Book Reading and Signing on September 20, 2013

StarbucksFlierTopPlease join us from 4:00 – 6:00P as Local Southern California author, entrepreneur and mother, Renee Carter, reads and signs the second book from her inspirational My World Friends Series. Continue reading

The March on Washington – 50 Years Later

iStock_000011596999XSmallThose of you who know me well, know that I rarely watch TV, unless its sports or game shows with my kids. I particularly don’t watch TV in the afternoon on weekdays. But Wednesday, I found myself in the kitchen baking and turned on CNN.

I was very touched by President Obama’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington… he delivered the speech fifty years to the minute after Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, in the same location on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Pretty cool, right?!

He spoke a lot about courage and encouraged Americans of all colors and faiths to “keep on marching”.  There are many things I could say and quote with regard to the speech that inspired me, but what I will say is that in my opinion it was President Obama’s shining moment… the best and most meaningful and inspiring speech that he’s delivered since he’s been in office.

That night, I felt compelled to turn on CNN again, and caught Anderson Cooper’s (AC360) interview of Dr. Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time.  Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, no matter the color of your skin, or your faith and beliefs, it would have been very hard not to be moved by the interview. If you missed it, you can view it here……..
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/28/web-exclusive-andersons-conversation-with-dr-maya-angelou/

I have loved Maya Angelou since reading her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, many years ago for a college course.  I have subsequently read many of her other books. She is an amazing, inspiring, brilliant woman and I relished in every moment of the interview. I woke-up this morning still thinking about it and briefly fantasized that “if Maya Angelou knew of me and my company’s mission, and understood my hopes, she would genuinely admire and respect me”… I was tickled by the thought and it made me smile!

Much of what Dr. Angelou said during the brilliant interview deeply resonated with me… I submit the following:

When asked about the state of equality, Dr. Angelou said:
“The decision is, I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me.  Until we come to that, we will not have parity, it’s very clear.”

Mr. Cooper then asked, “So you don’t think that has occurred?”
“No. I know it hasn’t and you know it hasn’t and anybody who is listening to you knows that it hasn’t!  People have to develop courage, it is most important of all the virtues.  Without courage you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.  You can be anything erratically, and in front of the microphone, in front of the camera, but to be that thing, in your heart you have to have courage.  We are lacking in courage.  And fear, I’m sorry to say, motivates most of the cruelties in our world.”

Anderson Cooper went on to ask “How does one live with courage?”
Dr. Angelou’s response was “if we never accept any racial pejorative about any other human being, we will develop and gain courage, and each time we do it in small ways, we gain more courage.  No one of us can be free until everybody is free.  Every one of us needs to say to our children “this is your world, stand-up, earn it, make it a better place, this is your world and your time.”

The President’s speech was very compelling.  Dr. Angelou’s interview and statements, as always, rang very true to me.  I’d love to hear what part of Wednesday’s speech and subsequent interviews inspired you and made you smile! What resonated with you and what, if any actions will you take to continue “the march”?

What I know for sure is that “we’re all the same, but we’re all different”, and I personally look forward to celebrating that as a society one day!  Until then, I’ll just keep “marching” down my path… and blogging about it!

Until next week…

Much love,
Renee

Back to School Series, Part 4 – Let’s Talk About Accountability

Doing the dishesAs we inch closer to the first day of school, there is much to be done to prepare our children… school clothes/uniforms, backpacks, and school supplies are some of the standard checklist items.  What about mentally preparing our kids to jump back into the routine?  Are you talking with your kids about your hopes and expectations for them this year?  Accountability is an excellent topic to touch-on.

Definition of Accountability
n.
1. the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

Last week we talked about responsibility, the relative synonym of accountability.  Let’s be sure and understand the difference between the two:

“Accountability” is being answerable to others for your actions, or lack thereof.
“Responsibility” is being liable and dependable when it comes to tasks or actions.

Accountability leads to responsibility. Last week, I used my daughter forgetting to write down her homework assignment, as an example.  I can encourage her to be resourceful in hopes of getting the information she needs, but I will also need to remind her that it’s her responsibility to come home with the assignment.  Further, she needs to understand that the consequences for not getting the information and completing the assignment will be accountability to her teacher the next morning.  What that “accountability” entails is up to the teacher… sitting out of recess to complete the assignment, being given extra math problems, writing down 5 things that she’ll do in the future so it doesn’t happen again, etc.

Essential Questions:
How can we help our children think about accountability before they
take (or don’t take) action?

Being the “A Type” gal that I am, I like lists and charts!  I think a great way to get your children thinking about being accountable for their actions (or non-actions) is to lay it out for them in the simplest format possible and include them in tracking their actions day to day.  The more we talk to them about being accountable and reward them with our time and attention in tracking their progress, the more natural accountability will come to them.  They will also exhibit a great sense of pride in their accomplishments… I call that a “win-win”!

What are some ways that you’ve created a culture of accountability with your kids and in your home?  Do tell!  Let’s keep the dialogue going.  By sharing our thoughts and ideas we can help each other nurture accountability in our young citizens!

Until next time…

Much love,
Renee

Back to School Series, Part 3 – Let’s Talk About Responsibility

iStock_000009781215XSmallAs we prepare to send our children back to school, another excellent conversation to have with them is on Responsibility.

It’s clear that depending on age, responsibilities and our expectations of such will vary. Continue reading

Today is National Middle Child Day!

iStock_000009754631XSmallToday, August 12th, is National Middle Child Day!

One of the characters in the “My World Friends” family is a girl named Sidney.  She has an older sister and a younger brother… she’s stuck in the middle! Continue reading

Back to School Series, Part 2 Let’s Talk About Empathy (2 of 2)

iStock_000003283930XSmallIn last Friday’s post, I began on the topic of Empathy.  Let’s continue the dialouge…

Back in April, I read an article in Forbes magazine titled “8
Ways to Cultivate Empathy in Kids”.
Continue reading

Back to School Series, Part 1 – Let’s Talk About Differences

Back to schoolThe transition back into school can be a tough one for some families. It goes smoothly for some children, while others aren’t fully back into the swing of things for weeks, if not months. Continue reading