Now that the 2016 elections are over, we have a new leader for the next four years. Whether you like the outcome or not, it is what it is and we, as Americans, are faced with a choice. We can work FOR a unified nation, or AGAINST it. So now comes the question of how we move forward because no matter how we choose to respond, we will always be bmoving forward. Here are seven (7) points I think we need to consider.
Why does it matter what you say?
Words have power. They can do harm, no matter what the old “sticks and stones” nursery rhyme tells us.
In my play, Mr. Long Said Nothing, the father of a young Kathrine Landers advises his daughter that “Once something is said, it can’t be unsaid, only forgiven.” Unfortunately, I have a tongue that gets me in trouble because I don’t always have a filter, especially when I’ve become emotional over an issue.
On the night before the 2016 presidential election, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me because I had endured a very hard day earlier, and I chose to reply to some hateful posts on Facebook with harmful words of my own. Instead of wielding the power of forgiveness and mercy, a power we all have at our disposal, I wielded the pain of cruel words aimed at people I love and cherish, just because we are on opposite side of some hot button issues.
Luckily for me, I was forgiven by those people after I reached out and apologized, but the fact remains that there may still be scars.
In some cases, it’s necessary to tell the cold, hard truth, but even then, it should always be done with tact. And sometimes the best avenue is simply silence.
Social media has created an opportunity for people to hide behind their computers and say things they normally wouldn’t to someone’s face. We need to ask ourselves, before we post something bravely while hidden behind our monitors or smart phones, whether or not it is something we would say in someone’s presence and if the words we have in mind are uplifting or harmful.
This week’s Positive Review: Your local fall festival
"The true worth of a race must be judged by the character of its womanhood." - Mary McLeod Bethune
What does it mean to be a good woman?
I am a man attempting to put into words what a good woman looks like. For this reason, I must tread oh so carefully. I was raised, primarily, by my mother. My sister was there too, and so I got to watch first hand as a young single mother modeled for me what a true, good, strong, and Godly woman looks like. She still does that to this day. So it is with that experience that I bring to you my idea of a good woman and the importance for the futures of our daughters and sons that these concepts carry.
With the society we live in, there is a wide spectrum of beliefs that make up what an individual conceives as ideals of a good woman. Mine will come from a Christian point of view.
For these seven ideals of womanhood, please have a listen to the episode.
"Real men don't love the most beautiful girl in the world, they love the girl who will make their world the most beautiful." - Unknown
How important is it to be a good man?
Modeling the ideal man you'd like your son to grow up to be and the type of man you'd like your daughter to marry is a daunting task. It takes thought and tenacity, but it can be done.
It's about setting a positive example.
Children frequently connect with those that exhibit behavior they're familiar with. They also tend to mimic the examples they've been shown. That's why abusive people often learned it from abusive parents.
Model these things and you've got a great start:
2. Good language and an easy temper
3. Quality time
4. Affection and appropriate physical touch
5. Words of affirmation
6. Service to others
7. Firm spiritual foundation
This week's Positive Review: The works of Nicholas Sparks
"Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being." - Albert Schweitzer
The main question:
How do I help others who have lost a loved one?
Death and loss is not an easy subject to handle for anyone. Unfortunately, sometimes we can make an uncomfortable situation even worse by not knowing the right things to do and say.
I want to help make those times easier for both you and the grieving by giving some examples of what NOT to do and say, followed by a suggestion of what you SHOULD do or say.
Remember these things:
DO be there for them, but DON’T “hover”. Give them their space unless they ask for you to insert yourself into their grieving process.
DON’T tell them you know what they’re going through, because you don’t. Even if you’ve experienced a similar event in your life, everyone handles things differently. DO simply and sincerely say, “I’m sorry.”
DON’T ask how you can help. Even though this may seem like the right thing to do, there is a better way to phrase it. Asking how you can help or “Is there anything I can do?” makes them have to either think of a way you can help, which they don’t need to have to do at the moment, or to tell you “no”. This can possibly close the door on you being able to help in the future when they may really need it, because they may not want to go back and ask for your help once they’ve told you no to worry about it. Instead DO say, “Let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help. This way you leave the door open and give them the time they need without any pressure. They will appreciate this.
DON’T talk and offer advice unless they ask for it. DO listen. Just be there for them.
DON’T forget about them. DO be available if they need you. One idea is to send a card that says, once again, how sorry you are for their loss and that you are there should there be anything at all they need. Then offer you phone number and email so that they can reach you.
