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Archive for the ‘Future Generations’ Category

Change Is A Good Thing

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Change is scary. It’s inevitable, unstoppable, and unpredictable. The framework of life is built around change; it’s that important. Without change we can never move forward, or improve, or evolve into higher and more enlightened beings. So why are we, the human race, so frightened of change?

Why are we so hesitant to alter our routines? Even for a new path jam-packed with positivity and fortune? A new job, for example, one with better pay and flexible hours, somehow turns our stomachs into mush; and when we walk in on our first day our palms are sweaty and our hearts and minds race. We flit about like a bird trapped in a glass box, terrified that if we slow down we will fall behind…

It is the chance of failure that strains our nervous system and turns us into giant balls of stress. Everything is suddenly new and different, and remolding our behaviors and individual quirks to accommodate new environments (not to mention all the new information we’re expected to retain) are truly challenging hurdles.

But despite the inherent anxiety and troubles of change, the results can be truly uplifting and should be appreciated. Only through change can we grow and learn the fundamentals of life.

Think about it… what if we never graduated from Velcro sneakers to shoes with laces? We’d be shuffling around in childlike slippers our whole mature, adult lives. Pathetic. Or, what if we never got over our first loves? At the time our youthful minds believed we found our ultimate passion; the person we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives with and grow old with; the answer to all our problems. Then, the sudden emptiness and loneliness of a break-up, engulfs us in grief and depression. How can anyone ever more forward when their hearts and spirits are broken?

Back then, we believed all hope was lost; now, in our old age, we know the world won’t come to an end for a lost love. Time always goes on and sweeps us along with it…

You can’t fight change. Like time eternal, change is an ultimate rule of life. So… if you can’t fight it, join it. Don’t just succumb to the waves of change, embrace them. Don’t just dip your feet in the water, dive in all the way, and experience the repercussions, glory, and revelations of a new path. For every new journey begets new lessons of life, love and death…

And when we learn we gain more confidence; confidence in ourselves and confidence in the therapeutic values of change. We realize that we carry the strength to negotiate the twists and turns of life, whether expected or unexpected. And when all is said and done, we begin to appreciate our new way of life, and yearn for similar opportunities.

Let’s face it… no one is satisfied in a mundane, uneventful existence. We need the stimulation of change to spark new avenues of imagination and enlightenment.

It’s time to face the music… the world goes round but our lives zigzag… and in order to keep up we cannot sink into constant routines. It’s a bumpy ride, but the highs certainly outweigh the lows…

No Need of Kindergarten – Part 3 of 3

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

So with only one week of school under her belt and one grade already behind her, this brilliant little girl was off on a positive trajectory that was changing the course of her life.  Immediately my friend took to Facebook to share the good news with those closest to her—but also to vent.  It had been hard enough to send her daughter off for the very first time into a brand-new environment, but skipping an entire grade was a little too much for her to bear.

Ultimately what this means is that she’ll have to step out into the real world one year sooner, but my dear friend knew full-well that she couldn’t leave her incredibly bright daughter in a class that was beneath her intellectual capabilities.  When we spoke about this over the phone she told me how proud she was and how much she realized that her daughter needed to be challenged.

After we delved into this in great detail, I started contemplating the fate of all those lost souls who never really got the chance to live up to their true potential.  Had they only had someone in their lives whom they could turn to, whose wisdom could have guided and given them the strength to believe in themselves and all that they could accomplish.  It’s so terribly sad, the collective unrealized potential of life’s missed opportunities…

Just think how much better the world would be if everyone had the chance to fully develop their capabilities and see what they are really made of.  If only we could learn from the mistakes of the past so that we would never again have to make them, all of those unfortunate people might have had a more enriched and enlightened existence.

I’ll just never understand why those that have come before us don’t do everything in their power to teach us all that they know.  Whether they’ve succeeded or failed, there’re myriad lessons in those experiences which future generations can use as stepping stones to get them where they need to go.

Again Edmund Burke’s haunting and clichéd words simultaneously fill my thoughts with hope and despair, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

How true indeed…

Having heard how adults were speaking about her long before I met her, from the moment I first spoke with my friend’s daughter I knew it was going to be a joy to watch her grow up.  Another cute anecdote I like to tell about Little Miss Wise beyond Her Years occurred during only our second encounter.  Anyone who speaks to her quickly realizes that normal kid talk doesn’t interest her all that much, so when it was my turn to speak I started telling her about one of my business ventures, going into great detail about the particular nuances of a pending deal.  She seemed to enjoy this and after I finished my story she told me that I was “mysterious.”

Which I am, but that is just a really big word.

She was two years old at the time.

Upon hearing the news that she was going to be entering the first grade after only five days of kindergarten, I needed to get her take on the situation.  After talking to my friend about everything I asked to speak to her, then she jumped on the phone and told me all about it.  She said she was a little sad because she had already made a couple of really good friends and that she was going to miss seeing them, you know, on a daily basis—she literally used this phrase.  After a solid couple minutes describing all of the things she was looking forward to, she told me how easy the kindergarten work had been and said, and I kid you not, “So yeah, I really had no need of kindergarten.”

Barely five years old and she’s got the world on a string.

With everything her parents have already passed on to her and the way she’s implementing these gifts into her life, just think where she’ll be in another five…

No Need of Kindergarten – Part 2 of 3

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it” is a famous quote by Edmund Burke, who was an 18th-century British statesman and philosopher.  This eloquent saying speaks volumes about life and how the simplest of lessons can be forgotten—oftentimes with disastrous consequences.

Ask any handful of adults to come up with any number of clichés that they can think of, and I’d be willing to bet that more than a few would come up with some version of this one.

When I look out across the world and take in all of its beauty, sometimes it’s hard to look past all of the wretchedness that comes with it.  There’s just so much pain and sadness out there that it makes my eyes well up whenever I think about it for too long, yet I do everything I can to focus on the good so that I can be as powerful an inspiration as possible to those that I love.  But the deeper I get into midlife the harder I find it is to accept the fact that the human race, as a whole, has as of yet been unable to learn from the mistakes of its past.

My father was a remarkable man and he did everything he could to teach me about how the world really works.  My mother is a sweet and caring woman and she raised me with all the love and support that a child could ever hope for. As I got older and stepped out into life on my own, my brilliant uncle Moe was there to assist me with his shrewd business acumen and glorious wisdom.

These wonderful and influential people passed on to me their gifts like batons of dazzling knowledge, which I then held with all the might I could muster as I sprinted toward becoming the confident man that I am today.

The world would be a far better place if those that have come before us would only do a better job of instilling within their children all of the lessons that they’ve learned throughout the course of their lives… Doing so would allow each successive generation to build upon all of this knowledge along with all of those experiences to make better futures for not only themselves, but everyone else as well.

This type of forward-thinking is exactly what my friend employed from the very moment her daughter came into this world.  She was being read to from virtually day one and always had a limitless array of coloring books and crayons to create with.  This blessed little girl had so many positives going for her that what happened last week was almost inevitable.

Every time I tell people that story, about how, at four years old, she put me in my place while reminiscing, they look at her in awe.  Recently she started kindergarten and my friend was a nervous wreck.  Her baby wasn’t a baby anymore, but all of us knew that she was going to be just fine—especially her father.

And wouldn’t you know it, on the last day of her first week of kindergarten, my friend got a call from her daughter’s teacher.  She wanted to know if it would be OK for her to skip kindergarten altogether and start first grade the following Monday… And actually, based on her test results, she could have started the second grade, but my friend was only going to allow her to skip one grade.

Well, for the time being anyway…

No Need of Kindergarten – Part 1 of 3

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

The word “cliché” conjures up a river of trite and/or negative expressions which have lost their meaning as the years have passed.  But what I’ve always felt most people totally miss about this word is that at one time, regardless of the context with which you’re speaking about a particular subject nowadays, it was once held to be so true that it warranted its own unique saying…

One that would shed such a bright and dazzling light upon itself that people would never again find themselves at the mercy of its lesson.

Though I’m well past the point of my life where I’m surprised by just how foolish and shortsighted today’s youth and especially grown adults can still be, I’ve made a career out of and built an empire around the triumph of our collective wisdom.  Learning from the lessons of those who’ve come before us and taking them not only to heart, but implementing them into every possible facet of our everyday lives is what I believe will help us reach those most enlightened planes of existence.

And this wondrous belief has never been more charmingly affirmed to me than it was at the end of last week.

I have a handful of friends I grew up with that I still keep in touch with and see as often as I can—which sadly ends up only being a few times a year.  One of the girls I’ve known since the sixth grade, and a few months back her only daughter turned five.  Now unfortunately I didn’t get to meet her until she was almost two years old, which wound up being only my loss.  This little girl is precociousness personified and I can honestly say that I have had more intelligent conversations with her than with some of the adults that I see on a regular basis.

And to prove that I’m not just exaggerating, the following is the story I always tell people when describing her level of development and awareness:

Two years ago when the Los Angeles Lakers were battling the Orlando Magic in the Finals, I was over at their house enjoying one of the games.  There was about a dozen or so family members and friends running around and at one point I was sitting next to her, reading aloud from one of her dinosaur books.  As she was pronouncing perfectly even the most difficult of the names, one of her little cousins briefly joined us as we read through the rest of the book.

A nice little memory for sure, but I’ve barely even scratched the surface of this yarn.

So about a year later I was over at their new apartment just hanging out on a Saturday afternoon.  I was sharing a bowl of grapes with her and looking at another one of her dinosaur books.  Now this wildly imaginative little girl, who was only four at the time, started telling me about one of her most recent outings.  She was going on and on in great detail, vividly explaining to me how one of her cousins had ended up getting them in trouble.

Time and time again she referenced him by name and finally I had to ask her who he was.  Barely missing a beat she told me that I had met him before, but the more she delved into her story, the more I realized that I had no idea who she was talking about.  Again I asked her who this cousin was that was the focal point of her tale, and at that point it became clear to her that I didn’t remember meeting him.

She then, and I will never forget this, let out an exasperated and dramatic breath and said, in the most put upon huff I’ve ever seen, “Daven, you know him!  You met my cousin last year when you were reading us my dinosaur book and we were watching the Lakers championship game.”

It then of course dawned on me that she was right, I did know who he was… I looked over at my friend and she was just laughing at me.

Put in my place while being reminisced on by a four year old… That’s how sharp and quick-witted this little girl is.