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To Spank or not to Spank!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 10/23/14

The other day I was on social media and I saw a message my daughter posted about a spanking she received as a little girl and how she was disciplined.  It caught me by surprise because my children did not really receive a lot of spankings.  We actually gave them options. That was during an era when time out became the new tool of discipline.  This was very different from the way I grew up.  If I am honest, I do not remember getting a lot of spankings, but one in particular I will never forget was when I walked home from the skating rink and it seemed like every adult relative in my family lined up to spank my bottom.  They claimed something terrible could have happened to me, but no one remembered to pick me up.  To this day I remember that spanking.

 

As I probed a little more on social media of what would prompt my daughter to have such a dialogue on Facebook, I realized there was a lot of discussion about a recent episode on a new sitcom called black-ish, that discussed the subject around crime and punishment and whether children should be disciplined in the form of a spanking.  What I found interesting was the debate on the difference between the way African American parents discipline their children verses other communities.  I did not realize there was a difference.  I thought all kids when I was growing up got disciplined the same way as I did. 

 

Recently in the news we also learned about American football running back, Adrian Peterson who was indicted on September 11th by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child that occurred on May 18, 2014. He is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a tree branch, causing severe welts and bleeding on the child's back, legs, buttocks, genitals and ankles.  When I was a little girl my grandmother would give me a spanking and she would tell me to go into the backyard and pick a switch off one of the trees.  She would then begin to spank my legs and my bottom and even have a conversation with me about why she was spanking me, as if I did not know, but she never caused me to bleed and she never went too far. 

 

As a Christian, I do believe that you should train up a child in the way he/she should go and when they are old they would not  depart, but whether spanking is part of that scenario, I believe is a personal choice.  What works for one child may not work for another. How far is too far may be debatable, but child abuse is never acceptable! Giving love and time to our children is definitely the way to go.

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Depression the Silent Killer

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 10/18/14

How often do we see people that look like they have it all together?  Whether it is Robin Williams, Don Cornelius, Lee Thompson Young, the next door neighbor or someone who lives in our very own home we see them.  We look at them and we think wow I wish my life was like that, but we have no idea what they deal with in the quietness of their day to day life that would cause them to take their own life.  Several years ago I wrote a workbook called, Healing Without Hate:  How to Forgive to Live.  The cover of the book has a beautifully gift wrapped box with a broken gift inside.  The point being we cannot judge something or someone based on how the outside looks.  There are many people that are not happy deep down inside due to one thing or another.  Sometimes people do not even know why they are not happy.  On paper or in a photo their life looks perfect, but something is missing and sometimes it may be mentally, physically or spiritually.

 

October is the month that highlights and brings attention to so many worthy causes and issues.  I would like to touch on one that can be considered a sleeper, known as depression. Depression is complex and is a serious illness.  Statistics share that more than 17 million Americans are diagnosed each year.  There are many things that can contribute to depression.  Among them are anxiety, sadness, stress, economics, loneliness, and family to name a few.

 

Depression triggers chemical reactions in our body.  Depression can also affect our immune system. Experts feel that depression can come from triggers that cause a chemical imbalance in the brain.  Triggers can include medications, alcohol, nicotine, drug abuse, death or family history.

 

Symptoms of depression can include, persistent sadness, anxiousness or moodiness.  Depressed people often feel guilty, worthless, hopeless and helpless.  They lose interest in everyday things including hobbies, they have decreased energy and feel fatigued.  They often have difficulty in concentrating and making decisions.  Depression can also make someone wonder if they measure up.  They feel lost and lonely.

 

If you know anyone suffering from depression, be kind.  Use this opportunity during Depression Awareness Month to encourage and help someone get the help they need.  Depression is a silent killer, but we can help be the answer.  Be a friend.  #depressionawarenessmonth

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Sisters at the Well

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 10/12/14

Many years ago I became acquainted with an organization called Sisters at the Well.  It was founded by Barbara Perkins in 2003 to provide opportunities for African American women to network.  Their mission is accomplished through seminars, conferences, retreats and mentoring.  When I think of the organization, I think about women helping women and true sisterhood.  What I really like is how the name Well is metaphoric representing where women gathered to talk, discuss life and assist with answers. 

 

For over half of my life I have been involved with encouraging, supporting and mentoring women and girls.  In 1999 I started Forgiving For Living, with the mission to help at-risk girls between the ages of 13-18 overcome behaviour and mental health issues in addition to low self-esteem due to depression, abuse and or abandonment. We help provide them with the necessary tools to live a healthy life through our Ambassador Program, workshops and an annual conference which offers mentoring and life skills. To date, we have touched the lives of over 3,000 girls. 

 

Part of what continues to draw me to Sisters at the Well is their commitment to match younger women with seasoned professionals in their industry or with similar interests.  They also feel it is important to host networking events that give women face to face time with each other for the purpose of finding a mentor or professional advisor.  This small unique organization has captured the attention of over 600 women across the state of California and beyond.