DON’T talk down to them as if they will break. If it’s a child, this may not apply, as children need to be spoken to on a level they can understand. But for an adult dealing with loss, speaking to them like a child or as if they will break may be annoying. I know it would be to me. Even with old people, while it’s necessary to speak softly, have probably seen and heard more than we can imagine and the last thing they want is to be made to feel awkward. DO be authentic. Don’t wear a mask, but be the real you, while remaining sympathetic.
DON’T tell them everything is going to be alright. We may believe it will be, but in that moment, they may not feel that way. Instead, DO tell them you love them. Those words are the most powerful in any language and have healing effects.
When it comes to those times when we must help others along a tough road, it’s best to think carefully about the things we do and say. This list is a good start.
This week’s Positive Review: The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel
"All say 'How hard it is that we have to die' - a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live." - Mark Twain
How do I deal with death or the loss of a loved one?
Death is something all humans have in common. At some point, we will all face it, whether we are dealing with the loss of a loved one, or our own deaths.
Two areas to consider:
Finding peace in your own mortality
Dealing with the loss of a loved one
Finding peace in our own mortality
Casues of anxiety - FEAR
Fear of the unknown – The Afterlife. Figure out what you believe and don’t be satisfied until you’re convinced.
Fear of pain and turmoil. It will be what it will be. It may be quick and painless; you may not even see it coming, or it may be uncomfortable, even painful. Unless it’s something you’re currently going through, there’s just know way to know. Don’t let a fear of this control you. While we should try to be safe and use caution, we should still live and enjoy life. Living in constant fear of what might happen is not living at all.
Fear of who we’re leaving behind. People can and will find a way to survive. The always have. In order to leave a great legacy, don’t just DO for the ones you love, but TEACH them so that they may carry on your knowledge after you have passed on.
Fear of leaving things undone. Prioritize the things that are the most important to you and start there. It’s all you can do because you are just one person. If it’s really important work, appointing a person you trust to succeed you will help.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one
Recognize these things:
Death is a part of life. It happens to us all.
Cherish and savor the moments with the ones you love. Do it now so that you can have great, strong memories later.
It’s okay to cry. Man or woman, young or old, tears are sometimes needed. So don’t allow yourself or anyone else to tell you not to cry for as long as you need to. Everyone deals with loss in their own way.
Grief is a season and will pass. It is a part of finding closure. Like crying, allow it unless it begins to control you and negatively affect you in a permanent way.
Ask yourself what they would want you to do. Most, if not all, of your loved ones would tell you to move on after a time and not allow their passing to be the end of your life.
Time eventually heals. Time has a great way of helping pain to fade, while allowing the memories to remain. Take comfort in that.
The issue of heaven and hell, or “Will I ever see them again?”
That is a question that can only be answered individually. For me as a Christian, I firmly believe in the life, sacrifice in death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the one and only way to eternal life. That is good news for me as I deal with the loss of fellow Christians, and bad news for me as I deal with the loss of those who have rejected Christ. I understand the intolerance in this belief, but it is my personal belief system. As far as your comfort on this side of death, it will depend on your personal beliefs. I was asked my thoughts on these subjects by a listener, and so I have to be truthful. However, just because I believe this way, does not mean that I don’t respect your system of belief. We don’t have to agree. But as for me, the issue of heaven and hell is real and final.
These are deep, sensitive issues. They are hard to handle, especially when sharing them with someone who is worried about their own mortality or someone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one.
In the next episode, we’ll talk about how to help others deal with
"Basically, radio hasn't changed over the years. Despite all the technical improvements, it all boils down to a man or a woman and a microphone, playing music, sharing stories, talking about issues - communicating with an audience." - Casey Kasem
What is it like behind the scenes of a radio station?
I can answer that question because much of my time right after high school and for years forward was spent behind the control board and microphone of a radio station control room. The things that happened during those times and the people I met were, and still are, responsible for a large part of who I am today. Here is just a sampling of stories about four people from my Radio Days.
Kevin. Taught me a great deal about being a good jock and how to deal with listeners and fans in a friendly way. Kevin has passed on, but his memory and his influence will always be a part of me.
Sandy. My #1 fan. This wheelchair bound angel taught me so much about unconditional love and to this day remains one of the most profound influencers in my life. She used to call me her Prince of Late Night. Maybe now I can be her Prince of Podcasting.
Michelle. The pseudonym my wife took on during a time that she secretly worked for two different radio stations at the same time. One of those stations had her live opposite me just down the road during the same day part.
Joe. From the moment we first met, Joe and I have had a strong bond. He is my brother in Christ and a stable voice in my ear.
