Accept it. Embrace it. This beauty is yours.

--By Ron Cooper

Friday, September 24, 2010

Imagine that!

Never underestimate the power of the imagination--bathed in innocence, poised for anticipation!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Be a peacemaker

• Be kind: Rewind your love
• Hug thy neighbor!
• Budge from a grudge
• Like, don’t strike
• Love, don’t shove

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soul food

Feed your soul with pearls of wisdom and bathe it in the golden glow of your most intimate insights.

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Loving to laugh

It was any other day at the grocery store--except for a humorous exchange at the check-out lane.

I had just deposited my purchases on the conveyor belt. Then, showing a small act of courtesy, I placed the plastic divider for the customer's order behind me.

"Oh, thank you!" the customer exclaimed.

"Well," I said, teasingly, "I didn't want to pay for your groceries!"

She laughed, and the clerk hooted. He laughed so hard that others took notice, responding appreciatively for the chance to smile. The air was filled with goodwill.

Now, I'm far from being a seasoned comedian. But I do know this about the human heart:

It is joyful.

It is playful.

It is spontaneous.

And it loves to laugh!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Listening, loving

The deepest, most profound act of giving comes through listening with an open mind and loving with a pure heart.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Love's holy ground

Love really is walking that delicate line between possessiveness or neglect. The middle ground is the holy and happy ground in a loving relationship.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Soul space

The world may be cold

The soul is pure

Carve out time for

Create soul space

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, August 30, 2010

Carrying gifts

Be a carrier of hope and happiness, and you will always be a welcome sight!

--By Ron Cooper

Friday, August 27, 2010

Small courtesies

We may be showered with affection, but that's not every day. And while we wait to be held in the limelight, our spirits are refreshed with small courtesies. Small acts of goodwill that keep us humble, keep us human.

--By Ron Cooper

(Friend: You are welcome to visit my Facebook fan page....clickable link on right-hand side of this page)

Monday, August 23, 2010

4 ingredients for a joyful life

1. Exercise to strengthen your body
2. Prayer to exercise your soul
3. Love of self to tenderize your heart
4. Love of others to leave your legacy

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gentle memories





--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Be the Light

Be the Light
That shines aglow

Be the Light
To love and know

Be the Light
To live and grow

--By Ron Cooper

Friends: I publish three original inspiring messages a week on "Inspire!" You can get them by signing up on my Facebook friends page. Just click on the "like" button.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Surround yourself

Surround yourself with loving friends who hold you dear and treat you preciously.

Surround yourself with loving thoughts that infuse your being and guide your soul.

Loving thoughts.

Loving friends.

Nothing is better than that.

==By Ron Cooper

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Only I

If I am calm
I own that calm
And only I
Can exude it.

If I am generous
I own that giving spirit
And only I
Can spread it.

If I am loving
I own that love
And only I
Can share it.

Only I can.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So little, too much

Never think so little of your ambition, or too much of your ego.

--By Ron Cooper

Friday, July 23, 2010


Imagine a world without love.

Imagine a soul without purpose.

Imagine a life without contentment.

Imagine a heart without


Then imagine it with.

--By Ron Cooper

Hunger is not pretty

Hindsight is 20/20 and I realize that I fell short to a homeless man's request for aid.

I was sitting at McDonald's having breakfast, lost in thought to compose a new poem for this blog. A disheveled man approached me suddenly, a wild look in his eyes, and a loud demand emerging from his lips:

"I need money for some food!"

I always help the homeless in their quest for a meal. And here a meal could be had quickly. But the man's tone was off-putting and I found myself on the defensive. Quickly I calculated that I was only willing to give the man two ones, and told him so.

That wasn't enough, the man said. He needed $5 to $10, he said, "so I can choose for myself what to order."

He kept insisting, and I found myself getting irritated. I had come to the restaurant for some peace and quiet and this man, this stranger, was disturbing it! How dare he DEMAND money from me, I thought.

I was perturbed. Reluctantly, I parted with the $2, but instead of thanking me, he glared at me.

Later, it dawned on me:

Hunger is not polite and it's not pretty. Hunger is strident, screaming to be noticed.

I know that now. And I wish that I had given the man enough money for a decent meal.

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, July 18, 2010

8 tips for successful living

To be successful at living:

1. Tap into a positive pool of energy.
2. Love like there's no tomorrow.
3. Make service second nature.
4. Appreciate good health and good company.
5. Revel in your spirit.
6. Laugh.
7. Create peace in your little corner of the world.
8. Forge a legacy.

--By Ron Cooper
Dedicated to the memory of Uncle Kenny Kuhn

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No happier

No happier could I be than to see you enjoying healthy, productive, full lives with a keen and eager eye to the future.

I am proud of you both, your accomplishments, your attitude toward life, and the loving, caring influence you are leaving on the world.

Know that you are always uppermost in my mind and held so dear in my heart.


