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.”

4

Get Out Of Your Head“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” Jostein Gaarder

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don't fit into their box are weird. But I'll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.” C. JoyBell C.

“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

I had to take a break from my writing due to family issues that needed my attention. Of course I never stopped observing and learning, even if I stopped writing. I noticed how tense it felt to let go of so many tasks I would normally accomplish when I have total concentration. Instead I sat back, worried and reviewed how far behind I assessed I must be. In reality I was only behind because I saw it that way. In actuality I might be and probably am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in time.

How many of us believe or even think about why we find ourselves treading water at times or even going backwards at other times? Perhaps we view this as big problems  and ask ourselves why it happened to us. None of us would say "Well I am glad for that set back  because now I have time to review what it is I am doing."

I venture to say none of us enjoy obstacles of any nature and perhaps we question why obstructions had to happen to us. We do move and get beyond what occurred but we build up our anxiety over it, feel frustrated and angry, and basically either take it out on ourselves or those who are close to us. That leaves all of us burdened with issues of all kinds, because we are all dumping our dilemmas on each other constantly.

Suddenly light dawned as I observed a young three-year old messing around with toys. He worked hard to build something which eventually came crashing down. He observed it and then  laughed and proceeded to construct it again. There was no loss of activity nor tears of remorse. He was surprised that it had happened but to him the surprise was worth the destruction of his creation.

If adults could only accept the twists and turns in the road as the small child did our anxiety and fear would decrease.  As I continued to watch the child he began building the tower in exactly the same way and he watched again and again as it toppled to the ground. What was he thinking I reflected. I would be in tears and thinking how I could build something that would stand against any kind of destruction. He obviously was greatly amused and had discovered in his own mind, how to make the occurrence happen all over again. That was his reward. When he got tired of it he turned to a totally different activity and became engrossed again.

What I took from it was his ability to remain pleased and content with his world. He didn't try to control it but instead he let things happen at their own will. He was satisfied with every new discovery. He was the investigator of research even though he didn't likely know what that meant. Most kids do appear to use the hands on method of discovery until we guide them into ways of doing it "right" so we believe.

I wonder if adults lose the power to think not only outside the box but outside of their own heads. I know how much I re-examine everything I say and do and what others say and do. I spend so much time within the walls of my head that it allows me little time to be present in the moment.  Kids are our complete opposite. They simply tell you like it is right down to the fact that they need to poop in the middle of a movie. It is a fact of life and they are not ashamed to admit it.

Is it adults who begin blocking kids in with our taboos and ideas of right and wrong? Of course we should teach morals and values but do we actually teach it or just explain the repercussions of not obeying rules. Do we blindly follow guidelines everywhere and from everybody without questioning why we are even doing it? Kids appear to keep a simplistic version of behaving.

They are not afraid to tell you they don't like something,  and they will refuse to act on something that scares them despite our prodding. They quickly admit when they are afraid of things that we would assume they shouldn't be afraid of. Some kids  are timid in making friends. They are shy around adults, and close their mouths tightly when an adult is forcing food they don't want to try or medicine they don't like.

They keep it simple and trek forward at all times. They see the positive in things and will use boxes, dirt and a stick for a shovel when necessary. They make do and laugh at so many things we fail to see the humor in. An anxious expression on our face may send them into a roar of laughter. Hearing us say we have to go to the bathroom can send a  five-year old howling. Most times adults miss the humor and only smile to acknowledge the child's happiness.

How did we come to take so much so seriously. Are we teaching that to our kids? Are we flushing away love, life and laughter from our own lives and the lives of our children? We put up signs about living laughing and loving yet we don't follow it most times. Perhaps we appreciate what we should be doing but can't seem to go against the crowd and do it. Kids have no problem being themselves at all times. Adults ought to imitate the kids and do the same. If only we could admit it when we are hurting, disgraced at least in our own minds, unhappy, scared, sick and numerous other emotions we keep hidden from others.

We treasure strength, ability, power, and sometimes the skill to squash our emotions. We place humility, compassion, love and weakness under wraps as if it should be hidden. No wonder we can't be ourselves anymore. Kids will cry and then admit they can't do something. We stand in resolve to accomplish what we likely are unable to accomplish never asking for help which would be cowardly we believe.

I see kids as grouping together and running in all directions in happiness and squeals of laughter. Adults scurry to their jobs attempting to please a relentless boss and perhaps a spouse who is expecting more than we can possibly deliver. The camaraderie and cooperation we experienced as kids is slowly drained from us and we are left alone within our minds in doubt about how where and why we are navigating anyplace.

Now we re following silly rules we don't really care about. We have stopped attempting to understand the why's anymore and just do the jobs that need attention. We have in essence given up more of our own power of control than we should have given up. Understanding the reasons of life and living, is a more profound goal than buying a better home or trumping our friend or neighbor. We are not separate entities but actually one in our world. We  can help each other support each other and allow each other to be who they are. We can let go of the judgments and embrace the pleasure of each others company. This brings a profound enlightenment and a peaceful co-existence

I have faith that if we all opened up our hearts, our minds would follow and a deluge would ensue. We might find all the support and love that had been bottled up within each of us, spill out in all directions. The  falseness would disappear and the masks and costumes we display daily would fall. We would and could feel like the young child who could enjoy his blocks regardless of failure with the understanding that failure is a myth. None of us fail we just make mistakes that can most of the time be corrected. We can try again because nobody is keeping a tally and we can admit failure and victory because we are on the same team. We don't have to win alone. We actually don't have to lose alone. We can technically win all the time when we share the victories of life with each other.

Parents teach their kids, and siblings teach and inspire each other. Relatives of all kinds aid prompt and encourage each other at any point in time.  Friends are quickly here and gone but each leaves a mark on us regardless of the length of time of their involvement. Getting out of our heads allows us to live and begin each new day with high hopes of doing some awesome positive support for others.

