In the Eyes of a Child…The World is Perfect

“Cut up by the passion of a field that nurtured the young child to a beautiful blossoming lady
Never to return to the home that feed her senses with innocent awakening

Now the meadow lies still, alone with only the memories of that lady with the cherub smile whisking away in the wind.”

Time changes all of us. We are and will always be a product of our surroundings. The lessons taught by our parents, our religion, friends, home town, region, news, teachers and even the imaginary friends we create. As a sponge, we soak in all things, good and bad and through the eyes of innocence, we often as children are unable to filter the information.

What ultimately gives the child a fighting chance to become the adult of virtue?

The beauty of a child is simplicity and wholesomeness. The daughter of a close friend of mine still tells her mother I am the “bestest and she should marry me” Who could argue that logic and this coming from an adorable young girl that made me a Rutgers fan made out of paper and a Popsicle stick. As adults, we look at the whole situation, the challenges, the consequences and the responsibilities. She sees it as a nightly sleep over, movies and popcorn and outings to the zoo. That sounds like the perfect relationship to me.

Because I see the world as a daily challenge, am I to say this idea of marriage because they want their mother to be happy and she knows a fun, caring guy is wrong? I don’t think so. I think she is right but as much as women and men at metaphysically different, so are children and adults.

It’s a shame. How often to we wish to do it all again. For some the pursuit of eternal youth is a deeply rooted fear of death but the thought of a life of simplicity and innocence forever is utopia.

I want to play on the swings and look up at the clouds
I want to play hide and seek all around the neighborhood
I want to play baseball until it is so dark we can’t even see the ball
I want to imagine being in space and touching all the stars
I want to hug a complete stranger just because they look sad
I want cuddle with all my friends in the middle of the day
I want to sing songs while skipping down the road
I want to make believe I am someone different
I want to be your friend because you are silly
I want to kiss you and then giggle about it
I want to slide down the mountain in the snow and scream just because
I want to build a tree house and make it my mansion where I will live forever
I want own the beach and become the King and make it free for everyone
I want a puppy that will be my best friend
I want to wear 500 silly bands and cover my hand with the rainbow
I want to touch a rainbow

Who is to say we cannot return to innocence. We are adults. We are well educated individuals that has experienced all of life’s offerings and can now see the difference between right and wrong. Morals have been fortified and a foundation is set. If we embrace the memories of childhood, know good and bad, why then is there still prejudice, hate, greed, gluttony and all the other morally corrupt feelings and behaviors around us?

In the eyes of a child, “I don’t know”

I know I am wishing for something that is unattainable and no single person can define a movement that will set the bricks for this new world but so many have tried

John Lennon with his words
Martin Luther King Jr. with his vision
Ghandhi with his presence
Jim Henson with his Muppets
Abraham Lincoln with his fortitude for equality
Steve Jobs with his brilliance
Bill Gates with his generosity
Mother Theresa with her heart
Princess Diana with her beauty and warmth

All shared a vision of a better world and took the next step to allow their hearts to guide their path.

We all have the capability to be the children we once knew. We all have the strength to make this world a better place. I am not looking to change everyone, but asking you to look inside yourself, find that inner child that never left and start seeing the world the way it was meant to be.

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We may be connected, but are we touching..

I had an opportunity to watch a remarkable new show on Fox, Touch featuring Kiefer Sutherland. Aside from an astonishing concept that has global appeal and an emotional message of connection, this show hit the heart of some of my deepest thoughts.

As an addictive, 24 fan, my expectations were high for Kiefer Sutherland and I was not let down. Driven by the concept that we send millions of texts, connect through email, social networks and mobile tracking, the show derives that though millions of interactions occur around the world each and every day, how often to truly touch one another. Think very hard about that statement and see if you can comfortably address that question?

Through human interaction, decisions are made and actions are taken that have a true domino effect. Though in hindsight, one action may influence another event, but it truly can effect hundreds of other simultaneous or future events. We are all unconditionally connected to each and every thing. Is it coincidence, fate or another power that controls our actions?

The depth of life is a wondrous miracle. Human, animals, plants, chemicals, vitamins, all cohesively living in co-habitation on this planet with the goals of sharing resources to continue the gift of life.

