Category Archives: Life

A poem about blindness and understanding

While looking up some information for a project, I ran across this wonderful poem. It is initially about a blind couple; however, it is also about judging people and making assumptions without getting to know the world they live in. I think this is a wonderful poem that was written by Louis Rams and posted on Hello Poetry. Please enjoy.

a couple born blind at birth, decided that they would marry
and a child they wanted to carry.
when an acquaintance of a friend
began to question such an affair.
he had to question them, he did not care.

how can you marry one another?
when you can’t even see each other?
how do you know if your partner
is a beauty or a beast?
and any children that you have
may come out the same as you.
living in darkness, is that what you
want for them too?

the blind couple holding hands, and smiles
on their faces, walked over to him.
the woman asked if she could touch him?
and he agreed.
she touched the features of his face
his hair, his shoulders, and leaned
over and inhaled deeply.

she stepped back, and in a soft gentle voice said:
you are a man 5’11’ in height
but you have no clue- no insight.
by your features of your face
your looks are quite fine
your face narrows down to your chin
telling me you are slim.

the mark on the bridge of your nose
tells me that you wear glasses too.

the smell from your body, tells me that
you are a nervous person, and always on the move.
and the way you dress, makes you think
you’re in the groove.

‘shocked and dismayed, he did’nt know what to say’

she then said in that same tone.
because we are blind from our birth
does not mean we can not see.
we live in darkness, but love lights up our hearts.
and the other senses, we had from the start.

we do everything the same as you
and some things, we may do better too.

we dress ourselves, bathe, cook, clean the house too
and we know just what to do.
as for a child coming into our lives
and if the child will live in darkness
the same as us.
in GOD we put our trust.

embarassed and apologetic, he learned
a lesson that day.
LOVE AND FAITH, have no boundaries
and there is nothing that can not be overcome.
if you trust in the FATHERS SON

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Crusaders for breast cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month. This does not mean October is the only month that we should focus on breast cancer, but it is designated as a month to remind the public about how prevalent it is and to get checked.

According to the Susan G. Komen website, it is estimated that in 2013 there will be almost 300,000 new cases of breast cancer in women and 2,000+ new cases of breast cancer in men (yes, men can get it too). There will also be 39,620 women and 410 men who die due to breast cancer.

For me, it is very personal. My cousin had breast cancer at a very young age and through genetic testing, she found she had the predisposition and took a preemptive step by having a double-mastectomy. My mother right now is kicking the ass of stage IV breast cancer through hormone treatment and dietary changes.  I am sure many, if not most, people know someone who either has breast cancer or know someone who has a family member with breast cancer.

That is why when I went to Rocco’s Tacos in West Palm Beach Florida earlier this month I was pleasantly surprised by his support of breast cancer awareness month. He has a special all-you-can-eat taco every Tuesday where proceeds go to Susan G. Komen. While we were there, he did a special where whenever he is up on the bar, he will pour a free shot of tequila in your mouth if you donate anything to the fight. 100% of the proceeds are donated. For just that one walk across the bar while we were there, he raised over $2,000. Two people even donated $500 each. Since he started in 2011, he has donated over $32,000.

Rocco's Taco owner, Rocco, with Susan G. Komen rep in his Tacos & Tatas campaign

Rocco’s Taco owner, Rocco, with Susan G. Komen rep in his Tacos & Tatas campaign

I thank Rocco for being a Crusader for breast cancer. I recommend finding an establishment and doing your part for the fight. Also, don’t just fight breast cancer. There are so many good services to donate to that are underfunded. Do your piece and help.

Don’t “like” me on Facebook, “like” me in real life

It has gotten to the point where you can’t watch a commercial, walk past a store or even open junk mail without seeing the words “Like us on Facebook”. What does that mean? It has become a mindless sentence said by everyone in an attempt to get some sort of social media score that says they are popular. So what do we do? We mindlessly click the “Like” button akin to the simple minded Alice drinking a mysterious liquid simply because it was labeled “Drink Me”. Does this mean we truly “like” these things? Are we doing a quid-pro-quo of “if you ‘like’ me then I will ‘like’ you”? More likely, the answer is no.

Facebook is not original or unique. It is the same as Myspace, Friendster and many of the other social networking sites. People are out there to do whatever they can to collect as many “likes” and “friends” on their website. They feel a false sense of belonging. But they don’t truly belong to many of those networks, they just have a digital connection to them through some database link. That is it. It isn’t Facebook, it is Fakebook.

So, that is why I say don’t “like” me on Facebook, “like” me in real life. Get out there and say “Hi”. You may never physically see me, but I am the person that you pass on the street, or at the bookstore, or at the beach. Quit pretending to like things in a feeble attempt to inflate your sense of self-worth. You are not valuable because of your 500+ “friends” on Facebook or followers on Twitter, you are valuable because you are a human. Get out there and share your worth.

So, if you want to trade your fake life for a real one. Try some real networking sites like http://www.meetup.com/ that allow you to go out there and make real friends and like real people. You will find it more enjoyable than reading posts on someone’s wall about what they ate today.

Make Goals, not Resolutions

What is the difference between a “Goal” and a “Resolution”? More specifically a “New Year’s Resolution”. Why do so many people make New Year’s Resolutions when they should be making goals for the new year?

This year my wife asked if I have made my goals for the year. Of course I hadn’t, but that is beside the point. What she said and the way she said it made sense to me. Why did she say “goal” and not “resolution”? Let’s look at the difference between the two.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “resolution” in this manner is “a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group”, with a single person being the official body. So a New Year’s resolution is only your opinion, will or intent to do something for the upcoming year. That doesn’t sound very solid when you put it that way. I can intend to go to the market today, but get side-tracked by a squirrel.

How about we look at the base source “resolution” which is “resolve”. Merriam-Webster’s definition is “to reach a firm decision about <resolve to get more sleep> <resolve disputed points in a text>”. Once again, to resolve something is to make a firm decision to do something, but has nothing to do with actually doing the action.

Now let’s look at a goal. Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed”. The key points is there is effort and there is an end. A resolution is only a decision to do something while a goal states that you have to do something. In a sense you can say “I resolve to make goals for myself this year”. A proper goal should have a measurable end and a time in which to do it.

Typically a goal is something a person strives towards. It is an accomplishment while a resolution is something a person says they are going to do. So why does everybody make a big deal about New Year’s Resolutions? They are going to be broken by most people and many people make them only half-hearted. Maybe the reason everybody makes a New Years Resolution is because it is a “fad” that everybody does, but nobody truly expects you to complete. Maybe it is because a resolution is only a decision and people don’t feel the need to go any further with it, nor do they have the desire. This is why I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions and I don’t remember ever making one.

That all changed this year (sort-of) when my wife asked if I have made my goals. A New Year’s Resolution is a fad that everybody does every year. If broken, everybody thinks none the worse and says “better luck next year”. But goals are different. A goal is personal. it has an end, it has value, it has a timeline. If you set goals and fall short, you have lost. Goals have more and deeper meaning to people.

Think about a soccer game. If a player shoots and misses, the look on their face is disappointment. When they score a goal, the whole team celebrates. It is a big deal. How about someone who sets a goal to earn their masters degree. The goal has deep meaning and to achieve it means a great accomplishment. Both of those goals have purpose, a defined end result.

So this year I recommend you resolve to make goals for yourself. Don’t say “I resolve get in shape”, say that “I will form a habit by the end of February of working out for an hour a day, five days a week”. Make solid, concrete measurable goals for yourself.

This year I still did not make any resolutions… instead I made goals.

“Who won’t make you chicken soup”

Or more importantly

“Who WILL make you chicken soup”.

As my first (ever) blog post I want to address the importance of balancing work and life. If you are like me, then you are dashingly handsome, quick witted, funny and enjoyable to be around… or at the very least, you have a professional career that is very demanding and a personal life that gets overlooked sometimes.

I am lucky. I not only have my professional career and personal life, but I also have a second career in the federal service. It was this second career that provided me with the quote. It was during the graduation ceremony for a 9-week long course back in 2009 that a guest speaker said something you would never expect someone to say. Here is the summary of his speech as I can remember it.

[…] You will all be asked to make many sacrifices in your personal lives for this job, but what it all boils down to is “Who will make you chicken soup when you get sick”. It is fine to choose the Army and say “honey, they need me”, but do not forget about your loved ones, your husbands, your wives, your kids. They need you too. Do not always choose the Army over your family because when you get sick, who will be the one that makes you chicken soup? It will not be the Army. They will say to “suck it up” or give you some Motrin and tell you to come back tomorrow. It is your family that will be there for you. Yes, serve your country, but do not forget your family. Once you are out, be it ETS or retirement, you will become an afterthought and it will be your family that is there for you. It will be your family that will have to deal with the ailments that your service caused. Most importantly it will be your family that will love you.

So never forget to take care of your family. The Army has plenty of Soldiers, your family has only one you. […]

You never really expect a person to say, every now and then you need to tell us “No” and spend some time with your family. This is especially true with the Military.

My professional career constantly says to have a good work/life balance. I know many of the Partners at my company, and they truly mean it. My problem is that I do not always follow it. The pressures of deadlines often keep me in the office until late and then many times I’m working from home. Without realizing it, I never turn off work and end up tuning out family more often than not. My career provides for my family. It gives me a certain level of comfort and freedom. But if I have amassed¬† over 240 hours of vacation time, then I know that I have been neglecting my family.

So who will make me chicken soup? My wonderful wife will, not my company nor the Army. I need to remember that more often by leaving work at work, and enjoying my family.

My question to you is: Have you realized who will make you chicken soup? Have you told them thank you?