Growing Up!!!!

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

The year was 1964. We were one out away from winning first place.  The count was 2 and 2 with a runner on third, score tied 1 to 1, and the bottom of the ninth, when “bam” the batter hits the ball over second base and our dream of winning the championship is crushed.  There were eight teams in our division and only first and second place got trophies.  Unlike today not everyone got trophies.

We failed.  We tasted failure.  Looking back on that time in my life, I remember how we all became closer and how we vowed to work harder.  We were hell bent on improving our skills and becoming champions.  In 1965 our dream came to fruition.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but rising every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have spent a lot of hours through the year thinking about this and I believe in my heart that failure is the reason we became champions.  It built character and made us work harder.  It didn’t scar us for life or fill us with low self esteem.

We didn’t get participation trophies.  We earned them.  I think the big difference between now and back then is that the “family unit” was a lot stronger and more endeared.  Don’t get me wrong, we were a long way from perfect.  I remember fathers that just gave their child hell if they lost.  Losing wasn’t an option.  These are the actions that were detrimental to childhood development.  It wasn’t the losing that caused the problems, it was bad parenting.  Parents that wouldn’t take the time to teach their children that it wasn’t wrong to lose.  That it happened.  It was an integral part of life whether we wanted it or not.

At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure.   And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” –  Erin Cummings

Maybe I am just an antiquated, set in his ways, old man but I truly believe it is time to go back to the “olden days” and teach children what failure is and how to use it in their favor.  No, everybody doesn’t get a trophy for participating, you have to earn it.

Then we need to teach them the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.  That they are in charge of writing their “Book of Life” and they decide what is going in it.  Teach them that “failure” can actually be a good thing.  We also have to teach them how to cope with failure and how to use it to their advantage.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.  I appreciate you taking the time.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Spread the love.

Friendship Explored

“The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares.  Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.” – Simon Sinek

Close your eyes.  I want you to think of your friends.  Bounce them off your mind and think of where you met them.  How long have you known them?  Out of all of them who is your BFF?  Do you do a good job of staying in touch with them?  Does your BFF live across the country or across the street?  How often do you get together with old friends?    Most importantly remember that distance is no excuse.  I know I have let that be an excuse myself.  As far as distance; it is only as far as we let it be.

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.  Before him, I may think aloud.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson “Friendship”

“Two elements that go to the composition of friendship, each so sovereign, that I can detect no superiority in either, no reason why either should be first named.”   Truth and Tenderness, according to Emerson.

As I meander down the back roads of my life I have been lucky enough to forge a few friendships along the way.  I have seen friends turn their backs on each other, throw each other under the bus,  and much more.  Have you ever felt you were getting cheated by a friend?  That they just don’t give as much as you do to the friendship.  Then you really need to take a long hard look at yourself.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” – Thomas Aquinas

Then we have the fair weather friends.  You know the one that is there when everything is ok and you don’t need anything.  The friend that is always looking for a handout.  Let us not forget the one that stabs you in the back every chance they can.

I know I covered all these things in a blog I wrote a while back.  I decided to revisit friendship because I just don’t feel that folks really know what friendship involves.  I am not talking about a friend as in an acquaintance.  I am talking the BFF.  The kind of friend that you don’t keep track of who bought the last time.  The friend that needs a kidney and you are a match so the search is over.  The friend that mows your grass because you were laid up in the hospital.   The friend that you share your closely guarded deer sausage with.  The friend that you go read Emerson or Thoreau too every day not even knowing if they can hear you.

“True” friendship is to be cherished.  That kind of friendship is a gift.  Don’t abuse it.  Don’t take it for granted.  I see so many people who use “friendship” so loosely and lightly.  When is the last time you saw your “bestie”?  Can you remember?  Folks I would just like to point out that  there is no guarantee that your friend is going to “rise and shine” in the morning or for  a matter of fact, yourself.   You haven’t heard from your BFF, but YOU called last time and it is their time to call now.  Really?  Is this how you treat friendship?  Pick up the phone and call them.  I promise no one will put you on a hit list or in jail.  Warning: Tomorrow may never come.

Thanks for reading.  I appreciate it immensely.  Spread the love.

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