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HARRIET

by Wendy Gladney on 10/14/19

Harriet Tubman said, “I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” This made me wonder – how many of us are on fire and live our lives with passion and a commitment to making each day count?  Do we even know or understand our purpose and how we can make a difference? I recently attended a screening of Harriet, and as I watched this incredible movie, it fueled me to continue living out my life in such a way that would leave a positive mark on mankind. It is crucial for us to know our history and to teach it to the next generation.

I love history and especially biographical and family history.  Over four decades ago I began asking family members about the history of our family; where we came from, some of the things we accomplished and the names of my ancestors.  With my love for travel, I enjoyed going down South as a youth with my paternal grandmother to places where my various family members lived.  As I matured, whenever I would visit, I would document oral history and get as many photographs as possible.  When a family-friend by the name of Dawnchelle Carlton asked me if I would like to attend the screening of Harriet, which shared about the life and times of Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery and leading over 300 slaves to freedom, I couldn’t resist.  The film also includes one of our very own, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, who plays Harriet’s mother. The movie was touching, and it gave a great overview of Ms. Tubman’s commitment to helping free as many of her people as she possibly could. I will go see it again.

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross and was called Minty, which I never knew.  She was born a slave and experienced various tragedies during her lifetime including a blow to her head that caused her to experience fainting spells that she believed became a way for God to speak to her. Eventually she changed her name to what most of us historically know, Harriet Tubman.  Over the course of her life it is said she freed over 300 slaves and some believe even more.  She credits being able to hear the voice of God to guide her as her weapon to free others.  It is also believed that her drive to go back and free slaves multiple times is due to her heroic faith-fueled commitment.  To many, Ms. Harriet Tubman was “Moses.” She gave them hope for freedom to the promised land here on earth.

The movie Harriet was mesmerizing and thought-provoking all at the same time. It made me cry and beam with pride throughout the entire movie. Each of the actors made you feel and believe the very essence of the characters they portrayed. When Harriet’s character, played by Cynthia Erivo, shared how we get “comfortable,” it made me think how many of us have become comfortable in our own lives that we fail to do our part in making the world a little better for everyone. Just as Harriet listened for the voice of God, we must remember the Word tells us that God comforts us not to make us comfortable but rather to help comfort others. Thank you, Harriet, for the reminder. 

Harriet Tubman not only led over 300 slaves to freedom, but she was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the civil war. She became one of the leading “conductors” in the Underground Railroad and is quoted as saying, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Let my people go was more than a phrase… it was her mantra.  What is yours?

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com, www.SeasonofGreatness.com  and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker. 

Hope For The Holidays!

by Wendy Gladney on 10/08/19

Issues such as homelessness, poverty and lack of resources for low income and less fortunate individuals is increasing daily.  For America to be one of the richest countries on the earth it is a shame the alarming rate that hunger, homelessness and poverty are growing.  Although the Bible tells us the poor will be with us always, there are still ways we can help the situation.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development reports there are over half a million homeless people in the United States and the official poverty rate is around 12 percent.  An estimated 40 million Americans live in poverty.  They all deserve hope for the coming holidays and every day.

Community Action Partnership is a national organization.  Their mission is to ensure the causes and conditions of poverty are effectively addressed and to strengthen, promote, represent, and serve the Community Action Network. Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP OC), under the leadership of Gregory C. Scott, has been on the forefront of helping to eradicate hunger, homelessness and poverty in Southern California. CAP OC will be kicking off the holiday season by holding their 2nd Annual Hope for the Holidays Dinner and everyone is invited.

The vision of both Mr. Scott and CAPOC is to expose the serious problem of poverty across Southern California and how we can all work together to eradicate this problem during our lifetime. On October 13th they will hold their Annual Hope for the Holidays Dinner.  It will be held in Santa Ana at the DTSA.  The event will be an evening filled with a Mexican folkloric dance performance, a silent auction and delicious 10-12 course Omakase-style meal by renowned chef Jason Quinn from the hit show on the Food Network called, “The Great Food Truck Race.” This is just one way we can all give back and make a difference.

CAP OC is mindful that while guests of their event will be dining on scrumptious food, there will be many that will go hungry that very evening.  Their goal is to raise much needed funds to help end that problem.  Not only will the funds continue to help boost their Food Bank Program, they also have their Adopt-a-Family Program, Turkey Drive and a Virtual Food Drive.  The holidays always represent a special time of the year, CAP OC is determined to help those fighting poverty and low-income families that have basic needs such as food provided for their tables. Statistics in their area show that 1 out of 5 children go to bed hungry every night.  Over 7,000 are homeless and over 300,000 individuals and families deal with some level of food insecurity. 

