Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Generation of Entitlement

It's been quite the week, hasn't it? So much change in our country. I've seen a lot of things on social media that have really gotten under my skin. I know I'm not the only one. But what really bothers me is the way some people to respond to controversy. Anger, aggression, abuse. None of these are a healthy response. What concerns me the most, is that the majority
of these harmful reactions are coming from people my age or younger.

We are a generation so used to getting our way, we don't know how to cope when we don't. We complain and moan, hyperventilate and throw things. We generally throw a big old hissy fit. Somehow, this is how our generation was taught to act. It's not ok. Why? Because, just think about it. What are we teaching future generations? That if things don't go our way, just go ahead and throw a tantrum, that'll fix everything? Unacceptable.

It's time to grow up, put our big kid pants on, and realize that sometimes the world doesn't follow our demands. We need to set an example.

I've been in my fair share of disagreements. I know what it's like to be convinced of my own infallibility. And sure sometimes, the other person probably isn't right. But guess what? My opinion isn't always free of error either. There's probably some happy medium somewhere that nobody has found, because humanity as a whole is flawed. And we will always be that way. We can argue our side until our tongues fall out, but our stubbornness will never change the fact that we're wrong a high percentage of the time.

If we don't stop in our tracks and make a change somewhere, we are going to self destruct. The first step is to find a constructive outlet for our frustration. Riots are NOT the answer, people! Shaming others is NOT an option! We need to grow up and get over ourselves. If you want to see a change in the world, make that change. Write up a revision to a law and submit it to your state government, start a charity to help the less fortunate, research jobs for the homeless, run for office, create positivity, inspire someone.

Standing around and complaining is worthless. Get out there and do something useful!

Always,

Jaci

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Interrupted.

Photo: entrepreneur.com
Go ahead. Make plans. But don't be surprised when you're forced to change them. This world is so full of uncertainty, it's nearly impossible to know where we're going to be from one moment to the next. We all have a plan for our career, our wedding, our family status, everything. But the older I get, the more I realize how futile many of those plans are. Inevitably, numerous things will go wrong at your wedding, your career won't always follow the path you've dreamed, your children might grow up differently than you'd hoped. It happens every day, every hour, every minute. Plans are interrupted.

This is life.

There's really no reason to freak out every time something unexpected happens. This is something I've had to teach myself over, and over, and over again. I'm a slow learner, I guess. But it's so hard to give up control. I want life to be a certain way, in a specific time frame. I don't want any surprises. Life would be so much smoother if it would just follow the path we set out for it, but our lives weren't meant to be easy. We're meant to live, learn, grow, stretch.

Our comfort zone is a lovely place to be, but we'll never experience anything if we don't step outside it. Things are going to happen in our lives. Good things, bad things, mediocre things. We can't be so set in our ways that we're blind to the opportunities opening up in front of us.

Uncertainty can be freeing. I don't know where I'll be a year from now, but that's okay. I'll still be me, no matter where I go.

Life is an adventure. See where it takes you.

Always,

Jaci

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

But...Are You Really?

Photo: getlighthouse.com
So many people fall into the habit of saying "I'm sorry" with no meaning behind it. We have apologized so many times, for so many things, that we simply say the words as a part of our daily routine. We've been desensitized to remorse.

The best way to identify an insincere apology is to analyze the resulting actions. True regret inspires change. An apology without behavior correction renders the apology obsolete. A phony apology reveals selfishness and immaturity in a person.

Do us all a favor, if you're not really sorry, don't apologize. It's truly a waste of everyone's time. Anyone who has received an insincere apology knows, the whole process is a hassle. It's emotionally taxing, a roller coaster for the heart. We feel relieved, knowing the person regrets their actions, and give them a chance to redeem themselves. When the behavior doesn't change, we find ourselves feeling defeated and betrayed. Depending on the level of hurt, we often have a hard time allowing ourselves to trust anyone again. It's a destructive cycle. One I'd rather avoid.

I know I've been guilty of this very transgression. From now on, I want to make a conscious effort of really feeling remorse when I say the words "I'm sorry." I don't want to toy with anyone's emotions, tearing them apart and leaving brokenness in my wake.

People are fragile. We are so easily wounded. Even if I don't completely understand how my actions injured someone else, it's my duty as a compassionate human to do what I can to make things right.

I want to say what I mean, AND mean what I say.

Always,

Jaci

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Unfriended

Image: ThomasGoods www.wesrch.com
It's been too long since I've blogged. I've been working on a lengthy project, and it has taken up a lot of my brain capacity. Lately, I've been feeling the urge to jump back into sharing my thoughts here. That being said:

Social media has become such a thing of importance in our culture. It's silly how much we base our everyday lives on it. We figure out how to look using Pinterest, get our "news" from Facebook, create a falsified image of ourselves on Instagram and Twitter, and report every moment of our lives via Snapchat. We compete with everyone on the internet, trying to prove with photos and clever quips that our life is better than theirs. These things have become the focal point of our lives. Because of that, when we're rejected via social media, or "unfriended", it hurts. It actually, legitimately hurts.

It's stupid, really. It's not like all of these people are our close friends. But the real problem comes when someone that is supposed to be there for you unfriends you. We feel rejection, bitterness, angst. We spend hours trying to analyze WHY. Why don't they like me anymore? Did I say something to upset them? Did someone else tell them something bad about me? Do they hate me? What happened? We torture ourselves trying to figure out something that really shouldn't matter, anyway. When did our worth become dependent on how many fake friends we've acquired online? Why do we base so much of our self-worth on friendships in the first place?

There was a time that I looked at my life and with selfish pride said, "Wow, I have a lot of friends, I must be pretty awesome." And that, my friend, was me begging to be taught a lesson. And don't you worry, life did indeed teach me a thing or two. Through being unfollowed and unfriended for one reason or another, I've started to learn...it doesn't matter. My life isn't governed by how many people like me. What's important is the lasting relationships that I do have. What I need to do is pour into the people who genuinely care, to show them how much they mean, how valued they are. And I really, REALLY need to stop Facebook stalking the people that have left me behind. It's a bit out of hand. It's time to let go.

We need to remind ourselves constantly that we are precious, and that our value is not based on social media. Take a moment of your day and take pride in an accomplishment. No matter how small you may think it is. The tiniest pebble still has a ripple effect. The more we learn to appreciate ourselves, the less likely we are to get lost trying to keep up with the Joneses (or Kardashians, whichever is more relevant to your life).

Always,

Jackelyn Stange