The Power of the Ordinary


Have you ever taken issue with something, that at your core, you knew, was unfair or just plain wrong?

Maybe it was a policy issue such as healthcare reform or a human rights issue like poverty.

Whatever it was, it moved you to consider a solution & somehow you knew that if people could just see it, from your perspective, simply put, things would change.

Every day, most of us encounter issues that we find troubling. It is hard to ignore what we see on the news and in the papers. We are inundated with broadcasts of wars, violence, poverty, broken and flawed education and healthcare systems.

I can’t think of a single person, that I have ever known, who hasn’t taken issue with something.

This got me thinking, if so many of us feel so strongly about a need for change, what might prevent us from answering our inner call to action?

I suspect that there is no single answer.

Maybe it’s a lack of time, or perhaps we simply do not believe that a single ordinary individual can really make a difference. Or maybe we just don’t believe that we have it takes.

Whatever the reason, I am writing today to urge you, to begin to view making a difference not just as another item on your  to- do-list to be postponed or opted out of, but as an opportunity to make a real and positive difference in your life and the lives of others.

Many of us may feel that changing the world or even our own circumstances would mean making a full-time commitment. And in a world where there never seems to be enough hours in the day, the idea of spare time is hard to imagine.

But the truth is that we do not have to quit our day jobs or commit our every waking hour to a cause to make a difference. Volunteering can be as varied as the people who donate their time and skills.

For example, CharityGuide.org features volunteer opportunities that require as little as a fifteen minute commitment. And VolunteerMatch.org can even allow a person the flexibility of e-volunteering from home by matching you with a cause in need of a cyber-service volunteer.

But what if a lack of time, is not the issue? What if instead we think it is a waste of time? After all, what could one ordinary person possibly do, to make a lasting difference?

History offers us many examples of ordinary people making an extraordinary difference. From Dr. Martin Luther King to Gandhi. From Mother Teresa to Rosa Parks.

All ordinary individuals who have literally changed history in extraordinary ways.

I don’t want to imagine for a minute, what our lives might be like today without their contributions.

Or a more recent example, John Walsh, an ordinary man, born and raised in Auburn, N.Y. and educated at the University of Buffalo. A businessman, who worked building hotels and spent his spare time with his family.

Pretty Ordinary, right?

But then in 1981, his six-year-old son was abducted and murdered. And everything in his life changed.

In spite of and because of his personal tragedy, he made a decision to make a difference. With the help of others who shared his passion, he created the network television show, Americas Most Wanted.

And today because of this one ordinary man, thousands of dangerous criminals have been apprehended and nearly a hundred missing children have been returned home safe.

Extraordinary.

Then there are those of us who have known all our lives that we wanted to make a difference, but we do nothing because, we don’t think we are qualified to.

We sabotage ourselves with I’m not smart enough, or I’m not articulate enough or why would anyone listen to me? Sound familiar?

Believe me today, when I say, to make a difference, you don’t have to be louder than everyone.

You don’t have to be a trained speaker.

You don’t have to be elected.

You don’t have to be a “born leader”.

You just have to care.

Over the course of the last year, I have felt honored to have had the opportunity, to be asked to speak, about the importance and promise, of funding proven addiction prevention and treatment programs, as well as the devastating effects of the political & social stigmas associated with this disease.

I am not a doctor, nor do I hold a degree in Addiction Studies. I am not a licensed psychologist or a pharmacology expert. But when I get up to speak about, it doesn’t matter.

Not a single person, legislator nor citizen, has ever questioned whether or not I was “qualified” to be an advocate?

Why?

I watched my sister battle addiction. I watched her struggle for sustained sobriety be further complicated by the stigma attached to this disease. I watched her fight for her life. And then, I watched her die. 

Following her death, I took the time to research and educate myself on the facts relating to the disease and the social and political issues that surround it.

The tragedy of my sister’s death, coupled with this knowledge, affords me a unique & effective perspective on the issue. Moreover, it fills me with the courage to speak up and speak out with conviction, passion, and purpose.

