friday fictioneers: one artist’s rendering…

Remodeling spaces is a form of art.

Could it be that Picasso dabbled in fixer-uppers before painting anatomically grotesque women?

An artist begins with a blank canvas. So it is when I behold the before…imagining in my mind’s eye what will come after.

While I do not strike the carpenter’s hammer or turn the plumber’s screwdriver, mine is the creative vision.

The inspiration. The design. The materials. The textures. The colors.

My aesthetics power the coalescence of the parts.

And when it comes to details…I’m the devil.

Never for symmetry, instead by gut instinct.

If it feels rightIT’S MAGIC!

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…master bedroom…this artist’s vision come true…

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…daughter’s bedroom…also this artist’s rendering…

 

(Visit http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/17-october-2014/
for more great 100 word stories on the photo prompt.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Habit of Highly Effective People

This young man is on to something pretty simple…go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m….and you’ll solve your sleep deprivation problems.

I think he’s a genius, unfortunately I don’t know many geniuses…only dummies like myself who can’t seem to get this 9 to 6 and 6 to 9 routine down pat. Maybe he should author…SLEEPING FOR DUMMIES.

However he’s definitely right about the light thing. For awhile I used an eye mask. Lately I’ve found it a bit bothersome. Like eating healthy, I know what to do. I just can’t seem to make it a habit.

Still, I keep tryinggoing to bed early…and eating more veggies and less boxed or packaged goodies.

…maybe one of these nights…
………hugmamma.

which is it?…giver?…or…taker?

Came across a post, givers or takers, at  http://dailymusing57.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/giver-or-taker/, which really resonated with me.

What makes some folks givers and others takers? Or are we a mixture of both, but with a greater tendency toward one?

Perhaps we learned the give and take of interacting with others as children…maybe with siblings…or with parents and playmates as an only child.

Do those needing approval to bolster their self esteem give themselves over completely to serving others?

Do those having self-confidence take advantage of those without, whether knowingly or unknowingly?

What are the inherent dangers of falling into one category or the other?

And is it ever too late to pull ourselves back from being lopsidedly one or the other…

a giver…or a taker?

Me?

I’ve had difficulty taking without feeling I always had to give back right away. Still do. Once a boss, who became a good friend, asked why it was I couldn’t accept his invitation to lunch without feeling I had to reciprocate the next time we dined out? I had no answer. Still don’t.

Although I have no difficulty giving to others, truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worthy of taking without giving back. Is it because of my Catholic upbringing? Or because my mom told me mine had been an unwanted pregnancy.

I don’t dwell on why it is I’m a giver. It’s who I am. And while I still don’t take material things without feeling the need to return in kind, I’m always open to receiving the gift of love…from anyone. Although I must admit, I return the love immediately…in hugs and words.

Yesterday I met with Carlos for the first time. He had stopped by to give me an estimate on the hedges and trees my husband and I wanted pruned. From the minute we shook hands, our conversation was relaxed and easy. We spoke as though we’d known each other for more than a few minutes. By the time Carlos left for another appointment, we were muy simpatico…very sympathetic. We agreed that connecting with people is what enriches our lives. Material things are necessary, but the pleasure they bring is only temporary. Exchanging hugs, I shed a few hormonal tears and blessed Carlos for being a good man.

When we least expect it, we meet others who feel as we do.

I have learned to delight in taking from others, although such generosity still surprises me. It’s like when my husband proposed. I cried, exclaiming “Me? You want to marry me?” To which he replied “Who else? We’ve been dating for 3 years. Of course it’s you!”

Another lesson learned, albeit late, is to remove myself from the company of those who impact me negatively. Folks who don’t appreciate the full measure of what it is I am giving…

…my heart…for the taking.

………hugmamma.

we manage…mocha and me

These last few months have been touch and go for my pal Mocha. Old age has been complicated by the debilitating effects of sciatica. Hobbling around, her right paw can bend backwards and send her tumbling forward onto bended knees. Not one to be dissuaded from what she is about, Mocha picks herself up, dusts herself off, and goes about her business.

Observing Mocha makes me sympathetic to the plight of older folks. It’s no fun when body parts don’t work anymore. Life seems consumed with just the basics…eating, peeing and pooping.

“Wwwhhhaaa happened? Where’d all the fun go?” That’s what Mocha’s eyes seem to say as she watches me move about the room. On medication for a heart murmur, sciatica, and now a urinary tract infection, what’s a dog to do? Not much, except lie around.

