Monthly Archives: September 2014

Surviving The Obstacles

boys n girls

“As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself. The other for helping others.”    Audrey Hepburn

“Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow-man. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too.”    Albert Schweitzer

Teenage boys endure their own problems and fears. They also choose friends that are in high regard. Girls are judging them by who they are with. The stronger and louder the friends, the more status they gain. Boys watch television and sports, and read books and magazines. All of the media and their own families and peers, emphasize the image of a male as tough, feisty, strong, mean, courageous, powerful, and controlling as a leader. The kind thinking male is very low on the scale. Can anyone else see a problem?

Boys and girls may believe they are not ready to drive, but they will get behind a wheel anyways because they fear being called a chicken or baby. Boys fight over girls, because that is what is expected. Girls believe they are more loved, if the young man fights for them. The young man has no choice when challenged, if he wants to keep his girlfriend as well as his pride. To lose her, is to lose standing in the group. Girls may not like the way a boy treats them, but they put up with it because they don’t want to lose their status in the group. We are learning group mentality where we don’t think anymore, but allow our group to decide our issues and choices.

Teenage boys and girls stress over college applications. Many parents can’t afford the cost of a high-end college. The state college is the chosen school because it is the cheapest. This in no way makes it less of an educator. On the contrary, there is more competition to get in at a state school, and less codling. The young teens learn how to manage themselves and their courses. When all of the learning is complete, the person with the finest degree, is the person who put the most into their learning, regardless of what college they received their education.

Of course when applying, young men and women worry about the status of the colleges. When some students are discussing their chosen schools that have a high cost of acceptance, others are embarrassed to discuss the colleges they are set to attend in the fall. Fear keeps these students from relaying the names of their less prestigious colleges. The books are the same. Science has its paradigms and those are current and up to date. The books are teaching these paradigms, no matter what school you are attending. Professors at college simply toss out the books to purchase and the learning program or syllabus. It is totally up to the individual student to read and learn.

Hence the amount of learning has to do with the student and not the school. Teens must stop loathing the college they are entering. How much time and effort they plan to give their studies, far outweighs any fancy name that won’t even be considered in the future. We never ask our tax accountant where they went to school, nor our engineer building our bridges, or the nurse helping us in the hospital. Even our doctor who we cherish, is never questioned about his or her credenials. In order to feel important, others have a need to use whatever is within their means, to seemingly place them on a higher pedestal. In time they fall off. You can’t fall if your feet are already on the ground.

A strong male is a courageous powerful leader, and feisty but in different ways. Added to these qualities are thinking, empathy, caring, thoughtfulness and gentleness. He is the one to run into the burning building to save someone. He is the one to protect and work for his family. He is the one to take responsibility and never walk away from his accountability. He is the one extending empathy and gentleness with his children. He is the one to make peace and make a better world, because he has reflected on what is right. Who would you want as a leader? What we are receiving today in the form of leaders, sports heroes and Hollywood idols are the qualities we are projecting as worthy.

Most of our idols are pompous, without accountability, without compassion, compromise, empathy, care and gentleness. It is more than treating those we love with these attributes, but also those we dislike. Our society needs to rethink its heroes. Most of our heroes have huge egos. We are the heroes. We have the ability to do great things, and to influence others towards greatness. A mother or father who labors every day for the sake of their children is the real hero. Name calling, bullying, and being the butt of the jokes can become intolerable for teens. What is more intolerable is the fear of losing friends and respect. The fear of being without friends, love and acceptance, outweighs the insults. No one wants to be alone.

I remember hearing a story about a couple who had two sons. One became a doctor and made his parents very proud. They believed every life he saved, reflected on his soul and their souls. Their other son became a policeman. Try as they did, they couldn’t come to terms with how much of a positive impact he made on other people’s lives. When their policeman son was retiring, after thirty years of service, his fellow officers held a testimonial in his honor. The parents were invited and pleased to attend.

At the ceremony numerous people stepped up to speak on behalf of their son. Apparently, their son had gotten involved with helping some poorer families in the community he patrolled. People hurried up to the microphone, one after another, and recalled how this man helped them to overcome the many temptations of their environment. Each person ended with the words, “If it hadn’t been for his help, I’d never be where I am today.” At the end of each testimonial, they stated their current position in life, and thanked him for his positive affect on them. A couple were now doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers factory workers and  clerks. They were all contributing members to the society.

The man’s parents were speechless. It had never occurred to the parents, how many lives were touched by their son. They were hugging their son with tears in their eyes. Instead of taking the glory, he responded, “You guys were my first teachers; I need to share this glory with both of you.” Now their tears were gushing and the group hug was maintained for a very long time. Their son’s humbleness only added to his outstanding attributes.

