To My Sexy Man

Love, writing

I never stood a chance. From the first time I met you, you enchanted me. Those that know me well, know the nitty-gritty, funny, crazy details of how we met and fell in love. Those are stories that I will someday giggle about with our children, when they are old enough to know what it feels like to fall in love. I never loved any man as passionately as I loved you, and I always love passionately.

When I fell for you, it wasn’t my first time, nor was it yours. We had both known love and felt it’s depths, both high and low. But the love I felt for you surpassed all that. At 28 years old, I was suddenly transformed into a love-crazed teenager. There was nothing I wanted more than to be near you, to hang out with you, to touch you. And that feeling has lasted FOR SO MANY YEARS. I have never fallen, and can never imagine falling again, in love so much with someone. You took my breath away.

That was so long ago. I’ve felt your body and held your presence so many times. We have fought and cried and loved so much. What I am so grateful for now, though, is how much our love has endured. Time, struggle, pain, heartbreak, healing. And after it all, I am still a love-crazy teenager for you. More than that, I KNOW YOU. I know everything awful and beautiful about you, and you know every ugly and beautiful side of me. AND WE STILL LOVE EACHOTHER. You are still the man that makes me hot, and the first person I want to hang out with.

It has not always been easy. Anyone that knows us well knows that. But we never gave up on our love. And I’m so glad for it. You have a beautiful soul. We have a beautiful love. We have a gorgeous, sweet family. And I love you so much, sexy. Always. Thank you for your sweet love ❤

 

 


image

That Moment <3

Poetry, writing
that moment when downtown looks as perfect and pristine as an Ansel Adams photo
when a simple countryside inspires and takes my breath away like Monet
when a soft breeze both comforts and energizes and sends me home in my soul
to some sweet moment of love and laughter
when I can suddenly look around me and see the beauty in everything
that moment of peaceful bliss that is always locked away so deep in my heart
just waiting for me to find it
Monet-_Der_Rosenweg_in_Giverny

To Dylan and Rowan (because if you put it on the internet, it’s there forever)

For My Babies, writing
My sweet, beautiful babies, your mama loves you so much. Dylan, you are such a kind and gorgeous child. Your beautiful blue eyes remind me of both your father and of my father, also. They are the same brilliant, entrancing color and filled with the same characteristics of both of those wonderful men: your father’s playfulness and tender, kind-heartedness, and your grandfather’s trust-worthiness and never-ending love. I see this all in your charming demeanor. You were my first born, and it is mostly because of the love I share with you and your little sister that I have been able to heal at all from the pain of losing my own father. Your obvious unbridled love for me is what puts a smile on my face and in my heart, even during the worst of times.

Rowan, you are so gorgeous and sweet. I love you so much, and you show me everyday how much you love me in return. My baby girl, my precious daughter, your innocence and strength inspire me to be as beautiful and strong as my dreams will allow. Even at your young age, you are independent and courageous. I know that you will love life and understand the importance of seizing every day. Your creativity is already obvious, too. I have never seen a child so moved by music, nature, and beauty. I cannot wait to teach you and show you all the magnificence and wonder that is in the world, but I have a feeling you will end up showing me so much more.

You are both so young right now. Someday, if you ever do come across these letters, you will look back and remember your childhood, and I wonder what it will look like to you. Currently, most of our days are filled with normal things like Daddy going to work and me taking care of the house and all of you kiddos. I am working too, but it is only part-time, which is still atleast 30 hours/week, but this is far less than I am used to. Since Rowan was born, I have tried to work less. It was hard enough to maintain my 40-60 hour work weeks when we only had Dylan and then also Sarah and Bastian part time. Once we had Rowan, though, I knew from the beginning that my career would be mostly put on hold, for a few years atleast. The time I spend with you all is way more important to me than how much money I bring home. I like to spend money, do fun things, and have nice things, but I also know that the more money you make, the more you spend, and that this can become a vicious cycle. A person without money can still be happy. Financial wealth is not a prerequisite for true happiness. However, a person who has sacrificed time away from the things that are most important to them for the sake of money will more than likely find themselves unfulfilled and regretful. I would rather us go without for a while, knowing that I spent these wonderful years of your childhood with you, than have lots of money and a ton of regret to go along with it. I will never regret having spent more time with you.

Sarah and Bastian are currently living with us also. The two of them are a beautiful blessing to have in our home. We do truly have a wonderful, sweet little family.  There is stress at times over normal things: occasional financial difficulties, the expected bickering amongst you kiddos, the stress of taking care of a home and young children. Your daddy and I love you all so much, though, and I hope that is what you see when you do look back on these years. And you babies adore your older siblings so much. I hope to nurture this throughout your life. Even if some of you are “only half” brothers and sisters, you are still a part of each other. Just because you have different mothers does not mean that you don’t greatly effect one another. Just because you don’t always live in the same house, does not mean you can’t have rewarding, lifelong relationships. All of my five brothers and sisters are “only half’ brothers and sisters, technically speaking. None of them have the exact same mother AND father as I do. Still, your aunts and uncles have all made such a difference in my life. I have never seen them as anything less than simply my siblings. They all mean so much to me, and each are special and amazing in their own way.
Hold on to your sibling relationships as best you can. Be there for one another when needed. Be a part of each other’s lives, even if life and circumstance take you other directions and away from one another. Who you are is a part of what lies in one another. You can find strength in each other. You can give strength to one another. Do not forget this, and do not take it for granted. This will not always be easy. It can be hard to make time for the ones you love, especially as your own individual families begin to grow. Just do the best you can to appreciate and preserve those relationships that have helped you grow and shaped who you are. I struggle with this myself. With five brothers and sisters, I’m sure I’m not nearly the sister that I could be. I am trying, though, and I hope that all my siblings know how much I love them and would do anything for them, regardless of the time or space that may stand in between us.
You are so wonderful and precious, my beautiful babies. I have complete faith that you will grow into extraordinary beings, just as you are so magnificent to me now. Find your way. Find your peace. Find your place in life. Be kind and honest along the way. Both of these things will assist you in finding your true path to happiness.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
~Albert Pike
Know that I love you so much. I pray that my life reflects every lesson that I hope to teach you, but even as my imperfections may shine through, know that this does not make what I am telling you any less true.

You are everything to me, and I am so blessed to be your mama.