(Dedicated to my children)

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Today I will celebrate the joys in my life

Today I will celebrate the gifts I can bestow

Today I will celebrate the wonders of my life
This breath
This moment
A smile

Today, supreme in every way because I choose
To celebrate!

--By Ron Cooper
July 3, 2010
(Dedicated to Annie Rosenberg-Sattich)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The restful soul

The restless soul
Needs solace
And finds it
In humility
The soul shall
Rest again

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, June 19, 2010

3 peaceful thoughts

Peace: Simple message, profound importance!

Peace is yours for the seeking, asking, achieving.

Love. Compassion. Peace. Think the big picture. The rest is trivial.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


As inspired
I inspire
As cared for
I care
As loved
I love

--By Ron Cooper
(Dedicated to Donna Bisset)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The world needs this

A hand extended
In kindness

A smile bestowed
In friendship

A heart devoted
To service

By Ron Cooper

(Please leave your comments!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Springtime beauty

Springtime beauty provides us with appreciation, a fresh beginning, new hope, tantalizing the beholder with a generous simplicity!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The power

What power we wield.

The power to be harsh, or gentle.

The power to be critical, or supportive.

The power to be secretive, or sharing.

The power to belittle, or inspire.

The power to be selfish, or love.

How are we using our power?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The triumphant heart

The heart has many moods--sad, lonely, happy, forlorn, exultant.

The heart has many positive attributes--generosity, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, love.

But above all, the heart is resilient. It weathers deep disappointments and embraces exhilarating joys. It is the one constant in our inner lives and outward expressions.

The heart--magical, mystical, triumphant.

Simply nothing like it!

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pure love

Kindness is the truest indicator of a compassionate temperament. Compassion is the purest form of love.--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Peace of mind

Rest your spirit in the healing waters
Feel the concerns lifted from your mind
Go to the place that embraces your spirit
Experience the positive energy of life

By Ron Cooper

(Please leave your thoughts or comments below)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Simple gesture

Today, as I drove down the street a little boy waved at me very happily, asking for nothing but a smile in return. He was the very picture of innocence on a spring day, so welcome to my heart, so awestruck I am still by his simple gesture. Life's greatest pleasures are around the next corner!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Easy things

Many things in life--career, finances, illness--don't come easy.

But some things do--and they're absolutely free to experience!

Like a child's silly giggle--so disarming.

Like nature's glorious sunsets and gentle breezes--so invigorating.

Like a stranger's smile--so unexpected.

Like seeing an old friend after many years--so welcome.

Like embracing the loves in your life--so enthralling.

Kind of makes the other things a little more bearable, doesn't it?

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Smiles are a universal language—and speak volumes to the grateful soul!

--By Ron Cooper

Friday, April 16, 2010


Heart at hand, love in bloom!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A feast

A feast for your eyes.

A bountiful feast.

A veritable feast.

The word "feast" conjures up good hospitality, great food, an abundance of everything pleasing.

Wouldn't it be great if we looked upon each day as a feast?

Every day taking time to indulge in friendships.

Every day savoring our soul and lightening our spirit.

Every day feeling a deep appreciation for life and love.

Ah, every day...a feast!

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Love lifts

Love lifts the soul from the shadows, lightens the burdens of the heart, and infuses us with a richness of being.

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



The time you take to cherish your spirit.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wake up to serve

This morning, someone woke up to serve me—a lesson I learned during the recent wintry weather.

Heading out to McDonald’s to get some breakfast, I was silently cursing that Mother Nature had dumped yet another snowfall in my city. I felt put out, and wanted my coffee. But I didn’t know if I could maneuver my way to the car.

I came across a man with a shovel, bundled up against the brazen wind. He threw himself into the work, cleaning sidewalks and steps to the second-floor unit where I live. Good thing for me, since my boots had a hole in them and tennis shoes just weren’t enough to keep my feet dry.

This was solitary, thankless work. I looked around. The man and I were the only two people in the parking lot on this quiet early morning. I voiced my appreciation for his service. He stopped momentarily, smiled. The smile thawed the frigid air between us.

I got to McDonald’s to find it closed, though it was already slightly after the 6:00 a.m. opening time. Inside, I spotted employees busily mopping the floors. Nearly frozen by the chilly wind, I knocked on the door, irritated that I was barred from the warmth inside.

Just then, the manager rushed to the door to let me in.

“We got flooded late last night and I spent overnight getting it cleaned up,” he said. I felt guilty for feeling so selfish. The man personally served up my coffee, with a smile. I came back for a refill, and he was right there with a cheery disposition and friendly banter.

I learned a lot from my experiences on that wintry day. Many people who may seem to blend in with the landscape of my day get up every morning with me in mind. These are people in the service industry who get little credit, little notice.

To the restaurant manager and the man with the shovel:

Thanks, guys. You made my day, week, year.

