Posts in "Compassion," tag

Drama vs Compassion

It would be so easy to sensationalize an expensive, high-profile case I’ve been keeping an eye on, but that would that mean setting aside empathy and the mission of supporting the best interests of families and children. I can’t and won’t do it.

This week I am having to choose between reporting something shocking or guiding content in a way that leads to something better for people engaging the legal system because they are either going on offense and being forced to defend.

This post will evolve as my report on the case is completed, but for now I’m logging the sadness I felt in observing a tough family matter being exploited in court. My personal belief is that this family has been through enough, and professionally I believe it’s time for the lawyers escalating the family conflict be stopped in their tracks.

A professional who has exploited a number of cases I’ve observed allowed her client to be exposed for using the court system in an abusive manner, showing he was acting in bad faith. When I say “allowed,” I mean that it is my belief that this could have been avoided with minimal and reasonable effort by this man’s counsel.  It’s just more profitable to allow offensive legal actions to ride – even when they make no sense and serve no valid purpose.

But it does not seem that he acted on his own, and it is clear this stressful, expensive and time-consuming trial is a waste of the court’s time and of the family’s time and money.

I wonder what could have been resolved and corrected her if counsel had been willing to help him avoid the embarrassment and discomfort seen and felt in court today.

This man admitted that “had he known” what he was learning in court through the exposure of the facts, he would not have filed the action against his ex-wife. He seemed confused at times, still wanting to “get” his ex in some way, but not able to support his feelings and actions with facts. He was flapping out in the wind, and this was preceded by his counsel laughing, saying, “We aren’t fighting…we are having a PARTY at (their) expense.”

This appears to be a big mess that could have been avoided if his counsel had truly been acting in his best interests, and upholding duty to him and heeding ethics rules and our laws.

Party at the Rollins Exspense_Elizabeth Lindsey_2015-10-14

To be continued…

Are you surprised?

I keep hearing from people that they had no idea what was going on, what was happening to “good families” all around them.

It’s because we’re told to not say anything, to keep the “drama” behind closed doors – meaning behind the doors of certain lawyer’s offices!   Or behind the door of the custody evaluator who says things that make you think one moment that you and your kids will be fine, and then make you feel “crazy” the next.   If you say anything to people who have never witnessed this, they look at you in a strange way…and wonder.

So I shared this through our audience at My Advocate Center:

For those of you in our community who are just now hearing about “problems” with how family conflict is being handled – or mishandled – we appreciate you stopping by.

Much of what is happening is just bizarre. This makes no sense…and you can’t fathom that these things would be going on.

If you read a report about “damages” and the location was shown to be some third-world country, you would believe it, right? But hearing that this is happening in your own backyard, where we have rules and laws that should apply…can make you want to shake the thought from your mind, and then move on.

* Please pause a moment. *

The parents in the cases we report on were like you, and not that long ago.

They never dreamed things like this could happen.

They would not have believed that they could be cut off from children, trapped in a legal process that appears to be never-ending, bankrupted or caused to lose homes – just because they realized they had to hire a lawyer and go to court to handle a situation.

If you want to learn more, and to find a way to help these good parents and their children, but without reading about the more stress-inducing situations, please let us know.

LEGISLATORS & State Capitol staff:

Thank you for taking the time.
Thank you for seeing past the “drama” you read about and can’t relate to.

Thank you for considering the needs of your constituents and our children…over what might be easy for your peers.

Please keep asking questions, and looking for answers. They are available.

Pediatric Cancer: the Wicked Equalizer

How does your mind react when you read, “Counts are coming up”?

When you are missing the right perspective in your life, just go to a fund-raiser for kids with cancer or volunteer to help out a family in need.   Read about what Rally Foundation is doing with kids and athletes, how remarkable St. Baldrick’s Foundation is with their crazy-fun head-shaving events, or find others like them.

Subscribe to a blog about a particular child, and learn more on Caring Bridge. The little boy who taught me and my children about the journey families go through with pediatric cancer was Augustus, better known as Gus, and referred to by many as “Mighty Gus.”

http://augustusthemighty.info/counts-are-coming-up/ This was one of his mother’s blog posts to help us stay connected and aware of what to pray for.

