An accurate MEASURE of ourselves…

Measuring is an every day, every other moment occurrence in the world.  I do not mean in terms of just cooking, building finding the right size shoe.  There is something inside of us that at times, cannot help but to measure ourselves against strangers, peers, friends and even family.  While this may be a conventional form of quantifying where exactly we stand in life…  I will contend that it can also be troubling and counter-productive.  The ability to measure is used to define success in certain areas such as music sales, work productivity and healthy eating.  In my mind, when we measure ourselves against other people, we can often sell ourselves short.

What is it about us that compels the need to measure ourselves against others?  Is it vanity that makes us look at someone and think that we are smarter, prettier or more capable than them?  Is it an insecurity, the need to project a false sense of confidence of being better?  Maybe instead of looking at others to measure ourselves, it would be more beneficial to just look in the mirror.  While for some it may not be easy!  In the end, this is where we can find a true measurement.

Society does not make it easy on us!  There are few companies that preach in being ok with what you wear, how much money you have (or don’t) and even what we aspire our bodies to look like.  Social media is another factor that oozes of negativity at times.  Over the recent while, articles of body-shaming have become more rampant.  EG… The Playboy model who took pictures of the woman in a California gym.  That was a little bit ago but is a glaring example of someone who may be viewed as pretty on the outside, is horrific on the inside!  One of the latest instances I had seen is where a man went on Tinder to body-shame a full figured woman.  It is in these moments where having the ability to accept, respect and love ourselves is of the GREATEST importance.

Most of my life, I grew up as the kind of guy who was ALWAYS good enough to be the girls best friend, but never the boyfriend.  Ah yes, the dreaded friend zone!  LoL!  I used to question so much about myself.  My looks mostly!  Inside I knew that I was a great person; caring, smart (most of the time), loyal, etc…  But why was that not good enough?  More importantly, why was that not good enough for ME?  It wasn’t until much later in my life that I realized that I am good enough.  It took a lot of time questioning, crying and wallowing in self-pity before FINALLY saying; ” I am not just good enough, I am GREAT!”  I focused on what made me the person that I am, taking all my great qualities and harnessing that energy and projecting it in positive ways.  There was the realization it wasn’t about brands, money or status.  It was about carrying myself with respect, dignity and self-love that would provide me with the strength to move forward.  Even when those tried REALLY hard to hold me back!

It is really easy to look at ourselves and see the things we don’t like.  Then it can be even tougher when we compare ourselves to others.  You and me, we have so many great qualities to offer.  Not just ourselves but to others.  WE just have to believe that!  There is something to be said for finding that “inner peace.”  It took me what seems forever, but I believe I finally found it.  My life has been so different, in a positive way!  So I ask all of us to take time and find the things that make us the great person that we are.  Maybe we can write it down on a piece of paper by the mirror?  Look at it and write down something positive, every day or every other day.  Build that list!  It is NEVER too late to start realizing that when we measure ourselves in negative ways, it only pushes us farther away from accepting who we truly are.  Then we would be missing out on the GREAT person we can easily find looking back us in the mirror…


<a href=””>Measure</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Measure

Purple: The colour of flowers, sunsets and bruises…

The colour purple… It can be referred to as a colour suggesting royalty or an awarding winning movie.  There can be beautiful pictures, paintings and drawings of flowers and sunsets that blend the colour purple making something amazing for us to look at.  Unfortunately, all things purple are not as beautiful.  The blending of yellows, greens, blues and purples that are not colouring a canvas are being imprinted upon bodies…  The bodies of women!  This is the canvas of choice by those who abuse women through acts of violence.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has some facts that we ALL should be aware of…  While these are just a few stats (which I focused around women), the link I will provide has MANY IMPORTANT facts that should be read.

-Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten

-1 in 3 women have been physically abused by an intimate partner

-1 in 7 women have been stalked.  Stalking causes the target to fear she/he or someone close to her/him will be harmed or killed

-Domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24



The statistic above are only from the United States, imagine just how many more women are victims of abuse world-wide?  There are some who will argue that it is tradition, beliefs or custom that justify this treatment of women.  While I cannot judge ones beliefs, customs or traditions…  I can ask this question; If it was tradition, belief or custom for a man to be treated in the same way that women are abused…  Would you not want it stopped?

For some males, it is about power.  They are threatened by the presence of a woman who has her own mind and does not need a man to control her life.  The abuse can start at early ages and manifest into what a woman will perceive as “the norm.”  For violence against women, there should never be a feeling of normalcy.  We should ALL do our best to ensure that equality, respect and non-violence should be “the norm.”

