The Importance of Humanity – Wise Words Wednesday

Lucy Brazier words

Humanity is a colorful lot; not just in skin tones but in the relationships we build, the actions we take, and the habits we form. Within each realm of humanity there are always those assigned to protect and supervise the masses. Who better to observe the practices of other humans than someone who is responsible for keeping them safe?

Lucy BrazierThrough my blogging exploits I have made some tremendous writing friends. One of the individuals who I am proud to call my friend is Lucy Brazier. While Lucy and I have never met in person, we have exchanged comments and compliments via our sites and I am excitedly close to finishing her first book A Portergirl Novel: First Lady of the Keys.

As the book points out, we Americans believe porters are just people who carry bags, but in England porters are guards of a sort and protect and manage the safety and security of properties as keepers of the keys. Through the adventures of Deputy Head Porter, the first ever female porter at Old College, the idiosyncrasies and interactions of those in a most unusual academic setting are brought to light. It is in her chapter “Suited and Booted” that I found an exceptionally powerful statement about the importance of understanding and being an active part of humanity.

“People are important. They make the world what it is. They have made me what I am. Never forget the importance of humanity; without it, we are nothing.” (pg. 31) Continue reading “The Importance of Humanity – Wise Words Wednesday”

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Ultimate Advice to Give???

advice

As the school year races our way, planning for new student orientations are revving up. By some lucky star I have been selected to speak at the Power Up for new students at my college in August. The theme is the “Ultimate Guide to Success.” (Not sure how I feel about being ‘ultimate’ yet, but I am going to try.) 

After I received the email inviting me to give the speech, I lay awake in bed hoping some earth-shattering ideas would come to me for the presentation. The one thing I fear most is to give a “typical” start-of-the-year speech. Instead of flashes of inspiration my 7 year-old appeared. Apparently, he couldn’t sleep either. So I asked him what I should say to help students start the year. (Why would’t we ask a 7 year-old?)

He gave it some serious thought and said,
“Tell them to do their best and forget the rest.” (Thank you, Paw Patrol.)

Then he went on to say, “Tell them to ask questions.” 

Wait a second.

That was pretty good advice. Isn’t asking questions the scariest part of learning?

Third, my budding genius said, “Tell them it’s okay to fail.”  Continue reading “Ultimate Advice to Give???”

What’s a “Freak”?

 

About a month ago my children discovered the movie The Greatest Showman. It is a musical based on the life story of P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman). In the film Barnum invites individuals who are considered “freaks” to become part of his show. Some of Barnum’s “freaks” include the bearded lady, the world’s tallest man, the world’s fattest man, wolf boy, and acrobats. As far as musical movies go, it was an alright show.

Of course the cruelty shown to the “freaks” in the film led to questions from my kids, and they wanted to know, “What’s a freak?”

I explained to them that the term “freak” comes from “freak of nature” meaning that sometimes things occur in our world that make humans or animals freaks of nature. In their infinite innocence they understood that being different makes someone or something special but also makes the abnormality a target for cruelty and ostracism.

With true indignation all of my kids ranted about the the mean things done in the film by citizens who were afraid of or hated the “freaks” in Barnum’s show. I just reminded them that, in real life, they should be kind and accepting of others who are different. Continue reading “What’s a “Freak”?”

“Safe” Words – Wise Words Wednesday

Safe Words

“You need a ‘safe’ word for when someone is doing things or saying something that hurts your heart,” – Kim Borgmeyer

As all parents do, some friends of mine and I were discussing school and the upcoming school year. Some were concerned about the amount of “just kidding” that the kids were doing and how uncertain we were that most would consider their jibes or insults as “jokes.” In addition there were some comments made about when teachers “joke” and the words do not come across as “funny” to the students.

My friend Kim suggested that each classroom have a “safe” word. A word that any student could use to the teacher or other students to signify that what was being said or done was hurtful to them. It could be anything from “rotten apples” to “pink giraffe,” but whatever the word was it would always show that the other’s behavior was not okay.

I thought, “Man, that’s brilliant.” Using a “safe” word is a terrific way to signify the impact of the moment and keep everyone aware of the power of their words and actions.