Do we see this? For many, life is a bubble. It is a comfortable place of our core surroundings where we understand the actions, the behaviors and the people and places that collectively create our own personal utopia. This is our circle of life. For some it is a single town, a cave, a state, a country, a family or complete isolation. The truth is, the connection of life is endless. We can never truly isolate our being. No matter what choices we make, there are consequences on others. We are all responsibility for something much greater than ourselves.

There are moments in my life that I see things in a much greater light, but not often enough. It is almost a shame that a show needs to remind me, but then again, I saw the show because another connection reminded me.

How often do we hear people talk about “paying it forward” or “karma will come back to bite you in the ass”. In theory, every calculated and un-calculated event that is possible will happen at some time. When you allow yourself to be free of expectations and see each day of your life as something wonderful, almost magical, you will start to see things differently than you ever have before.

Lay in a dark room or a dark field and listen. Listen very closely. You will hear sounds that have previously been blocked from your sub-conscious. You will hear insects, birds and even wind but if you listen very very closely, you will hear the air and the sounds of darkness. There is so much more we chose not to see and hear. Imagine you could hear and see everything that is right before your eyes.

It would be a life experience full of the greatest wonder you could ever imagine.

Why Sarah Burke’s Death is more tragic than we even realize

“Sarah Burke in many ways defines the sport” – Peter Judge, CEO of Canada’s Freestyle Team

Sarah Burke – September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012

On Wednesday, January 18th, after a tragic skiing accident in Utah, Sarah Burke passed away at age 29th. This was a personal story I had been following from the moment the news broke to the final announcement of her passing. Not because I am a personal fan or active participant in the freestyle skiing community, but the magnitude and importance of losing such a remarkable human being.

Sarah Burke was at the pinnacle of her life with limitless expectations to reach the stars. Winner of the X-Games 4 times, married on September 25, 2010 to fellow competitor Rory Bushfield, donning the cover of various magazines and the top advocate for half pipe and freestyle skiing in the Winter Olympics. After a number of years representing the excitement, the risk and the pure value of the sport, it was announced it would be included in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Not only would Sarah be proud to support her Canadian Team, but would walk in as the odds on favorite to walk away with gold.

As an outpouring of support and a momentous statement of the love for Sarah, in one day after the announcement of her passing and news of deep family debt from the medical expenses, the skiing community, family, friends and strangers donated over $200,000 to assist the family. That bring the smallest moment of warmth to my heart in the midst of saddening heartbreak.

As I reflected on this tragedy, I looked deeply at perspective and saw a number of comparisons to Jonathan Larson, who passed away the evening before the first Off-Broadway performance of Rent, a show that would come to define Broadway entertainment and send a message of love throughout the world.

Over 15 years later, his death remains in my head, more so with the countless times I have seen the production live.

When I take a moment to dissect the life of Sarah Burke this is what I see:

– Young, beautiful and incredibly talented
– A pioneer who defined the sport, took it to extremes and fought for its visibility and recognition
– A wife who embraced life with the simple pleasures of knitting, cooking and embracing the love of her
husband and family
– A leader in a sport that involves extreme risk
– A warmth that was a part of who she was both inside and out
– A champion. Four time X-Games winner and expected favorite going into the 2014 Olympics
– An athlete without limits. This was only the beginning for what would become a career remembered for
generations

As I look around and see others lives, Sarah’s death may not have been in vain but it really makes you think harder about your own life and about the contributions you are making to enhance our experience on earth. Many of us drink, watch sports or reality television, go shopping, eat, read the paper, sit on Facebook or just watch life happen without any significant impact. I suppose for some, that is the dream of life but it should not be. If your greatest daily accomplishment is renting RedBox or seeing how coherent you were in your drunk texts, it is time to reevaluate.

Sarah Burke didn’t grasp the concept of slowing down for she knew what an uphill battle it was to gain recognition for her passion. Skiing was her passion along with her family, friends, husband and pursuit of extreme happiness. She was not looking to be in all the record books or define a sport or even become the most recognizable name but she was on her way. Her success, her motivation, her drive were all part of who she was.

Each day, was a journey. In 29 years, Sarah Burke accomplished more than most can ever imagine. For that, the magnitude of this tragedy is so escalated.

I did not know Sarah Burke, but the impact of her death should have all of us take a definitive look at life and whether was are truly embracing our own inner happiness.