Before we hang up rules or signs we should contemplate the reasons they inspire us. Understanding what it is about them that makes them valuable is crucial to our understanding life. Like a puzzle we have broken apart into a zillion pieces. The picture of our lives will become clearer as we place those pieces together and actually and finally look at the real picture. Alone we are a shining light for a moment until the light is turned off. Together we create an awesome bright luminosity  gathering all into the comforting serenity of love in action.

Kids love everyone and their love is unconditional. They  forgive everything and forget transgressions as they begin playing with a friend the next day after having fought with them the previous day. They don't judge who can or can't climb up the ladder they just send out the cry, "Let's do it." Together they work, play, live, laugh,  and love. There is a message here for us to witness.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” C. JoyBell C.

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” C. JoyBell C.

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:

2

Never Give Up“If we would just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel and be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with  respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?” Linda Ellis, Mac Anderson

Many young families need two incomes in order to make ends meet. This inevitably leads to both parents working. Tired parents may not always have the stamina to focus on their children. The truth is, how difficult it is, to find the endurance through some sort of compromise. It might be possible for each of the parents to have set nights to take care of the children. It might also suffice to take turns tucking children into bed. Whatever the system one chooses, children can’t be ignored nor neglected.  Balancing our schedules,  and making it work, without any compromising of our children s’ needs is a tough task to accomplish.

We should refrain from feeling guilty when we can’t always act our best. At times, if there are not enough resources to muster, then we must put in what energy we can. Involved parents need to take breaks and not have uncomfortable thoughts that they are an incompetent parent. Our best effort is all that anyone could ask for. Knowing that we love our children, take care of them, and attend to their needs is conduct well done. ...continue reading "Never Give Up"

Stress inevitably finds us. The fact remains that working for our children’s welfare and interests leaves us blameless. We can only have twenty-four hours in a day. None of us can give any more than that. Parents without jobs are stressed, to say the least. We can ask for assistance from schools, towns, churches, and communities. Even if we haven’t been to church, we shouldn't hesitate to ask for financial sponsorship. Community resources are readily available and willing to come to our assistance. If a church or community cannot assist someone they most definitely know of the resources available and will readily give a person in need the resources for livelihood.

If we resort to drugs or alcohol as an escape from our difficulties, we won’t ever solve our troubles. If we really want provision and are serious, we can find those who are skilled at sustaining. Searching for the service we require is not a dauntless task. Aid is out there and we just need to find it. choosing crutches of any kind serves only  to extend our problem. Perhaps our question might be how committed we are   about straightening out our lives. Drugs and alcohol cost money and money is what we do not have. Many young children are privy to discussions about drinking and drugs. They appear to know more than they should . Never underestimate your child's interest in whatever you say or do. Much is seen on television and some  is questionable.

Drugs and alcohol eat up our money. They destroy our minds and our family bonds. They help us to forget about commitments and responsibilities and leave us with a job loss. Drugs and alcohol promote our involvement with another person, due to mixed-up judgemen. This renders our marriage in dissolution. We lose the respect of our children as well as our friends. We render ourselves in limbo until making the decision to straighten out the mess we ourselves have created.

It is not only ourselves who suffer. We cause pain to our spouse, children, parents, and friends. The pain reaches those who attempt to help us in maybe the earlier stages. Our money is gobbled up, our home is terminated, and probably the last person we hurt, so badly, is ourselves. We cannot bear to look at ourselves in a pane of glass walking down a street.

Many parents possibly choose to refrain from working. This is their choice. If at least one parent doesn't try to get work, perhaps they are setting a poor example for their children. Without any goals we have no zest for life and no challenges to instill us with enthusiasm. Without a purpose we can become erratic. Mothers or fathers who choose to stay home with their children have that option. We can’t and shouldn't condemn their choices. We might put more effort into guiding our child’s school work while being an at-home parent.

Our children need roots. They need trials and purpose. If they are given none through our modeling, it is probable they will not choose goals, or they may set some that are not admirable. Kids, like adults, are unsure of their faltering steps. They require guidance more than imbalance. If we can’t steer straight forward for ourselves, we must attempt to do it for our children. Our children need objectives and aspirations. Every human being needs dreams.

Parents should never get into the area of who is doing more or less work. When that happens, a dividing line is drawn and everything is written down and accounted for. This is not a compatible way of compromising tasks. There are highs and lows in everyone’s life, and highs and lows in everyone’s job. If we come home from work with more stamina than our partner can muster, we should take over the largest piece of the work. Another day or time, our partner can reciprocate when our days are not flowing smoothly. The give and take in a marriage varies on any given day. One cannot predict a headache or a leg pain or sickness. Being accommodating to each other allows us space to chill. We are less stressed to perform our duties. It becomes a bit more relaxing. If we have reached our limit with the child on a particular day, our spouse may take charge of the parenting.

When we have a job to do we can do it with a pleasant attitude or with an angry attitude. It is our choice. If we have to do the job, regardless of our disposition, it appears the easier choice is a pleasant manner. Life is about caring for others. It is not about keeping track of whose turn it is. With co-operation, we might cherish the moments we spend with the children. It becomes more about enjoying our time with our children than it is about doing our duty. Days pass quickly. Nobody should wish their time or life away. Enjoy all the precious memories you are making with your family.

No question, raising children is hard work. They bring a different dimension to one’s life. They also bring a huge, mountainous load of work. In the end, the love we gain truly outweighs any work we must accomplish. Children can be taught to be accountable for many things. We must teach them and support them until they are ready. Caution, in regard to solicitously remaining attentive to our children, is extremely vital. They are fragile and have much to learn.

Although children might spend a great deal of time in daycare facilities, they will still be influenced a vast amount more by their parents. One need not worry, as long as parents are interactive with their children when they are with them. Children will always be influenced by many surrounding activities. Whether these influences are good or bad remains inferior to the effect parents have. It is relevant that we inspire our children to do the right thing.

