straight from the heart

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Character, Perceptions & Reality

In Media, Society, Sports on November 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

The henious Penn State scandal is another perfect example of how people and society’s assumptions can go terribly wrong. I have argued for years how many in todays world would view a khaki pants, button down shirt, clean cut, good grammer individual as an honorable, upstanding, decent citizen while most times not bestowing those same thoughts upon the jeans, hoodie wearing sneaker crowd. When will we all learn that evil has no dress code or no color; it neither speaks a certain way nor has a certain DNA type; it doesn’t hear a certain type of music or follow a specific religion. As most things, it comes in many different packages & all too often it can not be readily identified. Most people you see look at a guy like this Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State Defensive Co-ordinator accused of multiple sexual assults on young boys, immediately labeling him – by appearance mind you, as an upstanding, decent, God fearing, all american male. Well SURPRISE! As is usually the case, he is the worse kind of evil, preying on innocent, defenseless kids. Almost as deplorable is how Joe Paterno or “Joe Pa” as he is affectionately known, the revered head coach, appears to have done very little to further prevent these tragedies, even as he learned of his co-workers indescretions. How people throughout the area were rioting over “Joe Pa’s” dismissal is beyond me. Is football that important in these people’s lives that they choose to overlook the most disgusting of offenses? Could it be they can not believe how wrong they have been about these people – their heroes? Would they be as forgiving if it was one of the students, a history teacher or the janitor? This blog is not to highlight the crime, as we all know it is unspeakable, it is intended to further explore our views on people based on how they look or how we want them to be. It has always been an issue of mine how some people are always granted the benefit of the doubt as if somehow wearing khakis and loafers exclude you from misbehaving. How I can walk into an interview room or a resturant along with another suit wearing individual and automatically be addressed differently, given different opportuinities or asked if I know where the bathroom is? I learned of this NJ cop who had a family, was “clean cut” and was a pillar to his community, who was arrested for infecting numerous women with the HIV virus he had been infected with from his multiple dalliances with prostitutes. You see this “social blindness” as I call it, can and probably has affected us all at some point in our lives to varying degrees. So the next time you meet one of the all american boy types, don’t be so quick to accept him with open arms, he may end being a Sandusky.

Character is what you do when no one is watching.

                                     – Unknown

Parents, Children & Appreciation

In Parenting, Relationships on November 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

As a parent of three lovely children, I often sit alone & wonder when did they change?  When was the exact moment they all of a sudden knew it all, did not need your advice & had a hard time listening to rational conversation?  As I sit there, a deep sadness befalls me as I realize how little appreciation most children can have for the sacrifices some parents make for them.  Sure some still call from time to time to say hello, others mostly when they are in need of something (usually financial relief), while others don’t call at all.  Now I know, even in the teenage years, they have their own lives, with problems that seem enormous to them….I mean I get that, I do.  We as parents should provide our children with some space to make decisions & handle their issues on their own.  But it’s the back talk, the defiance or downright rudeness they respond to you when you ask them to do certain things certain ways.  They do not realize how sometimes it isn’t about them, that you can use some help or a little understanding from them as well.  How bout when they call you with a problem & you do your best to provide them with a few solutions.  Usually I try to give them a range of acceptable behaviors.  There is an optimal way to handle, an ok way to handle & a wrong way to go about it.  You let them assimilate the info, but then the moment comes when they disagree or want you to see it only their way; BOOM they turn on you quick, the back gets up, the mouth opens & before you know it a tear rolls down your eyes as you realize how little thought the child has put toward you & what you asked or advised on.  Take out the garbage?  Clean your room?  Clean your dish?  It’s like you ask them to give up all their worldly possessions.   They stop listening, talk over you & completely shut you out when you try valiantly to explain things to them, when it doesn’t fit into their world.  How about the times you call your child just to say hi, you miss them or how much you love them and the voice on the other end sounds disinterested, bothered or pre-occupied?  Or after a good conversation, where you think you may have made progress & you are feeling good about your relationship, so you follow up in a day or two trying to capitalize on the good graces, only to be told, sorry dad I’m too busy or you get voicemail with no response.  Have you ever asked them a question & get ignored?  Yeah, reminds me of that song, Cats in the Cradle by Cat Stevens; it’s a great song & really tells the story of the cycle.  I wish my kids knew how much I would give to have my dad alive just for a while so I can sit & talk with him, break bread with him & thank him for helping me be the man I a today; to let him know how much I appreciated his unconditional love.  I tell myself I always showed him that; he must of knew….didn’t he?

As parents, we give our kids two things; we give them roots & then we give them wings.

Chinese Proverb