“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

“Distress is the moment you realize that life will hurt more than your death. While existing, we're forced to become acquainted with sadness. There's no antibiotic for the ridding of distress, and no alleviation of these intervals of pain we must encounter. Behind our eyes, are all these things: our stories, our dreams, our deficiencies, and our scars. Today would leave a scar.” Crystal Woods

“One's suffering, one's melancholy is, in itself, really only looked upon as failure or as punishment, as detestable or sinful or socially unacceptable in the eyes of man; but this is not so in the eyes of God: for He is close to the broken-hearted.”  Criss Jami

I am in distress about hearing another child is injured by a parent or someone they love. The frustration runs rampant through my  head because I have no answers. If we are upset it triggers less appreciation for what we have. How can we give answers when our security is threatened. It is painful to worry about our sense of well-being when threats are part of our world. Such is the case for many children.

Are adults  boxed in without any choices? Are we facing a dead-end to our lives on the road we are traveling?. Is this what results in distress which leads to rage? It is easy to feel this way in life. I am no exception but predicaments and stress are not our leaders. Our levels for overload differ and burdens strain us into crazy unthinkable actions. There is no excuse for anyone. I do not condemn anyone because I am not God. But deep within us we bury the truth afraid to admit our own fears. When we arrive at a  challenging place of chaos help seems out of reach. That is when we lose control.

Our next step is the panic button. The  answers are elusive. We   losw and say and do anything. Human thoughts and emotions are overruled and animal instincts  overtake reason. A person is motivated by anger hate and revenge while he searches for ways to take revenge on anyone near him. Like an unthinking  machine actions are mindless. Reason is obliterated with all the distress and feelings overshadowed. ...continue reading "End A Child’s Distress with loving discipline"

Focus is to relieve the emotional anguish at any cost. The price is not important because one believes their life is too demanding and they are trapped. The torment and distress makes a person cause pain to others who are in close proximity.

the first ones hurt are children because they are the easiest and most vulnerable targets. Kids are swallowed in an ocean of pain. This scene replays  often and leaves desolation in its' wake.People use children to hurt their spouses, aunts, uncles or grandparents in divorce situations. Few people consider the state of mind and emotional toll distress confers on children. We acknowledge children as creatures who don't have  feelings, opinions or desires. We consider the child's worth inferior to  the adults value when we fail to protect them from the bullies of the world. We may be their first bully.

I know we don't live in other people's homes but we can be watchful towards all children. Some live in fear and others have given up. If parents don't protect kids but instead  become the culprit then society should step in. How do we do that is a key question. Maybe it is time to restructure our child protective system. More workers may be placed in home environment areas. With counsel and support within the homes  more parents learn how to care for their kids with love and attention.

Some skills must be taught. If we have no knowledge about how to go about  feeding or nurturing a child then it is important to have available counselors taking on that role. Giving someone food and clothes is kind but teaching someone how to find and earn food and clothes is better. When anyone is in distress it is okay to sympathize but to support them with other options is more productive. When a person  is willing to work  but can't find a job perhaps more effort should be made to help him or her find the job rather than locking them up for stealing and then paying  for jail time.

Maybe as a society we can think of improved ways of teaching someone how to survive in our society. As one professor once said to me, "If you lived in a rich society you would not know how to go about calling on those people who would take care of you and drive and buy items for you. Likewise if you lived in an extremely poor society you would not know  which places or rubbish cans had the best left over food and which places were safer to bunk down for the night. The more I thought about it  the more it made sense. We can't throw anyone into any place and expect them to get the rules and norms of the society. We must teach them more than just giving without thought. One learns to value themselves, fend for themselves and take pride in their work. Starting from the bottom may promote better outcomes instead of pretending we have systems in place which obviously don't  work.

When  people are desperate they do desperate and despicable things. People who are frustrated or without options behave erratically. This lends itself to other areas in their lives that become unstable. If one divorces there is turmoil and loss of family friends and security. Kids again suffer the most. Parents move on but kids  are caught in the middle. Parents are likely dealing with so much they sense the need to find themselves first but in that process the kids can become lost.

If a friend or family member is in need pay attention and help out. Give a hand at least short-term. Attempt to stop the negativity and find peace. kids didn't fight with grandma or aunt Amy so keep it civil and allow as many family members into your life and your child's life as you can. Support comes in many sizes and ages. Working on any job with others brings greater security and serenity. Going alone encourages distress a lot faster. Take a look around and find those people willing to be your friend and forgive family and friends who have disappointed you. Even if it was a  serious thing forgiveness brings peace and love. Just try it for your kids sake and see if your life and your kids situation improves.

Distress leads to heartache and problems while love brings comfort and joy. Why find yourself with greater  problems because the law has no mercy. Before you reach your limit take the needed break and let the ego go which insists on being in charge even when traveling the wrong road. Work towards compromising and collaborating with others.

Sharing workloads babysitters and material items can improve each others situation. Learn how to love more and always treat your children with respect. They are your gold and worthy of love. Too many have died needlessly or been injured. It is time we stop the pain kids endure and show them a different world that is not full of  pain and isolation but with love and respect.

“Anger is distress. Life is an individual race of endurance.” Lailah gifty Akita

“When you are wronged and your heart and feelings are hardened, do not be distressed, for this has happened providentially; but be glad and reject the thoughts that arise within you, knowing that if they are destroyed at the stage when they are only provocations, their evil consequences will be cut off, whereas if the thoughts persist the evil may be expected to develop.” St. Mark

“The Lord's mercy often rides to the door of our hearts on the black horse of affliction. Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is washing the dishes.”    Jon Kabat Zinn

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
A. A. Milne

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” Henry Ward Beecher

“If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge.” Junot Díaz

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” Eckhart Tolle

We are all guilty at times of making judgments. It sounds simple enough when we are occupied with choosing paint colors styles of clothing or what we want to do, read, accomplish or study. We feel justified in making all sorts of judgments especially about people and situations. So what is the problem? Why worry about our judgments of people and situations? Is it harming anyone? The answers are that it does harm people, many issues arise from our uninformed judgments, we cause lots of problems for others and ourselves and we test the patience of friends family and co-workers. The trouble that gets stirred up many times results in major or minor fallout's.

Reflecting on the reasons we have the need to judge is a conflicted task that many of us do not engage in. Our judgments are based on questionable information. The golden rule of thinking before speaking has been totally ignored in preference of "truth" as we perceive  it and that is the key. What we might perceive as truth is not what another believes is honesty. Our opinions differ and we can debate until the morrow who is more or less correct and never agree on the answer. Is it boiling down to allowing judgments to fall away? Is it time to rethink what we thought was working? Is it working when it suits our needs and desires? Do judgments appear to be elusive and up to the person doing the assessments? ...continue reading "Judgements"

I am one of the most opinionated people I know and I am aware of how many times my judgments were off base or biased or self promoting. I am not sure now if anyone or anything can deliver an unbiased opinion. Once we announce a ruling on a person  object or idea we maintain the ruling.  we make poor  rulings but never go back to correct it or acknowledge it. What we perceive as the truth can  change on any given day. We use the excuses of people things or circumstances change but is that the whole truth?