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.” William James

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” William James

“The family you come from isn't as important as the family you're going to have.” Ring Lardner

“In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

“Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves are triumph and defeat.”    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“A man, who removes a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.” Chinese Proverb

“May you remember that love flows best when it flows freely and it is in giving that we receive the greatest gift.” Kate Nowak

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” Chinese proverb

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” Alex Haley

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; No need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Dalai Lama

“Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much.” Erich Fromm

Voice Transformation“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”    Aristotle

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”    Ambrose Bierce

“The best fighter is never angry.”    Lao Tzu

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.”    William Arthur Ward

I was listening to a young friend talking the other day and couldn't help but smile. His voice which normally had an air of youthful authority, was suddenly direct even and just a tiny bit faster than normal. Of course he had an important message to give so I could see why his words were swift.

What surprised me was how different he sounded. You could hear his maturity in his speech. There was no need for his usual pushy and aggressive attitude. His voice had changed to a deliberate straightforward mode. I smiled just recalling how just a few years had passed and he had definitely matured.

It made me understand how our tone, loudness, tempo, infractions, emphasized letters, drawled words and pitch made any sentence more than a sentence. It was as if it told our thoughts, age dilemma fear and mood. I believe that is why computers and technology in general will never replace the human voice. Somehow feelings, emotions attitudes and thoughts go into our every monologue and spoken interaction. We can't hide our emotions.

Children know immediately when parents are angry about anything. The stern clipped sentences that range a bit louder than normal,  at least at the beginning of the episode, tell the kids to scatter. Dad or mom is searching for something or upset about anything and they don't want to be the unwilling victims of a parents' foul mood. ...continue reading "Voice Transformation"

When parents review a bad report card they hesitate and one can envision the anger rising up their necks and into their angry red faces. Of course the child is waiting for the explosion. The parent may begin with an even slow voice but the pace picks up quickly as fast as the loudness increases. Within seconds like a rocket the words tumble out so fast the child is unable to comprehend the meaning that is being delivered. What the child does know is to simply listen and refrain from interruptions. This is accomplished and the child is at times punished grounded and sent to their room.

I remember listening to the arguments between my older brother and our father. Of course my brother had the mouth that would not remain still. As much as I admired his courage, to this day I never understood his inability to learn the importance of silence. I would watch my dad's face sternly focus on my brother while words of wrath tumbled from his mouth. Whenever there was a pause my brother chimed in with some sort of retort then blast off, my dad was furious.

I could observe my brother almost chuckling at the power he had to send his dad to the moon so easily. I on the other hand held my breath and hoped the incident would be short-lived. Otherwise life would be difficult for all of us until the next day. I remember my father's almost breathless words stumbling out.  The voice was almost inaudible. My dad's body was always rigid at this point and his neck muscles stood out pulsing. How my brother thought this was funny is beyond my comprehension.

I recall being at the beach one day and watching a family in front of us interact. The young teen was asked to get a drink for his father from the cooler. The boy went to retrieve the item. When he came back his father was enraged. The boy had brought a soda rather than a beer. The man swatted the boy on th back of the head almost sending him crashing to the ground. The man snarled like a dog at his son. I remember not understanding the words but the snarls came through loud and clear. The tone was strong and gruff. I remember glancing up at the man from my head down position. I was afraid to make eye contact with this man. I was young but he instilled fear with his voice.  In one quick motion the teen scrambled back to the cooler and grabbed a beer. He handed it to his father having to stretch his arm to be within reach. I couldn't blame the young man because he didn't want another hit on the head.

One day  as I walked to school in Boston, I was behind a young mother and her two young girls hardly more than four or five. The mother was in a hurry. Her sturdy fast paced steps, swinging arms, along with her grip on her handbag gave one the impression of someone on a mission. The kids were obviously having trouble keeping up. The woman kept urging them to walk faster and she increased her rate of speed. Her voice was loud and her words were curt.

Inevitably the youngest child slipped and fell on the concrete drawing blood to both knees. The mother was angry and started to scream at her youngest daughter. The crying child immediately clammed up while the older child stop attempting to help her sister to her feet. The three continued their walk with one change. The youngest child was limping and trailing behind. I had to make a turn and lost site of the three individuals. I won't forget the intense look of the mother and her terse words spilling through her clenched teeth. No wonder the child just got to her feet and continued to move on.

I wonder at adults who are parents or work with kids. I hope they realize how much of an impact both good and bad, they have on  kids. The impressions  they leave are carved into the spirit in a good or detrimental way. Children are the helpless recipients of anger frustration, regret, and much more. They have nowhere to run and no escape. Living in fear for some kids is a normal state of affairs.

We put people in jail for simple infractions yet we allow serious harm to happen to kids before we  step in as a society. I will never understand this. At the sake of embarrassing parents, we should come  to the aid of families in need. Unless we find the root of problems there will be no remedy. If one requires an antibiotic but is only given cough medicine, the infection continues. Answers at most times are simple.

I know the voice has the power to crush, disintegrate, relieve, or bring comfort and love. The words are not as important as the tone, loudness tempo distinctness emphasis on words and expressions on the face of the person delivering the message. Perhaps we should think about the messages we are sending to our kids and to other people. Probably we never thought about the changes in our voices nor the facial changes and bodily changes expressed by our built up emotions.

After growing up with a multifaceted person I have learned how to  read most people. I get a sense of their mood. We all get angry but  allowing it to take over our minds is inexcusable. The next time we feel our fury rising,  we might think about the changes taking place in our own bodies. Take some deep breaths and count to one hundred if need be. It might help us to better control our own rage. It is  always within our power to change things. We simply need to be aware of how we affect others and the impact of our anger. Making happier and brighter days for our own families and those of others is crucial to everyone's well-being.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”    Mark Twain

“Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”
Leo Buscaglia

“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you're allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”    Shannon Alder

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

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.”    Cherie Carter Scott

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”    Shannon L. Alder

Addicted To Technology"The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology."    E. F. Schumacher

"If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner."    Omar N. Bradley

second addicted to technology"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life."    John F. Kennedy

None of us likes to be out of control nor have things out of control. Yet, our technology has totally gotten well beyond the limits. We all fight for power and freedom along with liberty, but perhaps media and technology has deprived us of all of this. I believe  it is  manipulating, and has lulled us into an addictive type of need and love.

