Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tony Dungy's goodbye to his son.

I just cried my eyes out reading Tony Dungy's eulogy to his son. He said his last goodbye to his 18 year old boy at the airport and did not get a chance to hug him.
"Hug your kids every chance you get. I'll never forget the fact that I did not hug my son that last time."
That was one of the saddest thing that I have ever heard. Tony Dungy has to live with that last memory for the rest of his life. And the great man that he is, he summoned the strength to tell that story to the world during the toughest time of his life.
It is truly humbling to know that a parent can do so many things right and the events of our world can overwhelm a young man with his whole life ahead of him. I realize today that I need to double my efforts and give everything that I can to my kids. I vow to hug them every chance that I can get.
But if their experience overwhelms them, then I have to learn some way to let them go in the courageous manner that Tony D. did today.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

This I believe.

The following is my submission to the This I believe segment on NPR:

I believe in the Dalai Lama. Anger is a vestige of evolution and it needs to be managed through patience practice. Negative emotions bring us a blind, selfish energy that too often results in harm to others. Our empathy and compassion towards others needs to be our guiding emotions in this life. I believe true happiness comes from connecting with and helping others.

I believe in Ben Franklin and Tony Robbins. I think that a positive outlook on life is one of the keys to happiness. Entrepreneurship, hard work and perseverance are inherent in all of humanity. Our perspective and the manner in which we apply our emotions to our experience color how we view each event in our lives. If we can exist without prejudice and see each new event as an opportunity then we are living life to its fullest. If we can enjoy our work, then we enjoy all of our days, instead of simply our days off.

I believe in Natural Healing and Dr Andrew Weill. Our bodies are perfect creations that have the miraculous ability to heal themselves. Listening to my body’s signals is essential and I respond with natural solutions to its messages. A vegetarian diet and yoga practice are examples of the disciplines that have resonated with me and my body.

I believe in my kids. If I instill loving values into my children then they will each do ten times the good works that I will accomplish. Therefore, every second that I invest in them will manifest itself ten fold in benefits for society. I practice patience with my children. I try to never interact with them when I am angry. I give myself more timeouts than I administer to them. I hug them and tell them I love them 30 times a day. I get them dressed in the morning and put them each to bed when I get home at night.

I believe in my wife. I think she is ringmaster. She manages more in a day than I could possibly hope to juggle in a year. I am grateful when dinner is ready when I come home, no matter what is prepared. I take a deep breath and say “Yes dear.” If she asks me if I know that I am supposed to take a right at the next set of lights. I insist that she take a nap on the weekends while I play with all 3 kids. I insist she get out of the house some nights so that she feels that her life is in balance. I believe in a mutually fulfilling and healthy sex life. I am thankful for Vasectomies.

I believe in an interconnected web of human relationships. I am happy when I see another person and I prove it to them by smiling at them with my mouth and eyes. I often witness another’s face completely change after they see my unassuming smile. I hope I instill each person that I meet with more positive emotion and energy. Then they can bring that energy into their relationships and lift up the web of life.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Reading to T's class

I love working close to home. It is one of the top things that I look for in my work. I was reminded of why today.

I took an early lunch and went over to my son's preschool to read some books to the kids. T picked out a dinosaur book that morning. I picked out a feelings book. As we were headed out the door, L suggested that we bring our family picture album. I was hesitant, but I brought it to appease L. The album turned out to be a huge hit.

I arrived at 11:30 to T beaming at the door. It was cleanup time and I got down on my hands and knees and helped pickup the toys. I spoke with D and K about where the hammers and stethoscope were stored. Then it was time to read.

I sat up in front of the class. 12 little beaming faces were ready to hear about dinosaurs. We started with Brontosaurus. The kids ooohed about how big he looked in the book. We talked about other objects that are 70 feet long.
"He was as long as 3 school buses." I said. "And much taller than the school."
I let that sink in and turned the page.
I asked the kids to pick their favorite color dinosaur from the next page. It was an even split between pink and green.
The T-Rex page was definitely the favorite. I hyped it up very well.

Next I breezed through the feeling book. The kids easily recognized the angry face and were able to demonstrate it well. They did the same with the happy face. This is another one of Todd Parr's excellent books.

The finale was the vacation album that J ordered from snapfish. That was a big hit with the teachers and kids. There is a picture of M at 14 months chillin in her car seat. The kids loved it as much as I did.

The look on T's face when I arrived at school was truly priceless. I loved meeting his friends and feeling the atmosphere at school. It was magic. I love that kid.