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Posts tagged ‘kindness’

There Are Always Ways to Help…

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Some think the only or best way to help is by giving money to causes, people in need, etc. I have learned something over the years, money can do a lot of good and I would never discourage anyone from giving to worthy causes or helping out someone who is truly in need, BUT there are more ways to help.

Sometimes people aren’t in a position to help financially and feel like there’s nothing they can do. However, we can give our time, energy, and effort to others by volunteering, teaching, mentoring, tutoring, helping people by giving of your services like babysitting, cooking a meal for someone who just had surgery, helping someone move, etc.

Going through our things and giving what we don’t need or no longer use to others who could use it often helps people as well. How many of us have things in storage, stuffed in the back of our closets or the garage, etc that we know we’ll never get around to using again or maybe just bought because it was on sale or thought it would be a good idea at the time and then never used at all? Some can donate blood, which is always in need. Some physically can’t give, but many can.

And let us not forget, sometimes all someone needs is someone to listen without passing judgement. Sometimes people don’t want or need anything of monetary value, they just need a friend to listen, give advice, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make them laugh. Sometimes people just need to be reminded how special and loved they are and that there is a reason to go on.

One or many of these things may not be doable, but don’t be discouraged. If you want to give back, pay it forward, or make a difference, there are always ways to do it.

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All Lives Matter

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With everything that has happened in our country, one would think there would be some unification. Instead, there seems to be more division than ever. The level of violence, intolerance, and hatred makes me both sick to my stomach with grief and so very angry. We are Americans, we should start acting like what a true American should be, instead of what we’ve become. This statement is about our country as a whole, I do realize there are many individuals that show the level of love, compassion, integrity, and honor that many expect, but not nearly as many demonstrate.

Some preach things like, “Black lives matter” or “Gay lives matter.” You know what? They most certainly DO matter. The things that people do to one another simply because they don’t like one’s color, religion, political views, sexual orientation, and so on is sickening. It is downright awful that people assault, rape, vandalize, and more in the name of “their people”. We are in a country where we are supposed to be free to be who we are, but how free are we really if we have to fear for our lives for being true to ourselves? We don’t have to like everyone, but we should at least be respectful and decent to one another. It is possible to co-exist.

Why do we feel the need, as the human race, to tear one another down? Why, since the beginning of time, have we felt the need to control, dominate, and do whatever it takes to get what we want, no matter who we hurt? Why do we pick a race of people and say they’re either inferior or superior? Why do we attack others for believing in something other than what we do? Why? And why do we have to continue to divide, among our own citizens and throughout the world?

I am one that will never pick one group and think they’re better or worse than another. I will not put them down or attack them. I will not put another down for having different views or faith. I am human and I am not perfect, but I will do my best to love everyone, regardless of color, faith, political views, etc. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, etc. What matters to me is how you treat me, treat those I love, those around you. If you show me respect, I will do the same for you. There are many out there who feel the same way that I do and to you, I tip my hat. Let us stand together and show everyone that love’s power is infinite and our voices can be heard. Let us continue to show love in the face of adversity, compassion in places where it seems to have vanished, and kindness to even those who hard to be nice to.

Let us show the world that ALL lives matter, that the senseless violence needs to stop. Let us show the world that we don’t need to hurt those who are different from us. You can be who you are and be accepted, loved. I get why some say things like, “Police lives matter.” They’re simply standing up for a group of people that have been wronged. I loathe all senseless violence. I respect the views people have and do stand on the side of making things right. It’s just that for me, I think separating people into groups is causing more division, instead of banding us together. So, I will continue to say,”ALL LIVES MATTER!” Let love be the force that is heard today, showing others that we do matter and that coming together is what we need to do, not drift further apart.

Perfect Parenting

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Many parents have their idea of what perfect parenting is, a style they feel works best and it will often vary from another’s. The thing to remember is just because someone’s views on how to raise their kids is different from how you raise yours, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong or less of a parent. So many sit in judgement and it’s not okay.

It doesn’t matter if you, say, breastfeed and other moms don’t. What some don’t understand is not everyone can do it. Some moms just don’t produce, no matter what they try, some babies refuse to latch, etc. And even if someone can and chooses not to, it doesn’t make them a bad parent. The same goes for whether someone makes their own baby food and another may choose to use the prepackaged stuff, such as Gerber. Either way, the kids are getting their nutrients and are developing just fine. What about potty training techniques, how one might get their baby to sleep, disciplining, how they teach their kid to read, whether or not their kid gets paid to do chores or not, how early they start helping out around the house, curfews, whether their kids go to private or public school, or perhaps neither and they do home schooling, and many other parenting topics.

