WRITINGS

I have always enjoyed writing. My reflections on life continue to be expressed through essays, short stories, and poems. I have written three books, but none have been submitted to be published. In 1966 I was finishing my fourth year as a school psychologist and I had already spent eight years as a social worker and a junior-high and high-school teacher. I wrote “Teaching Is a Part Time Job,” a very critical look at our public education.

In the early 1970s I wrote an autobiography which featured my growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan called “The Great ‘Pushy’ Fight.”

For ten years starting in the late 1970s I wrote a book called “Welcome to My Mind.” Here are several excerpts of my musings about life—funny, poignant, philosophical.

WELCOME TO MY MIND Essays - Poems - Quotes By Howard Wexler

WHO YOU ARE

To be gentle is to be strong and powerful.
To be brave is to be fearful and afraid.
To be a man is to be a woman and a child.
To be grateful is to give.
To be respectful is to earn respect.
These facts be true.
What you are to others,
others are to you.

"Thinking Can Be Fun… and it's good for you."

Thinking can help you in all that you do.

The prerequisite of anything creative is thinking.

If you cut down on your idle chatter you begin to make room for thinking.

Texting, cell phoning, and tweeting should be put aside as you embark upon thinking.

 

We start off in life thinking and being creative.

Babies are thinking before they learn how to speak.

Infants are curious about everything; they try things and they are not afraid to fail.

As adults, too many of us have given up these wonderful infantile traits.

Parents, schools and teachers often suppress our freedom to think differently and make mistakes.

 

You can gain back the wonderment of being a child with a little effort.

Try some of the following. They will help you get started in your quest to be more creative.

Cut down on texting, cell phoning facebooking and tweeting.

Find a quiet place and just think about things.

Look at things and wonder how they are made. Be curious.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of asking all kinds of questions to anyone about everything.

Practice arts and crafts like when you were in elementary school.

Buy all kinds of art materials and have them available at all times.

Get lots of colored markers, colored papers, drawing paper, cardboard, pens, pencils, glue, etc.

While watching TV, try doodling, or making something.

 

Finally, THINK and be creative and add some more things to my list.

Happy Thinking

 

THE DAY BEGINS

Whether glowing in the soft gaze of sunshine,
or drenched in the wetness of rain,
the day begins.
A mystery unfolds; measured not by pages turned,
but instead the sands of time.

What promises held.
Disappointments and experiences realized.
The day unfolds.
Participate in its progression; move with it.
Manipulate it as its secrets affect you.

Change the things that can be changed.
Anticipate its messages, be active.
Initiate ripples as the day’s waves move you.

There is no stopping the day.
It will always begin, it will always unfold.
And in its wake will come all the wonders of life.

Play the day; cherish it.
Be thankful for the opportunity to make it better.
Bigger and better than yesterday.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Look, move your eyes from side to side, up and down.
Now turn your head from side to side, a little more to the right,
now up and down (not quite so low).

Wrinkle your nose, again,
blink your eye, now blink the other (faster now).
OK, shut both your eyes,
quick, open them again, do it again.

Move your fingers, faster, slower, move your arms (in little circles),
now make big circles with your arms,
make a funny face, wiggle your toes.
Hunch your back, a little lower, a little higher.

Now listen to your body, c’mon,
make it creak (kind of crunchy noise),
listen, hear the sounds—move all your parts, yes,
all your body parts, listen again, hear the different
noises…listen and smile, c’mon, smile, smile some more.
Doesn’t it all feel so good!…listen to your body.

I PROMISE TO LISTEN TO THE WIND

To look up to the sky and feel the rain.
I promise to smell the air,
To listen to the birds and feel the breeze.
I promise to touch the trees
To look at the flowers and throw a stone.
I promise to walk on the grass
To run on the sand and hold a child.
I promise to swim in an ocean
To observe all things big and small, and…
To thank God.

A Romantic is worth trying to understand.

When you feel you are worthy of love you are invincible.

We learn from all those we meet at any age.

TRUTH

Truth is simple, uplifting, and clear; it’s
wholesome, right, and sincere; it’s
like a lantern which glows through the night.

Truth is effortless, and gives meaning to us all; it’s
freedom, and it makes us strong; it’s
power, and it gives substance to a song.

Truth may leave you vulnerable and bare; it
may also cause pain and fear, but it
will help make you better than you are; let
truth be your guiding star.

DESIRE

Wish a wish, want, yearn, think a thought.
Desire to be.
If you want to laugh, then start with a smile,
smile a smile, grin, think funny, and laugh.
The laugh will come because you wish it to.
The wish you want will come true because you want it to.
If you want to feel good, will it so,
and you will.
If you want to give, then give you will, for
whatever you want, you must will…
will it so.

To walk tall amongst strangers is the tallest you can be.

To be the best is often unattainable, but to try your best is something you can always do.

