No Straight Lines!

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There are no straight lines to arriving at whatever station or destination one aspires to without detours, setbacks, and even setups. It’s just the nature of things. When we looked back on our early years as teens with wide eyes, full of expectations, and were even certain that whatever our dreams or desires were, they would become realities, life has taught us otherwise. For a few, those yesterday’s expectations manifested in later years but not without the hiccups along the way. For many, it’s making adjustments and even settling as adults. These realities remind us that childhood innocence should be protected and encouraged because those formative years are few, and within that time, personalities are formed, and emotional security becomes established. It’s upon that foundation that lives are built, which withstood life’s challenges. However, for those who didn’t get a start in their lives, challenges have a more serious impact to the point of severing what they hoped.

I am not certified by the school of psychology. However, I have lived and experienced on all fronts of the human experience lessons of life, which has equipt me to arrive at this conclusion, ” there are no straight lines to getting us to whatever we desire in life.” Within this scope of thinking and understanding, I attempted to engage through my writings not only to have something to say but hope what’s said has a reader with whom, better yet, a meeting of the mind. I truly believe this realm of interaction gives us a unique opportunity to narrow our differences that come about through misunderstanding or lack of communication. It’s interesting that when children get together, it doesn’t matter how the other child looks, sounds or dresses; they see a playmate, and they easily form a common bond erasing any apprehension exhibited upon meeting. My key thought here is knowing how little we are in control of how our lives are as they unfolded in those early years and later in life; that power is still unpredictable. Like children, if we look beyond the surface by allowing us to see the other, our realities could be more harmonious. Also, we would be benefactors and know this walk we are on it’s in God’s favor and mercies that we thrive. Therefore, be at peace and accept what cannot be changed, and have the humility to embrace the differences that surround us. There are no straight lines to the things of life; within its processes, characters are built, empowerment is realized, and we can only do our best. However, what can we do when our best isn’t good enough? There are those of us who are in this space and decided to live and let live. Peace!

In Acknowledgment of Teachers

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I was inspired to write about teachers due to the chronic teacher shortage. I must reiterate the magnitude of their input in a civilized society is irreplaceable and incomparable. I wrote this piece in May of this year, and here we are in August, faced nationwide with the dilemma of a critical shortage of teachers.

Factors that have threatened the profession have long been coming, and now that it is here, there has to be a constructive approach that benefits all involved. I hope this issue we face as parents, grandparents, and all members of society interested in seeing us advance through knowledge will become engaged and objectively find an answer to securing a way of life that benefits all through what teachers bring to us.

                                                                                                                     

Teachers! (Repost)

Tuesday, May rd, will be celebrated as Teachers Day. Teachers are a vital part of the advancement and productivity of societies. In conjunction with parents, they are the framers who shape the lives of children and adults in higher learning across all spectrums of life. On average, teachers wear several hats. They are responsible for imparting and educating children and adults to achieve efficiency in life’s skills. They also act as social workers, counselors, friends, protectors, and even surrogates, filling the gaps needed to ensure economic and societal feasibility for the advancement of all. Yes, emotionally vested teachers advance society and add to these dynamics of who we are as a whole by going beyond expectations or monetary rewards.

On a personal level, a teacher at my elementary school laid the foundation for me to believe I had a voice and could do whatever I set out to do. As an eight-year-old with a curiosity and thirst for self-expression through poetry and storytelling, I recalled being invisible as one of several children. However, it was a teacher that created the difference. This particular teacher, Mrs. Campbell, took an extra interest in me. I recall vividly Mrs. Campbell giving me colored construction papers and ribbon to create my first book of poetry. I cut the pieces of construction paper down to average book size and used the ribbon as a binder, holding the pages together. On presenting my finished work to her, she celebrated my efforts with an acknowledgment in front of my peers. I recalled how glowingly she spoke of me and encouraged my classmates to follow their dreams by starting where they were and using whatever was available. She discovered where my heart was at, and on moving to another grade, she gifted me a Bible; I was over the moon on receiving her gift. As young as I was, it was less about what she gave me and more about validating and letting me know someone not only saw me, they heard me, and that stayed with me to this day.

Putting a day aside to commemorate Teachers is wonderful, but it should go beyond a day and be every day and they should feel their worth and value through those they serve. Their due worth and respect are notable and invaluable, for society would be at a disadvantage beyond our comprehension without the contributions of teachers. Thanks to Teachers everywhere for your input and impact on securing communities globally; we appreciate what you do. Sadly for me, Mrs. Campbell is no longer with us, but I carry her in the warmth of my spirit. Thank you to teachers everywhere for the contribution you make!

Decisions, Decisions!

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My heartfelt belief is that by clearing out the landmines of the mind, a fertile ground for the best of what is possible becomes possible in what we decide. In the framework of God’s promises for us, the light of our souls awakens flurries of ideas that provide answers for which we searched. Thoughts colored by belief systems and life’s experiences shape our results. However, as mortals, we are susceptible to insecurities and frailties encoded by the powers that cause us to be. Some ideas can derail the primary objectives we aimed for, initiated by an internal battle sometimes rages in an attempt to change the trajectory in our favor. This comes about through an influx of ideas that comes at us without time to adequately process them. As engaging beings, we must make decisions about almost everything we do daily.

