Thursday, August 29, 2013

One Big Family

While intolerance is alive and well throughout our world today, there seem to be remarkable efforts to spread information around the planet in the hope of dismantling the prolific hatred that has been born of our fear and ignorance.  As global economic distress escalates, indirectly threatening the education of our young, and self-righteous fundamentalists, bullies, and extremists waive their flags as prominently as ever, the future of our species hangs in the balance.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Old Friend

I received a phone call this morning from a very old friend (I'll call him Penn), and it's been about 20 years since our last contact.  He had a remarkable interest in the details of my life and my well-being today, and he seemed to care so deeply.  I have such clear memories, from long ago, of Penn's deep appreciation for the value of others, and I felt a lot of love and sadness as I reflected on how relatively unavailable I was to value him during my youth.  Fortunately, my sadness today is distinct from any feelings of shame that I may have, a feeling that is perhaps rather self-absorbed and counter-productive (guilt seems more constructive, as it is focused on how we have harmed others, rather than on how worthless and pathetic we are)...

Friday, August 23, 2013

False Modesty

False modesty is, among other things, pretentious, inauthentic, condescending, and deceptive.  It is also ubiquitous these days...

Note two of my favorite quotable quotes that follow - they both convey the same basic message, though the lovely and brilliant Golda can never be accused of sugar-coating anything.  Marrianne Williamson, whose now-famous words have been often mistaken for those of Nelson Mandela during his 1994 Inaugural Address, is a bit more eloquent and flowery.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Not Fair

My children seem to complain less and less often about how they routinely get the "short end of the stick..."  They are about four and seven years old, respectively, and they already have a certain degree of emotional maturity that most adults in our culture seem to lack.  My wife and I try our best to continually remind them that life is not fair, and it'd be a good idea for them to practice getting used to it.  Consequently, the kids continue to feel pretty angry with the apparently endless injustices they perceive, and, remarkably, the reactions they have to their understandable distress is not so destructive to themselves and others as they used to be.  We try to discourage their dramatic attempts to manipulate people around them to make their world "right" again.  We do this by trying to "normalize" situations that are apparently unfair to them.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On Age and Beauty

...You don't look a day older!

Should we take this at face value?  Sometimes "a cigar is just a cigar," so the saying goes, and we simply don't look like we've aged.  Still, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone insincerely complemented another on their semblance of youth.  Our obsession with the extent to which our appearance may or may not convey our number of times around the sun is of particular concern to me...  I am as guilty as the next of having willingly consumed the media's shameless portrayal of idealized and superficial beauty, and it doesn't resemble anyone over 35 years of age...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Abstract Photography

I've been taking photographs of a 1903 home in one of Tucson's historic neighborhoods...Barrio Libre.  I purchased the property with Linoa, my real estate investment company (named after our kids Linnea and Noah, by the way).  These photographs are the beginning of a series I intend to produce...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Powerful Language

It seems as though language may be relatively limited in terms of its ability to help us communicate, as there are so many non-verbal ways to communicate as well.  Still,  the range of effectiveness of our verbal communication efforts seems remarkable.  This range appears to be based on various word choices that we make routinely and unconsciously.  By raising our awareness regarding some of these word choices, perhaps we may have an easier time being authentic and saying exactly what we mean.

Communication 101

Taking others' inventory seems like child's play...Whenever we experience a relationship challenge, the real work begins when we're willing to look at my own part in the breakdown..  It’s a lot easier to accomplish this when we understand and express ourselves very clearly.  


Take what you like and leave the rest…

For all of you hard-working parents out there who love your kids the best way you know how, my intention is to share strength, experience, and hope on the subject of raising our babies.  The following is simply what seems to work best for our family, so please take it all with a grain of salt.  What works for us has so much to do with our time and our place in the world.  We can only do our best with what we have been taught ourselves.  Are there really any experts?  If any of us actually did this perfectly, would we not be robbing our children of great material to cry about in their future therapy sessions?  My wife and I agree that we will be the best parents possible if we only mess up our kids minimally.  All kidding aside, some of the following suggestions are meant as just that – suggestions.  If anyone really knows “The Way”, they would have cornered the market in their infinite wisdom.   So far, no one has done that, and we are simply left with endless controversy.  So, I’ll try my best to not pretend I am any sort of ultimate authority in these matters, I’ll try to maintain my sense of humor, and with any luck, you’ll only mess up your kids minimally too.