Apr 14

Homeless woman leaves toddler and infant in car for job interview: Right or Wrong?

 

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If you’ve watched the news in the last few weeks or are on social media quite frequently, you have seen this picture and heard about this case.

It is the case of a Phoenix woman, Shanesha Taylor, leaving her two children in the car to go on a job interview.  A passerby saw the children in the car sweating and crying.  The police were called and the children were removed from the vehicle and taken to the hospital. When the mother returned to her car 45-60 minutes later, she was greeted by the police and questioned.  She allegedly stated that she is homeless and couldn’t find child care.

There are a ton of articles for and against this case.  Some state that she is not homeless and lives with a parent.  Some say she had family in the area and was either estranged from them or too proud to ask for help. Some even questioned if she actually had an interview.

I’ve spoken with friends and co-workers( of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds), particularly women with children to get their thoughts.  They were all torn and couldn’t provide a concise answer.

So as the old folks say, let’s eat the meat and spit out the fat.

These are the facts:

  • Mom left her 2-year-old and 6 month-old in a car unattended
  • It was very hot in the car and the children were sweating. Click here to see the dangers of child heatstroke.
  • Mom went back to the car when she finished what she was doing.
  • It is clear in every article that I have read that she didn’t intend to abandon or harm the children.
  • The children appear not to have suffered any injuries.

Everything else is left up to our opinions, biases and interpretations.

So for the purpose of this post, let’s assume she is homeless, didn’t feel she had someone to watch the children and didn’t intend the children harm.

 

You can make bad choices and find yourself in a downward spiral or you can find something that gets you out of it.“ -Ray LaMontagne

 

There has been an outpouring of support for Ms. Taylor and a woman has put together the Shanesha Taylor Fundraiser. There was a goal of raising $9,000 to assist her in raising bail.  The total raised has reached $101,000 and is set to be used for an attorney, court fees and items related to the children and shelter.

There is a section on the site that contains comments and of course a hot debate is brewing. One of the commenters named Karen had this to say:

“While I can certainly sympathize and empathize with Shanesha …. I was a single mother of four ….. leaving a 2-year-old and a 6 month old alone in a car in the heat, with the keys in the ignition is just WRONG! I have 3 dogs and wouldn’t do that to them, let alone a child …. and for over an hour??? If it was not for an apparent passer-by who saw the children ‘sweating profusely’ who called the paramedics, those children might not be with us today. Rewarding bad behavior only encourages more bad behavior. Ms. Taylor should have rescheduled the interview to a day and time when she would have had childcare available rather than risk the lives of her children….which is exactly what she did, and why her children were taken into protective custody and she was arrested.”

This is where I will sit for a few.

I was kinda with Karen until she got to the section in bold.  It is clear that ”Karen” comes from a background of privilege.  She probably has had no real struggles and has no clue of what’s it’s like to live in poverty.  If indeed this woman was homeless and is desperately trying to find a job, there is no re-scheduling of anything.  When you are fighting for your life each opportunity is seized when it comes.

Unfortunately, her opportunity resulted in making a terrible choice. But haven’t we all been guilty of making a bad choice? 

Oh, I’m sorry.  This is the part where we get self-righteous and say that we make bad decisions, but not decisions like that.

What I can say after 19 years working with children and families in the school system and ministry, coupled with my recent personal drama, I am making a concerted effort not to judge people.  People have a lot of ish going on in their lives and you would be amazed at the things that people have to endure to survive.

 

People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings.”           -David Millar

 

The real issue

What needs to be identified is not the issue of right or wrong, but what put her in the predicament where she felt her only option was to leave the children in the car. Once the root of the problem is discovered and dealt with, a plan can be put in place to deal with everything else.

A recent episode of Oprah’s Life Class with Iyanla Vanzant showcased the issue of guilt with a woman who was driving drunk with her two children in the car. One child ended up in critical condition when she ran off the road and slammed into a tree.  This clip tells her story and the root of her issue was revealed.

 

 

Take-Away:

There will be repercussions in regards to Shanesha’s actions.  This could show up as probation, parenting classes, jail time or losing her children.

She made a bad decision and her children are unharmed. Mom deserves a second chance.  My prayer and hope for her is that she is surrounded by people who have her best interests at heart, get her through these trials and take her to the next level.

