The Ten Essentials Elements of dignity

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There are two lists I found recently that hit home with me in a big way.  I will soon be putting up the other list as well, which is: Ten Temptations To Violate Our Own Dignity.

Applying this discord to people in my own life; they know who they are, they perhaps might benefit from reading these lists, as no one is perfect, and hopefully do some self-reflecting about these points and understand how it might apply to them. I know I have. It never hurts to look inside our own hearts and see if we have misjudged others. It is a shame I would even have to mention this here except there is complete refusal to hear me.  One person, I know who, because it was predictable, tried to trash talk me on this blog, which of course I put into a spam file. That wasn’t a smart move.  I have total control of comments, as do all bloggers.

Sometimes people in many different situations would rather keep their misconceptions because it allows them to carry the negativity and they don’t want to take the chance of having it changed because they might then have to admit culpability. 

There is a reason for the phrase, “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” Everyone knows this phrase, but doesn’t think of it until it is they who are “done unto.” I am sure I will hear or read severe repercussions for writing this; but the teacher in me never gives up, but searches for the words or the way to change negativity, whether it is to me, me to others, or on a larger scale with the work I have devoted quite a few years to changing.

There is so much anger in our world today. We can’t expect others to change without changing ourselves. When something crucial changes within us, it is reflected in our own personal environment, positive or negative. If we point the finger and say it is someone else who is wrong, be it personal, religious, race or perceived class standing, nothing changes, and if the person involved fails to take any responsibility for the part they played in causing the problem, it continues to grow. The longer time passes, the worse it gets.  It doesn’t go away until communication is established and we apply the points below to our own life.

The hate and disrespect we see around us begins with the individual.  One person can begin to change the world – unless he thinks and behaves as though he carries no blame or responsibility for the outcome.

Actually, I believe it applies to all of us, because no one is so perfect in their actions and thoughts about the people around them. They shouldn’t think they wouldn’t benefit from thinking about the way they treat people they perceive as going against what they “believe” to be true.  That belief may not be the actual truth if they insist it doesn’t apply to them, and those who think that the truth I write about my life is “bullshit”, it is because they never took the time to acknowledge any one of these ideas; therefore not important enough to apply to my life. It takes away any value in my life they didn’t feel important enough to learn.

 

What we extend to others and would like for ourselves

Donna Hicks – Weatherhead Center For International Affairs – Harvard University

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Acceptance of Identity

Approach people as neither inferior nor superior to you; give others the freedom to express their authentic selves without fear of being negatively judged; interact without prejudice or bias, accepting how race, religion, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc. are at the core of their identities. Assume they have integrity.

Recognition

Validate others for their talents, hard work, thoughtfulness, and help; be generous with praise; give credit to others for their contributions, ideas and experience.

Acknowledgement

Give people their full attention by listening, hearing,validating and responding to their concerns and what they have been through.

Inclusion

make others feel that they belong at all levels of relationship (family, community, organization, nation)

Safety

Put people at ease at two levels: physically, where they feel free of bodily harm; and psychologically, where they feel free of concern about being shamed or humiliated, that they feel free so speak without retribution.

Fairness

Treat people justly, with equality, and in an evenhanded way, according to agreed upon laws and rules

Independence

Empower people to act on their own behalf so they feel in control of their lives and experience a sense of hope and possibility.

Understanding

Believe that what others think is important; give them the chance to explain their perspectives, express their points of view; actively listen in order to understand them.

Benefit of the doubt

Treat people as trustworthy; start with the premise that others have good motives and are acting with indignity.

Accountability

Take responsibility for your actions; if you have violated the dignity of another, apologize; make a commitment to change hurtful behaviors.

copyright 2011 Donna Hicks

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I have only become aware of this center recently and haven’t had a chance to follow all of their links to see exactly what they do, but what I have read recently leaves me very impressed.  I wish I were able to get involved, but I think I would need another lifetime to do that!  I’d like to encourage you to take the time to follow the link at the top of the page.