There are moments, especially ones of consequential decisions, that are never easy and can be difficult to make. However, our core beliefs built upon truth and faith in God makes it clearer through guidelines and principles grounded in scriptures. Sometimes those decisions are unpopular and even uncomfortable, but convictions and love formed into the semblance of Godliness will show the way! Knowing and having a source of direction with a proven track record by leadership ingrained in love, forgiveness, and acceptance, God becomes a no-brainer in what choices to make. The leveling field for most of us is our life’s stories. Those tainted by some of life’s misadventures add credibility and a common bond by having moved on. The unconditional love of God has given us the freedom of choice in every area of life; even the option not to acknowledge Him if we so choose it’s a decision. The lessons of the past provide basic insights as to what is best.

It is almost impossible not to see the value and worth in our choices when they come from a good place! However, the finite outcome in decisions is always to be mindful that every conclusion, even when it seems exclusive because it’s personal or collective, goes beyond self. How so? Show me a person who is completely independent of others. None of us are! We are codependent on one another; even to eat, someone grows the food. Therefore, decisions manifest into deeds; their outcomes become a part of life! Life has taught me the power of decisions, and some decisions can create graveyards of our lives, indirectly or directly. And they can leave headstones which are those constant reminders of where one messed up within memorials of those mistakes constantly pulling at us, and even making our lives becoming footnotes as not what to do, and worst yet fracturing it. Like others, I have some headstones as reminders, but I found peace knowing there is a God that loves beyond reasons and in and out of seasons. God loves us and wants the best for us all! The Lord laid this on my heart, and I had to share, and I pray that our decisions will serve us well going forward from this day and always. May this week be all that you hope for. Peace!!

A Portion!

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Today, my first instinct was to write on material wealth resulting in emotional poverty. However, as I sat to write “Proof of life,” written by Mrs. Sandra Jackson, that laid on my desk caught my attention and took me in another direction. This poem seems to leap out at me upon reading it.

A Portion!

Some people can tolerate ya

As long as you’re crawl’n

But not when you’re standing strong,

Upright and walk’n

That’s how you know

Your true friends and loved ones,

They rejoice in your best

Not just when they can out best ya

How many times have I thought

Someone has my back

Just to find out later, they’re tormented,

Cause of where I’m at

“Give a man or woman a fish

They eat for a day,”

For some, that’s no problem

Because of the power, they have in play

“Teach a man or woman to fish,”

Then in some, it generates fear

Cause what if they catch more fish than them?

The role reversal and despair

What a beautiful thing

When we can all live

With a portion of dignity

And that, willing to give

I can hear it now

“Respect has to be earned!”

But remember, God, bestowed it on all of us

When we didn’t deserve it at all.

I hope this week, with all your efforts, was one of satisfaction, and as you approach another weekend of rest or leisure, times spent will empower you. Stay blessed and be in the light. Light is necessary for seeing the way and knowing your worth. Peace!

Live, And Let Live!

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The wisdom of aging is that some of us come to a place where life takes on a more profound meaning that we hadn’t realized earlier. However, this isn’t true for everyone in the same age bracket; for some, it’s a perceptual state of being more of the same, only their physical appearance changes over time. The difference between the two is that although their approach and perception differ, that defining thread of circumstances creates similarity and familiarity between them through the aging process. Their susceptibility to health issues crosses every manmade barrier to affect both. It’s within that crossroads of those unknown that it benefits us to pause long enough to see that acceptance is a gift to ourselves and others. It alleviates wasted time and energy being critical of each other and putting up roadblocks to facilitate hindrances. No man can sin against another, none! Man can sin only against God. Once that known truth is received and accepted for what it is, relationships initiated will honor life. The reality becomes more evident in the processes of time and gets clearer as our steps slow down, our sight grows dim but expands our hearts to conclude. “Live and Let Live,” so harmony will prevail; our tomorrow is already decided by God. Peace!

Each Day Is A Gift!

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As images cascade through our minds of times and places we held dear, a deeper sense of purpose with directions becomes clearer as we look towards the future. Teachings from the Bible remind us, “Nothing just doesn’t happen!” Instead, every experience gained is a building block of something bigger and greater than oneself. And with time, a clearer understanding is achieved with direction, and what once was a puzzle is now understood. Here an awakening encouraged us in another chapter of our lives by showing us the way. 

 Each day is a gift, and that gift, at times, can be a challenge. However, this would be a hollow world without us in it. Therefore, let us remain aware of our role, place, and importance to the magical experience we know as life and living, as our dreams unfold and our impact makes the difference. Life would be without meaning if it were without you and me. So, there is always meaning in all of life’s occurrences. Once we can hold this truth like a banner as a reason to move forward, never lose hope, the motivation to believe, starting with believing in ourselves, “Nothing just doesn’t happen!” Whatever we think we are, we belong, which is why we are here in this vast experience with promises of a future. By believing in the possibilities yet to unfurl by the powers that cause us to be, the realization becomes apparent that the greatest change begins with us. When faith, purpose, and promises combine, their rippling effects form our footprints forever etched in time. I don’t know about you, but my hopes are that when my race is over, which it definitely will, there will be footprints that reflect a walk worth mentioning. Thanks for stopping by! Peace!

