I wrote a mini-novel this morning . . .
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote that the “highest of all joys” came only from having and raising “many healthy children.” Anyone who “deliberately” shunned marriage or who had “a heart so cold . . . and a brain so shallow and selfish” to avoid having children was committing “a crime against the race.”
He went on to say that He and Edith would not entertain “loose living” people. Easy divorces were dragging the country into the “barnyard.”
Quoted from a fascinating book I am reading about Presidential Leadership: “Presidential Courage – Brave Leaders and How they Changed America 1789-1989” by Michael Beschloss.
I guess it’s easy for some folks to take offense at these quotes. TR clearly doesn’t mince any words. He tells it as he sees it. TR stands in a league of his own having dealt with some incredibly tough issues (as Had other great, well-known Presidents – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and a handful of others).
This is not a post in judgement of other people’s lifestyles or past choices as much as it is an invitation to consider our own scruples . . . know what our beliefs are . . . PRACTICE what we preach . . . LOVE our families . . . Appreciate those who brung us here (our Parents) . . . and if we’re fortunate enough to have children, take that privilege seriously and invest our heart and soul (and anything necessary) to see that those young people have the best shot at growing up to be responsible and “productive” adults.
The truth hurts when spoken bluntly without apology.
Imagine that . . . In 1902, society was dealing with many of the same issues we face today . . . and to think I didn’t think it was “cool” to divorce until the 70’s til present. Little did I know, those were just the years of my awareness (Born in 1962), and I was simply entering a river with no apparent beginning (or end) of family social complexity.
Some things I have read in National Geographic . . .
All life was put on this planet to perpetuate its own species . . . Even plankton . . . To adapt to the environment for survival and to reproduce (have children) such that the species survives.
Why do babies look more like the Father then the Mother? Because biologically, mammal Fathers have this tendency to eat their children but are less likely to if the child looks like them. Later as the child grows older, his looks change and he takes on more of the characteristics of Mom.
Our children are watching us adults . . . not just their parent, but ALL adults. They see EVERYTHING and hear EVERYTHING . . . and they assimilate all of it in their incredibly brilliant brains beginning on the day of their birth . . . and all of this life experience builds and accumulates and shapes who they will be when they become adults.
TR clearly had an intolerance for misbehaving adults. Regardless of anything anyone could say about his political decisions and actions, his heart and priorities were with conviction FOCUSED on scruples and family.
As we have slid into the Christmas Season for my family (PC for others may be “Holiday Season”), we are focusing on family more than ever. In years past, I feel like we have taken many things (and People) for granted and have taken less time to slow down and enjoy the PEOPLE in our lives. I can barely remember some of our Christmas’s Past because we were frantically running to “get it all done” . . . and losing focus on the things that really MATTER in our lives.
If this is you, I hope you are listening . . . If it is someone you know, I hope you’ll give’m a nudge to stop taking life so seriously.
We have ALL had a rocky few years with down-turned economy and wars and political upheaval and illness and financial hardship and natural disasters and family turmoil . . . The message I think I get from TR’s message above is that all of that is just life as it has always been . . .
Drama is always infinitely available and humming along in the background of our lives.
This is where CHOICE becomes essential.
Will you participate in the drama and compromise your scruples (personal standards) or will you choose the high road and focus your energies on the people who matter in your life?
This is a year during which EVERYTHING in my professional life changed whether I wanted it to or not. I was forced to make some very tough choices . . . and I chose to seize the bull by the horns and open a new and very unique Real Estate Sales Firm Pareto Realty . . . right in the midst of the worst real estate market we’ve experienced in many years. I did this because I believe I have a “better mousetrap” than most real estate firm models . . . one that focuses on the “right things” . . . Helping real estate professionals achieve high performance in their lives with a focused rhythm of live, work, and play and thereby serving the REAL needs of home Buyers and Sellers effectively playing an active role in the recovery of our local economy.
Meanwhile, I feel more connected to my family than ever. I love and appreciate my wife Debbie more every day. She is a beautiful, strong woman whose intentions and abilities are ALWAYS pure. I’m amazed and humbled by our 3 perfect children . . . Allison, Jessica, & Tyler are on this earth to do some great things . . . and they “sharpen their saws” every minute of every day by watching and listening and experiencing . . . and challenging us to “parent them”.
All this to say . . . focusing on what MATTERS is everything . . . Once you’ve that down, the rest is just gravy.
Merry Christmas (Happy Holiday) to you and your family from me and my family.
May we all enter 2011 with a newfound perspective and drive that’ll ROCK THIS WORLD!
I’m just sayin’