Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘prejudice’

Embrace Tenacity


When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.

https://janbeek.blog/2019/11/18/tenacity-defined/

So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.

I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.

Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?

Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”

Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.

The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”

Mom’s cardboard of poems

In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.

It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:

Tell me something good

Ann KoplowThe Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Mom’s poem (poet unknown) ends with this stanza:

“Wouldn’t life be lots more happy,
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.”

It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:

In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”

Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?

You say, “Since time immortal”??

Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”

As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”

Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.

One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:

Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.

I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.

‘Who are you?

I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.

https://cristianmihai.net/2020/11/23/who-the-fk-is-cristian-mihai/

https://cristianmihai.net/2021/06/24/a-simple-framework-for-using-your-inner-critic-to-your-advantage/

That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.

Photo by Nina Uhlu00edkovu00e1 on Pexels.com

Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”

I believe it.
And that includes things like
love,
equality,
unity,
strength,
freedom,
peace,
clarity,
and
direction.


One thought at a time.
One step at a time.
One act at a time.

Embrace Tenacity!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Native Americans


My friend, Doris, sent me the anonymous story below today. It made me cry.

My blog is all about loving one another by spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.

Treating each other with respect, giving each human his/her deserved dignity is paramount!

We need to spread the word, support and embrace our Native American families –
and help them live peaceful, healthy, productive lives wherever they choose to live.
We need to help them get an education equivalent to any other American, and
we need to STOP the discrimination.

We need to let every person – regardless of race or other personal qualities – work to achieve the “American Dream.” No holds barred!! Let’s do what we can to make this world a better place for ALL!!

.

Many thanks to “Dreamstime” for these lovely photos of a few Native American people:

Here is the “anonymous story” …

A white man and an elderly Native man became pretty good friends, so the white guy decided to ask him: “What do you think about Indian mascots?” The Native elder responded, “Here’s what you’ve got to understand. When you look at black people, you see ghosts of all the slavery and the rapes and the hangings and the chains. When you look at Jews, you see ghosts of all those bodies piled up in death camps. And those ghosts keep you trying to do the right thing. “But when you look at us you don’t see the ghosts of the little babies with their heads smashed in by rifle butts at the Big Hole, or the old folks dying by the side of the trail on the way to Oklahoma while their families cried and tried to make them comfortable, or the dead mothers at Wounded Knee or the little kids at Sand Creek who were shot for target practice. You don’t see any ghosts at all. “Instead you see casinos and drunks and junk cars and shacks. “Well, we see those ghosts. And they make our hearts sad and they hurt our little children. And when we try to say something, you tell us, ‘Get over it. This is America. Look at the American dream.’ But as long as you’re calling us Redskins and doing tomahawk chops, we can’t look at the American dream, because those things remind us that we are not real human beings to you. And when people aren’t humans, you can turn them into slaves or kill six million of them or shoot them down with Hotchkiss guns and throw them into mass graves at Wounded Knee. “No, we’re not looking at the American dream. And why should we? We still haven’t woken up from the American nightmare. ~source unknown

Pray with me that the “American Nightmare” will end for our Native American people.
Work with me in ways we can help.

I give regularly to

St. Labre’ Indian School https://www.stlabre.org/

and St. Joseph’s Indian School https://www.stjo.org/

St. Joseph’s 8th grade 2021 graduates



These are legitimate places where the money donated is guaranteed to help Native American students. You may have other ideas for ways we can EMBRACE NATIVE AMERICANS. If so, I’d love to hear from you. It is waaaay past time for us to end the way in which these lovely people are downtrodden.

What are your ideas?

Embrace Stretching


There are so many ways to stretch
And so many meanings to the word
Stretch your body and your mind
Stretch and let your soul be heard

Flexibility of mind and body
Are a result of regular stretching
Reaching just beyond your limits
Helps you find the goal you’re fetching

No one needs to feel they’re stuck
At a level that’s not satisfying
Keep stretching, reaching, believing
And you’ll get to where you’re trying

Our minds are powerful tools
They take us where we want to go
Stretch your vistas with good books
Let them round out what you know

It’s not just body and mind that stretch
When you apply the “Elastic Principle,”
Look for life’s other areas
Where you want to be invincible!