Yours truly and forever,
Your adoring mother,
Sandra Lea Highfill
XXOO

MAMA AND ROWAN

So, I’m still meditating regularly. Not every day. I’m really just not that organized. Or should I say, to cut myself some well deserved slack in the spirit of compassion and kindness, I have way too busy a life to expect myself to be able to perfectly fit it into a strict daily routine. But I have succeeded in doing it ALMOST daily, which is WONDERFUL for me.

Today, I used some tips from a book on meditation that I have slowly been reading, normally only 5-10 pages right before I meditate to help me learn more and get in the groove. In today’s session I focused on love and kindness. I started with trying to focus on a love for myself. Let’s start by clarifying that I don’t think that I have necessarily have a low self esteem. I believe I normally hold myself in quite high regard, really. If I get down to the truth, I do believe that I am smart, kind, talented, strong, hard working, loving, and trustworthy. But to have these vague ideas of what one thinks of oneself and to actually feel and show genuine love and kindness towards yourself are two completely different things. It is just the same as if you were considering someone else. You may look at another person in your life and think very highly of them, believing them to have many admirable attributes and characteristics that you like. But this does not mean that you truly love that person. As a matter of fact, you may have no special feelings towards this person at all. You may even NOT like them because they DO have so many admirable characteristics that you find it irritating.

When it comes to the people in my life whom I truly love, I can tell you the basic reasons why I love them, such as: they are a good person, they are trustworthy, they are fun and kind and good to me, et cetera. But, really, I love the whole of the person, faults and everything. I not only accept them for who they are, but sometimes their weakness or faults may be part what makes me love them more. It’s like the nuts on an ice cream sundae. It may not be a sweet flavour, and not everyone may like it, but it does add a different taste. And I love it. With my friends and family, I am very good at loving unconditionally, faults and all. I hardly ever really judge their actions, unless forced to by some conflicting situation. I love them for who they are.

I do not really love myself in the same way, though. How I feel about myself at any given moment is not an unwavering, unconditional love. It is a situational thing, based on how “good” I think I’ve been doing in my life. Like I said, I don’t believe that I necessarily have a low self esteem. I do not believe myself unworthy of all that is good. But I have not really loved myself unconditionally, not until today.

Today the part I focused on was internalizing and taking that unconditional love that I so freely give to those most treasured in my life and graciously bestowing it unto myself. I envisioned the love that I feel for my children and took that feeling and focused it on myself, as if I were my own parent, loving myself in the way every child deserves to be loved. I envisioned the love and admiration I have for both of my parents and turned it inwards to myself. I thought of the tender love I have for my significant other, my siblings, and my closest friends. I used these examples and others, basically any thing or person that invokes that feeling of love in me, as models to show myself the same love and kindness. It was such a good, beautiful feeling. Though, admittedly difficult to focus on myself. I would be caught in the moment. And then it would be gone. And I would have to refocus my attention and try again. I did notice, though, that it seemed to get easier through the session, and the feeling seemed to stay with me a little more and a little more. It’s a sweet, warm sensation, loving myself unconditionally, faults and all, without expectation or contrition; just as I am, without feeling any need to change myself at all.

It sounds so simple. But the truth is I’ve never really loved myself this way, not in practice, atleast. I may have thought, or even felt at my deepest inner core, that I loved myself unconditionally and wholly, but the truth is I am always trying to change something about myself. Improve myself, I should say. It’s always to make myself “better”. So, I don’t know that I would call it unhealthy. I realized today, though, that there must be some balance between self improvement and self acceptance. It’s easy for me to find that balance towards others, to want the ones I love to be their best and live their happiest, but to still accept and love them endlessly no matter what. It just never occurred to me that maybe I needed to treat my own heart and soul with that same kind of unconditional love and kindness.

My meditation continued during my session today with me taking the love that I was feeling towards myself and then mentally extending it towards others. Focusing on some person or thing or situation, breathing all my love and good vibes into it through my heart and mind’s eye, and then releasing it and going on to some other subject in need of love from my soul. Or maybe it is my soul that is in need of feeling the joy that comes from giving such love and kindness.

That is the beauty and truth in it. Any psychologist could testify to the good effects of showing love and kindness to yourself and finding a way to truly love oneself unconditionally. That has to be a good thing. But the idea of spending a half hour just sitting cross-legged in your living room sending out good joojoo love vibes to those you think might need it may sound a little far fetched to some. However, I do believe in the energy of the world and that my own personal energy has an effect on it. I do believe in karma. I do believe in prayer. Sending out meditative mental love to the world is something of a combination of all of these things. It is also well known to psychologists that compassion and kindness to others plays a major factor in increasing one’s own happiness. So, even if you believe in none of these other things, the fact remains that unleashing in yourself a feeling of unconditional love towards yourself and then extending that compassion and love to others is going to have a positive effect on your own mental and emotional health.

This is what I learned today. I am so grateful for learning and experiencing it. I hope that I will be able to remember it and practice it more often. And I hope that it helps me to continue to grow, with an open mind and a courageous heart, learning more about myself and the world everyday.

writing

All That Was Created

writing

Science would tell me that all that is here can never be gone. All matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Yet science would also say that once your heart stops beating, you are no longer with me. How can I believe the latter if the former is true? It is the ultimate contradiction, the essential unknown.

I prefer to believe that you are as you have always been. Everywhere. When your heart still beat, I could hear your voice and feel your presence even when you weren’t around. I see you now as I saw you then. In a smiling face. A warm embrace. The shine in the sun. The sweet coolness of the breeze. The strength in a close friend’s loving ease.

All of my senses long to be fulfilled and validated with your unquestionable, physical presence. To hear your kind voice. To feel the comfort of your embrace. To smell your scent of smoke and sweat. To see the wrinkles around your mouth gather into that wise, approving smile. To taste a meal in your jovial, easy presence.

But I still see you in my sons blue eyes. I still hear you in every kind or patient word. I still feel you in the shelter of my home. To say that you’re no longer here is to say that none of us ever really were. To say that the mere stopping of a heartbeat could make a force so strong no longer exist, is to say that none of it existed in the first place.

So weep, if you must, when you have lost the physical presence of those which you love. Let your heart be relieved of it’s burden of sadness. Allow it to feel the pain that is the flip side of the joy. But know that all that was created can never be destroyed. The love and beauty you felt and beheld yesterday still live in your heart and all around you today. You only have to open your eyes to see it, open your mind to hear it, and open your heart to feel it.

To Dylan and Rowan

For My Babies, writing

Someday, maybe you will both read this.  If and when you do, I hope this letter finds you both happy and healthy.  There are no words that can completely explain what it is that I feel for the two of you, everything you mean to me, and all the ways you have changed my life and me as a person.  But I shall try.

