When arrogance and a self serving attitude steal moments from others.

I really don’t like to give Kanye West more attention than he is already getting, because, let’s face it, he doesn’t need any more attention, but I read yet another story about him tonight and I have to share my thoughts.

First, I want to go on record of saying I am an HUGE fan of the Kardashians.  I’m not here to dispute the pros and cons of the family.  I admire their family togetherness, being from a large family myself, I understand how they can be mad at each other one minute and then band together the next minute when one of them is going through something.  Love them or hate them, I think it is clear, to anyone who has watched more than one episode, they are truly a family first and foremost.

Kanye West is not a Kardashian.  He married a Kardashian.  Just because he married one doesn’t mean I automatically have to like him.  I’m not a huge fan of Kim’s anyway, so it’s easy to not like him.

Here is my issue.  I really do not like self-absorbed people.  I know it is easy to sometimes get so caught up in our own feelings and life that anyone of us can come across as self-centered, self-absorbed from time to time, but he takes it to a level I cannot even comprehend.

Tonight the news is all abuzz about him tweeting an apology to Beck.  Isn’t that nice?  He tweeted an apology.  So big of him.  Are you kidding me?  So he tweets an apology and everything is all good and happy with the world again?  Does he truly think that is all it takes?

Let’s look back to the VMAs back in 2009.  Taylor Swift was announced as a winner for best female video.  It was clear she was truly honored and excited to win this award.  Here was a young artist making her move from country to pop, accepting an award she was EXCITED about and out comes Kanye West, interrupting her acceptance speech with bad English “Imma let you finish” and then went on to say Beyoncé had the best video of all time.  How dare he?  How dare he believe he had the RIGHT and the AUTHORITY to take away something so precious to Taylor Swift just because he felt she should not have won?  Who does he think he is? Moments are to be treasured, and he stomped on Taylor Swift’s moment.  Yes, she wins awards, yes she wins lots of awards, but it doesn’t matter.  What mattered on that day back in 2009 was her getting to say thank you and he interrupted it.  He hands the microphone back to her and walks off.  She is silent.  What is she supposed to say?  What did he THINK she would say?    Her moment is dashed by a pompous, arrogant jerk.  Beyoncé tried to make it better by giving Taylor some time when she was given an award, which was sweet, but doesn’t give a moment back. What I find ironic is he takes to his blog shortly after “apologizing” to her in the most in sincerest way possible.  He says he is sorry, then goes on to say Beyoncé’s video was the best of the decade!  Are you kidding me?  How do you call that an apology?  It wasn’t.  It was just a way to save face.  And to bring his mother into it, saying she would have corrected him.  He should have apologized for the horrible apology, but that wouldn’t be sincere either, so why does he even bother to waste his breath?

Kanye West has been a jerk prior to this event, in Europe at an MTV awards event.  Clearly he is a poor loser, even when the loss isn’t directly related to him.

Fast forward to this year.  The Grammys…..West, once again, thinking he is better than EVERYONE else in the room, interrupts Becks Acceptance speech for Album of the Year.  West then plays it off like he’s just joking and walks back off the stage.  Now, before we even talk about what happened in post interviews, let’s talk about this moment.  It was BECK’S MOMENT, not Kanye West’s.  Kanye West has no respect for anyone but himself.  You don’t take away someone’s moment with the thought, “Oh, I can just apologize later and make it better”.  To have such a level of disrespect for others and such a high sense of self is truly disgusting.

Beck was a perfect gentleman and handled it gracefully, but he should not have been put in the position in the first place.

In the post-show interviews, West went on to, surprise surprise, talk about Beyoncé again, saying she should have won.

I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé.

I find it interesting he uses the word respect yet has no idea what the word means.  What is his love affair with Beyoncé?  If I was Jay Z (Beyoncé’s husband) I would be so mad.  It is clear West has an obsession with Beyoncé.  Then the truth comes out he hadn’t even HEARD the album by Beck.  So, he had nothing to compare it to, yet felt he could open his mouth?  Why do they let this man continue to come to award shows?   In my opinion, they should ban him for a whole year from all of the awards and tell him when he grows up and can be respectful of others, he’ll be allowed to attend the shows again.

