The Art of Humanity: Bonafide Artists Know

One would expect that as artists prepare to display their creations in public spaces, they would focus more on how much money they expect to make from their efforts. While that is not a crime, there are artists who are quite naturally oriented to being and doing much more than that.
I speak of special connections and the meshing of like-mindedness which on such occasions send thoughts of financial gratification to the back seat.

Better Than Silver & Gold
Some might ask, “Who goes to participate as a vendor at a festival and leaves the scene giving props to humanity as expressed by people she was meeting for the first time?”
I do, quite unapologetically! As one who strongly believes that the benefits of expressions of humanity take precedence over platinum, gold, silver, diamonds and money; I cannot help but make this observation by expressing appreciation and gratitude to the various humanity-based gestures that the artists I interacted with at this event shared with me and my husband two weekends ago.
(Please note that my original draft read “last weekend”!)

A Giant Embrace of Appreciation
A giant hug and much gratitude is in order to all the wonderful spirits we encountered at the North Meets South Festival! Since it is my suspicion that they did not give of themselves so that they could be publicly heralded, I shall resist the temptation of naming names. I will instead state their affiliation as East End Arts Members, and characterize them in the following manner:

1. Members of the Surprise Welcome Wagon

2. Providers of meaningful conversations

3. Empathizers – God’s Angels at car-loading time

* I will be remiss if I did not include Potential Customers and “Connection-Makers”

When I consider the countless legitimate reasons why we ought not have made it to that event, I cannot help but conclude that when God-sanctioned lessons of life’s experiences await, nothing can stop one from receiving it.

A Message of Hope
These wonderful people I allude to know who they are, and I am most thankful to them for unwittingly underscoring hope that humanity is here to stay. It is my hope that this ‘trend’ of acknowledgement of that which is so easy to overlook, will be ignited in others.

Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.Program Director/Facilitatorwww.mytimehascome.orgwww.Iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org

Art Accompanied by Abundant Humanity at North Meets South Festival

Wearable Art
Special connections and the meshing of like-mindedness at North Meets South Festival
Madona Cole Originals Dignity Headwear
More Special connections!
Madona Cole Originals Business Manager and Supporter-in-Chief…no matter what.
One-of-Kind Wearable and Wall Art
Madona Cole Originals Wearable and Wall Art Display
Wearable Art
Madona Cole Originals at North Meets South Festival

What I Want For Christmas

I think I can say without hesitation that what most people want for Christmas is indeed relevant to what they consider to be of utmost importance to them at the time. By now we know that wishes for “my two front teeth” rather than a toy had to have been of paramount importance to a child who might have been constantly subjected to ridicule, if not bullying – not just by his or her peers, but by adults who might have unwittingly done so by simply commenting on the missing teeth.

It is with this in mind that I take to the keyboard to ask for a rare, most expensive, and elusive gift this Christmas. Someone must be asking by now why would I want to be so demanding, so unreasonable, so unrealistic at a time when most people accept gifts with as much gratitude as they can muster. To clear the air, let me tackle this by saying; as a practicing Christian, I believe that there is no other model of gift-giving that tops the gift of Jesus to the world. I say this with the hope that all other spiritually-minded readers would insert the name of one who in their respective faith-based belief, corresponds to the role Jesus was born to play in this world.

Why?
I can already hear the following questions: “Are Christians not supposed to be humble, strive for righteousness, be considerate and Christlike in their dealings with their fellow men and women?” I would say “yes…and more” to that. “Why then would you be so inconsiderate and demanding?”

I am glad you asked
As I stated above, expressed desire is borne out of a place of great need and when it comes to what it is that I want for Christmas 2018, it is no different. Even though my expectation goes way beyond the beautifully-wrapped gifts that are under the Christmas tree, it is my hope that the benefits of this demanding Christmas gift will flow to the four corners of the earth, with Nassau County, Long Island being the starting point.

If you are planning on giving anyone including me, a Christmas gift, please consider the following package that keeps on giving…way after Christmas.

The gift of love that is kind, gentle, thoughtful, and does not keep scores.

The gift of sensitivity that is innate in all human beings who care to use it.

The gift of kindness that can be so readily consumed when dished out to us with no expectations of reciprocity.

The gift of understanding before we choose to be judgemental of others – a valuable “know before you go” concept;

The gift of acceptance and tolerance of all God’s children – regardless of how they sound, what side of the track they are from, or what cultural attires they put on.

