Real World Dreamer

Here I (sometimes) creatively compose/expose my thoughts, dreams, nightmares, and most of all my Wishful Thinking I'm so fond of contemplating.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Letter to My Family and Friends that I'll Never Send

I. HATE. Politics! I really do. I don't use the word often. But I am angered and saddened and even frightened about the divisiveness of the current American political climate. I got brave enough in my anger to express a contrary opinion to a few family members who've taken a particular stand on a current issue. I was not surprised that it was not well received. I don't disagree with them that this country is full of inequity. That the color of our skin matters. That if the color of your skin is a pigment a shade "too dark" there will be those that are paler will express a "less-than" attitude. Yes. I understand that. It is unfair. I don't disagree that there are inequities when it comes to gender equality. I don't disagree that the payscales are unfairly meted out (I have been in the business world and have experienced it first hand). I don't disagree that there are leering men who think it's a compliment to ogle at a woman and laugh at her discomfort. I also don't disagree that a wolf protected is not going to cause environmental havoc. I don't disagree that a person has a right to bear and arms and protect themselves, to use it to hunt to put food on the table, to stop a predator from destroying your livelihood, or for sporting ranges. I also know that those that experience same gender attraction need to be loved - and loved openly. I don't disagree that members of the LGBTQ community need protection from those that wish them harm. I digress a little. However, I'd like to point out there are many platforms today in which we can, do, and should take a stand. I was told my resolution was not "good enough," though. I was advised to take a step back and observe. I am doing that now. I observe that when one has taken a stand on one of these platforms, anger and fear frequently override an open mind to someone that disagrees. I see some mock the one who has taken a stand on one issue upon which I've actually never heard him pontificate on myself. I hear them tease him - lovingly - but there's also an eye-rolling that takes place that indicates the attitude of, "you're just 'one of them that doesn't get it.'" I see them get on their own platforms. They take many things that aren't about their platform and they pull it in, make comparisons to point out injustices that high light their own agenda. I am frustrated by the pots calling the kettle black. I would love for each of us to listen to one another with respect, with a desire to understand where the other is coming from. I am tired of the listening style being one of only trying to find the point in which we can respond to dash the other's opinion down - or - to use it to validate our own agendas. Right here, I'm raising my own hand! I am guilty of the "Response-only" mode of listening. I get it. Let's develop a higher quality of listening. Let's validate one another. Let's be kind. I would love for us to build one another up with positivity. This includes how we project our opinions on our social media. Instead of pontificating to try to sound smart, let's educate one another in a way to inspire action, and include action plans and resolutions. Let's increase our love. Let's decrease our fear and shame. Let us use anger to give a trajectory into love with concrete, loving action plans. Let's make this world a better place in a concrete way instead of just talking, pointing, and telling others to just be quiet. Let's not shut each other down and indicate that the differing opinions are invalid by being unwilling to listen. Appreciate that each one of us feels strongly about these things and be willing to listen to their story. Ask questions to learn. Do not use the answers to suit your own purposes and promote your agenda. Do not use anyone's answer except as way to to understand why they believe the way they do. And love them. Please love them. Love is validation. Love is listening. Love is respect. Love is speaking up with kindness. Love is a unifier and not a divider. Is love enough to solve problems? Yes. It was the way Christ, our Savior, taught us and asked us to resolve our issues. Let us study, learn, and practice what our Savior has asked us to do. Love is the greatest commandment of all. Love is what I believe is the master key to change. Is love enough? Yes, I believe it is. Post settings Labels Schedule Permalink Location Options

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Parable of the Village Child - Part III

But it was too late for these villagers. Never again would the master entrust a special child to them. Never would the people be known for their success, because they had not been successful. They had failed. Now they would always be remembered as the village that let the chosen child die from neglect.
Forever after, although many of the villagers were known for how well they took care of one another, none would ever again forget that they had failed their master. Although he loved them, no longer would the villagers believe that it was a love that was deserved. Forever after the villagers worked hard to try to gain the respect they once had for themselves and for another.
Each villager carried a deep and scarring wound within their heart. A scar branded every heart with the knowledge that they had had something precious that could never be regained. The scar reminded them of their own personal shortcomings. The scar would never go away.
And with this eternal scar, each villager vowed that they would never allow such a thing to happen again. Each time a belly growled, food and drink gave sustenance. Each time a knee was scraped, at least one loving kiss and treatment was given. Each time a cry was heard, every head turned, every eye looked, every hand touched.
With this constant care and enduring accountability, the village truly grew into a humble and diligent people. Out of great and intense pain, joy and peacefulness blossomed. The village was now truly one, unified in purpose and heart.
Although the master had no other child to entrust to the villagers, he knew they forever more carried the child in their hearts.
The end.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Parable of the Village Child - Part II

The villagers were astounded. Who could have done such a terrible thing? How could this child, who had so much potential, lose all of its vitality so quickly? Weren’t there four doctors in town? The whole village was a caring community and everyone was prosperous. How? How could this be?
It must have been a terrible illness, a sudden disaster, or the will of fate! Soon villagers began pointing fingers and blaming one another. What was once a happy and peaceful village was now a fractious and bitter place. Communication was rare, and when words were spoken they were filled with suspicion, blame, and distrust.
What had happened to this lovely abode? Everyone who was once happy was now bitter, sullen, and hateful. Friends were now enemies.
After having grieved for his lost child, the master called the villagers together. He asked the villagers who was to blame for the child’s death. Every single villager pointed his or her finger at another. The master asked the villagers to look around them.
The villagers soon noticed that everyone had a finger pointing at them. Cries of outrage flew out. Everyone knew that they were excused from blame because their cause had been justified.
That master then asked the villagers who had the responsibility for the care of this child. Every single villager pointed his or finger at another. The master asked the villagers to look around them.
The villagers soon noticed that everyone had a finger pointing at them. This time the cries were silenced. Everyone knew that the finger pointers were right. Everyone had been given the responsibility for the child’s care. Heads hung in shame as they realized that they had been responsible for the child’s death.
The first doctor knew he had been selfish and self serving. The second doctor knew that he had been uncaring. The third doctor now understood he had been irresponsible in managing his schedule well. The fourth doctor realized that she had just been plain lazy.
The mother knew she could have opened up her heart a little more. The brother knew he been mean. The sister realized she could have gone to someone and asked for help. The father now understood that the child had also been his important business.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parable of the Village Child - Part I

Here is a story that blossomed out of frustration for failure to work as a team. A miserable experience that I hope I can rectify by not allowing it to happen on my watch.


There once was a village that was selected by the master to raise a special child. They were chosen because they were good people. They were talented, smart, and beautiful.
This child was strong and healthy and everyone knew it had great potential.
The villagers knew that the child could be entrusted to everyone else, so they did not worry when the child cried. There were four village doctors, so surely one of the others would check in on him. The first doctor had other patients that paid more, so the others could help. The second doctor had missed breakfast that morning and was just now able to grab a bite to eat. Surely, the other doctors could look into the child’s needs. The third doctor was up late, so he slept in and didn’t even realize the child was crying. The fourth doctor had a tickle in her throat and so figured she ought not to see the child when she might be coming down with something.
A mother passed the child as she was on her way home from work. She felt sorry for him and wiped away his tears and cooed at him for a moment before she felt the pull of her own family’s needs and she left, knowing someone else could fill his needs. A brother passed, giving the child a dirty look for being so annoying and crying so much. A sister looked in on the child and determined she didn’t have the skills necessary to help calm the baby. But that was okay because there were plenty of mothers around that would take care of the child. A father passed by and got frustrated that there was no one around to help so he went along his way, intending to find someone to help, but he got distracted by an important business call he needed to attend to.
The busy villagers soon grew irritated by the child’s constant complaining. The child slowly became ugly, gangly, and stupid. The villagers began hating this willful child, constantly annoying everyone with its needs and wants.
One day the child was silent. At first there was just relief in the air. As the mother passed by she was glad to see it had fallen asleep. The brother passed by and stuck his tongue out at the child. The sister poked him and wondered why he was cold. The father passed by without looking at him.
The doctors were all relieved that the other doctors must have taken care of the child since they could no long hear the constant crying.
When the master came finally to check on the child, the villagers were shocked at the sudden outburst of wrath! What could cause such fury in one they loved so much? They all ran to the master to find him holding the child in his arms, tears streaming down his face. The child was dead.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lessons in Etiquette.... for Grown Ups!

Hmmm.... Maybe not all adults are as mature as we expect them to be.
Maybe concert etiquette should go on the cover of the program instead of on the back page. I find it sad that grown ups should have to be taught at all! They should have learned it back in their school days! (Especially when the adults look like they may have been in high school in the 50's! I KNOW kids were taught more respect then, more so than in my 70's and 80's!)

