Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Broken

According to Webster's, the definition of the word broken is "separated into parts or pieces by being hit, damaged, etc; not working properly; not kept or honored."  I also like the definition "made weak or infirm".

One glance at the headlines from across the world and it's easy to see that they are rife with polarizing issues.  I don't need to name those issues here, as I'm sure most of you are already aware of some or all of them.  On the one hand, it's a good thing, because such news generates many healthy discussions about varying opinions on the issues.  But on the other, it is heartbreaking to see how people are viciously attacking any opinion that differs from their own on one or all of the issues. There is so much anger, division, intolerance and violence in the world.  Do I really need to add to it by forcing my own opinions down the throats of others without regard to the common courtesy and respect that must go hand in hand with discussions such as these?  While I'm not there yet, I'm half-tempted to shut down my Facebook page because of this very thing.

Jimmy Kimmel named a day earlier this week "National Unfriend Day".  (Side note: If the name Biz Markie means anything to you, check out his Ode to Unfriend Day here.  I found it fairly entertaining).  Why would I unfriend people or shut down my Facebook page?  Because people do not share the same opinions as I do on the issues?  No!  I can and do respectfully disagree with people and discuss those disagreements on Facebook or in person.  I love to know what people think and why they think what they think. Ya think?  Have I been disrespectful in those discussions?  Probably in some cases.  But I try not to be that way.

One of the amazing things about this country is that we get to choose so many things for ourselves.  I don't know about you, but I often take those privileges for granted.  Even something as simple as going to the church of your choice, or choosing to not attend church at all, is something we are very fortunate to have. But in being granted those freedoms, many in this country are also grossly uninformed and easily swayed by the majority without having all of the facts first, and rather forcefully share their opinions on these topics in rather forceful ways, regardless of who they might offend or hurt with their words.  It doesn't make me mad, or want to unfriend them, unfollow them, or anything of the sort.  What it does do is BREAK MY HEART.  It makes me sad to know that we can sit behind our screens and share opinions with little to no regard for the people we share them with. Many will read this and say "If you don't like what's on my social media page, then don't read it.". To some degree, I don't entirely disagree with that, depending on the issue being discussed.  But at the same time, if we could collectively change the tone of our posts and differences to discuss them respectfully,  rather than to prove that we are right and everyone else is wrong, what could that be like?

To put it into a nutshell, the world is a broken place.  People everywhere are hurting, struggling, dying, broken in some way. Or worse.  To quote a song that is not all that pleasing to my ears, but one that is right on the money lyric-wise -  "What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.  It's the only thing that there's just too little of.  What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.  No, not just for some, but for everyone."





    



Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Climb

This February, I will climb 32 floors, 532 steps, to the top of the Wyndham Springfield City Centre in downtown Springfield with thousands of others like me who want to make a difference in the fight for clean air and healthy lungs!
By participating in the Fight for Air Climb, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for the American Lung Association. 89 cents of each dollar donated will go directly toward research, advocacy, and educational programs. 
I need your support! Please consider making a donation to help the American Lung Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for lung disease. Every donation, big and small, will make a difference. Do you want to increase your giving power? Please contact your human resources department and ask if there is a charitable matching gift program.
Make a donation of...
  • $33 which represets the 33+ million who suffer from lung disease
  • $60 which provides 4 callers with support through the Lung HelpLine
  • $129 which represents the $129 billion in costs tied to lung disease
  • $255 which represents the 25.5 million Americans living with asthma
  • $500 which allows 25 to attend a LUNG FORCE Expo and receive materials
We know a lot about lung disease, but there is so much we do not know. Your donation will help to raise the funds necessary to provide life-saving education, research, and advocacy, so we can beat lung disease and soon find a cure! 
Thank you for your support! 
 



Monday, August 31, 2015

Grace

August 2014.  That's the last time I wrote anything in the blog.  I know that my two loyal readers must be experiencing some serious withdrawal at this point.  So I'm going to try to start it up again and keep at it on a regular basis.  I've missed you both more than words can explain.  

To bring you up to date, I still love being a Daddy.  Of course it is not without its challenges, but I would not trade my relationship with Will for anything.  Being a Dad is better than I could have imagined.  Will is five years old now and just recently started Kindergarten. When people tell you that it all goes by quickly, they aren't kidding.  I felt so many emotions when I watched him get on the bus to go to school the first time.  Pride that he was such a good boy and was so excited to ride the bus.  Sadness that the part of his life where he was dependent on Leigh, my in-laws or me was coming to a close.  Reassurance that he was riding with some kids he already knows from preschool.  Excitement for him that he is starting Kindergarten, which opens the door to so many things he's never experienced before.  It's hard to let him go, but at the same time he is doing great and loving it.   

Recently, Will has been prone to more meltdowns than usual.  Maybe it's his age.  Or perhaps he is unable to articulate that he is adjusting to the structure of Kindergarten, the new routine, longer days, etc.  It is, after all, a big adjustment for a five year old.  A friend of mine who has a five year old and I often joke that they are trying to take over control of the universe.  In some ways, though, that's what it's about.  The struggle for control.  The past couple of weeks have been pretty difficult as far as Will's behavior and our response to it. The last thing anyone wants to do is argue, struggle, fight, etc.  But at the same time we can't just let him rule the roost and go through life doing whatever he wants.  

The thought that keeps occurring to me is this.  I fail.  I make mistake after mistake.  If I had to put up with all of the stuff that I do every day, I would probably be a basket case.  Oh wait, I already am.  But back to the point.  God loves me no matter what I do, or how often I fail.  He loves me with a grace that I can't even fully comprehend. Grace is defined in many ways, but in terms of theology it is often described as the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. When I fail, He loves me even more.  So why shouldn't I shower Will with that same kind of love and grace?  If I can just keep that mindset, I think I will be closer to the kind of Dad that God wants me to be. Does that mean everything will be hunky dory and we will always get along?  No.  But it definitely paints a better picture for me of what my relationship with Will is supposed to be.  I tell him all of the time that no matter what, I will always love him and be there for him.  Now I just need to start showing him that more often.