Saturday, August 10, 2013
God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor. (1 Corinthians 12:18-23)
Sitting with my son through an entire church service is no easy task. As a matter of statistical fact, most parents of special needs children choose to not attend church (or they attend sparingly) because of the stress that accompanies potential, attention-grabbing disturbances caused by their child’s disability.
It’s easier to stay home and stay out of the congregational eye—the eye that seemingly stares and judges and blinks and winks.
“Yet the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.”
Indispensable: Not subject to being set aside or neglected; absolutely necessary; essential. (Merriam Webster)
My son is a 20-year-old autistic man with the cognitive mentality of a 2-year-old child, yet he is indispensableto the congregation of Redemption Church. He cannot speak (although he can make plenty of noise) yet he isindispensable to the worship service. He constantly kicks the chair of the person in front of him, he claps during the quiet times and cannot sit still for five minutes, much less the length of a sermon. Yet he isindispensable to the church—indispensable to the Body of Christ.
How can the least become essential and the weaker become indispensable in God’s seemingly backwards, upside down and inside out church body? With Jesus as the head, let me show you a picture of God’s great grace in the Body of Christ—His Church.
It’s Sunday morning and Jake is sitting in the very back row of the sanctuary. We are not placed in the back because we are unimportant; we choose the back mostly for strategic reasons. A hasty exit is sometimes required. Four seats are reserved for our family. This is just one of the ways our church ministers to us.
My wife sits on one side of Jake and I sit on the other. We take turns stroking his arms and his back to keep him calm enough to sit through an entire worship service. His mother runs her fingers through his thinning auburn hair. It has always been Jake’s sedative.
But this service is different. The pastor has just preached one of his final messages from an entire sermon series in the book of Romans and has come to a key verse that obviously catches Jake’s attention. The verse is Romans 16:16 “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.”
Jake perks up and listens as the pastor begins to apply the text, asking the congregation, “Why don’t we do that anymore? Why don’t we show affection in the church? Why don’t we greet each other with hugs and kisses? Why are we afraid of touch?”
Jake nods in approval of the pastor’s plea and gives an affirming grunt—his unmistakable, “Amen!”
I give my wife that silent look. She knows what it means. We have learned to speak clearly without words over the years—across rooms, through crowds, over noise, and in church. It’s a head slightly tilted forward, wide-eyed, pursed lip look. A nervous mix of, “Isn’t that cute” and “Batten down the hatches, something is about to happen!”
The pastor continues as he concludes his sermon. “We’re going to try something new today. (Just what every good church member wants to hear) After The Lord’s Supper, turn to the person next to you and give him or her a hug. And show some affection!”
You could feel the uncomfortable anticipation creep across the room as people began to think, “Is he serious? We have to touch each other, beyond a casual handshake?” I imagined what the visitors were thinking that morning; some after sneaking quietly into the room, now were exposed to their worst fear—being ousted from their anonymity and physically embraced by complete strangers.
People were looking around the room, checking out their neighbors, their prospective huggers, and the nearest exits.
I honestly remember thinking to myself, “If some guy tries to kiss me, I’m going to put him on the ground.” My heart began to drift—like hearts do, when they are afraid.
But the man-child moved to the edge of his seat and leaned in to the pastor’s words.
As the final prayer was prayed, the “amen” was sounded and the congregation dismissed, people began to mill uncomfortably towards each other. Some even tried to head for the door and avoid the offending invasion of their personal comfort zones.
The pastor gently prodded, “Come on now, find someone to hug before you leave!”
Two or three married couples at the front of the church, closest to the pastor, did a lean in shoulder bump with a patronizing pat on the back. Then a few more followed suite, as most of the congregation simply did not know how to respond to the awkward invitation and were content to go through the motions to please the pastor.
And that’s when it happened.
That’s when the broken little toe led the foot, and the foot led the leg, and the leg led the body, and the weaker member became indispensable.
Jake sprung from his seat and bolted into the isle before we could catch him. He ran straight over to an older gentleman (who was trying to exit the building unnoticed and presumably untouched) and nearly knocked him off his feet with a bear hug. It wasn’t gentle and it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t short lived. Jake held onto the man until I could get through the crowd of people to pull him off. The stern look on the man’s face told me this was an uninvited intrusion into his wide, impermeable bubble.