I see it more as not having all of the facts on any given day or time. The facts change which hardly makes them facts We don't have all of the information on any person place or thing to form  opinions yet we do it anyway. Kids are one group of individuals we rule on and sometimes make difficult for kids to break out of their assigned  molds. We group them and observe our false proofs and ignore any truths that differ from our own thoughts. Making mistakes is part of living  is discovering the world and forming deductions. Do we remember how once people thought the world was round? As we gain more knowledge our ideas and opinions change. Our ideas are painted with  different strokes. Kids grow and discover why some things may not be right, fair, or appropriate. I always used to say you can't teach algebra to a kindergartener but when the kindergartener grows up you can.

Maybe that is how God sees us. We are immature in his eyes and we need time to grow experience the world and accept why there is good bad or indifference. God does not judge he just gives us time to explore and understand what is not obvious or simple to see. Do you get  tired of listening to those people who tell you I did this or that or I would do this and would never do that? I remember thinking one day that if my kids were starving I would steal if I had to in order to feed them. Unless we have been there or done that we can't say what we would think or do. If we were never poor we can't know what that feels like. We can't all know what it is like to be rich if that has never been the case.

I am not promoting the idea of stealing what you need. I am promoting the idea of refraining from judgments. Showing a better way to do things or make things happen is important. I appreciate how some people believe we shouldn't hand things or money over to the poor. They make a legitimate point for one argument. They worked hard for their earning and didn't grow up with silver spoons. Others strive and work hard to provide for their families. They are all to be commended. But what if some people don't know where or how to begin because they are more like our kindergartners looking for guidance. We can judge them, conclude they are not worth the effort and toss them away. the alternative is to think  without  judgments and find some answers that work for all of us.

The world is a better place for every improvement that is made no matter how small that improvement is. I don't think throwing money or items at someone necessarily helps as much as taking the time and effort to teach one how to survive and make a living in a difficult world. As teachers work and support their students until they are ready to fly on their own with the knowledge they gain so true is it possible to support anyone in their effort to learn and overcome a difficult situation they may find themselves in.

If we judge them too fast we ignore them and dislike or hate them. My grandmother always said "There but for the grace of God go I." There is truth in that statement. Have you ever grabbed your child before they took a serious fall or ran out into the street or cut themselves with a sharp object or stuck something into an electric socket? You make a loud sigh of relief but there are some parents who were not fortunate enough to save their children from the disaster. We feel safe believing that we would do the right thing so that something bad didn't happen to them. We grow up when we recognize there is no right or wrong as much as there is learning beyond what we know. There are days we are tired, not thinking, busy distracted. These are not excuses but facts we may not be privy to about why an incident happened.

Some people get the lesson sooner, some take time and some don't care but it is important to ask why. We could trade the judgments for answers to why did or what is the reason for the actions. No judgments just answers and solutions are found. We are not pushed above another person because we did a better job or won something. Destroying others with our weak judgments keeps us at the kindergarten level. Mature individuals no matter what the age treat others with respect and love. We recognize that they are working on their own learning and we have no idea how far they have come nor where it is they are striving to go. By spending so much time judging others  we leave little time to take an honest look at ourselves. The person we are busy assessing is striving to move forward while we are stagnant in our comfortable moment in time but there is always something new to understand and someone new to love and support. Whenever we strongly believe we are in the right, that is when we should step back and stop the judgments immediately.

On the other side are people who expect to be immediately understood. That is not forthcoming without thought and reason. It takes time for all of us to learn we are or should be working together to see the other side and cope with all thoughts again to find answers not guilt or blame. Until we get out of that mode of blame guilt jealousy and fault we leave little room for growth. There is truth found on both sides of an argument if we honestly look at it. Dump the judgments from your own mind and you can move your mind faster towards greater understanding and healing.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." Edmund Burke

“I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.” Albert Camus

“My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home. Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by. Reach your arm out and put it around them. And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them. If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start. Every. Single. Time.” Dan Pearce

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

"And you know, when you've experienced grace and you feel like you've been forgiven, you're a lot more forgiving of other people. You're a lot more gracious to others."     Rick Warren

"It's toughest to forgive ourselves. So it's probably best to start with other people. It's almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself."     Patty Duke

I believe I am thinking a bit negative today because I keep believing nobody is capable of loving anyone especially unconditionally. I spend many hours attempting to figure it out but it leaves me questioning our human population. Parents love their babies until those babies begin to offer challenges and then the spankings and screaming begins. We all remember having disruptive days but usually we get over it and find peace again. Kids are wonderful until they speak their own mind and want to do their own thing as well as lead their own lives. That is hard on parents who want to continue to control their kids indefinitely. This can carry over into their child's relationships of all kinds. Nobody is left out and everyone is at risk.

We may not care for our kid's friends, boyfriend's, girlfriend's in-law's etc. We never ask ourselves why? Maybe they are receiving a different slant on the world or about people. Perhaps they are introduced into a different philosophy that we don't like. Whatever the reason, we like to keep the threatening people away from our kids even if it might be a good connection. It leaves one wondering how any of us can love anyone and maintain that love. Do you question why you love anyone? What is it that makes you like them? Do you forgive them? People who are just married will say I would forgive my spouse anything. I think if that were the case we would see fewer divorces.

Why are so many families messed up to the point of never speaking to each other? Do they hate each other or are they hating quickly  without thinking just as they love quickly without reflecting. I am not sure if I am superficial and not spending enough time on my relationships. On the other hand I question if I am doubting so many relationships. I don't know about others but I sense I have not thought enough about what and why I consider or sense what I do care for and reflect about. It may  be easier to simply get along and live in a blissful existence of make believe.

If I haven't lost you yet I want to explain if I can, what my take on this is. I believe we are expected to attain the impossible in the hope of soaring quite high. Every interaction we have with another person is hazardous to our tranquility. It drains us when we are the caretakers or the ones who are supposed to be strong and dependable. That role gets tedious and weighs on our shoulders. The martyr role is boring and makes no progress. The savior role is next to impossible because we all must play the biggest role in our own redemption. Perhaps we are disillusioned and defeated when we want to but can't solve other people's problems.  Being a person who requires attention can make one feel guilty. Nothing apparently brings us peace.

We may question our path and life frequently and we might try again but some insight into our own feelings must be added into the mix, especially if we want answers. I am sure we have all experienced those people who want sympathy, support, help of one kind or another. It can be mental physical or emotional support but when it happens consistently throughout our days it can render a person depleted. It is not a good state to find yourself  in. I know it is awesome to give of oneself but we can't forget to take care of our own needs. If you feel overwhelmed then perhaps you are forgetting to care for self.

Loving others is the hardest thing we can do because on any given day we observe weaknesses and negatives in people. That is annoying or impossible to overlook. That is perhaps why we end up loving people conditionally. It is like you help me and put up with my annoying attitude or remarks and I'll help you and put up with your faults and impatience. Now is that love? I question if there is a sense of forgiveness in our relationships because others  reflecting those horrible traits may be shining the light on those same traits found within us. Imagine if we discovered that we easily found bad habits in others to the extent we find them within our selves. Maybe that is the idea. If we see blame in others and notice then in us we can fix it.

