Posted in Just a Thought

Selfish vs. Selfless

Greetings friends,

This week, I have had so many conversations about power and the abuse of power.  I started doing a little reading, and I ran across the article linked below.  I thought about the terms selfish vs. selfless.  Now, states that selfish describes someone who is solely concerned about their own well-being and care WITHOUT regard for others.  Selfless was defined as having little concern for yourself while looking out for others.  Now, when I considered the literal meaning of both words, I would not want to be considered, totally, one or the other.

Sheena Amin, contributing author for Huffington Post, made a great point.  We will quickly jump on the negative for either, but we need a balance of both.  One key point I pulled from her article was the idea that (some of us) find joy in service to others.  Personally, it pulls out the human in me.  The connections you feel to the work you’re doing, observing the impact you have on others, and the warm fuzzies that come from knowing, just for today, I made a difference, makes it all worth it.  Now, tomorrow, I may still binge watch YouTube videos and not answer my phone.  Don’t get me wrong, some people refuse to engage in service to others. Does that make them selfish? No, I don’t think so. The problems come in when we attempt to inject our opinions on someone else.

What do I mean?  Well, I enjoy community service.  So, whenever I can, I volunteer.  Some may have challenges that prevent them from doing what I do.  We must also consider that everyone is not at the same place and stage in life where that matters to them. Let’s look at the words I brought up, selfish and selfless.  Do we automatically assume a person is selfish if they don’t help an elderly woman across the street or walk through a door without holding it for someone else?  Sometimes.  Is a person that serves in a soup kitchen considered selfless because they volunteer time they could have gone to the beach or taken a nap? Maybe.

silhouette photo of man with backpack standing in seashore during golden hour
Photo by Samuel Silitonga on

I watched a great YouTube video that put the whole concept into perspective.  Why do we consider most things in terms of all or nothing?  I agree that you can be both and still be a great human being.  Think outside the box.  There is nothing wrong with assisting others, working towards your goals, finding time to just live in the moment, and being okay with all of it.  Just a thought.

Until next time,

Visionary Trailblazin



Posted in Just a Thought

Not Your Average Seniors

Hey Friends,

So, I wrote a little about multigenerational families and communities. This time I wanted to highlight some of the great and wonderful things seniors are getting into. Many agencies discuss the rising number of seniors, aged 60-years-of-age and older, highlighting the challenges faced with meeting the ever-increasing needs of the population. Well, this post will not present a fix for these challenges. However, I am so excited to highlight some of the wonderful activities that active seniors have created and engage in to stay active. We are not talking about shuffleboard and bingo, people. The days of playing solitaire and bridge with your friends is a cool down day for many seniors these days.

couple elderly man old
Photo by Pixabay on

Seniors are coming together to stay active. Most community centers have engaging senior programs that include water aerobics, swimming, Zumba classes. Yes! You read correctly, there are seniors that maintain better health than their much younger counterparts. I mean, I watched some seniors really getting it, and I was sweating watching them move. It was truly inspirational. One of the things I gathered from talking to seniors included: 1) Watch what you’re putting in your body. Too much of anything is not good for you. Fruits, vegetables, and more water people. 2) Get some rest. 8-10 hours is the recommended amount of rest to operate at an optimal level. 3) Learn to relax. There are millions of things we can stress about, the question is determining how many of those things are in our control. 4) Live for the moments that make you laugh, smile, and enjoy life.

Now, there are seniors that are unable to be active. This group may present a different set of issues. Some face challenges with physical and mental health challenges that require part- or full-time living assistance. Even with the increased need for trained and empathetic professionals to work with the population, many universities and community agencies have developed programs to reduce victimization of vulnerable seniors by sharing information and resources. So…each one, teach one. As always do your research, and when you can, volunteer. Check out the attached links, and learn about the amazing developments in your area.

Until next time,

Visionary Trailblazin

Posted in Just a Thought

Customer Service


So, I decided, after facing several challenges with customer service representatives, that great customer service is diminishing.  All of us have had some type of experience with customer service. If you have a cell phone, shop, buy food, or just buy, sell or trade in the marketplace period, you have experienced some form of customer service. Now, the words should speak for themselves.  The customer is usually the person purchasing or requesting goods or services.  Services include the goods or services being offered.  To put it simply, in any industry, if you expect people to return and continue engaging in business with you, it would probably make sense to provide excellent service.

So, for anyone planning to go into business or working in customer service let’s consider these things:

  • The first impression presented to your clients and/or customers is the most critical window of opportunity for your establishment.  If the customer feels like their patronage is not valued, you may lose not only the customer
    woman bartender smiling while mixing liqueurs
    Photo by mentatdgt on

    but every person that they may have referred.

  • Be patient and listen to what your customer is saying or requesting.  Never assume you know what your customer wants.
  • Never rush your current customer just to get to the next customer.  Be in the moment. Every customer should count.
  • Never follow customers down the angry rabbit hole.  Be aware that some customers will arrive in catastrophe mode.
  • It never hurts to smile.

