#Transformation – My #OneWord for 2019
My one word for 2019 is #Transformation, and here’s my thinking on why you should also consider this word on a deeper level as well.
Many times, people make resolutions as they start a New Year. They resolve to do something they don’t do at the present moment, or they resolve to become something they want to be, or they even decide to stop doing something they don’t like doing that they perceive as negative or unimpactful.
In many cases, people start out with great success on their resolutions. Then, they tend to lose interest, and or the old habits they have honed for years, that they had become so accustomed to, ease their way back into their daily lives, and they return to their pre-resolution behavior.
I chose #Transformation because I believe this word adds some ownership to the importance of the desired change that I hope to be part of in the coming year. I believe that to focus on #Transformation means that not only do I want to continue to grow, develop, build my skills as a human being, I want to become more. Yes, I want to become more than my purposeful change.
I want to become more involved in my world, more connected to others in my environment, more engaged with my surroundings, more of a positive impact on my world, and I want to have these changes be meaningful to me, and others in my world. I want my heart to be filled with love each day. I want my mind to be contemplative of a life and future of success. I want my soul to be calm with my choices. I want my actions to be recalled as being positive, correct, important, and successful.
Possibly, by doing so, not only can I positively enhance my personal thinking on issues, but I can truly impact others to think differently, gain perspective, see a better world that they want to create, and in some way transform their thinking, their feelings, their connectedness to the world, and ultimately their actions.
If I am successful whatsoever then my #Transformation is not, simply limited to myself but could positively impact our world. Now, my end goal is not to takeover other’s thoughts, as some fear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) might seek to do in the future, it is to help others use their talents, thoughts, intelligence, to consider their importance in the world, and act in a way that creates the positive impact they also want to make in their worlds.
I often think that people forget their importance, they tend to think in groups, whether they are on social media such as Facebook, or in group settings, and they forget that their individual thoughts matter, that they are truly the only ones in their mind, and that their ideas, just might be the ideas that can change the world!
Some might ask these questions:
Is it lofty to think that if I were able to create a positive impact on the world that it would be a good thing?
Is it self-indulgent to believe that if I focus, strive, and work towards helping others see the world as a place where positivity can create more positivity that my actions are a waste of time?
Is it self-involved to consider the possible positive impact that could occur on society if I were to be successful in getting just one other person to stop, think a little deeper, think twice as my father would say, and consider an alternative to meanness, violence, anger, hostility, self-doubt, frustration, depression, negativity, or ill thoughts directed at anyone?
Is it really that important that we teach children that it is their responsibility to be nice, be kind, be compassionate, be caring, be thoughtful, be intentional, be purposeful, be considerate, be conscious, be a part, be in the moment, be a positive actor in the world, and be themselves?
Well, I can deal with those who might ask these types of questions and even doubters who often think we should just believe what everyone is selling, especially, if one, at least one other person, says, “I’ll try. I’ll try to be more thoughtful, more contemplative, more connected, more of the person I want to be.”
You see my friends, I believe that #Transformation happens on a deeper level.
I often write on issues of #Resilience, and I speak on the importance of the heart, mind, soul, and actions, and I believe that if you really want to transform that your focus must occur in each of these areas.
Your Heart: You must choose to focus on love, empathy and understanding that will connect you to others in your world. This could be family, friends, and or others who need you, or you actually might need them. We must connect with our hearts as humans.
Your Mind: You must use your thoughts, intelligence, and contemplative nature to see a positive future, the impacts of your decisions, the consequences of your ideas. Connect to others, your work, use your talents, and use the synergy from these connections to build a place where you and others can grow in peace.
Your Soul: On a deeper level you must have faith in something or someone. Faith in yourself, others, something that connects us to each other. Some believe in God, religion, or a structure of thoughts that helps them keeps moving us forward. I believe that it doesn’t have to be one way, or another, but to help yourself be a larger part of this world, I believe that it helps to believe in something.
Your Actions: This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you are seen by the world. This is where what you do is acknowledged by others as who you are, so I say to you, make your actions count, make them meaningful, make them memorable, make them positive, own them, and enjoy them! Your actions become your book cover, your chapters, your paragraphs, your story, so make sure that they are written well!
