Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Experience Is a Great Teacher

Miki Howard’s song Love Under New Management’s first line says, “Experience is a good teacher. It takes someone like me to know.” I’ve always felt that this song spoke directly to me…or better yet, about me. You see, in my 40-some-odd years I have had quite a bit of experiences to shape me in my adult life. Recently, I’ve been called to make some pretty tough decisions that required me to delve back into that experience pool and make the decisions that were right for me and my family. Many times in life we neglect to see the importance of making the right decisions for ourselves and we forgo our good judgment to make decisions we believe will benefit someone else. I’m here to tell you that no decision you make in your best interest should ever weigh on your conscience. A mother bird will push her fledgling out of the nest to encourage its flight and as human beings we have to be prepared to make the same difficult decisions. Oh sure, that fledgling may hit the ground, but then again, nature knows this and still provides the mother bird with the instinct to push. You will never see an adult bird crowded into the nest with its parents having the bird parents still bringing it a worm. Stop facilitating bad choices, ungrateful dependents and folks who go through life insisting that somehow life has to provide for them. Yesterday, I posted a blurb about entitlement and today’s post concentrates on our role in those who feel entitled. Life is tough…heck, it isn’t a hay ride, but it does get easier the harder we try and the harder we strive to be self sufficient. Now I won’t sit here and tell you that there won’t be times when we genuinely need each other and are forced to ask for help, but more often than not we need to be reminded that you can’t become stronger and gather experience by depending on those around you to always support you each time your poor decisions land you in hot water. Experience is a good teacher; it takes someone like me to know.

Listen to Love Under New Management

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 13, 2010


The belief that somehow you’re owed anything – respect, financial or emotional support, etc. – is a misconception that may leave many feeling a bit frustrated when the realization that the lives we choose and create are ours to live and oftentimes, struggle through.

As an adult you have probably discovered that the only thing you MUST do is go to the bathroom and die. That’s right, everything else is a voluntary choice – heck, the bathroom thing is a choice until the body says, I’ll take it from here! All other occurrences in our adult lives are conscious choices we make for the better or worse of the course of our lives. Early on I made some really poor choices and my life suffered because of them. Today, I try to make better choices and have found that the outcome has been much more acceptable.

Admittedly, some have come to living entitled lives after having family and friends support their ideas, their ventures and their lives without question. It isn’t until folks step back and let folks truly live their lives that the entitled recognize the good fortune that they were actually living.

Now many of you will sit and read this thinking that any good friend and family member is charged with caring for their fellow man, but the truth is that the road to good citizenship goes both ways. Karma has a way of reciprocating all things. The child that is a smart-mouthed louse is usually the grown man that gets beaten by police for doing something untoward.

Hopefully we can all take a moment to be grateful – today and always – for the many folks that brought us to where we are today and can take the initiative to live our lives with the reality that we are entitled to NOTHING. Nothing is owed to us. We must make our way; struggle to make ourselves better and be grateful for the small mercies along the way.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Friday, December 10, 2010

Seek & Ye Shall Find

A friend shared with me that she became irate when she came across some disturbing information while perusing through her boyfriend’s mobile phone. When I asked what she was doing intruding on her boyfriend’s privacy, she stated that if there’s nothing to hide, then it really isn’t intruding. Uh…no.

THE GOLDEN RULE: Anything done in the dark will come to light; also, seek and you will find.

We are all blessed with a sense of intuitiveness that allows us to sense when something is genuinely wrong. I always advise that you trust and follow your ability to feel when something is wrong or off. That said, it is disrespectful and unnecessary to intrude on anyone’s privacy by accessing their personal mobile device, their personal belongings, etc.

I’ve come to understand that adults flirt, speak privately with and even divulge information to individuals outside of their relationship. If we read into every tidbit of information NOT intended for us, we will be on a consistent state of alert and stress. This leads to – at times – unwarranted accusations that can only stand to weaken the healthy communication in a partnership or worse even, push your partner to do something they never intended to do, since they feel they are already being accused of it.

LONG STORY SHORT: If you don’t trust your partner you should consider dismantling the relationship, since no relationship is worth living your life feeling like peril is around the corner. Your mistrust can sometimes serve as the impetus to negative behavior. Communicate openly with your partner and share when you feel a sense of insecurity. Never resort to violating someone’s privacy, since the intended result rarely leads to a positive outcome. Know that once you discover something through deceptive or intrusive means, you can rarely share the information with your partner to rectify the matter.

Like most things, if you seek, you will find. Stop looking for reasons to be dissatisfied and enjoy your partner for all the positive virtues they have. No one feels a sense of love toward an insecure nag who violates their privacy.

IN CLOSING: Love your partner and establish “deal breakers” early on. Once both partners are clear what is acceptable and unacceptable for their relationship they can make intelligent decisions as to how they conduct themselves in their relationship. At this stage in the game I am less willing to compromise, but a lot more mature about weighing what’s important in the long run.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, December 06, 2010

Your Dreams vs. What Your Parents Dream For You

It just so happens that life isn’t always what we wish for and certainly not what others wish for us. Now that I’m a parent, I’m coming to terms that what we wish for our children isn’t always what they want for themselves. Accepting that our children will choose a life all their own – along with goals, dreams and beliefs – that we may not subscribe to or even agree with is truly a revelation. After spending close to two weeks with my parents in Puerto Rico, I believe they are coming to terms with the fact that I am a gay man and that their idea of what my family would look like is not so, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t make the intelligent decision to share in my life and MY dreams by simply accepting that their dream for my life WAS theirs and not mine AND that the most important things a parent could want for their children are health, happiness and fulfillment. As I look at our son I wish so many amazing things for his life, but having my interaction with my parents as a reference, I accept that he may choose a completely different life than what his dad and I have envisioned for him.

Pursuing your dreams is as important to your survival as the air you breathe and the water you drink. Sure, you can forgo your dreams, but the consequence of doing so may be the emotional, mental and spiritual equivalent of going without air or water. Your spirit would die.

Give some thought to your dreams and forget about what everyone else has dreamed for you. This life is too short and too precious to live for someone else. I’ve found that the remarkable thing about the human spirit is that it is resilient. Your parents, siblings and friends will eventually accept that who you are and who you wish to be is so much more precious when it is genuine and filled with vibrant life; the kind of life that someone lives when they are their authentic self.

Keep passin’ the open windows…