I use the word love because most of us can't spend a long time away from our "Stuff". Anyone with the tiniest bit of techno savvy is seen holding something within their hands. Some people almost appear desperate as they cling to their I-phones, I-pads and whatever. Most people have already inculcated their kids into the habit. A child as young as two might be seen holding a device and pressing buttons.

Can we admit we have gone beyond our limit ? Some people are on computers or some other device right before they go to bed. If one spouse is in the bathroom, they pick their tool up from their nightstand. It can't be far from them in case they get a message of some kind. I wonder at the messages, that always seem to be so important, that they can't let them wait for a better time. There is no privacy. People including bosses, and everyone else, can reach us at any time. Forget about discretion. We can't escape the ever-ending messages coming through. ...continue reading "Addicted To Technology"

Whenever you are in the company of someone who is obsessed with their cell phone, or I pad, or I phone, you find their eyes drifting down to it and then their fingers get busy as they smile. They have totally forgotten  who they are physically with, and devote their attention to the device. You, the physically present person,  must wait for their return. Some people attempt to hide their focus on their device by softly drifting into another room. It amazes me that they think you don't notice their movements, nor their lack of attention to the present moment with you.

It is so widespread now, that most of us who are not dependent,  just get used to waiting, for these habituated people, to finish whatever messages they are receiving. I know when I am in the presence of these users, I don't even mention the interruption anymore. I just wait for the interference to end. I still find it annoying, but it is right up there with the waiting time at the  doctor's office. You don't like it, or enjoy it, but there are no alternatives so you accept it.

I love it when some people think, they are covering their dependent behavior. This appears to be even worse. One can believe themselves now, to be unimportant,  as well as stupid.  They believe they are fooling us. They keep it on their laps at a restaurant, and glance down now and again. Their smile, when they look down is one giveaway. Other people do a chore, while they peek at their device. They let out the dog, and stand outside, viewing and sending messages.

Some people believe falsely of course, that if they share the message with you, that somehow it makes it okay. You might also get the person who confesses they sent a message earlier, and were waiting for the reply they just received. You  have to praise the people who excuse themselves formally, to receive or send a text message. They get up, act important, express a serious look on their faces, and proceed to another room for privacy.

It seems like all of this might be a danger to them. Are they paying attention to their  world? They might trip and fall as I did when I attempted to dial a phone number while walking. I had seen it done so many times by others, but unfortunately I am not a good candidate, as I missed the end of the sidewalk and fell on the street. Only my ego got hurt.

I haven't mentioned those people who  text while driving. I place this right up there with drinking and driving. They are focused on typing and reading. I hate to think about those drivers when I enter my car. I know of one accident in which a young girl blamed it on her shoes rather than admit she was sending a text. Her fine was less.

Media promotes Facebook, and other social communities. Now we can share the food we're making for dinner, and the last time we showered. We have the ability to get one hundred people or more, to commiserate with us, when we are having a bad day. We display the beach area we are visiting, with no care for those who are out of a job or relationship. I know this might be a good thing for some people, but I need more than words on a page.

I need the intimacy of a face, exhibiting care and concern. I like the sound of voices, and seeing expressions change. I like to hear more words than a simple feel better, even if it is only one person, instead of one hundred. Somehow it reaches me more. Some people suffer depression,  from all of the wonderful places and things people expound about on Facebook. Your life can appear very dim in comparison. We really shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone.

In actuality, it is an assessment of  who can gain more friends. This doesn't appear to be a healthy media device, for a downtrodden individual. Now we might be jealous of many more people, rather than the close friend. Confidence and security become things of the past. Competition  reigns even for young girls, who are competing with their faces and bodies. What are we valuing in this world? Are we aware of inner qualities, or is that something we laugh at? Has our virtue and our morals gone AWOL?

The tumultuous disruptions, throughout the world, are now able to touch our children within our homes. People with questionable motives, can enter our once safe environment, and destroy our family. There are deceitful people who are bent on lying, and coercing our children. It is difficult to monitor this. These people don't have to show a face, or it can be a false image. As I already mentioned, faces give emotions.

Another area technology is affecting us, is within the social area of  High School. There are students who are now ridiculed, twenty four seven. Being a teen, they have faith in their ability to handle themselves. The  pain and crushing of their spirit, may eventually destroy them. Many are left with fear and or anxiety. Confidence is gone, and insecurity is instilled. I ponder about the perpetrators of such deeds. Because they are wounding with a tool type of device, likely they feel less blame. They are not involved in the full fledged pain inflicted, when one sees hears or experiences it.

I am not sure if the wrong doers are aware, that they are hurting real people. If you call somebody a name to their face, and see their reaction, it might well up feelings of sorrow for your action. When such is not the case upon using a machine, one is deprived of observing the actual pain inflicted. It  appears that technology use, releases one of blame, and societal constraints and or restrictions. It becomes a covert operation. It is similar to mob rule where no one is at fault, when people or property are injured. Hiding behind a machine, permits freelance slander, manipulation, influence and suffering.

Perhaps we are becoming desensitized, from sensing any remorse, due to our addiction to technology. We have less time for emotions, when we are busy with our fingers tapping devices. Our minds are focused on how well, and how much we can do with these devices. Little time is given to our altruistic nature. Our  minds overtake and rule the heart. Some people are proud of the greatest damage they can accomplish. Perhaps they are bullied in other areas of their lives, and find relief in bullying others on-line.

Our machines keep us too busy to reflect, on what we have done wrong. Instead of man creating machines that are more human like, we are transforming into  more of a machine like existence. This is not true of everyone, but it certainly requires our heartfelt thought.

