Suggested Reading & Review – The Other Wes Moore

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The Other Wes Moore is a riveting, true story of two lives, one name and the diverging paths that led one to prison for life and the other a Rhodes Scholar. The author examines the overwhelming similarities between two boys: both living in the same poverty stricken neighborhood in Baltimore, both fatherless, both coping with a violent and drug saturated environment and both having run-ins with police at an early age. Among the themes the book presents with detailed examples and honest questions are: the impact of educational opportunity, family influence, expectations, personal choices, and support.
The book is currently used as common reads for incoming freshmen at colleges and universities but is also an accessible read for middle school and high school students who may be impacted by this book. Moore, the author shares in the afterword, “I will never forget the letter I received from a fifteen-year-old young man from Baltimore who has already spent part of his young life in juvenile detention. He said this was the first book he had ever read cover to cover, and after reading it he was forced to think about the type of man he wants to be, for himself and his family.”
A must read for educators, parents and students who need to look beyond the circumstances of life and expect and envision a possible future ahead. Excellent resources are built into the back of the book with a list of over 200 organizations that help young people through their journeys and questions to consider after the read. Here is one for you to consider. The author says to the other Wes, “I guess it’s hard sometimes to distinguish between second chances and last chances.” What do you think he means?

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice

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Summertime Salute to Teachers

School is out
Thank you to those “hard” teachers
The ones who expect too much
The miracle workers
Social skill workers
Gifted with a special touch
Your time
Effort
Heart
And sweat
Have earned you sweet summer rest
Thank you seems too trite
For extraordinary teachers
Mentoring with such life!

Thank you again for sharing your special gifts, encouraging and empowering children with care and confidence. May you be renewed over the summer and prepared for delightful challenges in the Fall. Stay engaged for suggested summer reading for teachers, parents and children. Please forward along to your favorite teachers. Have a fun and safe summer!

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice

Happy Father’s Day

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As I reflect on this coming Father’s Day and help my children plan daddy’s special day, it hit me like a ton of bricks that every single childhood friend I had, at their age, never had fathers in their lives. I wasn’t Miss little popularity but I had a decent amount of friends and I never gave much thought to how many of them did the weekend juggle. Selfishly, I wanted them to stay home to play and sadly, most of them did for one reason or another.
The celebration of fathers can be difficult if not painful for many, depending on where you had to place the man who helped bring you into this world. It is for this reason we should encourage and honor the men who are present day in and out, the men working two jobs to put food on the table, dads who fight for any time with their child, dads who brush little teeth and the empty spaces in between, men who coach sports they never knew how to play, men willing to wear silly hats to tea parties with dolls, the imperfect fathers who share their love and for the ones who have broken the cycle of fatherlessness.
Gentlemen, you are appreciated beyond what you can imagine and there is an understanding that parenthood can be frustrating. Yet, you have chosen to be a father and may your journey of fatherhood be filled with great joy. Pass this along, and honor the men in your life with encouragement. Happy Father’s Day!

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice

Busy or Full – 2 Tips to Keep it Full

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About a year ago, I became aware of how often I defined my life as busy and how much I was saying it to others. I really had a disdain for the word because it was loaded with so much negative connotation. It rolled off my tongue bitterly! Although, at times overwhelmed or anxious, busy was not what I was, nor wanted. Just like everyone, I want an abundant life. But, does that mean feeling the burden of busyness? Once I practiced a few techniques, I began to feel the fullness of life was always mine to choose. Here are 2 simple suggestions to consider for your full life.
Beware of the Time Warp
I recently watched a very interesting program called, “Brain Games”, where scientific discoveries of the brain are revealed in unique ways. The last episode was on the perception of time and how often we misjudge time based on visual objects or in the case of feeling busy, tasks and responsibilities we do not enjoy or want to do. We often impose longer periods of time on those unpleasant “to do” items, when in fact it takes shorter periods of time than we imagined. To test this theory, grab a timer and time yourself on how long it takes to do one particular task. You will be surprised by the result and perhaps it may not change your feeling on the task at hand but at least you know that it isn’t eating up your time. Getting perspective on time can foster a more positive outlook, having you feel less burdened.
Drop it Like it’s Hot
Kick the word, busy, from your vocabulary. When I actually refused to use the word ever again to describe my life or even let others tell me,” I must be busy” my attitude to how I was doing life changed. This was more effective than dropping all events, and previous obligations, and with full consciousness, I perhaps added more to the mix of my life. Because, I chose those activities with the idea of being satisfied, not hectic, it had a profound effect on my attitude.
I realize there are enormous details to life that just sometime weigh you down. The bottom line is we always have a choice on how we spend our time and how we view it. Next time you share your life with others perhaps you can let them know — life is full not busy.

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice