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Archive for category: Christmas

Parents Are Teachers

15 Jan
January 15, 2013
There was a time when all of the hierarchy of social life was based on survival of the fittest. I doubt in cave man times that hunters shared a piece of saber toothed tiger with the guy who sat in the cave while the others hunted. That guy either learned to hunt or he starved, didn’t get a mate, didn’t have warm furs to wear and he probably was bludgeoned by someone who didn’t want him taking up space without contributing. Likewise, I am not sure that I want a future with leaders who only played on teams where they didn’t keep score and everyone always got a high five, there were no grades given in their classes and if they didn’t “feel” like doing something, it was alright.
I have no answers for the complexities of whether we should strive for achievement or for a world where no one need excel because in the end, aren’t we all in this together, but the fact is, if I am in pain, I want the best doctor. If we are attacked, I want the best military and if we need leadership, I want the most qualified people at the helm. There are children out there who are self starting, motivated kids by nature, but there are also kids who need to be taught the values and virtues of getting it done.
Most people tend to parent as they were parented. There are those who resent their childhood so much that they put concerted effort into become the parents they never had. No matter what type of parenting you had, it is fundamental to teach children the skills they will need to achieve in their adulthood. If you wait to let them figure it out on their own, they will be stunted in their growth curve when they leave your house. If you think that they will learn it in school, you are wrong.
It is vital that you teach your children how to do stuff that they don’t want to do, because we all know that our adult lives are filled with things we don’t want to do. Teach kids that mediocrity is as cancerous as smoking weed or cigarettes. Be honest with your children that it doesn’t matter if their teacher is a jerk, dork or worse, they need to learn to deal with those types of people and come out on top, because in life, those people are everywhere and sometimes they are your boss and you can’t go to the counseling office and ask to be reassigned.
Teach your kids that if they want it, they have to want it more than mom and dad. They can expect and receive your support and all of the benefits of your wisdom, maybe you can even open a few doors for them, but ultimately, they have to walk through the doors and they have to do the work. If they don’t know what to do in life, teach them and then require them to use the new found knowledge. Teach kids what they can’t figure out on their own, and allow them to figure out the things they can. Self discovery is as important as mentorship, they go hand in hand.
Teaching kids is like a verse from the great Kenny Rogers song, you got know when to hold ’em know when to fold ’em. There is a balance between giving them tools, supports and things and requiring them to earn tools, supports and things.

Parents Are Teachers

15 Jan
January 15, 2013
There was a time when all of the hierarchy of social life was based on survival of the fittest. I doubt in cave man times that hunters shared a piece of saber toothed tiger with the guy who sat in the cave while the others hunted. That guy either learned to hunt or he starved, didn’t get a mate, didn’t have warm furs to wear and he probably was bludgeoned by someone who didn’t want him taking up space without contributing. Likewise, I am not sure that I want a future with leaders who only played on teams where they didn’t keep score and everyone always got a high five, there were no grades given in their classes and if they didn’t “feel” like doing something, it was alright.
I have no answers for the complexities of whether we should strive for achievement or for a world where no one need excel because in the end, aren’t we all in this together, but the fact is, if I am in pain, I want the best doctor. If we are attacked, I want the best military and if we need leadership, I want the most qualified people at the helm. There are children out there who are self starting, motivated kids by nature, but there are also kids who need to be taught the values and virtues of getting it done.
Most people tend to parent as they were parented. There are those who resent their childhood so much that they put concerted effort into become the parents they never had. No matter what type of parenting you had, it is fundamental to teach children the skills they will need to achieve in their adulthood. If you wait to let them figure it out on their own, they will be stunted in their growth curve when they leave your house. If you think that they will learn it in school, you are wrong.
It is vital that you teach your children how to do stuff that they don’t want to do, because we all know that our adult lives are filled with things we don’t want to do. Teach kids that mediocrity is as cancerous as smoking weed or cigarettes. Be honest with your children that it doesn’t matter if their teacher is a jerk, dork or worse, they need to learn to deal with those types of people and come out on top, because in life, those people are everywhere and sometimes they are your boss and you can’t go to the counseling office and ask to be reassigned.
Teach your kids that if they want it, they have to want it more than mom and dad. They can expect and receive your support and all of the benefits of your wisdom, maybe you can even open a few doors for them, but ultimately, they have to walk through the doors and they have to do the work. If they don’t know what to do in life, teach them and then require them to use the new found knowledge. Teach kids what they can’t figure out on their own, and allow them to figure out the things they can. Self discovery is as important as mentorship, they go hand in hand.
Teaching kids is like a verse from the great Kenny Rogers song, you got know when to hold ’em know when to fold ’em. There is a balance between giving them tools, supports and things and requiring them to earn tools, supports and things.

