in vogue again…

So…if children see Trump bullying his way into the presidency, then why bother listening to adults moralize against bullying? Bullying gets the job done. Trump is proof-positive, and thousands of voters are rooting the bully on to a knock-out victory over any and all contenders.

So…if we see an uptick in bullying…on the playground…and on the internet…adults who voted Trump president have only themselves to thank. They have upended recent efforts to halt suicides by victims who were no match for the bullies.

So…if the would-be president is a bully, why shouldn’t children aspire to be like Trump…a bully? There’s no arguing the point, unless voters want to argue that the end justifies the means.

So…if the end justifies the means…what’s wrong with bullying…if it gets a kid what he wants in the end? It’s getting Trump what he wants. Remember, he swears he could shoot someone and his voters would still support him.

So…if mentally ill kids feel victimized by bullies and decide to retaliate by taking their  frustrations out in mass shootings, then we’ll be right where we are today. No better, but headed for a lot worse, that’s for sure.

So…for adults supporting Trump for president, it would follow that they approve of his bullying tactics. And because they do, it stands to reason that these same adults could not hold it against children who bully. Unless, of course, these Trump supporters are proposing that children “do as they say and not as they do.” That old double standard…that’s as old as bullying.

Sadly…

…some things never change.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

 

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scratching an itch…

…that’s how a pundit described Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

We all like a good scratch now and then. It alleviates an annoyance.

What folks don’t realize is that the solution to the itch in Trump’s case would lead to a case of…poison ivy. And having suffered from a bad case of it a number of years ago, the only solution was medication…prednisone, to be specific. It took eliminating the itch from the inside out.

Living through 4 years of a Trump administration would be akin to a case of poison ivy with no immediate relief in sight.

Trump gleefully tosses out epithets like ” I don’t give a shit!” when responding to questions from the press. Wow! Won’t it be cool to have a president well versed in vulgarity. America’s face to the world will be a man who swears…and doesn’t give a shit. He’ll make Putin look like an altar boy. There’s no doubt they both swear, it’s just that the Russian leader can hold his tongue. Unlike Trump, whose mouth is always open…because his tongue is always clacking.

Trump as president would be a throwback to the days when America was seen as a big bully. Those days are gone. The Wild West is gone. Pushing people around to get our own way…that’s gone.

Donald Trump envisions the presidency like a reality show, one in which he can…fire…anyone and everyone not to his liking. The world will be his oyster…or so he thinks. And we will suffer the consequences if enemies, and friends, refuse to subjugate themselves to The Donald’s wishes.

A vote for Trump will be a vote…

…for taking one giant step backward.

………hugmamma.

bullying…adults, take heed

Gosh darn! Why can’t the NFL leave the Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch alone???

Yeah! I get he’s suppose to honor his contract about talking with the media like his fellow NFL football players. No matter the circumstances, however…bullying is bullying! Plain and simple.

The message sent to our children is that…it’s okay for adults to bully one another, especially when millions of $$$ are at stake. 

As often happens with adults, we like to think we’re above the lessons learned as children. “Been there. Done that. Now I’m all grown up so I don’t have to do that no more.”

Better we try to teach the next generations to…think outside the box when circumstances call for it. 

Can we finally dump leftover Victorian Era stupidity which…hammered round pegs into square holes…and…square pegs into round holes? 

Haven’t we yet learned in 2015 that no two human beings are alike? 

So if Marshawn Lynch can’t make small talk…which some of us can garner Oscars for…then let the man do something else which might satisfy the contract. For goodness sake’s! Even his teammates are willing to cut the guy some slack. 

So it’s not like Lynch is going to commit suicide over something stupid like this, but can we recognize why teens pushed far enough end up taking their own lives?

This is no different.

Although the NFL, and those of the same mindset, will undoubtedly hem and haw…and hide behind their standard speak…”Well, if we make an exception for one, then we’re setting a precedent, and then the whole thing starts falling apart.”

As far as I’m concerned that’s just lazy talk.

It’s too much trouble and too much money to “think outside the box.” 

The NFL and its rules are set in concrete.

