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family

Meghan Markle Vs. Kate Middleton: Why We Should Talk About Their “Feud”

By | family, Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, kate middleton, Meghan Markle, stories

Over the span of a few short years, Meghan Markle has cemented her status as one of the most powerful women in the world. 

However, this precipitous rise hasn’t been without its fair share of blood, toil, tears, and sweat. At every turn, Meghan has had to endure the stigma of being the outsider, someone who has to meet, if not exceed, the impossible expectations of those imposed on a Duchess, or as a matter of fact, any esteemed member of the English Royal Family. What complicated the transition was her inherent “otherness” and how the press singled it out repeatedly to trigger the masses and sway opinion. The media coverage became so vicious, obsessive, and predatory that it eventually played a part in driving Harry and Meghan from the monarchy for good. 

A lot of naysayers argue Kate Middleton went through the same process of scrutiny and judgment, and everyone in the family has to bear the slander at some point or the other. How else are they going to justify their grand existences? However, Meghan’s arrival and subsequent assimilation into the family have been unlike any other newcomer. Moreover, you can’t deny there isn’t a stark distinction between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. 

It’s high time we unpack their relationship and examine how the media’s treatment impacted their journeys through and outside the monarchy:

Kate also started out receiving intense criticism from the press

It’s hard to say when the rivalry commenced or whether it even existed before the press decided to run with the narrative. The media has been pitting the two Duchesses against each other for as long as one can remember, and they don’t intend to slow down anytime soon. 

Meghan pointed out in the famous Oprah interview that “making Kate cry was the beginning of a real character assassination” on the media’s part. The story stemmed from a report alleging Meghan Markle, during the preparation of her wedding ceremony, had an argument with Kate Middleton regarding flower girl dresses that apparently led to the latter in tears. Meghan debunked the report in the interview and confirmed it had been the opposite — Kate had made her cry — and said Kate had apologized for her behavior and sent her flowers as a gesture. 

The flower girl debacle was just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, the English tabloids have been working to the bone to compare and contrast the two women and dissect their individual styles and choices. Meghan was initially hailed as a beacon of progressiveness for the age-old institution, a figure who would carve a new path for the family and bring them up to modern-day sensibilities. Weirdly enough, Kate Middleton, before her long-awaited engagement to Prince William, had been characterized as boring, bland, and ‘Waity Katie,’ a desperate young commoner just waiting to hit the big time and become a future princess, no matter how long it took. 

As Meghan became an official Duchess, the tides turned, and the media launched an aggressive, organized campaign against her. She became the villain in every single situation, her each move scrutinized to death, her each appearance put under the microscope. Her estranged family from her dad’s side only worsened the disparagement — they leveraged their moment in the sun to make money and spew lies about their own half-sister and daughter

Yet, it pales in comparison to how Meghan has been covered in recent years

An insightful article from Buzzfeed paints a grim picture of how the Duchesses have been respectively portrayed in the media over the past few years and the “double standard” that seems to echo through.  

For example, Kate is “tenderly” cradling her baby bump, but when Meghan does the same, the article changes course and asks, “Why can’t Meghan Markle keep her hands off her bump?  Experts tackle the question that has got the nation talking: Is it pride, vanity, acting – or a new age bonding technique?” In another blatant case of prejudice, William is praised for gifting his wife an avocado to alleviate her morning sickness, but Meghan’s avocado is, all of a sudden, linked to “human rights abuse and drought.” It’s clear there is a rather significant bias in the media; what’s worse is that a lot of the public has fallen prey to the agenda, just as it was intended. 

So why is there a bias at all? Well, there could be a number of factors, none of which have or will ever be verified. Meghan’s biracial ethnicity, background as an actress, divorceé status, and nationality have been identified as potential sources of her controversial image. Her race, in particular, has been cited as the number-one driving force of the double standard. Additionally, it could be Meghan’s advocacy that may have caused some disgruntlement among the institution, especially when the masses are so accustomed to the royals staying apolitical and ‘safe.’

On the contrary, Kate has been delivering everything that’s asked of her since becoming a Duchess. She’s elegant, gentle, dedicated to her role as wife and mother, and doesn’t try to challenge the status quo.  She follows protocol to the tee, doesn’t complain about any of its pains, and displays endless devotion and reverence to the crown; she fulfills her obligation just as a royal family member should. The qualities that were once ridiculed by the press — being a Plain Jane, having no charisma, being dependent on William — are now being celebrated. 

It’s no coincidence this tide turned with the introduction of Meghan into the English public consciousness. When you want to vilify someone, you have to measure them against someone deemed more quintessentially soft, maternal, and subservient, who’s willing to play nice and adhere to tradition in the most frustrating of circumstances. Kate being upheld as the exemplary, beloved future Queen to the country is a direct result of Meghan’s ostracization from the circle. Had Meghan been white and English and someone more digestible and compliant in the public’s eye, Kate could still be facing the brunt of the vitriol. 

