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Archive for the tag “communication”

Still Explaining Himself

Okay, our President was in Britain this past week.The Mayor of London, THE MAYOR remember this, criticized OUR President for something he is so obviously ill equipped to address, beyond personal opinion. Britain’s possible departure from The            European Union. This “mayor” suggested that President Obama should not be urging Britain to stay in the EU because (and I am paraphrasing here people) he removed a bust from The Oval Office. Wow. That makes perfect sense for a “National Enquirer, tabloid style remark. He went on to suggest The President being part Kenyan makes his dislike for Britain clear. Our President once again demonstrated why He is The President and the likes of Mayor Boris Johnson is NOT!  Take time to view The Presidents remarks regarding the Churchill bust.Winston Churchill’s very own grandson stated Boris’ remarks were inappropriate.   Once again racism knows no bounds. When challenged or even if it is just a simple opportunity to TRY to be relevant the small minds of racist jump at a chance to be seen. Too bad “The London Fog” could not mask it’s mayor’s  narrow mindedness and stupidity.

Short Time and Small Talk

When you are blessed with a  true friend, you’d better recognize what a treasure you have. Not trying to fill this blog with metaphors, but they are sometimes just appropriate. It had been a bit since we just had a simple conversation; not about the tragedies or disasters going on in each of our lives, no talk of turmoil at work. We have gotten to a point where we expect to leave a message rather than talk to one another and when we do hear a voice that is the first  thing we say,” I didn’t expect you to pick up.” Just another example of how life passes you by so rapidly and you look around and you wonder where time has gone.

It was good talking to my friend, it was good  just hearing her voice. When we hung up it felt a sigh of relief and my mind traveled back to another time, but I was still able to realize where I was/ we were and how very far we have come. I also was able to come to terms with the fact if you don’t make time to visit your happy places, you can easily forget where they are or that they even exist.

And When I tell you I DO NOT UNDERSTAND…

That is EXACTLY what I mean. I was watching a video of great dance routines. These routines included tap dances of yesterday, they were men and women, they were you and old, they were black, brown, and white. All you could do was to be in awe of and admire the artistry.

Then the wheels in my brain started turning.. we can dance together, we can sing together, we can perform and admire one another’s accomplishments without a second thought. I thought about great athletes working and playing together without regard to anything but that athleticism. The summation was as such; We can sing, dance, work,  play, laugh and cry but we cannot live together because we are FAR too “different”. I am not naive by any stretch, but I need help here. I don’t know about anyone else, but I work so that I can have more time to do there very things we as a national community seemingly have no problem doing together. Yet place us on the same block, city, zip code and things get complicated?

I ask myself as I read posts from”friends” of people I love and care about write about how awful the GOVERNMENT is but these same folks are former military people who joined to get benefits granted to them by our same GOVERNMENT. The same camouflage wearing, gun toting, flag waving individuals demanding their monthly benefits. I wonder how someone I love and care about can have such detestable folks in their lives..they are so very”different”. RIGHT.

I watched a young Muslim woman on the news last night, she was a representative of a group called C.A.I.R. (look it up). It made me sad to see her and several other representatives on a world wide network try to make people understand that everyone who is a Muslim does NOT condone the behavior of one or two or even two hundred radicals. They felt the need to explain to America and the world amidst this  latest tragedy that cost 14 people their lives, they are united with the mourners and pray for justice.

I think of the lives lost in the past year due to”questionable”police officers, policies and plain old citizens. Black Americans, who many want to believe somehow brought all of this carnage upon ourselves. I hear the voices echoing,” If they” would stop dressing like that, or talking like that, to listening to that music, or running away from police…” No every person of color is not a criminal, no every police officer is not bad, no every plain old citizen is not looking to target practice on young black males, but why should we hide from and ignore these facts when something tragic happens.

Are we really that shallow minded? Do we really take a visual and run with it?  Of course we do. That is what makes me sad.

The truth is all of us, on one level or another, looks for rhyme or reason for things which happen around us or to us. Sometimes those much needed explanations take on the deformed look of blame. We look to blame because we are damaged, hurt, and live in fear! There is nothing wrong with being afraid, as long as you do not allow fear to define your entire being. Sometimes the fear you house is a lack of understanding. Face your fear; as difficult as it may be, stare it in the face. You may find some understanding, thus discovering that thing you dislike so much, did in fact come from lack of knowledge. Once that is taken care of you will eliminate the need to randomly hate. For  America, while we are busy fighting among “ourselves”, perhaps “our” real enemy is out there waiting for the turmoil to reach a boiling point; at that point when we are at our most divided and weak point “they” will have the ideal circumstance, the perfect time to strike. How’s your fear factor doing now?

