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It starts with a dream

It starts with a dream.

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When storms hit

Severe weather

Severe weather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Storms, it seems we are getting hitting more in the south in the United States. In my 49 years I have never seen so many bad hits to towns and my yard in one year. Lost 22 trees in a storm a month ago and  this week a tree decided to become a hood ornament on my car. Not fun, or fashionable on a Scion xB. The past few storms were only listed as floods, no wind or lightening was on the alerts. So many of these surprise storms are popping up.

Many people in my area are now in panic mode because so much damage is happening. Insurance folks are not as friendly in some aspects because the claims are mounting. Others are at a huge loss for not having insurance. Families are left homeless or without a means of travel. When tensions rise and stress sets in tempers fly and anger becomes a daily mindset. It is difficult being happy and positive with you have lost everything with no means of getting any of it back. The food and clothing banks are running low due to all the demands. The Red Cross and other agencies are not able to keep up due to the economy and so many disasters happening back to back.  And, we must accept the consequences because no matter how hard we try to prepare, Mother Nature is a force beyond all human means to prevent.

The best prevention is preparation. Sit down with your family and talk out plans for multiple crisis situations. This will reduce the fear and panic response if children know ahead of time what they need to do. Prepare special backpacks with supplies, to include a few small toys and activities so little ones have something to occupy themselves during the aftermath of a crisis. Children with challenges need more preparation. Make sure you have extra medication, medical records and information, as well as any special supplies such as diabetic or asthma needs in the pack. The more involved your child is with medical needs the more you need to plan. If your child is deaf or has communication needs consider making a special picture communication system if your child gets separated from you and must relay information. I am aware many deaf do not like using picture symbols but in a crisis communication is top priority. My next blog will review what a picture communication is and why they are important even for those without hearing or communication needs. Make sure you have a few comfort food snacks and some protein sources in the pack as well. A map of your safe place is also a good idea to have. Anyone can become disoriented after a disaster.

If you have concerns about safe places in your house you might want to contact your local authorities to help you decide where is the best place in your home during a tornado or high winds situation. Each house is different especially when considering the age and structure type. You can also search on the internet for information on safety during tornadoes. It is good to have a plan. If I am aware of severe weather I will go ahead and get our safe zone ready so we can get there without having to grab other items that might slow us down from getting there in time. Sometimes you only have seconds to respond.

During a fire, make sure you children know how to escape especially if trapped on a second floor. Practice safe  routes out. You might consider buying a safety ladder which is used out a window. Designate a safe place to meet because there might be a chance you, as a parent, cannot get to your child. During talk sessions about escape plans reassure your child that going back into a burning house is not a good idea. The fireman are trained to handle to handle the situation. Their safety is important, other things are replaceable.

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Do not let embarassment control your emotions

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another CPR for the soul moment.

We all make mistakes.  When we make mistakes we become embarrassed. There are two choices: over react and try to cover or to admit and make amends. Sometimes it is human nature to overreact and belittle the person who caught the mistake. No one likes being blindsided because they were not prepared or informed. But then again, no one should ever go into a situation knowing accountability is the topic and not be ready. No doubt there will be an embarrassing moment to deal with when the facts are on the table. What is worse is to respond by intimidating or shaming the person who was right. Guilt coupled with embarrassment is a deadly combination when a person in power is involved.  Even during the confrontation the guilty party should not become defensive by rattling off excuses and trying to avoid the obvious. Behavior in that way only grows the internal frustration of the guilty. One should never skirt the obvious, just own up to it and move forward as quickly as possible.

