Don’t Be Scared of 2013?

As we collectively said goodbye to 2012, I couldn’t help but make a few simple observations of human behavior during this holiday season. I had the good fortune to experience numerous encounters and conversations with total strangers that reflected the positive attitude and behavior we seem to associate with days gone by. These were polite and smiling people, some out shopping and others just doing their jobs. I found myself interacting and even laughing with total strangers. Often these encounters ended with a warm handshake and a belated introduction.

Of course, there were a couple of observations that were of the opposite variety. These usually included the threatening words, “I want to see the manager.” It’s always sad to see this kind of interaction because you know it stems from the individual’s personal unhappiness. It almost seems as though some folks are looking for the negative and if they can’t find it, they will create it.

I’m thankful for the example set by my parents who treated everyone they met with courtesy and respect. Interestingly, I’m also grateful for growing up in an environment in which I had to work at some bizarre and difficult jobs from the time I was 12. This taught me to value and appreciate people regardless of their so-called “station” in life. Many years ago when I left teaching at Pepperdine University in Malibu, someone asked me what or who I would miss the most. After thinking for a moment, I said, “Jose the custodian.” On our breaks, he and I had spent a lot of time sharing and conversing as we looked out over the Pacific Ocean. A wonderful guy. No disrespect to my colleagues, but he was my favorite.

So, what’s the point? Well, as the late Rodney King questioned, “Can’t we all just get along?” Of course, this is simply the Golden Rule I’m talking about. But the fact is, I’m finding it more and more difficult to watch the news, listen to the political pundits, or anyone of that ilk. Two days ago my wife and I were driving and we couldn’t believe the news broadcasts and weather reports we were getting on the radio. From the news people, everything was labeled with some dramatic terms and you would think the world was coming to an end. (Oh, that’s right, it was) Even the weather reports were all pumped up and talked about “monster storms.”

Whatever happened to just giving us the facts of the story? Whatever happened to just calling something a “storm?” I’m no great philosopher, and I certainly don’t have all the answers to solving life’s problems. But for 2013, I think we all just need to chill out, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. As a senior, I’m simply going to say “Goodbye 2012, hello 2013.” No need to be scared.

Friendship

During this holiday season, like so many others, my wife Trisha and I each came down with colds that unfortunately turned into sinus infections. Being blessed this year with a houseful of kids and grandkids, there wasn’t much time for rest. During a brief lull in activity, we were scheduled to have dinner at the home of our good friends Madelyn and Juan. Not feeling up to it, we reluctantly had to cancel. That afternoon there was a knock at our door. Our two wonderful friends showed up with containers of delicious hot soup and a baguette of fresh bread. It was a thoughtful and much enjoyed gift.

Media and More

Thank you to 86 Magazine for the article in their December issue.

Trisha and I have been asked to be speakers at the Boomers Lifestyle Show, February 9 & 10, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Looking forward to this exciting event.

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