Honor Your Father and Your Mother: Something to Think About

“Honor your Father and your Mother…..”

These words for the wise are quite sufficient. Or are they? It depends on who you pole. For me, it is a resounding ‘yes’. I thank my parents for inculcating in me, a sense of respect and for modeling just how that was to be used in my lifelong interactions with them, my grand-mother and great-grandfather.

In the company of three people I will forever honor.

The awareness of how my behavior impacts them and their legacy will forever be on default mode for me!

Mama and Papa – Mr. & Mrs. C. R. A. Cole
I could not have wished for a more committed Dad to partner with me in addressing the needs of my children.
How I miss your ever-present wisdom Papa!

In recognition of Father’s Day 2019, I respectfully salute all fathers and father figures who do their very best to have a positive impact on the lives of children – theirs or someone else’s. Thank you for a job well done. In case the fruit of your labor is not as yet that evident to the naked eyes, do not be discouraged, for the time will come when they will acknowledge the seeds of honor you have sown. I extend these sentiments to all mothers and all parent figures too!

Telling It Like It Is
Another perspective that begs for examination places the onus solely on the children. In today’s society, some mothers and fathers have unwittingly placed their children between a rock and a hard place as they play mind games with these unsuspecting and “needy” young people. This is found most often in contentious relationships between parents who are engaged in what I term, “DDPD -dangerous distant parenting dynamics” – one which does not necessarily imply physical distance.

This dynamic inevitably pits a child against one parent for the disgustingly sick sense of gratification or revenge of the other parent, while the children are left operating “on empty” when it comes to the integrity side of life.

Questions to Ponder

1. How then can these children develop an appreciation for the targeted parents when they have fallen prey to the antics of their own flesh and blood?

2. How do they pass on the Honor Barton to their own children if they decide to take the risk of bringing children of their own into this world after all this?

My Humble Advice…to children of all mothers and fathers who are indeed deserving of honor:

1. Hold on to your God-given pure sense of integrity – the sense of right or wrong that you displayed when you had no idea of how flattering parental manipulation could be.

2. Be your authentic selves – see your parents for who they are as individuals – pray for them and wish them well.

3. Do not get caught up in being used to inflict one parent’s vandeta on the other. Their flaws are not yours to fix or to bandage, neither are their subliminal or not-so-subliminal narratives yours to promote.

4. Remember that parents/adults are not infallible. They make mistakes too. If it does not sound or feel right, do not engage. Don’t allow yourself to be used in this way even if you think you are in control of how and what you do.

Honor your Father and your Mother..and while you are at it, honor yourself too. This is an order with implications that are pretty loaded.

Folks, it is time to pray most fervently — regardless of whether we are guilty as charged or not. Our time has come to consciously contribute to making this world a much more pleasant place for us and generations to come.

This is my take. What’s yours?

As I sign off, I would like to give credit to Dr. Lizette Wright-Polk for the Facebook post below which inspired me to write this blog post.

Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.
Program Director/Facilitator
http://www.mytimehascome.org

My Dot-Connecting Mission
http://www.Iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org

And the Two Shall Be One: Celebrating A Brave and Courageous Soul on My Birthday

 

It was a few weeks ago on October 14th that I was afforded the privilege of marking one more year with my husband and soulmate, James A. Lacy.  The celebration and acknowledgement of his birthday took on a new form for me this year!
It was not about how early in the day I could get a social media posting going to alert friends about his birthday. No, that was not on the agenda this year. Besides, I know of at least one portal that generates birthday alerts that gives well-wishers the opportunity to acknowledge birthdays. Some did make good use of that to express birthday sentiments, and I thank them for that. Others celebrated him by sending him text messages, making phone calls, and in the old-fashioned way- – -by being physically present and taking charge of what turned out to be a rather meaningful and unique surprise informal gathering which underscored a variety of themes aimed at celebrating and sincerely acknowledging his sweet spirit from a close vantage point.
It is not surprising that the celebration did not end on the day of his birthday as more extended family members have since stopped by to show him some love!

My heartfelt gratitude goes to all who contributed to making Birthday 2017 ever so exciting for him.

 

As I mark my own birthday in the hospital waiting room today, with much anticipation of the answers to questions that have cropped up of late, I cannot think of a better way to spend my time than to write this open letter for all to understand what my husband means to me.  I hope by doing this, more people would open up and subscribe to a culture that accommodates the celebration of humankind in a grand way – as the default modus operandi – be it in celebration of the spouse, the offspring, the neighbor, the boss or Joe Blow! Here goes!

Love, respect and reciprocity engender credit for the role our partners play in empowering us. I invite you to share your story.

My dearest Darling Jim:

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In addition to being grateful for “One More Year”, my position with regards to celebrating you is one which takes the form of daily in-the-moment meaningful interactions that bear as much significance as the birthday milestone itself. Giving credit where credit is due, I thank God for using Rev. Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Lacy to manifest his handiwork in the form of the kind, gentle, courageous and selfless human being that I know you to be. As I celebrate you, I thank God for blessing me with a partner of such courage, resilience, stamina, caliber, and integrity, …and for heeding to my prayer that if there was ever to be a second time around, it was going to have to be with a man (an earthly Angel) who possessed the qualities you possess, my darling.