At the end of the day, I’m rooting for the kids.  Why make their lives any more difficult? If that means the best thing for them is to get their mom back, so be it.

 

Let’s have some candid conversation about this issue or anything else related to decisions that had to be made in dire circumstances.  Weigh in and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  All responses are valued!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/04/14/homeless-woman-leaves-toddler-and-infant-in-car-for-job-interview-right-or-wrong/

Apr 06

Reflections and Appreciation while on the Grind…

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If you read my last few posts Un-Stucking ThyselfUn-Stucking Thyself…Some More and Covert Operations, a Broken Penis and Grandma you know I have been on a serious grind for the last few weeks trying to take my blog to the next level.  And I’ve been running hard!

With that being said, I decided to dedicate this post to the many people who I’ve gleaned from over the past two weeks. They took time out of their busy schedules (when they could have charged or ignored me) to share some nuggets and words of wisdom.

I wanted to show my appreciation because so many times, we take, take, take and don’t give back. So my form of thanks is giving them some free advertising and exposure. I would encourage you to click on their sites and subscribe to their social media pages.

Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher. -Oprah Winfrey

Listed is what each person does, specialty areas and inspiration provided. Clicking on their name will direct you to their site or page. If you must skim, each profession is listed right after their name and you can do your thing. So here goes:

People I already knew:

Laney Johnson- Certified Public Account, Financial Analyst and Management Consultant and does a ton of business in the world of finance with a number of my friends and associates. She does my taxes and consults with my business endeavors. If she can’t do it in integrity, she’s not doing it. Period.

Tameika McPhaulrising motivational speaker, coach and author.  Does a lot of work with teenage girls in the area of self-esteem and motivation. She is my competition but took time to school me on being a beginning speaker. She also introduced me to two impactful individuals below. She is releasing her new book Confessions of a GLAMfident Woman in a few weeks so check out her promo!

Carl Shaw (Coach Carl)- former college-mate and rising motivational speaker, coach and author. Specializes in the area of educational leadership, parenting programs and creating motivation in school-aged children. He is my competition but took time to school me on being a beginning speaker and developing fee negotiation strategies.

Dr. Bob Jarvis- the Director of Equity Leadership at the University of Penn.  I have worked with him over the last 7 years in relation to an annual leadership conference that he hosts for middle and high school aged students. He has a passion for creating leaders and a strong sense of community.  He works with and contracts tons of motivational speakers.  He allowed me to pick his brain regarding the world of speaking.

Solomon Edmonds- established graphic designer with over 20 years of experience working with corporations, mega churches and various other small businesses. He is my go-to person for logos and book covers. He served as my mentor in my graphic design days (last 15 years) and always has an awesome nugget to share.

Andrea Lawful-Trainer- established motivational speaker and trainer in the area of education.  She specializes in training school administrators and teachers, as well as mentoring and workshops for teenagers.  She taught me that you should always put yourself in the position of being the teacher or being inspired.

Dr. Deidre Anderson- established motivational speaker, coach, author and strategic planner with over 20 years experience serving an adult clientele. She is my go-to person for ensuring that my life and plans are in sync. She took an hour out of her schedule this week to help me sort out my short and long-term business goals. She was instrumental in getting me out of my last phase of un-stucking.

Darrell Andrews (Coach D)- established and passionate motivational speaker, coach and author with over 20 years experience.  He specializes in training school administrators and teachers, as well as mentoring and workshops for teens. He sparked my interest in the area of motivational speaking and authoring books. He took time out of his insane schedule last week to school me on being a beginning speaker and taught me that the fee charged is not always the most important aspect of taking on an engagement–it’s the impartation that you are providing to your audience and expanding your market base.

People I met through connections:

Renita Bryant: A professional blogger in my niche area.  I stumbled upon her blog as a guest poster on Paul C. Brunson’s blog.  I in-boxed her on FaceBook (FB) on a whim because I wanted to know how she began guest posting.  She provided me with a ton of tips in that area and many others. She provided me with some encouragement and hunted down some useful links. She is my competition but took time to help a stranger.

Robin Devonish Scott (the Self Publishing Maven) Met her through Tameika McPhaul and was scheduled to attend her self-publishing (books) seminar, but ended up getting personal coaching over a period of 3 sessions instead.  She is very personable, focused and knowledgeable (her workbook is the TRUTH!).  She is the inspiration of this post of appreciation (yes, I was listening!) and demonstrated the importance of using Skype for business (I didn’t have an account before I met her) and having a moniker.

