Eight ways to make your wonderful job even more wonderful: 1. Never let an opportunity pass to compliment a parent about his or her child. 2. Speak highly of your students, even the child whose performance may leave much to be desired. 3. Find the gold, the raw talent, the innate potential, in every student, […]
An offering of loving truth… Relationships are sweetened an enhanced when there is a mutual commitment to love and truth. They (love and truth) are foundational to trust, a cornerstone of family and community. Love and truth are pivotal to building meaningful history. They (love and truth) are both stepping stones and the pillars for […]
Your parents are the most important people you will ever know. Get things right with them, and you’ll be poised for success. By “right” I mean embark on the ongoing journey to develop your skills by loving, honoring, enjoying, and negotiating with them. If you don’t, if you settle for on-going conflict, you will probably […]
Counsel with your priest, rabbi, pastor, counselor….. Will almost always leave you feeling freer, more empowered, and with a greater appreciation for your skills and vast possibilities. I say “almost” because there will be times when, in response counsel, you will see the need for helpful introspection or the need for some radical personal changes. […]
A few ways to “grow” your sons and daughters – crucial conversations Talk about everything under the sun. Nothing about sex, money, death, grief, joy, pain, and fulfillment ought to take your children by surprise. Rid yourself of the oft-touted notion that men should talk to sons and mothers to daughters about sexual and intimate […]
Traps and misconceptions accompany a decade-plus of writing a daily newspaper column (read by hundreds of thousands of people in ‘hard copy’ and accessed online in 200 countries). Once revealed they are wise to avoid: 1. Some readers believe that if you write and speak about parenting your children must be perfect. This, of course, […]
It is a die-hard custom for columnist to “reflect” on the past year. Here are broad principles I have found to be true in 2012. I hope, readers in Southern Africa and elsewhere, that you will share yours with me via Email: 1. Life is simultaneously beautiful and brutal. It is wiser to embrace both […]
1. Maintain both intimate, committed relationships AND casual relationships in a manner that they do not get in the way of each other. 2. Maintain a career in order to support a family AND do so in a manner that is not costly to the family or to the career. 3. Maintain an interest in […]
Stand up men and boys, there's a Woman approaching: Deep within her person, her soul, her bosom is the power to nurture, to inspire, to dream and bring dreams to fruition. Listen to her voice. Listen to what she's saying. She has intuition - hindsight, insight, foresight. If you embrace her intuition and allow it to shape your own thinking, you will be wiser for it and save yourself considerable conflict, anguish, and money. Stand up men there's a woman approaching: If you have the guts, the backbone, the wisdom to offer her unstrained equality, undiluted mutuality, pure respect, all of which God already affords her, it is you who will be enriched, it is you who will benefit. And, when you develop the necessary manliness to respect all women everywhere, you will simply reach a place of growth and understanding that courageous and insightful men have always known. Stand up men and children, there's a woman approaching: She will love children, nurture leaders, turn a profit, feed a community, and shape a nation. Women of KwaZulu Natal, please join me for The Women's Day Breakfast in Pietermaritzburg on August 7, 2014, that I may play my part in honoring you. Early booking on Computicket is advised, that I may play my part in honoring you.
The Mercury - Tuesday / STAY OUT OF CONTROL I know I write a lot about control. I get many letters from women about controlling men. Of course I am aware that women too can be very controlling. I just hear from more women about it. Here are a few thoughts…. 1. Love and control cannot co-exist in the same relationship. It’s one or the other, and, no, you can’t have both. Choose. 2. Control is the antithesis of love, not an indication of it. I’ve heard people claim controlling behaviors prove love. Nonsense. Freedom and listening prove love. 3. Jealousy is a most obvious sign or form of control. Others are: ordering people around, back-seat driving, insisting on driving, worrying about matters that are none of your business, telling people when they are cold or hungry or what they SHOULD be doing, and being high-maintenance when you don’t get your way. 4. People who repeatedly say “you need” and “you must” and “you should” are revealing their controlling tendencies. I am not suggesting that every time these terms are used the person is being controlling, but these are tags-terms for those seeking to manage anxiety by controlling others. Healthy people leave other people alone – unhealthy people get in other people’s business, in fact, they can’t seem to resist it. Stay OUT of control - it's best for you and for those who seek it.
When I was a child I longed for an adult who’d listen without trying to teach me something, who wanted my company, laughed at my jokes, listened to my opinions without saying they were impractical or “childish” even if he or she thought they were. Such adults were a rare find. While it takes discipline and patience – for it does not come to me naturally – this is the adult I want to be. Some days I think I am even quite successful. Often I am not. When I was a child I often knew when adults were wrong, or when they hid things from me that were not worth hiding, or spoke to each other in a weird code, or spoke down to me as if my understanding anything about the complexities of their chaotic lives was beyond me. While it takes a lot of discipline – for it does not come naturally to me – I try to recognize when my interactions with my sons, other children, and young adults are inauthentic. There are days when I am quite successful. Often I am not. Oh, may we, you and I, be the adults we most needed when we ourselves were children – so that such adults will be less and less of a rare find.
To Whom It May Concern: How to Love Your Backbone A backbone is one of those “use it or lose it” things. In order to love it you have to find it. Some men and women have been filleted. This can be done swiftly, or painstakingly slowly by life, “love”, family, or by church. If it was done some time ago its presence may be hard for you to fathom and locate. But, complete filleting is possible with fish, but not humans. It’s in there. You just have to want to find it. Second, you have to acknowledge its usefulness. You have to see its purpose, its role in propelling you to face yourself and the world. Third – you have to practice. You have to show up, stand up, and speak up, even if it is in small ways about seemingly insignificant matters. If you start with nonthreatening situations, perhaps where you have been a pushover in the past, you’ll get used to the feel of your backbone. Once you begin to trust its usefulness you will like it more and more and begin to use it in more important situations like your intimate relationships, at work, with your parents, your children, or even, if you are a pastor, with your congregation.
Are you a therapist who believes you can’t change others but you can only change yourself? What I believe may appear paradoxical: I believe I can only change only myself but my powers to do so are very limited. For instance, in the past 10 months I have lost 18 Kg (40 pounds). Keep in mind that I’ve done this at least 20 other times in my adult life! I believe I am powerless over changing others and shudder at the thought of what changes I’d make if I could. Think about it. Playing God comes with consequence. Yet, and here’s the paradox, I have seen people grow as a result of our knowing each other. I believe that if I set out to change others the pushback, which may take years, perverts the relationship. It results in emotional ducking and diving (hide and seek) which distorts or perverts the freedom and purity all humans crave. I believe that RELATIONSHIP itself has remarkable power to changes us. We make, shape, and provoke each other. We stimulate each other to great, wonderful things. The converse is, of course, sadly, also true. I believe all change begins with unilateral forgiveness, the decision to be generous, and a shoring up of both internal and external boundaries.