Since I started this post a couple of years ago, Gus took a turn for the worse and his family had to let him go. It was one of the toughest things I’ve experienced, and my experience was only from a distance and over time. He touched our lives and that of many others, and his parents are examples of how to manage under stress and through grief. And then there are the medical bills.

Think about what is really a big deal in your world…and consider that your bad day or month isn’t such a big deal after all, is it?

Of course you know someone who has it worse than you do;  we all do.   But sometimes they fall from your mind or you just think there isn’t much you can do for them that will make a difference?   That isn’t the case when you get involved and start to care about any of the children around us who are struggling for their lives, fighting cancer, hoping for new treatments and for cures.

Planting seeds:

Can you think of one of the worst times in your life?   …I can.  In that moment, I consoled myself by saying, “Well, I’ve never been this scared, or this exhausted…but my CHILD does not have CANCER.   So these things I can handle – they are temporary – and we will recover.”   Yes, I actually said out loud, “My child does not have cancer, and I’m so grateful.”

Then I met Gus.  I learned from his mother and her supporters.   Gus battled cancer.   Gus had a lot of friends who have cancer, and every little bit you can give does make a difference for them.   Each of them is Mighty in his/her own way, and their parents/caregivers will stop you in your tracks, causing you to realize just how strong we are when we have to be for the sake of a child.

This video was produced last year by our friend Conn Jackson & is hosted on 11Alive’s site:
http://midtown.11alive.com/news/people/106787-help-fight-childhood-cancer

Talk:  I didn’t hear about pediatric cancer and THEN think that my life wasn’t so bad.   I knew to contrast these challenges with our own because of spending so much time in pediatric hospitals and in specialists’ offices.  This awareness came from my own experiences in mothering preemie twins, and from doing hospital volunteer work.   But not everyone has reason to come across the reality for these young patients.  It has to be revealed, and then spelled out to the average person who is super busy, dealing with their own challenges, more interested in what they are having for dinner, or cursing the traffic.

Awareness is key, and I’m asking that YOU not rely on others to do the sharing.

Please pick an organization AND a child – learn – and share.  Give, of course, when you can.

St. Baldricks and Rally Foundation are creating many more Heroes in the Fight against Pediatric Cancer, and my son Jack is one of them.  I’m so proud of him for choosing to be an ambassador in this, and his fund-raising page is just one example of how you can help. You will see a photo gallery showing more about his experience, and see that he is having fun while contributing.  You may even note what this has done for his confidence;  he is truly inspired and I believe you will be, too.

The next event we’re involved in is at Meehan’s Public House, Sandy Springs in March of 2015. I’ll update this page before then, or search for it online.

Come on out if you’re in town and join in; it’s a great way to have FUN while you learn and support:

http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/JackBeacham

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Your Take-Aways

What am I about?

We may have met through friends, at the radio studio, by introduction on LinkedIn, or you may have found my name in a search about resolving conflict or addressing ethics issues that are causing harm to children and families.

What I do is not just for the sake of building a blog or about making noise; what I write and say on Pro Advocate Radio is meant to encourage transparency, debate, and the development and funding of SOLUTIONS. Ethical solutions that leave our families, children, businesses, schools and our state in a better place than where we found them.

Moral principles highlighted in green under the heading Ethics.
I’m a Peace-Keeper and Problem-Solver.  Marketing and promoting are secondary, a means to an end.  I’m after quality of life, solid mental and physical health, productivity and enjoyment. For all of us and especially for our children.

Children and our Community. If it is good for kids, then it is good for me and for you as parents, as educators and coaches, as financial, legal, healthcare professionals…and as leaders.

Here is where we may differ: I chose to take some risk by challenging bad practices and explaining how damages are being caused – avoidable damages – and daring good people to do something about it. Sometimes that means I’m not popular or politically correct in certain circles, and I take that as a compliment.

Also, there is a notion in some areas of “leadership” and governance, including governing boards of companies and agencies, that “Doing the Right Thing” by children, families and the public has to be difficult and expensive. Some have said, that’s just too big of a problem, that’s just how it is and has been for decades…so there’s nothing we can DO about it; but others are asking, how can WE make a difference?

I’m asking you to help create more voices who will ask that last question, to see how it is possible – not just IDEAL – to do the right thing as you pursue a career, a better quality of life, more influence and opportunity for yourself.

Many seem to think those don’t go together, that they are mutually exclusive. They are not.