The Best Way You Can

“I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough..” Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever felt this way towards someone. I will not allow myself to visit a place that will confirm I have felt the latter. I know the truth.  Besides it is much easier to live with yourself if you can say you are the tragic one.

I want to speak from the perspective of an individual who realized someone gave their best. What I had to come to grips with was that this individual gave it a “scouts-try”, in spite of me never giving credit for that try, that effort. I was too busy pointing fingers and giving examples of what “I” thought should happen. At the oddest moment things became clear to me, as though I was emerging from a fog.

We all have different talents and skill levels, sometimes we get caught up in what our opinions and perspectives are, we forget that there are other factors involved. In the midst of your self-absorbed righteousness perhaps a pause will allow you to observe something you my have discounted and/or overlooked. Then you will begin to be able to see that which you claim no one else can understand; that someone else does matter, someone else does count.

Therefore when you do your best, even if your best may not appear to be good enough, nothing can be more rewarding then knowing this in your heart, and in reality you are one-up on a whole lot of people who don’t even give a half try.

Do You Have A Safe Place For A Secret

We think we keep these secret feelings and thoughts hidden. Tread lightly on these beliefs; the way you feel often is all over your face and you are thinking,”No one has any idea how I feel”.  I have found out on more than one occasion, my acting skills are limited. I think I make an honest effort to conceal contempt I have for certain individuals, but I know that my efforts aren’t always enough. Then I start questioning the sincerity of the effort. How hard do we really work at keeping things hidden?

Truth is difficult at times but just examine the complexities of what you believe started out as a “little-white-lie”. I do not believe we are being honest with ourselves when we pack things away so no one else can see them.

I visited this thought in relation to the animal kingdom. Dogs sometimes bury their bones, this happened more frequently when  our animals stayed outside; now they do like we do, if it is a toy they care a great deal about it is with them constantly, or put away in a closet, under a bed, etc. Your pet puts his “favorite” away for safe keeping so no one else can have it, yet when he feel the need for it, he goes and gets it from the hiding place and flaunts it right in front of you. One might say this is mimicked behavior and that is a possibility. One more example I will offer is the squirrel. I watched one in my yard running around and darting about one afternoon, it was strange because there was a large orange tabby laying in the bushes waiting for an opportunity.. After a bit he came up with an acorn. The little guy had hidden it away and was scrounging about trying to find it. He had no idea when he tucked it away for safe keeping he would be putting his life in danger when he went back. Rather symbolic here.

I submit to you that our secrets are sometimes little badges of honor, we keep them around to pull out at random times to relive something we no longer are privy to. This is defying their very existence, for a secret is something you keep hidden. What about it though, do you have letters, picture, notes, or emails hidden away? Is there a lock on your phone or a box somewhere, so certain information cannot be accessed by “anyone”.  Listen if you are not tech savvy you are fooling only one person, and as for the other aspect what happens if one of those items falls out of it’s secret hiding place?

Do we entertain consequence when we place these things in an out of the way location? What if we forget it like the little squirrel or chose to bring it out for attention or to tease like the dog?  How safe is your secret now?Does such a place exist anywhere? When do we begin to feel the need to hide things and to whose benefit is this practice? What is it that you are hiding in your secret place, and is it really safe?

Has My Blog Died and Gone To Heaven?

Today we are going to do a Frankenstein type experiment utilizing a eulogy as the tool to attempt resurrection.

Hafacenturyncounting.com was cute down in it’s prime. A victim of neglect. No one could have known that after a few short weeks it would be treated as though it never existed. As passerby drops in a couple times a week, but overall the site remains quiet and unnoticed. The few followers are still around as loyalty is characteristic of them. One can easily see how blogs get caught up in the whirlpools of the internet, and you truly are only as successful as the last piece you wrote.

Hafacenturyncounting.com came to be three short years ago, armed with a background of a “seasoned novice writer” as it’s only tool. Continuing through the years hoping to connect with others on a common journey. There were no real expectations; only to be an exchange of information from one individual’s vantage point, with perspective many travel this same road and share these same experiences. Never wildly popular, but most who bothered to stop by enjoyed the visit. I blame marketing or lack there of. It is a plain paper bag in the world of colorful, picture riddled writings. Yet Hafacenturyncounting.com  believed it could appeal to the mature, serious-minded individual.

Hafacenturyncounting.com “bit the dust” without warning; okay maybe that is an over simplified assessment, but it took a backseat too long. I stopped writing everyday or every week for that matter. I thought there was enough material to keep visitors coming and there is a great deal to read(292 published blogs). What I failed to realize is we as a society are very much into the now, what is new will catch the eye. Even though there is a great deal in the blog to read, it only gets attention when a red flag is waved or an announcement of it comes.

