Chamber Easter Egg Hunt

April 8, 2017

This morning at the Duck Lake Pines Park (baseball fields) at 10 AM the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter Bunny isEaster Bunny scheduled to arrive at the park at 10 AM to greet the kids and take pictures with them. There will be face painting and other activities, too.

The actual ester egg hunt will kick off at 11 AM with children separated into three age groups – 2-4 years old, 5-7 years old and 8-10 years old.  Each group will hunt separately on their own baseball field. The schedule is 2-4 at 11:00 AM, 5-7 at 11:10 and 8-10 at 11:20. Come out and enjoy the fun.

Bring your camera to get a picture of you child with the Easter Bunny. The event is sponsored by Genisys Credit Union and  Hines Park Ford. The weather is supposed to be great, so bring the kids out to hunt for eggs and to meet the Easter Bunny.


Age is number, but old is a state of mind…

April 6, 2017

I seldom think about aging, although I am now more often reminded by a new ache or pain, about the fact that it is happening to me. I really like a couple of quotes that appeared not too long ago in the Jack’s Winning Words blog –

“Whenever I complain that things aren’t what they used to be, I always forget to include myself.”  (George Burns)

“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.”  (Victor Hugo)

Victor HugoVictor Hugo was before my time, but I have fond memories of watching George Burns and Gracie Allen on TV when I was younger. I don’t spend much time complaining about how things aren’t what they used to be. For the most part things are better. Our modern conveniences would have been unimaginable in the “good ole days”; and life is generally better for them. Perhaps, of the two quotes, Hugo’s is most applicable to me.  While good genes have prevented a complete white out on my head, my age does show a bit there. Fortunately, I am able to experience eternal spring in my heart because I still find day-to-day life to be so interesting and way too much fun to let age slow me down.

The main thing that I find so much joy in is meeting and interacting with new people.handshake There is so much to learn from everyone that we meet that is it a shame when some people allow age to trap them into isolation. For some it is not their desire to be isolated but their physical disabilities that prevents them from getting out and interacting with others. There are many people trapped in their own homes or in care facilities who thirst for human interactions. That is why I have recommended in the past that people volunteer for jobs like Meals on Wheels or to visit care facilities and just talk to people. Drivers for Meals on Wheels will tell you that many of the people they serve are as happy to be able to talk to someone as they are about getting the food.

Back on topic; I’ve written here before about trying not to lose the ability to play ( see my post – Reclaim your ability to play) ; to get lost in the wonder of something; to be young at heart. It is that ability that Hugo was writing about. The story Peter Pan was about that same thing; how we lose our childhood ability to fly (if only in our minds) and live with Peter Pan in Neverland. It is something that is actually stolen from us by those older than us who have already lost it themselves. It is the need to “grow up” and “act like a man”. Childlike wonder at life and the ability to enjoy it without reservations is never really lost; but we are taught that we need to suppress those things; that it is not acceptable to behave like a child anymore. Life, after all, is serious stuff.

I’ve also written here about not losing that ability to sneak back into that childlike mode of pure fun from time to time or as needed. I called that post “Put a Little humor in your life” but it was really about being able to get back to that childlike state of mind that can allow you to laugh at yourself and at life by making a funny face in the mirror in the smiling dogmorning. Sure, real life is serious stuff; but, that doesn’t mean that you have to be serious about living it every single moment – you’ll serious yourself into old age and death that way.

In addition to keeping your ability to let go of seriousness every now and then and just playing (if only in your mind); the other thing that can keep getting old at bay is to never stop learning. I read recently in BusinessWeek that a recent trend is for retirees to go back to school to learn a new skill or even a new trade. It is apparently a big thing with people retiring who have risen to important positions in their business life and now face the prospect of life without the challenges that they so enjoyed in that success. Many chose to take their business skills and apply them in non-profit or charitable organizations, but a growing number chose to change directions completely and head off into a second career in fields like health care or education – field where they can be of service to others. For them it is a way to avoid getting old, no matter what their age. Henry Ford understood this concept years ago when he said, “Anyone who brain mapstops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

So, never stop learning and never lose the ability to play, to have fun in your mind. Age is just a state of mind; and, as Mark Twain said – “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Have a great day and stay young – make a funny face in your mirror this morning.


