FORGIVENESS: What does it mean?

Forgiveness.  This is a hard thing.

I’ve been pretty good at it, most of the time.  I tend to be a pretty forgiving person, especially if someone says they are sorry and it comes across as genuine.  Not I’m sorry you feel that way, I’m sorry I got caught, I’m sorry just to get you off my back or because there is an audience and you have to get yourself off some hook.  This is not a place where you can afford to fake it. most are perceptive to perceive the disingenuous.

But, most of the time if someone does not realize what they said or did, I usually ignore it.  Some are just unknowingly offensive, not on purpose.  Sometimes they are sneaky about it, little jabs here and there.  Sometimes, If I think they are receptive I might say, you know that could come across badly in some circles…otherwise I leave them to their own peril.  It’s not worth wasting my time for people who can’t be kind.

In the case of a former abusive spouse, I forgive him, but we are divorced.  We are divorced because I tired of the abuse, had never experienced it before and he wasn’t changing in spite of any type of intervention.  I chose to forgive because we have two children together and for their benefit.  This does not mean he is involved at all, he isn’t. This is an example of true forgiveness.  Some might say I should have stayed married at all costs.  I disagree.  Just because you have the capacity to forgive does not mean you need to allow the behavior to continue to victimize you.  Forgive, but don’t forget.  It is pure stupidity to throw yourself under the bus, when you should be on the sidewalk.  The baggage I left with is tough too.  I vowed never to allow someone to lay a finger on me without coming away with some sort of regret.  I am no weakling, at least physically.  But it hurts my heart.  I live with this baggage daily.

Back to my struggles with it.  There are those who keep going out of their way to hurt others.  Some are friends some are extended family that you have no choice but to interact with in your life.  What do you do?

I struggle with forgiving people who continue to do the same things over and over.  At some point when I am just being taken advantage of or a relationship is one-sided or a severe stress on my life, I have to forgive (and this is hard) and distance myself from them until such time as they change (not holding my breath).

This is only part of the verse, you should read it in context but basically Jesus responded to Peter in this way…Matthew 18:21-22:  21Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.…

Forgive, but that does not mean you will or can forget, nor should you necessarily.  You should never throw yourself under the bus when you know the driver is trying to run you over.  Take note, consider the source, and move on.  Time and distance can be your safety and sanity.

On Ferguson: The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way

So many systems in The U.S. are built upon privilege.

The Belle Jar

I have an uncle who was a cop.

His kids, my cousins, were around my age and when we visited our family in Québec every summer I practically lived at their house. As soon as we got to my grandmother’s house, all rumpled and grumpy from our eight hour drive, I would start dialling my cousins’ number on her beige rotary phone. I spent the whole damn school year waiting for summer, and my time with my cousins, to come; we wrote each other letters all through the dreary winter, hatching plans for new summer exploits. Life with my cousins – swimming in their pool, family barbecues, playing hide-and-seek in my grandmother’s mammoth hedge at twilight – was lightyears better than my boring life in Ontario.

Pretty much every summer my uncle would, at some point, take us to visit the police station. He would pretend that we were criminals and…

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The Platoon Leader’s Most Powerful (and annoying) Weapon

Here’s another example of how tech tools can be useful in so many ways!

Carrying the Gun

IMG_2067 The entrance of the modern TOC.

Traditionally, it’s the radio.

But today, in an era where the PL spends much more time managing personalities and painting a picture for higher than analyzing terrain or calling for fire, it’s hard to argue that there is any tool more useful than the smartphone. Instant communication, regulations at your fingertips, emergency GPS, calendar and task management – all combined to provide a powerful tool for the modern platoon leader.

It’s the camera, though, that makes the smartphone invaluable today.

When I first joined the Army in 2001, NCOs and officers bemoaned the recent intrusion of email in their daily lives and longed for days when they had regularly scheduled meetings and if they needed something, they just sent runners. When I got out in 2006, I was just beginning to see some of the more senior officers carrying around BlackBerry’s, furiously tapping out emails between events.


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“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

I love this quote! I have seen so much injustice, mostly related to wrongful convictions. many stand due to prosecutorial misconduct, or ego, or lying,or Brady Violations. This should not happen. The law should change and those who have immunity and do wrong should be held responsible.


