Wishes

On any given day, approximately 800,000 people in the United States will celebrate their birthday. When we are young, we sit with a birthday cake before us, surrounded by friends and families and we make a wish to blow out the lit candles marking our years. 

In any given year,  many of these wishes bear some semblance to one another despite the diversity of the wish makers. …


Wonderful

While walking my dog in the woods nearby, I stopped to marvel at a giant fallen oak. Uprooted from the ground, it was hard to surmise what had toppled this mammoth tree. I was full of wonder at the extensive roots laid bare for all to examine the many connections severed.  Feelings of both loss and hope filled me as I was reminded that soon that tree would decompose with its nutrients revitalizing the soil that it would soon become part of.…


listen

When I was a young boy, I loved to listen. I would saddle up next to my Mom, eavesdropping on grown up talk, while cigarette smoke filled the air. I would hole away in my room, laying on the top bunk, listening closely to the lyrics of every song on a new album. Late at night, I’d strain to hear the static filled voices of talk radio hosts, broadcasting from AM stations hundreds of miles away, until I eventually drifted off to sleep. …


Blessed

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as blessed as I did this Thanksgiving. It was a day of almost complete harmony among my wife and I and our three daughters.  

Our day began with a simple exercise of writing down the many people and things we were grateful for this year, in spite of all that has engulfed our nation and impaired our daily lives.

Under different circumstances, this request could have been met with eye rolls and pleas to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.…


Gratitude>>>

Daddy, 2020 sucks.”  It is this year of sickness, sacrifice, sadness, sucktitude and overall political jackassery, my youngest daughter succinctly summed up what has become all too obvious.  

Thanksgiving will soon join the long list of traditions, celebrations, holidays, and rituals that must be adjusted to conform to our new “less than” reality.  

Perhaps, though, Thanksgiving is uniquely suited to be “more than” during these times.…


Acceptance

When your children misbehave or act in a way that that drives you crazy, it makes it difficult to follow the guidance of Mr. Rogers to “love your children exactly as they are, without any conditions attached.”  

This type of acceptance becomes hard when confronted with a child, or an adult for that matter, who seem defiant or uncompromising. But that is exactly the point.

Accepting someone exactly as they are is a choice.…


Humility

Consider this. If you voted in the Presidential election, then regardless of its outcome, there would be 70 million people who disagreed with you. These are not 70 million idiots, socialists, extremists, racists, or rioters. They are your fellow Americans who have different lived experiences, concerns and priorities than you. People who receive their information from different sources than you and are often surrounded by similar folks that reinforce their opinions, knowledge and biases.…


Vote?

In the 2016 election, over 110 million Americans who were eligible to vote did not.  To be more precise, 110,178,918, people over the age of eighteen sat out a race that was decided by less than 80,000 votes. 

To put that in further perspective, it is the equivalent of the entire eligible voting populations of the United Kingdom, France AND Belgium deciding not to vote in their respective elections. …


Support

To support someone or something can mean many things. The definition can be either to provide material assistance – often in the form of financial help – or  “to bear the weight of something or hold up.”

The former is clearly a lighter lift. We can make a phone call, donate a few dollars, provide a reference etc. The latter is literally a heavier commitment . 

If I asked you how many people, causes or organizations you support according to the first definition, it might be a pretty expansive list.…


We

Which word do you use more often, “We” or “I”?

David Brooks’ column “How to Actually Make America Great Again” reflects on the new book by Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett called The Upswing It chronicles America’s swing from solidarity (we) to individualism (I) over the last fifty years.

As one point of evidence, the authors cite that the use of the word “I” in American books has doubled between 1965 and 2008.