Just Do You

Because we always have choices…

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Let’s End Victim-Blaming

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on December 3, 2014


By now, all of you have likely read about the 20 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. I have read many posts that worry me about the direction of the conversation.

Even if you aren’t ready to convict Bill Cosby (despite so many women coming forward), it seems that there are a lot of people who have something to say about the victims. So here is my two cents (and I hope it gives at least a moment of self reflection, something you may not have thought of):

None of us are innocent in life, we have all made decisions about what to wear, where to be, who to spend time with , etc, that are questionable and in poor judgement (usually we think it was poor judgment after the fact). Would those decisions make it okay for someone, anyone to rape us?

Victims of sexual assault are imperfect people. No matter what judgement they made that placed them in the path of a predator warrants our judgment of blaming them for the behavior of a predator. Victim blaming is common and some would say it is natural to ask what she (in this case all females) was doing there, or what was she doing with him? or she had motives to get money or get ahead and so there is a lack of sympathy and a hint of or sometimes outright blame. Please reflect before you go there. We don’t have to like the victims, we should hold Bill accountable, which isn’t the same thing as liking the victims.

There is only one person responsible in a rape, that is the rapist. End of story.
While I welcome dialogue, please be respectful as I know this is a hard issue for many.

NO ONE wants to believe that Bill Cosby could do this. So many victims never come forward because their abuser, rapist, etc, is well known and/or well respected. No one will believe them, even worse, people will blame them. Let’s be part of changing a culture that keeps victims silent

Posted in Self-Reflection | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thought for the day…

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on September 15, 2014


“Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou

“Think before you post smear campaigns against those you don’t approve of, disagree with or dislike. It doesn’t make people agree with you unless they are already on that path… Present an affirmative position about what you do believe in, and then dialogue can start!” – Georgianna Melendez

Happy Monday!!! — feeling ready

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Let it go…

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on September 1, 2014


Many of us have been described as “Type-A’s”.  It has both positive and negative descriptors and meanings.   My own response to my husband calling me this is typically defensive. It doesn’t matter that more often than not, he means it as a compliment.   It means I keep at something until it gets done.   It also means I have a master plan on “how” to get it done.

I have learned over time, that it is more important to get most things in life done and the “how” can vary.  That variation is okay.  In most situations, when it boils down to it, the stakes are not that high and life goes on even when mistakes are made.

Once I started to give over to that way of thinking, my stress levels went down.  I do NOT need to always be in charge, nor do I want to.  Others are capable of making decisions.  There are many ways to do something.

image

The people around you will like you more for allowing them to breathe and think and do.  You will also have more time on your hands.  Let it go…

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Following Dreams

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on June 4, 2014


We all have dreams that circle around in our heads and hearts. Sometimes we are afraid to say them out loud because it will mean we have to act on it. Sometimes we don’t voice it to others because we are afraid of what they will do to our dream. In our mind, it is wonderful. Our friends and family have a way of identifying all the things that could go wrong if we pursue it, the risks we would be taking, the reasons why we should wait, all in the spirit of love and desire to be helpful. Their good intentions make us want to say nothing. Sometimes we do voice it and the advice flows freely, solicited or not. It can take an emotional toll, make you second guess.

Dreams

I say do it anyway. Do your homework, prepare, plan, invest in your dream. If it is worth dreaming, it is worth taking risks. Keep a daily journal. Write down something you did each day to get closer to making your dream a reality. “Thinking” counts as doing something. Surround yourself with supporters. Don’t stop your friends and family from giving you advice, just take it for what it is, a community brainstorm. You can take the things that they say that are helpful and let go of the ones that are not. Practice your “thankful face”. Remember, these are the same folks who will help you build your dream along the way or be there for you if it doesn’t happen how you envisioned it.

There are no guarantees in life. The beauty of it all is that the opportunity to pursue your dream is of your own making. Yes some of us have more obstacles to getting there than others, but it makes it all the sweeter when we get there!

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Coping with Naysayers

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on November 7, 2013


Today I was part of a panel at Carole Copeland Thomas’s Multicultural Symposium at UMass Boston. The topic was sharing tips for coping with Naysayers. It was a great morning and it was also energizing. I think we all like to hear about how others overcome and thrive. It helps us move past our “stuck” places. You know, those spaces we get in when we are worried about failure, feel we have failed, or feel pulled at from a million different directions.

