Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pukka

Have you ever heard of the word 'pukka'?  I hadn't, and then I was reading an article today and came across it.  It intrigued me.  It's meaning is very simple: genuine or authentic.  Part of my goal in writing this blog is to connect with you, the reader.  Anyone who knows me knows that it is my belief that too many of us, self included, are not pukka.  We aren't authentic.  Rather, we spend our days trying to convince everyone that we don't have struggles or problems.  For instance, I'm sure many of you didn't realize that I am folically challenged.  I know - it's a shocker.  I will give you a chance to compose yourself before I continue.  

Now that you've had the chance to calm down, let's move onward and forward.  

It is our desire to be accepted.  Some studies show that living in a group helped early humans survive harsh environments.  Often people dress a certain way or act a certain way because of this desire to fit in.  Sometimes it's done without the person even realizing they are doing it.  

I have a strong desire to connect with people.  I am a firm believer that relationships are one of the most important things in our daily lives.   In the spirit of being pukka, I should let you know that one of my greatest struggles in life has been feeling like I don't fit in - from when I was younger up to the present.  As I get older and 'wiser', I find it a bit easier to not get so caught up in worrying about it.  But I would be lying if I told you that it doesn't still cross my mind.  Because of this, I think sometimes that I am more aware of others who may have the same struggle.  I try to go out of my way to connect with those people.  Sometimes just a hello, a smile, or just a simple conversation can make a huge difference in someone's life.  It seems like whenever this feeling comes on the strongest in my own life, God puts someone directly in my path to remind me that it just isn't true.  I am so thankful for that.   

Have you ever felt like you don't fit in?  Do you know someone who struggles with this?  Be intentional about reaching out to them.  It may make more of a difference than you will ever know.  

I'd love to hear your stories and comments on this.  Feel free to comment on my blog, contact me via email (link on my blogger profile page), my Facebook page or message me on Facebook.       

Thanks for reading!  




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Insert Title Here

Good afternoon to my two readers!  I am sure you're both wondering why it's been a full three weeks since my last blog post.  Please accept my most heartfelt apologies.  Unfortunately, I don't have a decent excuse.  Other than perhaps more than a bit of Blogger's Block.  That being said, on to the newest post!  

Whenever I am writing a blog post, one of the things I give consideration to is the title.  My goal with the title is to engage the reader enough that they will want to know more, and maybe then I will have THREE people who read my blog.  Today, I am unable to hone in on a title, thus the name of this post - Insert Title Here. 

Admittedly, I've had issues with focus lately, mostly due to a higher level of stress at my job than usual. Have you been there?  Various circumstances have led to the aforementioned stress, including office politics and conflict.  Neither of these two things interest me.  I like to show up, do my job, and go home, all the while trying to establish relationships with my coworkers (and not punching some of them in the neck for creating said stress).  But unfortunately, in every job that I've had, there are some folks who like to stir the pot.  People who seem to almost thrive on drama.  Frankly, I think I experienced less drama in kindergarten than I have in my career.  Don't get me wrong - the vast majority of the people I work with and come into contact with on a daily basis are pleasant and fun to work with.  I am blessed to work with so many who fit into that category.    

What I have learned, and am currently trying (and struggling) to keep in mind, is that you cannot control the people around you, the way they treat you, or anything else about them.  The only thing you can control is yourself.  I'm trying to be courteous and kind, help when I'm needed, speak even when not spoken to, and just be positive.  Sometimes that means just keeping quiet (which, as the two of  you reading this are well aware, is not my nature) and letting things roll off my back.  

I have a fortune from a fortune cookie taped to my monitor at work that says "Someone is looking up to you.  Do not let them down."  When I read that, I think of my son.  I want to be able to tell him that I did my best to treat others as I'd want to be treated.  I pray that is how he sees me now and when he is older.  I want to be the kind of man who doesn't just talk about doing the right thing, but actually does it.  I pray that God shines His light through me every day, and often ask for His guidance on how to handle these situations as they occur.  I would also ask that you keep me in your prayers as I continue to navigate these sometimes rough waters on a daily basis.  

The thing I keep trying to remember is that these are people.  They are struggling with something that leads them down this road.  Maybe, if I continue to show them kindness even when they show me none, they will see a little of God's light shining and that will ultimately move them closer in their relationship with Him.  

Have you ever experienced workplace conflict along these lines?  I'd love to hear your stories, and also how you handled the situation.  

Thanks for reading my rambling.