There are some things we can do to help those who are victims of violence; support groups, telephone hotlines, counselors and sometimes just being there to listen.  One of the most important things we can do is let the women in our lives, especially the youth know that violence is NOT acceptable!  Not at ANY time, nor ANY age!  We need to empower and support women, letting them know they are WORTHY of better treatment.  Men will tell them that they are worthless, nobody else will want or have them, nobody will treat them better…  It is EXTREMELY important to convince women ALL over and of ALL ages that these are LIES!  They are simply a means to control them mentally, through their fears and insecurities.  When that doesn’t work, it will turn physical and more dangerous for the women.  The key is to allow women around the world to recognize the signs early and find the strength to get out of the toxic relationship before it is too late.

It doesn’t take a man to hit a woman, it takes a man to treat a woman properly.  As men, it is up to us to teach our youth that respect for woman is vital.  “Women are not the weaker sex, they are the equal sex!” (My personal quote)  The mindset must be changed, through education and application we can help make a difference.  In life there are those who wish they could make a difference.  Then there are those who decide they can be the difference!  Who are you?


  • Image result for violence against womenThis image is from The Well Project @


It is important to note that domestic violence is a dangerous situation!  When you witness it, the best solution is to notify the police immediately. 


<a href=””>Purple</a&gt;

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We are all much more than ORDINARY!

Bland, vanilla, plain are words that can be synonymous with “ordinary.”  This can be traced back to my last post that was “prompted” by the word label.  Ordinary can be considered insulting, depending on the context.  This would be especially true in terms of people!  In my opinion, labeling a person as ordinary is just a way of saying that you are too blind to see what is extraordinary about them!

Whether we believe it or not, we ALL have traits that make us more than ordinary.  Sometimes though, it can be hard for us to see that.  The push by society for looking like the “perfect” man or woman.  Then there are all the status symbols that are made to define us: clothes, cars, make-up, electronics and numerous other materialistic entities.  The wrong messages have been sent for so long, they have become in a sense, hereditary.  Of all types of traits to pass along, the trait of believing that a persons worth is tied into their status…  In one that I would like to see erased from the metaphorical gene pool.  Society has taught us not to look at a person’s worth by who they are but rather what they are wearing, driving and even who they are involved with.

How do we change the way we see people as “ordinary?”  It starts with looking within ourselves!  Having the confidence and strength to acknowledge that while we may seem. plain or that we lead bland lives…  This is far from the truth.  We do not take enough time to give ourselves credit for the things we accomplish day to day.  There has been the mentality of what can I do to be better, how can I give more?  There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve ourselves.  Furthermore, there is also NOTHING wrong with accepting who we are, where we are in the moment…  With the caveat that we believe there is MORE for us to accomplish, in good time!

Along with this, we should take the time to recognize the extraordinary things about our friends, family and even strangers.  Just because you may not know somebody personally, does not mean you cannot recognize something special about them.  It may take longer with some more than others though, I will admit.  While for some (eg… trump) you may look until doomsday and still find nothing!  Just sayin…

My point is this… There is a lot of work to do to break the stigma of what defines us as ordinary.  Like anything else, the more we get ourselves to buy in, the easier it will be for others to believe it in themselves.  This is not about delivering “lip-service.”  Rather, this all about realizing that words like plain and vanilla should be reserved for describing foods, not people!

<a href=””>Ordinary</a&gt;

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Life, people and their labels…

Labels… They can be useful, when your are looking at or for certain ingredients.  Or checking out the nutritional value.  After all, most of us cannot see what is always on the inside (except for you Superman, lol).  For it is hidden either within the product or behind the label.  The truth is, while labels can be helpful…  They can also be very hurtful!  Especially when it comes to human beings.

Just think to yourself for a moment, how life could or would be different if we had labels about us, visible for everyone to see.  The concept reminds me of an episode of Black Mirror, where people have visual implants (like contacts) that allow you to see their social status.  Thus, seeing how popular they are or not.  That in mind, what if when you walked by someone you could see into them?  From a metaphorical standpoint…   Ultimately, you would know all about their life.  Their triumphs, struggles, fears and strengths.  Would society be so quick to judge or “label” those of us who are unique, smart, athletic, shy, insecure, etc…

Would those who choose to bully others be as intimidating, if they knew that they were now just as vulnerable?  What are the chances that “mean girls” of all ages, would act the way they do if we all could see that their lives are an open book?  The fact that (insert name here) has low self esteem and feels the need to put others down to make herself feel better.  Or that (blank) is lying about his slut-shaming posts on social media and is really impotent?  How would the world view labeling others then?

