Friday, January 24, 2014


C.S. Lewis said it perhaps the best when he defined integrity as doing the right thing even when no one is watching.  How many times, when no one knows what we are doing, do we utter a phrase like 'It won't hurt anything.',  'It's not a big deal.', 'It won't hurt anyone.' or 'No one will ever know.'?  Do those sound familiar to you?  They sure do to me.  It's a daily battle that we fight inside of ourselves.  Conscience.  Morality.  Integrity.  Right versus wrong.  The battle rages on.

Let me first say that this is not meant to be a judgemental post.  Many of the things I post about are issues that I struggle with, and writing about them helps me think them through.  Opening up about them and posting them online often gives me feedback from one of my two readers that opens my eyes to something I perhaps hadn't considered before.  It's almost therapeutic.  So please, chime in.  Facebook me, comment on my blog, email me, tweet me, google plus me, or just call me.  I'm an open book when it comes to this stuff, and love discussing how others feel about the issues I write about.  I hope they cause you to think, and grow, in some small way.  Because if I can change the lives of my two readers in any way, then it's worth it.  Ha! 

Society has loosened the reigns of morality in so many ways.  Everyone preaches tolerance, acceptance, love.  Those things in and of themselves are all fine and good.  But sometimes love is about keeping the ones you love accountable, and them keeping you accountable as well.  Tolerance and acceptance are awesome things, but not when it's simply an excuse to look the other way even though we know what is happening is simply not right.  We watch social media and follow celebrities to see what they are doing.  We watch television and see the lines between what is accepted by censors moving further and further away from what they used to be.  Would you let your child watch prime time television these days without screening it first?  I sure wouldn't.  Does that make me a prude?  Trust me, I'm far from a prude.  I just have pretty strong feelings about what my son takes in.  I don't spend time trying to get others to agree with me and I don't disagree with them.  It's just my own personal opinion on the subject.  

I work in State government.  Now, by no means am I saying this is exclusive to working in State government.  I'm sure it applies to pretty much every field out there these days.  But within the confines of where I work, I often see things happen where there was an opportunity to do the right thing, but it is not done.  As a society, we seem to be more tolerant and accepting of this kind of  behavior.  We don't want to make waves or bring attention to ourselves for fear of how it might impact us.  Even when we know the way things are being handled isn't always right.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard phrases like the following being uttered: "It's always been this way.  It's not going to change now." "If I speak up, it's not going to make a difference, so I'll just keep my mouth shut and do my job."  I have probably uttered words similar to those myself many times.  When did we as a society stop caring about what is right?  And maybe more importantly, when did we stop speaking out when we see something that is not right?  It's something that I have been struggling with for quite sometime now.  I find it very disheartening that this has almost become 'the norm'.  

I want my son to know the difference between right and wrong, and to have the courage to speak up when he sees things that he and everyone else knows are not right.  Mind you, there are ways of going about it that are perhaps better than others.  But in my experience, staying silent when you have an opportunity to right a wrong by speaking up is in many ways worse than committing the wrong.  It enables the wrong to continue, and possibly compound.  

Do you deal with this sort of struggle in your own workplace?  Do you struggle with speaking up in these situations?  Why or why not?  I'd love to hear any and all comments on this whether it is in your personal or professional life.   Thanks for reading!  As they say at Walgreens - Be Well and have a great day!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I had a not so good day today.  I received some potentially upsetting news near the end of the day, and was in a pretty bad mood by the time I got home.  As soon as I walked in the door to our house and saw my son waiting for me, I started to get over it.  Nothing else mattered.   I was home with the two most important people in my life and I was happy.

Every night when I come home, Will greets me and is so excited and happy to see me.  The first thing he asks me is 'Daddy do you need to change your clothes?'  Translation: 'Daddy can we go upstairs and play in your room?'  I love this part of the day.  We play 'Ghost' and 'Ring Around the Rosie'.  We watch television in Leigh and I's room.  He helps me gain perspective very quuckly.  I remember what is important and where I am supposed to be.  Leigh is there to listen and support me no matter what.  What else is there?  All I have to do is walk in the door each night to realize I have everything I need right here at home.


There is a battle that rages on inside of me.  On the one side, there is the part of me that wants to see my son spread his wings and fly;  to teach him everything I can and let him begin doing things on his own and become a strong and independent young man.  But on the other side of me lies the part of me that doesn't want to let him go; that wants to spend as much time as possible with him; that wants to play some of the silly games that we play together and run and laugh and build lego towers and forts and play 'ghost' and 'ring around the rosie'; the part that wants to read him bedtime stories and watch him after he sleeps because it just brings me such peace;  the part of me that wants to stay home with him instead of coming to work every day.  I know what my job is as his Dad.  I know which one of these sides I need to let win the battle.  But that doesn't mean it still isn't a battle each and every day.  

Make no mistake, I love my son.  I love being his Daddy.  I love it when people look at him and know who I am because I am 'Will's Daddy'.  I have never minded being known not for my own name, but for who Will is.  He is such an amazing boy and he teaches me so much about life every day.  Before Will, I took so many things for granted.  But now, I often look at life through his eyes, and boy was I missing a ton!!  When I'm driving through town and see a fire engine, I get excited now!  Even when he is not with me, because I know how much joy it would bring him.  Or when we see the 'Super M' signs all over the place (we drive by the Super 8 sign frequently, and he starting calling McDonald's signs the Super M's).  I honestly didn't even know what contrails were until he told me about them - but I will never look at a little cloud of vapor left behind by an airplane in the sky quite the same way again.  He has woken up the child in me again, and it is such a blessing.  

We took a trip to see my sister and nephew this weekend.  It was our nephew's 4th birthday.  He and Will are about two months apart, so the fun is never ending when they get together.  On our way up to see them, Will kept commenting on all of the water towers, and then we saw a windmill farm and that really excited him, too.  The wonder in his eyes and the way he looks at everything is a lesson for me.  Where did the wide-eyed wonder I used to look at the world with go?  I want it back.  Well, he is helping me with that.  Pretty amazing the things that a nearly four-year old can teach you, isn't it?  

Of course I want my son to learn to do things on his own, and of course I want to teach him how to handle life's daily situations and right from wrong, etc.  But, right or wrong, somewhere in the deepest part of me I long for him to want to be with me.  To not grow up.  To not lose his innocence and childlike view of the world.  To need my protection.  My head knows he won't always need it.  My heart doesn't want to admit it.  

In the end I will be the best Dad I know how to be to my little boy.  I will guide him and protect him, laugh with him and love him.  I will remind him to do what is right and avoid what is wrong.  And I will be the first one there to support him every single time he spreads his wings and flies.  But inside, I will shed a few tears along the way.  Any good parent does, right?  Hey.  I did not say it had to make sense.  Just that it is how I feel.