Love and Respect and Pope Francis

“Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understanding as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

St. Francis of Assisi (Prayer attributed to St. Francis)

Today there a few leaders on our planet who I admire greatly. Although I have NO religious affiliation to the Catholic Church, I deeply respect and am thankful that Pope Francis was chosen the head of the Catholic Church at this time. As it turns out, Pope Francis was chosen as pope on my own mother’s birthday, March 13, 2013. There have been many firsts this pope fulfilled even before he said a word as pope:
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope and the first Francis ever, and took his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi of Italy. He is the first pope born outside of Europe since 741 AD and came from the Southern Hemisphere and the Americas. Before he became pope, he was a cardinal in Argentina.

So far, Pope Francis’ time as leader of the Catholic Church has shown the whole world who he is in action: he acts with humility and supports of the world’s poor and marginalized people of ALL FAITHS, and he has been involved actively in areas of political diplomacy and environmental advocacy; he has supported the GBLT community. For me, he is an example of the best of our humanity.

In mid March this year, through the pope, his American representative, Bishop Paul Tighe showed up at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX where, the bishop spoke about how the pope and his message is becoming active in Social media around the planet. This is from a 3/19/17 show from

This is an active way that Pope Francis puts out the message of the power of LOVE.

What does the present pope have to do with ME loving and respecting myself? I don’t know about you, but having a human being on the planet who acts as Pope Francis does, gives me hope. He inspires ME to do the next RIGHT thing and be the BEST of myself, not the most petty and selfish, self. I need a good role model who speaks about love and lives from that place. I don’t have to be Catholic to look up to him. I can follow him on TWITTER and feel better each day! Finally today, writing this blog I became a follower of Pope Francis on 4/9/17. It is NOT necessary for me to retweet everything he says, nor believe everything he says, but the spirit of what he says can live through me particularly since I do believe in a higher source in my life, and the Pope’s words help and remind me to be KINDER and more LOVING, more RESPECTFUL towards everyone. Those are VIBES that THIS Planet needs, and I need to be putting out in the world towards MYSELF and others. Thank you, Pope Francis, for showing me in action how I can be more loving and respectful of myself and everyone.

Let me wear my heart on my sleeve and care about myself and others. Sometimes, I can NOT watch or listen to every horrific thing happening on this planet, but I can send LOVE to those who are suffering and dying without having to know all of the gruesome details about what is happening. I can use this Pope Francis’s actions as a way to emulate how to be in the world and be a happier, more respectful, more loving me! And I can seek solace in Pope Francis’ tweets and know that I am not ALONE in thinking this way, and that there are MILLIONS of other world citizens who feel the same or similar to me.

I leave you with this beautiful song by Garth Brooks: “We Shall Be Free”, which was written after the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1992.


Mind My/Your Own Business

“Mind your own business” does not mean I don’t care about others. I do. For me it is not a way of avoiding getting involved with people, and “mind your own business” is a way for me not to be so focused on others. I have had the propensity to pay more attention to other people’s lives than my own. I’ve spent much of my life focused on other’s needs and sometimes forgotten my own. Also I used to,  way too often, get into other people’s business when I was not asked for advice.

mail boxes

Other people’s mail boxes

I wouldn’t get into other people’s mail boxes, but as a “helper” type of person, I had the audacity to think that I could get into other’s business. I became unconscious of this habit. I had bought into the habit of “helping” family members and others without asking them. As a nation with reality shows, and anything to do with entertainment, we Americans seem to get into every one else’s business a lot and think it is OK to do that, too. That does not excuse me.


self explanatory sign

I’ve started obeying the above sign and acting like other people’s lives are not my business. Initially it was a bit embarrassing to notice my nosey habit. Over the last year, I have been learning to take care of my own business better. I’ve been working on asking people if they want my help and/or advice. Mind you it is an effort! I’m not great at this, yet. For those of you with this issue, here are some quotes you might like to view.

The upside to owning this habit and working on changing it is: I’m enjoying nature more; I’m less of a pain in the butt to friends and family, i.e. my relationships are improving. I’m beginning to learn what I feel about things. I am learning why I have done certain things and my motivations. For instance, why I became a teacher and why I love being around and supporting children and teens. I am owning my likes and dislikes. I am standing up better for myself. I am asking questions more (not allowed in my FOO (family of origin)). I’m learning that I do not need to be run raged by MY expectations of others. I am learning more self acceptance.  All of these new ways of learning and being are what I mean by “minding my own business”.

Warning: You may start notice how prevalent it is that others are NOT minding their own business- but that is not YOUR business or mine.

sign 2

Reminder sign

This sign reminds me to stop and think first and ask myself:

Is this my business? Or will this “business” affect MY life or freedom? Did this person ask for my input?

My last thought on “Mind your own business” is that it is not a rude saying. If I say it to myself, it is a way to remind myself to respect myself and others.




Hail to Rubber Sidewalks and Older Americans

All Americans, but particularly those of us who are heading for 65 or older, of which we soon will be about 20% of our population would probably love rubber sidewalks ( yes, they are real). Their knees, ankles, legs, backs, and insteps would be happy about this, too. Rubber sidewalks would also make our trees happier. However, older Americans will settle for wood chips, too.

wood chip trail

wood chip trail

The USA is a country that worships youth.  Because of this older Americans can be overlooked, neglected, and often as a group are scammed to donate to “causes,” some of which are illegitimate, or criminal.  Read this from the National Council on Aging:

Or older Americans would enjoy walking on earth trails with a touch of gravel.

earth trail

earth trail with gravel

Another old school way, besides the internet, hounds our elderly folks.  Seemingly legitimate groups use the mail and phone calls to intimidate our aging parents and older Americans and lie to them about where and how the donations they make will be used. They claim the donations they make will be sent to benefit, for example, American soldiers.  This NOT always the case. The Daily Beast exposed this group in this story:

A surface older Americans would like to walk on is the softer dirt trail next to the regular cement sidewalk.

trail next to sidewalk

softer trail next to the sidewalk

Another HUGE betrayal aimed at older Americans is that even some congressional members frequently threaten to terminate or reduce Social Security as a way to “fix” the federal budget deficit. Have the senators and legislators who propose this, thought about what will happen to the aging Americans, who have no other resources? These are Americans, who have paid for years into Social Security.   This is  just wrong, cruel, mean, and few other choice words. Who are these congress people representing? Certainly, not the hardworking American people.

Other cultures around the world take care of their elderly with a different attitude than we do in the USA. This article gives you an idea.

I leave you with a song sung by a famous “baby boomer”:

Thank you, Ms. Aretha Franklin.  RESPECT is what is missing for our older Americans!