More importantly, I feel that others would not be able to hide themselves behind the same masks they use to terrorize others!  In my lifetime, I have been labeled many times over.  From grade school all the way through high school.  Yes, even after joining the “so-called” adult world.  I cannot lie, it was hurtful.  Both mentally and emotionally!  The feelings of being labeled by who people thought I was, instead of who I really am.  If they could read the label of what is really going on and what I have to offer inside…  Would they have treated me or anyone else differently?  That is hard to say…

The most important thing life has taught me about labels, is that they will bother you for as long as you let them.  The labels that are assigned to us can be ripped off, if we let it! The first step is being comfortable with who you are.  Second is loving yourself for it!  Third is to find the courage to stand up for yourself and at times stand up for others.  My advice to those who are in grade school & high school?  The same people who torment you now, will have NO IMPACT on your life… Not as long as you don’t give them the power to do so.  While social media makes things tougher to get away from, it is not impossible.  Stay strong, be yourself and time will tell who really gets labeled as the “loser, freak, etc…”

When reaching college and the “adult” world, things get a little better.  Here you have more choices to make positive strides that can separate yourself from those back in grade & HS.  It is really up to YOU!  The need to be liked is a bit overrated because society has glorified it.  The obsession with how many like or follows one has on social media is a prime example.  Everyone does it for their own reasons.  While I TRULY appreciate those who follow my blog…  My goal is to attract those who really enjoy reading my work!  I want to spread messages, provoke thought and hopefully make a difference!  Numbers are not my focus, my writing and messages are…  I have a saying; “I’m not trying to be famous, I’m just trying to make a difference!”  While it has taken me many years to find this path I am on, I am grateful for finally finding it.

So be strong, be compassionate and be the difference.  Not just in your life, but others!  It is never too early or too late to chose your path!  “Safe travels…”

<a href=””>Label</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Label

Let the Record Show… The Government Has Chosen: Rich & Wealthy over Poor & Elderly.

There is an irony that the same supporters of the trump presidency (or as I call it, the trump-impotency) are the ones who may be suffering the most by the changes being made to health care.  This is not a rant against trump or republicans.  I am not in favor of the democratic party either.  In fact, there are dems that are just as at fault.  I am in favor of a government that works for, supports and stands up for people…  Regardless of political party, personal financial interests, gender, race, creed or colour.  In this day and age, it sounds like too much to ask for!

First, let us talk about the republican party working the past seven years to replace Obamacare.  SEVEN YEARS…  These are the exact words of Paul Ryan, stated in a Washington Post online article dated March 9, 2017, written by Mike DeBonis, Kelsey Snell and Sean Sullivan.  “We as Republicans have been waiting seven years to do this,” Ryan said. “This is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare. The time is here. The time is now. This is the moment.” (DeBonis, Snell, Sullivan 9 Mar 17)  After seven long years of planning, you would think that the repubs could have come up with a plan that wouldn’t affect roughly 18 million people so negatively!  By negative, I mean the losing of their health care benefits.  According to an online article from, written by Johnathan Chait, he states; “The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 18 million Americans would immediately lose their insurance, a number that would increase to 32 million by 2026.” (Chait, Jan 22 2017)  But is this really a concern for the same people who HAVE covered health care as part of Congress?  Of course not!

There have been comments by repubs (my term for republicans, and I refuse to capitalize the “R” for principle sake) from a repub lawmaker, Jason Chaffetz that says; “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.” (Scott, 7 Mar 17).  This from a CNN online article written by Jason Scott dated March 7, 2017.  Scott’s article also states “A 2013 Pew survey found that among low-income people (those making about $30,000 or less), only 13% used an iPhone that year. And nearly 1 in 4 — 23% — of smartphone owners have had to cancel or suspend their phone service due to financial constraints, according to a 2015 Pew study.” (Scott 7 Mar 17).  Chaffetz later tried to better explain his context, but ultimately said that Americans would need to better prioritize.  I guess what he really is saying is that low income people and families may have to “prioritize” between food, rent and health care.  Chaffetz clearly does not understand the difference in priorities between those in higher-highest tax brackets and those of the lower ones!

There are many (especially on the repub) side who complain that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is raising rates too high.  Have any of these people considered the cost of health care if without it?  The reason that premiums were affordable to most is because of the contributions made by all levels of income, the lower income workers were basically subsidized.  This in addition to the taxes placed on the higher tax brackets.  Here I circle back to the irony of those who voted to “Make America Great Again” with a chart from an online article produced by The Huffington Post from Nov. 24, 2016.  One could argue that while ObamaCare was not perfect, it did allow many people to receive coverage they may not have been able to get before.  This includes pre-existing conditions, which is HIGHLY important to say…  The coal mining states?  While the repubs say that pre-existing conditions will be covered, at what cost?  Think it will be cheaper than under the ACA?  Not likely…  Furthermore, how about the people of Flint, Michigan?  How many of those currently suffering from the toxic effects of the poisonous water will be effected?

