Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

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How the Election Made Me More Tolerant

The other day I was mad at a certain person in my life. Really upset. I was ranting and raving and venting to my husband about it.

Then I thought about it and slept on it. The next day I woke up, went about my day and thought about it. I started to realize that the other person has a difficult situation in his/her life and that’s why he/she is acting that way. And I started to understand where they were coming from. I wasn’t mad at that person anymore. Wow.

I believe that this election fever and overall stress gives me a chance to practice my skills of switching gears and seeing things from another point of view.

This Election has brought out the worst in many of us. People are bickering online and in person, on Facebook and on Twitter. Relationships have suffered as voting has morphed from a basic right and privilege into an unpleasant phenomenon of political arguments, fights and de-friending on and offline. Nobody wants to discuss who they are V-ting for (the V word) for fear of repercussions – both real and imagined.

And yet, in spite of the bickering these days  we can find some common ground between us.   Whether we’re voting for Trump, Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, a write-in random candidate, or none of the above, we all agree on one thing.

We are  completely stressed from the whole thing and we can’t wait till it’s all over.

There are many anxieties that we share and misery does love company in this case. We can comfort each other, knowing  it will eventually be over at the end of Election day. And yet.  We fear that things will drag on. We have nightmares of a repeat Gore-Bush situation of the hanging chads and recounting. We are tormented by the chances that one candidate may protest the result and maybe there will be a big ——-

Stop! Stop! Stop!  It’s no use obsessing about it. I mean that’s all we’ve (me!) been doing the last few months and it’s time to put an end to the negativity and prepare to move forward

It’s time to look at the bright side of all this. It’s time for ME to see the silver lining from all this and how everything happens for the best.

It’s time for me to realize that there is a Destiny or G-d or a Higher Power out there that is protecting us from horrible things. It’s time to do my best and have some faith.

It’s time grow from all this.

First, it’s time to be a little easier on myself. So what if I flip-flop every day and can’t make up my mind who to vote for because I like his or her stances on the issues – or because I just can’t stand the OTHER candidate. So what? Right?

Here’s my process: I listen and read everything I come across. I do lots of research. And I decide that I’m in favor Candidate A and I’m totally for him/her. I mean I think she/he is aligned with all or most of the values that I believe in. And not only that, I’m convinced that the other candidate is the epitome of evil.

And then – I go to sleep, wake up in the morning, read a few articles and voila, I’m thinking “Hey, so and so really represents my view of how things can be better – based on my values and what I consider to be important for a President.”

Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

I start to challenge my previous decision. I realize that there is a whole other way to look at things. And I make my decision to (maybe) vote for the other candidate.

This cycle repeats itself several times per week. It’s been somewhat annoying because as Election date is upon us, I’m still undecided. And I’ve even pondered voting for a third party candidate or not at all.

I’ve been thinking about this flip-flop tendency of mine and been pretty upset with myself over it. And then it hit me the other day that maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe it’s actually a sign that I can see two sides of a situation, empathize with it and be able to argue both sides of the debate.

Through this election I learned that I’m fickle, somewhat gullible. Or maybe it’s just that I’m open-minded or tolerant? Hmmm. To me things are not always black and white, and that characteristic is more evident this election.

After this election is over, we will still have our relationships with friends (hopefully) and even if the issues of the election will be behind us all, we will still need to reach across aisles to feel another person’s pain and experience.

Understanding another’s viewpoint is important. That’s what I learned from this election. I see Hillary’s viewpoint and I see Trump’s. I get them both. I just have to decide which one I’m willing to give the job of President.

I’ve not made my firm decision yet on that. But one thing I’ve decided is that for better or worse – I can’t stay upset at people for very long.

And that’s something I think we all should vote for.

 

 


A Lovely Party

Remember cliques? Those little groups that formed in high school, usually amongst girls?

Cliques were when little clans of two or three girls would gather in hallways, bathrooms, lunchrooms and the gym.  Anyone who wanted to enter their exclusive group was given a non-verbal look that said loud and clear, “you’re just not cool.”

Fast forward to a group of 30-something women (never men – they are just not into cliques!). These types of scenarios occur with adults as well, unfortunately. Snobbishness, exclusionary behaviors, talking only to folks from one’s inner circles and not trying to expand horizons and meet new people. Intolerance, prejudice, elitism. It’s all there.

But last night, I saw none of the above. peacesign

Last night my husband and I had an amazing, warm and fuzzy experience at a lovely party. Continue reading


Please, Sir, I want some more…

A well-known line in Dickens’ Oliver Twist is the query made by the young orphan, Oliver of the head of the orphanage. Oliver eats his porridge for the day and dares to ask for more.

Food Glorious Food..

Food Glorious Food..

“Please sir, I want some more —-”

“You want WHAT?”

The fact that Oliver dared to ask for more was criminal and worthy of being kicked out of the orphanage. He was sold to the highest bidder. Continue reading


Positive Transformation

“What a Wonderful World” – A song recorded by Louis Armstrong (1968), and written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss.

That’s how I feel right now. I feel positive, upbeat, and in a generally good mood about life.

I see trees of green…….. red roses too
I see em bloom….. for me and for you
And I think to myself…. what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue….. clouds of white
Bright blessed days….dark sacred nights
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow…..so pretty ..in the sky
Are also on the faces…..of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands…..sayin.. how do you do
They’re really sayin……I love you. Continue reading


Different Strokes for Folks

This Land is Your Land

This Land is My Land,

From California

To the New York Island

From the Redwood Forests

to the Gulf Stream Waters

This Land is Made for me and you….

A song from the 1940’s  by Woodie Guthrie, and one that I sing to my elderly clients very often as a reminiscence tool. This tune is so popular that a friend of mine R. Seidel, RMT – – has revised the lyrics and composed new ones for a fun song teaching young kids to identify their eyes, nose, ears, etc. I have used it for many a sing-along with young pre-school kids in my work.  Here’s how  part of the song goes: (sung to the tune of “This Land is Your Land”)

This hand is your hand; It has five fingers; Wiggle them around now; And feel them tingle; Raise them above you; And then below you; This hand is yours and only yours.

This foot is your foot; It has five toes; Wiggle them around now: Do your socks have holes; Tap them on the floor now (tap, tap, tap..); Now make them stop; This foot is yours and only yours” (copyright 1994- R. Seidel, RMT)

Now that’s a powerful statement for any kid to hear – especially in song. Keep your hands to yourself. Keep your feet to yourself. They are yours. G-d gave them to you to enjoy, use and treasure. You are blessed.

I think one of the most important things in raising kids (not my job anymore) and in nurturing grandkids (I love that job these days) is enhancing their self image, making them feel good about themselves and helping them realize their specialness and uniqueness.

We all are different. Each one of us has a unique way of seeing things – doing stuff, and handling life. That’s a great lesson for children – and for adults to remind ourselves of each day.


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