• Martha Clark Scala

Be the Raise

Updated: Oct 4, 2019


June, 2017


What Lifts You?

Normally, Out on a Limb’s monthly Prompts for Joy can be found by scrolling down a bit. But this month isn’t normal. This June there is only one Prompt for Joy and it is the centerpiece. Two young performers cover a song made famous by Josh Groban, but originally composed by an Irish-Norwegian duo, Secret Garden (Rolf Lovland and Brendan Graham). The song may not be your favorite; some may find it a tad too sentimental. Watch it anyway. The singer’s voices are that inspiring. (I’d like to give credit to both performers but I know only the seven-year-old girl’s name: Celine Tam.)

The title of the song is “You Raise Me Up” and this performance delivered. I rely on many genres of music to raise me up when I need a jolt of joy. It could be a tune laced with schmaltz, or classical music (Saint-Saen’s “Carnival of the Animals” for example), or something with a great beat that makes me want to dance. Heck, I admit I sometimes play Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” (the graduation march) to raise me up.

But what if music doesn’t do it for you? If you know who or what lifts your spirits, you have a great tool in your joy toolbox. So, to borrow from the lyrics, what helps you feel like you “can stand on mountains,” or “walk on stormy seas?” What empowers or emboldens you to push past real or perceived limitations?

My sincere hope is that you have at least a handful of people in your life who raise you up. It doesn’t even have to be people you know. It could be a performer, such as the two youngsters in this month’s Prompt for Joy. It could be a world leader or a spiritual teacher. An amazing athlete. A wounded warrior. The possibilities are endless.

Go one step further and think about the qualities in that handful of people who lift you. Each person’s list of important qualities will be unique but perhaps there are some that are universal. Here are a few from my list: loving candor, persistence despite obstacles, ability to see silver linings or find humor in troubling times, and willingness to shine and share gifts or talents. What’s on your list?

Be the Raise

Perhaps you have seen bumper stickers that encourage us to “Be the Change.” The longer phrase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, but those aren’t his exact words. The phrase got me thinking, though: How about if we aspire to Be the Raise? Wouldn’t that bring joy to our lives, too?


Comments on this blog post are welcome — see the bottom of this page.

Prompts for Joy

For those who are new to Out on a Limb, you may want to read more about what constitutes a Prompt for Joy. For all, a request: please feel free to send me links to anything on the Web that serves as a Prompt for Joy to you. Funny? Inspiring? Empowering? Awww-evoking? I’d be delighted to see what raises you.

This month’s Prompt for Joy:

Click here to be lifted up by two young performers.

Huge thanks to Nan Pheatt for sending this gem my way.

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.

Pictured Above

My dear Grampy, Flavel Shurtleff, not only raised me up on his shoulders when I was young but the memory of him and his influence upon me is an ongoing lift in my life. Photo by Geoffrey Clark.