Some homes are now quiet after dinner, because even the kids are using a device. Our language is even suffering. People use short words, to convey a message. I  find people using less words, and less sensory adjectives, when speaking with or using technology. We have too many notes to send out, and too many people to respond to. With so many friends, can we understand that we are not gaining a close relationship with anyone? Do we care anymore about depth, or quality of love within our lives?

I have noticed our conversations with our spouses, are shorter and curt. I have observed that we all use less of our sense of sight, sound, and sensory. Our hearts are being deprived of compassion, empathy and love. Some things just have to be felt through the heart first. Technology is awesome, but will man misuse it as his reputation proves. What starts off as a good thing, may devour mankind of being humane.

Do we need a law about restricting the use of our devices? Man wants dominance. Now is the time to gain it by turning our technology off when in the presence of physical people. We have the self-control, to restrain their influence and use. As smart and capable as our devices are, they can be monitored, and they do have on and off switches. Let's  not willingly turn our command over, to a mindless and heartless device's ability, to overtake our influence and in the process, our humanity.

 "Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it."    Max Frisch

"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation."    Jean Arp

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."    Albert Einstein

"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers."    Sydney J. Harris

Displaying Weakness"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."    Mother Teresa

"Life is strong and fragile. It's a paradox... It's both things, like quantum physics: It's a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists all together." Joan Jett

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and  reflect." Mark Twain

I will hurt inside, cry later in the privacy of my home, laugh at the absurdity, and never show my sensitivity to those who are deliberately attempting to bring me pain. When I release my hurt and agonize alone, I actually feel the vulnerability dissipate and the strength replace the anguish. I truly stand taller and although the ache is still within, the knowledge of my power to overcome such pain is a relief.

Sometimes I wonder if the person or people who hurt me are aware of what they did. Perhaps they don't always intend to bring  judgement and pain but when they assume they comprehend another person, they begin tossing out the insults to tame and keep someone else in line. In the process they mentally diminish the person they focus on. Most likely they may not have meant to perpetrate such action so profoundly, and in such a disturbing and crushing manner.

Probably we have all been at the receiving end of such interactions. We likely have all been ostracized from groups or discussions for one reason or another. Let's face it, if you don;t agree with the majority simply bowing out of the group is the best answer, if you want to save your dignity and or sensitivity. Some people don't like to listen to another idea that is different from theirs.

Sometimes those who get hurt are the first ones to venture into another discussion at a later time in order to build their own self-esteem  and confidence. They are ready for the battle and equipped to demolish the opposing rivals. This of course leads to more suffering and a false sense of a gain in prestige. Whenever we make a point at the expense of another we are not aiding anyone including ourselves. If we want collaboration and cooperation which leads to peace, we must think of other ways to ease our hurt egos and sensitive spirits.

When we speak harshly to our children we crush their spirits. Even when they are doing something wrong,  it does not ever give us the right to smash their frail egos and sensitive natures. When a child lives  with harshness they learn to harden their shells. In the process their flames of empathy and kindness dim and eventually go out. I ponder the reasons we have for inflicting pain in order to display a false sense of being in control.

Perhaps it begins with the parental choice of domination and discipline. Although most parents admit they love their kids unconditionally, actions speak louder than words. If the parents verbal onslaught and physical aggression reduces the child's control and confidence then it will also reduce the child's sense of being loved. That is a harsh but true accusation. Reality is never pretty but we all grow from facing truth.

I reflect on the notion that the seeds for bullying begin from such tactics. Just like people who are wounded at a gathering of any kind including workplaces, feel the need to attack and get back their honor and self-respect, so to does a child require a boost in control of their lives by inflicting pain on a lesser individual. When we are all attempting  to find fault and blame  we might search and find our answers within our own actions.

Nobody likes a put down and everyone wants respect. It is so simple a theory. Kids are no exception. The worst issue for kids is that they are crushed by the people they love the most. It certainly makes one think and rethink how they handle children. Even  teachers who find it necessary to blast a loud voice at kids for misbehaving, must also  reevaluate how they are teaching and what they are teaching.

If adults don't like domination and jurisdiction then neither do kids. Of course many  times we can't change the  way things are so we are left with how to deal with such incidences. The best but most difficult answer is to walk away. That is not always an option for most of us. The next option is to speak your mind clearly and distinctly and then hold your temper and malice when others share thoughts that  are demeaning and cutting to what you had to offer.

I for one admit that many times those of us who get swallowed up in a disagreement actually have followers  who are silent. There are others who won't admit publicly, that they share  our thoughts. It doesn't help us at the time of the disagreement but it gives one food for thought. People never want to fight with the more powerful or  louder opponent. Nobody desires confrontation. Silence doesn't always mean agreement. It simply means one recognizes the control within the situation and refuses to add fuel to the blaze.

Now I can leave a disagreement knowing that even if I have publicly lost the argument, I don't have to wallow in my own self-pity. Losing doesn't result in a change in opinion or a lowering of my self-esteem. As a matter of fact, there are times when I believe it gives honor to me and anyone who brings food for thought to the table. I guess we must get over the strong affront from others who many times are in a foul mood or pushing  an alternate agenda. Those in power are always feeling threatened by others who differ from them. Having this knowledge gives us courage to speak up regardless of the abuse we may acquire. Truth and reality gives all of us a fresh breath of air and sunshine.

Children thrive better when disciplined with love consistency and meaningful consequences. It is also  wise to listen to a child's reasons for outbursts and physical behavior. It doesn't mean we approve of  the behavior just because we aloud them to speak. At times it enlightens us to a problem we may not have noticed or were not aware of. Knowledge always brings more power and understanding to any situation. You don't want to be the parent who is basically saying, "I am hitting you for hitting another. I don't want you hitting now but when yo are grown feel free to hit your kids."

Perhaps by placing ourselves in an others shoes we might see the situation through their eyes and come to understand the paradoxical problem we have when we get hurt and then hurt others. Unless we nurture and inspire more empathy we will raise warring, rather than caring people.

