Archives for category: integrity

Ethics. Having been encouraged to memorize this definition, I decided to share it with you today. And I’m not quite sure why I have not shared it sooner. It was one of the first messages from my former mentor that resonated with me.

“Ethics is primarily the process of bringing out the implications of the choices we make, and of harmonizing these choices one with another.” ~Bob Nielsen

Process: Let’s break down the definition. First of all, it is a process. Processes take time. They require diligence.

Purpose: The purpose of ethics is to bring out the implications of the choices we make. Our choices have consequences. Do we have enough forethought to recognize or determine what might affect others with those decisions?

Conclusion: A result of ethics is that our choices include others’ ideas and mesh with them so they create an agreement.

Not everyone thinks like I do. In conversation and daily occurrences, I take into account what others say and attempt to understand, thereby aiming to create peace and oneness. It takes practice and resolve to create harmony with others. Practicing ethics isn’t easy, but worth the effort.

Are you practicing ethics today?

Joy,
Cheryl

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As we ready ourselves for the upcoming fall semester, I thought I’d share some writing hacks for English Composition courses that use the MLA format of documentation styles.

These six hacks were put together mostly because a former student thought it was cool when I mentioned one of the techniques for lengthening a paper was a writing hack.

Students like the word, hack. So here goes:

6 Writing Hacks for Freshman Composition

1. Setting your Default Font and Size to Times New Roman, 12 pt takes up more room than the current default Calibri 11 pt. Times New Roman, size 12 simply takes up more space.

2. Using an MLA format takes up space on the very first page. Type: Student name ENTER; Professor name ENTER; Course Number ENG 101-1019 ENTER; Due Date written in Military Style 22 October 2017 ENTER; Set up the Title of the paper (Centered) ENTER. That’s five (5) lines already if you’ve Double-spaced your page.

3. Take up more real estate by introducing the quoted material you want to use by first 1) Summarize it, 2) add the quote, and 3) Discuss what the quote means for your paper in a couple of sentences. Be sure to use the correct in-text citation or parenthetical reference to avoid plagiarism.

4. Use a blocked quote of 40+ words for a longer quote to analyze in your paper. Be sure to use Hack #3. Don’t go over 50 words. Your analysis of the quote should be twice as long as the quoted material. Since these are limited in a paper, be sure to find something that needs a longer explanation for your paper.

5. Use the Ellipse to take out text in a quote you don’t want to use to keep your blocked quote to a minimum. Use the Hard Bracket when you do […]. The hard brackets indicate that this is Super Imposed Content and was not originally in the text you are quoting. When you see this sic in a text, understand this word means Super Imposed Content, not something that’s trying to psych you out. You can also use the hard brackets to make a sentence make sense. Ex: [S]he aspires to find the truth.

6. Add a bit of background information in your introduction paragraph to include information your reader might need to understand where your stance is coming from. It’s not a History or Biography, ever – unless, of course, you are writing a biography or history overview.

I hope these help add length to your college papers. Perhaps you can share these with a student you know.

Joy,

Cheryl

Accountability_wordle
Accountability.

Today’s Virtue is Accountability. For any challenge or self-improvement one undertakes, it is best to be held accountable to stay on track. Yesterday’s first post for my Gratitude Challenge: Using the Virtues started with Acceptance. When we are held accountable, we achieve much more than we expected. It forces us to drum up our essence, the excellence within, that we might pay less attention to when we think no one is watching. Many challenges I’ve participated in require a partner to ensure my goals are met. Much of the time, the community built around the challenges provide an equal push. I am grateful for all who share the same path during the challenges, especially the accountability partners. To ensure actions are completed, each of us must admit whether or not we have done the work. No fudging the truth; sometimes I must explain my actions, or lack of action during the challenges.

Each of us is accountable for what we do in life – it’s one of the more strict virtues in the list. It suggests that we are weak and tend to shirk responsibility. Ouch. I’ll admit to having let a goal or two dissolve during my lifetime. I don’t always fill the shoes I intend to fill. This blog might be one of them. Sometimes we can justify it by calling it choice. When I choose to write, I will. Or I might say that I need some inspiration to write. Well, where does that inspiration come from? It depends on what I want to achieve. What about setting goals to lose weight or write that book? It might be difficult to be inspired to live out a dream.

I am reminded of a poem by Langston Hughes, called “Harlem.” The first line asks the very question many of us ask, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Because this line is so famous, most people think the title should match. Without a community built around the same goals, we end up in the same place we started – with a dream without action.

