Archive for the ‘Cheryl Courtney, Writer’ Category

Take a StandóBe CourageousóHelp Others

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

His mother died when he was five and then the sister, who he counted on as a mother, died. He grew up on the streets of San Francisco, raised by the World War II veterans who managed the local YMCA. The speaker was Gus Lee, a first generation Chinese man who served in our Armed Forces.

I was hooked. See, he had already explained more than I have ever ìlivedî in his opening words. However, his next thoughts completely floored me as he†continued to describe†how†the home village in China was taken over, the country swarmed by over a million invaders--all determined to commit genocide and re-establish a different government. So his parents began the ëspectacular adventureí of immigrating to the US.

He reminded the NoCoNet audience of over 250 job seekers that very few of us came here on a first class ticket. Most of our ancestors were fleeing impossible odds and running to the only place that would take them.

How true. My ancestors were Irish/Welsh immigrants, poor working class folks who settled in the South, along the Mississippi River Delta of LA. My grandfathers were iron workers. black smiths and mule skinners for the logging company. Every day my dad put on his uniform and went into the city to work; he hung glass in the skyscrapers and was proud of his job.

Gus Lee reminded me that I only need another job. Nothing more. Not a new country. I do not have to run for my life. My children do not go hungry every night; they have both parents and a warm, safe house to sleep in. Nothing about this economic downturn is anything like what any of these brave immigrant†people endured.

I became keenly aware that all anyone in the room needed was the next job. I felt humbled, expanded, rejuvenated with a healthier perspective. And, then he explained that courage is part of character and you can let fear erode your character or stand up and be intentional about who you are and what you are all about. He said you can show your family fear or courage in the midst of travesty. It is a personal choice and a soul quest.

Upon reflection, few things really shake up in my blessed life in Loveland, CO.

But the earth did shake and broke open in Haiti and the world fell down on all those people. Till I get another job, I have a job to do. I am helping at the warehouse of H.E.L.P. International in Loveland, CO. check out,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/You can help, too.

Stay courageous, persevere. Help others all you can. You can learn more about Gus Lee and Character.FtCollins at

Transferable Skills

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Attended NoCoNet's presentation yesterday and learned more about summarizing quantifiable transferable skills as I, along with 250 displaced professionals, step on the path of Reformulating Ourselves to the Job Markets of 2010.

Big words--essentially--look for the stuff I did that I can do for anyone else.

In reading Heather's Blog about Haiti, I had a thought...isn't that the miracle of reaching out across the water--finding something I can do for others?

Get energized, have fun with Laid Off Camp

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Hey, this is really a fun event. Lots of networking and positive things happen here. Who doesn't need more of this? Check out and preregister. See you there.

The Fox and the Dust Bunnies

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Dust bunnies are odd things. They lurk in nooks and crannies, swirling under the beds and in the corners behind the entertainment center. As they toss and tumble about, they seem to grow in density and fervor, almost as if infused with a mind or life of their own.

I am not a tall person. When I clean, I have to stand on step ladders and swipe at cobwebs and dusty regions with long fuzz busters, dodging bits and pieces as they drift down onto me. It is not a pleasant task.

My most recent cleaning episode was sparked by the holidays. We had not opened the various bins of green and red; nothing had been draped across the fireplace or along the banisters of the staircase. In order to decorate, I felt I had to tackle the dust bunnies of our busy lives and prepare my decorating pallet. Once I took down the curtains, washed and ironed them all, I then could see the streaks on the windows. So, I was resentfully rubbing away the grime when I spotted the fox.

She hunts the back yard often, a streak of fiery orange atop delicate black legs. Her lovely brushy tail is enormous. She was sitting on the low garden wall watching me. A furry bundle, a dead cottontail, lay at her feet and her perfect jaw was dropped into a wide grin. She appeared to be laughing at me.

Here was an incredibly beautiful wild fox thing with her own bunny--food to nourish the next Spring kits growing inside her womb. Then, she gracefully picked up her banquet and trotted up the snowy hill then disappeared under the aspens.

My resentment at our grimy dust bunnies suddenly snapped into perspective and I felt the blessing of peaceful gratitude for my home fill my heart. Life was suddenly called into sharper focus by a visiting fox.