Latoyia Edwards, the morning keynote and the evening anchor on NECN was hilarious and real. A couple of her ingredients for success include:
1) Have a dream
2) Outwork your competition
3) Be willing to do anything (even bringing someone a glass of water, tie their shoe, whatever!)
4) Never be too big to talk to anyone
5) Do your homework
6) Go after what you want and don’t let anyone else steal your dream

Chancellor Motley shared some thoughts about naysayers too:
1) Be the smartest person in the room
2) Stay focused
3) Stay the course
4) Forgive but don’t forget

There was a similar thread throughout the presentations. And of course there was some gloating…I mean people were trying to pull us down…and we overcame. Celebrate, but celebrate through continued success and growth, not through punishment of others (but no one says you have to go out of your way for them either).
Here is the outline of the thread:
– have a passion for something
– be prepared and be willing to do anything…no matter how minor a task
– build your community of supporters
– do your homework/research
– get comfortable with your confidence even when others are not
– take risks, put yourself out there
– take care of yourself (physically and mentally)
– be okay with saying no to things that don’t enhance your life

As a speaker on the panel, I shared stories that I have written in past blog posts…there are always naysayers. I have some in my life now, actively working against me. My village of supporters, my advocates are stronger than their voices. I may fail, but if I do, I won’t be alone. I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, but I know I will be prepared for new opportunities and I will be in a position to say “yes” to the things I want in my life and that will help me continue to grow.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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Karma has a way of coming back around…

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on September 20, 2013


…and that can be a very good thing. I am a big believer in trying to do good for the sake of doing good. Whether or not you are a spiritual person, putting good energy out in the world can result in good energy coming back your way. But I am going to wear my spiritual hat disguised as “karma” in this blog.

I saw this video on Facebook yesterday and watched it four times before I re-posted it on my page. I can’t get enough of seeing good in the world. I can’t get enough of the positive messages that are put out there. I don’t even care that it was an ad for a phone company.

In this very moving video (bring your tissues), a man is depicted as having lived a life filled with acts of generosity. He clearly had no expectations of any return on his generosity. One day, when he needed it most, his generosity came back to find him…

3 Minute Commercial

His daughter, who was at first annoyed by his generosity, as I imagine came at no small cost to the family, eventually got used to it. She was the recipient of the lesson of the karma. Her life changed several times over.

When we are engaged in doing good, we may never know the life changing impact we might have on others. Do it anyway.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Changes, Choices, Inspirational, Motivational, Self-Reflection | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Personal Responsibility and Social Change

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on September 19, 2013


This week, the Miss America title was won by Indian American Nina Davuluri. For many of us, this kind of a breakthrough achievement for a woman of color is a cause for celebration. For others, it brings out the reality of the very real presence of racism, hatred, bad behavior and negativity. As discouraging and deflating as these negative reminders can be, there exists opportunity.
Whether it is racism, sexism, violence, domestic violence, bullying, anti-Semitism, discrimination or any of the long lists of ways that we see people behaving badly and in ways that harm others, we play a role in allowing it.
The reality is that we know these individuals personally. We witness the harmful behavior first-hand. Some of us respond by looking away, holding our breath, frowning and shaking our heads, hiding our Facebook feed or unfriending the offender. I would argue that these passive behaviors don’t go far enough. Not holding the offender directly accountable with words and actions is the same as an endorsement that allows the behavior to continue uninterrupted. If you are going to unfriend someone on Facebook or hide their feed, tell them. Otherwise, they won’t know that you are offended or that their behavior is not being taken well.
If we want the world to make TRUE progress and be a place where we all have a seat at the table, then we must take personal responsibility for our actions. Inaction = action. The absence of critical feedback can be an endorsement and permission to continue. Social change can and will only happen when we call our brothers, sisters, cousins, family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors on their harmful behavior.
In my years working with survivors of domestic violence, I can tell you that a continuous thread of commonality was in their dismay at the silence of the witnesses to their abuse.
I am NEVER recommending that you put yourself in physical harms way. I AM saying that we miss many opportunities to hold the people in our lives accountable.
One last thought on this for now…there is big difference between having an opinion about a subject or action and mixing that message by disparaging or harming someone based on their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability and so on. If you are guilty of this, you can change. You can think about what you are saying and why. Who are you trying to reach? What is your message? But if you can’t see it, it is my fervent hope that someone in your life does and tells you about it.
This world can be a better, safer place for all of us. It starts with personal accountability.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Choices, Self-Reflection | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Are you in charge?