Would you like to see the How and Why?  Yes…I can show you.

I am so grateful to be in a position to build profit and show returns on investments, while lifting others up. We can and should do more to protect and uplift people who need it, and we can be profitable and efficient while being effective. We can enjoy this work and even have fun doing it. I hope you agree!

Profit is not a bad word, so I would peacefully challenge anyone who speaks as if being an entrepreneur, investing for a return, or working like a capitalist is a negative thing, and ask them to look at our work, to look at the results and to see what scaling this work can mean for many more. This is why I use the #IDareYou hashtag on some of my posts. Why not take a hard look at how we can do better?

To those who are uncertain about supporting Social Enterprise, is there a way to meet in the middle? I believe so and also ask that you not label me or ask me to color inside the lines. It’s time for new attitudes and something different…both are needed to disrupt the status quo.

If you can relate to terms such Social Enterprise, Civic Venture, and can relate to being conservatively compassionate or a compassionate conservative, then you might already understand why I work and write the way I do.  If you saw the news coverage that included my work with My Advocate Center, then even better!  You are one step ahead in understanding the urgency of this work, and in knowing why I and others on our team ask for support.

The bottom line I ask everyone to focus on:

Where and how are you making a difference, and for whom? What does your power and influence or status do for others?  Specifically how are you using what you have and can do for children and families fighting for stability, health and to protect their relationships?

If you talk about the healthcare industry, the burden on our healthcare system, or on schools, law enforcement, the housing industry, etc., but you are only looking at it from the perspective of your insurance costs or shareholder value, then I’ll challenge you to rethink this a bit.

…Because the Damages to Children are having an impact on your bottom line. This has a lot to do with trauma, and addressing how we can prevent more injury and help victims recover faster. We have been covering this on Pro Advocate Radio, and I will address this topic in more detail in the white paper being produced for My Advocate Center and community leaders.

When you’re ready, let’s open up this conversation and see if I can help you learn what you need to know to make a difference in your own way!

What else should you know about me?
Well…I’m certain and confident in this work, in the advocate I’ve become and in the team we’ve built.  I am patient but impatient at the same time because of what I see daily. When blazing trails and taking on tough subjects, you also have to be bold, creative, persistent. Being inclusive is the only way we can really drive lasting change, so please join us!

Thank you for reading, for listening to Pro Advocate Radio and, as always, I’d love to have your feedback and your support in this mission,

Deb Beacham

Compassion vs. Practicality

Empathy sometimes misses the point.   And that point is that we all need to evolve, to change for the better.

If you are too empathetic you don’t inspire or motivate the person desiring your empathy to change or find a way to help themselves.

If you lack empathy and rather want to be seen as practical and pragmatic, you can miss opportunities to improve your community and can even do harm.

True compassion is PRO-ACTIVE.  It is forgiving, invites tolerance, but leads with a spark or an intense desire to see someone else’s outcome improve.

The best form of compassion takes that spark and feeds it with some practical measures or steps and actually lends a hand in building something better — something the recipient can work with and carry themselves.

One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was how to NOT do too much too soon for others when I was asked for help.   It took a few too many times to figure out why I was doing that, so yes…painful, but the real challenge was to remain compassionate and open while modifying my reaction.  It led me to a new service offering for parents involved in legal disputes, or what we describe as, “How to Be Your Own Best Advocate.”

Helping others learn how to advocate for themselves is rooted in my many failures, personal ones as well as the gestures made to others.  While it does take more time, patience or flexibility, and often creativity, once you establish this pattern of empowerment and accountability, it will become easier, so think about your world:

~ children and step-children ~ married couples or single friends ~ clients ~

~ facing conflict / abuse, divorce, addiction, money / housing issues ~

We leave our world a better place by empowering others, especially our children, to create solutions and fix things themselves with tools we possibly provide or with tips we reveal.  Then we watch them carry their new and improved self over the finish line.  If you haven’t done this I suggest you try it – it is quite rewarding all around – and it creates confidence while decreasing co-dependency.

So, the next time you are tempted to JUST DO something for someone you feel sorry for, consider taking the extra time, using the extra creative effort and your last ounce of patience, to coach and coax them into figuring out a way to help themselves.   This way compassion doesn’t have to collide or conflict with practicality and PROGRESS.