Category Archives: truth

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Politics Driving Wedges in Friendships

I’ve always been interested in politics. I pride myself on trying to self-educate on the issues rather than rely on others rhetoric. It seems this year that the vast majority of American’s are trying to do the same.

 But here is something I have learned now more than ever.

Politics are dirty and not just with politicians. Waters are muddied when there are political differences among friends.

I find it frustrating and disheartening. What is the thread that binds us all regardless of party affiliations? Social media.

 People are passionate. I get it and appreciate the enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle. Our children’s future is at stake and we all want to leave the world a better place four years from now than it is today.

However, I’ve witnessed blanket insults intentional or not, directed at so called friends or acquaintances on social media. When I read comments from alleged friends that state “you must be brain dead to vote for Hillary” or “anyone that votes for Trump is a sexist and a bigot”, it’s a direct insult to anyone who may support either candidate.

 Like politicians, I find these Facebook political bullies to be just as hypocritical as the candidate they choose to back.

 These are the same people that post inspirational memes of love, peace and of unity. Irony!

This election has gutted common courtesy and dare I say, sense out of some “friends”. Would you dare spew such hateful remarks or words in a face to face conversation with a friend? If someone were to tell me I’m brain dead or I’m a racist and bigot, you’d bet that was the last conversation I’d ever have with that person.

 Last night I shared a friend’s status that I found hysterical. It was shared in the spirit of humor and nothing more. The status was tongue in cheek. Before I knew it, I had someone comment how they were surprised I supported this candidate.

 I have never publicly stated my views nor whom I’m voting for. I wouldn’t be that dumb lol.

I find others constant “calling out” of friends (again I’ll use that term loosely) antagonistic and bully like. To me, those tactics infringe on stepping into someone’s personal space. Challenging theories or healthy debate seems reasonable but has proven impossible in this climate.

As I step off of my soapbox, I’d like to reiterate that each of us as United States citizens are charged with doing our own fact checking and truth seeking to find the candidate who will best represents our ideologies. We are not obligated to convince others of our opinion nor are we beholden to sway others to our position.

I beseech each of you to loosen your grip and think twice before you sling that mud as you never know who will be hit intentionally or not by that throw.

Ask yourselves, are Clinton and Trump really worth losing friends over?

May God be with each of you and may Election Day come upon us with speed.

Open Letter to My College Bound Son

Where do I begin? I have loved you your whole life and will continue to do so til my last breath. You have been so fun to have in our household. Your quick witted sense of humor, even dumb humor at times, always made me giggle. As an infant into adulthood, your easy going personality along with your permanent smile made parenting you so easy.

As you prepare for college there is so much advice I need to dole out to you. Murphy’s Law is for you to rebuff my advice as annoying or try to blow me off so I feel the best approach is through a letter. As I did with your sister, I will put this in an envelope and pack it up with your belongings as you move into your college dorm. When you long for a piece of home, or need that comfort of a mom’s love, you can read this letter. Know my heart is always with you.

Well, I must admit on your last day of school, I couldn’t stop crying. I wasn’t quite sure what I was crying about but it wouldn’t stop. Then it hit me. I’m crying because for the first time, I will not be physically by your side to problem solve with you or jump to your rescue. Letting go of you is way harder than I anticipated.

There a thousand things I love about you. I love the way you take life a day at a time and you never really sweat things. I love your fierce loyalty, honesty and humbleness. People gravitate toward you for a reason. You are warm, welcoming, accepting, compassionate, and genuine.

When you wake up in your dorm room for the first time sans your family, there are things you should be reminded of to keep you grounded. You now share a room with someone. Keep it clean! Be considerate of your roommate by picking up after yourself. After long days of classes and nights out, no one should have to walk through a mind field of dirty clothes or garbage, including you. That’s your first order of business!

For the love of God, set your alarm. I won’t be there to gently wake you up every morning ensuring you get to class on time. Make sure your alarm is set ALWAYS. You are now paying for college. Make sure you get to your classes as it’s on your dime now. Don’t hit snooze and say, I’ll just miss today. Nope, the more you miss, the more you have the potential to fall behind. Even on the coldest of days where you don’t want to go outside, get to class. Even on days that you may be hungover, get to class. Even on days you have a cold, get to class. Your sole job in life right now is to get to class, study, get good grades and PASS!

