In the past week three separate incidents have occurred with the same basic theme…Adult bullying.
The second was a product that was lampooned by a nationally broadcast talk show and picked up on Facebook. I happen to like the product and find nothing sexist about it.
The third was a conversation over breakfast on Saturday where a woman at my table went into great detail about how ridiculous she thinks English people are for putting milk in their tea.
I am English by birth, Irish by marriage and American by choice.
I like enjoy milk chocolate.
I use Bic Lady Crystal pens.
I take milk, a dash of Angostura and one packet of Truvia in my Earl Grey.
That doesn’t make me wrong or sexist or ridiculous.
I just makes me me.
If my choice of chocolate or ink pens or tea is that offensive I’m truly sorry. But if I change because someone thinks less of me for these choices I will lose respect for myself and that is a choice I cannot make.
Probably the most asked question emanating from the back of station wagons in days gone by and mini vans on the road today.
If you were sitting in one of those back seats it could be very difficult to know where you were in the journey and how much further til the next stop or even better to the destination. Sitting next to the most annoying sibling ever born could make a short drive seem like forever.
If you were the navigator this question could be taken as a simple request for a progress update which can be quickly fulfilled. Or it could be a challenge to your ability to not only read but re-fold the cryptic gas station guide known as a road map.
The driver, charged with getting all those on board to the end of the journey safely, and probably with a minimum of restroom or sight-seeing stops, may see this question as a prompt to skip the next four or five possible off ramps marked with services and gas.
Each day we rotate between driving, navigating and along for the ride. Sometimes our role is annoying sibling but I’ll save that for another day. And each day the answer is still the same….”No. We are not there yet! The journey is not over. We haven’t arrived!”
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall…
I like words that have more than one meaning. Many of you read the question “Where do you get the stuff you put in your blog?” But other’s may have read “Where do you get the stuff that makes you satisfied?”
Either way the question is one of filling up the blank space with something. Where do you get that something? What is it about that blank space that is so compelling and so intimidating all at the same time?
For writers the terror of sitting before a screen with the little cursor blinking is enough to make us figure out the settings necessary to make the stupid thing stop flashing at least. Something about it’s steady pulsing and inexhaustible patience is taunting and just borderline cruel. “I can wait…I can wait…I can wait…” It is only by my efforts to get my thoughts out of my head and heart and on to the screen that the little line moves forward and for a moment stop the blinking. I think it was named a cursor more for the emotion it causes than for it’s actual function. I may be wrong.
Transfer that incessant blinking to the rest of the world and you get the massive accumulation of stress that is humanity. “Everybody’s searching for something” Annie Lennox sang. Something to fill the blank space of our closet, our garage, our bank account, our home, our stomach, our calendar, our days, our nights, our lives.
How fitting is it that between the date of your birth and the date of your death chiseled in stone is a sideways cursor that has stopped blinking.
Will you be content with your content?
One of my favorite people is hitting
a mile marker this week and
she has come up with an
absolutely inspired way of
celebrating the difference
she can and has made
in the world
by being here.
So today I’m asking you…
Do you have any “fish” you can send her way?
In an ever increasingly noisy world really listening is becoming a lost art.
I know you think you know what I said but
what you think you heard
may not actually be what I said.
When you add the complication of a technological advancement
to the transaction communication
can get even more garbled and impersonal.
Multitasking may seem like an efficient way to operate
but if your attention is divided
then the person trying to
give you information or extract information
from you is not getting your best.
This season of hustle and bustle and pressure and stress,
may I encourage you to really, really
Every now and then you read a book and go “Wow! That would make a great movie.”
This was the book:
And this is the movie:
And this is how I came to be an Associate Producer on this movie.
From the Blue Like Jazz Blog
Yesterday some things changed. And there’s a good possibility something happened today that was different. Tomorrow is pretty much up for grabs. I’ve heard it said that the only constant is change. So why do we find it so difficult to accept? Why do we dig our heels in and resist?