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It is important to rise above the tension

If there’s a moral to the story, it’s that women will always be pitted against each other to serve existing power structures. There’s a lot to be gained in manufacturing outrage among the English masses and breeding division concerning the royal family. The monarchy has always been a contentious issue, so when you add a Black American to the mix, the polarization becomes more and more prominent. The ordeal with Harry, Meghan, and the royal family is ongoing, so time will tell whether there is any improvement or development in how Meghan is being depicted in the press. 

Of course, it feels nearly impossible to relate to their tension, but everyone is familiar with feeling like an outcast at times and not knowing how you can stand up for yourself without challenging someone openly. How do you establish your status without threatening someone else’s? As much as people try to sow discord, you have to rise above the hostility and look at the bigger picture. Is the animosity worth your time, does a rivalry empower you in any way, and wouldn’t it be much better if you were able to co-exist peacefully and not exhaust your energy on a futile feud?

More inspiring stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/08/31/meghan-markle-kate-middleton-alleged-feud/

Gay Son Comes Out To Close-Minded Dad, Gets Shocked For All The Right Reasons

By | Acceptance, family, Food for thought, inspiring, parents, stories, uplifting news

Out in the open

To many of Levi Miles’ friends at the University of Wisconsin, it was an open secret that he was gay. However, he never told the world.

In a piece he penned in the Huff Post, Miles says that the positive response following him officially coming out on Facebook was heartwarming.

However, visiting home, Miles was very concerned with his father’s reaction. While his mother had known Miles’ secret for two years, he wrote that “coming out to my father terrified me beyond all other things,” fearing that he’d disown him.

One day his father left the house, and Miles’s mother told him “Your father saw your Facebook status when I left my Facebook up. The cat’s out of the bag.”

When Miles asked her for his reaction, the response was heartbreaking.

“She said that he wasn’t too happy about it, mostly disappointed and kind of hurt, from what I gathered,” wrote Miles.

“He’d even had the gall to say that if I weren’t in theatrE, I wouldn’t have ended up gay, because it wouldn’t have seemed so normal.”

– Levi Miles

“My dad has never been open-minded on the topic of homosexuality, and I know that he was praying that I wouldn’t be gay.”

Things left unsaid

When his dad returned, neither brought up the topic.

Miles admitted that “I didn’t want to talk about my sexuality with my father any more than he wanted to talk about it with me, which was good.”

With the tense weekend over, Miles hugged his parents goodbye as he hopped on the train back to Milwaukee.

A few hours later, his mother texted him.

“Your dad has funny ways of showing he loves you. Look in your backpack.”

– Levi Mile’s mother

Inside, between two notebooks, was a picture of a young Miles and his father, smiling.

On the back was a note that wrote “I will always love you, no matter what.”

Love overcomes

As hurtful and ignorant his ‘disappointment’ was to Levi, credit to his father for reflecting and realizing that Levi is his son and ultimately deciding to love him for who he is. While he didn’t do it with some moving speech, he expressed it in his own way —just like his Levi expresses who he is.

Above all, hat’s off to young Levi for sharing this story, and reminding us all that even the seemingly coldest and closed hearts and minds can thaw with love.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/08/27/levi-miles-son-comes-out-close-minded-dad/

7-Year-Old Swims In Strong Current For An Hour To Save Dad And Sister From Drowning

By | everyday heroes, family, Food for thought, rescue, uplifting news

When your life and the lives of your loved ones are in danger, there is really no telling how far a person can go. The possibilities are almost limitless. Love and survival are two of the strongest forces and intuitive modalities in the universe. When the fear of losing someone close to you presents itself, you go into action mode, and that’s exactly what one 7-year-old did to save his sister, father and himself.

Memorable Memorial Day

Steven Poust brought his two young children boating on St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida for some fishing fun over Memorial Day weekend. Steven anchored down the boat so that Abigail, 4, and Chase, 7, could enjoy some swimming.

Normally Abigail stays at the back of the boat, but because the current was so strong, Abigail had to let go. When Chase saw what happened to his sister, he immediately reacted, letting go as well so that Abigail would not drift. Except, as soon as he jumped in, Chase was stuck as well.

Steven jumped in after his children to save them.

“I told them I loved them because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.”

– Steven Poust

Steven explains, “I tried to stick with her as long as I could, and both of them really. I wore myself out. She drifted away from me.”

Chase to the rescue

Poust told Chase to swim to shore and get help while he would try to reach Abigail. Luckily, Abigail was wearing a life jacket, which kept her afloat.

Chase bravely swam to shore, taking an hour to get there. When asked by CNN affiliate WJXT if he got tired while swimming, Chase confirmed that he did, saying that he swam doggie paddle and floated on his back to conserve energy.

After Chase swam a mile to reach the shore, he ran to the nearest house for help, and help was officially on the way.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department (JFRD) was dispatched to the boat’s location but when they got there, they had to call in other agencies to help with the search. Steven and Abigail had drifted approximately one and a half to two miles away from the boat.

