INTEGRITY

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If I could teach everyone only one value to live by, it would be integrity.

Integrity is crucial in all aspects of life: professional, personal, social and spiritual. Yet, so many people lack it. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody’s watching. It means being true to yourself.

Wisdom-knowing-font-b-Integrity-b-font-Decor-Cute-vinyl-wall-decal-font-b-quote-bIntegrity is a consistency between a person’s inner values and attitudes and their outward words and actions. The more consistent we are, the higher the degree of integrity we possess.

Those that live with the value of integrity are honest, trustworthy, fair, show respect, accept responsibility, and have courage. The best way to guard your integrity is to decide in advance that you will never sell out or surrender your integrity.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAgGAAAAJDQ5NTMwNGNiLTY5ZDctNDEzZS04NWFiLTNjZTY5N2I4OGUxZQThe road to integrity is not an easy one but it’s the only one worth traveling. Integrity is essential if we are going to become people who positively and powerfully impact others.

People who demonstrate integrity draw others to them because they are trustworthy and dependable. They act with honor and truthfulness. They treat people equally and take responsibility for their own feelings and actions.

A word of advice to those who are striving for a reputation of integrity: Avoid those who are not trustworthy. If someone is dishonest in any aspect of his or her life you can be guaranteed that they will be dishonest in many aspects of their life. It is important to realize that others pay attention to those you have chosen to associate with, and they will inevitably judge your character by the character of your friends.

So, surround yourself with people of integrity. That makes sense, doesn’t it?!

~Mary Beth Iannarella

GirlTalkMarlton.org

 “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Dream…Wish…Hope.

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Give your dreams a chance, I did. I clearly remember watching the news broadcast of Simonetta Lein, the Wishmaker being interviewed with the Philadelphia Wishwall in the backdrop and its purpose was being explained.

As I stood in front of the TV, I listened attentively trying to gather as much information as I could about this project. “A Wishwall in every city where people can express their wishes and we, the Wishwall Foundation, grant those dreams that are most meaningful”, Simonetta said in her beautiful Italian accent. When the segment concluded, I exclaimed loudly, “I want one!” No one in my house knew what I was talking about, but I was now on a mission.

I googled the Wishwall Foundation and found out all I drm902wishhopedreamcould online, I followed them on all social media, emailed Simonetta and let her know that I was interested in a Wishwall in my town of Marlton NJ. To my delight and amazement, she answered me almost immediately and by the end of the week we had spoken several times on the phone discussing the many facets of the Wishwall Foundation. My head was spinning thinking of different ways that my mentoring chapter of Girl Talk Inc could collaborate with her.

So, during the next leaders meeting of the mentoring program I spoke to the girls about the Wishwall. I showed them the news report along with a few other you tube videos and articles I found about actual wishes that Simonetta helped to make come true! The girls were in! We decided to make a mock-up of a small wishwall to explain it to the rest of the group so they could get a better understanding.

wish_web_1_1024x1024At our next general meeting when all the members of our chapter gather together, we revealed our mock-up wall and the leaders invited the girls to write wishes and come post them on this wall. We explained our desire to bring the Wishwall Foundation to Marlton with a permanent physical Wishwall where wishes can come true. We also discussed the online wishwall and that Girl Talk would be getting our own page and will be writing for the women’s wishwall every week! The girls were very excited to hear this and wanted to learn more. We let them know that we were heading to meet with Simonetta at her home the following week and we would have more information after that meeting.

mb-girltalk-pc_front_v4So, fast forward to today, we are in full swing planning our event. It will be Saturday, December 10th from 12:30-4:30pm at the Evesham Library in Marlton, NJ and YOU are invited to see my wish come true. This is my wish, for YOU. Please come with your meaningful wish and bring it to our wall in Marlton. You do NOT have to be resident of Marlton and the wish does NOT have to be for you. The wish need be a meaningful one and the Wishwall Foundation and the board members will review all wishes. The event will be spectacular with vendors, food, fun, music and plenty of love and smiles so please come and share in my wish come true. Girl Talk Marlton members and the Wishwall Foundation are very excited about this event!