CAP OC hopes to be a vehicle that can bridge the poverty problem that exists across Southern California.  We all know that homelessness, poverty and hunger plague many Americans throughout Southern California.  For close to a half century CAP OC has evolved into one of Orange County’s most comprehensive anti-hunger and poverty relief organizations.  CAP OC’s aim is to make a positive impact in people’s lives by helping them meet basic needs and strengthen their support system.  Their position is to identify neighborhood concerns and find unique solutions.  They are committed to mobilizing direct resources to programs that assist, educate and promote self-sufficiency. We can all make a difference and bring hope to others not only during the holidays but every day.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com, www.SeasonofGreatness.com  and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker. 

Embrace Diversity, Embrace Our World!

by Wendy Gladney on 09/30/19

October 4th is National Diversity Day. This year’s theme is Embrace Diversity, Embrace Our World!  Since 2005 it has been observed on the first Friday of October. As a board member for the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, I recently had such an opportunity.  Seven individuals from various parts across Asia – Fiji, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, came to my home for food and conversation.  I served a lovely dinner and invited neighbors to come in and have a discussion around “Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.”

My new friends Mesake Jale Sovasova from Fiji, Murni Mat Amin from Malaysia, Sarah Jane Lang from New Zealand, Sivapalan Gunapalan from Sri Lanka, and Naveed Akhtar, Siraji Ui Haq, and Mian Adil Zahoor from Pakistan opened up their hearts and minds to listen to each of us as we shared about preparedness and relations in our country.  They were eager to learn about best practices they could take back to their own countries to implement ideas on how to be prepared when natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods or “acts of man” like terrorism can be handled and hopefully solved. Although we have a lot we need to work on, America has handled various disastrous situations where they have knowledge to share.

The cool thing about embracing diversity is that the world comes to us every day. We are a melting pot where people travel to America from across the globe to live or do business.  Today there is also a high probability that you have a neighbor, a family member, or a colleague of a different ethnicity, culture, or who practices different traditions or religions.  Diversity is something we can either embrace and grow together or fight and destroy the foundation of future harmony.  One of the ways we can break the ice is to hold a potluck where everyone brings their favorite family dish and shares a story behind it.  Food is always a great way to start a conversation and begin a dialogue. Good food not only fills the stomach it can also open our hearts to others.

The topic of diversity in the workplace has been around in the United States since the 1960’s. Initially diversity education started in a response to the civil rights movement.  Through the decades, the training and educational courses grew in order to help decrease possible civil rights suits. It was also thought that it could help increase the bottom line of corporate America.  There’s a difference between diversity training and diversity education. The goal of training is to improve awareness, attitude, knowledge and skill setWhereas, diversity education is a combination of diversity best practices with the goal of increasing cultural diversity and helping people to feel more inclusive. We need both awareness and education.

Last year I took a course from the Protocol School of Washington where we learned not only the importance of proper etiquette and protocol, but also the importance of multicultural understanding.  Our world is getting smaller and global presence is growing stronger every day.  With the continued growth of the internet and global commerce it is important for us to be concerned about how we embrace the whole concept of diversity with respect.  Robert Kennedy said, “Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity.”  What say you?

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com, www.SeasonofGreatness.com  and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker. 

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

by Wendy Gladney on 09/23/19

Sometimes it takes us going all around the world to see what has been right in front of us all along.  The beauty of America is the cultural diversity that makes up our country.  The United States is made up of immigrants dating back to its very beginning.  My family’s heritage is quite diverse, including cousins that are proud Latinos.  I am proud of our family and the rainbow it represents. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to pay honor, not only to my own family members, but also to my friends, neighbors and colleagues that have contributed to making America the beautiful country that it is.

The celebration started as a week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded to a month under President Ronald Reagan.  September 15th – October 15th is now known as National Hispanic Heritage Month.  It is to observe the history, culture and contributions of our Latin brothers and sisters to America. I am grateful we can celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our country during a specific month, but we should be mindful and remember everyone’s contributions on a continual basis. We are like a tapestry made up of many colors that, when woven together, make a beautiful piece of art. When you remove one thread it changes the dynamic of the final product.  We are all in this together.