When I first found out I was pregnant with Dylan, I was in shock. I literally took four, maybe five, pregnancy tests.  They all came up positive, and I was still in disbelief.  At one point, your dad and I went to the drug store and I took one test (the third, I believe) in the bathroom at the store.  Back in the car, I read the results to your dad.  It was positive, of course.  I tossed the stick in the backseat and told your dad to go get me another one.  My shock remained through most of my pregnancy.  I remember at one point my mother telling me I was the most in denial pregnant girl she’d ever met.  I was about 6 months prego at the time.  It’s really not crazy, though, that I was so surprised. Your dad had already had a vasectomy… that apparently didn’t take.  I was 29 years old, had been previously married for a short time, had not been on birth control in years, and had still never gotten pregnant.  With all the “Fertile Myrtles” in our family, I was beginning to think I couldn’t have kids.  But, no, I was just destined to have you beautiful babies with your beautiful father.

The time when which Dylan was conceived and born was also the hardest time of my life to date.  My father had died of a sudden heart attack less than six months prior to me finding out I was pregnant.  Your grandpa was a kind, dependable, strong, trustworthy, honest, hard working man who loved his children and grandchildren very much.  Probably the biggest heart ache of my life thus far is knowing that my sweet babies were deprived of having such a wonderful person in your lives.

Someday, you will hopefully know the joy and sacrifice of having children.  It’s not easy.  It  is constant work to take care of someone else to the best of your ability, worried always that you’re doing something wrong and are somehow going to decrease the chances of the ones you love growing up to lead healthy, happy, and functioning lives.  These are the things I worry about, at least.

You both changed me in so many ways. Because of you, I want to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.  I want to be a role model and example for you, and I want to take better care of myself so that I can take better care of you.  I mean this in every aspect: physically, spiritually, financially, and so on.  I want to make sure you know that you can follow your dreams and make your life whatever you want.  And I want to be the living example of this that you can look to and be proud of.  In all these ways, your sweet, innocent beauty inspires me to be the best that I can be.  You have given me a worthy reason to love and live life to the fullest: my love for you and my want for YOUR LIVES to be full of love and fulfillment.

This is my endeavor, but I am far from perfect, as you know better than anyone.  I apologize now for any way that I have or will fail you. I can promise you to do my best, and that is really all that I am capable of. I will try to be creative in the ways that I show you that you can live this life and find much joy and happiness.  I will do my best to exemplify for you healthy habits and healthy living so that it may be an integral part of who you are. But I am not perfect. And I do not expect you to be, either.  What I do hope for is that you take responsibility for yourself someday, both for your achievements and your mistakes. No one is perfect.  It does not matter how many mistakes you make in life, I promise you that I will always love you.  So will God, so will the Universe, so will many others around you.  Everyone makes bad decisions. Everyone messes up. Know that I believe in you, no matter what.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

The key to making mistakes is to admit it, learn from it, make it right as best you can, ask for forgiveness if this is appropriate, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and then move on.  If you can do these things, no mistake is in vain for it was, if nothing else, a learning experience. I hope to raise you well enough to make you strong in character so that you will know to avoid making those kinds of  bad choices that are hard to come back from.  But, even if you do make some awful mistake or if the world seems to fall apart, keep trying, believing in yourself, do not give up on yourself or the world around you, and you will succeed.  I promise. You can be happy. You are loved.

  “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”― Paulo CoelhoAlchemist

I love you. I want you to know how much love there is in the world. Even if you ever get to a point when it feels like you have nothing, you have lost everything, or the ones you love have all forsaken you, I want you to know that this is not true. There is always someone who is willing to show you kindness and love. There are always people who are worthy of your trust. There is beauty all around you, though there may be times in your life when you have to look hard to find it. But do look for it. For this is what will help save your soul and bring you happiness: believing in and having the ability to see the love and beauty around you

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

                                      ~Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata

 

 

I get to see your beautiful smiles everyday.  They are infectious and bring joy to many.  I see the beauty in your hearts.  I see the brightness of your souls.  Even as children, you are smart, sweet, kind, and strong. I am so grateful for you.

I write you this letter for many reasons.  One being because tomorrow is never guaranteed and God forbid it happen that I am not around to tell you all this someday when you are old enough to understand it. I will do my best to take care of myself to help ensure that I am here for you for a long, long time. The main reason I write you this, though, is merely because I love you so much. You make my heart want to sing. You inspire poetry in my soul.  And I want you to have these words to read whenever you may need them.  They are true.  I want you to know how beautiful you are, how beautiful the world around you can be, and that you can be happy. That is what I want for you more than anything; for you to be happy, and I hope that you will try to spread that love and joy to those around you.  I will love you forever. I will be with you always.

There is so much more that I have to say to you, but I will save it for another letter. Hugs and kisses to you, my luvs.

Your Mama and Biggest Fan,

Sandra Lea Highfill

The Waitress. A Story About The Ripple Effect of Good Deeds and Kindness.

writing

The restaurant was loud and busy, which was normal for a Friday lunch.  Amelia carried her tray of dishes to the dish pit where she scraped the leftover food off the plates and stacked the dishes accordingly.  She walked to the wait station and pulled the guest check holder from out of the black cotton apron tied around her waist.  Her last table had been an older woman and a young child.  The woman had been nice and Amelia had given them good service, but the kitchen was busy, and it had taken a long time to get their food out. Amelia figured this was probably going to affect her tip, and she was really in need of money right now.  Her son was starting first grade. Not only was it that time of year to buy school clothes and supplies, but he also wanted to play basketball.  The fees for a young boy of only 6 years old to play basketball were not very much, but it had still been more than they could afford in the past. This year, Amelia was going to make sure her little guy got to start playing some sports.  And if basketball was what he wanted, she was going to make sure it happened.

