Tag Archives: Odds & Ends

Young. Dumb. Dead

Jamisha Gilbert pictureThis week has been filled with heartbreak in our community.  It started when another young woman went missing and only a few days later turned up dead.
Jamisha Gilbert’s disappearance and her death is so fresh considering we are still grappling over Alexis Murphy.  Alexis, by the way, is still missing and this  week we hit the four month mark since she vanished.
It’s tragic to know that one mother knows where her daughter is (provided little comfort), while another mother still suffers at night not knowing if her daughter is alive.

Add to the mix, the 11 college kids from Washington & Lee who had their lives changed forever this week.  They were all riding in an SUV after a night of “lot’s of fun”, only to crash.  One kid killed.  vigilI’m sure the driver will be charged with
vehicular manslaughter any day.  He’s already charged with DUI.  The thing is, it could’ve been any of those kids behind the wheel.  He was probably just unlucky enough to have the largest vehicle.

Then there was the incident between two friends in Roanoke on Wednesday afternoon.  One of them was handling a gun.  It went off.  The other teenager was killed.  Child’s Play?

In all of these incidents, what comes to mind is young and dumb.  Before you think I’m here to pass judgement, I’m not.  The truth is at one point we’ve all been young and dumb.  I can think of a few things in my high school or college days that could’ve taken me on a whole different path.  For that matter, there were some decision I made in my 20’s that could’ve put me in a coffin a lot sooner.

I’m sure many of you could say the same even if you don’t do it publicly.

What really disturbs me though is how I believe social media has perhaps magnified and glorified dumb behavior.

Explicit warning labels on CD’s,  Rated-R movies and Pay-Per-View were the threats in the “old days”.  Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube and the list goes on.

In so many of these tragedies now, it’s bothersome  to see these young girls on Facebook and making online videos, just putting themselves out there as a piece of meat.  This week we’ve seen more videos of “kids in the news” readily admitting online that they smoke weed.   How many times have you run across Facebook photos showing underage drinking?

Don’t you know by now that when you do something online you do it in front of the world?  It’s young. It’s dumb.  It’s tacky.  To you young women out there, let me tell you, what you all are doing online isn’t cute and oh yes, there are consequences.  I don’t think that is reason enough to be murdered or raped, but you have to know bad behavior attracts evil.

Parents, you gotta start talking to your kids and don’t wait until they’re 14 and 15.   “Train up a Child….”  And yes, while all children make mistakes (as part of badge of honor to adulthood), we all have to step up and revert back to the “It takes a Village…”

Our kids will be young and dumb, but it is imperative that those of us who survived our poor decisions, protect them from theirs.

There’s No Place Like Home

Old Mesilla - you'll find a lot of history here including tales of ghost spotted in one of the restaurants even today!

Old Mesilla – You’ll find a lot of history here including tales of ghost spotted in one of the restaurants even today!

I recently had the opportunity to go back home for about a week.  I was in Las Cruces, NM not only to visit my parents, but I was also on program as the main speaker for my childhood church’s Centennial celebration.

A lot of people — A big deal!

I was so glad when my 45 minutes speech (which I thought was 15 minutes) was over.  I worked on that thing for nearly 9 hours and still wasn’t sure how it would be received.  As I told the crowd “When you go home, you just have to get it right.”

Boys II Men filmed their music video "Water Run Dry" here and you'll also probably notice a few scenes from here in Transformers 2.

Boys II Men filmed their music video “Water Run Dry” here and you’ll also probably notice a few scenes from here in Transformers 2.

Fortunately it went over well and I’m so humbled to have had that opportunity.  Out of the many speaking engagements I do each year, this certainly will make the top three.

 

 

I also of course got a chance to indulge a  little while I was in the Land of Enchantment.  There’s nothing like the real deal.   People always ask me what is New Mexico like?  It’s like a lot of places.  We have grocery stores and mountains.  Yes, it gets quite cold.

nmfood

 

The food is phenomenal!

 

You have to make your own fun at times but, isn’t that almost everywhere?

Apparently NM has its own drink now.  In case you're wondering that's the Zia symbol which is on the state flag.

Apparently NM has its own drink now. In case you’re wondering that’s the Zia symbol which is on the state flag.

A Lesson For Us All

meomMidnight came and went on September 30th.  The federal government shut down (partially).  How did this happen? Why did this happen?

Probably the easiest answer is because of partisan difference.  However, I think we’d be fools if we didn’t acknowledge the take away for all of us is so much bigger.  Let our lawmakers unwillingness and inability to work together be a lesson for us all.

