The Power To Influence Others

influencing others“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”  Albert Einstein

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”    Albert Schweitzer

How we wish we had the power to influence  others. We’ve all thought about it. We would fix this and that and restructure things and be considered the greatest man or woman that ever lived. We would be more wonderful than spider man or any sports hero. People would wait on our every word. The issues we would transform and the huge number of people we would change.

The  odd thing is we do inspire others every single day. We just are not aware of who or when or where. Sometimes we talk something over with a friend and  of course we believe we made a difference and we are happy with ourselves but most of the time we would admit that others really don’t listen to us. Again I’d reiterate the fact that every one of us offers a role model for others to follow.

It is like placing more on our shoulders than we probably want but the truth is we have that power we just choose at times to refrain from using it. It is difficult to know when it is advisable to offer advice or help of any kind to another. I agree. There are times when others flat out refuse any help and are almost offended if we offer. I must admit there are many times when I have refused another’s offer of aid because I had to prove I could do it myself. Most of these times I had to go back and fix it using the othr person’s suggestions. Sometimes I even admit I was going to attempt their advice next.

Why we refuse help must have to do with ego. We  don’t want another thinking we are less than they are. We’re  always trying to  prove our worth. How sad that we can’t see our value. In all situations we can effect another, especially if we believe in what we are saying or doing. Maybe that is the key. People know if we mean what we say and have faith in what we are doing. That is when they are willing to follow us.

It doesn’t have to be in big things and maybe that is why we miss the signs. We suggest a product to buy based on our past use of it. We suggest a place to  visit or a restaurant based on our happiness and the good food we received. We forget about these small instances and we don’t count them as anything. They are important. they reveal to us the fact that this person trusts us and our judgments. Of course the real nitty  gritty stuff such as who to date or steer clear of  is another story. The truth is our advice or suggestions will not go unheard. They stay deep in the background of our friend’s mind, to be pulled out at a later date if needed. That is inspiration and trust. Maybe we are wrong about the situation but if we are correct our friend will come to that knowledge and follow our advice.

It isn’t wise to drink when we are teenagers. I remember one young man who walked his freind who happened to be a girl, home from a party when she had too much to drink. There were many others  who were disappointed because they had hoped for a different outcome. I was impressed with this act and thought what a fine person he is. He had a bearing on my life but he  was never aware of it.

A young seven year old gave up her balloon to my three year old daughter who had been crying about not getting one. The entire class had one and she was upset. The remarkable courage and benevolence in a young child was impressive to see. I know parents put themselves last on a daily basis and this is remarkable. They may not think of themselves as examples but they are. So many of us who have been there and done that are aware of how tired and frustrating parenting can be yet parents give until they are ready to collapse.

Parents may encourage other parents who are at their wits end and without any patience left to hang on a bit longer. This saves the family from what might have been a nasty situation.  Whenever we keep our patience one minute more, forestall our anger one more time, forgive again or refrain from judging another who we believe deserves it, we have offered a grace filled example of courage and goodness. Maybe it is strangers who  are watching or othr relatives and friends it doesn’t matter. The idea is our goodness resonates forward as much as any good deed.

I always recall a friend who believes she does nothing for others yet she will never say no. This doesn’t appear to her to be commendable yet I find it so worthy of mentioning. I guess what I have finally figured out was the importance of our everyday actions which motivate others without a doubt. Hopefully they will always be meritous activities because dreadful actions are also being observed. Children are the biggest mimics of our actions and words.

I remember one school day at the end of the year how a young girl saw a spider walking along the floor and yelled “eek there is a spider”. Another young boy yelled “I will step on it.” At that moment two of the kids including the young girl shouted, “No, we will put him outside.” I was so pleased because in my classroom we always put the insects outside without harming them. I was impressed that they corrected each other and respected the life of the bug. They had learned a lesson well.As you hear the familiar words tumbling from your child’s mouth it makes you remember to keep your words and actions gentle because you actually wield a lot of impact.

“Parents must lead by example. Don’t use the cliche; do as I say and not as I do. We are our children’s first and most important role models.”    Lee Haney

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”    Albert Einstein

“True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.”    Albert Einstein

Forgiveness Is Bearing Another’s Lack Of Contrition

divorce (2)“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.”    Beyondordinary

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ”   Mahatma Gandhi

“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.”    Tyler Perry

As much as we fear challenging situations, I find the most difficult thing in the world to do is forgive another. We all see ourselves as willing to compromise and set tings right but what that means is for the other party to accept our perceived truth in a given situation.  We do  not want to believe we have been in the wrong. It is amazing to observe the amount of effort we put in to make our point or win our discussion, argument or fight.

Many people have ongoing feuds within families which last a lifetime. The reasons the disagreements continue have more to do with our inability to acknowledge any wrongdoing. In the process we refuse to compromise and give any  ground to the other party involved. When the fight is over we can’t admit any wrongdoing so we need to have the other person admit they were wrong to ease our anger and frustration. Of course the other person believes we were just as wrong in our actions and words and they refuse to budge and offer an apology.

I have found the virtuous person to be the one who offers forgiveness to the opponent who has deeply hurt with their words and actions. They may forgive without the opponent’s awareness of the action. They believe the fight was in vain, a waste of time and they want to rise above the issues. In their hearts they have absolved the warring party from all errors and they move forward with their lives in peace and tranquility never looking for an apology. That is forgiveness, When we can accept the fact that another will never understand how they have demolished us and caused us so much pain. We hold no ill will or revenge in our hearts. we only have the desire to live in peace.