I’ve been the parent that has had others point, stare, and whisper. I have also had the nosy moms that don’t know the situation butt in while at the store, throwing their unwanted two cents in and have seen it happen to others. It is infuriating to have another try to tell you how to raise your kids. If we don’t like something, fine, it’s our right to disagree. However, just because we can verbalize our difference of opinion, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Sometimes it is best to keep our thoughts to ourselves. And honestly, where do any of us get off judging another because we don’t give into a child’s tantrum, because we let them have McDonald’s once in awhile, are on a different sleep schedule, decide to home school our kids, bottle feed, or use a different method of punishment for acting out? If the child in question isn’t being abused or neglected, it is really no one’s business how they’re being raised. If there’s genuine reason for concern, fine, but then go about it in the proper manner. If not, it is usually best to butt out.

Sometimes we will ask for advice or help, I mean, they say it takes a village. 😉 Sometimes too, we see someone struggling and we want to be there for them. That is all well and good, but then when we’re coming from a place of kindness and not a harsh or judgmental one, we need to still respect our boundaries. Never put the parent down and don’t make it all about you and how you raise your kids and ALWAYS listen, be respectful. Parenting can be challenging at times and it makes it that much harder when we have others essentially bullying us because we’re not doing things “right”. We want our kids to turn into well rounded, kind, smart, and hardworking adults, which is made easiest when we have a good support system and try our best not to judge one another. These are just my thoughts on it today and not just in parenting, but in life. We should lift one another up, not tear one another down. ❤

See the Beauty & Be the Beauty

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If I could only paint you a beautiful picture

Showing you the wonders that await you

So I choose to use my words instead

No rhymes and maybe less than eloquent

But, perhaps you’ll still see the beauty within

 

Spacious mountains and crystal clear waters

Beautiful flowers, statuesque trees, & cute animals

I want you to see it all over the years

As they all change and grow, so will you

I hope that you see the beauty that surrounds us

 

More than just what you can see with your eyes

I hope that you can see and appreciate much more

The beauty within the souls of those in your life

May you see the kindness, gentility, and grace

And may you also possess these traits yourself

 

May you show kindness to others, even on a rough day

Show compassion and understanding to those who need it

And yet be firm when the situation calls for it as well

See the beauty all around you and be the beauty for others

That is my sincerest prayer for you, my darling daughter.

Inner Beauty & the Beast

 

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Today’s topic is about being able to see beauty more in someone’s character than in their outward appearance. There is nothing wrong with admiring one’s outward beauty, but so many times, people are overlooked because they’re not as “fetching” as others. It’s more than that, often times, too. Some can be outright cruel to those they don’t find beautiful.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true. This applies to both inner and outer beauty. What boggles my mind though is why it is seemingly more difficult to appreciate the inner beauties and strengths. As I mentioned before, there’s nothing wrong with admiring someone who is outwardly attractive to us, but shouldn’t we do much more to admire what lies within as well?

I have seen many memes over the years that say things along the lines of, “It doesn’t matter how pretty you are on the outside if you have an ugly heart.” How true those words really are! I have met many people that I find pleasing to look at, but not to talk to or to know. Just because one is lovely to look at doesn’t mean they are equally pleasing to befriend. And just because one is plain, average, or maybe ugly in our eyes doesn’t mean they’re ugly within either!!!! That old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” should carry more weight.

Yet, first impressions do hold much sway over us and what are the first things we notice when we meet someone? We notice how they look and how they carry themselves. Oh but were I like Sherlock Holmes, able to detect so much from seeing so little and so quickly too! We’re all guilty of looking at someone and coming up with conclusions without really knowing someone, but often, we don’t know as much as we think we do. There is so much more to someone than what we see in a single encounter or even a few meetings.

Were we to delve more into one than how they dressed, their hair, whether they slouch or stand up straight, or even their mood that particular moment. Sometimes we get or give the worst and then depart with unpleasant thoughts about one another. We, as humans, are both simple and complex beings. Why are we so quick to judge? Why are we unable to see the beauty within someone simply because we don’t find them appealing to look at? When we have one bad experience, why does it leave such a bad taste in our mouths that we don’t want to give someone another chance? Maybe they just had a bad day and acted too rashly, but perhaps are really an amazing person. Haven’t we all taken our bad days out on someone?

There is so much beauty surrounding us and sure, I mean nature, but I also mean people. If we were to open our minds, expand our horizons, and be more willing to see the beauty where perhaps we once didn’t, what a grand place this might really be. That lady over there who is a little too heavy for your tastes might have the most beautiful voice you ever heard or maybe if you looked closer, you’d find her smile to be stunning. The guy you think is nothing more than a lazy hippie may actually be brilliant and have the softest heart you’ve ever encountered. The black girl you don’t want to notice because of her color may be seen as gorgeous if you’d see beyond your prejudice. The man who has been losing his hair and not dress so sharply might have the kindest laugh and sweetest demeanor. Can we not try to see more in what we see? Can we find the beauty within ones we normally might not at first glance? May we look again? Might we stop being the beasts we sometimes are and show the beauty too that we have to offer?

Family Dynamics & How to Survive

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I told myself today that I need to write more. I used to write a lot. Writing has been a form of expression and solace for me since fifth grade. Usually when I was at my lowest, if I turned to writing, I was able to start healing. Between writing and music, I have found a cheaper way to vent and mend than therapy. I am highly disappointed in myself for not turning to writing more in the recent past. I need to challenge my writing skills and need to bring more creativity into my life.

