My Words of Wisdom

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When we stop responding to disrespect with disrespect, everything will change. I often say, if you jump in your car every night and drive to Walmart you will end up at Walmart. If you want to reach a new destination you have to steer your car in the direction you want to go.

F Everything. Welcome to the Divided States of Famerica!

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I am starting to fear that this is the movement going on in America. Just turn on your tv and you will see people holding signs that read F Trump. Listen up and you will hear voices joining together to scream their message across the land. F police, f elections, f rules, f the law. F you and you and you and everyone else who doesn’t want the same things I believe and share my same vision for the world. F republicans, f democrats, f the constitution, f her, f him, and f bigots. Do people even understand what that word really means? Im doubtful because wouldn’t they see the hypocrisy if they really did? F everything America stands for if we don’t get our way. Even Hollywood and the music industry is raising this message even higher. Where are the leaders and the role models who have been blessed with talents and opportunities to lead the people with some class? Is this the kind of leadership we need? Audacious people who go into Trump Tower and ask the President Elect to step down before he’s even sworn in? Who do people think they are these days? Has respect become a thing of the past? How about self respect? Do people feel no shame getting caught on video beating a veteran to his death, a mother who throws out her 7 year old son for supporting Trump? A class full of students who chant build that wall to humiliate another student? Do we blame these kids? They look up to us and what are we showing them? Who is instilling their fear? We are because we are selfish. Since when did we start treating little kids like they were adults?What will I tell my children? Tell them nothing right now they are children!  Maybe they should be the adults because I swear they act better than we do. They are open and kind and see the world through eyes of hope. What right do we have to rip that away? This is not their battle. It is ours. The adults. The teachers. The parents. Sigh! They are watching protestors hold signs that read RAPE MELANIA. They are listening to the news disrespect and demean our presidential candidates. They are hearing people are hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist. KEEP putting those things out there long enough and eventually we will all believe it. Is it out there? Sure. People are always going to think they are better than someone else. We can’t make every drop of hate disappear but the majority of us are loving, kind human beings who are trying to get through everyday of our own lives. They are spinning the truth to make people seriously believe that there is a large majority of haters in this world. They spread the message that we hate foreigners. We hate gays and immigrants and we are trying to wipe these factions out of America. The truth is, a fact is that coming here illegally is against the law. Many of us want the laws followed. We believe they are there for our own protection  but when rules and laws can be broken without consequence and we become okay with that, we end up with people rioting and violence and destruction and we blame who? The people who respect and encourage law. I just don’t get it. The people I know care about people period. They don’t slap labels on them. They are just human beings trying to survive in a world where leaders have been purposely ripping us apart. It’s time to be honest and ask, what am I doing to contribute to this problem? This is not about the collective good of America, this is a pure selfish arrogance driven by energy that is destroying the United States. If my mother heard me say the words FU or hold a sign implying the same, I would shudder to think of the shame that would follow the first time she stood in front of me and looked into my eyes. She would always say, tell me your company and I will tell you who you are. Or this good one, if your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you thoughtlessly follow? People need to smarten up. They need to get real and honest and humble and take some time to breathe until we all can heal. We will figure this out but saying f you is not the answer. I don’t know what is. That is a clear way of saying I have no respect for whatever they are f’ing against. I am only one person but I am desperately trying to figure out a way to help. My fear is that when you read about this time period in the history books, we will be known as Famerica because America will be no more.

I’m Not Interested In Your Opinion

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Facebook can really be enlightening. If there is one thing most wouldn’t dare argue, it’s that there are so many varieties of opinions out there. Everywhere you look on social media and most conversations you have on a daily basis are filled with people spewing their opinions. I do believe there was a time we could simply state our opinion and leave it at that but these days we feel we are entitled to an opinion and if someone feels different than we do then they are obviously wrong. Why do we feel the need to throw more sticks on an already raging fire? I can see if something is really, truly important to us but if not why even go there?