She opened up the booklet and pulled the money out.  They’re tab had only been twenty five dollars, but there was a fifty dollar bill in the check holder.  She stepped back out into the busy restaurant to see if the woman was still there, waiting for her change.  Maybe I misunderstood her when I thought she had said to keep the change, Amelia thought to herself.  The woman was gone, though.  A wave of relief and gratitude swept over Amelia.  She had been working hard the past few weeks to make sure there was enough money for everything they needed.  She had gotten a few other decent tips that day, and with this extra money, she knew she’d have enough to pay for her little Ayden’s basketball enrollment.  She finished up her shift feeling good about life and proud of herself for working so hard.  She left the restaurant, went and picked up her babies from daycare, and headed home to meet their daddy for some well earned after work family time.  They spent the weekend playing at the park and going back to school shopping.  Amelia and her husband, Jim, were actually both off work that Sunday.  This didn’t happen very often, so they took the opportunity to go to church.  They’d been going to the same church periodically for years.  Periodically, that is because they both worked too much on the weekends to be able to go every Sunday.  It was a good church, though, with a kind, mostly non-judgmental congregation that was known for helping to support those in need.  They passed the collection plate around at the end of the service for tithes and donations.  Amelia looked at Jim, and they both had the same thought.  Their finances were okay for once, and they were grateful.  Amelia dug into her purse and pulled a twenty dollar bill from her wallet.  It wasn’t much, but it was what they could afford, and it was something.  She looked at Jim who, with a sweet smile, gave her an approving nod and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close to his side in the pew.  When the collection plate came by, she placed the twenty dollar bill in it and snuggled up next to her husband.  Life was good.

Demetrius walked into the church feeling lost.  I am lost, he thought.  I have no idea where I’m going, what I’m doing, or why I’m here.  He spotted a lone chair against the wall in the foyer and walked over to have a seat and collect himself.  He knew he needed some kind of direction. Everything was falling apart.  Actually, everything already had fallen apart.  He hadn’t been in a church in a long time, but he didn’t know where else to go.  He was looking for a light in the darkness, and for now, this was all he could come up with.  He looked around nervously at the people gathering around him, preparing to go in for the service.  A young brunette girl standing at a table not far from him caught his eye.  She smiled at him and held up a Styrofoam cup.  “Would you like a soda?” she asked in a friendly voice.  Demetrius was surprised by the small kindness.  He went over and took the offered cup.  Music could be heard from the auditorium where the church service would take place, and people began to file in.  “You can take it in to the service with you. It’s okay” the girl said sweetly.  “Thank you” replied Demetrius and went into the auditorium.

The sermon was a good one.  It was about compassion and forgiveness.  It was about not judging others because no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes.  It was about forgiving those who have done you wrong and also about forgiving yourself.  This was a concept Demetrius was unfamiliar with.  He had done many things wrong in his life, mainly things to hurt himself and those that loved him most.  His recent descent was due to a weakness for alcohol and drugs.  He had let his father down by failing out of the college that his dad had worked so hard to pay for.  He had just lost his job.  His girlfriend was 5 months pregnant, but she had left him because of his drug and alcohol abuse.  Recently evicted from his own apartment, he was now virtually homeless.  His father loved him, and would probably forgive him.  But Demetrius was too ashamed of himself to go to his father yet.  He needed to be able to fix this on his own.  He needed strength.  It had never occurred to him that maybe he needed to forgive himself.  He wasn’t ready for that.  “… for all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God.”  The preacher went on to explain that God loves all of his children, regardless of your past, your present, what mistakes you’ve made.  God will always forgive you of your sins.  But you have to forgive yourself, also, to find any true joy in life.  God wants you to forgive yourself.  God loves you and wants you to be happy.  Demetrius had never heard any thing like this before. He had always kind of believed that God wanted him to feel guilty and ashamed.  There was something else different here, too.  The collection plates were being passed around to the congregation.  The preacher was saying that if there was anyone out there that was in need, if you needed money to eat, if you had fallen on hard times, to not worry about trying to tithe or donate.  As a matter of fact, if you had a true need, he wanted you to reach in and take whatever cash may be in the offering plate.  Now, that just sounded crazy.  The truth was Demetrius had some major needs.  Not only was he homeless, he had no money and nothing left of value to his name.  He had no idea how he was going to get his next meal.  He still had his old Jeep.  It was a clunker, but it drove.  Demetrius wondered if this was some kind of trap.  Surely they wouldn’t just give away their offering money to someone who they didn’t even know, who probably didn’t even deserve their help.  The woman sitting next to Demetrius passed him the collection plate.  An usher walked down the aisle to retrieve it and pass it on to the next pew.  Demetrius wondered if he dare actually take any money from the offering.  He was holding the large plate, and he could feel himself tremble slightly.  The usher, a middle aged man, approached Demetrius, reached for the plate and took it from Demetrius, but then stopped.  He looked at Demetrius straight on, without judgment, with only kindness and said “Do you need this?” They both paused and looked at one another for a moment.  “Take it, if you need it. It’s okay” he said reassuringly and held the offering plate out to Demetrius.  Maybe it was the desperate look to him that made the usher stop and take notice of him.  Maybe the man could tell he hadn’t bathed in several days, that his clothes wear unclean, that he hadn’t eaten a good meal in who knows how long.  Maybe he could just sense the utter despair that was in his soul.  Or maybe God was trying to help him.  Maybe God did love him and forgave him for all of his terrible decisions.  Demetrius reached into the collection plate and grabbed a 20 dollar bill that was sitting on top.  The usher smiled gently at Demetrius, gave him an understanding nod, a friendly pat on the shoulder,  and then he turned away and handed  the collection plate to the next row of people.

When the church service ended, Demetrius went to get himself something to eat.  He was starving.  He went to a nearby fast food restaurant, ordered three cheeseburgers and sat down to devour them. A small family sat in a booth across from him.  The young girl’s laughter distracted him from his meal.  She was a cute little girl, probably three or four years old.  She stood in the booth next to the man who Demetrius assumed was her father.  She giggled next to her dad and rubbed her cheek against his while she fed them both French fries.  A woman sat across from them in the booth feeding a baby boy who sat in a high chair at the end of the table.  They were all talking, all smiling. They looked so content.  Every once in a while the baby would throw something on the floor, and the mom would sigh and reach down and pick it up.  The kids were loud, and you could tell the parents had their hands full.  But they were together.  They were a family.  And you could see that they were happy.

