Friday, December 24, 2010

What is Love (Kids Know!)

My dear friends…tomorrow the world celebrates in its many ways the birth of a baby that would make humanity whole again and absolve us of our sins. Many, many, many people have argued over, fought and died in defense of and belief in this be they right or wrong, but one thing they all agreed on was his message of love for humanity. So, in the spirit of love I attach this Fryday humor post. Essentially, the question “What does love mean?” was posed to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds. It is said that we are all born poets, as our mother’s hearts beat in iambic pentameter, but that the pressures and stress of life slowly chokes that ability from us. I wonder if it is true about love too? Do we all naturally know how to love instinctively, but slowly move away from that understanding? Hum, I think there is even a saying about this, “Let the children come to me, and do not keep them away, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Anyway, It seems these young ones explain and demonstrate this complex and many faceted ideal very well in their descriptions of love. Enjoy, and I hope be enlightened…Love, and a Merry Christmas to all!

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. 
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis, too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. 
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne, and they go out and smell each other.'

Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'

Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'

Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. 
My Mommy and Daddy are like that.  They look gross when they kiss.'
Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'

Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.'

Nikka - age 6 (We need a few million more Nikka's on this planet.)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day..'

Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'

Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared.
I looked at all the people watching me and saw my Daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8

'My Mommy loves me more than anybody. 
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'

Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'

Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'

Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'

Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)

Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'

Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'

Jessica - age 8

And the final one
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
'Nothing, I just helped him cry.' (Amen to that!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How NOT to Stand OUT!

LinkedIn just published a list this week of the top 10 most overused descriptions their subscribers use about themselves. The list was aggregated from more than 85 million user profiles. While many of these may sound like great things to have on your resume, because EVERYBODY is saying the same thing, you actually become LESS distinctive and more run-of-the-mill.

In order to be noticed, you need to be set apart from the Moldy-Middle. So, instead of using "generic" descriptors, use specific accomplishments. Example: Results Oriented: State, made over $50 million in sales / $10 million in profits for XYZ Corp in 10 months!!! Now that is results oriented. As another caution, no one really cares much what you did for someone else, what they want to know is what you will do for THEM, so state it. "I can increase profits where ever I go..." Get the drift? Now, do NOT lie, but just tell it like it is...

Oh, as a word of caution, if you are looking for a job, stet entrepreneurial... Only REALLY being an entrepreneur counts there.

BTW, here is the list if you are interested.

1. Extensive experience

2. Innovative
3. Motivated
4. Results-oriented
5. Dynamic
6. Proven track record
7. Team player
8. Fast-paced
9. Problem solver
10. Entrepreneurial (really?)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Heaven Can Wait

We all are going to face our mortality, but sometimes having a good perspective helps. Hope you enjoy this Fryday Humor post?

The couple were 85 years old and had been married for 60 years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.

They gasped in astonishment when he said, 'Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.'

The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. 'Why, nothing,' Peter replied, 'remember, this is your reward in Heaven..'

The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.

'What are the greens fees?,' grumbled the old man.

'This is heaven,' St. Peter replied. 'You can play for free, every day.'

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic deserts, free flowing beverages.

'Don't even ask,' said St. Peter to the man. This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.'

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife.

'Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods and the decaffeinated tea?,' he asked.

That's the best part,' St. Peter replied. 'You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!'

The old man pushed, 'No gym to work out at?'

'Not unless you want to,' was the answer.

'No testing my sugar or blood pressure or....'

'Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.'

The old man glared at his wife and said, 'You and your Bran Flakes.. We could have been here ten years ago!'

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Paraprosdokians (humor)

Paraprosdokian: Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation. A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation"). Some of these I am sure you have seen elsewhere, but all are very funny, especially now all in one place. At a minimum, hope this brings a smile to your face..
Ø I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Ø I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Ø Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Ø The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Ø Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Ø Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.

Ø We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. (And some never learn!)

Ø War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Ø Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Ø The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Ø I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they're flashing behind you.

Ø Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

Ø To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

Ø A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

Ø How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Ø Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

Ø Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

Ø I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

Ø If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

Ø A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

Ø Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify: I put “DOCTOR."

Ø I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Ø I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on I said "Implants?"

Ø Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Ø Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Ø Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

Ø Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Ø A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Ø You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Ø The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Ø Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

Ø A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Ø Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

Ø Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

Ø I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

Ø Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

Ø There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

Ø I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

Ø I take life with a grain of salt; plus a slice of lemon and a shot of tequila.

Ø When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Ø You're never too old to learn something stupid.

Ø To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Ø Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Ø Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

Ø A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

Ø If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Ø Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Ø I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Ø In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.

Ø Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Ø Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

Ø Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer.

Ø Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship.