For the rest of this week, I am going to try and keep my opinions to myself. If someone says something that lights a fire underneath me, I will allow it to simmer and burn out rather than turn up the heat. I’m not even sure I can do it but if it brings peace to my surrounding world then I am willing to try it. Can you do it? Will you?

Order In The Court

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If you are judging someone for judging, you are both judging. If you do it first it’s bad enough, but to criticize and then judge back makes you a hypocrite.

There are some topics that seem to bring out the worst in us. Don’t allow yourself to go there. You know what I always say, be bitter or be better.

Dear Mom, You’re Ruining My Life

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I’m so glad my parents always make an effort to spread positivity about my day ❤

That was a post made by my teenage daughter today. OF course she was being sarcastic. One thing that is very frustrating about kids today is that they have a very difficult time sitting down and talking through a problem. It saddens me that they can easily air their problems through social media but can’t seem to be open enough to sit down and have a respectful discussion. How can I possibly respond to this. How can I possibly make her understand that sometimes you get what you give? 

As a parent who has given up my own freedom to raise and parent my children, it is disheartening for me to see my daughter lay in bed and read all day long for several days at a time. Sure, it’s not a bad thing but I have failed to teach my children responsibility and setting priorities. I have failed to teach them to do their part and not sit and watch me cook, clean up and do the dishes every single night. I haven’t taught them to be kind and helpful and to do something uncomfortable for the sake of another. I haven’t taught them they have to work for things in life like money for gas or even a car. They just expect things to be given without sacrificing or finding a way to get it for themselves. I failed to teach them to be respectful and not roll their eyes at an adult. I failed to teach them it is not okay to challenge and question every little thing. I taught them that laziness is okay and they should only do what they feel like doing. I failed to teach them to hold their tongues and not speak every single thing they think. I’ve taught them that phones are allowed at the dinner table and conversation isn’t necessary. I’ve taught them that a bad attitude is okay and mumbling under their breath comes without consequence. I’ve taught them they can get away with mean comments and hurtful words. I’ve taught them so many things I tried so hard to avoid.

Teens are tough today. They are hard to parent. Sometimes they are even harder to love. They build walls that seem impossible to climb and they act out negatively only to bring themselves the wrong kind of attention. Sometimes as a mom, I feel lost. It’s a different world than the one I grew up in. These are different times. Kids do things today that I would never even consider as a teen myself. They are cocky and self consumed, condescending and snide. They think they know it all. They have all the answers. They challenge everything their parents say. If I say a shirt is purple, they will argue it’s blue. They haven’t seemed to grasp the “It is better to be kind than to be right” philosophy but they have mastered the “I will always prove my point and have the last word” philosophy.

I have done my best but my best was never good enough. I have showed them by example many things that they simply reject. I have lost the heart and soul and energy to stay on them and follow through. Maybe I have done all I can and its time for them to learn the hard lessons on their own. Maybe they never will. Maybe time will teach them that life doesn’t always feel good. It is not about doing only what you feel like doing. Its not about escaping responsibility, or entitlement. It is not about sitting back and watching someone do your share and saying whatever you feel despite the consequences. Maybe someday they will learn you get what you give. Or maybe they will never figure it out at all. Maybe one day they will stop believing I am ruining their life and learn that it is their own actions and words that ruin it for themselves. I guess only time has the answers but at least something does. Does anyone else feel like they can’t do anything right while raising teenagers? I wish I didn’t come down so hard on myself.

You Want To Fight With Me?

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We love a good fight. It’s in our blood and flies out our mouth. We have forgotten how to politely debate issues where obvious conflict is dividing us a little more every single day. People are passionate, I get it but they are also accusatory, rude bullies when it comes to making a point. I used to be a fighter myself until I found myself arguing with family members over politics and ridiculous issues that will never be embraced by an entire nation. We have got to find a way to respectfully disagree and not fight to the death until we prove who is right and who is wrong. Who’s to say who’s right anyway? Doesn’t that also come down to an opinion in itself? Opinions are not facts. They cannot be right or wrong, they just explain why a person feels the way they do about something period. If I think I’m right, I just walk away from a conversation knowing I’m right. There is no need to continue to argue about it because 9 times out of 10, you will never get the other person to change his mind. And, if you are right, you should have the confidence to walk away instead of proving your right. Please, when you speak to anybody, everybody, do so with respect. We are more than our opinions, our political party, sexual orientation, skin color and religious affiliation. We are all human beings who breathe the same air and bleed the same blood. Stop petty arguing for the sake of humanity.

