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Archive for the ‘giving’ Category

I know people who are struggling, people who have cut back in every conceivable way to save money just to stay afloat.  I also know people who are living very comfortably in nice homes, with fancy vehicles, going out to eat regularily and have no worries when it comes to bills or their health.  The world definately has classes of people who are in the haves and the have nots.  There is also a large population of people who are somewhere in the middle.  The thing is…we all have things that we could share.  Blessings come in many packages.

Everyone of us has gifts, talents, finances, possessions, strengths, knowledge or time that we could share with others.  What I love to celebrate and learn about are those who share those blessings with others without thought or expectation of getting something back from that experience of sharing.

Our society is going through some amazingly challenging times…people are struggling.  We need to be aware of others around us who are in need…those who could use a little pick me up.  It could be a kind word, a nice deed, financial gift, or it could be a sharing of knowledge that could bring a positive change to another.   There is a spiritual attitude that I love, it says this: “Those to whom much is given, much is expected in return”.  I call that an attitude of gratitude; being thankful for all that you have been blessed with and a willingness to share it with others!   I challenge you to find some way to bless others in your daily life.   Consider this a compassionate call to action…what can you give to others with no strings attached?

I have moved my site to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more blog posts!

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     Isn’t it sad to see someone who was once considered beautiful, sexy, popular and much sought after turned into an empty shell?  In other words a hottie turned into a nottie?  One of the big misconceptions that the media portrays on men and women is that all you have to do to be successful is to be attractive, popular and available.  If a person falls into that trap and doesn’t develop some deeper qualities and values in life…eventually, the emptiness turns a person into a sad, shell of a person who seeks attention in the only way they know how; displaying what they consider to be their only value…their body.

        You see this all of the time in the world of celebrities…but everyday people often fall into that trap as well.  Beauty, youth, and popularity all pass away in time…what’s left is the spirit, the mind, and their purpose in life.  If those aren’t developed along the way…the search for meaning is sometimes mis-directed onto meaningless relationships, trendy pseudo-religions, drugs/alcohol abuse, and endless dramatic attempts to seek attention. 

         As a society we need to devalue the attention that the media puts on empty pursuits by public role models.  We need to encourage those sports figures, politicians, and celebrities who are doing positive…purposeful things in life.  Quite giving time and attention to those who are living on the edge and doing nothing more with the gifts in their lives than pursuing selfish and destructive behaviors.  In raising our children, we need to develop character building, self esteem, and goals of reaching out to others. 

          We do this by teaching them to discover how to connect to others, give back to those who are less fortunate in life, teach them spiritual fulfillment, and to value their bodies by encouraging modesty and healthy self- esteem building techniques. 

           I dont like seeing young guys or gals flaunting their bodies or their finances to gain attention; I like it even less when i see a 40-60 year old who talks, acts, spends, and dresses like a teenager…because that is the only way they know to attract members of the opposite sex.   Let’s encourage an attitude of growth, respect, confidence, and personal development as a way of life!

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     If you were traveling through a poverty striken area and you had a baby of your own that you were still nursing…could you walk away from a hungry newborn baby that had nothing to eat?  Actress Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian mission…she nursed an African newborn who was starving because his mother could not produce milk for her child.  Salma was moved to feed that child.  She talked about his eyes lighting up as he began to feel the nutrition flow into his body.  She was moved in her heart to feed him; because i believe that a nursing mother can’t ignore a hungry baby that is crying out in his/her need;  that is called basic human compassion.  Still, you would think that we all had that in abundance; but, not always so, some would run the other way as quickly as they could go.

       This moment was captured on film by the news crew of  “Nightline”  who were along on the trip for Unicef , to promote the importance of tetanus vaccines.   Unicef and Pampers have a campaign called 1 Pack=1Vaccine; Salma is a spokeswoman for Pampers.  www.unicefusa.org or www.pampers.com/unicef 

         I love the message of what Salma did; purely from the standpoint of, if you see a need fill it.  Salma still is breastfeeding her own child who is approximately 1 year old.  She understands the importance of, the nutritional value as well as the bonding value of, breastfeeding. 

         Surely there will be those individuals who will criticize her for what she did.  There will be naysayers who will bring up the issue of aids and to the  possible exposure to her health or that of her own child.  They will say that she did this as a publicity stunt, or for the attention.  Some will say in the larger scheme of things…did that one feeding make a difference; will it save the life of that child.   I believe it made a difference.  I believe an African woman saw an American woman with heart.  I believe a baby felt fulfillment, comfort, and love.  I pray that the mother and child received more help.  A world saw a desperate moment and an act of love.

          I say, she was in the moment.  She saw a child in need; she felt the despair of a mother who could not provide for her child the most basic necessity in life at that time for her child; she did what she was able to do.  I love that she didn’t think twice.  Those who have been blessed in life and find themselves around others in need have a responsibility to share.  I respect Salma for doing it so very naturally.  There are so many in need around the world…what can you do to make a difference?

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     Ok, ready for some more, I can’t believe it…what were they thinking kind of blog post?  It is better to give than to receive (as long as you are going to KEEP receiving bailout money).  Outrageous news reports of an alledged 12 day trip to Vegas for the top employees for Wells Fargo & Company. 

     In the past years, this has been an alleged tradition of all expenses paid which included many different extravagant perks such as helicopter rides, private concerts, food and entertainment…etc.  While companies are made to look good to their employees by giving away so much; to the rest of us…the companies who do this kind of thing are making a mockery out of the purpose of the bailout money for those companies who have been failing to be financially responsible. 

        How can these corporations, banks and such that have been receiving bailout money from taxpayers still be so blind?  Can they not understand the depths of the resentment of the American people for this financial chaos that we have all been plunged into?  Surely, if these behaviors continue…they will go out of business and deservedly so. 

        The thing is…today’s news of the 12 day planned trip was defended by the company…until there was an uproar and they cancelled the trip.   If that is what it takes, to prevent further financial misuse of the bailout funds, negative peer pressure and pressure from the media, to change their behaviors; then, we are just going to have to be more vocal when we are made aware of an abuse of the American’s financial investment in their companies.

          Let the other industry leaders be forewarned…American tax payers are fed up with the mess that has been made.  I think those at the top of the companies that have received bailout money should be legally responsible for any misuse of those funds.  Let’s see some accountability here by our leaders!

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     Do you ever wonder what your personal responsibilities are?  I mean, most people understand that they must work, take care of their children, nuture their personal relationships, and pay their bills; what else is there?  Being a responsible person is a way of life; are you required to take care of others outside the close personal limits of your immediate family?  Who and what are you responsible for?  Are there limits to your responsibilty legally, physically, spiritually, emotionally or morally? 

      Have you ever heard the saying, “Are you your brother’s keeper”?  Human beings are complex creatures.  We have layers of self, one upon the other…each with their own wants and needs.  For those who are spiritual seekers of truth; there are teachings which encourage us to reach beyond the demands of our own personal flesh-n- blood, wants and needs.  My road map is the Bible.  Everything i need to know to be a successful and fulfilled person is included in that instruction manual.

       God wants us to follow his leading; we are to grow and learn how to praise him and serve others.  This is not always convienent in today’s society,  according to the world’s values. That attitude of becoming a servant requires a bit of sacrifice on our part.  Many people run from their own responsibilities and refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to reach out to others.   And there are others who do not consider themselves spiritual beings who still manage to be service minded…realizing that there is value to connecting with and recognizing need in others. 

      Understand, I am not talking about enabling others to continue to be irresponsible…but instead, teaching and inspiring others to take up the challenge of  meeting their own obligations when they are able.   To do that, they must be inspired, they must have knowledge, skills, opportunities and funding…once that happens, they too can become a servant to pass it on to others.

        Responsibility is something that we must strive for.  When everything is going smoothly…it is because we have acknowledged our responsibilities and have submitted ourselves to the service of God. 

        God says that we are to take care of the widows and the children; we are to befriend the poor.  When we see suffering in the world and we have the ability, the skill, the opportunity to help ,then we must consider it a priviledge and a responsibility to do so.  What are you willing to do for those around you?  Do you know someone who has a need? Can you listen when someone needs to talk, can you spend time with someone who is lonely, are you capable of performing a chore that someone else cant do and needs done? 

      There are so many ways to be of service to another fellow human being…it is simply a matter of being aware and observing those around you and being willing to be helpful.  People in need are all around us…it will change your life to see the world through the eye and heart of a servant of God.

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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       Got a call for a prayer request today for a young woman, recently married, who is 5 weeks pregnant and having severe pains.  Of course that is never good when you are expecting.  In the last several months, we have known several women who are expecting who were in the same situation.  Their pregnancies were in jeparody. 

         My own daughter has been in that situation twice now.  It is a fearful thing to have to be on bedrest….trying to buy more time for the child in the womb…just to get them to a safe time in the pregnancy to be born.   God is the giver of life…and he is the protector of life.  We dont know the mind of God regarding these things.  But, it is a miracle that from the time that the mother is aware of the life inside her…she has the ability to bond with that child; sight unseen.   Why are some children conceived and are miscarried or lost shortly after birth?  I don’t know.  Why are some people allowed to carrying a child to term only to abandon it or abuse it?  I don’t know.  Why is it that some people who desperately want a child are denied the opportunity due to infertility issues?  I don’t know.  Why are so many babies lost to abortion?  I don’t know.  Why are some children unwanted?  I don’t know. 

         I have pondered the mysteries of such issues when my husband and I lost two pregnancies ourselves.  Those are questions that we just don’t know the answers to at this time.   All I know is that God loves us and wants the best for us.  I pray for this young woman and her child…I know the fear and anxiety.  I also know that she wants to bring this child into the world.   Let’s hope that she gets to greet this child at his/her moment of birth and is able to give thanks to the giver of life!

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