Friday, May 26, 2017

Here's a Moment for This Weekend

So, friends, what's up for Memorial Day Weekend?

Are you planning a beach trip, cookout, ballgame, or are you staying home and piddling around or reading or both?

Whatever you are doing, please take a moment and remember the reason for Memorial Day; it is in remembrance of those "who died in active military service."

I don't know about you, but I often think of men and women, young and old, who experienced all kinds of deaths in places well-remembered, forgotten, or never known.

And, they did it on our behalf.

That's the part you need to remember; they died so that I could sit here in my office in safety and type this memorium; so you could sit in safety and read it.

I believe their spirits are with us always. I believe a lot of them are looking at what they defended and are thinking (if that's what they do), "WTF??!!!"

I'm not busting the people in power right now because that's a polarizing act. However, I am busting what's happening; a dramatic drop in respect for the United States around the world, confusion among the people who should know what they are doing, and legislative decisions that seem to put at risk those of us who are the weakest and least able to take care of themselves.

So much of what we see now is not what people sacrificed their lives for at Lexington, Gettysburg, the Sorbonne, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Heartbreak Ridge, the Tet Offensive, Baghdad and Basra.

We owe those who made the ultimate sacrifice more than we are now giving.

Remember them when you're having a beer and burger this weekend. Remember them--at least for a moment--on a Monday you will, in all probability, safely enjoy thanks to their sacrifices.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Who's Yer Brother?!

This is from the National Day Calendar: "Observed every year on May 24, Brother’s Day honors the brothers in our lives.  Whether we have one or many, our brothers hold a special place in our hearts.  Even for those who don’t have brothers, someone in their life is usually like a brother to them.  Brothers from other mothers are found in a best friend, a brother-in-law or a cousin.  They are the men in our lives we count on even when we don’t talk very often.  We share memories, challenges that frequently began with the phrase, “Watch this!” soon followed by a few stitches.
They are the men in our lives we count on even when we don’t talk very often.  We share memories, challenges that frequently began with the phrase, “What’s this!” soon followed by a few stitches. While minding their own business, they are also prepared to step in when necessary.  That’s what brothers do.
Of course, they’ve been known to put toads on your head or gum in your hair.  They may have been too cool for you once, too.  Brothers come in many shapes and sizes and so do their relationships.  Whatever yours is, take the time to celebrate your brother on Brother’s Day."
So, to Joe, David, Jeff, Joel, Bob, Buddy, Fred, Andy, Brian, and Pi Kapps everywhere, thank you for being my brothers. You've been there when I needed you as I have tried to be there for you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yelling At a 3-Year Old

If a fearful, 3-year old child came to you with a problem what would you say and do? 

Would you berate them, yell at them that they are stupid and a loser, or, at worst, slapp’em around a little and tell’em to suck it up and be tough?

While there are animals, idiots, and misguided people in the world who might do all those things most of us would find solutions of that type of be the farthest things from our minds. (In fact, even reading that sentence made some of you uncomfortable)

The vast majority of us would listen, sympathize and empathize, calm the child and offer help.

Now, here’s the problem: Most of us, when we come to ourselves with a challenge, treat ourselves in the rougher, less human and understanding way.

No kidding.

We are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. 

There’s a wonderful quote that says, “When we are in our own minds we are behind enemy lines.”

What would you do if you—as a 3-year old—came to you with a challenge? How would you listen? How would you sympathize and empathize? How would you help yourself step up to the challenge, deal with it, and move on?

This isn’t fluffy-thinking silliness, or being too soft on yourself, or dodging the issue. This is becoming more self-aware, which most of us are not. 

What is a challenge you are facing right now? If a 3-year old, or a good friend, came to you with the same issue how would you treat them? What would you say? 

Try that with yourself and cut yourself a little slack. And, when you face the challenge and do what you can, give yourself a reward.

Treat your 3-year old to some ice cream. 

Rocky Road would be nice.

With sprinkles.

And Kool Whip.

I’m just sayin’. 

***I bet you know someone who could use this message...send it to them.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Six-Pack and a Helium Balloon

A month ago I turned 65. A friend left a six-pack of Trader Joe’s Ale  with a Happy Birthday! balloon tied to it on my front porch.

The six-pack didn’t last very long at all. But, the balloon lasted A MONTH!!! I tied the long string to a lamp in the living room and was delighted every time I walked into the room. (Which tells me I should buy helium balloons every now and then and tie them up in the house!)

On Saturday I awoke to find that the balloon had sunk to about 2 feet above the floor. Made me kinda sad to think I wouldn’t see it around. However, when I clipped the string near the balloon’s neck it rose, wonderfully, to the ceiling.

That’s life, isn’t it? We feel ourselves slowly descending, but if we snip off something that is dragging us down—a belief, a person, a habit, a thing—we are lighter, stronger and better able to rise.

PS…here’s a thought…it’s usually better to be the snipper than the snippee. So, if, when you read the blog above you thought, “I could get snipped!” you need to closely look at the situation prompting the thought.  Sometimes, though, we need to be snipped to get us moving. 

Please pass this on to someone who needs to snip or be snipped.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Febreze and The Liberal Redneck

I have a confession…wait…no…well, yes…I did steal a Z off the Chapel Hill Pizza Hut roof in 1973. But, it was a for a good cause! It was Paul Zuerner’s birthday and, well, he’s a good guy.

(Sorry, I digress)

My confession is that I absolutely LOVE the new Febreze commercials. “I love youuuuu, but sometimes you stinnnnnk!” Go to the bottom of this blog and you should be able to click on and see it. Whoever the singer is, she’s wonderful.

Now, here comes a wild connection. If you have never checked out the comedian, Trae Crowder, The Liberal Redneck, he deserves your attention. I’ll go ahead and offer a disclaimer about his language (pretty heavy-duty), but this is a very smart guy with an ability to articulate some important points in a dramatic way. See the link below.

Today, I was listening to one of his rants recorded last fall after the election. He was talking about being at Thanksgiving lunch/dinner with relatives who voted the opposite of you. His best point was, “Just love’em, know they are wrong and just love’em.”

Immediately, I thought of the Febreze commercial! “I love youuuuuu, but sometimes you stinnnnnk!” Maybe that’s the best way to get back on solid ground with some folks.

At a time when polarization is the name of the game in our society we need to start thinking of ways to pull ourselves together. Humor can be a great way to do that. 

Remember, y’all….I love youuuuuu, and sometimes I stinnnnnk!!!

Wait…that’s not right.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bad Things, Good People

Just received an email from a guy I’ve known for a number of years….here’s how the second paragraph started….”About six weeks ago I received the shocking news that I have stage 4 lung cancer. It’s inoperable and incurable.”  

This is a really, really good guy…we’ve helped each other in a variety of ways in business and, to some degree, in life….I immediately realized it was one of those moments in which I wanted to reach out and tell the people I love that I love them…

Whatever time you are reading this, pick up your phone and call someone; sit down with your laptop, pad or phone and text someone; walk in the next room where they are, get their attention if they are sitting near you, tap them on the shoulder and wake them up if they are lying next to you…and tell them you care about them.

This ride doesn’t last long and, to be honest, we don’t know when it will stop. We spend too much time focused on the little things as the big things ease on by us.