How many times have we as “everyday” folk allowed our greed, pettiness, hate and jealousy filter to through our work, home and other aspects of our lives?  Our actions and emotions have a way of spreading.  Were you  cruel to a co-worker or someone at church?  Who knows what you could’ve accomplished TOGETHER if you hadn’t offended so-and-so.

Hopefully Washington will get it together soon enough.  In the meantime, we should put our own lives under a microscope  and examine what kind of shutdown we’ve created and the fall out we left behind.

All Babies are V.I.P’s

pacifierThere’s something about a royal baby that makes everyone feel a tinge of excitement.  That is the case this week after one of the future heirs of England’s monarch made his way into the world. 

With all of the pomp and circumstance that’s been leading up to this for weeks, if not months, it made me think; shouldn’t every child that enters this world be celebrated and cared for in the same way?  I’m not necessarily talking about money but about ensuring that our children have bright futures.  Forget the fact that England’s newest prince will have the red carpet rolled out for him everywhere he goes.  More importantly, he will be educated, fed and loved.  All of our children, whether they have a title in front of their name deserve these same basic rights.

The Children’s Defense Fund reports:
 
-A child is abused or neglected every 42 seconds.
-A child dies before his or her first birthday every 18 minutes.
-A child or teen is killed by gunfire every 3 hours.

Where are your manners?

smileYou know, I’ve been conducting my own little experiment over the past two weeks.  It’s amazing how many people walk right past each other (the only two people in sight) and don’t say “Hello” or “Good Morning”.  It’s also amazing how rude people are when they’re the customer; for instance, trying to check into a hotel.

What I’ve always known, but realize even more is the words “Hello” or “Good Morning” can be a gateway to getting you a lot of good stuff. Maybe the hotel clerk looks out for you in ways he/she might not have.  Maybe, you just really saved someone from having a lousy day.  If opening your mouth and speaking is too much, what about a smile?  I just don’t get it when people pass each other and look away or look down.

I really think something this simple could truly change our society for the better.  Perhaps if people were nicer to each other, you wouldn’t have some kid walking into an elementary school and shooting up dozens of people.  Being rude has become the norm, not the exception now-a-days.  It’s truly and utterly ridiculous.

My challenge to you?  Try it and even if the person doesn’t reciprocate, you will feel better about yourself.

What Are You Superstitious About?

superstitionsCan’t you hear the Stevie Wonder song ….

The fact of the matter is we all have superstitions.  I find it funny too, because even though I don’t really believe in (all) of them, I find myself doing things to avoid getting jinxed.  Here are a few I’ve learned over the years:

1.  Don’t sweep over someone’s foot or cross over their leg (bad luck)

2.  Eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day (good luck/prosperity)

3.  (This one is from a good friend of mine).  Don’t buy your girlfriend/boyfriend shoes, they’ll walk out of your life.  Also, don’t buy them a watch because time will run out on your relationship

4. Don’t walk under a ladder (bad luck)

5.  Don’t split a pole (bad luck)

6.  Don’t break a mirror (7 years of bad luck)

7.  Avoid black cats (bad luck)

8.  It’s bad luck to leave the house through a different door than the one you came in from.  (WDBJ7 Producer)

9.  Step on a crack…break your mother’s back

10.  Kiss a clock  i.e.  1:23am/pm  12:34am/pm 1:11am/pm (good luck)

Now let’s here some of your superstitions!

The Revelation….

I LOVE everything about Christmas, well almost.

Beautifully decorated Christmas trees make me happy!  Hot chocolate with marshmallows satisfy my taste buds as I try to survive the winter chill.  I love snow (as long as it doesn’t snow too many times or create thick layers of ice that lead to electrical outages).

Oh yea, back to what I love.

I love the true meaning of Christmas and the gift of salvation it represents.  I love giving gifts and seeing the reaction from those opening my presents.  I love, LOVE Christmas treats, especially decorating cookies.  I love how the mall seems to come alive with shoppers in a way that only happens around Christmas time.

But here’s the thing, I had a revelation while I was sitting in a waiting room today and there was no silence to be had.  I think I pretty much hate Christmas music!  It’s only November 28th and I’m about sick of Christmas songs.

There’s “Santa Baby” and “Jingle Bell Rock”.  You’ve got Christmas carols by the Chipmunks which sound like nails on a chalkboard.  They play on the radio over and over and over again.  Give me a good Boys II Men rendition of Silent Night and I’m cool, but the annoying tunes that have to do with Frosty and Rudolph…I can do without.

Am I a Grinch?  No, I would go that far, but I am counting the days until we can go back to our regularly scheduled (music) program.  Until then, thank goodness for CD’s.