In many incidences others can’t comprehend our actions and they believe we have ulterior motives up our sleeves.  They who can’t forgive won’t understand the depth of our forgiveness. They may continue to have faith in the notion that we will somehow take actions against them if they let their guard down. It is so extremely hard to forgive.

It is the equivalent of bowing low, eating crow, accepting defeat in a sense and not getting the chance to make our point more outwardly and clearly. We may see no satisfaction when we forgive without an apology. It is like saying thank you for something you never received. We forgive someone who is not offering an apology in the first place. It almost appears ludicrous.

Someone cheated me, made a fool of me, hurt my feelings, ridiculed me, insulted me, manipulated me lied to me stole from me and possibly crushed my spirit. How can I be expected to forgive any of this. Why would I want to forgive them for things they won’t even admit to.

Sometimes during a quiet moment we reflect on major life happenings and review them in a slower motion as we attempt to comprehend what transpired. During one of these contemplative minutes in time we may realize that what transpired was futile to our happiness and not worth hanging onto. We deduce our best option is to acknowledge the huge number of mistakes throughout the entire occurrence. We gain enlightenment as to the truth of the situation and the underlying reasons it lit like a fire. With hindsight everything is clearer and the motives  of all involved is incorporated. We can’t worry if the opponent can appreciate all of the inner agendas. All we can do is understand how we comprehend the situation which leads us to compromise and forgiveness.

Maybe we egged someone into acting poorly. It  is possible we pushed the actions and words that transpired. Whatever the case we are ready to forgive the person because we dislike the animosity we are feeling. We want to make things right again. The acceptance of an apology is allowing another to move forward freely absolved of wrongdoings. Witholding an apology enbellishes the war and friction between the parties.

Nobody likes to simply forgive. It is not satisfying and appears unfair to just allow others to forget their wrongs without accountability. They get to keep their reputation clean without any smudges to their names. We expect responsibility for our actions. We expect atonement for our wrongs. We want lamenting and contrition before the benefit of any absolvement.

Forgiveness is spiritual and on a higher realm than accountability and atonement. Forgiveness is Godlike and not for the weak of heart. It takes all the strength you can muster. It takes acceptance of a truth that you might never receive an apology but you are willing to forgive anyways. This is done out of goodness and knowing that it is the correct road of choice because it leads to fixing the bonds of love rather than destroying them. One understands and perceives the whole dimensional picture.  this understanding comes with a price to forgive another no matter how much we would rather toss out an argument to the contrary.

Right or wrong doesn’t matter as much as comprehending the lessons life tosses at us. It isn’t about the issues but the enlightenment of the truth. There are many facets to any argument and varied levels of understanding these facets. There are many natures with varied virtues, talents and abilities. We don’t all see what is in front of us so understanding is dampened. Family feuds that have continued for decades are too sad. Forgiveness has been stashed away in a closed heart. no one is ever sure, when one forgives another, what the positive results from it will produce. It’s worth our effort.

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”    Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”    Lewis B. Smedes

“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.”    Tyler Perry

Calmness Soothes Anger

discipline“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. ”      Khalil Gibran

“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.”    Khalil Gibran

It was a sad day as I watched a mother lose her patience with her tow year old on a bus. She smacked the baby on the bum and he in turn cried until they reached their bus stop. The dad took the child and tried to talk with him but the toddler immediately smacked the dad a few times while crying. I wondered if those smacks registered with either parent. The child was imitating his parents  and doing a very good job.

Another couple i was with mentioned how they had recently observed a mother smacking her older child in front of everyone. As we were discussing these issues a dad was screaming a the top of his lungs in the face of his small child around three and in a carriage. The child was screaming himself but the dad’s face was in the child’s face and although he never hit the child in front of any of us, his intimidating loud voice was more than enough.

I thought that hitting kids was obsolete, at least I had hoped that it was. Of course I was totally wrong. The hell kids endure at the hands of their parents or caregivers is destroying a lot of the child’s wholeness. Sure we all recover but at a great cost. I was mostly stunned because it was in front of hordes of people. I don’t like to think about what happens in their home environments when nobody is present.

I just cannot fathom the thinking regarding the hurting of a child. How is that teaching anything but anger and how one can hurt another. Hitting is quick and easy and it does stop the transgression but it elevates the situation because most kids start crying from the trauma. Anger rises in the parents and the wheel continues to spin out of control.

I have no problem with anger. We all get angry and most of us lose our patience now and again. The anger that turns into violence  is when one has stepped over the line of restraint. It isn’t easy when we are tired and frustrated and most parents doubt their kids gratitude from the start. We have alternatives for dealing with our own fury. It can be simpler than we think.

When we have a problem with any other person be it our child or a stranger, we know when we are approaching the point of no return. It is up to us to recognize our limitations and remove ourselves from the situation when necessary. When in the home environment we can place a child in a crib, bassinet, pack and play or safe area. Then we must calm down and reflect on the problem and how we can resolve it. When serenity returns we can face the situation peacefully. With an older child it might be necessary to remove ourselves to another place to gain control of our emotions. Deal with the problem at a later time in the day or at least after a few minutes of solid composure.

Whenever we involve ourselves in the bickering we become one of the actors and it becomes difficult  to be removed from the state-of-affairs. the trick is to keep from getting so involved that you become a player rather than the director.  When you are involved you anger quicker and you argue and fight because you are a player. As a director you remain serene like a judge and you speak with authority and composure. You are aware of your authority and have no doubt you are in charge. You therefore have no feelings  of being threatened or challenged. You are the authority figure.

