Apr 05

How Do You Handle Criticism – As Rejection or a Challenge?

Criticism is very hard for anyone to hear, but each of us chooses how we handle it. I am one of those people who see criticism as a challenge. I listen to what the person has to say, and then weigh the reasons why they said them. If I feel they are criticizing out of fear, anger or jealousy I may dismiss their opinion. If, however, I feel they are criticizing out of concern, or to help, then I will do what I can to correct the problem.

When I wanted to start a local newspaper I heard a lot of people tell me I wasn’t going to be successful. Many people had tried it before and not been successful. These people are not me. I looked at this as a challenge. I am always up for a challenge, and usually end up showing I am more capable than they thought.

People often judge others because of their looks, their income, or their education.

Many people who are considered plain have wonderful minds and their outward appearance did not hinder them from doing good for others. Eleanor Roosevelt is a prime example. She was not especially attractive in terms of Donald Trump standards, but was the most beautiful person on the inside – and this was recognized by leaders of countries and organizations all over the world. Her mind, empathy and realistic approach to life and world problems paved the way for many wonderful changes.

challengeThere is a story that Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford showed up at the office of the President of Harvard University wanting to donate money in memory of their son, who had attended the college for a year before he passed away. The secretary kept the couple sitting in the outer office for hours. There were dressed plainly, as if they came from the country. The couple were finally allowed to enter the office and speak to the head of the university. He was rude, and arrogant, dismissing them and thinking they could not afford to give anything of any merit. When Mrs. Stanford asked how much a building would cost the president said one of the buildings was 7-1/2 million. She turned to her husband and said, “”Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don’t we just start our own?” Her husband nodded. The couple left with a bewildered look on the president’s face. They returned to their horse farm in Palo Alto, California, where they started Stanford University in honor of their son.

No one can deny that education is important, but not all people who became successful had much formal education, or completed their formal studies. They used their mental resources to make their fortune, learning as they went along. http://listverse.com/2013/01/20/10-poorly-educated-but-incredibly-successful-people/Some examples of these people are: Steve Jobs, founder of Apple; John Glenn, Astronaut; Mark Twain, Author; Henry Ford, Industrialist; Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain; Albert Einstein, Physist.

Looks, income or education to not make or break a person. It is what they have burning inside them that spurs them on. Many call that passion. Each of these people were criticized, looked down upon, scorned and rejected – yet they became successful because they chose to look at this criticism as a challenge, and not as rejection.

How do you handle criticism?


#handlingcriticism #facingrejection #prejudicecanmotivate


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Apr 01

Take the Time to Laugh and be Fools Today

Sometimes we all get a little too serious, I know I do. The economy is not where we want it to be, we sometimes struggle with everyday life, and we are surrounded by negativity everywhere we turn. That’s why it’s so always good to put some of that seriousness aside and do something crazy. Let’s allow ourselves to take the time to laugh and be fools today – April Fool’s Day.

Einstein sticking out his tongueAlbert Einstein often took time away from his work to enjoy the world around him. He loved to laugh, and get away from the serious work of understanding the universe and how it works. He saw the value in taking a break from reality, it gave him a different outlook – a new perspective, when he returned to being serious. One example was the famous photo, taken by Arthur Sasse in 1951, showing Einstein sticking his tongue out at when asked for a picture. Einstein liked this photo so much he sent it to his friends as jokes and on cards.

So, in honor of this day, set time aside time for pranks, and don’t be afraid to laugh and be fools. We only live once.

I have researched some quotes that should make you smile – if not outright laugh. Laughter is good for your health, and we should do more of it. I’ve even included a video of 10 funny April Fool’s Day pranks you must try (some are a little old, but fun) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrQSvCqkeXo.


“The first day of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

‘Looking foolish does the spirit good.” – John Updike

“However big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him.” -= Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux

“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.” – Mark Twain

“It is better to be a fool than to be dead.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.” – Plato

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.”  – George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

“A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense and no heart.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

“Laughter is poison to fear.” – George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.” –  Molière

“Everyone gets scared at times. It’s only the fools who won’t admit it.”  – Jennifer A. Nielsen, The Runaway King

“We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.”  – Stephen King, Duma Key

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”  – Audrey Hepburn

Enjoy the humor you will find today. Laugh and be fools, love and live!  Happy April Fool’s Day.


#laughteristhebestmedicine #humorinlife  #enjoyAprilFoolsDay

Mar 30

It Takes Courage to Speak, and to Listen

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.  Courage is also what it takes to sit down and LISTEN.” – Sir Winston Churchill




This quote by Winston Churchill is especially true during an election year, where those who try to speak up are often silenced if they do not agree with what others’ perceptions are. Do it anyway. Unless we utilize our Constitutional rights to freedom of speech we may stand the chance of losing them.

He also says that it takes courage to sit down and listen. Many are so stubborn as to believe they are right and others are wrong, but have not taken the time to really listen to what others are saying. It takes courage to change your mind, and admit when you are wrong. We are not all perfect, and we can make mistakes. Admit to them. Own your right to change your mind.

Mar 28

Does Media Slant Our Perceptions?

Do you believe that the media spends more time on some subjects that are not newsworthy, while ignoring other things that are? Do you believe our media steers their stories to such an extent that it will slant our perceptions, and we then form opinions that are actually false? I certainly do.

I have never understood the draw of the Kardashians. They are lovely women, but I don’t see them as role models for girls who already think their bodies define them as a person. I have never seen them do anything charitable, or to help anyone but themselves. I would love to have their publicist, but come on – there are so many good things happening in the world why do we dwell on narcissism and negativity? The fact that you see their name everywhere, for no reason other than to promote them, shows our media has a false sense of what is newsworthy.

Follow the money. That is where the news goes. Publicity is not always news.

During this presidential campaign it is obvious that Donald Trump dominates the news. His is a showman, and knows the value of publicity. He seeks out every news station for a free interview over the phone, or in person. He tweets nonsense because he knows he will be talked about. He lies, he stretches the truth, he incites people to draw on their base emotions, and some people like the fact that he speaks his mind (not a good quality in a leader). You can’t, in all honesty, say that he doesn’t know how to get attention. The louder he speaks, and the more bizarre his comments, the more people he gets on his side – and the more media coverage he gets. He doesn’t need to pay a publicist.news

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders has a growing movement going, and he can’t get any attention at all. The media undermines or minimizes his impact – which makes people who would normally support him vote for Hillary Clinton simply because they don’t believe Bernie is electable. It is quite possible that Bernie would get more votes if he got more media attention – but his profile doesn’t bring them money.

There used to be a time when journalism was about TRUE stories of events that actually are taking place. Hollywood and celebrities were not the center of focus, and what someone wore on a certain day to show off their body was not news.

Our media today is not journalism. What they print is often not newsworthy, but it does bring income to the network. Often the stories are slanted to meet the opinions of their bosses, and not based on truth – and they don’t care.  Fox News is a perfect example of how their news is more editorial than news, and they don’t even take the time to fact check. CNN has also made some significant changes in their style of news. Whereby they used to be renowned as independent and trustworthy journalism they have moved to sensationalism reporting – not journalism.

As long as the networks care more about where they get their money they will continue to slant our perceptions to please their monetary supporters. It is up to us then, to find alternative ways to get our facts.

Using the media to slant our perceptions is actually buying attention, and votes. We are fed as much propaganda as those flyers dropped down on the people in Saigon by the Viet Cong during the Viet Nam war. Are we going to continue to listen to the propaganda, or have we gotten so lazy as to allow the media to feed us their version of the truth to slant our perceptions?

The choice is ours, but the ramifications can be devastating.


