Category Archives: HUMANITY

HUMANITY

Racism and Bigotry: A Conversation

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees – Billie Holiday

What Happened to Us?

Growing up in a small town in the Southwest had its advantages I suppose. We were a small community, not terribly diverse by today’s standards, as the people were mostly the same. Kids could play in the cul-de-sac, ride their bikes down to the local pharmacy for candy and baseball card packs or comic books without fear of a drive-by or child predator in a “rape van” grabbing us to never be seen again or even worse to be found dead or broken. I often wonder what happened to us, where did we go wrong? How did we lose that hope, that fire? My generation was so close, right there in inclusion, we were joining hands across America and singing we are the world then something happened, and I honestly don’t know what it was. I have no intention of pointing fingers but maybe, just maybe I have an understanding of a history, and it is all in perception.

My Friend

A new friend of mine who is black or African American (or simply just an honest, smart, human being who has more pigmentation than me) were drinking margaritas, and he made a comment. We had been discussing race relations in the U.S., as it has been a conversation that has never come to a conclusion or that any one party has been able to come to consensus about.   He looked at me with sadness, yet with a withheld anger, and said, “I don’t think you will ever understand what it is like to be a black man sitting in a bar full of people who don’t look like you. I am always going to be different.” I pondered this, as I had no answer but then it hit me, I said “Judging a book by its cover never lets you get to read the story. There are lots of great books out there man, and I want to read them.” He smiled, raised his glass for a toast and we moved on to other conversations telling me, “Man, you are the whitest black man I have ever known.” I have to say it was one of the best compliments I have ever received.

A Story

We continued on with conversations less disheartening then a memory popped into my head from my childhood that only a handful of people ever knew outside of my family, it was a harsh memory to bring up, sadly, I have many of those. I turned to Malik and extolled upon him the story of when I was eleven years old and went to visit my cousins in Rochester, NY on one of our yearly family trips for Rosh Hashanah. My cousins lived in a small house near a canal in a more rural part of the town but within walking distance to the local mall and, more importantly, the toy store: a Toys R Us store, to be more exact. Other than FAO Schwartz, this was the holy grail of toy stores and since Star Wars had come out, it was my mission to get all of the action figures for my collection.

I begged my mom to let me go with the older kids because they were going to walk down and knowing  I could possibly find the missing pieces to my set, I really wanted to go. My mother was very protective of me, but she felt since I was with my cousins, I would be safe. She was right to be nervous about my safety, as I came to find out.

So, let me paint the picture for you. We arrived at the mall and I was overjoyed at finding two action figures that I had never seen before. It was well worth sitting around while my two older female cousins shopped for clothes. At one point, Charla realized it was getting late and we needed to head back for it would soon be dark and that would be unsafe for us. I remember wondering why it would be unsafe; the town seemed just like where I was from and that was safe.

We started walking home and on the other side of the canal that we had walked down heading to the house was a group of kids: one girl and three boys. They were shouting at us, I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying as they were on the other side and further down from us. Sasha, my other cousin, said, “We have to go, now!” She was panicked and kept yelling at me to walk faster than we sort of started to jog, which is tough when you have little legs trying to keep up with a teenager. I looked over, and the group that had been well behind us had now caught up on the other side, and I could now hear the jeers. “What are you doing outside, Jew?!?! Where are you going, you Christ killer!?!?! We want to talk to you!!!”

They crossed a bridge ahead and caught up with us just as we thought we could make it to the house. The girl grabbed Sasha’s hair and threw her to the ground. I yelled and rushed her only to find myself on the ground with one of the boy’s knees in my chest. He looked at me strangely and asked, “What are you doing with these two Jews??” You see I was a blond-haired, blue eyed boy that did not resemble an immigrant from the Middle East or Europe like my family that my mother married into. I told him that I was Jewish and these were my cousins and to get off me or he would be in trouble. I remember the hatred he had in his eyes as I finished my statement, they were burning. I had done nothing to this person yet here I was, on the ground, wondering what had made him so angry toward me and my kin.

Before things escalated, some of the neighbors must have heard the raucousness and came out to yell at our attackers and just like the cowards they were, they ran away. We were safe, but I often wonder what would have happened had those people not come out to disrupt our being attacked. Malik looked at me and said, “Book covers man, yeah book covers, I hear that. I feel that now man, damn.” He placed his hand on my shoulder, and we both just sat there in silence, each pondering the world.

Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son.
You know what he hates? Naps! End of list. – Denis Leary

I Never Understood It…

I have never understood racism, bigotry, and out-and-out hatred but it has made me confused for most of my adult life. I have written about perception and quick judgment before like The Music That Binds or Living Within Our Own Mythos, for example, trying to point out how inane it all is, hate is a wasted emotion. Hate is taught, it’s not anger, love, empathy, sadness, or kindness – we are born with those. We need to rise together to begin to teach each other that we are not ok with it and apparently we are failing at it right now; the anger is boiling over. Educated people are not teaching each other what we, as a society, are about. Instead of conformity, we need to embrace how diverse we as people all are we have one great thing in common: we are human. I will leave you with this last verse by one of the greatest poets of our time, Walt Whitman:

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects, mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds, I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

 

Answer.

That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

 

Can I get an amen?

#truestory #life #peace

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, HUMANITY, LEADERSHIP

Leigh Stringer: Boost the bottom line by improving the well-being of your employees

Joined in studio today by Leigh Stringer, a workplace strategy expert with EYP Architecture + Engineering, and author of The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees – and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line.

Discussion guide from our conversation with Leigh Stringer:

Leigh Stringer1. Increase productivity, creativity and human performance at work

2. Increase movement and exercise at work

3. Improve nutrition through “choice architecture” and provisioning

4. Reduce stress and increase mindfulness during the workday

5. Improve ergonomics and the physical environment

6. Improve sleep by behaviors during the work day

7. Measure workplace performance

8. Integrate workplace design with corporate wellness programs

Find Leigh Stringer’s book here:

About Leigh Stringer:

Leigh is a workplace strategy expert and researcher whose work has been covered by national media, including CNN, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Good Morning America. She works for EYP, an architecture, engineering and building technology firm. She is the author of the bestselling books, The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies that Benefit Employees, the Environment and the Bottom Line (Palgrave MacMillan) and The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees—and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line (AMACOM).

Leigh is currently collaborating with Harvard University’s School of Public Health, the Center for Active Design in New York, and the AIA DC Chapter on Health and Well-being to create new tools to connect like minds and to blur the boundaries across industries in order to advance our improve our well-being at work. She is on the Advisory Board of a new nonprofit organization, Global Women for Wellbeing.

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CONTRIBUTORS, HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Your Declaration of SELFHOOD!

I have a fascination with the challenges and opportunities of life cycles. As a business women and leadership performance coach I have observed, engaged and challenged myself as well as other leaders around the dynamics and consequences that life cycles present to us. This can range from considering where we are with the launch of a business venture, a brand’s development profile or the germination of a new breakthrough idea and what needs to happen to fuel it forward, navigate its progress or manage the downside risks.

Life cycles are generally predictable when you are consciously mindful of them (start-up, growth, maturity and decline) and they are even more dangerously predictable when you are seemingly oblivious to them until they strike you between the eyes by surprise (yikes…should have seen that one coming, what a lost opportunity….maybe next time we will be more prepared).

The same, of course, is true of life stages though their impact on us is profoundly more personal and impactful. Life Stages as we know them are typically broken into 2 major categories: childhood and adulthood. Of course there are mini-stages embedded in these such as your teenage years or distinguishing between early and late adulthood that mirror what we would recognize as a more generalized life cycle as mentioned above.

What is unique in the life stage process, however, is the exciting potential for experiencing a stage few people reach. This stage simply requires a choice and a declaration for entry. It is a magical stage of life called SELFHOOD. The choice is to be undeniably conscious and certain of who you are (not what others want, hope or wish for you) and the declaration you need to make is your own personalized answer to the following “I am here to………in this life time”

Mark Twain said “the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

Let’s explore this a bit further…….

Childhood, whether a smooth ride or a confusing time for you, is heavily influenced by your surrounding adult role models (parents, teachers, friends and family) who share their views on life and while doing so are actively or passively setting up expectations for you that may or may not feel aligned with your own internal desires or natural hardwiring. Ultimately you will face how to handle these potential challenges as you mature and make your own decisions, though childhood is often the place your initial agreement or dissonance begins to surface.