So if Marshawn Lynch can’t keep his mind on the game…and his eye on the ball…it may be due in part to his being bullied. 

Something to remember the next time the NFL and the media get up on their soap boxes denouncing bullying by their players.

And something we adults need to reflect upon when…

…another kid commits suicide.

………hugmamma.

advice…

Tricky business…giving advice. It’s like walking a tightrope. One misstep and you fall into the abyss, never to be heard from again. 

I never give advice, even when asked. I can inform as to what I would do, or have done. However I’ve never felt qualified to tell someone else how to live their life. Being the youngest of 9, I’ve never come from a place of authority.

Whether or not my inability to give advice is the reason I don’t take advice well, especially unsolicited advice, I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that my life has been a testament to the fact that like a hornet’s nest, when someone tries poking around in my business attempting to straighten me out…I can sting with the best of ’em.

Just as I don’t tell others what to do or how to live, I don’t go on the offensive right away. I try to deflect the “holier than thou” attitude…by not saying anything, or by charming the pants off the one giving advice…tongue-in-cheek, of course. Only when I’m backed into a corner will I lash out…like an animal fighting to escape, 

I’m never proud of what I say or do in the heat of the moment. And yet I’m also totally clueless as to why someone would go so far as to badger me. Unless it’s to hear me say “You’re right; I’m wrong.” And not that I’m never wrong, it’s just I prefer to think we’re all entitled to our own opinions. 

Someone once said she felt an aggressive person knowingly terrorizes a weaker person. There’s some truth in that.

The strong act; the less strong react. Perhaps that’s the way of all species.

Of course most of us fall somewhere in the middle. We can be strong when the need arises. We’re not always wearing our armor  prepared to do battle. In fact it takes me awhile to assemble mine. There’s always the to-ing and fro-ing. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?

The upside for me in penning Journeying towards her best life with Pat is that I get to chat with her about other things, including issues with which I might be dealing. And believe it or not, she reaches me in the way others might not. 

How is that you might ask?

Well first of all, Pat doesn’t hit me over the head with a hammer. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) While explaining the opposing viewpoint, she’s doing so while stroking my bruised ego…“… your personality has always come through loud and clear and I’d never want you to change.”  Very smart maneuver. She also agrees that the person nailing me to the wall isn’t very smart in going that route. I totally agree, especially with me.

So while I’m still not inclined to totally let down my guard, I am definitely seeing the other side in a different light. 

Thanks, Pat!

The old adage is true……you get more with honey…than you do with vinegar. 

…with me you get everything…within reason, that is.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

nurturing thursdays: bullying

We’re all very familiar with the bullying that takes place among youngsters. These days it’s even taken to cyberspace…big time! Short of throwing the computer out the window, I’ve little advice to offer parents who are dealing with this recent phenomenon.

English: A graph showing where electronic aggr...

English: A graph showing where electronic aggression occurs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps if we backtracked a little however, we might do a little preventative work towards laying a better foundation to help alleviate bullying.

It amazes me when adults work themselves into a dither over children being bullied by other children. I often think…well, how about the bullying that goes on day in and day out among adults? Did we pass some kind of hazing threshold which now permits us to have at it? Or have the years worn us down so that we could care less if we overflow onto one another? Good manners be damned?

My own experiences with bullying have left me with an assortment of thoughts on the subject.

As the youngest I was an easy target for bullying by my older siblings. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hide behind the Catholic church’s teachings commanding us to love one another. 

For some reason, society doesn’t point its collective finger at the family when it comes to bullying. We’ve come to accept that the older children are just naturally given to mistreating their younger brothers and sisters, if they’re so inclined. Perhaps it’s deemed a lesson in survival. Or it might be that parents are either too overwhelmed or too clueless to manage the ongoing spats of their offspring. Easier to let them settle things themselves.

Yes, lessons are good. However the downside of bullying within a family is that it often creates enmity. Loving one another is a given, especially when tragedy strikes. Liking one another is a whole other thing. And it’s the liking that allows us to coexist in harmony for more than a holiday dinner or a wedding celebration or attendance at a funeral.