Refrigerator magnets come in all shapes and sizes and for all purposes.  Most are for decoration or advertising.

I have used these business card magnets for years, but for a slightly different purpose.  I have a Functional Needs  child (aka Developmentally Disabled, Special Needs, Handicapped (terms keep changing to stress a more positive and empowering connotation).  My daughter has had medical emergencies during times I was home and when I was not.  Everyone knows that Mom is the go to for information on her family.  Moms usually have all the contact info for each family member and is knowledgeable of each family member’s medications, medical conditions, allergies, daily schedule, location, and physician information.  What if Mom is not home?  What if you have called and her phone is dead or off because she is in a meeting.  Then what do you do?

You can buy these at most office supply stores

You can buy these at most office supply stores

Put the information that might be needed in an emergency in an easily accessible place.  The Fridge.

This helps reduce calls to mom from family members (from the kids who want a pizza!) for mundane things as well as for Emergencies when mom can’t be reached right away.

We include whatever is a frequent informational need (such as pizza, takeout etc), as well as emergency repair people (plumber, A/C, utilities, tow services, frequently visited businesses and more).

Frequently Used Services (gotta have pizza!)

Frequently Used Services
(gotta have pizza!)

WE ALSO HAVE IMPORTANT MEDICAL EMERGENCY CONTACT CARDS (Dr’.s Business cards).  These include my daughter’s Pediatrician, Neurologist, Dentist and any other important information.  As a mom, I am the most frequent user of these items and it saves time digging for a number from a phone book, Google (yes, its faster than Google if you are in fridge vicinity, sorry Google), or something stored in a phone (under Dr. Who? What?).

It has also been helpful to a caregiver (babysitter, family, friend) who maybe had to look at MY BUSINESS CARD to get my work phone number in an emergency.

You may not want to cover your fridge in such things if you are a purist, or dislike clutter, but It has been helpful to us for many reasons. You can organize the magnets on one hidden side, or give a panel or section to each family member.  Kids love to have their own areas to hang artwork too.

Business or Emergency Information (Physician information can be helpful to other family members or even a babysitter in an emergency when Dad or Mom are not available)

Business or Emergency Information
(Physician information can be helpful to other family members or even a babysitter in an emergency when Dad or Mom are not available)

You can use the same concept in your office if you have file cabinets, note boards etc.  However, I must warn you not to place magnets on computer cabinets, near your devices, cell phones, or in your purse next to your credit cards.  Doing so could have detrimental results!!

Most computer nerds know this.  Yes, my husband calls me a nerd because of the extensive amounts of useless knowledge that stores itself in my melon, but I posit that it comes in handy sometimes!

Here’s more info on why you should not put magnets on your devices:

Hopefully this tip can streamline your in home emergency and frequently used phone numbers or contacts.  If nothing else it will reduce the number of phone calls from your teenagers asking you for phone numbers for the Pizza Place.

Technology in Project Management

The use of technology in project management is nothing new, but it has changed.  It started with the wall calendar, now we have Google calendar.  Deadlines for projects were all hard copy, and group meetings and collaborations occurred in person.   All business was done in person or over the phone.  Then came the internet, email and social media technologies.  Now some have the option of working remotely, from home or from vacation spots.

I use technology from home for our family business, although I feel the need to make personal visits to find out first-hand what is happening in real time and to be able to take pictures.  Sometimes, I do not get the information I need unless I make a personal visit.  We seem to get the most attention and hits from this photographic eye candy.   It is easier for me to take photos and post them than to have someone else do it.  I know what I want and what need and am fairly good with the aesthetics of taking photos.  Asking someone else do it when they do not have time to do it puts extra stress on them during a usually busy day.

I really like technology and enjoy working from home.  I do not like tech tracking, GPS, or location services.  I feel that sometimes these tools can be misused and for personal safety reasons, I sometimes prefer to turn off location services on my tech devices.  I really do not want technology to become a substitute for personal contact.  It is already annoying to go out to dinner or socialize with family and find that everyone is on their devices and people have forgotten the art of conversation.  Oh the price of progress.  At least we have not resorted to contact-free sex as depicted in the 1993 movie, Demolition man…yet.