Therefore, I wish to announce Hafacenturyncounting.com is not dead! My answer to the title is “Not by a long shot”! I do respectfully request a little more effort on the part of my followers, to bother to read more of the material contained in the blog. However, I will make every effort NOT to be negligent from this point forward. That said look for a least one piece per week.  Hafacenturyncounting.com does appreciate each of the followers, readers, and critic who stop by the site. See you soon.

What Richie Can Learn About Being INCOGNITO

As I read a little about this controversial player, the first impression was loud mouthed-attention-hungry scumbag. He has all the necessary pieces to qualify for that label in my book. He is from New Jersey, he has Italian heritage, he attended school in racial/diversity insensitive areas (Nebraska and Arizona), he has been referred for Anger Management repeatedly, he gropes and molests women at will,  he was named NFL “dirtiest player”  in 2009  are among his accomplishments.. hummmm He hasn’t been looked upon in a positive manner, since high school sports were a part of his life. Get the picture? Now of course I am being extreme with the reference to Italian heritage,  everything else I stand by.  We cannot overlook or ignore the horrid impression  and impact “Jersey Shore and Snooki “ have had on two of my points of reference though. However, I am NOT that narrow-minded. I have no issue with Italians; I believe many of them do have issues about certain characteristics, but all-in-all who among US in this great big human family is NOT in denial on one level or another? Big, bad, and over-the-top. Richie you went too far, it appears(“p.c. alert”). I, in spite of myself listened to this man speak about the incident(s) briefly. He seemed to be doing a very good well rehearsed job of explaining himself. The “Blue Fairy ” in me wanted to believe this guy is JUST a dumb-ass, but my better judgment said,” How naive; how long, how many excuses can you give a 30 year old MAN to make this behavior forgivable?!” I rummaged through interview snippets from players on his team and in the league trying to make this  seem blown out-of-proportion. I was especially critical of the African-American players siding with him. I lost ALL ability to justify or excuse when the “n-word” factor came into play. For that word in and of itself is subject for many and another dialog.  The”n” word also is a source that breathed life and fanned the flame of this controversy of Richie Incognito.

Is Richie a racist, perhaps. Did he make bad decisions, CERTAINLY! Can he recover, possibly. Did he learn anything, TIME WILL TELL! Now here is a little something. His name suggests mystery, subtlety, and NOT drawing attention to oneself. However, his behavior is the antithesis and now it has ONCE AGAIN gotten him in trouble. There are people,and we all know at least one, who would rather have a light shone on them in a bad way than no light at all. Richie Incognito exhibits those characteristics. Now that he has time off, the possibility of his bank accounts being relieved of some of their “weight”, and exclusion from the club he wants so much to be a part of; Richie, you may want to re-think that persona of yours. Research that last name of yours and practice some of the defining traits of someone who exists “INCOGNITO”. Also while you are expanding your horizons and enlightening yourself take note of another word, the word whose malicious and careless use by YOU probably will be the source of your career’s demise and life as you know it. Next time you decide to drop the “n” word think before you speak, and realize had you done this before you may not be where you currently are. Here is a pearl of wisdom for you; IT IS NEVER OKAY TO USE THE “n” WORD! NEVER!

Uh… Discussion About Race

Well here we go.. AGAIN. I stood uneasy and in disbelief! Just when I think he cannot be more insensitive and  tactless he proves me wrong. I was livid and sweating bullets at the same time. I mean this guy is a friend and a valued customer. How can I recoup this obvious flub. My mind raced. The more time that passed, the farther from an answer my mind wandered. At last on a seemingly good note we all parted.

On the way home making general conversation ,I could NOT wait for an opportunity to tell my spouse how terrible I thought he was. I had the adjectives and nouns lined up. I was prepared to be as condescending as possible, for he needed to know, just because you feel and think one way it doesn’t give you the right to just go off on these tangents with people you claim to like…

I began with a simple question to bait the trap. “Did you realize that you were talking to someone white when you said that”, I asked. He replied, “yes..” Well with both barrel blazing I prepared to attack, but he through me for a loop and I had to re-group and re-consider. He continued, ” Why do you think it is that we in this country time and time again, talk about having an open forum about race yet it never seems to take place?” Whoa, whoa wait a minute.. he was actually making sense and in a fashion I was ill prepared and possibly ill-equipped to answer…

I am driving home, after a weekend of football controversy about bullying and misuse of words and charges of racism, and here I am being confronted with my own possible missed opportunities to address subject matter that arises again and again. I thought he was being mean when in fact he was doing what we on one occasion or another like to say we believe we need, to have a discussion about race.

Well it’s not the time or place.. question when is it? Things can get heavy and deep when you examine them “head on”. I was so concerned about what my/our Caucasian friend would think about the brash comments my spouse made. I didn’t bother to give either of them credit of being the types of people that, one hopes, open forums create and foster. It did not occur to me that perhaps they were already in the place I say I dream will come to be one day, before I move beyond this Earth. I did not consider that maybe THEY had truly evolved. I was too busy being uncomfortable and judgmental of them both.

