What does it mean to 'earn it' these days and who is getting it done? Too often we see, hear or read about people taking handouts or taking advantage of the system, their neighbor or the goodwill of others. Why are there so many people in our communities and our country who are not earning it? What happened to our culture of going for it, taking a risk, or exploring the unknown? When did we shift from winner takes all to anyone that competes receives a trophy?
I'd like to see more celebrations of those who do earn it. You know, the high school athlete with limited skills who won't give up, dives for the loose ball, skins his knees and cheers for her mates when not on the field or court. I'd like to see more politicians debate a topic with good argument and real facts to persuade others rather than spew vitriol at an opponent to get better press coverage. I'd like to celebrate the neighbor who performs a good deed without being noticed or taking credit. I'd love to give a high five to the grade school kids that play in the yard or the park rather than sit inside with the TV, play station or xbox.
Culture is a hard thing to change and can take years or decades to shift and is heavily influenced by what we read, see and hear. Maybe, just maybe, the right behaviors are out there all around us but we don't notice. Perhaps we are blinded by the negative story, by the greed and laziness all around. I for one will do my best to tune out those who aren't earning it and celebrate those that do. If more people did the same, maybe we will begin to slowly change back to the country that sets the example for others to follow.
Ok, I'm taking a risk with this topic. Politicians are scorned these days but not more than past years. Arguments used to be solved with the benefit of a shotgun in our capitol a century to two ago, so in that regard things have gotten better, right? Sadly the answer is no, things are not better they are worse, much worse. It's not that people disagree, that's ok and even encouraged. James Madison structured our government to work through disagreement with persuasive argument and good debate. Dialogue and compromise were required to get things done with the three legs of our government sharing the power.
But with our country divided today perhaps more so than ever before, James would expect a lot of debate, discussion and compromise. But that's not happening. Instead all we hear and see is politicians taking jabs at each other, talking points taking the place of argument, and personal insults thrown across the aisle and all across social media. It's not the system that is broken, the system and the model are fine. It's the people who are in government, that's where the problem lies. So what do we do about this problem? That's easy, right? Throw them out and get a new team.
Let's define 'old friends' as buddies from high school or college. These pals share a history with you that can never be replaced by a new friend. You might not see a school buddy for years or even longer, yet when you reunite with a firm shake and a hug, the memories pour out as you are both at ease. Old friends help us remember, reflect, and appreciate time spent. New friends stretch our boundaries, offer us new experiences and help us appreciate things we did not realize in our younger days. New friends become our new buddies as we create strong bonds with people from work or wherever we spend our time. Which is more important an old friend or a new buddy? It' a silly question right? Is there really any reason to pick a winner or a loser in this equation. Probably not. But, we do pick don't we? We pick a winner and loser every day when we decide where and with whom to spend our time. For me the answer is not that hard. I'd like to spend more time with old buddies and make a few more good friends. That way, I can celebrate the old times while also creating more new memories.
I have been following the Northwestern Athletes and their quest to form a union. While their arguments are sound, I believe their approach is misguided. It makes perfect sense to me for athletes to participate in some of the financial upside in college sports and to have greater flexibility to switch schools without penalty, much like coaches do. But do they really need to unionize to make their points heard? And do they really need a pot of gold? Seems to me athletes on scholarship should receive a monthly stipend, each person gets the same amount, to make college life a bit easier. After all these guys and gals work hard and represent their schools well. And athletes should be allowed to switch schools, maybe once in their career without sitting out a full season. But a union? Come on man! Make your case, leverage social media to get support, and harass the NCAA into doing the right thing, finally.
The first book is done and will soon be on the shelf (March 17th, 2014). Now the hard work begins, publishing and marketing the book and the author. Yikes! I am in awe of the many Indie publishers who I have met over the past few months. They are writers, authors, publishers, artists, and marketing mavens rolled up into one person. They are fearless and relentless and fun. They are real people like you and me. It's exciting and an honor to join this group of warriors, unafraid to dive into the deep end of the pool and put themselves out there. Here we go!
I like to read and write stories that dig deep into characters and how they respond to challenges.