Teach By Example

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There are rude, mean spirited people all around. I am still struggling after 43 years to find the right way to react to them. My logical head tells me to smile and be polite and speak to them with the same respect that each and every one of us deserves. Be the change you wish to see in the world. That quote is my motto. It has become my standard, but there are certain people and specific behaviors that bring out the very worst in me. It is less about them personally and more about me. I have no idea why they get my goat so easily. I guess it’s because there is no reason in my mind to be purposely condescending or downright rude to another person. I have had three of these situations all occur at both of my kids schools in a matter of two days. I won’t even bore you with the details because really it does not make sense and I would be specifically speaking bad about people who simply should know better. The truth is, people ShOULD know and IF they don’t, I should be an example and not stoop down to their level. I really think this new age of ours is losing social skills. It’s losing eye contact and basic politeness and when I see it happening in the very people who are supposed to be role models for my children, it simply disappoints me. I cant believe how many of these people who sit behind desks and interact so rudely with parents and students have the audacity to strategically place plaques referring to behavior right there on their own desks. It’s almost laughable if you are lucky enough to have a great sense of humor.

Kids learn what they live. We can teach them lessons and lecture them to death but the real fact is they will remember our actions and our behavior. They learn from the example of the people around them. I am very disappointed by what I had to personally witness in both schools AND school did not even start yet.

My teenager was with me to sign my son up for school yesterday. Words cannot describe how proud I am that she recognized the blatant, poor behavior enough to speak to me about it. I think she was absolutely shocked to witness a teacher, that she once really liked and had in class only a few years ago, act so poorly and purposefully. That is the key I guess. Be gentle about opinions of others but point out and call out behavior that is unkind, disrespectful and unacceptable. Then, sooner or later, IF you are lucky enough, the kids will recognize it too and not become it. It’s less about calling a person out personally and more about pointing out the behavior. I do this frequently in my blogs and sometimes I know people take my words personally. Often though, if you pay attention to what I write you will see that usually I am just calling it the way I see it when it comes to how people behave and react. There is a difference. It’s not about judging the person, it’s about calling out behavior that is not healthy or conducive to healthy communication and respectful relationships. Recognition is the first step and I believe the most important step also. There are so many wonderful examples around as well. We have to be careful not to keep pointing out bad without celebrating and noticing the good. Reinforce the good, the positive and hopefully the little people watching will want to develop those skills too. And believe me, even if you don’t think they are, they are ALWAYS watching and listening.

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I Challenge YOU!

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I have watched the way people talk to one another lately. Maybe not exactly talk TO one another but throw snide, condescending remarks toward one another. I first noticed it during the Presidential Debate. Later, I engaged in some of those very conversations with comments back and forth on Facebook. Now, all I have to do is turn the news and tv shows on and it has infected our generation with an affliction that really just makes us look bad. I think when the people at the top speak in this manner toward one another, they set the tone for everyone that sees them. Why am I blogging about this today? I will tell you. I went to an awards ceremony at school today. It started off with the student council president welcoming everyone and eventually navigating everyone through the morning events. I was actually uncomfortable with the line he crossed between being funny and flat out disrespect. I was ashamed that he was the head, the leader of my sons 5th grade class. He should be an example for others to follow, and what scares me most is he probably is. Perhaps there is a future for him in politics as well. We have got to stop this lack of civility uprising we are facing today. It will start with me. I will definitely be sitting my son down to make an example out of this situation when he gets home. I know I have been working hard on this myself. I challenge everyone to speak with kindness today. Notice how many times you “jokingly” offend, put down, or say something unkind. You may just surprise yourself at how frequently it occurs without us even recognizing it. Okay Go! Challenge starts now.