Monthly Archives: April 2015

Living With Despair Or Hope

Living With Despair Or Hope“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”     J.R.R. Tolkien

“She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.”     Patricia Briggs

“Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”     Jo Nesbo

“The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.”     Alain de Botton

How many of us are fearful at every turn. I would guess that most of us worry constantly. We fear so many things that we don’t even count or connect them anymore. Our anxiety level increases along with the stress. What we don’t see is the numerous diseases we encounter because of the pressure of our burdens. We may be able to walk through fire to help someone, especially our families, but facing the issues of daily life may bring us to our knees. I heard someone say that there would always be prayer in schools, because there would always be tests.

The wonder of why we succumb to life’s strain is not especially hard to understand.  Facing problems head on is not the preference for most of us.  We perhaps prefer to think about it when we are forced. Perhaps  that is for the best in certain respects. Life does appear to wear us all down to the point of making us feel defeated.

Maybe we ought to reflect on what life means, and what goals we have set. Perhaps we doom ourselves by trying to gain the same items as everyone else, or have a  certain amount of money. Most of us take pride in the achievements of our kids. The honor falls on us so we think. Taking a deeper look in what we believe, and search for, may produce surprising answers. Continue reading

Rebellious Mothers-in-Law

Our Rebellious Hearts“What the soul knows is often  unknown to the man who has a soul. We are infinitely more than we think.” Kahlil Gibran

“I realized that all the trouble I ever had about you came from some smallness or fear in myself.”    Mary Haskell

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”    Seneca

“We are expression of earth, and of life – not separate individuals only. We cannot get enough away from the earth to see the earth and ourselves as separates. We move with its great movements and our growth is part of its great growth.”    Kahlil Gibran

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”    Seneca

There has been a tremendous amount of talk about mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. The fascinating part is that nothing ever changes. I wrote a book on the mother-in-law daughter-in-law dilemma which took  over fifteen years of research. I interviewed people at the beginning of those years and at the end and I got the same results. To be honest, I was shocked.

Today’s young people appear to be more computer literate, independent and outspoken. Yet when you mention a mother-in-law, their complaints and issues sound  the same throughout the ages. They are no less confident around their mothers-in-law than any other generation. Perhaps they are even less secure, given the confusion regarding one insignificant person, who appears to make them nervous. The mystery is they can’t figure out why. Continue reading

Learning How To Fight Nicely

yes“No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows it’s own weaknesses, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still live with the force of hatred, feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts through life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot—being only human—put asunder what God has joined together.” Whitney Otto

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

I think we might be low on encouragement. We all need it and want it, yet most of us most of the time never get it. Are we all so deprived, or tired that we can’t muster any kind words for each other. I know there are so many times I’d rather lash out at someone, in order to diffuse my anger. It might be that a bit of encouragement would surprise us, and disarm us in the process.

How often  do workers get any kind of compliments. They hardly see the boss, , unless of course something went wrong. How  is it we can attend the meeting to criticize, but not be there to compliment. Sometimes it feels good when someone acknowledges that we are doing a great job. It makes us feel noticed. In this great big world, with more friends than we can count, it is nice to be noticed.

The boss is busy with numerous e-mails, calls appointments and meetings with others. Finding the time for one more thing just doesn’t fit into his schedule. When  others do mess up perhaps they were sick, had a duty call for the baby or kids, or health issues kept them away. We can’t be available and suitable every minute of every day. Those are the times we hassle ourselves about doing a better job. The truth is we are not machines, and we have emotional, and physical issues to confront. How about friends who we rely on for boosts to the ego. Of course they might be burdened themselves and have nothing left for us. I have been there when you run out of close friends to call, when you are experiencing disappointment and defeat. Continue reading

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary

Ordinary Might Be Extraordinary“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”    Desmond Tutu

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”    Leo Tolstoy

“Everybody’s got the seam of goodness in them, Kit,” said Grandpa. “Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.”    David Almond

I spend a lot of time talking about comparisons, jealousy and competition. The truth is just when I think I have discovered where it mostly originates,  I find new areas of initiations. It is true that parents, grandparents and most people, compare constantly without thought. We hear about he tallest child, best athlete, intelligent or pretty girl, and more common discussions.

I wonder why we can’t seem to control our measurements. It would be horrible if we went to work everyday and listened to others talk about the best worker, smartest computer programmer, or other items we might consider. If neighbors commented on the lawns, houses, apartments or anything else that perhaps is measurable, we would avoid encounters with such individuals. Continue reading

Compassion

Compassion“Some things take so long But how do I explain When not too many people Can see we’re all the same And because of all their tears Your eyes can’t hope to see The beauty that surrounds them Now, isn’t it a pity”    George Harrison

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Plato

I am convinced that most of us believe we are not understood, and that others don’t have enough  sympathy for our trials and tribulations. There is a disconnect between what we say and do, and how others interpret that. Put another way, what we say and do is not always easily understood by others. Many people retreat from our conversations, confused with our words and possibly insulted.

I am beginning to hate the word insulted. What does that mean, “I am insulted”. I am as guilty of being on both sides of the issue so I understand it as we all do, from both sides. It is ludicrous to think that any of us go to a function or work with the intention of deliberately  hurting another individual. Our minds are not telling us to plan an onslaught of speech that tears  another ego down. It has to makes us wonder if we are so fragile, that our confidence can be shaken at the slightest affront.

Does our attitude  of being offended bring on the sympathy? Is that what we are searching for? Perhaps when any of us want attention from others, we strive to gain it in any way that we can. Attaining the sympathy of others is probably one way we all can easily win. The trouble is, there is usually a culprit in the situation. That person becomes the perpetrator of the offense against us. In reality, probably they are the scapegoat of our fears and stresses.

It isn’t a huge  problem, so we think, because there is no physical crime committed. However, the person does believe there has been an emotional upset and misconduct executed. Of course we all fall into these traps that others set, and we admonish ourselves for the dilemma we are in. I know I never go to a party with the intention of singling out  someone to affront. I do like to talk so I suppose there have been times when I have unwittingly upset another individual. Continue reading

Speaking Frankly

Speaking Frankly“Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable; be honest and frank anyway.”     Kent M. Keith

“Frankness is not a license to say anything you want, wherever and whenever you want. It is not rudeness.”    Dick Warren

“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”    Friedrich Nietzsche

A straightforward speaker, or honest discussion is becoming outmoded. It is difficult to exchange words with anybody, without contemplating every word and facial expression. Even our facial manifestations might tell a  conflicting story from our words. There are times when I retreated from an encounter, utterly confused as to where the other person stood in their convictions. I must admit that many times I am not even sure of the message I professed, during my engagement with another. Confusion regarding beliefs and truths is common. It leaves us all wondering where we stand on numerous issues.

As a teacher it is impossible to perhaps offer a negative argument  about a child. Teachers search for the positive compliments first, but eventually must get to the meat of the matter, which includes negative problems that must be addressed. How else do we correct  anything  if we can’t confront it. Parents love their children but must learn to accept the less than honorable qualities, that are sometimes displayed outside the home environment. Upon delivering some painful insights, most teachers hope that parents will work with them, to support healthier outcomes. A lot depends upon the way the parents interpret the information and advice.

Loving kids unconditionally should make accepting their failures easier. Faults should never cause us to love our kids less. Pretending the kids are never to blame is ludicrous. It only magnifies the issues and postpones finding answers. Why is it we are all so convinced  of the necessity of hiding our faults. We  even conceal our children’s blame. Honesty has been overcome with pride. We leave no room for truth anymore. Distrust permeates the atmosphere and keeps veracity crushed. Continue reading