#newsvsjournalism #slantedreporting #paidmediacontent #ourperceptionsoftruth

Mar 18

Is Kowtowing to the Party Best for Our Country?

It appears to me that politicians are more concerned about kowtowing to their party than to their constituents. Since when did we vote a particular political PARTY into office? Our representatives are supposed to do what is best for our country – and ALL of its citizens?

I understand politics, and I am not naïve that political parties do everything in their power to tilt the balance of power in their favor, but never being one to bow to anyone when it goes against my own personal convictions, I am amazed at what I am seeing.

Take for instance Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the leaders of the GOP Senate. He has been extremely vocal about his distaste for the character and principles of Sen. Ted Cruz. He has stated that, if Sen. Cruz were to pass out on the Senate floor there would be no one who would go to help him. He said, “If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, no one could convict you.” Now he is supporting Cruz for President (much against his own good judgment) because he doesn’t want Donald Trump.

Choices that are not the best for the country.

Choices that are not the best for the country.

Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. Chris Christie, who had extremely negative things to say about Mr. Trump and his views, yet have aligned themselves with him (albeit there are rumors Trump has offered a position in his administration for their support).

I am humbled because I didn’t think Trump was a viable candidate, and would not get this far. I underestimated the fact that his appeal is to the underbelly of our country, and they are the most vocal. I still have faith in our people, and they will see that the direction Mr. Trump and Sen. Cruz are taking our country is not only a frightening idea to other countries, but is not the best for our country.

I have a grandson who is part Latino. I have many friends who are black, some would not be considered what Donald Trump calls beautiful (I am included), some are Mexican, some are Muslim, Jewish, and even non-Christian. How would we fare in this type of administration? We don’t have prison camps and gas chambers yet, but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched now.

We are faced with the decision within the GOP as to whether to choose the misogynist; bigoted; self-involved;  LEAST qualified; immature person of Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz – who is instrumental in shutting the government down more than once; stopped a bill to raise the wages for our military; is ready to go to war without negotiations; believes women belong in the kitchen; and wants the United States to become a Christian nation – I just pray that neither one get the opportunity. Is this best for our country?

Being a leader of the greatest country in the world requires leadership qualities the ability to encompass all races, sexes, creeds and ideas in his/her decisions. Neither of these GOP candidates have a record of telling the truth, as long as a lie will work. They are selfish, and are not capable of compromise or learning the art of negotiation with other countries. These are not qualities for a U.S. President.

What is even more astounding is that they don’t have quality advisors (Donald Trump even said on the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC that he has no advisors other than himself because “I have a good mind.” There is NO ONE in the world that is capable of handling a job of President of the United States who does not look to, and heeds the advice of, people who are more experienced than they are in military, domestic and foreign affairs – no matter how good a brain they have.

Come on people. Read material that is not put out by our top news agencies or newspapers, which have a bias toward one candidate or another. Use the brains God gave you to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate. Look at their past performance, and listen to what they are saying. Many of us will be too old to have to live under extremely bad circumstances that these men can create, but our children and our grandchildren will be alive, and they will be asking why we allowed this to happen. I want to see our leadership chosen for what is best for our country, and All of its citizens.

Mar 10

Why Do We Enjoy Watching Others Suffer?

There seems to be compunction in humans to get some perverse pleasure in watching others suffer, and see those who have reached success go through tough times. People have made their careers (if you could call it that) by searching the lives of people who are the top of their game for signs of weakness, and then exposing these secrets for others to delight in.

I find it heartbreaking to watch the media frenzy surrounding the pictures, innuendos, speculations and outright lies that surround celebrities like Lady Gaga; Tiger Woods; and Jennifer Anniston. Even if I don’t particularly like a person, I don’t want to see their private lives smeared in public. What gives us the right to delve into the private lives of others just because they have money or fame? They do their jobs, make a few public appearances to promote themselves and their work, and that should be enough. They have a right to privacy just as you and I.

Paparazzi_Swarm_Hillary_Duff-01Paparazzi (meaning buzzing insects) stalk celebrities to take pictures of them at their most unflattering times. They hound them for answers to personal questions as if it’s any of their business. I’ve periodically caught shows like TMZ spend hours going over some small fact that shows a celebrities weakness.

Just because they are good at their craft does not mean anything past their performance is the right of the public. The worst thing is what it does to the children of these celebrities. They did not choose the limelight, and often the parents just want to be left to some semblance of a normal private life.

Gossip is such a horrible thing, and so many people get hurt from it. We’ve all experienced the heartbreak caused by rumors, spread by people who have nothing else to do than delight in watching others suffering.

“Focusing on the failures of others allows us to hide from our own weaknesses”(author unknown) is an excellent way to describe what is really going on. We look at the lives of celebrities as being perfect, and dream of a life for ourselves just like it. Those beautiful people could not possibly know what it’s like to walk in your shoes!

There is no such thing as a perfect life. Everyone has flaws, and everyone experiences heartbreak. Imagine what your life would be like if you were betrayed by your spouse and the local newspaper spread it on the front page, put it on the radio and television, and you were hit in the face by it wherever you went? It’s not bad enough you have to endure the pain, but you have to do it in front of everyone. Not only that, but your family and friends are made to suffer along with you – getting asked questions from perfect strangers about your life. There is no time to work it out alone and in private.

The questioner makes it appear that they are concerned, where in reality they are simply satisfying their need to rub it in and be superior to the one in pain.

I find Paparazzi and tabloid “journalism” disgusting. There is so much going on in the world, and in our lives, that we don’t have to take pleasure in the pain of others. These people are not journalists, and this is not news. If they really wanted to take their craft seriously, find the good things that are going on in the world and report about them.

Every block of every town in the world has something wonderful going on at any given minute. There is no lack of material to cover. Hurting others in order to “earn your bones” seems like a seedy way to earn a living.

It is my belief that tabloid journalism has done a great deal to topple our society and drawn us away from the compassionate side of ourselves. We delight in the struggles of others, and don’t see anything wrong it that.

What does that say about us as a species?


#gossip #tabloidjournalism #thesufferingofothers


Toni Lawrence is a freelance writer from Michigan. You can visit her website at ToniLawrence.com. If you enjoy these articles, you may want to subscribe so you can be notified when another post is available. Please like us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media, and Like our page on Facebook.

Mar 06

Are We A Bullying or Arrogant Nation?

I wrote this article a couple years ago, but it still is relevant today as it was then. Are we a bullying and arrogant nation, and take for granted much of what we have.

I get emails passed along to me daily. Some I pass to others and some I delete. Every once in awhile I get one that makes me so angry I have to sit down and vent. A lot of these are pieces of propaganda – from both sides of the fence. Since I am a registered Republican, and have campaigned the last three presidential elections for Democrats, I usually ignore them, because I am not exactly enamored with either side on the majority of their legislation. It usually ends up riddled with worthless pork, and negotiations of any type have been almost non-existent. I realize that I have to do my own research to get the facts, and not listen to people trying to push forward a political agenda riddle with propaganda.

When Mr. Obama was elected I had high hopes that our nation would finally have the opportunity to come together – as we did during 911. I was so disappointed when, right out of the chute, the GOP decided to stall or deny ANY legislation coming from the White House. This is not trying to work together, this is retribution because THEY did not win the election, and they don’t want a black man in office. It’s pure and simple.I must think differently than other people because I still hear people blaming Mr. Obama for the lack of cooperation.

I am proud that Mr. Obama has used this lame duck time to push for things he had wanted all along. I think he has done an excellent job turning our economy around (it’s still got a lot of work to go, but we are not facing a depression anymore) and making us once again an admired country – especially considering the rude and arrogant behavior the GOP has used on him.

When politicians start looking out for ALL the people, and not just their own personal interests; running for re-election; and their own party agenda, then our nation will finally be what our forefathers had intended.