Lucinda Cross: Met her through Tamika McPhaul (and Robin Scott).  I emailed her to get information about her services and an upcoming mastermind group.   Her assistant had already sent me a very detailed email that answered all my questions, but within a few hours after the email was sent she made it her business to initiate personal contact and spent 30 minutes on the phone answering questions. Who does that?

People who don’t know me…yet

Amy Porterfield: I saw a post on FB and became a participant in one of her webinars.  She is an expert in the area of social media, specializing in FB marketing.  If you are interested in knowing the ins and outs of FB and learning strategies to market your brand, subscribe to her site and jump in on her webinars. I purchased one of her FB programs and have begun implementing some of her strategies on my fan page. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Matt Wolfe & Bradley Will: I saw a post on FB and became a participant in one of their webinars.  They are experts in the area of blogging and social media, with emphasis on FB and YouTube.  If you are interested in learning how to monetize your blog or website through the use of social media, these are your guys. I will be using a few of their tips after this post is executed and they will let me know if it I did them correctly (and I’ll let you know when they let me know).

Paul C Brunson- This guy is a professional matchmaker and is my social media crush!  I’m not at all interested in going into the area of matchmaking, but any and everything related to blogging, guest posting, coaching, mentoring, FB marketing and reader engagement this guy does sooo well. He is a branding genius! I am on his site just about every day and will be using his site as a template for the direction that I want to go. Also, one of my goals is to be a guest poster on his site…so look out for me!

People never improve unless they look at some standard or example higher and better than themselves.” -Tyrone Edwards

Take-away:

 

My intent with this post was to showcase the power of connections and utilizing people in your own network. Additionally, I wanted to stress the importance of moving outside of your comfort zone to meet new people and learn new things in the area(s) you are striving to improve.

I was hesitant to contact many of these people for help but like I said in my last post, iron sharpens iron.  When you are hungry for something, ‘you gotta do what you gotta do to get to the places you gotta get.” You must be strategic and take initiative if you want to succeed at anything.

See you at the top!

 Let me know if you appreciated this post by commenting below.  Did you find any of these sites helpful?  Do you have any connections that you want to share?  Let’s engage!

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/04/06/reflections-and-appreciation-while-on-the-grind/

Mar 30

Covert Operations, a Broken Penis and Grandma

 

 

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Ok, so my mom officially retired– actually today is her last day.  Last Sunday, her job planned a surprise recognition  party for her. I call myself flying down to Atlanta on Saturday and ‘hiding out’ at my sister’s house (here I am ‘hiding’ at one of my favorite spots in Atlanta–Jim & Nick’s).

She works at her church, so I really couldn’t go anywhere because you never know who you’ll run into and spoil it right before service. We purposely got to church late and sat in the back.  After my mom was recognized, we met up with her in the hallway to surprise her.  She says ” Hey, I figured you were here.”

Now let me park here for a minute.

That is really annoying! She takes pride in the fact that she always figures stuff out and you can’t really get much past her.  I wish she would have figured to call me and tell me that she knew I was there.  I could have hung out in ATL on a BEAUTIFUL 70 DEGREE DAY, partied a bit and slept in a bed instead of on my sister’s couch. I’m just saying.

Ok, back to the story.

cajun_creole_cookingThe retirement dinner was at this really cool Louisiana style restaurant called Pappadeuxs. So, I sit next to dad who is in front of the pastor and his wife.  Not a big deal as I have known him for almost 20 years.

I went to the bathroom and when I came back in the room there she was.  I totally forgot she was coming.

Dad offered her his seat and my fate was sealed.  I had to sit next to grandma for the night. So much for the enjoyable dinner.

Before you judge me, remember my birthday post and my mom’s birthday post.  You just never know what she is going to say, like some random comment about my weight.  I gained back about 6 pounds since I last saw her so I was doomed.  We do our hugs and pleasantries and sit down.

Then the pastor says something to her and she makes some deep comment which included the word Jesus and did this super deep church nod.  I just rolled my eyes. Great, she is going to sit with the pastor and talk about Jesus all night.  Not that I have anything against Jesus, for the record I think he’s pretty cool. But at that very moment all I was concerned about was getting into the business of eating crawdads, shrimp, and a slew of Cajun dishes. It just wasn’t the time for all that.

Luckily, the pastor is not deep like that either so somehow, somewhere the subject changed to something else. Maybe somebody warned him about her. I am sure he was ready to get into the business of eating too.

Dinner was FABULOUS and grandma enjoyed the whole dinner—except for the “string beans.”  It’s ALWAYS the green beans.  I asked her what was wrong with them this time. She leans over and whispers “This is how white people like them.  They’re not cooked all the way.”  She frowns up her face.

Now, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that white people are not the only ones that like nutrient-rich vegetables.  She packed up her food and I didn’t see the beans on the plate.  I asked her what she did with them and she leans over and whispers ‘Cook them some more.  Gonna steam them.”  WHY IS SHE ALWAYS WHISPERING???

She looked at me like she was going to make the situation right.  I just looked and was like ‘yeah, just go ahead and make it that much harder for your bowels to move.’green-beans-almonds-new

The hilarity ensues…

Since grandma didn’t reference any weight loss or gains over dinner or on the ride home, I just knew we were clear of shenanigans.

My sister and I had to get her home quickly to relieve the caregiver with her sister, Aunt Lillian.

Aunt Lillian is 4′ 8″, petite, and 70 lbs dripping wet, but don’t sleep on her. She is that heavy-handed aunt that you always avoid hugging because she will take your back out.  With extreme excitement, she would grab you tight and proceed with a series of quick, open-handed smacks.  You have to be really strategic when you hug people like that because if you don’t tighten up before they strike your back it will sting for like 10 minutes. She also is the one that usually gives you a dollar and has some stale, chewy peppermints in some old glass bowl that stick to the wrapper.

Well, she has Alzheimer’s now so none of that is going on. As the caregiver (an older woman) gave us the run down on how Auntie gave her drama when she tried to touch, bath or help her get dressed we just shook our heads.  She then told us that she is as strong as an ox and can eat like 5 men.

Then it Begins…

Don’t ask me how the conversation moved to the caregivers last job in urology, but she started telling us a bunch of penis stories. Yes, penis stories.

It was kind of like listening to Bubba from Forrest Gump talk about all of his shrimp recipes. She told us about the black ones, the white ones, the long ones, and the vasectimized ones (yes, I know that’s not a real word).  She must have had super respect for privacy because she didn’t tell us about any little ones.  My sister and I laughed and snickered at first, watching the golden girls just chat it up.

She told us about the famous athlete that stripped butt-naked before she asked him to. Then she tells us this story about how this couple came in together and how the woman tried to explain how she broke it. I won’t go in to full detail, but it involved something being too long, her being really tall and not maneuvering correctly. Grandma howled.

Yes.

Then she takes joy in telling the couple what it would take to fix it.

Yes.

Then she told us it’s not a bone and how it breaks because of the muscle, tendons, ligaments, etc. I was like, can’t he just drink a protein shake?

Yes.

By then my head hurt and I sat there with my head in my hand.  The lady asked me was I embarrassed.

*Crickets and blank stare*

She said ‘Weren’t you were married before’ and I said yes.  She says ‘Oh, then you’ve seen penis’ a number of times.”  Grandma just howled again.  I was like ‘REALLY!”  I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want them to ask me how many I had seen.

The traumatic part to this was not the conversation about the penis, it was the fact that grandma was just howling and laughing through all these stories.  I mean, I thought her dentures were going to just pop out of her mouth. Seriously, what happened to that sweet old lady that used to teach me how to sew and gave me graham crackers and juice?

But this took the focus off my recent weight gain, so I endured the next 10 minutes of the penis conversation and her howling.

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All Jokes Aside…

Congratulations mom on your retirement!  I’m sure the lanyard with the keys to the kingdom is off the neck and sitting in the tray for the next chick. Go to church late and leave when you want.

Bake all the cakes, cookies and pies you want. Plan parties and baby showers all over town.

Sit with your bag of Lays with half of the bag cut off with a glass of Coca Cola classic. Continue to tag all of us in these random things you find online that none of us have time to look for. Take all the time in the world to go on FB and create a bunch of nothing like this veggie thing on the side.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

If you liked this post, you’ll love:

 

 I’d love to hear your comments on this post!  

Your favorite “old people” stories would be great too!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/03/30/covert-operations-a-broken-penis-and-grandma/

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