Demetrius sat alone with his cheeseburgers.  He was so alone.  And it was a fate he had imposed upon himself.  He had an unborn child that was going to need a father.  He had a woman who needed a man to love her and be a father to their child.  He had his own father who loved him, who only wanted him to be healthy and happy.  Demetrius finished his burgers and headed for the door.  He suddenly felt like he knew what he needed to do. He went to make a phone call.  There was a payphone right outside, but as he approached it he realized that he only had bills and pennies on him, no change for the payphone.  A man probably in his mid to late 20s was walking up holding hands with a little girl about to walk into the restaurant.  Without thinking, Demetrius approached him and politely asked if he had change for the payphone.  It had not occurred to Demetrius how this may look, his obvious lack of clean clothes or hygiene, probably still smelling of last nights booze, approaching a man in the parking lot of a restaurant to ask for change.  The man stopped, obviously annoyed,  “Are you really stopping me to ask me for money?” he said with a luck of disgust.  “Can’t you see I have a daughter to take care of? Why don’t you get a damn job and quit asking other people for money?!” The man was more than a little irritated as he barraged his questions and accusations at Demetrius.  Taken back by the sudden onslaught, Demetrius muttered his apologies, turned around, and walked quickly to his Jeep.  There was a library a short distance away.  He really needed to do some research and get some numbers before he started making phone calls, anyway.

And that is what he did.  After sitting in the library for over an hour, he had a good lead at least on where he could go to get the help he knew he was going to need.  Back out in the Jeep, he began his journey.  As the Jeep chugged down the road, Demetrius noticed a car stopped on the side of the road and some people walking down the side of the road ahead of him.  In this suburban part of town, there were several businesses, restaurants, and gas stations.  Except for this one strip.  It was all residential homes. Not even a gas station around.  In the middle of this hot summer, in the afternoon, the temperatures were well over 100 degrees outside.  He could see that it was a man and a small child walking down the road together.  Demetrius pulled up next to them to see if he could do anything to help.  The man stopped and stared at Demetrius confused. “What do you want?” he asked.  It was the same man from the restaurant who had just cursed Demetrius earlier.  Two days ago, Demetrius probably would have just driven off.  Maybe, maybe not.  Today, though, was different.  He was different.  And he had to prove that to himself right now.  “Can I help you? Do you need a ride somewhere?” Demetrius asked.  “No. We’re fine.  We don’t need a ride anywhere.”  The man replied and began walking down the road again, daughter in tow.  Demetrius persisted, coasting next to them in the Jeep. “Is your car broke down? Can I help you in any way?”  The little girl holding her father’s hand could not have been over five years old, and she was obviously hot and miserable. “We ran out of gas.” The man replied, still irritated. “We’re just going to walk to a gas station and get some.”  But Demetrius knew the closest gas station was a good two miles away. “Would you like for me to go get you some gas?” he offered. The man scoffed at this. “Yeah,” he said sarcastically, “like I’m going to give you money for you to just run off with!” He continued walking down the road, with his little girl quietly following.. “Well, alright.” Demetrius sighed as he pulled the car back into the lane and headed on his way.  He knew he had a gas can in the back of the Jeep. He still had atleast 10 dollars in his pocket.  He drove down to the gas station, filled the gas can with two gallons of gas, and drove back to the man and his daughter.  He figured this guy and his daughter really needed some help, and it was actually something that Demetrius was able to do.  If God could forgive him for all his mistakes, then surely he could look past this man’s rudeness.  He couldn’t just let that little girl walk two miles in this heat.  As he pulled up, the man gave him a look as if to say “Seriously?!?” but when Demetrius held up the gas can to show him, the man’s facial expression changed suddenly.  He stopped in his tracks and stared at Demetrius, confused.  “I picked you up some gas” offered Demetrius.  The man continued to stare at him for a moment, attempting to figure out what was going on.  Demetrius stopped the car, got out, and took the gas over  to the man. “It’s only two gallons, but it’ll get you to a gas station for sure. You can have the can, too. I’m not going to need it for a while.”  The man still had a look as though he were trying to figure out what was going on. Demetrius turned to walk away. “Wait!” the man said suddenly and began digging in his pocket.  “Let me give you some money.” Demetrius turned back and shook his head. “No, it’s okay.  I won’t need that for a little while either.”  He gave a wave to the man, went and got back in the Jeep, and drove off.  The rehab facility he had contacted was nearby.  He had enough gas to get there, and the woman he had talked to on the phone had said that they would be able to take him in immediately

Ethan stood in shock as he watched the old, beat up Jeep drive away.  “Daddy, did that man just give us gas so the car will start and we won’t have to walk anymore?”  His daughter, Sofia tugged at his hand as she looked up at him inquisitively.  Ethan was slowly brought back to reality.  “Yes, baby, it looks like he did” Ethan replied, still trying to understand what had just happened.  Why? Why had this stranger gone out of his way to help them?  And it was the same man that Ethan had just cursed and put down not even 2 hours before!  When the man had approached Ethan and Sofia in the parking lot earlier, Ethan had assumed that he was a bum.  He was dirty, his clothes were a mess, and Ethan could have sworn that he smelled liquor on him.  Ethan had been in a foul mood when the man approached him.  He had just gotten off the phone with his mother, and as normal that had ended with him feeling angry and impatient.  He knew his outburst to the man had been uncalled for.  But he hadn’t cared at the time.  He had not even regretted it afterwards.  He figured the man probably needed someone to set him straight.  Now, though, he didn’t know what to think.  Had a bum just given him a full gas can?  It didn’t make any sense.  Ethan wasn’t used to receiving gifts or favors from anyone.  He prided himself on being self sufficient and not needing anyone else’s help.  The only reason they’d run out of gas this afternoon was because the gas gauge had stopped working.  He normally would have never let anything like that happen.  Ethan didn’t have a lot of friends that were ready and willing to help if he needed it.  He wasn’t really much of a “people person”.  The little girl at his side was the only person in this world that he could honestly say that he loved and adored.  Most of the time he felt like it was the two of them against the world.  So, naturally, he was completely lost as to why this man would have done such a favor without wanting or expecting anything in return.

