When I was little boy growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, my idea of a what it took to be a man was formed by the stereotypes I watched in the movies and on TV. I wanted to be a combination of Dirty Harry, James Bond (Sean Connery only) and the Fonz.
I despise that innocent men, women, and children are losing their lives to this kind of mass gun violence in theaters, churches and schools. I despise that our second amendment rights are are justly being questioned, as most civilized folk are desperate to stop the cycle of gun crimes.
It was late 1996 and my marriage and family life I dreamt of was ending. My wife of 8 years and mother of our 5 small children was gone. Our children had borne the brunt of this. The next few years of my life were filled with court dates, forensic accountants and custody evaluators.
Give me liberty or give me a hot dog and a beer. It’s good to have an option. In the heat of roaring BBQ’s and deafening sounds and bright flashes from fireworks, it’s easy to forget what the 4th of July is all about – An independence hard fought and earned that started from a dream.
What happened on 9/11 was an unparalleled tragedy. The new Freedom Tower, 9/11 memorial, and entire project are unparalleled greatness… so the question that came to my mind was whether this level of greatness is possible without an equal level of tragedy.
There’s no shortage of articles out there about what it takes to make a great leader and plenty of articles on what it takes to be a great parent. And maybe not that many folks who have figured out how to be great at either.
Celebrating mom is as American as apple pie and it has been for the past 101 years since Woodrow Wilson proclaimed mother’s day a national holiday. I remember the joy I felt when I would bring my mom breakfast in bed, flowers, a present and a hand-made card on mother’s day.
I couldn’t be a role model to my girls for the way to be a successful woman – or could I? – I finally just (a tad nervously) asked each of my daughters. What is the one thing they have learned from me in my examples that helps them be a successful woman today? And here’s what they said:
I expected there wouldn’t be a lot of men in the audience and I was right. But what I didn’t imagine was that the audience would be mostly young girls – well under the ‘R’ rated age of 17 you needed to even get in.
I think it’s fair to say most of us were shocked when we saw the Nationwide 2015 Super Bowl Commercial, “Make Safe Happen.” It’s pretty risky business to have a child in an ad who speaks about missing out on the best moments of his life because he died in a preventable accident.