Listen“I will be waiting here....For your silence to break, for your soul to shake, for your love to wake!" Rumi

“Soul, if you want to learn secrets, your heart must forget about shame
 and dignity.
You are God's lover, yet you worry what people are saying.”
“Brother, stand the pain. Escape the poison of your impulses. The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do. Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun.
Turn away from the cave of your sleeping. That way a thorn expands to a rose.” Rumi

News stories everywhere are absolutely so wild that one would question their honesty. The strangest part is that so many people read or listen to these events while on the train to work or munching their cereal or eating popcorn in their favorite chair. That is perhaps as surreal as the stories. Without a doubt we have lost our sensitivity to the happenings surrounding us. It is just another normal day, so we think.

I have wondered how long we can continue along n our path of destruction, without seeing the cliff before we fall off. That perhaps sounds  a bit over the top but all you have to do is put things in perspective, and listen to the news for the day. I heard of one story detailing a baby of a year old, having 28 broken bones when he was rushed to the hospital and later died. The stories are so similar except for the way the kids and babies have been beaten, tortured, neglected, disrespected, dehumanized and at long last killed.

Listening to the number of people killed in battles, drug addictions, suicide, alcohol, and bad habits derived from too much stress should probably register a wake up call. Sometimes it appears that we are the sleep-walker, oblivious to the reality around us. the environment and home lives are upside down. It is time to stop kidding ourselves that it is the fault of the other person over there. What we are seeing, if we open our eyes, is total chaos and uncontrolled people.

No wonder we have addictions of all kinds and anger in every situation. Stress and anxiety from within and without, are controlling our words and actions. If we continue to value peripheral objects and fail to notice the treasures standing in front of us then we are traveling down a paved road to disaster. I don't say this lightly. I don't believe people are bad, incorrigible, mean or unkind  by nature. Many forces permeate our psyches and hearts. Perhaps we begin to value the wrong items, trust in the perverted ideas and follow the egos of others. The sad thing is that we end up in the same pitiful place.

All is not over or lost but we certainly seem to be living on the brink of disaster. Finding time to reflect on what we are valuing, saying and doing is vital. Most of us myself included, believe we are off of the hook in our beliefs as long as we have a sense of allowing everyone to follow their own road and thoughts. What we must question is at what point do we think it necessary to contemplate what is happening around us. One can say I wouldn't do it but it is up to each individual to decide for himself or herself. The next person can alleviate their conscience by stating it is their right to do what they want, even to the extent of harming others. How far is this going to be carried, before we question how ridiculous.

Aborted babies are being used for tissue transplant and other medical procedures, some of which I don't understand. The hard bit to digest is how unlucky is the baby who is ill-fated to be unmercifully yanked from its mother's womb, in order to serve another life. It's own life has no value so it appears. No one has a problem distancing such topics while having coffee. How desensitized have we become?

Using animals for experiments has always caused a commotion and the users have always said well it helps us to develop medicines for people. How do we explain using people to help people? Are we limitless in what we do and in what we will accept? Will privilege give some people a step up?

Again I don't see  bad people but instead misguided unthinking observers who are too stressed out to conceive of the damage they are doing. Most of us would rush to help another individual. Yet  we only shake our heads at the craziness surrounding us. Unless more people come forward and disagree with what is happening, no relief or solution will be found. Medicine breakthroughs can be discovered in other ways.

Kids are beaten and neglected every day. All of us feel helpless. If we believe we are helpless then nothing will be changed. Like the law recently passed in Massachusetts that allows spanking to be legal. The other definitions in the dictionary are far more disturbing. I guess if we said thrashing, whopping or beating, people might cringe a bit more about that law, but spanking sounds acceptable. The word beating is defined as spanking. We simply turn our heads away washing our hands of the outcome to numerous children.

Perhaps it is time we understood that it is us that needs to pick up the ball. Honestly, we are good people  but we have ignored the cries of the unfortunate for too long. The babies and children deserve  consideration. Our world can be a better place. If we learn how to respect each other as well as all life that we see, we will experience a renewal of love and beauty. Perhaps the shadows will lift from our eyes and allow us to  view a compassionate loving world. There would be no need for rules if everyone cared about each other.

The time we spend on nonsense items should be called to our attention. We have so much to be thankful for. There is so much beauty inside of us and surrounding us but  we shut it out. I have reached my limit of listening to the  negativity permeating our world. I want to hear feel good stories of heart-warmth love and empathy. It is not old-fashioned to want a happy caring place to live. Leave the meanness to the dream state, and wake up to a genuinely empathetic  world. Value your relationships. Make integrity, honesty, empathy, tolerance and kindness universal. Value what counts and find peace.

