They Have Each Other!

This time of the year in Florida, it rains almost daily, and at times it feels as if the heavens are going to open up with the lighting, thunder, and rain that falls like rushing water over a cliff. Unfortunately, depending on where you are, you will experience some flooding, and late yesterday was no different. In anticipation of another day of rain, I went about getting some errands done early in the day and experienced another one of those moments that felt like a jolt that shook me to the core. It made me straighten up in my seat as I stared straight ahead in disbelief; “Oh God, but for your mercies, there go I,” I uttered aloud in the car, waiting at the stop light. At first, I saw the bottom of his booths, and on closer observation, I noticed an arm across his waist, and likewise, his arms embraced the red pile against the length of his frame in which his head was hidden from sight.

It was a couple asleep on the wet, cold sidewalk beneath some trees as their shelter. I am not ignorant of the homeless people around me, but seeing this couple on the cold sidewalk, asleep as traffic rushes by as if the world is oblivious of their presence. It felt like a gut punch. I’m not sure why I had such a visceral reaction. Only God knows what brought them to this. I pray that someone with the resource will show them how to get back on their feet before the day ends. I’m sure some people have fallen through the cracks, while others suffer from mental health issues, which must be difficult for all involved. However, none should become an excuse for them not having the help needed. I looked around to find a parking spot to get to them, but the intersection was busy and without nearby parking. Therefore, I drove away as all the other drivers did, and it wasn’t the first time that I saw people living out in the elements, but this one did something to me that made me want to get off the sidelines to become a part of the solution. I guess maybe with getting closer to the end of life, with my yesterdays in the rear-view mirror as reminders of days already spent. Life should be more than what it brings in personal gratification; it has to be in honor of all of life. One impactful lesson I got as I drove away, they didn’t have the security or comfort of a place to call home, but they had each other even in their homelessness. Some yearned to have someone there for them, no matter what life brings, and it was obvious they had each other. This couple’s obvious affection on the sidewalk for each other is what the Romeos and Juliets’ of this world aspired to, having someone there even under the most adverse conditions in life, and they have each other. Again, I was reminded there are lessons around us in all of life. Even those that make one steel themselves to hold it together on observation; this was another of those moments.

Falling Into Place!

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Things usually fall apart before they fall into place. Therefore, breathe a sigh of relief at what seems normal but is known to be abnormal as we walk away. A case in point is interacting or engaging with what bleeds the substance of our beings, attempting to short-circuit our potential or derail God’s promises of our lives. That should be seen as a distraction and handled with avoidance at all costs.

The story of Ruth, a Moabite woman taken from the book of Ruth in the bible is an example of perseverance and the favor of God. What stood out the most about this woman who grew up worshipping a statue as her god and had taken part in killings as sacrifices to that god? She had no other point of reference to what the truth was. Therefore she believed and adhered to those beliefs wholeheartedly. Like her, some of us operate from a place of what we believed is true. Which has delayed our best life yet. For Ruth, fate intervened, and she fell in love with a man of God who led her to accept that the statue was not a god, and in what amounts to her epiphany, things began to fall away within her evolution, starting with losing the man she grew to love who led to the truth. As a result, there arose an unset of heartaches that she couldn’t have imagined in that awakening. By her embracing truth and rejecting a false God, she became hunted, which led to her being abused, but she never wavered from her newfound belief and did what she must and remained on that path of truth, even if it meant working in fields so as not to starve; she did what she had to.

What also struck me about Ruth, was the embodiment of the heart and hope of many of us! When she realized she was operating from a place of deficiency starting with her ignorance, she did something about it. She accepted the errors of her past and didn’t hide from them. When those pasts came at her, threatening her survival, she stood and faced the aftermath in faith. She could have lied whenever confronted about her past. However, she spoke the truth, and not only did God favor her by bringing love again into her life, but she also married in wealth and became a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ through her offspring. Her story taught me the importance of not becoming unraveled, and what one must go through to arrive at God’s intended purpose for our lives lies on the horizon of time within His Providence. Therefore, never lose focus while moving towards getting to the goal post of life, whatever they may be, as we go through challenges; because God holds the key.

I wish you all a safe and fulfilled week! Peace!

In Celebration of You!

Friendships formed in encounters based on mutual respect, shared values, and commonalities give cause for celebration, and this is where you come in, Lorna. I’m a benefactor of true friendship which you brought. So I take this time to honor you, my friend. Lorna and I met over thirty-three years ago at an event in New York. We have watched the evolution of our family and us throughout the years. We laughed and cried together, and the dimension and influence of our friendship in the framework of unconditional love and support stood unshaken. Lorna, you will forever be my friend. 

We met on a late summer’s evening in 1989 at a variety showcase in Brooklyn, New York, where I was part of its production. The atmosphere filled with anticipation of the evening’s pending event, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.; excitement was all around us. Quality and punctuality were necessary for the planned event, which made each moment intense as it got closer to Showtime. Then, while delegating the evening’s program, I heard a familiar voice yelling my name from the rear of the room. I turned to see and saw a familiar face; it was a mutual family friend, and he wasn’t alone. 