So what happens after all the wrong emotions come spewing out? There is still time to make amends though the work will be much harder to correct. Do not continue the cycle of rage from the embarrassment and guilt that grew because you were unprepared. Own up to the situation and not keep fueling a fire. The bigger the fire grows the more likely you are to get burned especially if it was started on your behalf to create a smoke screen. Do whatever it takes to correct the problem. Most importantly, take a moment to step outside of yourself to recap the situation from another point of view. If you were to discover the problem, what would you have done? If children are involved it is without a shadow of doubt emotions will run high. Understand in a position of power, one should understand the emotions coming to the table. It is your duty to listen, consider the options, and then form a plan of action to correct the mistakes or over sites. If it is a situation in regard to others you are supervising, then hold them accountable. You can still stand on their behalf but never should one raise an employee up in a meeting if it is clear they have violated a law or legal procedure. Do not lower your accountability or professionalism based on friendship. A true friend holds all accountable, especially friends and family out of love and respect. Even better, pass the meeting or confrontation on to another supervisor to safe guard your emotions will not be involved. Sometimes we must admit we are too close to the subject or people involved, save yourself from an embarassing situation. It is not a sign of weakness rather a sign of a professional who will pass it on to someone who can be objective.

For the person who was trying to do the right thing by catching the mistake bringing it to the attention of those who could fix it, know you were doing what was right. Often people will over react in hopes you would back down. Also, when embarrassed people will turn on anyone, even their family and friends. Exposing a wrong will cause even the most pleasant sort to shape shift into a person you have never seen before. The emotions will uncover a very insecure and aggressive nature in some. Do not hold it against them but still hold them accountable. It is upsetting when this occurs, just know it will pass but do not allow the person to continue a reign of terror to control you from doing what is right especially in regard to a child or person with needs. Be respectful and never lower yourself to the inappropriate emotions that you might feel.

To parents, teach your child early how to deal with embarrassments and being confronted when wrong. Own up to the mistakes with a positive course of action to make amends. Not everything can be fixed but if it can, chose that route. Never resort to bullying and emotional outbursts as a means of response. On the flip side, teach them to always be ready, check into all avenues before confrontation occurs. It is good to stand by friends and family but if they are wrong, try to get to the root of the issue before it escalates. Keep emotions under wraps until there is a justified reason to express them. Never bully as a response to being wrong. Intense emotions and bullying can cause a negative blow to the soul. It is better to prepare while young to deal with frustrations and owning up to mistakes than it is to correct the onslaught of extreme emotions as an adult.

 

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Taking a stand when friends and family are involved

English: "The Thinker," by Rodin, in...

English: “The Thinker,” by Rodin, in front of the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia, PA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another CPR for the Soul moment. Over the past several years I have had to take a stand for what I knew was right in battles where friends and family were on the opposing side. Think we all agree when this occurs the frustrations and pain erupt from a place very sensitive within our soul. You want to be supportive of family and friends but deep inside you know their position is wrong. You try many ways to convince them of their errors but nothing can change their minds because in their opinion, which they have a right to have, you are wrong. You may bring research based evidence, data, witnesses, etc. the whole gamet of proof but still they stand firm in their wrongness. Do you risk a family division or a feud with friends?

I ask myself these questions when I must make decisions in regard to opposing friends and family in situations, especially in public forums:

1. If a child is involved, what is in the best interest of the child? If I was not related to or close friends with the opposing party would my decision be different?

2. If I do not take a stand will harm come to those involved?

3. Do I have evidence to support my position? Is the evidence I have based upon the greater good or for selfish reasons?

4. Is the opposition based upon ego? Who is taking a pride knock? Who is not seeing  the situation at hand?

5. Am I willing to risk my reputation and my name to continue this battle to the end all-knowing the opposition will be out to ruin me?

 

If a child is involved and the situation could possibly alter the child’s life in a positive way, then the risk is worth it. Though the situation may have some negative impact for the moment such as a change in living arrangements or moving a child into another classroom, if the outcome is directed towards improving the quality of life, then I will always chose to stand firm. If the outcome is based upon me not liking someone or out of spite, then I need a realty check. Never do something to spite another when children are involved. Too many friends and family members have caused irreversible emotional scars upon their children because they were out to get their ex-spouse or hated a teacher. We need to grow up and look at things with a mature mindset.

If someone is in harm’s way due to the behavior of another no matter if I am related to or good friends of, I will always take a stand to protect. We must consider the acts of harm not only in a physical but also emotional and mental. The scars left from emotional and mental abuse can open years later becoming deadly.

Taking a position based upon hearsay and no evidence is never a wise thing to do. When friends and family are involved, if you do your homework and give documentation, medical facts, reseach-based evidence, or good solid facts I have found often the stand-off or battle dissolves. Sometimes it is a lack of understanding or knowledge which causes the uprise. A wee bit of education and information never hurt.

If ego and pride are involved then sometimes it needs to be addressed. I have witnessed friends and family in high positions protect people they know are in the wrong to protect their own egos. If you or someone you are supporting are wrong, wrong is wrong and a title or position will only make you look ignorant causing others to lose respect in your abilities. A hard lesson I had to learn many years ago. Just best to confirm the problem and focus on solutions instead of excuses to protect the guilty to pull a power move. Never let friends or family cause you to make unwise decisions. Do what you know is right because you must live with the decision.

We have all faced the friends and family members who seek personal vendettas when others do not follow their decisions. It is never a good thing. We wish not to be victims of their frustrations or follies to prove their power. Bullying and fear tactics are often a possibility when you are dealing with extreme cases. It is also a reality you must face. Having been a victim of a life threatening retaliation for turning friends in for extreme injustice and wrong doing, I am often asked if I would do the same thing again knowing what I do now. Yes, I will always stand for what I know is right. This time I would be more cautious afterwards. The reality is I did not choose my friends wisely because I should have never been placed in a situation where I would have to take a stand such as I did. I warned them of the situation I had discovered so it wasn’t like they did not have time to fix it. Where my blog on “Someone knows” came from.

We should never place friends and family in situations were others must make decisions based on wrong or right. We all can work within the “agree to disagree” category which usually doesn’t have situations in regard of evil intentions or illegal doings. We all have a right to our opinions but we do not have a right to cover and hide wrong doings.

CPR for the soul… follow what you know in your heart to be right. Friends and family are important but never so much that you must compromise your personal values and respect. Time heals. Sometimes it is a wiser choice to move on. There are millions more friends to be made. Family… well, we can never chose our family but we can choose to do what is right. In the end it is about the greater good, not who you are related to, a title, money, or popularity.

 

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Once Upon a Time in a Land Not So Far Away…

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951, Fitzwilli...

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…there lived a creative. Life had potential. Everything was explored and investigated to the extent the mind could conjure. Colors could be heard and tasted. Sound was seen and  felt. Nothing was simple. Life was complex in a pleasurable way. Nothing was as it seemed, it was only limited by the constraints of the mind. With limitless possibilities the days were filled with nonstop wonders. “No” did not exist. Lessons were learned by doing. If something did not manifest in a positive it was not perceived as a negative but a detour to explore another option.

One day another happened upon the creative. “You cannot do it this way,” the creative was told.

“Why not?” Replied the creative.

“It is not possible, take my word,” the other said.

So the creative took the other’s word and stopped doing. When other challenges and wonders came the other repeated the statement and the creative stopped. Soon the creative grew tired and wished to no longer explore because the voice of the other would say it couldn’t be done. The creative withered away in a small empty room because there were no possible ways the voice could counter.

How many times have you been the creative? How many times have you been the voice of another?

There is a happy alternative ending to this story.

“You cannot do it this way, ” the creative was told.

“Why not? Replied the creative.

“It is not possible, take my word,” the other said.

“That’s okay, I think I will challenge your thinking because I am certain it can. If not then I will find another way,” the creative said with confidence and a smile.

Let’s encourage our children to forge on to discovery and imagination. Let’s encourage adults to push past the limits engrained their minds from the past to take risks without guilt or fear. Let’s be a world of creatives once again.

The End… well, of course not, creativity never ends it is always a beginning.

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