Hmmmm…A Sportsman Vice President

Author and Son

In three months we might have a sportsman for our vice president, and that thought thrills me.But I’m aware that it confuses many. Those who don’t hunt and fish tend to struggle with those who do. A man asked me two weeks ago, “Doesn’t it bother you that your favorite sports involve taking lives?"That’s a fair question, and because a sportsman has now been thrust into the political spotlight, I’d like to present a few thoughts about this odd activity that many of us enjoy. … [Read more...]

Finding A Piglet Voice

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.-Henry David Thoreau We finished scarfing down dinner and washing the dishes by 6:30 last night, two hours before our kids’ bedtime. What to do? What to do?We popped a huge bowl of popcorn, settled into the sofa, and then I read out loud three stories from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and a chapter from Lewis’s The Last Battle.When I r … [Read more...]

Shame and Shock Collars

shame and shock collars

Shame makes the world go round, but I'm starting to feel motion sickness.Shame is the emotion produced when you feel that you don’t measure up to an external standard. It usually involves feeling embarrassed over something we did wrong. Shame is certainly an appropriate feeling at times, but as the primary strategy for motivating it falls lifelessly short.Shaming as a strategy fails because it often has a de-motivating effect on us. Yet, it’s hard to turn on the radio, pick up a book, or … [Read more...]

Broken Down Men

Men Breaking Down

I drove a 1975 Chrysler Cordoba when I was in college. I bought it in 1989 for $1,500. It was a good first car—almost no rust, relatively low miles (70K), and as sturdy as a Sherman tank. Three years after the purchase, the engine started making a clanking noise. At first, the sound was barely perceptible and showed up only when I drove the car long distances. As time progressed, the noise became more frequent and a bit louder.I was a senior in college and eating two packets of Ramen noodles … [Read more...]

Teaching Kids To Be Busy

teaching busyness

What's the main thing we're passing on to our children? A conversation I had with a friend, Doug, a few weeks ago nailed me to the wall and raised an important question.Doug and I had been playing basketball with a handful of guys. After the game, he asked me if we could talk for a few minutes. We sat on the bottom step of the bleachers and talked about basketball injuries until the last guy left the gym. When we had the place to ourselves, Doug hung his head. He explained how his son, Todd, … [Read more...]

Let Them See You Sweat

Let Them See You Sweat

It’s strange what I remember from my childhood, and what I’ve forgotten. For example, I can’t remember a single birthday party from before I was six…but I can remember a commercial for women’s deodorant (Dry Idea, I believe) that ended with the phrase, “Never let them see you sweat.”“Never let them see you sweat”—this seems to be the mantra of many parents. A friend told me, “I want my son to grow up to see me as a someone who never lets people down. I don’t ever want him to see me fail.” … [Read more...]


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