 

A few months ago Barbara reached out to me and shared that the organization selected me as one of their honorees for their Ninth Annual We See You Awards that will be held this coming Sunday at the Skirball Cultural Center with five other wonderful honorees:  Jacqueline Castillo, Founder and President, Legacy Ladies, Inc.; Starlett Quarles, Founder, Urban X Marketing and host, The Dialogue a weekly radio show; Theresa Price, Founder, National College Resources Foundation; Jan Perry, General Manager, Economic and Workforce Development Department, City of Los Angeles; and U.S. Bank,  for Corporation of the Year.

 

Dr. Dorothy Height once said, We have to improve life, not just for those who have the most skills and those who know how to manipulate the system.  But also for and with those who often have so much to give but never get the opportunity.  Thank you Sisters at the Well for modeling this creed.

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Sheila Johnson and The Salamander Resort & Spa: What a Wonderful Curve Ball!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 10/06/14

Every now and then life throws you a surprise that is truly a wonderful curve ball.  I am a believer in the potential of great possibilities that sit around the next corner.  To attract such opportunities, I believe it is important to have an open mind and be willing to go where many are slow to travel.   Since I was a little girl, I developed the love of reading books and magazines, I journal and I even create vision boards.  My journals and vision boards capture not only my thoughts, but also my dreams.   

 

A lady by the name of Sheila Crump Johnson caught my attention many years ago when I became inspired by her business savvy and humanitarianism.  Over the years I have learned for many she lies below the radar and people do not  realize the width and depth of her enterprises.  Those that are familiar with Ms. Johnson, know her as the former wife of Robert Johnson (co-founder) of Black Entertainment Television (BET), however, that definition only touches the surface of what she is all about. 

 

Ms. Johnson has a very diverse portfolio.  It encompasses sports organizations (she is the only African-American woman to hold a stake in three professional teams:  the NBA Wizards, WNBA Mystics and NHL Capitals); She is  involved with luxury resorts under her umbrella known as Salamander Hotels and Resorts; Private Jets and a product line that includes her famous scarves. 

 

Several years ago I read about a special property Ms. Johnson was developing in Middleburg, Virginia.  The name of the property is The Salamander Resort and Spa.  Coming from a background in event planning and hospitality, I became excited with the idea of one day visiting it and to see the wonder behind this gracious property surrounded by celebrated equestrian estates and vineyards. Walking the grounds of this property became a dream on my vision board.

 

A couple of weeks ago I was attending the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington , D.C.  When I realized this property sits right outside the District, I thought this could be my opportunity.  I shared my dream with a few friends that were also attending the Caucus and they agreed to go along with me.  I know to some this may not seem like a big deal, but for me I felt like a little girl in a candy store, I was going to the Salamander Resort and Spa!  The property was fabulous and we had an amazing lunch on the veranda, but the icing on the cake was Ms. Johnson was actually there that day and we all got the opportunity to meet her.  She was a lady of grace and hospitality.  She took pictures with us and I was even able to give her a copy of my book to place in the library at the Resort.  Her kindness will be something I will always remember and I plan to make a second trip.  I will also make sure others know about this wonderful property brought to life by Sheila Crump Johnson.  This opportunity was truly a surprise and I caught the ball.

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Veterans Need A Place Called Home!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 09/29/14

Across the nation from President Barack Obama, to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti the challenge has been set to end homelessness for our veterans by 2015.  New Directions for Veterans in Los Angeles (www.NDVets.org) along with their President Gregory C. Scott, is standing in agreement with this challenge.  In Los Angeles County alone there are over 6,000 homeless veterans.   We just returned from attending the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., where Mr. Scott had meetings at the Department of Veterans Affairs with Sabrina C. Clark, Director Office of Communications and Crystal D. Ford, J.D., Director VHA Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. The purpose of the meeting was to explore ways to bridge the gap between the federal and local level and to increase support for veterans in the areas of jobs, supportive services, mental health counseling, and housing.

 

New Directions for Veterans mission is to empower men and women who served in the military and their families to lead productive and fulfilling lives, including providing housing.  Across the nation close to 200,000 veterans will return home this year and will need support.   Women have served in the military for generations, but it is the first time these women are serving on the front line.  New Directions for Veterans is on the front line to lend a helping hand.

 

On Sunday, October 5, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, New Directions for Veterans will hold their annual gala, Honoring Our Heroes.  The list of honorees include Irv Laxineta, President Alpha Construction, Dave Snowden, Beverly Hills Chief of Police, and Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  Michelle Valles, Co-Anchor and General Assignment Reporter from NBC4 Southern California will serve as the emcee.  Singer and entertainer Jerome Dean will kick the reception off and the New Directions Veterans Choir will serve as the main entertainment.

 

Their call to action for the evening will be to put a spotlight on the issues at hand and to bring awareness of what needs to be done.  We should not wait until Veterans Day on November 11, 2014 to honor our veterans.  Let us start today by standing with the President of the United States,  mayors from across the country, and New Directions to touch the life of a veteran now. 

 

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

 

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am.