Please and thank you. Simple words. Powerful words. Kind words. Words of manner. Words that seem to have been lost. When I was growing up, I was instructed to use my manners. I was instructed to say please, to say thank you. Today, I rarely hear anyone, young or old, use please and thank you. Why? As a teacher, I am appalled at how often I don’t hear my students using please and thank you in their speech. Sometimes, I am blown away when a student of mine doesn’t even know what using your manners means. I believe the loss of these words, please and thank you, are a direct reflection on the entitled culture we live in. It is also a direct reflection of the arrogant culture we live in. So many people, young and old, have this idea that they have it all together, and have it all figured out. They get what they want, when they want, how they want. Using your manners, please and thank you specifically, is an indication of humility, kindness, and respect. When someone is entitled, arrogant, and disrespectful, their speech will reflect this. Even though I grew up learning to use my manners, I am far from perfect. At times in my life, I have failed to use my manners to the fullest. At times in my life, I have been the entitled, arrogant, and disrespectful individual. But now as an adult, a teacher, and having the burning desire deep with my soul to be someone to follow, I have been focusing lately on using my manners, please and thank you as much as possible. I find using my manners especially valuable when interacting, speaking, and asking my student to do or not to do something. I am finding when my speech is full of please and thank you, I have greater self-control and a stronger hold on my emotions. These are very important when you are a teacher, parent, or coach. Please and thank you. There is always room for improvement, growth, and maturity, no matter your educational background, age, or financial status. Let’s stay focused on the little things. The simple things. Let’s start small. Let’s start with our words. Let’s start with please and thank you. Let’s see where this will take us.
You never know the impact you may have on the life of a child. A rightly spoken word or a timely action, could literally, alter a child’s life. As we shift from adolescent to adult, as the years go by, most of us tend to lose the innocence, the beauty, and the purity of childhood. We tend to lose sight of the most important things, the most valuable things in life. A lot of us, lose sight of reality, the older we get. We forget childhood. We forget innocence. We forget the beauty. We forget the purity, of youth. We forget the dreams of yesteryear. We become negative, hurried, busied, stressed, and frustrated adults. People who live life going through the motions, because that’s what we “have” to do. Take a step back with me. Take a look back with me. Remember. Reflect. Step back to your younger years. Look back to who you were. Remember the excitement, the anticipation, the joy, of a life as a child. Reflect on your childhood dreams. So innocent. So beautiful. So pure. AMAZING. You are still that child. The innocence, beauty, and purity still exist, no matter what you have gone through, no matter how hurt you have been, no matter what you have suffered. You are still a child. There is still excitement. Still anticipation. There is still joy deep within your soul. Your dreams are still available. Attainable. You never know, until you try. You never know, until you take that step of faith. You never know, who you could be. You never know, how much you matter to the children around you. YOU MATTER. God has bestowed gifts, talents, and abilities to you. You are loved! The kids, the youth, the children in your life, they want you. They need you. They are starving for your love, affection, and attention. YOU MATTER. THEY MATTER. Let love flow. Let kindness flow. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Accessible. Real. Allow yourself to dream, once again. Allow yourself to feel, once again. Allow yourself to matter, once again. Allow yourself to be a child, once again. Extend your hand to the hurting. The hurting child, children, in your life. Be a servant. A servant to the least of these. Boldly. Relentlessly. Fearlessly. Allow your life to be transformed by a child. Allow your life to transform a child. Be strong. Be open. Be an example. Be someone to follow. Today, tomorrow, and until you have breathed your last. Live life fully. Live life for the children. For the next generation. Be the reason. The reason a child has hope for a brighter tomorrow. You never know…….