I guess it gives us food for thought. Unconditional love actually means being able to love people enough that you can  forgive the person. It is the simplest thing in the world to love another. People likely could marry someone new every year.  Is that love or gratification for us? Does the person give us a positive sense of self? In the beginning it might be true but eventually we all need support of one kind or another and we all have those nasty traits we like to ignore. When  we discover honesty we just move on rather than confront the truth and the reality of living.

Many people that question long marriages or families that stay together never realize the amount of effort patience love honesty and forgiveness it took to keep the connections alive. Love is not easy and unconditional love is superhuman to develop. It means we tie into forgiveness. It means we accept another's negative words, thoughts and actions and then wrap our arms around them and squeeze until our doubts are gone. That is forgiveness. We know they hurt us, we accept the pain and suffering and we hold on tight and release the injury. When our being is devoid of the wound and pain we can fill our hearts minds and souls  with love. If you cannot release the suffering you have no room for the love and the hurt continues  while the wound festers.

I am no expert at letting pain go but I work on it. I know it is comforting to  have love in my heart rather than suffering the wounds others inflict without regard. That brings me to mindfulness which is something we ought to encourage at all age levels. If we see others as beings of light and deserving  love then we can understand they deserve our regard. That might mean placing their needs above our own at times. Of course it maybe placing our own needs first at times when we are depleted.

Unconditional love is seeing and focusing on the good we see in another person and accepting their bad notions with understanding. It helps us in two  ways. Their wrongs may reflect ours and their wrongs may help us to develop more empathy and tolerance. Either way we are  stronger in the end. Babies don't come with guarantees to love their parents unconditionally. Parents can't always love their kids unconditionally. Marriages break p for the same reasons as do friendships and sibling bonds. If we were capable of loving without conditions we would have the freedom to see and improve  our own imperfections, rather than pretend others have blame but we are perfect.

It isn't easy to forgive when you have been hurt. It isn't easy to turn the other cheek as they say we should. Perhaps with reflection we might come to  a point of comprehending the magnitude of courage it takes to forgive and be thankful for the times others forgave us. It might help us to return the favors to others and learn to forgive other people. Love is not about perfection nor is it about who is more at fault than another. Love is caring compassionate and unconditional at its' best. Love is needy demanding possessive and jealous at its' worst. Strive for  releasing love so it can spread and gain us more love rather than caging it in attempting to keep it safe. We are capable of loving and in an unconditional way. We just have to add forgiveness.

"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven."     George Herbert

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."    Mark Twain

"Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love." Francis of Assisi

cropped-Family.jpg“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.”

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” John Keats

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was talking with a few friends the other day and the discussion got heated when no one could agree on who had the worst birth order placement. It seems like a silly thing to argue about but try saying it to a group of friends and watch he discussion fly. I have thought about it quite a bit and I don't like any of the negatives that go along  with any of the positions. When I was done recalling everyone's complaints I realized we were just talking about life.

Like people tell you when you are young, "You have to put up with it because things happen in life that you must deal with it." Nobody likes to listen to that speech. It does resonate back to us  when life throws difficult pitches our way. It is not easy to say if you are the oldest or youngest this is the way it is. One must think about the sexes, background of the mothers and fathers and number of kids in a family as well as the economics of it all. I believe nobody gets away scott free and once you accept that you can stop comparing. Have you ever heard people comparing who had the more aches, pains or health issues to deal with? I know some peoples' complaints are worse than others but  there are emotional problems, mental health problems and spiritual issues tied into it all.

Some people are distraught their whole life worrying about what they ""Must" do for somebody. Does that make them less caring because they are not doing something out of love but duty? How about those who feel obligated or who want something in return? The list is long and complicated and so is the birth order. I don't really care so much about the order of birth because it seems like everyone takes the "crap" in life. It is unavoidable. It is more important to figure out how they will deal with the crap. In a way it is our attitude regardless of how much pain and hurt we must endure. Having taught school I know the child in the classroom who cries a lot gets a lot of attention. Does this mean they have suffered more? Is  there another child who has been suffering but we overlooked them?

That is one reason why  the situation gets complicated when we are trying to figure out or compare anxieties fear or problems. We come from different places and homes and had a variety of personalities to cope with along the way. I am thinking we might believe others have no care because they appear to not notice our suffering or they don't appear to have any. Does anyone recall saying, "I don't know what they are complaining about because when I...? We measure our pain against others all the time. It doesn't alleviate it but it increases the friction we have with friends and family.

Perhaps we should begin understanding where the pain  originates and why it won't let us go. There is absolutely deep suffering that will stay inside of us forever but it does not help anyone  to believe they are the martyrs of the world even if they have the suffering of such a person. Viewing ourselves as a victim implies we are helpless and have given up. Nobody has the power to make us feel that way and we should not see ourselves as the sacrifice. When we do deem our pain is beyond the measurement of anyone else's we lock ourselves in a cage and throw away the key.

On any given day there is much to cope with. Everyone has those moments in time that stay within the brain forever. The fearful moments scare us and make us want to run away no matter what the age. The crises we got through makes us proud of ourselves but sometimes less sympathetic because we may be of the opinion that no one else has suffered like us especially if they haven't complained. I am not down on the complainers. Sometimes I think it is therapeutic to get things off of your mind. When people hold things in they tend to resent others who can't imagine their suffering.

I don't know about how other people believe  but in the end  I think we alienate a lot of people when we expect but don't allow someone in. It appears to work against us and we end up jealous of their "Better Life" or we carry the pain inside and let it hurt us over again and resent people  who can't see it even when we don't let them observe it. I have turned my suffering inside and felt worse when no one appeared to understand. My belief was how can they not get it. Now I try to share more or at least not find fault with those who simply don't know when I don't share.

Life is not easy and that is an understatement. Life is more difficult if we compare our section of the world with other peoples'. We are putting up fences and keeping people out. It is better to take the fences down and let people in. I have found out that so many others have their own stories. It is kind to share in a positive way without the competition of having a winner. If we think we are worse off we send out no understanding or empathy to others. Instead we expect or feel entitled to be down in the dumps. Personally there are likely many days we might feel sad or even hopeless. We are asked to be stronger at that point than we were when we endured a heartache situation. It is at those moments we need to find the courage to get over the deep emotional feelings creeping in and overpowering us. We are almost forcing ourselves to relive the horrible time all over again.

If we can come to terms with the fact that we all suffer then maybe we can stop comparing and judging and learn to support each other any day we are in need. It takes away all of the conditional aspects of love and allows unconditional love to reign. Unconditional love says I love you no matter how you behave towards me and I forgive you for everything. It says I may not like what you do nor understand how you feel but I trust the reality of your situation and want only love and peace in your heart and mine. I know unconditional love is about as close as any of us can get to being more Godlike. Life is burdensome enough without worrying about the amount of good or bad in anyone's life. Trust that we all suffer at times but we all have so much to be grateful for if we would check it out. What I like and you like may differ. What I consider pain or frustration may also differ. May we all live in peace and as a song says, "Love the one's you are with."

