Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen

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Make a Statement

statementShow me your thesis and I’ll show you mine –  If there is one perfect part of a child it is the innocent honesty in what they say. Straight from the heart, through the head and out the mouth to somebody’s house it will go, as it should.

When we age, just like that preverbal Garden of Sin where things got way too honest way too soon, we let the words go first through the head, then the mouth and last sadly where they register in somebody’s heart. No direct hit with a military weapon is as deadly as the hurtful words from someone we care about, directed at who or what we are. Indeed, it makes a statement and most of the time we have no idea!

Because my elementary years are far behind me, my current knowledge is limited. However, I do know cursive writing and the concept of term papers has been changed, if not out write eliminated and with that I wonder if the all encompassing thesis statement left as well. It would explain the evolution of society if it did – and yes, that is an evolution schools should be teaching, because it is acceptance, understanding and common sense, which are all in short supply.

English #101 was always intense, the classic written word and the challenge to come up with something new, innovative or suggestive within the laws and rules of grammar and class. The one thing we were  given however, was an initial safety net, which mapped out where we were going and what it should say. Our introduction of words said it all before laying out the explanation. You knew what you were going to read, what should be told and in the end given an opportunity to agree or disagree with the writer, which left you satisfied with the effort –  doesn’t get much better than that.

Now that computers and cell phones do the talking for us, emails and texts reach out with the emotion once limited to voice and hand. There is also less responsibility, compassion and accountability – after all no one takes an email seriously – right? Or as they say on the street, WORD! Well, in my world it is WRONG! And there needs to be a change before we are all lost between the pages. Especially important since few of us actually have family albums anymore, pages memories sit upon are now digital.

Why is it so hard to start a phone conversation, email or text with the words from the heart first, then through the head and last out the fingers? When did we forget the first few words we read and hear register in the mind like the bell that can never be unrung?  No one wants to receive a lecture or biased comment before any conversation, and yet we are still judgmental, critical and negative only reaffirming a position of thoughtless superiority on one side, and a direct hit to someone’s self worth on the other –   And we wonder what is wrong with average relationships anymore.

Instead of WWJD, please don’t get me wrong, HE did do  it right –  let’s stick to something we can relate to and understand .  WWACD should be the mantra we strive to accomplish, What Would A Child do? That’s easy; they would be compassionate and honest, see the immediate good and love in the moment, reserve their opinion to the end and when they do offer it up, it is usually comically innocent without the barbs and sarcasm that comes with age.

One of my favorite examples of this is in a cookbook children were asked to write. One little boy explained in order to make cookies you first get the big green bowl and set the stove to 1000 hot. Then after explaining his recipe, especially sampling them with delight, he added with an afterthought, yup that is the bowl mom always gets for us to throw up when we are sick. Let’s face it – we all have one, it’s washed and cleaned but it still is that bowl, which is grabbed in a moment of pre-vomit panic – right? Don’t lie you know I am right. The child was delighted to be helping make something he loved, and only added the obvious at the end in all innocence because it was what it was.

You only get one chance to make a first impression as we all know, so do it every day. You only get one chance in one moment to be a part of someone’s life. Open that moment with a positive, a love, a reaffirmation. You can always add the vomit later and let it be put in the right perspective or maybe forget it all together, because sometimes if just doesn’t matter to the outcome of the recipe.


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Keep your Ass in Class Where it Belongs!

bettyIn 1992, my youngest daughter brought home her class picture. She was smiling with a bow in her hair, dressed for the rite of passage and captured moment in time shot, which she would someday show her own daughter and cringe. However, it was her teacher that made me cringe – or I should say her baggy jogging suit. Seriously?

This was also about the time casual Friday became a new national workplace institution, allowing everyone to let their hair down, along with their common sense and professionalism. At the time it appeared to be only a small amount of air escaping from an over inflated balloon, which the business world had blown out of proportion. The days of family business had disappeared and corporations, Wall Street, high finance and soon to be insider trading had taken over and we needed some breathing room.

Well we got it – and now the bellies doing the breathing need to go back into hiding.

When I grew up it was during the last hold before female placement in society, you see girls were not allowed to wear pants to school unless it was a coordinated pants suit. The day I went to high school wearing blue jeans was an epiphany for me, but one I took at face value, still getting up in the morning after cracking open my L’Egg of pantyhose, with slip, dress and heels in place. I should have known times were changing when that driver’s education teacher stalked me in the halls, certain I was a teacher in a the sea of denim and jersey clad students I stood out from. Possibly, it was also because along with taking my appearance seriously, I took my studies the same way and graduated as an honor student.

You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, and I know that better than most. However, in the professional world when you are expecting medical or legal care do we really need to know you have a nipple ring, prefer black eye liner to sunglasses or have a tattoo, which would have been censored ten years ago?  Looking into the eyes of people that have what you hope are your best interests at heart, it is hard not to panic when their medical ID has a Disney Princess pasted over their face, or there is an IPOD cranking out music excited to have their whistle blown. Really? No wonder the world loves Betty White.