I offered you this personal example to make this point.

In advocacy, commitment, passion, courage, and patience are far more valuable virtues than perfection.

To put it simply, Teddy Roosevelt said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

If you have 15 minutes to spare, to support or work on behalf of a cause you believe in, then you have time to make a difference.

If you have the capacity, to recognize the distinction between what is and what should be, then you are qualified to make a difference.

If you have the desire and the courage to act to change it, probabilities are high, that you are destined to make a difference.

So what are we waiting for?

My message for you today,  is that the change needs us, as much as we need it.

The world needs our skills, it needs our wisdom, it needs our courage, it needs our perspective, our enthusiasm and our faith.

Anne Frank said “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

In tribute to this inspiring “spirit of hope”, I invite you today, to join a new generation of change makers, in proving that with purposeful passion, faith, hope & courage, it is indeed possible for “the ordinary” to make an EXTRA-ORDINARY difference.

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http://timetoact.drugfree.org/ If you su


http://timetoact.drugfree.org/ If you suspect or know your child is using drugs or alcohol, it is important to take action right away. Don’t panic. You can do this. You have already taken an important step by visiting this website to learn more. So don’t give up. We’re here to help. Let’s get started.


Come Hell Or High Water


WE WOMEN ARE MASTERFUL NAVIGATORS

I would venture, that there are not many of us, if any, who have now and again failed to hear the echoes of hurt from days gone by.

And in those moments, we feel alone like a ship lost and adrift, aimlessly cast about by the cruelty of the powerful sea of life.

Then just as suddenly as the storm rose up, comes our miracle, a small voice from within our womanly souls, reminding us of our will… free will.

The will to hold on. The will to survive. The will to stand up and to keep on.

Knowing that I am, you are, we all are, each our own captain, capable of chartering our own course, to arrive at the destination of our choosing.

At times our journey will be long.

Now and again, stormy seas will most certainly toss us.

Our ship might get banged.

We might be called upon to slay a monster of the deep.

Our deck might need scrubbed.

We might even spring a leak and need repairing.

But despite it all, we will remember that we are women and as such, we are masterful navigators.

We are weather resistant, just look at all we have weathered.

We have come too far to turn around now.

So, come hell or high water or echoes of hurt, let us always move forward on our journey to healing, hope, and happiness.


Tell the White House to Enact Standards to Stop Prison Rape | Change.org


Tell the White House to Enact Standards to Stop Prison Rape | Change.org. (Click on this link to sign this petition and protect women and teen girls)

Tell the White House to Enact Standards to Stop Prison Rape

 

On June 23, the federal Department of Justice missed a deadline imposed by law to enact standards addressing the causes of prison rape and helping to end sexual assault behind bars in the United States. While assaults continue to happen every day, Attorney General Eric Holder says he didn’t just miss the deadline by a few days — it could still be a year.

Speak up now to tell Holder that a year is too long to wait to address this critical issue. Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act seven years ago, and national commission issued its recommendations for standards one year ago. It’s time for Justice to stop dragging its feet and enact standards nowou must be signed in to report content.

Petition Text

Enact Standards to Address Prison Rape Now

Greetings,

I’m writing to urge you to enact the standards developed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. On June 23, the Justice Department missed the legally imposed deadline to enact guidelines for prisons to reduce sexual assault, and it appears that you are dragging your feet on this critical issue. Between 60,000 and 100,000 Americans are raped behind bars each year — these rapes are continuing to occur today and your administration has the power to stop them.

Thanks to the hard work and expertise of the NPREC, the Department of Justice has the tools it needs to address prison rape and restore dignity and human rights to our prisons. The time for extended cost analysis conducted by private firms has passed — it is now time to act.

We are responsible for the safety and health of the millions of Americans incarcerated in our prisons and jails, and allowing them to be assaulted because appropriate safeguards are not in place is unacceptable. This is a human rights issue on our home soil, and it must be addressed without delay.

Please take steps to enact the standards immediately. This can’t wait another year.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.


