Well Done

Some years ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Seattle, a young Catholic priest stopped to talk to a parishioner and her five-year-old daughter Carmen.  The little girl had a new jump rope and the priest, being young, began to demonstrate the intricacies of rope jumping from his own childhood.  Delighted, Carmen began to jump – first once, then twice.  The mother and priest clapped loudly for her skill.  Eventually the little girl was able to jump quite well on her own and wandered off with her newfound skill.

Priest and mother chatted a few moments until Carmen – with sadder, wiser eyes – returned, dragging her rope.

“Mommy,” she lamented, “I can do it, but I need lots of clapping.”



How come so many people are stingy with praise?  Or perhaps never offer it?  My dear wife Jody told me years ago that her mom never gave her a compliment to her face.  Oh, she may have bragged about Jody graduating as an occupational therapist from Western University in London, Ontario.  But if so, Jody never heard those words.  Far more sadly, Jody had no memory of her mom ever saying “Goodnight” to her.  And it gets worse:  Not once did she hear “I love you.”


Do we think that there’s some giant teeter totter where if I raise the other person up, that means I fall?  No, life is not a “zero sum” game.  When I hold you aloft, my toes leave the ground.

So I’m on the lookout for anyone who does anything well.  My hands are ready to come together for you.


Life’s Ads

I was looking through The London Free Press this morning.  I’ve learned to ignore the ads but something made me glance at them this time.  Here are some choice enticements and my reflections on them:


Best Value

What exactly does that mean?  Is it the lowest price, the longevity of the product, or the admiration I’ll receive from others for making such a good consumer choice?  How important is it that I get the best one?  Won’t pretty darn good be good enough?  Plus I’m a regular guy.  I think a regular price will do.

Massive Blowout Sale

Sounds like a battlefield to me.  And the sale is best if it’s really big.  But do I want everything in my life to be Super Sized?  Do I need all of my experiences to blow me away, so that I can create for myself orgasm after orgasm of excitement?

Bring This Coupon!

If I don’t bring it, I’ll lose out.  My life won’t be as good if I don’t find every single advantage on the horizon.  One coupon is good.  Think about how happy I’d be if I threw myself into daily frenzies of coupon cutting.  Or just let it all go.

Undeniably Better Value Than Any Big Box Store

It’s crucial that I compare everything and everyone in my life.  Perhaps list the pros and cons of each choice.  Not to rest until I find the best.  Does that mean that I can’t just look at a fellow human being and see both their uniqueness and their universality, with no reference to other people?

I Feel So Good in My 100% Cotton PJs, Nighties and Robes

I’ll put something on, sort of like a magic cloak, and be content.  I’ll be sufficient if I obtain the proper set of add-ons.  But doesn’t sufficiency come from a far deeper place?

Prime Lots Are Going Fast!

There simply is no time to dawdle.  Missed opportunities are my lot in life if I don’t ramp up the intensity.  But I really enjoy sauntering, meandering, and getting a bit lost on the journey before finding myself again.

Satisfying Your Every Need

Maybe a new home, maybe a husband or wife.  I need this person so I can be happy.  I can fulfill myself only through them.  If they act in perfectly loving ways all of the time, I’ll be okay.

Find It Today!

I want what I want and I want to have it right now.  Delayed gratification is just not where it’s at.  But what about sensing my life as a journey, complete with its ups and downs, and letting it “unfold as it should”?  Can I embrace some struggle, some “on the way to”, some slow emerging from the cocoon?

Radiant Crossover

They were talking about a car but I believe radiance emerges by grace.  You can’t push for it.  It comes along naturally beside love.


I am sufficient
I am whole
I am complete