"Nobody can hurt me without my permission."  Mohandas Gandi

   "Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success. " Oscar Wilde

"To be angry is to let others’ mistakes punish yourself. "  Master Cheng Yen

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives."  Albert Einstein

"Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible."  Miguel Unamuno

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."     Abraham Lincoln

"We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t." Frank A. Clark

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

Knowledge is proud she knows so much; wisdom is humble that she knows no more." William Cowper

Potency Of Actions"If your relationship to the present moment is not right- nothing can ever be right in the future-because when the future comes it's the present moment."     Eckhart Tolle

You find peace, not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level."    Eckhart Tolle

"Anything that you  resent or strongly react to in another, is also in you."    Eckhart Tolle

I am not being critical as some of my knowledge comes from my own experience. It is vitally relevant that we comprehend, myself included, how we go about teaching our kids the many things we desire to see in them. If we sense our kids are not very empathetic, perhaps we should check on our own empathy towards others. If we never demonstrate any care of others then it will not be found in our kids.

Offering a food cart to another before retrieving one for ourselves allows kids to observe empathy or mindfulness in action. It demonstrates in a simple way, our concern for another person rather than ourselves first. There are numerous times we display agitation at waiting for prescriptions or a doctor's visit. WE get angy at people in the office. Some of us even take it out on these people. They are simply trying to do a job. Our attitude is only adding to their stress. We can be a stress reliever by acknowledging we are aware of the long wait but understand it is likely necessary and unavoidable.

Teaching kids to be grateful is another concern. It is absurd to say, "My kids are so ungrateful. I do all kinds of running around for them yet they don't even care. To top it off they fight with me." I agree that is not very nice but how many of us have spent years disagreeing with parents and fighting in anger. We probably go for days months and years not speaking to them. We don't stop to say, "Oh my parenst spent years working hard to pay the bills as they took care  of me." It is as if we believe we have the right to treat them shoddily because we are an adult now. We have responsiblilities and worries that they don't know about. It is so much harder for us, so we think. Our parents wrongdoing to us seems to outweigh any wrongdoing we are guilty of regarding our own kids. Even if it is true, forgiving and peace is often a better choice. ...continue reading "Potency Of Actions"

Maybe it is true that we can do more spend more and even understand more than our parents did. However,  one day when our kids look back on what we did and didn't do, hopefully they won't judge us as harshly as we judged our own parents. We get back what we put out. We get back what we teach. It isn't like one day we wake up and say to ourselves I think I'll teach my child about honesty, love, kindness, humility, perseverance or tolerance. They are learning each of these virtues on any given day. We must demonstrate such virtues or perhaps our kids will ignore them the way do.

So much is stressed about manners and even talk about mindfulness being taught at schools. It all sounds wonderful but you can't always teach it. Talk means nothing. Demonstration means everything. When parents demonstrate with actions, their concern for others, it registers in the mind and processes in the heart. Schools can reinforce these attributes but they can't reach the hearts of the children as easily as parents are able to do.

I remember a teacher saying to a class I was in, 'If I could just unscrew the top of your head and then pour all of the knowledge into your head my job would be so easy." I suppose the same is true about righteousness and morality. If we are not wary of what we are actually teaching kids or baking, then when the bread is raised and done, the end result might surprise us. This is likewise true for kids. This is one thing not easily taught because it requires our attention and mindfulness of our own thoughts, actions and words.

It is no surprise that kids from divorced homes have trouble with love and trust. Their lives were disrupted, tossed into turmoil, and cut apart at the heart. Grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins and even parents are many times separated from them. Unconditional love ends up becoming conditional. Feelings of loss as well as jealousy creep in towards step brothers and sisters. It is likely,  inevitable in most instances. We don't understand why they become angry and rebellious. As we have less time money and love to give, it is more difficult to express our love for them.

Kids love their parents unconditionally. They forgive but they will mature into a similar version of what we are. Teaching trust makes it necessary for us to exhibit forms of trust in our own relationships. Stability and endurance require us to accept commitment and forgiveness in our own lives. If we exemplify these virtues in our own lives, likely we have a good chance at witnessing it in our kids lives.

Gratitude is an awesome feeling. We have so much yet choose to deliberately focus on the negative of what we don't have. When we have love we have all  we need. We can get through obstacles. Instruct your kids to be thankful for what they have in their lives including the people such as mom and dad and grandparents and aunts uncles and cousins. They are priceless. Stay connected even if those people are irritating at times. We are all annoying at times. If I can accept your annoying behavior then perhaps you can accept mine. That is how it works.

Mindfulness is a virtue and it can be learned through demonstration, as can anything worth knowing. I know now how much better it is to try to be tolerant of the failings of family and friends. They bring another dimension to my life that can't be replaced by another. When I start recalling my parents and siblings shortcomings, I work hard to put on the brakes. I know I am being overly critical and I am aware of how much good is in all of them. I would rather express and point out the goodness I find in the family rather than their faults. I hope that one day they will return the favor.

It is so easy to release the fighting and fault finding. We never feel good after such an experience. How renewed we feel after a family episode. If we feel love in our hearts our kids are sure to learn it easily without any effort on our part. We don't want our kids picking up on distrust anger resentment or fear. Better they learn trust, serenity joy and assurance of the presence of love.

Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace."    Nhat Hanh

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you; I came to live out loud."      Emile  Zola

resentment"Family dinners are more often than not an ordeal of nervous indigestion, preceded by hidden resentment and ennui and accompanied by psychosomatic jitters."    M. K. Fisher

"The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is a part of the penalty for greatness, and every great man understands it; and understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure contumely without resentment."    Elbert Hubbard

I find the thing that brings the most heartache and pain is disappointment. Every day there is so much need to face discouraging situations. At home it is frustrating if we feel the workload is not fairly divided. At this time loading the dishwasher which wasn't suppose to be  our job, gets irritating with every dish. Perhaps the job isn't as hard as our anger at having to do it.