Seriously, Betty White! I think she is one of the last members from my planet, a galaxy  far far away where you wanted to be taken seriously and your appearance was the first step in that direction. Professionals studied and received degrees, wanting that intelligence to be factored in with their bills for services rendered, leaving a good taste in your mouth, as well as a referral on your lips.  No, we don’t need to go back to saddle shoes and skirts, skinny ties and a cocktail at 5pm to be taken seriously. However, we do need to think before walking out the door and seeing if what we have on is just as acceptable to take out the trash, wash the dog or go to a bar and enjoy belly shots. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you sure as heck can decide if the preview is worth your time or your dime. Indeed dear Betty, you girl are the golden rule no one measures up to anymore!

The world has become a computer generated platform where we only go out when there is no other choice, because email can only do so much.  However, rent needs to be paid, employees need to be paid and along with all the other costs of running a profession there is a due date, and those are never casual. They are instead black and white with no wiggle room – unlike the sweats, low-rider’s and midriff tops that rule the office. We wonder why our children take nothing serious, why we are failing behind every other country in the world, and why pay it forward is a reason to post on the internet, and not the normal behavior of a society with decency, common sense and pride – look in the mirror!

If you are a business owner or a professional stand back and look at your office and at yourself just once this week. Would you want your hair done by a hairdresser with foil and bleach in her hair as she cuts yours, laughing about a date she had that went too far or why her five year old thinks she is sexy? Would you want your bill settled by a receptionist more concerned about her belly button ring and new cell phone to get your name right or repeat the same information several times, obvious that her personal life is getting in the way of the details you are paying her for? Or how about medical care from someone who resembles someone needing to get back to that infamous garden in ripped jeans and a low cut or braless top?

You get what you give is very sage advice, that unlike the backside of a recent pair of jeans that gave me legal advice, never wears out. So why have we casually allowed ourselves to sit back and become so accepting to the lack of service, lack of presentation and self esteem in a world that is driven to get every dollar we have?

Oh, Todd and Lisa how I laughed in the 70’s at your SNL skit, with the plumber and the “Norge,” in fact in the world then it cracked me up! But who knew how quickly it would all go downstream, seriously needing a plunger to retrieve what shred of dignity society has left before it all goes down the drain for good.

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We All Can Weight ….

Homonymingly speaking …

waitIt seems we are all eternally waiting or weighting and both put the heavy expectations of life on us. Time moves incredibly fast, but yet not fast enough when we are expecting something to happen or praying something else will pass. Likewise, those extra pounds life has deposited upon us weigh just as heavily, with most of us waiting for the day we will look like we used to. Indeed heavy is the head that wears the crown as they say.

Thinking in terms of the weight that holds us down, I was watching a recent Disney movie with my granddaughter when the hero is tangled up in a sword battle with of all things a horse. In the scene, the horse is of course foiled, even if it was the strangest thing either had ever done. The effortless swings of the sword were of course animated, but it made me think. The actual weight of a sword is incredible! You don’t just pick one up and go swinging through the sails like Jack Sparrow and likewise the huge guns  we see in movies and sadly in attacks against one another,  are as heavy as a small child – something that is not lost in the reality of death. 

Watching news accounts of all the horrific shootings in 2012 when a killer felt dead couldn’t wait, but Heaven could I realized how small these men really were. Not just in mental and spiritual size, but actual physical stature.  Holding one of these semi-automatic weapons, let alone having it fire the assine ammunition is not an easy task and it made me wonder. Where does the strength come from in such a moment? Is it from the full weight of evil, which has kept the individual grounded in life? Or is it in the knowledge that once the moment is over there will be nothing more to wait for in life. Regardless, it is a strength that must have balance.

In holding the scales of justice, each side is never equally weighed down. We hope and pray though that the side of peace and honor will be just a little higher, like the God who guides most of us waiting for the moment when we realize what the right thing to do is. Indeed life balances more weight than any of us know when we are waiting for humanity.

Holding my granddaughter as I love to do isn’t as easy as it used to be, as weeks and months have seen her grow from the little snuggle wrapped burrito who came to us on a winter day in February. She is now a toddler force to be reckoned with who rarely waits for anything, but holding her regardless of how she has grown I always seem to find the strength. Thinking of the muscles that work with my head and heart to hold her, I again think in terms of the weaponry that of late has been more concerned in taking out our children in a much different way.

Waiting as life plays out for us is never easy, but sharing it through love and experience is the key that makes it work. If someone in your life appears to have the weight of the world upon them, depressed, lonely or hurting don’t wait for them to come to you. Instead, reach out and let them know you are there – armed and ready with love and hope to make them a part of life. How different this year could be for so many if we each took the impulse and brought someone out of their corner by weighing our happiness and blessings against their darkness or pain and balanced the spiritual justice just once or twice a month.

Walking the path of life as we wait for a heavenly eternity is long indeed. However, doing it with others will shorten the distance before us and was after all the original plan. Taking each step as we look at one another the message is as clear as it always was – He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.