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” Shannon L. Alder

“Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!”    Charles  R. Swindoll

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.”   Charles Dickens

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”     Orson F. Whitney

Plowing Through Obstacles"Silence is the best way to  let someone know they did wrong." Pinterest anonymous

"Don't let the noise of other people's opinions drown out your own inner voice."

"Don't be fooled my silence is not a sign of weakness." picture perfect

"Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in." Shannon Alder

There are times when I can't think of anything to say  to anyone. It makes me feel stupid  and without any thoughts. On other occasions I feel like I am talking too much and I go home wondering if I said too much.  At a future date in time I review what I said wondering if that is why someone is a bit unfriendly with me. I can't always recall everything that I said so I promise myself in the future, to be more careful with my words .

Silence is a crazy notion. We talk to communicate so it appears inevitable to  speak rather than be silent. Here is where confusion sets in. If a baby is hungry or a child is hurt or hungry they cry and get attention. As adults we do the same in a different manner. Noise appears to be a good thing in these cases. When we are angry about something or with someone we speak out of turn or yell without thinking and have no remorse. This is likely not a good thing.

People are quiet at funerals and sometimes weddings because they don't have the words to explain their deep emotions. Silence is appropriate in these circumstances. If someone is in danger most others will yell in concern and as a warning. I am getting boring with all this chatter but I think we all get the idea that communication is relevant to  living peacefully. Actually words such as stillness peace calm and quiet are words explaining silence. I can see how one could deceive others with silence because nobody is sure what the person is actually thinking.

We might believe that  silence denotes reflection which supports our decision making and I agree with this thought. The problem always arises when we think instead of  remaining quiet or we remain quiet when we should be speaking. Now the soup is mixed and the uncomfortable feelings set in. I love making soup so I apologize for the analogy. Soup is always a different mixture just as situations and people.

When an opinion is asked of a mother-in-law she might be better off in silence or saying very little. Her opinion gets her into trouble. The daughter-in-law's opinion is accepted with an easier attitude. A parent's voice is the authority figure and although not wanted it is obeyed for the most part. The child's attitude of silence is desirable to the parents. The child is judged as not having the ability to make choices and this is debatable. The point is we are rewarded with calmness and peace if we speak certain times or remain in silence at other times. Big or small it corresponds about the same way.

Maybe we hold our tongue at work when the boss makes unreasonable suggestions. Let's face it we want to keep our job. I hate it when they say make a suggestion or give an opinion. Nobody has a desire to be fired. It is a mute subject and the people understand this as they all agree with the decision regardless of their inner thoughts about it. Silence and peace are maintained although there has been a price of integrity for this peace.

To get along we all must go along at times in our lives. I agree. The difficult part is when our silence is causing serious subject matter to be overlooked. It isn't about making trouble, causing an argument or disrupting the status quo but about integrity, mindfulness and truth. Once we give these attributes up for the sake of peace like a button into a button hole, it gets easier to do without any effort or thought.

It becomes easier to believe we are off of the hook because we believe it is not our fault. It is "they" who decide. It is a pet peeve of mine to cringe when I hear the word "they" even if I use it myself. I wonder who "they" are and I would like to see and meet them one day. I know "they" keep us clean neutral and silent. There are no accusations implied as I am quiet so many times myself. Nobody likes to make waves and most of us have so much on our plates that taking on a mountain of a problem is not what we want to do.

I relieve my guilty feelings with the knowledge that I don't have enough information, am not smart enough to figure it out, and I don't know the repercussions of another choice nor do I have the time to work on the problem. I must admit I neatly absolve myself from getting involved and from taking on any guilt. The older I get the more it doesn't work for me to accept my excuses.

I am not a rebel but it is easy to see many wrongs in any society of people including work places and recreational facilities. every area of society appears to impact people in various wasy for the better or the worse. I know people should take some responsibility.  Without a doubt we can't pull our own weight and the weight of others. My faith is in teaching others how to go about pulling their share of problems.

Silence also means to hush stifle suppress and squash. this innocently happens to us daily and you have to question the innocence. Decisions are made for us. We don't always have any options. It is the stifling, suppression and squashing that I have a problem with. Women who are abused and then ignored even in a subdued manner need a voice.  Kids who are abandoned and abused but not acknowledged until they are practically near death require action not attention after the fact.

There are so many abuses of people in one form or another. Those with disabilities are challenged and uneducated people search for a voice to be heard. The squeaky wheel gets the attention but so many others with wounds and pains keep their silence. We can feel guiltless by saying it is not our problem and then we can look away with blocked ears.

Living away from the tragedies of life absolves us in a way. We don't see it so we can let it go. It is only real when we see and hear the cries of anguish but most kids have cried so long and hard that they begin living in silence. I know we can't all join a peace corps or get physically involved but we do have voices and unless we speak up nothing will ever change.

The next time you see or hear something that appears wrong go with your heart and intuitive self. That will give you a better understanding of the truth. It is better to  call fire and find it was only a campfire than to refuse to see or hear and find out there was a blaze going on. I have recently been convinced that God will not judge us as harshly on the wrongs that we did as much as he will judge us on the times we overlooked people who needed us and we walked away. You don't have to jump into the fire but pull the alarm.

"In the end we will  remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King

"The world is a dangerous place not  because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything." Albert Einstein

Audrey Lorde said it best with the quote below.

"We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.
I began to ask each time: "What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?" Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared" or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

Choosing To Live 4"You don't always  have to defend yourself in words. Silence gives people the clue you have better thoughts in mind." Pinterest (anonymous)

"Anyone who has never made a  mistake has  never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

"An old man said "Erasers are made for those who make mistakes." A  youth replied, "Erasers  are made for those who are willing to correct their mistakes!" Attitude matters. Anonymous

How difficult it is to discover the self and uncover some hidden truths about  the ways we sabotage our life. I suppose we are thinking that is not true. I know I attempt to discover who I am all the time and understand myself. If I discover a problem I try to fix it or if I discover something worthy I work to make it better. I don't want to waste my time on falsehoods but the truth in my attempts is I want to discover what makes me who I am.

It is almost impossible to face our anger, fear, impatience, distrust and so many other negative emotions. It really is easier to find our goodness when we have just helped a friend or co-worker expecting nothing in return. I believe we need those moments in order to accept some of the things about ourselves that might need some work. I don't wake up in the morning thinking about what it is I should work on or improve unless it is the garden.

It feels like we hide from the self as if we really don't  know who we are. Likely we all know our faults better than our virtues and most of us myself included,  discover so many faults that we stop searching for anything good believing we are just not that good of a person. Even the boastful people  may be simply covering  their honest beliefs about self and boast so they can cover-up the truth.

I am thinking that unless we choose to discover how many good things there actually are within us and our lives we won't have the guts to face what it is that needs some fixing or tuning up. Nobody is fully bad or good at every second of every day. There are some happenings that cause us to offer assistance in some way and throw out positive vibes in our words or actions.