“How are you?” I called out to him from where I stood.

There was a beautiful woman next to him who I had never met. Her smile made her eyes sparkle as her eyes and mine met. It was obvious she, too, felt the electricity in the room. She seemed close to his age and unsure of their relationship; I assumed she was also a family friend of his.

 “Yes, how are you? I see you’ve got company!”  I yelled across the room, redirecting my focus to the woman he was with, then quickly turned my focus away towards where the models were preparing behind a thick curtain for their privacy.

“Where are you, Ladies? We have only fifteen minutes before show time. I want to make sure we all are on the same page! Each of you has one and a half minutes on stage to show your piece. You must be ready to change into the next outfit for the next presentation quickly! It would be best if you were quick about it!”  I stated firmly.

“Marjorie!?” Again, he called out to me.

“I know it’s a bad time for you, but there is someone I would like you to meet after the show!”

“Ok!” I agreed, briefly glancing in their direction as I added the finishing touches, ensuring that things went as planned. I was also the MC for the evening. I swiftly walked away with a quick farewell, assuming my position on stage.

That initial meeting led to a friendship based on admiration and mutual respect for these many years. In addition, Lorna’s exposure to three different cultures throughout her early years of residing in three countries has given her an approach of authenticity that is refreshing and heartwarming, a byproduct of social assimilation through those varied experiences across those continents.

 Lorna exudes charm, thoughtfulness, compassion, loyalty, and warmth that could only come from that place of love. She is willing and ready to be of service whenever needed, especially to those who are often overlooked or marginalized.

 These qualities make her endearing to those she meets. Lorna is a woman of faith with inherent goodness. A ready willingness to serve others, without personal gains or a hidden agenda but for the greater good of those she aims to help!

One of the fascinating things about her is although she lost her mother in infancy and shortly after her father, you would never be able to tell she grew up an orphan by her well-rounded personality. The challenges of those early years have given her an unusual depth of kindness; everyone she meets wants to be her friend. Her children and grandchildren are the highlights of her life. On this special month, I wish you, my friend, continued support, blessings, and love in our sisterhood. I love you, and thanks for being a part of my life; you help make the difference and will forever be a part of my story as I am of yours. Enjoy your day when it comes!

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In Light of This Reality!

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In light of this reality, I’ve heard it said, you are what you eat. Therefore, if one indulges in consuming non-nutritional foods, poor health and obesity usually occur. Equal emphasis should be placed on behaviors resulting from thoughts that some refer to as unhealthy thinking. Negative behaviors resulting from those thoughts can have devastating outcomes. Behaviors that cause angst with infiltration of the worst instincts, ones considered indefensible, should be of concern! That way of thinking darkens the soul and erases one’s joy. A joy that arouses the best the heart could dream of with the hope that life could be good, especially when efforts are extended that assures it.

The size of one’s waist versus one’s behavior is miles apart. One can be threatening, while the other can easily be remedied, leading to good health. However, on the other hand, behavior spills over into negative responses beyond one’s self, and like burning, embers could destroy a city. This mindset cannot be easily changed like someone’s diet. How we see ourselves and others in the scheme of life can trigger reactions resulting in negative outcomes depending on where we are coming from. However, if the value in each other can be identified starting with how we came to be, starting with the fact someone carried us for nine months with anticipation and hopes that our lives would reflect the best of them in the advent of time, the value begins there.

I found it perplexing how easy it can be to become swept up in the mundane or frivolous and lose sight of what’s at stake, life, yours and mine! There are laws of God, Nature, and Men, but the laws of God take precedence over all of life, Nature, and Men. This is proven every day in light of the reality of our lives. Whatever we decide in tone or kind, the conveyer of those circumstances keeps us ever aware of our fragilities and on our toes. The awesome beauty and yet ferociousness nature unleashes at intervals are a sliver of real power, which are out of our control. Almost daily, God shows us who really is in charge. The importance of being in sync with life is a downpayment on our tomorrow, and success or failure depends on our approach. The choice is with us! Life in its sum intersects at points that intrigue, frightens, and inspire; the scriptures of the Bible bear knowledge, witness, and evidence of that. Therefore, if one allows personal weaknesses to become the driving force, morphing into harmful behaviors devoid of accountability, irrespective of who gets harmed, none are immune, not even the instigator.

We were meant to dwell together, not necessarily in the same settings but on earth, verified through God by Him ensuring that man wouldn’t be alone, therefore giving him a companion. Everything comes from God through men to men. Yes, God uses men to bless men. So, whatever we ingest or consume only affects or benefits us individually. However, when our behavior breathes toxicity, its adverse effect ripples through lives beyond ours. And just like walking in the rain alongside others without umbrellas, everyone will feel the aftermath of being wet, and some might even become ill. Therefore, whatever is decided in our exchanges, the conveyer of life, and time, keep scoreboards. There are usually no winners in the final analogies because we are in this together. We are in this life walk together; even if unaware, each life depends on another despite socioeconomic and the structural norms that guide us. This is why the good book warns us to use wisdom in all we do because the one who sometimes gets hurt the most was unintended. Peace!

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