The time has come. Laundry time! Yup, don’t wait til your down to your last pair of underwear or shorts. Figure out a schedule and do laundry weekly. Knowing you, you might even skip the underwear just not to do laundry but suck it up buttercup. Laundry needs to be done and you’re just the guy to do it. Here’s the second piece to this puzzle. FOLD YOUR CLOTHES! Since I know you won’t be ironing and looking good is a priority, wrinkled clothes won’t work for you. Fold your clothes and put them away, just not in a pile on your desk or in a corner of the room.

You successfully completed high school and somehow with doing minimal homework. That comes to a halt immediately. There is no more skimming by. Your smarts alone won’t get you through college. Homework needs to be done and papers need to be written. Being a minimalist will be a detriment to you in college. Work up to your fullest ability proving to your professors that you are up to the task of college work. If you have an exam, STUDY FOR IT! Skip the night out with friends or a frat and choose school work over partying each and every time. There will always be another party or another gathering. That exam, well, there will NOT be another time. That exam counts toward your GPA.

Priorities, priorities, priorities! You are now living on your own for the first time. No one there to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. You are solely responsible for every decision you make and will deal with the consequences of those decisions both good or bad. Make smart choices. Parties and socialization are definitely the fun part of college but never forget you are there to earn a college degree. Academics are the priority. The end.

You’ve been a relationship for all of your high school life. Perhaps this relationship with continue in college and maybe it won’t. Decide what is good for you and what feels right. That relationship shouldn’t feel burdensome at any time. Your gut will tell you if and when you need to end it. Know it will be a lot of work to continue a relationship with you both being in separate colleges. I don’t want you to ever feel like you are missing out on something because you are bogged down by a long distance relationship. Keep in mind you will be exposed to many new people and people with different experiences. Be open to them and don’t pigeon hole yourself in a corner because you have a girlfriend. I’m not saying to cheat on her. Don’t ever do that! But every once in a while, take a step back and decide if it’s what you want. At this point in your life, it IS all about you.

For arguments sake and just to cover this topic, let’s say you end up single at some point in college. Be the guy that opens the door for a girl. Be the guy that isn’t a douche. Treat each girl respectfully. Don’t ever make them question where they stand with you. Be clear. Be kind but direct. Girls are emotional by nature and last thing you want is to have a girl cry over you. Be a gentlemen at all times and ALWAYS do the right thing by a female. Remember…if a girl says no, it’s no. Walk that girl to her dorm. If you are out at a bar with the a girl, make sure she gets home safe. Be the guy that every girl wants to bring home to mom.

At this point in your life, you may be unclear as to what career path you want to pursue and that’s ok. This is the time to figure things out. Explore everything! Take classes that interest you. You are going to spend your entire life working, make sure you choose a career you love. If you choose one major and decide it doesn’t interest you, now is the time to make that change. Figure out who you are and what you want out of life. I will be here to support your decisions and bounce things off of. There are tons of resources at school. Tap into them. Speak to your advisors and professors. They are your best educational resource. These people and these programs at school are here to serve you. Don’t be shy, step up and ask.

I’m excited for you to be attending a big sports college. Go to games. Enjoy everything that is at your fingertips. Cheer on your teams and have school pride. If feels good to be part of something. You are an enormously talented athlete and excel in all you do. You ARE good enough to play college baseball at Cortland. Should you change your mind, go to “walk-ons” and try out for the team. You will meet guys just like you that love to play ball and are the best. They will push you to do better and there is a brotherhood with baseball players you can’t find anywhere else. They become family for life. Think about that. If you choose not to play, it’s ok but stay active. Have pick-up basketball or football games with friends. Play softball or wiffle ball. Join the club teams. You are an athlete. Continue to be one!

Call your mother! Your life will be busy with school work, parties and friends. It is easy to get caught up in college life but remember there’s one person waiting to hear all about. She’s waiting to celebrate your successes, offer advice or just listen as needed. ME!! I want to hear all about your life as I won’t be there to see things first hand any longer. Know that you can call or text me at any time. I will always be here for you. I will be at Cortland in the blink of an eye should you ever need me. I’m only a phone call away.

Lastly and most importantly, be a good person. Be kind to everyone around you, student’s, staff and strangers. Befriend someone that might seem like an outsider. You never know how your actions or words can impact a person. If you see injustice at any point, I want you to stand up and speak up. If you see someone being bullied or treated like crap, you be that person to stop it. Do not be a bystander in life. You are an amazing kid and have always taken on the role of a leader. Continue to do that. Be someone that others look up to. Use that attribute for good…always.

Know that although you are at college, this is always your home. You are always welcomed here at any time. That no matter where your travels or life journey may take you, we welcome you home with open arms always. We are your comfort zone. We are the ones who will ALWAYS have your back no matter the circumstance. We are the ones who love you unconditionally. We are fiercely loyal to you and love you so much.

I wish you nothing but success, health and happiness in the next chapter of your life. You have always made us proud and I know you will continue that. You are the light of my life.

Love,
Mom xox

Can You Handle the Truth?

Truth – the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality

Would you want the truth? At some point, we have all been posed with this question. Undoubtedly, each of us answers yes. Here’s the realty, no one wants the truth.

The truth can be harsh and hurtful. Truth exposes shortfalls. Truth warrants areas of improvement. Truth is enlightening. Truth is a time for self-reflection. Truth is hopeful. Truth can push us toward growth. Truth ultimately wins. While avoidable truth prevails and can’t be hidden. One can’t be mad at the truth because truth is fact. Truth can be uncomfortable.

Are you really willing to receive the truth? Can you handle the truth?

To me, the truth is factual just as defined in the dictionary. It’s not necessarily my perspective but rather actions that concrete the factuality of truth. Opinions and perspective are subjective. Facts are not.

When broaching this subject with friends, it was pointed out that truth needs a certain finesse and delivery. Interesting! Hmmm. Truth needs to be coddled?

Let’s insert an example here with a certain subject in mind, ME. A few years back at a Halloween party, I was approached by my son’s friend’s parent (got that?). They asked me if they had heard anything about their son or if I knew anything they should know. Well, they asked and I told them. I didn’t contemplate my delivery and told them I heard of a certain instance where their son had possession of pot and smoked. Whew Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. THAT did not go over well!

I was met with criticism of my own parenting and a severe tongue lashing. It’s ok though because I took it but did think WTF!? They just asked for the truth. I delivered their request. What’s the problem here?

The problem is they were unprepared for that answer. Why ask for the truth if you are going to use those darts as a boomerang at the person willing to tell you?  Did I need to coddle that truth? You have a great kid (who I do sincerely adore) but um, he’s a pothead. The truth is uncomfortable not only to the person you are delivering the news to but to the carrier as well. Don’t ever ask a question, if you don’t know or might not like the answer.

Since it’s a slow day at work and I have time, I’ll move on to example number two. A colleague of mine was in a leadership position and clearly was struggling. There was chatter behind the scenes and concerns. I put on my body armor and decided they should hear the truth. THAT did not go well either!

Should I have taken on that mantle? Was it my place to volunteer the truth unsolicited? I certainly would want to know the truth but is my assumption that they would want to know as well incorrect?

Here’s what forty-five years has taught me. No one really wants the truth. Highlighting the truth means the person is infallible and human….aren’t we all though? I’m sure you can list my short comings or failures on a toilet paper roll (that’s a lot, like 1000 sheets lol…self-deprecation needed to lighten the mood)

Consider this though the next time truth arrives on your doorstep. Why shoot the messenger? Ever consider how much courage it takes to actually stand up and speak the truth? Ever consider how incredibly uncomfortable it is to the person delivering the message? Why do we shun those willing to stand up and not talk shit behind your back yet kiss the faces of those that stab you in the back repetitively for the truths we know? That one person may actually be the only true friend you have.

Ask yourself, can you handle the truth?