Lead with Love

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This mindset that we have to punish people and inflict pain on those whose views differ with our own is the exact thinking that leads someone to shoot into a crowd of innocent people. Why do we feel someone deserves to pay? Why do we have to jump on the bandwagon of asserting our own consequences? Airlines, rental cars… these people are just as guilty when it comes to thinking it is our right to personally manipulate and control others. Disguise it anyway you wish but this is the source of a scary problem that gets worse every single day. When you declare sides, you push away solutions and you create war. When only one side can be a winner, we all lose when we are one country, one people and we lose sight of what we were trying to accomplish in the first place because we get lost somewhere in our desire to fight. Imagine if we all came together behind something that would lead to a change directly in response to the problem we claim we are trying to eliminate. Look around at where people are putting their energy. Those things will not stop the next shooting. Lead with love, not anger and then things will fall into place. Why is that so hard to understand? Lead with love in your words, lead with love in your thoughts and follow through with love in your actions. Whatever you bring to the table is all you will ever have to serve to others. It’s a tough lesson to swallow. Time to eat!

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People vs Guns? Which is a Bigger Problem?

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We put so much emphasis on words as if they make all the difference. You can listen to the same words, be on two different sides of an argument and twist them to support your cause. There is this meme going around on social media. It goes something like this… and clearly we know where people are being lead.

If your child hits another child with a stick do you:

A) Take away the stick

B) Give everybody sticks

C) Give certain kids sticks who are able to protect everyone else

If we were really being honest and applying this to real life, I do believe we would need to insert choice d.

D) Cut down all trees and remove sticks so no one has the opportunity to hit another child with one again or remove all sticks that are light enough for kids to pick up and hit with.

If I was really just answering this question innocently and we were really talking about the situation posed as a question, I would punish the child. The child would need to learn that hitting is unacceptable period. We can’t make the mistake of the child thinking hitting with sticks is bad when it is the action of hitting that is bad. My point here is this. I’ve had friends who have removed “bad toys” that do not share. That child never learned to share and every child was punished by having the bad toy taken away that wasn’t bad at all. The child who didn’t share was the problem and maybe shouldn’t have been allowed to play if he wasn’t going to share. We can’t talk in circles. We have to get honest and real and stop trying to win an argument that reoccurs every time a tragedy occurs. We blame this and that and promise change and what do we get? Fighting words and anger until we become absorbed in our own lives again and forget until it happens again. I don’t have any answers but I know this for sure. I am looking for real solutions that schools can put in place right now to keep our babies safe. I will not argue and fight over politics or stupid memes anymore to further divide my country and destroy relationships because I do not believe anyone in Washington is selfless enough to make any necessary changes we need. There are things we can do now without Washington while we pick out our gravestones waiting for them to pass a solution that’s never going to come in time and probably never going to come at all. Why can’t people stop the senseless fighting and come together to do what we can do ourselves along with our schools before one of us has to bury a child again? Rise up. Rise above and make a difference that will really matter. If this was really about protecting our kids, we would find a solution that works and stop driving down roads that are dead ends.

Selective Sharing

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If we sat down and had an hour conversation and I repeated 6 words to sum up what was said, do you think someone would really grasp the depth and context of the conversation if they weren’t present to hear any part of it? It frustrates me that this is how we share information today. Not only is it misleading but if someone does not understand the context of the conversation as a whole, those 6 words could manipulate someone into believing something that is just not true. I do not understand how people can be so irresponsible when it comes to getting information right. It leaves us in a constant state of confusion and then we argue and fight over something that isn’t even accurate or true. It’s time to wake up and be more accountable. We have to stop listening to parts if we want to understand the whole. Stop spreading someone else’s misinterpretation and manipulating take on the things that matter and do enough research to get it right for all of us. We cannot trust or share everything we hear. That keeps us is a constant state of confrontation and does not allow for a single solution. Sometimes we are all on the same page but the words have become twisted in a way we can’t even see it. Please be more accountable when you share. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing the one thing that will cause an uproar while leaving out the other 5 things that would get us all on the same page. It’s dishonest and unfair. Be better.