He put the gas in the tank and the car started right up.  He and Sofia headed home.  “What did grandma say?” Sofia asked as they walked in the door, referring to the phone conversation Ethan had with his mother earlier.  Sofia was only six years old and a short, petite little thing.  She was a beautiful little girl with long blonde hair that curled naturally at the ends.  And she was incredibly bright.  She surprised Ethan constantly with her understanding of  the things that went on around her.  It scared him, too.  He knew he couldn’t lie to her without being found out, and her trust meant everything to him.  “She was asking if she could take you to lunch tomorrow.”  Ethan replied and sat down on the couch, picking up the tv remote. Sofia sat down next to him.  “So,” she said “can I go?”  Ethan sighed and turned the tv on.  He really just waned to drop the subject.  The topic of his mother was a sore spot for him.  She had never really been there for him, in his opinion.  His father had died in a car accident when he was only two years old.  He did not remember much about his dad, but he knew that before he died, he and his parents had lived together as a family, happy for the most part.  After his dad died, though, his mom had something of a mental breakdown.  She and Ethan moved in with her parents.  Ethan’s grandfather was a hardworking man of few words.  He also had a bit of a drinking problem, though, so there were some rocky times.  His grandmother, on the other hand, was a kind and nurturing woman.  She raised Ethan better than he imagined anyone else could have done, including his own mother.  Over the years, his mom just seemed to be less and less involved in his life.  As she slowly recovered from her emotional breakdown after losing her husband, she spent less and less time at home with her parents and Ethan, leaving his grandmother to take care of the child, instead.  When he was 7, his mother got a job and a place of her own in a nearby town.  It was supposed to be a temporary situation that Ethan would continue living at his grandparents’ house after his mom moved out, so that he could finish out the school year.  But as the school year ended and summer came and went, he never moved in with her.  She would pick him up for the weekend occasionally, but she always brought him back home to his grandparents.  When the next school year started, it was decided that he would go ahead and start school at his grandparent’s.  It went on like this for years.

He really never had any anger towards his mother, not until grandmother passed away.  She died of a sudden heart attack when Sofia was still is her mother’s womb.  It was awful and traumatizing for Ethan to lose her.  In every sense, she had been a mother to him.  It killed him to lose her.  After her death, Ethan’s mother started to try to come around more often.  At first, it seemed like a good thing.  But over the years, Ethan realized how much resentment he had for her.  How dare she try to be a mother to him now, after so many years of not being there for him?  The heartache he felt over losing his grandmother fueled his anger towards his mother.  She would call him and try to be supportive and give him motherly advice, which only angered him more.  When he was going through his divorce with Sofia’s mother, his mom had tried to comfort him and advice that maybe he should stay with the child’s mother and work their relationship out.  This was the last draw for Ethan.  She had no right to meddle in his life.  She was no mother to him, and she never world be.  In recent years, he hardly talked to her.  He had made it a point to keep Sofia away from her.  She did not deserve the love of her grandchild anymore than she deserved Ethan’s forgiveness.

“So,” Sofia urged, “can I go to lunch with grandma.”  Ethan shook his head.  “I don’t think so, honey.  Tomorrow is Sunday, and I have to take you back to your mama tomorrow night.  I want to spend the day with you.”  Sofia frowned and sat back against the couch, looking up at him sadly.  “But I haven’t seen grandma in a long time.”  She pleaded.  “I know,” replied her father “but that’s okay.”  Sofia continued to look up at him, contemplating.  “Daddy, are you still mad at grandma?”  Once again, Ethan wished they could just drop the subject.  He tried to ignore the question and turned to watch the tv, but Sofia persisted.  “When I get mad at someone you tell me I have to forgive them.  You tell it’s the right thing to do.  Why don’t you forgive Grandma?”  Ethan sighed loudly.  “It’s complicated, honey.  Sometimes things with adults are just more complicated than when you’re a kid.”  She wasn’t going to let it go.  “That man forgave you today.” She pointed out in a matter-of-fact kind of way.  “What?” her father asked incredulously.  “Today, when you were mean to that guy.  He forgave you and helped us out.” Ethan stopped watching tv and looked at his little girl.  “I think you should be like that man, daddy.  I think you should forgive.”   She wasn’t trying to make him feel bad or condemn him.  But her words pierced Ethan’s heart like a knife.  This sweet little girl who he loved and adored, who felt the same way about him, wanted her father to be like a bum? Just because that guy had done something good for them?  He gave his daughter a weak smile and pulled her to him.  She snuggled up into his chest.  He had no words to say.

e           Later that evening, he called his mother back and told her she could take Sofia to lunch tomorrow. He could hear the joy and relief in his mother’s voice, and he felt good as he hung up the phone.

Charity was smiling from ear to ear when hung the phone up.  Her son had just agreed to let her pick her granddaughter up for lunch the following day.  Charity hadn’t seen her granddaughter in almost two years.  She was not only excited to be able to spend some time with the sweet little girl, but she also hoped that maybe this was a sign that her son was beginning to forgive her.  She had not been the best mother when he was growing up, and she was paying the price for it.  She had always loved her son very much, but for many years she could hardly take care of herself, much less a young child.  And maybe at some point she just gave up.  By the time she had been able to hold a job and get her life together, it seemed that he would be better off without her.  Her own mom had always been a great mother, both to her and her son.  She knew he was taken care of, and so that helped for her to not feel so bad.  She had not realized how her actions would affect him, though.  Now, looking back, she could almost understand why he didn’t want a relationship with her.  Why would he?  She had never put much work into having a relationship with him.  But she did love her him, and she regretted the past immensely.  She could do nothing to change it.  All she could do was try to be a better person.  She wanted desperately to have a better relationship with him now, and to do for his little girl all the things she should have done for him.

Charity had grown up much over the years, and now in her early forties, she was not the timid little girl she had been when her son was a child.  She had done well for herself and wanted to show her son that she loved him and was capable of being good to him.  She knew that life was short, and getting to spend time with her grandchild and her son meant everything to her.

The next day, they met at the restaurant of Sofia’s choice.  Charity was already seated at the table when Ethan and Sofia arrived.  Sofia ran to give her grandma a hug.  It was a beautiful moment.  Charity looked up at Ethan “Will you stay and have lunch with us?”  Ethan shook his head “No, not today.”  There was a few seconds of awkward silence as they looked at each other. “Maybe another time.” Ethan finally offered.  Charity looked seriously at her son “I love you” she said, as though trying to convince him.  Ethan gave a slow nod “I know, Mom.  I love you, too.”  He leaned down and kissed Sofia on the cheek.  “And I love you, honey. You have a good time with grandma, and I’ll see you, later. Okay?”  “Alright, daddy. Love you” Sofia replied as she reached up, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him on the cheek.  Ethan turned and walked away, leaving them to their lunch date.  Charity could not contain her happiness.  She beamed at Sofia across the table who smiled gleefully back at her.  They enjoyed a wonderful lunch together and made plans to go shopping afterwards.  It amazed Charity that such a little girl could make her feel so happy.  Her world was filled with hope.  They were at the restaurant for quite a while, but Charity loved every moment of it, so proud to be with her beautiful, sweet granddaughter.  When they had finished lunch, the waitress brought their check.  Charity placed a fifty dollar bill in the guest check book.  She handed it to the waitress.  “It’s okay.  You can keep the change” Charity told her, smiling.  It was a pretty big tip, but she did not mind.  She was feeling generous, and maybe that waitress needed some good in her day, too.     