Tomorrow morning, who will I wake up to serve?

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Favor me

Dearest, favor me
With a smile
And tell me
It's all OK now

I'm there for you
I support you
I love you
I cherish you

--By Ron Cooper
(Dedicated to my wife)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For your beloved

Love's highest ambition and most cherished hope is to make a breathtaking change in the life of the beloved.

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, March 25, 2010

True character

Compassion reflects the character of the soul and is the truest expression of greatness.

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I can say
I’m not free
Of worry
Of regret
Of pain


I can say
I am free
To praise
To hope
To love

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, March 20, 2010

An ocean of love

Imagine a thimble.

Now put your disappointments there. These may loom large in your mind, but still fail to fill this tiny space.

Imagine an ocean.

Fill it with all the acts of love that have been expressed toward you. These are bountiful and flow over this vast space.

It is entirely human to feel let down. But keep things in perspective. Someone somewhere is sending you loving thoughts right now.

These thoughts are vast, endless.

Like the ocean.

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A sister admired

I don’t have to travel far to find someone whom I greatly admire.

This good-hearted person is the fount of compassion and kindness, one who would give someone the shirt off her back or the car that she drives.

My sister Cindy actually did give away her family van (a second car) to a young man who was struggling financially and needed transportation to get to his job.

That’s just one of the generous acts that has caught my eye and softened my heart.

She also helps countless families with food and clothing donations. During the Christmas holidays, she and her family of daughters and grandkids pile in the car for a giving extravaganza.

Over the years, many homeless people have benefited from a pair of gloves, a hot meal and more as Cindy and her clan make stops along their goodwill route.

She and her therapy dog Pax make regular trips to a local nursing home. Residents get the chance to pet him and recount stories of raising and loving dogs in their earlier years.

There are many, many other acts of generosity that have poured forth from the heart of this remarkable sibling of mine.

Suffice it to say: She is my hero, a servant leader whose positive example reverberates throughout our family and the wider community.

Sis, I’m very proud of you, and admire your good and great soul!

Your brother Ron Cooper

Monday, March 15, 2010

A perfect ending

As the day closes, we all take stock. And some days, our internal tape recorders play back negative things.

“I accomplished nothing today.” “He gave me grief.” “She hurt my feelings.”

But I have a friend who closes her day in a perfectly serene way—with simple gratitude.

Here’s what she wrote recently:

“Every day I see or hear something that inspires me to be a better person. Today, it was a friend who took time to share and encourage, a woman who showed incredible grace and dignity in the face of disappointment, and a stranger whose actions said ‘I am indeed my brother's keeper.’”




What are you thinking about tonight?

--By Ron Cooper

(Your comments are welcome!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breathe the quiet

Breathe the quiet
Fill your soul
Open your heart

Calm infuses you
Peace enriches you
Solitude embraces you

Breathe the quiet

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A sacred space

Every place
A sacred space
To welcome hearts
And gentle souls

Every place
A sacred space
To seek and find
Our lofty goals


--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Softened gaze

Softened gaze
Sees the world
A blessed place
To live
To love
To forgive

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Give yourself to the morning

Morning time
Time to trust
My insights
Time to embrace
My solitude
Time to explore
My glorious

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, March 8, 2010

The healing shall come

Losing heart is an all too human experience. But so is restoring it.

Much in the same way as losing heart, we also lose hope. But we regain that as well.

Or we lose trust, and then seek to renew it.

These are predictable cycles. Living these realities will make us more, well, human. These experiences make our spirits stronger. We learn that while things may get worse, they are bound to get better.

We learn that we can:

1. Reclaim our positive outlook
2. Renew our commitments
3. Re-energize our spirit

Losing heart, hope or trust happens to us all. But these things are momentary. Be patient. A brighter day nears.

The healing will begin soon.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, March 6, 2010


We are disappointed sometimes. Discouraged sometimes. Feel let down sometimes. The biggest mistake is to dwell on it. Just move on, distancing yourself from the experience. If you're going to dwell on something, let it be the rebirth of optimism.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As if

I live my life as if I'll live forever and a day. For a while it works, this way of looking at things, until illness or sorrow strikes me down. Ups and downs. I've learned these are all part of life, and I live it as if I were simply human.

--By Ron Cooper

The best morning

Chaos may reign
Over fragile lives
But the best morning
Returns the quiet

The best morning
Fills the spirit
With peaceful reflection

The best morning
Holds the heart
In a strong embrace

Welcome to your
Best morning

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Grappling with life's thorny problems, we should remember a simple truth: We humans are vulnerable to hurt, disappointment and worry.

But here's another truth for you:

We're also worthy of love!

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, February 28, 2010

There is one

There is one who revels in the warmth of your smile. And finds your laughter infectious.

There is one who discovers insights in your musings. And meaning and purpose in your spirit.