If you want your child to do something they are refusing to do you bring it to them in the form of their ownership. At three and older this works. You present them with the problem of cleaning their room by stating the room needs to be cleaned before they leave to go anywhere. You don’t mind  if they refuse you state that is their choice but you calmly state the results of each of their choices. One pick leads to something pleasurable while the other leaves them missing out on something they would like.

Even if the child screams you whisper and touch your finger to your lips and quietly state in solid composure that it is up to them to make the pick but either way they face the consequences. In this way you the parent are never observed as the bad guy who punishes. They are making the choice. It kind  of dumps the result of their behavior on their shoulders. It doesn’t take long for a child to learn how they are bringing on their own consequences. Kids want to play, go outside have a cookie spend time with a parent etc. The rewards are numerous. The punishment is not getting to do something wonderful rather than receiving a punishment. It trumps hitting kids because we are so frustrated.

Seeing ourselves as the teacher puts us above the problem. It blocks out the child’s anger and gives us the opportunity to serenely monitor the situation as a director and bring tranquility to a stressful situation. It may not work smoothly every time but the authority figure should. We are the authority or knowing individual. At all times we need to rise above the child’s level in order to deal with them in a peaceful manner. With time and effort we improve. I know the whispering helps because they must quiet down in order to hear what we are saying. don’t take kids remarks or moods and anger personally. they are kids and still learning with our help.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.    Khalil Gibran

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.    Khalil Gibran



Tolerance Towards Humanity

kindness“What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.”    Voltaire

“I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.”    Christopher Hitchens

I was discussing tolerance with a couple of people the other day, and discovered our views were so varied. I think we were all basically correct, but narrow-minded in our scope. For instance, we had no mercy for those who had  great material wealth. We all felt sympathy for the poor, but would ignore the rich. If we were cut in line by a poorer looking person, we likely would say nothing, because we would feel sorry for them. If a wealthy person stepped in front of us, we would be quicker to defend ourselves. It is as if the wealthy person conjures up in us, feelings of being treated in a less than worthy manner. We almost feel guilty for the person in a lower economic bracket.

Just as we measure babies heights, and weights, among other things, wealth is a measurement of adult worth and accomplishment. The majority of us are not money wealthy, so we are sometimes jealous of those who are wealthier. Nobody ever sees this as intolerant. The wealthy are one group that can be treated poorly, in a variety of ways, yet people don’t recognize this as intolerance.

It is easy to be tolerant of the obvious groups of people. It is a different story to be tolerant of those who annoy us, challenge us or are impudent to us. It might be why it is difficult for some parents to deal with misbehaving kids. They are aware of how much they give to their kids and resent the attitude they receive in return. Kids are judgmental of their parents and tolerate little. Mom and dad might have worked hard for their gains in lifestyle, only to be met with a child’s insults of being a money monger. They forget their free manner of speech, was the result of an expensive education.

We just can’t choose what days times or people we will tolerate. It must be a blanket tolerance for everyone. That is why it is so hard to express our level of tolerance, because we perhaps are not in the least exhibiting that virtue. It is difficult, but again we don’t walk in another shoes. We have no idea the struggles anyone suffers and endures. The people  who complain about their issues are easy to identify, but those who hide their troubles, are harder to observe, and so feeling compassion for them is never easy.

To appreciate tolerance, one must do away with judgments of all kinds. We must take each person as they are, and accept them without exception. That means the grumpy older  person, who is always complaining about our ill-behaved kids, should receive our gentle smile and kind words. That is hard I know. It is almost impossible, but by setting the goals of inclusion for all, we set high standards.

I realize most of us are probably thinking it is a  stupid way to tolerate others. Why should I tolerate the bratty child, who insults my child every day. Well suppose you found out the misbehaving child was receiving little love, attention and direction. We need to turn our thoughts from a negative thinking, to a  positive reflection. Again one might reply, they get more than I can give my kid, and they are always going someplace. My answer would be, but maybe they receive little attention, guidance, time and love. We can never assume that because a child has less money, they have less love and attention. The opposite perhaps is true.

Trust me, I break many of my own rules, and go backwards now and again, when I am attempting to reach my goals. I sit down and acknowledge my errors. My first step in proceeding in a forward motion, is to think about the person  involved. At those moments I can reflect on a variety of truths, regarding this person, rather than focusing on the surface. My perception can be deceiving. I cannot underestimate my ability to fool myself .

It allows me to muster some genuine pity for this person, as well as some understanding. It releases any anger and resentment I am holding against them. It actually presents the person in a new and softer light. My humanity is triggered, and my tolerance level is raised. The next time I hope I might achieve the level of tolerance a lot quicker, as I learn to refrain from my deep rooted resentments.

Every time we are discussing another person in a derogatory way, we might question our tolerance of that person. Have we dealt with the troubles they experienced? On the other hand, there are those people who want to vacuum up all of another person’s tolerance. They believe they have the worst of the world dumped on them. I actually pity and tolerate them the most because they have so much real or built up pain, that they have none to give to others. They should tolerate those, who may not understand their plight.

The more we review the need for tolerance in the world, the more we realize our circumstances are so different. It is complicated to comprehend the levels of burdens we all endure, at various stages in our lives. Acceptance is the key. By accepting diversity, we accept tolerance and the inclusion of all people. We take them as they are,  and move forward with ease, as we close in on our goal to be a tolerant person.