For major goals in life, seeking out someone to partner with is extremely helpful. I’ve gone through some strict detoxes over the past couple of years. Without others who inspire me to make sure I’m drinking my green smoothie or walking 10,000 steps each day, the tasks seem too hard to accomplish on my own. A cheerleader on my side is a blessing. I feel stronger than ever to maintain my convictions for healthy living.

Does this mean that we cannot be accountable on our own? No. Not at all. Sometimes the goal is enough. Many people are certain that as long as we know why we want to achieve some major change, we will do it based on a strong will and determination. Thank goodness, perseverance is instilled in all of us at birth. We have heard about the many who have achieved great things. We are no different.

I am thankful to find the wonderful people in my networks who help me to be my best even when I don’t feel up to it. Be accountable; practice making it a habit. Find an accountability partner to ensure you meet your goals. In return, be an accountability partner who helps another achieve a goal.

Joy,
Cheryl

We are responsible for our own lives. Each of us must recognize what has worked for us in the past, what has not worked, and make new decisions based on that knowledge for the next move.

We have all made mistakes.

We must determine if we are present in life or absent from it. If we are present, we continue to move forward understanding ourselves and how we react to good and not good times in life and are able to understand what we can correct as far as our behaviors those things we do that hinder our progress. If we are absent from our lives, events will continue to happen to us and should be no surprise that we have no control.

Which is better? To be an agent and act in such a way that we make our lives happen for us the best we can, or shall we allow the world and circumstance to toss us about like a boat with no anchor?

Joan Didion’s essay “On Self-Respect” can serve as a reminder to accept our own failures and make them our own. Maturity does not come as we hit benchmarks in age, only when we can make peace with our failures and shortcomings. The honor society that Joan hoped to join did not allow her a second chance because she messed up. It was her own responsibility to perform in such a way that would gain her the recognition she thought she deserved. Her aim for the essay is to help us see the errors we make as just another happening or occurrence in life, to help us understand that we control some of those unfavorable outcomes. We may not live up to the expectations that are either placed on us by others or the expectations we place on ourselves. Those mistakes, regardless of the matter, are our own. At this time we move on. We will carry the memory of our errors, but we must not live there. We keep pressing forward. We respect ourselves for what we did or did not do. Nielsen used to say to me, “The choice you made, either good or not good, was the right choice for you at that time.” We own our choices and move forward, not stopping to dwell in the past.

We do not stop living after a mistake. We do not need to stop trying to be the best we can be due to past errors. We do not stop striving for excellence.

Setbacks are setbacks.

A future will happen. Will you be awake and present for it, or will you be absent? It is your choice.

Joy,

Cheryl

#choice

No. You don’t have time.  (3 of 3)

Not too long ago I was riding in the car with a friend who impatiently tried to nudge the car ahead of her when the traffic light had just changed and proclaimed, “Hey, the light’s not getting any greener. What are you waiting for?”
Similarly, Incubus lyrics suggest we are waiting for “A Certain Shade of Green.”

My last two posts have been about change and discuss what may be holding us back. I’d like to take a few moments to focus on what a dear friend said to me recently, when in passing I impressed upon her that I had time to do something I wanted in life. She pulled me aside. Having lost her husband of 50 years, Ilse made herself perfectly clear. “No. You don’t have time” was her response. Within seconds I’d realized the magnitude of her statement. She’s right. None of us have time. She thought she’d have the rest of her life with her loving husband. Unfortunately, life isn’t a sure thing for any of us. Now is the time to do the thing we hanker to do. “Now, now, now. . .” I can almost hear the opening scene to Shakespeare’s Richard III. Obviously, the context is different; nonetheless, he began to take action for the changes he wanted make. I do not suggest we pine for greed or power. But what about that trip to Europe you’ve been wanting to take? How about that new business? Taking care of those pesky, extra few pounds? The thing you desire most that you’ve been putting off for one reason or another.

Sound familiar? We all go through it. The desire to be or do that thing just outside our reach. What are you waiting for? Certainly, you’re not waiting for permission. We talked about that last time. Are you waiting to be thin enough or have money enough or be good enough? Nonsense. You ought to do what you desire. You’ll find a way. Don’t provide excuses, more reasons to remain in your burning desires. Plan the steps it will take to bring on that trip, that new job or business, a slimmer you.