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Stretching our ideas to help us be
More flexible in odd situations
Helps us be more successful
In all sorts of challenges or vocations

Do you know the Tijuana Brass?
It was one of my favorite groups in the late ’50s & ’60s
His music stretched across the world!

My mind stretched immensely when
I traveled to Europe as a newlywed
I thought the USA was the world’s haven
And I found multiple havens instead!

Don’t squirrel away in a tiny space
Limiting your mind to prejudicial thoughts
Stretch your experiences and horizons
By seeking out new, delightful spots

Stretch your imagination in order to see
Sites that inspire you to face with glee
Each new day and its many wonders
They’re right here – and they’re free!

Are those the cutest baby owls you’ve ever seen?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Stretch your imagination to create
Space in your life to wander afar
Walk along paths of flowers blooming
And stand beneath your favorite star

Embrace stretching and soon you’ll see
The world through eyes expectantly
Looking at the mundane differently
Participating in life gleefully

Embrace Stretching!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
You help me be a possibilitarian!
See ya tomorrow.

How will you stretch gleefully today?

Embrace Confidence


These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy…
I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too)
I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time.
Today is it!

In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D.
Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love”
and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine,
Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”

“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote.
“This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”

In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.

“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.

It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

How does someone overcome
such prejudicial treatment
and regain the confidence
that ALL PEOPLE deserve?


That is the question Dr. Walker
deals with in her profession.
She conquered it in her own life with
“years of psychological work,
spiritual practice,
self-care, and healing.”

Dr. Brenda Wade wrote,
“When we feel too hurt or afraid
to let ourselves out,
it becomes impossible
to let others in.”

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Embrace the confidence
that there is
hope and a future
and a return of self-confidence
when self-insight
and self-love
can be applied.

The pain of those early wounds go deep.

We know that
we ALL have a responsibility
to respond to one another in love,
with compassion and respect,
and to stand together hand-in-hand
to obliterate oppression and prejudice.

Embrace that future
with
confidence and determination!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Pastoral Prayer

Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:

“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?

Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons…
* Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place.
* We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world…
* Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace.
* Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing…
* Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones…
* May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed…
* In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out…
* As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”

Amen                         

Embrace with Confidence,
my friends,
the knowledge that you
regard all God’s Children as equals…
and determine never to inflict on anyone
the pain of rejection
or the sting of shame.

As God’s children…
Let us live as One.
Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place!
Embrace Confidence!

Hugs to you.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Embrace Everybody


Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com
Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com


Embrace Everybody
and
Recognize our Commonality
while we
Celebrate our Differences

Know that
We are more alike
than different.
More binds us than separates us.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Embrace Everybody.
Work to make this world
A better place because
You are in it.


May tomorrow
be a new day of new hope
and greater unity.
Let’s each do our part
to make it so.

Embrace Everybody.
Oh, and take care of our bees.
We need them!

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBee

Do You See White Supremacy?


Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Do I see myself
As a white supremacist?
Am I prejudiced?

Sometimes we don’t see
The worst things in you and me
We turn a blind eye

May peace and love be
Multiplied in you and me
Freely given out

May peace and love be
The aura that surrounds us
Reflecting God’s love

Let hatred be gone
And have no place in our hearts
Only compassion

Let prejudices
Be recognized and dealt with
Live in unity

White supremacy
Is an unrecognized force
Most do not see it

Help us recognize
How we add to the problem
May we only love

Let’s go out and just DO LOVE!
Go out and forge a path of peace
By seeing things and thinking things differently.
We are not our skin …
We are not our jobs…
We are not what others see…
We are our souls!
Don’t follow the crowd –
Forge your own path
And live love!!



How does White Supremacy affect you?
Do you see it??
Do you see your own hidden prejudices?
How can we be
Great Minds that Think Alone?
Great Minds that Reflect Love and Peace?
Think about it.
Be SURE to watch the video!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
Have a great week.
See ya tomorrow.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com

Everyone’s Hurting


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Remember that everyone’s hurting
In one way or another.
Everyone has burdens deep
Some under long-buried cover.

Remember everyone’s in need
Of our love and empathy.
They may not tell us why;
They may try to hide it from you and me –

But everyone is hurting.

Photo by Aloïs Moubax on Pexels.com

“We may all be in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat,” said Inez Barron, a New York City councilwoman.

