Seeking warmer climate

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, it was in the 70’s. This week it’s in the low 20’s on some days. It’s a good thing they changed global warming to climate change. Fact of the matter is the climate is always changing and the weather experts are not in charge of the weather, God is.
I’m not a cold weather person. I only like to look at snow for about a day or two and then I’m ready for it to be gone. I feel like I’m suffocating if I have to put on too many clothes to keep warm. I don’t like wearing heavy coats, scarves and hats. I also don’t like being cold so you see that puts me in a pickle when the temperature dips.

You will find me snug and warm inside by the fireplace when not working during extremely cold weather.  Our fur baby is not too keen on the cold either. She gets under the covers to get warm and loves to lie on the couch in the living room near the fireplace. In fact, she will stay there until the fire finally dies out, long after we’ve gone to bed.
David was home with her for awhile after his company closed and before starting a new job and she got too used to it. Roxie doesn’t like change. When things went back to normal, she acted a little depressed, moping around after he left for work.
Like me, I’m sure she’ll be glad when warmer weather arrives so we can get back on the walking trail. I just can’t do it when it’s so cold. If my feet ever get cold, I’m done for because it takes forever for me to thaw out.
The cold is a good thing though, like it or not. Peach trees need a certain number of cold hours and they should definitely get enough this year. It also helps to kill the mosquitoes and other pesky insects.
With extreme cold weather comes health hazards like frostbite, seasonal affective disorder and even an increased risk of heart attacks. However, cold weather also burns calories which is always a good thing in my book.
It can also bring you closer to your sweethearts as you snuggle up to keep warm. Some scientists say it reduces inflammation. That’s the reason you put ice on a sprain. We also don’t have to deal with pollen in the winter.
While it seems more people are sick during the winter time, colds and flu are not caused by the cold weather but once contracted, both are happier in the cold weather. They are caused by viral infections which are caught from other people. During winter, we tend to stay indoors in a smaller space so if we are around more people in closer quarters, chances of catching something is greater.
Personally, I’m into essential oils and have found they do work in helping ward off colds and other sickness if you use them in time. I also use them in a diffuser next to my bed at night to help me sleep better. My hubby always gets a bad cold at the end of the year but did not this year and I attribute that to my use of essential oils. Plus if he says he feels like he’s getting sick, we start upping the vitamin C and if congestion starts in your chest, I start making mullein tea. It seems to knock out the congestion right away. At least that’s been my experience but please remember I’m not a doctor, though I would like to study holistic medicine further.
I do not understand why they urge people to get flu shots and then say it is ineffective on this year’s strain of flu. I do understand there are different strains and they just guess which one will be prevalent when they are working on the vaccine. To that point, I guess it would make sense.
I never take the shot, as the only time I did take it, I had a really bad case of the flu and have not had it since that time. I am opposed to some of the ingredients in the shot as well as having the powers that be push it on me. You can’t go to the doctor without them asking you about taking it and now even the drug stores are pushing it as well.
They usually contain mercury, which is a heavy metal that is hazardous to humans. It can not only cause memory loss, digestive imbalances, respiratory problems but also cardiovascular diseases. Some evidence suggests the flu shots are responsible for some cases of Alzheimer’s disease. The shots can be more dangerous than the flu in some cases. Of course, it’s an individual choice and I choose not to get one. There is a reason dentists no longer use mercury fillings.
I do not trust the CDC or any other agency to tell me I should take a vaccine. They have a financial interest in immunizations just as Big Pharma has an interest in seeing that you take various pills continuously.
We should take our health seriously and know what we are taking and if there is a better way we should seek that way.  Seems to me they should spend more money of educating the public on how to avoid getting the flu than pushing flu shots. But that’s just me.
And if I pay for insurance, I feel I should be able to decide if I want to go to an alternative doctor or a regular doctor. But, unfortunately, we are not allowed that choice. As long as Big Pharma is in control, that will never be a choice. It’s something that should be changed. Not buying into the bull they tell us is a start. ©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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New year, new attitude