Although I admire and respect the 95-year old hero who supposedly wrote an email a while back, I do not fully support his position when he condemns Mr. Obama for making the statement that we are an arrogant naton. This is something I have told people for years!

ARROGANCEWe are an arrogant nation. We live in the greatest nation in the world and we think all other nations should be in awe of us. We are the top of the mountain, and look down on other nations who do not believe as we do – or don’t have the same customs, as being wrong. Who gave us that right? I don’t recall reading in any “good book” about the United States being the masters of the earth.I never read that the white race was superior to others (Jesus was a Jew born in the Middle East, he wasn’t “white” either). I read in the Bible that Christ said, “God is Love. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” -1 John 4:8.  Doesn’t that mean, if you do not know God if you do not love your neighbor (meaning ALL men)?

We are the envy of other countries, and our citizens, for the most part, are kind people with good values (although lately I am worried that the underbelly of our citizens is showing).

We are always the first to help out in case of emergencies, and although we don’t believe we ask anything in return, perhaps our jumping in immediately and overshadowing the local people’s efforts could be seen by other cultures as taking over. We think our methods and ideals are the right ones, and everyone else is wrong.

We, as a whole nation, take for granted the lifestyle we are lucky to have become accustomed to, and that others wish they had. In our efforts to show how powerful and mighty we are we often lose sight of the problems that are in our own back yard, or how other perceive us.

Mr. Estes, the WW II veteran in the email, condemned Mr. Obama for telling the world we are no longer a Christian nation. He was not telling them we are not Christians, just that we are no longer JUST a Christian nation. We have embraced people from all walks of life, all countries, and all religions – or at least we used to.

Although I am a Christian, I am not so blind as to believe that other religions don’t have wonderful and kind people who are just as loyal to their beliefs as Christians are. What is un-Christian behavior is the hate and intolerance many so called “Christian” people seem to have for those who do not believe as they do. After all, a Christian is someone who walks in the footsteps of Christ, and he embraced EVERYONE, even those who were non-believers. Think about this: there are so many different divisions in the Christian faith, and so many different styles of worship, that there is no one who can say for absolute certainty theirs is the TRUE Christian faith.

We all pray to the same God, but call him/her by a different name. No real religion professes violence! That is a concept of individuals with an agenda. If all nations follow the teachings of the Ten Commandments – and they all do in one form or another, then we all are one under God, no matter how we choose to worship. The best way to understand is to learn about each other.

More people have died from wars fought under the banner of “religion” than for any other reason. Greed is the essence of all wars – some one person or nation wanting more than they have. Religion is the excuse. The Crusades are a perfect example of man’s inhumanity to man, and even those who professed to being “Christian” were cruel and inhumane. There were no bounds of cruelty spared in the name of “Christianity.”

Until we all embrace our differences, and learn to understand that each of us has within us a “soul” that God gave us, we will always be in danger of losing our focus. God gave us freedom of choice, and from history we have learned we have not taken that responsibility seriously. God, being all-knowing, was fully aware what was going to happen before we were all born, and he chose to bring mankind here anyway. He made ALL people, ALL colors, and ALL sexes, and allowed disease and pestilence to inhabit the earth. He saw all life – animal, vegetable or human, as PERFECT in his eyes – yet we think we know better than him!

Mr. Obama has the wisdom to speak the truth, knowing it would bring controversy. American ARE arrogant – which does not make us bad people. We have fought hard, for ourselves and others, to be able to stand up and reach out a hand to help others. We have lost our men and women to war, slavery and persecution in the effort to be able to become one nation, UNDER GOD. By calling us arrogant that does not discount the efforts of our people, but it does say that we have a long way to go to learn tolerance.

In his address to other nations he acknowledged their perception of us – one that has been tarnished greatly in the last decades by the deeds of those who were supposed to represent ALL the people of our country. He wanted other nations to know that we are proud of our country, but we also need to grow and understand that other countries are also proud of theirs. We tend to think of ourselves as “better” and that is not the case. There is NO nation in the world that has not suffered hardships, war, poverty, slavery or grief in an effort to be free and independent people.

My generation, the Baby Boomers, have had it so good – due largely to the sacrifices of the generations that came before us. Our children have had it even better, and it is my hope that their children will also see progress. My husband fought in Vietnam, and I raised my family on military bases for many years. I understand the plight of the military, and I understand the sacrifices of the families who have had to fend for themselves while their loved ones defended our country from evil – but evil is not all the people of one nation or religion, but the greed and power usurped by a small group to promote themselves and their agenda.

Yes, Mr. Estes, we can still love our country and not agree with its policies. We can disagree with our public officials, and we can speak out against them. That is what you, and millions of others like you, have fought and died for over the last 300 years.

The best diplomacy is admitting you are not perfect, that you do make mistakes, and that you wish to embrace others and try to work out your difference. What Mr. Obama did was a major step on bringing warring nations to the conference table than anything that has been done in the past 15 years. We can only go forward from here.

Love our country, love YOUR religion – but don’t be arrogant enough to believe it doesn’t have room for improvement.


#arrogantnation #loveyourcountry #embraceourdifferences

Mar 02

Who is to Judge Award Winners?

I don’t pay much attention to the Hollywood award ceremonies, or even listening to the gossip. I am not one who likes to listen to rude comments about people, even if they are true. That’s why I often wonder who is to judge when it comes to putting together the list that ranks the talents, or fashions, of the “A” list in Hollywood.

I ADORE watching the red carpet shows before the events. I have always been a fan of designers, and fashion. I even thought about being a dress designer when I was young, and used up many sketch pads just drawing dresses I considered beautiful. It was my way of living a real fantasy, even though I never thought I was physically up to the part.

What qualifies Kelly Osborn Melissa Rivers as fashionistas? Having money certainly can afford you the luxury of designer clothes, but having those clothes does not make you an expert, or someone who is to judge other’s clothing.

There a lot of people who are heralded as designers that I, personally, question their talent. What I think is a beautiful dress someone else may not, and what looks fabulous on one person looks dull on another. Who’s to judge?

As a matter of fact, fashion is now, and has always been, a matter of personal taste. I agree that not all clothing looks good on everyone – no matter how skinny they are (I also wonder why someone would spend thousands of dollars on one dress and not do their hair for those big events, but that is a personal pet peeve of mine). Fashion is art, and art is always subject to opinion.

leonardo decrapioThere is a Hollywood list that notes certain Hollywood “stars” as being over or under-rated. I don’t agree with all those on the list, and wonder where they got their qualifications to state whether an actor’s talent was over-rated, or had potential. This list is subjective – and when people put articles like this out they ought to put it in the editorial section, and put their name on it, since it is not an exact science and again – subjective.

Robin Williams was on one of these lists of over-rated actors, yet I find him to have had a wide range of talent. His behavior is bizarre, but he has held down serious roles as well as comedic.

There are a lot of actors on the list I have never heard of, and many who could be listed, in my opinion, on both sides – but if the public likes them and I don’t, that doesn’t mean they are not talented.

It has been observed that many actors often receive acknowledgement for their current work, even if is not their best work, simply because they did not receive it for past work that should have been acknowledged. Example: Paul Newman won his Oscar for “The Color of Money,” yet it was not his best work. Taking into account all the work he had done, this was not even on the top 10 list by most critics. I have to say, however his performances have always been top notch – but you can’t beat his work in “Cool Hand Luke,” or “A Long, Hot Summer.”

Russell Crow won his Oscar for “Gladiator,” and it was an excellent movie. His acting was superb, but he also was excellent in “A Beautiful Mind,” and several others that have gone unnoticed.