After many years, this story remains in my memory still, because we never really understand and sometimes underestimate our power to do good and to make a difference. Most of us never get a testimonial in our honor, so most of us will never know the lives we’ve touched and possibly changed for the better. The man did it at no expense or hurt to another human being. Up to this point in time there was no glory. He was never giving from his ego or great wealth. He was giving from his heart. We all have hearts and we can all give. Maybe we will never be wealthy enough to give of our possessions, but we have hands and feet and eyes and ears. We can give of  ourselves and our time. Time is our most precious gift to offer.

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give someone your time you give them a portion of your life, that you will never get back.”     Albert Schweitzer

“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

“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”    Albert Schweitzer

“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

“Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.”    Albert Schweitzer

Job Division at Home

dividing tasks“The deepest fear we have, ‘the fear beneath all fears,’ is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It’s this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life.”                 Tullian Tchividdian

“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.”    Jon Kabat-inn

“We have to wake up. We have to refuse to be a clone.”     Alice Walker

Sometimes I think couples fight more about whether or not their partner completed the job than what jobs they have to do. There is tons of stress today regarding what must be accomplished. It is a wonder anyone can take these tasks on never mind complete them on time and  properly. It can give one a headache regarding the amount of work one person must attempt to do.

It is never a good idea to comment on the way husbands and wives divvy up the chores. The thing to remember is that as long as they are happy the world is happy. It goes without saying that mom doesn’t always have to change the baby and dad doesn’t always have to dump the garbage. That is a good thing. At least when the jobs are divided it allows one to choose some of the jobs they would prefer over other tasks. Likewise it gives both parties some control over what they are doing versus being expected to do the “man” or “woman” chores.

At times it saddens me to watch the amount of assignments and difficulties young families take on. Their schedules would leave anyone plunging down in total defeat before they even begin. I am impressed on the one hand but filled with pity for them on the other hand. It appears we have taken on more than we can handle and at some point something just might give.

Our desire to have it all is admirable but it is also causing a lot more stress and pressure on people to succeed at numerous positions. This  leaves  us open to self-criticism on many levels. We can feel defeated as a parent, worker, spouse,  sports instructor, health instructor, mental health maintainer climbing the ladder to success through more and more educational degrees, and so many more positions we accrue, that   I can’t name them all. It is admirable but again headache causing.

I am not sure why we put ourselves under such duress. It reminds me of times when we are young and one child ventures to sled down the big hill. Likewise the rest of the kids follow because you just have to do what everyone else can do. It appears we have transferred this to adulthood. If my neighbor has the garden planner then I should be able to afford to do the same. If he or she has so many degrees then I must keep up my studies. I have seen this carried over to the marriage where one gets the college degree and then it is the  other spouse’s turn.

I can appreciate the person who has a goal to aspire to but otherwise we strive for acceptance by others. How  long we can keep this going until we crash is beyond my comprehension. It just appears to be a competition and a game of who gains more material things. We don’t consider our happiness as a good beneficial idea. With fewer items we have room for more happiness. How is it we don’t see this. The constant movement of gaining more and more leaves us less time to even enjoy our treasures. We begin to forget what the real treasures are in the process.

Cultivating love takes time just like any other item of importance that we strive for. If we want love we must work at it. The difference is the work is pleasurable and relaxing whereas to be successful at the other materialistic jobs one must suffer pressure and burdens. The love gained inspires more love and continuously spreads out more while material accumulation necessitates continual work and stress. If one ever played in the stock market it would be easy to see which stock produced  the best returns for the money or in this case the labor.

I really do respect people’s’ high ideals and admire their material gains. I just believe at some point it is time to be satisfied and focus on our own emotional state of mind. I believe we cause some ill-health by working so hard non-stop. We lose sleep, eat poorly, engage in bad habits to numb our minds, and put up  with tension in our relationships due to our overextended bodies, brains and emotional states of mind.

By the end of the day we have used up whatever was in us to give out. With nothing left we go home to the most important people in our lives and release our anger, frustration and emotional strain. It is so easy to see why marriages fail. Something has to give. In the end the people with the most toys may actually lose but they don’t see it coming. Those with less who have ingratiated love within the family win. They have less but more.

I only throw this out there for those who have had enough pressure and stress in their lives. If they have had enough and want a peaceful meaningful life, then they will rethink their needs and wants. Maybe they can diminish their wants, and accept their needs. Too many fights start because one spouse maybe forgot to do one of their jobs. Now we have the erring spouse overworking and stressed and pressured, unfulfilled in their love because their true love is fighting with them causing them even more stress.

