Thursday, June 19, 2014

School shooters.

Just what is going on here? Yet another school shooting.  This is sad commentary on our current culture.  After giving this considerable thought I think I might have some insights as to just what is the deeper problem.

1.  We as a country have lost our moral compass.  There are ten rules (commandments).  We as a country need to all get on the same page and decide that the ten rules make for a well functioning, orderly society.  These rules need to be actively taught in the family.  Our children need to be held accountable.

2.  Low self esteem.  The evidence of this is everywhere: 
Americans are very overweight  It's tough to look in the mirror at yourself when you are really out of shape and feel good about what you see.
Facebook posts:  Selfies.  So proud... and so on.
The notorious 10 seconds of fame for the school shooter. 

Americans must not feel good about themselves or we wouldn't need so much "look at me" type of attention.  Where has the virtue of humility gone?  People need encouragement (this is a good thing) however false "pats on the back" hurt more than they help. 

3.  Lack of real accomplishments.  Self esteem is built brick by brick by overcoming fears, adversity, difficulties and being successful!  You are most proud of yourself when you got the A in that math class that you thought was going to take you down.  Of course everyone is good at different things but we all need something tangible to point to and say "I did that"!  The pioneers had less problems with this.  They could all stand back and say I built that log cabin or I dried that fruit and we survived.  Even children were a part of helping.  They would catch fish, carry water or help with the garden. 
Children and adults all need to produce something.  It could be a simple drawing by a young child, a freshly baked batch of cookies by a teen, or paycheck earned by a parent at the factory to help the family.  At the end of the day we all need a "I did that".

Your thoughts my friend?  What do you think would help us get on track?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wise parenting advice ... from an unexpected source.

This piece is from Agatha Christies' autobiography here she is describing her own childhood rearing.  Agatha was raised in a privileged family although not an extremely wealthy one.   Agatha was not considered by her family to be overly talented.  Sixty-eight novels, over 100 short stories, 17 plays later... she is a wise and talented woman... read on...

" On the whole I think the snobbery of my childhood, the snobbery of birth, that is, is more palatable than the other snobberies: the snobbery of wealth, and today's intellectual snobbery.
  Intellectual snobbery seems today to breed a particular form of envy and venom.  Parents are determined that their offspring shall shine.  "We've made great sacrifices for you to have a good education," they say.  The child is burdened with guilt if he does not fulfill their hopes.  Everyone is so sure that it is all a matter of opportunity-not of natural aptitude.
  I think late Victorian parents were more realistic and had really more consideration for their children and for what would make a happy and successful life for them.  There was much less keeping up with the Joneses.  Nowadays I often feel that it is for one's own prestige that one wants one's children to succeed.  The Victorians looked dispassionately at their offspring and made up their minds about their capacities.  A. was obviously going to be "the pretty one."  B. was "the clever one." C. was going to plain and was definitely not intellectual.  Good works would be C.'s best chance.  And so on.  Sometimes of course, they were wrong, but on the whole it worked.  There is an enormous relief in not being expected to produce something that you haven't got.
  The general standpoint in my young days had a certain humility.  You accepted what you were.  You had assets and you had liabilities.  Like a hand at cards, having been dealt it, you sorted your cards and decided how best to play them.  There was, I am almost sure, less envy and resentment of those more gifted of better off.  If some young friends had expensive or exciting toys one did not expect or demand to have them oneself.  I might say to my mother, "Freda has a wonderful doll's house. I wish I had one like that," and my mother would reply placidly, "yes, it's nice for Freda.  Of course her parents are much richer than we are."  Nowadays it seems to be "Marylyn has got a bicycle, why can't I have one?"  as though it were one's right."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What are you leaving behind?

I loved to water ski when I was a young woman.  It took me a long, long time to learn how to get up.  I must of had a million wipe outs before I finally took off with the wind in my face.  I eventually learned to sloam (ski with one ski).  Then I really thought I was "hot stuff".  One of the many things you have to learn when you ski is how to jump the wake.  The wake is the wave pattern the boat leaves behind.  Jumping over this is a trick in itself.  Yes.  I finally learned how to do that too. 

Now on to the life lesson:
Looking the  rear view mirror of life  we need to check to see what we are leaving in the wake.  I know one individual that left a wake of destroyed relationships.  They never stopped to look in the rear view mirror and check to see what they were leaving behind.  Years later the broken relationships remain broken.  The family involved stays disconnected and while some family members would enjoy a relationship with the extended family it will never happen.  People are afraid to get in touch because so much negative stuff was left in the wake of this person's life.  So again,  I pause.  What am I leaving behind?  Maybe it is not a coincidence that the family gathering after the death of a loved one is called a wake.  I know that I am going to be checking the rear view mirror.  I want to leave the world a better place and not a wake of destruction.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wise work.

If you have a job you love you'll never work a day in your life.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What makes us special.


Quote from Sir Den Robinson speaking to Disney president Anne Sweeney:
"...companies need people who can think differently and adapt and be creative.  A company like Disney in fact all companies-depends on this great multiplicity of talents.  The continuum, as I see it, starts with imagination.  It's the most extraordinary set of powers that we take for granted: the ability to bring into mind the things that aren't present.  It's why we are so different from the rest of life on earth.  That's why we're sitting in a beautiful building, drinking from these cups.  Because human beings make things.  We create things..."
-Fast Company  page 80
September 2013


Disconnected.

Its really important to be connected to God.  I did not really realize how important until I recently met a woman with no Christian influence in her life.  She had many difficulties including a divorce, a child that was doing poorly in school, money problems, conflict with co-workers and many other issues in her life.  It was sad to see her struggle as she made many bad decisions and then had to deal with the consequences.  Rebellion marked her personality.

I began to realize that she:
  • had poor judgment because she was disconnected with the Judge.
  • could not tell what the weather was going to do because she was not attuned to the God who sent the rain.
  • knew very little about the natural world because she was disconnected from the Creator.
  • had family problems because she was in rebellion to the Father.
  • was dishonest because she was not connected to the source of truth.
Christianity has a huge influence on us.  "Common sense" is a gift from God.

Four gifts.

Here are some things that we often over look in creation:
The gift of motion.
It is lovely to watch the tree tops sway in the breeze.
I love to watch the sunlight dance on rippling waves.
The gift of color.
Colors gently brushed and blended at sunrise or sunset.
A garden bursting with different shades of green.
The gift of textures.
Smooth or rough tree bark.
Shiny smooth leaves others rough with little bristles.
The gift of sound.
Quiet things... frogs calling, crickets chirping, the wind blowing through the cottonwoods, boats rocking, birds calling, cicadas whirring, rain on the roof.  These are lovely peaceful sounds that soothe us.