The end of the school year came for many children across the country. Students were graduating and being promoted to the next grade level. My grandson was one of those who proudly completed his Kindergarten school year. He joined the big stage of his K-6 building to be presented with a medal and certificate for Citizenship.

My grandchildren received other academic accomplishments but have been consistent in demonstrating citizenship and a strong moral compass.

As we begin a Monday, pause and enjoy the efforts of this great school, fantastic teacher, and talented children. Our children are the world, and their compass is essential as they guide the future.

Click on this link to the article and video. You do not want to miss this video!

“It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” The first line in the song Pass It On. It was in our red hymnal books at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. I wanted to sing it every Sunday. It was and still is a favorite song.

I can hear parts of these lyrics in many of the current Christian songs that I love as well like, Start a Fire by Unspoken. “ You only need a spark to start a whole blaze.”

My husband and I were driving through our hometown on our way to watch our grandson's first baseball game of the season. We went through several familiar places on the way to his game in the neighboring state. We live right on the border, so crossing back and forth between States is standard practice.

We had time, due to a rain delay, to stop and eat before the game. We ordered a modest meal, and we're finishing up when the waitress said, “Your bill is paid; the man who was at the table behind you paid it.” What? Who was he? We didn't get to thank him.

Puzzled by this act of kindness, we asked the waitress again who this man was. She said, “I think that lady over there knew who he was. Do you want me to ask her?” Yes, please.

She comes back with a name and a story that he is disabled. He is getting ready to have surgery, and he took a meal home to his mother. Now we had our entire section talking with us about this man. We shared how just last week, we were at a different restaurant and saw a lady I use to babysit for as a teen. We paid for her meal.

We gave our waitress who was working so hard a big tip equal to the cost of our meals. It was a very nice moment of a person shining bright without anyone seeing at the time, but learning from his acts.

After the game, we were driving home and looking at this community. It was so well maintained, had a display box house on a post full of books with a sign to take one and return one. The playground was beautiful, with tennis courts, basketball courts, and a swimming pool. The light was shining brightly for this community. They are proud, respectful, and appreciate all they have. It is a modest community with hard-working individuals.

What is the secret? I do not think it is a secret. It is having a community that works, supports, and respects together. They hold each other accountable for all of those things. Everyone knows everyone! It's not about “keeping up with the Jones’s,” it is maintaining respect for all.

Let your light shine as you are the solution daily. Making a difference every day adds up to solutions for better tomorrow's.

As the sun rises and shines brightly to wake us to a new day or as we reach to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, it is Monday! A workweek begins as the weekend is behind us now!

Where does the time go? Just like that, Friday turns to Monday. We get 168 hours every week. For most of us, we spend 40 hours of that time at work. So what do we do with the rest of the time? How much is spent watching TV? How much time do you spend on your phone, computer, or any other devices?

Take a look this week at the time you spend on activities. How do you want to improve? Make this Monday a day where you decide to invest your time wisely. You can track your screen time, maintain a calendar to highlight how you are spending time. Do you want to have more personal contact with others? Make a goal and track it.

Time is a gift with no return. Once the minute has passed, we can not get it back. No one can give you more time, but people can share time. Could you make the most of the time we have? It seems we are creating problems with no solutions, fighting about so much, and forgetting about gratitude. We have so much we can do with our time. Being the solution daily with a positive focus of hope, love, and gratitude seems to work the best for me.

As you sit quietly flipping through emails, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sources, you are searching for just the right one to answer a question, provide an idea, or spark your curiosity. We seek information to help us and not to harm us. We do not want or need information that will continue to push us down but lift us.

We need to stay informed and current with the news events, but negativity constantly equals negative results. A change in your surrounding and mindset will help to change this cycle.

I am a fan of the writing of Cleo Wade and in her latest book, Where to Begin is a great place to start! I want to share one of her poems titled only once. The poem reminds us that “everything is a habit” and to look at those we have. She lists out these habits for us to review like these:

“Which of these habits are worthy? Of this life, you will most definitely get to live only once.”

If you are familiar with me, you know I believe every day is a gift we unwrap. It is full of opportunities! We can choose to be part of the problem or the solution; the choice is always ours to make. I have made these statements for decades as children crossed my path. We are blessed to live in a country where we have many free rights because of those in our past who choose to find solutions we benefit from today.

As you think about habits, choices, solutions, history, today, and the future, how do you see/feel/think about these things?

Do you know what you stand for? What values do you have? Do you follow the leader or are you the leader?

There are more questions to ask, but this is a great place to begin. Understanding who you are, your values, and how you model for your community. It has never been easy to stand up for what you believe, but in the environment of today, it seems to be very difficult. We need to agree to disagree, have different viewpoints without feeling like an outcast, debate issues, not people, and learn to listen with open minds.

When we face challenges, we can find the leadership, skills, discipline, and resilience needed to overcome them. As we glance back at the past, we can see the many issues tugging at our hearts. Then we can feel the pains in our bodies from the battles we have endured. Finally, a light shines through as smiles begin to show through from the masks once hidden from view.

It has been a tough time. It continues to be a struggle, especially for our children. Each day brings us one day closer to solutions.

There is one thing I am optimistic about today. We can emerge stronger if we are wise in our planning. Many people count on your leadership! What we need to remember is not everyone is ready to move full steam ahead. In our plans, we have to make room for the social and emotional part.

During this time, many lost loved ones, dealt with illness themselves, or faced fears at levels we may not understand. What we do understand is the process through which individuals effectively apply knowledge, skills, attitudes, emotions, and empathy is through social-emotional learning. Along with this is maintaining positive relationships and decisions. We can begin with setting positive goals to achieve.

Keep in mind staff can experience secondary traumatic stress (STS). Depending on the type of organization or business you have, staff members can receive daily stress. Staff in school settings are definitely at risk of experiencing STS as children share in many different ways when they have stories to tell.

Solution Steps

Thank you for being part of the solution daily.

In our lives we have fundamental things, activities and principles that are important to us. We can believe strongly in some as an essential part of who we are or part of our purpose of being.

People seeking meaning beyond themselves seem to be happier, healthier, and live longer. I have no data to confirm that statement, only my observations. I like to think of myself in the category of seeking meaning beyond myself and in service to others. I am happy; I have had some health issues, but I am in remission, which has been a big positive. I have also had some near misses to death resulting in living longer. According to my formula, it works!

The fundamental definition is - serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. Looking at the four pillars of the fundamental parts to our life is : Happiness, Self-Care, Relationships and Health

Take out a calculator and do this quick math calculation. This is “life math.” -Guide to Unlocking the Power of Purpose by Richard Leider

I know you have heard me say before, but I will repeat it: “Every day is a gift full of opportunities to unwrap.” I repeat phrases and words a great deal. I believe it is important in order to help reinforce the ideas to those you are serving, coaching and modeling for each day. My staff called them “Yohoisims.”

Look at your four fundamental areas and decide what improvements you can make. The following years of your life should fundamentally be full of “FUN” “DAily”/ “MENTAL” “Learning”/ “Yourself”-focusing on happiness, self-care, relationships, and health.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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