Now each spouse can hold onto resentment. They both have memories and for sure the spouse who was called to task on his or her failure to complete their job will likely be waiting for the chance to retaliate back at the other spouse when they have incomplete work. We must see the horrible cycle we are on and how easily we fall into it. Perhaps these marriages break up due to false pretenses more than truth. We get so far away from it we lose sight of the actuality.

Spend more time with the family than you think you should and less time at meaningless jobs that you consider super important. Again ask yourself if everything around you went up in flames, and you drove up to your house and confronted the firemen, what thoughts would enter your mind? Would you be thinking and ask about the computer with its’  endless array of your files or your new shed being built, or the recently seeded grass in the yard,  or your kids and spouse. When you come to realize what means the most to you,  focus more on that item. Don’t leave it for another day or time. The present is what we have so always make the most of it.

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”    Mark Twain

“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”    Mark Twain

“The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” Mark Twain

“Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”  Mark Twain

Cancel The Worry

teenage girls“That awkward moment when you  start telling a story and you realize no one is listening so you slowly fade out and pretend you never said anything.” teenage posts tumblr

“No one must shut his eyes and regard as non-existent the suffering of which he spared himself the sight.” Albert Schweitzer

Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself. ~Robert Collier

It is likely that we, the parents influence our daughters  to grow up faster than they should or need to. Our daughter does not have to be dating at thirteen. Our daughter can enjoy being a growing child. There is no need to rush into adulthood with the many issues it brings. It is irrelevant if all other children are wearing the items or dressing a certain way. Explaining our reasoning and then encouraging the acquisition of new friends if that is necessary, might be a road we need to take in order to protect our children.

Protection is truly a necessity in our world. There are too many temptations, pitfalls and exclusionary incentives that entice and trick our children. Leading the way is important. If we fear making decisions, we leave our children without the guts to stand up for what they want and believe. Being in the minority is not always a bad thing. Standing alone is not always wrong. Our children will not fear making decisions or making mistakes. They will know we are behind them and support them. Maybe we will not always support their beliefs but we will support them.
Girls fear other girls who make them feel so much less of a person. The slightest bit of weight can cause disgust and emotional turmoil. It deflates the capacity to speak and act. One can become the puppet of those in power. Friends take on a more important role. If we have a close friend, we most likely don’t want to share her. If a more popular girl likes our friend we lose our friend to the more popular person. We tend to hide our friends to keep them safe.Even many adults keep their  contacts separate. We talk negatively about others that threaten our bonds  of friendship so our friend won’t be tempted to leave our bond of friendship.

Teens spend a lot of time pleasing their friend not because they value them as much as they fear losing them. If they disagree with a buddy about an issue, they are consumed with loss when their buddy stops speaking to them. They are set afloat on the high sea by themselves with no land in sight. All they can think about is how to make things right again. It is foremost on their minds and school work and parents take second place. Young people allow friends to define who they are. Friends know them best and care about them.

Actually, friends are in the same situation. They need a buddy pal or group to feel comfortable. Fear of being alone without any friends makes it extremely important to keep a friend close by. Pals experience the same fears. A lost pal causes havoc and turmoil. One can only think about finding another quickly. Because of all the divorces, friends might be the only stable source in sight at times.

Many teens dump old friends if they become accepted by a superior clique. This is not always for the better. One young girl lost her friend because she wasn’t allowed to be out as late as her friend was allowed. Her parents didn’t allow her to go to the questionable movies so gradually the young girl became ostracized. She was angry with her parents but in the long run she was protected from growing up too quickly.

Experiencing the throws of love and exhibiting a boyfriend is the essence of having succeeded as a teenage girl. This is what the media promotes and at times what parents promote unconsciously. The more popular the boy is, the more prestige the girl is awarded. What a teen looks for in a boyfriend is debatable. If society values those attributes of kindness, compassion, empathy, honesty, gentleness and humbleness, then those are the qualities our teens would look for in their friends and close friendships.

Unfortunately, if society values physical attractiveness, lust, prowess, strength, power, control, competitiveness and force, then our teens will seek these qualities in a friend or prospective mate.Most of us seek the later when we are in need and the former when we are play-acting. We question that which is real and that which is a pretend existence. The man who watches a sports program, and roots for the player who is unquestionably the best on the team, but deserted a wife and family, shouldn’t question his daughter’s choice of the star athlete who uses every girl he can.

