Friday, April 30, 2010


There are the weak and weary. There are the tall and proud. And then there are … The Firm. I’m not talking about a business. I’m not talking about a workout. I’m talking about the people who know who they are and stand firmly upon their foundation. These people remember their roots and they know where they came from. And even if they don’t know everything, they are in the process of being the work in progress, educating themselves about their lives, their family history and their core belief system of being.

Think about this for a minute. We, as people often reflect upon how we were raised. And we utilize this as a point of reference. Our parents reflect upon how they were raised and carry over behaviors, ideas, thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions which in part, somehow mold and shape who we are.

We then tend to discard what we don’t want or can’t use. We do shape ourselves through our experiences. This is not to disregard the past. This is not to disregard family history, tradition or culture. But it’s more about the independent spirit, which helps us stand more firmly as we discover and constantly rediscover the shape of who we are and what we are to become. It is here we develop our strengths. It is here we embrace growth.

And sometimes we have certain life experiences which take us to different levels.

During my childhood, I would spend a few days from my holiday breaks and summers with a family friend. Her name was Lisa. She happened to be adopted. And she was told this when she was really young, not just because her adoptive parents wanted her to know, but it was obvious she was not theirs as she came from an interracial relationship. What was inspiring and amazing to me is that even though she never knew her biological parents (nor did she care to), she did know the strengths of her multi-cultural background. She accepted that her German stock would give her a certain build. She accepted that her Japanese side would give her certain features and mannerisms, instinctively. She was a beautiful girl, full of confidence, life, vigor and silliness.

I give credit to her parents, for giving her the foundation she needed to adjust to being adopted and being of mixed ethnic backgrounds, while not looking anything like her parents and blatantly so. She didn’t care what people thought. She hated bullies. She had sass and strength. She had the posture, energy and endurance of what I call, The Firm. She was firmly planted, grounded, confident and nothing made her waiver. Nothing would or could make her question who she was. There were no insecurities or questions. She had a stronghold on her foundation, her base, her roots and the center of her being. And this came from the fact that she was never verbally abused. She was never judged or criticized, demeaned or disrespected. In school from classmates, yes. But from her parents, no way. They didn’t blow smoke up her a** either. They would lovingly tease her about some of her idiosyncrasies and behaviors. And then they would just laugh together. There was acceptance and love – no matter what. It was unconditional love at its finest.

This seems like some sort of fantasy-like household. Like the kind you see on television. Sadly, the reality is that today, there are more verbally abusive households than ever before. People enable their ego to take firm possession of their words and their actions, without regard to those they love, their feelings and how they may hurt them. They lose sight of how those words will eventually shape them with a console of dangerous buttons which get pushed down the road called life.

In the end there is something called ‘healing.’ And healing is a process anyone with baggage, even the Lisas of the world must go through at some point. All this is based on whatever life experiences people have had which have been downloaded into the personal memory bank of reactive behaviors.

Some people cannot find their happy place enough to heal. While others discoverer what it’s like to be alive again, once they let go. Contrary to old cliché’s…Yes, words can hurt. And yes, sticks and stones can break your bones. But words themselves are only as powerful as we enable them to be. If we take apart any word and not spot light it negatively, we don’t give it the strength to become woven within us. Lisa chose not to let ridiculing at school to destroy her, but rather embraced the fortifying loving words of her parents who loved her to strengthen her. She took stock in this, which helped her roots to form and take hold, to make her stronger.

If we take our cue from trees, we can drop a few leaves, let a few branches get blown off in this thing called life. And even when we get old, and bent-over and we may not be able to stand as tall as we used to – if we take stock on our own life’s foundation, stay firmly rooted and hold our ground, we can endure. And we will become… The Firm.
© 2010 Queena Verbosity 100% Real Words
Media Monster Communications, Inc.
Stacey Kumagai

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Earth Day to me is like Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July. I don’t believe Thanksgiving is the only day we should be thankful. I don’t believe Valentine’s Day should be the only day we say ‘I Love You.’ And I don’t believe Fourth of July should be the only day we honor the freedom we have in this country. And when it comes to Earth Day, it shouldn’t be only one day – but we should think about the earth every single day we are on it.

Being environmentally conscious was part of my lifestyle ever since I was a child. In elementary school, I can remember all the kids having to go home and fill empty glass juice bottles with sand to drop in the toilet tank to raise the level of water for water conservation. I can remember recycling newspapers, glass and aluminum to help raise money for our school while saving the planet. We didn’t keep lights on if we didn’t need them, or things plugged in if we weren’t using them. We drank out of the tap and we walked around with thermoses we reused. We didn’t walk around with plastic water bottles. We used both sides of a sheet of paper – and it was recycled newsprint.

In first grade, we were taught about the importance of plant propagation, and actually did it. We planted trees. We walked to school. We wore hand-me-downs and gave to the Good Will. We shared. And we cleaned our plates and didn’t over consume things.

In a tough economy people are scaling back and making more conscious decisions about spending. And some are even making greener choices. And this is good. I applaud that. But this shouldn’t be a ‘new’ thing. This is something that should have been all along.

And Earth Day should be everyday, not just today. But in honor of today, I am conscious of the fact that this is the beginning for many to make changes. So I say, please make changes. I just hope it’s not too late for all of us.

© 2010 Queena Verbosity 100% Real Words
Media Monster Communications, Inc.
Stacey Kumagai