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Did You Survive Yourself Ok?

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Have you every pondered on the choices in daily life and how it can bring gloom and discouragement OR happiness and liberty to live the life we choose? 

I have an analogy about an airplane ride that might help us in our decisions and actions.



Did You Survive Yourself OK?

Some years ago Stan and I were able to take a trip with a group of people in the company he was employed at. We had a great vacation, and as always is the case, the time came to return home.

It was a long flight and was the usual flight until we were about half an hour out from our destination airport where we were landing. Suddenly turbulence came up tossing the plane side to side, as well as to bounce the aircraft as if it were a toy.

There are three common reasons for airplane turbulence:

  • Thunderstorms are the major source, yet these are readily identified with modern technology and then avoided whenever possible.
  • Large mountains are also a cause of turbulence because of the surrounding air patterns; again, these are usually not an issue as they can be circumvented.
  • The last reason for turbulence comes from the interaction between the slower air patterns that are around the globe, coming into contact with the fast moving jet stream from the airplane itself. This kind of turbulence can happen at any time, and without any warning, because the jet stream is unpredictable and so it cannot be avoided.

As our plane continued to pitch and be thrown about, passengers were quite nervous.  Actually some of the people on board become physically ill due to the lurching motion.

Finally our aircraft approached the runway, but I just could not bear to look out the small window to my side.

Why?

I did not know if the pilot would be able to land the plane safely or not and I could not bare to see it come closer and closer without any lack of momentum.  As the plane approached the ground,  the wheels sporadically touched the asphalt, then bounced us up into the air again with great force.  It was such a drastic bump that sent us back off the runway that it truly caused some of the buckled in passengers to hit their heads on the overhead compartments.

Blessedly, after several attempts, the plane did land safe and intact.

After the plane had stopped moving, there was complete silence for at least one full minute or more. I’m sure I was not the only one saying a very sincere and heartfelt ‘Thank Thee Lord for preserving our life this day’.

In the silence, a young boy who was seated in the front of the plane, unbuckled his seat-belt, turned around and knelt up on the chair, his eyes just peering over the top of the seat.  Looking towards the rear of the plane, I suppose to a family member who was sitting in the very back. In a young voice he asked loudly, “Did you survive yourself OK?”


I have thought of that innocent, yet profound question for years now.

[Tweet “Did you survive yourself OK the young boy on the plane asked? @AMothersshadow”]

We all have thunderstorms in our life. We may see the clouds darken, feel the air shift and the temperature drop. With these signs we are able to run for shelter, or for an umbrella at the very least.

Difficulties and turbulence will come to each and every person. When the mountain looms in front of us, sometime we have to prepare and hike to the top and over the other side, and other times we go around the massive land form.

Yet, just like the pilot who cannot see the invisible air, nor its shifting patterns, we cannot always see, nor choose our trials and hardships.

These are there to help us grow individually, and as a family. The question is, when these difficulties come, as they surely will, do we lean on our God who knows us and loves us better than anyone else possibly could? Do we live His commandments the best we can so that we are sure to be victorious? To survive OUR SELF OK is completely and totally our choice, as well as the root of our misery or happiness.

Life really is wonderful. Daily there are countless small, and large miracles given because He loves us.

I hope we search, and make it a point to find those simple and tiny blessings; that is how we will have joy, happiness.  And then to be able to confidently say, I ‘survived MYSELF OK’.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman

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My Purpose Is –

My Purpose Is -

Is There Enough

 




01 Derek on Bike

Do You Dare Take a Risk For Growth?

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01 Derek on Bike

 

Do You Dare Take a Risk For Growth in your own life?

What about in the life of your children?  Do you allow them to risk what’s necessary in order to grow in healthy ways to maturity?

Even if it’s for a better, happier and successful life, are you willing to let yourself, or your loved ones potentially fail in order to learn and grow?

Our good judgement tells us that is how life’s lessons are best learned……

 

And yet:

  • Does Fear Rule our decisions instead of common sense?
  • Do worries stop our progress in honorable and constructive ways?
  • Does fright hinder our tremendous ability to be a greater influence for good? 

I’ll share an experience with you about why I’ve tried very hard to allow my self and my family to stumble, trip and even get scrapped up when moving forward in positive directions of learning in this experience of life.

When my oldest son Derek was just about to turn four years old, all he wanted was a two-wheeled bike and to learn how to ride it. The other kids in the apartment complex had bikes, and though they were older, he did not want to ride his ‘Big Wheel’ anymore.

