Time to stop talking about the old days and actually be a better neighbor

Time to stop talking about the old days and actually be a better neighbor: Margaret Bernstein (via Cleveland.com)

Scott Shaw, The Plain Dealer  Cleveland, I think you’re finally ready. As so many people have said this week, it’s time for everyone to step out of their homes and get to know their neighbors. The bittersweet events of the past week have taught us all that. Everybody’s saying it, including the inimitable…

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Fences make good neighbors; reaching across makes good friends

Fences make good neighbors; reaching across makes good friends (via NewsWorks)

SPEAK EASY Editor: Eric Walterewalter@whyy.org April 25, 2013 By Ilene Raymond Rush Over herbal tea and chocolate-chip cookies, she sat at my kitchen table and we talked. Not about roses or the weather or politics. We talked about our hopes and fears. Dotty is a corporate lawyer; I’m a freelance writer…

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Daily Musings: My Dream

This is truly a DAILY MUSING for me, I literally think about it every day.  As a child who suffered from low self esteem, I am always struck by young people who have the same issue.  I was a very smart little guy.  I was talking earlier than most, walking earlier, and somehow always thought I was one of the adults.  As I got into my school years, being smart became more about proving to the others that I mattered.

Being bullied may seem like something every child goes through, but it is such a nasty business.  It makes you question your own worth and abilities.  It robs you of the care free years and puts so much unnecessary stress on such young people.  Second guessing yourself at any age is no fun but in those early years, it can shake you in ways that will take a long time to recover from.

As an adult, I have always been particularly drawn to stories of young people who are being bullied  or have suffered some sort of trauma that causes their self esteem to suffer.  Whether it be from bullying or from something that just makes you self conscious, it can affect the way you grow up and the way you interact with others.  It actually hurts my heart to see someone who is so unsure of themselves or so noticeably uncomfortable about anything about themselves.  It makes you want to just give out free hugs.

I have always had a dream that one day I would have enough influence to help these young people by getting them proper therapy and, in cases where there is a need, help them to correct the physical part.  I do believe no matter what their situation, these children would need to work on it from the inside out.  If the problem is acne, it is great to fix the acne but there is still something inside that stays behind long after the physical part is corrected.

I think if we make the effort to help young people with these issues they will have a better chance of being well adjusted adults.  Everyone deserves a chance to know what life can be like if you can push past the hang ups and difficulties of our youth.

One day, I still hope to be able to have a facility or some sort of organization that can direct young people to the right resources.  I imagine once you touch their lives in such a positive way, they will go forward and touch the lives of others in phenomenal ways.  Possibly even eliminating bullying altogether.  Imagine a world where bullying is not tolerated and stopped in its tracks simply by positive attitude and nurturing?

More importantly, no child, no person, should ever feel so isolated or judged by the superficial.  Everyone has something to offer, everyone has value, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect.  Somehow we sometimes lose respect for ourselves because we look at things through others’ eyes.  I hope by giving young people a better foundation, we can redirect their thinking and that would spread to those around them.


Daily Musings: Open Up to the Possibilities

The best advice I have ever gotten or given to anyone is to say YES to more opportunities. Unfortunately, there is something in most of our human make-up that causes us to hesitate when it comes to trying something new or unfamiliar.  Believe me, I struggle with this all the time too.

The thing is, I find that when I let go of “control” and just say yes to something that presents itself in a positive way, I have the most amazing experiences.  We all know how horrible it feels to regret not trying something or realizing too late that we should have tried it long ago.  Why live with that?

Try this, say “NO” out loud. How does that make you feel?  Now say “YES” out loud.  What feelings does that invoke?  Try to say NO and smile at the same time.  Now try it with YES.  Which felt more positive?

Since the beginning of this year, I have been testing myself and saying YES to more opportunities.  Scary to jump in without thinking sometimes but I have been having the BEST year ever.  I even lost forty pounds without really feeling like I was struggling to do so.  It was just a byproduct of my increased energy from my increased happiness and changing my eating habits. Talk about a turn around.  It took me three years to put on the weight and only six months to shed it.

Start small, I actually did that last year but by the beginning of this year, it had increased to bigger things.  It may take some time to really find your comfort zone, but you will.  You will absolutely learn so much about you and those around you just by opening up to the possibilities.

Don’t worry so much about what others think or what they will say.  Sure, they will be thinking and saying that you lost your mind but you will be happier for it.  I know there are people who think I have lost mine and my constant smile doesn’t help my case much but I am happy.  Happy from the inside out and not afraid to show it.



Daily Musings: Can’t get no…..

When I was younger, my Grandmother used to ask me, “Are you satisfied?”  If it was after a meal, it wasn’t “Are you full” or after an achievement, it wasn’t “Are you happy?”  It was always, “Are you satisfied?”

At first, I used to think the question was odd but over time I really began to understand the meaning behind it.  Being happy or being full is fine but being satisfied is much better.  When you are satisfied, all the other positive feelings are just byproducts of that feeling of satisfaction.  She was totally on to something and ahead of her time.

Today, I see so many people “trying” to be happy, fulfilled, connected, proud, and the list goes on.  Maybe we are overlooking the true order of things?  Is it possible to shift our goal to one of being satisfied and then all else will follow?  When you are chasing happiness, it seems like you are always changing what will make you “happy.”  If I only had a nice car I would be happy.  Then, if I only had more friends or if I had a boy/girlfriend.  If I had a better job or apartment, and so on.

So we are constantly running after something and this causes us to miss a little of the moments we are in now.  If I found satisfaction with my state of now, wouldn’t that make me happier always?  Couldn’t the other “things” be add-ons to my current state?  Would I stop running after the “stuff” that makes me happy and start running toward the proper situations to bring me happiness?

What do you think? Could we slow down a bit and really experience our “now” and then be satisfied with what we have?