 

A Room Full of People And Nobody is There

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I am not like most other people I meet and I know that. It’s hard to pretend to be like them because they can’t even see what the difference is. They feel it, it scares them and they make no attempt to understand it. They push me away. It has been so evident on this “vacation”. It has made me understand why it has been so hard with members of my family. I’ve known it, thought I could change it -help them understand, and couldn’t, but this has made it definite. You can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your family.

 

I think a lot about the meaning of life. I think about what a friend is. I think it means more to me than it does to many other people. Let me rephrase that. I want friends who have something to say. People who don’t waste their life, or disrespect their life; those who live their lives honestly. People who have a desire to continually learn and dig beneath the surface away from only being able to talk about the weather. Maybe that’s why they are so hard to find. The world has a bunch of acquaintances that only go skin deep. I want more from a friend than I think most people  have the ability to give, or perhaps they have no clue what it means. Sometimes, in a rare moment of time I meet someone I immediately know understands and can talk for hours exchanging ideas and philosophies. But it is always disappointing when you are with someone who can only talk about their prejudices and negatives and doesn’t care who you are, what you say or what you are doing and you realize they aren’t interested at all. They don’t even know the questions to ask. They aren’t even on the same planet. You realize then there is nothing there that matters. How do you have a conversation when you have nothing in common?

What is a Friend?

It’s like the question; what is a sister? Is it being able to talk about all your aches and pains because you both have them? Is it being able to talk about disappointments in your grown children wondering why they became who they are? Is the weather the only safe subject? Wow, it’s really hot today. That’s deep. Do you talk about life? No. That is too touchy. They have no idea why they believe what they do because they never really thought about it. It’s just an abstract thing they don’t even try to understand. Conversation is shallow and meaningless as they wait to die and don’t care if they do. They leave nothing behind for anyone to remember they were ever here. That describes almost everyone I meet. The sad thing is that there is no interest to understand what that means. Who am I to think I could have something to teach them that could affect their life in a positive way?

“I am a Christian,” I am often told. I commend myself most of the time for refraining from asking, “Why?” What would the answer have been? “Because . . .” without really knowing why or realizing that your faith should impact how you live your life. “Because . . . that is what I was told and I never questioned it. It’s about going to this place called heaven after you die, but it doesn’t alter how they live their life or how they treat the people around them. But how can you be a Christian and be so judgemental and hateful toward others? Doesn’t being a Christian mean anything to you? Why would anyone want to be a Christian if they were looking at you as a guide for behavior? But I didn’t talk about any of this. I realized I would be speaking a language that wouldn’t be understood and I’d be beating my head against the wall. I have  a friend who is a Christian who lives her faith as though it is important to her. She really believes and understands the Bible because she makes a concerted effort to study and apply it. We have interesting conversations because we respect each other. We exchange ideas without trying convert each other.

The meaning of life

 

Most people have no clue why they believe what they do. Recently my 36 year old daughter found fault with me as a parent because I didn’t teach her about Christianity when she was a child. Why would I do that? I was a devout agnostic long before she was born and began studying Buddhism from the time she was eight. Why would I teach her a religion with a God when I believed there was no such thing. I also didn’t teach her about the Muslim faith or Judaism, Scientology or Wiccan.  Don’t blame me for your unhappiness. I won’t accept the responsibility. When the woman I was just traveling with declared, “I am a Christian.” I bit my tongue and didn’t say, “Lot of good that’s doing you because you sure are miserable.” I kept that to myself. They don’t get it. If your faith doesn’t enable you to be happy while you live, what’s the point? You think happiness comes after you die? Life is for the living, not the dead.

