Monthly Archives: July 2012
My better half comes in from a long day of teaching and after our usual pleasantries about the days’ events, he asked if there was anything I wanted to see on T.V…
And that, is where the trouble began…..
He is flipping through the channels and we saw what suspiciously looked like a woman who was high and stopped for a “minute” to see what was wrong… bad move. really bad move. We have lost hard-earned brain cells never to be seen again. Ever. To begin with, we literally could not understand a word the men were speaking. Hubby looks at me and says; “this is a step BELOW ebonics, do you understand him at all?” When I shook my head, we had the nerve to try to figure it out to no avail.
I then looked at him dead pan and said, ” this is why public education is taking a beating”. He snorted. So on we watched looking at what can only be described as a bad train wreck called people. We were just getting some level of understanding on the “characters”, when the one woman said, “ I am the most famous unknown person you ever met and you need me“…. huh?
Hubby shook his head and said ” that statement is so backwards, it’s right up there with Jumbo ‘shrimp‘ and Civil ‘ war‘ …
I am still trying to peel myself from the floor…laughter really is good for the soul.
And while I am on this subject, naming your child “mignon” as in “filet” has left me speechless.. I guess naming our children after liquor and cars has become boring huh?
Back to CNN before we really cannot be saved…
This morning, I ran into an old friend who works with young people on a large scale and in our ensuing conversation, he applauded the way my sons are becoming nice young gentlemen who are respectful and respected. He recognized that I took some harsh critisim at times for being so structured with them but also understood that I was doing on the front end, what many others including himself had to do on the back end. His own child was so spoiled rotten that in his mid- twenties, he’s walking around entitled and cannot get himself together because he feels he will be bailed out by one parent or the other. Which leads me to say this; It’s nice that as parents we have things to give our children that we may not have had in our youth but here’s the deal; it is perfectly okay for our children NOT to have access to everything their little hearts desire. Waiting builds patience and appreciation and quite frankly, I am of the mindset that unless they were out there earning the money to buy fancy things like $500 headphones, ( lord Jesus help me with the hilarity of that one) they can hear just as well with the $24.99 pair… Give your children the gift of patience… You, nor they, will live to regret it.
I recently attended a function and watched in horror as a little boy, no more than four years old, terrorized his playmates while they were awaiting the start of a program that they all were looking forward to. The Counselors kept bringing him back to his parents, who sat him down, gave him a good “talking to” and sent him right back. Of course, he was sent to sit with mom and dad again because he could not get it together. In exasperation, the child’s father grabbed him by his arm, hauled him outside and whatever took place must have worked because the kid straightened up and was quiet for the rest of the evening.
I am watching all of this with interest because Dad had a way about him that made my “spidey senses” tingle and I was soon to find out why. Not five minutes after he deposited his son for the final time with his group, this grown man, pulled out a tennis ball and proceeds to start bouncing it on the stands where we were all sitting and it reverberated throughout our bodies. I looked at him. He stopped. I resumed my activities. He started again. Two women looked at him in disgust and he stopped. They turned around,. He began again. Finally, his wife who seemed to be sitting timidly a few feet away from him but close to me, asked him to please stop so that they would not get thrown out for disrupting everyone.
He looked at her in a way that told us all she was going to be in serious trouble for making that remark while he sweetly said ” Oh, am I bothering people? I will stop then.” Then he went on to say that as soon as their son was finished his segment of the performance, they were leaving and not a minute later. My heart ached but there was a side of me that was incredulous about his behavior and the larger message he was sending to his child who was clearly acting out things he saw happening in the home.
Which leads me to this; what in the world are this child’s future teachers and worse, his classmates getting ready to face in school? When there is a clear case of an Adult who is a bully in the home, I am of the firm belief they too should be held accountable for the actions of the child because this was total madness. That child needs to be saved from his parent and helped before he enters school and terrorizes the innocent children who have no idea what they are getting ready to deal with.
This happensway more than we care to think or believe. Parents of bullies will enter a school building swearing up and down they have no idea where the child gets this behavior from but in my humble opinion, at least 45% of bullies have a bully in their home environment.
If all things were equal and I could re- write the laws of this land, parents would be held totally accountable, up to and including jail time for the behavior of their child who causes such harm to others.
The physical and mental abuse caused by bullies leaves long-lasting scars. It’s time to find some other alternatives to what we have been doing.
I pray for that little four-year old who was so angry for one so little and knew no other way to express himself but through what he was taught.