Luckily, my husband Stan was able to get a deal on a used bike from a coworker. At night, when Derek and his brother were asleep, Stan went about fixing up a bike; attaching bmx handles, replaced the old banana seat with a bmx seat, spray painted it black, and painted a decal of Derek’s name on the chain cover.

Finally, the day arrived for Derek’s birthday and he was thrilled to have the bike! Stan had affixed training wheels, hoping they would work as they were made for another style of bike, but all that was available. Derek jumped on the bike to ride, but the training wheels became a problem. After a few attempts the training wheels would not stay attached at all. I had just happened to pick up a magazine geared for families, when I noticed an article with instructions for teaching kids how to ride a bike (turn into the fall and they do not fall!). I hurried to show it to Stan. They were both frustrated with the training wheel issue by this point, so

Stan read the article, took off the training wheels and was able to teach Derek how to ride a bike in about 10 minutes. The point of my story is, that when Derek first asked about riding a ‘big boy bike’ I was nervous. He was not very old and I had images in my mind of him getting hit by a car while trying to steer the bike, I was sure we would have to go to the emergency room for stitches, broken bones or worse…my list went on and on. Stan, on the other hand, had the attitude that if Derek wanted to learn, let him.

I learned  from this experience: never hold back a child, teen or adult from trying anything respectable and decent.

They may get hurt, but they will not learn to succeed and accomplish hard things if always protected and sheltered.

Stan was very wise.

All these years later, I still try to incorporate that lesson into my own life.

How do I allow anxiety or even pride determine my decisions?

I may get scrapped a bit, but the end result far outweighs not taking the risk. 

Most often our greatest growth takes place while on the journey to the desired goal. Do you ever have anxiety or are afraid to allow your loved ones, or particularly yourself, from progressing due to imagined or even realistic setbacks or struggles?

 

My tagline is: learn, practice, become.

  • It IS noble to learn new skills and principles that will make us better.
  • It IS inspiring, for ourselves and loved ones, to practice those things that will improve our life – though we may get scraped or even banged a little in the process.
  • It IS grand and magnificent to allow ourselves to become an extraordinary example.
  • My goal, and maybe yours, will be to extend our scope and reach, despite any concerns.   This will allow us to have a fuller scope of influence for decency and correct values.

written by Carrie Groneman, Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




'Do Unto Others'

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 Do Unto Others

 I’m sure every person who has ever gone to school has had some form of another student(s) being unkind or purposefully hurtful, yet it seems that this is becoming a serious problem. Maybe with the advance in technology it makes it easier to be callous if you do not have to say things to another directly. Or maybe the attitude in society has shifted towards a more aggressive manner. There may be several components to this escalation in demeaning and violent way of behaving.
Nevertheless, there is a definite shift from the sage wisdom and counsel to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Do you wonder if this change is because of a ‘me’ attitude? Could it be from an ‘entitled’ mind-set?
Probably both of these and more reasons are involved.
This would be a pertinent subject and timely with school starting, for a serious, loving and open discussion about what bullying is.  Could our children be victims or the perpetrators? If so, it is imperative that we as care-giver/parent/ grandparent are willing to deal with whatever maybe the case, so action can be taken.




 If our child is the victim, it is important to support him or her; here are some action plans:

  • Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show you want to help.
  • Assure the child that bullying is not their fault.
  • Know that kids who are bullied may struggle with talking about it. Consider referring them to a school counselor, psychologist, or other mental health service.
  • Give options and advice about what to do. This may involve role-playing and thinking through how the child might react if the bullying occurs again.
  • Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and school or organization may all have valuable input.
  • Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and consistently support the bullied child.

 
What if our child is the perpetrator? Here are some ideas to help them stop such behavior:

  • Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young people who bully must learn their behavior is wrong and harms others.
  • Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the child that bullying will not be tolerated. Model respectful behavior when addressing the problem.
  • Sometimes children bully to fit in. These kids can benefit from participating in positive activities. Involvement in sports and clubs can enable them to take leadership roles and make friends without feeling the need to bully.
  • Other times kids act out because something else—issues at home, abuse, stress—is going on in their lives. They also may have been bullied. These kids may be in need of additional support, such as mental health services.
  • Use consequences to teach. Consequences that involve learning or building empathy can help prevent future bullying. Such as involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation. The goal is to help them see how their actions affect others. For example, the child can:
  1. Write a letter apologizing to the student who was bullied.
  2. Do a good deed for the person who was bullied or for others in your community.
  3. Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.
  4. After the bullying issue is resolved, continue finding ways to help the child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other people. For example, praise acts of kindness or talk about what it means to be a good friend.

