The Bridge

file-photo-of-ambassador-bridge

Bridges are beautiful. The engineering that goes into these structures on top of the creative ingenuity, make them amazing. Without them we could not travel as freely as we do. There are places that we would not have the opportunity to experience without bridges. Bridges are important, but the truth is when we travel, it is rare that we focus on the bridges we cross. What is more important to us is getting across them to our destinations.  

There are people in our lives that we could call bridges. They help us get from one area in our life to another. Supporting us, making our transitions and journeys easy. It is unfortunate that these people are overlooked and taken for granted. Not by all, but by enough of us.  Bridges need support and upkeep too. We tend not to do it until a bridge collapses and falls. Take a look at your friends, family and associates. Which of these wonderful people in your life are bridges? If you haven't done it lately,  take a moment to send a note or text to them. Maybe take them out for a fancy lunch. Even better,  be a bridge for them and support something that they love and are doing. 

 

Stuck With You

139397a061e64bbfc91aa71920947b6d

After the last time, I swore I would not talk to you anymore. You made a fool out of me. Again. I was not with anyone, you were divorce and I knew, the moment had come. We would take our place in each other's worlds the way the universe intended.  For weeks we spent talking, sharing, connecting. It was nice and comfortable. I felt real for a moment, like everyone else. And then it was done.  Good old Facebook cut my strings. I learned that you had another. I learned that the other had just recently had you son. I learned that you had plans to marry. I learned that I was just a moment and not the one. I was not angry, I was sad and shamed.  This time, the message stuck. I got it. As deeply as you love me…you cannot commit to me.

We wanted different things. You: A family, white picket fence and the desire to be the bread winner. I wanted adventure, travel, connecting to things and people different to me to understand why the world is what it is. Still, it was you I wanted to experience that with. Could we have compromised and traveled with the white picket fence in tow?

You kept reminding me that I was not a woman and I kept reminding you that I was a human being and that I am your equal. Your response to my rebuttal was I was not better than you. I sighed and again tell you I never thought that I was better than you, but I was your equal. I think you didn't want equal. You wanted someone less. There were times you tried your damnedest to make me be less. You succeeded many times in making me feel like less. 

You were chaotic. I hated the unnecessary-ness of that but, I could not fight the pull. I know we have met in some other world, some other place and this is some continuation of previous times. How can you fight something so destined. I wish you understood, I saw me in you, in a world where many times, I didn't recognize anything. In a place I so many times felt I did not belong, you grounded me. Only my brother had that ability. He and I shared the same womb for nine months, creating a natural bond, but you and I were a rarity.

We were magnets – the closer we were to each other, mentally, spiritually, physically – the harder it was to pull us apart. But, my fear of being controlled and your incessant need to be with someone tended to break the charge; at least for a while. It is very hard to be connected to someone on such levels and not be broken when you cannot be with them.

The last phone call was out of loneliness. So much had changed in my life and I felt so fragmented and not a part of the world. I looked through my phone and didn't see one name that would understand what I wanted and needed to say. I felt myself floating up, up and up out of the world and into my own isolation. Your name popped up on my contact list. How cruel that it is you I had to talk to. 

Your words helped me. You called me a superhero and compared me to God and I thought, if Superman or God is this alone, how devastating that must be. 

The next day, I thought about you of course. Not looking back on what could of been or even on what happened in the end. I thought about how you are one of my soulmates and that is lovingly miserable.

Receive

 

receive

Ask, believe and you shall receive. We've all heard this saying right? Then there is the other one. "You have to give to receive." Great sayings and in many instances, true. I have experienced giving and asking and believing.   It's the receiving part I am not as comfortable with.  I do not receive as much as I give. Clearly, I have not been sitting with a pen counting what I gave and waiting for the exact number of things to return to me. I know the balance of life processes is not always quantitative. But I know that there is something within me that does not allow me to receive easily. I need to know why. 

Let me go back to the reasons that I give. First thing, my mother is a giving person and I learned it from her. Secondly, I enjoy it, but the biggest reason I give is I do not want people to suffer. I do not like seeing people having a difficult time or struggling and if I can change it by giving up time, money, talent or support, I will. I will take what I have and hopefully make that person's life just a little easier.  I am sure that my giving has brought a lot positive energy into my life. I am blessed everyday and I see miraculous things in my life everyday that I am grateful for. Spirit, God, the source of all that is, gives to me every day. But, what I miss is a more human experience. I want to experience the joy of being given to from another human being. This is lacking in my life.  Maybe my giving is not giving at all. Maybe it is my way of fixing a wrong or controlling a situation and therefore not considered giving. This may be why I am not receiving from others.  