Customer service is not for everyone.  If you are not a person who likes people, this may not be the career for you.  When I think of customer service, I think about the restaurants that have lines outside the door, with hour-long wait times.  People wait happily because they know the food and service will be fantastic.  Then, I think about having an issue with an item I purchased that may not have worked for me the way it was intended.  When I go to customer service, I stand in line for 20-minutes, while four customer service associates carry on a conversation.  When they finally get to me, I get an attitude and an interrogation (I had a receipt).  It made me think, why did I even come here.

Friends, now it’s your turn.  In the comment section, tell us about some of your customer service experiences good or bad.

Until next time,

Visionary Trailblazin







Posted in Just a Thought

Decluttering It All

Hey Friends,

This weekend, my family and I decided it was time to pare down some of the extra inventory that had become an overwhelming tripping hazard.  Not really, but we did begin some serious deep cleaning and removal of the unnecessary items that just took up way too much space.  I have looked at so many sites, memes, and articles about organizing and decluttering.  Some say, if you look at the items in your closet, and you wouldn’t buy it today, it needs to go.  I think that’s taking it too far for me, but we had over 40 years of combined receipts, pictures of people we don’t know, maps of places we don’t plan on going back to (we are not big scrapbookers), and other items that no longer have a place in our lives.  As we assessed the items in each box, we realized we were holding on to way too much “stuff”.  This “stuffing” was not only cluttering our physical space but our mental and emotional space.  For months, we discussed cleaning and organizing, but the thought of this arduous task was draining by itself.  We continued to place more “stuff” in, on top of, and around the leaning tower of madness.  Finally, we all decided enough was enough.  The time had come.

scrap metal trash litter scrapyard
Photo by Emmet on

Getting Down to Business

One of the things I realized through this process was that this was not something specific to Spring cleaning or paring down.  It is a continuous process that I have to work on in my associations, work, relationships, and to gain and maintain balance in life. I am in no way saying I am an enlightened guru, but I am on a path of refreshing, renewing, and enjoying life.  So, let’s consider the neighbor that has the prettiest flower bed on the block.  They must continue to weed out crabgrass, spray pests that wreak havoc, and, finally, they have to prune the plants to encourage new growth.  Decluttering is the same.

heart shaped pink and purple flower garden
Photo by shahbaz Akram on

Some relationships have run their course, and many times, we hang on for nostalgia, appearances, or out of just fear of the alternative.  These relationships are not specific to an intimate partner, but they include some of our “friends.”  Think reason, season, lifetime.  If you have associations that make you feel more drained than renewed, there is a need for some serious soul searching.  Clearing out the unnecessary drama, confusion, and needless conversations or interactions will make you feel lighter almost instantly.

Take Away

Now, an essential key to this is just like our weekend task.  Once you recognize that your “stuff” is no longer beneficial, it’s trashed, labeled burn pile, or donated.  That means once it’s gone, it’s indeed gone.  You’re not going back to Goodwill trying to repurchase it.  Forget about it.  You must mentally let go of the baggage and move on.  So, think about ways you can declutter.  Be grateful for every moment you have and choose wisely when adding to your inventory.

Until next time,

Visionary Trailblazin



Posted in Got Your Six

Got Virginia LEOs Lip Sync Challenge? Virginia Law Lip Sync Challenge

Greetings friends,

This week, I wanted to send a hearty shout out to all of the Virginia Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) that put their hearts and lives on the line to protect and serve, often, unforgiving strangers.  I salute you.  So, in the vein of honoring the LEOs of Virginia.  I wanted to post some of their funny and entertaining lip sync challenge videos.

The lip sync challenge started on June 19, 2018, in Texas, with one officer, and a battle followed from others.  In just under two months other police departments throughout the United States have called each other out for a battle to end all battles.  Below, I have posted some favorites.

As I watched these videos, it made me think about some of the community outreach work I performed to aid in the development of increased community policing practices.  Any can tell you that this is not easy work, but it’s truly worth it.  Community policing is not just the responsibility of law enforcement agencies.  It is also the responsibility of communities, businesses, civic organizations, and other stakeholders.

When I was growing up, I knew most, if not all, of my neighbors.  I knew where the elderly lived, and I felt comfortable playing in the street with my friends (also my neighbors).  We developed relationships and bonds that have survived until now. No, I am not saying you should be spying on people, but I am saying you should know what’s going on in your environment.  You should be able to distinguish between things that are out of place.  We have gotten away from getting to know each other in favor of our devices and hiding behind our screens.  Many people I spoke with in the community believe that if it doesn’t directly affect me, I am not getting involved.  My question is how long will it take before it gets to you?

There is so much pressure on law enforcement to change how they operate, but many community members are not willing to do the same.  I am in no way saying that every LEO requires awards and badges, but I am saying if we demonize an entire group of professionals, what do we have left?  I agree that cultural competence and ethical practices are necessary, but just like many who say they can’t stand any LEOs and hate their presence, some people have ingrained beliefs that require more than a two- to eight-week cultural competence and ethics training course.  We all need to take a step back and look at how our biases and preconceived notions affect others.

So, I leave you with this, don’t judge a book by its cover.  You have to make a decision.  Do you want to develop trusting reciprocal relationships with the people trained to protect your safety?  Or, will you be a person who continues to set up roadblocks, trip hazards, and finds the negative in everything law enforcement?  We must start somewhere.  LEOs, thank you for your commitment to serve, and I got your six!

Visionary Trailblazin’

Honorable Mention