Appreciation - Goes a long way

Appreciate all those who helped to get you where you are. No person gets anywhere alone. It's easy to go about one's life, enjoying all the progress and happy times, yet forget that we didn't do it all by ourselves. Think about any good situation in your life and ask yourself, how did I get there and who helped make it happen. Appreciate, thank and acknowledge those who gave you a hand up so that you could be successful. It's important for you and it's important for them, too.   KJ @ KJ-isms  (2017)



Tolerance – people, more than ever today, want tolerance, but they want it for what they believe, not what others believe. They seem to want to get tolerance, ...but they have no desire to give any tolerance. Tolerance is a two-way street (I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating). We will never all be the same, we will never all think the same and we need to understand what that really means. Compromise and learning to live with our differences, it’s not really that hard. What Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools” was the truth. And he was talking about the human race, but were we listening?

I have lived my life trying to not offend anyone, seriously I have and in years past, it seemed to be much easier to accomplish. Today, it seems impossible to go a day without offending at least one person. And even if by chance, I offend no one, it’s impossible to not witness, on a daily basis, someone being offended by another’s opinion. Why? Maybe we could blame it on social media and how totally connected we are in every moment of our life. Perhaps we weren’t any more tolerant in years gone by, perhaps we just didn’t see it as frequently, thus we weren’t as bothered by other’s opinions.

Ask yourself, do you really try to see the other person’s point of view before you get offended. Ask yourself, what could possibly make them think that way. Try to understand that we are all standing and looking at every issue with different biases (yes, even you) and that while someone may not agree with how you see it, keep in mind that you also don’t agree with how they see it. You want tolerance from them for your opinions, causes and beliefs, but do you give them the same tolerance for theirs? If not, why not?

Just because someone has an opinion, that does not match with your opinion, it does not mean they are wrong and you are right. Of course, it does not mean that they are right and you are wrong, either. It just means we all think differently and every person (in their opinion) has valid reasons for thinking what they do (or they wouldn’t think it!).

Just maybe, there are times we need to meet in the middle, stop standing in our separate corners yelling and screaming at the opposition, as if they were our enemy. There is an old saying, goes way, way back, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”. Well, it is still true today. If what you intend to accomplish, is having someone see your side, yelling and cursing at them just isn’t going to do it! KJ @ KJ-isms   (2017)

Death, why don't we talk about it?

I wrote this on my personal facebook page regarding the recent death of my husband and how it’s been for me these last few months, “if I can get others to talk about death with their significant other and be more aware of what they may face down the road, than it was worth sharing how my journey goes. As others have said, it truly is an individual journey and no two are the same. But, I think having the conversations while both are still here would make that road a little lighter for the one left behind.”

And my good friend asked, “any guidance on how to start this conversation and what to say?”

Here are my thoughts.

Throughout this time of grieving I have often thought about how we don’t prepare ourselves. We all know that, one day, we will find ourselves facing this, but yet we don’t talk about it. We talk about life, we talk about birth, we talk about everything under the sun, but we avoid any discussion about death. And if you are one who tries to talk about death, you probably get the “don’t be morbid” lecture. At least we avoid it as much as possible, or we wait until one happens and we have to talk about it. The strange thing is, that from the moment we are born, we begin the dying process. Dying is as much a part of living, as being born. No one escapes it, let’s talk about it!

If you are a part of a loving relationship, where each of you consider yourselves to be “soulmates” or each other’s “other half”, the chances are that one will pass before the other. It is rare that two will pass at the same time. So, one of you will lose that “other half”. How will life be without your other half there to comfort, to talk with and to share everything with?
When my husband passed away, it quickly dawned on me that I had spent the rest of his life with him, but that he would not be spending the rest of my life with me (which was the plan!). And while we did make wills and we talked about what each should do, if something were to happen to the other, we did not talk about how it would be for the one left behind or what we thought about it all. Create a will? Check! Funeral arrangements, or none? Check! Services or none? Check! How to dispose of the remains? Check! How life will be for the one still on earth? Nada!

So, why is it that we don’t talk about it? I’ve even tried to talk to my friends about the most minimal of death things, creating a will and I just get avoidance or resistance. Most likely because to talk about creating a will, one must think or talk about death. The subject that we would all most like to avoid, but cannot avoid it actually taking place. And I am not talking about “how” it will happen, because actually how it takes place does not matter. What matters is how will life be for the one left here.

Would it be comforting to know what your significant other's desires are for you, if you should be the person left behind? I think so. I know we could all generalize what a person would “want” for another, but it’s not the same as a discussion for those actually involved. A simple statement like, “You know I am going to miss you terribly when you are gone”, might start a conversation. Or, “if I should pass before you, I hope that you will continue to enjoy life for as long as you live”, might be nice to hear. Starting a conversation can be as simple as saying, “you know that the likelihood is that we will not both die at the same time, maybe we could talk about our feelings about that.” You might be surprised what the other has to say (or not). We discuss all our big decisions and situations in life, shouldn’t we talk about the biggest situation to come? We talk about the beginning, we talk about the middle, shouldn’t we talk about the end?

I know that approaching the subject at all, is not easy. But I think it is important enough that everyone at least try. Being the one “left behind” is hard, it’s painful and it will be the worst time in your life. Some of the little things that have comforted me have been the notes, cards and little letters that my husband left behind (thankfully, I have lots of those). But how much better would it have been had we merely just talked about our feelings about life after death for the one left here? I think it would have been infinitely better. So, my suggestion to you, is just try to have those conversations now, while you can, because you never know when you will not have that option.    KJ @ KJ-isms

When to Quit

My husband was always saying, "a smart man knows when to quit". I would smile when he said it, but I never really thought about it or understood what he was saying, until now. A smart person does know when to quit, but we aren't always smart about doing it. Knowing when to quit, whether it is a job that has become stale and boring, or a hobby that no longer holds your interest, a volunteer position that you may have held too long, or whatever it is, it is important to leave... at the top of your game, that is the "when". Don't wait for it to become a chore!

Unfortunately, quitting has taken a bad rap. There will be times when quitting is the right thing to do and it's not because you are "giving up", it's because you know you are done and you have given it all you have to give. Perhaps it is time for someone else to grab that task and carry on. Every thing we do brings something to us and gives something to others. When you have given it all you can give and those that receive have received all they can from your efforts, it is time to move to another new adventure! Like an artist with a painting, knowing when to quit is what gives the painting it's beauty.

Folks, it's ok to say, "I quit".  KJ

Wanting what you have

There is an old song (a lot of wisdom in songs), "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need." The key is in seeing that you have all you need right now and then discovering that you love what you have. And if you love what you have, then you truly have all you want. Want what you have, than you will have all you want and you will want for nothing. KJ

Helping Others

Maybe we are not here to save the whole world. Perhaps we are here to just help one person. As it has been said many times, you might not be able to do everything, but each of us can do something. If each person did one thing, to make another's life better, imagine how much nicer our world would be for all of us. We can do it, one "kind gesture" at a time. KJ

Education leads to understanding. Understanding leads to tolerance. Tolerance leads to acceptance.  KJ 

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