Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

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Don’t Blame Erica Jong

June 12, 2009

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. –Erica Jong

Could someone please explain this to my children? Seriously, what would they do without Mom to blame?

At our house, you can hear someone ask, “Where’s my blue shirt with the butterfly on it?” “Who moved my homework?” “Where are my ski gloves?” or “Who took my snack?” at any given time on any given day.

My answer, of course is Poltergeist. The Borrowers. Mysterious fairies live in our house and eat my kids’ homework. But do my kids think so? No sirreee. Mom did it.

Just exactly when do we grow up and learn not to blame? Can we, as adults, embrace personal responsibility and stop blaming the driver in front of us? The weather? The teacher? Okay, so maybe I won’t stop blaming the parent who screams at kids on the soccer field, but he’s an idiot.

Waking up to the realization that we are in control of our actions and reactions to life is not an easy task. We can’t control snow in the spring, but we can fix a pina colada and crank the heat and pretend. In fact, I’m headed to the bar right now.

When we blame others, or the weather, or circumstance we find discontent. Once we own up to what is, we can begin to truly let go and live.

First, I have to go find my car keys. My husband stole them.

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Dalai Lama’s 3 R’s and Coach Jay’s ABC’s

March 24, 2009

Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions. -Dalai Lama


People ask where I find my “snowballs of wisdom”. They ask if I spend hours on the Internet. Do I have a book? How do I choose which quote to use, they ask.

The truth is, I find them everywhere. Magazines, cereal boxes, books, greeting cards, and even bubble gum wrappers are just a few places to find inspiration. Today’s snowball came from my 6-year-old’s ski coach. I may have mentioned once or twice, that my kids race on a stellar team. Stellar, not because they are Olympians, although some of them are, but because they invoke a philosophy for the athletes that goes way beyond skiing.

In today’s mail, a letter came from Coach Jay. He thanked his little athletes for being good skiers and great listeners. Attached to the letter was a packet of quotes. He called them pearls of wisdom (good thing he didn’t steal my line, or I would have had to challenge him to a snowball fight). Coach Jay sent sixteen quotes in all. Reminders of life’s important messages for his 5 and 6-years-old. Now that’s coaching.

Olivia reminds us about Coach Jay’s three R’s from the Dalai Lama. She ‘kindly’ tells her brother that being respectful is not throwing a Wii stick across the room. When her older sister tells her she’s tattling, Olivia objects. It’s about respect, she says. And she’s right.

As parents, we all want what’s best for our kids. Being best is not about winning the championship basketball game or going to the World Cup. Raising children is more about developing character and helping kids succeed in whatever life tosses their way. Finding teachers, coaches, and babysitters who help parents in this daunting task should take precedent over the big win.

In his letter, Coach Jay quoted Mother Theresa, William Shakespeare, Henry Ford and Sophocles to name a few. He also quoted himself. Remember your 3 R’s….respect yourself? He does, and it shows. Here are Coach Jay’s ABC’s for his little athletes:

A- avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits

B- believe in yourself and succeed

C- consider things from every angle

D- don’t give up and don’t give in

E- enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come

F- friends and family are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches

G- give more than you planned to

H- have major league fun

I- ignore those who try to discourage you

J- just do it

K- keep trying no matter how hard it seems, it will get easier

L- love yourself first and most

M- make it happen

N- never lie, cheat or steal, always strike a fair deal

O- open you eyes and see things as they really are

P- practice makes perfect

Q- quitters never win and winners never quit

R- read study and learn about everything important in your life

S- stop procrastinating

T- take control of your own destiny

U- understand yourself in order to better understand others

V- visualize it and focus

W- want it more than anything

X- xcellerate your efforts

Y- you are unique in all God’s creations, nothing can replace you

Z- Zero in on your target and go for it

Thanks Coach Jay. I think you just won the snowball fight.