Imagine There’s No Meanness!

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“A child learns through ‘experience with’ and ‘observations of’ the behavior of others.” ~ P

Imagine if being mean was inconceivable.

That no one anywhere on the planet understood the concept, much less had the desire to do anything mean.

Being nice isn’t really all that difficult. It takes far less time to be nice than it does to be mean and when people are nice to you, you want to spend more time around them.

So what does being mean “mean”? To me it’s when one perceives a hurt or cruelty from another. This sound ambiguous, because in a way it is. Many times we hurt others accidentally with poorly considered choices in what and how we say or do something. But if a true understanding of “no meanness” was there and one sensed a hurt, the other would be quick to apologize.

For the most part we have pretty good instincts, however, and know when someone else is being mean and cruel, with intent, through their words and actions.

When we’re mean all those other negative emotions can really take hold (hatred, cruelty, greed, avarice) when we’re nice to each other a different set of emotions rule (tenderness, caring, sharing and love)! The choice should be the one that has universal appeal ~ most certainly for the benefit of all mankind and life on this wonderful planet of ours. Let’s work on it, shall we?

Have a wonderful weekend, filled with love and caring.

~ Penny

What is blogging? Playing nice …

Credit line: © Michael Pettigrew | Dreamstime.com

… In The Sandbox of Multimedia!

If you’re reading this – you are probably a blogger. And if you aren’t a blogger, why not? It’s fun, fulfilling and creative. Kind of like having your own sandbox where you can invite others to play, when you want! And you get to go to their sandboxes too. Woo-hoo!

So we’re all adults, but as it turns out we still have the same needs and desires we had as a child (only we use bigger words to express ourselves) – wanting to share, be interactive, make new friends, have fun, be cared about, appreciated and loved. Some things never change.

Are there rules when we blog socially? Well, apart from the obvious rules centered around technical “how-to’s” for getting your blog pages set up so you can publish and be “out there”, there don’t seem to be any clearly defined guidelines. Just a bunch of understandings you acquire as you start-up your blog, publish posts and begin to be socially interactive online!

Although there is a wider audience online and they may stop by (because they’ve entered a few words in a search engine and the “tags” for one of your posts matches up) – your audience primarily comes from other bloggers, or from one of your other social media connections.  So, that being said, how do you make your blogging experience the  “best ever”?

I’m going to pass on a few thoughts regarding rules of the road, but I’d like to begin with breaking down the parts and pieces of how a blog is constructed and viewed!

  • The Content
  • The Comment Section

Okay, so only two things to think about … not really. You see, the content of your blog is also composed of several different things.

The Content:

The content for all blogging posts consists of 4 types of presentations you share with others. A thought, a message, something creative (written words, photographs, videos, music, art) or “how-to” instructions, often a mixture of several of these – a wide variety of topics related to your specific areas of interest.

The content is written in a manner related to your own personality (interesting isn’t it?) For example some use humor, some use a rather serious educational approach, some are very personal and chatty. Some, quietly formal. Some are totally off the wall, original and fanciful. Each manner or style of blogging is you expressing a part of your personality (well unless you’re copying someone else’s approach, in which case I encourage you to be yourself – you are vastly more interesting that way.)

Content is always personal (to both you the writer, and the viewer – a fact), there’s no way around this. Whatever you’re presenting, in whatever way you present it; bottom line is that people will view your posts as representative of you! And some will share their opinions about your content (personal) and depending on what they say and how they say it, you’re going to emotionally react to it (personal).

The Comment Section – Let’s move on to the second part of the blog – The comment section!

First part – your presentations (published posts).

Second part – your readers engaging with you by clicking on a “like” button, passing your post along through other social media (twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and leaving a personal comment (well there are those rather impersonal 2 and 3 word comments which can mean they really liked your post but weren’t sure how to express it, or they are speeding through their daily “follows” as fast as possible, keeping their comments short and thrifty! Or a combination of both! Don’t dwell on it, move on.)

Third part – You engaging back by answering the comments of those who visited you. The key word here is “engage”. This is what all the “big boys and girls” in the commercial and government “online” world want their customers and perspective customers/voters to do. They know (through never ending research) that consumers/people who are engaged with them (giving opinions, entering a contest, etc.) are more likely to buy their product or message.