“There's no one with intelligence in this town except that man over there playing with the children, the one riding the stick horse. He has keen, fiery insight and vast dignity like the night sky, but he conceals it in the madness of child's play.”    Rumi

SPANKING"Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory."    Will Durant

"Spanking and verbal criticism have become, to many parents, more important tools of child rearing than approval." Phil Donahue

"Spanking is simply another form of terrorism. It teaches the victims that might makes right, and that problems can be solved through the use of violence by the strong against the weak."

 "Infliction of pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a desirable method of communicating with children."     American Medical Association

How and why did the state of Massachusetts hinder the advancement of our human evolution? I truly was shocked to hear of the Massachusetts, Justices decision to promote the guidelines for the use of physical punishment by parents. As a teacher, I am aware that loving a child and displaying kindness works far better. How is there anything LEGAL in guidelines promoting physical punishment by anyone? I suppose it sounds good and appeases parents who choose this form of discipline.

They say it is permissible to discipline by spanking, so long as “Reasonable Force” is used, and the child is not harmed. Is this not ludicrous? How does one use force of any kind on a child, and then decide how much the child has been harmed physically, mentally emotionally or spiritually?  Who are we kidding? I am sorry if we are leading such busy lives that we anger quickly, have more burdens which frustrate us, and have little time to discipline because we have no energy, time or effort remaining by the end of the day. The quick fix of a Spank, which is also defined as a smack, slap, hit, strike, paddle, thrash, beating and paddling, is the solution which fits in nicely with our busy lives and perhaps uncontrolled tempers.

The justices of the court issued this Framework, while reversing the assault and battery conviction of a man who was seen spanking his almost three old daughter. Now the question comes to mind regarding the force of a grown man against a less than three old child. How angry was he? Is he very strong? Is the child little for her age? The Framework that was construed by the Justices also includes a parental privilege defense. How convenient that is. No more liability towards smacking our children, except our consciences which have apparently gone on vacation.

Does this mean if we strike our neighbor’s child for their ill behavior, we will be charged with battery? I know if we hit any adult, we will face consequences, yet our children are fair game with the courts blessing. If we can’t hit our neighbor, then why is it okay to hit our small helpless children? I have an issue with the degree of the smack, as well as the judgement of how harmful it might be, especially when the person making these decisions is the one doing the hitting.

One Justice, stated that two very important interests needed to be balanced. We must protect children against abuse, and not interfere with the parents in the way they see fit to raise their kids. Now some people may falsely believe this has made it easier to solve some court cases. It appears to me,  to be at the expense of our kid’s welfare. I also can’t understand how it will be easier to protect the children from child abuse when parents have just received a legal right to assault them. Using tame words makes it more palatable for the general public.

I use the word assault because how can we limit the extent of the spanking, if we are not present when it is given and only have the perpetrator's version of the incident. A hard smack to the back of the head may not display any discoloring. If one was brought up on charges the defense could be that the parent swung a bit harder than they realized, the child turned and the strike was given in a place the parent did not mean to hit. The list can go on. We don’t want to look at the details. We want something that works fast, easy and makes everyone comfortable. Kids don’t question or vote.

I am confused about the “Force being okay as long as it is reasonable,” "it is used for safeguarding the child", "it is promoting the welfare of the child"," or "it is punishment of the minor’s misconduct." So I think we are teaching the kids that it is okay for the ones they love to hit them, yet we don’t want our kids striking others. How are we actually making any sense? Do we see the paradox? Now we tell the children they can  thrash their own kids when they are adults. We have gone back to the old rules of do as I say but not as I do.

I think we have given offenders a free ticket at least for the first offense, if they used too much force. They can offer the defense that they did not feel it was that strong a hit. How can we judge these personal and subjective opinions? Has anyone thought of the emotional scars of the children who are beaten? No one is supposed to cause lasting emotional or physical harm. How are we going to fix this one? Do we wait for broken bones? Down the road do we blame the emotional problems the child is having on the spankings or do we call upon other issues in our defense? Balance of any kind has been tossed under the bus. It certainly isn’t balanced towards the children.

There is supposed to be respect for parental decisions. I profess that there should be respect for children and all life in general. It seems to me that we have disregarded the welfare of the children in favor of solutions, be they right or wrong. The end never justifies the means. I don’t see how anybody can come to the defense and protection of children with such a law in effect.