(These ideas and more information can be found at: http://www.stopbullying.gov)
Our children, no matter their age, have their agency to choose how they will treat others. But, we can have a great influence on setting a foundation for their actions, which they can draw from.
Teach by example. How do we, as adults, treat others in the family and out of our home? Do we go out of our way to show a kindness even when it is not convenient? Do we try to find good in all? Do we put down others who have what we want or feel we deserve?
I saw a news video a few years back about a girl who had her friends help her trap and beat up another girl. The girl was seriously injured, the perpetrator had severe consequences with the law and it was all over the silliest and inconsequential thing. I was shocked at the action of the girl and her friends over such a trivial matter; however, the most appalling aspect was the mother’s reaction of the perpetrator as she spoke with reporters. She actually justified her daughter’s actions! Her daughter had done wrong on all accounts; there was not mistake or question about it. She had intentionally acted brutally, and now would have this hanging over her the rest of her life. Not just with law, but her view of herself.
You have to wonder if the girl had ever had consequences for her actions – ever. Had she been involved in making a meal or treats for neighbors that weren’t ‘popular’ in the neighborhood but needed care? Had she been taught the golden rule: Do Unto Others as YOU would have done to YOU? Did she know what that meant? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but her life is changed for the worst.
If you feel it is appropriate for your family, no matter the age of the members, please consider a family time or meeting when you could discuss this subject and role play, giving everyone a chance to be on both sides. Then let them express how they felt as the perpetrator and as the victim. Help them to understand how it is impossible to feel pure love and happiness when causing fear and sorrow.
Below are a few quotes you may want to print out, cut into strips and let each, in turn, read one and as a family discuss what it means.  Try to direct the discussion in a way to help them recognize how it makes them feel inside when they contemplate caring and easing burdens of another, versus destroying calm and peace for another person and them self.   Possibly end the time together by giving each the opportunity to write a note to a family member, fellow student or friend thanking them for friendship, or a kindness, and asking them to forgive them of an offense.



Keep up the great work you are doing in your home, it is the most important of all you do.  Every effort, even small that we do for good is noticed by Him, and not forgotten.
Zi Gong asked, saying, “Is there one word that may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?” The Master said, “Is not reciprocity such a word?” – Confucius[13][14]
“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” – Confucius[15]
“If people regarded other people’s families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself.” – Mozi
“The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.” –Laozi[16]
“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” –Laozi[17]
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.—Udanavarga 5
Beware lest ye harm any soul, or make any heart to sorrow; lest ye wound any man with your words, be he known to you or a stranger, be he friend or foe. —`Abdu’l-Bahá[47]
That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” —Talmud, Shabbat 31a
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:31
If the entire “Dharma” (spiritual and moral laws) can be said in a few words, then it is – that which is unfavorable to us, do not do that to others. (Padmapuraana, shrushti 19/357-358)
A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go! [This maxim is enough for you; go and act in accordance with it!]” —Kitab al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 146
“None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” —An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith 13 (p. 56)[61]
The Jewish sage and martyr Rabbi Akiba, following Hillel the Elder (c.110 BC, died 10 AD[66]), had singled out the Golden Rule (Leviticus 19:18) as a basic principle of the Torah meaning, that the principle of love must have its foundation in Genesis verse 1, which teaches that all men are the offspring of Adam who was made in the image of God (Sifra, Ḳedoshim, iv.; Yer. Ned. ix. 41c; Genesis Rabba 24).[67] According to Jewish rabbinic literature, the first man Adam represents the unity of mankind. This is echoed in the modern preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And it is also taught, that Adam is last in order according to the evolutionary character of God’s creation:[67] “Why was only a single specimen of man created first?[67] To teach us that he who destroys a single soul destroys a whole world and that he who saves a single soul saves a whole world;[67] furthermore, so no race or class may claim a nobler ancestry, saying, ‘Our father was born first’; and, finally, to give testimony to the greatness of the Lord, who caused the wonderful diversity of mankind to emanate from one type.[67   
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.
 For More Posts On This Topic:
A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman click HERE
AMS Cover Small
Do What Is Right
How to Forgive – To Forgive Or Not
 
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