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on September 4, 2013


Did you wake up this morning and decide how you were going to spend your day based on how you want to live your life? Did each thing you decide to do bring you closer to your personal goals? Did any of them?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in a path that might have been necessary before, or might have even been a choice before, but is really going through the motions now. What is stopping you from making today the first day of the life you WANT to lead?

I am not talking about being dramatic, quitting your job, leaving your family and starting over right this second. I am talking about looking back at what you have done, understanding why you have done them (for better or for worse) and be intentional about your future. Small steps are recommended. Visualize, plan, plot, whatever you have to do to make your dreams a reality. Even if all you do is read a book, write a list, organize…something very small, but always a step forward.

A friend posted this on Facebook today and I thought I would share it with you:

life

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Choices, Motivational, Self-Reflection | 1 Comment »

Racism in society: Is it a growing problem?

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on July 3, 2013


The below video clip is from an interview I did with NECN alongside Wendy Murphy this morning.

From NECN: Racism in Society: Is it a growing problem?

Having discussions on race is so important. Shying away or ignoring the real problems that we face daily do not actually make them go away. As our population shifts and changes, so must the way we think about ourselves and the way we engage others. The idea of a majority population is changing when you think about the growing number of people who check off multi-racial on the census. Did you ever meet someone and wonder “what they are?” or “where are they from?” It’s part curiosity and part need to help us put people in a box (even if you don’t use that internal language, you are doing this). To know someone is from a certain country or from a certain geographic area helps us file them in our mental database which we associate with the characteristics we think we know about that place. It happens so fast we don’t even think about it.

Talking about race and talking about our lens helps us work through stuff that is there. It helps us learn.

In the Paula Dean case, she should own her bad behavior for what it was and call it what it was. It was racist behavior. Does that mean people cannot evolve? No, the beauty of the world is that we have the capacity to evolve. The real question is whether or not we have the will, strength and desire. Where there is smoke, there is fire. That is why we react so strongly. People don’t just accidentally use the “N” word. If you look more closely at other behaviors, patterns emerge. That is, unless we are actively looking at ourselves and making intentional changes.

We are always growing. And now, we have a society that is paying attention. We witness racist behavior that makes our hair stand up, makes us outraged, makes us cry. We also are seeing the responsible supportive active voices saying that we will no longer tolerate this. And we are also using our individual voices to move along that accountability chain. Social media plays a huge role in letting employers and corporations know what we really want. It is in their financial best interest to listen.

Racism is not a growing issue, it has been here. We are just finding new ways to confront it. Our work is not done.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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I’m Scared…My Friends Are In Charge

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on June 10, 2013


One day, I woke up, and my friends were in charge… A high school classmate is my city mayor, another friend is a CEO, many other friends own their own companies… Other classmates are my kids teachers.

I am officially scared. This is not because I don’t have confidence in their ability to lead or do a competent job. It is because our parachutes are slowly retiring, or are otherwise not around. It is the beginning of the shift to the next generation. I will own that depending on your age, this may not apply anymore or yet. For those of us 30-50ish, this is our current reality. This is when you remember how you were treated BY others (yes way back in high school) and even more importantly, you reflect on how YOU treated others.

If you have ever been to a high school reunion, you know that people hold on to stuff for a VERY LONG TIME. It is often deep and very personal. If the experience is good, good will often continue to follow. If not, then…let’s just say that the stuff I overheard while in the bathroom stall at my last reunion, tells me that it won’t be good.

No matter what stage you are in on the course of your life, how you treat people matters. And who knows, one day those people you went to school with will be in charge.

My thought for the day: be kind. It is always worth it.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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