These last few days I’ve been outdoors prepping the garden for the hibernating months ahead. While back-breaking for me and my arthritic lumbar, Mocha’s been lazing about on the freshly mowed grass, drinking in the sunshine. I’m certain we’ve both felt like switching places.

Being half-beagle, Mocha would love to make like a mole and dig tunnels in the dirt. Me? I’d be content with stretching out on the warm, green lawn, staring up at the billowy, white clouds floating serenely across the baby blue sky.

And yet we make the best of it, Mocha and me. On good days, she’s a little sprightlier. We both are. On days when it takes a little more effort to get going, we take our time.

We don’t wallow in “what ifs,” we just tweak our plans a little. If I’m not up to weeding and pruning, then I’ll do some laundry and vacuum. As for Mocha, if she can’t wander about in search of a new place to lie, then she’ll stay put in her comfy bed all day.

Older age. It’s about doing what we can do, and not fretting about what we can’t do. Of course, doing what we can to keep our bodies humming along is imperative…stretching, exercising, and minimizing our intake of unhealthy carbs.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgo potato chips, candy, and soda. Although I have managed to limit them to…once-in-awhile.

Because of global warming we’re suppose to get a break from the cold, dank, dark weather that normally smothers the Pacific Northwest like an unwanted blanket. According to local forecasters, the lows should hover around the 50s. So far the prediction seems to be panning out. The sun is still with us.

Hallelujah!!!

…mocha and I don’t feel so old…when our bones are warm! Xmas 2010 2 00000

………hugmamma.

 

nurturing thursdays: happiness…a matter of choice

I very often use my daughter’s professional career path as a means to understanding my life, and life in general. I guess it’s because I can step back more easily and reflect upon its course with twenty-twenty hindsight.

Now that she’s headed in a different direction, away from ballet toward contemporary movement, my daughter is happier. For sure there have been potholes along the way, but is anyone’s life ever without them?

Choices. We’re always confronted with them. Never a day goes by when we don’t have to make decisions. A dancer’s life is no different and yet, whatever is decided alters her career path without it being obvious at the time.

The first ballet company with whom my daughter trained at the age of 16 had no qualms about her going elsewhere to dance when they were on hiatus during the summer months. At least that’s what the company’s dance school director said. She felt my daughter was a smart dancer who could easily transition between time with the company and time away with others.

It was during the summer that my daughter began honing her ability as a contemporary dancer. She felt combining year-round ballet with several weeks dancing a different movement would make her a more versatile performer. And it did. Yet it seems to have come with a price that was not made clear until the die had been cast, so to speak.

Rather than inform her directly that it would have been preferable for my daughter to spend summers with the company, very subtle hints were made by staff. Nothing definite, just little questions like “Do you want to be here?” Of course the answer was always an emphatic “Yes!” How was she to know they meant…”Well then you shouldn’t be seen by other directors who might want to steal you away?”

Ballet companies have the upper hand in deciding who among their many trainees and apprentices might eventually be offered a position. There are no guarantees. All of them are made to feel they have potential, but none of them can claim professional status until they have a signed contract.

So then the decision for the “wannabee” career ballet dancer is “Does she commit herself to a company who is still undecided about her? Or does she explore the larger dance community not only to enhance her skills but also to begin networking with fellow artists…dancers, choreographers, and yes, even directors?”

My daughter chose to broaden her dance horizons. She never did it with the intent to leave the company with which she was training. In fact she was always excited to return to the fold after time away. With renewed energy and confidence she incorporated what she’d learned during the summer into her performances.

Of course there are always different perspectives to any situation. So while my daughter saw her summers as enhancing her dance, the ballet company’s director perceived them as a sign that she wasn’t fully committed to him. When he let her go after 5 years he said “I decided to let you go instead of others because you’ll have an easier time finding a job then them.” At that point, my daughter was glad to finally be out from under a shadow that had been looming ever since she returned after the summer. She hugged her boss and thanked him for the opportunities she had been given while there. And with that she left the studio, breathing in the great outdoors and the promise of better days ahead.

Others who trained alongside my daughter never ventured off during the summers. They faithfully remained with the company. Of those, a few have gone on to become principal dancers. Sadly though they have never seen the broader dance world firsthand. And then there are all the others who were not even offered positions.

Becoming a professional dancer, especially in ballet, is just as much luck as it is talent and hard work. My daughter was fortunate to make it with the second ballet company she joined.

However the journey is never without its bumps. If one’s career stalls or back slides, then a dancer must decide her next move.

My daughter could have remained another 6 years to see where her career as a ballet dancer would take her. Instead she made the decision to change directions, helped in large part by all that she’d gained during her months off from the companies.

Over the course of her summers, my daughter has met hundreds of dancers on their way to somewhere. She’s also met her fair share of choreographers and directors. And then there are the stars with whom she’s paled around…Ethan Steiffel…Misty Copeland. Of them all, however, the most notable person she has met has been…herself.

Finding oneself in life is something for which we all strive. The choices we make, difficult as they might be in the moment, bring us to our own conclusion.

I’ve often told my daughter when she was a dance student, as well as on her way to becoming a professional…”Enjoy the process. As long as you do that, you’ll never be disappointed in the outcome. Happiness lies in the journey, not in the promise of the ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.’ “

Did I already mention…

…my daughter is happy…very happy.

………hugmamma.

(Enjoy more inspirational words at

http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nurturing-thurs-you-are/

 

 

 

nurturing thursdays: their problem…not yours

A mother’s comment led me to repostBelieve at http://hugmamma.com/2014/09/24/believe-2/, something I’d written a few years ago. Having read the original post only a couple of days ago, she left these words…

“Thank you for your beautiful poem! I just sent it in a card (with you credited of course) to a homesick son away at boot camp.”

I could only think how inspiring this mother is to take her son’s preparation for the difficult road ahead…with such grace. I thought “I should thank her,” and I did.

At the time I wrote Believe, I was experiencing self-doubt.

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, diving into situations with a typically hugmamma attitude. Not quite Pollyana, since I do have a cynical side…partly because I was raised by a single-parent…and partly, because I was a New Yorker for 10 years.

Without going into details, I was totally blind-sided to discover that my good intentions of many years were probably not received as they were offered…unconditionally and without reservation. Instead, criticism withheld for who knows how long seeped in. Like molten lava…hot to the touch…becoming solid rock over time.

After much soul-searching and loving support from my own family, I moved on finding renewed faith in myself. I awoke early one morning and wrote Believe.

Compassion for others begins with compassion for myself.

As I reflect once more upon what I’d written, I’m reminded of what I told my daughter when she was too young to understand why others could be so unkind.

When others said or did something hurtful to my child, I told her she wasn’t responsible for what they said or did. Their words and deeds were coming from within themselves. The problem was theirs, not my daughter’s.

We are not the focal point of others’ lives. We should not think we are. Once we accept this fact, we can be free of the chaos we create for ourselves. We needn’t be bound by the ill-placed actions of those with an axe to grind.

Everyone lives their own lives the best they can. No one is exempt from life’s dark side. While I try very hard not to pass judgment on others…only God can do that…I prefer to thrive in the company of those who are generous in thought and deed. They keep me grounded in who I am and want to be…

…a person of compassion.

………hugmamma.

ENJOY other inspirational pieces at http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/nurturing-thurs-that-one-person/

believe…

On 12/3/11, I wrote and posted the following poem to hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. Since then I have been reminded of it by inspirational fellow blogger, Pocket Perspectives, who has very kindly reblogged my poem…twice! Very humbling indeed. You can enjoy her motivational words at
http://pocketperspectives.com/

I was just reminded of what I’d written yet again by K. Jackson.  A couple of nights ago she left the following comment after reading what I’d written almost 3 years ago.

“Thank you for your beautiful poem! I just sent it in a card (with you credited of course) to a homesick son away at boot camp.”

I wish I could offer comfort to this mom whose son is committing himself to our safety, far from those he loves and who love him. Her comment, an expression of a mother’s desire to hold her child close, inspired me to revisit…

Believe…

…in yourself
…in your worth…to others…and to you
…in your goodness…and in your desire to do good
…in your possibilities…and that all things are possible
…in your ability…especially in overcoming negativity
…in your strengths…don’t dwell on your weaknesses (we all have a few)
…in those who love you
…in tomorrow, the dawn of a new day
…in your gut instinct…it knows you best
…in compassion…for others…as well as yourself
…that you are your own best friend…always root for youself
…that you deserve to be alive…and that you DO make a difference
…that you can do whatever it is you want…and that you will succeed
…that it is you who sets your own agenda…not others

…and always believe…that happiness is there for the taking…in all the small moments…every day of your life…

………hugmamma. 

