How Good Is Your Name?

April 3, 2010

 

I was elated when a friend, who had been emotionally challenged since her divorce, mentioned she had recently met a tall, handsome stranger at a party.  She claimed he was a doctor practicing medicine in another state, who was in town for a conference.  They ended up spending the weekend together, while he wined and dined her at all the fabulous places.  As she recounted all of his wonderful qualities, she was excited at the possibility of a long distance romance.  However, when she mentioned his name, my happy for her mood drooped down to zero.  The reason for the sudden change in my attitude was that I knew the guy, and I also knew he was not a doctor.  If anything, he was a practicing con man, who had previously told another female acquaintance that he was a lawyer, when she met him.  Unfortunately, he had offered to help her with a legal matter and ended up disappearing with a hefty retainer fee in his pocket.  In other words, he didn’t have a good name. 

My grandmother used to say that all a person has is their name, and that it is vitally important to strive to have good associated with that name, because in the long run it can cost you dearly if you don’t.  I know this to be true, because in many stages of my life, I’ve witnessed the value of having a good name, and the penalties that life sometimes imposes when one does not have a good record, which translates to one’s reputation.

In my matchmaking days, I once tried to introduce a lonesome gorgeous friend to a handsome business associate, and she was extremely excited and looking forward to the introduction.  That is, until I mentioned his name.  Her grin was instantly replaced with a frown, as she described a previous unsavory date encounter with him that she would never forget.  She stated that on their first date together, after he took her to dinner at her favorite restaurant, he stuck her with the bill.  He claimed he left his wallet at home, and that he would reimburse her the next day.  But she never heard from him again.  I was shocked, because I knew him to be the epitome of gentleman-like behavior, and I would have never imagined him to be anything less.  When I later mentioned her reaction to a mutual friend, she related a similar experience with him several years before.  Ironically, when she later told a cousin about her ordeal with him, she too knew someone who had been out with him, and referred to him as a “horror date.” 

Unfortunately, this guy probably had no idea that he had developed such an unsavory reputation, because most people seldom consider the smallness of this world we live in, and/or the arrows or stars that are automatically attached to our names based on our deeds.    

If you sometimes wonder why Favor seems to elude you, or you don’t get the respect you feel you deserve, it could be that maybe you’re not working hard enough to have stars attached to your name.   Those who do usually have the following characteristics…They:

**keep their word-

**mean what they say

**are kind to everyone.

**behave responsibly.

**treat everyone the same

**are generous with their smiles

**put forth their best in work and play

**eager to help

**are genuine in word and deed.

**are friendly spirits

**have a good sense of right and wrong

One thing I’ve learned, as I walk the road of this life, a good name can make or break you, and few wish to have a record or reputation that is not associated with the word good.  Unfortunately, they are too many who don’t care enough to do their best to have their names mentioned in high regard.


The Road To Extraordinary Living

January 26, 2010

 

 

            Everyone I know is striving for success in life as it relates to romance and finance, but few have personal peace.  I suggest if you take the time to apply the following to your scheme of things, you’ll have a spectacular year.

