Not having a significant other on Valentine’s Day sucks. The older I get, the more it sucks. I am not stating this to get attention. I am not stating this to get sympathy. I am stating this because I know there are a lot of people out there who can relate. I am always happy for others who are happy. When I have the opportunity to see people who are loving life, it puts a smile on my face. When I see couples holding hands, showing each other affection, my heart smiles. But the reality for me, and I know the reality for a lot of others out there, is the fact that life can be very lonely. Even when we are surrounded by others, even when we have deep, connected fellowship with other humans, such as friends, family, co-workers etc., the truth is, there is nothing that can replace the fulfillment, love, joy, and security of a significant other. There is nothing more beautiful then loving and being loved, deeply, intimately, and securely by a significant other. If you find yourself alone today in the midst of those you are surrounded by, if you find yourself yearning for the beauty of a life shared with a significant other, if you find yourself frustrated today, let me encourage you with this…….Life unfolds as life unfolds. Use this season of life you are in right now to refine yourself, improve yourself, and prepare yourself for the time when your significant other appears. Be the best version of yourself today, tomorrow, and in all the days to come. Continue to be a leader. An example. Someone to follow. Continue to serve. Continue to learn. Continue to love. Continue to be someone that someone else would want to be with. No matter what you are feeling today, no matter how overwhelming your emotions may be today, today is a gift, today is an opportunity, and today is beautiful. Open your heart, and allow your light to shine.
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…….
It’s ok to admit that you are wrong. It’s ok to admit when you don’t know. It’s ok to admit when you mess up, make a mistake, or say something you shouldn’t have. We are all wrong at times. None of us knows absolutely everything. We all mess up, make mistakes, and say things we shouldn’t. All of us are imperfect beings. The troubling thing is though, many people don’t admit when they are wrong. They don’t recognize their lack of knowledge or understanding in areas in which they speak of or on. They don’t admit their mess ups, mistakes, or careless words. Our world is inundated with so many attention whores. People who are addicted to themselves, addicted to their ego, addicted to the reactions and responses they get from others when they say or do ridiculous things. We have a world where people say and do what they want with no repercussions nor consequences. There is little to no accountability. The result of these aforementioned addictions, along with the lack of accountability, is arrogance, self-centeredness, and reckless behavior. I have been around these people who cannot admit they are wrong. Their pride is so strong, they are so self-consumed, they cannot bring themselves to admit their shortcomings. They are blind to their wrong. They cannot see past their ego. We need humility. We need accountability. We need personal accountability. We need discomfort. We need to be tested. Without these, we become inflated. We become content. We become comfortable with our B.S. We only surround ourselves with people, who like us, who are addiction whores as we are. We become a wasted reality. A wasted breath. A wasted, unusable vessel. You are wrong. I am wrong. We are WRONG! We have so much to learn. There is so much to learn! We have so much growth ahead. So many opportunities to try, fail, try again, learn, fail, and continue on. There are so many opportunities for you and me that await. We need to let go of ourselves. Give up ourselves. We need to realize the world is waiting for us to overcome ourselves, so that we can be of service to others. The world is ours for the taking. Don’t be the one who ends up taken by the world. YOU. ARE. WRONG.
What is my purpose? What is the reason for my existence? What motivates me? What drives me to go beyond my perceived limit? What causes me to remain disciplined, focused, and consistent within a world that is undisciplined, unfocused, and inconsistent? Being the example. The answer to all of the aforementioned questions is to be the example. I am alive today to be an example. A positive, strong, consistent, relentless example. I live my life to lead. I live my life to be someone to follow. I live my life each and every day to be someone that others, especially young people, can look to, look at, and model their life after. This world is full of beauty, but at the same time, this world is full of ugly as well. There is a lot of darkness, hate, hurt, pain, sorrow, and loneliness in this world. There are too many negative, self-focused, fake, hateful, weak people in this life. People who are unfortunately, in positions of leadership, authority, and instruction, who are pathetic examples. As human beings, we need examples. We need people to encourage us, inspire us, motivate us, challenge us, and hold us accountable. We need connection to and with, other human beings. So many people in this life are lost. They wander aimlessly throughout their life with no direction, no passion, and no one to give them solid advice. So many young people are being sucked into the mirage of fame, fortune, sex, happiness, and the fast life. So many people are hurting. I know that this life, my life, isn’t about me. It’s about others. My life is for others. I am alive today, tomorrow, and for however long God grants me breath to breathe, in order to serve others, help others, and love others. I am alive to be an example, to be the example. To show others there is another way. I am alive to encourage, inspire, motivate, challenge, and hold others accountable. I am alive to stoke the flame within the souls of others into a wildfire. I take this purpose for my existence extremely serious. I am my harshest, most severe critic, I MUST be. In order to be an example, the example, I have to be above and beyond, AT ALL TIMES. This is my life. This is my why. This is my existence. This is my fulfillment. This is who I am. Who are you?
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.