The next time you see children who are bullying and you are not the victim of it, please speak up as you are not only helping the bullied but the bully by holding them accountable and you may possibly be saving two lives instead of the obvious one.
In the middle of watching some events play out between a group of people and watching one person call around looking for support for their point of view, I was struck by something that has been bothering me for as long as I can remember….
Why is it that some people stay comfortably in the ” victim” role even as they wreak havoc among their peers?
I have in my short life span been acquainted with individuals who felt it was their inalienable right to be treated with a certain amount of ” special” and had little to no regard of the people they constantly expected to give freely of time, energies, capital etc.
What I have found without fail, is that these people end up being miserable because no matter how much is done or how well, they believe it could be better. All while they sit around doing zilch to contribute to their own personal happiness.
Since they have failed and most likely will to appreciate that this behavior is destructive and leads to a dead end path, this blog really are for those who will find themselves around someone like this at some point in your lives….
Run, keeping running and do NOT look back because it drains you and you will find yourself sucked into the vortex of self pity against your better judgement. Depending on the person, you will also find yourself unable to share your accomplishments because it only reminds the ” victim”
of their own failings and you will hear how much they tried but everything conspired against them.
If you really feel the need to do something to help these people, start by saving yourself so there will be one less victim in the world.
We all face trials and tribulations, some better than others but the adage is really true; nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream.
It really is just not that deep.
I am away at an Educational retreat and this morning as I opened my hotel door, I saw a gentleman walking by. In typical diva fashion, I brightly said good morning to which I got no response. I knew he heard me because his back got quite stiff as he walked over to the window while we waited for the elevator. I checked my cuteness factor. On point. Did the smell test. Smelling like ginger essence and mint soap. So I knew something else was at play here.
Imagine his utter shock when we walked into the same room and he realized I was a part of the group he was getting ready to present to…
I looked at him, smiled and said” for all your accomplishments, you still have not mastered the art of good manners but I still wish you a good morning and good luck with your presentation. Walked back to my seat and prepared to listen with an open mind. Poor thing.
Anyhoo, he had a really great presentation and that is the crux of this blog…
Why is it that some folks thrive in business while others languish along?
As a people, we tend to cling to certain beliefs that prevents us from moving to the next decade and beyond as it applies to our work/ business.
We must be able to think outside box and cannot stay with what we think is expected. Based on all the information that is floating around on the web, we would literally have to surf 21 hours a day just to stay current which is impossible in today’s society. We have to do things differently, even if, especially if, it upsets the apple-cart.
We must recalibrate our expectations of ourselves and others along with challenging out most basic assumptions over the next decade.
The challenge as he saw it, was what is the ” valued conversation” we need for the ” valid outcomes” we are looking for, not what people need right now.
I have always said this and he validated it this morning;
Zone in on the core things, 2-3 and do them well. Let everything else flow away.. Hone in on your unique capabilities.
This is where I knew he was really on to something; he outlined the six principles of future focused stewardship and they are as follows:
1. Progress is more important than preservation
2. Value innovation over incrementalism
( so many people get bogged down here)
3. Value learning over planning
( build as you learn.. Too much planning gets us nowhere.. Very audacious and ambitious but those who operate this way, move at lightning speeds vs spending all this time doing strategic planning.)
4.Value networks over hierarchies
( learn to build valuable relationships with the usual and unusual suspects)
5. Collaboration over competition
( Playing the competitive game, especially when you are in the same field is limiting.. Give up some control to create a collaborative model)
6. Exercise determination over denial.
( courage is determination to succeed even when fear exists)
He validated all of the things that has been circulating in my head forever and it was doing some these very things to begin with, that got myself and many others moving in the right direction.
Never let anyone slow your progress with their fears. Dare to be bold even when it’s scary and you have no net. I did it and will continue to do so because the passion, drive and determination for this work is embedded in my very soul and it keeps me vibrant and alive with each risk that is taken.
Thank goodness I kept my heart and ears open to hear what would become a vital message.
The messenger was a donkey’s rear end but the message was on point.
Today was a planned well in advance for meeting with my business partner so we could get some much needed work done….
And then, here cometh the oldest son….
He had a Dr.’s appointment and spun some tale about wanting my company as it would make him feel better. Guess I must still have that ” dropped off the banana boat on my head look” because he seriously thought I would buy it..
I’m playing along because we all know with kids, it eventually all comes spilling out.