The ideal outcome

JFRD Spokesperson Eric Prosswimmer said at a news conference, “We had every resource we could have possibly had coming quickly and we’re happy to say all three have been recovered, and all three are doing well.”

“We couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” PostSwimmer adds.

Chase Poust is being hailed internationally as a hero and rightfully so. The exceptionally courageous 7-year-old swam a mile by himself on a rescue mission to save his family.

 “We’re here. By the grace of God, we’re here.”

– Steven Poust

Survival instinct

Chase embarked upon a solo journey to save his family and himself. We are all capable of doing incredible things. There are unlikely heroes everywhere. Never underestimate a human being with the power to love and survive. They just might come through when you least expect it.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/06/07/7-year-old-swims-one-hour-shore-save-family/

The Truth Behind Lil Kim’s “New Face” Will Change The Way You Think About Her

By | dating, emotional health, family, Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, lil kim, mental health, Motivation, stories

Lil’ Kim is undoubtedly one of the brightest, most influential women in hip-hop, yet her legacy remains controversial for one reason or the other.

For the past twenty-five years, she’s been pushing the boundaries as a female rapper and breaking records in the process. She’s considered to have pioneered mainstream sex-positive feminism in hip-hop and has carved a path for many contemporary artists, including Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and Kash Doll. In addition to her unique sound and lyrical matter, she’s known for her breathtaking, flamboyant fashion style and advocacy work for various causes. 

While she’s been an inspiring figure in more than many ways, she’s also let her fans down in others. The rapper, also known as Kimberly Jones, was convicted of three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury on Marcy 17, 2005. She’d been caught lying to a federal grand jury about not having seen her friends at a scene of a 2001 gun shooting — a testimony that was subsequently proven wrong via video surveillance footage. Kim served twelve months in prison as a result. 

But lately, the criticism leveled at her isn’t about her past as a convict — it’s about her face. Here’s what we can learn from Lil’ Kim’s struggles with beauty and expectations:

Kim wanted to cover the injuries from an “abusive relationship”

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Lil’ Kim has been fielding criticisms and judgment about her face since the beginning of her career. In 2005, she went on a radio show and explained that she had had her nose broken during a physically abusive confrontation with an ex-boyfriend. Kim told the listeners that she, like many other women, had been part of a violent relationship that left her with a “broken nose, black eyes, all that stuff.”

The New York native revealed that she had to “fix her nose” not once but multiple times — every time she’d go through a procedure and come back to her boyfriend, he’d hit her again and send her reeling into a tangle of insecurities and self-loathing. It’s not just her face that was damaged as a result of these brutal attacks. Kim had to undergo multiple MRIs because “he beat me up so bad I couldn’t even move.” She also suffered from blood clots in her back. 

Kim was so tired of lying about her injuries, pretending they were “an allergic reaction,” and burying her bruises in makeup that she thought it would be better to get professional work done and wipe out those physical markings for once and for all. 

I kinda prayed the whole time. I didn’t know what to do. And it has a lot to do with my maturity too. It’s been times I was in the car with my ex-boyfriend and he punched me in my face and [I was] bleeding all over the car […] The doctor had to fix my nose [because] it was almost shattered. 

Lil’ Kim to The Source

The trauma led her to start her charitable organization, Lil’ Kim Cares, which does extraordinary work in raising awareness and funds for issues such as homelessness, child neglect, and violence against women. She’s also keen on showing that just because she’s a celebrity doesn’t mean that she doesn’t go through the same trials and tribulations as anyone else suffering from abuse. Like any other survivor, she has to muster up tons of courage to leave a toxic environment and learn to love herself again. 

Kim admitted she “cheated” with plastic surgery and didn’t think she was “good enough”

(Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams /FilmMagic)

It’s truly been an uphill battle for Kim to love herself, but she’s finally at a stage where she can do so to her heart’s content. It’s also crucial to note that Kim hasn’t always set a good example for her fans — she’s said and done things that have caused a tremendous amount of distrust and pain among her friends, family, and fans. 

Whereas the initial plastic surgery resulted from a violent altercation, Kim has admitted that she’s gotten more surgeries over the years by her own choice. She said she “cheated” and got several facial features “fixed up” as she pleased. In a 2000 interview, Lil’ Kim shared that she’s faced insecurities for as long as she could remember; her boyfriends kept cheating on her with “European-looking” women, the “long-hair type.” 

The mother-of-one said she felt like she couldn’t compete as a “regular black girl” and thought she wouldn’t ever be “good enough.” It’s not just former lovers that triggered feelings of doubt and shame in her; she also endured verbal humiliation at the hands of her father. She claimed, “It’s always been men putting me down, just like my dad.” 

To this day, when someone says I’m cute, I can’t see it. I don’t see it no matter what anybody says.

Lil’ Kim to Newsweek 

The continuous barrage of disapproval made its way to her head, and she felt like she had no choice but to turn to cosmetic surgery. Kim said, “It was like I could do nothing right, everything about me was wrong — my hair, my clothes, just me.” The fact that she’s getting condemned for conforming to the same expectations that were imposed on her in the first place is hypocrisy at its cruelest. Lil’ Kim likely didn’t ask to be saddled with the weight of these debilitating insecurities — they were drilled into her from a young age and were continually reinforced by the men in her life. 