I think  we try too hard and we don't take notice of baby steps forward. We only recognize the huge steps of progress made. There are many days when such progress can't be achieved and one can feel like an underachiever. At times it isn't that the bar is too low or too high but that we are so busy and lost in our thoughts. There is so much on our brains that we think it is a waste of time to reflect on anything.  I have said it myself to others that I don't have time to reflect.

If one takes a moment to let that statement penetrate the brain we understand the significance of that statement. What are we doing that is more important than thinking which is what reflection is all about. If we give up thinking we give up our humanity and become robotic.

There are days that appear to verify this belief. Reflecting makes a person come to understand what is more important to accomplish. The value of someone else's needs becomes prominent and altruism begins functioning. Can we jump to the point of understanding that this altruism is what makes a person consider another to the point of giving up their life if necessary for that person. That is mindfulness at it's best.

Many people falsely believe that they would probably act cowardly if in a position to choose. Nobody knows how they would react. Granny may be the person who leaps to the rescue for all we know. So many of us are not sure and we don't actually know nor have we tried to discover the real person inside of us. A real person is weak and strong. A real person makes mistakes but learns from them and attempt to do better. A real person sees the good in others and is not afraid to praise that good because it doesn't bring him down in any way by praising another. A real person makes the time for others when she doesn't have any time to give. All of these are forms of altruism. It is placing others before self  and it applies to family friends and strangers.

Perhaps if we witness and discover some good in us we will search to fix what is wrong without fearing it. As long as we refuse to face any blame in self, we continue making those same errors. If you want change then you must do things differently. If we want improvement we can't be afraid to face what we don't want to see or discover within ourselves. Those small areas of blame can be reworked only if we observe them and work on them.

I know I hide a lot and I am trying to change that. When there is a disagreement with someone I tend to review all the things I said and did that were correct in attempting to improve a problem. I view the other person's mistakes in what they did to make things worse. In the process, what I did to make things worse is ignored and what the other person might have done to make things better I overlook. Neither of us end up seeing eye to eye. I go away pretending I was right and they were wrong but in my heart I know the truth. Now the problem is covered a bit deeper so it will be tough to look at it and resolve it.

Now if one plays this game throughout their life you can appreciate why nobody makes amends or peace with siblings parents children mothers-in-law or daughter-in-law or friends. We just make connections to different people rather than face the issues. To self discover means you get the urge to transform yourself for the better regardless of what you will discover along your path. It is the ultimate path of discovering truth and transforming.

It isn't scary to look at the self and there is nothing to fear when one finds the real person with all of his faults and virtues. It makes life easier to live when you can let go of the worries and fears brought on with hiding and doubting who we are. We do have items to alter but we have so much hidden goodness that we never discover because it is covered up. Let yourself out and let the real you emerge.

"Anyone can love your looks but it's your heart and personality that makes someone stay with you." Anonymous

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." Aristotle

“It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” Marianne Williamson

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson (Invisible Man)

Happy"Happy people don't have the best of everything. They make the best of everything." Anonymous

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,” Amit Ray

What does it mean to be happy? If you asked a million people their answers would likely be different. Happy means to be pleased joyful cheerful blissful exultant ecstatic delighted and content. I know the number of people I talk with within a week and they have numerous adjectives to describe their moods and few would mention ecstatic lives. The adjectives used perhaps are more like tired, upset, discouraged, stressed-out, fearful, over-worked, sad, anxious and over-burdened take your pick.

It makes one wonder what happened to living and meaning within our lives. How did we reach the road where we are in a dilemma bout which way to  choose. All the roads appear to lead to unhappiness. We almost take it for granted that it is normal to be unhappy but is it? Sometimes it is difficult to find one decent occurrence throughout our day that made our life worthwhile. I want to ask where did the world go wrong?

We all have problems and events to deal with and that we can all accept for the most part. But why is it most of us if not all of us feel so burdened to the point of being exhausted and ready to give up? If we rated our days as good bad or indifferent perhaps we might see a lot of bad or indifferent kinds of days. I believe this is very sad and anything but happy.

I wonder if we focus too much on what needs to be done, what is missing and what is wrong? I never saw anybody at work come in smiling and saying wow my life is so happy and things are great and my spouse and kids are so awesome! Most people unfortunately come to work complaining about every little thing that went wrong at the breakfast table. Those listening politely slip away thinking their own problems are more difficult than their co-workers complaints.

I must admit that these folks send our brains down the road of finding similar problems in our own lives. We contemplate a worse day and unhappy moments in time. Sometimes those who stay and listen to the employee's grumbles wait their turn to best the protester with their own tale of woe. It definitely starts off a competition and a marathon about who has the most grievances. Who wants to be the winner of that competition?

Bosses complain about workers who are slackers not bothering to ever be interested in their home lives. Spouses criticize their significant others not having any mercy about other circumstances and divorced people grieve the deadbeat parents who never send alimony. Workers  resent being overlooked during promotion time and parents hate teachers who assume too much about the home environment and the lack of whatever. Teachers lament the uninvolved parents, daughters-in-law detest the whining controlling and complaining mothers-in-law, while the mothers-in-law can't understand the gossip behind her back about the things she said except the words were twisted and changed as well as the perceived actions. Most of the issues appear to be untrue from the view of most people yet all of the words and actions of others are constantly being reviewed and analyzed for the worst.

Parents stop seeing their kids as cute and fuzzy when they are out of the baby stage and basically getting into mischief. Most parents are already looking forward to the time the kids will be grown up. They don't realize how much time they have wished away. Nobody seems to be happy yet there is a lot to discover and enjoy about life and the people in it. I wonder if it has to do with our attitudes and the way we see ourselves and others. Obviously we pay attention to faults over virtues, complaining times over joyful ones, and we focus on what is wrong but never what is right.

Perhaps so much attention given to the negative has trained all of us to focus on that instead of the positive. Honestly  we can be thankful we are  not hungry, cold or without someone or something to love. That may sound corny but it is taken for granted. At a young age we are taught to be and do the best. Maybe we leave no room to have breathing space to grow. It is expected that we succeed the first time and accomplish so much in a certain time frame. It genuinely leads many to give up because the goal  appears to be so far away.

No wonder we are always so discouraged. If we were suppose to clean the yard, fix a fence and change a tire on the car then anything less almost allows a spouse to feel no need to say thank you for doing that. A woman who tends to the kids while her husband does the jobs and manages to get in some laundry but not able to cook a big meal may believe she has failed somehow and didn't get everything done that she should have. I know we are getting into goals here but technically we are also understanding the tremendous burdens we have set up for ourselves. Where is the time to appreciate anything including our own worth?

I don't believe anyone is as bad nor as good as others speak about. Kids are not horrible and unlovable. How is it we give nobody any leeway and we receive no latitude for ourselves? Let's face it most people change the way something was said or done. Words denote one thing but the tone can so totally change the words for the better or the worse. Taken out of context anything can be made to sound better or horrible. The fact is we never know how anyone chooses to interpret what we say or do so that leaves us all vulnerable.

Until we stop thinking that we are only as good or strong or capable as the products we produce or tasks we complete we will be disappointed with ourselves and others for their completions. We will also keep missing the goodness surrounding us and the positive facing us every day. I bet most of us go to bed contented if we completed some huge task we had set our minds to do days weeks or months ago. We take pride in that and feel so relieved and happy. I am not so sure it is happiness as much as a sense of "I did it." So what are we left with? We only have peace when we complete something for the house or workplace?