Money, like a foot race, is measurable, and things which are measurable are indisputable, and things which are indisputable are comforting.

Feeling secure within yourself is the antidote for jealousy.

MIRRORS

I search for mirrors
so that I may find my reflection,
the me I am and the me I want to be.

I seek out surfaces shiny
so that I may see myself more finely.

I look for reflections of me in others
so I may learn from sisters and brothers.

I create mirrors all around me
so I can get out of me and into me.
The me I am and the me I want to be.

I continue my search,
never wanting it to end,
for in this seeking
I find a friend.

This friend is me,
the me I am and the me I want to be.

THE HUMAN ANIMAL

The human animal can be a musical instrument,
a philosopher, an athlete, or an inventor.
As a human animal, we feel taste and touch.
We are warm and cold and capable of visiting faraway
places without once leaving our room.
We are capable of giving enormous pleasure
as well as pain.
As human animals we can be played with, tossed about,
fondled, and caressed.
We are eyes focusing, lips touching,
bones peeping through skin, and muscles rippling.
Creases of the body forming patterns and images…
endless.

BODY POSITIONS

How many positions can the body assume,
How many different noises and sounds can the body produce,
How many ways can the head…fingers…hands…feet…legs and toes move.
Think of all the positions and movements
of one body…now imagine the number and combinations
of all this when still another body interacts
with that one singular body
Now think of this and think of Love.

VEGETARIANS

Vegetarians, one assumes, relish legumes.
They are said to cry out even in their sleep
For a healthy serving of buckwheat.
While rarely seen to make merry,
They often wish for bowls of strawberries.
Vegetarians seeped in heat
Break out in hives when
simply thinking of meat.
They argue, and will bet us
about the merits of lettuce!
Bowls of carrots, celery, and beans
make up a vegetarian’s dream.
They say that the sole reason that vegetarians are lean
is based primarily upon the merits of the bean.
So vegetarians…although good, you may feel,
We meat eaters wouldn’t trade for your meal.
Although roughage may be good for you, we
personally find such foods too difficult to chew!
So, go on, vegetarian, keep up the faith,
and if you feel you’re taking too much heat,
Remember, you can always eat a beet!

What you don’t eat is as important as what you do eat.

There are two ways to stop aging: lying and dying.

More important than the vitamins and supplements you take, is the fact that you believe they work.

Omissions are ugly lies.

WRITINGS

I am not afraid of what I write today;
my tomorrows will speak for themselves.
I do not ask for forgiveness for my contradictions,
I only hope that they are indications of my growth.

I look forward to tomorrow in order to use
what I learned today.

Time spent in thought is time well spent.

These are the riches…a sheet of paper and pen,
to record one’s presence.

INTEGRITY

When all is said and done
How are you to be judged?
Others may define you by the many characteristics
which represent you.
But who you are as others see you is who you really are.
I hold this to be true.
You are who you say you are.
And what you are depends on what you say.
Above all is your word.
Give it.
Keep it.
And live up to it.

Exaggeration is a lie in disguise.

To give is the best gift you will ever receive.

The price of wisdom is wrinkles.

When you think about it, that’s the time to do it.

CHILDREN AT PLAY

CHILDREN…All ages, colors, and shapes.
CHILDREN…Imagination, friendship, fantasy.
CHILDREN…Sometimes bad, often bad, but what is bad?
CHILDREN…Children at play, they do as they please—they
run and they jump, they’re as free as a breeze.
They use their playthings to build and create,
trying to make sense of what is and what ain’t.
CHILDREN…At first they’re seldom afraid to say
what they mean, and mean what they say;
their minds are wide open, they listen and try
to build upon dreams reaching up to the sky.
CHILDREN…Their playthings are the “tools of their trade,”
they use them to find out how everything’s made.
Their toys are the stuff that helps them to grow,
and to understand what they once didn’t know.

A child’s life is limited in so many ways,
they stay in the neighborhoods most of their days.
But children have a magic all their very own,
it’s their special way of traveling far from home.

Children can imagine a make-believe place where
everything happens and there’s plenty of space;
They act without fear of making mistakes,
something we grown-ups give up
for what seems to be “higher stakes.”
CHILDREN…Mad, glad, serious, or just wanting to play,
they have different moods each and every day.
Whatever your child means, or is to you, there’s
one thing that you must make sure to do.
Give them the chance to be free and explore,
for only they can open that “magic door.”

THE MORE YOU ASK OF CHILDREN

The more you ask of children, the more they give to you.
It is not so important to know child development, cognitive stages, skill levels, and the like.
Treat children as people, and speak to them as you would speak to an adult.
What they are not ready for, they will not respond to.

But ask more of children than you think they are capable of understanding.
Keep children reaching, even if it seems silly and useless.

Demand good behavior and insist on productive endeavors.
Always treat children with respect.
The more you expect of children, the more they will give,
And achieve, and the more they will reach for.

