One Bad Apple

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You know the old saying, “one bad apple spoils the bunch”? I’ve come to wonder if the writer was really referring to decision making. It has been three months since my last post and in that time I’ve faced a number of personal and professional “setbacks” if you will. These moments have not been due to a sudden car crash, unexpected illness or jump in gas prices, NO, nothing like that. Instead they have been result of past bad choices. Not a week ago past but 8-10 years ago past. Without warning,  mistakes that I have worked diligently to rectify suddenly appear smack in the middle of my life. What happened to learning from mistakes? Moving on? Getting better?  Why now? Why not then?
Let me begin by saying that I am in NO WAY denying responsibility for MY decisions. However, I do believe that a mistake should have immediate consequences and an opportunity to make amends.   I was taught to “make good choices” but no one ever told me that in some ways mistakes NEVER stop biting you in the butt! Even if you learn your lesson from a youthful mistake, you could suffer consequences for a lifetime.
So now what? Well, I can’t change my past but I will be sure to tell my children the TRUTH about mistakes. No one is able to truly get past their mistakes. You lose a small piece of your future in each one you make. They are not fleeting or temporary; they are infectious. They are spoiled apples that will cause every other apple you produce to be a little less sweet, a little less shiny and harder to eat because of the stink bad apples have left behind in your life.

The Village is Dying: Are We to Blame?

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Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
Thomas Szasz

 Today’s world is filled with two things in abundance, individuals and their opinions. The news cycle, magazines and social media are all filled with stories about the actions of others, followed by our commentary on them. In recent weeks, social media was in an uproar over the grooming of a child born to a certain musical power couple. Powerful words flew back and forth chastising the couples perceived missteps as well as supporters who protested that it “wasn’t anyone’s BUSINESS”.  In isolation this statement seems harmless, but as I studied the comments and opinions I made an observation. Threaded  within the fabric of social media and other public commentary were statements that read: “It’s My Life, I’ll live it how I want”, “Why does anyone care?”, “Unless you’re paying my bills keep your comments to yourself.” One after another, each phrase gave me the distinct feeling that men are becoming islands. But is that really possible? Can a person live independently of others when almost every aspect of our lives is interdependent?

I must admit that by being a teacher, I am inclined to believe that  human beings  should care about the condition of others. It could also be the voice of my mother telling me that “one bad apple spoils a bunch” as she would caution my blind support of certain people. Either way, I was raised to believe  that “wrong is wrong” and “right is right” whether it is popular or not.  I also realize that there are areas of gray in life and I am not here to discuss them right now. I’m simply talking about the blatant and in my opinion unacceptable ways we are justifying the destruction of the people we claim to love the most. Any statement that doesn’t boost someone’s ego, make them smile or feel warm and fuzzy is received with defensiveness, venom and backlash. When did we become so self-righteous that we no longer could recognize solid, practical and well-meaning ADVICE.

Individuals of conviction are supposed to be firm about their beliefs and it is often those individuals who move others to see the error of their ways and change. How can someone who is against abuse encourage a person to assault others? How can someone who believes in healthy eating provide bad food for a friend? Is one acting out of jealousy when they say that an outfit/picture/song/etc is inappropriate? Are you judgmental if you think someone struggling to raise kids alone should focus less on romance and more on stability or self-improvement?  Can you really proclaim to be healthy when the weight on your bones prevents you from being active? WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE between being supportive and being an enabler? At the end of the day, adults WILL  make their own choices about life. The thing is; how does one make a “choice” if they are never offered the alternative?

 

Nothing Cuts Like Diamond

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Many of the finest cutting tools in the world are edged in diamond and no group understands why more than women. Overall, women seem to have an uncanny ability to dig into the seemingly hardest of exteriors. After an evening of SM, I am honestly drained from the critical, degrading, catty and disrespectful comments from WOMEN about WOMEN. I made diamonds the focus of this blog because I firmly believe that women are truly a treasure. However I’m afraid that I am raising daughters in a world where we diamonds are being diminished and destroyed by those who we should share the closest bonds with. When will the madness stop?

The 4 C’s: What Every Woman Should Know About Diamonds

If there’s one thing I know about diamonds, it is that they ARE NOT created equal. All one has to do is look at the vast assortment of diamond jewelry and their variance in price. (Hint. Hint.) In the same manner, women come in a myriad of forms, shapes and sizes . A true lady, would NEVER invest in a diamond that was not properly vetted, so if we are going to embark on a journey of comparing ourselves to diamonds, it seems only logical that we also evaluate our own VALUE in life. Now when I say “value” I am in no way reducing women to objects worthy of a price tag.  However, I AM saying that each of us needs to know exactly what those things are that make us a “diamond” worth coveting, worth possession and worth adulation. As usual, thinking on this subject dredged up memories of my jewelry selling days. Whenever I presented a piece of diamond jewelry to a customer, I always began by highlighting the stones’ attributes using something called “THE 4 C’S “.  The 4 C’s are the basic criteria used by all jewelers to determine the overall value of a stone.

CUT

“When it comes to grading diamond’s, the “Cut” is a grade of the diamond’s reflective qualities — not the diamond’s shape.” http://www.adiamondbuyingguide.com/diamondcut.html

The cut of a diamond determines the amount of light that will reflect from it for the world to see. These cuts fall into one of four categories. Stones are either “ideal”, “fine”, “deep” or “shallow”. I realize the last one sounds harsh, but we ALL know a “shallow” diamond.

“Ideal Diamonds”  These are my well-rounded ladies. The ones who seem to seamlessly maneuver between circles, all whilst maintaining the same level of brightness and beauty. This woman exudes her inner beauty in a t-shirt and jeans at the park, at her 9-5 or even in a ball gown.

Fine Diamonds” These are self-assured ladies. Women who very much know who they are, what they want and where they are going in life. They are open to new experiences, but carry their own unique air everywhere they go.

Deep Diamonds” Women who have rich life experience and wisdom that glimmers through their every word and action. Her value is evident but not flashing to be accepted by the masses. She’s crossed THAT bridge and no one or nothing will steal her light.

Shallow Diamonds” Women who spend so much time pretending to be one of the stones above that  people often question the authenticity of the “real thing” when they encounter it.

To Be Continued…….

 

Which kind of diamond best describes you?