Of course, now it’s coming out he’s apologizing.  He’s stating he’s going to record with Taylor Swift.  He’s saying how great of an artist Beck is, etc.  All this is saying is he realizes he was, yet again, a disrespectful jerk and has to play nice to pretend he really cares about others.  At some point, when are people going to realize he’s just a jerk?  He’s not going to change.  He’ll act out like a child, then apologize when a parent tells him to, until he does it again.  It also shows how much of an adult Taylor Swift is, trying to put the past behind them and move on.

Of course, West doesn’t stop his attacks on just other artists.   He thinks so highly of himself to believe he has the RIGHT to MAKE concert goers stand up when he commands them to.  At a concert in Australia in 2014, he is filmed saying everyone has to stand up unless they are handicapped.  Then, when two people don’t stand up, he doesn’t just keep going, oh no, he has to send his security team to make sure they were, indeed, handicapped.  News Flash jerk….not every disability is visible!   How about you don’t draw attention to people who probably have unwanted attention drawn on them every day anyway?  Oh that’s right, he doesn’t care about other people’s feelings, only his own.  It was sweet of his wife to stand by her man saying that he qualified who didn’t have to stand up.   Really???  Come on!  If someone wants to pay unbelievable amounts of money to see a pompous jerk, then they have the right to stay seated if they want to.  As much as he want’s people to believe, he isn’t a god.  He doesn’t control other humans.

We have to stop rewarding bad behavior people!   We have to stop allowing these celebrities set the tone for disrespect. The question is WHY do we keep saying it’s ok?  Why do we shrug off the bad behavior when it so blatantly steals another person’s moment(s).

We need to start focusing on respect and truly understanding what the word means, then start showing it as an example, not an exception.

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Love for Love and no one else-HaliPawz

Love is a powerful emotion and it’s important to remember to love for love, not for any other reason.

I remember when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I liked a guy.  I think his name was Ted if I remember correctly.  He was sweet.  He was a little dorky like me.  We could talk easily.  Ted finally asked me to go “steady”.  Going steady back then might not seem like a big deal by today’s standards, it was pretty tame.  You might hold hands.  You might eat lunch together.  You might kiss but the intermediate schoolgirl in me probably wouldn’t have gotten much further.  I was so excited.  I was going steady with the boy I liked.  Life was good.

For about an hour.

Like most girls, I went and told my friends.  I knew they would be excited with me.  They should have been.  Interestingly enough, they weren’t mean to me, but they WERE mean ABOUT Ted.  Girls can be rough.  They couldn’t understand why I would want to go out with him.  He’s soooooo weird (spoken in true grade school voice).  Sadly, they convinced me I shouldn’t WANT to go steady with him.  My going steady lasted the whole some of three hours and I lost  hurt a friend.  Something I regret until this day.  I don’t even know what happened to him, I hope he’s happy.  I hope he’s successful.  He’s probably some rich, intelligent millionaire!

Things happened throughout my school years that kept me from WANTING to date.  It would seem like anytime I met someone who made me happy, someone else would step in and say something and mess it up.  I would watch my friends go in and out of relationships, I would see them lose a male friend because their new “boyfriend” didn’t want them hanging out with another guy.  I decided dating wasn’t worth the headache.  I was happier being “one of the guys” than I was dating a guy.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I was turning down a lot of offers.  I was pretty shy.  I hid it well, so well most people don’t realize I can be shy even today.  The ironic thing is, all these years later and I’m still more comfortable hanging out with men than most women.

Fast forward to 10th grade.  A friend of mine had a cute cousin.  He asked me out.  I WANTED to say yes, but again, someone else’s opinion affected my decision.  This time it was a respect thing.  This young man happened to be black.  My dad wasn’t racist.  He was older and felt people should date within their race.  It wasn’t a black and white thing, it was ANY race.  He felt it was better for the children.  Perhaps back then there was some truth to it.  It was easy for me to say, “I’m flattered but out of respect for my parents, as long as I live under their roof, I won’t go against them.”  Looking back, I don’t regret it, because I still feel like family is the most important people in our lives and sometimes you have to do something you might not want to out of respect.

I went on to date and marry the man who was to become my husband, then ex husband.  I don’t want to dwell on him because we should have never married in the first place.  He showed me love by showering me with gifts and attention.  He was a show boat.  He wanted everyone to look at him and say how lucky I was to be with him.  Honestly, I didn’t even like who I was when I was with him.  We divorced and I was single again.