“Love is not just tolerance. It’s not just distant appreciation. It’s a warm sense of, ‘I am enjoying the fact that you are you.”    N. T. Wright

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”    Ralph W. Sockman

“And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things.”    Martin Scorsese

The Opposite Of Love Is Doubt

doubt2“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Khalil Gibran

“The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when it be obeyed.”    Nathaniel Hawthorne

I don’t believe the opposite of love is hate. i think the opposite of love is doubt. We love the people who constantly come through for us. How could we not? It is easy to care for these people because they help us and stand by us for the most part. parents love their kids regardless of any love in  return. Many kids love parents regardless of the fact they were abandoned or abused.

When anyone hurts us deliberately or accidentally we swiftly turn on them. It isn’t from a lack of love but a lack of doubt in the relationship. Kids have faith their parents love them even though they are abused. They stand by this belief until they are given an alternative method of  measurement. When the questions arise the love fades.

Our doubts can become overwhelming and daunting. As much as we want to go back to the state of innocence of not being aware of the truth. The truth really does hurt because it forces us to confront our solid or fabricated ideas. the wife who ignores the shortcomings of her husband lives in a happier world. She sees her world through her own eyes and not through the eyes of what is. The same is true of the husband. The ruse is over when either person questions the situation. As soon as doubt arises, faith is tested.

Doubt is not always a bad thing and It may not mean we lose our faith but it puts us in a state of maturing. It can go well or poorly. It depends on how closely we view a situation and can admit the wrong and right of the whole matter. I suppose this is why so many marriages break apart and friendships fail and siblings become alienated. But we must distinguish between an honest review and a quick doubt which leads us into breakups of all kinds.

We seem only able to love on our own terms. If love is easy and continual we are happy. When we are confronted with intrigue we panic and lose our grip on the situation. Walking away always appears to be the best option. We distance ourselves from love and live in a state of doubt. this is sad because it is a land of a sort of hopelessness. technically we are asleep because it is easier to deal with life’s problems when we drift through it.

Doubt causes pain and confusion. Our world is jolted and we must adjust to situations beyond our control. It is the husband who must accept the flaws he sees in his wife for the first time. It is the wife who must accept the less than perfect husband who helps out infrequently as far as she is concerned. It is the orphaned child searching for the parents they never knew yet not truly  believing with their hearts they  were really wanted. It is the siblings who desired a close friendship but instead received jealousy, distancing and constant bickering. Friends are the largest faction and the most changed and switched members of society. When a friend lets you down you trade him or her in for a new one.

In every situation doubt began and grew to the point of a permeating poison which filtered throughout our minds and bodies causing them uncertainties in our truths and beliefs. We begin to think how crazy we were to think they were on our side, loved us and cared about us. Without further contemplation, we cut our connections and move onward. We never stop to think over these life altering changes to our lives nor do we look back.

We don’t even question our consistency in changes and how often they occur throughout our lives. Many of us simply deduce we outgrew certain people, and possibly we have. We  acquire new friends because of our changes in interests or because they  justly deserved to be left behind so we think. Most of us go with our doubts and the chill we exhibit blocks out attempts at reconnecting.

I just wondered how we reason all of this inter-relatedness. How do we live our lives as a loving people yet forget about those people we leave behind without a care. We refuse to give them any chance and even at times our unconditional love turns to conditional. We all make mistakes. We get tired and say and act in ways we might never have acted if we were well rested. Many issues on our minds clouds us with angry feelings that burst forth in angry retorts. Our minds build minor irritations into major catastrophes. Then we come to a place of no return. Things build upon other things and we break our bonds.

Why can’t we see ourselves with our pout faces and moody dispositions.  Even those who have been adopted must come to terms with the facts that maybe they were not wanted by the original  family for unfathomable reasons but they certainly were sought after by the second family. Maybe they were loved by the first family also and are being prayed for every night but they just don’t know it.

It appears  to me that we are left with two choices as usual. We can doubt all things and with good reasons. This  renders us depleted of love and the ability to love. It also lends to being unfulfilled as a human being. We can’t trust our parents loved us as much as our siblings yet we now have kids and love all of them. Do we see the contradiction? We see our kids play together and have happy times together. We watch them hug each other and help each other yet we doubt our siblings love for us. we forget our own happy childhood memories.  We most definitely remember the bad parts of our childhood but some of the wonderful happenings are faded and dim.

So goes it with impressions. We recall bad impressions from others even if they were minor or few. Good impressions fade quickly. It is hard for us to hold onto love. We see it more as vaporous rather than solid. It is so easy for it to drift away. Maybe if we captured the moments and memories they might form a solid love in our hearts that would be difficult to lose.

We ought to try to hold on tightly to the love we earn throughout our lives. In the end it is the only thing that matters. It is the only measurement that will be used on us as to the quality of our existence. All that matters about our lives will be summed up by the amount of love we gave away and received. Never allow doubt to filter into your love. It is like a weed that will swiftly take over and kill your love before it ever has a chance to grow. Far better to love freely without any doubts than to doubt everything and be left with nothing.

“Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.”    Naveen Jain

“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.”    Nancy Lopez

Enjoy The Moment

florida“The best place in the world is in the arms of someone who will not only hold you at your best, but will pick you up and hug you tight at your weakest moment”  Unknown

“The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself, but in the colours and textures that come alive in others.”    Albert Schweitzer

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”    Confucius

I hate to get so self absorbed that I stop enjoying the moment. I can recall countless times when I worried about what I would wear to any given function or even to work. After spending too many minutes making up my mind I was still unhappy when I got to the place and saw what others were wearing.

It occurred to me that many times I am over or under dressed fo the occasion. I didn’t achieve the look I had wanted and I was disappointed. It was embarrassing when I didn’t have the right look for the right place. Now I have come to realize that it is such nonsense. Even if I’m wearing a dress and others are wearing shorts who really cares.

It often worried me about being too quiet at parties and being labeled a wallflower. How absurd a name that is and what does it really tell us about the person? nothing.  If I had a conversation going with someone and it got a bit loud with laughter, I was concerned others would think I was noisy. It never dawned on me how pleasant it was to hear the sounds of laughter fill up a room full of people.

How many times have you noticed someone watching you. It is the most uneasy feeling. Are they observing how well we handle ourselves in public? or are they admiring us? Are they judging us? Are they jealous or critical of us? As soon as we notice someone studying us  we panic and the deduction process begins.

How about the first time you meet your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family, or the spouse’s boss and co-workers. We’ve all been there and we all doubt our good  impression. We never think about the fact we have had about ten minutes to interact with these people and to impress them prior to their review of us. Maybe the dress was shorter than we remembered or maybe we didn’t realize the dress code was more formal. Now we worry they think we have no social knowledge.

We want to engage others in conversation to prove our knowledge and capability only the conversation never goes our way and the topics are either  not to our liking or not at all part of our repertoire. Suddenly we assume without any proven facts that more talkative people are more intelligent. When others are talking about world issues and we discuss the flowers in the garden, even we don’t appreciate  ourselves. Some of us don’t use the correct grammar all of the time. We think everyone is tuned into our speech so we just refuse to share our thoughts. That is so sad. Our speech has nothing to do with our thoughts.

Parents are always worried about being judged a poor parent. They are embarrassed when their child has a temper tantrum or simply is ill behaved in public. you can see they are annoyed and their voice takes on an angry and demanding tone. Those with older kids want to comment it is okay we have all experienced a difficult child or more. Some parents deal with easier kids and are probably thinking “I am glad it isn’t my kid.”

Many older parents hate to listen to people commenting on their kids many degrees when their own child has not gone to college. They feel ashamed. I ask why? Your kid is special and you love them and that is what they need the most in life. To succeed, love is the most powerful thing in the entire universe. We can accomplish what appears to be miracles when we have love and hold it close. Do away with the competition  and you have a solid wonderful kid.

I often wonder as I have stated before, who decides on the rules and parameters for the game of life? If I were the judge the dignified person would be the one who made me feel comfortable  not uneasy about my manners. They would allow time to engage me in conversation about the topic I enjoyed the most even if it was about flowers. No matter what the clothes on their backs their  smiles would be genuine and their attitudes would be pleasant. Manners have more to do with gratitude and an awareness of kindness than with the rules of any given book.

As I reflect I must admit that even if we adorned the best attire in the room, it is a split second of our life’s journey. It is fleeting, whereas kindness and caring ripples on forever. Spending so much time on trivial items is ludicrous. It seems so small when one analyzes the important things in life. Those that play the “Look at me” game are really not looking at us. They are too busy impressing others and worrying about their look. So I realized that I had no need to fret anymore about such minuscule problems.

I just want others to be aware of how it amounts to nonsense. Just be yourself and enjoy the companionship of others without ulterior motives. The correct look, speech and attitude is for those who don’t have more important things to think about. I am not saying I don’t care how I dress. I am saying I don’t worry. If I guessed wrongly as to the perfect look. I’d much rather be a person of substance and honesty.

No wonder we all worry so much when you consider what goes through our minds about what we think others think about us. In reality they are more concerned with how we judge them. Releasing bad habits such as these allows more room for generating good habits.

We all have those days when the hair won’t do anything we attempt to do with it and the clothes we like need ironing or they are in the laundry. We don’t have time for much make-up or grooming and of course we run into friends we haven’t seen in a long time. But isn’t it better to rekindle a friendship than to best them in appearances but walk away without a future meeting planned?

When we defeat others they want to keep their distance. If others defeat us we lose confidence. Neither is a winning situation. Who wants to be the loser? Is there a saying that when you are a winner all the time you also win false friends? Isn’t it ironic that we attempt to impress people we don’t know and will most likely never see again?

Do models get more attention? Is that why we strive for that look? Do we consider the challenges and detriments of such a job? Sometimes we only do see what we think is reality. If we knew the truth of what we perceive we would conclude that everyone is working on a good front. No one is perfect or satisfied. We all believe we are lacking which is why we hide the facts about ourselves in clothing make-up and attitudes.

It is easier to just be you and not worry about what others believe. You are more than enough so never sell yourself short. The words you might speak if you speak without fear may be inspiring and helpful to another who needs to hear them. When we see through the transparency we face the truth. The truth sets us free from the parameters and   truly allows us to be ourselves and that is enough when we lives with an interrelationship with others.

..”Don’t let looks fool you. They really have nothing to do with beauty. It comes from within; it is inherent in Who You Are”… Unknown

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.    Albert Schweitzer

“If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”    Confucius



Being older and wiser I regret those worries.

Are There Limits?

“Stop allowing other people  to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions. Stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others.”    Dr. Steve Maraboli

How often do we feel pride about something we did that we never thought we could ever do? It inflates our ego and builds our self-esteem. It is a great feeling and stays with us for a long time. If only we could keep that moment alive forever in our lives and hearts. Then a little bit of doubt creeps in that just maybe we have reached our limit and accomplished as much as we could. We tend to sit back and live in the past because we have no faith in our future.