Making Lemonade

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Even though you have- – – along with me- – -subscribed to a real life demonstration of what happens when we ask for what we want—knowing that once we play our own part, our wishes do stand the chance of coming true—I cannot in good conscience embrace this “ask-do-believe concept”, without doing the same for our resolve to navigate to the best of our abilities, the unwelcome guests that come in the form of serious health challenges we are currently navigating. Your propensity for grace to precede all – – -while under fire- – -is second to none! You have effectively subscribed to a new definition of what it means to gracefully navigate life-altering challenges. I thank you for making it so much easier for me to keep my composure and focus on the important lessons of our journey. I am proud to say that you and I are card-carrying members of a breed that embraces emotional and spiritual growth in the midst of life’s calamities and its resulting side shows as its status quo. How wonderful!

Come Hell or High Water!

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You know what is so special about our partnership? It is the unwavering awareness of our role on this earth – our unshakable raison d’être that brings and maintains meaning to our collective lives. Thank you for being the perfect “accomplice” to a mindset which effortlessly dictates that even as we go through our own trials and tribulations, if we could “help somebody along the way”, our “living shall not be in vain”!

You are truly a Class Act…and a Half!

I will continue to smile for you, knowing that you are right for me, and I am right for you, my darling…in sickness and in health! You are the best birthday gift I can wish for today! I suspect Mama, Samuel and Madona understand why they have to play second fiddle at this time. 🙂

Your Love,

Madona

 

 

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Thankfulness Knows No Boundaries

I am ever so thankful for the ability to give and receive thanks every waking moment of the day! While I will be the first to admit that I have found it impossible to get individual “thank you” notes out as expeditiously as I would love to, it is my hope that sharing my thoughts on thankfulness on this forum would clear any doubts and answer some questions. I thank God on a daily basis for the unfathomable blessings that come my way. These blessings, which come in many forms, include the gift of altruism, patience, and the opportunity to teach and learn brought on by the following people in my life:

My Husband                                                 

I thank my husband for the pillar of support and devoted helpmate he has been to me in a way that has not only taken our relationship to higher heights, but has created a strong foundation of support for my children and parents. I thank him for his unconditional commitment to a union in which the two have undoubtedly become one.

My Children

I thank my children for taking time out to demonstrate that they hear me loudly and clearly, even as they journey through young adulthood into the portals of adulthood where I expect they will freely give and graciously receive in a manner that is way beyond that which has been modeled for them.

My Parents

I thank my parents for a whole lot, and particularly, for the firm foundation they laid for me so many moons ago. It is that invaluable resource that I pull from to navigate the rigors of life today. I thank them in ways that only those who belong to that special ‘Adult Children Society’ can understand and appreciate!

My Siblings

My siblings – how can I not thank them for the position of prominence they have and will forever hold in my life! I thank them for doing their best to understand and appreciate the ‘who that I am’ and for affording me the opportunity to have a go at reciprocating. Family relationship dynamic is priceless, for, it is still a truism that blood is thicker than water, even though water plays an important role in our lives.

My Worldwide Family                           

I am indeed thankful for the various ways the people I encounter in all facets of my life’s journey choose to connect with all or some of what can sometimes appear to be a ‘complex personality’, and I will not give up this wonderfully unique relationship for all the diamonds in Sierra Leone. I find this sometimes complicated relationship to be one that is absolutely necessary for me to grow and flourish. The good news is this: The covert and occasionally overt unhealthy vibes I receive from some members of this important family are just as valuable and appreciated as the manifestation of kindness, gentleness, and generosity exhibited by others.

I am thankful for the lessons taught by those who have the ability to be empathetic, among other virtues. I thank them for the assurance that as I strive to be the best that I can be, I will not be frivolously judged and denigrated par chance I fail to “dot my I’s and cross my T’s“. This, virtue quite naturally, comes from the willingness to easily recall and empathetically connect with situations when the shoe was on the other foot.img_4774What a relief to know that human beings, no matter what their individual agendas, can recognize how valuable they are to one another once they are able to identify the role they are destined to play in the lives of others! This is all the more reason why I am thankful to everyone for being their authentic selves in their dealings with me – be it directly or indirectly!

Thank You, Again.

What are you truly thankful for? Please take a moment to share.

School and Community Collaborate to Empower Children

The Christian Cultural Center’s Cultural Arts Academy Charter School – a charter school of the arts- hosted a homecoming event at their Brooklyn location recently.  What was so special about that event was an element that served to raise awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship for those who pursue the arts – especially for children at the primary school level. 