            Consider This…

  • Your Mind – The Bible says, bring your thoughts into captivity.  You must watch over what you think.  Guard your thoughts as if your life depended on it.  It does.  Fight hard against ugly intrusions by focusing on the beauty in your life.  Counting your blessings keeps life’s disruptions in perspective.
  • .Acquire A Position – Develop personal principles or standards and stick to them…regardless of the challenge.  Have something you stand for.  It draws serious respect to the corner you occupy.
  • Ask For Direction – Stop making your own decisions.  Pray for guidance in everything on a daily basis.
  • Your Character – Work hard to be regarded as one with a spirit of excellence.  Distinguish yourself by your words and deeds.  Dare to stand out from the crowd.
  • Your Mouth – Say what needs to be said… creatively.  Few doors are closed to those who are straightforward, yet gracious.
  • Your Integrity – Strive to be a person who is known for good moral character, and the honesty of a child.  Gain a reputation as one who always takes the high road in life regardless of the circumstances.
  • Your Self-Esteem – Accept yourself and change what you have the power to change.
  • Your Tongue – Think before you speak.  Remember words have a life of their own, and no one ever forgets what you say.  Good or bad.
  • For Peace – Surround yourself with friends and acquaintances who make you feel good…only. 
  • For Love – Don’t work at finding it.  Work at giving it.  It will find you when it’s your time.
  • Others – Always stop to touch and feel others.  It will build your treasury.
  • Your Happiness – Through faith, you should expect the best and wait on it.  Meanwhile, don’t be afraid to be alone.  Fate is worth waiting on.
  • Your Demeanor – should be the posture of royalty, if you believe you are a child of The King.  Therefore, you should be self-assured, kind, gracious, generous, warm, genuine, yet discerning.  Remember, everyone who knocks at the door of your life does not qualify for entry.
  • Friendship – Find at least one friend who will go with you to the wall, and you can speak your heart to.  Then return the favor.
  • Don’t Worry – Give no thought for tomorrow.  Know that God will take care of you.  Read Matthew- 6th Chapter in the Bible.
  • Your Attitude – Learn to accept disappointment like an adult.  Whenever things don’t go your way, move on in search of the rest of your rainbow.
  • On Feeling Less Than…Remember that no one is better than you, and there is always a place for you at the top of the hill, if you feel like climbing.
  • Your Principles – Never put the comfort of others above your own.
  • Your Essence – Give your body “vault” status, and only give the key or the combination to a worthy partner.
  • Your Space – Be careful of who comes near your dwelling waving a banner of affection, or “opportunity.”  Learn to tell the difference between steak and salami.
  • Your Focus – Do what you’re suppose to do without distraction.
  • Your Sensitivity Level – Don’t take everything personally.  A chip on the shoulder projects an air of inferiority.  Put a shield around your heart, and ride with the tide to your personal safety zone.
  • Your Conscience – Be aware that everything you do and say will come back to you.  It’s the law.  Therefore, if you want the best, you must give your best..
  • Fun – Find something you love to do, and do it as often as you can.

Last Year’s Lessons

December 3, 2009

 

            As 2009 eases its way to the end, and 2010 stands ready to burst in, I stand in awe of all that God has done this year.  He has kept Being Single Magazine alive again in the midst of many storms.  We have survived and risen above the expected waves of challenge and disappointment, which is not unusual in the pursuit of a dream.

 Therefore, as I reflect back over the year, I cannot help but measure my life and my growth. Here are some of the lessons I learned…aga

**Each of us has an inner voice that guides us into truth.  Some call it their “first mind, while others call it intuition.  I call it God.  I learned through serious trial and error to pay more attention to that voice, while I strive to not let ego, fear or desire keep me from heeding its wisdom.  If it doesn’t feel right, I don’t go near it.  This includes people, places and things.

            **You must forgive.  I have a friend who is obsessed with being wronged.  He talks about it incessantly, because his heart is so affected by the unfairness of all the acts he perceives that been have perpetuated against him.  Therefore, the larceny in his heart against his “enemies” has taken its toll on him, and it is evident by the misery that accompanies him everywhere he goes.  We are required by God’s law to forgive, and the act itself clears the debris of pain from our souls, and ensures that we will also be forgiven.

            ** Seize The Moment!   I have a tendency to procrastinate and I’ve learned the hard way that tomorrow’s choices aren’t promised.  Therefore, I try to pile as much duty and fun as I can in 24 hours and pray that I get the chance to finish what I didn’t.

            **Leave The Past Behind.   Whatever happens today that I consider less than memorable, I let it go at midnight.   I greet each day as a new beginning with anticipation for new joy and peace.

            **Worry has no value.  I greet each day with anticipation for good and with gratitude.  I believe firmly that I am covered by God’s protection and I relax comfortably in that thought, and He hasn’t failed me yet.

            **To Accept Others As They Are.  I have a friend who is so cheap, that it boggles my mind.   When I focus on it, I don’t wish to be around her, but when I don’t focus on it, I’m able to value her for the good she brings into my life.

