Greenville

The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb

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When I think about the difference between looking at a beautiful view that I took the elevator to see or one that didn’t require any physical effort vs. looking at a beautiful view that I climbed a mountain by hiking or any other physical effort to see, there is one major difference…

How I got there….

It affects the appreciation value…Yes, its true! And I will challenge anyone who cares to debate that…but here is what some won’t admit…it feels GOOD when you don’t have to put in the ‘work’ to appreciate something verses it being given to you. But our God is AWESOME…you know why? Because in life, God will allow us to experience BOTH….its called by Faith and by Favor….

We all have heard the scripture “Faith without works is dead” James 2:14-26 and having Faith requires that we ‘Work’ because work towards what we believe ignites the power of our Faith. When I think about some of life’s accomplishments that God has allowed for me to experience, they were never given to me. The work it took in order to achieve the end results of success will forever be implanted in my memory. Going through a process in order to accomplish anything in life creates lessons and an opportunity to learn what to do and what not to do. It fuels the teacher in us because there are now points of reference. You have the ability, because of the experience, to share with someone else and that to me is powerful and enlightening. The work of Faith is not easy and it has moments that feel like pure Hell and torture, but when we make the decision to keep going until the end, we have a different, profound love and deep admiration for the “VIEW”….

Then there’s Favor….So what exactly is favor?

It essentially is a gift from God. This ‘gift’ is not contingent upon anything that we say or do. It is God’s way of blessing us through His Grace. God gives us His grace to empower us to become like Christ.

God’s grace is His unmerited favor toward men through the blood of His Son. This unmerited favor includes not only being forgiven of sin but also receiving access to the very presence of God in the same way Jesus has access to Him. God will open doors of opportunity and create blessings for us with no ‘work’ on our part. As I mentioned earlier, He would allow us to take the ‘Elevator’ up to enjoy that view….no sweat, no climbing, no hills, no extra weight (or backpack), just a push of a button going UP….

We would LOVE for every thing we experience in life to be THAT easy, right? Of course! But if our gracious God had to go through trials and transgressions while on earth, he said, that we would also so we are not exempt from the ‘pain’ of life as we climb….but I’m grateful for the BALANCE that is created in me as a result of Faith & Favor!

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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Counteraction Reaction…..

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Your counteraction can sometimes speak louder than an action…..

A counteraction can be defined as: An act of retaliation; a counterattack; any action in opposition to a previous action. (according to yourdictionary.com)

Where am I going with this? Your actions and someone else’s counteraction can both be wrong but the approach of a counteraction leaves the lasting impression. When you make a decision to respond in any situation, there are consequences to consider that may never be okay with an apology.

So, after seeing social media EXPLODE over the incident that happened at my alma mater, Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC, through a viral cell phone video where a cop approached a student to leave the class that ended up in a violent counteraction to her action, I had to speak up…but as I get older, I’m learning the importance and the power of the ‘pause.’ President Barack Obama does it in his speeches…and whether it’s just his style naturally or if it was taught, it still allows a person to think about their response before they make it. This skill is quickly becoming a habit for me in my personal and professional life and has saved me from what I call a huge ‘clean up’ job! (aka apologizing from something I said off the fly)

But let’s keep it all the way live….I was LIVID when I saw the video. I played it over and over again then I stopped. I had to let my anger channel through my mind because I am very honest with myself and my emotions. This hurt…then it stung…as I watched the response of the students via video which seemed motionless as this officer flipped this girls desk then dragged her across the floor. You could feel the tension of utter shock as if it was something being played out in a movie and not in an actual classroom….a place where students should be learning and not concern about being mishandled by authority.

Now let me PAUSE….because I dated a teacher and I know that one of the most important attributes of teaching is classroom management. You see, you can be the best teacher ever but if you can’t manage your classroom, it will disrupt the flow of learning and for some teachers, that’s a hard balance which can ultimately be the demise of a teacher’s career. As a matter of fact I met an “Engineer turned Teacher” who ended her 2 years of teaching for that very reason…she could not manage her classroom and found it very difficult to teach beyond her love for teaching itself.

As I watched this story unfold in 4 days there was a lot of information that didn’t condone the action of the student but it made you broaden your perspective a little. Our young people are dealing with some serious issues of life and although it doesn’t justify them not listening to authority, it does raise the question of where was the authority in this young girl’s life? When parents neglect to teach their children respect at home or if no example of authority is being exercised in front of a child, it leaves the responsibility up to every other form of authority outside of the home to ‘teach’ that child and most of the time, a stranger is not going to give that child the ‘benefit of the doubt.’

She was broken…

So when she violated school rules and was asked multiple times to leave the classroom to the point to where a resource officer had to be called to escort her out, as a person in authority, you have to ask yourself, how should I counteract to this action?

He has issues…

And they stem from something bigger than a disrespectful child at the time who would not respond to his actions to remove her out of the class. The excessive force used was by no means necessary and was beyond his professional training as an officer, so what made him go so far?

I don’t know…and the fact of the matter is we all don’t know but he does…

His counteraction now outweighs the action of this student and has resulted in him being fired and possibly facing charges of assault.

So while the story is FAR from being over, my concern at this time is focused on one thing right now..

That young girl….

And while we don’t know all of ‘her story’, we know someone like her…shoot, let’s be honest, someone reading this right now may share a childhood that was similar..being raised by someone other than your mother, but your mother is alive and made a decision not to raise you. How did the your mother’s decision, regardless of the reason, influence you as a child AND as a woman?

I feel like we need to REACH a little further than the internet….I can hear the silent cry out loud for attention with nowhere to talk about their pain. Our young ladies….feeling the pressure to be all and do all and we are hurting…pain neglected is pain that will revisit…and never go away until we open our mouths and our hearts to let healing in….

I’m typing and I’m thinking…”Charlene…what more can you do?” and that voice inside says,”So much more….much more.” So I’m about to rally some of my poetic sister’s together and we will use our gifts to bring awareness and a face to other women and young girls. Each one…teach one…

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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http://www.chiccybaritone.com

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Twitter: @chiccybaitone.com