Just the other day, my neighbors were nice enough to mow my lawn and the first thing I thought is "should I pay them?" I was sad that I had that thought, but that is my experience.  In my head, people do not give to me unless they are getting something out of it. In conversations, my mind always wonders to, "What do they want from me?" Maybe that is the source of this. My own thoughts. My own beliefs.  Maybe, just maybe, I do not think I deserve to be given anything. I have to work for it and then I will get what I need.  Where are those persons that look at me and see that I am a person worth giving to?

I have to go back to my statement about giving. Do I enjoy giving or did I say I enjoyed it because that is what is expected of me to say. If I looked deep down, there are some peopel and expereinces I truly enjoy giving to; children, my mom. Yet most other people, there isn't enjoyment. It's hope that by sharing what I have, things will be better. Hope is good but I think joy is the source of energy I want to feel as I give. 

Some days I daydream for someone to swoop into my life and where I have challenges, they release me from it with words, actions or support. I know that people look at me and make the assessment that I do not need. But, I am human and all humans have moments of need. 

I am ending this with my meditation and prayer. Today, I asked for an open spirit to receive and to believe that what I receive, I deserve it and more. I asked that I truly enjoy giving and not to do it just to rid the world of hurt or struggle or to fix something. I want to give to bring the world joy.  That is my prayer and my hope is that it will bring more joy to my life. 

American Education – Feeding into the Narrative

Photo from thebullelephant.com

Today, my nieces and nepews are out of school becuase of a sick out. Many of the Detroit Public School teachers called in sick to protest against the their pay wages as well as the he conditions of the schools. This has occured quite a few times this school year. Today's sick out occured when teachers learned over the weekend that the system will not be able to pay them after June 2016.  The reactions have been mixed.

I come from a family of teachers and I understand a few things. First thing is that most people become teachers becasue they love to teach. It is defitnely a calling. It is a desire to share and to cultivate. I commend that. But, becuase it is a calling, like ministry in church, some people believe that teachers should continue to do this even when they are not getting paid to do so.  Ministers do. My heart and my expeirnce tells me that most teacher would do it. But the problem of them all is that our society, unlike with ministers, takes our teachers and what they do for granted. For teachers to teach without pay  would continue to support the horrible way people treat and think of teachers. Even though I hate that my nieces and nephews are missing school, I understand that it is needed. 

My sister and I were on Facebook and some of the things that are being said about the school system and its students:

  • Close the schools. We do not need them.
  • Dem (Yes Dem is what was use) kids are dumb anyways
  • The teachers are lazy

Opinions. Everyone has one, but the thing is something treatorous is happening and many of us are feeding into it. There has been a narrative for decades that you cannot get quality education in public schools.  Concerned parents start putting their children in private schools and when they became avaialble, some parents enrolled children in charter schools, hoping to give them a chance. Others even place their children in newly developed online schools What is supposedly left then, in the public schools are those who cannot afford to or connect to the other avenues of education. It is the American way to have competition. Public schools have not really had much until the last 20 years. I get it, but the unfairness is that public schools are finding themselves challeged with competeting becuase there is less resources to compete with. 

Just like the narrative of suburban life took many of us out of the cities, so does the narrative of bad public schools take children out fo them, leaving a structure that has challenges standing on its own at times. Sounds like the city of Detroit doesn't it. 

Sometimes, I think, 20 or 30 years ago, some entreprenuer had an idea that if they could get kids out of the public schools into our schools, that money that the government is giving to public schools could go into "our" pockets. I believe that there is a little bit of a conspiracy to rid America of public schools. We are capitalist are we not. Look at post secondary education. To go to college in America, you have to pay.  What does this do? It keeps a lot of people from going to school. It puts a lot more people in debt and it keeps those with resources on top. Oh…the other thing it does it make is more diffcult for Americans to compete with the rest of the world in important fields.  For America, it always come down to money and that kind of thinking will make us about of degenirates. Some of the most quality educated countries do not make peopel pay for school YOu take test

As always in this. The poor and working class get the short end of the stick in this. The options are less to none for them. Instead of getting rid of public schools and calling our teachers lazy and our students dumb, we need to support children in thier education. Not with just money, but with love, support, ideas and information. We cannot make more of our educational system less accessible. 

TOP RANKING SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD: Take a look at this article and see what countries have the top ranking education systems and note that America is not even in the top ten. Some of the characteristics to these schools being top rate is how they treat and pay teachers, how education is held in high regard and the number of days children actually attend school (some seven days a week). 

Let's learn from our global counterpartners. Let's not look at education as a buisness, leaving the poor behind. Let's be in the business of educating our children and our society.