Here we are on the third day of 2018! Doesn’t really seem possible but it’s the truth. Personally, I’m full of hope and anticipation for a year full of God’s blessings.
Take the lessons learned from the previous year, move forward and forget the rest.
As the year ended, I was asked to officiate a wedding. I didn’t know the couple but time spent on the phone in conversation and then in person counseling gave me what I needed to know and that yes, they were indeed in love. It’s my desire to personalize my ceremonies and always ask God to guide me, so I needed to know some things about each of them.  I also counsel with them before marrying them.
It is sometimes hard to counsel older couples, as at our age, we tend to think we know everything and there are no new tricks to learn. That is so not true, because you should always be learning. If not, then you have become stagnant. That means you cease to move, cease to develop, become inactive or dull. None of which is a good thing.
Sometimes we have become stagnant and don’t even realize it. Becoming stagnant means you start to decay. So growing and continuing to learn is a way to avoid stagnation.
One area in particular we allow to stagnate is our relationships. We allow negative people, fake people and complaining people to bring us down which leads to stagnation in the relationship. One of my goals this year is less drama. With a lot of prayer, I have come a long way in this area. God has removed many of the people who are all about the “drama”. Some of those people were drowning in drama and if you continue hanging with them on a regular basis, you will end up drowning with them.
Unnecessary drama brings stress and other ailments into your life. Something none of us need. I don’t believe there is a way to totally eliminate all drama because sooner or later, we all have an encounter with someone who is overly dramatic. But, we can lesson that exposure to toxic people in our lives but it takes work.
Recently, someone who called themself a “friend” deleted me from Facebook. Usually our first reaction is to feel hurt because it is like a rejection. This time my first reaction was to be glad because that meant, no more of the drama from her. So, no hurt feelings. Just a praise dance! It’s all in how you look at it and I have been working on looking at things differently.
You see sometimes we attract that drama because of our reactions to toxic people or we can even create it ourselves. So, I’m focusing on my reactions. Life is way too short to let the little things become big things.
We all need encouragement and positive, upbeat people in our lives. So, this year I will be spending more time in those relationships that are that way and provide laughter, calmness, happiness and help me grow in my relationship with the Lord.
Poor communication can cause drama as well so I am trying to be more direct and open. If something comes up and I develop an issue with someone, I try to go straight to them and talk it out. It’s not easy and not everyone appreciates such directness, but I feel much better afterward. Participating in drama, just feeds it, so nipping it in the bud is an accomplishment and helps prevent stagnation.
To overcome any stagnate areas in your life, you first have to identify them. Social media and our cell phones attribute to stagnation because they keep us from doing other things and from remaining in motion. You need to unchain yourself from both which in today’s society is easier said than done. Start out with small doses of doing without and work up to longer times. It can be accomplished. Determine to remain in motion.
Being grateful for life and realizing how short it is helps keep me grounded and to overcome stagnation. Helping someone else in need or just offering a word of encouragement to someone who is down, also helps. If we focus on other people, we are not focusing on ourselves.
Trying new things and re-examining and establishing your dreams are enemies of stagnation.
Knowing that everyone has a point in their life where they feel stagnate or that they are in a rut, also helps because you realize you are not alone and that it is normal.
Get off the couch, put your phone down and unplug if you don’t want to stagnate. Up your prayer life. Have a conversation with God about everything in your life. He cares about the little things as well as the big things. Determine every day to be grateful and to keep moving forward. Tell God that’s what you want to do and He will help you accomplish that feat.
So as we are now in the new year, is it time for you to adjust your attitude? Ring in the new attitude of encouragement, hope and peace. Get your attitude right by putting God first. Get rid of those things which drag you down and the negative thinking. You’ll be much happier when you do. Blessings to you each this year.©2018

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister, copy writer/editor and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lessons from the manger

Most nativity scenes we see around our communities, are incorrect, not only because they depict wise men but mainly because they are always neat and pure looking. We want to depict it as heavenly. That way we can keep God at a distance. We don’t want to imagine anything at all like a real manger the night Jesus was born. It wasn’t comfortable, clean, warm or brightly lit and you certainly couldn’t describe it as heavenly.
Not the birthing place most mothers envision. A manger is a place where they feed animals. Shepherds often took shelter out in the fields, in a stable, usually a cave which would keep off the rain and wind. But they didn’t live there and their wives didn’t give birth in such places, even though shepherds were treated as outcasts because they were poorest of the poor.
Jesus was not born in a manger because there was no room in the inn. Every detail of Jesus birth had been planned. Even the manger.
A manger is cold; a damp cold that chills you right to your bones. Probably made of stone. The only heat would be from the body heat of the animals when they came in to feed and when they breathed.
Not only is it cold, but a manger is dark, but most of all a manger is just dirty. Full of mud, manure, dust and cobwebs and it smells like must and mold. As the animals eat the feed they slobber and drool. In the summer there are flies and other insects so there is no such thing as a clean or even hygienic manger. Fact of the matter is Jesus was born in a place that was cold, dark and dirty.
When we realize the truth of a manger, we might ask why then would our savior be born in such a place. Really, every time Jesus comes into our lives, He is born in a manger because the human heart is much like the manger before Christ, cold, dark and dirty. We only become clean when Jesus comes into our hearts with forgiveness, mercy and grace.
So what can we learn from the manger?
1. We learn Christ’s humanity – the angel said “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. A baby, a human. He came into the world just as each of us do. He had been a fetus, sleeping in his mother’s womb. He had two eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys and a spleen. Yes, His conception was a miracle but His physical birth was normal as it could be given the circumstances.
Christ being born as a baby brings us face to face with the truth of the incarnation. He was fully and truly God but took on true humanity when He was conceived in Mary’s womb and born in Bethlehem. He was not half God and half man, but fully God and fully man. God entered human history in order to provide for our salvation. What we could not do, He did for us through His son. If He had not been born, He could not have died for our sins nor risen from the dead. He had to become like us in order to save us. So God chose to send Him as a baby.
2. A baby is helpless when they are first born. From the manger we learn about His helplessness – being wrapped in swaddling cloths. When Jesus was born, newborn babies were wrapped in strips of cloth to protect them from the harsh elements. Usually mothers would wrap the arms and legs separately, then wrap the torso until the baby looked something like an Egyptian mummy. As a mother, this seems a little cruel. There was very little medical care then and babies routinely died before their first birthday so the mothers were doing all they knew to do to provide protection for their child.
His being bound in swaddling clothes, reminds us when years later, He would stand before the Jewish authorities, bound and guarded as if He were a common criminal. It is no coincidence that He entered the world as He left it – bound and helpless.
He was bound that we might be set free. But Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity.
3. We learn about His humility – Lying in a manger. We can’t really fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. I have already emphasized how cold, dark and dirty the manger was. But is there perhaps a hint of His upcoming death to be found here. I think so. Even in the feeding trough, He was bearing the only cross a baby can bear – extreme poverty and the contempt and indifference of mankind.
There was nothing superhuman about Him. If you and I had been there we would not have taken notice of it, just concluded this was a baby born to a poor young couple down on their luck.
Not a very likely beginning for a movement that would change the world. But because He was born in a manger, He was humble and accessible. When He died He was buried in a borrowed grave, a cave similar to the one where He was born. He was always accessible. Had He been born in a castle He would have been an exclusive savior. But the manger birth made Him savior to everyone.
Part of Christmas involves giving gifts. Big gifts often come in small packages. Jesus, coming as a baby, would be considered a small package. Looking at the birth of Jesus, God went to great lengths to make sure this gift to the world looked small. But the gift of this small baby made a big point: God is capable of more than we can imagine and can make the best out of any situation.
A small gift can become a big gift because of its meaning; because of a need and because it’s free.
A small gift, does not mean a cheap gift, as it cost Christ everything.
We are all invited to the manger.

So what will you bring to the manger. The circle around it is wide, infinite. Will you bring riches, your glad, full and joyous hearts like the shepherds? Will you take your brokenness, or sadness, your failures and let Jesus hold them in His hands? The circle around the manger is where sins are forgiven and life starts over again. But what if you have none of this to bring? You can simply come as you are. You can worship. From the manger we can take the message of God’s love to all whose hearts need to know the message that will crack their sinful hearts. God accepts everyone from a shepherd to a wise man and He doesn’t care about our merits or achievements. He doesn’t need our help, but He does want our heart. Won’t you come to the manger? (NOTE: Condensed from a God-given sermon with same title I delivered a couple of years ago.)©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Rethinking celebrations

Whether we think we are ready for Christmas or not, the day for celebration of Christ’s birth is upon us. Doesn’t seem possible this year is almost gone but the calendar blatantly shows it is.
Christmas is so much different in today’s world than it was when I was a child. Usually the way we celebrate is based on our upbringing and how we celebrated as children and the influences of others around us and their celebrations.
In our home, we got one big item we wanted usually and we anticipated getting that item all year. We may have gotten a few other presents, not very many though, usually things like clothes that we needed. But there was no mass amount of presents under the tree.
Our grandparents could not afford to give us presents and while we enjoyed celebrating at their homes, it was not about the presents. Usually, it was about the food, especially Bigmama’s chocolate pie and coconut cake. There were rare moments some years when I would get called aside and given something, a memento or something small, and would be told not to tell the other grandkids as there just wasn’t enough money to buy everyone something. I’m sure they did the same thing to the others from time to time. But I never felt bad about not getting a present from my grandparents. I understood their limitations in the financial department and Christmas then was not about presents.
Because money was tight growing up, once I started working and had children of my own, I admit I would go overboard at times, as if it was making up for me not having very much at Christmas. Even in the lean times, I was able to get things for my children as God always provided. You can never make up for those things you experienced in your life and eventually God gave me that revelation. Besides, it wasn’t my children who went through the experience, it was me.
Over the years I have tried to cut back, vowing I wouldn’t overdo it, but some years I still find myself picking up presents when I see something I think someone would like. For me, it has been about giving, not receiving. I get joy from giving people presents, especially, if it’s something I know they will like or want.
But this year is different. I have definitely cut back. It’s not about the presents under the tree, never was, never will be either. It’s the celebration of Christ’s birth and we’ve made is into something that was never meant. I’m sure it breaks God’s heart.
These days if we want something, we go and buy it, we don’t wait until Christmas. Kids get things bought throughout the year and we live in an age of wish lists for birthdays at stores which have actually taken the fun out of giving even birthday presents. It’s about things and getting exactly what you want, not what someone goes and picks out for you. To me, that takes away from the present being special. As I said, we live in a different era. Not necessarily a better one either.
But with all of that, why should we be so extravagant at Christmas? Getting so much all the time, makes us less appreciative. I ask myself what are we teaching our children when we over indulge with presents. Let’s go back to it being simpler and take away the stress that some people experience and let’s make it about what Christ’s birth means for us. Let’s make it about the people in our lives and sharing the miracle of Christ’s birth and the impact it has on our lives. Let’s, as our pastor said Sunday, experience that joy every day.
Doing so, doesn’t mean you can’t decorate or buy presents, it just means scaling down and letting the real reason for the season be front and center. We shouldn’t let commercialism drive our Christmas celebrations. We’ve shifted our focus from the babe lying a manager wrapped in swaddling clothes, to a storefront window or a store website with designer clothes and toys wrapped in bright paper, which will be discarded with newer toys sooner than you can imagine.
Tell me, seriously, what does a decorated tree, mistletoe, decorations, Santa and reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus? He was born in a lowly manger surrounded by animals. There was nothing extravagant about it. We don’t even know for sure when He was born.
What would Jesus think of our celebrations? He would be appalled and want us to be helping others instead of spending extravagantly. He might even think we are worshiping the beautifully decorated tree and the idea of Christmas and that we place too much pride in our traditions. He certainly wouldn’t care about what gift we bought for different people. He would want to know have we fed His sheep and have we shown love to others; do we keep His commandments and have we shared the gospel and the plan of salvation with others.
It’s time we rethink our Christmas celebrations. Let’s focus more on Christ’s presence, not the presents under the tree. Let’s love one another and tell those who don’t know Christ, about Him and His plan of salvation. That’s my plan for this year and I hope you will pray about yours.©2017

 

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Invest in yourself, shop locally