Is this post deeper than you anticipated? Is it top level stuff, and your brain is seeking to go deeper? Are you thinking that I have completely lost it? Well, let me ease your thinking. Yes, it’s a little deep, yes, I want your brain to search for more answers, and no I have not completely lost it.
Basically, let your heart, mind, soul, and actions be your guide. And, work on building the information in each of these areas so that your guide is well-built, well-educated, has resources, and can help you be a better you!
#Transformation for 2019, my one word. What’s yours?
Dr. Rob Martinez, AKA “Resiliency Guy”
Dr. Rob Martinez, is a 32-year educator, and is becoming well known as “Resiliency Guy.” He focuses on building educational environments where children can grow and develop in peace, and often says, “Let the life we help others live be the measure of our success.”
He is available for #keynote addresses, educational consultation, life coaching, and recently authored and published, “The Story of Sparkle and Shine” as an Amazon Kindle E-Book.
He is currently authoring, “Lead with Resilience, in Your Heart, Mind, Soul and Actions.” And “Robbie the Resilient Caterpillar.”
Do you recognize the efforts of others as you view their success?
Are you planning and implementing your next step to greatness?
Or, do you need a little nudge to get you going? If so, read on my friends!
For those that are desiring to become something more, reach a certain status, and/or want to advance yourself to be successful, consider the importance of planning, implementing your plan, and sticking to it as you engage in your personal journey. This process of personal development is yet another form of Transformational Resiliency. It’s about empowering yourself to initiate personal change, seek personal growth, expand on your personal development, and accept that you can be in control of your destiny.
The commitment that you make to yourself must be the ignition of your success. You must first make a decision regarding something that you are passionate about, think through the steps you must go through, and firmly decide that you will follow your steps no matter what obstacles come your way!
Next, you will need to work harder than you have ever worked in your life. Why? Because your success must be that important to you, and you must recognize that no one is going to come and do it for you. Own your choices, own your actions, own your successful steps towards your goals!
Third, maintain your personal commitment, and carry through with your daily behaviors, even when the tiny voice in your head might wish to delve into self-doubt, or veer your away from your overall goal. Focus on your success, strive tor personal bests, and acknowledge the growth in yourself.
Be aware that set-backs are a natural part of growth. How many times does a baby fall on their way towards toddling around? You can handle these minor halts in growth, and as you have done in the past, you can ovecome them to improve, to gain confidence, to build new skills, and to conquer any hurdles that come before you!
Finally, remain ever vigilant, and relentless in pursuit of your success! This persistence in your thoughts, actions, and new skills and behaviors will propel you towards acquiring the level of success you desire.
Some might think to themselves, “Can I really do this?” or, “Am I truly worth this type of self-commitment?” Let me be clear in providing you a response to these self-doubts! “You are that important!”,
I undestand that making a real personal commitment is dificult, that the real work is difficult, and I also want you to understand that the true rewards received as a result of this personal commitment and completion of the real work will taste sweeter to you than ever before!
Now, identify your success, plan your steps to attainment of your goals, and get your behind to work!
Rob Martinez is becoming well-know as “ResiliencyGuy” and “Dr. Resiliency” and can be followed on twitter @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD
In my work on resiliency development I have indicated that many of the dynamics that are represented in this post are possible, especially when educators in one location are empoweed to create learning environments that are engaging, supportive, empowering for students, and intentional and purposeful in their design. When educators are allowed to plan, design, and implement a curriculum in such a manner that students are provided an opportunity to create, learn, build, let if fall, create, learn, build, undergo a mind-shift, tear it apart, create, learn, build, etc. positive learning that is meaningful and internal begins to take hold, and may actually serve as a catalyst for new ideas, and learning that is personal and life changing.
More to come in future posts! Peace, Rob @ResiliencyGuy @DrRobM_FSUSD
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This post is dedicated to Matthew M. Martinez, and Rayne Jane Winter-Day, two young adults who are seeking to understand some of the issues surrounding #Ferguson, and the broader implications for our society. Whether you believe in the cause, believe in the protests, believe in the mass media reports, believe in the injustice, or believe justice has been served, I hope to get you to question your understanding of some of your current believes about our “Shared World,” and to realize that you have a part in building shared sustainable solutions. Do I have all of the answers? Absolutely not, yet I hope to bring to you some more questions that hopefully will allow you to consider various perspectives, which I always believe will lead to personal and compelling growth. It is all about each one of us, our effect on each other, and it is always personal!