If we did it once or even twice we can keep doing it. It takes some motivation and a belief in ourselves. We must keep doubt away along with the naysayers. Sometimes the doubt and negative people inspire us to give up or face the reality that we are not competent  enough to excel further. The ones who do advance further are the people who have no idea what their limitations are. Blindly they march forward with their plans and never stop to listen to those who would slow them down.

How fantastic it would be if we could dream and make plans and then push hard to bring them to fruition. It really is possible for any of us to do this. No kidding, most times we wilt and drop away because of what others say. I hate it when someone says to me “They say,” I always question who “they” are. It is as if there is a private elite group of people who have all the answers and tell us what we can or can’t do. If we accept limits then we won’t go beyond the norm.

Even our moods and sanity are in jeopardy when people step in and mess up our thoughts and actions. Some even begin arguments where there were none. I know of friends who retell a story by leaving out details or adding in a few of their own. the next friend is calling and complaining about what was said and why it was said. As I begin to explain I get confused with the exact order in the retelling and that is when the questions begin. How awful it is to attempt to explain anything to an angry person. You  are already sixty to seventy percent behind.

I’m definitely not down on friends but I have to admit there are times when they mess things up royally and cause many others a lot of anger. Then everyone has to approve because we don’t want any guilt about the cost, reason, need or want of the object. Here is where our friends can make or break us according to their mood. At what point do we take responsibility for us. Our life would run so much smoother if we did.

Maybe friends and other people are choosing according to their thoughts for the day.  We are obviously not thinking at all. In return we pick for our friend by the desires we have and our attitude. We don’t worry about what might be good for our friends. We might want hem to drink with us and so we disregard any thoughts about how our friend will drive  home safely. How  easily we can control  another yet they reciprocate and instruct us in the way we should proceed.

Maturity begins when we can trust us to make decisions according to our own thinking and our own deductions. It might be great to have other people’s  input but ib the end we have to choose for us. Fear must be under arrest and reflection and intuition be our guide. There are so many choices in life. Consulting experts in certain areas may be  worthwhile but our own reasoning should play a role in our decisions. All of us make mistakes.

It also behooves us to watch for gossip that travels so far and wide the message is changed by the time it gets back to us. I do not like having to explain what I didn’t mean or what I never said. Confusion in the message makes it almost impossible to retrieve all of the twists to the truth. I sometimes wonder if less talk is better. I know one must be clear and concise in their statements. We cannot falter in our motives because that is when others jump on our hesitancy and compound an existing problem. Remember how capable you are. If you are having a bad day wait for another day before making a decision or before altering a decision on advice from another. The influence is often more powerful than the actual advice.

You are the one placing everything on the line because it is your life. Trust yourself. In our own hearts and minds we understand what is important to us. ‘always attempt even what is out of reach. You just may reach it. If you don’t you still had the courage to make the attempt and your reach was beyond what it was before you tried. It also gives you the power to keep challenging yourself. The result is a stronger you and a person who has faith the themselves.


Distancing Thoughts

distancing thoughts

“Endless love is fueled by endless friendship. If you want to have the greatest romance ever, have the greatest friendship ever. Cultivate it; do not let your friendship die. Remember, it’s not a lack of love that destroys relationships; it’s usually a lack of friendship.” – Steve Maraboli

“The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life problem.”    —Albert Einstein

I have been thinking a lot about this subject of distancing my thoughts because I believe I do it in many ways. I am not sure about where I am going, or what I am doing, so I sort of get busy doing nothing. I call it nothing when it is basically busy or amusing stuff like TV, social media, text etc. Whatever keeps us distracted and amused, and allows us to escape from dealing with our thoughts about any subject, is a source of distancing ideas. Thinking and reflecting become non-existent for at least a little while.

For the longest time I never realized how I was doing this  or why. Now I feel guilty, because I have concluded that I am guilty of ignoring what I should be doing in place of wasting my time. I am not saying social  media has no merit, but most people overdo it regularly. We can’t seem to stop it or control it. I question why people in general have trouble  with parameters.

Most wonderful things begin with pride and honor, but they immediately deteriorate into wrongdoings. Welfare began as something awesome for those who needed it, and then the downfall erupted, when people abused it. The same goes for just about every cause even in benefits, for injured people, or sick  people. Others involved in the undertaking, start draining the money on the secretive side. They ruin many good causes, and leave most people in doubt about giving to foundations altogether.

For many years now my husband I have ignored the Bishop’s appeal because we felt the money was going to defend priests who had abused kids. Anyone can get jaded with horrible result, from wrongdoings.  It is amazing, how good one gets at abusing the system. These people that commit such crimes are capable and bright. I just wish they used their talents for something more commendable. Sometimes it gets others wondering what they should do to aid humanity. Nobody wants to believe their good work is for naught.

I can recall numerous men and women who quit volunteering because they came to the opinion no one cared. People in charge hardly knew they showed up or didn’t show up, and the people receiving the aid, many times ignored the support. Most of us think of other ways to spend our time and money. Who is the loser in such incidences? I think we all are. Those giving the aid feel good about helping and are jaded with the results, when their efforts go awry. i appreciate the fact that many  acts of kindness are done without expecting thanks. People still may be left confused and in doubt about volunteering. Now we have lost a legitimate workforce of virtuous people.

One must question the motives of those who abuse others, when they attain the position of power. Who would see that step coming? Most of us are thinking what a great job they are doing, until the truth is uncovered. No wonder so many good kind people are in disarray about how they can help or serve others. It is confusing. We don’t want to doubt everyone, but the trust issue arises and with due cause.

