Saturday, October 29, 2011

Be Amazing or Amazed...Not so hard...

Be Amazing or Amazed

It is not hard to do if we let it…

By Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney©11

I think we all have at one time or another thought that when it comes to being an amazing person that we have to do something that totally boggles our mind, some superhuman feat with an exceptional "wow" factor involved.

And of course doing that most of us know we may never be called upon to save a baby from a burning building or lifting a car off said baby or finding the cure for AIDS/cancer, homeliness, world hunger, a way to get people to know it is not smart starting school at 8am or getting Congress to stop fighting one another or putting people back to work.

Now it would be lovely if one or all of us can or will find a way for the above.

I would not be mad at you if you did... 

However there are lots of little tiny things we can do each day or at least once a week if we choose to do so. Like:

Eating healthy at least 1 meal a day.

Taking money from buying one more outfit we really don’t need and helping someone buy a school book, pay a utility bill, put gas in their car or bus fare…

Smile at a stranger...

Let someone have the parking space even if we were first.

Clear out our closets/drawers cabinets & garage & give it directly to a family in need without a question, expectation or praise.

Even if it’s on TV not say a negative word about someone else even if we think they deserve it because we know they'll never know we said anything negative...

Better yet cast the thought immediately out of our minds immediately.

Learn & stop acting like reality shows or real

Stop cursing for a day

Not enjoy someone else's' misfortune even if it is someone we do not care for.

Get joy from our accomplishments, not from demeaning another’s.

Don’t put your feet on the back of the chairs in the movies even if someone is not sitting there.

Walk away from the entrance of a store if you’re smoking so others do not have to inhale your exhale.

Really stop texting while driving, putting on makeup, eating change clothes while driving.

Or you don’t have to drop it like it’s hot or sell your body or soul for approval.

A setback can lead us to a better place—if we just let it.~Unknown

And don’t think you may not have days when you have a setback. It is a chance to dig even deeper into yourself if you’re up to it. We are indeed flawed people, so screw ups are inevitable.

Recently, in fact just a few days ago I came to learn my nemesis; a woman who has seemingly gone out of her way for over 17 years of giving me grief seemed to be in distress.

Understand I've only stepped in her home one time in 17 years; she's been in mind once & was forced to come. Never did her anything, ever except grief. Many of her jabs were unkind, some were more benign; in one case she unknowingly could have cost me my life. I'm not exaggerating.

Too long to go into; just take my word at it.

But when I hear she was having some serious health issues and then running into her the very next day & for the 1st time she actually paid me a compliment as well as being kind to 2 other people she has disliked longer then I, something told me something was wrong. It appeared almost like she was trying to right real or imagines wrongs.

I could not sleep thinking of her and the next day took it upon myself to call.

There was no way to say it but to say it giving her the option if she did not want to talk about it with me because of our past history, I simply told her she had been on my mind noticed the rapid weight loss and the suffering on her face a few days prior, I simply offered my help such as it was if she ever needed it.

She spoke of in fits & starts, some of the health challenges she's been dealing with but it was clear the way she was talking that she was unsure of going into more considering the fact we had never been the best of acquaintances let along friends albeit that the distance was one-sided.

But I just let her know I cared & I thought of her, right at the close right before I hung up, she thanked me for calling. It was not the words but the tone that let me know she did indeed appreciate my calling.

No I was not Mother Theresa, I knew & had known for almost 2 decades the level of nastiness, cattiness & sometimes downright cruel things she (who had no clue I knew) had done as she often would stir others to do much of her dirty work, there was no reason for any of it.

It came down to a matter of envy, sadly.

I had learned of her horrific childhood that no doubt shattered her heart & that of her siblings. So though she projected it on me, it had never been about me.

However, I would be lying to say there were days when I wanted to rip her lips off because of the actions (I didn't). I kept my distance as much as humanely possible, sometime it was unavoidable but most time I was successful in keeping our contact at a minimum.

I think in some ways I was more disappointed in the ones who were all too eager to be her accomplices or others who had no backbone to stand up to her so it was more of go along to get along as some we mutually knew were more afraid for her to turn her wrath on them, they passively went along with her although not necessarily agreeing with her.

But I had reached a point in my life that this saying rang clear & true:

I suspect she is far more ill then she is letting on to me & maybe she in the midst of trying to make amends as she has actual said more then one kind words to me lately. Her pride may never allow her to say I'm sorry.

That's ok as I really don't need it.

I am more pleased with myself that I've reached a point in my life not to have regrets, to know I've not retaliated against her although many a day I stood strong & held my ground when needed. Otherwise we would not have this little window, a room where she could open a door & step in to do the right thing.

So I'm relieved.

So while I probably won't save a baby from a burning building, or lift a car off said baby or find the cure for AIDS/cancer/world hunger/homelessness, a way to get people to know it is not smart starting school at 8am or getting Congress to stop fighting one another or putting people back to work.

Maybe just maybe, I've help a person to be able to have her heart a little lighter knowing that I would be there if she needed me to be.

That's amazing.

Now if we can only get Congress to do the right thing.

All rights Reserved JHM10-29-11©

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Turn the Beat Around

It was an interesting morning following a most interesting weekend.

Miranda Wu,photographer, Hong Kong

For a moment it threatened to become a foul day behind one small sentence a nasty little comment from someone whom I've never met, will probably never meet about something they were misinformed about.

Actually there were two but the 1st one wasn't directed at me but to someone who had been widowed recently on top of a tumultuous year filled with illness, unexpected deaths from 2 close family members one being her husband, a serous car accident, loss of income & loss of her home.

The ne'er-de-wells attentions were not pure morals of the highest order. They were just being nosey and wanted to see how far she had "fallen" so they could in a pitiful way feel better. It didn't serve a purpose, their actions, for them other then a momentary feeling of smugness that was fleeting & not substantial as they have to do this often to feed the beast, the one of their own inadequacy.

They keep feeding the beast who is now grotesquely obese but malnourished so nothing ever comes out of this.

Then within an hour I had received an "accidental"email where the person was making a snide comment about me to someone else & then sent it to me apparently in a BCC,I could not tell you it was accidental or purposeful as it does not change the content.

First thing is, folks who do things like this, if you're going to do something like that, be sure to check before you hit enter otherwise it could backfire on you.

What purpose was it to serve? How does it enhance you? Was a good purpose served?

In rapid succession I was puzzled, hurt, then angry and was building up a head of steam until that lightening bolt moment when I thought: Turn the Beat Around!

I responded back to said person acknowledging that perhaps the email was sent in error and as a professional i could not imagine anyone deliberately sending such a thing but agreed with them that in part some of what they said was true: it was indeed "too bad" but it was too bad for them not for me.

I have no desire & wouldn't do business it anyone who could be that shabby & tacky nor was I in the business to beg them to do me a a favor. In fact, I thought utilizing me would have been a good thing, not a bad one. If the BCC was sent to me in "error" which I construe as an accident on purpose, the contents remained the same.

I could have wasted far more valuable time & energy on someone anyone would did not deem me worthy enough trying to explain away why they were wrong or I could turn the beat around that just because they felt that way it had any merit of truth to it.

Not everything or everybody will jibe.  The world does not ordain that. 
The world today, however,  seems to thrive on if you let it infect you, of becoming increasingly mean spirited, heartless, deriving pleasure from what appears to be another's way that may be different from theirs.

 Once upon a time popular consensus would be that such behavior is morally wrong.  Now you get a book deal, a TV show or an unearned "status" raking in tens of thousands of dollars from what is by any standard cruel or selfish behavior.

And we're told to suck it up... to enjoy, emulate and adding insult to injury pay for it!

 In my case, though, this had nothing to do with me suffering this was about a mutually beneficial event for the parties involved. And someone decided to be mean and not even adult enough to talk to you but as cowards can do, go around it but doing it anyway.

In the scheme of things this is a minor thing & will long be forgotten.  It is just for today it mattered but more from the standpoint of learning to turn something around.  Someones opinion is not necessarily an indictment, simply their opinion and the sun did not let up for one more of its brightness because of it.

Artists go through this all the time, it comes unfortunately with the territory. I've said this many times if YOU do not see your work or you as the best thing since the invention of Kool-aid, why or how would you expect anyone to believe in your worth or in what you present.

There will always be someone around who wants to ride on the beat-down train, but you do not have to be a paid passenger!

It was good for me how rapidly I went from being hurt to oh well it is your loss. To date the person neither has responded by email or phone and doubt seriously if I will be as the song goes "You lose a good thing"...©11
Miranda Wu, watercolorist, Hong Kong

Going global... interesting tidbits

THE POPULATION OF THE WORLD IS EXPECTED TO HIT 7 BILLION on October 31, according to the United Nations population division. That is up from 2.5 billion in 1950. To put 7 billion people in perspective, see if you can correctly answer the following question.

"Chickie, Chickie Baby" Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney

If 7 billion people stood shoulder to shoulder, which of the following geographic areas is the smallest that could accommodate them?

A) Zanzibar (about 650 square miles)

B) Maui (about 727 square miles)

C) Rhode Island (about 1,033 square miles)

D) Sicily (about 9,925 square miles)

E) Cuba (about 42,845 square miles)

F) New Zealand (about 103,733 square miles)

The answer -- in a moment.

Here are some interesting facts regarding the rate of growth of the population.

It took:

250,000 years for the world to reach a population of 1 billion (hit in 1804)

a. 123 years for the next billion (2 billion in 1927)

b. 33 years to reach the next billion (3 billion in 1960)

c. 14 years to reach the next billion (4 billion in 1974)

d. 13 years to reach the next billion (5 billion in 1987)

e. 12 years to reach the next billion (6 billion in 1999)

Sources: The Economist; United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2000 Revision, Volume III: Analytical Report

And, the growth continues, we are projected to hit 9.3 billion by 2050.