PROUD OF A SON

If my boy grows up to be handsome
and his good looks do nothing for others,
then his handsomeness has no meaning.
If my boy grows up to be rich
and his wealth does not enrich the lives of others,
then his wealth is useless.
If my boy grows up to be smart
and his intelligence is not used to benefit mankind,
then his intelligence is wasted.

If my boy grows up and he’s not handsome,
not rich, and not intelligent,
but his presence is felt so deeply
by those that he meets that his very
existence exudes happiness and pleasure,
then I will be most proud to call such a boy my son.

Admitting failure is a prerequisite for success.

You have to want success to get it.

Real generosity is when you acknowledge that which was done for you, not what you hope to achieve through your gifts

LITTLE HANDS

Little hands gently resting on my thigh. Little feet in a funny position, straight up!
seemingly uncomfortable, but not for him.
A little body close to mine, squeezing into me for comfort, warmth, and safety, so gently, so delicate.
Loving, innocent, and giving.
I love him greatly.

GIVING

I very much believe in giving.
To give some part of yourself,
to give some of your time,
to spend some moments with another person, and
to give to that person something beneficial.
This, after all, is a wonderful thing to do.

To make someone happy, to personally
make someone feel good,
is a very fine thing indeed.
But best of all is
to give someone something
and expect nothing back in return.

CHRISTMAS TREES

It is Christmas Day,
And the sky is white as it reflects
The snow which has fallen
To earth the night before.

The trees form curious patterns
Against this wintry sky.
With their bare branches, they
Stand regal as they are
Silhouetted in God’s landscape.

As I sit looking out the window
I wonder how astounding,
That all these glorious trees
Live through the coldest
Days and nights, through
The blistering heat of the summer sun, and
The harshness of autumn’s winds and spring’s rains,
Only to blossom once again, and again,
And again.

EASTER

Easter is color, pastels, flowers, birds,
reflections, clothing; and decorated eggs.

Easter is birth, flowers that bud and blossom,
animals and insects born; and faith in new beginnings.

Easter is fresh, breezy and warm; it’s nature renewed.

Easter is families getting together, sharing, rejoicing,
being, remembering; and chocolate bunny rabbits.

Sunny and bright is Easter, gay, enchanting and fun,
religion, God, dreaming, believing, love,
and pretty Easter baskets.

Easter is a parade, dressing up in something new,
being with friends, and laughter.

Easter is a symbol, a sign, a notice, a door opening and
leading outdoors.

Easter is people walking in the country,
on the streets, in the city, talking,
and looking, anticipating; and lovely Easter bonnets.

Easter is a sonnet, a poem, a song, a feeling;
Easter is life!

I NEVER SAY OK.

I always say TERRIFIC, GREAT, WONDERFUL, FINE, THANKS FOR ASKING, SUPER, REAL GOOD. “How’s everything with you?” I ask. “OK” is too often the response.
“OK” is never good enough; I am just not an “OK” kind of person. I am excitable, expansive; I am open, loud sometimes, but never “OK.”
I’m never really down…even when I have my share of disappointments, when I feel the pressure, the rejections, the rudeness, etc.; I don’t get DOWN. I always try—and just about always succeed—to turn a low into something so large that it becomes fun; and I’m done with it. Most people I meet are “OK.” How was the movie? “OK.” The dinner? “OK.” The holiday? “OK.” Most often I hear “OK,” sometimes “good”… “Good” is almost as bad as “OK.”
No, “good” has never been enough for me; and “all right” is just as bad. I also don’t like “saving the best for later”; later will never do; and “saving for a rainy day” is also dreadful.
I am not a quiet person; I get depressed when I’m quiet. I am not subdued, and I am not slow-moving; I am rather fast, bold, and noisy. Life for me is not a Ritz cracker, it’s a hero sandwich; it’s whipped cream, cherries, Charlotte Russe… it’s fireworks!
I like to shake people up. I like to stir and be stirred up! I want the most, the best, the “simple best,” “plain best,” not flashy and fussy…understated; I love the combination of mixing the “simple plain best” with the “big and loud me.” I find that exciting.
I find it hard to compromise; I can never lose a whole week; I may be forced to give up a few days, but I can’t go on too long—“OK,” ALL RIGHT, or SO-SO!
I cannot allow anyone to cheat me out of life. I will not stand for QUIET and “OK” … and TOO SOFT and TOO STILL and TOO SILENT. I will always find it difficult to relate to an “OK” kind of person. And, most certainly, I will drastically do battle with anyone who insists that I become “OK.”

The measure of a solid relationship is that you walk well together.

To stay young, try changing some of the things you have done for a long time.

The cell phone provides opportunities for obnoxious people to be identified.

Special is when you stay the course through the toughest storm.

If you don't tell stories, laugh, and sing at my funeral, I will never talk to you again.