That is when we turn to our own technical devices to suck up our time and energy. Our minds are busy with, nonsense, most of our free time. There are far more  honorable things we could all be doing. I am to blame along with everyone else. Television is another item that absorbs our energy and time. Many times the show didn’t even entrust us with positive thoughts, or worthwhile ideas, to think about. Most shows assign us downtrodden paths, and shower us with more anxiety and doubt.

When people point out the negatives in the world, we can and do become overwhelmed. It becomes difficult to find, or to believe there are more positive actions taking place. We have to trust in humanity, and in our ability, to make a difference in this world. We can be the beginning of something good. We just need to tear away  from our gadgets, and do more soul searching or reflecting. Every day we make choices. Contemplate the choices you make.

Kids need so much time and energy, yet we turn them over to possibly harmful devices. Many of us are present physically, but mentally we are busy with our own devices. It might be more worthwhile to share a picnic lunch with our child, and simply talk to them, rather than  take them to ostentatious places. Kids are kids. Their requirements from us are time and love. We all have that to share with them. The excuse, I don’t have the money, never works. We all have love and time to share.

Really I know it isn’t always easy, and many of us consider the devices as useful tools for our own down time. I believe that if we attempted some simple pleasures with our kids, we might discover that they were the answer to all of the craziness in our lives. We relax, make progress with the connection to our kids, and are enlightened about what life means. Those without kids may come to understand themselves better, with more thought and contemplation. We can’t run away from our thoughts, and we can’t fear thinking about them.

Searching for ways to aid others will always be a human task. As long as we have suffering in the world, there  will be those  who stand up to make a difference. That is commendable. It is sad to think so many are confused today about their  place in a mixed up world. We enjoy satisfaction for a job well done. We search for meaning and are lost when we cannot find any. There is meaning to be found in our lives. But it is necessary to observe a closer and deeper look. We must take time to contemplate. We need to put the devices down. They are controlling items and habit forming. They are the least of what is important about us and our lives.

Your mind will clear when it is solidly focused on the present moment in time. It is like stepping out of the TV set, waking up, and living your life for real. We all are thinking individuals yet we are giving our thoughts to others to control. It is time we took control of our own living. Begin with the small things like your spouse and family. As time proceeds, you will discover many options that come your way. These of course are your choices.

Disregard selfishness, and trust in the value of others. It is simple but not always easy to do. When I fail I pick myself up and begin where I left off. I don’t beat myself up and go back to start. With so many advances in our technology, it is now time to advance our souls.

“People like you and I, though mortal of course, like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live. What I mean is that we never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.”—Albert Einstein

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”    Albert Einstein

“The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life.”    Albert Einstein

Life Is About Relationships

friends and siblings“”Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming  gardeners who  make our souls blossom.” Unknown

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”    Albert Camus

Our lives are built around our relationships. We  need each other and we crave friends, family and support. On the other hand, we push family friends and people away. We are so quick to absorb the hurts we receive, from these same individuals. We all desire the best outcomes for ourselves. We yearn to have things  progress well from day to day. We might want a change of pace, but not in those relationship areas, unless they are falling apart.

I remember feeling contented when I lived near my family. I really didn’t make much effort to include those outside of the family. I thought of them as outsiders. They might be wonderful, but my life felt complete at the time. Of course reality entered and with job changes from the start, we moved away quickly from family. Suddenly friends began to take on a whole new meaning. I had to depend on friends for many items, especially as we began a family and it increased a few times.

I recall being at a beach when my kids were practically babies, and I watched two families, obviously siblings, who were having such an awesome time. There was plenty of laughter, and the adults managed to wade in the water with their babies, while they talked and laughed. I kept glancing over, hoping they would notice and include me in their gathering. There were few people on the beach, as it was late in the day. Every now and again, one person would glance over at me, but they quickly turned their gaze back to their own group. The longing in my heart was almost unbearable.

I went home sad that day, pondering how we forget about people, who yearn for family or friends, or simple connections to others. I also felt ashamed at how many times I had probably been those people at the beach, ignoring others, while believing myself  to be so self contained. I stopped that attitude right away, and never refused a new friendship, no matter that I already had plenty of friendships. Kids and adults feel insecure and embarrassed. You have this sense of being out of touch with the world, like a traveler observing with binoculars.

For many years my friends were my family, and  they treated me as close to family as possible. My kids were content and happy. Our gatherings with friends were happy, engaging and fulfilling. My problem with it is that,  had I not experienced a life change with a relocation, and then followed by  an exclusion episode, I might never have realized the impact one can feel, when they are left on the outside looking in. You experience a vulnerability and a lack of love and pleasure. You find yourself floundering in another dimension,

We all require relationships. It might be why we argue and fight so much with the people we love. We fear losing them in one way or another, so we cling to them and at times smother them with our jealousy and possessiveness. We prefer exclusions so as to keep what we believe is ours, all to our self. If we review what perhaps triggers quarrels, with our spouse, it usually has to do with their lack of  attention towards us. They must accommodate jobs, other people and  other family members. It is difficult to share our spouse and kids with others. We believe they can’t love anyone more than us. Perhaps it is hard at first to share our grown kids with their spouses.

I am not necessarily trying to find the popular choice, as much as to touch upon the fact that we value love and attention so much that we go to great lengths to keep it viable and close. It is respectful to have such emotions, but I think we need to question why we find it difficult, to share. Even if we are unaware of it, we all have our limits to sharing because, “What is mine is mine” is our motto.

