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Chicken Soup for the Soul Submission

I am preparing to submit a short story to Chicken Soup for the Soul for publication soon. I can’t read the entire story, but I want to share a couple haiku poems included in the text.

Please let me know what comes to mind when reading some of my thoughts shared in a story titled, “A Place Called Garden.” Your comments will not only teach me, but will let me know if I’m on course to telling the story of a valuable life lesson learned while tending to a special friends garden the morning of her death.

Now playing:

A Place Called Garden

Nana’s garden breathes
hope of life lived and love sown,
garden weeds be gone.

A place called garden
gives hope to a cracked seed’s bloom,
rooted weed rids gloom.

Best Year Teaching: If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

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The Basics | @iamdidshe

Photo Credit by JacobEnos

Photo Credit by JacobEnos

“Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance.” Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis

Weekend Post

Rant This

If I hear of one more man telling a woman, tweeting, or shouting her out in other media as having been the cause of her rape or assault I will personally punch his ass in the face. Yeah, this is a rant, but don’t get it twisted. This is also an investigation of ideas surrounding cause and affect as well as my own ignorance behind the argument of causality. My OpEd has been on the launching pad for several weeks if not months. And I’ve had a lifetime of teen and adult discussion on the subject. Basically, my parents raised me better than to violate another person sexually, which in return affects my opinions.

Cut the Apron String

My parents are not alone in having embedded moral values into their children. But it’s harnessed discipline to make the right choices that endorses those principles and separates the violators of family values. And for the record, violators are not gender discriminative. Parents, you must be able to discern where to draw the line between how you have raised your children and the choices your children make as individuals. A child’s choices will most often reflect your positive parenting practices, but realistically there are times they won’t. At some point you need to pick up the shears and cut the apron string for your own sanity’s sake. May I proceed?

Cause and Affect

The inspiration to post this blog came after one more added straw. Not the short straw, just another straw and I won’t get into particulars. Let’s just say I was watching The Matrix Reloaded. Remember the seen when Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity went to find the Keymaker at the restaurant? While sitting with the rich Frenchman Merovingian and his wife Persephone a very special dessert was sent to the woman two tables over. The matrix program had been designed to produce an affect caused by the woman taking an innocent bite of dessert. Typical rogue’s move if you ask me.

He’s in the Restroom

You saw the movie. Once the chocolate made its journey to the woman’s pallet a sexually explosive chain of physical reactions began taking over her body. The Merovingian argued Morpheus’ philosophy of everything beginning with choice. Dude was so stupid, oh excuse me ignorant, in his argument that he was oblivious to his role in manipulating the woman’s choice by his choice to violate her with a cyber-mickie. I see this on the streets all the time. The affect of his cause rippled far beyond being caught in the restroom with the un-expecting woman. Is it all about cause and affect?

iamdidshe

Reloaded was only a movie, but those choices are played out in real life every day affecting relationships, children, jobs, and lives are lost be-cause the why and the reasons are gone and behaviors are out of control. I’ve been really dumb at spots on my intellectual timeline, but not recognizing that teen girls and grown women can be extremely manipulative prior to being violated is not one of my dumb spots. In my own marriage I’ve had to painstakingly assess how far to go before drawing the line between cause and affect violations. But at the end of the day I still have to be accountable for my choices as an individual. Passing the blame to someone else as being the cause for your choices just doesn’t fly in my court of love and respect.

It’s Not Cute

Guys, think before speaking. It’s just wrong to assume that one spouse must have done something to cause another spouse to cheat. I don’t care what they did passing the blame is as irresponsible as the act of messing around. And who invented, “Everybody has their extra marital affairs with someone or something.” I’m just saying, though it may bare substance . . . Stop being ignorant, it’s not cute and one does not substitute the other for disciplined choices. If you want to teach something learn this, “The problems you have plus the actions you take to resolve them equals the results you get.” This is my rant whether you feel me or not.

As always please comment and share. Understanding that each case is different am I just being ignorant to what is really going on? If you are a man or woman being abused please post service agencies that can help.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter and @K12Live or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Tribute to My Friend Andre

brothers
“Be slow to fall into friendship, but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.” Derek Bethune

Be Blessed True Friend

Andre was packing up his office. His last clean sweep of the work area he labored from the past ten years. I had followed him into the office building, rather than wait outside for him to wrap things up. Andre had taken a new job with a promising title and even brighter possibilities out East. This was his last stance to leave a mark of the character that took years to develop in the last 50 minutes of his tenure.

I sat and played with my phone. Reading over status post of my Facebook friends while my man tossed reams of outdated documents into the recycle bin. Then from around the corner a man pushing a round gray trash can on wheels said, “You still here Andre?”

His shoes were well worn out, as if many miles of earth had traveled under his feet. His beard was scruffy like that of a guy with other priorities in life. His blue jeans were slightly soiled as though to announce ‘will work for food.’ Our eyes connected. The blue cataracts around his iris were like calluses of a man that has seen far to many bad things in his time. I glanced down at his hands and the ash across his knuckles covered age long cracks in his skin boldly stating, “I work hard for my money.”

They exchanged awkward conversation like that of old friends in a time to say goodbye as the senior of the two took a seat across from me sitting at a nearby conference table. Our eyes exchanged greetings while waiting for the most opportune time to say hello without interrupting their exchange.

After a few minutes of me checking out him and him checking out me I had to do it. I had to ask for his thoughts.

“Mr. Charlie,” as I was introduced, “if you knew that a young man in your company would leave your encounter never to see be seen again, but you sensed a need to share a parting word with him, what would you say?”

He leaned back in his black conference chair looking deep into my soul and didn’t say a word.

Then with the gentleness of a man I once knew he said, “Well son the first thing I’d realize about that encounter is that if that young guy didn’t want to hear something from me it might be a better to invest my two sense somewhere else.”

Without saying another word we both communicated an agreement that bonded my heart and ears to his many years of wisdom.

“If I knew a young man was ready to receive I’d tell him to pursue your passions with the hold of a Pit Bull’s bite.

Whenever in the presence of the wise, whether it’s one or a room full, be sure to listen twice as much as you think you should say.

Be quick and long to gather accurate information. The stuff you often think you see will only lead to wasted time and illusive pursuits.

Never allow the Nay Sayers and Joy Robbers block your blessings, for life is far to short to chance.

I’d tell him to seek the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind. But realize that your faith action step to good deed others pleases Him beyond measure.

If I still had his attention I’d tell him to work hard, but be smarter. Let your work reflect the pursuit of excellence in all that you do and the Lord will pay forward on a product the world finds undeniable.”

Then just as I took a deep breath he said, “ Although there may be many that we call a friend, time will tell on each of them. That guy should learn to master the art of friendship so that its roots grow deep into one of the most significant mysteries of life. If a man has found only one to call a friend in his lifetime he has been blessed. In the end of this journey no mater how long it may be, my friend, you will have then nurtured a true friend in deed.”

True Story

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Valentine Day Gone Wrong

Photo Credit by Saturated Simplicity Photography

Photo Credit by Saturated Simplicity Photography

“Our minds have unbelievable power over our bodies.” André Maurois

I Feel Your Pain My Sister

Wives pray for your husbands, “The Jerk,” while praying for your marriage this Valentine’s Day.

I don’t know how you feel about prayer. You could be the type that can’t leave home without it. You could be the type that cares less because it never works for you. You could be like I use to be only praying when I needed to get out of a jam or better yet, get what I wanted. And then after praying for divine wisdom and prosperity I’d get up off of my knees and take matters back into my own hands. What a screw up?

But if you feel your marriage isn’t perfect in respect to how you were treated on Valentine Day, consider praying for your husband instead of trying to change him.

I know he totally blew this Valentine Day’s showcase of love. He didn’t prepare for that romantic encounter you desired and it showed.

Shoe Fit?

Maybe you are at wits end over his hygiene habits on top of it.

Do you have a husband that is obsessed with buying toys or maybe he gambled the day away?

Has he had an extended bout with unemployment?

Do you have an ever-growing list of things to do, places to go, and people to see that your budget and your husband won’t allow?

Won’t he listen to you?

Do you find yourself not being able to trust him anymore? Or are you losing faith in the man you married to live up to all you expected him to become?

Doesn’t he hear you screaming for attention?

You no longer believe in him or the process of growing a happy and successful family with this guy any more.

Pump your brakes, partner. The red lights are flashing and sirens are screeching ear to ear. Not because of your reasoning, it’s valid. He is a jerk. But allowing doubt and disbelief to run loose will seek out, kill, and destroy your relationship.

Think Doubt and Fail

The Magic of Thinking Big author Dr. Schwartz writes, “Disbelief is negative power. When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts ‘reasons’ to support the disbelief. Doubt, disbelief, the subconscious will to fail, the not really wanting to succeed, is responsible for most failures. Think doubt and fail. Think victory and succeed.” If this is your situation you probably are thinking of ways to get out of your marriage and of course your doubt about its future is attracting all sorts of reason to support your disbelief in him. You may have chosen to stay, but behave as if you were no longer there, no longer committed to your vows. Do you feel as if breaking the covenant is the way to healing your broken heart? I genuinely feel your pain my sister. Really I do.

Think Victory and Succeed

Break those marriage vows back out and take your attention off of him. Return your focus on him’s creator. One of the best ways to be a Good to Great helpmate during these challenging times is to pray for your husband. Yep, he’s a jerk, I agree. You know it and his momma knows it. Consider the high road on this journey. Pray for God to have mercy on him for his illmatic behaviors. Pray for his mental stability to ride out life’s storms. Pray for his favor with man ( and you ;-D ). Pray for God to bring people into his life that will help to resurrect the pillars of his heart.

