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!

Sarah of Capital One Bank Adds to the Excitement!

When on August 3rd, I announced, “Our Celebration of Life Together Continues”, in my thank you message to all our thoughtful friends who had acknowledged our anniversary celebration, I had no preconceived notion of what form the celebration would take. I just knew that my husband and I were committed to celebrating our union on an ongoing basis – come hell or high water. Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone who has since extended sentiments and love to us. We thank you, for placing a smile on our faces as your contribution to our ongoing celebration.

When a delivery from 1-800FLOWERS.com was made a few days later, we were alerted to the reality that we might have to make room for other unexpected contributors to this celebration. As if this mystery package was not enough of a spirit booster, it was the elation that ensued when we set eyes upon the contents that stepped up the experience to the level of a rather successful attempt to minister to us.

This was not just a move to send us flowers to help us celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Sarah of Capital One Bank, who according to the accompanying note, I must have connected with recently, had chosen to mark our anniversary with a bouquet of our most favorite flower – purple dendrobium orchid that is symbolic of royalty, admiration, and respect.

As Sarah addressed my banking needs over the phone, it was obvious that she did so with a passion to serve her Capital One clients, and that she had paid attention to my every word and made a decision to reach out to me and my husband in this surprising and exciting way. In case you are wondering, ‘No,’ I did not discuss my love for orchids with her….and ‘Yes’, my husband and I happen to be a couple that does NOT believe in coincidences!

As we extend our gratitude to Sarah (of Capital One Bank), We want to acknowledge the spirit of humanity that Capital One Bank promotes in its workplace. For our suspicion is that in the absence of a culture that significantly touches the lives of their clients, Sarah might have experienced a roadblock when she planned to embrace us in such a sweet way.

As a couple who strives to awaken the spirit of humanity in all areas of our life, we fully appreciate this and say a big Thank You to Sarah and Capital One Bank for touching our lives in this special way.

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As can be seen from the pictures below, this special connection which gave us the opportunity to quickly get into gear for an impromptu photo shoot – with selfies and all – was properly savored.  A moment we know was initiated by love, compassion and appreciation for humankind that will surely outlast the flowers even as they receive the tender and loving care that they deserve from a place of prominence in our showroom!

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Related Post

The Lessons of Life: Wedding Anniversary Reflections

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Long Island Teaching Artist and Students Connect the Dots of Multiculturalism and Inclusion with a Coat of Many Cultures™

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Bellport High School Coat of Many Cultures

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Creating Art to Make the World a Better Place
http://www.mytimehascome.org

 

 

I would like to share a press release and related pictures of an artistic expression which was designed and assembled in collaboration with students of Bellport High School through My Time Has Come Program.

The Coat of Many Cultures™ is a personal development artistic statement that is designed to reflect multicultural pride, self-esteem, respect and appreciation for self and others, and also to, celebrate the common thread that runs through the fabric of mankind – as experienced by all participants.

It is my hope that you will find a way to use the narrative that the Bellport High School Students I worked with have expressed through this Coat of Many Cultures™ to stimulate dialogue around cultural pride/identity and the visual arts through your network.

My Time Has Come Program offers youth and adults The Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop as one way art and culture can be used as a confidence-building tool that fosters and celebrates multiculturalism, heightens awareness of diversity and promotes inclusion.

While this work of art is scheduled for permanent installation at the Bellport High School in the month of July, 2018, you are welcome to view and or photograph it at my showroom in North Bellmore. I may be reached through e-mail or my cell if you have any questions about the Coat of Many Cultures™ or My Time Has Come Program.

Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.

Artist/Designer/Program Facilitator

My Time Has Come

http://www.mytimehascome.org

http://www.iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Madona Cole-Lacy
My Time Has Come
516) 965-3242
madona@mytimehascome.org
Long Island Teaching Artist and Students Connect the Dots of Multiculturalism and Inclusion with a Coat of Many Cultures™
(Bellmore, New York, March 28, 2018) Madona Cole-Lacy, Long Island Teaching Artist and Creative Director of My Time Has Come Program has collaborated with students of Bellport High School to create a Coat of Many Cultures™ that embraces and celebrates cultural heritage through art. The Bellport Coat of Many Cultures™ – a work of art funded by The South Country Education Foundation – will be on permanent display at the Bellport High School following installation in July 2018.

The giant Coat of Many Cultures™ depicts creative ways students have incorporated various aspects of their cultural identities in a series of theme-based textile designing and print-making workshops at the school. With a focus on heightening the students’ sense of pride, belonging and accomplishment, Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy, motivated students to connect with their roots to create panels of original art inspired by their cultural heritage and countries of origin. These panels and elements of the artist’s own cultural heritage and her original textile art have formed the foundation of the work of art for students from Mrs. Barbara Gallagher’s art class and Mrs. Monica Tetuan’s ESL class in the residency.

The Coat of Many Cultures™ which is currently at the Artist’s showroom in Bellmore, New York, is scheduled for permanent installation at the Bellport High School in July 2018.
“What is so exciting about designing a Coat of Many Cultures™ is my encounter with participants who have never given thought to the role art and culture play in their lives. To see them delve into the task at hand once they ‘get it’ is simply priceless! Another element of excitement for me is brought on by the anticipation of what each coat will look like. The enthusiasm and resulting work of my workshop participants determine the nature of the end product. It is an ongoing visual, emotional and cultural response to what they offer me that makes the creative expression authentic and satisfying.” -Madona Cole-Lacy-

For further details on the Coat of Many Cultures or how My Time Has Come creatively engages students, parents, teachers and community, visit the website: http://www.mytimehascome.org or contact Madona Cole-Lacy: (516) 965-3242 madona@mytimehascome.org

Bellport High School Contact: Mrs. Barbara Gallagher BGallagher9@southcountry.org

About Madona Cole-Lacy
Mrs. Cole-Lacy is a Teaching Artist registered with Eastern Suffolk and Nassau BOCES. She was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, to parents who were instrumental in giving her a broad educational experience by making it possible for her to study art and design in both England and the United States. Madona Cole-Lacy takes full advantage of her multi-cultural and professional teaching experiences and skills gained from working with youth and adults in schools, colleges and communities to passionately motivate, educate and inspire her workshop participants as she acquaints them with a variety of art-making techniques.

Through My Time Has Come Program Madona Cole-Lacy uses “art, culture and education as a vehicle with which society can develop and maintain self-esteem, as well as, cultivate racial/ethnic and generational tolerance.”

“Our goal is to foster a sense of belonging, accomplishments and pride for all participants.” – Madona Cole-Lacy-
My Time Has Come is the second “dot” of creativity in Madona Cole-Lacy’s quest to take ART and CREATIVITY beyond the confines of the studio to impact life in a number of positive ways through her concept “I Connect the Dots of Creativity”. Please visit: http://www.iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org for more on this philosophy.

Download press release  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Creating Art to Make the World a Better Place 

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www.mytimehascome.org
Mrs. Cole-Lacy with the Bellport High School Coat of Many Cultures™ in her showroom. Coat is set for permanent display at the school.

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Mrs. Cole-Lacy at work on Coat of Many Cultures™

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Madona Cole-Lacy, attired in her cultural garb, the Krio Kabaslot acquaints students with the Coat of Many Cultures Project

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Print-making demonstration during My Time Has Come Coat of Many Cultures Residency at Bellport High School

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Art Teacher, Mrs. Gallagher, and Artist, Mrs. Cole-Lacy, entertain questions from students during demonstration of hand-stamping process

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www.mytimehascome.org
Bellport Students preparing stamps for print-making on Irish Linen fabric
www.mytimehascome.org
MTHC Program Workshop Facilitator works with student on panel for Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop

1. Mrs. Cole-Lacy with the Bellport High School Coat of Many Cultures™ in her showroom. Coat is set for permanent display at the school.