Bradley Beach, New Jersey. M. Delores

Points of Life!

There are periods in our lives having introspection about how we evolved throughout the years gives us an ah, ah moment. I call them ‘Points of life’ because those moments accumulatively create a total of who we are as individuals as they enlighten and empower us. As we go over each scenario, realizing the dynamics of their role and how they intersect our lives at different points gives us pause to analyze and actualize those events. However, although separate, each tangible imprint serves toward a bigger picture and unveils what we need to know in time, which provides us clarity. So, those “Points of Life” are events that link our functionality with presence in periods that help us advance, no matter if it seems inconsequential. They add direction with reason in our journey, and with patience, perseverance, and willingness to keep trying, those ‘Points of Life’ will serve us in the advent of time.

Masterpiece

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By

Sandra Jackson

Had to master my piece of life

Not anyone else’s, just mine, myself,

Oft we point our finger away from ourselves

When that finger is needed to repair, not denounce

Intricate issues I had to ponder

Like how I chose to worship my father,

Manmade beliefs had almost choked out

Joy I received from God at the start

Now hearing preaching is more like teaching

Not God’s direct voice through the one who is speaking,

Sure sometimes they can be heavenly inspired

But they’re also human, so verification is required

So many gray areas preached black and White

Opening up turmoil within one’s mind,

If the truth’s occupation is to make us free

Why does my offering determine if I get the key?

Love has to be life’s paintbrush

Not idiosyncrasies manmade and enforced,

Everyone telling me what life to lead

But without love, it’s just not a masterpiece!

Sandra Jackson is one of my favorite poets. She comes from a place of honesty without cowardice while practicing what she preaches. I met her several years ago at an event, and we stayed in touch via phone calls or text; meeting her left an impression that kept us engaged through the years. Sandra is like a ray of sunshine; her greatest gifts come from her heart. It’s important to acknowledge those like her; God knows they are our standards bearers. Thanks, Sandra, for your soul expression.

This Juncture of Understanding!

I am not simply faith driven; over my lifetime, I have seen how believing unfolds hidden desires in ways that leave me prostrate on the floor with gratitude to God. Let me fast forward; I’m a product of a culture steep in secrecy. Trained to believe everything that goes on in one’s life, no matter what, no one should know the truth because how others think of you should be colored by a narrative; even if false, that all’s well when your life is on fire. I am sure this isn’t uniquely my experience but that of countless others. We are all products of our environment.

I discredited that way of thinking several years ago after discovering that advancement revealed through scriptures led me to grow in the things of God. This revelation allows me to see through His eyes of love. On arriving at this juncture of understanding, it’s like a light goes on to show that real freedom can only be achieved where it matters most, and that is in our mind, the epicenter of our reasoning, and planning, where everything about perceptions and actions initiated. Therefore, arriving at that mile marker in life, “Change,” is like being unshackled from what could have seriously compromised my today. Complacency or indifference is far removed from embracing and harvesting the benefits that faith stirred through prayers and belief. I have found prayers, perseverance, and humility are powerful when aiming toward the things of God, which is our better self. I pray that whatever are your dreams or struggles, the God that handles mine will do the same for yours. So again, we approach another weekend with much to be grateful for, starting with being here still while many others aren’t. In our limitations, yet freedom to do as we choose, may we always aim for the light by first igniting the light in us. Sometimes, someone is awaiting us to show them the way; therefore, never minimize the importance of your input and influence. Enjoy and have a safe weekend. Thanks for stopping by. Peace!

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Stay Strong

The day yesterday started out sunny and hot, yet it was a beautiful day. By late afternoon, the clouds came in,  soon followed by thunder, and it began to rain as if the skies were wailing. As it rained in what seemed to be buckets, the wind picked up, and then it sounded like being pelted with peddles from the sky. I was frightened and concerned about structural damage to my home. Thank God there wasn’t any. That brief experience heightens my awareness with an acute sensitivity as to how fragile a state the world is in, and between nature’s wraths and man’s inhumanity to man, it’s time to pause. But, in halting, we might need to hit restart for the benefit of all of humanity. On seeing the devastation and losses of my neighbors in Kentucky caused by the floods and having experienced a short rain storm that shook me, I’m reminded that no one knows what the next hour holds, and neither do we about tomorrow. The people of Kentucky had no clue that their lives would become up-ended by such devastation. The authorities so far found thirty-seven bodies, and many are still unaccounted for due to several factors caused by the flood. However, one great thing about this country, and I speak as one who started the first twenty-two plus years of my life elsewhere, is that when it comes to citizens in crisis, Americans reach out and help with sincerity. So, as the people in the Appalachian mountains in Kentucky try pulling together whatever remains of their lives, I pray for strength and resilience, and may their future be better as they forge a new normal. Lives can never be replaced, but we can find courage for a better day. May your courage lightens your path. Stay strong!!