There is one.

For you.

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, February 27, 2010

God's good grace

Lasting memories of a good friend gone fill my heart. Now and always. I am assured his legacy will touch our lives for many years ahead. Loss leaves a void. But sorrow is one breath away from hope restored by God's good grace.

--By Ron Cooper

Joy is.....

Joy is the certainty that someone loves you. Loving is life's greatest pleasure--a soul-enriching experience!

--By Ron Cooper

Oops, forgot someone!

“A lot of people love you, Greta,” I announced to my toddler granddaughter one sunny day at the park a few years back. Then I started counting. Before long, what with parents, grandparents, other relatives and teachers, I had reached the grand sum of 38!

I felt a little smug.

But throughout it all, Greta was pensive. Finally, she looked at me earnestly and said: “You forgot God.”

Make that 39!

--By Ron Cooper

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Comfort springs alive from the kind words of concerned friends.

--By Ron Cooper

The few

Many know you, but who knows your heart? If you can say you share your heart with but a few, you possess great fortune. It is the few who make us happy.

--By Ron Cooper


Gifts bestowed
By God
Gifts reaped
For man
More blessings

--By Ron Cooper

Good morning, serenity

Good morning, serenity
You soothe me
You are welcome today

Good morning, peace
You calm me
You are welcome today

Good morning, spirit
You guide me
You nurture me
You embrace me

You are welcome today
And every day

--By Ron Cooper

(Your comments are welcome!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tribute to my Dad

Hard to believe
Been almost a year
Since you left

A year of pain
And longing
When memories
Tug at our hearts
And leave us
And reflective

Hard to believe
You’re gone, Dad
But you know
We still hold
Something dear:

Your loving spirit

--Your loving son Ron

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Uplifting advice

1. Look ahead, not behind. Too many regrets will suffocate your future.
2. Stay rooted in love, laughter and work worthy of your time and talent.
3. Embrace your dreams. Make them a constant in your life.

--By Ron Cooper
(Written for my children)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How many miles?

In 45 years behind the wheel, I’ll bet that I’ve racked up a staggering 540,000 miles—based on the U.S. national average of 12,000 miles a year.

That’s the equivalent of going 21.6 times around the earth!

“Wow, what an accomplishment!” I first thought. I even started to feel a little cocky.

But then I started to wonder. How many of those miles went:

  • To visit the sick?
  • To feed the hungry?
  • To cheer up someone feeling down?
  • To run a chore for a shut-in?

How many were devoted:

  • To community service?
  • To the cause of peace?
  • To promote racial harmony?
  • To work for equality?

I’m not bragging any more because, well, I have no ready answers.

How about you?

--By Ron Cooper

Friday, February 19, 2010


Dear Greta,

We do not succeed alone. It takes the blessed assistance of those who care most about us and our contentment. When you succeed, take a bow for yourself—and all who unselfishly helped you to attain your moment in the spotlight!

--G'pa Ron

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kindness is three inches toward the middle

I made my weekly stop to pick up mail from the post office box during icy weather. Patrons were tramping in melting snow as they entered the building.

A man exiting through the breezeway let out a yelp. His foot caught a haphazardly placed “Caution: Wet Floor” sign. He nearly tumbled to the ground, but luckily he caught himself in time.

I was alone in the breezeway. Carefully I put the sign halfway between the two doors, moving it just three inches toward the middle of the cramped space.

Then I thought, “Kindness is three inches toward the middle.”

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ambitions held dear

Be kind to your ambitions and treat them as everlasting companions.

--By Ron Cooper

At peace

Count these moments
Too precious
Too few

At peace
At last

--Ron Cooper

(Please leave your comments!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spirit rises

The Spirit rises
On feet of gold
To glittering heights
Where none grow old

--By Ron Cooper

Prayer for laughter

May I spend my days soaring on the wings of a smile. Feeling well by laughing often. Laughter is healing, and smiling softens the hard edges of life.

--By Ron Cooper

(Please feel free to leave your comments!)

Healing prayer


You know that stress inflicts a heavy toll on our minds, bodies and spirits. You know that it sucks the vitality out of our being and leaves us dead inside. In times like these, we feel hurt, exhausted and abandoned.

But we do have a friend in you, Lord. We turn to you to heal us with your Divine love. With you as our heavenly partner, we can overcome any obstacle, face any challenge. We have the confidence of a better day, a day when the gray gloom will be lifted and we can again smile into the fresh sunshine.

Thank you for healing us, Lord!

--By Ron Cooper

Your lucky number: 1

Your lucky number is 1

1 who adores you, though you are far from perfect
1 who trusts you, though your judgment may be flawed
1 who knows the real you, yet accepts you wholly
1 who never gives up on you, despite the obstacles
1 who feels your pain and shares your triumph
1 who sees your goodness and downplays your faults

For me, love
That one is you
You are the one
Who owns my heart

--By Ron Cooper
Dedicated to my lovely wife Tanya
Valentine’s Day
Feb. 14, 10

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love for an angry young man

A young man visited our church. Afterward, during introductions, he did not give his name, but only said quietly, “I have a problem with anger.”