And whether you know it or not, you are selling something here on you blog  – yourself!

Therefore, this also applies to you, the non-commercial blogger, When you engage with another human being, each of you feels a connection. We NEED these connections. They validate us. They’re important. ENGAGING is huge – in the blogging world and of course in life!

So the rules for our blogging sandbox:

Content – Be your own person. Be creative. If you’re presenting a strong message, okay, this can be good. Today we need strong messages to stand out from the overwhelming volume of content we’re reading and viewing, each day! Be true to who you are but be respectful of your viewers and readers. Your viewers may not agree with your opinions, but there is no justification for being offensive with either your presentation or your response to comments including how you respond in the comment section of other bloggers.

Comment Section – Engage! The comment section is there for a reason. But please, don’t hog another person’s comment section. It’s theirs – not yours. Blogging is a step up from the random trivialities that are frequently found on Facebook.The Facebook “experience” is a form of connecting and having fun, an expanded “Twitter” sort of thing. Think about blogging and commenting to other blogs as being more thoughtful and considered with your approach.

Summation and closing thoughts for playing nice in the sandboxes of bloggers.

– Share, engage, be polite, don’t steal or lie.

– Be respectful of others. Their content, their creations, their time and their space!

In many ways we are all just kids! The only thing that’s changed are the dimensions of our sandbox – the rules of behavior stay the same!

Thank you, have a great day!

~ Penny

previously posted

Setting An Example – the difference just one person makes!

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Set The Example

“Good will, caring regard, gentle words, loving deeds, peaceful actions – these then bring us closer to one another.” ~ Penny L Howe

Whether child or an adult, its human nature to watch what other people are doing in your vicinity. This means whether you’re paying attention or not, somebody else is probably paying attention to what you’re doing.

Children learn by example. From the time they’re old enough to move on their own, they will parrot their parents and siblings facial expressions, word usage and movements. Even as adults, many people mimic what others are doing.

More or less, everyday we all set an example based on what we do or don’t do! How we behave in a specific situation and so on.

So the obvious point here is what type of example are we setting?

Just by watching things unfold everywhere around the globe, I’m thinking we “all of us” need to work on this one. And more than just a little. Because its something each person can do, individually, to make a difference that matters.

Set an example that’s inspirational to others. One you can be proud of. One your family and friends can support and then duplicate. Starting with just one person – YOU!

A most pleasant weekend to everyone,

~ Penny

Never Stop Wishing Upon a Star

As a child my favorite song was from the Walt Disney Movie, Pinocchio. The song is “When You Wish Upon A Star” sung by Jiminy Cricket.

When I first heard the words I just knew wishes could come true.

I still do.

~ Enjoy your weekend and may your dreams all come true.

Penny

She Stands for what makes our Country Great – Freedom! Don’t Let Her Down!

(Please Read)

 

Freedom – the one word recognized by all peoples who arrive and then stay in the United States of America have in common is Freedom. The Statue of Liberty represents this as does the Statue of Liberty Poem, now an important part of our history. Let us not prove her wrong and lessen who we are as Americans and human beings.

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New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome’ her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she 

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus. 1848-1887

~

 There is a crisis, thousands of children in peril of their very lives (from Central America, not Mexico) and they are coming to our country for safety and refuge. Are we still the caring land of Freedom? Do we give a damn or are we so into ourselves and our rights, ingrained in our wants and our entitlements that we’ve laid aside our souls. I’m so embarrassed and ashamed that everything seems to be related to money or politics.

Have we forgotten to do what’s right and humane and caring and loving? Have we? Most of our ancestors entered this land for the same reasons as these children. There is no difference. There should be none now and even more than that they are children, for God’s Sake!

Show you care,

~ Penny

For more information about this crisis USA TODAY

My gift to you for Christmas!

A year ago I wrote a short Christmas Story. I share it again this year with all of you. Please enjoy!

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The Five Golden Orbs

The children found them hidden inside the bushes in the back yard just as the sun was setting. They noticed the glow of lights coming from within the small holly bush. Mystified, they had walked up slowly to the shining bush and peered in through the holly leaves.