Merry Moment

25 Dec
December 25, 2012

As available in the 12-25-12 edition of the Red Bluff Daily News:

I am not sure if my column will run on Christmas this year. Perhaps you won’t see these words until two weeks from now, after New Year’s is over. Nonetheless, I want to wish all of you a Merry Moment this year. I want to wish you the one thing that I think can change you the most; living truly and really in the moment.
About four years ago my family visited Chichen Itza in the Mayan country. We toured the temples, met local people and learned many things about the Mayan prediction for 12-21-12. In the years between our visit and now, I often wondered about the prediction. Was it true? I found myself on 12-20-12 bargaining out acceptable ways to end my time on Earth. I knew I didn’t want to burn, be crushed or drown. I was hoping CVS pharmacy might sell cyanide pills, but no such luck. I realized I was left like everyone else waiting to see if the world was going to swallow me up.
The thing is, I believe in the rapture more than I do the Mayan end of the world prediction. I believe where the Bible says we do not know the time. So, my mind went back and forth between the hope for a simple depart from Earth via Jesus versus an apocalyptic blow up, but I knew the Mayans hadn’t heard The Good News.
In the days leading up to 12-21-12, I began realizing something we have heard in clever quotes and in the words of eternal optimists: Live in the moment. The notion that what is happening at this moment is truly all that we have. If you can find the way to be in the moment, as kooky as that sounds, you are truly living. If you can will yourself to feel everything there is to feel in the moment you are in, you are living well. Taste that spoonful of ice cream, feel the calorie burn on the treadmill. Feel the love you have being with your loved ones. Feel the pain of that break up.
If we had no camera’s, no home video, no You Tube. If the only way we had to capture a memory is in our hearts and minds, we might actually live in the moment. Imagine if you couldn’t look at baby pictures of your child and remember when. Imagine if there were no recipes to remember how to make your favorite dish and you had to figure it out in the moment so the memory was there to make it next time. If we didn’t have artificial ways to capture today so we can relive it tomorrow, we may spend today living now.
My hope for you is that you have a Merry Moment this season. I hope that you internalize that all of life is fleeting. This moment is all we have. We should embrace it for what it is. This moment isn’t meant for thinking about a tomorrow that may never come or a yesterday that can’t be changed. This moment is for savoring. The fact is that if you live in the moment you capture it’s power. If you love your moment, you have the power to stay in it. If you are loving your family in this moment, don’t leave it to think about what else you should be doing. If you are hate your moment, you have the power to change what is happening and make a different moment. If you are fighting with someone for no good reason, you can take hold of the moment and change what is happening.
By my calculations I have written 364 columns. I have had 364 moments to affect your thinking. I want these moments to count. I want them to matter to someone. I want to talk about people who matter and give advice that matters. When I write, I could not be more in the moment. Merry Moment to you.

Merry Moment

25 Dec
December 25, 2012

As available in the 12-25-12 edition of the Red Bluff Daily News:

I am not sure if my column will run on Christmas this year. Perhaps you won’t see these words until two weeks from now, after New Year’s is over. Nonetheless, I want to wish all of you a Merry Moment this year. I want to wish you the one thing that I think can change you the most; living truly and really in the moment.
About four years ago my family visited Chichen Itza in the Mayan country. We toured the temples, met local people and learned many things about the Mayan prediction for 12-21-12. In the years between our visit and now, I often wondered about the prediction. Was it true? I found myself on 12-20-12 bargaining out acceptable ways to end my time on Earth. I knew I didn’t want to burn, be crushed or drown. I was hoping CVS pharmacy might sell cyanide pills, but no such luck. I realized I was left like everyone else waiting to see if the world was going to swallow me up.
The thing is, I believe in the rapture more than I do the Mayan end of the world prediction. I believe where the Bible says we do not know the time. So, my mind went back and forth between the hope for a simple depart from Earth via Jesus versus an apocalyptic blow up, but I knew the Mayans hadn’t heard The Good News.
In the days leading up to 12-21-12, I began realizing something we have heard in clever quotes and in the words of eternal optimists: Live in the moment. The notion that what is happening at this moment is truly all that we have. If you can find the way to be in the moment, as kooky as that sounds, you are truly living. If you can will yourself to feel everything there is to feel in the moment you are in, you are living well. Taste that spoonful of ice cream, feel the calorie burn on the treadmill. Feel the love you have being with your loved ones. Feel the pain of that break up.
If we had no camera’s, no home video, no You Tube. If the only way we had to capture a memory is in our hearts and minds, we might actually live in the moment. Imagine if you couldn’t look at baby pictures of your child and remember when. Imagine if there were no recipes to remember how to make your favorite dish and you had to figure it out in the moment so the memory was there to make it next time. If we didn’t have artificial ways to capture today so we can relive it tomorrow, we may spend today living now.
My hope for you is that you have a Merry Moment this season. I hope that you internalize that all of life is fleeting. This moment is all we have. We should embrace it for what it is. This moment isn’t meant for thinking about a tomorrow that may never come or a yesterday that can’t be changed. This moment is for savoring. The fact is that if you live in the moment you capture it’s power. If you love your moment, you have the power to stay in it. If you are loving your family in this moment, don’t leave it to think about what else you should be doing. If you are hate your moment, you have the power to change what is happening and make a different moment. If you are fighting with someone for no good reason, you can take hold of the moment and change what is happening.
By my calculations I have written 364 columns. I have had 364 moments to affect your thinking. I want these moments to count. I want them to matter to someone. I want to talk about people who matter and give advice that matters. When I write, I could not be more in the moment. Merry Moment to you.
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