Photo by Nick Kwan on Pexels.com

As I sit in my comfy living room
Far away from a march or a riot,
I feel the storm from a distance.
It adversely affects my daily diet.

I taste the bitter injustice
As I watch discrepancies on screen.
I see the deaths, feel the pain,
And cry at how it demeans.

Demeans the dignity of life,
Demeans the intent of our Maker,
Affects the vulnerable poor, marginalized –
Slams them down with each breaker.

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Lightening may strike my neighbor –
But it doesn’t leave me unscathed.
I feel the storms all around me.
I understand the outraged.

I, too, am angry at COVID-19
For the way it has taken its toll
On the most compromised among us.
But the virus does not pigeonhole.

Like the injustice of racism,
The virus and the prejudice tumble
Across everyone in the storm’s path.
We all feel the hate of their rumble.

Photo by Johan Bos on Pexels.com

As we work to eradicate COVID
By our adherence to following guides,
May we work to eradicate prejudice
By the way that we live daily lives.

May we live with respect for each other.
May we notice and feel each one’s pain,
And remember that everyone’s hurting.
Share love and shelter – come walk with me

out of the rain.

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

Lord, help us see and understand
Each other’s pain,
And help us be part of the solution
Not the problems.
Amen

Have a healthy, love-filled Sunday.
See ya tomorrow.
Hugs,
JanBeek



Eyes on Jesus – Just As I Am


Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light at the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the savior,
And life more abundant and free…

Dear Lord,

Go to this world that is dying.
Come to us who are sad and sighing.
Come to us who are weary and worried.
Just calm all of us who are hurried.

We come as we are to your alter,
Knowing without You, we falter.
Take what is broken and mend it.
Take was is wounded. heal and tend it.

Hold those who are desperate; rescue us.
Fill those who are empty; You treasure us.
We know we are guilty, so pardon us.
Help us to grow love as You garden us.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

Help us grow the fruit of compassion.
Where you find hate, please refashion.
Take what you see and improve us,
Let your Holy Spirit truly move us.

Move us to love unity and justice.
Don’t let divisions and rhetoric bust us.
Make us strong, wise and actively trying
To restore peace to earth. We are crying.

Crying for healing and restoration.
Crying for prejudice’s elimination.
Crying for every adult and child
To adopt Christ’s ways, which are mild.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

I am praying for you.
See ya later.
Hugs,
JanBeek





For the Joy of Human Love


For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:

CHORUS:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise

Pray with me:

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our voice of righteous rage.
Hear our anguish, hear our pleas.
See us down on bended knees.

We are angered and hurting now
By the lack of love that somehow
Has made life unfair for our brothers,
Made life a nightmare for too many mothers.

The hymn says we are supposed to have
Love “from our birth.” We need a salve
To spread that love to ALL our kin.
We all are one – and we all live in sin.

It is the sin of overlooking
The hatred and the needless booking,
The deaths and harassment many face,
The fear and hatred in this place.

Take away our bent toward sinning.
Take away our need to be winning
An upperhand when we all are ONE,
ONE in Christ, Your Saving Son.



Check out this heart-wrenching account of what it means to be a black man in today’s divided, prejudice-filled society. God bless R. Eric Thomas and all those who feel the injustice he experiences:

It Does Not Matter If You Are Good

On Omar Jimenez, George Floyd, Christian Cooper and the myth of being non-threatening by R. Eric Thomas

R Eric Thomas is a Senior Staff Writer at ELLE.com,

Love is power within us all –
Do not let it be silent!

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light:

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our voice of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to to sound and sight:

Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our song of grateful praise.

Look at the earth and all our blessings.
Let us thank God:

“All things come of Thee…
Help us, Lord, to be grateful
And to share our love and joy freely
With ALL God’s children.”

Amen

Work together for peace.
Pray together for unity.


Love ya lots, my brothers and sisters,
JanBeek

See ya tomorrow.

Beautiful Defined


Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’s speech on Beauty left an entire audience speechless. It left me awed and impelled to share it. I posted a link on my FaceBook page and I copied a couple paragraphs here to whet your appetite.

” I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me…”

To watch Lupita and hear the rest of her speech, click on the link below. If that doesn’t work, please find the posting on my FB page. Believe me, it is worth the time and effort to hear this delightful acceptance speech. She delivered it accepting an award for Best Breakthrough Performance at the seventh annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon.

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