These questionable people are similar to what we are honoring as role models. Until we change our idols, our children will continue to take our lead and honor unworthy attributes. The problems of fear begin to multiply when teenage fears cause certain behaviors and these behaviors have results. Girls act in more mature ways and end up in mature situations which can get out of control and cause harm and hardship. Coercion into drinking possibly leads to sex, drugs, pregnancy, loss of college plans and a disrespect of others. At the very least it leads to simply disliking ourselves in the morning for being out of control the night before.

A girl doesn’t want to be the only dissenting vote on drinking so she goes along with the group and hopes to modify her drinking. The trouble is she is not sure how to modify something she is inexperienced about in the first place. She has no baseline to set her modifications on. Friends will tease or cajole a more reluctant friend who decides against the majority. Most girls in the end go along with the program and believe in their hearts that they tried to do the correct thing.

Young women are convinced that they are less attractive, less intelligent, and less worthy than the popular girls. A quick look up and down or a cryptic remark about a new hair cut that doesn’t add a compliment are meant to cut and hurt and control others. It works well. Defeated young women are convinced all of it is true. They are ashamed to complain to mom and dad because they are not babies. They also know mom and dad will say they are beautiful, because they are their daughter so it doesn’t count.

The fact that young women are jealous of each other takes some young teenage girls by surprise. If they haven’t been taught how to wear make-up, or buy styles that are in vogue, they appear to be out of step. The real problem is why there is any emphasis on make-up and clothes. It is a mystery that somewhere along the line we have lost the true meanings of our lives. Because we have forgotten, we have not taught the real meanings to our children. They live in a world full of fears and they are as lost as we are.

I will never forget the comment made by a brave young woman about to have a double mastectomy. She was quick about telling the doctor she was okay with it especially where it was to survive cancer. She felt embarrassed about how easily she accepted the removal of  both breasts. She held her head downward almost in shame. Her mother chided in quickly. “You know you are worth more than your breasts. You have always known that.” The girl smiled back and replied “Yes!” She is a happy survivor of breast cancer.

Too much emphasis is placed on bodily looks. It really is the parents job to let their daughters know they are worth more than that. So  many women compete with each other and hurt each other in the process. When mom and dad set the record straight, others will fall in line. Even the finest bodies eventually deteriorate. So every woman faces the dilemma at some point in time. We are all worth so much more. It is time to prove it with our thoughts words and purchases.

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying : I will try again tomorrow.”    Maryanne Radmacher

“Little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit.”  Albert Schweiter

“I wish I could give him my pain just for a moment….not to hurt him, but just to make him finally understand how much he hurt me.” quotes 4smile.com

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”                    Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.” Buddha

“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.” Nathaniel Branden

 

Bullying Is Real; Defeat It

bullying is real“When I wrote on my door: leave your hypocrisy outside before you come in. Not a soul dared to visit me or open my door.” Khalil Gibran

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”     Maya Angelou

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”    Elie Wiesel

Bullying has been around for a long time, and has increased its area of ruin. Recently it has been placed in the spotlight. We become aware of it when a person hurts another. We miss it in ourselves. It possibly is promoted through our daily interactions. Bullying has surfaced into the daylight. It is ugly if we are honest about it. We should not be surprised at how rampant it has become. Many of us have been guilty of bullying or we have been the victims of bullies.. Maybe it’s time to reflect on those times we have been at fault, for bullying another.

We need to have the confidence in ourselves so that we don’t feel the need to knock another down, in order for us to feel better, or get ahead. Carefully watching our actions and their consequences is vital. Society suffers with every bully action displayed towards another person. Recognizing ourselves in these situations helps us to overcome it. Strive for tolerance of others, by  disregardless their differences. We are obliged to support our children in their endeavor to become more empathetic, and accepting of others. Many of us are able to accept those who are different. It’s time to accept those who are similar to us, and pose a jealousy threat.

Constant anger within a family triggers children to be fearful and upset. Parents are their children’s rocks of stability and survival. Every time parents are yelling and screaming at each other, children feel vulnerable regarding their own existence. Fighting and anger are part of human nature. When one crosses the line, and anger becomes out of control rage, children worry for their own lives, and their mom’s or dad’s life. Children most likely feel helpless to stop the turmoil and are caught in a web of love, hate and secrecy.

With physical abuse, children’s worst nightmares become real. The people they love and trust the most in the world, have turned into monsters. Many children possibly begin having nightmares, or wetting the bed. Boys might be scarred from feelings of helplessness in their inability to protect their mothers. Many children become the victims themselves. If the family is in crises, they might seek the aid of others. It then brings the hope they can remain intact. If parents will not talk about it or seek support, eventually the marriage and the family dissolves, leaving only the children behind.