For decades, experts have argued over whether or not our planet can handle this growth. What is not up for debate, though, is the fact that a growing population will affect the demand for goods and services. Food, of course, is high on the list.

The World Bank says, Between 2005 and 2055 agricultural productivity will have to increase by two-thirds to keep pace with rising population and changing diets. Okay, this is interesting, but why should we pay attention to this type of information?

As financial advisors, we want to monitor trends that could impact the demand for goods and services, which, in turn, may suggest areas ripe (no pun intended!) for investment. By keeping a finger on the pulse of long-term trends -- like the rising world population -- we might get an early read on investment opportunities.

Getting back to the population/geography question, The Economist says the answer is (A) Zanzibar. Does 650 square miles to hold everyone surprise you?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Lipstick: Given Homage to how life can work sometimes...

Red Lipstick: Given Homage to how life can work sometimes...

"Let your past make you better, Not bitter"~ Unknown

Jonathon Green,artist

Today would have been my 1st born son Donovan Perri's 40th BD had he lived. He died @ 2 1/2mos from what we now know as SIDS.

Tomorrow would have been my third born son Joshua Marion-Roi's 35th BD had he lived. He drowned tragically in my landlord pool.

There is this thing called anniversary grief that those who have lost a love one can well attest to. Time does not heal wounds. What it can give you is time...

You change and you see things perhaps from a different perspective as you move through the tide of time. Everything must change... nothing stays the same including how or which way you grieve.

When I was a young mother at the time of both their deaths age 21 at the time of Donovan's death and 31 at the time of Joshua's I wasn't sure if I could ever breathe properly. In fact at age 21 that year was a fog once I was told about Donovan. I was alone. Even at his funeral it was only me, my 2 daughters, the baby sitter at his services. I went through motions and it took a year before I could breathe properly.

Donovan was what people would have called a "good" baby quiet & easy to care for. He was a beautiful baby and was very close in personality to his older sister Andrea.

Then Joshua came into my heart.

I went into labor on would have been Donovan's 4th BD. I prayed that I would not give birth on that day naively, feverishly thinking somehow that would have meant I could keep him.

Well it didn't although I "kept" him in essence for 7 years. Joshua was indeed born on a Sunday Morn which in essence why this song by Angela Bofill entitled "Rainbow Child, (Little Pas) that she wrote ironically in 1979 2 years before Joshua's death when she experience the tragic death of her nephew.

Almost a decade later, I choreographed a dance based on this song & danced  beautifully by my daughter Trishaa in homage to her brothers.

Somehow I made a pact with myself that their lives would not be in vain. It wasn't a conscious pact not much different then my praying that Joshua would not be born on Donovan's BD, but the pact was there. Through the subsequent years I held up that pact; other years failed miserably. But I kept on getting up.

So here I am 40 years later still vertical, still caring still falling and yet even moreso getting up. In a small sense of irony, the day before the anniversary of Joshua's drowning I have a exhibition opening reception on Nov 11th. Joshua's ashes were flown out to sea on Nov 22nd which with even more irony would have been my wedding anniversary if the marriage lasted. My former husband and I separated for the last time a few months after he died.

There was no resurrection, that ship had sailed.
But I was still here!

I'm still here.

It also was for those who would remember the date of the assassination of John F. Kennedy so it would be near impossible for me to "forget" as if I would really want that to be.

Since I had more time with Joshua I can tell you how apropos this song was. He more then Donovan was remarkably like me in personality. Joshua was like cayenne pepper, adventuresome, bold, curious, imaginative a heart as big as all outdoors.

He was bold, funny highly intelligent for someone so young. And I do not say that through the scrim of time and grief. He was a special kid well like & popular even when he would drive you crazy with his high energy living. And lived he did.

Loved Star Wars, water was strong like the fictional character from the Flintstones Bamm Bamm.

So ones would know this does not take away from my living children as tey have all grown into beautiful, responsible, capable caring human beings who in their own individual ways are making their mark on the world.  I simply wished that my sons also had the same opportunities.

This morning I got up not necessarily feeling down more of a there were a couple of matters that needed to be said to some people that I had not said a few months ago as I wisely thought to give it time and would come back to revisit.

I revisited...

It wasn't a telling you off kind of visitation, more of this is where things are at & I get why it happened but now I simply want an adjustment & we will be "adjusted".

I had adjusted so this was really the epilogue.

Life can work itself out if we allow it and get out of the way of ourselves given time. So I put on my red lipstick and got out of the way.

So today I pay homage to my sons & continue to function well as one can be with whatever life and living issues. I can be bold, fearless, adventuresome, funny and have a big heart as large as all outdoors. AND I can also be quiet, easy going and good as circumstances can allow. I continue to revisit my ownself, making adjustments corrections caring for things not cared for, hoping that ones will bear with me as this is indeed a work in progress.

Know full well again that everything must change.

And we can.

We do...
We must, whether we want it to or not...

Life will continue to work.

Jonathon Green, artist

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could"...~- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer