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Category: Serious

Strictly serious.

Everyday People 2014

This post was first published April 24, 2013.

Fast forward to May 28, 2014:

2013 arrived with nonstop devastation. We hardly recover from one horrific event, until another presents itself. The past week inflicted more sadness and terror than anyone should have to bear, yet everyday people endured.

Everyday people prove over and over  that we are resilient. In the face of tragedy, we manage to find strength and courage. We rise to the occasion and meet whatever challenges we face. We persevere.

The past week’s events reminded us of the everyday people who choose to become firefighters and law enforcement agents. Their commitment to perform the job the public has entrusted them to do does not permit them to compromise the well-being of those they serve.

This past week congress chose to ignore the wishes of everyday people and defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.

Everyday people elect representatives with the belief they will deliver what they promise. We trust them to reflect our values. In short, we expect them to create laws that benefit most of the people, most of the time. We expect them to compromise when necessary for the greater good. We expect them to adhere to the same standards and moral code of everyday people.
Everyday people deserve better.
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Are you someone’s option or priority?

Maya Angelou’s “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option” is so popular that it has its own Facebook page. It is a thought provoking adage about priorities in life. The full impact of its meaning stirs several phases of realization and not all of them comfortable.

In our daily exchanges most of us don’t give much thought as to whether we are an option or a priority. If we love someone, we tend to focus on them not us. But there comes a time when the relationship gets out of balance and even the most clouded judgment has to accept the fact that priorities are one-sided. We feel cheated and betrayed.

Once you discover you are sitting in the option section what do you do? Our initial reaction is to make excuses for that person, and then move on to microscopic self examination to determine a cause for not making the priority grade. It is at this stage the full impact of Maya Angelou’s words reinforces our ability to accept and move on.

I believe the universe sends a teacher when we are ready to learn the lesson. The veil of self deception lifts and acceptance of our status can be liberating. Distinguishing between what is important and what is vital may be a better choice in determining priorities in life.

Should you reciprocate and send someone to the option section of your balance sheet? I don’t think so. A permanent indeterminate status is probably safer. Once you no longer focus on those whom you have elevated to priority, you may discover more worthy recipients to include in your priority list.

Hallmark has not created a card for this event, but maybe they should.

 

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Remembering Mother

“The woman was a saint” is a phrase often used to describe one’s mother.

Saints are boring. Are children brought up by saints happier, saner and more confident as adults? I wonder.

 Mother was not a saint; she was difficult; in fact, she pissed off a lot of people.

She could be tactless and inconsiderate one minute and comforting and thoughtful the next. Strong willed and high-spirited, she did not bend; she saw compromise as a sign of weakness. Mother provided many opportunities for personal growth and developing skills in self-confidence.

She was beautiful and had a sense of entitlement that often accompanies beauty.

She dismissed unseemly behavior with a smile and a wave of her hand, “I’ve been that way all of my life” and that was the end of that.

She did not care about social customs; she created her own and followed them.

She did the usual mom things; read to me, baked cookies and sat up all night to finish hemming a prom dress. A teacher who made the unfortunate mistake of treating me unfairly received a scorching diatribe they were not likely to forget. Measles, mumps, and chickenpox were another matter. She got queasy taking care of the sick.

She was a walking contradiction. She hounded city hall until the city provided sanitation services for black homeowners yet practiced selective racism.

She played card games with her grandchildren and delighted in jeering when she beat them.

She braved harrowing rides on her granddaughter’s go-cart, yet refused to get on an airplane.

She discovered a needy and neglected elderly woman in her church and gave her money every Christmas. A suggestion that the woman required funds before Christmas was ignored.

I don’t remember her telling me she loved me, but I knew that she did. It was not until  I reached adulthood, that I realized it is o.k. to acknowledge there were many times when I did not like her, but I always loved her.

Happy Mother’s Day and I miss you.

 

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Labor Day is No Picnic for Many Workers in 2013

The local news sent an email asking for comments regarding the biggest challenges facing today’s American worker for the Labor Day edition.

I have not been in the workplace for seven years. Conversations with people who are, make me grateful. They resent their treatment as disposable goods.

Here’s what I plan to say about Labor Day 2013:

Economic survival may be the biggest challenge facing American workers. The uncertainty of juggling part-time jobs, with no assurance the job will be available when the rent comes due is a terrible way to live.

With regard to the alleged negative effect of “Obamacare,” employers were cutting employee’s hours long before Obama was in office.

Offshore tax havens and outsourcing have become standard practice. To cite anything other than corporate greed is ridiculous. Walmart’s announcement that they are offering domestic partner benefits to full-time employees fools no one.

Hiring managers mold corporate expectations into policies that reflect current social and cultural perceptions. The greatest challenge is changing outdated hiring paradigms such as older people are not compliant with current technology and younger people lack a work ethic.

Older people are tech-savvy. Most own and use an iPad and Smartphone. If younger people view employment as a way to make money, and not a life mission, what is wrong with that? Corporations have demonstrated there is little loyalty to employees, so they can hardly expect young people entering the workforce to be ignorant of that fact.

The policy of requiring a college degree, if it is not required to perform the job needs an update. The argument that a degree develops a well-rounded individual may not be applicable in today’s society. For many, investing in training programs to meet criteria in their field is a better investment.

Bottom line, the greatest challenge facing the American worker on Labor Day 2013 is to find a workplace culture that values employees and practices mutual respect.

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Everyday People

From the archives, Apr 24, 2013.

Seems appropriate for this week.

2013 arrived with nonstop devastation. We hardly recover from one horrific event, until another presents itself. The past week inflicted more sadness and terror than anyone should have to bear, yet everyday people endured.

Everyday people prove over and over  that we are resilient. In the face of tragedy, we manage to find strength and courage. We rise to the occasion and meet whatever challenges we face. We persevere.

The past week’s events reminded us of the everyday people who choose to become firefighters and law enforcement agents. Their commitment to perform the job the public has entrusted them to do does not permit them to compromise the well-being of those they serve.

This past week congress chose to ignore the wishes of everyday people and defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.

Everyday people elect representatives with the belief they will deliver what they promise. We trust them to reflect our values. In short, we expect them to create laws that benefit most of the people, most of the time. We expect them to compromise when necessary for the greater good. We expect them to adhere to the same standards and moral code of everyday people.

Everyday people deserve better.

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