If Hollywood has a problem with an actor’s behavior off the screen they will be snubbed for awards for their work. Example: Robert Downey Jr. in “Chaplin.” So, the awards are not based on performance as much as on sentiment.

If the decision were mine, I would not give an award to ONE person in one category, but to all those who put forth an exceptional performance that year. I’ve never been a fan of singling ONE person out for recognition when so many have contributed to the efforts. Make the list the top 10, and honor them for their outstanding work.

But then again, the 11th person would be snubbed, so I guess there is always someone who is left out.

So, who am I to judge?


Just my random thoughts! My next ranting will be probably be about “Reality Shows.”


#whostojudge  #awardceremonies  #winnersandlosersofawards


Feb 24

Not My Father’s GOP Anymore

When I worked for the GOP on Ronald Reagan’s campaign the prevailing thought was that the mission of the Republican Party was to cut down on the Federal government and allow more power to the local levels. They were for protecting the middle class, and furthering our conservation efforts. Where has that GOP gone?

My father was a Republican in a family of Democrats. I followed in his footsteps and from the time I could walk in front of the polling booth with a diaper that said, “It’s time for a change” I was involved somehow in the political process.

I became a precinct committeeperson when I turned 18 and served on committees within the county – even being elected as a delegate to the State convention in 1980. I saw how politics worked from the inside – and I did not like it. This naïve Young Republican saw the power, and what happens if you buck the system. I am sure it was the same in the Democratic Party.

Afterward I decided not to choose a party, but worked on campaigns for people I believed in. I stayed politically active, and even remained a registered Republican, but my heart was no longer with the party – but the person who I felt was the most qualified.ronald reagan

Part of the Mission Statement for the GOP in 1980 was: “We will reemphasize those vital communities like the family, the neighborhood, the workplace, and others which are found at the center of society, between government and the individual. We will restore and strengthen their ability to solve problems in the places where people spend their daily lives and can turn to each other for support and help.”

“We seek energy independence through economic policies that free up our energy production and encourage conservation. We seek improvements in health care, education, housing, and opportunities for youth. We seek new avenues for the needy to break out of the tragic cycle of dependency. All of these goals—and many others—we confidently expect to achieve through a rebirth of liberty and the resurgence of private initiatives, for we believe that at the root of most of our troubles today is the misguided and discredited philosophy of an all-powerful government, ceaselessly striving to subsidize, manipulate, and control individuals. But it is the individual, not the government, who reigns at the center of our Republican philosophy.”

Where have these principals gone? The candidates keep pointing to the GOP of Ronald Reagan, but this is not Ronald Reagan’s GOP. Even his son says his father would not be happy with this current crop of supposed leaders of the party and their policies.

Where has the party that wanted to conserve our environment, and help bring people up from poverty? What happened to the “individual and not the government” in their own mission statement? From where I stand, they are more concerned about what people are doing in their own bedrooms than our infrastructure. They want to encourage fracking, yet see the resulting sinkholes that destabilize the ground. They want to pay millions of dollars for a pipeline that crosses the country, yet does not employ more than a handful of people permanently, and benefits no one in the U.S. They want to tell people who are poor what they can and can not eat; take health care and Social Security from seniors and veterans; and tell a woman what types of birth control to take.

To me, the decent politicians in this country have been replaced by sexual perverts who abuse their power and waste our tax dollars. What values are they advocating? It’s certainly not Christian values – Jesus would never treat the poor, sick, elderly or veterans like they do, yet those who profess to be Christians are following them as lambs to the slaughter. They talk out of one side of their mouths while doing exactly what they are outlawing.

One of the things Ronald Reagan disliked most were hypocrites – yet these same people are pointing to him as their role model. Obviously, they didn’t learn what he was teaching.

My father and Ronald Reagan would be turning over in their graves at where the party they loved has come to.


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#GOPmission #notmyfathersGOP #RonaldReaganwouldnotapprove

Feb 21

Americans Don’t Want Something for Nothing

So many conservatives are saying those who don’t agree with the GOP want something for nothing – especially supporters of Bernie Sanders. That is not the case. It’s a case of labeling people as a group instead of individuals – or seeing one small group of people as indicative of all within that label.

I recently read the slogan, “I am so tired of suggestion I want something for nothing. We just want something to show for our tax money other than war, bailouts and corporate welfare.” I totally agree with this statement. I pay taxes like most Americans, yet don’t get what I was promised my money was being collected for.

I am continuously getting into arguments on Facebook with people who have been friends with me for many years, yet see me as a bleeding liberal. On the other hand, these people, whom I know are kind-hearted, believe that by voting for an immature person who professes (and even encourages) hate and bigotry. I do not hate these people because they don’t agree with me, they are still my friends, but I do argue with them in the hopes that they see “the light” – in other words my way of thinking.

Not all corporations are greedy, and many take care of their people, but corporate greed has done a great deal of damage to our country and economy. CEO’s salaries have gotten way out of line with what they used to be while labor costs have not risen accordingly. Investors like large returns on their investments, but by taking a smaller return they are providing jobs for Americans – and not adding to the unemployment and food stamp lines.

I don’t want something for nothing, I want what I have paid into, and I want my tax dollars to go where they are supposed to – infrastructure, education, social programs (that offer a hand up and not a hand out), etc.

I want to be able to afford to pay my mortgage and food without having to work three jobs. I don’t want to support Wall Street bankers who abusliving danishlye their clients. I don’t want to see politicians work for corporate interests and their rich supporters when people like me are who elected them and whom they are supposed to serve. I want to see hard working Americans – who are the vast majority in this country, get what they deserve and have worked for.

I see nothing wrong with trying to emulate some parts of Denmark and their style of living – or any other country that has certain programs to help their citizens. We can incorporate the good in other countries without making our country weaker, or not so great. The Danish people actually adore us, and like our lifestyle – but I like the fact they are the happiest country and would like to find out why. Evidently Denmark has it together (for the most part) – with child care, health care and free education. They are a “market-based economy, with a really strong safety net – and really high taxes.” There is no minimum wage, but the unions barter for salaries that works for the benefit of all (big macs are cheaper there than in the US). On the downside, it also has the highest tax base in the world – which is how they can afford these programs.

Am I for higher taxes if they do what they are supposed to – yes, but not at the rate of Denmark. Unfortunately, with the politicians we have I don’t believe the money will go where it is intended – just like lottery money. Here in Michigan it was supposed to go to improve our educational system. Well, it does go to education, but it replaced what the state was already providing instead of adding to it. In Indiana the money went into the general fund – so it was spent on whatever politicians think is necessary (like multiple votes for things they had already voted and denied).

I like Bernie Sanders. I like his enthusiasm. I like his panache. I like that he is actually thinking about what we really need in our country. He is not your average politician –which is the reason people are supposedly voting for Trump. He is his own man, and he is not greedy. He tells it like it is – and it isn’t pretty. He, too, says what’s on his mind – but what’s on his mind is not hurting other people, but helping them. He has no visions of grandeur, or turning other nations against us.

If it comes down to it, however, and Bernie does not get the nod for the Democratic Party, I will vote for Hillary because the field left in the GOP scares the hell out of me. If I choose not to vote at all it is a vote for the GOP.

I do not want our children and grandchildren to go to war – and that is where we are headed if we vote Republican (I want to note that I am still a registered Republican, and have worked on many Republican campaigns in my life). The party now is not the party I grew up with, and I don’t like the changes.

We are NOT a Christian nation, and never were. Our founding fathers did not advocate Christianity, which is why they wanted a separation of Church and state. If we choose some of the current leaders in the GOP they may make changes that are “Judo/Christian,” and quite frankly even then I don’t believe they will be hanging with the Jewish part of that for too long either.

