Monday, May 26, 2014

Karma and The Ripple Effect

Karma and the Ripple Effect 

After a long and beautiful week with over 6,000 critical care nurses at the National Teaching Institute for the American Association of Critical Care nurses, I was in a state of exhausted exhilaration. I was tired because of all of the amazing energy that I received and shared, and I was exhilarated for the same reason.

Critical Care nurses are a wonderful blend of intelligence and compassion. They are astute at both the soft and hard sciences of life. I am always amazed by their work and I am in awe of their presence.

I left the conference to do something my daughter wanted to do. A Momocon, or anime costume conference was happening in Atlanta, Georgia. I was not thrilled about going, because I had never been to one and according to my daughter, the detective Columbo would not have made a good costume.

Over 10,000 young folks and some who were not, descended on the city in full life-like versions of the anime characters they loved. This was a far cry from the conference of critical care nurses, but the young folks who dressed as demons, angels, and Japanese cartoon characters I had never heard of were polite and respectful. They were happy to be with others who enjoyed what they enjoyed and calmly stood in long hot lines just to do so.

On the flight home, I started reading a book entitled Karma. It turns out that Karma is not what we think it is and there are actually 12 laws, not just one.

It comes down to this, we are all sending out a vibrational energy in the Universe. What we do, say and how we act has an energy and impact that ripples outward to the world and the world to come.

It comes back because that’s what ripple effects do.

We don’t just leave a legacy when we die, we are doing it every day; with every word, act and deed.

The nurses and the kids in costume were sending out a message to the Universe. We are all saying look at me, I am here and this is what I have for you.

Whether it is compassionate care and intelligence or polite creativity, we all feel the effects of what we all do.

This was heady stuff for someone who was tired and happy at the same time. Still, I realized that I need to be more mindful of the things I do and say, because what I do and say are coming back, but more importantly, they are going out.

Be you, be real, be the ripple.

Bertice Berry, PhD


Monday, May 19, 2014

Lift Your Heart and Smile

Raise Your Energy

Maybe you don’t know it; maybe you’re not aware, but there is a lot of crazy going on right now in the lives of so many folks around the world.

Some believe that there is nothing they can do, but I know otherwise.

Those of you who can feel, and see and know must raise your energy/spirit.

We must laugh more, love deeper, smile more often and share a kind word.

Invite someone over to dinner, tweet a message of hope. Use your social media for the power that it was meant to give you.

Pass on the goodness you need to see to someone who needs it even more.

Yesterday, I heard two women laughing. They asked me to forgive their outburst and I told them no. I would not forgive it because I needed it. So I joined in to their joy and I laughed with them.

The world needs you right now to be as positive, as loving as caring, as kind and as gentle as you can possibly be.

It needs you to laugh at nothing, to smile at every child, to open a door for a stranger, to help someone with a heavy load (figuratively and literally.)

You are the critical mass we need.

Be you, be strong, be uplifted.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

 The Difference between Diversity and Inclusion

Okay boys and girls I need to tell you about something that is close to my heart and my head.

Yesterday, while at an event for one of the most diverse companies in the land, a PespiCo employee asked me about how she could assure that her company was more Inclusive.

She explained that the company valued Diversity and it showed, but she wondered how it could be more inclusive.

Many companies and associations are dealing with the same issue. The same thing is happening on college campuses and even in my own neighborhood, where you could stand on the corner and sing “We Are The World,” because we really are.

While diversity is about making sure everyone is at the table, inclusion is about making sure everyone at that table is respected, trusted and valued.

As a sociologist, I am responsible for saying things like macro and micro at least once a day, so here goes.

I have long believed that diversity is a responsibility on the part of the collective; the macro, but inclusion is a micro level responsibility.

You and I must do the work. I must make sure that I value, respect and trust the diversity in my world. If not, I will not evolve. We need diversity to be better, but we need to engage with it for the process to happen.

The more inclusive the work-place, the more engaged the employees.

If I don’t include others and my own self in the discussions of life, the collective we will not become it’s absolute best.

Join the march for inclusion today.

Be you, be well, be included.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Changing the World

Make Them Stop

Have you ever wanted to wave a wand and make everything around you better?

You can. You can fix the problems of your neighbors, your friends and colleagues. You can make them behave and act right and you can get everyone who is getting on your nerves to stop right where they are.

You can do all of this by changing you.

The only person you can change is you, and when you do, you illuminate a pathway for others to follow.

Change happens when we change, be the change, are the change and enable others to change free from our judgment.

When I was a child, my mother was a terrible alcoholic (I know,you’re wondering what a good one would be like.)

I lived under the threat of a beating, then a beating, then another beating, then a sloppy, tearful apology.

I spent my Sunday’s, and every day but Monday, at a Pentecostal church begging God to make my mother stop.

I’d pour out my mother’s vodka replacing it with water thinking that she wouldn’t know the difference. This only resulted in another beating and yet another opportunity for me to stand in a prayer line begging God for help.

God told me to help myself, so I did. I helped myself to the love that was offered by teachers. I helped myself to an education and a way away from the chaos.

I loved from a distance and finally got the nerve to tell my mother that I would keep praying, but God needed her to act.

She did and she became one of the most amazing women that have ever lived.

My mother transformed into someone who I loved to be with; someone I wanted to be like.

My world changed because I did.

You can be the change you want to see in the world.

Start with a grand idea; one that seems impossible. Decide to give your life to realizing that idea and live it every day.

Be you, be wonderful, be change.

Bertice Berry, PhD.