Continuing To Shine

Welcome back! In my home I like keeping old values, be simple and know I am in our Creators hands.  I learned embracing people and compassion at an early age from my parents. The example was many moons ago, we attended a children’s bible group and I can still hear the hymn “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine” a good blurred memory at that young age. All the children gathered around sitting in a circle and our eyes fixated on the women who helped us understand love and compassion by their actions of engagement and bible stories instilled how we should treat one another.  My parents did the best they can and gave me and my siblings the experience of being around people. Socialization in their homes, visiting new places and being around their friends and relatives, who we called “aunties and uncles” and their families was not only important for us, it was for them leaving a country behind and engaging with a new life and journey for their family. This taught us camaraderie being around others and lessons then about respect.  A lesson around the young and the old, genuine acceptance, and importance of treating friends and family as number one whom ever you invite to your home. We can all continue the importance of hospitality, and compassion, which can overcome the negative attitudes like gossip, hostility, and avoidance. These experiences will be put away in our lexicons for survival in this world. It will help us over come indifference, cattiness, and our bad habits and change.

It is not easy to recognize the world around you when there are distractions. Lack of empathy or a loss causes us to lose communication, be unsociable or be depressed leading to presumptions. Reach out to someone, maybe you have to talk to a counselor, teacher, or a confidant and hash out your thoughts. Don’t keep it in and end up being a bully or punching bag! Don’t get me wrong their is bad judgement and one that needs constructive criticism. When you understand the difference and again be thankful for those humble beginnings. I am still going through things myself, it is not easy for me and I have to tackle things one at a time, that is all I can do instead of literally being a zombie. There are differences to understand a good situation versus a bad situation. Be kind and don’t assume, for everyone is going through trials themselves.  It is easier for some to understand people through adversity because everyone has gone through it at one point or another.  Today we are sucked in by consumerism, our phones, or some addiction or another and having rose colored glasses that are not on, then we are losing sight of one another.  Very heart breaking that we can live in this world if and only if we understood how we treat each other poorly because the mindset of  “I don’t care if they fall off the face or the earth or you are dead to me”.  Lots of healing in our world to be done, one person at a time and it is hard! Until then we wait for Providence to step in and the willingness of the individual to emerge as a new tree of life. It is a process and we eventually get there. Thank you… through my perspective, one of many reasons of what I can relate to the fall of empathy today.

In the early 80’s there was a lot of abduction awareness in talking to strangers or others.  It is key to help young children to define the abduction awareness and taken “stranger danger” out of context, thus learning to be judgmental and taking away socialization.  An excerpt from the author of kidsmartz.org, “Since they can not understand the meaning of what a stranger is we need to have talks about how we identify strangers. Identifying those who are not are people we do want our children to come to are teachers, police officers, or parents with children” are safety measures. Again identify and set the boundaries so that a young individual can distinguish than be afraid of the world or turn out to be a bully.  Here are some good tips from: https://www.kidsmartz.org/StrangerDanger on Rethinking Stranger Danger”.

  1. Don’t Say: Never talk to strangers…Say: You should never approach anyone unless it is a uniformed police officer, a store clerk with a name tag or a parent with a child.
  2. Don’t Say: Stay away from people you don’t know…Say: It is important to get my permission if you are going anywhere.
  3. Don’t Say: You can tell someone is bad by looking at them…Say:  Pay attention to what people do, tell me right away if anyone ask you to keep a secret, makes you feel uncomfortable or makes you go with them.

When you learn this at a young age, the little sponges they are, can file this away in their little minds and a healthy concept of socialization in relationships, situations, or what ever it may be will reap the rewards later on.   It takes an endurance of patience and with the help of parents and educators to teach the little ones how to approach and think of certain situations and stop the confusion.  Learning the right values can only be set by an example, inspiring mentors and motivated individuals. It takes time and everyone are at different levels of responsibilities and obligations. Anyone who lacks the skills or values of compassion, patience, understanding, and forgiveness can be to helped and people can enjoy their lives.

Reflection: Define what good value mean to you and do you practice compassion?  Can you distinguish between someone who displays good character and those who want to cause harm?  Do you lack compassion or empathy and where did it come from?  Are you stuck?