I was hurting after my divorce.  I refused to show my family how hurt I was, I felt like I was a failure.  I had picked the wrong guy…..again.  This time with no outside influences, just the opposite really.  Everyone loved him.  Loved him for me.

I dated, a LOT, following my divorce.  I don’t even know if dating is the right word, because sometimes I couldn’t even remember the name of the guy I was at dinner with.  He didn’t matter to me.  I didn’t want to be alone, I didn’t want to be single, but I didn’t trust myself to get invested emotionally with anyone.

Interestingly, every guy I dated after my divorce was black.  It wasn’t a defiant thing, it was an attraction thing. (To set the record straight, by this time, my dad had changed his opinion somewhat about interracial dating)  One day my ex (he was my boyfriend at the time) said to me, “You know, if we every break up, you’ll never date another white man, you just aren’t attracted to us”  and he was right.  I wasn’t attracted to HIM.  I loved him but not the way a woman should love a man, he started out as a friend and figured out how to make me love him so he could have the ideal world.  But remember, he was PERFECT for me, according to everyone else.

I was fortunate to date some great men over the years.  I never let them close to me emotionally because I didn’t want to get hurt, but I can still say they were great men.

What I find strange about our society is the way we judge one another’s relationships and compare the couple in terms of society attraction.  I have always been overweight. I don’t hide it.  I don’t make excuses for it.  I work out, I lose weight, I gain weight.  I won’t say I yo-yo because it can be over years for the up and down to take place.  Interestingly enough, I was attracted to athletes, especially those with the linebacker build.  If I dated someone society viewed as “hot” people would wonder why he was with me.  For some reason, our society accepts “hot” women dating overweight guys with no problem, but they do not want to accept a “hot” guy dating an overweight woman. Another example of things wrong with our society.

I didn’t let this bother me.  If I was with the “hot” guy, I was just happy because I had the hot guy. Oddly enough, sometimes the hot guy was with me for my personality but I couldn’t stand his!  I would be bored.  My mind wasn’t stimulated so my heart couldn’t be. I fell in and out of relationships so fast back then, my family started calling them the flavor of the week.  I didn’t like the reputation or the connotation, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

Every now and then, a guy would get me to calm down.  I would actually put in an effort to have a relationship.  The only problem was, again, they would be approved by my family or friends, or both, but they wouldn’t be approved by me.  Not always through any fault of my own.  Sometimes they were just bad boyfriends.

I moved out of Michigan and when the person I thought was going to move with me couldn’t at the last-minute, I decided to restructure my life.  I didn’t want to go back to the “flavor of the week” mentality but I also didn’t want to settle for someone who treated me poorly.  How do you find the balance?

I didn’t.  I was lonely here.  No family, no friends, travelling for work all the time.  I’m shy.  I’m an introvert but keep it hidden.  I fell for the handsome guy that could spin words so well I believed we were going to be together forever.  I had a good job, was alone down here, and I let him take advantage of my loneliness.  Not once in four years with him did he EVER pay for a meal.  We would go on vacation, he wouldn’t pay for a thing.  He would constantly tell me how much I would have to change in order for him to move from love to something permanent.  I convinced myself I believed in what he was doing and the best way to help him was to support him however I needed to.  He was cute, I liked being with him but more than that, I didn’t know anyone else here in Kansas City, so I put up with way more than I should have.  The best thing to ever happen to me was cutting ties with him.

I stopped travelling for work.  I started making friends.  REAL friends.  The funny thing about having friends is, they have opinions and their opinions mattered more than I wanted to admit sometimes.  If I found a guy cute and they didn’t, I would wonder if I REALLY thought he was cute.   If I went out with a guy who was average by society standards, but made me laugh, made me happy, I felt I had to justify why I went out with him.  If one of my female friends even wrinkled their nose a little, or said, “eh, he’s ok” I would defend WHY I liked him.

As a woman, I was just as guilty.  If my friends would start dating someone and I didn’t find him attractive, I would do the same thing.  I would make a face, and then I would hear a reason why she was dating him.  I think it would be great if we could all just be happy for our friends and enjoy the journey.