What are your thoughts and stories? Call the voicemail line at 706-408-7456 or email me: email@example.com
“Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.” - Sir Laurence Olivier
It’s a fact of life and one we cannot escape – disappointment by the people around us. There isn’t a way to avoid being let down from time to time, but there are ways to make the experience one that can be learned from and there are things we can do to ease the pain and find a silver lining.
Here are 5 things you can do to handle the pain of being let down:
It’s all about flushing away the negatives. Follow these 5 points, and hopefully, you can see brighter days if someone lets you down.
This week’s Positive Review: Bayer Back & Body
Don’t forget to get in touch with me if you have anything to add or a story to tell. Contact me via the hotline at 706-408-7456 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Should I start Christmas shopping now?
I have a good reason for doing a Christmas episode in October. To those who know me, it’s no secret that I would do Christmas 365 days a year. That’s no exaggeration. I love it that much. But Christmas can be a strain on the pocket book and when that happens, it’s not so fun.
I’ve put together some ways I think you can do Christmas on a budget and help ease the burden, if that’s what you need, allowing for a stress free and enjoyable holiday season.
Here’s how to do Christmas without breaking the bank!
I’ve broken the process down into three categories:
Christmas doesn’t need to be – it shouldn’t be – a chore or stressful. All it takes is planning ahead and in doing so, you’ll find your holiday experience to be richer and one that will enable you to focus on the reason the season was begun in the first place; the birth of our Savior.
This week’s Positive Review: The QT chain of convenience stores
"One should never criticize his own work except in a fresh and hopeful mood. The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide." - Charles Horton Cooley
How do you evaluate yourself in a good way?
Critiquing yourself and your performance in any field is a necessary thing we have to do on occasion in order to grow. But most of the time, we are too hard on ourselves and can hinder or progress instead of promoting it.
I’m the poster child for “Don’t Do That” when it comes to being my own worst critic, so I’ve played opposing roles in a critique of Episode 50 to show how-to and how NOT to critique yourself so that you can progress in a positive way.
First, here are 5 points to remember when critiquing yourself
Here are 5 points of concern I found in Episode 50 (there are certainly more than 5 concerns, but hey, if you prick me, I bleed). I listened as a harsh, negative observer and those critiques are the first in each point. Then I listened again as an objective observer and determined better, more constructive avenues to address the same issue.
No one likes their own voice. I know that as a fact, so I can logically throw that out as a critique.
2. The audio quality is AWFUL!
I have a new mic and there are still tweaks to be made, but the audio is not, in fact, awful – it’s just different from what I’m used to.
3. I need to shut up about irrelevant stuff.
I need to try and stay on topic and avoid going off on rabbit trails. Here, there is a sincere area I could improve upon, but this second avenue of critique is far more constructive than the blunt insult of first one.
4. I’m too long winded.
Short and sweet is good, but don’t sacrifice a good story. This is a life journal podcast, so although I’m trying my best to be helpful, I also have the freedom to wax personal and tell stories. Good advice would be to remember to plan before I hit the record button so that I’m concise and any stories I tell are well placed.
5. I’m too whiny about feedback.
Perhaps a pre-recorded call to action is in order. Here I see a need for improvement and after some thought, have devised a plan to solve the issue.
Berating yourself and being too harsh will get you nowhere - not if, but when - the time comes that you have to be self-critical. Be honest, yes. But be positive. Remembering the 5 points I listed will help you go a long way toward that goal.
This week’s Positive Review: Two movies – Florence Foster Jenkins Starring Maryl Streep/Hugh Grant and Sully Starring Tom Hanks
All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I'm doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another. Michael Ian Black
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/milestones.html
"It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached." - Mike Huckabee
This one is special because it marks 50 episodes of Road Noise – Life one mile at a time. That may not seem like such a big deal, but for a podcaster, it’s HUGE! The reported lifespan of the average podcast is seven episodes. Most podcast hosts begin struggling to come up with new topic ideas after the first few and by the time seven or eight roll around, the excitement has worn off, they’ve realized the work that goes into it, and the show begins the process of what we in the podcast world call pod-fading.
Another reason for excitement is that this show belongs to the Life Journal genre and is one of the least followed type. You get discouraged because there is little to no feedback and it’s hard not to take that personally, even though you know intellectually that it’s because people don’t generally take the time to stop what they’re doing to shoot you an email about something you said.
So in this episode, I wanted to talk about milestones.
We put a pin in the important things that happen in our lives so that we might remember them.
Here are some milestones in my own life that may interest you.
This was an important moment for me because it set the course of a lifelong love for the stage. I was five years old and I sang Dead Eye Dick for some group at the local community center.
