Right off the bat, let me clarify that my boldness should not be viewed as a lack of gratitude for the benefits you, Mr. Big Business, bring to your respective communities. The employment opportunities your company provides are vital and your employees are grateful; however, it is important that you, Mr. Big Business, make a concerted effort to never underestimate the worth and value of the community you serve and employees you hire.
Mr. Big Business, while you reap the benefits of tax incentives and government perks, your small business counterparts are simply aspiring entrepreneurs just trying to catch a break.
Membership dues are part of business, period. Your annual, obligatory membership dues to various organizations help ensure that your political interests are represented. At the same time, the small business owner struggles to pay those same dues; not for political representation, but to establish credibility. Sadly, every day, somewhere, a small business owner gives up and closes the door. With each closing, the American dream seems more like a slogan from yesterday than a possibility for the future.
So what can you do about it? Well, Mr. Big Business, I'm so glad you asked. Learn about and do business with the small businesses who live and work in your community. The quality and value of the services and products they offer may even surprise you. It's easy to forget that success breeds success; yet, as overall budgets increase, so grows the community.
Mr. Big Business, I really don’t think that you are cold-hearted; just unaware of the many great businesses that exist in your area. The unawareness is not your fault, but rather an enormous communication failure of the very organizations whose mission it is to bring small businesses and big businesses together.
Mr. Big Business, small businesses know who you are, what products or services you provide and even where you’re located; but YOU need to know them! Who they are, what products or services they provide and where they are located!
So, how do we turn this around?
Unfortunately, some of the organizations and so-dubbed "powers that be”, refuse to be part of bridging this gap, so that is why I am calling on you, Mr. Big Business, to be the catalyst for change. Together, combined efforts between Big Business and Small Business will reap stronger, economically sound communities.
Every Sunday, breeds from every religious denomination gather together for services within their respective Houses of Worship. Close examination of congregations conclude that the most common breed is the infamous Pew-Setter. It can be difficult to recognize a Pew-Setter, as it highly resembles its’ purer counterpart, the Soul-Winning Retriever. However, there are several ways to identify and distinguish between the two.
The Pew-Setter’s actions, though not usually malicious or intentional, might best be described as learned behavior. The typical Pew-Setter attends all Worship services and activities, stands when directed, sits when instructed to do so, Amen's on command, and occasionally speaks or testifies when prompted to do so.
The Pew-Setter lineage usually stems back several generations and, unfortunately, has a misplaced sense of ownership. This progeny usually sits in the same spot and can become secretively, and in some instances, boldly indignant when an uncommon breed happens to take up residence on their perceived, reserved dominion.
The Pew-Setter tends to be very vocal and simply has no qualms about offering criticism about anything or anyone. This particular mutt seems to have an overwhelming urge to howl loudly when changes occur and will never admit that he/she participates in, and in some cases, orchestrates gossip. This tracker uses its’ nose to sniff out private information regarding others and unwittingly disguises the information as a prayer request or other vainly concealed concern and disregards any damage that may result.
In sharp contrast to the above description, one can easily detect the Pew-Setter's rare, purebred counterpart; the Soul-Winning Retriever. The Soul-Winning Retriever also attends morning, evening and weekday Worship Services; however, should an uncommon breed take up residence on the Soul-Winning Retriever’s territory, he/she welcomes the newcomer, retrieves personal details like name, address, whether or not the visitors attend another House of Worship regularly and is forthcoming with an invitation to return often.
The pack that the Soul-Winning Retriever hangs with welcomes all new breeds. This beloved jewel genuinely tries to form a lasting friendship bond that is not isolated and reserved specifically for visitors. The Soul-Winning Retriever strives for joy and peace. This exceptional pedigree endeavors to share the Gospel outside of the church walls, is highly educated in God’s Word, follows God’s directives and takes his/her Spiritual walk very seriously.
This Soul hunting hound is always on a mission to sniff out witnessing opportunities and provide assistance to those in need. This thoroughbred has a keen awareness and uses discernment when another seems to be in distress or going through a difficult time. This hound will relentlessly pursue every avenue, until all venues have been exhausted, in order to provide assistance.
Trust is a particular plus with this bloodline. Listed as an exquisite gem, this thoroughbred studies the Word of God regularly and retains Scripture for use at an appropriate time. In addition, the Soul-Winning Retriever gives to others as directed by the Holy Spirit, and earnestly attempts to win lives to Jesus Christ. A feat of this magnitude can only be accomplished through a genuine expression of love and concern toward others, both inside and outside of the Tabernacle. Inside the Sanctuary, the Soul-Winning Retriever receives the weekly message and inspiration from God’s Holy Word and immediately releases this message into the world upon completion of the service.
Through the words and prophecies contained in the Bible, a remarkable promise has emerged. Hope is not lost for the misdirected Pew-Setter or any breed for that matter. This poor, mutant breed can be transformed instantaneously into a Soul-Winning Retriever. As a matter of fact, all breeds MUST be transformed. This change does not require DNA manipulation, but simply a true acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior, surrendering everything to Him, repenting of past discrepancies and last but not least, a few lessons in……………….obedience training.
What a difference a year makes! This time last year, I was faced with two very real choices: Allow depression and the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve scenario to devour me, or pick myself up, dust myself off (no this is not a song intro) and reinvent myself; I chose the latter.
Last year, I started my blog. As I saw it, mamatatuley.com was more of an affordable therapy method, than an adventure. Mama Tatuley (my persona) was a place where I could express my views and thoughts without worrying about being “politically correct” or frankly, giving a rat’s patootie about whether anyone read it or not. My first post titled, NEW LIFE, NEW DO, NEW ME set the stage.
Life, or at least my life, seems to possess a very strange mix of humor, sarcasm and irony. I used to have a tendency to duck and hide when life would hurl obstacles my way; much preferring to cover my head under a makeshift cover than address it or retaliate.
Giving up the business I loved was more than hard, it was devastating. For a long time, I was angry, very angry; but eventually, I came to terms with reality. Now, one year later, I find reflection to be a good thing. My entrepreneurial experience was valuable, and yet I am glad it’s over! I am excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. You see, my reason for going into business in the first place was to use my writing and speaking skills to make a living; unfortunately, my creativity suffered and virtually disappeared in the haze of my “so-called business”.
Here I am, one year later, with another birthday biting at my heels. I am working a regular “day gig” and I have to admit, a steady paycheck, insurance and paid sick/vacation days are nice; however, I still find myself missing the “real” me….my calling…my destiny….my desire.
For those of you who have followed my blog and social media pages, you know that I am once again dipping my toe into the proverbial creativity realm. This time, not as a means to make a living, (I plan on keeping my “day gig”), but as a creative outlet to speak and write about anything and everything that I love. Yes, I have to be selective about the engagements I agree to accept, and yes I’m grateful for that luxury. What began as a blog is now a full-fledged website and, just like my writing, I'm sure I will continue to change and update it as I go along.
I finally recognize and appreciate that aging is not necessarily a bad thing. What can I say, my best material comes from a lifetime of experiences…and, of course, my family. From humor and motivation to instruction and Spirituality, my life's journey has written the script.
Cheers to another year of adventure!