Monthly Archives: February 2015

Just Asking… (Do you realize people can change?)

Have you ever met someone who lived a tumultuous life as a youth? He may have gotten in trouble from day one, causing havoc wherever he went. People hated to see him coming because they knew problems would accompany him. His parents fretted over his lifestyle, many times lost because of his behavior. Teachers loathed having him in their classes, knowing that with him discipline problems would be the norm. People kept their belongings under lock and key because if they didn’t, their things would disappear with him. He may have gained a reputation, one that cost him the things and people he loved.

 

Even in a seemingly hopeless situation like this, there is a ray of hope. As long as this person has breath, there is a possibility for change. He can become different. He can travel a different path, and he can be genuinely sorry for his past behaviors.

 

Sometimes the problem is not with the “rehabilitated person” but with those who remember his past deeds. Even though he has proven by his lifestyle that he no longer desires his old ways, some people keep his past before him, reminding him of what he used to be. Even though he has made amends wherever possible, some never let him forget things he can never change.

 

It is unfair to continue to punish a person when he has paid for his wrongs and done his best to make amends. If he is living differently, he deserves a second chance. He may not be able to mend some of his relationships, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a second chance at life.

 

Are you holding someone hostage to his past even though he has changed? If you are, consider yourself. You never know when your mistakes may be unforgivable in the eyes of others, repaying you with the same scrutiny you are dishing out on someone else.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Will you answer when worry knocks?)


When a person experiences worry, he is usually distressed or troubled about something that has happened, or he is anxious about something that he thinks might happen. In both instances, his mental faculties are in overdrive, and he allows himself to focus on negativity. He engages in self-talk, convincing himself of the worst possible outcomes. He harbors negative thoughts until they affect his thinking and other areas of his life.

 

When worry takes up residence in a person’s mind, it is not satisfied residing alone. It brings company with it, determined to take possession of that person’s being.  It brings with it depression, anger, bitterness, hopelessness, sadness, just to name a few. Not only that, it affects the person’s body. It causes aches and pains, stress, sleeplessness, nervousness, and more severe illnesses. The progression of worry is subtle, but if not dealt with, it flourishes. It is not satisfied until it saturates that person’s entire being.

 

It is easier to deal with worry in the initial stages. A person may not have control over the events that occur, but he has control over his perception of the events. He may not be able to predict the future, but when the future rolls into the present, he can control his responses.

 

When worry knocks at his door, that person has to decide whether to allow it to enter, and if he does open the door to it, he is the only one who can insist that it leaves. The longer he allows worry to linger, the more at home worry becomes. If the person is not careful, worry will take control, an inch at a time.

 

It would be all right to worry if worry changed things. However, worry has never changed a situation; it only saps a person’s energy, energy that could be used in ways that are more productive.

 

If you find yourself worrying about a situation, decide that you will evict it from your life. Find someone to talk to, pray, change your perception about the situation, take positive actions, etc. in order to rid yourself of the negative thoughts. Don’t allow worry to reside in your life. If you do, you will find that one day it will become the landlord, dictating the state of your mental, emotional and physical health.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Isn’t it dangerous to live a hypocritical life?)

A person may spend an excessive amount of time polishing up the outside because he wants to impress those around him. He may spend hours on his hygiene, refusing to go out in public without smelling his best and having every hair in place. He may make sure he uses the best whitener for his teeth, ensuring that his smile is radiant. He may use the most expensive cologne, leaving a memorable scent behind after he’s gone. He may even choose the best outfits, coordinating his wardrobe to perfection.

 

Not only does he perfect his appearance, but also he lavishes others with flowery words, knowing how to win respect and influence others. He knows how to tell others what they want to hear, and he uses his words with the greatest of ease. When others are looking, he takes special care to present himself as a law-abiding citizen.

 

These things in themselves are not wrong, but it is disastrous when a person presents well on the outside but inwardly, he is deceptive. It is a tragedy when he speaks well to or about a person, but within his heart, he craves destruction for that person. It is a calamity when he says he has someone’s best interest at heart, but he befriends that person only to benefit himself. It is treacherous for him to present himself as loyal when disloyalty looms in his heart. It is a crime to act as a law-abiding citizen, when secretly he is breaking the laws of the land.

 

A person like this has perfected the art of playacting. He lives his life as if he were in a dramatic performance, pretending to be someone he is not. The interesting thing about a hypocrite is that he is so convincing in his role that others believe who he says he is. They take him at face value, not realizing the darkness that resides in his heart. But regardless of how the hypocrite has perfected his false character, the truth has a way of bursting through the falsity and surfacing. When it does, it usually hurts those involved with the pretender.

 

Time has a way of exposing this individual for who he is, so when choosing those to enter your life, use caution. Allow time to reveal what the heart tries to conceal.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize when a person gets sick and tired of his situation, he’ll make a change?)

Have you ever seen a person in a bad situation for an extended period? Many may have counseled him about making a change, but in return, he makes excuses why things are the way they are. No matter how many people try to encourage him, he recoils from their advice and defends his state. He may whine and complain about his status to anyone who will listen, but he refuses to take the necessary steps to move forward.

 

He blames his situation on his parents, race, social economic status, lack of education, lack of opportunity or anything else that is convenient. These things may play a factor in why he started out in life as he has, but they are not sufficient excuses why he should remain where he is.

 

As you examine history, you will see many people starting out in menial places, sometimes having nothing but the clothes on their backs as they journeyed and sought better lives. They may have struggled and worked long hours, but they held on to the vision of obtaining better lives for them and their offspring. Instead of succumbing to the negative vibes that surrounded them, they pushed towards their marks, knowing that better was somewhere within reach.