Parents move on to a new life, but as stated before, the children remain forever caught in the original roots of home. One cannot be ashamed of anger. It is a human emotion. There is a tremendous amount of burdens placed on parents, so it is not a surprise to see parents full of turmoil. How one manages the irritations is a whole other situation. If we allow exasperation to take control of our life, we have given up command. Infuriation becomes the boss of us. Managing our fury is central.

At work, if a co-worker bothers us or even the boss, we must accept and control our annoyance. We cope, keep our attitudes under wraps, or walk away. The alternative is a job loss or worse. Wrath appears to be devouring our society. It abounds everywhere. Our culture expects entitlement. When gains are not forthcoming, we thrash out in anger and resentment, at the nearest person. If we are the irritated store clerk at a food store, the buyer is the receiver of our ire. If we are the furious buyer, the seller shoulders the brunt of our maddening thoughts.

Anger emerges when one is driving in a car. Dad gets upset at mom, or the children; the car is speeding and moving erratically. This is obviously not safe for the children, anyone else in our car, or the surrounding cars. When enraged we do not have the right to jeopardize the lives of our family, or possibly other peoples’ lives in cars near us. Children are great imitators and we will see our fury emerge, when our child punches their sibling or starts fighting at school. We cannot ask ourselves where it comes from when we already know the answer.

Again, we all get angry, but how we handle rage is a completely subjective situation. One can begin with small steps, by attempting to eliminate some of the irritation. That alone would make things better. The more we talk about infuriating episodes with our child, the more beneficial it will be to resolving family problems. We are not fooling our children, even when they smile at us, after a tumultuous situation.

Women are as guilty of ire as men. Modeling wrath, is teaching our children how to exhibit negative feelings, rather than positive ones. As parents, we choose to teach negatively or positively. Discuss fury, and attempt to explain why its impact is so far-reaching. It damages, and kids know this. Children are aware of our ire, especially if our child is the receiver of thrashings, when we are in a rage. Our admittance to an anger issue, perchance might lead to healing for the whole family.

One thing we cannot do under any circumstance is to stop trying. If we do, It is over and we are admitting defeat, by our surrender. We must persevere even when we keep faltering. Realize that every time we do not weaken, we have improved our home life. In addition, the world is enriched. One small step at a time is what it required. Diligence and effort make our struggle  important and valuable, even if we do not completely succeed. The small victories encourage us to continue forward.

Wrath spills over into every relationship, within the family. Siblings may get into altercations with each other, and with their parents. This has resulted in police calls to the families, as well as detentions for the fights taking place at school. No member of the family is unscathed. Constant conflict with a step-parent, or parent, will bring many police visits and numerous incidences of home detentions. Boys, especially, withstand the worst of these altercations.

Teachers lament the sadness of the situation, as well as the loss of valuable teaching time. Comforting the child is always a priority. However, the questionable issues remain unsolved. Stress is real. There are numerous reasons for anyone to be feeling pressure, and children are no exception. Today we have become so used to things being in the gray area, that we have as a society been reluctant to call any situation black or white. It is politically correct to stick with gray. The tragedy is, that sometimes and possibly many times, a situation is right or wrong.

One thing we might all agree on, is that our children should be safe and able to be children. They must not be confronted with so many issues, that apparently are provoking tension. Without a doubt, I believe children’s anxieties have escalated. It is up to us to crush the habits of bullying, and embrace kindness and tolerance of others.

It is up to all of us to change the norms around bullying. “Adults need to make sure they are positive role models for kids.”    Anonymous

“Bullies need to make others feel insecure because they are insecure.”    Anonymous
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”     Maya Angelou

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”     Maya Angelou

Emotional Pain Of Bullying

cause of b“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.”    Anonymous

“I would rather be a little nobody, than to be an evil somebody.”    Abraham Lincoln

Bullying takes root in children, who many times have been the victims of intimidation themselves. To soothe their own injured spirits, they appear to have the need to wound another person. It might have to do with gaining back some semblance of power into their lives. It might also stem from their desire to overcome their own fears, derived from victimization. I am aware that when a child is intimidated by a parent, or a person they love, they are helpless to stop it or control it. Some children fear for their safety every day. They get back their control, by victimizing another person. Most bullies, likely have been mistreated. The extent of their torment, might be measured in the amount of bullying they are guilty of.

