Thursday, August 25, 2011


In the past, today's date, August 26th, has had some very momentous occurrences that affected millions of people over the course of many years. In 1934, Adolf Hitler demanded France turn over their Saar region to Germany, just one of many actions setting the wheels in motion leading to WWII.  In 1944, after years of occupation, war and deprivations for his country and fellow citizens, DeGaulle was finally able to enter a free Paris, the day after it had been liberated.  In 1945, the Japanese were given surrender instructions on the U.S. battleship Missouri at the end of World War II.   Two decades later, in 1961, all crossing points into East Germany were formally closed from West Berlin citizens, following the culmination of the construction of the Berlin Wall, which had begun a couple of weeks earlier.  For the next 29 years, the Berlin Wall would divide not only a country and it's citizens, but also families. It would also lead to countless attempts at escape, close calls and numerous deaths.

Just think, none of this would have been necessary, if a few men in leadership had had positive childhoods in which they were able to fully internalize being a good useful citizen that learned to do good and to look out for his countrymen, instead of being responsible for the deaths of millions.  If only, they had embraced the lesson "plays well with others".  We may not always know what happens in the future to the lives of people whose lives we have touched.  But if we vow to make a positive difference in the lives of others, we can give up our worries and know we did our best.  

Children need parents, teachers, and adults that truly care about them.  They need positive reinforcement, nurturing, dreams, and goals.  We need to stop being a divided country and realize that all children deserve a good education and a starting foundation.  Because the world does not need any more Hitlers or Stalins.  Instead of worrying about who's red and who's blue, we need government leaders that "play well with others".  We ourselves need to "play well with others". And then maybe, just maybe, we can concentrate on the real business of living with inspiration. Just think what we could accomplish when we're not concentrating on what divides us. The possibilities are endless!            Elaine Bellamy

You Can Also Find Me On Facebook

My Inspired To Survive blog came to blog land much later than my other 2 blogs. I started Inspired on Facebook originally. I wanted to make it easy to find and join, so it has a very relaxed privacy, in case you'd rather to follow me there. At this time, there is more content on my Facebook page than this blog. I wasn't even going to do it as a blog, but sometime along the way I decided to go ahead and do it as a blog too, partially because, the fact is, not everyone does Facebook. Having 3 blogs gives me a way to organize my writing better. The Kid in My Heart is for my Family Relations & Child Development self. Children and families have been on my mind since before I went to high school. As a matter of fact, I knew by the age of 6 or 7 that I wanted to do something with children and families. I just didn't know the name of it until I was in the 7th grade, when I found out they called it Social Work. Although I am now retired from Social Work, let me tell you, I will probably never stop being a Social Worker. I just don't get paid for it anymore. All my Social Work these days is purely volunteer, mainly at the church we attend. I help with 2 different programs, a children's after-school ministry and a senior adult ministry. Over time, I want Kid in My Heart to cover all the bases in families and children. I just haven't finished establishing what all those bases are yet.

The Red Dirt Cowgirl Drives Again is to help me sort out the numerous experiences I've had in travel, food, and junk reclamation. Plus, I have an inner Home Economist that needs letting out on occasion. You see, Family Relations & Child Development happened to be in the College of Home Economics. I knew I wasn't cut out to be a cooking and sewing home ec teacher, but I do like cooking and sewing...sometimes. The reason I got interested in junk in the first place was because of home ec., but more on that later.  However, if you read Red Dirt Cowgirl today, you'll see that right now I've only focused on the travel and food. I only started it earlier this summer and haven't even started photographing any junk. I've been mainly thinking about road trips and food. Well, it is summer you know. Eventually, I'm going to finally get around to talking about junk, showing pictures of reclaimed get the idea.