I understand changes aren’t easy. The reality is, some changes take a while to come to fruition; but even so, those steps will help you feel better as you move through your days knowing you’re on your way to having what you want. You might even become healthier performing the steps because you’ll move in the right direction toward your goals. Imagine the relief of paying off a credit card and saving for that trip. What a load off! Tiny steps to get over the mountain. In the meantime, follow the old cliche and take time to stop to smell the roses. This life is your journey. It’s all yours. Plan it as if you would your vacation. Remember though, there are no guarantees. The upside is while you aim for your goals, happiness seems to catch up to you prior to reaching those heights. No action keeps you where you are: self loathing and sitting with fears that you might not succeed.

Lucille Ball once said, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done in life than regret the things I didn’t do.”

We ought to live on the edge of something we are about to create than repeat the same patterns to exhaustion.

I used to study ant behavior. One of the changes I like to do is to mix up my daily drive. Taking a different route helps to eliminate the etched trails we create on our roadways. Imagine what aliens, if they exist, would notice about our patterns. They’re not very creative. I’d surmise they’d think we have no purpose or clue what else to do. Of course the concept is silly; however, it makes sense to make changes and live the life we are meant to live. Funny, my auto-correct just changed my statement to: Live the life we are meant to love. I think I like that better. Love your life. If you don’t, determine what needs to change and take small steps to arrive at your place. Your “Ithaca.”

Here is a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy that may help you realize your journey.

Ithaca

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.
Constantine P. Cavafy

Carpe diem! Seize the day!

Joy,
Cheryl

(1 of 3) Speaking of change. . .

This post will come as three parts:
Speaking of Change,
Don’t Wait for Permission, and
No. You Don’t Have Time.

Mt. Shasta

I’ve delayed in writing this particular posting as I have been deep in the midst of my own change. Typically, I like to throw myself into changes just to see how they work out. Get Your Wisdom On blog is one of the fairly recent changes to my scope of work. Writing this particular post hasn’t come as easily as I hoped, so I took some time to contemplate the reasons it’s taken more mustering than usual.

If you have ever embarked on a part of your journey that you’ve no comparison, it might seem that the path is difficult to navigate. I speak of a change that’s so foreign, you wonder why you should even attempt it. Ha, I suppose that’s the beauty of the new thing. Many of us have moved out of neighborhood or stepped away from a job that had become what seems like part us. If done often enough, that type of move can become banal and not worth the time spent thinking about it; we just do it. I don’t mean to demean this type of move, though. Changes like these can be complicated, as you take into consideration many aspects. You may ask yourself if your decision is the best one or not.
*Let me say:
The best decision is the one that is good for you right now.

You’ll know soon enough for sure; then you may make additional changes to make it fit your life.

Let’s get back to the choice you may make that will change everything you know and embark on an epic journey, the one you have never had an inkling of experience. We will never know our futures, nor will we ever be secure in our choice to make the plunge. What I mean is simply that the future isn’t certain. The road we’re on feels comfortable to us only because it’s familiar. Familiarity isn’t safe. If it’s a job change, we think because it pays a certain salary each week, it’ll be waiting for us forever. I’m going to play havoc with that belief system. Many people over the years have thought that job security exists. It doesn’t. Companies change. Those who run companies change their minds about how that company is run. You’re most often the chess piece used for the sport of making that company money. Yes, I know you’re loyal and you feel they’ll be as well. One can never really tell. My suggestion is to follow your dream.

If you plan to do anything in your life, realize that change is inevitable. And it is neither good or not good. It’s change.

What helps is to understand change and the fears that come with it. One of the keys is to embrace change no matter what.

Before you learned to drive a car, snow board, earn a degree, or anything new, you didn’t know how it would change you. Your choice enabled you to feel freedom, pleasure, or accomplished. Good things came from your change, but you didn’t know that at the time. You struggled through the beginnings of it. You might even had fears such as running off the road, falling over a snowy cliff, or failing miserably. But as you worked further, you found that you gained confidence. A lack of confidence keeps us from something we wish to attain through change. Exploring your fears helps to identify what holds you back from entering the door before you.
Do you think you’ll lose friends if you change? Do you think you’ll miss out on something else if you change? If you become successful at the new thing, who do you think you’ll hurt?

Think about this: change happens all around us each day. Most of these we accept without much thought. Technological changes are the norm. We expect the latest gadget to become obsolete within the next few months. Other changes are not so commonplace. In the US, the health care system is changing. In this instance, some of us will embrace it while others will resist.

What about changes we decide for our own lives?
Do we or should we resist our own desires if we feel the slightest fear of the unknown? Surely we’ve gone through other changes; and today we look back at what now seems trivial. We say, “Of course it can be done. I did it.”
How about how others will see us as we change? Do we often feel like we should ask for permission?

Read my next post entitled. Don’t Wait for Permission.