The event coordinator, Mrs. Joy Spruill, a Fine Arts graduate herself, who gained first hand experience on how difficult it is for creative people to successfully follow their bliss through entrepreneurship, was right on target with this vision.  “Far too many African Americans lack the knowledge or financial soundness to even consider this as an option. It is my intention to surround our students with familiar faces that have accomplished the challenge of owning their own business. It is my hope that through exposure that entrepreneurship will no longer seem so foreign to our scholars.” Mrs. Spruill said of the motivation behind this event.

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Worthy of note and a great delight, is the fact that a kindergarten vendor participated as a seller of lemonade – which not surprisingly – sold out before long. “She exemplified one who demonstrated to her peers, that regardless of age, one can acquire an understanding and an interest at all different levels that can lead to a successful experience.” Mrs. Spruill added.

I was quite flattered when asked to participate as the featured vendor of an event that would serve to plant the seeds of entrepreneurship in the minds of our children. Kudos to Principal Laurie Midgette for working with Mrs. Spruill to bring this vision alive!  It was a delight to be able to engage in meaningful conversations that were initiated by these young and curious minds. I was told that I had been selected as a featured artist/ entrepreneur, not only because of my “beautiful works of art” but because of my “willingness to give back to causes such as the arts, cancer, children, etc.”

“Character development is one of the main missions of our school. Thank you, Madona Cole Lacy for your example of good character.” -Joy Spruill-

It is fitting for me to end by saying it was indeed a pleasure to execute my duty as a “Good Villager” and join the church, school, home and community as a whole, to creatively empower our future leaders. The Cultural Arts Academy Charter School can count on me to collaborate with their creatively supportive spirit in the future. The warm embrace I received from Principal Midgette, Mrs. Spruill and her husband Ron Spruill, and others I encountered, will forever remain with me, and serve as a catalyst that adds to fueling the connection of the dots of my creativity! 

I believe that much encouragement should be given to community-generated initiatives aimed at encouraging self-sufficiency that can be realized by practitioners of the arts. This is a start to acquainting our children with the many elements that make for successful entrepreneurship.

 What innovative ways to embrace and steer young minds toward success have you entertained or implemented? Please share.madona-cole-lacy-2

This lovely display by the Joy Spruill team of an almost life-like photo and bio was as humbling as it was amazing! My husband,  James Lacy, and I extend our gratitude to everyone who made this a special experience for us.

connecting-the-dots-for-exh

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Our Children: 내가 당신에게 너무 madona 사랑 naega dangsin-ege neomu madona salang

It is Countdown time to yet another Mother’s Day experience for me! With all the hard work she put in to earn herself a final semester GPA of 4.0, my daughter deserves to be lauded publicly. It is with great anticipation and excitement that I look forward to commencement day! I want to apologize ahead of time to other proud parents and relatives for blocking their view, in the event that I experience difficulty staying seated when my daughter, Madona Ayorinde, walks across the Wellesley College Stage to receive her Diploma on Friday.

I find that celebrating my chilCelebrating a Daughter2dren’s growth and accomplishments on a regular basis serves to strenghten our bond and keeps a much needed line of communication open as I play my Mommy Role as their unofficial whether-you-want-to-hear-it-or-not Consultant on the lessons of life. This is even more exciting and meaningful as a team effort, with full participation of my husband.

In spite of her demanding schedule as she prepared for the ending of her final year, she was able to take the time to reach out to me and her grandmother in a very special way.

내가 당신에게 너무 madona 사랑
I love you too, Madona.

The Journey Has Just Begun – There Is Time For You To Get On Board

Yesterday, I responded to news of a husband and wife murder-suicide and 4 innocent surviving child victims in a community where I have lived for over 20 years.

I woke up this morning to find that the North Bellmore School District had taken the lead with a public statement on how they intend to support the true victims of this seemingly senseless and selfish act that has disrupted the lives of their students. This got me thinking about ways the community can honor and embrace these children.

As updates begin to unfold the ‘facts’ of the ‘case’, there is an outpouring of sentiments expressed by community members. One such person, Laurie, commented, “there are indeed no words or donations that can help these kids”. Even as I subscribe to this thinking too, I believe there must be something else a community can do alongside other initiatives earmarked for the children that could bring about a meaningful change. Recognizing that this travesty can happen in any community around the world, I feel compelled to write this version of my post to the Bell more Patch, to address those outside the confines of the North Bellmore community.

What comes to mind in terms of a meaningful change would require us to change our way of thinking. As a community, we must do our very best to operate in the “brother’s/sister’s keeper” mode. We must resolve to refrain from turning a blind eye to dysfunctional behavior and seek help …even for our neighbors.
We are indeed our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. This, of course, will call for us to be honest with ourselves and take the proverbial moat out of our own eyes first. I cannot at the moment think of a better way to work towards ensuring that horrific happenings such as this one become a thing of the past. It is a given that education, is a necessary tool in this process. People need to know what to do, where to go, and how things work in general.
Please feel free to offer your ideas on how we can go about developing and maintaining a mentally and emotionally sound community in the name of 4 children who have some challenging times ahead…no matter what.