We All Share this World: So Why Not Have Shared Ideas, Shared Responsibility, Shared Understanding, Shared Sustainable Solutions to Salvage our Humanity?
We all understand that we have but one world we live in, and yet, in each of our arenas, we often believe that we live in the one “right” world. We also often apply our perspectives to not only our one “right” world, but to the multituude of worlds that actually exist. Thus, it is often extremely difficult to fully understand the complexities of events that are occuring outside of our world as we tend to apply our perspectives, our ideas, our understandings, and our thoughtful solutions onto that world with hopes that we can fix every situation. I offer this piece with the hope to expand perspective, ideas, responsibility, understanding, and sustainable solutions that can be shared my humans of multiple perspectives across multiple communities. I believe that as individuals, as collaborators, as builders of communities we can act as individuals and as groups of people to improve our collective and shared worlds.
In our recent shared culture many individuals have taken the dangerous step of generalizing the behavior of some onto the masses of a group due to a presumed shared characteristic. This process becomes presumed sterotyping. For example, individuals who more often than not good people, with good intentions, who, with good training and professional development, with skill enhancement, and specific education may become attached to a profession that has become discredited, and or disparaged by our society and broad scope media. Consider theses professions: police officers, teachers, lawyers, politicians, the list could go on and on. For the multitude of individuals who might have made decisions at an early age to become a member of each of these professions, do you really believe for a moment that all of their individual decisions were made with ill-intent? Do you really believe that someone truly set out upon a specific course to become the worst their is in their profession, or on the other hand did they make a conscious choice to serve, serve the public, serve people, serve their communities, serve with positive intent with the hopes of making a difference?
In each of these professions, and in others far too many to list here, what our shared reality should tell us is that the vast majority of these professionals strive to do their jobs appropriately, to work for the betterment of our shared society, to keep their behaviors within the parameters of legality, hold onto their integrity, and actually believe that their impact on society is a worthwhile endeavor. Unfortunatley, due to some of the negative or inappropriate actions from some within each of these small minority of wrongdoers within each of these professions, coupled with a lack of informed, forward-thinking, progressive leadership at the helm of some of these groups that they belong, the entire collective of a profession can and does easily becomes a target for the masses especially at the hands of the mass media.
Consider that number of media stories that are provided time on the major news channels. Many, if not all, are filled with negativity, are focused on wrongdoers who may have absolutely done inappropriate things, and that are played over and over ad-nauseum with added conjecture, embellished truths, and half-truths. This type of media coverage, when left unquestioned, could lead us to believe that the only things occurring in our world are these negative events, over and over, and over again. What we don’t see are 95% of real life activities that the majority of public servants are engaged in on a daily basis, or for that matter general people. What we don’t see are the heros that are taking care of children, the aged, the weak, the poor, and working to protect all people of a community, all people at the mall, all people at the park. What we don’t see displayed are the acts of human kindness, thoughtfulness, positively purposeful acts that the vast majority of public servants provide to our collective communities at any given time. What we forget is that just because we didn’t see it on CNN or FOX, or whatever, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. What we forget is that most of these heroes go through their days, time after time, with limited acknolwedgement, little fanfair, little more than the meager pay that is provided to them for their service doing what is right!
Could it be that we have allowed the media to take advantage of our ability as humans to be manipulated? It is so easy for our minds to accept the presented stories that convey negativity that most of our public servants are engaged in inappropriate activity, rather than to understand that most are well-intentioned, positive, caring individuals, who with the training they have received are attempting to do a really good job? Could it be that each of us shares a part of the responsibility of recognizing that this could be the truth, and that we actually should become the tellers of the positive story? Shouldn’t we seek to share the positivity of our public servants and provide positive feedback for those that are doing it right? Could it be that by sharing stories of actual positive events, and positive works by progressive organizations, we could actually empower much needed change in the leadership of some of our worst wrongdoers, and build support for those organizations and individuals who are doing it right?