As I have gotten older, I have learned the “perfect man” isn’t any one particular age, particular height, particular race.  The perfect man for me doesn’t have to be approved by any of my friends because they aren’t feeling what I’m feeling.  I have also learned he doesn’t have to match my past preferences.  He does have to match my present preferences, but those preferences are so different from before.  I’ve also learned to be strong for myself.  I don’t date just to date.  I tell the man goodbye when I see he isn’t the one for me.

Over the last few years, I have also learned attraction isn’t about perfection.  Attraction, true attraction, comes from the heart.  It doesn’t have to come with your friends approval of attraction because.  I find a smile sexy.  I find eyes that look at me like I am the most important person to them a turn on.  I find the fact I WANT to be around them longer than an hour or two heart melting.

I have also learned to value myself.  I learned not to wait with the hope something will get better.  If it starts out poorly, it isn’t going to get better.  Some men have the ability to spin words until you start feeling like you are the crazy one.  Don’t fall for it.  You know it will be the same words tomorrow from him.  If he gives you a list of things to change about yourself, start with the most important one, changing the status of your relationship.

Love is happiness.  Love yourself first.  If love doesn’t happen for you today or tomorrow, it’s ok.  Embrace who you are today.  If you are in a relationship and you feel devalued, re-evaluate the relationship.  Life is too short.

Most of all, don’t let anyone mess up your “steady” moments with a nose wrinkle or an unkind word.  Follow your heart, YOUR heart, and when you meet the one who steals your heart, you will find him the most handsome man you have ever met, and you won’t even WANT to justify why because it’ll be obvious; obvious to you, to him, and to the world.

Love love.

Protect the SHARE button; keep the hate bandwagon in the station-HaliPawz

I should be asleep right now. I fell asleep downstairs watching tv, woke up around 2:30am, headed up to bed with the thought I would listen to the latest Randomocity podcast and then go to bed. These guys crack me up and I am so excited about getting the opportunity to work with them. That’s a story for later!

I couldn’t sleep. My brain is racing. So many things happening right now. I go where everyone who can’t sleep goes; social media. Amongst the latest YouTube mash-ups, the puppy memes, and friend updates, I come across the following picture

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with the poster encouraging others to stop supporting the brand.

My first thought was something doesn’t seem right about it. The wording in the article was off. Michael Kors is a business man. I am in no way saying a business man cannot be racist, but the actual wording did not seem legit. I am not naive to the fact racism exists. I’m not a Michael Kors fan per se but if he was truly, openly, racist, I would be an advocate of sharing the information with everyone I know so they had the knowledge to do with it what they chose. On the flip side, I hate a business being boycotted or deemed racist due to the rapid “social media hate spread” that exists in our world today.

My investigative mind wasn’t going to stop until I dug into this. So much for my light, happy, puppy pic sharing mood…I needed to know. Within 30 seconds, I had my confirmation. It was fake. In my defense, if it had been a link on the post I saw, I would have known quicker, but since it was just a picture, I had to dig further. The article was written on a site where they have the disclaimer “all of the articles published on the site are “complete fiction.” Question answered. I felt obliged to go and post in the comments, knowing it doesn’t always change opinions. Once it’s out there and spread throughout social media, it will be believed by many as fact. The damage is done. Will it affect Michael Kors business? Maybe, maybe not. I won’t speculate.

This leads me to a few other concerns. The first is WHY these sites can continue to post very untrue statements about people, make them appear legit, and because of a hidden disclaimer, they can not be held responsible for any damage to a reputation or business?

Why do people continue to SHARE & COMMENT on things without either viewing the source (I try to make a mental note of the fictional sites so when I see a link back to them, I know it isn’t true) or taking the minute to just look into it further if the information you’re seeing / reading sounds a little far-fetched. Why have we reached the point in our society where we are so quick to accept a person is bad, a person is secretly racist, the person(s) involved did a bad thing. We assume the worst a lot quicker than assuming the best anymore. I admit I am guilty of it sometimes. Is there so much wrong today it is easy to accept it? That saddens me a little.

My last thought….and this is probably the one troubling me even more; is SOMEONE wrote the words Michael Kors assumably said. The article stated:

“Just for the sake of a sale I have to deal with women like Nicki Minaj? I’d rather not. After all my fans made me money, It’s only fair I be honest and let them know how I really feel,” said [the] CEO of Michael Kors on his twitter account.

The fashion industry is shocked from Michael Kor’s Ceo offensive statement when he said “I’m tired of pretending to like blacks.”