Idea exchange

 

I met a man at a campsite laundry room while traveling in a motor home in Arizona. (Why anyone would want to live in 111 degree weather -in the  shade – is beyond me) He was Albanian and had traveled the world. Astute in the politics of countries. I learned from him. He came to the US 30 years ago and has lived by himself in the desert for 21 years and enjoys the solitude. Very much a hermit lifestyle, but still he craves human conversation. In me he met someone who loves to talk. We covered many subjects. He comes to the campsite laundry room to wash his clothes. I don’t even know his name. I think he was in his 60’s. We hit it off right away and talked for probably 2 hours about many aspects of life from religion to politics to people. He explained how and why people in other countries feel about us as they do. We have done horrible things to people in other countries yet we think we are the good guys. We aren’t. We didn’t get this powerful by being nice.  They are retaliating. Can you blame them. Our people are soft. We wouldn’t last a week in the countries we decimate. Our country is fat and stupid. Kids graduate high school and can’t even count back change at a register if it didn’t tell them how much to give. Every week there is another mass shooting, but don’t dare try to take away my gun! I might need to protect myself from my neighbor when I see him in Walmart. I wouldn’t set foot in a Walmart. If you have to ask why it’s too late to teach you. I don’t support corporations that help destroy the country for greed.

Many people think we are the good guys, but are we? I don’t think so. There are still people who think our military is protecting democracy. It’s not. We go to war because it makes corporations rich. People suck it up watching Fox news and think it’s the truth. But still, my new friend said, as fucked up as this country is -it’s worse out there and he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Wouldn’t it be great if we stopped raping this country out of greed? Wouldn’t it be great if the people who lived here mattered and the 1% didn’t run us over time and again? Wouldn’t it be great if our elections weren’t a farce?

I have often heard the phrase, “Never talk religion or politics” but talking with this man was such a pleasure. It was the only honest conversation I had the entire month I was gone. How wonderful to have a conversation with someone who understands what you are talking about.  It’s rare. He knew what I meant when I said it was hard to find people who didn’t take offense because I am outspoken about what I believe to be true. He said those people are out there. Keep searching. Okay, I will.

Sonni Quick – The Road My Music Traveled

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Music For “Inside The Forbidden Outside” by Sonni Quick

When I was a child the only thing I was really interested in was playing the piano. No one had to tell me I needed to practice. I was only frustrated by my inability to play the way I wanted to because I had so much to learn and I had no control over my hands. How does one think and feel and have it come out their fingers?

Just about anyone can learn how to read music and learn where it is played on the piano, and how long to hold it down. The symbols on the music tell you to play it loud or soft of pause. These things give the music “emotion”. Everyone can learn how to play the music exactly the same way. It can take years to learn this proficiency.  You have to memorize it. And what happens if you don’t play for a year or two or ten. You lose it. I have known many adults who would never embarrass themselves today and sit at a piano within earshot of another human being. They KNOW they can’t play anymore. They often want their. Kids to learn how to play and send send them to the same kind of teacher they had because there is little other choice.

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I’m on the left

I wanted to teach piano lessons from the age of 10. I was hired at a music studio in college at 18.   As a child I was every piano teachers nightmare because I wanted to do it “my way”.  I was a frustration, and the only one who became a professional. It wasn’t enough. I had no desire for perfection. No desire to impress people playing complicated pieces to show off my playing capabilities. I wanted to play beautiful music that evoked an emotional response inside ME. I wanted to make my piano cry.

I have written and charted a lot of music and

Sonni Quick, Padre Island, Bahia Mar Hotel
Sonni Quick performing at the Bahia Mar Hotel at Padre Island 1979
To 40 band Edison
1986 with the top 40 band “Edison”

much of it with lyrics. I’ve written piano scores I can’t play anymore but I could work them back up if I wanted. But what I want to do most is sit in a dark room and let my fingers just play what they want. This music is truly mine. I don’t “work” on it. I can’t play it again. Record it or it’s gone.  It is how I feel at that moment.  It is how I communicate. The occasional wrong note belongs there because life also sometimes hits a wrong note.

This is what my music became when I lived instead of dying. It’s what I leave behind that is part of who I am. I have so much appreciation for being alive and able to write that.

This is my goal when I teach. I want to enable my students to create. I am also going to post some of the lyrics I’ve written over the years.  They are autobiographical. The link I’m giving you now is a growing list. Last night I added five more piano pieces last night that are scattered over my 2 blogs. If you check back at this link over time you will find added new pieces as I record. I hope you like them. I surprise myself quite often because I don’t remember what I play so it is also new the first time I play it back.

Sonni Quick, Sonni quick author , Sonni quick. inside the forbidden outside
Sonni Quick

Do People Actually Read What You Write?

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source credit:
idontsmoke.net

Sometimes I wonder, do people actually read what you have written or do they just go down the reader and click like?  Some people only put up a picture or a few words and you don’t have to actually go to their blog unless you want to write a reply.  But if you don’t go to their blog when you like something it never registers on their stats so they never know who actually paid attention to it. It’s not a great way to build confidence.

How do we write a blog? Why do we write a blog? How do we respond to other people’s blogs? Everyone wants to have good stats, because when there aren’t any, it’s really pretty disheartening and you feel unloved and unappreciated. We want people to read the words we have taken so much time to write, edit and possibly rewrite.  Many of the posts I write take me take me hours, especially if I’m adding pictures and links and possibly music.  I know they are read by the replies I get from people, and it is what keeps me going, Not everyone replies, I know that. But sometimes, it only takes a few minutes to let someone know you appreciate what they are doing. It matters. So I leave a lot of replies. Sometimes we have good days and some days we feel ignored.  Sometimes it depends on the time of day you post or it can slide on by.  Facebook is terrible for that.  The list of posts grows so long so fast. If someone doesn’t take the time to scroll down it gets lost.

I’m writing the today because I put up a post recently that I checked soon after and it had three likes but there had been not view or visitor to the site. Not one. How the heck can you just like a post without even reading what it was about. If the entire post fit on the review of the post through the reader then you’d think there was no reason to go to the blog. But nothing I write fits in that area. I actually write my posts. Do I want posts that “looks” like people were interested and read it, which isn’t true?  I appreciate those that like my posts, but I’d like to ask that you not like it unless you genuinely have at least read the darn thing. Doing that you just might find out something you’d be glad you read, or maybe even found out something you didn’t know.

Now, since someone would have to read this post to find this out, what will be the end result? I doesn’t make me happy to have people “like” me and not know why.

The End

P.S.  Your thoughts? How do you feel about this? Incidently, this post took me an hour and twenty minutes to complete. Was it worth reading?

A novelist and a photographer walk into a theater…

Excellent article. I went back to read it for a second time. So many interesting people and not enough to get to know them all!

the literate lens

Mann1 Outside Symphony Space

Over the three years I’ve been writing The Literate Lens, few events have screamed “blog post!” as loudly at me as the one I attended last night at Symphony Space, in which Sally Mann, the acclaimed photographer (who, by her own admission, rarely leaves her Virginia home), was in conversation with Nashville-based novelist Ann Patchett.

I’ve loved Mann’s work ever since she blazed into the headlines with her 1992 book Immediate Family—I’ve followed her since into some strange and dark territory, and knew, from the essay excerpt published in the New York Times Magazine a few weeks ago, that her new memoir Hold Still would be fascinating. I also loved Ann Patchett’s 2011 novel State of Wonder, which can roughly be described as a sort of contemporary feminist version of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. A photographer-turned-memoirist in conversation with a novelist—needless…

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When dealing with people, let us remember . . .

pride, prejudice, vanity
The result of pride, prejudice and vanity

This is often hard when you want to talk to people using logic and appeal to their sanity and you can’t figure out what language they are speaking. English is not always English, or whatever your language is. There are people who argue just for the sake of arguing, always taking the other side no matter how ludicrous it is. . . to you. You wonder, do they really not understand? Maybe not. Was it because of how they were raised and what they were taught in their early years that affects the way they think? Did the events that happened in their early years give them a slanted view of the world that affects the way they think about things for the rest of their lives?  There has been much controversy about nature vs nurture and how much each affects who we are.  Our human nature, were we born with it or do we acquire it? Yes, I believe it is a combination of both.  So . . . I keep trying.  Maybe it is me who drank the kool-aid and doesn’t understand!

