Posted in Lore

Click HERE for Validation

I was sitting at coffee, eaves-dropping on the table next to me . . . . er, uh . . . I mean . . . minding my own business, when I hear the guy say,

“Nope!  Never had a vacation in 15 years!  Never had a reason to leave home.”

While I sipped my whipped chocolate java goodness, my mind wandered to places I visited years ago.  It’s been a long time since I ventured very far from Minnesota.  Funny how one year can turn into four, and the next thing you know, you’re sitting in a coffee shop telling your buddy you have no reason to leave the comfort of your home

Now, I’m not one to eaves drop.  Well . . . okay . . . I am, and you can read about that here.  But let me be very clear that the guy deserved my eaves-dropping for two reasons.

  1. He was very loud.
  2. While I was enjoying my first sip, he said, “Good morning, how are you?”  Not in a your-eyes-meet-and-its-just-a-polite-thing-to-do sort of way.  He said it in a “Hey, little lady” I-hadn’t-even-glanced-in-his-direction sort of way.  It was awkward.

So yeah, he’s just asking to be overheard . . . and judged.

When I zeroed back in on the conversation, he was telling his friend all about what the people around the world think of Americans.  “They don’t like us,” he said.

Now, this may be true or not.  We’ve all heard people say it.  I’ve also heard people talk about their travels and how nice everyone was to them.  But here’s the thing . . . on what experience was his statement based?

WB11 News At 10 - What's his name?
(Photo credit: NYCArthur)

Is he watching his favorite news channel?  Back in the day,  it didn’t run all day and night.  There was the 5:00 and the 10:00.  They lasted for an hour, and if you only wanted the weather, you knew when to tune in.  How long does it take to report the real stories in a factual manner?  Now we have channels with nothing but news 24/7 and they have to fill in the gaps with personal accounts packed with opinions.  With all these viewpoints being aired, they found it necessary to have not one, but several, different 24-hour news stations to cater to everyone’s perspective.  Presto!  You now have your world views validated every hour of the day without challenge.

English: Newspaper "gone to the Web."
Newspaper “gone to the Web.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fewer people than ever have the newspaper delivered to their door.  When I was a kid, almost every house on my block got the paper.  My parents sat down each day to catch up on current events.  They budgeted time in their morning routine because it was important to them.  Sure, some newspapers lean one way or another, but they only have that one issue a day to interest everyone, so they tend to offer a buffered perspective.

These days our information is digitally delivered on the internet.  And do you know what the internet recommends for you?  Links that it knows you will like based on what you clicked in the past.

 

@brockuniversity Social Media
@brockuniversity Social Media (Photo credit: giulia.forsythe)

It’s all just marketing.  You see, they need to tell us something we agree with.  Because the more people who subscribe, click, follow, like and retweet, the more money they make.  Unfortunately, we are all becoming convinced there is no other valid opinion but our own.

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”
— Frank A. Clark

It is sometimes difficult to listen to another point of view; to find out that we may have been wrong — to think we may have spent 15 years sitting in our living room watching t.v. instead of seeing the world.  No one wants to be wrong, but when we are always right, we stop evolving.

Bringing myself out of my thoughts and back to reality, my loud neighbor was now talking about gun control.  He was quoting Archie Bunker who was not only a fictional character, but one who failed to evolve forty years ago.  I couldn’t wait to go home and Google “Archie Bunker on gun control” to educate myself.


I must always stay open to the possibility that I am wrong.  There is a splendid gift in being given the truth.  We need only be open to receiving it.

Please don’t make the mistake of interpreting this post as a political one.  This is about pulling your head of the sand (or wherever you might have it) and seeing all that is around you.  Challenge that which you have always believed.  Listen consciously.  Speak carefully.  Grow deeply.

 

Peace . . .

 

 

Posted in Lore

It Is What It is . . . Unless . . .

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Wikipedia explains,

 

It Is What It Is’ is an idiomatic phrase, indicating the immutable nature of an object or circumstance.

 

 

Urban Dictionary is more explicit.

 

Used often in the business world, this incredibly versatile phrase can be literally translated as “fuck it.”
‘The client changed the deadline to today? Well, it is what it is.’

 

Kacey Musgraves sings,

 

Maybe I love you,
Maybe I’m just kind of bored,
It is what it is
Till it ain’t,
Anymore”

 

I’d like to live just one day without hearing this hopeless statement.  The expression is for those who give up; for those who don’t care.  I hate it when this one creeps into my language.  Upon hearing the words leave my lips, I flinch — a mechanical reaction to a thoughtless expression spoken in defeat.

 

Have we become so ineffective at engaging change in our lives or the lives of those around us that we throw up our hands at the first sign of adversity?  Perhaps we have forgotten that mistakes are forgiven.  How much easier it is to say that fate has intervened again.  We accept no responsibility.  We are not accountable.  No fault, no foul.  It is what it is.