 

It can be the same for the person who is in an undesirable situation. No, circumstances may not currently be like he wants them, but if he puts in effort and is persistent, he can make a change in his life. Many times, he has to get to the point of no return before he makes his move. Many times, he has to see no other way before he makes a way. Many times, he has to get extremely uncomfortable in his present state before he looks to move to another state. Many times, the pain of remaining where he is has to be intolerable before he decides to move to another place.

 

At times like these, he doesn’t have to wait on motivation from others. Something within him awakens, and he is moved to make a change. He has come to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. He has come to the point where change is solicited and welcomed.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you know walking in offense can take you off your road to destiny?)

 

It takes some people longer than others to discover purpose, and after they find what they are destined to do or who they are destined to be, most work towards it with diligence. Nevertheless, things may occur to cause a person to lose focus, making it difficult to continue on the road that he was designed to travel.

 

Have you ever seen a person progressing smoothly in his profession, gleaning from his mentor and after working together for a while his mentor says something to hurt his feelings? Instead of working through the issue or looking for areas of improvement, that person throws in the towel and refuses to listen to anything else his mentor says. Even if he has gained much knowledge from his mentor, he chooses to throw the entire relationship away because of an offense. An old cliché describes it as throwing the baby out with the bath water. As we examine the cliché, we would say it’s absurd for someone to do such a thing, but if a person is not careful, he may make the same mistake because of an offense.

 

Not only that, a person may belong to an organization that has benefited him and helped him grow. Yet one day, one of its members fails to acknowledge his presence, or another member points out one of his flaws, and the person decides not to return to the organization. He leaves without attempting to work towards a resolution.

 

It is easy to dismiss something or someone because of one offense. However, before bolting, a person should ask himself is that the right thing to do. Sometimes those very people, places, organizations, etc. are placed in a person’s life to help him move to the next level, but if he leaves them prematurely, he may postpone his promotion. Leaving is not always wrong, but before one throws in the towel, he should decide whether that is the best decision. He shouldn’t act hastily, but he should put some thought into his actions before he acts.

 

Look at areas where you were offended. Did you make decisions while you were hot with emotion that you later regretted? That one little act could have caused you to take a detour from your destiny. No, I’m not advocating abuse in any form. I’m just asking you to stop and think before making your move. Be one who considers his ways. Don’t allow one offense to cause you a lifetime of wandering.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Where do you find your inspiration?)


The creative abilities of others are amazing. Sometimes, a person creates a masterpiece that captures the attention of the masses. It can be a song, painting, book, poem, invention or other entity. That piece of work moves beyond the pages, canvases, musical notes, etc. and speaks to individuals’ souls. It seems the piece comes alive, taking on a life of its own, stirring the emotions of others, at times moving them to take action. Such inspiration may come at the spur of the moment, sometimes without much effort or after many hours of toil and struggle.

 

A person may be taking a walk, and inspiration captures him. He may be sitting quietly, and an idea comes to mind. He may be in a laboratory, frustrated by his previous attempts when a new method storms his mind. He may be jolted from a dream, equipped with a new way of doing something.

 

Where do you go to get your inspiration? Do you go to a beautifully adorned park? Do you sit quietly, waiting to be inspired? Do you pray for answers? Do you read a moving novel to get your inspirational juices flowing? Do you listen to motivational material? Do you get inspired by surrounding yourself with talented people or those who possess great wisdom?

 

Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything at any time. The receiver has to recognize and capture it in the moment it’s presented, and then act upon it. Think about the times you were inspired. Did you act on it, or did you allow that moment to pass into the vastness without taking action? Remember, one can’t determine when the moment of inspiration will transpire, but when it does, be ready to move. You never know, moving on an inspired moment may change the course of your life.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you know lessons are wrapped in struggles?)

Struggles are a part of life. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they show up even if you don’t expect them or prepare for their arrival. The influential as well as the unknown will experience their share of struggles. The wealthy as well as the poor will experience them too. No one is immune to this fact of life, regardless of his social standing, sex or family of origin.

 

Even though struggles may be difficult to encounter, they can provide a wealth of knowledge to the one experiencing the struggle. A person doesn’t really know what he is made of unless pressure is applied. He can verbalize how strong he is, how powerful he is and what he can endure, but he will never know for sure unless he experiences challenges and difficulties. He may even think that he is frail and feeble, but experiencing a struggle may prove him otherwise.

 

Only that person can decide how he will react to a struggle. He can rejoice in spite of it, make it through to the other side, ask for help or fold under the pressure. Regardless his response, he must know that with struggle comes knowledge, and it is up to him whether he will glean from the experience or not. One thing is certain, if he doesn’t learn the lesson that the struggle brings, it will be difficult for him to move forward.

 

Examine an area that may be causing you difficulty. Is it your finances, health, family, attitude or friends? Brainstorm and write out a list of possibilities of how you can deal with the issue. Write down every productive solution you can think of (not those that will cause harm or injury to another); you can even ask others for ideas if you get stuck. After you’ve written down several positive solutions, pick one and give it a go. If that one fails, try another. The key is not how quickly you come up with a solution, but that you find a solution that works. If nothing more, change your perception about the situation. If these things fail, seek help. Sometimes someone not involved in the situation can give you insightful information. In any case, learn from the experience. Refuse to fail the grade because you failed to learn the lesson that your struggle presented.

Books by Levon