As I continued the reading I was confused upon hearing an officer of the Massachusetts Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Children, credit the justices for balancing views on both sides. Did anybody get the reviews of the children? Have we asked them how pleasant demeaning painful embarrassing, and at times terrifying it is to be at the mercy of an angry intimidating adult? There is always emotional and physical pain in this situation in my opinion. She also credited the Justices for their strong position on “Child Protection.”  I am shocked at that statement and really have no words to fit my shock and deep pain for the complicated lives the children are forced to experience.

Somehow in my opinion, people were sleeping on the job. Have we spent any time with kids lately? They are the ones who love parents unconditionally. They are concerned immediately when we are in any kind of pain. They accept everything we dish out and come back smiling and forgiving. If we love our children unconditionally, perhaps we might reflect on the plight of children who are going to be abused, in my opinion, because of this Law. It makes hitting legal. Adults are arrested when they hit someone. We are taking a big step backwards in becoming a more humane society. We are choosing brute force rather than talking, explaining, negotiating, providing understanding feedback tolerance and compassion to a dilemma.

If we want our kids to forgive and love others we must demonstrate this behavior. If we demonstrate force, control disrespect and intimidation, we will promote a society that reinforces these attributes. We have no right to complain at the world we are creating. The choice is in our hands. Parents are not bad people but if under duress, they must learn how to deal with their stress and anxiety problems rather than take it out on the kids. Model and teach the ideals you wish to observe in your children. Make no mistake; they will become what you teach. If you want compassionate, kind, tolerant, loving empathetic children, begin by showing them what that looks like and be that kind of person.

A transformation sends out sparks of love and enlightenment.  A wildfire burns relentlessly without remorse. We are burning away our problems.  I hope God doesn’t tire of us and our world. The simplicity of it is that love can perform miracles,  while fury succeeds in burning anything in its path.

"If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion against the physical punishment of children would be a good place to start."

"Researchers have also found that children who are spanked show higher rates of aggression and delinquency in childhood than those who were not spanked. As adults, they are more prone to depression, feelings of alienation, use of violence toward a spouse, and lower economic and professional achievement. None of this is what we want for our children."    Alvin Poussaint, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School:

Rippling Affect Of Stress 3“It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.”

"Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost." Khalil Gibran

How underrated kindness is. It feels like we expect others to place us first on their agendas but we never reciprocate. Yes we are thinking, I am good to others all the time but truthfully, how quickly we forget about what others do for us. We do recall when someone lets us down. The pain hurts and the emotional scars we endure are sometimes of our own making.

 Like many others, I expect my family and friends to recognize and know when I  am over my head and require their help. I don't of course, mention my needs. I assume they should be aware of my desires. This rarely happens. I am let down and quite annoyed with them. After all, I believe, I am thoughtful regarding their plights, and I pay attention to what they want and crave. How come they can't do the same for me? ...continue reading "Rippling Effect Of Stress"

Perhaps this rings a chord with many of us. There are those times we need help but don't ask for it. There are other times when emotionally we require support, but very little comes forward. Why does this occur we ask ourselves as we nurse our wounds. Of course we might retaliate by alienating this person who is actually oblivious to the duress we are  under.

I think  we are so busy  scheduling and nurturing our own lives that we forget to notice what is going on in another person's life. We are not unkind, disloyal, heartless or without concern.  We are simply too busy dealing with our own problems. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, but we are not thinking deeply about it. I endeavor to say that most of us at times, rarely think deeply about anything,  because we just don't have the time or energy.

Stress is a killer in more ways than one. Perhaps when we are on overload, everything appears to be a tremendous task for us. Even the simple job that requires  very little time, can become the insurmountable  job that breaks our spirit. Somehow we have learned how to be hard workers but we haven't learned how to take the time out to chill. That appears to be too easy but actually, how many of us even know how to relax.

Our response might be that we take a vacation. Now we spend seven to fourteen days relaxing, and the rest of the year we are in fast drive.  I honestly think that in my case, that has some effect in my overlooking the quiet call to notice another's cry of despair. We wonder how so many people slip through the cracks in one way or another. Perhaps by the time we notice, they are traveling down the fast lane, and are ready to collapse.

I don't say any of this is our fault. I do believe that we could likely be in the same position as our now, off track friend. We all have different breaking points. It is hard to  say at what stage, we can't bend anymore. Seeking and observing what fork in the road we go off track is useless. It isn't planned but when we review an event, it is so easy to see the mistakes that were made. Perhaps we all should get out of the fast lane. It leads to nowhere.