But just as I began to unwrap Jake’s grip from the victim’s shoulders and apologize for the inconvenience, I noticed wetness in the older man’s eyes. Jake held tight and the man resigned his objection; his body went somewhat limp as sternness melted to a smile and unsure hands reciprocated the embrace.
My son finally released the man and I thought all was well and complete, but before I could redirect Jake back to his seat or to an exit door, he broke loose again. This time instead of restraining him, I let him go—because sometimes you have to set people free to experience the greatest freedom yourself.
He ran to hug another, and another, and yet another. He was laughing and jumping and hugging and loving. It was sloppy and loud and rough and painful. And the entire body was watching and learning and discovering what “indispensable” really meant.
Soon others joined in and the hugs spread like sparks jumping from a small, intense fire. As the wind of the Spirit blew where it pleased, the sparks turned to flames and raged through the church. But the only thing that burned up that day was the long-standing boundaries around comfort zones of personal pride and inward self-esteem.
People were laughing and talking and whooping and hugging—real hugs—feet off the ground, cheek to cheek, steal your breath hugs. And unbeknownst to most of the congregation, Jake was in the middle of it all, like an imprisoned apostle set free; like a preacher without a voice, called by God to “go and make disciples”.
That Sunday started something new for Jake, and something new for the local body of Christ at Redemption Church—a sort of mini revival set afire by the unsuspecting, silent ember of one indispensable blazing heart.
Now every Sunday he sits, waiting for the end of the service. Waiting for the Lord’s Supper, the closing benediction and the final “Amen”. Not so he can get home and watch Sunday afternoon football or fix Sunday dinner or take a Sunday nap. Those things are the farthest from his simple mind.
He lives to apply the meaning of the message with complete lack of inhibition for his unbridled, bubble busting, in your face, knock you to the ground, God honoring, Jesus exalting, Spirit saturated —joy!
Sometimes it’s loud and painful. Sometimes he pokes an eye, or lands a knee, or leaves a slobbered wet spot on someone’s clean Sunday best. Sometimes we have to restrain his ambition just a bit for the protection of the elderly and the petite. Sometimes we wince when a visitor gets picked for the embrace. It’s usually awkward and it’s almost always uncomfortable.
But every Sunday after church, the real worship begins in the heart of obscurity. And an autistic, non-verbal, disabled, man-child shines like a white hot spotlight of God’s grace for the motley, multifaceted church body to see and understand—
“God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor.”
Your personal narrative — in business and life
Scott Hammond/Business Sense
”Assumption is the mother of all (screw) ups.”
– a guy in that one movie
Everyone has a narrative in their life. It’s how we explain life, people, business, relationships and more. It’s the story we tell ourselves about others — their motivation and attitude — it’s our way of explaining how people, business and life operate.
The problem with our negative narratives is that we’re often dead wrong in the way we perceive things. This could not be truer than in business and the marketplace. In business, it is imperative we be accurate in our assessment of reality. Our company life and success depend on it.
The narratives we tell ourselves in life and business are often incorrect or incomplete. The problem is that we misjudge in our “narration” of others and call it “reality” and therefore often respond and react inappropriately. Bad decisions are made and even compounded. An example of this might be when a leader judges or “reads” another when they have absolutely no idea about the reality of the situation of that person. Leaders often make decisions based on wrong assumptions, bad data and poor interpretation of the facts. This phenomenon is problematic both in professional and personal life.
Relate this to customers, stake holders, competitors and the marketplace at large — we can end up completely misunderstanding an entire situation — possibly, even an entire relationship. The fundamental problem with our own “negative self-narration” is that it often leads to poor action, responses and results. This can lead to loss, bankruptcy, broken relationships — and not to mention business failure.
Negative business narration has three directions it can go:
Internal negative narrative — this type of “negative business narrative” tends toward our own self-justification and judgment of other’s internal drives. This is where we find it easy to presume we know the inner workings of other’s motivations, attitudes and how they think. Here, we find it easy to vilify others and justify ourselves. This is a narrative in which we can never see ourselves as wrong. When we vilify others, we often excuse ourselves. The phrase that is used is “excuse and accuse.” When we think like this, have no need for personal responsibility. Poor decisions are made when we presume to judge the motivation and intention of others. We can make all kinds of crazy happen in this state of thinking.
