First, welcome to all the babies born today! It is a very special day for most of us. And you too!! Hopefully in your future, you will wonder why we made such a big fuss over “your birthday.”
Barack Obama, an African American will become our 44th president. What is remarkable about this is? ….well, simply that. Also he may be the first president to be called the “n” word. What is the “N” word?” Never mind. What’s really important is it means any baby-brown, yellow, black, able or disabled, male or female,gay or straight(not sure how many of you know yet about the gay-straight thing) can reallistically strive to be whatever they want to be.
You hopefully won’t understand this, but for most of us, we bought into the idea that only certain people could be President, or part of “his” inner circle. And so we kept nominating and electing the same types of people over and over.
And as you will learn, some have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Well this time, we considered different choices and we had different results. And we have a cabinet that reflects options for all of you new borns.
Baby, you really can be whatever you want. So learn from President Obama, and aim for the moon, and shoot for the stars.
From those of us,
who gave up on dreams and settled for status quo.
Christmas is overwhelming for me. I experience so much pressure to buy or give, and yet it can feel pretty forced. So the spirit of giving happens spontaneously, it means more to me. So here is my experience of the magic of Christmas.
Last Sunday, it was about -4 degrees in the city. We had been in the house all day. So my wife and oldest son decided to go for a short walk around the block, while I stayed and played with my younger son. Shortly after leaving the house, the door bell rang. It was my wife and son. “We need some muscle to move a car,” she said.
A twenty something year old boy living at a place called, “Artist in Residence” was trying to get his car out of a snow packed parking spot. So we rocked his car, told him not to burn so much rubber, and eventually got him back on the road. It felt like the right thing to do. And I liked that our son experienced the moment.
On Monday, my wife called me at work. “You remember the artist with the skull & crossbones on his car-the one we pushed out of the snow? He left us a box of choclates with a note to the family that went out of its way to help me out.”
It was a complete surprise. To me, it combines the message of Christmas. You give to others with the nothing more than the best of intentions and then you move on. And sometimes, when you least expect it, something good comes back your way.
I recently saw this advertisement in the New York Time. The head line was,
“How to talk to your kids about drugs if you did drugs. It was a full page
ad sponsored by the Partnersip for a Drug-Free America. You probably
remember the “this is your brain…this is your brain on drugs” campaign.
On balance, I tend to think they offer the best in public health messages.
But this message was unique.
This puts responsibility on the parents to work with their children to
prevent drug and alcohol abuse. One way is to help parents to overcome their
own ambivalence about being confronted with questions about their own
drug and alcohol history. This is in great contrast to prior messages,
that hope children or teens will simply say “no.”
Since the holidays are a time when families come together, it’s also a time
when drug and alcohol abuse tend to increase. Therefore it seems like a
good time to consider having a talk with your kids. And in order to help us do
so, the Partnership for a Drug Free America offers some guidance.
1.) This isn’t about you.
2) Think about how much your kids wants or needs to know. The fact
is we can all say too much.
3) Many experts suggest giving an honest answer or none at all.
4) Avoid giving your child more information than they have asked for.
5) Say what you mean to say, don’t beat around the bush “I don’t want
you to use drugs.”
6) Share what you’ve learned from your experience with drugs.
7) Try connecting around the reasons you might have used, such as,
“I thought I needed to use to fit in..It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t a
8) Everyone makes mistakes, and trying drugs was a mistake I made. I love
you to much to watch you repeat bad decisions I made.
9)I wanted to share my experience with you, because even if drugs didn’t
ruin my life, I’ve seen them ruin other people’s lives.
10) Ask what they think. Keep asking questions and keep listening to
11) Stay Calm. Try not to raise your voice. It’s ok to admit these conversations
aren’t easy for you either.
12) If you’re nervous, don’t put off having the conversation. This isn’t
about your past. It’s about your child’s future.
For more information, go to drugfree.org
Don\'t be a Patsy
While typing this, one of the men working in our house, asked me a question which I couldn’t answer. He and his partner are walking around my house in their socks, as though they live here shouting to one another in Albanian. It made me wonder about people who make a living doing work in people’s homes.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that people need money. Moreover people need to work where they can find employment. However I don’t think everyone is cut out for working in someones home. I think it would be hard to meld into someone else’s world, if only for a short period of time.
I’m always amused by how many people prepare their homes for the coming of the cleaning lady. And once the cleaning begins, I’m not sure who is more concerned about the house us or the cleaning lady. It’s like we have to remind ourselves she is working for us.
Baby sitters are like this too. They come to take care of the kids and then after awhile, they are snuggling up on the couch with a blanket over them or enjoying dinner with the kids. I don’t really mind it, but I do find it amusing and curious. I don’t know that I could blend in so well into someones home. But these people hang out, enjoy our space as if it is their own, do their job and then leave. And with babysitters, it seems like many of them find it hard to leave once they’ve set down roots in the house.
What kind of person is drawn to connecting with another family so intimately and why? I smile wondering if we’ll soon get into fightswith the plumbers, babysitters, or cleanning lady over what show to watch on the tv.
When I heard that Obama was considering Hillary as Secretary of State, my mind started thinking about how Obam, Hillary and Joe will work together. At that point, I heard the tune to ‘l’m Hardrock, I’m Coco, I’m Joe.” I thought Barack would likely be Hardrock. Though its a stretch, I’d pick Hillary for Hardrock and Joe Biden for Joe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT5Ohgl7eTM
If you’ve never heard of Hardrock, Coco, and Joe, then you were not watching morning tv as a child in the Midwest. It was not uncommon to see these guys sing on cold winter mornings until Christmas. This was before cable and the land of a thousand channels. So snuggle up with some hot coco and jam to Hardrock, Coco, and Joe
How many times do we have to hear fallen leaders say, “I’m stepping down so I can spend more time with my family. Lets be truthful, most of the time, they are being asked to leave or step down due to a scandal or failure to accomplish their established goals. But instead of saying, “I was hired and paid a boatload of money to do a job, which I tried, but could not do-so I’ve been asked to leave. And considering that I will still make more in stock options, investments, and benefits than most people on the planet, this seems reasonable. And by the way, I’m sorry I could not live up to expectations. But I’m going to get another chance and when I do, I intend to hit a homerun, thanks.”
There is no need to bring your family or kids into this. No one believes you really want to spend more time with your kids. More likely, people are wondering why you want us to believe you are some dedicated family man. It often sounds to me like these guys, and more often than not are men, are so ready to use their kids and familys to save their buts. But when business is booming and they are the toast of the town, do they care about their kids as much?
I know you are going to tell me they don’t have time. Everyone wants to be with their kids, but how are you supposed to do that and provide them the best money can buy. How about asking yourself: how do you make time for the healthclub? golf? business lunches? after dinner drinks? long days and nights of travel for work? I know its what pays the bills, and it leaves no time for anything else.But I don’t buy it.
First of all, whatever these guys have done, didn’t work for them or the business they were in wouldn’t have asked them to leave. So what about a different model. What if these guys spent 50 minutes a week with each kid doing something the kid suggests doing, instead of sending the kid to a shrink for once or twice a week treatment. That 50 minutes will add up over time, kind of like dollar cost averaging. Over time, it increases, and at some point, compound interest or in the case of kids, increased trust in you will kick in.
So I am asking for a new mantra. If you’re not spending time with your kids before you get fired, don’t try to evoke our understanding for your new found interest in them after you’re canned.