Most likely this explains why we keep our friends separate from each other. A good friend is hard to find, and we don’t want to lose them to a better friend. A friend should be a pal always, regardless of how many other people, enter either  of our lives. I lost a friendship one time due to the fact that she didn’t like a mutual friend. She stated I had to choose between them, because she questioned if I would talk about her, behind her back. I did not keep my friendship with her, but to this day, I have kept her secrets, because she was a good friend and I cared about her.

We are so needy regarding relationships, that we go to great extremes to keep them. We all do this and I am not criticizing. It is good to value bonds, and twice as good to maintain them. It might be important though, to refrain from constantly blocking others out. It is so easy to enter a function area, see friends sit down, and tune out others. Just maybe, amongst the crowd of people, there is another  person, searching for acceptance. if we can get over our exclusiveness, we might find another good friend.

Having many fiends does not diminish one’s love for them. I equate this to having children. There might still be those people who think if you have more than one or two kids, you can’t love them all the same. How pitiful for them. No matter how many kids one has, they are totally loved for who and what they are. Nothing lessens the love. Maybe people confuse the love with what they want from their kids, and which child can give this. Truth is,  in loving unconditionally, the connections remain intact, no matter what else around them changed.

We should have faith that we can make new friends, without damaging the old. We can feel close to new friends, without severing or lessening our old bonds. It is healthier to add to our circles,  because each new addition, brings its’ own flavor to the relationships. They also add support, not only to us, but to everyone they touch.

“The honest facts are, that I’ll never know all there is to know about you, just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either  approach our fellow human beings with suspicion, or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism, and a great deal of candor.”    Tom Hanks

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”    William Arthur Ward

When Guilt Melts, Belief Emerges

guilt and emerging confidence“….A single spark of courage can ignite the fires of hope….” Unknown

“Only through letting go are we free to live and love as our authentic self. We stop going through the motions and start living a loving, happy life…..” Unknown

It is time to look at each day as a new beginning to start again and make things right. If we think that all is lost, ended or fruitless it denies us any options to attempt to make anything better. It is easier to give up or give in than it is to steer in a new direction.

If we have a poor attitude then it is a good idea to work on that. Feeling useless and having no faith in our abilities necessitates a reevaluation of our positive qualities. It is strange but as much as others may see us with big egos, we possibly see ourselves as without any talent at all.

It amazes me that most of us are like actors on a stage. We pretend bravado but in reality we cringe at our true self. Maybe TV and social media or whatever makes us look so small that we blow away in the wind. Having confidence in you has nothing to do with being perfect, always correct or being the center of attention. Having self-esteem is awareness that I am who and what I am and with work I can be and do better.

It is a contentment or acceptance of self. I don’t mean in a moped kind of way but a happy cherishing way. The intricacies of self are so numerous we can’t count the ways we are special. All people have made their own strides in their own areas. We walk talk think and feel. We are something and we matter.

Some of us misuse our talents and are prompted by self to find the road and travel easier. The only competition or race we have is with us. So allowing others to point out our flaws or dictate our way is absurd. Spend time reflecting on your good talents and concentrate on making the questionable ones more in tune to how you want them to reflect the real you.

Sometimes I compliment someone on a simple skill such as gardening or illustrating and I find them practically apologizing and slandering themselves as if they were not worth the compliment. At this point I would suggest we study ourselves and only review the good things we notice.

I believe if we can pull the wrapper off of our faces we might observe an awesome character within. I would bet that if I were to describe a person to a friend they would probably mention what a nice person he or she was just from my description. The sad thing is they would never recognize the fact that it was them I was describing.

If we can’t have faith then we can’t try to advance. In order to work on anything we have to believe it is worth our effort and time. We have to develop a self-love and forgiveness in order to improve. Belief gives us the stamina and enthusiasm we need to fuel our passion and increase our wisdom and abilities.

My biggest confusion is why people regard themselves so poorly. What triggered such a self-loathing in the first place. Sometimes I wonder if it is life in general that knocks us down or if parents, teachers and other people in our lives insulted us frequently. The list of blame increases but I know we must try to stop seeing only faults.

So what if we failed, lost our temper, didn’t fulfill our commitments. Nobody said we can’t attempt to try again and do better. I think to attempt something we must have an inner desire that comes from faith and belief. How we get some trust in ourselves may require some effort. I think we should think of at least one good thing about ourselves that we like. If we can’t do it we need to ask another person for the input. Then I think before bedtime we should recall our day and remember one kind deed we did for someone else even if it was a stranger. This can even be a smile. At the end of ten days we have ten good compliments of self and ten kind deeds we completed.

The more we come to see ourselves as good functioning human beings, the worthier we will be considered by our judgmental self. To see good qualities is important and not boastful. All of us must gain a positive sense of self.


If we don’t forgive ourselves for our mistakes then it leaves us blocked and cornered and basically immobile. If we want to learn how to ride a bike we practice. If we want to learn anything it involves work. Taking responsibility for the kind of person we are and want to become is ownership of values. We can accomplish much at our own pace. We know the time and effort we give and we also understand how difficult the task is.

Guilt just demolishes effort and immobilizes progress. We waste our own time and effort by using our energy to worry and fret. It is much better spent working towards the role we wish to play. Sometimes I think the bright sunlight each day is suggesting we have the opportunity to begin the day fresh and blameless. It is only up to us to manifest the outcome of our day.

“…You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind…” ~ Darwin P. Kingsley

“…The world may try to make you feel inferior and insignificant and will make out that you always need something else. But you have so much. You are more than enough. You are beautiful. There are so many wonderful things around you. Inside you, there is magic galore. Shine where you are. Open wide your heart. You have everything you need… ”  S.C Lourie