God Bless A Good Dad

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Both of my parents made such an influence in my life, though they really had quite different personalities. Dad was very kind, dependable, and responsible.  Mom was fun loving and spontaneous. Their different personalities caused marital problems, and they divorced when I was only a year old.  While their contrasting characteristics made their own personal relationship difficult, I always felt that these differences were a blessing to me.  They were two pieces to the puzzle that completed me. I believe that having two people so different love me so dearly and be  such a large part of my life helped to give me a dynamic character and an open mind, able to see things from many different point of views. I cannot imagine that I would have had nearly as much happiness in my life had one of them not been in it.  This is not to say that my parents were perfect.  They made plenty of mistakes, same as everyone else.  But they did their best, and I know they loved me unconditionally.

Historically, mothers have been considered the most important parental figure.  The old school view of the woman being the homemaker and rearing the children while the man works has reinforced this in our culture and in many others.  I would like to bring to light, though, the importance of a father in a child’s life.  This is a personal topic for everyone.   Everyone has some feeling or view on it because we all have a father.  We are all affected by the relationship with this person, be it for good or for bad.

Fathers have an important role in developing a child’s social and psychological development. According to a study conducted by University of Maryland researchers in 2000 and reported on the Medical Center website, children with supportive and nurturing fathers or father-figures in their lives are more assertive, enjoy more social acceptance, have higher self-esteem and are less likely to exhibit signs of depression.  These findings were constant for both boys and girls, and with both black and white children.

Dr. Kyle D. Pruett reports other interesting research findings in his book Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is As Essential As Mother Care for Your Child.  For example, a father’s involvement in a child’s life is the strongest parent-related predictor of empathy. It is also associated with the development of problem-solving behavior and reduced sibling conflict and aggression.  Children of involved fathers are much more successful academically and are more likely to go to college.  Even if the father does not live with the child, if they are actively involved in their lives, a child will tend to have less behavioral problems.

Some dads may worry that by giving high priority to their family, they will lose their edge in the workplace and not be considered for higher positions as much as those who lack family ties or neglect them. Research does not support this fear.  It is beneficial to both the man’s health and happiness and also to his children’s well being to put his family first. It is okay to plan your work around your family.  It is a good thing to consider father-child time more important than work time.

In the sad situation that a child is unable to have their own father there to connect with and share a nurturing relationship with, studies show that having other positive male figures in a child’s life can help decrease the risk of this having negative affects on them.  With this in mind, every positive interaction between a child and a man can help to ensure a child’s healthy development.  This fact in itself speaks of how important a father’s role is.  If a man can make a difference to the well being of ANY child, imagine the difference they can make in the lives of their own children.

As a mother, I know it is important for my kids to have a good relationship with their dad, but I also tend to view my relationship with them as more important. While I believe there’s nothing wrong with being a little possessive of your children, the truth is their relationship with their dad is one that Imageeffects them greatly.  I would love to believe that I can give them everything they need on my own.  If ever that sad situation occurred, I know I would try my best to do so, and they would still be much loved and well cared for children.  I wish love and support unto every parent who is forced to do it alone.  As stated by Dr. Pruett, those children with TWO loving, involved parents benefit from the wealth of each parent’s life experiences, different parenting styles, and approaches to dealing with life.  Though my parents divorced long ago, they both remained a large part of my life.  I know that this fact had many positive affects on my own happiness.

My hope for this writing is to inspire us all to respect and embrace the importance of fathers in our children’s lives so as to help ensure the happiness and overall positive development of those children.  I know that I am extremely grateful for having a father that loved and cared for me.  I hope that all of you fathers and mothers realize how important you are to your own children.

I write. Therefore I am a writer.

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What is it to be a writer? I know that the written language is both one of my gifts and also an outlet for me. Putting thoughts on paper has brought me sanity and peace at moments in my life when it seemed nothing else could. It comes so naturally. However, it does not always come easily. Only in those moments when there is some emotion that I have to pour out does writing come so easily and naturally. Whether it is grief, frustration, or the inspiration of love, the need to deal with my emotions causes writing to become more of a necessity, a coping mechanism. All love and happiness is best rejoiced and celebrated with eloquently spoken words. Even the most heartbreaking of life events can aspire to be at least inspirational when put to a poet’s sonnet. And that is how I deal with life. That is how I paint myself a picture of a beautiful world full of hope and dreams. This is how I know it is one of my gifts. It is just too much a part of me to not be. More often than not, though, it seems I have to pretty much force myself to write. Maybe this has always been the case. Maybe over the years of pursing dreams and working on goals, I have kept myself busy with things that DID require me to write frequently and research and think, primarily during all my time spent in school.

These days I have to force it, I have to make time for it and consider my topics all on my own. Pure self drive is the only thing that keeps me writing. I have no classes that require me to write out well researched and articulated theories and ideas. I am not so lucky to have any pressing deadlines because I have never had any type of job as a writer. I have no schooling that affords me the title of someone who writes as a career. I make myself write because it is the creative link between what is inside me and the rest of the world. I don’t always know what I’m going to write about, what path my writing will take from start to finish, or where it will even end up. Probably most of the time, I don’t know these things. My writing normally starts with an idea, a simple observation that my mind takes off with on a tangent. I feel the need to go with it and write it out, and by the time it’s all done, I have a collection of well thought out and flowing ideas that lead to a greater conclusion or new understanding. That is what’s hoped for, at least.

The main problem is making the time for it. In writing this, I looked up on the internet the phrase “making time”. Of course, a million different things came up: making time for rest and romance in your relationship; making time for your friends; making time for family; making time for yoga; making time for exercise; making time for you.  It just so happens that all of these things to first appear on my browser are actually things that I’m pretty good at making time for. This did help to reinforce the idea though that apparently I am not alone in my inability to consistently make time for some of the things that are most important to me; in this case, my creative outlet.

So, here we go. What does it mean to be a writer? Well, I suppose it simply means that you write. Whether it’s any good or not is up to opinion. Whether it’s read by others or not does nothing to change the fact that the words and ideas were produced. To be acknowledged as a writer is only to let other people in, to let them read what you have put into words. As with any gift, it only shows it’s true potential and beauty if you share it with the rest of the world. So, I will endeavor to put my need to make time for this thing that makes me feel both whole and connected. I will attempt to not be afraid of criticism. I will try to even stop caring what other people may think of my writing. Instead, I will ask myself how it makes me feel to write the words. I will only focus on my pure joy and love of it and my need for it., for these are the things that make me a writer. I shall share this passion with the world and if it that passion spreads and inspires, then wonderful. If not, then oh, well. It is a piece of me put into words on paper, and it always will be.