Where do children learn the art of bullying? I would suggest that the primary source is the example their parents set. If a father bullies a mother or vice versa, such behavior goes a long way in convincing youngsters that bullying is okay. If parents didn’t engage in bullying and condemned such behavior in others, it would follow that children wouldn’t succumb to something of which their parents disapproved.

I understand that raising children not to bully is complicated by outside forces over which we have little or no control. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be a good beginning to lay down some ground rules within the family so that bullying might not find fertile ground upon which to take hold, grow, thrive, and spread?

Paralleling the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God, family members might be commanded to…

  1. Love one another as you love your own self.
  2. Treat one another as you would want to be treated.
  3. Before lashing out with unkind words or gestures, have a discussion with yourself to weigh the pros and cons. Seek guidance from someone whose counsel you respect.
  4. If #3 doesn’t work for you…count to 100…or 1,000…or 5,000…whatever it takes to calm yourself down.
  5. If neither #3 or #4 work, go for a walk in the great outdoors where the sights, sounds, and smells might have a calming effect upon you.
  6. Get to know one another…your likes…your dislikes…your vulnerabilities…your passions. You do this with friends. Why not with siblings? Are they that alien to you?
  7. Put yourself in one another’s shoes, figuratively-speaking. What’s it like to be dad with his financial worries? Or mom who’s always stressed with so much to do? What’s it like to be the eldest missing the attention once reserved only for him or her? Or the youngest who feels left out, left behind? Is it true that middle children feel as though they’re invisible?
  8. Compliment one another. If doing so makes a complete stranger’s day, like the waiter or the barista, think what it can do for your own family member? Tell mom she’s a great cook…often! Congratulate your sister on her excellent grades. 
  9. Tell one another “I love you” every day. You never know if it’ll be the last time you get to say it.
  10. Respect one another…and yourself. If you have a legitimate gripe, speak up. And be sure you allow others to have their say as well. 

I would offer one more suggestion. 

Families should refrain from gossiping about one another…to one another. Doing so only breeds ill-will. I know. It happened in my own family, creating untold and unresolved disruptions to relationships that will probably never be rectified. Better to vent to good friends who have no personal stake in the matter, and who are committed to supporting you regardless.

Bullying can take on a life of its own, having far-reaching effects which often span a person’s entire lifetime.English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...

The one given to bullying can wind up behind bars because he injured another driver in a road rage incident. Someone who’s often the focus of bullying can finally snap, shooting and killing innocent victims in an attempt to assuage his torment.

Short of such drastic true-to-life scenarios, however, are the day-to-day consequences many of us face as a result of bullying. 

I hate confrontations because I don’t like hurting people’s feelings, even when a wrong has been done to me.  When I have had to say something hurtful to put someone in his or her place, I feel guilty forever after. Thankfully, I’ve learned to forgive myself and move on.

Low self-esteem can be a side product of being bullied. Recovering one’s confidence can be a lifetime job. 

Loss of trust is another factor when bullied. The victim forever doubts what’s said going forward. Only after what seems a lifetime of reassurances can trust be reinvested, if it’s even possible.

Bullies probably never think of themselves as such. Perhaps we should all ask ourselves…

…am i a bully?…

………hugmamma.

English: A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Be...

 

a fine line…

English: Bo Derek attending the

English: Bo Derek attending the “Night of 100 Stars” for the 82nd Academy Awards viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA on March 7, 2010 – Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acknowledging female beauty has always been at the forefront of society. There’s a subconscious standard where women are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Bo Derek was labeled a “10” in a film of the same name, co-starring Dudley Moore…a 4 or 5 by comparison. Yes, even women are guilty of judging whether a guy is a hunk or a dud…pun intended.

Mothers, and fathers for that matter, unwittingly expose their daughters to societal discrimination. It’s an age-old desire that they measure up to the standard set by others…be they relatives, friends, acquaintances or even complete strangers.

We allow ourselves to be bullied into thinking we should look like Angelina Jolie or Beyonce.