The fact is that you can be and become anything you want in this lifetime. Our predetermined hardwiring for our true purpose, however, is often found in a soft voice inside of us if we can only quiet ourselves enough to listen to its clues and follow its lead. For some of us there are early and undeniable signs regarding our gifts and contributions. For others, it is the journey of self-discovery and piecing it all together that waits for us. Both paths lead can lead us to our own life stage of SELFHOOD. Unfortunately few of us arrive.

Our childhood is a toggle between safety and security on the one hand balanced against risk and adventure on the other. Parents have the challenging role of keeping us safe while also giving us space and time so we can explore what our true purpose is. How our parents and role models initially set this stage for us in childhood can dramatically affect the timing or potential opportunity for us ultimately reaching SELFHOOD. We must all come to learn however, that regardless of our obstacles, we alone always hold the power for our choices.

Enter now the challenges of adulthood. If you are mindful, reflective and brave you might discover on the brink of early adulthood who you are and where you want your passions in life to take you. If you are like most people, however, you might be overly influenced to emphasize the safety and security aspects of your journey as you now add the typical adulthood expectations and pressures of defining success in your life. Success is an illusive, variable concept that is difficult to define, but something you will nonetheless feel compelled to pursue. So whether it is a degree from an esteemed institution, a title next to your name, a role you play or a targeted monetary figure you hope to earn or save, you will seek to cross some finish line to declare your success especially if you are unsure about your purpose.

Your prize will be an affirming declaration that….I am a doctor, a lawyer, a CEO, a father or a member of the 1%. Impressive and yet, unfortunately, not the declaration required for arriving at your life stage of Selfhood.

Now don’t misunderstand me, being any one of the above is not a bad thing! In fact, many would color their lives amazing having achieved any one of them. The issue is that we are not products with titles, labels and values. We are people. Here to engage, build relationships, impact lives and make a difference for having been here.

The beauty and magic of SELFHOOD is that it can be found at any time you choose. Yes, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ we too can declare our SELFHOOD when we realize it is all within our control. Part of this realization is that safety, security and success (our metaphysical lion, scarecrow and tin man) are already within us.

Our journey to SELFHOOD is to find our significance by being clear about our unique contributions and most importantly where we can be in and of service to others during our lifetime.

The term SELFHOOD is not about being selfish, self-absorbed and self-centered. It is about being centered-in-self so that you can be a well-tuned instrument willing, able and ready to serve your highest purpose by sharing your gifts. It is primarily about giving and not receiving, although it is impossible to not experience pure joy and fulfillment when you are living your life on purpose!

So as you ponder the start of this New Year and where you are with your own stages of life, ask yourself if you are ready to now enter SELFHOOD? It is your choice to make after all at any time you choose to declare it.

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HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Kay Lindahl on the art of listening

Joined in the studio by Kay Lindahl, along with my co-host Gareth Young. Kay is founder of The Listening Center, author of the award winning book, The Sacred Art of Listening, and a Certified Listening Professional.

Three key lessons from our conversation with Kay Lindahl:

1. There is a difference between listening to understand and listening to respond, and most of us spend too much time doing the latter;

2. Listening is an art, a choice, and a gift, and if we are to do it well, we need to train ourselves and to shift our culture;

3. Central to listening well is the use of silence. This can be moments – mini-pauses – in conversation, or more expansive periods of silence, all of which lead to more space and an open-mindedness.

This episode first appeared on Gareth Young’s New Business Mindset show, an intrepid.MEDIA production.

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HUMANITY

Tearing Down Walls and Discovering The Path

The Challenge of Reality

Contemplation of my own life has kept me quiet for a while. 2016 was an interesting year of learning and change for this old girl. And as I look back on it, I am thankful.

I truly am thankful for the trials presented and the learning that has gone down. How else would I be who I am were it not for the life shifts and professional challenges I have faced? I understand that I am presented with exactly what I need. For if I am unable to do what I need to do to triumph or move past a particular challenge, then it is time for me to go around or leave behind what confronts and confounds me or has slipped through the side gate into my house or has stabbed me in the back.

You see, I am a realist and it is not in me to deny, decry, or lie about what is ahead of me or what my responsibility is in it all. I know. I know who I am, I know what I am. And while I could sit back and say, it’s all good. I know it is not.