Stop Demanding and People Will Start Listening

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Sometimes less is more and overdoing something is the same as undoing what you’ve tried to do in the first place. This lesson is so important to understand and so very hard to learn. In a time where we think it’s okay to demand people hear the point we are trying to make, over pushing and over talking are actually closing people off to the ideas we are so desperately trying to get across. Our approach along with our tone are key when it comes to capturing our audience. Words like I demand will only turn the person off to what you are about to say. When you use fighting words and you approach others looking to bring a fight, you will get a fight back. Toddlers demand. Adults talk.

So what makes me so sure I know this is right? It wasn’t too long ago that I spent years of my life in school meetings demanding the school do what was right. My son had accommodations that certain teachers refused to follow and I was going to demand they do it or else. Or else what? They took it out on my kid, they still wouldn’t adhere to the plan and I had a fight with the school for 4 long years. All my time and energy went into sabotaging those years for myself. I certainly didn’t get the results I intended but I sure made enemies along the way. So what did I learn? I learned that an approach that works better sounds something like this…”I don’t have all the answers but I am willing to work with you to find some solutions.” Can you see the difference?

If anyone learns anything from my own misfortune then I will be grateful. Be mindful about the words you use. Sometimes too strong is not the best choice. Everyday is a chance to grow and be smarter. There’s always something new to learn.

I Love Days Like This One

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There is nothing more soothing to me than listening to the rain. I wait for days like this because they are few and far between where I am from. I don’t know what it is that makes me feel so relaxed but it is one of the rare times I don’t feel like I should be doing 100 different things. The rain is like therapy for me so you can bet I’m going to take advantage of it every chance I get. How about you? Do you like the rain?

When The Call Comes You Go

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I didn’t realize when I dropped my daughter off at college in August that the loft bed she was so excited about would be like Mt Everest when she ran a high fever from the flu. I didn’t realize how difficult the hilly 1/2 mile hike to her car would be in order to get herself to Urgent care and when I woke up yesterday I had no idea I would be quietly milking every second of this hotel room so I could let her get some restful sleep. When she called at ten o ‘clock last night to tell me her fever had gone up to 104 and she was too sick to climb out of bed for medicine, my husband and I didn’t think twice. We grabbed a small bag, threw some stuff together, stopped at Walgreens for Gatorade and medicine and started our 3.5 hour journey toward her school. To my amazement, her sweet RA was waiting kindly at the door at 1:30 in the morning to take me up to her room. Here we are a few hours later and I am sitting in this dark room listening to her breathe and grateful she is finally getting some sleep. We never know from day to day what each moment will bring but one thing is for sure, when you’re a mom, you are always ready and waiting to report to duty because that’s just what parents do.

Next year, if you too will be dropping your college student off for the first time, this is your heads up. Stock up on medicine and be ready to answer the call. It will come, most likely in the middle of the night and you will be ready just like we were to do whatever it takes to make sure your almost all grown up kid is okay.

I Need An Army

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Why is it that people feel the need to personally insult fellow human beings? Today especially, I have seen one meme and post after another knocking people who believe in God or believe in the power of prayer. I never believed that a persons heart could realistically be so heartless and cruel. I wanted to believe that all people are good and kind and ultimately want a place we can abide together in peace. The reality is people are so full of themselves and their need to demean and insult far exceeds their desire to be kind. Why can’t people leave other people alone? Why has it become common practice to use our voices to humiliate, embarrass and demoralize another human being? What kind of person does that on a regular basis? What could possibly be in the mind and heart of someone who stops at nothing to prove a point and be flat out cruel? I’ve had it. I try my best to be respectful. Nine times out of ten I choose not to respond or feed negativity but everyday it gets a little bit harder. I will never let their lack of self control harden me to the point that I too become cruel. Today I recommit even more to be nicer, make this world a kinder place and to kill attack words with words of peace. Is anyone out there? Everyone needs to believe in something. They need hope to get through the years of their life. Why take that away from someone whatever that hope may be? Just leave people alone. I need an army. Please join with me.