My Hero

Daily Prompt: Heroic

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?
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When I was five years old, Zorro (portrayed by Guy Williams) was my hero. He was a “righter”of injustices and defender of the weak.

I chose to write on this topic because I felt, Zorro, might be a controversial choice of a modern 5-year-old.

Primarily, the complaints would come from those who dislike the idea of violent images offered to our kids. Parents cringe about “armed” heroes, yet, I believe they are missing the message and ought to consider the moral fiber of fictional (and real life heroes ) with, as much, immediate concern. My former blog post “The Blind Eye”, was about apathy and fear in the face of trouble. This topic seems a fitting continuation of my point.

My heart still quickens at the thought of “Zorro to the rescue” and I really have no memory of him ever hurting anyone. He may have…but, my 5-year-old self certainly did not internalize the violence at all. What I remember most is that people “with power” can be good or evil and the good one’s are heroic only when they take action and risks. Zorro was also labeled a “public enemy” by those “evil” powerful folks who feared his interference in their corrupt and greedy agendas.

I believe that the pen is truly “mightier than the sword” and Zorro, if transported to 2014, would probably be a political blogger. A mighty dashing one, at that! lol

More than any time, ever before, there are medias that allow us to “take a stand” and to expose corruption. Fear of labels, cannot hold the bravest of us back, either. Touche’!

https://sillyfrogsusan.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/the-blind-eye/

The Blind Eye

It occurred to me this morning that being an apologist is a frustrating endeavor. In fact, I didn’t know the meaning of apologist, until my mother labeled me one, and I had to look it up.

apol·o·gist

noun \ə-ˈpä-lə-jist\

: a person who defends or supports something (such as a religion, cause, or organization) that is being criticized or attacked by other people

I’m often making arguments on Facebook about political issues. Seems many of our country’s core values and institutions have been under fire these days. Mostly, I endeavor to use humor and “tongue-in-cheek” phrases to point things out but, once in a while, I just say it.

I don’t consider that I am anti anything. I am pro on lots of things, though. It’s no coincidence, in my mind, that protect, starts with pro.

I’m not going to alienate, or bore you, with my causes. I want to point out that there’s a recurring theme that arises in the comments from others whom, insist upon, defining me as an alarmist.

My status, today, reads:

That moment when you perceive a “train wreck” event on the horizon…shout a warning… and are told you are paranoid. It’s befuddling, at the least, because you want to avoid the tragedy and also hope, on another level, that it can’t happen. Makes a lot of sense, to me now, why no one wants to talk about our national debt and the bankruptcy of our country.

This is the trouble with sounding alarms about difficult subjects. The people, one wants to “wake up”, often don’t want to know AND the ones, pointing things out, really hope they are not true.

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Now I ask you, the reader, how will any of our “issues” be resolved if we let those who have a “blind eye”, when it comes to trouble, shut us up or call our ideas (dismissively) paranoid?

Seems to me, the labeling of arguments, people, even sources, as wrong, is at the core of everything stagnating our country’s progress. Fear of labels has brought discussion and brotherhood to a standstill!

Our media, in my opinion, is the biggest troublemaker in all of this. The second biggest, are the busy, “sound bite”, consumers of the news.

My alarm today is a “wake-up call” in order to protect and produce active problem-solving which will foster our country’s progress.

Making a Keepsake Photo Montage

There’s a really great website called OneTrueMedia.com . After a little practice, and trial and error, you can make lovely montages of photos for free. The membership cost, for extras, is very reasonable too. The link (above) will take you to one that I created of my littlest granddaughter’s first year.  Hope you enjoy it.

Here’s, another one, that I had made about my other granddaughter several years ago.

My Oldest Granddaughter

A writing prompt: My Emotional Weather Report

winter '04 walk-in

A cold chill looms in my subconscious.

Awake, there are flakes of doubt whether,

I will weather, future rains on “my parade”

With a calm front.

We live not in the doldrums for very long.

 Clouds come and go.

I will focus upon the clear skies…my horizon.

Stomping in puddles,

Making snow angels,

And building sand castles on the warmest days.

For the winds of change are unpredictable,

Yet, I’m certain, the sun always rises in the East.

Building Self-esteem

133If you’ve ever watched a baby struggling to take her first steps, you’ve watched an exercise in self-esteem building. The struggle leading to sweet success is written on her face.

Parents waving and clapping make the event super fun yet the glow of satisfaction, the child exhibits, comes quite instinctively. It’s from the sense of accomplishment that baby feels.

Our modern society understands that self-esteem is very valuable to a healthy whole person, but sometimes, the zeal of parents, endeavoring to promote this, actually has a counter-productive effect.

The biggest misconception, about self-esteem, is that it stems from happiness. The happiness on baby’s face (above) is the end result of her struggles, bumps, and mistakes. It is not the cause of her satisfaction.

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I don’t know one mother who has not felt mortified by the realization that it’s “library day”, at school, and her child’s book has been left behind on the kitchen table. Take heart mom…your child will survive the trauma. She will learn, also, that responsibility for her own happiness comes from herself.  I speak from experience and my own mistakes. In hind-sight, I thought “good” moms smoothed the path leading to their children’s success. This was not a wise philosophy for building independence and responsible behavior.

It is clear to me, now, that self-esteem lives alongside of feeling capable. We learn much more from our mistakes and, by resolving, not to repeat them. This advice is directed toward new moms. Bite your tongue, and let your child fail while they are young and their problems (very big to them at the time) are not so big. Be there to help them design a better approach but avoid being the answer.