Actually bullies do not feel superior or impressive. They are angry and full of distrust and rage. They seek revenge because they live in fear. Their answer is to attack before you are hurt. Bullies simply do not comply with the rules, and in the process create hardships and troubles. We need to take a look at the way we interact with our children. Do we intimidate verbally, strike, or  become aggressive with our child? Do we threaten, hurt, or torment the pets in our household? Once we correct it in ourselves it will be easier to amend it in our children.

Watching or encouraging our child to aggressively interact with other children, promotes an acceptance of this behavior. Infringing on the space or items of others, must be acted upon, through adult intervention. Those moments we observe our child take another child’s turn, or grab another child’s item, while we smile without interfering, we have condoned the actions. It really is demoralizing for other kids, to be pushed aside or shoved out-of-the-way due to a gentler nature, or younger aged child. Might does not make it right. Stepping in to correct it a bit late, is also possibly giving a blessing to the actions. It is lame to always correct our child with the words, say your sorry. If we make no effort to retrieve the toy from our child, we have made no point of instruction. Kids are capable of such kindness, but perhaps they believe parents expect them to behave aggressively. The parents may not strike their kids, but they expect roughness on the playing field, and in life in general. There are times to be aggressive, but there are more times we need to display an empathetic quality to our natures.

Bullying in children is cutting a line, taking someone’s seat on the bus, threatening, hitting, and being aggressive verbally or physically. Bullying is also intimidation in the form of asking for part of another child’s snack at school, asking for snack money, or threatening another to refrain from telling on them. Bullying can also be deciding who will be in the club, who will be ignored, who will not get to hold a treasured item, or touch or handle a treasured toy. It can be when a child receives their paper last every time a certain child is the paper passer. Bullying can be the snarling looks one child gives to another child behind an adult back. It might be a refused request to join a game. It’s also when one is made to feel inferior. Bullying is making others do things or say things they likely do not want to say or do.

When one student deliberately crashes into another student, but then states it was an accident, red flags should go up. It can be sitting on a swing so another child can’t use it. Children refrain from complaining because they fear the retaliation from a bully. Harassing is one child stepping on someone’s toes accidentally on purpose. Parents uphold a child’s persecuting of others when it is not dealt with at home, after a notification of such an incident. Home environments that encourage bullying, prevent it from being eradicated. Unless more consideration is given to these matters by parents, bullying will most likely increase.

Parents must use the easiest answer of all, which is simply teaching children to stop terrorizing and harassing others. By promoting kindness and respect, bullying will be wiped out. Simply following the rules teaches children how one engages respectfully with others. It is important in the scheme of life, to be aware of tolerating others. We are all required to refrain from illicit actions conducted on another person.

The sooner we learn to relate to others, the quicker we have harmony. We perhaps should ask ourselves how it would feel to be in the other person’s shoes. Would we enjoy climbing aboard a bus, to be confronted with intimidation? Do we browbeat our own children, causing them to frighten others? If we do nothing to stop bullying as conscientious adults, then we have become enablers. We will continue to have and endure the difficulties we are creating.

By refusing or ignoring to remedy the taunting, places an infringement on the freedom of others. In essence, kids must be saved from the tormenters they encounter in their lives. People form friendships which are wonderful. These friendships become less wonderful when they become a clique to the point of excluding others. When a chance arises, oppression will occur again. Harassment of others, perhaps stems from the degree of their own oppression.

Teenagers face even more bullying with the improvement of technology. They may have no relief from these encounters with bullies. The saddest part is they will complain less because they are ashamed, demoralized and believe they are old enough to deal with it themselves. Parents may not even be aware of the extent of their child’s torments.

It’s possible that adults may have started the epidemic by physically punishing their own children. Question our motives. Think about the bullying damage we do. We can’t take it back, any more than we can collect all of the feathers we dumped, from the top of a large building, on a windy day. If we want to teach children to stop bullying others, we need to demonstrate it ourselves. If we continue to intimidate and strike our children, we will reap the harvest of a class-one bully.

The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person.” – Mary Elizabeth Williams

I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” – Bertrand Russell

The Fluidity Of Life

fluidityRumi, a thirteenth-century Persian  Mystic told of a man who walked past a beggar and asked, “Why God, do you not do something for these people?” God replied, “I did do something.  I  made you.” Anonymous

“You can give without loving but you can never love without giving.”    Robert Louis Stevenson

We all look back on some happy occasions and yearn for those moments again. I am so guilty of this as much or more than anybody but then I remember the present and tell myself to rejoice in my life and savor the wonderful moments. We all have wonderful past memories and sometimes they may appear more awesome at the present because we are going through a difficult time. That is when anything looks better to us.

