Friday, July 15, 2005

The cloud:
My friend and her husband had an argument. In my observation, this is a very rare occurrence because they are both understanding by nature and very much in love with each other. They participate in many activities together and typically agree when it comes to childrearing, financial, employment, and spiritual decisions. Without belaboring the minutiae of what initiated the fight, suffice it to say the two had very different agendas for a weekend, and when they didn't come to an immediate understanding about each other's expectations, the "cold shoulder syndrome" ensued and raged on for an entire weekend.

The silver lining:
They've made up and they're back on track. In my friend's own words -- The moral of the story is "lack of communication and selfishness led to the disagreement. Instead of us talking about it first, he decided to make the decision on his own, and instead of giving him the freedom to [handle the matter in his own way], I was being selfish. He pretty much knows 'if it's not all about me' then I will have a problem with it, but I am also an understanding person and I do have a heart. He just didn't give me the opportunity to demonstrate that. Just sharing the fact that nothing's perfect."

Now I am not going to front and say that I'm always the most understanding person because I'm not. Sometimes I, too, am selfish and uninterested in anyone's agenda other than my own. And to makes matters worse, it's usually during those selfish moments that I am least motivated to verbally communicate my needs. But this instance reminds me yet again that a happy and successful marriage is a work in progress. Two people don't just meet and become cosmically likeminded once the wedding vows are exchanged. Marriage requires, among other things, love, patience and a committment to one another to survive stormy moments in the relationship. I believe couples usually enter a covenant with plenty of love and a necessary amount of patience to start a new life together. However, in my observation, committment is the most difficult to define and use within the context of marriage. Perhaps this is because in the world's eye, most committments come with contingencies where there is always an option to walk away when we do not get our way.

But are we [we being the Generation X'ers] fully equipped and prepared to face marriage with an unwavering resolve to work toward solutions even when we can't get our way? This is the basis of mediation, a skill I thankfully learned in high school. In my training, I learned that mediation means parties agree to find mutual satisfaction and compromise in the event of a disagreement.

I applaud my friend for displaying nobility to forgive her husband when he faltered. What's more, she went beyond finding fault in him. She determined that she, too, played a part in the dissolution of the marital communication lines and ultimately their special weekend. As a woman very interested in discovering these subtle acts of nobility, I'm encouraged to see women born in my era walking in the way of the Proverbs 31 woman, where her husband and children will rise and call her blessed. This gives me hope that the moral fabric of American women has not completely unraveled.

Amor verdadero se vive despues del tempesto mas violento.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Cloud:
Today brought tragedy for the citizens of London, England. During the early morning hours, the city was rocked by at least 6 bombings within their mass transit system. Officials have confirmed at least 37 dead and over 700 wounded. It seems obvious this was a terroristic plot to cultivate fear and desolation in Europe. Although not yet corroborated, the Group of al Qaeda of Jihad Organization in Europe claimed responsibility for the bombings in a Web site posting.

The Silver Lining:
I'm sure you are wondering how anyone can find a silver lining in this tragedy so early on. After all, a mass murder has been committed, and police have not yet identified any individual(s) to hold accountable for this heinous crime. However, let me challenge your mind to recognize noble acts that are already occurring in response to this tragedy. First, police and emergency response teams in London rushed to render security and medical assistance to the injured. These brave men and women performed their jobs while perhaps unconsciously risking their own lives since no one knew when and where the bombings would end. Moreover, during British Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech, we witnessed solidarity among world leaders attending the G8 convention as each of them stood in support and shared Minister Blair's resolve to protect values of world peace and democracy. And most beautiful of all, the world has responded to this tragedy with sincere sympathy and concern. News teams are quickly capturing the prayers and encouragement of people across the globe who offer their thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the victims.

Nobility means possessing a high moral quality to be sympathetic when other experience hurt, regardless of personal involvement or non-involvement. Nobility means being resolute in protecting your country from the extremism that terrorists threaten to impose on the world. Tony Blair, like President Bush in the days of September 11th, must oversee the tremendous task of investigating and locating the perpetrators of the violence we witnessed today while simultaneously rebuilding the city and encouraging citizens not to subscribe to fear and defeat.

Today, I pray God grants Minister Blair all the tools necessary to perform his required duties, and I thank God for allowing me to witness that nobility sees no color, nationality, or religion. It can be exhibited in people from all walks of life.
Se llama Al SeƱor.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Cloud:
Ethiopia, a country of 70 million, has more than 5 million orphans whose parents are lost to famine, disease, war and AIDS — a catastrophe the government has said is "tearing apart the social fabric" of the east African nation. Caring for these children costs $115 million a month in a country whose annual health budget is reported at only $140 million.

The Silver Lining:
In 2003, a record 1,400 Ethopian children were adopted from abroad, more than double the number in the previous year. Agencies charge fees of around $20,000 per child, a relatively inexpensive fee compared to many other countries. The number of private adoption agencies in Addis Ababa, the capital, has doubled in the past year to 30. Perhaps this upsurge in Ethiopian adoptions is a sign that the concept of global citizenship prevails. Committing your money to an orphan is one very important step; committing your life and energies to raising an orphan as your own is a more significant and lasting gift.

After adopting Cambodian son Maddox roughly three years ago, I read today that American actress Angelina Jolie filed a request last week to adopt an Ethopian girl. Her request was approved and she will take custody of little Zahara Marley Jolie, less than one year old, sometime this week. Why is this touching? I saw an interview with Ms. Jolie recently and as she reminisces about her experiences abroad, she celebrates her heightened awareness of human need across the globe. Having abroad experiences of my own, I understand her new-found sensitivity and desire to respond to those needs.

The fact is we all have opportunities to give, but only a person whose heart is tenderized to the broken social frameworks in other countries will feel an intense motivation to do so. Nobility can be exemplified in many ways and certainly being warmhearted and charitable are at the top of my list. Ms. Jolie saw a need and acted to remedy it -- something many unfortunately never do.
Gracias y bravo, Senorita Jolie!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov. 31:30). Posted by Picasa
A friend started blogging recently and invited me to witness his (now public) pursuit of self-discovery and healing. Although his journey seemed challenging, it simultaneously appeared refreshing and uplifting, and I felt compelled to follow suit. So I have started this blog entitled "Nobility Brings Rewards"; its premise is found in the Holy Bible -- Proverbs 31:10-31.

In the wake of America's newest fad to celebrate scandals, selfish pursuits, and reality shows, I have found that living a life of nobility is rarer than ever and brings one little appreciation among peers and "in the city gates". Therefore, I desire to use this space to document and give credit to acts of nobility I witness every day. Besides my sincere efforts to be a virtuous woman, there are other rarae aves in this world who share my resolve to make this world a better place to live and love. So as much as I can capture, they will get recognition here.

Call it a protest if you must, but I refuse to continue praising selfishness and other ungodly behavior and have chosen instead to honor those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. After all, our God promises His peace to those who think on these things (Phillipians 4:8-9), and I want peace now and for the rest of my life. Many ask how do we achieve world peace? The solution begins closer to home than you think - in our minds. [For] as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Always [because I'd like to think I'll always be me],