Saturday, December 1, 2012
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I was driving my kids to school this morning and they asked me to play one of their favorite songs. They chose the song “Kung Fu Fighting” as performed by Jack Black in the motion picture “Kung Fu Panda”. I smiled since it happened to be a song that I like as well. As we were all singing it the last part of the chorus really stood out to me. It goes like this “It’s the book of your life that you’re writing”. For some reason it struck me as profound thought this morning as I sang it and contemplated. This brought me to some deep thoughts of course. On the one hand I wonder how many people walk through life believing they have absolutely no control over their lives or simply don’t care. On the other hand I wonder how many people walk through life believing they have absolute power and can control everything. Either extreme has its deficiencies. One life is an action while the other is a reaction. As I consider these things I constantly think we can’t live in the extremes but we must… live. Is life something you get up and react to or is it something you take action with?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Have you ever considered what your name means? When considering what to name a child some people think “what sounds good?” while others think “who will this child be?”. No matter what side of the spectrum you’re on we all know that our names help shape who we are. So I thought I’d share a little bit about my name… My name “Assad” is ( a boy’s name) and variant of Asad (Arabic: أسد) and originally comes from two sources onef rom an Arabic personal name, As‛ad ‘happiest’, ‘luckiest’ or ‘more fortunate’, a superlative adjective derived from sa‛īda ‘to be lucky or happy’. The other source comes from the root word meaning "lion". Assad is not a popular first name for men and an equally uncommon surname or last name for all people. (1990 U.S. Census) and is probably a lot less common now due to the conflict in Syria. Now I wouldn’t say a name is a self fulfilling prophecy but…It is interesting that in some ways the meaning of my name parallels some of my personal characteristics.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This summer I worked on teaching my son how to swim. He is six years old and though he enjoys being in the water is sometimes nervous about going under. His response to dealing with his fear is never getting his head wet. So I watched him as he played and observed his commitment to never letting his head go under the water. I thought to myself “he’s missing out on so much and doesn’t even know it.” I think there are several times in our lives where we are missing out on things in our lives because we have taken such a tight hold on every aspect of our life that we actually lose our grip. In training people on how to hold a bat in baseball you teach them to hold the bat tight enough so it doesn’t fly out of your hands but not so tight that you’re actually clenching down on it. Its kind of like holding a small bird in your hands, holding tight enough that it doesn’t fly away but loose enough that you don’t hut it. If we’re not careful we will hold our lives too tightly and never really get to truly experience the power they are capable of. Last summer my son went from being committed to not getting his hair wet to swimming because he was willing to “let go”. Are you willing? What are you holding tightly to?
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
My wife is an amazing cook. Seriously. Her excellent cooking has caused me to develop a greater interest in the art of cooking itself. The thing is, our kitchen is small, therefore when we’re both in there trying to cook something we can tend to butt heads. Sometimes too many cooks in the kitchen means no food gets cooked. This principle really translates as “work together as a team”. Working together sometimes means knowing when to lead and when to follow. It means submitting to one another in a way that best accomplishes your combined vision or task. One of the most famous depictions of how teams working together can accomplish much is how the Greek city states worked with one another in the 5th century to defeat their Persian enemies. In the historical context each state was independent and either despised each other or had very loose loyalties at best. Yet when faced with the idea annihilation they pulled together and worked toward victory. As a people it is important for us to recognize when we are leading and following. This helps to ensure we are in-line with the combined vision of our teams. This is useful in the most powerful governments of the world and… my kitchen… probably yours too.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Has anyone ever asked you to do something? How did you respond? Many times in my life I’ve been asked to do things. I typically try to find the angle of the person asking me (which reveals a certain measure of skepticism on my part) then I try to get on board and help. Sometimes those things are easy to do while in other circumstances doing those things is very difficult. It can be difficult to have a request made of you on some level thereby having to trust someone with the next step in your life. In those moments I wish I could see my life on a timeline (past, present & future) so I can know what the next “right” step is. This way I don’t have to guess. I used to get caught up in making the “right” decision and disregard the process. It’s easy to do when you’re not concerned with it, though I’ve learned “the process” (or how you deal with things) is one of the most important parts of life. Will you respond to situation in life with willingness or reservation? Flexibility or rigidity? Compassion or indifference? How do you respond to what you encounter in life?