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Archive for May, 2011

Guest Post Written By:  LEE

When first approached by Lauriann about her desire to create this site, I was struck by two things instantly: the passion she exhibited for her platform and the name she had chosen for the blog; both incendiary, of course, and highly flammable.  I admired the first and howled with endorsement at the second.  I mean, ya gotta admire a girl that totes around such a huge set of stones in her purse.

After all, having met her when she was first slammed with this new nightmare of a reality show, and having written myself of the trials experienced by the generally perceived “least of our brethren,” I knew she would be soon be out shopping for fire extinguishers…with her new BFF, Pandora.  This didn’t faze her in the least; didn’t think it would.  I also knew that as a mom who had been through such fires, and who had witnessed first hand the handiwork of the self-righteous (wagging tongues and all), the hysteria that has had politicos unconscionably cowering for vote tallies, and collateral damage to families and children affected by these laws, that she’d had simply seen enough.  No longer satisfied from the 4 years of chatting to the choir, Lauriann set out to enlighten the unenlightened.   She was steppin’ out into the sun, leaving behind her the shadows safety and anonymity for someone else.

So what exactly is the caller’s point here?   Why this post?  Why now?

Well, folks…today WALKAMILEINMYFINGSHOES has reached its first milestone – 1,000 POST VISITORS.  Within a couple of days she will have attracted twice the amount of readers than there are residents of the town from which she came; many of whom have come to read…anonymously, of course.  It must also be noted that – through online tracking – these numbers reflect a readership that spans 30 of the 50 states and 3 countries.  This alone is impressive, but when you add to the mix that she is also read – and been befriended – by such a notable personality as Lenore Skanazy (novelist, Wall St. Journal columnist, internationally acclaimed speaker), as well as linked to her immensely popular blog (Free Range Kids), one can feel the ascendancy.

The private email responses from moms who have had their family’s lives incinerated by the legalized fear and punishment have been as inspiring as they have been frightening.  Being forced to sell their houses (when they’re not being burned to the ground or plastered with posters), pull their children out of school for fear of physical and psychological harm (oh, I forgot…it’s not a bullying issue when it happens to one of “those” children), or accept that constitutional and human rights no longer apply to them or their families, has left many with little to no hope.  Many, if not most, held similar beliefs to those standing in line at Home Depot securing their purchases of tar and feathers.  It wasn’t until they were forced to walk a mile in Lauriann’s (and the millions of mothers, wives, daughters, and girlfriends like her) shoes that the light went off…or out, depending on the switch.  Judgment was no longer a fashionable accessory.  It was a horrible faux pas.  And look for a choir now they do; anyone who doesn’t blindly draw their blinds and lock their doors.

They come here where they can walk through the front door… not ushered out the rear.

Bravo, Lauriann…congratulations and Godspeed.   Keep steppin’ out.

Lee

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       “Remember, Be Here Now…”               By Ram Dass

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today. (Dale Carnegie)

  Memorial Day Weekend.  Holidays are hard when there is a hole in your life.  Having a child in prison creates a giant void that can not seem to ever be filled.   Today, “normal” families are picnicking and swimming and laughing and loving…and here I sit at this computer missing my son and thinking of what today should have been.  Outside the sun is shining and yet I can’t allow myself to enjoy its warmth. 

Less than 100 ft from my door is a beautiful lake that beckons me to come sit awhile under the shade of the Georgia pines growing along its banks…

      

and yet, grief has a hold on me that refuses to lessen its grip today.

 

  I long to be free of heartache.  I long to forget just for a little while.  I am not one to wallow in self-pity. 

Yet, here I sit paralyzed with pain and longing.

 

The journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step…Lao Tzu

So today, at this moment, I am taking that first step…the step to finding my way back into the land of the living. 

No, it won’t be the life I knew before, or the one I had planned on. 

But at least it will be living again.

  No Regrets – Gratitude – Cherish the Moments – Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Let It Be – Right Here, Right Now – Living in the Moment – Acceptance  – Grounding Spirit – No Regrets – Soul-Centric Living – Soul Centred – Go with the Flow – Let Go, Let God – Stay Present – Fearlessness  

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Schadenfreude

  Schadenfreude (Listeni /ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/; German pronunciation: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏdə]) is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.[

   I am truly not one to ever relish in someone else’s misfortune.  I do not take delight when someone’s world comes crashing down, no matter what I think of them personally.  I have had my life destroyed by outside forces so I have plenty of compassion when I see it happen to others.  Even when it is of their own making, I still sympathize, because  none of us are perfect.  I am extremely forgiving of anyone’s mistakes and believe strongly in second chances. 

  PHOTO: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mildred Baena

http://abcnews.go.com/US/mother-arnold-schwarzeneggers-love-child-revealed/story?id=13626896

  All of that being said, when I see a politician, that has spent so much of their time condemning, accusing and lobbying for harsher punishment and zero tolerance get caught with their own pants down, I can not help feeling a little Schadenfreude. 

  What I have zero tolerance for is hypocrisy.  When one spends their life standing in judgement and are so quick to point out the mistakes and failings of everyone around them while in their own closets they have many secrets and behind closed doors their own  dirty dealings. 

hy·poc·ri·sy/hiˈpäkrisē/

Noun: The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.  