Of course everyone would need to understand that the “safe” word should only be used in real instances of bullying or disrespect. It should not be a word or phrase to be used lightly or in joking situations and everyone would have to abide by the understanding that it really was a “safe” way to say, “Hey, that’s not okay.”

This reminded me of a time when I gave a nickname to a student. All of my yearbook students had nicknames. It was our tradition. The nickname given to this particular young man was awarded completely out of comradery and friendly ribbing but, as things sometimes do, the nickname evolved to become something that was negative in my student’s life. It was not until after the spring awards banquet that I learned he thought the nickname meant I didn’t think he was smart.

Continue reading ““Safe” Words – Wise Words Wednesday”

Don’t Get Stuck in Doubt

 

Some mornings it takes a little bit of extra coffee and sunshine to get my confidence going. Other mornings it takes an army of awesomeness to prove I can handle whatever the day has in store. Most mornings my mojo is inspired by the fact that I have to get my minions moving and on the bus.

Last week I ambitiously tried to open a new bottle of vitamins. The vitamins were recommended by my friend Emily and I was excited to see if they would help boost energy and assist in keeping focus as my exhausted brain faced another week of grading, parenting, and farming.

The problem was the cotton was stuck. I did not have the mental or physical dexterity to remove the stupid cotton ball from the bottle. As the sun had not risen yet and my coffee had not brewed, I was not sure I had the capacity to get to those vitamins. I was stuck in in my self-doubt (and cotton). In fact, I was so stuck; I video recorded myself trying to get the dumb old cotton out of the bottle.

With just a bit of persistence (and a fork), I was able to free the cottong and try out my new vitamins.  Continue reading “Don’t Get Stuck in Doubt”

Intentergy Turned 2

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On February 14th I celebrated the 2nd Anniversary of Intentergy.

While the last few weeks things have been quiet on the site, my writing has been anything but silent.

My family took a terrific trip that has no fewer than 15 posts in draft. My students continue to provide me with love, learning, and laughter that I promise to share. As always the farm has me on high alert for lessons that can only come from caring for livestock and the land.

To celebrate my 2nd blogging anniversary, I would like to share links to some of my favorite posts from the past.

curve ball (2)Curve Balls – A story inspired by the curve pitch and how to handle the figurative curve balls in our lives.

Zone Defense for Your Attitude – Today, if you find yourself crowded by grumpiness or fouled by foulness of others, put up your positivity defenses.

For the Love of the Game – A post inspired by my father’s practice of watching games without sound. Sometimes the quiet allows us to know what is really going on in life.

Angelfood Cake – A Tradition of Grace – A story inspired by our parish dinner. The angel food cakes I bake are not in my honor but in honor of Miss Grace Jansen.

Not just a pieWhy is it Easy as Pie? Pies are Hard. – Another story inspired by parish picnics reminding us that effort can lead to tasty rewards.

Emergency Room Enlightenment – A visit to our local emergency room helped me to see that it really is a small world and my efforts as a writer were helpful to others.

You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out – I really don’t have life figured out. None of us do. This was a reminder that we don’t have to have it all figured out.

The OTHER Serenity Prayer – A tribute to a modified version of my favorite prayer

29 gifts and meMeeting Cami Walker – Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge – After reading 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, I was inspired to start my blog and have since had the chance to become friends with its author Cami Walker.

Signs of Faith – Visiting the local ambulance district served to provide an very important reminder about those who serve our communities.

No Bull - communicateCommunication is Important – No Bull! A story inspired by the purchase of some Charolais cattle by my husband that led to a breach in the happiness of our home. (Happiness was definitely restored and the cattle are enjoying their role on our farm.)

Overalls and a Pocket Watch –The story of remembering my Grandfather and his special things that left their mark on my heart.Grandpa Frank

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Intentergy is energy with a positive purpose. I hope you will put energy into being positive today.

P.P.S. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, or shared my blog during the last two years. Your support has made all the difference.

 

You are NOT a car!

“Are you a car? Are…you…a…car?”

If you have not seen Turbo, the moving about the racing snail, you need to see it.

Turbo is a story about believing in the unbelievable. Theo, an ordinary garden snail, believes he was born to race, much to the chagrin of his rule-abiding, worry-wort brother Chet.