 

Instead, ask yourself, “Is it really?”

 

  • “The bill came to $275.  It is what it is.”  Maybe you were mis-charged.  Maybe you can get it cheaper elsewhere.  Maybe you can barter, or work out a payment plan.  Maybe everything just costs a lot of money and you don’t have any, but be accountable.  Saying ‘it is what it is’ releases you from any blame or action plan.
  • “My boss chewed my ass.  It is what it is.”  Maybe you deserved it.  Maybe you deserve a different boss, or job, or work environment.  Maybe you don’t get paid enough to deal with that kind of stress.  Maybe you just aren’t capable of the job you’re in.  Keep your resume fresh.  Keep networking.  Keep your reputation clean.  Talk to your boss and work it out, or get yourself out of there.
  • “The customer wants what?  It is what it is.”  Maybe the customer’s expectations are unreasonable.  Maybe this is the last straw for him.  Maybe the customer just doesn’t understand the limitations of his request.  One thing is for sure.  What the customer doesn’t need to hear is that “it is what it is.”
  • “It’s raining on my parade.  It is what it is.”  Maybe the weather is going to change for the better.  Maybe the rain will keep the crowds down, and you will enjoy the parade even more.  Maybe it isn’t even all about you.  Maybe the farmers could use the rain.  But if the sun decides to come out, you are going to look awfully silly sitting there with that big ol’ pout on your mug.
  • “My husband made me feel like crap.  It is what it is.”  Maybe your spouse had no intention of making you feel bad.  Maybe he would be appalled to find out he hurt you.  Maybe he even meant that remark as an insult, but are you really going to let it ferment inside you like that?  Grow up and talk it over like a big girl.  You may find your relationship is better than it ever has been.  Honesty has a way of doing that.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t embrace a good old-fashioned depression now and then.  The last thing I want when I’m feeling down is for someone to make me feel guilty about being sad.  Get out a full box of Keelnex® and have at it!  Then put on your big person pants and go back to what you do best.

 

Plan your escape.  Win over the customer.  Kiss your boss’s backside.  Love your spouse.  Fix the problem.  Prevent it from happening again.  Say you’re sorry.  Do something that keeps you true to YOU.  Make yourself proud.

 

“It is what it is” never did anything but keep things stagnant.

 

Peace . . .

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Lore

10 Ways to be a Good Role Model for your Inner Child

Inner Child
Inner Child (Photo credit: CapturedbyKC)

Every child needs a good role model.  Young people are so impressionable and idealistic, aren’t they?  If you are a parent, you are likely careful with whom your child spends time.  You want someone who will make good choices, be honest, trustworthy, kind.

We are all role models, whether we want to or not.  We play a role and we model that for the world to see.  As a caretaker for your Inner Child, you are on duty 24/7.  Choose your actions wisely.

  1. Listen.  Get to know your Inner Child.  If you have said “SHHhhhh!” often enough, you may need to give him time to speak up.  He will be leery, and may have to remember what it was he wanted to say.  You cannot move on to any of the other items until you succeed with this first one.
  2. Inspire.  What is it that your Inner Child would like to be or do?  Choose actions that elicit that passion.  Seek out knowledge about an interest.  Give back to others.  Try something new.
  3. Be trustworthy.  If you tell your Inner Child you will do something, keep your word.  If you don’t think you can, be honest.  Don’t make promises you aren’t able or don’t intend  to keep.  Follow through with those you do.
  4. Apologize.  Only deities are perfect.  Admit mistakes.  Learn from them.  Promise to do better.  Your Inner Child will learn to forgive.
  5. Have integrity.  Your Inner Child will respect and admire your actions when they align with your values.  If you speak gratitude, and take people for granted, your Inner Child will suffer.  When you speak words of love, and show actions of hatred, your Inner Child is watching.
  6. Respect.  Treat your Inner Child the way you would want to be treated.  Be good, gentle and kind.  Show respect and gratitude toward others.  Respect the world, and the world will become your mirror.
  7. Give.  Children admire those who give freely and selflessly of time, money and essentials.  It is important for our Inner Child to feel there are gifts that come to those who need them.  He will look up to you as someone who fulfills those needs.
  8. Be strong.  Choose your fights wisely, then show your Inner Child how fiercely you engage.  Overcome obstacles.  Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.  Rise from the flames.  Reinvent yourself.
  9. Have confidence.  Be someone of whom your Inner Child would be proud.  Then be proud of whom you have become.
  10. Play.  Go out for ice cream.  Play on the swing set.  Lay in the grass.  Feel the sun on your skin.  Pick a dandelion bouquet.  Notice a bug.  Picnic in the front yard.  Take your feet off the pedals and coast.
inner child
inner child (Photo credit: Dave_B_)

What was your favorite playtime when you were a child?  Could you do that now?  If not, how could you change it for your grown-up self?

Peace . . .

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