Last Man Standing…

If we pay attention, regardless of nearly being offended or knocked out; we may just be surprised by our fellow-man.

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If we pay attention, regardless of nearly being offended or knocked out; we may just be surprised by our fellow-man.

So Black Friday has come and gone and thank goodness for that. See ya Felicia. This annual retail event is feature rich with “deals on deals” and videos of people literally going mad for things that are “cheaper than chips”. These “things” they probably don’t need and simply cannot afford, regardless of the seemingly giveaway price. Hence the madness. With that week behind us, shopping however is still continues.

One week later, on a scorching hot Saturday morning, it was time for shopping to raise its weary head again. Of course the question is why a week later? All the deals have come and gone. This is where my receipt disagrees. 1x pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 20, 1 x pair Asics running tights and a Compress Peak running cap for the same price of the running shoes on any other given day. Thank you Sweatshop Broadacres. But this deal is not what the story is about.

Relocate 5 km to another mall for my wife’s turn with shopping. And this is where I get nervous. Fast forward 20 min and all things are in the basket, checked out and paid for. And on our way we go! Say what! A woman shopping for a baby shower and it’s done and dusted in 20 min? True story!

So apart from being bedazzled by my wife’s new super power and high fiving her for it, the lesson of the day comes in the form of a rebuke. While we were walking to the car all proud of my wife, a noticed a couple with 3 kids. One child is crying and the other two look like they are pressing moms buttons all at once. The woman was buckling in the crying child and blocking our cars driver door. This clearly means, I’m unable to get into the car. I heard the man in a calm voice say to the woman, “we need to hurry as people are trying to get into their car”. The woman did not hesitate to respond with: “they can then wait”. In steps the rebuke! My immediate thought was that she clearly wasn’t aware of how close we were standing and that she was not a happy camper… obviously. Another interesting fact is that I didn’t see the man again. Think she ate him!

As I got into the car thinking about this, I heard a tap-tap  on the window and looked around and saw the same woman tapping on the car window with her nails. I feared for my life! But what she said next blew my mind!

As she leaned half out of her car towards our car window, with heaving breathing, exhausted but so calm said:” I want to say sorry. The kids are driving me mad today and being impossible. Of course I couldn’t bridle myself and said with a smile: “so that’s what I have to look forward too in 5 years time”. She smiled and we had our virtual hugs and kisses and we drove off into the sunset. Her with her rebellious kids, me with my wife and new running shoes already making new year’s running resolutions.

So what’s the point here?

It’s like the Wilder vs Fury boxing this weekend. Absolute chaos over 4 months leading up to the showdown. Fight night arrives and they throw a left, right, left, right, knockdown, get up and carry on. The bell rings and the boxers embrace. What?

Considering this woman; Its trying to understand her ability to transform from a chaotic emotional state to a rational mind in just a few seconds. The virtual left, right, left and right her kids are throwing at her all at once. Which leads me to another thought. How on earth do single mothers raise their kids and still be a functioning and contributing member of society? Consider the deep strength that needs to be drawn on everyday!

This experience can be unpacked & reviewed over and over again but I think we get the point. Being able to face the chaos in life, get knocked down and keep your head is how we get through it. If we can stand tall during the suffering time and again, we will be the last wo-man standing.

To this woman whose name I did not get. To you and all mothers, we salute you. You have taught me that even though life gets tough, don’t forget to display your values and morals in front of your kids. It’s then that we shine the brightest and teach them an unforgettable lesson.

If you find grammatical errors contained within, please assist & correct me to become a better writer.

Your comments and feedback is always welcome!

I ruined my marriage…

What is in a name?

There is a story doing the rounds, not sure how true it is, but it has an incredible moral lesson in it for us all. Let me tell it with less accuracy and more drama & humour. I’ll be sure to keep the moral compass flying high.

When Alexander the Great ruled, he was feared among nations. One day, when he was not conquering the known world and driving fear into his neighbours, he was in his castle resting. By resting, he had a drinking problem (this is fact) and probably kicking back on the couch watching Netflix – Love Island. While he just got into the series, he was interrupted by one of his guards. His guards walked into this lounge (picture that if you will) with a sentry in hand, who was caught sleeping while on the job. The sentry was thrown to the floor and visibly shaken from what his fate may be. Alexander the Great was known as a man for little time when it comes to excuses and failure.

With anger, Alexander the Great asked his guard why he would dare interrupt him watching season 1 episode 3 of Love Island? The guard responded with fear and great apology that his sentry was found sleeping at his post, while he was responsible for guarding the castle. After picking up the remote and pressing pause to ensure he missed nothing, Alexander the Great turned his attention to a man on the floor, stood up and never came close to towering over him. This is largely due to Alexander the Great being shorter than your average man (this is fact). He leaned over and asked the sentry; what is your name? The sentry with a fear filled tone answered, my name is Alexander. Your name is what? The sentry replied again, my name is Alexander. The other Alexander, the Great one was filled with rage and picked the sentry off the floor, stood him to his feet and yelled out… either change your name or change your conduct!

What is in a name?

Why do certain names have importance, while others get lost in history?

Why should people care about your name?

What in the world do names, Alexander the Great and a weeping soldier have to do with this?

Your name is linked to everything you say, think and do i.e. your behaviour & character or as Alexander the Great put it… your conduct! Hence, the “importance” is tied to some names, and “lost in history” for others.

Men with an ounce of ambition, walk through life with the purpose of leaving a legacy. This is a good thing. Legacy is broken down into various categories but you get the just of it. All of this is pointless, if you have achieved eternal riches, mega mansions, drive the fastest car’s, have the hottest blondes or brunettes as wives etc… but lost your soul along the way i.e. lost your name i.e. behaviour and character along the way!

Inheriting the world is a fool’s goal. Seek to inherit your partners heart and trust in your lifetime. Start there and the rest generally falls into place.

Be a leader of your relationship, day in and day out. Guide, nurture and make changes for the empowerment of both parties. Never give up developing good long lasting character, and behaviour that your name will live in the annals of history. Even if you are just remembered on a Facebook or twitter post for being the most incredible “NAME” someone had the blessing of spending time with.

Your name is important. Live up to it regardless of the challenge!

In conclusion, it is not as easy as it sounds, but living up to your name on a daily basis is easier than this one sentence. I ruined my marriage because I did not live up to my name!

Further watching on leadership:

Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right by Laura Sicola

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02EJ1IdC6tE

Happy Birthday Tommy

Highlighting people’s shortcomings in public is bang out of order!

Let’s call him Tommy. His real name is a little cooler than that, but that is not the point.

Happy 21st Birthday son, I heard his father say through tear filled eyes. All the while Tommy’s childhood photos played in the background on PowerPoint autoplay which totally messed with my OCD. I couldn’t watch the presentation as my frustration with the layout pushed my OCD through the roof for 2 reasons. 1) the photos weren’t even resized and centered (like normal people do) & 2) Tommy was very naked in most of the photos. Guys don’t look at guys regardless of how far back these photos were taken.

Apart from looking the other way, I was paying attention to his father’s speech. Tommy’s father was holding back his tears while toilet paper was the choice to wipe away the father son highs & lows over the past 21 years. The highs were elaborated and the crowd cheered and laughed and the lows were made highlighted but no details provided. To be honest, not knowing what these lows were that Tommy’s father was alluding too, they could easily be imagined as even the guests tone & vibe changed. Upon completion of the birthday speech, Tommy father gave him a 21st key that his father gave him so many years ago and then they hugged. And this is todays issue. It ended better than it started.

Having some insights of the family setup; parents are divorced, father has a new missus and the mom a new husband; while Tommy’s sister turned out to be a sweet 14 year old-ish and so what! This is an all too common occurrence and sadly a family’s journey ends different to how it all got started. Welcome to life.

The other issue is one of misquoting these lows. Far to often we all take lows out of context and make it seem that that was the turning point in everyone’s life and why things went wrong. Really? 

Talking about misquoting. I heard an incredible quote by Ernest Hemingway the other day. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Very powerful hey! Turns out that this has been horribly misquoted over the years. Key paragraphs before and after were left out. Go check out https://whatwouldbaledo.com/2015/07/10/six-things-hemingway-never-said/ Which is typical of famous quotes or father son speeches.

So lets get on with it and set the scene; a crowd of people sitting and standing all over a banquet hall while listening to the speaker and looking at the object. While the object sits in the most exposed area of the hall, the object is praised for past achievements, while the lows that are spewed out and steal away from their successes. So defeatist! Imagine if your life’s low’s (failures) were published on the front page of every major newspaper?

I personally don’t agree with family or friends highlighting or alluding to anyone’s past lows; with or without context. Providing or not providing detail. As if your or their life is so superior and without flaw? Logically I cannot deduce why people do that? It’s just foreign to me? Why use the one opportunity to lift up a son, daughter or partner and then allude to their lows and past failures? Flying fruitcakes people. Have we lost our minds. How is that going to allow them to enjoy the rest of the evening? Is this our best thinking when we have a speech to prepare for?

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Thanks for this Ernest. I personally think that “the world” Ernest was talking of is “us”. In other words, “we break everyone”.

If we are not using every opportunity to be kind in word to those around us, especially on special occasions… “we break everyone”. Life is hard enough as it is. Children need to hear their parents say that they are always proud of them, not excusing past mistakes, but not highlighting them either. Here is a life lesson. Discipline, but discipline with love. This is true for anyone, even those in a relationship.

Enough ranting.

Back to Tommy.

In context, I do believe that Tommy’s father never meant any malice or public rebuke of his sons lows. It was just an unprepared speech and the words: right or wrong rolled off his tongue. Personally, Tommy was fed several shooters before his father started his speech. Several during and many more after that. If Tommy heard anything that anyone said, his 21st was the first sober one in history.

Coldplay produced a great song called “Fix You” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4V3Mo61fJM&list=RDMMdfnCAmr569k&index=7). Sometimes people don’t need to be fixed. People just need a hug that engages the “autofix” function within ourselves. What could possibly be better than to know that we are cared for, supported and loved, regardless of the past!

Lean over and hug someone today. You’ll be blown away by the power, comfort and healing of a loving hug.