Respecting others is a slippery slope and has nothing to do with entitlement.

We all want to be respected, but there are times the phrase is either misused or underutilized. So often we hear someone say something similar to, “They weren’t giving me my respect, so I….” This line is usually followed with explanation of some negative action given to the supposed offender.

     It is difficult to respect someone who hasn’t, (and doesn’t), earn our respect.  Recent generations seem more concerned with having us all “respecting” them, but it’s difficult not to notice that often they don’t earn the respect they command.  We are entitled to nothing we haven’t earned ourselves; that’s both figuratively and literally.  You are not “in charge” or the “boss”merely because you say you are.  That lacks humility and goes against honest Christian values.

I often think of my grandfather’s generation where men and woman both knew they were responsible for their own actions.  Their hands were rarely open to receive, but rather more often to give.  A person’s word and a handshake were as good as a signed contract.  If someone said they would be there at a specific time, they were.  Rarely were there excuses and alibis.  These were actions to be respected.  For the most part, they seem to be a thing of the past. Let’s all work on that.

Over the years, I have worked with many organizations where the folks at the head were more concerned with their own self- promotion than the project at hand. Recently, there was to be a literary event of magnitude in my home area. Understandably, I was excited. After all, this was my profession and now it was coming close to home. People all over the country sent books to be judged; many of them were well-known authors and some quite new to the profession.

There had been grand plans for the event… had it been followed through until the end. However, instead of truth telling by those in the lead, there were excuses and alibis when the “leader” abruptly left. It left many wondering if indeed it was ever to have happened in the first place. It appears that no one thought this through. Unfortunately, it has caused a great deal of displeasure and annoyance.

Earning respect is as simple as: telling the truth, keeping your word, showing up when you are supposed to, and making decisions of Integrity.  Not always an easy road, but one that is… respected.  Let us all do our best.


Admitting we are “wrong” in any situation… is difficult. Admitting we have done something “wrong” to another human being… is even more difficult. Sometimes, I refer to it as : stepping up to the plate. Similar to an athlete that might not see the ball coming directly at them…stepping up to the plate…to me, means that you are at least in the game (and in this case it’s the game of LIFE and you are willing to own up to the fast ball coming your way)…even if you strike out or are hit hard by that ball.

It takes courage to admit a fault or a wrong that you have done to someone else. It takes even more courage to admit it and then never do it again. I’m pretty sure that someone who suffers dependency in any area deals with this issue every day. Is this the last day I purposely hurt someone’s feelings or say something about them behind their back, hoping they never know it was me. Is today the last day I drink or do drugs? Is today the last day I cheat, steal, or lie? Is today the last day I “abuse” someone else?…but you get the idea. I know you do.

Truely, someone who comes forth in any venue and admits their faults has my total respect. But someone who comes forth, admits his/her limitations, and then does everything humanly possible to correct that injury or dysfunction is an example of highest regard for all of us. In actuality, not only have they stepped up to the plate, but they have won the inning. There will be many, many innings for all of us. Step up to the plate, today.

A Blessing from the Past… Passed On!

A Blessing from the Past Passed on…

I wrote these years ago for my students in their Senior English Classes.  I wanted to give them some words of wisdom, (not that I’m always so wise, but I do try to “walk the walk”….  as they would often remind me and… not always in a pleasant tone.) True, but I am laughing.

It was a troubled time at Graduation, as they were about to enter in the world waiting for them; life was seemingly uncertain.  The Tragedy of 9/11 had taken place at the beginning of the school year and our Nation was still healing.

We had a long discussion in one class about each of our personal beliefs and I explained that by putting those beliefs into a saying… they could become a Mantra.  Even better, if each student actually practiced what he/she had written, then they would become attainable goals.

I hear from previous students from time to time. They always ask if I am “still teaching.” Today, I received these back, via email, from a former student who mentioned that he has carried them in his wallet for over a decade, my Mantras … in addition to the ones of his own that he had written that day in my class. It amazed me.

His father had perished in one of the World Trade Center Towers.  He said that reciting these each morning helped give him clarity and healing for many years and thanked me.  I wept as I read his letter.

He knows that I am a Christian.  He is a Muslim.  It seems appropriate this time of year, that I share these with all of you.

From Ms. B to her students…with LOVE (2002)

This was written 13 years ago; 13 – my Lucky Number.

If you can imagine it … you can create it.

If you can dream it… you can become it.

When making your choices in life, do not neglect to live.

Life is a cup to be filled not drained.

What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible.

Luck is merely when opportunity knocks and… you choose to answer.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!

Live the life you’ve imagined.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler too.

Expect your every need to be met.

Expect the answer to every problem.

Expect abundance on every level.

Expect to grow spiritually… and your

Expectations will become reality.

Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize.

Your words are the greatest power you have.

The words you choose and then use, establish the life you experience.

Energy creates energy.

It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.

Always give more than you ever expect to receive.

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life of which he has imagined, they will meet with success.

The future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams.

Dreams come true; without that possibility, God and nature would not incite us to have them.