Add diversity and add perspective to your life…

April 4, 2017

I recently saw an ad for a diversity training course that is being offered by one of the local real estate associations. If one takes the course they will receive a designation that they supposedly can use in their real estate advertising that somehow is supposed to increase their business by certifying them as being diversity aware and sensitive. It just looked to me like someone has thought up a new way to make a buck selling a training course.

In my prior life in the corporate world, I attended several diversity training courses over the span of my career. The early ones focused almost entirely on racial diversity but eventually they evolved into ethnic and gender diversity and more recently into sexualembrace diversity orientation/preference diversity. One thing that all of these courses had in common is the us vs. them mentality with which they approach the topic. It is always taught from the perspective that we (the us in the equation) don’t understand and appreciate the other group’s life experiences and thus don’t understand their lifestyle or their perspective on life. There is certainly truth in that statement, but I always wondered why it had to start from us vs. them and not to find a way to start with just “us” as a whole, as humans, and go from there.

Of course, the other starting point perspective was the “we” are the white majority and predjuices“they” are in whatever minority that the course is focused upon.  Current demographic trends will soon make that statement false. Most of these courses try to teach the attendees how to “value differences”, which is to say how to accept and embrace those differences as good things and not just odd things. Companies that have truly embraced diversity have prospered and people who individually embrace diversity will do better, too. Why? Because their lives will be richer because of understanding, experiencing and assimilating those differences into their own lives. Understanding and embracing differences also serves to remove the unwarranted fears that the unknown always brings with it.

The latest group to demand and deserve to be the subject of of diversity acceptance is the GLBTQI community. This group has also faced rejection by the so-called “moral lbgtqi-symbolmajority”. Imagine the moral outrage that would be caused in that group by encountering a black, transgender person from the middle east living as a woman. One wouldn’t know where to start discriminating against that person. It might send the moral majority into apoplexy in North Carolina, if they asked to go to the bathroom.

I think one of the things that pulls us towards understanding diversity is our innate curiosity to understand people and what makes them tick. That’s one reason that I wrote the post Trying to understand others without a frame of reference.  That article referenced a very interesting blog post by Lori Sealy, a young lady who lives on the Autism spectrum. Lori related some of her day-to-day experiences and how she sees and feels things differently than most people (the “us” in that case) do. People with needs that are different from the normal needs of the vast majority of the people also bring a different (nee diverse) perspective that deserves attention and understanding.  So now our worst case example might be an autistic black transgender person from the middle east living as a woman. It boggles the mind of a bigot.

There is great potential value in diversity since it brings with it ideas and perspectives that you will never have on your own, based solely on your limited life experiences. You may not like or agree with all of those ideas and perspective, but at least you will now know that they exist and that there are people who do like and embrace them. You may also find yourself challenged to be able to respond the question “why don’t you try it” when asked about a food or a clothing style or a type of music or whatever else comes along with the diverse background and culture of the person that you have met.

timidDon’t panic. They aren’t likely to ask you to do something illegal or totally out of character for you; but, they may challenge you to stretch your comfort zone a bit, so that you can share an experience from their perspective or their culture. Go for it on the things that you can and be polite when declining the ones that you just can’t bring yourself to try. My wife and I never could quite convince ourselves to try the wonderful fish heads that a Jamaican friend of mine years ago wanted us to try.  Sometimes I wish I had at least tried it.

The bottom line is that no one is asking you to become something that you’re not, just to try harder to understand the perspective, the feelings and the needs of something that you’re not. You might just find value from that effort and perhaps even add a few new things to your experiences and knowledge base. You will almost certainly have become a better person for having overcome the knee-jerk reaction (emphasis on the “jerk” part) to discriminate against that person. You may eventually get to the point where your viewfacing new day of diversity starts with the perspective that we are all humans just trying to make it through life the best way that we can. While some travel paths that are more difficult than others, we all end up at the end of the line in the same place.

Have a great and diverse day.