Next I want to discuss the “Winners & Losers” from the repeal of ObamaCare.  If you think that the winning side consists of low income people/families and the elderly?  You would be, as trump likes to say; “WRONG!”  But if you are young, rich or an insurance company?  You are going to just get “tired of winning!”  An online BBC article dated 10 Mar 2017  contains the following:

The Winning Side:

-Policy holders between the ages of 20 and 29 are expected to save on average anywhere from $700 to $4,000 a year

-Those earning higher salaries stand to benefit the most from the Republican bill, which lifts two taxes levied on the wealthy under Obamacare

-In urban areas, Obamacare tax credits are adjusted not only by family income, but cost of local healthcare, which varies from place to place. But the new plan removes those geographic cost offsets

The Losing Side:

-Older adults, specifically Americans in their 50s and 60s, are likely to pay more under the new system, even though they would receive larger tax credits. That’s because the Republican proposal allows older adults to be charged as much as five times more than younger policy holders

-Lower Income: The new plan would roll back much of the provisions put in place to protect low-wage earners under Obamacare. It would mean significantly higher premiums and reduced tax credits for middle and low-income earners. It would end the expansion of Medicaid, which covers low-income people… Enrolees making around $20,000 a year at any age would be hit the hardest…

-Urban Areas: Another group that would lose under AHCA is people living in rural areas, where the cost of coverage tends to be higher due to fewer hospitals and insurers. Research shows that health insurance premiums are typically more costly in rural counties and states.  There is another group that needs to be added to the losing side; those who rely on Medicare.  The CNN Money article written by Tami Luhby, dated 12 Jan 17 states; “Dismantling Obamacare would likely mean higher premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing for the 57 million senior citizens and disabled Americans enrolled in the program. It would also bring back the infamous “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage.” (Luhby 12 Jan 17).

If you happen to notice that the losing side would consist of “many, many” trump supporters, you’d be correct!  But here is something that these supporters should take note of provided by an online Vox article written by Dylan Matthews dated 7 Mar 2017; “Republicans is Congress, is that it also contains $600 billion in tax cuts — tax cuts that would save the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans nearly $200,000 each in a single year, according to a batch of analyses released by the Joint Committee on Taxation on Tuesday.” (Matthews, 7 Mar 17)

Tax cuts in the Obamacare repeal billChart provided by Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

So for those who continue to support the repubs and this administration, I ask you;

Still feeling that YOU are “tired of winning?”



<a href=””>Record</a&gt;

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Don’t let strong women make you nervous… Celebrate them!

Today (and yesterday for my readers in other countries) is/was International Women’s Day…  I would like to wish all women around the world a much deserved day of recognition!  Now I would like to recognize some great women from around the world.

There are many great women from the past that showed us that women are EVERY bit as capable, if not more than men at bringing inspiration, change and hope to the world!  I will start with the poet Sappho, whom Plato called one of the ten great poets.  There is also Joan of Arc, a hero to many at the young age of 17.  The name Sojourner Truth, a woman in 1851 gave a famous speech asking “Ain’t I a woman?”  She was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights crusader.  This brings me to Susan B. Anthony.  She fought against slavery and for the equality of women.  Then we have Mother Theresa…  She was from Albania and lived a life devoted to charity work.  She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.  Another impactful woman is Rosa Parks.  She is an icon in the fight for civil liberties for African-Americans.  Her refusal to sit in the back of the bus was not only courageous but inspirational.  I would like to mention Shirin Ebadi, a female lawyer who fought for human rights in the country of Iran.  She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.  Next we have Benazir Bhutto.  She was the first female prime minister of a Muslim country.  She had changed Pakistan from a dictatorship to a democracy.  Bhutto and Ebadi were unfortunately assassinated.  Finally, I want to mention Malala Yousafzai.  This young lady defied the Taliban and fought for the rights of education.  She was shot in the head by the Taliban, survived and has become an advocate for the rights of women and education. These are just a very small sample of women from all around the world who have accomplished great things!

The examples I have given is just scratching the surface as to the great contributions from women ALL around the world.  I feel that every day, not just today would be the right time to celebrate accomplishments of and for women.  So I challenge those of you have read my blog to find out about other women who have made an impact.  Whether it is a teacher, mentor or neighbor…  Give them the praise and recognition they deserve, but may not be receiving.  Again… Have a great International Women’s Day!

The information provided was found at (Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Women who changed the world”, Oxford,, 18th April 2014.)

<a href=””>Nervous</a&gt;

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