English: Phyllis Diller portrait

English: Phyllis Diller portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God help us if we look like Phyllis Diller, a comedienne of the psychedelic 60s and 70s. I can’t even think of a current media darling who looks as homely. There are none! Those folks don’t make the small screen, big screen or print. Unless, of course, they’re meant to draw attention to what we don’t want to emulate.

Whether we like it or not, we imprint our mindset onto our daughters.

Other adult females  are also guilty of doing harm. A relative once asked her husband if he didn’t think I looked gorgeous swimming around in their pool. Wanting to escape his appreciative stare, I instinctively crossed my arms over my chest and tread water. While the moment quickly passed, it has never faded from my memory.

There’s no escaping the web we have woven for ourselves. It is embedded into the very fiber of our souls, I’m afraid.

My daughter is a ballerina…the quintessential embodiment of female beauty. At least that is what is presented to the paying public. It’s a different story behind the scenes. If you’re an avid fan of “Dancing with the Stars,” you know what I mean. The same is true for the reality shows about models.

It’s important we teach our daughters what’s true and what’s false. There’s no escaping the latter, considering our constant bombardment by the advertising and marketing world. Only a solid, moral foundation can help our youngsters maneuver life’s slippery slope.

Beauty need not be evil…if it shines from the inside out.

…perhaps we should…shift our focus to…our inner beauty…IMG_4505

………hugmamma.

 

 

“living la vida gay,” ricky martin

In his “heyday” Ricky Martin was hot, hot, hot! Then he disappeared. What was that all about? Years passed, and I forgot all about him. Seems he had a lot to figure out in his personal life. He’s gay. Now I understand. “Living la vida loca,” with guys might not sell records to straight audiences, or so he thought. It might have made me think “aw shucks,” but a singer who’s got great vocals and a ripped body, and moves as Martin does, needn’t have worried about me liking him as an entertainer. I move to the beat, regardless of someone’s sexual preference.

Upset that Barbara Walters asked if he was gay on national television the night of the Academy Awards, Ricky Martin sidestepped the question. He wasn’t “ready” to deal with the unrelenting attention the mass media would heap upon him if he “came out.” He chose to pick the moment, when he was ready to reveal the truth. Martin was still evolving into the gay man he has proudly proclaimed himself to be, today. When his mom hugged him after only taking a minute to digest his news, he knew it was time to tell everyonelse. So he wrote his memoirs.

“Ricky Martin: ME” was the platform from which Oprah interviewed him on her talk show today. In his autobiography, he told all, including his having been bisexual before determining that, in fact, he was gay. He’d had passionate romances with women, but one serious relationship with a man, for whom he would have sacrificed everything, convinced him he was gay. Older, perhaps wiser, the man refused to let Martin give up what he was obviously meant to do, entertain crowds who loved him. The singer decided his partner was not as enamored of him, as he was of the man. At the time Martin was 22.

His new love these days? Actually there are two. A surrogate was engaged to give Ricky Martin children, twin boys, as it turned out. Watching him parent the youngsters on a video, probably had women in the audience, and viewers on TV, wishing he were straight. There was no mistaking that Martin is an awesome, “hands-on” father. He changed diapers, he played “pat-a-cake,” he served up breakfast, he rode a bike, carting the twins behind in a special contraption, and he’s teaching his boys to speak Spanish. The luckiest woman in Martin’s world right now? His mom, for she’s got his heart, and the hearts of 2 precious grandsons.

Evidently, Ricky Martin’s celebrity status was a powerful catalyst in moving ordinary men to “own” their gay-ness. A man flown in by Oprah to be part of the audience, explained how the revelation convinced his own Hispanic mom to ask her son questions about his lifestyle, something she hadn’t done when first learning that he was gay. Standing at his side, for all the world to see, she shared a hug, and kiss on the cheek with her son.

While Martin is a proponent of gays professing themselves to the public in their own time, Oprah supports all gays stepping out together in a powerful show of support for one another. Admirable of her to suggest it, another thing for those affected, to do so, and face retaliation, each on his own turf, in his home, in his school, in his office, in his church, in the military, in sports, among his friends, in society.

What do you think?

hugs for ricky martin…still hot!…hugmamma.