No one judged him. A church member reached over and touched his arm reassuringly and everything became still.

No one spoke, but you could feel the love in the room for this young man. I don’t know what became of the young man, for he never returned to our church.

But of this I am certain: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

--By Ron Cooper

The Parking Permit

A friend of mine who contracted cancer told this story of inspiration and kindness:

"A lady in my office has a "red" parking tag right by the front door (red tag spaces at our university are reserved spaces, and cost over a couple of hundred dollars). I have a "blue" tag, which means you end up walking a long way from the parking lot to your office.

"Chemo left me feeling exhausted. When I started back to work on a very limited basis, my friend insisted I take her "red" tag and park near the front door. She took my "blue" tag, and said she didn't mind in the least.

"This was during a particularly snowy, icy period--I felt SO guilty that she was walking from so far away to get to our building! But during those two weeks I used her tag, she never once complained.

"I managed to get a temporary handicapped parking tag that runs through the end of April, so am now close to my building. I gave the red tag back to her with many thanks.

"Unbelievably sad news: this week my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Talk about bad things happening to good people.

"Please hold my friend in the light. She is one of God's own angels. She is certainly one of mine."

--By Ron Cooper

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scatter these throughts throughout your day (4)

• Hug, don’t hit
• Build harmony at the office
• Don’t hate, cooperate
• Preach tolerance
• Hate poisons the soul
• Love embraces your life
• Don’t berate, collaborate

--By Ron Cooper

Prayer for patience (and more)

I pray for patience. Patience to move at a reasonable pace. Patience to slow down when I need to.

I pray for understanding. Understanding my limitations as all too human. Understanding I cannot do it all today.

I pray for love. Love of even my own imperfections. Love when I fall short of my unreasonable expectations.

I pray for patience, understanding, and love.

--By Ron Cooper

(Please leave your comments on this prayer...thanks!)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Five lessons I learned from Mom

1. The spirit is never suppressed.
2. Humor lightens hardship.
3. Prayer is the fountain of hope.
4. Song praises the soul.
5. Family is forever.

(Note: Mom, who suffered from Alzheimer's for more than 12 years, passed away in October 2009)

--By her loving son
Ron Cooper

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friendships are supreme!

Dear Greta,

A sign I saw recently said: Autumn, a time to harvest friendships.

I have noticed that you and your Mom are quite a bit alike when it comes to making friends. Each of you has a world of friends. This is indeed a good thing. In fact, your willingness to make friends says more about your character and wise choices in life than practically anything else in this world. Many of your friends will likely be your friends forever.

Throughout your life, develop friendships. Friends will help you through difficult times without judging you.

A good definition of a friend that I have read: They see right through you, but still like the view!

Grandpa Ron

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An admirable thing

I love you, dear wife, which is so true. But I admire you, too. Playing music for seniors in mirthless nursing homes is your contribution to a generation bowed by old age and slowed by infirmities. It is one little spark of light, your music-making, that goes a long way to brighten the lives of these forgotten people.

And I admire you for it.


A lasting hope

Hardship exacts
A woeful toll
Upon our tender

But quiet patience
Brings rewards
More lasting:

By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My loving in-laws

Dear Jimmy and Loretta,

I am so grateful to be embraced by you and the extended family. The loss of my parents last year has made me realize ever more that family is the center of my life.

The comforting and calm presence of family gets you through the rough spots and makes the happy times even more precious.

Family is a safe harbor in a chaotic world. We help each other to weather the storm.

So in some small way, let me say thanks for being there during these times—good and bad.

It is one thing to love your wife. But when you can say that you love her parents and the rest of her family, you are (I am) indeed a lucky man.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

A sip

I witnessed a hit-and-run accident and stopped to help. One of the drivers, a pregnant woman in her 30s, stood outside her car. The car’s front bumper was slightly scraped and dented. The woman was dazed, but unhurt.

She kept asking should she drive home, or stay. I told her to hang on just a bit. The police would arrive soon to take her statement. I spoke gently to her and she seemed to be reassured.

I noticed her face had started to flush under the hot afternoon sun. Spotting a store nearby, I ran over and bought a bottle of water and gave it to the woman.

I kept asking if she needed medical attention, and she said no. I encouraged her to take a sip of the water. It would do her some good, I said.

With all of the excitement, she never did take a sip. But she clutched the bottle tightly and seemed comforted holding it.

--By Ron Cooper

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Glad heart

Blessed is he
With a glad heart
So thankful for
The smallest things

Blessed is she
With an open heart
To fully experience
The simple joys

Blessed are we
With gracious wonder
To really appreciate
Life's very best

--Ron Cooper
Dedicated to George

Scatter these thoughts throughout your day ! (2)

Be part of mankind—
Be kind to man!