I asked my Facebook family to give me ideas today so that I may begin writing once again, as I felt a block when it came to what to write about. Also, what better way to find out what people would want to read about than to ask the very people you’re trying to reach out to. Two of my friends responded. One wants me to write about encouragement, faith, hope, love, and the like and the other wants me to write about family. I am going to do my best to write about both. Let’s see how this develops.

My experiences with family have been all over the board. Growing up, I saw most came from the stereotypical perfect family: Mom, Dad, a couple of kids, and maybe a pet or two. For me though, it was my mom and I for so long. Enter in a boyfriend now and then, but most of my childhood it was just us. I met my dad when I was 10. Then, I found out I have a step-mom and three younger siblings. At 13, nearly 14, I was put into foster care and learned about yet another family dynamic. I have come to learn that families come in all shapes and sizes. There isn’t a perfect type of family. I have also learned that no matter how happy a family may seem, there’s always struggles. You may see happy faces on the walls smiling at you, but there’s often sorrow, strife, hurt, and more behind those happy faces.

Family should be close knit, bound by blood first, but by love even more. Even when it is, it will face issues over the years. I have felt love and loathing within my family. I have known kindness and treachery. Sometimes the ones that hurt us the most are those we’re related to and sometimes the ones we’re closest to are our friends, who form yet another family dynamic. Not all families are bound by blood. When asked what a family is, I don’t have a concrete answer. I will tell you what I think a family should be though.

A family, whether bound by blood or not, should encourage one another. A family should lift its members up and not tear one another down. A family should have faith in one another, feeling in their souls the love and loyalty from one another. A family should not dictate who is worthy of love and instead if they see a member struggling or going down a path they ought not, reach out and try to help. Sometimes people can’t or simply don’t want to be helped and sometimes you need to distance yourself from another, but to outright turn your back on one without even trying to understand, without trying to be there just seems wrong to me. I have had family members turn their backs on me and on others simply because of the mistakes we made and deeming us unworthy of their love, help, and support. I think that is why it is hard for me to walk away from anyone, family or otherwise. I know how it feels to have people turn their backs on me and it hurts, so I try with all I have to be there for others. Families are not and should never be expected to be perfect. We all, as individuals and groups, fall and make mistakes. It should then be our desire, when one falls, is to help one another back up. I have, perhaps too grand, big ideas of what family should be, but I don’t believe any of it is unobtainable, not when people are committed to working together. No one should let any of the weight fall on one or a few members, but let it be upon us all.

How to survive family life may sound easy to some and extremely difficult to others. For while family should be a force that bands together, sadly, it’s often not. Sometimes we tear one another down and make life extremely difficult for ourselves and those around us. Some do stick together and make family look like something amazing. But having known some of these wonderful families, I see that they too need to work to make their relationships with one another work. Any relationship needs to be worked on. If ever we feel that we’re at a good place and stop, then it will begin to fall apart. We need to keep at it. Marriages, friendships, working relationships, family ties, and the like all require work, effort, time, respect, communication, and loyalty. For me, I have found that I survive my various family dynamics by knowing every individual is just that, an individual. Every one of them is different and I can’t treat each person the same. But, I do try to give each person in my life respect, loyalty, kindness, and love. I also try to communicate, to keep in touch, to let them know when there needs to be something worked on, and when I am very happy by how things are going as well. We face issues, but I try to face them head on and together. If we try to fight through our struggles alone, how can they be fixed? One sided effort fails, but when people come together, so much is possible.

Family isn’t perfect, life is far from it even more so. But, united we stand and divided we fall. My goal is to keep working on the bonds I have formed and to form even more. I plan to never stop working on my relationships, but also plan to get better at knowing when to walk away from something, knowing when to keep trying and when enough is enough. I am far from as wise as I can possibly be, but I feel I can let the wisdom I have gained in 38 years guide me and to help me learn more, about myself and those around me. I hope to grow my faith, both in God and in others. I hope to learn how to encourage others more and learn to accept it from others better as well. Family can show us so much, if we’re willing to see it and learn from one another. We all have our ugly sides, but together we can open our eyes to the beautiful ones as well.

Be your own superhero…

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Growing up I thought that it was be awesome if I could fly, walk through walls, change the weather, etc. I wanted to be a magical being with superpowers. I would defend the world, one villain at a time. How awesome would it be to like one of the X-Men or maybe the Avengers perhaps?

I have come to see now that all you need to do to be a superhero is to lend a helping hand, be a good friend, treat the world with kindness, and touch people’s hearts. And well hey, sometimes I think just getting out of bed and tackling the day ahead is a superpower. 😉

Many think, “I’m just one person, what can I really do?” But all it takes is one person, a spark to change things. So be that spark, set things ablaze. Go be that superhero, though many of them who wear masks….don’t be afraid to show the world who you really are.

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