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Tag Archives: self esteem

In Search of Kindness

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It’s been several months since Koko, a domestic shorthair,  decided to take off from CCL’s house for parts unknown.   I still think of her and her kindness and affection.  (so much for cats not being affectionate).

Now CCL has Grace, a tabby, a foster that we are both considering for adoption.  It is clear that Grace was once abused tortured and overfed.  She has because of the kindness of CCL become affectionate, playful and healthy.  Kindness heals.  I like to think that Koko is spreading her special brand of it to another family.



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.

The Real Thing

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Koko, the celebrity cat and Jean Claude, the black Bombay,  are back at their primary residence at CCL’s in Washington, D.C.  Koko  enjoyed her stay at my house.  Several nights she left me a little surprise, a toy mouse,  which faced  me at the door to my bedroom.  Later she would  remove it to play with it during the day.    The mouse  looked very real but it didn’t frighten me ,as a gardener I’m not afraid of bugs etc.  In fact,  I found Koko’s intent  to amuse and please me genuine and touching.

Authenticity  and being “who you are” is  the latest personal elevation trend.   Life coaches and other success gurus  are constantly urging people to be their “authentic selves.”  Yes, “keeping it real ” is the so-called new path to personal and professional success.    Alas,  for some the notion of being geniune is beyond their grasp.  There are a lot of phonies who seek to  impress or manipulate.   Their fear of who they are has engulfed their souls. For them “keeping it real” is  about as real as the toy mouse Koko presented to me in the morning.



Loving Care – New and Improved

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While visiting my mom this Mother’s Day weekend, I am in awe at the loving care she provides my younger sister. Sis has MS and needs a lot of help these days. As I write this from my parents’ home, MSNBC blares loudly on the television, although there appears to be in this  household,  at least a fondness for the “judge” shows, news and information  program reigns supreme.   Growing up,  there were spirited discussions about politics and world events.   We taught to be open to other people’s feelings, kindness was premium.   While I possess my late father’s temperment to some degree less these days , my mother’s way of thinking and doing balances it– and me — out.  Both parents showed my siblings and I that caring and sharing mattered most.  They also showed us that getting older requires even more the need to learn and engage in new things.  My father pursued his college degree in his late 50s.  My mother is  champion bridge player and “business” consultant.   With embracing the new, I don’t mean just  embracing the new technology, social media or different cultural streams although those things can be part of  one’s personal expansion.  It’s about a desire to learn and to grow internally as well as externally.    Last week I witnessed what it’s like to live for years in the world without the will or desire to grow.    One can become a zombie in life and principle without loving care and a willing to be open to new and different things.  Growing older physically but not mentally and emotionally is  imprisonment.  A lot of people will never be free.

Cats & Kids

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As I write this, the voices of Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn yelling in the background in a key scene from “Suddenly Last Summer”  from my television  along with the chirping of birds outside. Jean Claude is resting on top of an arm chair downstairs watching the world. Roxie is watching the movie.

It’s been a long rough week,  work is real work and also  just finished  up a project with some young people and a close friend.  Last night some chaos as some young men who were not part of the team project showed up with swagger, brash and foul mouths.  The leaders of the team including one young woman calmed things down.   Afterwards I spoke with the young woman, so unsure, feeling the need to apologize because she is a leader, a star.  It saddened me and we discussed the incident and her need to apologize when I drove her home.    She felt a little better and I hope better about herself and her right to celebrate her achievements.

In another old favorite “All About Eve”   in that beautiful script by Jospeh Mankiewich script George Saunders tells  Ann Baxter “The Eve” character “We are all equipped with little horns to blow on about our triumphs.”   Just ask Roxie