Chuck Norris Eat Your Heart Out

Gotta love General James “Mad Dog” Mattis

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May We All

Love these lines from the Florida Georgia Line song ‘May We All.’

May we all do a little bit better than the first time
Learn a little something from the worst times
Get a little stronger from the hurt times
May we all get to have a chance to ride the fast one
Walk away wiser when we crashed one
Keep hoping that the best one is the last one

Here’s the video:

Like I Have Time to Read!

Responsible – Response-able

I was going to excerpt parts of a great post from Ace of Spades but decided to post it in its entirety, and highlight the parts I liked:

Too Busy For Joy [Warden]

“Like I have time to read!”

This exclamation, one I’ve heard about a half dozen times over the last few years, is always followed by a contemptuous sneer. It’s a response to one of my social icebreakers, “Read any good books lately?”

I’m always a bit taken aback when I hear it. Truth be told, it used to make me feel a tinge of guilt–like I’m a bit of a loafer who neglects his adult responsibilities.

That’s not an accident, of course. It’s meant as a rebuke.

I don’t feel that way anymore. These days I think to myself: Well, then you’ve chosen a life that doesn’t make room for such things. And if you’re bitter that I’ve chosen otherwise, then that’s your problem to work through.

Americans are strangely proud of creating misery for themselves–as if running yourself so ragged that you no longer enjoy life is something to be admired.

Please don’t misunderstand. I know that some people have unimaginably difficult schedules due to circumstances outside their control. An adult taking care of a sick parent, for example, may not have any time at all for leisure. I understand, respect and admire this.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people with options–educated, upper middle class families with healthy families. For them, how they spend at least some of their time is a choice.

I had dinner the other night with another married couple, old friends of ours. I couldn’t wait for the evening to end. As my wife and I struggled to keep the conversation afloat, all I received in feedback was grouchy, stilted responses and a vague sense of judgment. Apparently we’re not busy enough, tired enough, stressed out enough to relate.

They’re chasing a business dream and I sincerely hope that they make it. If they do, they’ll probably have a wonderful retirement. Assuming they’re still alive to enjoy it, that is.

Meanwhile they’re in what should be the best years of their lives–in their adult prime with a house full of children young enough to still be cute, sweet, and bursting with love and enthusiasm–and yet the primarily emotion I detect is a grim, joyless obligation.

“Like I have time to read!”

No.

No, that’s not correct.

You choose not to read just as you choose not to go to the gym or take a bike ride or go fishing or visit with the neighbors or go for a walk with your kid or call your mother or meet friends out for coffee or watch the sunset from your porch.

You choose.

I choose.

And we live with it or change course.

Couching it in any other terms is not being honest with yourself. One of the most sobering things about growing up is the realization that, no, you can’t have it all. Adulthood is ultimately about trade-offs and how you manage them.

It strikes me that who you are is largely just an accumulation of your daily thoughts. Surely, there’s a genetic component (I’ve always been a moody person, for example), but one’s core being is mostly a matter of self determination, even if not recognized as such.

I suspect that there’s a tipping point when your accumulated thoughts overcome social and genetic factors like intelligence, health, wealth, physical attractiveness, etc… in determining your general level of happiness. This occurs somewhere around the age of 40. It’s no coincidence that this also happens to be roughly the age when people experience a mid-life crisis.

I wish people were happier. Life can be a wrecking ball. Even some of the luckiest people I know are struggling in their daily lives. I don’t consider myself to be an overly joyful person. I’m a brooder and a worrier by nature. But the more I look around, the more I realize that I’m nearer the top of the happiness scale than I am the bottom. Humor helps. So does finding joy in little things. It doesn’t take a lot to please me, less and less as I grow older, in fact.

As a point of perspective, I attend church with a woman who survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. I think of her sometimes when I’m feeling sorry for myself. The horrors she experienced are unimaginable to those of us who were born in the United States.

But she is not that thing. She is what she thinks and has thought about that thing. Her thoughts are beautiful, loving and full of God’s grace. She is an amazing human being.

She has time to read.

She has time to think.

When you talk to her there is pain, but also great hope, joy, and a relentless determination to make the world a better place.

If this person who has had such nightmarish events thrust upon her can choose happiness, then so can we. It’s a choice. No one is too busy for joy.

Change is Hard and Uncomfortable

Emphasis mine

The reason it’s difficult to learn something new is that it will change you into someone who disagrees with the person you used to be.

And we’re not organized for that.

The filter bubble and our lack of curiosity about the unknown are forms of self defense. We’re defending the self, keeping everything “ok” because that’s a safe, low maintenance place to be.

The alternative is to sign up for a lifetime of challenging what the self believes. A journey to find more effectiveness, not more stability.

Seth Godin

I saw this and it made me think about my most recent post about the caller on Rush’s show.  I didn’t want to take the time to try and mesh the two thoughts into one post, so I give them to you back-to-back.  Maybe Seth’s post above speaks to why people don’t want to have a dialogue.

  • Maybe they are afraid they may change their opinion and they may actually be that person they have despised?
  • Or maybe they just have not been challenged to think for themselves?
  • Or maybe we have protected them to much and they really do need safe spaces?

Questions are easy.  Answers?  Not so much.

Lack of Dialogue

A caller into Rush Limbaugh’s show the other day was bouncing off a story he mentioned that said how Millennials are so stressed these days.  Rush made the obvious point that our parents’ generation had maybe a little more stress when they were called into service during WWII.

She defended the Millennials to some degree in the first part of her call, but overall she was spot-on.  But I think both she and Rush missed a key point in her comments.  Here is the first part of her call with the part I think they missed highlighted:

CALLER: And I have a son, a Millennial son in college, and I also do advising to a lot of startups. So I’m around Millennials, and I kind of see where they’re coming from and what they’re going through. And I can tell you firsthand that they are stressed out, and I think for valid reasons. You know, while we don’t have a World War II and we don’t have Khrushchev, we’ve got Kim Jong-un — you were talking about it earlier — threatening nuclear war. We’ve got Islamic terrorists bombing and mowing people down with trucks and stabbing people on a weekly basis.

So while they don’t have the perspective we do, it is scary, right? But I think what’s worse is actually our parents when they went to World War II, they were part of a proud and patriotic country. Everyone was pulling together. And our Millennials are constantly being told from the press and political leaders and professors and celebrities that we all hate each other. We’re all prejudiced, the world is a disaster, the United States is evil and oppressive, the Constitution is outdated and irrelevant, and this is all coming from people they respect.

And their parents think they’re doing a great job teaching them values and to stand up for what they believe in, when they’re really teaching ’em it’s okay to just disrespect the country and the president and that everyone you disagree with is a fascist. And so it’s okay to scream and boycott and get violent instead of being an adult and engaging in dialogue. And it just breaks my heart. We are ruining this generation.

It drives me crazy when people – whether it’s posting on social media or protesting/rioting in the streets  – will not have a dialogue about why they believe what they believe.  Which immediately makes me wonder if they know what they believe?  Are they just doing it because all the cool kids are doing it?

And yes, we are ruining this generation.