  Sadly, our society loves to judge.  From our high and mighty elected officials to our pulpits and right down to our small town gossips.  We love to point the finger and spread blame and shame.  We, in all our self righteousness, believe it could never happen to us or our family.  We seldom take a moment to look at the reflections of our own actions because we are just too busy watching our neighbors. 

  Today, I will allow myself one moment of Schadenfreude at Arnold’s expense.  I also feel ashamed of myself for that feeling because now he is just one of the rest of us.  Oh how the mighty have fallen.  I wish you peace, Mr. Schwarzenegger, and I also hope this experience gives you more compassion and understanding of what public judgement and condemnation feels like.  Most of all, I hope it makes you a better person.

 “Beware all those in whom the urge to punish is very strong    – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

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States seek criminal registries for murder, arson and more

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/nyt/20110521_States_seek_criminal_registries_for_murder_arson_and_more.html

        “Lawmakers around the country are pushing for online registries, like those used for sex offenders, to track the whereabouts of people convicted of a wide variety of crimes, from arson and drunken driving to methamphetamine manufacturing and animal abuse.”

    I woke up today and remembered that the doomsday speakers have been warning for years now that TODAY, May 21, 2011, is the day the world was suppose to come to an end.  I hurried and made me a cup of coffee just in case it was the last one I would ever get to enjoy and then walked to the window and looked out.   Everything looked the same.  The sun was shining, birds were chirping and people were headed out to face the day.   I sat down and turned on the computer to read the headlines.  The New York Times was reporting that States are now seeking to implement a registry for those convicted of murder.  Upon further research, I found stories of registries being considered for convictions of arson, DUI and animal cruelty.  That is when I realized that our world really is coming to an end.  I have to ask, what next?  I am an habitual offender of returning my library books late.  I have quite possibly paid more money in late fees to outright purchase the majority of the books I have checked out.  Should there be a registry somewhere to track my whereabouts?  Forbid me from going within 25 ft of any public library and hire some “Library Police” to monitor me to make sure I adhere to the guidelines, at taxpayer expense, of course.  Oh, and make sure you publicize the list of offenders so that vigilante Friends of the Library can post my photo all over town as an abuser of library privileges and I am to be shot on sight.

Sounds insane, doesn’t it?  Still, you gotta ask, what next?

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Flicker of Hope

I long to see beauty

and the promise of a better day.

I ache for restored faith in humanity

The warmth of a helping hand along the way.

This winter of my discontent

has been long and certainly taken its toll,

Leaving me fractured and bitter

holding tightly to my frozen soul.

And yet,  my spirit is not broken

Hope  is a hard thing to kill,

Only a small flicker can sustain you

when nothing else will.

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Kudos to writers who are willing to step out and post the truth and the injustice of the legal system and the lives it ruins. When did unethical become illegal? If it was, most of our judges, prosecuters and attorneys would be behind bars.

Outrageous Prosecution: The Eric Rinehart Story

http://ethicsalarms.com/2011/03/01/outrageous-prosecution-the-eric-rinehart-story/

 “This is the criminal prosecution equivalent of the idiotic no-tolerance decisions in public schools, except that the consequences of this abandonment of compassion, fairness, and common sense is far, far worse. This isn’t justice; it is abuse of power, it is an inhumane travesty of law enforcement.

The misapplication of the vast power of a federal prosecutor can do more harm  than ten crooked lawyers at their slimy, greedy worst. The unethical conduct of Steven DeBrota is far worse than anything his victim, Eric Rinehart, did or was accused of doing.”

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No one asked for this label.

This label that we wear as clearly as “hello, my name is…”

  Some of us try so hard to hide the label.  But it still announces itself in our downcast eyes, our demeanor.  The very air of  shell shock that surrounds us.

  It says I am the mother of a sex offender.  I must be less than you because I have fallen so low as to be associated with this undesirable element of society.  I must have done something terribly wrong in my parenting skills to have brought me here to this place of shame. 

  It might look to you like the label says all of that but do not be fooled.  There is no magic secret or parenting skill that can immunize anyone from wearing this very same label.  Not in the world we live in today.  A world where there is a 9-year-old boy on the Sex Offender Registry in New Jersey.   A world where teenagers sexting each other is considered common communication.  A world where Romeo-Juliet love will get you 10 years in prison, or more.   A world where even if a young lady shows you a fake I.D. that clearly says she is of age…if she is not, you are guilty of child molestation.  A world where urinating in public puts you on the Sex Offender Registry for LIFE.  A world where a 6-year-old child in Wisconsin can be charged with sexual assault for playing doctor with his 5 year neighbor. 

  No, none of us asked for this label that at times feels like a brand.   But what we can do is walk straight with our head held high and look ’em in the eye because this label is also a badge of courage.  A purple heart for mothers who have seen combat and lived to tell the story.  There is no shame is loving your child despite their mistakes or of standing by them with unfailing support.  It’s called unconditional love and that is something every mom should understand.

Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.
 Mark Twain quotes (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 18351910)

 

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