Yes, I was embarrassed about it at the time, but it happened because I was taught to never hit a girl and this incident supplied the opportunity to put that creed into practice. The neighbor kids were trying to start a fight with me and my sister. I was around six years old and the little girl was five. She came over and started pushing me around, but I refused to hit back. She pushed me down, straddled me, and began hitting me in the face. I could have easily pushed her off, but I liked her. We’d played together as friends and I knew that she was only showing out in front of her older brother and sister. Since that day, I’ve held that beating as a badge of honor and the first time I’ve ever had to turn the other cheek.
Around the age of thirteen, I broke my arm badly. I had been taking Tae Kwon Do for some time and had the option of stopping the lessons until it healed. I decided to keep going, even though the teacher warned me that if I continued the training, there would be no leniency. I learned to do push ups with one arm and I sparred (controlled fighting) basically with one arm tied behind my back, although it was actually in a cast in front of me. By the time the belt test rolled around, I was to take it in front of Korean Tae Kwon Do judges to determine if I was ready to move on. I not only performed all my duties with one arm, including the required number of pushups, but I also sparred a student from a different school and won. It taught me that nothing is beyond conquer with enough guts, courage, and determination.
Kayla called the radio station where I was working and the rest is history. The interesting thing is that our first date was a blind date and the first date ever for either one of us. She’s the first girl I ever held hands with, the first girl I ever kissed – I mean really kissed - and my first for all of the good stuff beyond that. We were each other’s first for EVERYTHING. Yes, even that. We’ve been married for more than 20 years and it just keeps getting better.
He’s my boy and he’s growing up too fast. You’ve heard him on the podcast and I’m so very proud to be his daddy. He’s a phenomenal performer and before long, his stage craft will put mine to shame.
Same thing. She’s growing too fast. She’s showing signs of being a talented artist. She gets that from daddy.
Back to my childhood, I asked Jesus to be my savior when I was twelve. Like so many kids, I fell into normal worldly stuff and forgot about Him into my adulthood until July of 2001. I was behaving in ways I’m not proud of. My wife was telling me at times that she was ashamed of my behavior. Then an old country preacher at my church’s Jubilee revival service reminded us that the word Christian means “little Christ” and that if we were going to call ourselves Christians, then we need to act like Christians. If we were just pretending, we needed to own up to it and stop calling ourselves children of the King. It struck a chord and my heart changed. I haven’t been perfect, as you know if you’ve listened very long, but I strive to live my life as best as I can as a true child of the King. My biggest milestone has been, and always will be, my salvation and the moment my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
What are some milestones for you? I’d love to hear a story of a moment in time that marked a turning point in your life.
This week's Positive Review: The Sketch Guru App
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso
Why are artists odd? We're not that odd.
Artists are unique, some may say crazy, people. Get to know us!
Seven Interesting Things About ARTISTS
Artists are interesting people and usually a little strange because we have all these characters and worlds spinning around in our heads. We’re unique people.
This week’s Positive Review: Broadway At the Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC
“Giving voice to characters that have no other voice—that’s the great worth of what we do.” - Meryl Streep
What's it like behind the scenes of a theater?
I love me some live performance, especially theatre. Through the years, I have had the privilege of performing in and directing numerous live theatrical productions and I have LOTS of stories I can tell from both onstage and off. Episode 48 is about my love for the theatrical arts and a few stories about my life in the wings.
This week's Positive Review: Your local Community Theatre.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” - Michael J. Fox
No workplace is immune to the problems that humans can cause. It can make us crazy when there’s adversity in the workplace.
In order to solve the problem, I think you should ask yourself some honest questions.
Am I the problem?
Do I relate poorly with those around me due to:
Being too blunt
Being too opinionated
Being too selfish
If I’m not the problem, then am I making things worse by my reactions?
Being too defensive
Being too sensitive
If I'm not the problem, then what can I do to fix, or at least help, the situation?
The following 7 suggestions are not the complete list of things to try, but they are a good start
Sometimes you do all you can, but the problem persists
If you’ve done all the right things, it’s probably beyond your control
This week’s Positive Review: Impractical Jokers on TruTV
Most of us have at least an idea of what our perfect life would look like. The problem is, due to fear of the unknown and no shortage of “Nay-Sayers”, many times following your dreams ends up being only a fantasy.
I don’t believe it has to be that way. I finally followed mine and am living one of my dreams.
The key is understanding that magic potions to get us there instantly are the stuff of fairy tales and while achieving your dreams can be possible, you’ll need to be prepared.
I’ve listed seven points of consideration that I believe will go a long way in getting you there.
They work for me.
Seven Things To Remember When Chasing Your Dreams
This week’s Positive Review: Starbucks Double Shot