Even as I type this, the latest gauntlet has been dropped before me – a chronic plumbing problem which has led to two clogged sinks, a leaking pipe, a cracked toilet and the need to replace a bathroom wall where mold has found a home. Damn. As my neighbor – who is also my plumber just said, “nothing is ever easy.” I have to believe that I may not thrive if it were – if it were easy.

The love

As I look back on my last year and the love that has been poured upon me by friends and family, I can only consider myself lucky. Truly lucky —

December was a time for family and friends and I was able to see and hug those most important to me during this month (most of them, anyway) and I happily said goodbye to 2016 and rang in the New Year with people I love dearly, who have stood by me in times of dread and heartache, who have lifted me and brushed the tears away, and presented me with incredible opportunities of professional growth. And I was lucky enough to witness a testament of marital love as some of my best friends sealed their love in a New Year’s Eve wedding celebration.

I would be lying if I said it was a breeze. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking of my own broken heart and wedding just 19 months earlier. A doomed union, though I never would have guessed. But it was and guess what? Life goes on.

Those who know me, know I am incapable of lying or hiding such things. They are written in the lines on my face. And in the beats of my heart.

Which does beat on. 

The Path

There are those for whom I have built walls. Many of these walls were built upon misconceptions, lies that others tell, or circumstances I, myself, created. 2017 is my year to tear down those walls, deconstructing someone else’s reality to build my own, laying those stones and bricks under my feet which once were walls and creating the new path I choose to walk – a path of truth and light, a path of joy, of love and friendship. A path of well being. Some have asked why, why now and are you not tired of being hurt? Indeed, I am – but far worse than loving and trusting others is loving and trusting no one.

My path is before me. One I happily walk.

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, HR, HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Melissa Davies: How NOT to act like an asshole at work

Joined on the show today by Melissa Davies, president of Wise Ways Consulting, and the author of How NOT To Act Like An Asshole At Work: Seven Simple Reminders of How to Be Who You Really Want to Be at Work and in Life. Learn more about the book here!

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Melissa Davies:

Melissa Davies1. Leadership + team development.

2. Why a parable book?

3. People as an asset.

4. The importance of emotional intelligence.

5. We need empathy.

6. Why we all need mentors and coaching.

7. How to handle ourselves during stressful times in the office, such as around the holidays.

Find Melissa Davies’ book here:

Melissa Davies

About Melissa Davies:

Melissa is an internationally respected expert on developing workplace environments where people are able to show up better, with more of their whole selves. She works with clients across North America and spends much of her time working with military organizations. She runs Wise Ways Consulting, which specializes in executive coaching, group facilitation, and high-engagement training. Melissa works with multi-national corporations as well as numerous U.S. Government agencies. A native of British Columbia, she lives and works in Northern Virginia.

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HUMANITY, LEADERSHIP, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, SIMPLE LIVING, WELLNESS

25 Things To Do In 2017

1. Eat less.
2. Be more active.
3. Read more.
4. Listen intentionally.
5. Stretch more.
6. Slow down and breathe.
7. Criticize less.
8. Encourage more.
9. Buy less.
10. Donate more.
11. Stop multitasking.
12. Save more money.
13. Stop lying.
14. Communicate clearly what you believe in.
15. Trust more.
16. Write/journal more (even to yourself).
17. Make something.
18. Pay more attention to the world around you.
19. Stop judging.
20. Eliminate regret.
21. Take pride in everything.
22. Value what you have.
23. Prepare better.
24. Enjoy right now.
25. Smile more.

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HUMANITY, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Halley Bock: Living life from the inside out

Joined on the show today by Halley Bock, the founder of Life, Incorporated, and organization that fosters mindful connection in all areas of life as the means to experience a wholehearted, fulfilling, and joyful life. She is also the author Life Incorporated: A Practical Guide to Wholehearted Living.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Halley Bock:

Halley Bock1. Key insights learned from coaching executives. And what exactly is wholehearted living?

2. The reasons behind why living in a hyper-connected world have resulted in a move disconnected self than ever before.

3. Cultivating long-lasting, deep contentment vs. short-lived bursts of momentary gratification.

4. “Live life from the inside out.” An important way to experience happiness and fulfillment is to first create it within ourselves.

5. Ways to rediscover our own self-worth, and tools to understand what makes us tick.

Find Halley Bock’s book here:

About Halley Bock:

Halley is the founder and CEO of Life, Incorporated–an organization that fosters mindful connection in all areas of life as the means to experience a wholehearted, fulfilling, and joyful life. Previously, Bock spent over a decade as a shareholder and CEO of a successful training and development company, where she both worked on and studied human dynamics and relationships and their impact on business and individual success. The focus of her company was on developing the art and skill of conversation as the vehicle for creating connection with teams, employees, leaders, and individuals, as well as transforming individual and collective results.

Based out of Seattle, Washington, Bock now spends her time writing, teaching, and leading her organization while also coaching executives. As a prominent thought leader, Bock has spoken to leaders and audiences across the globe on the topics of relationships, connection, culture, management, and fulfillment. She has also been relied on by substantial media outlets for her expertise. In addition, Bock serves on the boards of several nonprofits and can often be found exploring the trails with her wife and two children.

Halley Bock

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HR, HUMANITY

My Christmas in Iowa: A #truestory About Love, Kindness, and Acceptance

Christmas in Iowa

“Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.”  Washington Irving

Before I begin this tale of what happened to me in a frigid, foggy, Des Moines many years ago, I want to explain a brief history of why I was even there around Christmas time, since, well…, I lived in Phoenix at the time and did not really celebrate Christmas in the first place. I was seventeen at the time and had become great friends with a kid named Michael Meggison. Usually, I don’t use people’s real names in my posts because they should be anonymous and rightly so, however, in this particular case it is warranted as the family, as well as Michael, should be praised for the kindness they bestowed on me December 25th, 1985.

I was raised in a Jewish household and practiced both the Sabbath and Hanukah every year. My Grandmother, who came from a Catholic family was always incensed that my mother let me be raised in the Jewish faith; I had my bat mitzvah at 13, my Grandparents attended but with angst. I guess a deal was struck that I would see my grandparents every Christmas and Easter to appease the tension that ran under the relationship they had with my parents. No one in the family actually spoke about it in front of me.

It was Christmas break from school, and I had, having been to Iowa visiting Micheal before, wanted to fly out to see him, his family, and the friends I had met the summer before. I was scheduled to fly back home than a short flight to Yuma, AZ to spend actual Christmas with my family there. The plan was simple, really, I got a cheap flight up and back and could do a quick transfer in Phoenix to be in Yuma Christmas Eve with my family. Well, as you will see, the best-laid plans are made by mice and men, lesson learned, Mr. Steinbeck.

Des Moines in December

The flight in was excellent and seeing Michael’s smiling face and open arms was pretty tremendous. We were both pretty giddy to hang out in his hometown and get, well, crazy. It was cold, and I was not used to it. However, I was in my Judd Nelson phase and had bought my first trench coat similar to the one he wore in the eternal classic teen angst movie The Breakfast Club. Although it was a mild winter with no snow, the temperatures were still cool with oddly warmer days. It made it fun for us to run around the small suburb of Adele and meet up with his friends and talk about stories of the day. School was still in session at the time, as Christmas was the following week as I recall. I discovered, among other things, that a chain called Made-Right made a loose meat sandwich that, if it ever came to it, would be my last meal. In fact, to this day, when I go to see Megs and his family, we go to a Made-Right after I disembark the plane.

I was scheduled for an early-morning flight and those of you who know me well, know that I am not exactly a morning person to begin with. But I was young and seeing my Grandparents would drive me like the sleigh in the song to see them, well, it was supposed to. The sun rose in the morning, and we were off to the airport, as the air warmed the moisture in the air caused a thick fog to appear making visibility reduced. Megs came with me to the gate only to discover that my flight had been delayed, then canceled. I was put on standby, and we sat at the airport, all day, on Christmas Eve. Every flight was oversold, every, last, one. Although they tried valiantly to get me on a flight, I was told that Christmas day was just as packed, and all they could guarantee me was a flight out on the 26th of December, the day AFTER Christmas.

And now, the phone call…

We went back to the house, and I was devastated. Up to that point in my life, I had experienced some strange shit but to have to call my Grandparents and tell them that I would be missing Christmas and there was nothing I could do about it, was just this side of spending eternity in any of Dante’s circles of hell. The sound of my Grandfather’s words and the disappointment in his voice still haunts me to this day. “Why did you go to Iowa?” “Why were you so insensitive to the family?” he asked me. “You might as well not come here now as everyone will be gone by the time you get here!” I remember just sitting there quietly listening, feeling hollow. My Grandmother got on the line next and expecting my next 50 verbal lashes she, instead, said warmly, “It’s not your fault. little lamb, if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans.” She asked me to ignore my Grandad, he was just hurt because he missed me and to get there as soon as I could, she then said, “Merry Christmas. little lamb.” That was my nickname from her, and I loved it, it always made me feel warm and loved yet now it seemed like a dagger to my heart. There was a reason I subconsciously did not want to be there and someday I will purge that demon but, that is for another day.

Christmas Morning

Now, let me set the stage for you of the house in Iowa. It was huge, in fact, it was the largest home I had ever been in up to that point. It was two stories with a full basement and attic. The living room was huge, and the whole house was a winter wonderland waiting for the 25th of December to arrive. There was a decorated tree with all the trimmings and presents below for the family to open in the morning. I did not know it, but there was a plan hatched earlier in the day by Megs’ family, specifically his mother and two sisters, I believe. Megs had gone to a pay phone to call home telling them it looked as though I would be staying through the holiday and that I was emotional and fragile. He had never actually seen me that way as I was always laughing, telling jokes, and just being snarky. Well, that was going to change the morning of Christmas Day.

I did not want to get out of bed that morning, but the smell of bacon in the pan, and the thought of Megs’ mom’s pancakes and eggs filling my stomach and starting the day was just too much to ignore. When I came down to the kitchen, I was greeted with hugs & smiles, and a plate of hot deliciousness that was the best home cooking. It was just like it would have been had I been home with my family; I needed that. The commercialization of Hanukah and Christmas has never been lost on me, even in my youth. I sincerely liked giving people presents more than receiving them and as I have gotten older my acts of random kindness have increased yearly and there is a reason for that.

The Kindness That Changes

Christmas morning has, for most practicing Christians in the US, to follow a tradition to recreate the giving of gifts to the baby Jesus by the three Kings upon his birth. Being in a free market society and one based on commercialism, this is nirvana for people who make items for consumption. There is a feeling, though, of seeing the joy in a person’s eyes, the glimmer of excitement that someone thought enough of them to get them an item they wanted. I knew it well, it happened every Christmas, and I always volunteered to hand out the presents, one at a time, so that everyone had their moment to smile. Knowing that there was nothing under the tree, here, I offered to do the same. The Megginson’s had their own system of having each member going to the tree and choosing their gift. I don’t remember the order, but I knew that I was not in the batting order for this game. I was not supposed to be there, so why would I? All the kids went one by one to the tree to gather one present to open and show the booty they had received then something unexpected happened.

Mom, as she insisted on being called, looked at me and said, “Derek, it’s your turn now, dear.” I was dumbfounded and sat there perplexed that there would be anything under the tree for me. Thoughts went through my head at that moment, was there really a Santa Claus, could he be real, who is God and does he actually exist, who invented liquid soap and why? I went to the tree, and there in a small pile was not one but many beautifully wrapped with care packages with my name on each. I can tell you now that I don’t actually remember what I received that morning in the way of baubles, but what I took away was that a family, who did not need to do anything for me, who had fed a stranger and given him shelter shared their Love of Christmas with me.

It is one of the fondest memories of Christmas I have and every Christmas day, although I don’t participate like I once did, I look back at the kindness and love that family showed me that day. I missed a Christmas with one family but that Christmas morning I gained another, and that is one heck of the best presents a kid could get. #truestory

HUMANITY, PERSONAL GROWTH

Rachel Adams: How to go from lost to found

Co-host Gareth Young and I were joined by Rachel Adams, a realtor, public speaker, coach, author, and entrepreneur. Learn more about Rachel Adams here.

Key discussion topics from our conversation with Rachel Adams:

Rachel Adams1. We feel compelled to try to lead the Facebook life and find it hard to break out, but it’s important for us to recognize that what we see in social media is not reality and to move away from judging who we are from someone else’s perspectives;

2. It’s one thing to be honest with other people but it’s quite another thing to be honest with yourself;

3. There is a profound difference between putting others’ needs first on the one hand, and on the other hand living a life of service, which needs to include a sense of self-care and boundaries;

4. Being lost is a valuable experience, because from being lost one can become found.

A New Business Mindset, an intrepid.MEDIA production. This episode was originally published here!

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