Wednesday, January 2, 2013


so here we are again, another year begins, we reset our calendars and think about how quickly 2012 went by while we promise to spend more time with those closest to us, exercise, climb Kilimanjaro and solve world peace....all before our fabulous three week holiday touring the vineyards of Tuscany :) I'm not cynical, I've come to appreciate the much smaller achievements we can choose to adopt that can truly make 2013 a year to remember. As I have read, "Be the change you want you want to see". We can't wait for the world to change if we don't change first. If we want more love in the world, we must put more love into the world; more peace, put more peace into all our words and deeds; if we want respect, treat others with respect - that is what we as individuals should put at the top of every list of resolutions. Be the love - Be the peace - Be the change -

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Odd Man Out: stop worrying about being perfect

Odd Man Out: stop worrying about being perfect: "I have no idea how much other people think about this topic of everything must be perfect. To me, it seems to permeate every idea, every in..."

stop worrying about being perfect

I have no idea how much other people think about this topic of everything must be perfect. To me, it seems to permeate every idea, every interaction, every moment - it could be better, must be a perfect thought, a perfect conversation, a perfect presentation - we all use the words - I'm a type A personality, I must get an A, I must be recognized for my contributions, I must be known as a perfectionist, I have to show everyone how it should be done. My question is a simple WTF? Perfection is the art of the absurd - I'm so exhausted by the silliness of it all - what does it get any of us in the end - an attitude of superiority? a disdain for others? a reputation for exacting standards? A pillar from which to fall when our human failings reveal themselves? Give it up, revel in the imperfections where life exposes its natural wonders. I agree that certain actions and occasions call for exactness, a surgeon, an accountant, a builder, but perfection? Perfection only seems to be used in matters of more abstract ideas, not hard and fast factual events. You must give the perfect present, you must host the perfect party, be the perfect couple, be the perfect family - instead of being the messy host but who enjoys his friends and embraces the moment when his house isn't perfectly neat and tidy.

Some might argue I'm not driven enough to strive for perfection - a slackard - some might say I just don't have the ability to rise above the mediocrity. So be it, if that is the case, perfection will elude me like the pot o gold at the end of a rainbow. Expecting perfection and worrying about the subsequent failure is too draining. I appreciate the grace and beauty of the hair out of place, the last 10 pounds that just won't go away. The world has a place for all of us. As for me, I'm hanging my hat with the imperfectionists - those of us who choose to do better than our best but fall short of perfection. So, while everyone else is seeking the elusive holy grail for momentary and fleeting recognition, I'll be plugging along doing the best I can while grinning my imperfect smile in my imperfect life.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Betty Ford RIP

If people are following me, they are probably wondering what is my deal with Betty Ford - I would argue that she was one of the most transformative individuals of the 70s - she opened up about her mastectomy, she championed women's rights, she understood the inherent human flaws in all of us and shared her struggles and thoughts in public - regardless of the reaction. She understood the need for understanding and not judgement, compassion not hate, no partisan versus partisan, human versus programmed. She and President Ford brought a much needed reality to a nation faced with scandal and lies. I believe that her time in the White House and her many years after through her establishment of the Betty Ford Center, brought humanity to the forefront. She was a real woman with many real struggles, we don't see many people in public life conduct themselves as gracefully, forcefuly, and unabashedly, as she did. May she rest in peace with her husband. Thank you for sharing your gifts with a nation.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The America we live in

Talking heads, experts, analysts, elected officials - listen closely - the United States of America is not your play toy - it is not your personal soapbox nor a hostage to be taken to achieve your narrow goals. The world is changing faster than any government can keep up with and we, the global leader in so many fields, is falling behind. How, you could ask, could this happen? I reckon that we as a society, most directly, our elected officials, were too embroiled in the maintaining the status quo. No one, I would argue, since Richard Nixon was president, holding elected office, actually has shared the horrible truth, we are in decline as a nation. If we can't educate, if we can't inspire the next generation to strive to be better and more creative and more caring, then we have failed. If we can't tell the truth about manufacturing jobs never coming back in the numbers or at the pay level that generations of families enjoyed, and stop pandering that they are coming back, we have failed. We need to look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we have no one to blame for ourselves. We individually, at all levels, stopped caring about the collective, We, the people. We were up in arms when Hillary Clinton suggested that it takes a village to raise a child - but it does and it should. We have lost that sense of common humanity that we have a responsibility as an American citizen that those of us who are most successful have a responsibility, not a law, not a judgement, but a personal responsibility to help those less fortunate. Little ways, big ways, we don't need elected officials to tell us half truths and shadowy statements - we need to believe in the power of us versus the power of me. Everyone has to step back, evaluate his or her self-centered behavior, take the Me out of important decisions and ask how does this affect the We.

We as citizens deserve the government we have - however, America is an amazing country with resilience, intelligence, and a willingness to slough it through hard times. We have lost probably a generation of Americans to misdirected public policies, political posturing, and stagnant economic growth. We, the people, can and must do better. That is our challenge - this is our legacy. Be bold, be brave, and be an active part of this amazing experiment called America.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I've read several articles this morning across the news spectrum - from Facebook postings to the NYTimes to the UK's Daily Mail - what struck me is our understanding, or lack thereof, of our past history and experiences, show a direct correlation to the air of malaise affecting the United States of America. On this day of remembrance, we honor our past and current soldiers in arms for their service on behalf of our country, its ideals, and its overwhelming success as a beacon of freedom and opportunity unmatched in modern history. But on the flipside, we conduct so much of our daily live tethered to dying ideas - politics, the education of our young, the workplace, the way we travel to and from it, the literal and emotional value of it - we all should take a moment today to not only salute those who have secured and continue to protect the US but we should also honor the American spirit - unyielding in exploring new opportunities and new ideas, sharing a collective vision of supporting our neighbors and those who need help unselfishly and without great fanfare, and remembering that we are ALL our brother's keepers. On this Memorial Day, remember our past but lift your gaze and be bold, creative, compassionate, and as our ancestors did, don't be afraid of change - embrace it wholeheartedly with passion and ambition. As with many holidays, we should not have one day of remembrance for those who serve on the front lines of battle throughout our history, we should be grateful every day. Those of us who have not served should take every opportunity to make our servicemen proud by taking this fractured, angry, scared populace and lift it above the partisanship, greed and divisiveness in today's world. Service can be honored by remembering that we, the people, need to create our more perfect union. We owe it to our servicemen and women who put themselves in harm's way on our behalf.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

little things

So I walk to the Brookland Metro stop - an eight minute trek morning and evening. Over the past six months I'd say, I pass an older woman on her way to work. She's very attractive but didn't wear makeup and kept her gaze down, averting my eyes. She seemed kindly - about two months ago, she and I crossed paths and she and I looked at each other and I said "good morning", she smiled a beautiful smile and said "good morning" back. Since that point, for whatever reasons in her life, I noticed that every time we encounter each other, she is wearing a little more makeup, usually a beautiful shade of lipstick, dressing with a bit more flair, and more confident in her composure.

Now I know that I am taking way too much credit for my morning friend's blossoming, I do think that there is a power in acknowledging others in simple ways. I believe there are times when we all need someone to recognize us with something as simple as a hello. I feel so good when we cross paths and we both smile at each other and say "good morning."

The biggest of change happens with the smallest of gestures.