The gift of self-fulfillment that comes with resisting the temptation to use social media as a tool to emotionally, and subliminally bully and reject people we erroneously regard as our rivals.

The gift of a mindset to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”

What is so good about this Christmas gift is that it is not designed to go under a Christmas tree. The contents are most accessible, and once delivered to their destination – our respective minds – they release a consciousness that gives us the ability to share the same with everyone we encounter in a way that makes the world a better place.

This gift is also one that is neither unobtainable by the giver, nor likely to be rejected by the receiver. Why then are our homes, communities, the nation, and the world seemingly in such a turmoil? I beseech each reader to do their very best to delicately handle the challenges thrown at them by people they know, and in some cases, people they love.

Surely, you catch my drift by now.

Please stay in touch and tell me how your gift is manifesting itself in your life and that of the people around you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!

Thanksgiving 2018: Thank You Lord!

We thank you, God, for bringing us this far through a journey of dashed hope to a state of improved health that makes it possible for us to celebrate Thanksgiving 2018 with a different frame from of mind.

We have much to be thankful for…even as we journey through the tunnel of uncertainty in areas of our lives we will fear no evil.

Thank you is in order to everyone who has been obedient to the Spirit and reached out to us. Even though they may not have known why they were led to doing so, they did it anyway. May God bless them richly with like-minded people in their lives!

Pay it forward today and…everyday!

As I thank God for the opportunity to learn new lessons of life on a daily basis, I pray that all who read this will reach out to someone they believe might be in need of a hug today…be it virtual, in person or in their own unique way. Consider this a sign of gratitude to humanity that God will approve of.

Have a Happy and Meaningful Thanksgiving!

The Lessons of Life: Wedding Anniversary Reflections

On this first day of our 15th year together as husband and wife, and 17th year as friends who built our relationship on a firm foundation of respect, I want to shout out to my husband and to the world at large, my elation for having been given the opportunity to have James A. Lacy as a partner-in-growth. OUR 9TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

To my darling husband, I say, “ The Lord above” is at work 14 years after having blessed us with the abundant spirit of mutual love, respect, camaraderie, and satisfaction. Little did I know it would be you, who would personify the Angel that I knew “God had not as yet given birth to” – one that was deserving of, and most capable of reviving a half-way broken spirit, thus causing me to release and share all that was good, kind, gentle, respectful with another; one that would see the importance of dutifully assuming the role of the absolutely exceptional “Dad” you have been to our children who undoubtedly have benefited from interacting with you as an effective male role model.”

Still Smiling and Thankful 2 Years Later

It is an understatement to say that my other half has far exceeded the expectations of my then skeptical self with the manifestation of his understanding of love, legacy and commitment to family. That my parents embraced him as the son they “never birthed”, speaks volumes of this gentle giant who in turn has done nothing short of live up to their expectations.

The Lessons of this Love Affair 

What a wonderful thing it is to be able to be so connected that we effortlessly finish each other’s sentences! This closeness, in addition to the exceptional courage my helpmate exudes in the midst of health challenges each and every day, has made our personal trials and tribulations less about us, and more about what we must do when it is our time and our turn to face the challenges of life with full awareness that “it” does not discriminate, and that “it” will stop at everyone’s doorstep sooner or later.  This is a fact of life which, once embraced, changes perspectives on how we must conduct business in the Lessons of Life Department.

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It is because we both know and appreciate this, that “woe is me” does not exist in our lexicon of life. That we have chosen to use the challenges of our life’s journey to inspire, empower and personify the spirit of gratitude and appreciation, will help keep the “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” flame burning- not just for us, but for others who care to adopt this mindset.

I also dedicate this to other couples who are experiencing their share of adversity, and, again, here share the following tips that we developed for “When Adversity Strikes”:

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The Valens Award Experience

As one who has been known to say “Thank You, but not now”, I feel obligated to express my innermost thoughts on the reason why it was so easy to say “yes, we accept” when nominated for the Valens Award by Excellence-in-Success. My initial response was that it will be “a necessary boost to the Spirit!” which we needed in order to take a break from our “new normal” of almost daily doctor’s appointments and seemingly endless paperwork. That, though, would have been too empty and self-serving; so it quickly turned into a mission to advocate for love, camaraderie, and hope for all, including an important component….to give others a reason to show up and be relevant even in the midst of challenges that often force them into hibernation from the public. We believe we serve humanity no purpose when we as a people create this type of scenario that causes those experiencing setbacks in their life to protect themselves from the sometimes unempathetic dissociation that comes about in times like these. Who can blame anyone for protecting themselves from man-made additional stress while they have bigger fish to fry?