Our husband or wife are expected to be home early for a nice meal. Suddenly comes the phone call stating they will be late. All the plans are dashed and we are crushed. Our minds work overtime and we know, and believe they could have gotten out if they tried harder. I guess the danger is when we deduce they didn't care enough about us to make the endeavor. After a long day we don't want to be greeted by another persons' bad mood. Maybe they have been cranky all week so it is our turn. So we reckon.

At work there are those people who never make the coffee but they make sure they get their share of everybody else's pot. We think they pride themselves  on this accomplishment. We get unnerved when it is our spouse's turn to bathe the kids and all we can hear is angry yelling and demands. We resolve not to go and relieve them because we know that must be their plan. Now we are mad that they are plotting such a scheme. perhaps they are not but we don't question to find out the truth or reason why they feel the way they do. ...continue reading "Turning Disappointment Into Acceptance"

The in-laws are coming again and the husband is not going to cook the meal. How inconsiderate. The last thing we want to do is listen to them deliver and dwell on a boring story idea or thought that really could have taken two minutes to deliver rather than fifteen. The night is ruined and it is their fault. They should be responsible for their own families we surmise. The negativity and resentment builds with each new incident until there is so much resentment that we imagine all kinds of motives our spouse or family member use to manipulate us. We determine not to be taken in.

When imaginations run wild they are similar to a fictional story with us as the author. We are the unfortunate person that everyone is taking advantage of. Other people become the enemy. We have our strongly held beliefs and we don't have time nor do we want to put in the sweat to figure out our enemies point of view. In our eyes they don't have any reasons for acting the way they do. They are at fault and we are just responding in kind.

The marriage and the friendships limp along in this fashion until they dissolve. It might not be what anybody planned but if the relationships are not given any air, they will burn to ashes. What we don't always see is that once we are on the wrong track in any relationship, it cause double the problems. We notice more wrongs, have less patience and put no exertion into understanding them. We have finished with trying. Things become larger and more detrimental.

Perhaps some issues might have been solved if we had pursued some solutions prior to giving up.  Once we make a choice to abandon the relationship, we have pronouncrd it dead already, it is sad when this happens. Probably it didn't have to happen. Being afraid to face the burdens with each other fosters a continuation of resentment that terminates the love. I am a believer in love. I know things can always or most of the time be worked out but prolonging the negativity cuts off the oxygen for a healthy relationship.

Perhaps if we might recognize our own limitations instead of clinging to our independence and capability so as to prove our self-sufficiency, we might salvage our bonds. Weakness is such a fearful thing. We would rather not give in to weakness and dissolve the union instead of admitting our tiredness and vulnerability. Along with these attributes comes the necessity of knowing how to get help using positive rather than negative means.

I have yelled and complained to no avail. If anything each person digs in their heels and shuts down their  listening skills. You just wait for your  chance to blurt out present past and future hurts. One wants to cover all of the bases. I eventually caught on to the fact that the arguments proceeded down the same path with the same ending. After years it occurred to me to switch up the response.

The hard part is coming to terms with my participation of wrong doing. Honestly nobody likes being wrong or admitting sorrow for mistakes. I tend to use the word but a lot. I am sorry but you weren't listening, you started it, you didn't take a turn, you never try. It sometimes led into another fight. I just didn't want to take  all of the blame and my spouse was not interested in taking any of the fault. There I go again placing more on him than on me. In time we were both able to admit it when we were at fault. The strange thing was as soon as I admitted my blame in a situation, the quicker my spouse jumped in admitting something I would not have thought about. It became easier to find the truth and keep our feelings intact.

Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law disagreements are mostly misunderstandings. No one gives in and admits defeat. Sibling rivalry can continue forever without finding motives or forgiveness in each other. Family feuds destroy years of friendship and guidance. Reviewing a bad situation when we are relaxed and in a happy state of mind, allows us to get a sense of the craziness in maintaining a feud. Truly nobody comes out a winner but  everyone comes out a loser when a truce can't be formed.

How important it is to mention the other people  unintentionally trapped in the disagreements we foster. They are the casualties of war and hardly get counted. We underestimate their pain, grief and  frustration. After arriving at this destination many times we sit back and reflect or at least some of us do. That is the point of enlightenment. It arrives the moment we come to accept our blame. It leads to a rougher path for ourselves as we face our own "demons" and become open to acceptance and forgiveness to self. The result is dramatic. Stress and worry are lifted and we become stronger and braver. After all we faced up to powerful accusations which originated in our own minds and hearts.  The reality was lit up in our awareness. The fuzziness  we encountered cleared giving us a clear picture.

It was so extremely hard to do the first few times but it is strange how much easier it got. There is no shame in wrongdoing when you admit to doing it. Honor is not just covered up but lost when we lie to  ourselves. We gain our sense of pride and honor upon admittance of guilt. After being locked up behind the bars of conspiracy, it is a relief to achieve release from the cage that surrounding us. Doing what we don't want to do is painful, yet in the end it is actually a release from the pain. I encourage forgiveness to self and others. The mind must figure out the truth while the heart must work some feeling and sense of forgiveness to help the soul grow spiritually.

How much more time do we desire to give to fruitless anger and fights. How great is it actually to have the last word. If we can visualize the grave possibility of attaining inner and outer peace in the process it appears to be worth the time and effort. Of course unless we want to end up in a similar situation, we must begin to face the truth earlier in the game and not get caught up in another futile place. Changing our ingrained habits of the mind and heart requires commitment.

"Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace."    Buddha

"Emphasis on educational and vocational rehabilitation must not be allowed to overshadow the profound need that will exist for spiritual reorientation. Inevitably there will exist, to a considerable degree, psychological maladjustments manifested in disillusionment, resentment toward civilians, depression, and a sense of guilt. Spiritual therapy available in the resources of the Christian faith can accomplish most in overcoming these problems."    John Bonnell

 

 

Hope"In the end there doesn't have to be anyone who understands you, there just has to be someone who wants to."     Robert Brault

"Family is not an important thing it is everything."     Michael Fox

"When something is missing in your life, it usually turns out to be someone."    Robert Brault

It probably appears to be silly to say we search for hope but actually it is so much closer to us than we know. We don't see it nor do we really desire to have it. Sometimes I think some people enjoy complaining. If they don't have any aches or pains they discuss minor issues. Of course they can always complain about the weather. Those who thrive on the negative aspects of life are training themselves to lose hope and dwell in defeat.

The longer people choose a defeatist attitude the more ingrained it becomes. To make matters worse they drag others down with them. None of us want to feel down trodden but by constantly being with people who permeate the air with negative thoughts and ideas, it becomes contagious. It happens silently and before you know it we become the person waking up complaining about the weather. ...continue reading "Pursuing Hope"

I honestly think if it were sunny every day we would totally ignore the sunshine, gentle breeze and sparkling lights bouncing off of everything and everybody. After a few days of rain, even if we are not complaining, we admire the sun and are thankful to God for the beautiful day. I wonder if that is part of our problem with hope. It is so close that we don't see it.

We all have so much to be happy about. We really do. None of us or few of us make a list of things we are grateful for. If someone asks us to we turn it into a joke. After all we need to appear to be without any needs or wants. Ensuring others see us as self sufficient and self contained is important. Show no weakness or others will step on or over you.

Any weakness is seen as a form of being a loser. We pride ourselves on our toughness of spirit yet we most likely consume the most medications in the world. We drink more caffeine to keep up the stamina. We consume pills to keep our anxiety low. We focus on worldly pursuits and gains so it leaves us little time to actually observe anything of value. Work is a priority for everyone. Of course jobs, bosses and the grind of life force us to work in order to keep our jobs and take care of our families.

It is still a sad truth that if offered more pay to work on Holidays, most people say yes. Of course we may feel it brings us more money and may allow us a better vacation. In the end the cost is dear. We take from the spiritual and give to the material. Before long we are caught up in the whole system and forget about what is relevant. I am as guilty. I worked a job so detrimental to my health yet believed it was the right thing to do.

If we wake up to the fact  of our lot in life we have not lost our beliefs. Even coming to an understanding later in life is better than never comprehending what is valuable. I know we never take the time to consider it. We are too busy accumulating things. If we own a car and gain more money, we buy a bigger car. How did we gain anything more.  I read that some Hollywood stars spend over a thousand dollars for a pair of shoes. I  don't see them as better off than anybody else because they end up squandering more of their money for the same items.

If we just slowed down and considered what we enjoy and love, we might be surprised at how easy it would be to make time for those things. We make it more difficult than it is when we aimlessly pursue things without value. It is a money myth. We believe we need more and more. It ends up not making us any happier and definitely stresses us a lot. The build up of fear and anxiety so consumes us that it blocks out any legitimate thinking.

Unless we honestly wake up and realize that maybe our hopes have come true, we will likely keep seeking  those things that bring more heartache than pleasure. If we did a survey asking people what they really wanted out of life they perhaps might reply in this manner.  They want love, contentment,  peace, and security. What they can't see is that perhaps they already possess that. They possibly lose it through their investigation of other unnecessary items.

Marriage, children, friendships, family ties might all bring love peace and contentment. It becomes disruptive when we are so involved with the material aspect, we begin severing our ties and grasping for nonsense which brings our downfall. If we observe it from the outside we can see it clearly. A man or woman is absorbed with work. They ignore their family and are rewarded with a disdainful wife or husband who is left dealing with kids and the house. Each gets lonely and cheats. Kids are being cast aside and get into trouble at school. Wife or husband divorces each other for cheating. Kids are devastated as their life changes for the worse.

The money is lost due to having two households to establish, and more chaos is found in making arrangements for dealing with the kids. Each of them may add more kids with new remarriages. On the surface all appears to be together at first because we basically have the same dreams in mind. Of course we don't alter our course and continue focusing on work and and all those other inconsequential things of life and eventually find ourselves going down the same path.

To find love peace contentment and the hope we desire forces us to make an investigation regarding the way  we may keep our love and peace. We all know how to get it but then we forget about devoting time to that area of our lives. If we look around us we will find that so many of us are on the same road. If we observe the flat tires from the obstacles faced then maybe we should think about a different road.

Running away from our lives and or supplementing objects or other people as stand ins is not an answer. It is a band aid applied to a gushing wound. It is going to let go. We don't see it and we have no hope because everyone else is doing the same things we are doing. We get in the groove of life and assume it is the right way to go. Think of it as playing a game of chess. Take and observe the consequences of every move you make as it pertains to your closest loves which is your family and home. How will your selections affect that area of your life.

Maybe wives and husbands get nasty and crabby. Their stress would be a contributing factor. Why would a husband or wife turn to another woman or man we might ask. Maybe because they are just as burdened  and anxious as we are. The love for each other may still be present but the worries overshadow reality. When the trust gets broken it is hard to overcome. I think it is possible but not easy to put things back together. I say this because love is likely there only drowning in commitments and broken trust.

If we can see it we can save a life and marriage and family. Of course it is wonderful to recognize this before we reach the point of meltdown. I have been close to the meltdown. I appreciate the give and take in marriage and the extreme difficulty of forgiving each other their given destructive patterns in dissolving or destroying parts of the bond. In the end if we attempt to recognize that the faith is and always was close at hand, we can live an easier life full of love and peace. Some things can't be bought. All the money in the world can't buy the love of family. Attempt today to see that you have all you need in front of you. Be thankful, stop complaining and steer clear of the naysayers and braggers who have yet to find the love and peace.

"Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness,  it becomes faith."    Robert Brault

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got."    Robert Brault

"The little money I have that is my wealth, but the things I have for which I would not take money, that is my treasure."    Robert Brault

Treasure the love you receive above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.”    Og Mandino