            **Always Display Affection—I don’t want anyone close to me to ever wonder if they’re loved or considered special.  I have a beloved friend who does not hang up the phone without saying “love ya now,” and I strive to follow his example before it’s too late.  I also make it an effort to extend warmth to every soul I meet, for you never know when a hug or kind word can swing a heart away from despair.  The story comes to mind of the teenager, who planned to commit suicide one day after school, and the older boy who saw him, sensed his sadness and befriended him.   When he later graduated from high school as the class valedictorian, he shared with the audience how the boy’s gesture saved his life.

            **Never burn a bridge.  You never know whom you may need, or whose pardon you may have to beg.  I’ve learned to close the door on those relationships that needed it, but to never slam it.  The person you cursed out this morning in traffic may be the nurse you need to bring you some water this evening.

             Most importantly, I’ve learned that life is a journey, and it’s important to discover the lesson in the bruises and scrapes you incur that oftentimes are designed to help you grow into the person God intended you to be.

            May this year end in a spectacular finale and the New Year be the best one ever!


Who Will Ride With You?

September 30, 2009

Once I needed $300.00 to pay a bill, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask anyone to loan it to me. When I finally got up the nerve, I asked my “best friend.” She in turn asked me to sign a promissory note with a clause that included 18% interest on the loan. I became offended, and decided to take a pass. Her response also changed her position in my line up of friends. When desperation reared its ugly head, I decided to ask someone of lesser stature on my friendship list. She gave it to me without question and told me to pay it back when I could. I have never forgotten her kindness and I never will. Of course, she automatically moved to the top of my friendship roster.

There can never be enough said about the value of true friendship and the role it plays in the life of a single person. Many are those who openly admit to not having any real friends, and feeling deprived. There are also those who believe they have friends and don’t, while others believe they possess the qualities of a friend and don’t have a clue.

Shirley Harris was a true friend, whom I lost recently after a long illness, and she was definitely in a class by herself. She was non-judgmental, ever-present for the important events in my life, and she guarded all my secrets under the lock and key of her loyalty. She was also my biggest fan. She inspired me to be funny, because I enjoyed hearing her laugh, and her thoughtfulness was legendary. She was also the only friend I could call at anytime of night, who would wake up to either listen to my tale of woe, or partake in my joy.

In life, we learn that friends come in a variety of “packages” and friendship entails so many facets that are hard to define, but are easily recognizable upon discovery. However, if your blinders are on, you’ll miss the evidence of true friendship because of low expectations.

In today’s world, private agendas often dominate our existence as we run back and forth in pursuit of personal fulfillment. Therefore, many of us don’t take time to pursue friendships or learn how to be a true friend, especially when our “love connection” becomes our all and all.

Too often, the term “friend” is used loosely to describe acquaintances or associates as opposed to real relationships or bonds of commitment. In a genuine relationship, your friend cares about you and what’s going on in your life and it’s evident to you and those around you.

There’s the “social buddy” who might be quite willing to join you on your various escapades. Yet, there are certain sides to you that you don’t share. This friendship usually has unspoken limits or boundaries due to a difference in perspective, values and interests. This person will seldom know your secrets, because you’re not certain they could handle the sounds of your heart.

However, with the real friend, you have similar values. You are totally uninhibited with him/her. You utter your flaws and fears without restraint. You trust this person with your weaknesses. You have no fear of vulnerability or judgment, for they are for you and you know it. In this relationship, there are no limits. You can share yourself and be yourself.

Those who have real friends know that being a real friend begins with reaching out unselfishly to be what you would have others be to you. Friends are the true gems here on earth and a great necessity to one’s well being. I personally consider my friends to be my wealth, and the great writer, Emily Dickinson referred to them as her estate. Truth, honesty and love, are the main components of real friendship. It separates the friend from the acquaintance.

As I look out, I see life as a journey and our lives are like a long bus ride. There are those who will get on our bus and ride for awhile, get off and never be seen again. Then there are those who will get on, ride for awhile, get off and get back on again. And lastly, there are those who will get on and ride to the end of the journey. May you be blessed with someone who will always be on the bus with you until the end of the ride.

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