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A Little Work

 Damian Marley who is the son of  Reggae Singer Bob Marley gave his son a lesson on gratitude, they walked in the ghettos of Trench Trench town, Jamaica.   Home of Reggae music and Bob Marley is located in St Andrews Parish in Jamaica.  He mentions in his video “Livin It Up”, to his son that his father’s music was about getting out of the ghetto and life there became their success through music.  Even among the dread in the poor he humbles himself and appreciates the roots of reggae music for their gifts in their lives, from his family, the ambiance of his surroundings and the people.  At one time the island was ran by British colonial rule, a time of slavery, struggle and hope.  It was a different time then and today a sovereign country.  Jamaica sustains its economy by Tourism and Mining.  There are many of us who do not like to do certain things, avoid, and just dread doing it.  Maybe you are like a broken record and tell yourself that you are not good enough or failed at something that you become stagnant.  Dread keeps us from achieving our best self.  When you do this type of behavior it causes things not to be done, bad habits, depression, anxiety and everything that is negative.  Creativity stops and you become this mindless, frowning zombie, and a “don’t give a hoot attitude”.  Just this kind of talk people avoid talking to you or isolate you like you have a contagious flu.  Thanks to our great leaders (parents, boss, teachers, friends, etc.) out there who give constructive criticism or a reality check, and if you listen, “Change your life!”  In this country the key is not to be “idle” or lazy, get out, exercise, listen to music and turn it up, laugh, go visit a friend or family, talk to someone, talk to a mentor, a trusted advisor.  Not everyone is meant to listen, but do talk to someone who has the patience to listen.  Forgive them anyways.  Clean up your life and remove any sort of hoarding in your life.  Maybe you have been wanting to get out of your rut or it causing you health problems.  For all those people who like to clean, start with one area of your home you want to work on and learning to detach from things can ease some burden.  We are meant to be around people and for goodness sake, smile and make someones day!  Get out of that “I don’t want to, or I don’t have to!”  Negativity breeds indifference, sarcasm, and alienation.   It starts with charity at home, at work, school, and compassion for one another, life has a purpose. One day at a time and one person at a time. We live in an abundant country that gives you and everyone around us freedom and dignity.  Strive to do good and if you mess up, dust your feet off and try, try, try, again. If you want it to work for you, start with patience and don’t dwell on it if things don’t turn out the way you want it to be.  Life is about working it out the best you can and you can start again.

Reflection: What is one thing you can say you are grateful for?  What is one positive value you can work on, patience, prudence, forgiveness, or maybe rid  some bad habits?     

Balance

Balance is important for many of us and sometimes we allow impatience to throw things off kilter than normal. A good example are my cats, they let me know when they are off balance, especially when it is time to eat! They have keen senses that keep them regulated and I laugh because if you don’t pay attention they will start nudging at you and meowing that they need to be serviced. Our human nature alerts us by our moods and usually signals us or our friends or significant other to say “Stop!” Moods are caused by many things, lack of rest, hunger, pain, persons, or things.

In my adolescent years my pride was in charge and mainly from a lack of understanding, my priorities then was I needed to go out and have fun, instead of being well rested for the next day. I still hear the words my mother told me, “Get your rest!” Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for fun, but after the work is done. Of course I learned the hard way, I was naive, obscure and this affected my life and work. Going through the infamous impatience, control, depression and stress will eventually bring you to a halt. Years ago a pastor gave me good advice and that is to know yourself first and everything else will follow. Today is a different story, I love to rest and do not take my time off for granted.

A big help is Providence who has been always been there for me, he steps in and you are aware he is bigger than yourself and you learn to surrender then to see. Things go right with a clear head, rest and self care is important in our busy lives. I like the old native american tale of the medicine fire. The characters in this tale are Mother nature, Father Sky and Grand father Sun who take care of our world by nurturing the needs of creation and there are the two legged people, which is us, to get “all of us” to make things right. You have to have to have the understanding of the whole universe, the beginning and if you do not, it puts the fire out or our world and life becomes unbalanced. Now what do you need to do to keep a balanced life? If it helps find a quiet place, reflect or write it down and do the work and be grateful.

Word a day

My fifth grade teacher had this “Word a Day” board in the corner of the room. The class would take time out in the day, look up that word, and the teacher would make us write a sentence using that word. This would peak our interest to know something new, find the word and take action to write a sentence we created. Besides this tool for learning, he made our life in class fun by sharing his passion for taxidermy and for those who have not seen this skill before, it was exciting to see his work. You learn to appreciate at a young age what people do. I have much respect for those teachers who push you to grow. These days I keep an open mind and try something new to have a growing mindset. What is your word today? Write down what makes you move, Divinely inspired, maybe put it on a post it note, pin it on a board or maybe it is right in front of you?