Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, where I show appreciation and gratitude for someone or something that’s touched my heart, which for today is for a generous and humble individual named Randy Sutherland.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Randy at a men’s coffee group here in Toledo and ever since, I’ve gotten to see how great of a guy he truly is. Always friendly and warm, Randy is such an extremely approachable person. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever seen him yelling or mad at anyone. While I’m sure he’s had his moments like we all do from time to time, I have never seen him acting negatively towards anyone. Rather, he usually just has a genuine smile on this face and offered plenty of good conversation.

I really began to see the generosity of Randy with the several parties he regularly opens his house up to for everyone to enjoy during various times of the year. During the middle of the summer, it’s a garden party where people get to see his ornate talent and skills throughout his beautiful backyard. During the fall, it’s his costumed Halloween parties that have been a huge blast for those who’ve attended. And just after every new year begins, it’s his post-holiday get-togethers where guests get to see much of his exquisite decorating and are treated to a fun bash of treats and foods all around his home.

And speaking of decorating, one of the things I’ve come to really admire about Randy is how he uses that talent every year to spruce up a part of the Wildwood Manor House in Wildwood Park when it’s opened up to the public every December for just over a week for special Christmas tours. Randy is quite accomplished when it comes to his eye for decorating, especially there, often using mannequins throughout his displays. One such display really moved me a few years ago in the great room of this Wildwood Manor home, where he uniquely placed a male mannequin romantically proposing to another male mannequin, something that I felt was a very bold move for this ultra conservative area, and one I really appreciated Randy for doing.

While I haven’t ever had the pleasure of hanging out with Randy one on one, I do know from others that he’s a very loyal and giving friend and someone people really look forward to being around because he’s just that nice of a guy.

Selfless, kind, and caring, I’m grateful to be a part of Randy’s extended network of friends and simply wanted to put a little something out there for someone who I think is rather humble and would never expect anything like this to be written about him. Randy Sutherland is definitely someone who deserves some praise and gratitude for once, which is precisely why I picked him as the recipient for today’s Grateful Heart Monday.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

 Quote #1

“Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” (Erik Qualman)

Quote #2

“Social media is a dangerous place to seek affirmation, acceptance, identity, and security.” (Cornelius Lindsey)

Quote #3

“How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?” (Donna Lynn Hope)

Bonus Quote

“Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is always depressed.” (Bill Murray)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

My Love-Hate Relationship With Facebook…

I most definitely am having a love-hate relationship with Facebook these days. What began as a simple effort for reaching a wider audience with my writing has grown into something far more complex for me, one that holds both the positive and the negative, often leading me to question whether I want to remain on this social media tool at all.

Let’s start with the negative first. I’ve regularly found myself measuring my self-worth by how many likes I get to each of my postings, sometimes even posting pictures of myself just to boost my self-esteem through the likes I get, been envious of postings by others who appear to be far happier in life doing things I’m not doing or may never be able to do, struggled each time I’ve gotten unfriended and/or blocked without any reason, especially by those I considered to be real friends, grown weary of the constant arguments I’ve seen between others due to religious and political differences, taken it personal each time I’ve experienced friend request rejections, especially when my partner’s gets accepted and mine doesn’t, felt disappointed each time a personal message I’ve sent doesn’t get responded to, and battled at times with old addiction urges that used both Facebook pictures and Facebook messaging as tools of acting out.

That seems to be quite a bit of negative reasons my presence on Facebook brings me doesn’t it?

So why bother remaining on Facebook at all?

Well for as much as there are those negative reasons, there’s just as much positive reasons for me to remain on Facebook as well. Of course, the original reason is still true in that I continue to reach a far wider and more diverse audience with my blog writing, some of which have even become daily readers because of it. Beyond that, there’s those friends I’ve lost track of long ago who were able to find me and reconnect with me only because of my presence on Facebook. Then there are those friendships that started on Facebook, that eventually moved beyond that to real life, some of which have even become my dearest of friends. There are also amazing public events I’ve been able to attend I probably never would have known about if it hadn’t been for Facebook. The same holds true for Invites to parties I’ve been sent that I really enjoyed going to that I might have missed out on if it wasn’t for Facebook. I also treasure all those people who have related so much to what I’ve shared that they’ve either commented publicly so or personally in the private messaging tool. It’s also been a great tool to find inspirational quotes and pictures that have helped to motivate me at times. And lastly, being on several Facebook groups have assisted my spiritual journey quite a bit too.

So, I’m sure you can understand now why I have such a dilemma when it comes to Facebook and why I feel this love-hate relationship with the social media tool. I know many others share the same feelings as I do about Facebook, a number of which have chosen to remain active on it, while an equal number of others have chosen to free themselves of it completely, expressing it was the best decision they ever made.

For the moment, I continue to be undecided as to whether I want to remain on Facebook (and Twitter for that matter, as it’s the only other social media tool I’m still on). While I know it’s been a benefit on many levels, it continues to also be a burden at times on my spiritual journey. I pray that in time it all becomes a little clearer, as to whether it really is serving a Higher Purpose for me or only feeding my ego…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson