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

(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.