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As I am writing this I must admit, I do have another wish. I am wishing for a physical space for my girls to “hangout”. I would like a place where the girls and our volunteers can call our own. Where the girls can decorate themselves and we can have some of our meetings. Ah….I can dream can’t I?

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall

www.girltalkmarlton.org

www.thewishwall.org

Mentor. Inspire. Empower.

I am a strong believer in mentoring, inspiring and empowering others, especially young girls. Research confirms the importance of having a quality mentoring relationship and shows it has a powerful positive effect on young people in personal, academic, and professional situations. Mentoring for me has always been first and foremost a relationship, I meet an extraordinary young woman and I think how can I help this person? How can I open doors for her and be supportive, encouraging and nourishing?

2013-girl-talk-logoIn 2013, I started a chapter of Girl Talk Inc in my town-Girl Talk Marlton.  Girl Talk Inc. is an international non-profit peer-to-peer mentoring program with a very simple premise: high school girls mentor middle school girls to help them deal with the issues they face during their formative early teenage years. Our mission is to help young teenage girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and recognize the value of community service. The girls develop confidence, leadership skills and compassion. They learn that they are not alone in the issues they face and that understanding, kindness and compassion can be the foundation for better relationships with others. This helps women become stronger leaders in the work place and more effective as parents. Since 2002, the Girl Talk Inc. organization has served more than 40,000 girls in 43 states and 7 countries. My group in Marlton, NJ has grown from 1 girl in 2013 to 107 young girls ages 10-18.

Why the need for female mentors? Statistics consistently demonstrate the alarming incidence of dangerous behaviors in middle school aged girls, as well as the positive impact of mentoring.

2009 data suggests that, of the middle school girl population in the U.S.:

9% are pregnant

22% never make it through high school (drop out)

27% have been or will be suicidal

34% have eating disorders

55% experiment with alcohol, drugs or tobacco

and, of those with low self-esteem, 25% resort to self-injurious behavior and 75% report engaging in activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking or drinking

 

The good news is that data also suggests that youth who are mentored are:

27% less likely to begin using alcohol

37% less likely to skip class

46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs

52% less likely to skip school, are more confident in their academic performance, and get along better with their families
7e277f9e37a1f037ff2ca5f826d533d5So, why NOT mentor, inspire and empower! Inspiration is all around us in everything we do and see. We need to mentor our young females to be inspired by the positive and not listen to the negative. And always empower them to aim high.

Young women often talk about the self-doubt that holds them back, that little negative voice inside their heads. We all have it, we all make mistakes, we are all human. Of course, sometimes even our role models get things wrong, or disappoint us, but this is also a useful reminder especially to girls that no one is perfect, and that anyone can survive both failure and error.

As women, we need to learn to build each other up. Women of different generations, colors and culture need to ensure that the progress we’ve made towards real equality continues.  We need to trust each other enough to share our power, knowledge, strength, talents and innovating solutions together. The women that do this are true role models and mentors and this is what I strive to be. They are the women who drive our motivation and imaginations, merely by their example. If we’re lucky enough, we count them as friends, and they are what we call our mentors.

My wish for you this week is to find a mentor in your life and become closer to them, learn from them and be empowered to inspire others.

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/mentor-inspire-empower/

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

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 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

We all judge each other, and it is OK

b036f98c3c60785e075834f61a10fb55.jpgYou always hear DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS, but I think it is a part of human nature. No matter how subtle, most of the time we judge unconsciously or by intuition.  I judge others all the time, and you do, too. You are judging this article right now, and that is okay.  From the moment you meet someone, you are judging their clothes, hair, makeup, and so on. You don’t even notice it, but we do it all day long.

Judgment is nothing but evaluation of evidence or facts to help us decide.  It is that little voice inside our heads that tells us to ask that sweet looking woman for directions instead of that young teenager because you judged him that he wouldn’t know.  Or when you decide to not pick the checkout line with the young chatty girl because you assume she will be too slow. We judge or evaluate life experiences, situations, things, opinions, thoughts, and people based on the values, emotions and logic we were taught. As human beings, we are blessed with touch, speech, hearing, taste, smell, common sense (most of us-lol) and intuition. These senses help us to evaluate every person or situation-in other words, judge.