When we react with emotion, or our pride has been affected, we often put our foot in our mouth and say something we regret. Then further pride makes us unable to apologize. It is such a vicious cycle.  But anyway, I continuously go back to the drawing board and reflect on my own actions and try to self correct my own biases, my own hypocracies. I try to see things through the eyes of others.  Most of all I am trying to learn to listen, which is easier said than done when you are someone who talks a lot.  {{smile}}

Thank you Don, for this quote today.

 

Don Charisma


«When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.»

— Dale Carnegie


DonCharisma.com-logo-4 Charisma quotes are sponsored by DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”

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Why are you writing? Plus a Q and A Interview With a Published Writer on How She writes

How to write a bog,I want to be a writer, Sonni Quick,Sharp Turn to the LeftI guess it all depends on why you’re writing in the first place. I mean, do you really want to write, so you start a blog with absolutely no friggin’ idea of what to write but you have this itch to write something that has the possibility of leaving a part of you permanently in place, for others to read and learn about you even if you depart this earth? How I wish I had the writings, the baring of one’s soul, from people in my past that I am unable to talk to because they are very permanently long gone, unable now to tell me what is in their head. Their fears. Their hopes. Their thoughts of being unable to stop the forward march of death.

A blog is begun. You aren’t sure of what to do, what to write. Can you write? Do you even know where to put a comma? Is your spelling and sentence structure atrocious? Does that even matter? Or do you just think about it for awhile and slowly , bravely, venture into it thinking it would be a really cool thing to do, writing things other people read. And then after a few weeks you go damnza, this is fun! So you learn and learn and try to find out everything you can about writing a blog so you can make it as good as possible, and then wait to see if anyone comes to read it. You enjoy yourself, and think, I could be a writer! You have begun the process of reinventing yourself. I’m a pro at that. It keeps life interesting, constantly challenging yourself to be more than you have been!

To do it right takes a lot of time. It’s like a job, but you don’t get paid money. You do get paid though, in page likes and comments and having interesting conversations with people from all over the world! It’s great for confidence building.  It’s teaches you how to communicate in words.  Learning how to write a blog is different from sending someone a newsy email.   You tell yourself, “I want to be a writer,”  and sometimes you have to reinvent yourself to do that Lastly, yes, blogging is fun.

I never slam out five line blog posts that don’t have a point – somewhere. Some are deeply personal that have  tongues wagging from people I know who say, “How could you write that! What will people say! OOOh well. My life is an open book and I have nothing to hide. I have no need to hide myself from anyone or make excuses for myself. We all make mistakes. But do we learn from them? That’s the key to reinventing yourself and making yourself happy. If other people don’t like it I’m not in control of that.

This is the blog I use to rant and rave and get things off my chest. My other blog is my serious one, the one that matters because there are lives at stake that it will affect. BUT do I take everything I write seriously. Is there a point to all this? Is there a reason I’m still up at 4 AM tweaking my words and researching how to do this right? Yes. Very much, yes. Because I reinvented myself – again – and if I decide to do something I will tear it apart with my teeth. I will grind it up and chew on it like a porkchop bone and obsess on it until it becomes the best I can do. I am addicted to it the way bees are drawn to the nectar of flowers.

I have always quite simply loved to write. To make the thoughts in my mind take concrete form, the same way the notes of my music is a concrete form of my emotions that I can step back from and witness it the and way as strangers.