Plastic surgery is a contentious issue that has neither wrong nor a right side. We have to trust women that they’re aware of the health implications and that they understand the full extent of what they’re choosing to undergo. It’s a massive, irreversible decision, and so it should be treated as such. As long as the person comes out on the other side feeling confident and beautiful, we don’t have the right to chide the person. 

At the same time, no one should feel so pressured to look a certain way that they perceive plastic surgery as a necessity, not a choice. Lil’ Kim couldn’t overcome her anxieties and had been fixated on her so-called imperfections for so long that the only way to get peace of mind was to go under the knife. It’s perhaps even more frustrating to see that her career is dominated by rumors of skin bleaching, lip injections, boob jobs, so on and forth when there are far more substantive points to discuss — including her run-is with law enforcement and her illustrious body of work. 

I’m a person who may get bored with my look sometimes. I love what God gave me, but sometimes I want to dress it up.

Lil’ Kim on One World Music Beat

Don’t let assumptions guide your judgment 

Sometimes it’s just best to see something and move on without asserting your opinion about it. People have been berating Kim for a long time — both before and after her plastic surgeries. If they had kept their assumptions at bay from the get-go, Kim wouldn’t have felt forced to go under the knife. 

Conventional beauty doesn’t determine the value of a person; what matters is the person behind the face and the work they’re doing to improve their lives and their collective society around them. Lil Kim has all but transformed the world of her hip-hop through her intuitive, thoughtful, and powerful music. Why must we let our presumptions drive our opinion of the artist? Especially since the artist herself had deeply personal and medical reasons to get many of these surgeries in the first place. Lil’ Kim has her own flaws, but choosing to love herself despite the criticisms shows endurance. And that’s something we can take away from her journey. 

More inspiring stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/05/11/lil-kim-plastic-surgery-truth/

How Liv Tyler Figured Out Steven Tyler Was Her Biological Father

By | family, Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, liv tyler, parenting, steven tyler, stories

Liv and Steven Tyler are one of the most powerful father-daughter duos in the entertainment industry. He’s a legendary rockstar with an illustrious career spanning 55 years, whereas she is a brilliant, charming actress who has consistently impressed with her thoughtful performances in film and television for twenty-odd years. 

Dysfunctional families are a dime a dozen, yet Steven and Liv continue to have the utmost respect and gratitude for one another. Yes, they represent two different generations and hail from two different areas of the business, but it doesn’t stop them from showering heaps of praise upon each other, no matter the occasion.

You’d see their sweet, loving relationship and think that Liv must have been daddy’s girl from day one — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Liv Tyler hadn’t even known Steven was her biological father until she was about 10, at which point she had to reexamine her entire family situation and determine the type of relationship she wanted to have with the Aerosmith lead as well as with her adopted dad. 

Here’s the bizarre but ultimately delightful story of how Liv Tyler figured out she was Steven Tyler’s daughter.

Liv realized she bore a striking resemblance to Steven’s other daughter Mia

Liv Tyler was born Liv Rundgren to Bebe Buell, a model, musician, and former Playboy magazine playmate, on July 1, 1977. Bebe was in an on-and-off relationship with rock artist and member of the band Utopia, Todd Rundgren, when she met Steven Tyler in the mid-seventies.  Bebe and Steven enjoyed a quick fling in 1976, resulting in Liv’s birth a year later. 

Steven Tyler
(Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

Though Bebe and Todd had been broken up at the time of Liv’s birth, Todd decided to step up to the plate, put his name on Liv’s birth certificate, and decide to raise her as his own daughter, knowing completely well that her paternity was complicated. 

Bebe revealed in an interview that she and Todd decided early on that he would act as Liv’s father for all intents and purposes, and “if it ever became an issue, we’d tell her at 18,” she said. Bebe was only 23 when she welcomed Liv. It had been overwhelming for her to navigate life as a single mother in New York City, so she often sent her daughter to live with her uncles, aunts, and cousins in Maine. Liv claims that she had a “very family-rich childhood” and generally didn’t have any reason to doubt her parentage. 

But suspicion took root in Liv’s mind when she encountered Steven Tyler in a concert at age nine. She’d caught a glimpse of Steven’s second-born daughter, Mia Tyler, and immediately detected a resemblance between the two of them. “I was literally like looking at my twin,” said Liv.  Even at the age of nine, Liv could figure out that something was amiss and that she needed to follow her intuition.

When I realized that Steven was my father, it was a moment that was bigger than me, it was almost spiritual […] I felt a connection in a very strong way when I met him as a little girl and I didn’t know why at first, but I figured it out rather quickly.

Liv Tyler to The Guardian 

Liv immediately confronted her mother over her theory, who let the cat out of the bag without resistance. She reportedly hid Liv’s paternity because Steven had been “heavily addicted to drugs at the time,” and therefore, she didn’t think he would be a stable enough presence in her young daughter’s life. 

