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Tag Archives: friends

Validating Circumstances

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There is discussion these days about the impact that our friends and our lifestyle decisions have on our personal and professional development.  New research shows we tend to develop traits of those with whom we spend the most time.  Experts say our “Top Five” play a role in our decisions.  As the  adage goes: ” We are the company we keep.” Often, we don’t have a choice.  Our families, for instance.  Sometimes we find ourselves alone,  or with friends who don’t have our interest at heart but wield influence.  Sometimes we may simply be on a crowded bus or airplane for a sustained period.   Worse,  many of us daily must be part of less-than healthy work environments that offer no opportunity for growth, personally or professionally.


We are not at the mercy of others. We are valuable.   Our thoughts are powerful.  Daily, we have the opportunity to make choices that validate us.    We can dismiss situations in which our personhood is not valued if not physically, then at least mentally.   No is not a four-letter word.   We can detach from people who consistently invalidate us by constant criticism,  lateness, manipulation or misuse of our time.  The same for clients or employers who don’t  treat us well or compensate us appropriately.     When no one else is in the room, or when emotional terrorists seek to destroy us, we are still armed.  We have God. We have ourselves.

Friends and Editors

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We all need friends and as we grow older we need them even more.  How do you choose friends?  The best friends are gentle editors.  They may lead by example and help you develop a draft.  They offer a suggestion and help you determine whether to put a comma or a period in a situation. Envy is not in their vocabulary.   When your life narrative is off course, they help you get back on track.  Still, we must take ultimate responsibility for our life decisions.

It takes time for some of us to become editor-in-chief of our own lives.  We are often thwarted when toxic grammar or false facts interrupt our flow.  It helps to remember our friends are there to guide us with God as publisher.

  Koko at Work

Cats Away

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Koko and Jean Claude now spend their time at CCL’s house.  I’ve been to visit several times of course.  Koko is always welcoming and wants to be held,  petted and have a brief chat.  Jean Claude of course just wants to be let out in  the back yard.

Animals bring us comfort, they are friends.  That’s what friends do in challenging situations.  They are there for us.  They speak truth to us.  It is important for us to understand the intent behind the truth.   Often we have friends that live in far away places or may have passed on.  Still the memory of their advice, kind words or their humor lingers.

Koko offering some advice.

Koko offering Azeena  some advice.

Remembering Shaby

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Pets add so much to our lives.  My friend Dwayne, recently lost his beloved dog “Shaby.”   I was moved by his Facebook remembrance  to his furry friend and got his permission to post it to  this blog.  Here’s Dwayne’s moving tribute to “Shaby.”

“Many of you have asked about ” Shaby” over the past few years. My family, friends and colleagues have all known him for the past 18 years. He was always present making someone laugh or smile. Last night, the little champ slept away to Heaven. Six rewards, pet amber alerts, 20 or more lost and found ads, a private detective and lawyers to get him back from his various adventures into the neighborhoods in Atlanta, NYC, NJ and Houston, he always found his way back to the Ashley Family. Like most of us, Shaby was curious about the world and wanted to see it–so he explored. Mom, thanks for taking great care of him for the past 4 years, and years before when I came for visits and he ended staying for months to years. And to all my friends who took care him when I had to travel over the years ( Cisco, Kurt, Leon, Gerald, Phillip, Martha and Andy). We will miss you little fella and “don’t embarrass me by begging for food when people are eating in Heaven”




The Stick on the Door

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There is a Twilight Zone episode “The Howling Man.” A seemingly innocent man is held prisoner.  There is no lock on his cell, only an easily removable wooden stick across the lock. hold.   The monks that guard the tower where the man is held tell a visitor to leave the man alone.  The visitor having sympathy on the man lifts the bar off the door and the innocent man is revealed to be an evil being who once freed,  injures the man,  grows stronger and dissapears in a puff of smoke.  Sometimes it’s best to leave the stick on the door and let the person  who seems to need help stay where they are so  they don’t damage or destroy you in the course of you helping them.   As a friend said long ago “If a person can’t bring you up don’t let that person bring you down.”