So off we go. Less than two miles down the road; “mom, can you stop at Dunkins, I’m hungry”. sigh. I ordered his obscenely calorie ladened meal and pulled up to the window to pay. Cheesy grin. ” can you buy my lunch please?” double sigh. Moving along again. ” why is your car so cold? I wish I could graduate from college sooner. Your car is huge. “And on. And on… You get the point. I finally turned to him and asked, ” why am I driving you again when you have a perfectly good car, feet and money?”
He blinks hard and says….
“I really enjoy our time together and this is the best way to do it.”
Sweet mother of God, I still feel a con in here somewhere but he got me. Again.
As a girl growing up in Jamaica, I was raised by two loving albeit incredibly structured parents and one had no choice to follow the edicts in our house at all times. We were not ever allowed to be out on the streets with our friends past 5 p.m. obnoxious behavior was not tolerated, manners had to be impeccable at all times and T.V. was severely limited. The three free options ( at least in my mind) that I had were reading,music and cooking. … So I became an expert at all three. Today, I am having a discussion around one.
It is good. I mean really, really good. I LOVE to cook.
I also despise mediocre food as a result and will move heaven and earth to find decent fare, no matter the cost. At the tender age of ( mind your business) it has all caught up with me. I have been in the gym for the last 8 months working diligently on shaving off all the excess that I added with said cooking and fancy restaurants. It is hard work, I am constantly sore and although I have lost well over twenty pounds thus far, it feels like I am moving nowhere quickly.
After a hellacious routine in the gym this morning, I have finally had it and will be in a full-scale war with my caloric intake. To work this hard and not put the same amount of effort into what I am giving my body for fuel is the definition of insanity. I have done well up to this point. I can do better.
You may not see me eating a burger anywhere but if you catch me putting anything in my mouth that is suspect at best, say nothing and just remove it from my hands. I mean it. Pay no attention if you get the evil eyeball from me as a direct result. My heart, lungs and over all physique will thank you long-term.
So calories, move over because I am taking control of you before you completely take over me.
Failure, is not an option.
On this Independence Day, I am flipping through channels and having a debate with the Hubby on what we wanted to watch more; Star Trek or Law And Order Marathons… Yes, our inner geeks were front and center with great relish. We happened upon the History Channel and I saw something I always wanted to watch when I had time; the History of Our Presidents in the United States. With 7 hours to spare, I buckled down and began viewing in earnest, who these men were. These are my “tidbits” if you will on each one. I must say that I saw enough Testosterone and “Abilify” commercials to last me five lifetimes along with making me aware of the demographics the station thought would watch this riveting history. I am here to tell them, I am NOT male, NOT over fifty and I swear the stories of my perceived “testosterone” levels are just that…..
Moving right along…
- 8 Presidents never went to College. ( Imagine That..)
- Lincoln made Thanksgiving a National Holiday and gave the first pardon of a turkey.
- Andrew Johnson, Vice President to Lincoln, NEVER attended a day of school. He taught himself to read.
- Grant, won his election by getting the majority of the Black vote and the minority of the white ones.
- Hayes was the first President to have a telephone installed in the White House. He pretty much ended the progress of Reconstruction era. Did not seek a 2nd term.
- Three separate Presidents occupied the White House in 1881. Rutherford B. Hayes ,James Garfield and Chester Arthur
- Garfield was a big baseball fan and Minister… considered to be very wishy-washy, a party animal, clothes horse and a procrastinater.
- Cleveland was the first and only President to get married in the White House.
- Harrison was the first President to have Electricity installed in the White House but he and his wife were afraid to touch the switches. ( I got a chuckle thinking about that)
- McKinley was backed by big money and initiated the Spanish-American war which was parallel to the Iraq war many years later. He was the 3rd. President assassinated.
- Theodore Roosevelt, was a hawk in relation to war and won a Nobel Peace Prize. Strong energetic personality, a trust regulator, favored labor over management and was the one that changed the name from the” Executive Mansion” to the “White House”. He started the construction of the Panama Canal and saved many of the natural landmarks in the U.S. ( I was happy to hear this as I am a lover of nature and would have been upset, if they were allowed to destroy the Grand Canyon, a place I am preparing to visit in my travels this year). He was the 1st to fly in an airplane, drive a car and dive into a Submarine.
- Taft has the dubious distinction of being the heaviest president in History. He secretly had no desire to be President but was pushed by his wife. As a result, his Presidency was marred with mediocrity. He eventually became a Supreme Court Justice which was his true desire.
