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Posts Tagged ‘values’

I have spent a great portion of my life allowing others to make my decisions for me.  When I was a child, I did everything according to what my parents dictated.  As I grew older, the peer pressure kicked in and off and running I went with the pack.  Then it was in the work place where I acquiesced to all of the rules and regulations of the office.  And at the same time, my social life was governed by all of the usual ways of meeting and getting to know others.  That was until I started to see that all of the tried and true methods of existing with others didn’t work for me.

The first thing that I had decided to tackle was religion.  I had been raised to believe that God was someone/something to fear.  This worked for all of the time that I was under the thumb of my parents and religious studies but once I was on my own, I started to question this premise.  That wasn’t my God – my God loved me and helped me and I was made in his image.  Ding, ding, ding!  So what everyone else had told me was true was not my truth. 

That wasn’t the end by a long shot.  As I moved through the work place, I worked very hard and was able to work my way up through the ranks in a segment of government dealing with taxation.  When I reached the top position that I could attain without a political appointment, I knew that it was time to move on but that did not happen until I learned another very important lesson.  There were rumors going around that said that the only way that I could have achieved what I had was because I was “sleeping” with someone higher executive.  I was having a really hard time dealing with that and I chose to discuss it with my dad.  His response to me was that at the end of the day, I had to answer to myself and if I wasn’t doing anything wrong, then it didn’t really matter what anyone had to say.  Now that was something that fitted with my thinking.

Well, I guess I still hadn’t learned my lesson because the next big event in my life was my marriage to a controlling and abusive man to whom I gave my power for 10 years.  It took me that long to understand that I did not deserve the abuse that I was receiving and that all of the things that I was told that were wrong with me just weren’t true.  I believe that that was my true turning point.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I still do ask for people’s opinions especially when I need to make a decision in an area where I don’t have any expertise.  But, I will take that information and do my own research and if something doesn’t make sense to me or doesn’t feel right, I will not stop until I can reach a decision that feels like the right thing for me.  This has ruffled more than a few feathers along the way but if my relationship with another person has to be based upon what that person thinks about me, it won’t take long until we part ways.

So to anyone who comes my way in this lifetime, I don’t care what you think about me.  I will appreciate you for exactly who and what you are and I expect the same in return.  I will support you in any decisions that you make and I will accept nothing less in return.  And should you choose to talk negatively about me or do things that are harmful to me, I will not do anything in retribution but will quietly remove myself from your sphere, knowing that what goes around comes around and you can set up any karma for yourself that you choose.

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I have recently been chatting online with a very inspiring woman who wrote to me the following sentences in her second post – We’ve got to bring love & joy to this life, and pass it on to others! All we can do is encourage others with positive ness – we ARE Survivors, and now we need to be there for the others that are in our OLD torn up shoes.” Little did I know that these words were being shared from a mother of two who has multiple sclerosis who spends her days (including weekends) doing surveys in order to make extra money for her family.  Her messages are always filled with upbeat words of gratitude for her life and what she has and a willingness to help others.

This reminded me of a recent post that I saw from a woman who was arguing that we should be giving money and benefits to those who are here illegally and never worked a single day in their lives in this country.  She feels that not to do so is being racists and imperialistic.  She believes that everyone is entitled to these things even if they are able-bodied because this is the United States. I did respond to her and would like to share that post with you now.

For as long as I can remember, I have had to work for everything that I have.  When I was young, I got shipped off to my aunt and uncle’s place for the summer.  They had an orchard and I was the one who had to pick the strawberries and raspberries, etc. because the migrant workers wouldn’t do it.  They only wanted to pick the fruit off of the trees.  They were provided with housing, food and wages.  I had a bedroom in which to stay but after I got done picking berries in the morning that went to the market to be sold, I had to do all of the ‘backbreaking” housework, too.  I received no money and if I were fortunate, my aunt would make me some popcorn as a treat in the evening.

From the time I was 12, I worked for a neighbor doing bookkeeping until I was 16 and started working every day after school, Monday and Friday nights, Saturdays and full-time in the summer in order to make money to go to college.  I did this throughout my college years as well and the summer after I graduated from college, before I started teaching in the fall, I worked in a book factory with no air conditioning in 100 degree weather and often times at 100% humidity gluing covers on to books that would be shipped to schools and libraries.  Believe me, the smell of that glue was nauseating. 