We are expected to be strong, to make a good living, to protect the family, to help the family and neighbors, to be the thoughtful spouse, and to be willing to share whatever time is left over, with others in our community. How often do we receive mailings to give money or time to others. Of course once we start giving we are bombarded with more and more. The guilt jumps in and we are left with choosing the most sincere mailing with the saddest displayed picture. We run and promote causes but sometimes are left with little comfort and we ask ourselves are we doing enough? We all want to give but our distrust of the managers running the cries for relief funds overshadows our heartstrings.

Likely the numerous causes are beyond the human touch and although I would recommend supporting such causes, we still must watch that we don't deplete our own physical mental and emotional energy. We can stretch ourselves beyond the limit. Perhaps those people who are willing to give, can become the hardest hit emotionally, when they leave little time for themselves and their own immediate families. Work takes a huge chunk of our time.

Each spouse who is on overload, contributes to the end result of bickering, fighting and alienating each other. Maybe with a small amount of "me" time and together time, things will work out. Breaking our own sense of balance, for the sake of going overboard for others in demand,  is not necessarily a good thing. We are left with more people, including us, who desire attention. It really is okay to take a break. We all need it. Just because some of us are blessed with more material items and more supportive people does not mean we don't crave some down time. We will break as easily as the frailest in society.

On an airline, they tell you to put your mask on first, then your child's. This makes sense. If you are struggling to breathe, you won't be able to place the air mask on your child, if your air mask is not applied first. The same is true for your mental, emotional and physical body. If you don't take some time out for you, then you will be of little support to others.

When we have had enough we melt down. Then  we wonder, why those closest to us haven't taken account of our predicament. The trouble is that so many of us compensate, for such a long period of time, as well as keep the pain inside while  hurting silently.  That makes it difficult to notice someone's hardships. Immediately condemning others for their lack of kindness is a mistake. At those low moments all we can think about is what others have done wrong. We forget about how many times previously, they might have come to our rescue.

Focusing only on the slights, gives no room for the many kindnesses extended to us over the years. All we readily remember is the disregard we received. How sad is our focusing and recollection. Now we make another enemy of someone who used to be our friend or close relative. I always wonder at our lack for remembering the good, and our ability to readily recall the bad.

It appears to me that it is so important to take a break when needed and to ask outwardly for aid when support is required. Playing the "waiting game," or the "they should notice me game," always seems to backfire. Even in marriages, when partners don't readily state their feelings or ideas to each other without prompts, they are not given attention. Then what follows is anger at the partner, for not noticing their plight. Many of us do have a problem stating what we want or what is bothering us. Perhaps we are too independent.

I highly recommend helping others as much as we have the ability to afford to do in money, time and effort. I also highly recommend that we take numerous breaks for ourselves, so that we are not found in a similar position as those we are attempting to help. It is not weakness to accept help. Emotionally, physically and spiritually it happens to all of us. The reasons are numerous. Whatever succeeds in shedding light on our basic  requests is irrelevant. What is vitally important is that we recognize what we need, and we ask for it. In doing so we can breathe a sigh of relief for our genuine reprieve. The future will allot more opportunities to help others.

I don't think God ever wanted us to wear ourselves out. He expects us to nurture ourselves along with others. We are not supposed to build others up at the cost of tearing  ourselves down. No one wins and we resent those we attempted to support. Toss guilt aside and remember there are times in our lives when we have more problems and less time to give. There are other days when we have less problems, and more time to offer to others. Take notice of where you are at, and take charge of your life by asking and accepting help when needed. Reciprocate when you are asked in return. In that way everyone comes out a winner.

"And since the Law of Reciprocity is strong there is another upside. People will feel like giving back to you. And so the two – or more – of you keep building an upward spiral of positivity and happiness."     Seneca

“Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters. Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.”   Seneca

"God said, "Love your enemy." "And I obeyed him and loved myself." Kahlil Gibran

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

RUNNING THROUGH DAYS & LIFE"Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant — the digitalis of failure."~Elbert Hubbard

Optimist: "Okay, we all realize that the situation is temporarily hopeless." Robert Brault

"If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want."    Oscar Wilde

"After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn't a pessimist understand?"    Robert Brault

Everyday I fight the urge as well as the attention towards racing through my day. As I look around at other people, listen to their quick speech, I realize they are probably doing the same thing. None of us acknowledge it likely because we are so unaware of it happening. Most times I become more conscious of it when I slow down and quiet myself for a few moments.

As usual I question why I and perhaps others, waste our precious present time for the unknown. Most of us are perhaps locked into the "good times" to come. This may happen especially when the present times are not so wonderful. In the end we are wasting the present when we don't attempt to filter out the good stuff. Even when our day is not fantastic, there are still moments that are worth recognizing.