- Woodrow Wilson is the only President with a PhD ( Rhode Scholar). He was considered to be cold and without much humor. His face is on the one hundred thousand dollar bill but it was never publicly circulated.
- Harding was a gambler, drinker, extrovert and a womanizer.
- Coolidge lost the Presidential china in a poker game
- Franklin D Roosevelt was the first President to select a woman for his cabinet.
- Truman stopped segregation among armed forces. This was our initial entrance into Vietnam.
- Kennedy and Johnson were spoken so much at length throughout history, I am not adding anything about them here.
- Nixon was obsessed with power, insecure and had an enemies list. Was only President to resign for the Office in disgrace as he faced impeachment. ( dude wiretapped everybody)
- Ford Pardoned Nixon
- Carter was a strong peace negotiator who held grudges.
- Reagan.. largely thought to have flights of fancy in his head and ran the country that way. He may be added to Mount Rushmore one day as his Presidency was filled with many things.
- Bush #1 Thought to be a wimpy President but wasn’t.
- Clinton…I need two years and a pill to discuss him but the Economy boomed under his leadership. We all know about Monica Lewinsky, so I am not going there. It was also thought that Hillary was his Co President and she had an Office in the West Wing. ( first wife to ever do that)
- Bush # 2 known as the “C “average President who was faced with having to deal with the biggest tragedy that happened on American soil; Collapse of the twin towers in N.Y on 9/11/2001
- Barack Obama…History is still being written about him but he too won a Nobel Peace Prize.
After sitting through 7 hours of this, I drew the conclusion that despite the many years that are between the first and the current President, nothing much has changed in History except the dates and the names of people/policies/ programs/ treaties… It is all repeating itself. I must say I enjoyed watching the story about Teddy Roosevelt and if I were President, I would like to think I would be most like him.
It is a great lesson though on what legacy are we leaving here on earth. We may not be the most powerful leader in the free world but rest assured, what we say and do is always being watched by someone. No one is perfect as you can see from the tidbits above but we can all strive in our humanness to be the best person we know how…. the more things change, the more they stay the same…
Two weeks ago, on our way to the beach for a day, this pebble hit my windshield..and promptly cracked it. What I said is not repeatable here but I sighed and made a mental note to have it repaired. On the way home, my tire light came on and at that point, The Universe and I were having this conversation about what possible lessons am I to gain from what seemed like a nuisance at best…
Boy, was I ever to find out….
This morning, I called the Insurance company and they promptly sent to my home, a technician to repair the diva-mobile. He fell in love with the car and we got to chatting about size, engine, torque etc and with my inquisitive self, I began asking him a series of questions. Turns out he was in the Navy for twenty years and shared that I would be able to strike off something that was on my bucket List for years; getting into a fighter Jet in a few weeks..( another story for another day)
He then said I was beyond personable and asked what was my profession. As I am telling him, tears welled up in his eyes and he said, ” I hardly ever tell anyone this story, but I feel the need to share with you”. He was Married and divorced shortly thereafter because his then wife got on drugs and he could not deal with it. While he was stationed in the midwest a few years later, he got a phone call that his step daughter was abandoned in Philadelphia at a Dunkin donuts near a transient train station. She was all of six. She was able to tell the police where her grandmother lived by using different stores they walked to and she ( Grandmother) in turn called him because she was not well and just disgusted by what her daughter had done.
He flew in, Scooped this little girl up, took her back to his station in the Midwest, stayed there for another two years until he could retire then move her back East so she would be stabilized and in the same School District until she graduated. She has since gotten two degrees has a part in the “Smurf” movie and recently got married to a nice young man. To say my mouth was opened in amazement, is an understatement… I was in total awe of him and asked two questions: Why did he take her knowing full well she was not his and could have ignored her and more importantly, How did he manage to raise her alone?
He replied that he was so heartbroken that a mother who gave birth could walk away like that and he felt in his heart he HAD to give this little girl a fighting chance at life. He said all the women in the military and family members helped him with her hair, the teenage years and hygiene but he has been her Dad and no one will take that away from him. ” Parents” come in all shapes and sizes and you clearly do not have to give birth to form a lasting bond.
Broken glass became a story I needed to hear…
Miracles come in the form of ordinary people, doing extraordinary things…
FYI…. He did a fantastic repair job on my windshield but the what he did for my heart was priceless..