The U.S. Armed Forces has played a significant role in my life and has influenced it greatly. I was raised in a small town that is centered around a naval base; many people live in this area because of the base. I was raised by a man who served in the Marines, the Army and then retired from the Navy, and later retired as a civilian employee working for the Navy/Department of Defense. My paternal grandfather retired from the Air Force, and my dad spent some time in the Navy. I was married to someone for 11 years, and he was in the Army. I worked for the Army as a civilian employee. The military has always been a major part of my life, so I understand that the service members and families deal with a lot of military family specific issues. I hold the utmost honor and respect for these men, women and children due to that reason.
I would like to say thank you to the many sacrifices that our armed service members and their families make daily. Memorial Day is our federal holiday in the U.S. for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. The price of life is the greatest thing a person can give. To the armed service members and also their families: I SALUTE YOU. (Salute: to pay respect to or honor by some formal act, as by raising the right hand to the side of the headgear; to express respect or praise for; honor, commend. Dictionary.com). Thank you for all that you do, paying the price to serve and protect our country. God bless you.
There was a time in life when men went out and worked outside of the home and were the sole providers for their families. Meanwhile, the women stayed home and took care of the children. As things have changed over time many households consist of two working parents, and many children are growing up in single parent homes. In some cultures extended family live in or near the home and help assist with needs of the children, which is extremely helpful. But that is not always the case. Even if extended family is assisting with childrearing, that does not mean the responsibility of the parents is minimal or no longer is exists. If most of our time is spent at work providing, who is raising our children?
Children spend many of their waking hours in day care or at school, and I have noticed that there seems to be this myth or expectation that the school is responsible for more than education. These days we expect the school system to train them, teach them manners, mentor, counsel and babysit our children. We expect schools to do all of that and instill moral and ethical principles, and that is unrealistic. That is not the responsibility of the schools, but it is the parents' job. Schools were set up to academically educate our children.
Are the television, Internet and video games raising your children? Do you allow your child to spend countless hours in front of the television, playing video games, on social media or playing games through apps on his or her phone? We see that many youth do not know how to interact in regular face-to-face conversations with adults. And many expect to answers to be given to them and have a hard time thinking and processing things. For the most part, those electronic gadgets do not stimulant the brain or help with human interaction. It causes a disconnect. All over the television, children are disrespectful towards adults and people in position of authority. So are we surprised when many of today’s children speak in a rude manner but are really clueless about the fact that they are being that way? Sometimes parents find it much easier to let the children in front of television or other devices, but the long term effects are not always the best.
Are the neighbors raising your children? Or are their friends' parents raising your children? Or are your children raising themselves???Are you so exhausted at the end of the day when you get home from work that you just allow your children to do whatever they want? You can't get upset with the schools, the television and everyone else when you see negative behavior. First of all, we need to ask ourselves, what are we really teaching our children? How we training them, according to our own actions? They learn more by what they see, not just what we tell them.
Expecting the schools, the churches, the boys and girls clubs and other programs to teach your children what you should be teaching them is unrealistic and irresponsible. It's much easier to pass the responsibility onto others. Parenting wasn't made to be easy. We are talking about another person's life, shaping them into someone of integrity, good character, hard-working and prepared with all the right tools to succeed in life.
Don't get me wrong, there are teachers who go above and beyond which end up making a positive impact on children's lives. There are grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members who assist in raising our children. There are ministers, coaches, tutors and many other community members that add to the lives of our children. The African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child," and I have found this to be very true. However, those people being in our children's lives should complement the upbringing of our children, not take away our responsibilities.
We desire to give our children everything we did not have. We want them to be happy. It is also our job to teach them to be responsible, and one major way we can do that is by being responsible ourselves. Prepare them for life. Hold them accountable for their actions. Teach them to hold a respectful conversation with an adult. Teach them to be on time and to be people of their word. Those little things are the things that prepare them to get jobs and keep jobs. Do more than just provide for them. Actively love them. Be present in the lives of your children. Be engaged in what they are involved in. Just as when you love any other person, take interest in what interests them. Get to really know them. Talk to them. But also listen. It's not just a task and a responsibility, but it is an honor. Train them –by showing them with your actions, not just by saying it. Our children are our biggest and best investment. Do your part, and raise your children.
