Friday, March 22, 2013

Wasting Minutes

Time . . . it seems as though we never have enough. I was watching a television show about a man who was disclosing to his friends and family that he had cancer. One of his friends asked, "So, you are telling us you are dying?" The man responded, "You are dying too, just at a slower pace than me." That statement penetrated deeply because it really is so true.

I began thinking of the years I spent most of my time at the office instead of with my family or friends. It is not that I regret having dedicated myself to my work because I knew I was making a difference in other's lives, and my family my biggest supporter but if I could go back - I would choose to balance the two better.

How much time during our lives is spent running from here to there to achieve material success? We always want more but when we are taking our last breath, the only regret we seem to have is the "time we didn't spend" with those we love.

Are we spending our time to gain more, find something better, or wasting our time on those casual acquaintances who stroke our egos? Possibly all of the above? We must remember, life is about making every minute count.

Life requires balance but it also requires being present. To be present we must be authentically aware of ourselves, our motivations, and remain cognizant of the feelings of those closest to us. It means slowing down and taking the time to let those we love know how we feel. It only takes a minute. Being present means we are fully in the moment, yet aware of the hands of the life clock, and using those minutes wisely to impact the lives of those around us. We must remember the clock is ticking for others too.

If we were to look at life through the dying man's eyes, we might enjoy our minutes more. We might give our time more freely to those who care for us, rather than making them feel we have to find the time to fit them in.

If we lived like we were dying, we might not let those "once in a lifetime opportunities" to strengthen our relationships or forge new beginnings pass by.

We think of our lives in respect to years but maybe we should be thinking more in minutes because before you know it - in those last minutes, all that matters, is the minutes we missed. Written by Kym L. Pasqualini

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Debt of Indifference

Glancing away, I shall not do that today.

If I see, I shall feel - there is no other way. 

Our lack of emotion, so little compassion, and our thoughts conflict with the words we say. 

Looking down from self-constructed pedestals, from above becomes so easy to pass by those “we think” were led astray.

Oh, but remember, everyone has a story and those we determined unworthy while glancing away, they will not be the ones who shall judge our indifference on that day. ~
Kym L. Pasqualini

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our prison system needs some inspiration

The U.S. prison system is not the most popular topic but I assure you the video below is inspiring! It reflects the power of thinking "outside the box" and applying it to prison rehabilitation. It also reflects the power of change if given the right environment.

Many may want to forget about those on the inside but think about this - approximately 700,000 felons are hitting the street each year! Simple improvements can make significant change, that is, unless we like supporting the Prison Industrial Complex and occupants with tax dollars.

One thing for certain, sending former inmates out the door on the wrong foot, insures they will be back. The crimes committed affect all of us.

The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. Modeling programs that are proven to reduce violence on the inside, and ultimately the outside, would save lives.

The benefits of dance and exercise are too numerous to mention but implemented in a maximum security prison in the Philippines, gives new meaning to organized crime. As Albert Camus said, "Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better."

Dance allows those incarcerated to participate in a positive and coordinated activity that creates a bond with others. For some, a first time experience and creates an environment of teamwork where inmates
are no longer exclusively focused on self.

The investment minimal, and proven to reduce overall recidivism rates. One only need care about making society safer and look at the proof. Blown away, one reporter summed it up like this, "When you free the mind . . . the mass will follow.Because the reporter had such an accent I could swear he said, :he ass will follow!" I think he was right either way! ~ Written by Kym L. Pasqualini

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bravery in Life . . .

Nobody ever said life would be easy and hardship we will all surely face but we must not dismiss, diminish, or ever underestimate the Bravery We Possess. ~ Kym L. Pasqualini

Monday, March 11, 2013

Stepping out of gray

Doing what is right should be very black and white . . . yet so easy for most of this world to exist in the gray. ~ Kym L. Pasqualini

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Glimpses of inner light

At times, we are looking through a very somber light, a foggy perspective of our life. Seeking the light within but our vision is clouded by all that is dim.

What lies beyond externally, we fail to realize, can sentence us eternally. However, with clarity, we have the ability to create a state of parity, between that which we believe and those inner demons that deceive. 