Accept your urge to judge, it will help you make good decisions. Assume everyone else judges everyone else (because they do).  Ask others to share their judgements of you. Listen with an open heart and mind.  Embrace your judgements and be willing to learn from others judgements of you. Every person you meet has something special to give you—that is, if you are open to receiving it.

judgeMerriam-Webster defines “judgment” as “An opinion or decision that is based on careful thought. The act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought. The act of judging something or someone. The ability to make good decisions about what should be done.” Many people don’t use the “careful thought” part of the definition and that is where I think good judgment and bad judgment come into play.

Judge when it is right to judge, and know how to judge. That’s imperative. There’s a thin line between judgment and ignorance, which leads to injustice. Knowing when to judge is also very important. Discretion and calculation in judgment is strength, for it shows wisdom and maturity.  Gossiping, ridiculing, or wanting to cause harm to someone by judging shows only your immaturity and ignorance.

People fear being judged because they fear being evaluated. Don’t fear it, instead originalembrace it! We must recognize that we are all imperfect and it is okay. People are going to judge you regardless of what you are or are not doing, so just do whatever makes you happy. And when you choose to step out and walk into the things you have been called to do, you can and should except judgement. Prepare for it and it will not come as a surprise. We cannot always help what happens to us, but we can help how we react to these things.

 “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron

My wish for you is to Live Courageously!

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

 

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/we-all-judge-each-other-and-it-is-ok/

The Wishwall in Marlton, NJ Update

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As I wrote previously, the event for the Wishwall in Marlton NJ on December 10th was a huge success. We had over 200 people in attendance posting their wishes and reading other wishes of those in the community. It was a beautiful day as we dedicated the Wishwall in honor of the late Christina Grimmie, who was from Marlton and represented herself well on the NBC show the voice. Pictured left, Mark Grimmie, Simonetta Lein- The Wishmaker, and myself. What an amazing day, you could just feel the love in the room. Pictures tell only part of the stories heard with so many wishes of those in attendance. My heart was filled with so much love and joy that day, I cannot even explain it in words.

As some of you may be aware of, the Evesham Library decided that once the event was over that they no longer wanted to hang the sign permanently in their location because they didn’t want holes in their walls nor liked the size of the sign. So, as of now, we are still looking for a permanent location for The Wishwall- in Marlton – where we can come together to view what our community needs are and maybe help one another. The Wishwall is good-hearted international mural project that is made by the people and is a point of attraction for all to see. Also, with this wishwall being dedicated in the memory of Marlton’s own Christina Grimmie, who was taken from us in an act of violence, it is a sign of love and hope for peace. I hope someone from the community of Marlton will step up and embrace the message The Wishwall Foundation & Girl Talk has brought to the town. I thank each person and business that has helped along the way thus far.

9c32e26deb6318921cd5e590932f003aThe Wishwall Foundation board members have been working very hard going through each wish that was submitted for the December 10th event. What a hard task to pick the wish to grant that will make the most impact on the community. Once the wish is picked, it is not over but only just begun. The Wishwall Foundation and the board members will get to work to make that wish a reality. There is much planning that is involved and I can’t give too much away to spoil the surprises but I can tell you that there are 3 wishes that will be granted from this wall. Each of these 3 wishes are ones that will impact the community the most. I am so very excited! Be sure to stay tuned to get all the details!

image15-1The Wishwall Foundation also has a huge online and social presence. People post wishes every day on the website www.thewishwall.org and The Wishwall Foundation spends many hours and dollars to help others. Please consider continuing to donate to this wonderful organization, this is my wish this week. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact The Wishwall Foundation or myself at any time.

 

“Confidence is not ‘they will like me’. Confidence instead is ‘I’ll be fine if they don’t’.”-Christina Grimmie

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/the-wishwall-in-marlton-nj-update/

Work Peacefully by Mary Beth Iannarella

See more on the wishwall online http://thewishwall.org/desideri/work-peacefully/

Millions of women across the globe took to the streets to march against President Donald Trump Saturday, January 21, 2017. In Washington DC alone, approximately 500,000 turned out to stand up for gender equality, healthcare for women and other issues thought to be threatened under Trump’s presidency.

