Modeling

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“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

– Rosa Parks

There often comes a decision point in one’s life when we can choose to shift from being a passive element in the world, to a person who takes urgent, directed steps on a self chartered path.  The gift of this fork in the road is the unveiling of a journey toward the building of an ideology and purpose that can inform every step, every word, every action, and every decision in one’s life.  What do you think the world would be like if each person took on life in this way; conscious of the power in every decision and its effects on others? What if each person lived “their life as a model for others,” as Rosa Parks called all of humankind to do?  I wonder what we would choose to model.  What do you think? I encourage you to walk around with that this week and I would love to hear what you come up with in the comment section below.  Together, I believe, we can all inspire one another  through our growth, to bring more compassion and empathy to our communities and beyond.

Security Alert

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What is security? We all have a sense of it; we search for it, we enforce it, we expect it. But how do we know if we are truly “secure”? To what lengths will we go to try to ensure it?

These are questions I have been walking around with these past few weeks. As life goes by, my days are full with wonderful things, people and projects, yet I can’t help interfacing with this desperate need for security. I recently discovered that in some American states, children are being sent to school wearing bullet proof vests. I read news of migrant children; drowned, their little, empty bodies washed ashore as their families attempt to escape violence and find peace. It takes hours to clear airport security. Bigger alarms, bigger weapons, stronger borders – all created with the notion that we will be safer as an affect of their existence. We concern ourselves with our safety, on a daily basis… How sad it is that we have created this world.  What do we not see, or feel, that causes us to allow this to continue?

As our violent behaviours; our willingness to destroy, and our increased capacity to do so, escalates, our borders become stronger, our fear increases and our need for security skyrockets. How do we survive in a world where this is so? Do we make ourselves vulnerable to violence? Or do we barricade our houses, vest up our children and block our borders? I do not know the answer; but I know that over the course of my life, I have never seen an increase in man-made security create lasting, positive change. It may take a disaster beyond comprehension to cause us to recognise our humanity and put down our guns. It may never happen. But in the projects I dedicate my time to, and the people I support, I will always keep working to make this so.

How Do You Know A Mother?

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Yesterday was Mothers Day in America. In thinking of all the mothers I have known, I was inspired to consider what a mother represents..
A mother embodies all the qualities of love, care, nurture; what some might say are the innate qualities of a woman. A mother doesn”t necessarily have own children; perhaps she cares intently for her friends or community, perhaps she has people who rely on her for love and support. A mother builds wisdom, earned through years of guiding her young, of struggling and sacrificing for others, and seeing the effects of her actions. To be a mother is to love and uphold love in the world. A mother is responsible and committed. She knows what she represents and acts responsibly with the privilege she holds.
Today I celebrate and give tribute to all the mothers out there.

With love…
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
― Abraham Lincoln

A Master Craftsman

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“Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols” – John Calvin

There is something magnificent about craftsmanship. Taking a piece of material; using the mind to envision something not yet known, and creating it with ones bare hands.. An expression of self – what we as humans are capable of – that is tangible and ever lasting. When I appreciate a piece of art, a sculpture or any material thing; I am inspired to think of what it took to create it. How did it’s creator live? What drove them to create this? What did they stand for?

Imagine if we looked at every material thing that way… We often forget to notice how almost everything we touch is a result of someone else’s efforts. Everything we think about; a product of someone else’s mind. Would acknowledging that change the way you relate with the world? It does for me. If I consider every element of my life; even my being, as a gift granted to me, I am inspired to care more deeply, to act more nobly and choose more responsibly.

Resolve

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“Resolve, and thou art free. But breathe the air
Of mountains, and their unapproachable summits
Will lift thee to the level of themselves.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love this quote.. In life we are often taught that freedom comes from absence of responsibility, from happiness, sunshine and blue skies… We rarely consider the hardest times to be our freest, most joyful times. There are some challenges in life that seem beyond comprehension; in the moment we so wish they didn”t exist and plead with reality for anything but “this.” It is only recently that I realised that those are the moments to cherish, for those are the moments that we get to prove to ourselves how free we actually are. I thought that by making my life easier, I would find more happiness..But as I have caused my life to be increasingly challenging, I have found the true meaning of happiness and how to have peace with oneself. Consider something you avoid or a circumstance that you are trying to prevent from happening.. What if you let it happen? What if by making the choice to approach the “unapproachable summit,” you too could lift yourself beyond what you thought possible?

Commitment to Change

I was watching television last week and an interesting story caught my eye..

When you think of an issue like “sex trafficking” – which countries come to mind? I think of third world, poverty stricken places that are very different from my surroundings. I was shocked and saddened to realise this has grown into a worldwide problem. It seems we are either becoming more aware of how issues such as sex trafficking, drug trafficking and enslavement, are prevalent all over the world

The Caged Bird

I know why the caged bird sings

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

Recognising Essence

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The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows. – Audrey Hepburn

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem and personal satisfaction. – Margaret Thatcher

The women I have quoted embodied very different, but equally noble traits; – one great beauty and humanity; the other great character and leadership. Their lives revealed a glimpse of the diverse nature women hold. Imagine the kind of world we could live in if we embraced all aspects of a woman