The past should be recalled and enjoyed as many times as we want however we don’t want the cost of this to be the present moments. Life is fluid and within the fluidity we can choose many brief but happy moments to celebrate and place in our memory banks. We don’t always need pictures to recall these times. We don’t require spending a lot of money to experience them either. Truthfully if we reflected on our own lives to remember the meaningful moments it would most likely be the times another person touched our lives with words or actions.

We really live in deeds and kindnesses. We are affected by soulful minutes when our emotions  become overwhelmed and sometimes even spill over into tears. Rarely does one have an epiphany from recalling a vacation. I am not saying it never happens but perhaps our finest recalls just can’t be put into words or possibly even explained. Even when we think about those moments ourselves we can become overcome.

If we studied why so much emotion is tied into those times of remembrance, we comprehend that we were deeply moved within ourselves and possibly changed because of the love we experienced at that moment in time. It is powerful to recall an incident with a past relative that was so meaningful yet to explain it to another would lose all of the magic. We just sometimes don’t understand our own emotional state. We just know we were above the usual human experience.

What we can’t forget is that life is fluid and moves onward. We must continue to embrace the newness that is around us. We can’t yearn for the days when for instance the kids were younger. We must celebrate the newness of the current experiences. Otherwise we become lost in the past and stuck in time.

The hurts can also leave us immobilized. They perhaps are as draining as the happy events. Whatever might be holding us back must be released if we are to embrace something new. Life wants us to encompass the untraveled road. We can’t even be sure that road will bring us more and even better experiences. Allowing fear to immobilize us will keep us right where we are and unable to search for anything more.

Every person we allow into our lives brings us lessons. I have mentioned in other posts  about the pain of changes either good or bad. Sometimes the bad can teach us about watching for the good so it really is never necessarily seen as a bad. I suppose by continuing to live our lives without shutting down is important. We can never say I have had enough of life so I am not going to engage in it in any big way. I equate this to running your car in the driveway until it runs out of gas. The car never moved anyone from place to place. The same is true with our lives.

As good as the past looks and as innocent as the times appear to be can be overshadowed by our own way of looking at it in the present. After all we only want to see the good pieces and skip the hurts. As long as we are alive we have things to look at and learn. We have choices and moments to celebrate. We have the pains but also the days to rejoice. We have things to do, to  learn and to accomplish. Maybe the accomplishment for us is to increase for the better, our communication with a partner.

Some lessons may require us to learn empathy, patience, understanding, tolerance and what love means. If we gently carry ourselves forward through the fluidity of life without fear or doubt and keeping our senses fully attuned to our surroundings, we will gain more powerful experiences than we ever thought possible.

Life offers truth even when we prefer to hide from  it. We cannot relive moments but we can savor them and fortify ourselves enough to gain he courage to live many more moments. As we make our choices let us reflect on  the consequences of our picks. Will we be a better person or have a more profound attitude towards life with our choices or will we resent others and ourselves for what we chose. By living a meaningful life which can be very simple, we bring more favorable actions and events into our sphere of environment. This leaves us with many more wonderful thoughts and experiences to celebrate when we recall our past.

“Ask not if you are happy,  ask if your life has meaning.” Anonymous

“Kindness in words creates confidence.  Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tu

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his habits of mind.” William James

A Child’s Perception Of Shattered

shattered“Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”
Terry Tempest Williams

“You are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”   Khalil Gibran

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”    Khalil Gibran

After a divorce many parents introduce a new man or woman into the young child’s life immediately, without any regard to time and effort. Pacing the acceptance by the child, for this new individual we introduce into their lives, is crucial. It certainly is more thoughtful to allow the child time, to be acquainted with this new person, before they are having breakfast at the kitchen table. Other parents declare a divorce, and the arrival of a new half sibling at the same time.

Poor behavior at school may immediately occur. When there is a fear of losing the love of special people, children shut down and melt down. Fighting, anger, and divorce are ripping our children’s hearts to shreds. Divorce is one major outside force, which has far-reaching consequences. It manifests fear, anxiety anger frustration jealousy and envy into the lives of children. It cannot be underestimated, in the damages it causes to children. The effects are so extensive, that they might carry the damage throughout their lifetime. Divorce influences various areas of one’s life.

I would emphasize the rethinking of such a course. A moment of anger and revenge can result in a lifetime of tragedy. It benefits all to put their best effort into alternative remedies. Divorce is, in my opinion, a number one reason for mental stress and emotional anguish for children. It is in my judgment a contributor of poverty for children. It is also my belief, that divorce has become a stress and fear contributor for many children caught in such a situation.