I knew when I was young, there were different roads I could go down and each road would send my life into a different direction. I loved to dance. Did I want to be a dancer? I did eventually do that – but in strip joints from age 30 until my 40th birthday, quitting before I looked like I should, and was damn good at it. I think there are many women who have wished they looked good enough to dance naked and many women do in the privacy of their own homes.

Sonni Quick, Padre Island, Bahia Mar Hotel
Sonni Quick performing at the Bahia Mar Hotel at Padre Island 1979

This all took place after the years being a professional musician – a singer/keyboard/guitarist  who trashed her vocal cords singing incorrectly in too many smokey clubs. This is why I have the ability now to write the music I do, with the passion I play with.  But back then my ego stopped me from being a sideman to someone and be just a keyboard player who didn’t front the band.  Wrong choice, but I needed to take care of my kids, that’s why I started dancing and made a lot more money than I did as a musician. I never got a single nickle of help from their father. (But today, many years later we are friends. He is their father. Besides, I have become friends with all of my x husband’s.)

Did I want to be an artist? I have untrained talent, if I wanted to use it. My desires were all in the arts. Did I ever even one time ever want to be something like a dental assistant? God no! That thought scared the crap out of me. ( no slam on dental assistants here. We need people who want to be that.) But the thought of me spending my life in something so completely uncreative would have been a living hell for me.  That was my nightmare, waking up living in a track house in a suburb, which I did for a very short time when I tried to have a real job – by society’s standards . I couldn’t live a life with my time so structured and having no flexibility. I needed my life to support my life, to be able to create my income by who I was. Have I been thrown major curveballs? Huge ones. But I pick myself up. Dust myself off. Then I carry on. Sometimes life sucks. Get over it. Treat yourself and go buy a bag of gummy worms.

I went through many life changes. I called them “Sharp Turns to the Left, a title of an autobiography I spent the better part of a year writing fifteen years ago. A book in which I was going to be brutally honest about myself. I had to stop writing it because I thought, “Oh shit, if my mother reads this it would just kill her. She’d die of shock knowing the things her little girl did. “But now, after moving back to within a block of where my mother lives and spending literally hundreds of hours talking, I don’t think there is much I could write now that could shock my mom anymore than I already have, so maybe I could go back now and finish writing about my life – after I finish the book that is devouring me at the moment – InsideOut- with the newly changed working title of – Inside The Forbidden Outside – the nonfiction book about the life of Jamie Cummings. In Huntsville Prison. What guided his life to be where he is and what kind of man did it make him. What kind of man did he become. In our letters he let me into his head no matter how painful it was. You can find links to my other blog, “My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison” on the side of this blog and finding 3 of the chapters I I have posted pretty easily.

So what is the point of this post? I think the point is that we all write for different reasons. Some people write as a career choice, a current career our a hopeful one, like mine. Some write for fun and aren’t interested in branching out and are satisfied with having only WordPress readers, which are indeed valuable worldwide. Some people are excited that something they wrote is on the web for the world to see, and there are some that heal their hearts and minds through writing.  A catharsis takes place. There is a place for every single one of us. Just so long as it brings you benefit of some kind is all that matters.

I was thinking about this today because of this article, a writer I never heard of and thought about how she writes. Her process and went to links of things she wrote. I try to learn something from every writer. How do the structure sentences. How do think about what they mean? I thought, since we’re all a bunch of writers maybe some of you would find value in this article – an interview of how she writes.

So what do you think about it all?  Tell me.

Plus – thank you for getting to the end of this rant and listening to me yammer on . . .

Beyond The New Yorker

vanessaVanessa Grigoriadis—a National Magazine Award-winner who has written dozens of features for New York, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others—is a writer that many of us can envy: Over the years, writing has gotten progressively easier for her. She writes at a freaky-fast pace. And her initial visions for her stories, she says, work out 75 percent of the time. Essentially, a writer’s dream. But Grigoriadis also shares what she finds are the hardest parts of the job and her various quirks (hint: elaborate procrastination), and how, once an aspiring actress, she came to choose writing instead.

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