External negative narrative is where we perceive just the external circumstances and draw our conclusions. This is based on what we can perceive only externally. Here, mistakes in good judgment happen and the results are often disastrous. We have poor data with which we interpret and then make poor decisions. Garbage in, garbage out — more crazy decision making.
Assumption is the fuel of the negative narrative way of thinking. It is based primarily on guesswork. We all know what assumption means! When we assume that we know all about others and how their circumstances “seem,” we are on shaky ground.
This practice based in narrative negativity will result often in a life cut off and sequestered from others. This bitter “Lone Ranger Mentality” rules the day in many leaders, cultures and businesses. This kind of leadership is frightening. One thinks of Hitler or other autocratic leaders and shudders at the thought of this thinking drawn out to its logical and frightening conclusion.
So, what are the solutions? How can you and I prevent or redress becoming a “Debbie Downer”?
1. Have openness about life, people and relationships. Know that we have little or no control over others. We have incomplete information about others and no real way to know it all. What we really need is a new narration — the ability to be open and not get into the temptation to tell a story about others when we really don’t know all the facts. How can we possibly know the whole story about someone or the situation or how they got “there”? Be all about getting good, solid facts first!
2. Be a person of possibility. This starts with believing the human condition can improve, learn and evolve. We can learn to grow and actualize and enlighten personally, spiritually and mentally. This is not an easy task — but we actually can get better! We can learn, grow and leverage our strengths and weaknesses! Give others the benefit of the doubt. Stop the temptation to be the judge and jury. Trust some folks and their good intent. Take wise risks in believing in people. You’ll be surprised how trusting someone can really result in some positive outcomes and benefits. People thrive in a culture and atmosphere of genuine trust. Trust me!
3. Have trusted advisors. Stay close and value people in your life who are not afraid to push back when you begin your negative narration. Have business and personal friends who will challenge your dominant paradigm. Give someone the freedom to ask you hard questions and question your judgment and way of seeing things. This relationship will take time and trust.
4. Catch yourself. When you begin to mentally “go” negative — notice it and stop it. Get into the habit of stopping your own negativity and replace it with something more positive! Tell a new story or simply resist the tendency to tell any narrative at all. Be in the moment with people and be free to just experience them as they are. This truth can open the door to unknown and limitless possibility in life, business and community. Now go and re-tell your story today.
Scott Hammond works at Suddenlink Media and lives in McKinleyville with wife Joni and 5 of their 9 kids. His blog is www.BecomeaBetterFather.com and www.EveryDayDad.org and can be reached @ email@example.com.
My dear mother who is seventy-seven years old this year has been teaching first and second grade Sunday school for thirty years at the same church. I, too, teach Sunday school to elementary aged children. She often comments to me about the Sunday school curriculum and has concerns over the use of the Bible and scripture reading by the children. We make a point of opening the word of God and reading it word for word from the scriptures instead of just using the handouts provided. We also make sure that the kids that can read participate in reading the word out loud. She has expressed to me on so many occasions and I know it and believe with all my heart that the Sunday school stories alone, without the word of God, are not enough to give to the children.
The word of God is the only thing that will change hearts and minds. One of the most powerful scriptures that express the greatness of God’s word and its great impact on our lives is Hebrews 4:12. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (NAS) Another great scripture concerning the word of God is John 17:17. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (NAS) This was part of the prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples before he died on the cross, not only was it for his disciples then but for us now. The truth of God’s word will set our hearts free from the worries and stresses of the world. “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32 (NAS)
There is nothing more grounding, more life giving, more strengthening than the living word of God. He spoke the world into being – just through His words. His written word has the power to move mountains and strengthen hearts. When you teach the word of God to the little children you are giving them power over the darkness of this world. You are giving them the living word of our precious Father and His Son Jesus Christ. There is not a greater gift that you can give to a child or anyone for that matter. Sunday school may be the only access that some children have to the Bible and having the privilege of reading it and memorizing it.
Memorizing scripture is so very important for any age believer but it is so very important to get the scriptures engrained into the minds and hearts of the little ones so that they will have it for their whole lives. The word says, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 (NIV) The word of God after implanted in their minds will come to them when their lives come to a cross road and they need to choose between God’s way or the world’s way. Or perhaps when they need encouragement, even in grade school and up through the school years children go through so many changes and situations arise where the word of God will remind them that He is with them and they need not be afraid.
My own mother taught both of my children Psalms 27 when they were just starting to talk. They both had half of it memorized by the time they were three or four and what a powerful Psalms it is. I cannot even tell you how many times this has helped both of my children through some hard times. Even when they are not consciously thinking about the Lord or His word He still reminds them because these scriptures are forever in their hearts and minds from an early age. Here is Psalm 27 from the New International Version Bible.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
There are so many more scriptures that my mom and I have taught to my children over the years and I can promise you that the results are always victorious in God’s word. My daughter has pushed herself beyond her introversion to do so many things for the glory of God, in her studies, in her career, and in her personal life. My son was drawn in by the world in his teens and has made some very bad decisions and yet the Lord has been dealing with him through His word and reminding my son of His great love for Him by the scriptures that were burned into his heart. God’s word never fails. Isaiah 55:10-11 from the New International Version of the Bible says:
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
As you read these verses you can see how powerful the word of God is and how very important it is and what a life giving gift you are giving the children that you are teaching in Sunday school or when teaching them to your own precious children. There is no better gift, nothing more powerful that you can give a child to hold onto than the living, breathing, active word of our wonderful Lord and Savior. Listen to what John 1:1-5 says about our marvelous God and His Son Jesus Christ.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
God came down and became flesh to save us because He knew that on our own we could not keep His commandments. It is only by His great grace and His death on the cross and shedding of His blood that we are able to be saved. He gave us His word in written form to reveal to us His saving grace, to encourage us, and to sustain us in this world because He knew it would not be easy. There is no greater gift that you can give another individual than His word and when you give it to a child you are giving them life in abundance and salvation for their very souls.
Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.
Name: Aaron Hammond
Profession: Young Man
Years in Business: About 12
Family Info: #7 of 8 Kids
Hobbies: Loves his goat and chickens! Great with younger brother Micah. Amazing at many forms of electronics and gadgetry.
Activities of Interest: Legos, Video Games, Mine Craft, anything with Video. Turns out Aaron is an avid reader and learner. This guy is a great thinker as well–formulates great core questions.
Burning desire: To be an awesome actor.
Something no one knows about me: The man is a terrific help around a frequently chaotic home. Aaron has really shown his quality in so many areas—Scouting, Animal Husbandry, and just being a key part of the family with a great attitude and heart. Aaron has a tender heart toward God and people—a rare combo!
Keys to Success: Total, absolute creativity—-Is able to move on after blowing up
Favorite Quote: ”MICAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….”
Name: Micah Hammond
Years in Business: About 9
Family Info: Large
Hobbies: Construction of amazing contraptions from duct tape, cardboard, and other household items
Activities of Interest: Legos, Video Games, Mine Craft, anything with Video
Burning desire: To become King/Ruler/Emperor
Something no one knows about me: Has an amazing tender heart
Keys to Success: Total, absolute creativity—-Is able to move on after blowing up
Favorite Quote: “Jack Ass—Turd Sandwich”—-Learned from elder brother Jacob and delivered to older brother Aaron
Open letter to God
Number one. Help me to stop my negative narrative both verbal and mental that makes me become a “Debbie Downer”. Please replace this negativity with a grateful heart. May I count my blessings-daily.
Number two. Help me to not always have to be right and correct and perfect. Please break me of the habit of thinking I need to be correct all the time. Help me to give others the benefit of the doubt. Help me to give others Grace– as I need it as well.
Number three. God, please help me to not rationalize my own narrative. Help not to always “buy” my own story, perspective, and narrative. Please help me realize that others have their own truth and are seeking their own answers in the way they know best. Teach me to see that my narrative is not always the correct for them. How can I know about their lives unless I walk in their shoes? Teach me empathy and compassion.
Number four. Help me to forgive. Help me to not to carry around meanness– but rather kindness and forgiveness. Help me to see unkindness and a critical spirit as the cancer of the spirit that they really are. Help me freely forgive those who have harmed me. Help me to be open to how a relationship can actually grow after there is forgiveness. Teach me to forgive as I have been forgiven.
Number five. Help me Lord to lose my universal expectation of you and others–how not to always expect perfection of myself or others. Help me to not always expect to be served. Help me to see that I cannot always expect that my way is the best way. Help me not to expect MY best outcome all the time.
Number six. Help me to not always rationalize my correctness. Grant me the ability to understand that I can’t possibly always be right, be correct, or know it all. Help me be an open and a lifelong learner. Help me see that I don’t have all the information. Help me to understand that you always add more information to the narratives that are true about life, people, and me. May I withhold judgment.
Help me for I am blind. I get blind to the way I relate to people and my own thinking and practices. Forgive and help me to not be mean, or shortsighted or belligerent with those around me. Help me to practice kindness and love for others as you do with me.
Father, take my heart and make it right. I can only throw myself on the throne of grace and there is nothing that merits me to you but your Son. Please make me in His image as you see fit. Help me to freely give myself to you moment by moment so that I can become loving man that you want. Teach me and help me to be thankful. Please write for me the narrative of my life according to the story that you want told. I love you. In Jesus name, let it be so amen.
7 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS FROM RON PILEGGI
I met Ron Pileggi in 1983 when he hired me as an ad sales rep for the Tri-City weekly paper in Eureka. He struck me as an entrepreneurial visionary with a plan and a mission to change the community in a positive way via business. As owner and the founding architect of the Tri-City weekly newspaper, Ron modeled good business acumen. He showed me and each of us how to conduct business in a process that really valued people first. Here are the seven lessons he taught me and still teaches me today.
- Rule number one– People come first. People, relationships, and friendships are everything in business and in life. As the owner/operator of the Tri City, he modeled real care for employees, clients, vendors, people in his industry and beyond. Client relationships and personal care of others was at the forefront of everything Ron practiced in his business.
- Rule number two –Client relationships are invaluable, as Ron demonstrated in his actions and policies. He said that good leadership is all about being a good servant. He taught that good service sets the stage for good customer loyalty and customer relations. If you serve your clients and take good care of them–they will take care of you as well. Customers vote in dollars and purchasing. People really do buy from people they know, like, and trust. One thing he told us is to go out and make friendships–then people will naturally buy from you.
- Rule number three– Turn off the lights. He often told me if you want to be a manager you must act like a manager and be a great steward of your business. He challenged me to personally take good care of the resources entrusted to me. Things such as time, energy, and other resources were looked at in a new light. This taught me that I need to take ownership of all I do at work.
- Rule number four—Speech is powerful. Ron often stated that the power of your words is everything. When words are spoken with clarity and sincerity, people are really affected by what we say. He stated this in the context of selling but also in real life. When we say what we mean, and mean what we say–we are often unstoppable in business and in life. He taught me about the power of words and I’ve never forgotten this lesson.
- Rule number five—Be involved in your community; participate readily and joyfully. Ron modeled good community involvement in CASA and in Rotary and more. He was always the guy to say “yes” to someone with a good cause. He may not have been involved directly, but he gave freely of his resources. His involvement with the community modeled what we all need to do—to be involved with causes that we resonate with and are most passionate about. Find your cause or your passion, and then plug in your gifts and experiences and resources. You will add to the greater good in your community and beyond.
- Rule number six–Think creatively and out-of-the-box at all times. This means not only with business and selling, but also in the ways that help real live people. Be willing to bend or even break the rules as necessary and as it makes sense to benefit the greater good. “Be entrepreneurial in your problem solving”, he would challenge. He taught how to think creatively with regard to business problem solving and helping customers meet their needs. He often showed us and told us that if we meet others’ needs, they will meet ours as well. If you help enough people get what they need, they will help you do the same.
- Rule number seven–Be generous and celebrate people. His (in) famous Christmas parties displayed a great generosity and were always “over the top” in showing his appreciation for his staff. Ron would gladly put on the most extravagant party–even for an outgoing employee. He didn’t know selfishness. My father, Bob Hammond, called him “a prince of a man” in that he was always very generous with his employees, clients, and his community. We all were the better for that–so was he.
In summary, Ron was human. He had his moments like each of us. The one thing he did was to model a whole business person. He cared for others and was profitable at the same time. He found that balance between profitability and success and taking care of other’s needs; Ron was able to do both in splendid fashion. He left an indelible mark and positive legacy on this community for over 30 years and still does to this day. It is a pleasure and a privilege to know a saint and a friend in the caliber of a Ron Pileggi. If you ever have the opportunity to work for an owner-operator-entrepreneur of this magnitude, you will agree that it is an awesome and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience. Thanks, Ronnie.
For every man who has ever been scolded by his wife for encouraging a child to “run faster” or “swing higher” or “try harder,” or who has been admonished for teaching them to make mouth, hand or armpit fart noises, I salute you.
Mothers are excellent at nurturing children. Fathers are good at riling them up before bedtime and testing their physical limits. We show kids how to cannonball into swimming pools, skateboard down steep hills and jump BMX bikes over poorly constructed plywood platforms.
We also instruct them in the fine art of belching, breaking wind, turning random objects into guns and lightsabers, toilet “pee-sword fighting,” and other uncouth behavior. We have to do this. It’s our job.
Moms and dads have different parenting styles. Moms comfort kids when they’re feeling down. They encourage them to discuss their problems. Dads teach them to look for a solution and move on. We wrestle our kids to the floor and tickle them and until they forget what they were depressed about. Moms express their disapproval with a tsk-tsk sound and accuse us of acting like children.
We take that as a compliment.
For decades it was assumed that the mother-child relationship was the most important one in a kid’s life. Within the last several decades, however, psychologists have realized just how much fathers matter. Raising kids is about balance. Moms are great caretakers. Dads have a more relaxed attitude toward parenting. Together, they form the perfect unit. When a child comes home crying with a scraped elbow, mom will console them with tender words. Dad will distract them by saying “Just walk it off” or “That’ll feel better once it stops hurting.”
If someone gets stuck on a homework problem, it’s usually mom who offers assistance. Dad will glance around the edge of his newspaper and shout “For God’s sake, give it another try.” When there’s a tantrum, mothers do their best to reason with a child. Fathers correct the problem with a stern glare and a threat to “jerk a knot in somebody’s tail.”
Fathers serve another important purpose. They give kids a realistic look into the male world. Girls learn from their dads how men should act toward women. Boys learn how to control their anger and deal with their masculinity in positive ways.
Kids learn lots of other cool stuff from their fathers, like not to bully or be bullied, and how to maintain a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Dads roughhouse with their children in order to show them that kicking, scratching and biting are wrong. Kids learn self-control when a father says “Now, enough is enough,” and “Take that noise down a notch.”
In other words, moms protect children and dads give them self-confidence. We throw our kids into the air amid shouts of “Not so high.” We bounce them on the bed and mothers cry “Someone’s going to get hurt doing that.” Men know that cuts and scrapes are part of life. Women know to stock up on the bandages and antibiotic cream. Either of these parenting styles by themselves might spell disaster. Together, they keep kids safe while increasing their self-reliance.
One of my favorite confidence building moments as a father took place when my three-year-old son, Tyler, was learning to ride his bike. The training wheels were off, his helmet was on and he was ready to face the big challenge … . Well, almost.
”Dad,” he called out nervously, “Do I have to do this?”
”Of course you do,” I replied. “This is the only day of the year zombies allow three-year-olds to ride their bikes without training wheels. I saw it on the news.”
”But I’m scared,” he said.
”Just keep your wits about you and stay balanced.”
Tyler tightened the chin strap on his helmet and sighed. “Okay, I guess I’m ready.”
I gave him a push and he was off. A few yards down the street his bike hit the curb. Tyler fell to the pavement and scraped his knee.
”Dad, I hurt myself,” he cried.
”Naw, you’re just shedding worn skin” I said, applying a Band-Aid to the wound. “Keep it up. You’re doing great.”
And so it continued. There were a few more crashes that afternoon, and several more Band-Aids, but Tyler hung in there. At one point his mother stepped outside and shouted, “Don’t you think he’s had enough for one day?”
”We can’t give up now,” I hollered back. “He’s almost got it.”
On the next try Tyler kept his balance for a second or two longer. Then he was on his way, wobbling down the street on two wheels. I can still call up that old memory as if it was yesterday. It was every father’s Hallmark moment.
”You did great, son,” I told him when he pulled to a stop. “Now, let’s head inside. Your mom needs a hug.”
Tim Martin resides in McKinleyville.
|Dale Carnegie who wrote the book, “How to win friends and influence people” shared how he won a major sale by making himself memorable in a positive way. While sitting at dinner he started talking with a gentleman at his table. The man at his table spoke for four hours while only allowing Dale Carnegie the opportunity to speak for only about two minutes. After four hours the man stated to everyone, “Dale Carnegie is the best conversationalist I’ve ever met”. By being an active listener Dale Carnegie was not only portrayed as a great conversationalist, but the man instantly took a liking to Dale Carnegie. Since Dale was interested in him he was interested in Dale and later he provided Dale Carnegie with a great sales opportunity.By following the guidelines below, you’ll stand out in the crowd and make yourself more memorable to everyone you meet.
- Introduce yourself to others. No matter where you are act like you’re the host. Be the first to say hello.
- Make an extra effort to remember people’s names. As Dale Carnegie says, “the sweetest sound to a person is their name.”
- Use eye contact and smile upon meeting someone. The best way to build rapport is through eye contact.
- Make everyone feel important by paying full attention to him or her. Former President Clinton is a master of this. When you talk to him, he makes you feel like you are the only person in the room.
- Show others that you are enjoying your conversation with them. Don’t yawn, look bored or have a case of roving eyes.
- Show curiosity and interest in others.
- Listen, Listen, Listen. You not only become more likeable, but you really start to understand the persons wants, needs and desires.
- Be enthusiastic about things and life to others. People will gravitate to those upbeat, positive and cheerful people.
- Display your sense of humor. People remember humor six times longer than regular conversation.
- Be able to speak on a variety of subjects. Keep abreast of current events.
- Speak concisely. Be able to tell people what you do in a few short sentences.
- Speak their language. Talk in terms of their communication style. For example, if someone just wants the facts, don’t go into a lot of stories and anecdotes.
- Be tolerant of peoples beliefs if they are different from yours
- Invite people to join you for lunch, dinner and other social events
- Ask them for their opinions
- Don’t interrupt
- Have positive body language. Use the SOFTEN technique. S=smile, O=open posture, F=forward lean, T=stay out of their territory, E=eye contact, N=nod to show understanding.
- Be yourself. Enjoy the conversation
- Give them more than they expect. In other words, underpromise and overdeliver.
- Compliment others about what they are wearing, doing, or saying, but be sincere.
See Article link on “How to Avoid Connection Crushers”
“If you’re in business for just the money—you’re about half paid.”
R.L. Hammond (1921-2004)
My dad was an insurance agent in San Diego County in the 1970-80’s. He lived a life of serving others and his country in WWII. He taught and tutored me in much of what I know and do in business today.
The following practices/ideas of his are sure to ratchet up your business acumen:
- BE KIND TO EVERYONE—“It doesn’t cost anything to show kindness to others, Scott,” he would say. Be nice. Play nice. A smile and a small kindness go a long way.
- HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE/SHAKE HANDS AND GREET PEOPLE- People love to feel important (because they are!). An appropriate handshake and a greeting really affirm others and establishes rapport-quickly. Give the gift of appropriate touch.
- TELL GREAT STORIES—People live in stories…We all relate to a good tale and learn more from a compelling story than a lecture. Stories bring relevance to our topic and to our relationships.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER—This tells people you affirm them and value them. Empathy is a powerful relationship builder and establishes credibility, reliability, and shows you really care.
- BE AN ABOVE AVERAGE SPEAKER—Learn the art of public speaking. Good speakers know how and what to communicate and when. You can learn to speak well if you apply yourself to the disciplines and use the tools available to you. “Go to a Toastmaster Meeting”, he would tell me.
- HAVE AN AWESOME SENSE OF HUMOR—Laugh sometimes. Have fun with people and stop the somberness that permeates some business cultures. Be appropriately playful with people who like to play and laugh, and cultivate the ability to really laugh at life.
- DEVELOP LIFELONG RELATIONSHIPS—Be the person who reaches out and calls and takes the initiative in your relationships. Be that person who spends the time and effort to get to know and serve others. Givers really do gain!
- GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT…FREELY—Be that person who can freely affirm, encourage, and genuinely build others up in a truly authentic fashion. Heck—tell those you love how you feel.
- BE A GIVER—Share your life, world, resources, experiences, gifts, and time as freely as you feel able and willing. Be that person who “walks the talk” in your actions and your words. Give to others expecting nothing in return—you will be blessed.
- BE SPECTACULAR ON THE PHONE—Learn to use the phone like no one else. Make purposeful and powerful calls that build rapport and relationship. Learn to network using the phone to make great calls and reach out to those you hope to build alliances with. Know how to relate to people via the phone on a regular basis.
10.5. BE YOU—Just be yourself not a second rate version of someone else. Trust yourself, be yourself and others will resonate with the “authentic you”. There is only one of YOU—be the best you possible and you will succeed in life, business, and awesome relationships!
R. L. Hammond
Next Page »