You Can Be The Difference

Tired Little Boy

Tired Little Boy

Dear Lincoln,

A couple years ago Conan O’Brien was fired by NBC after 7 months of hosting the Tonight Show. The way they treated him was unfortunate and arguably unfair. Conan, of course, was hurt, devastated, mad, upset, the list can go on.  In an age where Kanye West can cast insults upon insults after being insulted, where Miley Cyrus acts anyway she wants and struts around stating that she could care less what people think, Conan O’Brien modeled remarkable wisdom, if not counter-intuitive integrity.

When it came time to say his farewell, he stepped to the microphone and gave one of the most remarkable speeches in pop-culture history.

Little buddy I want you to watch this video of his speech.  The video uses some typography that came from a project out of Oklahoma State University. Please listen carefully, take notes, and remember that your actions will define how others see you.  Everyday I pray that God will guide you in your thoughts and actions, that He will bring people into your life that will set the example for you to follow so that you will grow into the man I know you will be.  A man of integrity, compassion, love, devotion, faith, a man of action and not a spectator on the sidelines of life.

Many will tell you that one man cannot change the world.  I tell you one man can.  If each one of us wakes every morning and looks into the mirror and tells that person looking back that you can be the difference, that it all starts with you, that you can be the example, that you are the driving force that will make this world a better place.  The world will change, and it starts with you.

“Integrity is not what you do when someone is watching, it’s what you do when no one is watching.  And God is always watching!”

Puppa

I love you little man, to the moon and back, Puppa.

Date A Girl Who Reads

IMG_2733 copy

Dear Lincoln,

Please read this and you will understand my love of reading and why I always say date a girl who reads.

I love you little man, Puppa

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

By Rosemarie Urquico

Love in Action is Service

Stop to Help

Dear Lincoln,

I want to share a story with you that I just read.  I share this with you because as you grow up you will see that more often than not the news likes to report what I call “bad news” not “good news”.  Our society has seems to enjoy reading about everyone’s pain a lot more than someone’s joy.  And there is a lot of joy out there little man and we should rejoice in it when we hear about it.

This story is about a young girl named Maddie and a young boy named Jon. Jon is a junior and he has autism. About a month ago, Maddie, a senior, approached Jon’s father (Jon’s father is a teacher at their school) and asked if Jon’s mom and he would allow her to take him to prom. Maddie had gotten to know Jon through a school club that promotes friendships between special needs kids and regular kids. “He’s a junior,” she explained “so it’s his prom too. I just think he should have the chance to go.” Jon’s father told her that they would be honored to have him go with her.

During the next couple weeks, she asked what his favorite color was (orange) so she could get a dress in that color. She also made reservations for their group (they doubled with another couple)at a restaurant that served his favorite food – chicken fingers and French fries.  They both had a wonderful time.

I share this with you for three reasons:
1. That you should always show support for special kids like Jon
2. That you should show support for groups that promote these friendships
3. To remind us all, in a time when we hear about all the terrible things going on, that there are wonderful kids like Maddie working to make other’s lives better.

Little man you are only 20 months old but have already shown such compassion towards others that are sad or hurting, and towards all animals.  I know that with your momma’s guidance and love you will not lose that like so many do as they grow up.

I tell you from experience that to make a difference in someones life is one of the greatest things one can do.

Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time … We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world – just respond to people’s needs … We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.“- Mother Teresa

God has a plan for your life little man, and that includes loving and serving others.

I love you  Lincoln, Puppa

A Few Rules To Live By

DSC_0853-001

 

Dear Lincoln,

I want to share with you some rules that my Pappa shared with me many years ago and they have served me well.  I hope that you take these to heart and follow them as you grow and one day teach them to your children.

If you open it, close it.

If you turn it on, turn it off.

If you unlock it, lock it up.

If you break it, admit it.

If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can.

If you borrow it, return it.

If you value it, take care of it.

If you make a mess, clean it up.

If you move it, put it back.

If it belongs to someone else and you want to use, get permission.

If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone.

If it’s none of your business, don’t ask questions.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If it will brighten someone’s day, say it.

If it will tarnish someone’s reputation, keep it to yourself.

 

I love you little man, Puppa.

The Power Of Words

IMG_0066

Dear Lincoln,

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.

The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.

When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to them that he was practically deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

The moral of this story: Be careful of what you say.
1. Encouraging words to people who are down can motivate them to achieve their goals.
2. Destructive words to people who are down can have a devastating effect.

Consider this statement as it relates to Words…
“The Snow may look smooth and soft, but the rocks underneath are sharp!”
— Mark Russell

Phrase your words so they inspire and encourage, not hurt or destroy.

I love you little man, Puppa

The Little Acorn

IMG_2248-001

Dear Lincoln,

An acorn is a tiny little thing, its a nut to be more precise.  Now the little acorn goes and gets planted under the ground.  Its hard to believe that the little acorn will one day be an oak tree.  That’s right Lincoln, inside that little acorn is a mighty oak tree just waiting to come out.  Again it’s a hard thing to believe, but residing in that little nut is growth potential that’s phenomenal.

“A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.    Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture.    Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants.    Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!”  When he had said this, he called out,  “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”  Luke 8:8

My point today Lincoln is that as you grow up surround yourself with good people and follow the Lord, for inside you is growth potential that’s phenomenal.

I love you little man, Puppa

The Barber

IMG_0978Dear Lincoln,

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.”

“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.

“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine loving a God who would allow all of these things.”

The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”

“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”

“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”

“Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me.”

“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens is, people don’t go to Him.”

Little man I pray that you go to God, for you will be safe in the Lord.

1 Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
You are my God and I trust you.”  Psalm 91:1-2

I love you Lincoln, Puppa