Quiet your mind
Relish your soul

Hatred: Love gone astray
Love: Hatred in disarray

Be purposeful
Be peaceful

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A mother's good example

My daughter Wendy learned through a co-worker of two young boys who are suffering a terrible brain disease and need money for medical care. She never met the boys, but was moved by their plight and obvious need for financial support.

She and a co-worker organized a bake sale. They asked everyone to bring in baked goods, set up tables, collected the money, and made sure the family got the $500 that was raised.

Then she told her daughter Greta the story of the boys, and how she had played a part in organizing the fund raising. This lesson of compassion by her mother will leave a lasting, positive mark on Greta!

By a proud father
Ron Cooper

My son's good example

I witnessed my son’s spontaneous generosity.

Jake and I were moving things from his old apartment when we met his next-door neighbor, a delightful 90-year-old woman from Colombia.

She spoke no English, but we managed to learn she is a nature-lover. She made admiring comments about Jake’s bird feeder. He had planned to take it to his new house.

But without hesitating he made it a gift to the woman, placing it where she could see the birds without leaving her living room.

Jake planted a little bit of good will that day, and a new friendship took flight!

--By a proud father
Ron Cooper

Monday, January 25, 2010

Scatter these thoughts throughout your day!

Encourage the goodness in someone, and you will be repaid with a hospitable heart.

Caring counts!

Eliminate the madness

Accentuate the gladness

Labels divide us

Harmony unifies us

--By Ron Cooper

Kindness on the road

Stopped at a red light, I looked with concern at the motorist in front of me. She had a dangerously low passenger tire on the right side. But just then, the light changed and she started to speed away.

I, too, sped up and began following her. I couldn’t get out of my head the possibility she might crash her car—when it could be avoided. At the next light, I pulled up next to her, tooting the horn. She rolled down the window and I told her about the tire. She really appreciated that.

We all share the road. Drivers can at times exasperate us and even make us curse. But we should help them in any way that we can. It’s the right thing, the kind thing, to do.

By Ron Cooper

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Friendly Greeter

Wal-Mart may be best known for its greeters, but my favorite greeter is at my neighborhood grocery store. He's there, with a big hearty welcome, to greet me. He even has a bask cart ready and waiting and has already wiped it clean with disinfectant.

On my way out, he always says, "Have a nice day, Sir!" And he means it! Not just empty words, but heartfelt sentiments.

Kindness is contagious, and this man with a genial disposition and broad smile is spreading it well!

By Ron Cooper

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Dear Greta,

You are beginning to realize that the true joys of life come through discovery. As you learn this important lesson, consider these useful signposts to serve as your guide.

Discover your joys: These are uniquely yours born of the happy nature that lies within your soul. Your joys will brighten each precious moment you dare to open yourself up to experience.

What are your joys?

Discover your strengths: These are uniquely yours welling up from your determined spirit. Your strengths will carry you through tough and uncertain days, and help another as he or she struggles.

What are your strengths?

Discover your ambitions: These are uniquely yours coming from a yearning to be fulfilled beyond measure. Your ambitions will be hard-earned and earnest and be your closest confidants.

What are your ambitions?

Remember as you seek to find your way, a delight in discovery will spur you forward to the next challenge, the next fulfillment, the next wonderful experience.

Revel in your discovery!

--By Grandpa Ron Cooper
January 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh, Haiti!

Oh, Haiti!
How you suffer
We, too, suffer

Oh, Haiti!
How you grieve
We, too, grieve

Oh, Haiti!
How you plead
We answer you

We your brothers
And sisters
Hear your cries
We are one with you

We send help
We send love

Oh, Haiti!
We hold you dear
In your darkest hour

We your brothers
And sisters
Will not abandon you
We want you whole

Oh, Haiti!
How you will recover
How you will rebuild
How you will rejoice

--By Ron Cooper

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Life in the slow lane

Life moves along in the slow lane at Mom’s nursing home—sometimes too slow for an impatient Baby Boomer such as me.

On a brilliantly sunny day two summers ago, I was taking Mom outdoors. I was most anxious to get her outside the stuffy locked facility where she and her fellow Alzheimer’s residents spent their days into the broad embrace of Mother Nature.

But the hallway near the chapel narrows. And on this day it was blocked by a slow-moving resident with a ball cap perched on his head. He was propelling his wheelchair as quickly as he could, but not fast enough for me.

“Excuse me, Sir, could we get around you?” I inquired, nudging up close and getting ready to pass. I was polite on the outside, but inside I thought: “Come on, old man, move it along!”

