Posted by: nichole | March 7, 2017

I’m EXHAUSTED

I’m exhausted, y’all. Not literally but figuratively. It’s been a long while since I’ve posted because there has been a lot going on with me. I was laid off from a job, tried to start a venture, had a hard time finding a gig, got a new job and started back to school to get my degree. Whew!

Even in the midst of all that, I’m good. It’s the state of the world particularly what’s happening in the US that’s making me tired. Look, most of what is going on I am not shocked about. Is anyone? I expected it, didn’t you? It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou,

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

This is why I’m not shocked. Folks have been showing their extra faces and backsides for a very long time. What makes me tired is keeping people accountable specifically those that call themselves Christian.

Let me say this…You cannot pick and choose what fits for you if you call yourself a Christian. Unfortunately a lot of people do. And others have bought the lie.

I was listening to a podcast last week and Reza Aslan said it best, so much so I took notes and I’m writing about it here. Most Americans who call themselves Christians do so as a part of their identity not because of their practice, actions or beliefs. Ask them the last time they went to church, read their Bible (if it’s not on a shelf collecting dust), or even did something kind for their fellow person (can’t say man because some folks take that literal). But when it comes to seeing others in the image of God? Yea, well, that’s a different story.

I say I’m a Christian. I don’t need to tell you what I do but the one thing that I seem to do most often is check myself when I’m not reflecting what I’ve been taught about what a Christian is. Of course being in the Word (the Bible), loving one another, not judging others, and serving others is a big part of this walk. But dangit, I’m not seeing people whose walk matches their talk. I know I don’t have to comment on who I’m talking about, do I?

Genesis 1:27 says “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Let’s pick out the key words in this verse besides God: mankind, own image, male, female. Does it say a specific race? No. Maybe folks from a specific region? Uh-uh. What about socio-economic status? Oh, not that either.

We are long overdue for some accountability especially when someone says they are Christian. For me, it’s no longer enough to say it. Around me, you better be able to back it up and I’m sorry, being able to quoting scripture is not enough.

Posted by: nichole | April 20, 2016

How would you rate you?

I had a conversation with a young man last week about ratings. He works part-time at Starbucks and mentioned how great it would be if companies could rate customers.
 
ratingsI remember when Yelp came on the scene in full force. The ability to share my thoughts and experiences about places I visited was a major milestone. Unlike times past when my thoughts were regulated to my circle for friends, family and the company with either a sternly worded letter of complaint or in person words of compliment, Yelp along with other sites brought our reviews to the forefront.
 

But let’s go back to reviewing customers. The young man said how SO many customers are rude, disrespectful and just plain nasty. I’ve seen this in full effect. Most of the time, I’m completely shocked at how customers treat those that are there to help, to serve. Granted, in some instances the establishment and their staff could do better but in others, it’s the customers that are the bad egg. Even downright rotten and stinky.

The customer is always right.
I believe I first heard this quote at my first job at McDonald’s. McDonald’s had it’s own university and everything. Customer service was the #1 priority. Take away from the cost and convenience, McDonald’s stood out in service. There was a limit to the number of minutes a car had to wait in drive-thru. If you did wait, the Mickey D’s employee had to run your order to your car. (I know this from personal experience because I got in trouble for not doing this…I sauntered.) McDonald’s even had birthday cakes and parties. (Again, personal experience seeing that I was the birthday hostess at the store I worked AND because I chose to work on my birthday one year, my mom paid for a party that I HAD TO WORK.) As employees we were paid to serve regardless if the customer was “difficult.”.
 
But is the customer always right? Absolutely, positively NOT!
I’ve seen some customers that I wanted to punch out on behalf of the employee. Or, I’ve had that shocked face similar to the Target Lady from SNL:
SNL Target Lady

Ok, maybe she’s not the best example considering the customer service she provides. You get where I’m coming from though, don’t you?

Let’s play, What If?

What if…at every store, hotel, airline, coffee shop or restaurant you frequented you were rated on your attitude, respectfulness, kindness, and attentiveness to the employees of that business?

How would you rate?

What if…as customers we could rate other customers based on our observations. It’s just a hypothetical question. I can only imagine morning commutes and office environments if folks couldn’t get their:

A grande extra hot 2 percent extra foam, half squirt of sugar-free vanilla and a half squirt of hazelnut, in a venti cup and fill up the “room” with extra whipped cream with caramel and chocolate sauce drizzled on top.

Again, what if, a customer knew they were being rated. Do you believe their attitude would change if they knew they were going to be cut-off from their favorite <insert guilty pleasure or necessary life service here>?

For so many, there is a sense of entitlement. I say, get over it. Unless you have access to the ultimate of ultimates, super secret, beyond exclusive, no one but you can have it, you need to kick the idea and the entitled attitude to the curb.

An even better solution is one I learned a long time ago. Maybe you’ve heard of it? The Golden Rule

golden rule

 

I would also say, make sure you can take whatever you are dishing out. “Cause payback…

 

Posted by: nichole | April 12, 2016

Exposing Hate

“Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.”
~Harry Emerson Fosdick

I recently watched a video of a man offering hugs at two different political rallies. At one he was well received. Not so much at the other. In fact, the rally attendees spewed some pretty nasty comments and hand gestures his way. It was enough to make me believe that these people truly hated this young man. They couldn’t, after all, have an issue with hugs. Could they?

For a long time, most people associated hate with the guys in white sheets/robes and white pointy hats. Easily associated with the South, it was also the only placed you expected to see it. They were the epitome of hatred in America.

Nowadays it seems we don’t have to look far for hate. It rears its ugly head in so many spaces in our daily lives. From political rallies to our daily commutes, hate seems to be spewing in such force I’m wondering if there is a vast river of pink slime causing it.

But the space that I would say is the leader in showing hate is…drumroll please

–Social media

I’ve assessed that the majority of internet trolls write their nasty, hateful comments without a name or picture. It’s easy because their is no accountability. I wrote about this in a 2013 post, Hey Internet, say it to my face! Unfortunately in a political year, the veil is lifted and people will share all manner of nastiness and hate in person and to your face.

So, who’s to blame?

I’ve given this a lot of thought. My answer is everyone. When we avoid standing up for the little guy, when we turn a blind eye to bullying, racism, discrimination and sexism, when we laugh at jokes that we know should never have been uttered, when we say “that’s not my problem”, and when we don’t offer an encouraging word to someone hurting but expect someone to give us one. I could go one but you get my drift.

Take a stand today against the hate you see around you. All it takes is one step to make a difference.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)

Posted by: nichole | March 14, 2016

Trigger – Behavior – Reward

I have a few bad habits I’d like to quit. If you are like me, you know it’s not an easy thing to do and willpower alone is not enough.

Mindfulness + Willingness + Curiosity + Awareness

Watch and listen to this TedTalk from Judson Brewer, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS.

Maybe this is what we were waiting for to kick the habit, whatever habit it may be.

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