Empowering Discussions

A Mid September Mish Mash and Roundup of Interesting Articles and Blogs

There’s not enough time to post all the important and interesting news I want to share on this blog so here is a round-up of some great stuff. Leave a comment and link of a great blog or news article that you enjoy. 

Ha! Growing up with a unique family across several different states, I’ve seen all this in different forms. There’s seemingly no escape from the straight up ignorant comments to the really mean prejudices, but I think it’s getting better because of talking about it. Justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/being-a-jasmine-is-a-struggle

Am I the only one here who walks down the street with various hero fantasies playing in my head? Probably not, so here is a link to a funny video about what we can do in real life to create a better world. Spiritbath.com/2014/09/16/save-world-fantasy-have-hysterical-wrong/

Looking for a beacon of light in the world. A baby turtle named Ishi has survived the odds and brought us some hope. Check it out: Walkingwiththealligators.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/finally-we-have-a-baby/

Grief is a nasty place to be. It’s hard to go through your days when you miss someone so bad that the emotional pain is often accompanied by physical sadness. Still it’s a good idea to keep ourselves from going too far into darkness. Can you find 3 positive things about grief or other painful moments? Selflovewarrior.com/2014/09/18/death-grief-gratitude-and-positivity/

Are you ready to rebuild? “Sing over the bones of your lives. Sing loud and long over those places that speak to your survival and your authentic core. Flesh them out into the beautiful creature ou are.”  Kimberlyharding.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/rebuilding/

This is almost a month old, but a great article about peaceful activism. In August, hundreds of people marched in Ferguson, MO protesting police violence and in memory of the killing of young Mike Brown. Stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/hundreds-of-protesters-march-to-ferguson-police-department/article_6aa58550-4c8a-5df5-8fa3-e00b45a4b1fc.html

Sport commentator and former NFL player Cris Carter, speaks out about child abuse and refuses to “discipline” his kids with violence.. “You can’t beat a kid to make him do what you want.” Upworthy.com/the-nfl-may-get-a-lot-of-things-wrong-but-a-former-player-is-right-in-his-epic-rant-on-parenting?c=hpstream

A profile of Native American women who are actively destroying stereotypes, breaking the rules, and making a splash. But why is this article in the UK version of Marie Claire? I’d like to see them on the cover of TIME as well. Marieclaire.co.uk/blogs/547176/meet-the-generation-of-incredible-native-american-women-fighting-to-preserve-their-culture.html?utm_campaign=nativeamericanwomen&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social 

But wait there’s more…. what’s a post without some art! Creativity abounds with photos from 10 amazing FEMALE street/graffiti artists. Huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/female-street-artists_n_5759430.html?utm_hp_ref=arts&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000027

Let’s get this fiesta started! Share a favorite blog post or article in the comment section below.

If you like this blog, share this post and check out my books and art at Leahis.com or Amazon.com. Thank you.

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Book Reviews

Book Review: Hope’s Boy a Memoir by Andrew Bridge

If you never had any experience with the USA foster system this book will be startling. If like me you have volunteered in the system or been entangled for another reason than it will be uplifting. Andrew Bridge was placed in foster care as a child and stayed in the system for 11 years.  I was a volunteer with the San Diego Voices For Children CASA program and it was both a wonderful and heartbreaking experience.

youth in the foster system, experiences of foster kids, how we treat children and youth.
Hopes Boy a Memoir by Andrew Bridge

One particularly memorable moment from my time  as a foster care volunteer stands out in my mind.  I had the privilege to hear a panel of teens who were or had been in the system, share their experiences.  A bright young woman shared the most amazingly simple words of wisdom when an audience member asked what foster families can do to make the system better.  She replied that foster families MUST acknowledged that this new child has a family who is a large part of them. They may not be the best parents or provide the healthiest environment, but they share a bond. This is exactly what Andrew writes about in his memoir.

This book was so engaging that I finished it in two days. Like many foster youth he was sent to a center that held mass amounts of youth, but unlike many foster stories somehow Andrew was sent to live and remained in a single home for the majority of his time.  This wasn’t the most loving home at times it seems quite unhealthy, but somehow he survived and thrived. He grew up and  found a career that has helped countless other foster youth. I was so curious to find out what would happen to this boy. Would he be safe? Would he be damaged from the system? Would he ever see his mom again?  Could he keep hope for a happy ending alive?

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is concerned about or works with youth, teachers, parents, and those considering foster parenting or adoption. He gives you a look into the private life of a young boy who becomes a man that creates great positive change. His story is at times sad, but ultimately uplifting.  Pass this post on with your friends and family.  Buy this book! Learn more at HopesBoy.com.

On a personal note, I have wanted to be a foster parent for over half of my life and this want has never dimmed. I took to heart what I learned that night along with all I continue to learn with my other foster s system related volunteering. I know it will not be easy and I have no expectations from whomever I am lucky enough to provide a safe home for, but I know that this is part of my future. All children deserve to feel love.



* You can support this blog and this author by reading and buying one of her books at Bookemon.com or Amazon.com. Thank you.

Empowering Discussions

A Short Rant on Balanced Growth

What we desire is usually good for us because we are all unique and what we want is relevant to our self, experiences and beliefs.  The main problem seems to arise when our desires become unbalanced and then so does our life.

A popular example these days is the fairy tale debate. Do we want girls growing up into women who wait for and rely on Prince Charming to save them? Is it healthy to not fend for yourself? On the other hand are we telling them they have to be so strong they should never let a man help or support them? Should we teach our children to sick to stereotypical roles in life or should we teach them dissent. Personally, I lean towards a lot of dissent and the crushing of stereotypes. Other people lean towards assigned roles. That is fine. We are human and have free will to believe differently then anyone. I will not tell people what they should teach their kids. All I will do is give you another point of view and encourage you to ask questions instead of simply accepting everything as is. What you take away from my words are up to you.

I enjoyed princess stories and the accompanying films as a kid. I am fine with them still being around for future generations because they are fun. It’s the all encompassing addiction society has with girls being pretty little princesses who are oh so devoted to their prince that gets on my last nerve. I was both a tomboy building forts in the woods and interested in cute outfits and playing house. I loved (and still love) math and science as much as cooking and sewing. I love pretend as much as the real world.

For boys it seems to be crassness that is cherished.  Swear words are so cute when said by a 8 year old. Burping extra loud and scratching their crotch is an obvious way to be manly. Then of course there is the unequal treatment of women. Even in children’s movies boys are encouraged to see women as objects of lust or in domestic roles. They constantly see men ogling women, calling them dirty words and focusing on the size of their breasts.  I don’t want my 10 year old thinking that a woman is only as worthy as her cup size.

Let us teach our children instead that there are a variety of roles they can play.  Tell them that being a real man is not based on the size of your fist or how many women you have sex with.  Tell them that girls can be presidents, rescuers and moms when they grow up. Make sure they know that how we look does not equal how good or bad we are. Encourage friendships with the opposite gender at a young age. Lastly let them know that it is up to them to teach their children about how many choices we all have.

Balance is the word of the day people! BALANCE!