Remembering Dr. King: Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cover of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, we celebrate the Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. In honor of him, today is a day of service. But the truth is we all have an opportunity to serve every day. When you get up in the morning and go to work, you are encountering service all along the way. As you take the train, the person who collects your fare is in service of you. The person driving the train is in service of all the passengers. Even the man who washed and swept the platform is performing a necessary service for your well-being.

When you stop to get your morning coffee, the barista who takes your order and pours your java is in service to the patrons. The man who set up that newspaper you paid for that provides you the news. The people who wrote the news that is on the newspaper. The security guard in your building. All around you are people who are in service of others. We are an connected system of givers. You may not look at it that way. We title it business and forget that it is giving. Without that person in place performing that action, the system could not run as smoothly as it does. One action can’t be completed without the previous action and the action that follows. We are all in service of one another.

The service continues when you come home. If you stop to pick up food, the food servers and cashiers are in service of you. If you go to the supermarket, someone stocked the shelves in the wee hours of the morning and hung displays. If you are drinking a bottle of wine, someone tended the vine to create that bottle. A truck shipped that bottle from the vineyard in California to the store where you are  and was driven for hours by someone. As you pick your children up from daycare, the daycare workers are in service of your children. If you pick them up from school, they are taught by teachers. And, if your husband or wife prepared dinner, they are in service of the family.

We all serve one another on a daily basis. We may take it for granted because it’s  a part of our daily interactions which move so seamlessly that you don’t think about it. But, today, take a moment to notice the network of people who make life possible for you. And, maybe, take a moment to nod or smile and acknowledge their contribution. A smile can be a simple act of service to someone who needs it that day.

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

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Ready to Give Up on Dating? Read this first…

“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” ― Mandy Hale

I’ve been in conversations about dating recently and I noticed that many people are expressing dissatisfaction with the dating scene. Most notably, I’ve noticed a lot of great, beautiful women who would prefer to stay home on the weekend than to go on one more bad date. I can understand the frustration, but I heard over and over that the woman was going to stop dating because she wanted a “real relationship.”

I’m definitely all for doing some introspective work to figure out if the challenge in meeting the right person is something that you need to fix within yourself. However, I don’t believe that you can find the proper mate by not dating. I have yet to meet a woman whose husband walked up to her house and rang the doorbell. You have to be out and available to meet someone and you also have to have a good attitude about it.

As I thought more about it, I thought about the difference between men and women. Men date until they find the woman they are looking for. They date multiple women at a time and enjoy their individual company until they come across the woman they want to settle down with. I think the mistake, women, make is in putting too much pressure on every potential date to turn into a relationship. Some are just fun. Why not just enjoy yourself instead of trying to figure out if every guy is THE ONE?

I’m going to use shoes as a metaphor of how women sometimes approach dating, because we understand shoes.

You’re out and  you see a really cute shoe in the window and you think it will go with an outfit. So, you stop in the store and ask to try it on. They have your size. It’s the perfect price and you’re excited as the salesperson places it in front of you. You slide each foot into those beautiful shoes, but they don’t meet your expectations.  They just don’t feel right. They pinch your pinky toe and rub on your heel.

How do you react? Do you throw your hands up and ask,” why has God forsaken me that this shoe that I need doesn’t fit? What is wrong with my foot that this shoe is not comfortable? Will I ever find a shoe that meets my needs?”

I doubt it. You most likely figure they are just not the shoes for you. They might be great for someone else. You walk out the store and assume that you’ll find the perfect shoes somewhere else.

As women, we will spend hours searching and trying on shoes to perfectly match our outfits . But when it comes to men, we try to turn the first man we meet into the perfect match. You gotta try them on. Go to different stores. Some are just party shoes. Some are church shoes and others are work shoes. Then one day, you find the one that goes with everything and you fall in love.

If you approach dating as a selection process instead of trying to hammer each man you meet into the mold of THE ONE, you may find that you are able to enjoy dating and you might meet some really great people along the way. Lower your expectations of forever and just enjoy the night. It’s usually when you stop looking that what you want shows up.

“Not everything in life has to be about finding “The One.” Sometimes a girl just wants to have fun.” ― Mandy Hale

If you like this advice, please share with anyone you think could benefit from reading it.

Let me know what you think in comments.

Sex, Dating and Technology

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” ― Oscar Wilde

I had to think long and hard about this post, but I decided to write about sexuality. On the journey to the best life, it would be impossible without talking about sexuality. And, it’s taken a front seat in my life this week, so please allow me to share my thoughts.

It’s hard to turn on the television without being faced with sexual images. Twerking seems to be on the national stage and there is an obsession with butts in general. While in the midst of all this, I find myself on the dating scene for the first time in six years and trying to navigate social media with sexting and everything else that comes along with technical romance. It’s hard to know what is the right thing to do and to control your virtual image. I’m facing unexpected challenges.

When I was last dating, I had Sex and the City. Carrie and the girls made me less self-conscious about my feminine sexuality. If I was feeling paranoid, I turned on the show and was reminded that there were other neurotic, pleasure-driven women who were trying to have it all and enjoy it at the same time. In the world, Post-SATC , I find myself feeling more unsure in a world saturated in technological sexuality. Sex is at your fingertips, if you have a smart phone. It’s hard to figure out what the new rules are. And, while one would think it would encourage more freedom, it has done the opposite. It’s made me judge and guard my sexuality.

Now, in the new world of dating, I would think that a woman must cast a wide net and use bait to attract a man’s attention. And, we are no longer competing with the other women in the bar, but the women in his smart phone, on his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. You could be in the middle of talking to a man when the woman he’s been waiting for pops up on his Foursquare. There is no shortage of ways to stay in contact these days. Standing out is challenging, but not impossible.

So, how do you compete? The best way to compete seems to be not competing.  The question you have to ask yourself is what type of attention do you want? Reality shows have confused infamy with attention and many people are fine being infamous as long as it garners them attention. But, that type of attention is not long-lasting. You are famous until the next crazy person comes along and does something crazier that everyone will talk about it and so on and so on.

Instead, it’s important to develop your personality, your sense of style and the things that make you stand out as an individual. When you pay attention to that which makes you special, it will make others pay attention to you as well. You will shine from the inside and it will attract others to you. There is nothing wrong with being attractive and sharing pictures that show your beauty. And, there is also nothing wrong with embracing your sexuality. It’s just important to know that it’s one part of yourself that someone can find amazing. Don’t allow this sex-obsessed world to allow you to lose yourself competing for attention. You should continue to develop all parts of yourself and the right attention will find its way to you.

“Boys will be boys, that’s what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. ”― Hilary Thayer Hamann

I want to continue this discussion and explore this new dating landscape in later posts. Please share in comments, email me or contact me on Facebook.

I want to know your experiences and let’s navigate this together.

 

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