Lately I have been hearing the word unity and the messages of support all around me. It is unfortunate that it often takes a negative event, or series of them, to cause people to start rallying for unity and support. When this does happen, however the circumstances come about, eyes are opened and action can be taken. As individuals we can accomplish some things, but a group can accomplish more work faster. The truth is we are a stronger force when we are united.
When it comes to unity are you trying to jump on the bandwagon? Or do you really participate in the movement? Do you want it but are unsure how to be a part of it? Unity means the state of being one; oneness; absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character; oneness of mind feeling, etc., as among a number of persons, concord, harmony or agreement (dictionary.com). How can we unite when are all so different? Although we are unique, we have some things that bring us together and connect us. It could be children, a love for sports, working in the same workplace, having similar likes and interests, knowing some of the same people, shopping in the same places or eating at the same restaurants, and the list goes on. If nothing else, we all would like to feel safe, be at peace and desire opportunities to prosper. If we would communicate with each other – not just talk, but also listen – we would find that we are more alike than different.
As for support…many of us have projects that we work on or things that we are passionate about, but I have found that so many people desire support but do not desire or know how to give support. When we support each other, that does not mean you're coming out to help me with what I am doing, but I don’t ever support what you is a priority in your life. Support can come in many different forms. It could be your physical presence and attendance. If you cannot be there, it can also possibly be financial support. And if you cannot do either of those, sharing the event or project can be a big source of support. Sometimes that kind of support can be worth more than the first two examples. However, if you can do all 3 things that is a display optimal support that would greatly benefit the receiving party.
We don’t have to go out and do something major and public in order to unite. We don’t have to be at every event or meeting to show support. We can begin with the little things. We can make a decision and choose to stand together. We can humble ourselves and realize if nothing else, we live all live here. We can stand firm in the idea that this is our community, and every single person that lives here is a part of it and contributes something. We can decide to respect each other. We can show support by lifting up what our neighbor is doing instead of criticizing what they are doing and sowing toxic seeds by talking bad about it to everyone else. We can start by hoping the other person does well, just as we would want people to wish us well on our endeavors. Start with the little things, and they will grow into bigger things. If we can unite and support one another in our community - our families, our schools, our businesses - all will benefit from it.
Love conquers all. Love is blind. Love isn't supposed to hurt. I love Mexican food! I love that song! I love you! Love is one of those words that is loosely used by many. But what is love? Is love different for different people? When I think about love, there are a few things that initially come to mind. The first thought that comes to mind are the people that I love more than anything else, and it brings feelings to me that make me smile. That makes me question: is love a feeling? Is that a form of love? One thing that I often say is: It's LOVE that drives me. Love is the motivating force of most of my actions in my life. The reason that I do what I do for my family is because I love them. The reason I invest in people and in my community is because of love. And for me, that confirms that love is an action.
However, over time I have also learned that there are different types of love. There is that friendship type of love. There is that lustful type of infatuation that some people consider love. And then there is agape love; the love that is unconditional. That love remains, despite circumstances changing. That is the best form of love because that is love that you can count on no matter what. According to dictionary.com, love is a profoundly tender, passionate warm affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent child, or friend; a sexual passion or desire. According to the book, The Secret, love is the highest frequency. When we think and speak in love, it will draw and manifest positive things into our lives a lot faster.
The Five Love Languages (by Dr. Gary Chapman) was a book that opened my eyes to the fact that we all communicate love differently. And in order to show a person love, you must give him/her love the way that he/she receives it (not the way that you desire to receive it). In my opinion, people can only love to their own capacity. Some people do not have a lot of love in them, but they love with what they have. That may not be enough for the other party. And some people are overflowing with love - they love easily, share love easily and those that they love can surely feel it. Of course, you can never go wrong having too much love.
Everyone enjoys the feeling of being loved. And since we enjoy receiving good love, we should also be looking to give good love to others. It is something we should all work on - daily. We should desire to grow in love. If there were more love in the world, we wouldn't see as much violence and hate. Hate and love just don't mix. At the end of the day, my thoughts are love wants you to be your best. Love is not selfish. Love wants what's best for you no matter what. Love is a great thing!
How is your love walk? Are you doing a good job loving those dear to your heart? Do you communicate love in a way that is well received? Do those you love know that you love them? Remember, love is not just a word, but is in an action.