As far back as I can remember my life has been touched by the beauty of Latin people and their culture.  When I was a little girl my grandmother’s next-door neighbor was Ms. Martinez who would sometimes help my grandmother take care of us when needed.  She would cook delicious meals for us and expose us to traditional Mexican music. She was a beautiful woman and I will forever be grateful for the positive seeds she planted in my life. As an adult I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a host of people from the Latinx community that have sowed into my life in a beautiful way.  We all have the choice to grow from the people, places and things that are brought into our lives, or we can dismiss them and never appreciate the beauty they represent. I choose to accept and grow from those in my life.

I know when you start to mention names you always run the risk of leaving someone out.  If I accidentally miss someone, please charge it to my head and not my heart.  Teresa Samaniego, Juanita Palacios-Sims, Larry Ortega, Grace Sanchez, Dr. Michael Flores, Ana Valdez and Aurea Montes-Rodriquez to name a few.  This is an open letter of thanks for all you’ve done to help me be a better person.  Thank you for all you do for the community and for all the contributions you make to society.  Over the years you’ve helped me grow and have taught me things in your respective ways that have helped me be a better person.  #Gratitude

Barbara Gonzalez, Associate Culture Editor at Cassius said, “My multicultural sorority taught me how to find my voice and be comfortable using it.  I needed to be just as forward and direct as the women around me if I wanted my opinions and ideas to be heard.” Her words rung near and dear to me as a multicultural woman.  We all must be comfortable using our voices and learn how to not only come together, but to work together to make our world a better place.  It’s up to all of us to unite and put things in place to make our world a better place for generations to come. Again I say, Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Sí se Puede!

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com, www.SeasonofGreatness.com  and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker. 

The Difference Between Your Career and Your Calling

by Wendy Gladney on 09/16/19

Oprah Winfrey said, “Forget about the fast lane.  If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion.  Honor your calling.  Everybody has one.  Trust your heart, and success will come to you.”  Have you ever known someone that was always on fire about life and what they do?  Sometimes when you look at them you can’t even understand how they do the things they do?  I believe it is the difference between following your calling verses just chasing a career.  According to Webster, a calling is defined as, “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” Whereas, a career is tied more to one’s training, education and occupation.  There’s nothing wrong with building a successful career, but it can’t compare to living out one’s true calling in life.

When someone combines their conviction and compassion with their training, they are destined to become the best and their light will shine so bright they can’t be missed.  No matter how much natural talent (some may call it a gift) one may have -- whether in sports, science, art, or speaking, everyone needs a coach or some level of education to fine tune their craft.  Even the best never stop learning to become even better. When you know you are following your calling, this is evident.

You may be asking, what if my passion is something that I can’t really make a living from?  I beg to differ with you. I believe if it is truly something you are called to do there is a way for you to not only make a living, but also a life.  As the saying goes: your gift will make room for you.  The question you must ask is if you are truly committed to it!  Are you willing to make personal sacrifices to do it?   What do you enjoy doing even when you’re not getting paid?  What do people always tell you you’re so good at doing?  What keeps you up at night and what gets you out of the bed in the morning?  For me I believe my calling is helping people; encouraging them to be their best and to not let anything keep them from living their best life.

Sometimes it may take a little time and soul searching to figure out how to manifest your calling and make it your career.  You may need to gather a few friends and colleagues and hold a personal focus group where you ask them what they think you are called to do and what are your best qualities.  Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and real.  When you look at your life you may see a pattern of things you’ve done or accomplished that are just a set up to get you where you need to go to live out what you were always meant to be.  Don’t ever underestimate anything you’ve done no matter how small it may seem. 

Growing up I thought I would be a movie star or someone famous.  I was involved in beauty pageants, I was a cheerleader, I was a youth leader in my church, community and school.  Along the way I was also interested in helping people and encouraging them when they needed a friend.  My grandmother always had an open-door policy at her home where anyone could come in for a meal, or if they needed someone to talk to or needed a little money to help them keep going. She never turned anyone away and she always had a smile.   Over time my life has really turned out to be more like my grandmother. I’ve been blessed where God has given me an opportunity to work and serve in the community by using my various gifts that have turned my calling into a career.  If I can help someone as they pass along, if I can encourage someone with a word then my living will not be in vain.

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com, www.SeasonofGreatness.com  and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, author and speaker.