Tell the White House to Enact Standards to Stop Prison Rape | Change.org


Tell the White House to Enact Standards to Stop Prison Rape | Change.org. (Click on this link to sign this petition and protect women and teen girls)

Tell the White House to Enact Standards to Stop Prison Rape

 

On June 23, the federal Department of Justice missed a deadline imposed by law to enact standards addressing the causes of prison rape and helping to end sexual assault behind bars in the United States. While assaults continue to happen every day, Attorney General Eric Holder says he didn’t just miss the deadline by a few days — it could still be a year.

Speak up now to tell Holder that a year is too long to wait to address this critical issue. Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act seven years ago, and national commission issued its recommendations for standards one year ago. It’s time for Justice to stop dragging its feet and enact standards nowou must be signed in to report content.

Petition Text

Enact Standards to Address Prison Rape Now

Greetings,

I’m writing to urge you to enact the standards developed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. On June 23, the Justice Department missed the legally imposed deadline to enact guidelines for prisons to reduce sexual assault, and it appears that you are dragging your feet on this critical issue. Between 60,000 and 100,000 Americans are raped behind bars each year — these rapes are continuing to occur today and your administration has the power to stop them.

Thanks to the hard work and expertise of the NPREC, the Department of Justice has the tools it needs to address prison rape and restore dignity and human rights to our prisons. The time for extended cost analysis conducted by private firms has passed — it is now time to act.

We are responsible for the safety and health of the millions of Americans incarcerated in our prisons and jails, and allowing them to be assaulted because appropriate safeguards are not in place is unacceptable. This is a human rights issue on our home soil, and it must be addressed without delay.

Please take steps to enact the standards immediately. This can’t wait another year.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.


Today Is National Missing Childrens Day


Lets Take A Moment Today To Pray

A grateful prayer of thanks,
For all of the families and children who have been reunited.

A fervent prayer of hope,
For those still lost, those left behind,  & those working to find them.

A parents prayer for justice to be served,
On those who have taken so much from us all.

A child goes missing every 40 seconds in the U.S.

Over 2,100 per day.

Children like Trenton Duckett & Madeleine McCann. 

In Excess of 800,000 Children Are Reported Missing Each Year.

Missing Children (NCMEC Case Report by State)
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming
Missing Children RSS Feeds  (by State) Click on Link or NCMEC main page to view
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Ode to Grandmas and Grandpas


Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting. ~Author Unknown

What a bargain grandchildren are! Igive them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars’ worth of pleasure ~Gene Perret

Grandmothers are just ‘antique’ little girls. ~Author Unknown

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. ~Welsh

A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television. ~Author Unknown

Never have children, only grandchildren. ~Gore Vidal

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. ~Pam Brown

Grandchildren don’t stay young forever, which is good because, Grandfathers have only so many horsey rides in them. ~Gene Perret

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window. ~Ogden Nash

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~ Marcy DeMaree

Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies. ~Author unknown

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. ~Author Unknown

If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first. ~Lois Wyse

My grandkids believe I’m the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. ~Gene Perret

If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for old people like it! ~Hannah Whithall Smith

It’s such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother – that’s why the world calls her grandmother. ~Author Unknown

Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old. ~Mary H. Waldrip

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandchild. ~Proverb

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~Gene Perret

The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida . ~Dave Barry

I wish I had the energy that my grandchildren have – if only for self-defense. ~Gene Perret

Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love. ~Author Unknown

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children ~Alex Haley

Grandmother – a wonderful mother with lots of practice. ~Author Unknown

A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside. ~Author Unknown

One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather. ~Joy Hargrove

It’s amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one. ~Author Unknown

If your baby is ‘beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time,’ you’re the grandma. ~Teresa Bloomingdale

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string – handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren. ~Author Unknown

What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I’d like to say that grandparents are God’s gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate. ~Bill Cosby

Grandchildren don’t make a man feel old; it’s the knowledge that he’s married to a grandmother. ~G. Norman Collie

 


NIH Podcast on Prescription Drug Abuse in Women


NIH Podcast on Prescription Drug Abuse in Women.