“Christian” values are no different than the values of most other religions. We all believe in God (some call him/her by a different name but it’s the same God); we believe in sheltering our families; we believe in helping others; etc. The more extreme don’t believe in any of this – but they are the exception and not the norm. To single out certain individuals because of their race, religion, sexual preference, etc. is not the credo of ANY valuable religion.

The Republican Party was established because they wanted LESS government. They wanted more power on the State and local levels, where the voters had more say. They were not intruding into our bedrooms or our health care. They did not force religious values in our schools.

Somewhere along the line we lost our patriotism, we lost our ability to stand up and fight for what we wanted because we voted in people who took that away from us. Instead of voting them out we simply did not vote at all – and this is what we get. If we sit back and say our vote does not county anyway, we get what we vote for.

Never, in my 60+ year of life, have I been more frightened for our country. Now is the time for everyone to get out there and vote. If you don’t, the one we least like to get in will succeed – and you have only yourself to thank.

Getting what you pay for is not getting something for nothing. It’s getting value received for value given – and THAT is the American way!


#somethingfornothing  #supportBernie  #feelthebern


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Feb 07

Is Infidelity A Marriage-Breaker?

I know of many people who had spouses/partners who cheated on them. Given that situation, I often wondered what I would do. Is infidelity a marriage-breaker? Does it have to be?

I know some spouses who left their partner because of infidelity, while others stayed. Does that mean the one who stays is weak, or that the one who leaves is stronger? That’s definitely a cause for debate. An article on parenting in Parents magazine blog has an interesting slant.

Marital-Infidelity-12We hear on the campaign trail that Hillary Clinton showed her weakness for staying with Bill after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Many say that she stayed with him because it served her political agenda. Have you ever watched the two of them together? They are deeply in love. You can see it in their eyes when they look at each other, and when they talk about the other. Perhaps she stayed because she loves him, and despite how much pain he caused her, she wants to be with him. I can’t imagine how humiliating all that must have been. I believe it took a strong person to be able to get through it.

Staying with a partner who has caused you pain is probably more difficult than leaving. Leaving may be the easy way out. Either way, it is painful. Either way, the decision is up to the person, and not up to people who are giving advice.

I often wondered what I would have done. We had four children. Would leaving him be in their best interests? Children in a relationship need to be considered – although the spouse’s hurt can not be dismissed. Surviving infidelity takes a lot of consideration and work. What is best for everyone concerned?

Forgiveness is difficult. It takes time, but in the end it frees you from the weight of the anger. Can you forgive someone who humiliated you? Can you ever learn to trust them again?

People are human, they make mistakes. Depending on the degree of the mistake, it may be in your best interests to work on your relationship – especially communication. Find out the reason the spouse felt the need to be unfaithful. If it’s something you can correct, or work on, it may be worth it to try.

In the end, however, we are not the judge of others and their feelings. We can not assume when we are not involved. Hopefully in your relationships you have been able to work through your problems without making a giant leap that could endanger it. Is infidelity a marriage-breaker in your case? Only you can make that call.


#infidelity #isinfidelityamarriagebreaker #unfaithfulness

Jan 29

When Opportunity Opens Another Door – Walk Through It

Life is full of twists and turns. Very few of us escape without going through the highs and lows – celebrations, joy, disappointments and grief.  We have wonderful moments that are embedded in our memories for a lifetime, and we also have tragedies that can make or break us. Through it all we usually will find that when one door closes opportunity opens another door. I believe everything happens for a reason, and although it may not seem so at the time, we learn from everything that happens to us.

Twenty years ago I lost my husband in a hunting accident. I had four children, three of whom were under 14, and I had just started working for a local weekly newspaper the week before his death doing cut and paste ads and layout.

Although I had college credits, I did not have a degree, nor any education in design, experience in advertising, and had never worked for a newspapers. To make a long story short, I took a small portion of the insurance money and purchased a computer, teaching myself graphic design and layout. It came in handy when two employees sabotaged the newspaper’s new computers when they were fired, and the paper was due to go to print that day. They may have underestimated my ability to get the paper out anyway – but I did!

After a couple years of learning the behind-the-scenes of newspaper publishing, and because I saw people were influencing the owner’s editorial and paper content toward their personal agendas, I decided to strike out on my own and start my own weekly newspaper. I informed my employer of my intentions, and assured him I would not take his advertisers. I wanted to be above board with him (and because I kept my word we remain friends today).

when opportunity knocksWith the help of a couple friends, I ran the paper out of my home for the first year, and it was successful – and popular. I then moved to a small office. Unfortunately, even though I did the majority of the work myself, print newspapers were becoming dinosaurs and financially it became too much, so I changed gears.

I never thought of the closing of the paper as a failure. It was a free paper, and most people at the beginning didn’t give me a month before I would fold. I never let someone tell me I couldn’t do something, it just spurred me on to prove them wrong.

I had to earn my acceptance into the Michigan Press Association, and I was able to make some significant changes in the community, expose graft and corruption in the local landfill, and save some jobs by getting people together to mediate instead of argue.

My tenure as a newspaper publisher may have only been four years, but it was the most gratifying time in my life. I learned I could succeed at anything if I wanted it badly enough. I set a goal, and attained it. It brought me the confidence I needed to become an entrepreneur in other ventures, and gave me the confidence to strike out and pursue one of my life’s passions, to become a writer.

Life is comprised of challenges, and I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If my husband hadn’t died I may never have had the confidence, or the funding, to strike out on my own. It may be a cliché, but for every door that closes opportunity opens another door. You just have to be ready to walk through it.

Jan 19

Music Memories That Will Never Pass

Music plays a large part in many of our lives. It can heal the pain, at least for the moment; it can bring you joy; it can motivate you to move (and even exercise); it can spiritually life us; and it touches our soul in a way few books or movies ever can.

Before there was television and the big screen, there was music.

So many stand-out people in the music industry have passed recently – David Bowie; Natalie Cole; Glenn Frey of the Eagles; Dale Griffin of Mott the Hoople; Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil – who discovered her and was her agent; Otis Clay, soul singer and member of the Blues Hall of Fame; Country singer Craig Strickland; and Robert Stigwood, manager for Cream and the Bee Gees before producing a string of popular musicals and films including “Grease.”

Each of these people contributed to hours of entertainment for us, and will be deeply missed. They bring back so many good memories.

Music_QuoteI am not musically inclined – although I certainly try to sing whenever I get the chance. I am especially known for cranking the volume up in my car and driving down the street singing at the top of my lungs. I don’t care if others hear me, or laugh at me, I just enjoy the way the music makes me feel. I even had a game when the kids were little that drove them crazy – they would say a word or phrase and I would come up with a song (of course I sang it) that had those words in it. It was stump mom, and I usually won.

Growing up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s I was fortunate to be living during the ground floor of some of the most innovative music that will ever be introduced. I sat on my living room floor and watched the Beatles perform on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” and it was on that same stage I watched Elvis swivel for the first time on national TV (or at least his top half).

We always carried around a radio (no, boomboxes or MP players were not invented yet) wherever we went, and we all had a collection of singles and LP’s that we would play until the grooves wore down.

When I was sad or in a funk I would play Barbara Streisand, Neil Young or Barry Manilow. I would put on a sad song that would allow me to feel the pain, and wallow in my misery – and then the next song would bring me out of it.

I had just graduated from high school when Woodstock took place, and boy did I want to pick up and go see some of the greatest musicians, and listen to the best music that ever was played.

When I was in college I got into the Columbia Record Club, where they send you 12 free albums if you purchase one a month for a year. It was a bad decision, but I was able to get Janice Joplin; The Doors; the Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” (which we tried to play backwards to see if there was some devil-voodoo thing happening); Chicago; The Who; and so many more that are classics today. If I still had those original albums today they would be worth some money.