Heck Just Pray With Me

“Lord thank you for giving me the ability to ride out the wrath of this storm. You have shown me time over time it is my faith in you that brings peace and victory to every situation. I realize you have called me to do things bigger than I am able to carry out. So I trust in your love for me to keep and protect my husband as you work out in me that, which is not good for us. You made a covenant with my husband to have dominion over the works of his hands.

Thank you for revealing to him his responsibility to provide and protect us. Thank you for making us fruitful and multiplying our prosperity. Thank you for empowering him with skill sets to use valuable resources efficiently. Thank you for helping him to grow wisdom through this prayer. I believe in you God to give me patience while my husband transforms into the man you created him to be. We are undeniable recipients of heaven here on earth. Our fruit will unquestionably mark our quality and merit among those who see us operating as one powerful force to be reckoned with.”

My prayers are with you my sister and my friend. Amen.

You know who loves you Baby!

If there is someone in your family or a friend who needs to hear this word encourage them by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Are You Talking Pink or Blue People?

Photo credits by Rodrigo Valladares

Photo credits by Rodrigo Valladares

“[Marriage is] like signing a 356-page contract without knowing what’s in it.”  Kenneth Blanchard

Are you giving the answer he or she wants to hear?

I waited until later in life to get married.  That time alone in singleness allowed space to gain understanding about self and how I would exist in the world.  Where I wanted to go in life and what path I’d choose to get there.  My attitude early in the maturation process was to grow self in order to be the best I could be for my wife – to be.  Early on I thought such a course would create leverage against divorce.  So many couples growing up around me were divorcing.  That motivated me to stay as far away from divorce as possible, to the point of fearing marriage for many years. 

I married now and I still seek continual improvement of self in order to avoid divorce.  So my beautiful wife asks me yesterday, “What are five things you think we have in common?”  Now I should be better at decoding my wife’s “pink” audible microphone questions than I am, but it to is a life long learning process.  With my “blue” headphones I heard, “What are five things you think we have in common?”  So with the tender warrior in me I responded from the top of my four pillars with something like:

1.     We both love the Lord with all our heart. 

2.     We both believe in His word to the point of results.

3.     We both are passionate about using our gifts and talents to inspire others.

4.     We both believe that there is always more to give.

5.     And we both are committed to loving and respecting each other better tomorrow than we did today (A little hope as icing on the cake).

“I could go on with a much longer list, but what are five things you think we have in common,” I asked?  Now at the time she chose not to respond and that’s ok, some cakes need a little longer bake time.  But ladies don’t come back later belittling your man because his response wasn’t what you wanted to hear, claiming whatever he responds with as superficial.  Men have been created to be men.  We are designed to be providers, protectors, and priest for our families.  As mature men we think that way.  And as you know to a fault we behave that way. 

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect: The love she most desires and the respect he desperately needs, says we listen with blue headphones, therefore we hear in blue.  You have been designed in a way that hears through pink headphones. 

Trust me, even though my wife and I both have pink as a favorite color, I’m not thinking pink from my frontal lobe when asked for things in common.  I’m going to tell you right now that my first instinct is to think alpha.  And you, my best friend, may be thinking omega.  The point of focus for our marriages should always be blue and pink coming together, as one, in the beginning and staying together to the end. 

Four .  .  . (Being shouted through the rough). 

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Love: What’s in it for you?


knowledge-first-flower-bee5

So I’ve been studying the concept of love for quite sometime now, decades actually.  Most of the time I feel as if there are so many twist and turns on the path to understanding it that I wonder if I will ever become as good at it as I want to be. 

I seem to learn the most about love when it pushes me to the limits of giving love to someone, as I know it, even when I don’t want to.  Imagine that idea. 

Giving even when you don’t want to.  It sounds almost childish to discuss in that way but, that’s what love will do to you once you have surrendered to the point of growing past you old way thinking about love. 

Honestly, there are times when I try to ration how to not give it fully and still receive full benefit of giving partially.  That never works out the way I intended, but the act of not totally giving love and not fully receiving the benefit causes me to think deeper. 

And as I investigate what it will take for me to fully give of this unconditional act, I find myself wondering if I will be taken advantage of or worst yet publicly ridiculed for being stupid.  Then I’m reminded that love is the most powerful tool in my box for building a purposeful life. 

Maybe later on today or even tomorrow I’ll be able to gain the confidence needed to venture a little further into art of loving those who hardly deserve it.  Besides, what’s in it for you?  

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. 

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well.  Just send them to www.laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe on the home page.  And by the way I’m on www.twitter.com/laroncarter and www.profile.to/laroncarter socially speaking.