Being able to understand the many ways we can find peace and contentment brings us an escape route from our problems and draws attention away from how many times we failed or how long it took us to complete. We don't always mention a task done or get praised for it with our own blessing, because we feel it took us too long to do. For sure if we stopped seeing the work the complaints the obstacles and the time it takes to get to the job perhaps we would enjoy the daily things we do see and enjoy.

If the basement must wait so what. If we spent the day walking and investigating with our kids we likely produced more than if we painted the room. At a future date in time the memory of a beautiful spring day looking at birds and insects and rocks will remind us of an awesome experience and put a smile on our faces. The day spent painting will not be remembered any more than the day we cleaned the house. Of course the house needs cleaning but to focus on that rather than the more important things places us at the mercy of pressure stress and an unhappy mood.

We can get up and choose to be happy the first thing in the morning. We can put the complaints to the back of the mind and focus on the gorgeous day. Even rain is wonderful because it fills a bird bath and feeds the flowers and bounces off our noses and makes us smile. Kids splash through puddles because they know how to bring on those smiles. As adults we have forgotten. We fill our minds with thoughts about our work list and inconsequential things that sometimes don't matter. How we treat our kids and spend time with them is more important than how well we cleaned up or fixed their room.

Every day can be joyful and pleasant even if it comes with a few glitches. It still brings a tremendous amount of good things if we uncover the blanket of have to do's. Look for the good in every day and focus on the happy funny words and actions. Remember to compliment others for the tiniest things they do for you and that includes your spouse and kids. It would serve all of us to stop seeing what we lack and what we didn't do and notice those important unnoticed things we do manage to accomplish.

“Life has a positive and negative side. Happy people ignore the negative side. A smile a day keeps trouble at bay. The mind's health depends on what it feeds on. Avoid thoughts and conversations that kill your soul.” Bangambiki Habyarimana

"This we can all bear witness to, living as we do plagued by unrelenting anxiety. It becomes more and more imperative that the life of the spirit be avowed as the only firm basis upon which to establish happiness and peace." Dalai Lama

 

 

Children Add The Touch Of Love"It is not until much later, that children understand; their stories and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the water of their lives.”  “The miracle of children is that we just don’t know how they will change or who they will become.” Eileen Kennedy-Moore Paulo Coelho

“Lots Of Valuable Effort is the true full form of LOVE.” Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

“To reform the world - means to reform upbringing...” Janusz Korczak

I and everybody else is aware of checking the labels for any pills we are taking so we can check out the hazards. Many of us try to decide if  the hazards are worth the risk of taking the pills. As I watch the news daily and witness another assault on a child I wonder if kids should also come with all kinds of cautions and beware symbols. Seriously thou there is so much left out of the venture of raising children. Perhaps there ought to be warning signs or at least a book of instructions. Most of us jump in without a lot of hesitation.

Now I contemplated if that had to do with our pride in our ability to succeed at such a task or if we were so uniformed about raising kids that we never thought to ask the right questions. Either way we are left with a life long commitment with its ups and downs, good times and bad and happy and sad moments.

How many of us would begin such an undertaking if we were aware of the risks. After all kids are a risk factor for all parents in regard to disease, high blood pressure, extreme stress an inability to always think  clearly and a huge game changer everyday. It is also important to note that just because you already have one child does not mean you will automatically be able to use the same tactics  and skills on the next child. The symptoms change and the side effects are uniquely different. The length of time of stress varies. There must be protection  for your sensitivities pride and any expectations you might have that don't happen.

The needs of the child are different. Some come with a lot of pride and ego. Battling that is never easy. You don't want to crush their ego but you must strive to get in some humility. Some kids have such little confidence you wonder where they have been. If you have ever tried building up your own confidence then you are aware of how difficult this is to do. You also have those kids with the temper. Now that is a challenge. Those are the ones that push your buttons right up until they leave home or even beyond leaving. Most parents won't admit to secretly wishing the same kind of a child on them. Of course these will be our future investigators who just won't give up.

The tantrum kids are always a handful because you appear as a totally deficient parent when it occurs out in public. The child deafens anyone in their vicinity and you can't escape unless you cowardly give in to the child's demands. I don't believe in hiting so that is never an option. I am sure that most parents who have never witnessed such a scene are judging you right to the core. They better hope they don't encounter a similar situation themselves down the road. Even though you haven't hit your child, the piercing scream spreads throughout a store and most people will assume that you did. These children will  one day likely save lives because they seem to be so not bothered with drawing attention. Their reaction time will be awesome.

Of course the wanderer is never easy. You never know what it is that fancies their attention and draws them away. They are focused and certainly ought to be registered for being a future scientist. As the parent  of such  a child we are exhausted at night. Don't you hate the parents who look at you like you don't know what you are doing no matter what type of child you have? Their kid is behaving and they think it is all about their wonderful parenting skills.

I must say that I am a believer in good loving parenting for all types of kids but I know that it is not easy for parents at all. And we can't know how difficult it is for others who don't have the same kind of a child that we have. I don't mean to rate the kids because then we would have to rate the adults. After all can you imagine the wanderer being in the hands of the temper tantrum person? I suppose this happens often enough. The point is a parent child relationship is not as simple as we might think.

You have the focused kid who  wanders because of his deep interest.  His parent can be someone who has little patience in waiting for someone to do as he says. This is a calamity waiting to happen. The adult with a lot of ego will have a lot of interesting issues when he is left with a child who likes to keep moving and just won't stay focused. It is hard to say why most of us embark on the adventure of parenthood. It is never what we thought it would be but actually it is something far  grandeur.

I have honestly learned how to love, have patience, be tolerant forgiving compassionate have faith hope and love beyond explaining and a spiritual awakening that has touched my soul. Kids make you smile laugh frown but they help you to go beyond what you had ever imagined or conceived. They  bring out the best and forgive the worst in you. We attempt to teach them while every day they teach us strengths we never thought we had. They add so much dimension spirit and soul to our lives. Perhaps we must learn to be tolerant and compassionate when dealing with or child.

