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Category Archives: Values

sparkle shoes

Most people have a body part that they don’t like, some more than others. We each see our own flaws magnified, and think everyone else is looking at us too, gawking and clucking at our misfortune.

I found myself in a shoe department looking at silver shoes and sandals too pretty to be on my feet. Others had such beautiful legs and delicately trim ankles. They were able to turn pirouettes in their high heeled cage shoes with spindly heels and fashionable cut outs.

Meanwhile, I had three pairs of flats in my hands. Such is life; I have crossed the barrier where I am capable of walking in such confections of leather and lack of support.

While admiring the other shoppers, I noted three people shopping with their mothers. Another woman had just taken off her beautiful nude colored heels and reached for a pair of Keds slip on sneakers. I smiled at her and told her how impressed I was with her choice of shoes and the need for comfort. She told me that her high heels were extremely comfortable but she was picking up the sneakers for her mother who would love them.

Creeping up on the anniversary of my mother’s passing, I began to feel the loneliness and sadness that I have no right to feel. Other people have lost their mothers much earlier in life, or never known them, so I had no right to these feelings. Also, my mother suffered and died from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). In the last six months of her life, she lost the use of her limbs and her freedom. Rationally, I did not want her to continue living suffering but miss having the love of my mother.

I chatted with another woman who was trying on beautiful glittery sparkling shoes for a wedding. They looked lovely on her and I complimented her on her beautiful legs and how pretty they the shoes looked on her feet. Next, in my own insecurity, I explained that I had horrible legs which was why I hid them under maxi skirts.

In the end, I left the store without a purchase. I walked back to my car and turned on the blissful air conditioning. Then, in the quiet of a moment’s pause, I realized that I had to have gratitude for the gifts which I do have.

My legs are not horrible — because they work. I know my mother would have been proud that I understood and learned the moral of the story.

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Thanks for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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cartoon of boy with the flu

As a parent, I have tried to teach empathy and compassion to my children. We want to model behavior that will make an impression and reach the depths of human love and kindness.

Sometimes, a teacher can make an unforgettable impact with his ability to open his heart and show his students a lesson that will last a lifetime. For my son, and others, a compassionate and empathetic act will never be forgotten.

It has been a snowy and difficult winter. The Polar Vortex became a part of our vocabulary and people struggled all across the United States in bitter cold, ice storms and record-breaking snowfalls. Along with that, people became sick with colds, viruses, and the flu; all that time indoors may have been too much togetherness.

At the school my son attends, over 60 boys, in the dorm, were sick with the flu. Rising snow drifts and cold drafty apartments did not help anyone to feel better. A teacher with a heart of gold and an empathetic soul rounded up the boys who were still feeling fine. He sent them to the grocery store for ingredients and together they made a huge pot of soup.

The pot was so heavy, that it was carried by two boys, one on each side. The teacher, and his students, went from room to room, and bed to bed. They gave out bowls of soup and stopped to ask each young man how he was feeling and chatted a bit. It was not enough to acknowledge that they were sick; offering comfort in warm food and kind words taught a lesson more deeply than I could in 18 years.

A little creativity, sincerity and empathy can make an impact that will never be forgotten. My husband and I were so touched, and grateful, when we heard the story from our son. As parents, we wonder what trouble our children can get into away from home with unknown influences. This was a teaching moment that made a difference to each student that day, whether they were receiving kindness or sharing it.

What small act of kindness and empathy could you create that would be unforgettable?
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A good post reaches for your heart and remains on your mind.

Thank you so much for stopping by! It means more than you know.
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Being a bully does not make you strong; surviving one does. Cultivate empathy and create a safe environment for others to grow and develop without fear, judgment, or shame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1J5IXV6P54

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A good post reaches for your heart and remains on your mind.

Thank you for stopping by! It means more than you know.

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