She is super close to Steven but has an equal amount of love for her adoptive dad

Once Steven found that he had a daughter he didn’t know about, he “started calling” incessantly in the hopes of building a relationship with her. Liv said that she and her mother would go see him often — he’d just gotten out of rehab and had been looking to make some swift changes to his lifestyle. 

Liv started to spend more and more time with her biological father and realized that they had way more in common than their DNA. She said that they “look so alike” and even “do things the same way.” She also noticed that Mia’s mannerisms were so eerily similar to that of her own.

Over the years, Liv started feeling so connected with the Tyler clan that she underwent a name change in 1991 and changed her last name to that of her father: Tyler. Steven could have easily avoided this paternity revelation and went about his life, but he decided to go above and beyond to build and maintain a loving, supportive relationship with his newfound daughter. 

Liv Tyler dad
(Ron Davis/Getty Images)

Liv also started becoming involved with her father’s musical career. She appeared in Aerosmith’s music video, ‘Crazy,’ when she was just in high school. Steven also wrote the song, ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,’ for Liv’s movie Armageddon. The father and daughter had established such an easygoing, no-holds-barred rapport that he was even present in the delivery room when she gave birth to son Sailor in 2015. It’s safe to say that they have overcome their rough, awkward beginnings and genuinely see each other as father and daughter now. 

But Liv’s affection for Steven doesn’t change the fact that she still has plenty of love for her adoptive dad, Todd. He’s been there for there from the beginning and decided to undertake the responsibilities as a father despite knowing that the child might not be his. 

I’m so grateful to [Todd], I have so much love for him. You know, when he holds me it feels like Daddy. And he’s very protective and strong. 

Liv Tyler to Wonderland Magazine

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At the end of the day, Liv is grateful for both her fathers and appreciates her wonky, non-traditional upbringing. She doesn’t hold any resentment for her mother, as she knows that this would have been a tough call to make for anyone in her position. She certainly credits Todd for being a “stable, loving force” in her life. And she cherishes every moment with Steven, knowing that she could have very well gone through an alternate timeline without Steven’s presence to guide her. 

Both my fathers are unconventional. They are like unicorns or wizards. They are musicians through and through. The way they think is just different. Their eccentricities have made me more practical and more normal, in a way.

Liv Tyler to The Guardian 

Embrace your family however you can 

Liv Tyler Steven Tyler family
(Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Our lives may not be as dramatic or surreal as Liv’s, but that doesn’t mean that our families don’t come with their set of baggage. Family can appear in many shapes and sizes, so all you can do is hang on for the ride and take in each and every moment as they come. 

If we love our family, we shouldn’t worry about the awkwardness or the quirks or the non-traditional experiences — we should embrace these moments to the fullest extent and share love however we can. Not everyone is perfect, but as long as you have the intention of making it work, nothing is impossible. 

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/05/07/liv-tyler-steven-tyler-discovered-her-father/

This Mom Knew She Wouldn’t Survive Until Her Children’s Big Life Events So She Planned An Elaborate Surprise

By | family, Food for thought, grief, heartwarming, mothers, parenting, stories, uplifting news

A tear-jerker of a Humans of New York post has gone viral, sharing the story of a dying mother’s last words of wisdom.

She walked gracefully toward death

When doctors checked on Karen, they “found nothing but cancer,” begins a post from the highly popular social media account Humans of New York. “But even then she didn’t give up.”

Karen was dying of cancer, but she maintained her spirits and walked “beautifully toward death.”

“I never once saw her depressed,” explains her daughter, Kailey, who was in high school when her mother died. “There were sad moments, but even those were peaceful. And sometimes she’d laugh so hard it would physically hurt.”

“Every day she told me I was beautiful,” Kailey continued. “She’d said it before, but not like this. It was so intentional.”

Videos for every milestone

Karen regretted not being able to see her children’s biggest milestones, so, she did something extraordinary.

“She recorded videos for the big moments in our lives: graduation, our 21st birthday, our wedding, our first child,” Kailey explains. “Over the years those videos became so precious to me.”

The videos are just a few minutes each and start with what the milestone is and how she regrets not being there. Then, she’ll give personalized advice.

“She’ll say: ‘I know you struggle with X, Y, and Z, so always remember this.’”

Kailey

One final video

After getting married two years ago, Kailey knew just one video remained. “And it’s always given me comfort– knowing it was there,” Kailey said. “So it was bittersweet when my daughter was born on June 27th.”

After the birth of their first child, Kailey and her husband watched Karen’s final video together, and it was harder to watch than expected.

“She was sicker than the other videos,” Kailed said. “She spoke really slowly. She talked about how I’d always loved babies, even as a child. And she said that she wished she could be there to cuddle my baby.”

Karen talked about Kailey’s childhood, her struggles and her bright spots. Then, “she ended by saying: ‘Love and encourage your babies. They will grow up quickly. So hug them. And pray for them.’ And that was it.”

