Olympic Gold for all Nations

As I watch the Olympic games of 2010, I cannot help but be struck by the solidarity among the athletes. Such a vast number of countries are represented but yet all with a common goal, to win a medal or perform their personal best. Just to be there, in attendance, a competitor or spectator, is a thrill in and of itself.

The harmony shown during these winter games is apparent to television viewers al over the world. In our prospective companies, we have deep abiding pride in our athletes and joy when they win but yet we still marvel at other country’s men and women’s accomplishments. We are in awe of the winners, standing on top of the podium in each event, even if our own flag is not front and center. Each of us recognizes athlete greatness is those participants receiving gold. Regardless of the differences of their respective country’s politics, and their own individual beliefs, all the athletes seamlessly come together to compete in good spirit. There are a few exceptions but, by and large, most are unique and supportive. Crowds cheer on all competitors and all victors. The camaraderie is apparent even to the occasional viewer.

This makes me wonder at the paradox we all are witnessing, as I pull back and look at the big picture, the world front. Why is there not a greater sense of peace among nations? The peace and tranquility of games played on the wide world stage is full of fairness in rules. This code of ethics should be followed by all, in their country’s politics and rhetoric approach to other nations. And yet, the diversity seems to be the very element that creates fractures in unity on every other stage but the Olympic Games. On the world’s political scene, there is clearly a lack of respect for varying viewpoints. The United Nations seems incapable of making it happen as hard as they might try.

My hope is that, more so than remembering winning medals, the legacy of this year’s winter Olympic Games will be the solidarity among nations. If we can hold fast to the personal interest stories we have seen and heard, just maybe the animosity between nations can slightly disintegrate. Maybe we can encourage our political representation respectively to acquiesce. The personal interest stories of many of these athletes are touching and yet similar of the struggles of each of our respective nations. These stories, these men and women of courage and drive, show the perseverance to rise above, to make the ordinary exceptional. They serve a prime example of how our countries must approach world peace.

With solidarity in mission, openness to diverse cultures and a willingness to belong, our world can be more unified. Then we all can win gold!


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Find the Time for an Ole Friend

Have you ever lost a friendship only to capture it back years later? Isn’t it amazing when that connection, the chemistry, remains present today, even with the passage of time? What initially brought you both close together may not be there anymore, but the bond still remains untarnished.

I recently connected with some friends from days gone by. Initially I thought it might be awkward but as soon as we were together, the distance disappeared. It was as if we had remained connected all these years and we quickly jumped in to the business of filing each other in on what was going on in our lives, what had changed, etc..much as we did in years gone by. In those days, we were consumed with trying to find our way. At our ages now, we realize we got lost several times along the way and now, as long as we are moving forward in personal growth, all is well in our worlds.

I think this is part of the joy with Facebook. Where else can you so easily connect with so many friends from high school that you haven’t seen in years? If you have left the area, the chances of running into any of them are nil. Even a great networker is hard pressed to find, with the passage of time, a long ago lost friend hanging in the exact same circles as you.

The case can certainly be made that social media outlets do a lot more than just brand images. They give us a chance to reach out to people from our past and make that far away connection. It helps us gain closure with some of those past friendships. Even if some of those memories of days gone by are painful, finding out that most of us have not hardened with age is refreshing. The most popular kid in high school does not equate, often times, to the most successful either. Somehow for those that were not high up in the pecking order, this reflection gives much comfort and yes, even some vindication.

Life goes go on and moves forward. With it, many of us have formed many new wonderful friendships. But even with the passage of time, it is still important to never forget our roots. Much as our family is part of who we are, they helped move and shape us, so did our friends of long ago. Those relationships impacted our perception of the world we live in and more importantly, our reflections of ourselves in that moment of time we were connected. Enough moments put together make up reality. Our reality is who we are.

Take the time to reach out to some of those ole friends of days gone by and touch base. You may simply find closure and then again, you may luck out. The friendship that was there before may very well be just as exciting and mutually satisfying as ever! In our busy lives, we need to make the time to find out.


Valentine's Day Wishes

So often, in day to day life, we forget to tell our significant mate that we are in love with them. Perhaps that is why Valentine’s Day was invented. I have a funny feeling it was founded by a woman as a reason to not have to sing “You Don’t Send Me Flowers Anymore.” Not everyone gets flowers for this holiday but it does seem to the easiest choice and the one that truly makes a woman feel special. Those mates that are not enamored by floral gifts and prefer the sweetness of milk chocolate also benefit immensely by the traditions of Valentine’s Day in giving and receiving candy hearts.
Years ago, I worked for a time in a lingerie department over Valentine’s Day. What I learned in listening to men shop during this time was that they felt flowers were a waste of money and were overprized. Their idea of the ideal gift was something small, sexy and feminine. When it came to these types of purchases, price tags were not even looked at or considered. I always found it ironic because it seemed to me, based on their comments, a dozen roses would last in the room much longer than the outfits they were purchasing. Plus the gift seemed as much for them as their spouses. And yet, I had to give them credit for walking in that type of department and purchasing something intimate for their love.
Gifts are nice reminders of the love inside. Regardless of the gift or the card, the most important part of the holiday is the iconic symbol, a heart. Hearts are essential for life and the love hearts reflect is powerful to one’s soul. May you take time to tell those you love and that make you feel special, sweet and desirable how much they bring to your life. Don’t assume that others know it. Reaffirm it by telling them and thanking them. May your Valentine’s Day be the start of a new budding romance or may it rekindle the flame of a long standing love.



When the rain is falling down,
Somewhere children are running in their neighborhood streets,
Laughing and singing and dancing under a gloomy sky,
That matters not to them as they are full of glee and smiling.
A smile makes it all worthwhile.

When labor pains overtake a pregnant woman,
And all she can think of is the intensity of the pain
and the uncertainty to come,
Be at peace.
Know she is within hours of experiencing a newborn baby,
And once she feasts her eyes on its face,
Her face will light up with a smile like never before.

When it snows hard and even adults run outside to experience it,
Sticking their tongues out,
Looking up to the sky with eyes closed,
All for the taste of snowflakes on their outstretched tongues
Rest assured, someone is watching
And will smile at the silliness of childlike abandonment of adults.

When birthdays roll around
Denoting years are passing by,
Teasing begins about the aging process
No one can escape this element of a birthday.
But through out these days of celebration,
With cakes, candles and gifts,
Smiles will abound in light of the landmark day.

The list of firsts fills the calendar of life,
First Grade, first car, first date, first job,
Most of these hallmark days are times of joy and happiness,
Creating memories to last a lifetime.
They begin and end with a smile.

When faced with death,
No matter the time or place,
The spirit seems to sense that live on earth is coming to an end.
Though loved ones are being left behind,
Look no further than the inside of your soul to be at peace.
Know that your spirit will be lifted and soar to the heavens
And then, only then ...
Can you smile for all eternity.