Please don’t get me wrong. Where there is malfeasance, where there is inappropriate behavior, where there is wrong-doing, it must be recognized and corrected. Where there is prejudice, discrimination, degredation, and dishonesty, it must be ferreted out, and fixed, and for those individuals and for the organizations that have fostered these types of innapropriate behaviors to occur, there must be change, significant restorative practices to fix what is wrong, and a true commitment to improve what is wrong, and real efforts to make things better.
Quite frankly, there must be intentional, purposeful, thoughtful, supported, actionable, planned change that has been provided resources applied to that change! Does this change start at the top? Should it be embedded in the collective leadership? Should it be fostored throughout the organization? Should there be a way to measure and monitor this much needed change? The answers are of couse, yes! Should the change needed be discussed openly, discussed across the stakeholders of the community, and then embedded throughout a continuum of change that will be clearly recognized as the resulting change? Yes, of course! Can each of us begin to understand the importance of seeking to declare the need for such change in our lives, our communities, our organizations, and do so by appropriate measures without infringing on others rights that we are actually seeking to protect? Yes, I hope so!
I understand that for many in our society, there is mis-trust. Mis-trust of public servants, mis-trust of the organizations in which they work, mis-trust of the leaders behind these organizations, and mis-trust of any form of government. Some of this mis-trust is well earned, and some maybe not. On the other hand, there is some growing mis-trust that is now felt on the part of the very public servants that are committed to supporting our society. Our public servants have mis-trust of the media, who tend to report on the negativity as discussed above, mis-trust of the leadership that guides their organization sometimes with hidden agendas, and dare I say, some mis-trust from those they serve, who will often mis-judge their intent, and tend to believe the negativity without seeing the reality of their positive efforts.
I suggest that there must be new perspective building, new avenues of trust that need to be developed, and a questioning of current perspectives and motivations by all to allow for growth, shared collaborative perspective, and a renewed spirit of collaboration that seeks to build communities, not tear them down. If we consider the true need for public servants most would agree that as a society, when things are working well, there is an absolute need for well-trained, considerate, effective public servants. Thus, when our behaviors are incongruent with this thinking, and we begin to discredit the collective professions due to the acts of a few, we have given away our personal responsibility to provide credit where credit is due, respect where respect is due, and thanks when thanks are due! We must be aware that each of us holds a responsibility to be part of our communities, and to strive to make better any events that that cause us grief.
Do we desire improvement, or do we expect others to improve themselves to make our lives better? Do we consider our personal challenge to be intentional in our idea building, purposeful in our actions, thoughtful in our approach, create support for the change we want, and work to empower our community leaders, and to offer those currently in charge with the information that they need to recognize that we expect change without shutting their ears to our real messages? Do we act in a manner that pays homage to those that have come before us, or do we discredit their stories with socially inappropriate behavior that clouds our message? Are our efforts built on positivity or negativity which results in repulsion by those we are trying to change?
Do we initiate, support and employ workable sustainable solutions that don’t simply result in a power shift, but result in a synergy of power to create a new way of thinking, interacting, and growing the communities we actually want? I suggest that it is a better use of our energies to work smarter and with more resolve to build the types of communities we want rather than to use a considerable amount of energy to simply protest what it is that we don’t want to continue! To create a new society, one must be willing to actually be part of that society in ways that might be different, and even uncomfortable. To build new societies we must be ready to understand that our way of thinking just might not be the only way or the right way of thinking. To build new societies we must be ready to accept our personal responsibility within that society, and find ways for those enfranchised in the current society to realize that they too would benefit from the new ways of doing business. To build new societies we must finds ways to be inclusive of those that have failed to previously participate, and build capacity for each person to add their view and perspective to the whole.