Early Tuesday morning Michael Kors took to his twitter page to express his true feelings about blacks. Considering every black person either has or knows someone with a MK watch, MK Purse or MK key chain this might affect Michael Kors sales.

“I can’t stomach the thought of my Michael Kors purses being stuffed with synthetic hair, weave or what ever else my fans are into.” Said Michael Kors.

Is it just me or is there a lot of HATE in those words? It made me wonder just how full of racism is the person who wrote it? Someone used the power of a fictional accusation to write how they felt. The last part about synthetic hair, weaves, etc really hit me. It just seemed to ooze with hatred.

Someone who hides their racism behind fictional writing to the extent this writer did is someone I would be more concerned about than the person who shows their ignorance or racism openly.

I have said it so many times and I will continue to say it. If our country would just learn to RESPECT other people, we wouldn’t have so many issues. You don’t have to like everyone if you don’t want to, but be respectful of one another. Have a respect for self. Have a respect for life. So many problems would be solved with respect.

Be mindful of what you share on social media. Take a minute to verify. Look to see where the source is. Here is a good article with the list of fake news websites.

Remember, just because it looks legit, doesn’t always MEAN it is legit. Use caution. Use thought. Most of all, protect the share button like you would want someone to do for you.

With Apology comes Responsibility & Accountability

I watch or read the news and see a lot of insincere apologies. When did we stop caring about people and more about press and image? In my opinion, lack of respect for every individual is the cornerstone of so many tragedies.

Blood, pain, realistic scenes are not going away from our media sources. They are integrated in the television shows , movies, and music that we see everyday. Shock value had a place in our society so we have to learn to accept it. What we don’t have to accept is the lack of teaching in spite of the shock value system. We just have to learn to teach WITH it.

Change happens, teaching values & morals seems to have stopped.

We can still teach alongside change. It has happened for years. Think for a minute about electricity. Prior to electricity, parents taught their children to respect flames / fire. Children were taught, at the appropriate age, how to light a candle, an oil lamp wick, or even a fire in the fireplace, when light in a room was needed. Once electricity came along, the everyday need for teaching and using fire went away. FIRE didn’t go away, just the need for it everyday. Now our ancestors could have said….I don’t know about this electricity thing; It’s EVERYWHERE….let’s stop teaching our children respect of fire. It’s not needed anymore. Thankfully, they did not do that! They continued to teach children respect for fire and how to use it properly so when fire was needed (electricity goes out) they latched on to their knowledge of fire and used it without burning the house down.

I believe we need to see more examples of accountability to stop this dangerous slide of tragic endings.

I believe there are ways to help stop this downward spiral by holding people truly accountable, not just fiscally. For example: When an automaker knowingly allows the continued manufacturing of a faulty piece and it results in long term damage or fatality….they no longer get to stand up on a podium, say they are sorry, pay a fine to the government and the victim(s), and move on. Fiscal punishment does nothing to them. They still collect their salaries. They still collect their bonuses.

Here is my proposal. The minute a company is found guilty of negligence and it is determined that they had knowledge of it’s defect and kept manufacturing, then all parties involved are given a mandatory two year salary increase freeze and they are not allowed to collect any bonus. Those bonus dollars are garnished and given to the victims or their families. A “sorry” on the podium isn’t enough. They have to go and meet with each victim (or their surviving immediate family members) one on one, face to face and apologize. Each party found guilty of the knowledge has to do it individually, not as a group. If they are a manufacturing plant, they have to stop production for two weeks, yet every employee gets paid their average weekly rate during the shutdown AND they are not allowed to raise their wholesale rates for one year. Those guilty need to feel the loss, not the associates who did anything wrong.

Apologies have to mean something. This starts at a young age and goes through adult hood. Just the words, “I’m sorry” have lost their true meaning for so many. Much of this is due to lack of respect. If children don’t respect their parents, they will never respect others as they grow up. Without respect, there is no care if another person is injured or even killed. This has to stop.

Think about your life. Do YOU respect everyone around you? You don’t have to like them to respect them. Are you teaching any minors around you to respect others or do you laugh when they disrespect someone or even encourage it? Every time you do, you add to the future problems.

Accountability for ones actions, responsibility for self and others, and respect of all living things will help to change this society we live in. What can you do to help?