Maui-Wai’anapanapa State Park

hugmamma:

The memories of my childhood came flooding back as I read this post and saw these photos. Thought I’d share these which depict my beautiful, island home of long ago…
………hugmamma.

Originally posted on Pictures & Plane Tickets:

One of my favorite beaches on Maui is located on the Northeastern side of Maui in a remote tropical jungle. The sand is black, the surf is fierce, and lush green foliage covers the area.

My husband and I drove the Road to Hana in excitement of visiting this exotic black sand beach and were looking forward to exploring the surrounding area.

After a few hours in the car we arrived at Wai’anapanapa State Park and found ourselves in the middle of a tropical downpour. Of course, if you are traveling to Hawaii you should know the one rule about these islands: If it’s raining, wait a few minutes and it will probably stop. We took cover and waited out the storm, which ended only a few minutes after it began.

With our beach towels in hand, we quickly made our way down to the beach. The beach itself is…

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doctoring…the old, fashioned way…with new possibilities

I’ve written previously that I often seek out alternative health practitioners to help resolve whatever physical issues I might be experiencing. While I do so wholeheartedly it is still not without hesitation at the thought of leaving behind the more familiar world of medical doctors. Those wizened, old men in white garb with stethoscopes dangling about their necks.

My husband and I thought the world of the last 2 doctors we saw with some regularity. They were both General Practitioners, not specialists. Drs. Kinnish and Purden had what many in the medical practice lack these days…a warm, bedside manner. We never felt rushed for time during appointments. We felt as though we had their undivided attention. We could ask questions and not feel dumb. We could even laugh at something funny.

While neither physician had all the answers, I felt as though they were in the trenches right alongside me trying to figure things out as best they could.

Dr. Kinnish retired at 67. Dr. Purden returned home to Canada to work as a hospital Medical Director and teach medicine to wannabe doctors. Both losses left me a little sad because of the compassionate human beings that they were, as well as my being left to seek out a new family doctor.

Even while I was seeing Dr. Purden, I began seeing a naturopath for digestive problems. With a thorough food allergy testing, she got me up and running better than I had been for a long time. Had I continued seeing her, I’m sure she could have helped me resolve other issues as well. Unfortunately, many naturopaths don’t accept insurance which makes filing claims a little tricky. Paying for services up front gets pricey, and dealing directly with insurance carriers can be a headache. Trust me! I use to work for one.

Well, lo and behold. I found a naturopath, Dr. Brooke, who files insurance claims on my behalf and accepts whatever is allowed. I just remit the copay. Hallelujah! And, as with most naturopaths, she’ll spend an hour with me if that’s what I require. I can ask all the questions I want. We can actually have a conversation about all the ailments I’m experiencing. There’s not the usual limitation as there can be with medical doctors…one symptom per appointment, please!

My latest venture with Dr. Brooke, and her colleague Dr. Kerns, is hormone replacement therapy.

Most women seek help when they go through “the change of life,” as my mother use to say. In other words, the dreaded…menopause. Contending with hot flashes and night sweats are debilitating, from what I’ve heard. I was one of the lucky few who didn’t experience these dastardly symptoms. My main problem was insomnia. I don’t think it helped that I was a night owl, inclined to stay up way past the bewitching hour. As I got older, vaginal dryness was also something with which I had to contend.

There are medical resolutions to the menopausal dilemma, such as Premarin. The fact that its literature specifically states there might be a small chance of contracting cancer put me off. And then when I learned it was derived from, of all things, horse’s urine, I was really turned off.

As I started to feel better with the thyroid supplement Dr. Brooke prescribed, and my fibromyalgia symptoms subsided, I began discussing the possibility of doing hormone replacement therapy, specifically The Wiley Protocol. Up to that point it had helped relieve my dryness symptoms.

Following several discussions I decided to take the plunge, beginning treatment a few months ago. No expert yet, I’m still trying to acclimate myself to the nuances of HRT. I don’t prescribe it for others, unless they’ve done their own research. The decision to alter the course of one’s life is individual. There are pluses and minuses to everything.

What I can speak to is my own experience.