For the last time, Karen told her daughter that she loved her and said one final goodbye. “For years I’d been dreading that moment,” Kailey says. “But it felt strangely peaceful. Like I was ready. Ready to take up this role.”

Karen passed the torch to Kailey, who now has the responsibility to share love — and wisdom — with her own daughter.

“It’s my turn to have a daughter now. To love her. And to be purposeful with her, just like my mom was purposeful with me.”

Kailey

Tell your loved ones how much you care

Life doesn’t always work out as we planned. We lose moments and people we wish we could have back. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of every second and tell the people that we love how much we appreciate and cherish them. You never know how many more times you’ll be able to tell them you love them.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/01/22/humans-of-ny-post-dying-mom-records-videos-children/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=humans-of-ny-post-dying-mom-records-videos-children

In The Midst Of Divorce Allegations, Kim K Surprises The Real People Behind Her Success With $10K Gift

By | family, Food for thought, generosity, heartwarming, Inspiring Celebrities, inspiring celebs, kim kardashian, stories

Keeping Up With The Kardashians has been part the fabric of pop culture for years. Now, as it finally wraps up, Kim Kardashian West and her family are showing that they owe a lot of their success to their crew by gifting them Rolex watches as the show wrapped.

These watches, which go for around $10,000 each,  were gifted to each of the 30 crew members, according to TMZ.

The end of an era

“Officially sobbing. Grateful for every single second,” shared Kardashian in a behind-the-scenes video on Instagram, saying it felt “crazy” that this epic show was ending.

The video continued:

“We just finished filming forever, like ever, ever. We’re done, we’re never filming again – isn’t that so crazy?! So we’re having a drink with the crew in my backyard, hanging out. Cheers to – I don’t know. 15 years; 20 seasons of craziness and lots of love.”

The end of the series was celebrated in a socially distanced way due to the COVID pandemic, at an outdoor garden party for the cast and crew. Of course, the champagne was still flowing.

This milestone comes in the midst of brewing divorce rumors about Kardashian and her husband Kanye West, who have reportedly been living apart for months.

Appreciate those around you

The Kardashian family has faced a lot of criticism over the years, but they have a reputation for being generous and professional, even during times of personal hardship and public scrutiny.

The family understands that success and fame are fleeting. Their longevity is due to the support of hundreds of cast, crew and supporting team members, and the family always makes sure those people feel appreciated.

After being with E! for 20 seasons, the Kardashians are moving over to Hulu  – so who knows what to expect next.

More inspiring celebrities:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/01/18/kim-kardashian-surprises-tv-crew-rolex-watches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kim-kardashian-surprises-tv-crew-rolex-watches

Mom Fights To Adopt Abused Special Needs Teen Who Lived With 28 Other Orphans

By | adoption, family, Food for thought, heartwarming, parenting, relationships, stories, uplifting news

Most aspiring adoptive parents dream of bringing a bright-eyed baby home, someone they can nurture from infancy.

Unfortunately, older kids like Sony, a teenager from India – who also had physical and emotional scars – get overlooked. One family dared to look past that and met an incredible girl. Their story reminds us of the gift of ignoring appearances.

Indian families usually only want to adopt newborn children who are completely ‘perfect’ according to them

CARA CE0 Deepak Kumar

A difficult upbringing

Life was rough in India for 14-year-old Sony. Abandoned by her family, born with a birth defect and having suffered through years of physical abuse, she had facial differences and brain damage.

At school, teachers would force her to cover her face, saying that it scared the other children. “It made me feel sad”, she told KHOU.

Her older age made finding a family difficult. Couples dream of taking home a bright-eyed baby who they can nurture. Older kids are seen as undesirable, having too much “baggage.”

According to India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the majority of “returned” adoptive kids are older (6 years +).

Isolated and packed in a home with 28 other foster children, Sony seemed to have nothing to look forward to as her 15th birthday neared.

Hope across the globe

While Sony was praying for a family, thousands of miles away, Shannon Regan and fiancé Jay Marsh of Anne Arundel County, Maryland were growing theirs.

They had recently adopted 11-year-old Chelsea from China. During Chelsea’s adoption process, Shannon came across Sony and wanted to adopt her too.

Working closely with Reece’s Rainbow, a group that provides support for families adopting children with special needs, they fought to bring her over.

Race against a pandemic

The couple was fully prepared for the red tape and delays. What they couldn’t anticipate was a global pandemic. With the coronavirus spreading, Shannon needed to hurry to India to complete the process.

There has been a lot of trust on her part that there is a world out there here, we just need to get out there safely

Shannon Regan to ABC

Thankfully, she made it in time. They brought Sony over before the COVID-19 lockdowns started, just days before her 15th birthday on June 3rd. Shannon counts her blessings.

“If I hadn’t gone over there and got the final approval to bring her home, she definitely would still not be home”, she told ABC.

The gift of a home

Shannon truly realized her fortune when Sony returned to Maryland. In fact, she says both of her adoptive daughters have completely enriched her life and changed her for the better.

