Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tragedy ~ A to Z Challenge

My A to Z Challenge. 
What I'm doing: OFF the CUFF ~ Basically, I'll be keeping posts short and writing about whatever moves me~themes, inspirations, causes, and silliness. I'll stick to my normal posting of Mondays & Wednesdays (possibly an occasional other day), highlighting the appropriate letter for said day. But I will visit blogs throughout the week. I am looking forward to reading your words!

Our human hearts have limited view. And in times such as the death of a young person, we can only see the senselessness of loss. We're unable to find reason in the tragic event. And it is tragic. There's loss, fear, and bewilderment. We need to find an explanation. Yet, if we look hard enough, we can take such pain and give it purpose. A greater good is hidden in just about every negative in life.Whether personally, as a nation, or on a world scale, giving purpose to suffering also gives it meaning. This can spread to positive motivations and change, transforming a devastating and senseless loss into a human memorial for goodness.

The most common thing to do when death calls a young person much too early is to ask why. Over the past five years, I've attended funerals for far too many young people. And by young I'm referring to such ages as 21, 22, 15, 22, & 27. Initially, each cut deep. Being so short, their lives felt like a waste. They couldn't have been finished here, yet. For those left behind, answers were needed. But slowly, over time, close friends, family, and even mere acquaintances were moved to reflect upon their own lives, search for meaning and--yes--purpose. And most realized that, although these lives were short in the view of time, they'd lived and left behind something for us to learn. Their time was not wasted, and the memories they've left live on, continuing to inspire, nurture, and even make us laugh.

Look at what Ryan Fischer--high school senior, straight A student, amazing athlete with offers to West Point and the Naval Academy--has done here after his death, beyond his physical state. It's worth the watch.

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What's your thoughts on how we view tragedies? 
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Monday, April 21, 2014

OH, The Travels My Motherhood Reading Has Gone ~ A to Z Challenge

My A to Z Challenge. 
What I'm doing: OFF the CUFF ~ Basically, I'll be keeping posts short and writing about whatever moves me~themes, inspirations, causes, and silliness. I'll stick to my normal posting of Mondays & Wednesdays (possibly an occasional other day), highlighting the appropriate letter for said day. But I will visit blogs throughout the week. I am looking forward to reading your words!

READING: A SHERISM

For those who are already Alleywalkers, this is old news. So I'll address this introduction to our newbies or visitors: I'm the mother of four children--current ages of 20, 17, 15, & 10. Each developed the skill of reading in a different way. Needless to say, I've had my share of hands on experience when it comes to reading with children and getting them to read. 

So I decided to share with you my Sherisms aka personal experience/advice for reading with children. My wisdom is not scientifically based. It hasn't undergone some litmus test, either. The chart I've created below is from my motherly experiences and mine alone. I do, however, believe it's quite accurate and could apply to many. 

PLEASE CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE SO YOU CAN READ

I designed this chart using Scrapple. As promised, I'm working on a post describing the programs uses - COMING SOON ...

If you have children or work with them, can you relate to one of my five titles above? 
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NEGATIVITY ~ A to Z Challenge

My A to Z Challenge. 
What I'm doing: OFF the CUFF ~ Basically, I'll be keeping posts short and writing about whatever moves me~themes, inspirations, causes, and silliness. I'll stick to my normal posting of Mondays & Wednesdays (possibly an occasional other day), highlighting the appropriate letter for said day. But I will visit blogs throughout the week. I am looking forward to reading your words!

Negativity
IMAGE CREDIT

Imagine your perfect evening. It could be with family or friends or both. You could even be alone or with new acquaintances you've met at a business meeting or writer's conference. 

Snow could gather you on a ski mountain or maybe you're all on a sandy beach somewhere in the Caribbean. A walk in your neighborhood, where you smile and wave at those who live around you, would do, too.

And then, your grouchy Aunt from up north shows up, her chains of complains and eye for the imperfect clanking behind her; she's even spatting at those. What happens to your perfect evening? Are you the sort of person to get eaten up by such negativity, or can you laugh it off? 

Despite what elements of life we encounter, WE are ALWAYS the driving force of our reactions. No one makes you negative. It's all in how you choose to absorb an encounter. Our ACTIVE perception of life around us, in us, and through us belongs to us. I'm not saying Auntie North is easy to deal with. Heck no. But how are you going to choose to let her influence you, your attitude, your mood? 

Concentrating on what we have will ALWAYS prosper us. Focusing on what we've yet to gain or achieve is like pouring steaming, sticky tar in our paths. It will only create more potholes and delay our growth. 
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