Evolution of Music: Billboard #1 Hits 1980 – 2011

Music has and continues to transcend time and provide us with the soundtrack of our lives. It is the background to all of the major and minor milestones we achieve as we evolve from youth the adulthood.

As cultures and trends change, so to do the sounds we hear on 8 Track, tape, radio, CD, MP3 and IPod. As we reflect on our memories and look to the future, one thing is secure, music will continue to be a vital part of our lives.

Take a step back with me for a moment and look at the annual #1 Billboard hits from 1980 to 2011 and look have music has changes as each of us have grown.

CALL ME – BLONDIE (1980)

BETTIE DAVIS EYES – KIM CARNES (1981)

PHYSICAL – OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (1982)

EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE – THE POLICE (1983)

WHEN DOVES CRY – PRINCE (1984)

CARELESS WHISPER – WHAM (1985)

THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR – DIONNE AND FRIENDS (1986)

WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN – THE BANGLES (1987)

FAITH – GEORGE MICHAEL (1988)

LOOK AWAY – CHICAGO (1989)

HOLD ON – WILSON PHILLIPS (1990)

EVERYTHING I DO (I DO IT FOR YOU) – BRYAN ADAMS (1991)

END OF THE ROAD – BOYZ II MEN (1992)

I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU – WHITNEY HOUSTON (1993)

THE SIGN – ACE OF BASE (1994)

GANGSTA’S PARADISE – COOLIO (1995)

MACARENA (BAYSIDE BOYS MIX) – LOS DEL RIO (1996)

CANDLE IN THE WIND 1997 (PRINCESS DIANA TRIBUTE) – ELTON JOHN (1997)

TOO CLOSE – NEXT (1998)

BELIEVE – CHER (1999)

BREATHE – FAITH HILL (2000)

HANGING BY A MOMENT – LIFEHOUSE (2001)

HOW YOU REMIND ME – NICKELBACK (2002)

IN DA CLUB – 50 CENT (2003)

YEAH! – USHER (2004)

WE BELONG TOGETHER – MARIAH CAREY (2005)

BAD DAY – DANIEL POWTER (2006)

IRREPLACEABLE – BEYONCE (2007)

LOW – FLO RIDA (2008)

BOOM BOOM POW – BLACK EYED PEAS (2009)

TIK TOK – KE$SHA (2010)

ROLLING IN THE DEEP – ADELE (2011)

Quite a list!
We hope you enjoyed this wild ride down memory lane…

Does The Bachelor set romantic expectations too high?

The romantic gesture of sending flowers to your significant others work or a picnic in the park under the warmth of the sun or dancing in the rain in the middle of the road are all exceedingly beautiful actions to demonstrate the all encompassing aura of love. They are the truest of selfless acts that shows ones unconditional commitment to another.

But, when millions of women, watch Ben give a personal trolley ride through downtown San Francisco, scale the Golden Gate Bridge, have a national recording artist sing in City Hall or get kissed during a personal fireworks show, the bar gets set a little bit higher; almost to the point of unattainable.

The influence of the show has furthering affects on our environment. During a pivotal scene showing the conclusion of a date with Lindzi, he played piano to David Gray as they kissed the evening away. During my twenty minute drive home this fine night, I heard “Babylon” twice. hmmmm. Coincidence? I think not.

Fortunately, after the show has ended, the morning water cooler talk has subsided and the Facebook comments are settling in, we are back to reality…until next Monday when they horseback ride in Park City, Utah and whisk the night away with wine and hot tubs.

We as men do take solace in knowing the producers of the show do lend a bit of assistance as most common men cannot break into City Hall, reserve a city trolley and have a personal fireworks show over the San Francisco harbor, but the illusions remains.

So what do we do? Obviously, take comfort in knowing we are in bed with the one we adore and she cannot walk through the television and into the world of reality shows. For now at least. But, we still need to take notes and keep her on her toes. The Bachelor should not be our only point of research. Though most men hate to admit it, we do browse through Cosmopolitan and Vogue to help us with the ultimate dilemma, understanding women. This truly complex formula, more intricate than anything Galileo or Einstein ever theorized, is one that has baffled men from generation to generation. As hard as we try to impart our wisdom on the next generation, they too will fail as did we. We will continue to smile and celebrate with high fives the way men should when we gain even the smallest of victories.