I can still sing the words to most of the songs back then. It was a magical time – in our country and in music. I don’t believe we will see an era like that again. Now, many of the players in these bands are passing away, and it feels like part of me is going with them. It’s not like when Janice Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix passed it was sad but different. Now that I am in my “golden” years the passing of icons I grew up with makes me more cognizant of my own mortality.

Musicians pass, and new ones come in. They are not being replaced, but simply being relegated to a higher position. Their music, however, will live on forever – on a variety of different technical devices.

I just wish I could figure out how to get the music I have on CD’s into my MP3 player, and work it (It doesn’t have any buttons!). The music goes on, but I may have to resort to sitting in my car and listening to the oldies on the radio.


#music #musicicons #musicmemories

Jan 17

Is Being Passionate Good or Bad?

Passion is the light that guides your way. Having passion – an intense feeling of excitement, or a strong and barely controlled emotion, can be both good and bad. Being passionate shows that you are deeply involved in whatever event or topic is taking place. There certainly is nothing wrong with having deep feelings of emotion.

My sons are passionate about the Denver Broncos NFL football team. They attend as many games as they can, have rituals and superstitions (They even banned me from watching the games one year because when I watched they lost, and when I didn’t they won.) that they are (almost) religious about carrying out before each game. This type of passion is fun, and does no harm. It’s a healthy passion.

I am passionate about my family, politics, education, and a variety of other things – as you can tell from my blog posts. Sometimes I do get carried away in defending my passions, but that only mean that I care deeply about what I believe is integrity and a good and honest code of ethics. I do not use being passionate as an excuse to do harm.

I am passionate about improving conditions, and leaving things better than what I found them. That includes people. We ARE our brothers keeper, and that means we treat them the same way we would like to be treated ourselves, and go out of our way to be kind and show compassion when we can.reason guides us

Being passionate is not a bad thing – unless we use it to harm others, or allow others to do harm and sit back and watch.

I recently saw a video on Facebook where a man picked up a dog and threw it off a bridge. It died on impact (hopefully it died and did not linger). There was another person who filmed it – and then must have thought it was funny because he put it on Facebook. This was nothing but evil – and a lot of passionate people who believe animals have the right to be treated well and fairly were outraged – as they should be.

I saw a video of a military veteran who stopped his car and confront a group of people who were using the flag (or a representation of the flag) to protest against the government. The veteran did not have a problem with their protesting; he had a problem with their misuse of the flag to do it (the flag was upside down). He was passionate about the misuse of the flag that he, and many others, fought for and defended. Those who didn’t see military service would not understand that passion. I believe he was right.

People are passionate about the fact that Michigan Gov. Pence would allow thousands of people to drink tainted water in Flint, and do nothing to help them – until he was confronted. People’s health was being harmed, and his policies were allowing it to happen. Those who fought to get him to give the town assistance, and ask for federal government disaster relief, were passionate about their cause – and they were right.

People have a right to have their own deep-seeded feelings about religion, race and morals, and we don’t have to agree with them, but we do have to acknowledge that they have the right to their own thoughts. What is wrong, and when being passionate is bad, is when people act on their personal feeling in such a negative way as to do harm to others. You have a right to your feelings and opinions; you do not have a right to act in such a way as to attack those who differ from you. Is hate speech free speech?

What makes matters worse is when leaders – either by speech or by force, incite in others who have their like-mindedness, to do harm (either by endorsing what they do or sitting back and allowing it to happen without response). They will agitate the crowd into a frenzy – by definition an intense and usually wild, and often disorderly compulsive or agitated activity. They are either taking advantage of those who are easily manipulated to react as they wanted, or they are taking their passion into a negative and evil course. Either way – it’s bad, and very destructive.

Being passionate can have two sides. Using your passion to improve conditions, or simply to have fun, is a good thing. Taking your passion to destroy or do harm is not. A negative response never turns out well.

Which way are you taking your passion?


#beingpassionate #passionatereactions #passiongoodandbad

Jan 10

Reasons I Can Not Support Donald Trump for President

I have accused Trump and Republican supporters in the past of only getting their opinions from Fox News. They counter that CNN, MSNBC and others are just the flip side. That may be true, which is why I get my news from many different sources. I’ve also studied our Constitution, and history – ours and other countries. Knowing what has come before allows us to learn and not make the same mistakes again.

I’ve been reading about Donald Trump for many years, and can’t find a lot of positive about the way he conducts business, or his personal life. He criticizes people for outsourcing, yet his entire clothing line was outsourced. He criticizes people for bad personal conduct, yet his is no pillar of integrity. He has hired people from other countries, yet his wife is an immigrant and he still criticizes immigration. You can’t condemn others for something you do yourself – you are not exempt.

Donald Trump’s business practices of utilizing eminent domain to get property he wants – even if it means casting out people who have been in their homes for generations, is inhumane, and shows greed is more important than human life. His need to place his name in EXTREMELY large letters on everything shows a need to be recognized and accepted – even perhaps feared. It also shows an immaturity level that should not be part of our leadership. The fact that he was to have a comback for everyone who criticizes him also shows a lack of self-esteem.

He is a great showman, I’ll give him that, he may even be a good manager, but he is not a great business model, and definitely not a great image for our country. Leadership

I agree a business leader, and not a politician, would be perfect for our country. We need someone who understands business; how to deal with employees; has excellent negotiating skills; and keeps an eye on the bottom line while maintaining integrity and balance in all other areas. The right one, however, has to also be kept abreast of world issues and who actually has taken the time to find out what really is happening in the world. Getting all your information from television news, as Trump has admitted to doing, is not a leader who takes the time and effort to do some homework. Ask him the names of world leaders. Ask him where a certain country is located on the map. Will he be able to greet other leaders in the style that does not show disrespect to their culture?

You can’t represent the majority of the people when you only listen to those around you, who only agree with you, and have never had to work for a living to know what it’s like to struggle.

A leader accepts viewpoints from all sides, and weighs the pros and the cons. He does not surround himself with “yes” men, because he won’t get another point of view that may be different – but work better. A leader accepts everyone, does not belittle anyone, does not judge on the basis of looks, and sees the value in all of us. Donald Trump is not a leader.

As for welfare – I don’t collect it, but I know a couple people who have and it’s not that great. They have to go to school, and show they have applied for employment, before they can receive it.

I HAVE had to resort to food stamps a couple times (when my husband was in the military), it is no walk in the park to qualify, and it’s embarrassing to have to use them. Very few people on them eat like kings, they don’t give you enough for that, and they have to support their families. If they buy a piece of steak, it’s to cut up into more than one meal, usually a casserole or stew, and that’s rare that you can buy a piece of beef. True, a few (very few) abuse the system, but statistically most on food stamps and welfare are people who WORK for a living and have children, but just don’t bring in enough to support their families; are older and on Social Security; or disabled.

Unless you have been in that position you can’t judge. Perhaps a trip to the DHS office, and talking to the people who sit in there waiting for an appointment, will change your mind – maybe just talk to the woman who does your nails, or a server at your favorite restaurant, they can tell you how hard it is to make it with even two incomes, let alone one.

I cry when I read people making comments about those on welfare or food stamps because I know they’ve never had to struggle that hard – or been at the end of their rope and had to resort to that. Sometimes struggling makes us more conscious of what others are going through. Most who are able don’t stay on them very long, and many have even gone on to great things. Welfare and food stamps are not meant to live on, but to help as we try to struggle to move on.