The Valens Award presented to me and my husband as a couple who “demonstrate unconditional commitment to each other” is one that we fully and wholeheartedly accepted last Saturday at the Brentwood Country Club; knowing that this gesture would be an opportunity to further our resolve to live a purposeful life to the best of our abilities, and to inspire others to keep this flame burning.E5B2A337-25FF-4AE4-BE62-56DB30394DE2 We thank Mr. & Mrs. Leslie Lambert for this opportunity.

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Mr. & Mrs. James Lacy

 

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With Mrs. Alicia Figueras-Lambert

Our guests whom we regard as our extended family members joined our immediate family members to show their spirit of commitment and support to us at a moment’s notice.

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        Family Love

We acknowledge the loving support of Rev. Dr. & Mrs. Edward Corley who were represented by their son and daughter-in-law. Our gratitude goes out in large measure to the following people who were in attendance: Miss Madona Branch, Mr. Hugh Lacy, Dr. Roxane Lacy, Ms. Zellin Lowe, Ms. Letoria Haughton, Mr. & Mrs. James Daniels, Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Taylor, Mr. & Mrs Edward D. Corley, Mr. & Mrs. Clyde James, Dr. & Mrs. Leroy Monroe and Ms. Florence Whitfield.

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Extended Family Love Ruled!

Along with the excitement of being the recipients of the Valens Award, we at the same time, wondered why we should be honored for doing what we were mandated to do when we took our vows in 2004…to love, honor and fully embrace each other in “good times and in bad”. Once we arrived on the scene, we were able to experience the benefits of being in a room full of like-minded couples who had inspirational stories – each with their own unique twists to their experiences.

We were delighted to be in the same league of a fine group of couples whose devotion to one another indeed deserved the radiant spotlight of the Excellence-in-Success Valens Award.

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Some fellow honorees and their guests even took time out to minister to us. How wonderful that was! We thank them for allowing the spirit of love to move them in this way. We are honored to have participated in such an inspiration-filled evening— with stories from all angles of life experiences as proud couples shared their own unique stories about their relationships at the podium, and through their turning point statements read by Alicia Figueras-Lambert as she introduced them.

Below is the turning point statement of our relationship.

How We Do It

James and Madona demonstrate resilience in their relationship through their capacity for weathering adversity and maintaining normalcy in their navigation of James’ serious health challenge over the past three years –demonstrating the true essence of partnership “in sickness and in health”. The couple regards this turning point in their collective lives, as one for strengthening an already tight bond of love, devotion, mutual support, respect and partnership in all arenas of their life; driven by the sentiments reflected in a Valentines tribute composed in February 2016 and recorded by James in 2017 entitled “Be My Valentine” by James Lacy (https://youtu.be/EdG-GFvYAYo)

When Adversity Strikes…Pay the Lessons of Your Experiences Forward with Love!

It is our hope that people will begin to see they are not irrelevant and useless when the sideshows of life strike.  On that score, we will now share in love a few tips of what has worked for us as a couple navigating such sideshows. Please click on link for PDF copy.

   When Adversity Strikes: by Madona Cole-Lacy & James A. Lacy

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Honoring 1LT James Lacy and all Military Veterans on Veteran’s Day 2017

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I salute you on this Veteran’s day for the diligence with which you served your country within the environs of the DMZ in Korea.
Your exemplary service record speaks for itself! I am so proud of you!

“Thank you for your service!”
As America exclaims, “Thank you for your service!” to my husband, and all other veterans who have sacrificed their lives in many ways; it is my hope that a much more user-friendly system can be put in place to navigate veterans’ life-after-service issues. While appreciative of all that is currently in place to aid veterans on this journey, I cannot overlook a consensus that suggests veterans feel set up to literally die proving they do indeed qualify for benefits which may or may not include identifying ways to connect victims to serious diseases that are deemed “presumptive” by the VA. It is time to go through the VA’s report card with a fine-tooth comb for ideas on how the offerings that are now in place can be more accessible to the beneficiaries for whom they were intended.
I volunteer to be a part of the solution! How about you?