I have worked every year of my life to this day and have been paying into the Social Security system for all of that time and I know that there is a really good chance that there won’t be enough money to collect from those contributions when I get to retirement age.  Therefore, I am not really enthusiastic about money being paid out to those who have never contributed a single dime.  I have had to pay for my own health insurance or go without it when I couldn’t afford it, as has been the case on several occasions.  I worked for a company that had a government contract and the government did not pay the wages to which I was entitled.  That was for 8 months until they bankrupted the company for which I was working.  Therefore, I am not really very excited with the government handing out money to those who haven’t earned it.

I have never owned a home because I did not want to make a commitment to an obligation that I might not be able to meet.  I have never owned a new car or fancy clothes or purchased a bunch of “things”. 

 Maybe you can get the picture that my unwillingness to share my hard earned money with those who are here illegally has nothing to do with being  “racists”  or “imperialistic” but it does come down to taking personal responsibility for myself as does my husband who also works for what we have.  I was taught to work for what I wanted/needed and to help others who did the same thing who may have fallen on hard times.  That is a set of values that mean everything to me and I am so glad that I was taught that we are not entitled to the fruits of the labors of other people.

 

 

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more about “No Free Government Handouts“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

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Respect

Many years ago when I started teaching school, I was troubled by the fact that the many students were misbehaving and doing whatever they wanted both within and outside of the classroom.  Furthermore, whenever the behavior got out of control to the point where the parents were called in, I found that the parents defended their children and were usually rather abusive toward the teachers and held the teachers responsible for not being able to control the classroom.  After 3 years of seeing this problem escalate, I decided that the classroom was not where I wanted to spend the rest of my working life.  However, I did learn something that explained what was happening and why there was no way that the teachers were going to be effective in the classroom in such an atmosphere.

 

I knew that when I was growing up that if I had done anything to cause a problem in school, I would be disciplined there, my parents would be informed and I would be punished when I got home as well.  The discipline resulted not from fear but rather from having been taught respect.  We were taught how to behave, how to present ourselves when we were in public and how to treat each other.  Those fundamentals served us well at that time and throughout our lives in each and every situation in which we found ourselves.  And my parents always worked in tandem and enforced whatever punishment they chose to hand out.

 

As a result, we respected our parents.  We were taught how to behave.  We were treated fairly and the teaching applied to each of us three children equally.  We were fortunate to have two parents in the home who believed that their children were their primary responsibility and did monitor us and our behavior pretty much at all times.  We were given rules and regulations to follow which continued into our adult years as long as we lived under their roof.  And to this day, I am most grateful for the structure that we were provided.

 

What I figured out was that if we were taught to respect our parents, this automatically filtered on down the line.  We respected our siblings, other family members, teachers and all authority figures and from there, we respected property.  We learned the value of a dollar and it was explained to us that we simply could not and would not receive everything that we wanted.  Financially, it was not possible and we understood that.

 

By the time I started teaching, I realized that the students that were causing problems were those whose parents had no time for them.  In the majority of the cases, the parents were busy chasing the almighty dollar and never had time for their children.  That meant that the instruction and guidance that we had received was not available to these kids.  The emphasis had switched to parents believing that they were successful if they could accumulate lots of stuff and they dealt with their children by handing them money to get them out of the house and out of their hair. 

 

The value of the dollar was more important than the value of a person.  If a child is constantly pushed aside, he/she soon learns that they are not as important as mom and dad making money.  In many cases, the parents tell the children that they wouldn’t have to work so hard if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to feed and clothe them and keep a roof over their heads.  And when you are constantly ignored and told to go away because you are a bother and that you are the cause of the discontent in your parents’ life, you have no respect for yourself.  And a person with no respect is a life that has been ruined.  I can’t think of anything that is sadder.  Most children who are treated this way will never recover in their entire lifetime and will tend to raise their families in the same way.  But if each of us learns to treat each other with respect and dignity, we can teach by example that there is a better way and perhaps, by chance, we can make a real difference.   

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