Some might argue that the only way to change a set of circumstances that currently exist is through power plays, hostility, disrupting the status quo, or damaging things that are representative of the way things are, however, given the power of communiction, words and actions, righteousness, and a true belief that things can be better, individuals, and groups of individuals do have an enormous level of power to change the world. Oftentimes however, their energies are misplaced, and don’t lead to actual, sustainable change. One of these first steps that is needed is difficult, as it requires that each person who actually wants to see a better world seeks to understand that the current world is neither good or bad, but is result of our collective history, thoughts and actions. I mean that we must first realize that our impact on the world is significant, our ability to share the world as we see it and as we would like it to be, is meaningful, and that we have a responsibility to see, create and acknowledge the positive world that might be right before out eyes. Would we really want to toss it all away? Or, would we seek to evolve the world with natural progression to ensure that the change we actually want is fully embedded into our new world.
Do we currently see the positivity in our world? Do we feel the power in people? Do we recognize the efforts of those in our community, the public servants that are really trying to do a good job? Do we promote the ideas of positive change when we find them, and share these perspectives with others? Do we participate as a positive stakeholder in our local environments? Do we vote? Do we attend local meetings? Do we enlist the clergy of all denominations who are also hopefully trying to create positive environments? Do we thank our public servants, privately or publicly?
When I hear some talk about protest as being the only way to mak a point, I am saddend at the lost opportunities for proactivity that these people leave at home! Be proactive! Be positive! Be part of your community! Be part of the solution! Be connected to your public servants! Be part of the conversation! Be wary of the mass media’s presentation of the facts! Be engaging and interactive with your local authorities! Be a protagonist for righteousness, for truth, for respect, for integrity, for change in a positive manner! It is too easy for people to believe they don’t matter, and to hid in the anonymity of a crowd, a protest, a movement, rather than to stand as an individual for what you want to create, and to include others in your ideas to build a new society.
Take the challenge! Be a part of the solution! Build your personal perspective, and work to allow others to see how you view the world!
Robert A. Martinez, Ed.D. is a trained school psychologist, a life-long educator, and a sincere believer in the power of people, their resiliency, and the need for individual’s to step-up and act in positve ways to assist others.
Folow Dr. Rob on twitter @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD
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Every Connection Counts-Build #Resilience-Promote #Grit Development
My dear friends,
In case you hadn’t thought about it recently, this post is directed at helping you to be reminded that each connection counts, every moment is precious, each interaction is unique, and thank goodness it is our human ability to connect with others, to be able to realize the importance of every minute we have, and deeply understand that when we interact with others that those moments are a true gift of humanity whose dividends can change the world.
Further, when we accept and use these precious gifts as we proceed through life we are better able to propel ourselves into the world to create an impact of positivity that can send ripples of kindness across the world. Yes, we absolutey should “Toss Kindness Around Like it’s Confetti!” Consider how our world would be a different place if we brought the same excitement and enthusiasm we demonstrate for our sports heros when we happen to see our co-workers in the morning.
Think for a moment about a single day and the connections you make, or choose not to make, or make and don’t recognize their importance. Consider how you approached these interactions, and reflect: Could I have been better? Was I intentional in my actions? Was I purposeful in my approach? Was I present for the entire interaction? Did I seek to engage and support those that I interacted with? Did I leave the interaction believing that I did what I could to assist the person I was with, and was I satisfied that I made the interaction a growth opportunity for myself and those interacting with me? Or, like most of us, because we are frequently thinking about a thousand different things we move from interaction to interaction without being present, intentional, engaging, supportive, thoughtful, empathetic or focused on the actual interaction.
The challenge is of course to appreciate each and every interaction, and to employ our best strategies and skills during our interaction times with someone else. Tomorrow, I challenge you to thoughtfully approach several of your interactions, or even just one. Maybe this interaction will be with your partner, a co-worker, your boss, a brand new person, just choose, and think and act differently. Consider that the moments that this other person is choosing to share with you are unique experience for them. What is their perspective? What is their motivation for sharing these moments with you? What do they want to remember from this interaction? I challenge you to make this time all about them, and you might be surprised at how much better you might feel about yourself, and your own humanity.
Here’s another few questions for you: Do you appreciate those in your proximity? Do you recognize and acklowedge each person as a unique being with their own perpspective, goals, motivations, and challenges? Have you taken the perspective that you actually might not know what each person in your immediate surroundings is dealing with at any given moment? Think about it, if you watch television, then you have heard the news that there must be literally millions of individuals who are wondering if they are depressed, filled with anxiety, and debilitized due to stress. Quite frankly, it’s a bit overwhelming to consider the number of individuals in your proximity that need extra support, care and love, and yet, you have the capabilities to potentially provide support, care and love to this other is well within your reach! It sure is great to be human!