After a life changing experience with nitrous oxide, Theo develops super-snail speed. He can move at over 200 miles an hour. As all racing snail tales go, Theo is picked up by a down-on-his-luck taco truck driver (who just happens to race snails as a hobby).  When the taco truck driver Tito discovers Theo’s speed, the two snail brothers are warped into a racing world which they never dreamed possible.

As they make their way into animated car racing history, Theo and Chet meet up with a band of thrill-seeking snails. This band of adrenaline-junky snails has modified shell covers that allow them to move at jet speeds. They are the first racing opponents Theo ever faced and quickly become his pit crew.

In spite of all odds, Mother Nature, and Angelo (Tito’s brother) insisting that they cannot do it, Tito (along with the adrenaline-junky snails) enter Theo (a.k.a Turbo) into the Indy 500. The first few laps don’t look good for Turbo and he pulls into the pits for a tune up. The humans don’t know what to do with the snail but his shelled buddies know what’s up.

Whiplash, leader of the racing snails, (voice of 
Samuel L. Jackson) smacks Turbo and says, “Are you a car?” Turbo replies, “No.” Whiplash repeats, “Are…you…a…CAR?” “No,” says Turbo.

“Then quit driving like one,” is Whiplash’s inspiring reply. Continue reading “You are NOT a car!”

Signs of Faith

sign of faith

Recently I had the opportunity to visit our local ambulance district headquarters with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. It was a terrific experience.

The girls were able to see all of the equipment and try out some of the life-saving gear used by the ambulance personnel.  Dana, our guide, took time to show and explain each part of the ambulance district offices, garage, training rooms, and living quarters. The sign in the picture above was hanging in the living room.

This sign was probably one of the greatest examples I have ever encountered of what faith truly is. The reality of what those medics and responders face daily struck me with tremendous force as I read and re-read those words, “Faith makes things possible, not easy…”

“Faith makes things possible, not easy…”

How many times have I found myself trying to reassure a student that I had faith in them?

Rarely did they realize my faith was in their ability to be successful at a task, not in the ability for the task to be done without some effort. Oh how I wish these words were in my teaching vernacular for the last decade!

What about all those times when I prayed for help with making a huge decision? Continue reading “Signs of Faith”

Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday

Opportunity Visits

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor”Into the Woods

These words always seem to pop up in my life at just the right time.

For the last month, I have not been writing much (the whole, “I’m too busy” thing). Each day that I don’t write separates me from the messages I wish to share and the healthy practice of jotting down my thoughts and experiences. Those thoughts and experiences may not come again. Reflecting on this quote from Into the Woods, I find myself with renewed vigor for writing and encouraging others to share their own thoughts and works.

What talent or passion have you been neglecting?

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

I have wrestled with finding time to take a break for myself. Creating opportunities for quiet, peaceful time with my family has also failed to make its way into my schedule. If I don’t instigate those calm, restorative moments with my family and for myself, who will?

Please take time for yourself and those you love. Peace has to begin in our hearts and homes before it can be found all over Earth. Continue reading “Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday”

Don’t Worry…They are Struggling Too

Don't Worry...they are struggling too

“I don’t care what they think.”

“Who do they think they are? Judging me?”

“Seriously, why do they think they are better than me?”

How often do we find ourselves making these snarky statements?

Our rhetoric for these loaded comments usually shows itself when we feel like someone does not like us or something we do. We immediately go on the defensive and throw down the I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me jargon, but inside we are battling the why-don’t-they-like-me fight.

Some of the snarkiest people I have ever met are also some of the most insecure individuals I have known. To inflate their self-perception, they preach a degrading dialogue about anyone they think they bring down. The problem with this kind of judging is that the hurtful words usually become flames in the fire of burning bridges for future friendships and work experiences.

Let me give you a for instance: When I was in college I worked for an entertainment retailer. My job included working in the book department, the cafe, and training new employees. I loved that job. There was one associate, who we will call Adam. Adam did a nice job on register and worked well with customers on the floor. He eventually made it to the ranks of shift manager. After becoming a shift manager, for whatever reason, Adam gradually became unhappy with the company. He put in his two weeks notice. One night while closing the store, I overheard him tell another associate that he never comes to work for his last day at any job. Well, I knew what was coming and planned to come in the day of his last shift. We were going to be short a manager. Continue reading “Don’t Worry…They are Struggling Too”