Padmasree Warrior, who works for Cisco as their chief technology officer points out that, “A fundamental requirement for collaboration is communication.  Technology can aid this by providing platforms to disclose what people are working on and thinking about (Schaffner, 2010, January 20).  Lack of communication is what causes misunderstandings, disagreements, and final projects that do not fulfill the needs of the client.  The use of technology has changed and facilitated an increase in communications in and between organizations as well as subcontracted individuals and companies.

“Google docs” has been widely used by students collaborating on reports and presentations for college classes.  This makes it easier for everyone in the group to contribute without having to meet.  For many college students with busy schedules, getting the whole group together for group projects can sometimes be impossible.

Mike Isaac, of the New York Times, wrote an article discussing “Facebook@Work” purported to be the next collaboration tool for business, which “will allow users to collaborate on projects through group chats and document collaboration with co-workers…”(2014, November 17).  In 2014, the 7th International Conference on Collaboration and Technology took place in Santiago, Chile.  The Conference served as a “showcase” for new and emerging tech and its uses for improving collaboration (

Collaboration is something college students do.  The new small business and social media enterprise has led to the increase in working, blogging and advertising from home.  Personally, this saves me a lot of time.  I look forward to the day we do not actually have to go to class to listen to the lecture or to learn.  That would be great for me, a very busy person, but it requires one to keep on top of the schedule and be a self-starter.

What does this mean for the future?  It could lead to project collaboration occurring from points across the globe, from home, from vacation and getting experts in different aspects of a project together can sometimes be problematic.  Working on things remotely could solve a lot of logistical problems.  Realistically a project could be worked on around the clock in different stages.  This would save travel time and costs.  Realistically it could save organizations money on the purchase of real estate.  The office building as we know it could become obsolete.  Now that would be interesting.



Isaac, M. (2014, November 17). Facebook testing collaboration tools for businesses.  The New York Times.  Retrieved from

Schaffner, M. (2010, Jan, 20).  How technology enhances collaboration.  Forbes.  Retrieved from

Social Media Love it or Hate it – After words

This is a follow-up to my post “Social Media Love it or Hate it post”.

I stated that I love Social Media.  I need to clarify that.  I love some social media platforms, but not all of them.  Since taking Technology & PR in Advertising, I have learned to be more proficient on several platforms but have also learned that I have a tendency to dislike platforms that are not fast and easy or that I have to pay for.  If I am unable to see what it is and how it works before I pay for it I will not take a chance.

I am very busy with family, several jobs, and school.  I also do some volunteer and pro-bono work, and am working on a book.  I really cannot  afford time-wasters, but need certain tools for some of what I do. Therefore, I am choosy about what I use because of the purpose or need.  If I do not have the need for a particular app or platform then it is useless to me.  I have learned that I need time in order to become proficient.  I also feel that for security, and safety purposes being proficient, especially when it comes to privacy settings is important.

There are the sites promising you 6 tips for better social media marketing, pay by Paypal, credit card etc. I guess everyone wants to make a buck selling their knowledge and experience.  There is nothing wrong with that, but you need to know what you are getting in return for your money.  If One wants to learn how to use a social media platform or learn things like this, it is so much cheaper to figure it out, Google it, or follow a tutorial.  Again, self-teaching or even taking a class takes time.

Be choosy.  Why?  The newest looking App or platform may look great in the description, but once you download it, does it mine your personal data?  If so, for what purpose?  Not only that, if there is a problem it is difficult to complain without a physical presence or email or phone number.  The established platforms have been tested, modified, and tested again. This helps to establish reliability.  I like that.

According to WHSV News there are apps that kids can download and easily sign up for that allow for a text conversation where the data is erased when the discussion is over.  There have been increases in police reports because some are being used to solicit for sex.  It is nearly impossible to find out afterwards where the text came from (Galvez, 2014).

The other annoying thing I have noticed is that apps or games I used to play or use often are now being commercialized. Advertisements pop-up in them (SO ANNOYING!).  Maired Ridge warns that, “This holiday season, brace yourself for a new paradigm in social marketing-one that values sales over status updates and commerce over engagement” (Ridge, 2014, November 9).  I think if this happens there may be push back from users who do not want to make purchases through the apps or over their cellphones and do not want their gaming activities interrupted. Unless an app has been around for a while, is tested and I do not hear of any big problems with it, then I might be tempted to use it, but not likely.  Those of us who value our resources and want to protect our identities and wallets may not jump on the bandwagon as quickly as others do.