So I think I just may be one of those directors that throws a hissy fit for unneccessary rudeness. I guess I know that I need to do what I can - set up procedures from the beginning - to prevent it from happening. Not cool to embarrass everyone with a temper tantrum!

Kids noise (necessary rudeness) can't be helped. It can be minimized.
Adult unnecessary noise (talking and wrappers)-during a recorded concert especially! - should not have to be tolerated by anyone!

Preventative measures then:
Teach the students proper behavior and send notes home to families.
Have ushers that only allow people in during breaks between numbers and/or
Post expectations on concert doors
(That would be cheaper than inserts in programs)
It would be nice to have ushers with signs to shush noisy people - and kick them out if they can't deal with it.

Boy! I sound grumpy! Is it really that bad? Or is it just me?
I do seem to be near many adults who forget to whisper during a concert! I am amazed! And here in retirement city I wonder if it's just hearing aid issues, but.... People! If you have hearing problems, bring a pen and paper and write notes!!!!

I learned after the concert last night that the rude adults had snuck alcohol into the family event. There's no sense in making a fuss with people like that, so glad I controlled myself. I really did want to write a big SHUT UP! sign to them. I probably would have had I the paper and pen! Glad I didn't. I only like making a scene in appropriate circumstances...not when I'm not the one who should be the center of attention. The greater good has to win out, despite my own irritations. Recording of the concert should not include an irritated audience member berating the other rude audience members! So I did my best to ignore after the initial silent Sh'shd communication didn't work. But I learned I still do have my temper!!!

So I'm glad to have discovered that before I do have a choir in which I'm directing and I have to deal with it. I might end up throwing a stick and impaling poor gabby idiots!

(And I think I've probably been guilty of the infraction myself, so I ought to really be a little nicer with a bit more patience...)

It's all in the education. Making rules and then sticking to em.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My First Musical Inspirational Influence

Lyric Montgomery was an inspiration to me when I was young. Born to David and Lynn Montgomery, the oldest of 6 kids, Lyric was a dedicated music student and role model for me. She allowed me, albeit sometimes unwillingly, to be the little tag-along sister in the majority of her musical endeavors. My first musical memory of her was trying to teach me, a kindergartener, how to play the recorder. Her patience was short as I tried clumsily to wrap my fingers onto the appropriate holes. I still have my first recorder and play around with Baroque arrangements on it. Then when she entered sixth grade, she chose to play the French Horn having been advised it was the hardest instrument to play. She played with the Murray Symphony beginning at age 14. She brought home tapes of the King’s Singers that we listened to going to sleep, (I still love listening to them!). She introduced me to The Nylons, Mannheim Steamroller, and the Blue Devils. She let me tag along to follow after her and the Lagoon Show Band.

But one of the most pivotal moments in my life was when I went to her first All-State Band performance when I was in middle school. It was there that I heard a large-scale choir, live, at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. I enjoyed the band, but I was entranced by the choir! I immediately was in love! I determined right then and there that somehow I was going to be in that choir! I had no idea how to go about it, but that was for me! I joined the 8th grade choir where the teacher was a little bit crazy and overboard, but he had a driving passion for music and introduced us to madrigals and other challenging music that captured my heart. I did make it into the All-State Choir, my first year being the sole representative from my high school. By my senior year, the majority of my high school choir attended it.

The rest is history of where I am today. I’m not sure where I would have discovered my passion for choral music if I had not been allowed to be the pesky little sister. I will always be grateful to my older sister for her example of hard work, inspirational talent, and a passion for music outside of the mainstream radio genres popular with our peers. My world was opened and changed forever due to her direct influence.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Which Kind of Parent Are You?

In my Ed Psych class we got to talking about parenting styles.... I got wondering what the kids would say about us? Someday I may get brave enough to ask them.
The Drill Sergeant:
Controls, makes all the decisions, and is the jude jusy and executioner.
The Helicopter:
Handles the controls, makes the decisions, rewards those that don't create problems, and rescues.
The Consultant:
Kid thinks for himself, makes decisions & lives with the consequences, kids problems are opportunities for growth.
Are you thinking "oh dear!" to yourself like I am? I know which one we all wanna be like and dream of being! Don't wanna be authoritarian or permissive (although, I know I am!). I know I'm not rejecting or neglecting!
So how do you awesome parents do it? How do be the Authoritative parent (not the authoritarian)? I would like to be able to figure out how to give high warmth and high control? How do keep on top of the lil bodies with clear limits, enforce the rules, and expect mature behavior? I think I do okay in the democracy side of it. I'm just not good at dishing out those consequences!
Just thinkin....