Grandparents become those casualties of war, trapped in the middle of custody battles, and family disputes. Unfortunately, it would help if grandparents refused to get involved in the disputes of the husband and wife, and remained involved in the lives of their grandchildren. This may be critical to the child’s management and release of fear. Bickering parents may ruin the grand-parenting relationship. The results lead to decimation in the relationship and little, if any, contact with their grandchildren. Even those grandparents who refrain from the hostility, are possibly enmeshed in the complications without their consent. Grandparents suffer the forfeiture of grandchildren, and grandchildren suffer the deficiency of their relationships with grandparents.

The insecurities we deposit on our children are painful. In order to punish our ex-spouse, we in the process punish our children. Revenge is anything but sweet. It is more of a contagious disease, that infects everyone near. Grandparents can bring comfort and support. If given the opportunity. They might provide a child with a sense of family and ancestry. Stability might appear in a child’s life, along with a belief that all is not gone or lost. The child did not fight with grandma or grandpa. Possibly, a truce might be made with the grandparents.

We must keep in mind what is best for our child. It is not about our issues or resentments. We perhaps are moving on with our life, but these people are our child’s world. We should try to refrain from destroying our child’s images of wonderful past experiences. Having an awareness of how deeply divorce cuts into a child’s psyche, might alter one’s plans for a quick divorce. Maybe it is possible to change course in the marriage, or place more effort into producing a stronger structure. Later, as time passes, this predictable effort takes less energy. Reconsider the fact that commitments of two homes, families, and spouses may become more stressful than our current situation.

The reality is that none of us likes to be alone, and we will likely have more children with this new spouse. Will they value our children from our previous marriage, as much as they value the child conceived with us? Will our other children mean anything to them? Is it possible for the other children to mean a great deal?
This situation inevitably blossoms into reality. Many of us perchance ignore the danger signs to keep peace in any relationship. Even our own children remain quiet. They will play along because they have the most to lose. They need to feign love and acceptance of whatever appears, because it is a survival instinct. Children love their parents. With divorce there is less money and time. We are now juggling two families. How incredible is it to suppose things will be easier or better than before the divorce, unless of course their was abuse. We are currently shouldering more responsibility. If we thought we had too many anxieties before, we have increased them with our choices.

Sometimes we are required to live further away from our first family. Many dads might lose touch or lose the bonds of connectedness. Moms possibly promote ill will towards the child’s father. Dads might also feel competitive with the new step-dad. Moms might feel competitive with the new step-mom. Jealousy and hatred are now blossoming and carrying over to the children, who don’t deserve these burdens. Disparaging our ex-wife or ex-husband in the presence of the children is incorrigible. If we include the children in these episodes of insults, it is damaging. We should question our need to bring more betrayal, retribution and alienation into our children’s lives.

Children will always love mom and dad, and our statements only serve to hurt them. It  contributes to their sense of loss. Sometimes we forget the intense feelings of betrayal, children experience, when they cannot stop us from degrading the other parent. They do not believe they have the power to say anything at the time. Later, the guilty emotional state claws at them. Emotional pain, and fear, can become our child’s best friend. Contemplate your every move, as if you were playing a chess game. Passive aggression is a reality. One might not be thrashing out at another, but a passive aggressive person is being hurtful and causing stress and annoyance in their way. We shouldn’t deliberately interfere with our ex-spouses visiting times, or forget to mention important dates, regarding school or sports, or anything pertaining to the kids. Staying active and involved in our children’s lives is important for both parents. Compromising for the sake of the children is crucial.

When we behave in an aggressive way, or when we are actively destructive in our actions through passive aggression, foremost we destroy our children. Either performance is counterproductive to a healthy relationship. If we succeed in forcing our ex-spouse to recede from the child’s life, we have succeeded in the amputation of a piece of our child’s heart and soul. I would doubt any of us want that for our child, or children. Unless a parent poses a threat to the child, the importance of a child’s connectedness to both parents is fundamental. Caring about our child’s welfare supersedes our own fears and revengeful attitude.

“In a spiritual journey the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long,but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.”    Wendell Berry

“If you don’t risk anything you risk even more.”    Erica Jong

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”    Reinhold Neibuhr

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with all the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”    Eleanor Roosevelt

“May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free. May the powerless find power and may people think of befriending one another. May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness—the children, the aged, the unprotected—be guarded by beneficial celestials.”   Buddhist Prayer For Peace