We all can get behind the premise of shopping local and how it impacts our economy. We may even say we do, but when it comes right down to it, do you really?
We are seeing mom and pop stores close almost every day and even the large chains are feeling the impact of people not actually shopping in the stores. We don’t realize how detrimental that is to our local economy.
$68 of every 100 spent in your community, stays in your community. Zero goes to your community when you buy something on line.
While we can complain that we don’t want to get in the crowds or contend with the hassle of going into a store, we will turn around and complain when we can no longer go into that store.
The internet has become detrimental to our communities, especially the local businesses. These businesses provide jobs and they help the owners send their children to school. Local businesses impact the local economy and when there are no businesses left, there will be no sales tax to help the local economy.
If you really do your homework, many times, on-line deals, once you pay for shipping and handling, don’t turn out to be such great deals. Besides hadn’t you rather pay a little more to help keep someone employed locally?
My youngest daughter manages a retail store. She is always telling me about people who come in to try things on and then say they will buy it on-line because it may be $5 less. These people don’t realize that the store has overhead — rent, utilities and employees. These employees put money back into the economy when they spend their hard earned money locally.
Our thinking has gotten warped on this matter. It may be easier, and at times it is cheaper to shop on line, but is it really worth contributing to the death of local businesses? I don’t think so and we need to wake up before it’s too late.
When you shop local, the community’s living economy stays healthy and strong. Shopping locally says you want your community to stay unique. Shopping locally doesn’t mean that you totally forget the outside world, but that you are nurturing your locally owned businesses and keeping control in your community.
Money re-circulates when you purchase locally and helps grow other businesses.
Here are ten good reasons to buy locally.
1. Significantly more money re-circulates because the money is kept in the community where you live and play, and where your children attend school. Local businesses often purchase from other local businesses such as service providers, farms, etc so buying locally helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base.
2. Non-profits receive greater support. Local businesses are invested in their communities and they help support the schools and other non-profit organizations like Katie Jones’ projects — Kids Yule Love & Baskets of Love.
3. Unique businesses are an integral part of our community’s distinctive character and buying locally helps attract more businesses and keep that hometown feeling.
4. Environmental impact is reduced. Local businesses make more local purchases requiring less transportation which means we have less congestion, habitat loss, resource depletion and pollution than the larger businesses.
5. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses.
6. Customer service is often better, or at least it should be. Local businesses often invest in their employees.
7. Local business owners invest in our community. They are owned by people who live in this community; are less likely to leave; and are more invested in the community’s future.
8. Put your taxes to good use. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investments, add more to the tax base and make more efficient use of public services.
9. Competition and diversity leads to more consumer choices. More small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and lower prices over the long-term but unless people make local purchases, there will be no new businesses added.
10. A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their local businesses.
When you purchase locally, you are also investing in yourself. You are giving back to your community and your sales tax money helps your government entities with various projects. When you purchase on-line, you are not helping anyone other than the place you made a purchase.
All in all, it just makes good sense to buy as much locally as possible. Think about it every time you make a purchase. Are you hurting or helpings your community with your purchases. Shop local. That means subscribe to your local paper as well!!©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Cultivate gratitude

With all that’s happening in the world today, we need to be counting our blessings more and more. We tend to hide our heads in the sand when it comes to recognizing the suffering around us or those who don’t even have a roof over their head or the bare necessities.
If we really knew those numbers, we would hopefully, hang our heads in shame. We can try and dismiss it by saying they brought their situation on themselves because of bad choices. That is not always the case. We shouldn’t make those assumptions because unless you have walked in someone’s shoes, there is no way you could really know.
If we knew some of the stories of their lives, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to judge. It may be true that some homeless people did make bad choices which brought on their dire circumstances, but that’s not really for us to decide. That doesn’t change the fact that they need help or that they are human beings who deserve to eat or a coat to keep warm in the cold.
If only we would take our eyes off ourselves and really see the people around us. Many are hurting or going through things, which we will never know about. They need an encouraging word and a hug. Sometimes they just need a listening ear. Even those people you assume are doing just fine, may not be doing as good as you think.
We’ve gotten to the point that all many want to do is complain when things are going their way. Instead of complaining, they need to be thankful for what they do have and that they are breathing.
We’ve lost our sense of gratitude in the search of wanting more and more. This has spilled over into our children which is evident by those who no longer say thank you or appreciate gifts as they should. Thankfulness is an attitude, one which is contagious. Being thankful aligns our hearts with what our Creator wants. Praise should always be on our lips as long as we are living.
We should be thankful not only for the good things like our health or a happy marriage or the obvious things but for the small things which can seem insignificant to us. Things like the smell of a flower, the earth after a rain, blue skies, a child’s smile, a friend’s love and prayers that we don’t even know are are being prayed for us. Thankfulness:
• allows us to be content in our situations. It frees us from unrealistic expectations.
• brings us joy when we express that gratitude to our Creator who provides everything we need.
• reminds us that God is at work in our lives.
• spreads over to others.
• overcomes a complaining heart.
• reminds us of how much we really do have in our lives.
• changes our attitude.
• opens our hearts to the needs of others.
• as an attitude has been shown to help people live longer, sleep better and be more productive.
• attracts others to you.
• improves your mood and makes you feel better.
We should all practice focusing on what is right in our lives instead of what is wrong. This year, my youngest daughter posted something she was thankful for every day of the year, not just during the month of November. It’s something we should try ourselves. She took me saying we should be thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving to heart. Posting something you are thankful for 365 days makes you really think about your life.
If you ever get into the complaint mode, it’s hard to get out of it, but practicing thankfulness consciously, helps you overcome that mode. Try it for at least 21 days and you’ll see a difference. They say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit so we should strive to make thankfulness a habit.
Even in the middle of a storm, find something for which you can be thankful. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude frees us from bitterness envy and jealously. Thankfulness is always in season.
If it is hard for you at first, sit down and make a list. Post that list where you can see it every day. Add to it from time to time.
Always, always be thankful. Be thankful for your home, hot water, air conditioning and heat, for our country, those who choose to serve. Be thankful you have a job, food on the table or that you can walk. Be thankful you can hear birds singing. Even be thankful for those hard lessons you learn in life. Be thankful to the local businesses and those in the community who work tirelessly and unselfishly for the betterment of the whole.
Be thankful we live in a free country and that we can still worship freely. Be thankful people step up to the plate when needed for the benefit of others. Be thankful that you can be thankful. Cultivate the attitude, that no matter what you will give thanks. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Hope you and yours had a very blessed Thanksgiving.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron

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What happened to integrity?

There seems to be no limit to the insanity that is going on in our world today. I read something every day that makes me shake my head in disbelief.
A realtor was recently called to list a house. The owners had already left and were doing the business by email and/or text. When the realtor went to the house, she discovered the owners had left behind their beautiful German shepherd. Really? What is wrong with people. My animals are like family, even our chickens. It’s like leaving one of your children behind and believe it or not, I’ve read where that happened as well.
In some places it’s the political season and some politicians seem to have lost their minds as well. I don’t handle mud-slinging very well. I don’t understand why a candidate goes crazy because someone is challenging them. Those with integrity don’t mud-sling and I respect them immensely. A little competition is good and should keep you humble but that doesn’t seem to be the case in many cases. Politicians who have been in an elected position like to use the word “experienced” in their campaigns. While I know you should at least attend meetings and pay attention and have some kind of good sense, this is not like an engineering job and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist. Experienced to me, usually means you’ve been in office too long. No one should make a seat on a council or elsewhere a lifetime position. You need new ideas at times and someone to question decisions, etc.
Maybe I’m missing something here but people who have no political background at all, get elected to council, county, state and national seats all the time and most of them do a good job.
Taking up signs of the opposition is just childish, as it slashing the signs as someone did to Becky Smith’s in Roberta. How old are we anyway?
I’ve refrained from making any kind of public comments on social media a lot better and as much as possible. Don’t need the drama and the correct thing to do is approach the person personally to have a discussion. Social media is not the place for such discussions of disagreements. Can’t we all be adults and do the right thing?
I was reminded that what I feel is the right thing, someone else might not. True, but having integrity in each situations and chewing over your words carefully before uttering them, as well as filtering them through God’s word, goes a long way. God doesn’t like ugly and I remind myself of this all the time when I want to respond negatively. He is the only one I have to answer to and that fact matters to me and helps me keep myself in check most of the time. Hey, we all slip once in a while!!
Politics can certainly bring out the worst in folks. Brings out true colors and if I was going to vote for someone, as soon as they begin mudslinging, I rethink that decision. I do not want someone representing me who would do that to another person. To me, it’s unethical and downright mean- spirited. Is winning a seat on council or a commission really that important? There is enough tearing down of people in our world and we need to be encouraging people and uplifting them, not trying to tear them down. If you need to resort to mudslinging to help you win a campaign, I wonder if your heart is in the right place or what is your true motive for being in office. I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way.
It’s time we stop pointing fingers at others and look around our own door. There is an old Indian saying that goes, “Don’t judge (criticize) someone unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” We live in such a fast-paced world that is quick to criticize and judge, we haven’t forgotten to think about others and what they may have gone through.
We pass people every day on the street, but I wonder, are we really seeing them? Even the ones you might stop and talk with, are you really listening to what they have to say? Most of the time we are quick to make assumptions about people that we don’t even know. One thing I have learned over the years, is that you certainly cannot always judge a book by its cover. We need to apply that premise to people we want to judge or criticize.
Even people we think are so put together may not be as they appear. We can all put on a good front and put on our game face when in reality we are dying inside. Life’s challenges confront us all. Many people courageously carry a burden while also carrying on with life. There is no way we can know whether the person seated next to us has shoes lined in velvet or nails. More importantly, we don’t need to know. Did you get that, WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW!
Being compassionate and accepting can change the course of an encounter with another person. We should always offer a smile and be polite and when possible, offer a kind word. It will come back to you in ways you don’t expect.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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