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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life's Intersections & U-Turns

Sometimes paths cross, sometimes they align.

From baby steps, to footsteps, to leaps and bounds, to stumbling and falling down, we are always forging paths of our own. Even though we might share the same household, community, school, workplace, organization and sports team, these periods of time amount to pauses when compared to all other time spent throughout lifetimes.

These pauses are similar to those we encounter at intersections. We are at the same place at the same time for those series of seconds, but then the light changes and we move on.

In life, those seconds our lives intersect can just as easily be months or years, but then life changes and we continue forging our path. Always at intersections some join and pursue similar paths while others leave. Sometimes we change. This is the whole point of intersections.

Perhaps we're meeting for the first time or once again. Which way are we headed now? Perhaps in this pausing we will share something for the next portion of our journeys.

I actually saw an 18-wheeler make a U-turn in a standard-sized intersection. The analogy is clear. No matter how big (old) we are, no matter how much weight (bad decision baggage) we carry, no matter how difficult (not the perfect time) it may seem, no matter how crazy it may look (others would advise against it), it's possible to make a U-turn on any portion of our path once we realize we need to change directions, in relationships, finances, jobs, health, habits, dream pursuit...

Spirituality: Completing The U-Turn
Starting With Seeds Of Resources And Becoming A Positive Force That Directs Change

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Dangerous Habit

Writing While Hungry

It is one week before autumn's calendar entry. She has already begun spritzing color and turning down temperatures.
The evenings are unusually silent. My sparrows have moved out. Their melodies missed. The robin family left much earlier after field days foraging in the backyard and literally outgrowing their space.
The grapes are peaking while the main garden is slowing. The August harvest explosion seems an understated event compared to the newly discovered smell of fresh peppers. It is the smell of molecules actively formulating flavor. The aroma yet another proof that this connection must never be broken. A pepper eaten by itself is a delight. The energy transforming.
The grapes are a bonus. The vine started from just a twig last year, bears mammoths compared to those from spring. Nature gives so much more than our efforts justify.
I cup the grapes gently like babies as I wash them. Spitting grape seeds at various angles is my kind of entertainment. There is no simpler pleasure other than skipping rocks in moving water, the soft sweetness of just pulled baby carrots and perhaps sausage cooked over a wood fire topped with some Sweet Baby Ray's, yellow peppers, tomatoes and cheese. I can already taste next summer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quotes & Proverbs To Live By

1. Fear and opportunity use the same window.
2. Feelings can only be hurt by your own thinking.
3. Winning is only possible when losing is possible.
4. Before children can achieve their own dreams, they must sleep in their own beds.
5. If artists starve, they don't do it alone.
6. The more time I use hiding things, the less time I use finding things.
7. Silence strengthens the status quo.
8. Money cannot change your standard of living.
9. Reinvent instead of lament.
10. Instead of looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, look for the light in the tunnel.
11. Losing can't exist in the same place as trying.
12. The only thing performed with 100% accuracy is waiting.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Parenting versus Overparenting

I was at my son's school for parent orientation. While some of the parents were in meetings, the children played outside. In front of the middle school is a narrow two-way street flanked by sidewalks. Leading up to the entrance is a thirty-foot, two-sided walkway, partially separated by a raised, but low, planting area. Some kids were standing in this yet to be planted, mulch covered area and sitting along its retaining wall. Several steps and a 10x20 foot landing area with railing are just outside the front doors.

Two children stayed on the landing. They appeared to be about eight and eleven years old. While the other fifty kids moved freely from the building to the landing to the steps to the walkway and to the sidewalk, those two children looked on longingly like puppies on a couch in the living room window.

The older child's friends asked her to come down the steps and join them and she said they couldn't. One friend replied, “Dang, your mama don't let y'all do nothing.”

It was kinda funny because I was thinking the same thing. It was sad because what those two children on lockdown felt and what the others with leeway recognized is something some parents don't. Children need room, more than homerooms and bedrooms. It is difficult for them to grow and move beyond what makes parents nervous or uncomfortable.

Learning, for children, is continuous. It is not confined to classrooms. Most of it takes place at home and in the neighborhood. Trying to have peace of mind by ensuring a child's complete safety at all times will restrict learning. Keeping our precious babies on leashes or caged in when we can't watch them might be okay for puppies but not children if we expect healthy development.

Overparenting hurts a child more than it helps. It puts them in danger of not being able to think for themselves. If children spoke as freely to their parents as they do to their friends, they'd probably say, “Back up off me Mama” or “Give me some room to breathe Baba.”