Those times in our lives during heartache and depression, it is necessary to realize, are merely moments of inner expression. Detaching ourselves from programmed thought, we realize we do have the power to abate, all that appears to affect our fate.

Upon changing our mindset, these moments become infrequent in succession, allowing us to glimpse the light clearly within our reflection. Written by Kym L. Pasqualini

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When our life mission chooses us

Sometimes, we don't choose what we fight for, it sometimes it chooses us. 

We call it our mission, despite some days feeling we are not in position, our hearts lead the way, becoming our driving force.

Despite suffering unimaginable horrors, our hearts never hardened, compassion remains, and we know injustice need not be pardoned. 

Through pain we learned to strive and become a powerful voice for others because we survived. 

Our hands extended, reaching out, we know all too well - looking the other way is not what life is about. 

Though we may not have told you our own story, our voices for others became powerful. With love and compassion, the suffering of others we penetrate. It is love that drives us, not hate.

We didn't choose the pain we try not to show, for empowering others becomes our glow. We are Advocates and through us . . . Truth Be Told. 

Written by Kym L. Pasqualini in Honor of Every Advocate and My Brother Scotty who has never left my side.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Everything happens for a reason – I dare to disagree!

Measure words carefully
Platitudes, those things that fall out of our mouths, often without much thought, when we are trying to make someone feel better. Saying, “Everything happens for a reason”, to someone whose child has vanished, or a victim of a tragic accident, surely would not make a parent feel better. I know this from personal experience as I vomited up those words - it took only once. Lesson learned.

How about the platitude, “God has a plan.” I am sorry but a benevolent God would never sacrifice the life of a child or create intense physical and mental suffering and even death, to fulfill a part of a plan. If anything, God is watching over us and offering love, comfort, and strength when his children are suffering, just as we should do when someone we love is in pain.

I have heard people say, “Bad things happen to good people”, but let us be real here - there is just no explanation as to why “anyone” must suffer.

Rarely, if ever, can a cliché or platitude make anyone feel better. Facing some difficult times throughout my life, I know I have heard them repeatedly, like “It can’t get worse.” What does one say to make someone feel better after it does get worse? During times of suffering in my own life or trying to be strong while watching my own children suffers from traumatic events, I know I fought to hold in the tears after hearing such platitudes because I understood those offering them did not intend to create additional distress.

When people are attempting to deal with crisis, saying such things dismisses the severity of what they are going through. You can’t tell me things will get better when I was just told I only have months to live and will not be here to see my grandchildren grow-up and certainly not that I will be In a better place, nor will that truly comfort those I have left behind.

When people are going through hardship, often people try to make them feel better by using these common phrases. Equally painful, is when friends and family say nothing and vanish from your life.

Painful experiences often lead to isolation because those suffering feel no one really understands what they are going through and often those around them are uncertain how to respond. Everyone’s experiences are unique to them due to previous life experiences, loss, and trauma they have endured in their lives. It is impossible to measure pain and additionally traumatizing is to play the “I had it worse than you and I made it” game. Suffering is not a competition.

Telling another person, you have to be strong when they are already searching for every ounce of energy and strength only diminishes the incredible courage they have already mustered. Dealing with one crisis often leads to multiple crises because the experience permeates through the entire life affecting relationships, work, sleep, and health. Eventually people become worn out as ongoing stress has a tendency to do that to the human mind and body.

Responding to those is crisis is actually quite simple. Just taking their hand and sincerely saying you are there for them, or calling to ask if they need to talk can mean the world to someone. Maybe we cannot take their pain away or solve their crisis but we can be a brace in the midst of a storm. Those in crisis may not respond immediately because they do not want to reflect weakness, they may feel they are burdening someone else with their problems or severe depression can set in. We should never take this personal, and remember there is not a timeline to recovering from crisis and trauma. I speak from personal experience; a gentle reminder that people care, could save a life.

Before we speak, we should always remember we are dealing with human lives and what you say could be the last words they hear or can endure hearing. Less is more . . . make them count!

~Written by Kym L. Pasqualini, and dedicated with love and respect to my friend Brian who is currently enduring every parent's nightmare and anyone who has heard those words - everything happens for a reason. ♥