Back to the topic at hand. Has The Bachelor set the bar too high for men to ever achieve the level of romance that women want? As a single opinion in the vast melting pot of relationships, I say yes. Our women may not say it out loud, but we know they are thinking it.

When they say “Honey, I adore you so much”, they are thinking “Why can’t he be more like the bachelor”
When they say “I love the little things you do”, they mean, “Why can’t you get off your ass and do something special for me”

Do we know how to read between the lines and just ignore it accepting we are the best we can be or do we truly not get it. Some do and some don’t. We have to keep some secrets to ourselves you know.

In the end, for two hours on Monday night, a fantasy world is created for 12 million plus women living vicariously through the 25 women who are fighting to extend their fifteen minutes of fame. Is The Bachelor really about romance? That is for you to decide America.

From the words of a writer and a poet, romance is a blessing. It is the true escape to a fantasy world where illusion becomes reality and the soul is drenched with the impulse of love. It captures our senses and warms the deepest corners of the heart. Love gives us the strength to find hope in despair and happiness in a sea of sadness. It is the most powerful force we can ever encounter and provides us with a reason to live.

Not everyone needs a reality show to see why we all desire even for a moment the ultimate feeling of love.

The Opposite of Death is Creation

Creation: The action or process of bringing something into existence

“What can you ever really know of other people’s souls – of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know: and it is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands” – C. S. Lewis

We are often told through childhood and grade school that the opposite of death is life when in fact the true opposite of death is creation. Creation is the innovator of all humanity. It is the ability to take nothing more than a thought or concept and through the remarkable ability of our minds make something amazing. It is this gift that each of us possesses that allows us to not only evolve as a society but surround ourselves with wonder.

As we embark on a new year, we look at January as a symbolic gesture of a fresh start. Through the power of resolutions, we are able to relinquish our misfortunes from the previous year and start over. The ability to journey down a road undiscovered and take on the risk of a better tomorrow is quite a unique phenomenon.

What differentiates greatness from mediocrity, is the ability to take conscious thought and implement an action plan.

Do not make this a year of creation, make it a lifetime.

The creation of life is only the beginning. It is the gateway to all potential. Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, don’t resolve to make a difference. We are on the edge of complete insanity as technology is manipulating our culture and bringing us to the brink of global mayhem. If there was ever a time to stand up and allow your imagination to become the next generational icon, this is it. Immortality is a state of being. It is the legacy you leave behind that will define you for generations to come.

We are all blessed with the gift of imagination and the knowledge tools to become the ambassadors of change. Look deep inside yourself and search for the answers that have been waiting to be unleashed. You and you alone are the bearers of creation.

Your time on this earth is now. Own it and set a path for greatness because you have this reverence chained up in your brain waiting to be released.

Don’t wait for the world to come to you. Take it by the hand and guide it down the eternal path of absolute spectacle and astonishment.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw

My Hometown – Hopatcong (Ode to Childhood)

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou

During our lives there are some things we get comfortable with almost to the point of taking advantage of them. It is this comfort that we benchmark our lives against and always find a sense of ease and safety with each passing day. No matter how far away we go, home is always there for us. It never leaves us, cheats on us or turns its back to us.

It’s allegiance and loyalty is without question and the sense you feel as you close you eyes, feel its touch, breath in its smell and see every memory race through your head is priceless. It is the warmth and coziness of home that continuously reminds me who I am and how I became the person I am today.

Every time I return home, I see something new. Though nothing changes, it is always different yet still the same feeling I had as a child.

This is my ode to Hopatcong, the safe haven that bore me and raised it. It is a town with a quiet rich heritage that continues to shine.

Its the parks, the diners, the locals, the morning dew, the local sports, the children and the air that we breath that makes home the only place you will ever know.

Be free, see the world and experience the magic and wonder of different cultures and different great natural wonders but never forget where you are from. It is and will always remained ingrained inside you.

Home is always safe in your heart!

“When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood” – Sam Ewing

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“No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” – L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

“Home is the place, where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost

“I’m laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone,
Going home, where the new york city winters aren’t bleedin’ me.” – Paul Simon, The Boxer

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” – Christian Morganstern

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” – Unknown

“Home should be an oratorio of the memory, singing to all our after life melodies and harmonies of old remembered joy.” – Henry Ward Beecher