So many times we skip over some happy minutes of our day, and basically forget about them in favor of recollecting some future event. Likely the affair could turn out to be a disaster, but we are not presently mindful of that. I'm not sure why our alertness is always about the future. Perhaps we do this out of disappointment at our current situation, or because the unknown always appears to be enticing and exciting. Whatever the reasons, we are truthfully running through our days. I plan weeks ahead, and then wonder where my time vanished so quickly. ...continue reading "Running Through Days & Life"

One answer might be to think more about what appears to be wrong with our present. Are we bored, disappointed, angry, upset, unsure, doubtful, anxious or fearful? Are all of these present in our reflective thoughts? At times the lives of others gives us the impression that we are not focused enough to make our own lives more worthwhile. It seems that if we contend with our own minds, send the vibes of contentment through, we sense a feeling of pleasure or accomplishment.

Comparing our lives to others only adds displeasure to the mix. Most people exaggerate their good times, and downplay their problems. A skiing tip, fishing experience, or hiking event may appear more awesome than it actually was. Likewise, a simple picnic or day at the beach may emerge with more tears of laughter than we ever imagined possible. How would we explain, that our happiest moments were simple events. Perhaps there are situations that are too perfect to put into words and must be experienced with the heart.

One could say by keeping the daily expectations lower, we might find more satisfaction. I don't see this as a great answer. I think we can keep our goals high but maintain a positiveness to every situation. By doing so we always see the goodness in all our endeavors, and we find gratification in every experience. Anger, fear and anxiety are alleviated due to our focus on the ease we have regarding the results.

It isn't necessary to continuously feel like we are floating in the clouds. It is vital for us to emerge intact and satisfied. Life is a mixture all of the time. If we thought long and hard we would remember that even the wonderful events had moments of displeasure and anxiousness. We relegate those ideas to the back of our minds and turn towards the happy memories. Likewise when we are having a bad or difficult day, we must make our focal point the happy moments, and concentrate on that.

Control is constantly in our own hands. perhaps it is time to acknowledge the power of the mind to sway our thinking towards pleasure in our daily occurrences, or throw in some negativity and seek the displeasure. The choice is ours alone. Leading with our minds, allows the body to follow. Skip the leadership of the body over the mind. I think the body can get us into more trouble. The reflection of the mind is in communication with the soul.

Changing the way we look at things, perhaps might alter our attitudes and opinions about the positive and negative attributes. If nothing else, it eases the burdens and lightens the mood, permitting us a softer review of our days. Letting the light shine forth instead of closing the shades, brings a new awareness to any occurrence. Basing our happiness on the future, leaves us emotionally and spiritually deprived in the present.

As we anticipate a happy occasion in the future, we must ensure our being attuned to the present moment. The gathering at a friend's house may be exciting to think about but the laughs and joys experienced with random encounters with friends, must never be underestimated, nor taken for granted. Perhaps if we reviewed our days before closing our eyes at night, we might find much gratification and serenity within our existence. There is tremendous gratification in helping others. If our day is spent in such an endeavor, perhaps it brings a very high level of contentment.

I don't want to race through the small stuff which actually may be the big stuff of which I will forever recall and remember for all of my days. The smudged kisses of a toddler, smirks which evolve into smiles from our teenagers, random hugs from our spouse, thinking of you phone calls from our parents and siblings can never be underestimated. You have today, but perhaps not tomorrow.

By focusing our attention on the present, we might have fewer times when we question where our years went. It seems to pass by so fast. Yearning will not bring the years back to us. Regret is useless as well as detrimental to our health in every way. What is done is done. Forget about blame. Think about forgiveness and move on by paying heed to your present. It is never too late to develop a positive attitude. After all is said and done, we still never know about tomorrow but we do have today and that is enough care and concern for the day.

Anticipate a happy occasion in the future, but never rely on it to make you happy or bring you serenity in the present moment. Count your daily blessings. Life's problems dissipate, worries evaporate, today's pleasures increase, and best of all your life becomes full of peace when you seek the positive in all situations. Today is satisfying and loaded with love to go around, if we observe it with our hearts and quiet our busy thoughts.

 "A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all — he's walking on them." ~Leonard Louis Levinson

"The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser — in case you thought optimism was dead." Robert Brault

“Life is a bowl of cherries. Some cherries are rotten while others are good; its your job to throw out the rotten ones and forget about them while you enjoy eating the ones that are good! There are two kinds of people: those who choose to throw out the good cherries and wallow in all the rotten ones, and those who choose to throw out all the rotten ones and savor all the good ones.” C. JoyBell C.

“A positive attitude may not solve all our problems but that is the only option we have if we want to get out of problems." Subodh Gupta