After taking this class, I do not think my opinion has changed much on Social Media.  I think it is still a matter of choice, preference, and using the proper tool for any particular purpose.  I have learned that there are some things I am not very good at, there are some things I can muddle through, and there are others things that I do very well.  I will always seek to improve my skills and try to stay on top of current trends, but again that would mean I would have to set aside time for that.  I think it all boils down to priorities.


Galvez, S. (2014, November 11). Police see increase in calls over social media apps [news broadcast]. Harrisburg, Pennsylvanie: WHSV TV. Retrieved from–282246341.html

Ridge, M. (2014, November 9). Forget engagement: This holiday season, social media is all about getting people to buy. Retrieved from:

Social Media-Love it or Hate it?

Social Media.  Some people love it and some people hate it.  I love it, but have to be careful that it does not consume too much of my time when I should be doing something else.  I use WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, and Pinterest and am exploring other social media platforms.

I use social media to promote me and to advertise our family business. I have used it for investigative purposes (Yes, this happens). It’s free, convenient, mobile, and fairly easy to use.  If I am not sure how to use a social media platform, it is easy to find tutorials on YouTube.  Social media can be used for informing the public, emergency preparedness and response, personal preparedness education as well as publicizing disaster preparedness tips.

These days almost everyone has a smart phone.  Even if power goes out if you have a charge on your phone you can get real time information through social media.  “According to a recent study by the American Red Cross, citizens are now seeking out and utilizing social media to send and receive information” (Crowe, 2010, pp 416).  Emergency management officials can also monitor social media to gather information (Fema and crowdsourcing) to narrow down areas needing response more quickly among other things.

Social media has also become a two-way communication tool for informational and public relations purposes.  Jonathan Walters discusses social media as a public relations tool: “One agency that’s been held up as a national model for using social media in a sophisticated way is the Palo Alto, Calif., Police Department—not for crisis response, although it’s ready to use if necessary—but for day-to-day community relations and general citizen goodwill building” (2014, p.46).  YouTube has become not only a vehicle for entertainment but for learning (through tutorials), advertising, and public service messages.  One of my favorites public service announcement is by the American Heart Association, is of Ken Jeong demonstrating AHA Hands-Only CPR.

There are many benefits and positive applications for the use of various social media platforms, but there can be problems with misuse. According to Bill Keller, “The most obvious drawback of social media is that they are aggressive distractions” (2011). There have also been many instances of bullying, harassing, and malicious uses of social media.

Children and teenagers are by nature impulsive and should be supervised, educated and their social media use monitored, or followed by parents.  Parents need to watch to be sure their children are being responsible, to see if they are sharing too much information.  If a parent finds hurtful or malicious messages are being exchanged, intervention by an adult should be immediate and is crucial!  In fact, I believe that parents as well as schools need to do a better job educating kids about bullying, responsibility, and self-control.  Some of this is already happening due to suicides of children who have been bullied and the concern over personal information or pictures being posted resulting in criminal charges.

In conclusion, social media is here to stay, love it or hate it.  If you choose to use it, it would be wise to re-read what you are about to post and think about how someone else could perceive the message.  If you do not like drama, you can choose who to follow and who can appear in your feed.  Make sure you review your privacy settings, and realize once it is posted you cannot take it back. When it comes to intent, teasing and sarcasm can sometimes be lost in translation due to lack of social cues (or body language and expression).  If you can self-edit, and explore the many benefits of social media you can find there are so many possibilities for its use now and in the future.


Crowe, A. (2010). The social media manifesto: A comprehensive review of the impact of social media on emergency management. Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, 5(1), 409-420. Retrieved from

Keller, B. (2011, May 22). THE TWITTER TRAP.  New York Times Magazine, 11-12. Retrieved from

Walters, J. (2014, July). Lost in translation: governments are still struggling to get social media right. Governing, 27(10), 46+. Retrieved from