I don’t want our leader to send our kids to war just because he has a personal vendetta against another leader or country. War is the last resort, not the first one. It’s obvious the ones who propose accelerating the wars we are already in will not be sending their children (Donald Trump got 5 deferments so he didn’t have to go – my mother was the head of Selective Service (the draft board) in our county and later the State of Indiana, and she told stories of how rich kids got out of it.).

Having lived a military life I don’t want to see more families have a chaplain and an officer knock on their door because our leader does not have the integrity and personality to understand that negotiating works better than bullying. Personality plays a big part in leadership.

We are STILL the greatest nation in the world, that has never changed, but as in all countries throughout time, we have our struggles – and we come out of them bigger and stronger than before. We can NOT live in fear of people who are different from us – if we did we would NEVER have taken in people during the potato famine in Ireland, or Jews escaping from the Nazis. Yes, we are not perfect, but we can’t progress by impeding any type of negotiation or compromise – or by classifying everyone who is different from you as the enemy.

We are lucky enough to live in a time when we can easily research other cultures, and speak to them via social media. We fear most what we don’t understand. Not all Muslims are to be feared, just as not all Irish are drunks. Stereotyping people does not make it true.

Do I think we should take from the rich and give to the poor? NO, I believe if you earned it you should keep your share of it, but I do think the gap between the executives in corporations and the profits could be lowered. NO ONE is worth hundreds of millions, especially while their employees are working at minimum wage. I realize you have an obligation to your investors, but get real – if you didn’t take such a large salary your investors would still have their money.

Our tax system is ridiculous. I believe that a fair way to go is to have a flat tax system – where everyone pays the same percentage. I don’t believe in ridiculous earned-income incentives any more than I believe in large tax loopholes. That puts me in a quarrel with a lot of people, but it would put us back on the road to a middle class again, and where people aren’t angry that the rich get away with so much more.

Anyway, these are the reasons I can not support Donald Trump for President (and more). I could go on forever, but I’ll save that rant for another day.

GOD Bless America.

#Icannotsupportdonaldtrump #donaldtrump

Jan 08

Understanding What You Fear

It was Albert Einstein who said, “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” He meant that the only way to find an answer that will solve problems – international, within a country, or in your personal life, is through communication and getting to sit down and talk about what is causing the tensions.

Fear is brought about because of a perception that we should be afraid of what we don’t understand.

In our personal lives, parents have learned that forcing a teen to do as they say does not accomplish anything. You can ground them, take away their cell phones and video games, and even force them to do chores – but it won’t (in most cases) stop them from doing something they think they have to do. They will simply find a way to do it anyway, but behind your back.Peace can not be kept by force

The parent thinks the child is wrong, and in order to protect them from themselves they use force (sometimes physical, sometimes emotional). The child feels as if the parent does not know what they are talking about, and they know what is best.

Neither one has taken the time to communicate their sides in a calm and open manner. They feel they are right and the other is wrong, and that’s it. It is then open war on each other – and neither side will win in the end. Neither tried understanding the other’s point of view.

This is how the world works too. Each person or group has an opinion, and they feel they are right and the other side is wrong. Neither will take the time to sit down and listen to what the other side is feeling or thinking. There is no gray area – it’s all black and white.

Imagine what the world would be if, instead of us making enemies of those who do not believe the same as we do, we actually LISTEN to their side (without jumping in to argue) and at least try understanding where they are coming from.

It has been said that EDUCATION is the best way to peace. That is what Albert Einstein is saying. We can only achieve some semblance of understanding by learning about others. We can always find common ground – and from that we can grow.

Instead of looking for the dark side of life – like assuming someone of another religion is evil, or believing that the color of the skin makes that person different from us in all ways, try getting to know them (and you can start one person at a time). Read about their culture. Read about their religion. Ask questions of people who are in that culture.

You will find, by taking the effort to learn and understand, that you are not filled with so much fear. What a weight that will lift from your life.

Try learning about what you fear, and you will find it’s not all that scary.


#understandingyourfears #understandingyourenemies #peacecantcomefromforce

Sep 28

Are We Raising Anxious Children?

My grandson is 6-years-old and he and his mother live with me. He is afraid of everything with a stethoscope, and anything that crawls or flies. He has gag reflexes when he thinks he has to taste anything different, gets anxious when he sees a bug; and spits constantly because he believes he has dog hair in his mouth (yet is constantly romping with his dogs).,

He won’t eat what we cook, won’t touch vegetables or fruit, and won’t drink plain water. At school, however, he tries everything they give him to eat. Somehow the same food, often made by the same companies, is edible – yet not at home.

If we tell him he has a doctor’s appointment, the night before he will ask dozens of questions and have bad dreams – even for a simple check up.

He is a very shy boy, but a teacher’s dream. He is polite, and listens (at least at school). He is kind to others, and shows compassion when someone gets hurt.

boy-biting-his-nails-He also bites his nails – I believe because he puts so much pressure on himself to not get something wrong or get into trouble – even though we tell him we don’t expect him to be right all the time.

Because of his attitude, I am afraid he is setting himself up to be a bully’s victim.

We have put him into karate, because although we don’t believe hitting is the appropriate response we want him to be able to defend himself if he needs to – he got bored. We signed him up for soccer – he was afraid to play when he found out there would be people watching the game. He isn’t interested in baseball, football or outside games – just video games. We have now signed him up for Cub Scouts (keeping our fingers crossed he will come out of his shell).

Do the anxieties of the parent become the reality of the child? I firmly believe these anxieties come from those around him. Although I calmly get up when I see a bug, grab a fly swatter, and either kill it or scare it off, his mother does do a dance when she sees bees and crawly things.

Neither of us are confrontational people, but are not afraid to stand up for ourselves and want him to be the same way. We confront when necessary – or when we see someone or an animal being mistreated.

Authors of the book Anxious Kids Anxious Parents say: “Worry and anxiety are normal. They show up when you are doing something new or different or challenging. Your job is to step into the uncertainty of life, not away from it. Knowing how to respond to your worry — not how to eliminate it — is the key. Parents must focus on raising children that can tolerate uncertainty and problem solve so that kids feel equipped as they grow.”

What can be done to bring a child out of their shell? How can we effectively stop their anxiety? Shy and anxious children often become depressed. We don’t want that to happen to him.

If anyone has any suggestions that they found have worked for them, please let me know.

#anxiouschildren #anxiety #shyandanxiouschildren

Sep 15

Facebook Has Opened My Eyes

Prior to Facebook and other social media I must have been living in a bubble. I thought I had lived a good life, and seen much more than many. I have seen man’s inhumanity to man in many forms, and also the goodness in people, yet I was somehow protected from so much.

I’ve read the history books (something our politicians obviously have not), and worked in politics. I’ve seen how corrupt and manipulative it can be. Still I tried to fight against the greed and inequality as best I could – through articles and owning a local newspaper.

I was raised a Catholic, which obviously is the “liberal” end of Christianity. I didn’t realize that the Jesus I was taught to love, and who loved and accepted all men no matter what, was not the same Jesus other Christians are praying to. Living in the Midwest I didn’t realize the degree of hate people had for people of color, or whose religion did not agree with them. They wallow in their ignorance of other cultures. These “Christians” forget that Jesus was a JEW – he was born a Jew and died a Jew. He did not read, or write, the Bible. He may not have read at all, and if he did it was one of the Aramaic translations. He was NOT white, he was of Middle Eastern descent – just like the Iranians are today that they seem to hate. I just accepted everyone as being HUMAN, and the differences were in culture and the varying degrees of color in our skin (underneath we all are the same, if you were to cut us open). I was naïve. I thought being a Christian was being “Christ-like” and not hateful and cruel.

I attended private and public schools, so I’ve seen how income can affect the way people perceive you. I’ve also seen what good teachers can accomplish, and how bad teachers can extinguish the desire to go to school. I attended a mixed school later in high school, and had (and still have) many black friends. We respected each other, and I could not conceive of them being treated any differently than I was (although I know now that was naïve of me).

facebook depressionI’ve seen bullying in different forms – mostly done by adults who believe their position gives them extra privileges. I have even been bullied myself, and it carried down to how they treated my children, when I did not write an editorial that pleased a teacher, school board member or local politician. Even though I learned in my 20’s that politics was slanted, I still had hope that the majority of people who served did it to help, and not for personal gain.

I have NOT, however, experienced the immense amount of hate, judging and acceptance of hate as I’ve seen since I joined Facebook.

I often sit in awe (and sometimes I don’t just sit, I interact with the computer) at how cruel people can be to each other. I watch videos of teens bullying other people, and nobody stepping in to stop it – but can still video it.

I’ve read horror stories about some parents unimaginable treatment of their children, and listened to politicians and preachers try to validate their opinions or increase their popularity by inciting hate and bigotry in others.

I am ashamed of some of the things people accept as truth because of the source it comes from, and not from finding out for themselves what is right or wrong. I’ve learned that if you repeat something often enough it becomes fact to some people (something Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and other Nazis have stated) – whether it is or not, and there is no changing their mind with the truth and facts.

I have become frightened for our county, one that once was thought of as a great and caring nation – full of hard-working people who accept others and embraced them for their differences as much as for their similarities. This is one of the reasons so many people want to come here – and why our ancestors came here.

I have lived through my best friend being murdered; advertisers to my small newspaper being bullied by larger ones and those in power who didn’t agree with my exposes to put me out of business. My children lived through being treated differently in school because their teachers did not like my editorial. I have been looked at and treated as stupid because I was not good looking enough, or rich enough, or did not have as much education as they think I should have. I have been a single parent, and a woman in a man’s world. This has not deterred me. I still had hope for the future I was raising my children and grandchildren in.

I also have been lucky, and grateful, for the wonderful people I have seen and met who have shown me what amazing creatures mankind can be, and what can be accomplished by working together for a good purpose.

Although Facebook and social media have a lot of darkness in them, and spending a lot of time on there can be very depressing, there is also a lot of light. Even though the number of wonderful things and miracles people do for others is not posted as often, there is still enough light getting in to keep the flicker of hope alive. These pieces of light show that there is a possibility that things will turn out for the good.

We can only hope.

In the meantime, I will spend less time on Facebook getting depressed, and more time trying to find the silver lining and work for a change.

#hopeforthefuture #facebook #howFacebookdepressespeople

Aug 15

The Loss Of Good Teachers In Public Education

Good teachers are not there for the paycheck and the summers off, it is a calling – and not just anyone can excel at teaching.

When I was younger I used to hear people say, “Those who can’t teach.” They were so wrong. It takes a special kind of person to be a good teacher. It takes a love for certain subjects, and a love for the children. It allows a person to take their passion and pass that knowledge down so others can learn and in turn teach it to others. Framing the curriculum in such a way that makes the subject matter interesting takes an art that not everyone possesses.

I’ve also seen a bad teachers change a student – and that experience alters their outlook on education forever. Fortunately, there are more good teachers than bad. It is not the job of the state or national government, however, to decide how well our teachers are doing at their job – that is the job of the school board. Leave it on the local level.

good teachersWhen good teachers decides that they have to leave their passion, it is not because they lost the desire to teach, it’s because there were too many obstacles placed in their paths making them unable to do their job. A good example is this article, which contains a letter written by a seasoned teacher, as to why she has to leave her beloved teaching job in a Michigan public school because of all the governmental restraints placed on teachers.

It is a sad commentary to our public educational system. We are losing our best teachers because government is taking over education. They aren’t doing a good job at governing, so why try taking over something they are not equipped, or qualified, to handle?

What SHOULD BE the most important job in our country (our world) is the teaching of our youth to be in a position to take over when the time comes. Education has been relegated to a line item on a budget that is constantly being slashed to make room for pork items (basketball stadiums, roads to nowhere, etc), that cost the taxpayers more money and for which most will not benefit.

We need to keep investing in education – not only public education for our younger children, but making it affordable for everyone through college. Our top priority is our children and their education. They shouldn’t have to go into debt to get through school, and they shouldn’t be regulated as to how they pursue their passion after they graduate.

Our good teachers are worth much more than we will ever be able to pay them. Their bonus is seeing a student understand what they have taught, and use that knowledge as they progress in life. Their rewards are the success of their students.

Anyone who thinks otherwise obviously never had good teachers. Let our teachers teach, and take away their restraints.



Aug 09

Football Hall of Famer Junior Seau Was Larger Than Life

Normally I have not gotten close enough to a professional athlete, or celebrity for that matter, to feel more than sadness for a passing of a life. Junior Seau was an exception, and his passing impacted me on a personal level. I watched his daughter give the speech she had prepared for his induction into the Football Hall of Fame in her hotel room (click here to hear her speech) and was not able to give on stage. It brought back one single incident that exemplified the type of man Junior Seau was. I have published this story before on other sites, but I want to share it again.

Many years ago I had the pleasure to meet Junior while he was still a senior at Oceanside High School in California, and not famous except in his high school and athletic circle. Very seldom does a brief encounter leave a lasting impression, but this one did, and I have never forgotten it, even all these years later.

My husband was a Marine, and we were stationed at Camp Pendleton. My oldest son was a freshman at Oceanside High School when Junior was a senior. In the world of high school that is a big chasm. Junior was BMOC, captain of the football team, best baseball player, basketball star, etc. He also was a very handsome young man, so very popular with everyone.

junior seau2Seniors don’t pay attention to freshmen, even if they are on the football team together. My son Todd was good at football, but not a first or second stringer at that time, and it was a large team.

One weekend our family decided to go to the local movie theater. Junior was standing in the lobby with a group of senior athletes wearing their letter jackets, and their girlfriends, when we came in. He saw my son, gave him a nod of acknowledgement, which would have been sufficient, but then left his group and came over to shake Todd’s hand and introduce himself to us.

This may not seem like much, but it was a big deal to Todd that someone as important as Junior in school would even acknowledges him in public. It certainly impressed me. He was a kind and considerate young man, and thought about others. No one was a stranger when Junior was around.

Years later, when Junior was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, we followed his career with joy. He deserved all the success he received, and all the community work he did outside the stadium just reinforced my original impression of him. You never saw him without a smile, and there wasn’t anyone he looked down on or felt better than.

Junior came from a large Samoan family, and they have a large community in the Oceanside and San Diego area. My heart goes out to them for their loss, and to the community to which he devoted much of his time.

One of the regular writing jobs I have done over the years consists of writing about the brain and things that affect it. I have written several articles on brain injuries, and concussions especially, among athletes. Every time I wrote about the NFL players fighting the league’s cavalier attitude toward the long-term effect of concussion I looked for Junior’s name on the list of defendants. I had hoped he was one of the lucky ones, but when I heard about his suicide in 2012 it saddened me to realize that something could have been done to help him before it ended like this.

Concussion damage may not be something that manifests itself immediately after the incidentjunior seau. It could be many years later, and shows up in changes in personality – especially depression.

People like Junior never want others to know they are having problems. Culturally the man was the tower of strength. It saddens me to think he could have been helped if he had only told someone he was having problems, and they had listened.

Goodby Junior Seau. You were an angel here on earth, and now you are wrapping those big arms around others and protecting them. Even in death you continue to leave an impact. You deserve the honor of being inducted into the Football Hall of Fame, and judging from your daughter – your legacy lives on.


#JuniorSeau #HallofFamerJuniorSeau #JuniorSeaulegacy

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