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Bullying, To Be Or Not To Be

When I was in 5th grade I can remember being out at recess and fighting with my friend to not have to stand behind this girl in the line to go back inside. We did not want to stand by her just because we thought she was ugly. What senselessness we thought it was now that we are grown up, but at that age I did not know what empathy was. We could have very well destroyed that girl’s life. She still comes up in conversation in the recent years and we always say that she is probably a super model and we were just naive kids afraid of cooties.

That’s not when I learned my lesson though. In Junior High I was hit hard with what some call Karma. I was hanging out at recess once again but this time it was with the group of bullies that picked on the same kids every day. One day it got physical, I pushed a boy to the ground and actually hurt him. It was that moment that I immediately hated myself and helped him right back up. I did not courage up an apology right away but I sorrowed tons of regret before I turned things around and became friends with this same person. After this terrible act of bullying the stars were not aligned for me. It was like being lost on a cloudy moonless night with no way to guide me home. This was the year of my first heavy crush and also the year of my fall into a bad depression. I lost every friend I had, except for one, including my crush. High School was terrible. Most people want to go back….not me. I learned of a learning disability I had with very low reading levels. I used up most of my lunch hours in a reading class, and the lunches I did attend I was forced to sit with kids of a lower grade because I was now the dork.

You are probably wondering where the karma comes in? In High School I was the one being bullied. I was made fun of all the time, I was pushed around, I was excluded from things and picked last for activities. Oh Marc you need braces, as if it could get any worse. This did however start to turn around for me. I grow up with a strong family and a small hand full of great friends that I had at this point. I started to stand up for myself against bullies and I was winning. I started to show respect for those that are typically excluded and ignored.

In college I began to come alive! I learned how to manage my depression without medication and my shyness lifted. I started dating and gaining friends galore. I became friends with anyone and everyone. I was proud that all my friends were friends with each other too. Everyone I brought into my circle they became friends with everyone else. The cool thing that holds true still today is my friends are friends with my siblings and we are all friends with their friends as well. There were no exclusions, we hung out and we partied with whoever wanted to join.

You see I have turned myself around quite a bit, but I am not done. Bullying has gotten worse as the years go by and the internet has gotten more and more accessible to our younger generation to give ease to those with bad intentions. I have a soft spot for those that are picked on for any reason. Working in an elementary school has really shined light on my purpose of inspiring children to be more positive with their lives. I work with special needs children and I have the opportunity to talk to the other students telling them that we are all different and that’s okay but so much of us is exactly the same. I have had the opportunity to make some of these students realize what they are doing or saying to others is wrong. The great part is…it’s working! I can see it working. Has life shown me both sides of bullying to better help and empathize for those involved? Is my life culminating to a point where I can educate students to a more positive life for themselves and their peers? This same positive lifestyle education holds true to all those who will listen of any age. I want to stand up between the two side where bullying starts and tell our younger generation that there are grand reasons to stop bullying and there is a personality inside all of us with the strength to stand up, ignore, change and fight bullying.

Many people have asked what my purpose is. Well if you have read this far now you know. When you see me with a positive attitude that’s real emotions. When you see me not smiling I am stepping through the next struggle in my life and climbing closer to my goals and purpose for smiling again. I will never bully again and I will always help others at all times. You can change your own life with a simple smile you can change everyone else with a simple smiling hello as you pass through each others lives for any length of time.

Bullying has to stop and a more positive mind set has to begin.

(Here is a new video clip that inspired this post, right from my home town of St. Charles)

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Smiling (audio post)

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I am the kind of person to just jump in and give it a shot. Like most people I am also my own worst critic. Over time I will build up my confidence and be way better then how I am now. For now I will just try my best.

I know that I have shared this quote with you many times but it is a very important quote to me and I live by it in my daily life.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly–until you can learn to do it well.”
Zig Ziglar

Today’s recording is all about smiling.

Everyone is Mr. Marc!

The main teacher is not in today so it is the aids and a substitute with our 7 students with autism. We get a phone call in the morning from one of our student’s mothers:

Me: Good Morning Mrs. (name removed)’s class this is Mr. Marc.

Mom: Hi this is (name removed) mom. I just wanted to let you know that we had some trouble this morning. He had a bit of a break down this morning because we didn’t have a frozen water bottle for him. Do you have a refrigerator/freezer in the room?