They require only love and of course understanding of who they are and what they need to be happy. It takes time to do it right but the ride you have with them will stay in your memory until the day you die I would guess. Of course they do come all packaged and cute and helpless. Immediately and hopefully we are full of wonder and ready to give them love. They  count on that and parents can count on unconditional love in return. Parents must return this unconditional love always. If you have kids you should be happy because your life has so much meaning. Remember the kid you ignored at the playground because he couldn't climb the ladder? Now maybe you are learning how to teach such a child how to do just that without fear. All kids come with a guarantee to enrich our lives in so many ways that we will miss them wehen we tuck them into bed and it is just too quiet. MMMM

“How many of your contemporaries - when asked the question 'Are you glad you had kids'? - invariably respond 'Yes, but..'?” Anonymous

“As a parent we have to remember it was not the children's decision to be born it was ours, so let's love, cherish, and teach them to be good fruitful and productive people in the society ! Beta Metari Marashi

Parents, "God gave us children for joy and cherish-meant,and not for punishment”
Beta Metari Marashi

“It is easy to be a good parent, to a good child, but what makes a good parent is when you stand by and don't give up to a challenging and trouble child.” Beta Metani Marashi

Strive For Happiness"I am disturbed when I see the majority of so-called Christians having such little understanding of the real nature of the faith they profess. Faith is a subject of such importance that we should not ignore it because of the distractions or the hectic pace of our lives."    William Wilberforce

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell."    Lance Armstrong

"Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit."    Paramahansa Yogananda

"Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact - men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do."    Billy Graham

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."     Marian Wright Edelman

I have often considered myself a loser without having any need to say it out loud. So many times I have watched as other people jump in ahead of me to say or do something. It may be in my mind or heart to make a difference but I am just late on the response. I have always been the last one to get a joke if I got it at all. I received the lower grades than my siblings and was never picked in school to take a part in a school play. School plays are almost obsolete now but at one time quite apropos. I think one can easily get the picture of where I stood in everyone's eyes. That is what I believed

I recall hearing others talk about college and which ones they wanted to attend. I thought about which ones would possibly accept me. Having entered a college at a young age and having to work to pay for it, I eventually quit after two years and took a full-time job at the place of my employment. I could not work and study and came down with mononucleosis. Of course I felt like a failure and I also believed if I had the guts and stamina I could have done it. So I blamed it on my lack of strength to complete it.

Eventually when my kids were all in school I went back to school and spent twelve years working on my undergraduate and then my graduate degree. I worked part time, raised my kids with my husband and studied at night and on weekends.. I can't tell you how many times I was going to quit. I came so close every time but having quit before I hung in there until I finally succeeded. I  am nothing to brag about but I made it and graduated. I didn't make friends at school because they were younger and in a different phase of their lives than I was.

I went to work as a special education  teacher  and discovered the heartache kids endure daily. I was never the best at finding easier ways to teach things but I learned I could sense the feelings of children immediately and alleviate their emotional pain which I did. It took me longer to accomplish anything which left me after school many nights working on my classes. I loved it and didn't mind because my own kids were high school and college and were busy themselves.

During teacher meetings my opinions were never discussed or considered. Non of my colleagues disliked me but neither was I in the popular groups. I realized how easily someone is classified and delineated into whatever group someone wants them to be in. I accepted this because no matter what my opinion was nor how good my work was others always appeared to be so much better. I had to admit how much I lacked.

I have always felt the desire to help those who have been overlooked or those who simply need help at that moment in time. It got stronger as I got older and now I sense that God is pushing me to accept the responsibility and so I write. I have always written but only recently gotten stuff published. I am not the best and never was no will be. I think  that it is what likely held me back. I believed if I couldn't be successful like others I should just not try.

I have discovered that the smallest screw serves it's purpose in keeping a building standing. We are not always those giant beams yet we do our part and without us the largest beams will perhaps crumble. I also realized that worth is defined in numerous ways and God's definition is different than man's. Some people are so sure of their value while others devalue  their own worth.

I worked as a volunteer on my town's fire department for over thirteen years on the ambulance. The group of people were from all walks of life and all had their problems to deal with yet when working together it was like parts of a car. Like magic we each did our part to make it run. No one questioned anyone's part. We were all thankful for the jobs that were fulfilled. The crazy thing is those people were heroes yet never went out on a call without fear myself included.

Heroes have fear. Winners can believe they are losers. How do we judge what a winner loser or hero is. Someone who stops to change your flat tire on a rainy day is a  hero although he might think the opposite. Giving to toy drives volunteering for building homes for veterans and even to aid an older person who needs help. There is no ending or beginning. There is no job too little or too small that God might ask us to do. I suppose the question is whether or not we will choose to do it.

Being afraid is not being cowardly. I used to think am I the only one who is afraid at a highway accident scene? I dreaded the jaws of life crushing and cutting above my head as I held traction on someone in the back of a car. I prayed they didn't slip or make any mistakes. At times I wanted to jump out and run and although I never did, I questioned my cowardly feelings. I know many firemen who dread going into a burning building as they  trust their own instincts to know when they should retreat before the ceiling and walls come crashing in on them.

None of them enjoys such an incident and all are relieved when it is over and although many think about retreating, rarely if ever does that happen. They would be the first to admit they didn't feel brave when a discussion was held after such an incident. They admitted being terrified at times. I bet they did not see themselves as brave or heroes. They saw life in its reality and their desire to help others overcame  their fear of doing nothing.

It leaves all of us with some truths about life and losers. None of us are losers. We face situations everyday that are difficult to deal with. We have job loss, miscarriages, difficult marriages, divorces and all other kinds of problems. We are faced everyday with challenging situations to deal with and endure. All of us fear everyday and some of us even fear how to deal with our lives,  and sometimes we fear those  who live with us.

We are called upon everyday to make a difference in someone's life. Every time we respond in the affirmative we have shed our blanket of fear to listen to the call. I like others grab my fear blanket as soon as the crises is over. That is okay because I finally know I am not a loser. I still need to be told what the punch line is on a joke and I am aware of the tremendous amount of people who are stronger and wiser than I will even come close too. I am still not a loser and neither is anyone else who faces their fears everyday with courage.

Someone needs to be there for the person who is at an all time low and needs a listening ear, or the young mother who is in need of support, or the kids who are hurting from all kinds of abuse. At times it requires seeing and hearing and getting the ones involved who can make a difference. During each day,  we must answer the call to come to the aid of others. We can't ignore the cries with the excuse of being a loser because that is not the truth. Even your smile tells someone somebody sees them and cares.

“Sometimes it takes a lowly, title-less man to humble the world. Kings, rulers, CEOs, judges, doctors, pastors, they are already expected to be greater and wiser.”     Criss Jami

"When emerging from humble beginnings those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were somebody."    Criss Jami

“If you're an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don't fit in, if you're not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”     Steve Guttenberg

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

elizabeth-fishel-quote-about-siblings"Children are like wet cement whatever falls on them makes an impression."     Haim Ginott

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."     Charles R. Swindoll

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."   Frederick Douglass

"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment."   President Emeritus of Compassion International

"The soul is healed by being with children."  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

"Children make your life important."     Erma Bombeck,

I wish all who read this a very Happy New Year. Being the season of love and family I really wanted to focus on the family because we all have families in one form or another. From what I can surmise we all have varying degrees of love as well as  condemnation for these individuals. These are likely the people who teach us life lessons. Of course these teachings may be taught in a gentle or cruel manner but regardless we can learn from these encounters and move on, or allow  them to slip away unobserved.

Somehow I know this all ties in with love and family. Most people will admit that the one thing they want most in the world is love yet they don't comprehend how much time and energy they place on other things that are far from love. Somehow there is a great need to get back to a happier and more peaceful place that surrounds us with love and demonstrates  in the contrast, how far off course we have actually traveled.