“Of course,” the man seemed to say, craning his head sideways to get a glimpse of me, a slight smile resting on his lips. At that moment I looked down at the floor and discovered to my shock:

The man had only one leg. His right foot literally danced over the carpet, pulling him ahead inch by determined inch. The half-trouser on his left leg was pinned neatly and rested on the wheelchair seat.

Mom, asleep, did not notice my shame. We carefully manoeuvred around the man at the place near the chapel where the hallway widens.

A few weeks later at noontime, I spotted this man again. Half his face was covered by an eye patch. Presumably he had had some surgery. But his eyesight was good enough for him to ease forward. His right foot set the pace for a slow, yet purposeful journey, tapping on the carpeted hallway as if it were tapping to a tune.

He wheeled past the small placard placed on a table in front of the chapel. It read, “God’s eternal peace to our dear residents” with the four residents who had passed on the previous month: Mary Ann on the 5th, Doris on the 25th, Mary on the 27th and Louise on the 30th.

He didn’t look up at any one or anything, such was his single-mindedness to join his companions at lunch, escaping his own sober thoughts for a thin slice of time.

By Ron Cooper

Spreading kindness--you can, too!

Four college kids set out in their Winnebago to fulfill their dream--do 100 things before they die. For each dream realized, they helped another person fulfill theirs. It's heartwarming.

Click below for the brief MSNBC report:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Musical imagination

Just came across this awe-inspiring composer....see this video, it will open up your heart and mind!


Saturday, January 9, 2010


Stroke your innocence
Nurture your imagination
Embrace your magic

By Ron Cooper

Leader of your own soul

Dear Greta,

In your life there will be moments when you can grasp the reins of leadership. But in all moments, be the leader of your own soul.

If you forget all else, at least remember this about how to conduct your life:

• Be humble
• Be kind
• Be unique
• Be wise

--Written by G’pa Ron and dedicated to my granddaughter
December 25, 2009

Thursday, January 7, 2010

You will remember

To my granddaughter Greta,

It won’t seem possible now, but soon your years will start to fly by. What will you remember then?

You will remember how your family deeply loves you, and how your arrival in the world filled a void too vast to comprehend.

You will remember the warm embraces of your childhood, and how those closest to you will always hold you dear.

You will remember how proud we all are of you, and how we cherish your generous spirit and loving heart.

You will remember—and so shall we!

--By Ron Cooper

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Today, in America!

Today, I see my friend as he lay dying. It is the malaria again. I see it every day in the rainy season. It is hard to lose a friend, but that is life here in our Africa.

Tomorrow, I pray we will all be strong enough to go to America. In America, we will be well and have those to nurse us to good health.

Today I see my friend with only a handful of rice to eat. I have twice as much and feel fortunate. I share with him, and he smiles. I pray that we will all be strong enough to go to America. In America, there is more than enough to eat. In America, no one goes hungry.

Tomorrow, I pray that we will be in America, the land of plenty.

Today, I see my friend beaten by thieves. They demand his money. He has no money, but they do not believe him. He cries out and I want to help him. I carry no weapons, only a Bible. I pray that they stop beating him.

America is a safe place with laws to protect my people. Tomorrow, I pray that we all will be in America.

Today, in Africa, land of my birth, I find sickness, death, hunger and brutality. But as surely as the sun rises each day, I find cause for hope. That hope, praise God, is America—a land with a caring people who open their hearts to receive us in happiness and friendship.

Today, praise God, I am in America. I have new friends who, like me, are children of God. They, like me, see God in everyone. They are our new brothers and sisters.

We have come a long way—poor, tired travelers looking for a new home. We find it here with you. Thank you, my friends, and God bless you and bless our America.

(Inspired by new friends moving to my community from war-torn Burundi in Africa).

--By Ron Cooper

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Ear drops low
Lips raise up
Whisper issues
So weak
So earnest
To be noticed
To be revered
As the soul’s
Own expression

--By Ron Cooper


For to give back love
Lost to him gone astray

For to give back tenderness
Lest we lose our way

Forgive now and often
For human beings will fail
But spiritual beings
Will triumph and prevail

--By Ron Cooper


If you want to be feared
If you want to be powerful
But if you want to be admired

--By Ron Cooper

Start anew

Dear Lord,

Guide me on my daily quest
Give me peace, give me rest
Give me purpose in this life
Take away stress and strife
Most of all I do pray
Give your blessing
To this glorious day!

--By Ron Cooper

(Friends: Please leave your comments!)

Breakfast ministry

For the past year I’ve gone to a restaurant where I eat bacon and eggs and teach English to Maria on placemats. We started with simple words and phrases and graduated to talking about the pluses and minuses of signing up for her employer’s health insurance plan.

This is my breakfast ministry.

When you least expect it, God puts you in a position to help one of His children. I majored in Spanish for one year in college and used it daily when I worked with Mexican-Americans as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) in the 1960s in Nebraska. My Spanish got rusty—until Maria entered my life.