Five shining orbs of gold lay nestled hidden in the crooks of the branches inside the bush.

“What are they?” The girl child asked.

“I don’t know!” The boy child answered.

They were curious and the glow coming from the shiny orbs was not scary. The emitting light was golden and soft.

one golden orbThe boy reached in and grabbed one of the orbs. It was warm to the touch. But not too warm, just pleasantly so. The girl seeing that the orb rested comfortably in the boy’s hand reached in and grabbed another orb. She held it close and stared at the swirling light shining from within.

“They are pretty, aren’t they?” She said.

“Yes, yes they are.” He replied. “Lets take the rest of them and go inside.” He didn’t wait for her answer just reached inside the bush and pulled out two more. “You get the last one, but come on let’s hurry before anyone sees them.”

She followed his directions, first grabbing the last golden orb in her free hand and then hurrying after him orbs on flooras he ran into the house, carefully cradling the glowing orbs in his arms.

They walked through the hallway into the tiny living room and laid the golden balls on the wooden floor. The orbs were shining even brighter than before.

To the small boy and girl, sitting on the floor of the poorly lit living room, this glorious glow was a thrilling one. Their father was working late again but they knew he’d be home soon and would expect his meal laid out for him. The Christmas tree they had convinced him to bring home the day before stood dark and lonely in one corner of the room, on the other side was the table where they had laid out his bowl, cup and spoon. His soup was in the cooking pot waiting to be served.

The children looked from the orbs to the tree and got the same idea at the same time. Excitedly they the golden Christmas treegrabbed up the glowing orbs and placed them in different places throughout the tree. Each ball settled into it’s spot as if it belonged there. When they were done, they stood back and looked at the Christmas tree. It was now lit up with a golden glow that cast away the shadows in the room and illuminated everything making them feel like they were rich and not so very poor.

They stood there viewing the beautiful lite up tree and then the girl had a sudden thought. With a worried look upon her face she turned to her brother and said “What about Hanna?”

“What about her?” He answered.

“Well, it’s just that her cottage is so very dark, if we took one of these shiny orbs to her, she could place it somewhere in her room and be able to see better at night!”

“That’s true,” He said. “And you know that Bertha and Henry’s cottages a little further away have the same orbs on the floorproblem with not having much light in their homes.” And as the children talked they thought of two more neighbors that they could share the shiny light of their orbs with.

Hurrying quickly they removed the five orbs out of their Christmas tree and carried them down the lane to each of their needy neighbors who with great pleasure and astonishment accepted the gift of a brightly lighted orb.

The children raced back to the house feeling good inside as they thought of the pleasure they had brought to their friends and neighbors.

They were silent and a little disappointed as they realized they wouldn’t have a beautifully lit tree to show their father when they walked inside their hut. Still they did feel good about the gifts they had given. As they walked into the living area of their hut they stopped suddenly staring at the sight in front of them. Where they had expected a darkened tree was a magnificently glowing Christmas tree shining from top to bottom with a most wonderful golden radiance.

“But how can this be?” The little girl asked with wonder. “We gave the orbs away!”

The little boy shook his head, gazing in amazement at the beautiful sight in front of him. They both heard the front door open as their dad trudged into the house. They looked once more at their shiny golden tree and then ran to greet their father and to share this wonderful gift with him.

The tree shone brightly, the light following in the footsteps of two little children who without realizing had given and received the most perfect gift of all.

Merry Christmas

“When you give with love in your heart ~ your gift will return to you” ~ Penny L Howe

~

May your Christmas be filled with the Light of Love, shining for all to see and feel!

Merry Christmas,

Penny

Rainbows II

A follow-up to my last Rainbow post: Thank you Cat Forsley for reminding me of how we felt about rainbows when we were children. Let’s be children again and enjoy this Youtube *video by Hoopla Kidz:

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*For kindle subscribers go to
Youtube and search for Rainbow Colors Song.

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Stay Cool, and remember to view the potentials of life as prisms of colors – reflecting hope, like the rainbow!

~ Penny

Penny L Howe