Mine has been a hectic 2014 thus far…having a young adult back in the fold as she decided the next step in her career…a bath remodel that had its hiccups throughout…a dear pet whose life has disintegrated with chronic sciatica…a couple of roundtrip flights which hyper-activates my fibromyalgia…and moving my dancer daughter 3,000 miles away for the second time in a year.

Amazingly enough, with a few late mornings of sleeping in after recently returning from helping my daughter with her move, I have been…good to go. No. I’ve been…great to go! A call from my chiropractor’s office asking if I needed an appointment met with a resounding…”No! I’m fine. Thank you for calling though.”

While I may look the same on the outside…a bulging midriff…chipmunk cheeks…sagging chest…I feel more youthful on the inside. And with that, I can keep on…keeping on.

Baby Boomers are expected to live longer, thanks to technology advancing at the speed of light. However longer lives don’t mean better lives. Our internal clocks have not been altered. We’re still genetically tied to our ancestors whose lives were shorter by decades.

There’s no fountain of youth. Only possibilities which might help give us quality of life for as long as we live.

…and that…I can live with.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

heaven is for real…

a true-to-life story of a 3-year-old boy’s visit to Heaven while on the operating table for a ruptured appendix.

Before watching the DVD, Heaven Is For Real, this evening, neither my husband nor I had heard about the book or, for that matter, the incident upon which it was based.

According to Colton Burpo, while out-of-body he saw…the surgeon performing the operation…his dad praying in the hospital chapel…and his mom phoning a church member requesting that she call others to pray for her son whose death seemed imminent.

Colton went on to say he saw the church where his dad was the minister. Opening its door, the youngster entered and sat in a pew towards the front. Instead of an altar he saw the blue sky with clouds that were transformed into translucent angels. They began to sing as a choir. Walking down the aisle towards the boy was a man, clothed in a white robe. He spoke, asking Colton to join him.

The three-year-old explained that the man’s name was Jesus and that he had “markers” on his hands and his feet. Evidently, marks left from the nails which had hung him to the cross.

In Heaven, Colton saw a horse that belonged to Jesus. The youngster also met relatives born before his time…”Pop,” his dad’s grandpa…and an unborn sister who hugged the brother she never knew.

Describing Heaven as a “beautiful place,” Colton never faltered in his belief that he had been there.

A story of faith simply told. It moved me more than many a sermon I’ve listened to on a Sunday morning sitting in church. 

Struggling to reconcile his son’s story with his own adult rationale, Colton’s dad was finally able to find resolution.

When reciting the prayer The Our Father, we recite, in part,on earth as it is in heaven.

In speaking to his parishioners, Colton’s father explained that Heaven is apparent in our daily lives… in a parent’s love for his child…in a neighbor’s going to the aid of a neighbor…in the lifesaving skills of a doctor. The minister goes on to ask why it is  we overlook these acts as evidence of Heaven’s existence. What he said gave me pause.

Why do we as a society dwell ad nauseam upon our transgressions against one another, while giving only a passing nod to the commission of good deeds?

I believe Colton Burpo. I may never share his experience, but that in no way invalidates his. I happen to feel he hit the Powerball Lottery to end all Powerball Lotteries. I feel blest just knowing that…

…someone saw heaven!

………hugmamma.

Click on the following to view Colton Burpo’s story.
http://cbn.com/tv/embedplayer.aspx?bcid=1398887148001

 

my summer vacation…

Remember that elementary school assignment?

I’m sure we’ve all written at length about our summer vacations once back in the classroom after Labor Day.

As youngsters our summer essays focused upon…us. Where we went and with whom. What fun things we did. Who our playmates were. What new purchases we made. And so on.

Young adults with money in their pockets would more than likely write with the same focus. Where they went for spring break. Florida or Mexico? How many shots of tequila did they down at one sitting? With whom did they spend the night?

Successful professionals continue the trend, promising themselves to go bigger…or go home.

It’s when we start footing the bills for those summer vacations that the focus is off our wants. The constant cha-ching of the cash register has a sobering effect. We find ourselves settling for Residence Inns with their all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts. Sharing a crowded beach or an overflowing pool is just fine. We make do with cheap souvenirs that eventually get tossed to the back of a drawer.

Having experienced most of these stages…spring breaks were never on my radar…I must admit to liking my most recent summer vacation best of all.

What I did during this my 65th summer vacation

Wanting to spend as much of my vacation outdoors as possible, I convinced family members to gather at a beach near where my husband, daughter, and I were staying. Because we live away from the rest of my husband’s siblings and their families, they very generously acquiesced to my wish.