She’s about 35, has a young daughter and a husband, all of them from Mexico trying to carve out a life in Southern Indiana. She busses tables at the restaurant, and her English is elementary.

Teaching Maria has become part of my early-morning routine. I did not expect others at the restaurant to take note, but Fay the cashier did and my breakfast ministry doubled.

Fay was fond of Maria and wanted to speak with her in her native tongue. So I began to teach her Spanish. I taught her the word for “pretty” (bonita) so she could pay a compliment to Maria. I also told her how to say goodbye, hello and see you later. Fay was tickled to death. I’m pleased, too.

I didn’t dream I’d be ministering to someone in this way. But you never know when God will call you. Just be ready. It could come between your first and second cups of coffee!

--By Ron Cooper

Frost on a tree

Frost on a tree
Clothing branches in glistening white
The chill in the air disappears
Leaving your purpose in doubt
But you will return again
To lighten the gray landscape

--By Ron Cooper


A cloud I see passes over me
Its fluffiness fills the sky
In sunny splendor, this tender
Heavenly form floats by
Nature’s glory unmasked

--By Ron Cooper

The plate

The plate makes its rounds as hungry hands watch for their chance. As the plate passes, the hands try to snare it long enough to claim a tasty morsel. The hands reach to take the whole plate, but accusing eyes stop them short. The reward is but a share. But still the hungry hands try to outwit the eyes, moving at lightning speed to have, to hoard, to still the gnawing pangs.

--By Ron Cooper

Let our lives speak

Let our hands touch
Touch the weary
Touch the distressed
Touch supreme

Let our eyes see
See the poor
See the hungry
See goodness

Let our feet walk
Walk from anger
Walk into wonder
Walk heavenward

Let our lives speak
Speak the goodness
Speak the kindness
Speak divine-ness

--By Ron Cooper

4 ingredients for a joyful life

1. Exercise to strengthen your body
2. Prayer to exercise your soul
3. Love of self to tenderize your heart
4. Love of others to leave your legacy

--By Ron Cooper


Eyes shut tight
Traces of divinity
Speaking jewels
Of insight
Giving selves
To One
Glorious moments
Purposeful paths
Peaceful wisdom
Eyes wide open
Unseen wonders

--By Ron Cooper


These steps have carried
The feet of pain
The burdens of sorrow
The ache of grief
These steps have carried
The brightness of spirit
The soaring souls
The good and great times
To the heights

--By Ron Cooper
Dedicated to Andrew and Doris Best


Your eyes
Speak your wisdom
Your voice
Strong with advice
You hold the hand
Of the frightened
Pat the back
Of the anxious
Provide clear purpose
To the troubled soul

Or you can die
With the fullness
Of your life
And its uniqueness
Never to be spoken
Trapped inside
Never to be shared
Always intending
To voice its tenderness
Yet afraid of bracing
For the intensity
Of the intimacy

Leave your legacy

--By Ron Cooper

Old man and a chair

Every morning at my restaurant hangout, a feeble old man shows up with his walker. Every morning, he takes little baby steps on his way to a table. Lately, I’ve noticed the man slowing down. He gets halfway to his goal when the sudden weight of his weariness overtakes him. He teeters and looks like he will fall.

But the waitresses have their eye on him. After he makes one little misstep, they are at his side with a chair. They coax him into it, and he just sits there. There he sits, a slight, drooping figure with a faint smile of gratitude on his face. Waiting in the middle of a busy restaurant. Waiting for his gathering strength to return. When it does, he’s on his way again.

The waitresses watch his progress, whispering among themselves whether they should bring out the chair again.

After watching this occur many times, I can only conclude: One small act of compassion equals one big act of love.

--By Ron Cooper

Confident, not self-important

Dear Lord,

Let me be confident
But keep me from self-importance
Let me be assertive
But avoid being hurtful or overbearing
Let me take pride in my accomplishments
But keep me from gloating
Let me know that positive self-esteem
Is essential to happiness
And true happiness
Is recognizing the Divine in all of us.

--By Ron Cooper

Note: Please give some feedback in the comment form below...Thanks!


Are the best things in life really free?
The answer is a triumphant ‘yes’ when we are:

• Free of hate
• Free of violence
• Free of prejudice
• Free of inequality
• Free of injustice

Then—and only then—will we be:

• Free to care
• Free to share
• Free to love

By Ron Cooper
Dedicated to Greta

Prayer for the Workplace

Dear Lord,

May I treat all of my co-workers with the respect due to all of your children
May I be an instrument of your kindness and generosity to all who pass through these doors
May I be patient with those who are having a bad day
May I use humor to defuse tense situations
May I avoid gossip, for it robs me of compassion and understanding
May I exercise patience, especially when deadlines loom and stress reigns supreme
In this place of work, may I conduct myself in a way that will bring glory to You always! This I pray,


--By Ron Cooper
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