Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tsunami Epiphany & Renewed Hope

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Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.

Arthur Rubinstein (1886 - 1982)

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Personal Message to You
In the last ezine edition I touched on the deep impact the Tsunami tragedy in South Asia has had. What I didn't mention was that I was at that time waiting for news on a good friend of mine. Someone I certainly regard as a "soul sista" (which has nothing to do with race or ethnicity) in the deepest and truest sense.

I knew she was going to Thailand for the holidays. I figured I'd give her a call around the end of January and if that failed I'd touch base by Valentine's Day. I never imagined that anything could happen that would keep us from catching up later.

You may be able to fathome my relief when I finally got an email last week letting me know my friend was safe. She had spent the days following the disaster volunteering with the Red Cross. I am proud of the quality of person that she is because she's learned to continuously strive to be better than the day before. The troubling situation prompted me to look closely at why I was convinced the world was a better place because she is in it, I thought of all the things I cherished about her, what I had learned about myself and our relationship.

When I was praying for her safe return home, I like many others, thought of all the things I might never get a chance to say. Primarily letting my friend know how wonderful I felt she was and how deeply knowing her had touched me.

When I got news that she was safe my response was a gushing communication saying what I suppose must have seemed too corny before. But after facing the reality that the chance to say it could be snatched away without warning...I simply warned her that she'd better brace herself for the onslaught of mushiness.

Here's a snippet of her reply:
oh Yvette, so nice of you. I'm here crying at the internet cafe while reading your email. Your prayers work spite of horrible disaster there are friends to go back to.

Don't wait until tragedy strikes to tell the people you care about how you feel or how wonderful they are. Hopefully, we've all had the experience of receiving kind words from someone at a time when you really needed to hear them. That can help get you through difficult times. It clearly helped my friend to know that her friends were waiting here to welcome her back home.

Challenging times make us reflect upon our faith and hope for humanity. When faith shapes our understanding of individual value, the sancity of love and life, we grow independently and collectively.

Remember to show the people you love that you really care.

All the best,

Moving On...

Recently the First Lady, Laura Bush, has drawn attention to the crisis facing our young men. It might surprise some that I think she makes a very important point. During my stint in community development consulting, I came to the same conclusion.

That is why I turned my attention more fully on reaching women. Women are most often the ones raising young boys ushering them into manhood. Sometimes they are mothers, at other times they may be grandmothers, or aunts...until the crisis women have been dramatically enduring is healed I fear more children will be deprived of the love, validation,stability, attention and guidance they require.

When I refer to enduring dramas note the statics on violence against women, increase in abortion/pregnancy termination - these kinds of trauma leave deep emotional scars. That is not to make a statement against a woman's right to choose which I do support. However, it is not a choice that is to be taken lightly. The availability of it, and perhaps it's reality, make it a very real contributor to the silent burden of shame where women are expected to handle the matter quietly on their own. More to the point I am making is the fact that women are dealing with the post-traumatic impact of feminism. Preoccupation with the sort of matters that prompted and informed my recent report "Dinner Scooped Off the Floor" reveal the need to look closely at the issue Mrs. Bush has chosen to focus on. Even more directly, how best to help young men. My answer remains, by helping the women that are raising them now or will be one day. One of the first steps in that process is integrating the skills associated with relationship management and valuation. Yes, I do mean even on a personal level. (Just click to get more information).

Looking at the impact my aunts that I saw on a regular basis had on my own life I do not discount the value these women have in their families lives. I know in my own case, I am my favorite aunts name-sake. I had seriously considered changing my name several years ago, and I elected not to for several reasons.

One of the primary ones was realizing it meant something to my aunt that I had been named after her. Perhap her feelings were influenced by the fact that she never married or had children. She, however, was for me an example and validation in the fact that a woman had value and merit on her own. She demonstrated in my young life that a woman didn't have to compromise her self worth for the sake of having a man or merely producing offspring.

Like the quote used to introduce this issue, she demonstrated success to me that was personal and defined by what life is...learning to accept what is beyond your control and exercise your freedom wherever you could find it. In my eyes, my aunt Yvette has chosen love that is true, real courage in facing what social mores dictate as her station and the wisdom to see the difference between reality and hopes. She consistently aspires to live up to the virtues she helped enstill in me. Although, I have been married for a number of years, her influence helped me understand the importance of partner selection.

It is because of the strength bequeathed to me by women such as her and my mother that I see women as central to the solutions. As a mother myself, who happens to have sons, I do see my role as vital in helping to shape the men of tomorrow by what I do today. This moves me to reach out to help you understand the lessons in your lives. If there are to be any answers found to your personal delimas, as aspects of a larger global drama, then those answers lie in the lives of individuals which includes women.

Recently to help increase the dissemenation of my articles I've begun submitting them to Ezine Articles. You'll find not only my self-improvement articles, but also my business articles as well.

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