"I care more what you’ll think of me at 35 than I do now"

The above was a near constant refrain from my dad over the years, it was probably most used from 5 yrs old to 19 or something.  I’ve come to appreciate the sheer genius of this line as I’ve grown older.  As you’d expect, I had zero appreciation for it when he was saying it.  What I didn’t appreciate at that time was that, as a kid, I wasn’t the intended audience.  The intended audience was two:  my adult self and, perhaps most importantly, my dad himself.

This was really a) an excellent north star for a dad.  Imagine all your actions through the lens of your adult kid rather than the immediate b) a reminder to be patient, very, very patient.  The reward you seek, this line regularly reminded my dad (and reminds me today), is far off in the distance, pace yourself and have patience.
At 17, I was a shameful punk and did things I shutter to reflect upon now. I wasn’t speaking to my folks when I left for college for reasons so offensive I don’t care to recall them.  
But I never forgot that saying, and on my 35th birthday I sent him a letter telling him what I thought of him.  That letter is a testament to how he nailed that mark with a precision of a real pro.   I was never the little kid who thought his dad was superman, but by the time I wrote that letter, I’d become pretty awestruck by the bullets I saw bouncing off his chest.

Missing Words in English

The recipient side of “articulate” or “eloquent.” There’s “good listener” but I’m talking about the ability of some to really understand what someone means beyond just what they literally say.  Like being articulate, its a skill that some have much more than others, it surely can be learned and taught, and its vitally important.

The provider side of “empathy.” There are “sympathetic characters” but no word for the ability to make people empathize with your situation.  We all know people who raise our competitive spirits, but there are other people who’s successes we feel are almost our own.  Some of this is personality, some of it is situation (if your parent has a success enough probably accrues to you that you naturally share their success)

more to come, add yours.


War is mainly a catalog of blunders - Winston Churchill


Kids no longer have to tale their shoes off in airport security, a small intelligent step at least http://t.co/ibK0zcEZ


Review of WWII by Winston Churchill Volume One


On the one hand, I can certainly understand how people fault this as imperfect history.  Churchill has his biases, to me most acute is that he’s more forgiving to Chamberlain that most any other historian would be.  He kind of glosses over the Munich debacle, for example.  As best I can tell, he’s basically a loyal guy and unwilling to criticize quite as harshly as most would feel he deserves.  That being said, I still feel you get a pretty good feel anyway, and the biases are not glaring in my view.

On the plus side, reading these books, you are spending hours with one of the truly great figures of our time and someone that was capable of not only leading a nation, but of insightfully telling the story and, importantly, some of its lessons.

At one point, as an example, he says, one of histories lessons is one of ‘homely simplicity’

“honesty is the best policy.  Several examples of this will be shown in these pages. Crafty men and statesmen will be shown mislead by all their elaborate calculations….

…If a government has no moral scruples, it often seems to gain great advantages in liberties of action, but all comes out in the end of the day, and all will come out completely when all the days are ended.”

We can take some detached academic view of this statement and assess whether or not Churchill was a romantic, or whether he himself always followed this advice on honesty, etc, etc.  But to my mind, it’s just a wonderful, powerful experience to sit and listen to someone that experienced so much, that witnessed so much, and endured so much in his refusal to temper his absolutely candid message.  We can debate how to view his message, but it seems certain that his conclusions are entirely sincere.  To get that sincere, thoughtful, insightful message first hand from one of the great figures of the 20th century is a great treasure. Among the best books I’ve ever read.


most accept that failure can lead to sucess, but equally true is that sucess can lead to failure http://t.co/vILM1IFt #Kindle


Of course reality is stranger than fiction, reality has no editor.


Seems to me people are comparing Netflix online to Netflix DVD (qwickster) when it really competes with HBO, starz


pentagon officials acknowledged humanitarian efforts more effective against terrorism than war http://t.co/AWU4Fb3B #Kindle


an articulate argument against “giving a man a fish” instead of a fishing pole. http://t.co/D4YBi0V #Kindle