2. Mrs. Cole-Lacy at work on Coat of Many Cultures™

3. Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy, dressed in her cultural attire, the Krio Kabaslot, acquaints students with the Coat of Many Cultures™ Project

4. Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy demonstrates hand-stamping techniques at My Time Has Come Coat of Many Cultures™ Residency at Bellport High School

5. Art Teacher, Mrs. Gallagher, and Artist, Mrs. Cole-Lacy, entertain questions from students during demonstration of hand-stamping process at Bellport High School

6. MTHC Program Workshop Facilitator works with student on panel for Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop

7. Bellport HS students preparing stamps for print-making on Irish Linen fabric

CONTACT:
Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.                                                                                       

My Time Has Come      (516) 965-3242
madona@mytimehascome.org      http://www.mytimehascome.org

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?

Celebrating Samuel: Happy Birthday

IMG_20171103_231459As I continue to enjoy the excitement brought on by so many who reached out to me on my birthday yesterday, I must pause for a moment today, to celebrate the 26th Birthday of my son, Samuel Rotimi. I thank God for bringing him thus far, and pray that as he holds on to the reigns of young adult life, he will abundantly showered with the resources and determination he would need to realize the blessings of success.  As an equal opportunity nurturer, I cannot just stop here without offering a few ‘mommy tips’ which I doubt will come to Samuel as a surprise.

Here goes!

 

Dear Samuel,

Congratulations on your 26th birthday!  26, is regarded as an age of adulthood by some, while others regard it as the age of young adulthood.  I regard you at 26, as a young man whose ideals border on adulthood – one who has determined what he wants life to look like for him. Nevertheless, these Mommy tips are in order just in case you should you need them:

          Commitment

  1. The most exciting and responsible aspect of commitment is realizing that we must work, and work hard for whatever it is that we want that badly. Something tells me this might be redundant for it appears as though you might have internalized this memo which I see manifested in the way you conduct business.                                                                                                                           Working With Others
  2. The ability to be a team player will go a long way in our professional aspirations. The key to navigating this successfully starts with self-discipline and pre-determination of where we are to draw the line. Team players do not follow or endorse blindly! They band together to add substance and value.                                                                                                                                                                                             Self-Preservation
  3. That people will take advantage of a “kind and giving spirit” is an age old fact of life. While it is not advisable to stop being kind and giving, it is necessary for us to be discerning and be prepared to say ‘no, not now’ when we find ourselves giving to the point of operating on empty.

Here are some precious mommy moments that warm my heart.

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Dad and I wish you all the best in all that you may wish for yourself. Remember, the door is always open to you for consultation!

love,

Mom

Parents as Positive Influencers of Their Children From Infancy Through Adulthood!

Three years ago, my father passed away as I held his hand and told him how much it meant to me to have had a father like him. It seems like yesterday as my husband Jim, and his exceptionally compassionate physician, Dr. Hawthorne, who to date, proudly speaks of the reciprocal role Papa played as a mentor to him, rendered their support.

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I feel compelled to mark this day with the brief letter below to the man of few but effective and wise words that I call “Papa”:

Dear Papa:

Three years ago, you took your last breath as I held your hand and seized the moment to send you off with a tear-filled tribute only deserving of the likes of you. Your legacy will forever live on if I have anything to do with it. I thank you for showing by example that it is indeed possible for one to successfully interact with people of differing points of view and orientations to achieve a common goal that speaks to the preservation of humanity.

Thank you, “Mr. Activity Cole”, for giving me something to think about with regards to  your resolve to uphold the true spirit of Fourah Bay College’s motto: Non Sibi Sed Allis  (“Not for themselves, but for others”)— through your service to others.  You know it is not easy, but if you did it, so can I.

It is a wonderful thing to daily recall moments of your caring and engaging fatherly spirit. I thank God for the gift of a father such as you.

Rest in Perfect Peace, Papa.

Your Daughter,

Madona Catherine

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