When is the right or proper time to have this discussion? Dare we be so exact? In a classroom sounds good, a place where ideas are meant to be exchanged. At work, certainly not unless some problem has arisen. In church, that again is a safe place because no one would  be confrontational in the house of the Lord. What about at home and not your home? That is something to ponder. You see all the examples I gave were easily identified as basically safe or non-safe.  However, out of these antiseptic, tagged areas one doesn’t know what might occur and that makes one reluctant to broach such  a subject in that type of environment. Not in your house out of your comfort zone,  anything can happen. Would YOU take that chance?

The biggest problem I see with a discussion of race, is the subject matter is uncomfortable and volatile.  You want to be expressive and honest, but at what risk. Can you be truly open with people you care about, work with, attend classes and church with..? The truth is most of us walk around and ignore race until it affects us directly and depending who you are, the frequency of those direct affects varies.

When racial tension hits the headlines, there are naturally more rumblings about the problems, solutions, and yes the existence of racial issues. Case in point Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins, and the NFL. There are rumblings of bullying, hazing, and most prevalent racism. I, being a football fan, have an image in my mind of a football player. I cringe when I see rules changing in the game, even knowing it is to protect the players. It is a rough and tumble game, and you have to be resilient and tough. Yet we are talking hits here, when one goes on the field he has his body armor, but what about the psychological armor. The helmet protects your head, but what do you have inside of yourself to protect your “head”? What about sportsmanship, team camaraderie, and here’s a little blast from the past word for you  R-E-S-P-E-C-T! (I will cover this particular incident  more detailed on a different post, for now it merely serves as an example.)

The truth is we do not know how to communicate with one another in most instances, so what would happen if we start a discussion about something that makes most of us uneasy. There would likely be arguments, harsh and hurtful words, perhaps a fight would ensue, but maybe something positive could result from this dialog. Never know unless you try, and remember it doesn’t necessarily need to be a planned event. However, you MUST make every effort to “keep-it-clean”.

The Last Word

I am going to take you back to the school yard here, the argument that leads to the fight, the calling out. Depending on your selection of words this is where the true blows are thrown.

Sometimes we get into discussions and they turn into debates. Last one standing wins, right?  Well not in Musical Chairs. The need to be the loudest or having the last word is reminiscent of our childhood. The person we were to become crying out, ” I am here notice me, I have something to say.” In adult world it is just down right annoying.  For as bad as being “shushed” or silenced it is equally irritating to have someone constantly placing an addendum to what you have to say. “You do it first, No you do it first, no you…” in an endless cycle until one tires and their silence concedes a victory to the other, is what comes to mind.

Fast Forward today; there is someone in your life that lives, embodies, exemplifies having the last word. To them it doesn’t matter if what they are saying is truthful or relevant, all it has to be is enough to validate they spoke last. They aren’t particularly agreeable and they also need to be right, whether or not what they are saying is CORRECT does not matter. Yet when you encounter them, know you have a very simple way of disarming them. It does require a bit of ego cleansing on your part though. All you have to do is say,” You are right___”. That does not say you agree, it simply says you aren’t going to argue and/or debate with someone who clearly has the answer(s) already, all the answers. This may take a time or two for this individual to catch on but the reward will be great, and you also spare yourself the fate of becoming exactly like the one you are trying to teach the lesson,” It isn’t the point you have the last word, it is that you say something significant whenever you speak.”

Mother, Not For Just A Day

We search aimlessly at times to connect ourselves to something that will give meaning in our fast paced, ever-changing, ever challenging lives. However, it is not things that we need to connect to, but people.

We must battle with not becoming caught-up in marketing madness on all levels. They are very crafty with their campaigns too, they go for the jugular. In this case the second Sunday in May, they grab for the heart-strings. Mothers; who could begrudge a way to pay homage to the sweetest, most enamored lady most every one of us will ever know? She is a godsend. Well you don’t have to begrudge, but if you don’t do something you will feel negligent.

Let me tell you a little something about a mother, there is nothing so great or so small that comes from her child(ren), of whom she loves more than life, that she would not appreciate. However, if you don’t know it the fact that you ARE is enough for her. She has no expectations only hopes; she is the first to come to your aid and the last to abandon you even when she knows you are wrong. She knows and understands you better than you do yourself, for to her you are the better parts of her. Her love began before she laid eyes on you, and it continues until her eyes close forever, as we know it.

Jewelry or chocolates, dinner or a cruise, flowers or a card, whatever your plan is for Mother’s Day, let it be known that it is simply a day that happens once a year; but your love, respect, and appreciation for her is ongoing, the same way her everlasting love is for you.

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