There are whole departments in companies who’s sole focus is to create something new and different. Medical research is devoted to changing the human condition. Research and Development think tanks devote years to devise a better widget.
Is this moment, the way things are so great that you want to preserve it? Don’t get me wrong. Some moments are much better than others. But to be stuck there…I don’t think so. As great as your wedding day might have been if you stayed in that day you would have missed the birth of your child. As great as holding that precious child was, if they never changed you would still be changing diapers. Everything changes!
Even our memory changes. I used to listen to my father in law tell stories. He could recite the same story the same way over dinner every night for a week. He remembered the story but forgot he told it last night and the night before. It was on his mind and he wanted to share it. I learned after listening for a while that if I broke into his recitation and asked him a question the story changed. He remembered other details and the story expanded. Things he had forgotten came back to him. Not by the recitation but by the questions.
It’s the questions that generate the change. Why is it doing that? How can we fix the problem? Where can I help? Who needs me?
And when you embrace the questions you learn to embrace the change.
Today’s guest blogger is my someone you’ve already met on my blogs. She has recently taken on the role of un-official driver and chief motivator on The Blogger’s Bus. You can catch her daily at Hey Sparky! What Time Is It? Lisa is the person most likely to be on the receiving end of my impulsive mailing habit.
I’ve lived a lot of different places in my life, each one with its own vibe. I was born and raised in small town Ohio, however, and though I can assimilate into almost any American culture, it would be fair to say that for the most part I am Midwestern to the core.
You know “Midwestern”, right? Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Respect your elders. Meat and potatoes. 4H projects. Go to church. Do the right thing. And above all…be nice.
Be nice. There’s probably some Midwestern anthem, and the totality of its lyrics are “be nice”. In my mind I can hear it, set to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus:
BEEEee NIIccee!! BEEEee NIIicce! BE NICE! BE NICE! BEE NIIIice!
That tune played loudly in my brain most of my life. When someone else behaves badly, be nice. When you are hurt, be nice. When you don’t get what you want, be nice. When someone disagrees with you, or is just plain disagreeable, be nice. When your relatives give you underwear for your birthday, be nice. Being nice was the answer to everything from muddy footprints on your floor to poorly seasoned food to dealing with jerks.
I was well into adulthood when I started to realize that being nice wasn’t quite serving me the way it seemed it should. It had its perks, but not to the extent a dedicated Nice Person would hope. And somehow, I felt vaguely off kilter. As if something was missing, something crucial. As if I wasn’t quite the person I was designed to be.
The answer came to me through scripture, as answers often do. I didn’t see it for years, though it was there in every single translation I visited.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law. -Galations 5: 22, 23
This is a list of the attributes and qualities that grow in you when the Holy Spirit is active in your life. Look how high nice is on the list!
What? You mean nice isn’t even on the list?
I was a bit shocked when I discovered this. Even more so when I realized that nice was actually an act of human flesh and will, which means that the Spirit hadn’t been manufacturing the nice in me. I had!
But then relief began to flood through me as the lights turned on. God doesn’t want me to be nice; He wants me to be kind! God doesn’t want me to be nice; He wants me to love! God doesn’t want me to be nice; He wants me to live in peace! And even better—He’s going to produce all this stuff in me Himself! Being nice is small compared to having God’s attributes in me so big and strong that they flow out of me and onto others.
I also began to understand why being nice was so unsatisfying. Being nice blocked my entrance into the life God had for me. It kept me from being fully me as He intended me to be. I am wired to see and speak things that are offensive to nice. I am to speak them plainly in love. Not in nice. In kindness, but not in nice. In gentleness, but not in nice. Given room to play, nice will water down love every time. It will fake kindness and produce false peace. Nice is too afraid to really speak truth. Nice means well but is never real or lasting. Only that which is produced by the Spirit is real and lasting.
It’s easy to bring the past into your present and assume it’s good. But is it? What if it’s just nice? What if you have a core value that actually opposes what God wants to grow in you, but you’ve assumed He’s cool with it because it’s nice?
Let that tweak your brain for a while.