Having parents has helped me know that I’m important, loved, I have a new life. I can be my best and I am safe.

Sony Regan to ABC

No longer having to cover up, Sony is happy to finally be part of a family. She is now on a mission to help other children receive the gift of adoption. In a two-page letter she wrote encouraging adoption, Sony explains why a child is never too old.

“I know people are scared to adopt older children because they think that child might hurt the parents or family or child or won’t love them and won’t fit in. Actually, I know the adopted child can make your family life better. Adopted children do love their family even when it feels hard at first.”

I think adoption is love. I prayed for a family for a long time.

Sony Regan

Perfectly imperfect

Many saw in Sony someone too disfigured to look at, too old to change, too hurt to love.

The Regans instead saw a beautiful girl with a big heart who only needed a chance. Finally given an opportunity, she can show the world the amazing person she is.

Shannon Regan encourages parents to pursue adoption with both their “head and heart.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we brought that approach to all of our pursuits?

More uplifting news:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/12/17/shannon-regan-adoption-teenage-sony-india/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=shannon-regan-adoption-teenage-sony-india

How To Tell If Someone Has A Truly Toxic Personality, According To Science

By | dating, family, Food for thought, friends, Motivation, narcissism, personality, relationships, self, self-development, Self-Improvement, stories, toxic people, toxic relationships, uplifting news

Your friend or someone you know has gotten fired from every job they’ve ever had. Their dates always flake on them and their friends always betray them. The common theme: it’s never their fault and if you press them on it you’re the one to blame.

According to a team of psychologists in Israel, these types of people may have a toxic personality disorder called “tendency for interpersonal victimhood” (TIV), which they describe as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships.”

People with TIV wholly and truly believe they are never wrong and that their victimhood is a core part of their identity.

How to tell if someone ‘plays the victim?’

Not everyone who feels victimized is toxic. Bad things do happen and it’s okay to be upset about it.

Rather, TIV occurs when someone constantly feels like a victim and they bring others down with them.

Rahav Gabay and her colleagues determined that people with TIV tend to have four dimensions:

Constantly seeking recognition

Of all the allegedly horrible things that happen to someone with TIV, people never apologize to them. Worse, they don’t even acknowledge their wrongdoing.

While apologies can be hard to come by, this only becomes an issue when the person who plays the victim is in desperate search of recognition for the supposed bad things that are done to them.

A sense of moral elitism

People with TIV are never wrong. In fact, their moral compass is better than everyone else’s and they use this assumption to manipulate others into their own perspective.

This behavior may be a defense mechanism as a way to maintain a positive self-image.

Lack of empathy for others

Everything that happens to TIV people is the absolute worst and no one else’s pain or suffering matters, or so they think. This can especially be toxic in a relationship as TIV people only care about their own problems, never others’.

The route of this behavior can be that since the person believes they have suffered so much, they don’t think anyone else deserves empathy for their suffering.

This lack of empathy can also show up in a group or national level in the form of “competitive victimhood” or an “egoism of victimhood” where members of a group cannot see things from another group’s perspective.

Rumination about past victimization

Since romantic relationships never worked out in the past for TIV people, there’s no chance they’ll work in the future. This is a fallacy as the past doesn’t dictate the future, but it’s a core belief of people who always play the victim.

Always ruminating about past grievances and thinking it reflects the future is something perpetual victims tend to do.

Why TIV is toxic

People who always play the victim are extremely difficult to deal with because they’re selfish and never wrong.

They’re also obsessed with seeking revenge for those who’ve wronged them and may punish others who had nothing to do with it just because they’ve been wronged before.

Forgiving is part of growth

We all play the victim from time to time. Sometimes bad things really do happen to us and it makes us sour.

The problem is when the victimhood because constant and when the person never learns from their mistakes. It’s also problematic when they never forgive others – you don’t know what everyone is going through and nobody’s perfect.

Ultimately, the problem with playing the victim is it doesn’t allow you to learn or grow from the past. If you don’t acknowledge your faults, how can you make adjustments for the future?

If you know someone who’s always playing a victim, it might be time to reduce your relationship with them or have a frank discussion about it. Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/12/16/toxic-personality-disorder-tendency-interpersonal-victimhood/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=toxic-personality-disorder-tendency-interpersonal-victimhood

Denzel Washington’s Broken Childhood Taught Him Not To Make The Same Mistakes Again

By | family, Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, parenting, stories

He’s one of the biggest movie stars the world has known, yet he stops, jokes and takes pictures with fans. He’s Denzel Washington, 65, beloved by all as humble, a man of substance who doesn’t sell out and is committed to quality, morality, and, in short, doing both his life and his acting career right.

But how did he start out? What many people don’t know is that Denzel had some early struggles, though he tends to keep his personal life largely out of the limelight. The reality is, if it wasn’t for his hard-ass mother looking out for his best interests (something he continually acknowledges to this day), he might not have become the Denzel Washington we know and love today.

Washington has been married to his wife Pauletta since 1983, and they have four children. But although he has painstakingly created a life for himself that puts family and good parenting before all else, his own upbringing was far from idyllic, particularly when it came to his dynamic with his father, which many would call troubled.

His parents’ divorce shaped him

Who among us is not deeply and forever impacted by our relationships with our parents? One way or another, we are all affected, whether we choose to focus on it or not.

Washington’s father, Denzel Hayes Washington Sr., was a pentecostal preacher who ran two churches, worked another job on top of that, and was rarely around. His mother owned a beauty parlour.

“My parents were like night and day,” he has observed. “She’s urban, raised in Harlem. My father was just this spirit-filled man until the day he died, a country boy raised on a farm in Virginia.”

They say opposites attract, but my parents only grew apart. I was 14 when they divorced.

Around the time his parents split, his mother sent him away to private school in upstate NY to keep him out of trouble. “That decision changed my life, because I wouldn’t have survived in the direction I was going,” said Washington. In an interview on Popcorn with Peter Travers, when asked if he was a good kid, he laughs and says,  “I was mischievous,” more solemnly adding, “My three closest friends did quite a bit of time [in jail] … decades.”

Watch this Goalcast video on Denzel’s inspirational life:

A lost connection

At the age of 18, Denzel moved out of his mother’s place and into his father’s. “And he kicked me out,” Washington told GQ. “He said, ‘You’re just bad.’” But in spite of the long and sordid history between Denzel and his dad, he acknowledges his father’s goodness.

“Everyone I grew up with didn’t have a father. I had a father. My father was a decent man. He was a very spiritual man and a gentleman.”

Yet, perhaps most tellingly, he goes on to describe how, when his father died in 1991, he didn’t cry:

He died in August. We started shooting around the time that he died. [pauses] I never shed a tear for my father. That sounds like a book or a song. I never did all through the funeral and all that. There was no connection.

Denzel Washington in GQ

When asked, “What do you see of your father in you?” Denzel responds, “I’m more like my mother. She is the toughest woman.”

Why he is his mother’s son

Denzel’s mother, Lennis Washington, was the single greatest influence in his life, and to this day he remains thankful for her strength. Lennis was a single mother after her divorce, but while her ex-husband mostly stayed away, she brought up her son with discipline and hard work. Wanting the very best for him, she saved money for private school “even when she could not afford it.” 

While some of his friends were going down a very negative path, Denzel’s mother “had enough sense to get me out of that situation before it was going to be my turn,” says Washington. “I had that Pentecostal foundation and a mother who used to say, ‘Son, you never know who’s praying for you.’ So maybe it wasn’t my fate to fall into those traps,” he told Parade back in 1999.

“I was what they call ‘throwing rocks at the penitentiary,’” Denzel told ABC years later, “but I never hit it. I never got caught … I also knew right from wrong, so I never wanted to go too far. I’d dip my toe in the water.”

So in 9th grade, his mother put Denzel in Oakland Academy, a private prep school in New Windsor, N.Y. where he excelled at sports and became interested in the arts. After graduating, he began at Fordham University where he started acting in his junior year.

As for his friends, “One did 28 years [behind bars], one did 20 and the other did 12,” he says, adding, “One is dead … the other two are out.” When asked what advice he’d give his 15-year-old self, he laughs loudly and exclaims, “Listen to your mother!” 

His own approach to fatherhood

While Denzel’s relationship with his dad was far from perfect, he has gleaned lessons from both of his parents which have ultimately influenced him as a parent.

“It wasn’t like it’s been for our children,” he says, “where you take them to all their events. It was a different time. Once they were separated, I was in school. So 70 percent of the year, I was away. In the summer, I wasn’t looking to track him [my father] down. I was ready to hit the streets. So you just kind of fade…. Not to say that I didn’t love him like a dad. But we didn’t play ball, those types of things. Next thing you know, you’re at college.”

As for his own approach to fatherhood, “Life is family,” he says.

You know, rushing to get home because my son’s got a football game, and I’m going to be there. We drive to the game and watch him and discuss it afterward. That’s life. Acting is not life to me. It’s making a living.

Denzel Washington

Although he loves making movies, Washington says he doesn’t watch or analyze his films. “Once you make a movie, it belongs to the people,” he says. “So, I don’t look back. I might see a scene if it’s on TV or something.”

Unsurprisingly, he has tried to instil the same brand of humility in those of his children who chose to act, John David and Olivia Washington, who both saw success early on in popular TV shows.

And as far as black fatherhood goes, Denzel tells GQ, “One of the things that saddens me the most about my people is fathers that don’t take care of their sons and daughters. And you can’t blame that on The Man or getting frisked. Take responsibility.

“Look in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’ There is opportunity; you can make it…I’m not telling you what religion to be, but work on your spirit…Imagine—work the brain muscle.

Keep the body in tune—it’s your temple. All things in moderation. Continue to search. That’s the best part of life for me—continue to try to be the best man.

More inspiring celebrities:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/09/10/denzel-washington-father-broken-relationship-mother-lessons/