The world desires are luring all of us as they profess to cure our unhappy mood and our overburdened life. They are like the charlatan's that promised cures for our ailments with something within a bottle. Most of us are desperate enough to  believe. The rest of us want to believe and fight the urge to go off the track. Somehow it appears we must find what it is we truly  want out of life. It is surface thinking to imply we want a vacation or money or friends or fame. Like watching a movie on a screen we can view our lives in fast forward to discover that the vacation was short-lived and not as exciting or interesting as we had perceived it would be. The money could not buy the person we desired to marry, health that we yearned for nor the life we envisioned. The  friends that manifested  were quick to desert us when we were in need of a real friend  and were only happy to enjoy spirited days of jokes and parties. Fame is truthfully as fleeting as the passing day or night. There are always new heroes and idols to follow. I wonder at those left behind because after you have been considered immortal how does one return to mortality.

We are all born and die alone yet the support of others we love and who have loved us is invaluable. Many times our endless search of chasing  worldly attractions usually results in defeat and remorse while draining our spirits. In our search for the false We sometimes leave behind treasures worth keeping found in family life.

Some of us are never even aware of the mistakes we have made in losing or ditching these people. Perhaps  family members anger us to the point of our desire to run away. The will to  receive understanding from every encounter with others, whether it is good or bad will not happen. In the process we lost possibly a genuine love and a huge lesson that was tossed in the garbage.

In my own life I have learned that losing your temper and hurting others emotionally and physically causes deep scars and memories you would prefer to white wash. I questioned the lesson until one day I discovered it helped me to gain a greater understanding of tolerance and patience with others. It taught me the fragility of children caught in these nightmares with no alternatives but to endure.

I suppose the hurts teach us the power of maintaining our goals for a very long time. Most importantly it taught me the importance of love and how powerful it can be. Without the love of family one is left with facing a harsh world with only courage and strength as their friends. No one can survive if love is not instilled within this mix A   person is an empty vessel waiting to be filled when love has not entered it.

This is the crossroad between picking what will  elevate you or what will bring your downfall. If we don't pay attention we likely will make a poor  decision. Experiencing sickness as a child makes us appreciate good health as well as the gentle care of our bodies. Understanding people living in poverty sends us a  message of support and compassion for others. When a person lacks the simple items of life they yearn for what so many others take for granted.

Those who lose loved ones experience such a rupture within their lives that it can become difficult to move forward with their lives. Others who never had the family life due to one circumstance or another are left unfulfilled and dissatisfied in their functioning. Coming to terms with any difficult happening requires mounds of reflection and discernment regarding what we can and cannot change.

A mother-in-law who fights with her ex daughters-in-law unwittingly brings down her own demise in a lost relationship with her grandchildren. Women who blame a whole family when there is a divorce basically shut out all of the love and support of family members. No one is a winner and everyone is a loser but the young kids caught in the middle are the crushed and ruined survivors. It is truly devastating to kids.

Kids are similar to dogs in their unconditional love. They love most everyone and they forgive most anything. A child beaten daily will forgive the beater. I don't know if we could find one adult who would do the same for another adult.

A couple on Christmas day refused to allow their very young children to open their gifts because the kids had been arguing with each other. They were told Santa said they had to wait for not being "Good". They were "bad" and had to wait. The kids were accepting this with love and anticipation for a better tomorrow. How young the kids were for such a harsh lesson. One child might lament the horror when they achieve adulthood and tend towards leniency while the other child might seek a sense of revenge by repeating the harsh punishments they themselves endured.

People who go to extremes to provide a happy occasion are left with ungrateful attendees and a heartache of questions about what went wrong and why. Likely they only wanted everyone to enjoy the day but sometimes others enjoy bringing negativity to the occasion. I believe most people have no idea the sadness and ruin they cause and don't do it on purpose.

If we can see a pattern then perhaps it is time to stop even our own self-pity and begin thinking about the damage we do to each other and to our children who are the most innocent victims. At times we are so intolerant of each other that we must jeopardize the good times because of our hidden negative agendas. We all have our secret aches and pains, defeats and victories. If we want family and love to be brought to the forefront of our lives again then perhaps it is time to let go of the me attitude and embrace the idea of a mindfulness of others.

The man who is upset that his wife gained weight or does not have the figure like a girl on a magazine is living in a  false world. The woman who wants her husband to provide her with more material gains is trapped in a make-believe world.  These are the world's mind games and we are trapped  in that world when we harbor such ideas.

We profess to be independent in our thinking yet we are told what is good or bad, beautiful  or ugly, strong or weak, intelligent or ignorant and what we should even desire or want in our lives. Anyone who diverts from this path is considered different and sometimes ignored or ostracized. This difference is actually freedom at its core. What is not independence is following the crowd away from what is truly important in our lives.  At those times our integrity may be at risk. I see individuality as being stronger than the enticing crowd  and following your heart.

Accountability is hard to accept but we are responsible for instant decisions made without thought. Words and actions cannot be taken back  and are so far-reaching. The psyches are injured and hard to repair. We should think before speaking or acting and be sorry when we have injured another. Then we would gain a loving world.

Our encounters are engraved on our souls. None of us know where another has been or what pains we bring with us. Each incident has taught us a  lesson and has the capacity to stretch us beyond what we currently are. That is why some of us can easily state we understand something and forgive it while others of us can't muster the courage or  perhaps have not stopped to consider such an occurrence.

If we look hard enough at life the truth guides our way. Reflecting on our lives along with the lessons, brings us to a greater understanding of things we were not able to comprehend before our own hurts and pain. Somehow the more pain endured along with the injuries, the greater the capacity to forgive and support others in need. This is where our most precious devotion must be concentrated.

Kids require guidance and love. Acquiring the necessary skills to regain our accountability and responsibility towards our children enhances our lives in ways that can't be explained. Suffice it to say that strong families have the power to create strong bonds of love and acceptance. If we can't devote love to the most important creations of the world, our kids, then the world will simply fold into nothing. Love family and children make the world the beautiful place that it is. Unless we see and consider this actuality, the kids will continue to be second-rate citizens and people  will continue to selfishly look to their own needs while they compromise their children's wishes and requirements.

The search for senseless gratifications of all conceivable kinds is a quick downfall. Most of us already have the things in our lives worth having and which can't be replaced. Appreciating that as a truth causes love to ceaselessly follow us and bloom wherever we go. Husbands and wives should be each other's cheer leaders. Siblings should support appreciate and love each other, parents should discover the value and priceless gift of their children, and grandparents should offer love at all times and without assessments. In all of these relationships perhaps we should dismiss all of the judgments.

I would never rejoice in having problems but I find myself taking the lesson from each difficult situation I have had to endure. Each of us has a life to live that is sometimes worrisome. If we reach out to others with love it might make our lives a little bit easier to endure. If I can stop with the accusations and assumptions of others perhaps I can make my life easier and the life of  another. I now want to ask myself if my life has meaning rather than if I am happy. The meaning of having people in my life makes my life full of purpose. If it is only to make another smile with lightheartedness, then I would rather remember a day a child  smiled rather than a day they feared.

"The best way to make children good is to make them happy."  Oscar Wilde

"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments  tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become."   Louis Pasteur

"Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."  Nelson Mandela

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." Albert Camus

"Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it."    Sai Baba