Time and again, I have found myself surrounded by people. People who are negative, lazy, and who live in absolute contrast to the way I live. Being surrounded by these individuals sucks. But I have learned, and am learning, that through these individuals, I can gain knowledge. I can gain knowledge about others. What makes them tick. What makes them react. What makes them respond. What makes them angry. What seems to motivate them to be who they are. What causes them to take the easy road. I can gain knowledge about myself. How to control my feelings, my emotions, my responses, my reactions. I can gain knowledge about how to lead, how to encourage, and how to challenge others. I can gain knowledge about how I want to live my life. When you are constantly surrounded by people who are opposite of you, it truly can be draining. Mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. I get it. I understand it. But it is our choice in terms of how we are going to handle these negative people, these negative situations. We can allow these people and situations to effect us negatively or positively. We can have a fixed mindset, or we can choose to have a growth mindset. I personally, refuse to allow others to project their stupidity upon me. I refuse to allow another person’s negative energy, to alter my positive path I am walking down. I get to choose who I am going to be today. I get to choose what I will become tomorrow. No one chooses for me. No one’s negativity, laziness, or their way of living is going to hold me back. People are people. They are going to live how they are going to live. I am going to live the way I am going to live. I want to learn. I want to grow. I want to mature. I want to get better. I want to be a great leader. A great example. I want to be youthful in heart, passion, and service. I want to be an individual to follow. I want to help those who cannot help themselves. I am going to be, and become who God created me to be. Live life with a mindset of learning. Wherever you find yourself today, whatever situation you may be in, whoever is in your life at this point, positive or negative, be open to learning! Learn, apply, grow!
Remove yourself from your feelings and emotions. Step outside of yourself in order to think, see, and hear clearly. Too often, we are lost in ourselves. Lost in our feelings, emotions, anxieties, fears, and sorrows. Too often, we can’t get past the inner self, in order to accomplish the tasks to reach our full potential. We need to detach. We need to learn to detach. We need to learn to let go. We need to understand that mistakes, mishaps, and failure are all a part of the life process. Never to be avoided, but mistakes, mishaps, and failure should be expected, accepted, and learned from. You are not perfect. You will never be perfect in this life. Perfection and the pursuit of, is myth. Unattainable. Do not strive for perfection. Rather, strive for growth. Strive for maturity. Strive to become a better you, TODAY!
There are a lot of fake people in this world. Fake in what they say, fake in what they do, and fake in how they portray themselves. It’s pathetic. People are trying to be something or someone in order to gain some kind of recognition. In order to gain some sort of financial backing. In order to gain some passing glory. People mask themselves behind whatever they think may provide the gain that they are looking for. People will do whatever it takes in order to elevate themselves above everyone else, even if it means they have to become fake to do so. The gain in this life is all temporal. Remember that. Whatever gain you accrue in this life, eventually, it will all be left behind. Our time on this earth is but for a short period. Are you really going to spend your time being fake, in order to gain that which is temporary? Are you really going to waste your energy, efforts, and gifts on being fake? People need to wake up. People need to realize they can get away with being fake for a time, but in the end, when you live a lie, the truth emerges. Quit being fake. Quit trying to put on a front. Quit wasting time. Quit wasting your life. Quit following the crowd. Get over yourself. Step out from behind the mask. Step out from the shadows. Step into the light. Be the individual you know you should be. Be the man. Be the woman. Be the person that is about others, and not yourself. Be real. Be genuine. Be strong. Be bold. Live your life, not someone else’s.
This is what is inside of me right now. Deep within. Deep within my soul, my spirit, my inner man. It’s brewing. It’s burning. It’s been brewing. It’s been burning. I can’t ignore it. I don’t want to ignore it. I know it is who I am. I know it is what I am. I know this is how I am to live my life. I know this is the path I am to take. I have to wait patiently. I have to wait for the right time. I have to allow life to unfold. The burning inside of me is to live as lowly, simply, and minimally as possible. To physically train as a man possessed. And finally, to help in whatever capacity possible, hurting, Fatherless youth. This is it. This is what is inside of me. The fire burning so intensely.
One of the most difficult endeavors in life is change. Naturally, none of us likes change. Our mind wants to live life on auto-pilot. Our mind will fight to keep us on cruise-control. Doing the same things, the same way, over and over again, day in and day out. Our mind will fight for routine, ritual, and the known. But, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. We have to change. We must change. We must learn the necessity for change within our lives. Although most of us hate change, and we have a mind that will fight to keep us from change, we must fight to allow change to unfold in our lives. If we neglect change, we neglect growth. If we neglect growth, we are choosing to live a life of waste. A life of wasted opportunity, potential, and reward. Change is a catalyst for growth. We need to grow. We need to learn, apply, and grow. We must continue onward, forward, upward. We have been given so much. We must fulfill our destiny. We must be good stewards of that which has been entrusted to us. Do not fear change. Do not allow change to distract you, frustrate you, or fluster you. Allow change to challenge you, motivate you, and transform you. Change WILL occur in life. Accept it. Be open to it. Embrace it.