School Scandal? New…well?

These past few weeks, our news and twitter feeds have been inundated with the school scandal/entrance scam.  Parents going the “extra mile” to assure their child is guaranteed a seat in the most elite schools around the country.

This, my friend, is nothing NEW.

I think the most egregious detail is the “alleged fraud” that the parents engaged in to guarantee their child admittance into these elite schools.  Superimposing your child’s image on an athletic snapshot, or having someone else take their ACTs and SATs is just simply criminal!

Yet, this type of behavior has been going on for DECADES.

Our family experienced a very small taste of what power and privilege can guarantee you!  Our son was in third grade, and we wanted to switch him to another private elementary school that came highly recommended.  He tested, and we interviewed, but unfortunately, our family was denied admittance.  Our dear friend whose son attended this elementary school at the time asked how did we like the school, and we mentioned that our son was denied admission.  Well, less than 24 hours later, I get a call from the President of the school congratulating us and saying that a seat has been made available for our son!

I just about fell out.  

My husband and I decided that this was not the type of environment that we wanted our son to be a part of, and we declined the “seat.”

The hypocrisy behind this scandal is that we all have used some type of “influence” to get theatre tickets, dinner reservations, discounts of any kind.  

It’s all about who you know!

 It’s a conversation we must honestly address before we are quick to criticize the behavior of parents wanting their child to be given an unfair advantage.

We do it every day!!!  

We live seeking, desiring, and lusting after the “best” for our lives and our families.  We live coveting the “best” because we feel it validates our existence.  It gives us an identity of influence and importance. And honestly, we kinda enjoy it. We live thinking that if we have this education, drive this car, live in this certain neighborhood, wear these types of brands that we will BE better, we will be ACCEPTED!

The unfortunate part of this type of thinking is that our society rewards this type of behavior.  

THAT’S. THE. PROBLEM!

If we live this way, how do we expect our children to know any better?  When we begin to accept the beauty of who we are, where we are and start giving of ourselves and creating a space that is beneficial for everyone, THEN these type of “scandals” should truly upset us.

But until we learn to live in truth, with integrity, we can’t expect any more of our society.  It starts with us.

What do we place the most value on?

That is where your heart lives.

Lesson:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart (your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers) will be also. – Matthew 6:21 (Amplified Version)

-Annette Ortiz Mata

“If only…”

Are you content?

Do you feel – satisfied, pleased, gratified, fulfilled, happy, cheerful, glad; unworried, untroubled, at ease, at peace, tranquil, serene?

So you accomplish all your goals.  You check all your to-dos and sit back say..and then what?  Were you satisfied?  Did it meet all your expectations?  Did you get out of it all that it intended to be?

Sometimes we believe the grass is greener on the other side. That if only I had the bigger house, the fancy cars, the extra cash, the husband, the kids, the family.  We live with the expectation of “what ifs” and when we do get the “if only” we are surprised to find that it is not all that we expected it to be.  We are not as fulfilled as we want to be.  Why?

Well, I truly believe that it is our soul that needs the most tending to.  There is nothing in this earth that can satisfy our souls but contentment.  A spirit of thankfulness.  Recently I stated that I could only deal with what was before me “today.”  I could not worry about the items on my “to do” list for tomorrow. That I could only see what was right in front of me and honor it, love it, show up for it and bless it.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed and anxious.  Then I would suggest that your spirit is not aligned with what is best for you.  The God of the universe always has what is best for you.  We often run around like a hamster in a cage moving fast, getting nowhere.

I suggest as the year draws near, do something different. Expand your territory.  Host a dinner, go out to dinner with friends, see a play. Do something that would surprise yourself and those around you.  Extend your heart to others. It’s in those moments that your spirit will soar and you will feel contentment. Your “if only” and “what ifs” won’t matter because what is before you in the present is the most important.

Where can you show up, honor, love and be present?

Lesson:

Give thanks for where you are right now and you see all the blessings that will come as a result of your “spirit” being filled with gratitude.

“Til Tuesday

The Measure of a Man

We met 25 years ago.  I was broken, and he was whole.  We married and built a life together that was nothing but unconventional.

Through it all he is consistent.  

His character is consistent

His temper is consistent

His commitment to our family is consistent

When we met, I lived in New York City, and he lived in Los Angeles.  Many questioned our relationship, and it’s authenticity.  They were concerned that he could be lying to me, but I chose to believe him.  I chose to accept his word.

As we honored his father’s memory, I sat in agreement with every accolade bestowed upon Lyle.  It was not lip-service for the simple memorializing the man. You see I married the son he raised.

  I am the recipient of the measure of this man they were speaking of.

Love has a way of revealing who we are.  How we choose to love. Who we choose to love. What we choose to love. Lyle loved his family and serving and people.

Robert is not perfect.  We have had our moments of reckoning, but he has had the example of love. Choosing love.  Choosing God. Choosing his family.  Choosing me.

What is the measure of the man?  It’s often the reflection of the man or woman who raised him.  

Choose wisely how you live and who you live for.  Choose your friends wisely. Choose God. Choose love. It will reflect on everything you do.

I live with the beauty of the Measure of a Man that choose to love, and for that I am thankful. We all have the choice to be better whether we had the example of love or not. We must all return to love.

Lesson:

Look around you, what have you chosen. What have you embraced?  Who have you chosen to love? Remember to love the things that can love you back!

“Til Tuesday

Expectations…

A few weeks ago I received an email that kinda rattled my cage…
It made me say “wait…what? Excuse me?
Then I realized the person who wrote the email had an expectation of me that I never offered.
They expected me to react and respond to their request in a way that I never intended.
It made me think about expectations we place on people.
We expect folks to respond
We expect folks to react
We expect folks to honor our request
We expect folks to be respectful
We expect folks to be loyal
We expect folks to be truthful
We expect folks to be honest
We expect folks to be trustworthy
We expect folks to be kind
We expect folks to be generous
We expect folks to be on time
We expect folks to be empathetic
We expect folks to be giving
We expect folks to be polite
We expect folks to be loving
We expect folks to be forgiving
We expect folks to be thankful
We expect folks to be sincere
The list can go on and on…
But are we ANY of these
Do we show these attributes?
Do we share these attributes?
Are we always prepared to be and do these things?
Our expectations of others can be overbearing and overreaching.
How we interact with each other determines what we should expect from each other.

Lesson:

Expectations can set us up for disappointments.
Meet people where they are…

‘Til Tuesday

When will we learn…

This week my blog’s intention changed.  What I was going to write, I’ll share at another time.

My heart is heavy with all that is going on in our world, our country,  in our homes, and among friends.  I’ve noticed an incredibly bitter shift in our dialogue and how we express our differences of opinion.

 Not only is our climate (literally) changed towards chaos and disorder, but so has our conversation.  

When did we give ourselves permission to be rude towards one another…

When did we give ourselves permission to call each other names…

When did we decide that a difference of opinion concludes that one of us is wrong…

When did we decide who should live among us and who should stay…

When did we start to think that being a different ethnicity, race, culture, religion is something to fear…

When did we decide that character doesn’t count…

When did we decide that the commandment of “love one another” no longer applies…

When did we decide that lying is better than telling the truth just to win a point…

When did we decide that social media is the best platform to share our differences uncivilly…

When will we learn that respect, honor, integrity, truth, selflessness, and love is what will prevail?  These are the character traits that will unite us and move us forward.

Lesson –

Do we want to be happy or do we want to be right?  

There is a consequence in both.  You choose.

“Til Tuesday