Yes my friends, tonight, I am espousing the gift of being human. If you are reading this, you are human and you need to interact positively with everyone for their benefit and yours. It is especially important if you are in a position of authority, or if you are serving in a role of a teacher. Consider the importance of your role with children, and recognize that the moments that you are interacting with children you actually have the ability to create opportunities for #Resiliency to develop and flourish, and even more opportunity to develop #Grit. When you are present, when you engage, when you support, when you are purposeful, when you are intentional, when you are empathetic, when you are encouraging, when you help children to believe that they can survive, overcome, face adversity, and learn and grow, you are Super-Human!
Our ability to connect with others is a gift. This ability to empower others is so powerful, and each of us can infact create a positive impact on the world. Why on earth would we not?
Be powerful, be human, be amazing, be a positive life force that supports others. Help students to grow in peace, and help others to find peace in their growth!
Peace, Rob Martinez, Ed.D., @ResiliencyGuy
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My brother, my brother, you made me do it, and in turn you helped to make me!
Many moments, many smiles, many tears, many laughs, many songs, many moments, many challenges, many amazing adventures, George, you often made me do it, and as you did you helped to make me!
As a child, to me, you were a Superhero! You were a blur, as an athlete, a musician, a good looking son-of-a gun, a wild one who drove fast cars, wore super wild clothes, lived in the fast lane, yes, you were a stylin’ metro man, well before your time.
George, you made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me clean your shoes, you made me wash your car, you made take care of your dog, you made me clean up after myself, you made me make dinner for us (even if it was just some boloney in a tortilla), you made me share my beer with you, and as you did you helped to make me!
As a teen, to me, you were a quite the mystery-man. Who else could pull off working at a diaper service during the day, and play in a wedding band on the weekends all at the same time. To me you were a world-traveler, a true bohemian, one who wasn’t ready to settle, one who wanted it all, and yet, you loved the simplicity of a cool beer on a summer day, a winter day, okay, day, night, whenever…
George, you made me wear a tie, you made me go to school, you made me sell my car, you made me get a job, you made me buy a Gremlin-3-speed cause it was safer, you made me bring home pioneer chicken (for free-fo-sure), you made me keep my room clean, you made me help with the yard, you made me go to Vegas with you, and wear a matching suit–(think Mexican Rainman), and by doing so, you helped to make me!
As a young man, to me you were an amazing role model, a man who enjoyed life at every moment, who demonstrated a commitment to his profession, who continued to enjoy his music, who focused on his friends and relationships, who loved the swapmeet on Sunday, the beach any time of day, and then as a man who would share all of his love with his wonderful wife, and children.
George, you made apply to college, you made me find a better job, you made me question my choices, you made me see the world of possibilities that was out there, you made me reach out and reconnect with dad, you made me get car insurance, you made me want to do better, you made me want to become the father I am, the husband I am, the professional I am, the friend I am. George, by doing so you helped to make me!
As an adult man, to me, the way you battled the cancer beast, year after year, and never let it capture your heart, mind and soul, i was always reminded of how I viewed you as a child-one with superhuman internal strength, as one who would ccontinue the fight to out-maneuver the pain, as one who would love to spend a day by the beach, enjoying a frosty one, and listning to some music with those he loved, and the hats, those beautiful styling’ hats.
George, you made me feel grateful for every moment I’d see you on facebook, you made me smile with every text you sent, you made me smile with every outing you were on, you made me wonder in awe of your perserverance as you would seemingly never, never, never give up! You made me think about my own relationship with God, and I really do believe that you are now traveling through space and time with mom, with Brandon, with Stephanie, and now joined by Hildi and other loved ones seeking out new adventures. George, my dear brother, by doing all of this you helped to make me!
Yes my brother, you helped to make me, by making me a better person, by being there for me, by being my best friend and father for a number of years. I truly could not imagine where my life might have been if not for you. I know you know, and it can probably go without saying, and, just to be clear, I love you, I’ll miss you always, and you will forever be in my mind, heart and soul.
My brother George took me in when I was sixteen years old and had very limited options. He cared for me as a brother, a son, a friend, and our relationship as you might tell from my writing will be un-matched in my life. I hope that these words resonate with you as you may consider how much you mean to those you love, and those that love you. My hope that you all have a Brother like my George in your life, and that you can be like this for another.
Peace to you, Rob
The Littlest of Hands-The most Resilient Person I have Ever Known! Bar-None!
The cliche goes like this, “Good things come in small packages.” Well, my friends, this is a massive understatement with regards to my wonderful niece, Stephanie Mayhugh, who was born in February of 1978, at a weight of no more than 2 lbs. 14 oz. Stephanie was a primordial dwarf.
Yes, that’s right, born at less than three pounds over thirty-six years ago, and at full stature she stood no more than three feet tall (32 inches)! Yet, Stephanie, lived a life of a Giant!
Through medical procedure, after medical procedure, she persevered! She attacked life with the gusto of the most resilient individual that I ever had the pleasure to know. She learned how to talk though she could barely breathe through a tracheotomy tube. She learned to sign to communicate with her parents, and to learn at school. She learned how to love, be comassionate for all, and cherish each moment she had on this earth due to the love and care of her parents and family!
She wrote poetry, songs, sang, played the drums in her high school band, volunteered at a senior center, she gave, and gave, and gave, more of her little self than most professional athletes give through their entire careers. She learned to get around on a scooter at school. She loved God, and always found peace in the world by smiling to others, and figuring out how to make things better for everyone, sometimes with a simple “Hi,” hug or kiss.
This giant of a little person was lost to those who knew and loved her on Monday, May 11, 2014. The battle to stave off illness became too difficult for her tiny body to continue to wage war on, and in a moment she was gone.
As part of my grieving process I wrote the following poem to honor our Steph, and I hope you read it, and re-read it whenever you find any doubt that you are important, and that you can make a difference to others.
The littlest of Angels was called to heaven, yet, her spirit shines like the sun each day in my heart, and in the hearts of the tens of thousands that ever had the pleasure to see and/or meet the one with the littlest of hands.
The littlest of hands:
The littlest of hands can hold the most love, ever!
The littlest of hands has the biggest heart in the world.
The littlest of hands can caress the biggest fears away from your soul.
The littlest of hands could calm the most frustrated, spread warmth and love as hot as the sun, and bring a smile to the world no matter what the day brings.
The littlest of hands can touch the sky, feel God’s light, and warm the coldest iceberg.
The littlest of hands can write the most eloquent of poems.
The littlest of hands can soothe the most anxious of minds.
The littlest of hands can reach into the soul, find the truth in life, and faith in God’s love.
The littlest of hands can can hug your face like a Giant might do.
The littlest of hands can keep the beat with the the Angles when singing any song.
The littlest of hands can paint a masterpiece with a few brush strokes.
The littlest of hands can touch you deep in your heart, mind and soul, and renew your spirit, love, and passion for life.
The littlest of hands can remind you of the need to connect with each other, the importance of family, and the power of God’s love.
The littlest of hands can hold the love of thousands and thousands of well wishers in her heart, and always have room for more.
The littlest of hands belonged to our Stephanie, my sister’s child, my brother-in-law’s child.
The oldest grandchild of my mother and father, and one of the strongest and bravest people I have ever known, our Stephanie.
The littlest of hands cherished God, and found peace tonight, as she slipped away to be held tight by God’s majestic hands.
The littlest of hands may be gone, yet the love she brought, the inspiration she provided, the passion for life she displayed to all who were lucky enought to ever have a chance to meet her, lives on, brings forth smiles, wonderful memories, and so much love that you would never suspect that it came from anyone else but an Amazon of a woman.
The littlest of hands, our sweet Stephanie Rose, I will remember your lessons each day. You made me a better person. Love you always!
Love Uncle Rob, Smooch!
If you are moved to provide a donation to support Stephanie’s wishes to assist other Little people please make a donation at your local Wells Fargo Bank in the name of her brother, Jared Mayhugh-Memorial Account. The funds will be used to assist children and families to attend conferences for Little People of America.