Ø Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

Ø Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

Ø Children: You spend the first 2 years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 years telling them to sit down and shut-up.

Ø My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.

Ø Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thoughs About Anne Ruth

A friend of mine was forwarded the follow "eulogy" concerning a colleague and friend who wrote about the colleague's recently deceased, developmentally-disabled sister-in-law. Her colleague (Gail) comes from a high-achieving family (she's a Ph.D. and MBA) that values intellect and education. When Gail told my friend about her sister-in-law's passing and about her sister-in-law, my friend asked her to send her this letter. I was fortunate to have it sent to me. I found it well worth reading as it shows how wisdom does NOT always come with intelligence and sometimes the graces of life are bestowed to the humblest of Anne Ruth!

Thoughts about Anne Ruth
Gail Golden

We have come together today to mourn our loss of Anne Ruth Golden, and to remember and celebrate her life. Our task is a complicated one, because Anne was an unusual person.

The Goldens are a family of extraordinary intellectual and professional achievement. We are lawyers, doctors, professors, psychologists, musicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, writers, and teachers. We value intellect and learning.

I remember when my sons were babies and I would watch as they developed language and reasoning skills. They passed Anne Ruth by the time they were 2½. On any scale of conventional intelligence, Anne Ruth fell very short.

Some people would regard this as an unmitigated tragedy. They would look at Anne’s limitations, both intellectual and physical, and pity her. But I would suggest to you that Anne’s life was full of meaning and purpose, and that she has left behind a legacy that enriches all of us. So here is my list of Anne Ruth Golden’s Ten Rules for Living:

1. Live with gusto. Dan and I recently went through our boxes of family pictures and pulled out photos of Anne Ruth. I was struck by how, in picture after picture, she was animated, engaged, and laughing. Anne was fully present and involved in everything she did. She enjoyed life and was a gung-ho participant in the wild and crazy life of the Goldens.
2. Communicate directly. Anne’s verbal language was limited but effective. Her non-verbal language was even more straightforward. When Anne thought it was time for you to go home, she brought you a coat. It might not be yours, but she got the point across. There was no pretense with Anne – she said what she meant.
3. Be persistent. I remember sitting with Anne at a party and having a conversation for about a half hour. Anne had about three topics she wanted to talk about that day – probably they were going to a restaurant, being with her mother, and having a bath. I am a pretty skilled conversationalist, but I learned quickly that there was no distracting Anne from what she wanted to focus on. She stuck to what was important to her.
4. Be gentle. Anne was very sensitive to illness and to sadness. She would respond with gentle touch and soft cooing sounds. She loved babies and children and was always mild and kind in her approach to them. She did not know how to be harsh or judgmental.
5. Take life with equanimity. There may have been moments in Anne’s life when she got angry, but in the 41 years I knew her, I never once saw it. Her life was full of frustration, but somehow she took it all in stride. So many of us spend so much time and energy getting angry about things that don’t really matter. Anne knew better.
6. Enjoy music. Anne shared the Golden family love of – and talent for –music. She sang beautifully with accurate pitch and had an excellent sense of rhythm. She loved concerts and family musicales. Anne was more willing and able to accomplish physical tasks when people sang encouraging songs to her.
7. Pay attention to emotional nuances. Anne was remarkably aware of emotional subtleties. A striking example comes from early in my relationship with Dan. Anne was extremely fond of Dan, and did not have much use for me – I think she saw me as an interloper and a hussy. Sometimes Paula would ask her to give me a hug, but Anne was having none of that – until our wedding day. After Anne saw Dan and me under the chuppah, she embraced me, and she was affectionate with me from then on. As much as anyone else who came to our wedding, Anne understood the significance of what happened that day.
8. Practice rituals. Anne loved rituals, both religious and secular. Whether it was lighting the candles on Friday night or enjoying evening cocoa, Anne relished the ceremonies and patterns that provided structure and predictability to her life. She was insistent on maintaining those rituals and appreciative when others conformed to her ideas of what should be done.
9. Love profoundly. Anne’s devotion to family and close friends was indescribable. She personified the concept of unconditional love. Her delight in the company of those she loved was obvious and inspiring.
10. Laugh. Anne had a sly sense of humor. She laughed often, both in delight and because something was funny. Watching her dissolve into helpless giggles was infectious and wonderful.

These are Anne’s rules: live with gusto, communicate directly, be persistent, be gentle, take life with equanimity, enjoy music, pay attention to emotional nuances, practice rituals, love profoundly, and laugh. They are her legacy to us. Anne taught us all how to be human – what it means to be a person beyond how smart you are. Her life was hard and challenging, both for her and for the people around her. It was also glorious and inspiring, and we were blessed to have her among us.