Me: Yes we have a small one. I will put it in there for him as soon as he gets here.

Mom: Thank you so much; what was your name again?

Me: Marc!

Mom: Oh ok so you’re his new teacher (aid)! His father he calls dad but every other adult male he meets, he calls Marc! Everywhere we go, everyone is Marc!

Me: I am pretty sure you just made my whole day!

The Conversation went on about what we have been helping him with, his work and eating habits.
There is a little boy running around Florida calling everyone Marc. I work with students with Autism from kindergarten to 2nd, some of them have other conditions, some of them can talk and some cannot. To hear that I have made such a big impression in such short time puts nothing but smiles on my face for the days to come. There are certainly good days and bad days, easy days and hard days, and progress can be slow. If you step back and see where the students had started to where they are now, that’s when you can fill your heart to know that you are making a positive change in their lives. His back story I cannot share with you but he has evolved quite a bit in our classroom.

I know everyone in Florida is now Mr. Marc, but there are plenty of other people that make this educational program successful. Being new I am very grateful to have made such a positive impact not only in my class room but around the whole school. I am fortunate enough to be able to take my students out of the class room and mix them with other student and I also work with the after-school program. All day with all the students in the school, I am tying shoes, helping them with art projects, helping them with homework, guiding them through games and exercises at physical education, fixing friendships, teaching them new words, growing their independence, playing tea parties, playing games with them that they just make up, and much more. Fortunately for you, all you will see is the rewarding parts of my job. My job is not easy there are many challenges, but If I can go home knowing I made just a little bit of a difference each day, it is enough to come back and do it again each day. It is enough to start each new day with a smile.

That is just what we need, start each day with a smile and make sure you love what you are doing. Working with elementary school kids has put an amazing spin on my life. There is much gratitude for all of you who have helped me on my journey but right now Mr. and Mrs. Maiden can take credit for helping me find this job.

I did not originally come down to Florida to work in a school at all. But one event lead to another and here I stand as an Elementary ESE Paraprofessional for students with Autism and the job has grown into so much more. Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Maiden for helping me fill Florida with so many Mr. Marc’s. 😉

Variety Friday (Fortune)

What if the fate of the world relied on your fortune cookie?

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Yes, yes, I know fortune cookies are just fun for most, but how many times have you gotten one that was right? I just got one on Wednesday that really nails it for me right now.

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“Your spirit of adventure leads you down an exciting new path.”

This fortune could not be more right. My life is full of adventure, including adventures within! You better believe it is an exciting path. Everything in our life has value, every person we meet has value you. The first step in discovering the value of things or people you encounter in your life is to BELIEVE! If you don’t have belief that it will work or benefit you there is no chance it ever will. If you just believe, you are that much closer to an opportunity for something very exciting in your life. I can guarantee that people’s lives have been forever changed simply at the crack of a fortune cookie. Those messages are all pre-written but perhaps we are all meant to find that fortune that changes our life?

I’M NOT DONE YET!

Sometimes you have to give up everything to find the one thing you want the most. Only the strong can make that risk. Only the strong can let go of every comfort they know. Only the strong can venture away from a career they have mastered for something new. Only the strong can walk away from people that love you and the people you love. Only the strong can fail 100’s of times and still reach for what is right in their heart. We can do anything. You can do anything, you are strong. You just have to take that risk and get started. There are better things out there for your life, you have to be strong enough to go after them.

Slowly but surely I will find where I belong and search the planet to find those that share my same views as we unite. I will climb my mountain of failures and raise a flag that says “I’M NOT DONE YET” If I can breathe there is still hope for something better. If I have a heart beat I can still love, and my soul will guide me. All I have to do is listen, hope for the best in life and be grateful for anything hope brings me because this is my life! I decide my life.

The easiest most attractive path is not always the right one and before long you are too comfortable for change. Get uncomfortable and change your path. Change your life, take risks, and be strong. You are not done yet!

Meme Monday (Believe)

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Step 1. Believe

Step 2. Succeed

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Dinner with a 1st grader

Usually I use Wednesdays to talk about ways of positivism but I am going to change it up for a worthwhile story about going to the Chinese buffet.

2 Fridays ago I went by myself to the Chinese buffet. A well known fact about me is that I LOVE buffets and I cannot resist going to them. The daughter of the owner was talking and giggling to her mother while I was paying my check.

The mom then asks me “do you work at (censored) Elementary School?”

I said “yes I do.”

“My daughter says she sees you at P.E.” (Physical Education)

“Yes that would make sense; she must be in first grade.”

“Yes”

I turned to the daughter and told her to make sure she said hi to me the next time she saw me in P.E.

I did not see her the whole week but I did end up going to the same buffet this past Friday. I saw her there but I did not say anything. I sat down went about my business stuffing my face with Americanized Chinese food. That little girl came up to me and asked if I remember her. Of course I did. She was also sad that she did not see me at all last week. I asked for her name and made sure she knew mine.

The little girl said, “I am going to run up to you in P.E. and see if you remember my name!”

This adorable conversation went on for about a half hour or so while I was eating. At first she was standing by me then eventually she sat down in the booth across from me.

In her innocence I doubt she knew that she made my night. So sweet of her to sit and chat with me, so thankful for her mom to trust me, and so grateful for not only a full stomach but a full heart as well that Friday night.

Children are the future of our existence. If we can mold their innocence into a more positive life and way of thinking, we can certainly look for a better tomorrow. We need to be positive ourselves in order to share that positive image for our children. We need to live a positive lifestyle in order for our children to lead a positive life. They don’t learn positivism from books, movies, or lesson plans; they learn from the connection from your heart and soul to theirs. Positivism is as innocent as a child, why not nurture our inner child in order for our children to have the opportunity to live a more positive life!

I literally could start a whole new blog just on my interactions with the students at my school. My experience with working on the cruise ship was amazing but my journey working with elementary school students is a far more amazing experience at heart. Love ourselves, love to children, and love the future!

Meme Monday (Let Go)

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To get past your problems within all you have to do is learn to let go, learn to move on. Make more time for the things that matter most.

Be sure to follow me here and like my Facebook for more things positive!

Famous Quote Friday (Les Brown)

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

-Les Brown

I discovered Les Brown only a few weeks ago. He encompasses who I want to be. He talks about goals, change, greatness and positivism. Goals are my life and big changes have become part of my life as well. Les Brown is a motivational speaker inspiring people to follow their dreams. His famous phrase is “it’s possible.” He is correct, for all of us it is possible. Go for everything you want in life, shoot for the moon. You are going to discover so much inspiration on your journey and even if you don’t get there you still know you are great and you earned every part of your life. You will still land among the stars.

You don’t hear about when the tears drop from my face. You don’t hear about the negativity I fight with to stay positive. You don’t hear about many of the challenges I face through change. Every bit of it exists in my life. I am human I make mistake, I fail, I fall, but in the end of the challenges I stand in victory, be it big or small, because I am shooting for the moon. With my never give up attitude and my will to always do my best, I always learn ways to be more positive about my life and the lives of others around me. Love your life, love your journey and love the destinations you reach for.

If you have 4:30 minutes you really should watch this sample of Les Brown. Have a great weekend, I love all of you.

I Am Great

A blog post inspired by a new friend of mine.

 

This is all you need to tell yourself. Not just right now, but every moment of your life you need to tell yourself “I am great”. Why you ask? Well, because you are. You are great; every person out there is great.

At least one unique reason makes us greater then everyone else. Look into yourself and there are plenty more reasons why you are great. If you can get up every morning and tell yourself you are great, I guarantee you will have an amazing day. With the mentality of being great you are unstoppable. Not only be great to yourself, be great to others as well. You have the greatness in you; it just has to be let out.

Telling yourself you are great will wash your troubles away. It will help you live a more positive life. Having an amazing life is your choice and it starts within, so why not say “I am great” and get on that road to more amazing things in your life.

Right now think of all the things you are good at….. now say “I am great

Next, think of all the things you are not so good at….now say “I am great

WHOA………..I….AM….GREAT! Everyone who reads this is great, everyone who does not read this is great, and they just don’t realize how great they could be. So next time you feel down remember, I am great. Next time someone puts you down get in their face and tell them that they are great. When they confusingly ask, “why” you say “Because I am Great” Ha EVERYONE IS GREAT!

“Life is hard but life is also fun, why not be great through it.”

-UPwithmarc

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