Inspired To Survive is an idea that I probably started doing rough drafts and outlines as a book, as far back as 1998 or 99. My first notes were along the lines of writing it to encourage people to survive working in child welfare, which is where I worked for over 18 years of my professional life. At one point, I had even started pitching an idea to a woman who worked for the Child Welfare League of America, when I had the opportunity to go to a conference in Washington, D.C.  However, I came home from that conference to a hornet's nest of trouble. One of our sons had a friend that committed suicide and it seemed like for a long time, we were just trying to stay inspired to survive within our own household. When you're raising 3 kids, in addition to being responsible for supervising multiple employees and about 75 court cases with probably 100 children, you have a tendency to get distracted. Or, at least I did. Later on, I thought about expanding the concept to include professionals from other walks of life, such as teaching.  But, finally it came to me, people from all walks of life can use a little more encouragement and inspiration.

What inspired me to start Inspired To Survive on Facebook was due to some of the extreme negativity I encountered on Facebook. Now, don't get me wrong...there are a lot of things I like about Facebook. I just don't like the posts that some people are hung up on posting.  I can only take so much of "my headache is so bad this morning", "I wish I could feel better", "my job is driving me nuts". You get the idea. I also do not want to know every time you decide to fix Hamburger Helper for supper. I decided that Facebook needed some inspiration. Unfortunately, it's been a slow drive to nowhere. But, I'm not giving up and going away because I am truly inspired to survive and continue my message. I refuse to believe that no one wants to be inspired to make it in this crazy world, because I believe there are people that are searching for hope.

So, if you could use a little bit of uplifting in your life, I would appreciate if you would become a follower and also give feedback. I'd appreciate it if you would visit Kid in My Heart and Red Dirt Cowgirl Drives Again. There are links at the bottom of each home page or you can go to my profile which lists all of them.

All that is why I write what I do. I also write for the "exercise and discipline" of writing. And if you don't need inspiration to survive, maybe you have a friend that does. Tell them. Please. 

Monday, August 22, 2011


If there could be a theme song for inspiration, perhaps it would be the rock song by the group, Journey. Yes folks, I'm talking about "Don't Stop Believing". We've heard it on the radio, the whole song, bits and pieces on various TV shows and movies, here and there wherever we go. Its message of not giving up and catchy tune have led to it being the most downloaded song ever in the 20th century. When asked what they thought about being the most downloaded song, Jonathon Cain, one of the writers and group members said, "We did something right in the studio, we did something right when we wrote the song, we hit a chord."

It began with a germ of an idea of the keyboard player, Jonathon Cain. He said he was starving before he joined Journey, living in totally hard times, not knowing where his next pay-check was coming from. He was borrowing money from his father, who wouldn't let him come back home to Chicago. His father would always tell him to "stay there, something good is going to happen, don't stop believing". (I believe Cain may have been living in San Francisco at this time.)

Jonathon sat down one afternoon with a catchy chorus based on his father's advice, along with Neil Schon, the group's guitarist and Steve Perry, Journey's then lead singer and that same afternoon they had come up with what would become the rock and roll classic, "Don't Stop Believing". The rest is as they say, history. In 1981 when the song was released, it barely broke into the top ten. However, it's surpassed anything else on the billboard list with it that year.

Several times since, the band has broken up, going into hiatus or hibernation, which is usually a death knoll song for your group. But, thanks to this song the journey was not over for Journey. The group has gone through a variety of incarnations, one of the most interesting their current one. Since 2007, the band's lead singer has been Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, who became homeless after his mother's death. Arnel was discovered through YouTube, and replaced retired lead singer, Steve Perry. Arnel feels like the theme of "Don't Stop Believing" became his mantra to succeed. He has used his success with the band to give back to the underprivileged youth of his home country and formed a foundation to help with their health care, education, and advocacy.

So the next time you hear this song, you'll know the story behind it. The next time you want to give up, whether you've been encouraged or not - think of Jonathon Cain, who could have hitchhiked back to Chicago instead of writing what would become the most downloaded song or Arnel Pineda, who could have remained homeless instead of posting a video on YouTube that lead to success as a lead singer in a band. Our lives are filled with examples all around us of people who never gave up. Live the life God created you for. Don't give up. Don't stop believing there is something better for you.