Katherine age 5

Katherine age 5

Hey, every parent makes mistakes. This is why they get a second chance with grandchildren. 😉

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks…Book Review

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An amazing story that needed telling!

This book is a non-fictional glimpse of scientific advances and the horrid racial inequality in our “not very distant” past. It is a riveting read. The story chronicles the struggles of poor black folks during the 50’s and 60’s, in a way, that will leave you forever changed. The sacrifices of those who advanced medical research are present, along with, the greed which always follows the money.

Many of the legal, and ethical, dilemmas, exposed in this text, are unresolved to this day. The author does not attempt to decide the “right” from “wrong” but, very effectively, invites the reader into the lives of real people. I laughed, I cried, and I feel enlightened by this book. A must read for those who endeavor to be educated and informed.

Going Wild

51gpiNPzMPL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)As I’ve stated before, this blog is meant to be a journal for my grandchildren. I wish I could have one from my grandparents. I would love to see their inner thoughts and principles documented to be shared with future generations. I was lucky. I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents. Their memories and principles are a part of who I am.

Even though I spend an enormous amount of time (by today’s standards) with my granddaughters, I still enjoy accumulating thoughts for their pleasure and reflection one day.

I am currently reading a book which touches something very dear to me. It is The Nature Principle by Richard Louv. I suspect there will be a greater need for the wisdom, presented between these covers, in the future and want to document my first impression of this book.

The connection between human beings and “Mother Nature” is fading. I believe that we must not allow our kids to grow up in, what I believe, is a two-dimensional environment. When we are out-of-doors and surrounded by natural things, we absorb an appreciation of our worth and rejuvenate our sense of well-being. Just the other day, my granddaughter (age 8) was feeling ultra-emotional about being left behind by her mother. I said, “Why don’t you go outside for awhile?” She did. The transformation was immediate. She calmed and came back indoors wearing a smile. This method, of adding balance, works for me everyday. I sometimes just step outside for a few moments yet find my mood benefits very much.

I’ve hardly dipped into the book but already know what, I believe, the author knows about our integral connection to the natural world and its importance to human health. I have described my feelings in the forest as “comfortably insignificant”. Somehow, the realization of forces and life struggles outside of one’s own “bubble” put things in a wonderful perspective.

The first evidence this book cited, was the “instinctive intuition” available to those who have had a nature connection in their lives, as opposed to, those who have not. A study of soldiers who have avoided roadside bombs simply from their “whole view” of their surroundings is quite revealing. Those soldiers who came from rural settings, and/or had hunted or hiked the wilds, somehow noticed the “something’s wrong with this picture” element. Their success in identifying “trouble”, well out weighed, those who had spent their youthful time in front of TV and video realities. I call the latter, a “two-dimensional” view. These people are not accustom to using ALL of their senses in order to navigate the world. They have never felt fully vulnerable like one does in the wild. Total safety, allows us not to need the details and detective work of survival. Interestingly, the other group who was “in tune” with danger, and had highly developed instincts, were those from rough neighborhoods in the cities. Feeling vulnerable, obviously, makes us wise and sharp.

My time in the woods has offered me the view, of a deer approaching, from my sense of smell alone. On a few occasions, I have smelled the wet fur (somewhat like a wet dog) before I have heard or seen the animal. We humans have many amazing abilities that our indoor existence has atrophied. These instincts are not simply meant to be kept alive but, may be crucial, in keeping us alive.

As far as detective work, I use it all of the time. Until now, I thought everyone did. For instance, this may seem weird, but I have a bird feeder within view of my bathroom window. It is very close to my parking area behind the house. In the morning, I am often in the bathroom when my day care friends arrive. If I believe I hear a car in my driveway, I look to my bird feeder. If the birds are still boldly feeding, I know a car really did not enter the area. If the birds scatter, then I expect a door slam to follow.

Everyday, I tell my kids to be detectives. Just last week, I was changing a diaper, right after the “drop off” time. I turned to one kid and said,” Your mom left the diaper bag in the car last night, didn’t she?” The 6-year-old was surprised and said, “Yes…she did!”

Then I asked her, how did I know that fact? She shrugged.
“It’s in the clues. Your brother’s diaper wipes are very cold. If she had just put them into the car, they would be warm.”

We use the “detective method” all day long. I believe it is very much a part of keeping kids really engaged with their environment. The skills for logical deduction are very important.

So, I will post other enlightening finds from this exceptional book. In the meantime, make time to be “wild”. 😉

Psych-Out

Human psychology is so very curious.

On Facebook, there’s a game circulating which asks people to list some unknown facts about themselves. Immediately, I was struck by the different types of answers and that, some “private” people, just didn’t want to play.

As a person who shares her ideas and opinions (more often than many would care to hear), I find “private” people curious from the “get go”. This is not a judgement, at all. I just wonder what they are feeling and thinking? Since they aren’t inclined to share…I may never know.

That said, the answers, from those who wanted to play, fell into several categories.

1. Things that have happened to them.

2. Their personal tastes and preferences.

3. Accomplishments and choices they’ve made.

4. Ideas/philosophies

THIS is absolutely interesting to me.

While some, chose to reach into their childhood for tidbits, others stayed in a “real time” frame of reference… this also, was interesting.

I’m not a psychologist and we cannot be sure that “how?” people answered isn’t influenced by their own environment in that moment BUT it must, on some level, say a lot about their self-image.

Now, don’t expect me to draw conclusions. This blog post is just about pointing out something that I found curious and wanted to share ‘cuz sharing is what I do! LOL 😉