My Thoughts on the Occupy Movement

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There are so many people in the U.S.. And in the land of opportunity, so few of us will find financial wealth. I, myself, don’t need to be wealthy. I just want to be free to make an honest living, making enough money to live well, without having to kill myself over it, sacrificing everything else that is important to me including family, health, and sanity.
I imagine that this may be the same “American dream” that many others have. I really don’t mind being part of the 99%. I just don’t want to live at the mercy of the 1%. Which, unfortunately, seems to be the way it is, really. He who has the money, controls the world. In our democracy, we are supposed to all be equal with the same rights and the same powers of free speech and vote. But we all know that isn’t exactly true.
Even the punishment for criminal acts is lessened if you can afford to pay for it. If you can afford the best lawyer and pay the most fines, you can just about get away with murder. Anyone who has ever had any kind of legal issues knows that it is just a matter of buying your way out, if you can afford to do so. These days, it’s more like if you do the crime, you have to pay the fine. Or if you can’t afford that, then you have to do the time.
As far as free speech goes, we’ve all seen here recently from the Occupy movement that speech is only “free” to those saying what the rich want to hear or with enough money to be able to pay so that no one minds. As for each of us having an equal vote, this may be true, but we all know that anyone that is in the position to be voted into any office of major importance is someone that (1)is wealthy themselves (2) is very good at getting money out of other people, and/or (3) is a puppet for the people who DO have the money. In the first case, this person will probably not really be able to relate to the issues of us on the lower end of the income scale. The second person may be equally scary just for the fact that they are apparently very good at talking me out of my hard-earned money. And the third person is probably the last kind of politician we need, but unfortunately, is probably the most common. To be a successful politician, you really have to have money, however you get it. Just like you have to have money to get away with breaking the laws, you also have to have money to make them.
I think the Occupy movement is a great cause, and I think most people are supportive of it also. We all want to change the world for the better. Economic change would be a good start. The most complaints I have heard about the movement is its seeming lack of direction or set agenda. I see no problem with this. To say that you know the ultimate goal or what needs to happen is to imply that you know how to fix it. Politicians do this all the time, when they really don’t know the answers, they’re just trying to get everyone else to buy into their crap so that they can get voted into their office and ultimately follow their own agenda. It’s only natural.
The Occupy movement doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but they have done a really great job getting people to stop and admit that there is a problem. They are encouraging people to look to our political systems and the people we have chosen to lead us and ask “How and why did it get this bad? And what are we going to do to fix it?” The movement has caused a definite rise in awareness. Not a rise in the awareness of how financially unstable we all are, we already know that, but an awareness of the fact that while the majority of us wonder how we will pay off debts and send our children to school, the wealthiest of Americans continue to increase in income and even make money off of our debt with their high interest rates and their increased ability to invest, allowing them to make money off of just the simple fact that they have the money.
The Occupy movement has not only made us aware of this, but has also given us hope that maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. Maybe there can be a change if we all come together. Maybe we can make a better world for our children and even ourselves. Maybe we can have a democracy that is true to all of its citizens instead of resembling a hierarchy, as it so often does, with the wealthiest of people playing the part of the powerful aristocrats.
I’ve recently heard a lot of talk about “where should the Occupy movement go next?”. I don’t really think they should “go” anywhere. I think the movement should continue to peacefully raise awareness and hope. I also think that one way it could benefit the citizens of the 99% is to work to educate each other and empower ourselves with knowledge. There are a lot of people in 99% of Americans with a lot of knowledge that we could share with one another and become a stronger people and force. In this, I mean everything from financial advice to government and politics to healthcare. Teaching in any area where people could learn more would in turn create a stronger society. And everyone has something to offer. In a time of economic crisis, the most obvious things that we could all learn a little more on may be financial advisement like how to be a smarter consumer, spend less, waste less, how to get out of debt and stay out of debt, how to avoid paying high interest rates or such monies that, in my opinion, are useless spending. People with experience in government and politics could teach us how to be more involved in our political processes, on local levels and higher levels of government. I am a 32-year-old mother who works full-time, and I can tell you honestly that I do not know a whole lot about how our government actually works. Of course, I took Political Science in school, but as far as how the political system really works on a local level and how to get involved so that the politicians that are in those offices may somewhat resemble what I believe in, I could definitely use some teaching in these areas. Learning how my local government works and how I can make sure my vote is counting will empower me and make me more knowledgeable when it comes to elections for higher offices.
Free, or at least very cheap, educational forums/workshops given by members of the 99% to members of the 99% will make us more knowledgeable and, therefore, more powerful. And everyone does have something to teach. Tax workers could teach better ways to file your taxes and maybe even how to do it on your own. People who work or have worked in insurance could teach how to smartly purchase insurance and get the most out of it. The majority of my money goes to taxes, insurance (of all kinds: health, home, car, etc), and interest rates on my debt. I imagine that many other people are the same. So these areas in particular, I think that we could all benefit financially by learning more about.
The possibilities of what we could teach each other are limitless, though. Healthcare providers, like myself, could teach on tips for healthy living and preventative health measures. Mechanics could teach how to cost-effectively take care of your vehicle without getting ripped off by some greedy automobile company. Psychologists could give tips on dealing with the psychological stress of debt and financial strain. Housewives could teach on ways to save money on groceries and finding time/ways to better our family lives and home environment. Everyone knows something, and sharing that knowledge with each other could empower us all. And, what a great community service to be a part of! If we can teach each other how to live better, spend smarter, get out of debt, and use our political system to make the laws/policies reflect the needs of the citizens, then we can

MAKE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE 99% MORE POWERFUL THAN THE WEALTH OF THE 1%!!

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

P.S.
The truth is I am a very hard worker and have gotten used to not having a lot of money. I am a RN, so I do have job security in my career, but I work VERY HARD for my money and hate to see it go to waste. I have, up to this point, really accepted life as it is. I will probably always work way too hard and not ever have the wealth others may know. I’m okay with that. What scares me is what the future holds for my children. If the rich get richer and the middle class is disappearing, what kind of world will my children live in? THAT IS WHAT SCARES ME THE MOST.