Category Archives: education

Halloween: A Snapshot of Budding Character

They say you can tell a lot about a person from the way they handle themselves on the golf course. Does she cheat? Does she throw a fit when things aren’t going well? Does she understand the etiquette? However she plays that game is likely how she handles herself in life, at work, and so on. I think there is some truth to this particular saying, and I’m going to take it a step further.

60514268 - halloween: kids excited to trick or treat

60514268 – halloween: kids excited to trick or treat

You can tell a lot about a kid from watching her on Halloween. First, what costume did she pick? Is that little girl in a princess dress, or a football uniform? Next, does she look you in the eye, smile, and yell “trick or treat,” or does she keep her chin tucked and look back at her adoring mom or dad? Is she alone, with one friend or sibling, or running with a pack of kids? Does she ask “how many” she’s allowed, or just grab as much as her little hands can heft out of the bowl? Does she say “thank you?” or does she thrust her hands in there during someone else’s turn and grab a bunch before running away without ever once acknowledging you or the candy?

Last night I saw a little bit of all of these things. I admit, I get discouraged when I see discourteous children. I wonder how a kid gets to that point, too? Didn’t her parents teach her good manners? I know there’s a whole “anti-sharing” culture out there (schools that cater to that, too, by allowing kids to “save” toys from others even when they aren’t playing with it), so maybe that’s to blame.

A “me first” attitude is a huge turn-off to me, in kids and adults. It seems parents who are against sharing seem to think that, when another kid asks for a turn, then if their kid is expected to share, it is teaching that other kid that they get what they want whenever they want it. That seems to be a really twisted form of logic in my opinion. If anything, teaching your kids they never need to share (even if it is community property, like in a classroom or playground), is teaching YOUR kids that their needs always come first. ICK!!

Sharing is good for everyone. It teaches us to be part of a community. To realize that, if we’re lucky enough to have “more,” we can use that power to help others who have less. Giving is kind, and most people actually feel GOOD when they make someone else happy. Learning that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your needs is also a good thing (which I think sharing promotes rather than destroys). And people who share are much more likely to make friends easily and socialize better than kids who clutch everything for themselves.

What’s your take on all of this?



Mental Strength

Lots of people make fitness resolutions in January, but 99% of the time they’re talking strictly about physical fitness.  Perhaps most of us fail to think about mental fitness because we believe we’re doing okay, or, if we’re not, we assume we can’t help the way we think.  Either way, when we ignore our mental health, we’re setting ourselves up trouble.

I read this interesting article in Psychology Today, by licensed social worker Amy Morin, about mental strength.  She discusses thirteen things mentally strong people don’t do.  Nothing on the list is particularly novel advice, but it serves as a good reminder for us all.

The article is worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a list of the 13 things to avoid doing in 2015:

  1. Wasting time feeling sorry for yourself
  2. Giving away your power
  3. Shying away from change
  4. Wasting energy on things you can’t control
  5. Worrying about pleasing others
  6. Fearing taking calculated risks
  7. Dwelling on the past
  8. Repeating the same mistakes
  9. Resenting other people’s success
  10. Giving up after failure
  11. Fearing alone time
  12. Expecting the world to owe you something
  13. Expecting immediate results

When I read through this list, I can identify at least one area where I could improve (point number 4).  I’m also prone to succumb to numbers 3 and 13, too.  Self-awareness is the first step toward improvement, so I’ll embrace the introspection and think about ways to break bad habits this year.

How about you?  Do any of these items make you say “doh!”?  Care to share, or offer tips on how to overcome these weaknesses?


Love of Learning

When we hear the word love, we first think of relationships.  I suppose that makes sense, because the desire to love and be loved is as instinctive as the desire for food and air.  But your life can be filled with other kinds of love, too.  A love of art or music, for example.  And for many, a love of learning plays an important role in their well-being and happiness.

I’m one of them–of those who are energized by learning.  I’m not just talking about the formal education I received while pursuing my law and M.B.A. degrees, either.  I love to learn about people, places, and events (large and small).  I love to engage with others, preferably in an intimate setting, and debate six sides of the same argument.  And I love to learn more about the craft of writing from writers who are ahead of me on the learning curve.1912220_608544732590373_2952381615024029599_n

I’m eagerly anticipating a master class workshop being hosted by my Connecticut Romance Writers of America chapter this weekend, featuring best-selling author Cherry Adair.  I’m sure I’ll be inspired, personally and professionally, by the end of the weekend.  I’m also excited to contribute to the fundraising effort this year by putting together a basket of goodies for the silent auction.  I’m thinking I’ll giveaway one of these on my blog when my book releases, too.

I hope you have plans for your weekend that will invigorate you and enrich your life.  Anyone care to share?