The Sunday we arrived, eight of my husband’s brothers and sisters as well as nieces, nephews and their children gathered for a huge family potluck. The adults sat around talking as the children frolicked in the ocean nearby. The older ones looking after the youngest. Laughter hung in the air as soft island breezes deflected the heat from the afternoon sun.

As has always been the tradition, the women set about arranging the bountiful assortment of food…salads, meats, breads, fruits, desserts, and beverages. No one went hungry. Just the opposite. Bellies bulged and pant waists had somehow shrunk a few inches.

Lanterns lit the darkness as conversations dwindled. Appetites had been satisfied. Youthful energies expended.

After bidding ALOHA, everyone took their leave making plans to meet again. Same time. Same place.

And so it was that we sat about on two other occasions, enjoying each other’s company long after the sun set.

For the price of a few hearty meals, my life is richer for the memories of this…

…one of my best summer vacations…ever.

………hugmamma.IMG_4517

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: filed under entertaining angels

hugmamma:

Gosh! I’m sure someone is already thinking of me this way…”that chatty, old woman.” Let’s hope I complete the picture…”she made me feel good about myself.”
………hugmamma.

Originally posted on another cup of coffee:

angel

This lovely lady represents so much that’s good about humanity: unconditional love, joy, compassion.

I ran into to her at the post office. Well. Let me rephrase that; she annoyed her way into my heart while I was standing impatiently in line at the post office.

She kept engaging the postal clerk in a prolonged conversation, asking after everybody in the clerk’s family, her co-workers, and some other mundane and totally-uninteresting-to-me details. In short, she was holding me up. I didn’t even have anywhere to be at the time, but I can say that my day had been fairly ruined with some bad news, and that wasn’t helping my mood.

By the time my turn came up and I was finished and on the way out, she was still moving at her elderly pace to get to the door. I gave in to the moment. I just wasn’t going to…

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friday fictioneers: small…and alone

©Tales_From_the_Motherland

If I think small, petty thoughts…it’s reflected in my stature.

If I hold tight to my pocketbook…it’s reflected in my stature.

If I offer no kind words…it’s reflected in my stature.

If I show no compassion…it’s reflected in my stature.

If I take my problems out on others…it’s reflected in my stature.

If I genuflect to my own image…it’s reflected in my stature.

If my life begins and ends with me…it’s reflected in my stature.

If I am God…it’s reflected in my stature.

I am an island…unto myself.

It’s reflected in my stature.
Enjoy other 100 word flash fictional stories at…

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/

 

gladiators…then…and now

Physical abuse among professional football players continues to occupy many in the media. While I don’t condone the behavior being reported, I also don’t condone CNN and others using such tragedy to drive their ratings numbers. Rather than droning on and on about the salacious details, why not report more substantively about the story…behind the story.

Who are these men recruited for their prowess on the playing field? Where do they come from? How were they raised?

I would imagine many of them, especially the black athletes, hail from inner cities where crime is rampant. They were probably parented by a single mother, or a grandmother. If the family did include a father, it’s more than likely he wasn’t a positive role model. Of course there are exceptions to this scenario. Unfortunately, they are just that…exceptions.

Whether these disadvantaged, young men naturally excel at sports or make it their life’s goal to get hired as professional athletes, their lives have not prepared them to make the leap from impoverished backgrounds to wealth beyond their wildest imaginings.

Unless their personal background issues are resolved satisfactorily, the behavior of these men off the playing field cannot help but be at odds with society.

Money, lots of money, doesn’t buy morals. These are learned over all of one’s life, not in the blink of an eye.

Whom do we blame? There’s more than enough to go around. The player for his own actions. The owners, managers, and coaches for not holding their players to acceptable behavior on and off the field. Sponsors who pay exorbitant amounts of money for the persona, without knowing the full measure of the person. The fans who elevate the players to demi-gods who can do nothing wrong, as long as they bring home the Super Bowl Trophy.

Professional sports players bear the burden of fame and celebrity. Like it or not, they are also icons for millions of youngsters who yearn to follow in the footsteps of these men.

In the days of ancient Rome, no one asked about the gladiator’s personal history before sending him into the arena. Who cared? As long as he provided great entertainment while battling his foe.

…are we so different?

………hugmamma.