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This protest on anti-female policies were all started on a Facebook event page. Teresa Shook, a retired attorney and grandmother living in Hawaii, created the event page calling for a march on Washington after Trump’s inauguration. On the other side of the country, Bob Bland had the same idea. He is a New York-based fashion designer. Bland, working with others, consolidated various protest pages, including Shook’s, that had cropped up on Facebook and recruited three longtime, New York-based activists to be co-chairs of the national march.

Per PoliticsUSA.com, the attendance in different cities were as follows:

Washington DC: 500,000
LA: 200,000-750,000
New York: 200,000-500,000
Chicago: 250,000
Boston: 250,000
Denver: 200,000
Oakland: 60,000
Madison: 100,000
Atlanta: 60,000
St. Paul: 60,000
Philadelphia: 50,000
Pittsburgh: 20,000
Nashville: 20,000
Marches were also held around Europe including Paris and Barcelona.

Per womensmarch.com, it’s message has only just begun. “Thank you to the millions of people around the world who, on January 21, came together to raise our voices. But our march forward does not end here. Now is the time to get our friends, family and community together and MAKE HISTORY. Join us in launching a new campaign: 10 Actions for the first 100 Days. EVERY 10 DAYS WE WILL TAKE ACTION ON AN ISSUE WE ALL CARE ABOUT, STARTING TODAY.”

The good news is, around the country more people have come together in solidarity protesting peacefully. It’s okay to be angry, it is how we channel that anger that makes it another matter. Violence, is never the answer. I believe it should be a peaceful movement simply asking for equal respect, justice and our rights.

Peaceful stances against unequal civil rights have been successful throughout history and nonviolent movements can lead to meaningful systemic changes. While media loves to bombards us with stories and images of bloodshed and the destruction a few protesters may cause, the true spotlight should be on those standing together today in peace simply asking for equality for all.

Hitting the streets to make your voice heard is a fundamental right in the United States, and it’s part of our country’s lifeblood. Whether you protest in support or dissent, stay peaceful. Living in society, we should share the sufferings of our fellow citizens and practice compassion and tolerance not only towards our loved ones but also towards our enemies. I will always stay true to myself and my beliefs but I do respect that other people have their own thoughts, beliefs and ideas also.

My wish for you is to work peacefully.

“Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results.”- James Lane Allen

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

What are you doing for others?

martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-2.pngYesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr day and answered his question, “what are you doing for others”, by coming together on the King Holiday to serve with our neighbors and communities. How did you celebrate? I unfortunately was home sick in bed, but many people took part in not only celebrating and remembering Martin Luther King Jr and his message of non-violence but also a day of service.

There was a school in my town that turned their gymnasium into assembly lines for creating chew toys for local animal shelters, making hats and headbands for kids who lost their hair due to medical treatments, writing cards for senior citizens and even assembling treat bags for chemotherapy patients. How amazing, and this was just one school’s actions!

Believe it or not, it took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. It was first introduced into legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968 by Congressman John Conyers. Congress passed the holiday legislation not until 1983, which was then signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Several states resisted celebrating the holiday. In 1989, 44 states adopted MLK day as a holiday. Finally, in 2000, South Carolina becomes the last state to make MLK Day a paid holiday for all state employees.

What an extraordinary (but short) life Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived! Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929, he never backed down in his stand against racism. He dedicated his life to achieving equality and justice for all Americans of all colors. King believed that peaceful refusal to obey unjust law was the best way to bring about social change. At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John Kennedy. At 34, he mesmerized the nation with his “I Have a Dream” speech. At 35, he was the youngest to win the Nobel Peace Prize. And sadly at 39, he was assassinated. But his legacy will live on.

MLK_bw.GIFOn this day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing, you are part of the great dream this extraordinary man had for America.  No other day of the year is like this or has this message. This is not just a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday! And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream. So, what is it that you will do? What will you teach your children? If you want to see the change in the world, you must start to be the change. He left us his legacy of hope and inspiration that continues today thru us that we must continue in our everyday lives. We have the power to change the world we live in, one dream at a time. Martin Luther King Jr had a dream…..what is yours?

 

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King Jr., Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., August 28, 1963

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation