As a longtime Roswellian, I left the breakfast just a little bit jealous. While Roswell has been debating and second-guessing our strategic planning, Alpharetta has been acting. The contrast with Alpharetta, as well as Sandy Springs and Woodstock, is distinct. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t leave the breakfast with a “grass is always greener” jealousy (especially as Alpharetta has used Bermuda in its city green which tends to look a bit yellow in winter dormancy.) Instead, I left taking inventory of Roswell’s assets and contrasts with Alpharetta.
Friends, it’s time to get involved. Tomorrow’s special election is our chance to participate in a sacred, patriotic act; voting. Don’t be influenced by the negative, snarky, forces of attack that feed on fear and deception. Rather, get informed. Check out the resources that POSITIVELY ROSWELL has provided to help you get to know the character of all the candidates, and cast your vote for a better, healthier, and balanced Roswell.
The general spirit communicated was that, regardless of our political choice, we as Americans had a sacred privilege in the ability to cast our vote in a process that would determine our country’s next occupier of the Oval Office. Such photos often included homages to those that have fought and died to secure our right to vote and a general acknowledgment that, even if we loathe the choices, we have a moral obligation to “do our part.”
As my children mature, it’s more and more difficult to assemble the whole gang for QFT (quality family time.) This last weekend, thanks to the generosity of a great family friend, my whole family learned to fly. Que Tom Petty! We went to the iFly indoor skydiving facility off Cobb Pkwy where the whole gang experienced the thrill of literally floating on air.
I'm putting my money where my mouth is, or at least my time, in 2017. I'm committing to being a better-engaged citizen right here in Roswell. Will you join me? The countdown to the Super Bowl is on. We're just hours away. Join with me and help Roswell #RiseUp regardless of the outcome of today's game. If you do, we'll all be winners no matter what.
Don’t get me wrong, you can’t grow up as a white kid in the south without absorbing at minimum some racial bias and prejudice, especially if you’re raised in a “Christian” home. Chances are, your childhood church experience was nearly completed segregated, but probably never discussed.
I’m writing this blog on a new tool that I’m hoping to use to help bridge the gap between intention and execution. A few months ago, a coworker sent me a link to the Qwerkywriter, a Bluetooth keyboard with the look and feel of a vintage typewriter. It looked to be beautifully crafted, but a bit expensive at $300 for a keyboard with less functionality than one I could pick up for $19.99 on Amazon.com. I thought it would make a great gift for the accomplished writers I know, but not really a sensible purchase for someone who primarily writes blogs about his son’s high school football team.
Jesus didn’t come as a president or king. He didn’t come as a man of power or wealth or influence. He didn’t even come as a mayor or councilman. Jesus of Nazareth started from nothing and changed the world. A man who wasn’t even born indoors brought a piece of the divine, the kingdom of Heaven, to this world. He brought good news for the poor and a simple message; you matter. The least of you matters. In God’s economy, the Syrian refugee matters just as much as a President. In fact, maybe just a little bit more as God blesses the "humble in spirit."
If a doctor measured the sweat he had poured out on the turf combined with the tears that had poured from his eyes following a final kick that drifted 3 feet too wide to continue the game, he/she would probably prescribe a Saline IV, and stat. He’d poured out everything. He gave his all. He was spent. Perhaps, he was too fatigued to take off his shoulder pads.
I want to be a voice that helps bring our community together, recognizing that we might have different pigment in our skin, but we’re all one human race. Roswell will grow and change from the inside-out, not the outside-in, Though the re-naming of the park might seem like a small gesture, it’s a great step toward bringing our community together, and encouraging us to truly live as ONE ROSWELL!
Conventional disclaimers have worked their way into our everyday conversations. We all understand that when someone uses a conventional disclaimer, the statement that follows will almost always undermine the very point they were saying they were not making.
In the aftermath of the campaign, I’ve already watched dozens of hours of coverage examining the emotions and motivations that informed the voting decisions of our nation’s electorate. The words I’ve heard most often are fear, anger, and frustration. FEAR IS THE ENEMY! The Trump supporters felt that way before the election, and the Clinton supporters feel that way now. I don't mean to dismiss anyone's emotions. However, one emotion that I have yet to hear described, before or after the election, is gratitude.
I’m starting with me. I’m screwed up. I have prejudices in my heart that I am examining and expunging. I have work to do. If all of us are honest, we’ll acknowledge that all of us have prejudice and even the seeds of racism in our hearts, planted by a legacy of the sin of slavery and nourished by the fear and segregation of our own experiences. I think step # 1 is non-defensively acknowledging that.
I WOULD LIKE TO OFFICIALLY OFFER MY ENDORSEMENT AND SUPPORT FOR A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE THAT POSSESSES MORE POSITIVE QUALITIES THAN BOTH MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES PUT TOGETHER, THE ONE AND ONLY TAYLOR SWIFT.
We’re witnessing a national election where we’ve been asked to suspend evaluation of character and instead focus on the platform with which we most align. When it comes time to pick our new member of city council, especially in light of Igleheart’s scandal, can we please, please, please, please, please make character, values, sound judgement and behavior the most important thing?
I know many of us are still licking our wounds. We thought that Trump was the only person who could save our nation. He told us so repeatedly. He was wrong, and we were wrong for believing him. Our nation needs healing. Our nation needs forgiveness. Our nation needs love. If we reach out to our African American, Hispanic, LGBT communities and confess that we were wrong, they will forgive us in a heartbeat. If you don’t believe me, just try it, today.
We believe that leaders should think and behave differently. A Leader Worth Following embodies a foundation of core values. In addition, they actively demonstrate key leadership behaviors. It is this combination that produces actions that lead to longstanding results and relationships. Our list is certainly not exhaustive. However, we sincerely believe that they are the key ingredients required to truly be a leader worth following.
I was stunned. He was yelling right at me. My blood start boiling, and the veins in my neck started popping. My adrenaline kicked in. My mind started racing with things I wanted to say. In his identifying our apartment demographic, he was making a not so veiled racial generalization about our community. I don’t just love our team, I love the players on our team. I know them. I’ve seen how hard they work.
Whether you’re comfortable with the expression of servant leadership or not, we’re all left with the same conclusion. If we really want to lead our businesses, organizations, communities, and families, we must be people-first. We must place a higher value on others. If we all make even the smallest effort to do that every day, the world will become a markedly better place. You can be that difference maker. You can be that change agent. You can be the leader worth following.
As I left our meeting yesterday, it struck me that there is a lot of content about the value of mentoring other people, and a lot of content about the importance of having a mentor. However, there is little content about practical ways to maximize a mentor/mentee relationship from the mentee's perspective. I’ve identified some starting points.
On the chain gang, I’ve seen and heard it all. I’ve seen teams that stay absolutely calm and consistent even when a game is slipping out of reach. Not surprisingly, those teams tend to go onto winning seasons, even if they lose that particular contest. I’ve also seen teams that absolutely fall apart. I’ve seen teams handle adversity with calmness, and I’ve seen teams turn on one another. I’ve seen coaches turn on one another. I’ve seen players disrespect their coaches, and I’ve seen players and coaches disrespect the officials.
While a conservative might make a merited argument that he/she did not receive the attention they deserved from a “liberally-biased media,” Trump can hardly make that claim. Even if Trump doesn’t appreciate the media’s response to his statements and tweets, he certainly must appreciate the coverage. Every time you turn on the news, any news outlet, they are talking about Donald Trump. He has had top of mind awareness since he launched his campaign, while the majority of the Republican field struggled in near obscurity.
Perhaps, if our politicians communicated their vision for America's future the way that advertisers have communicated the American Olympic spirit, more of us would be eager to place our trust in their leadership. We just might feel a greater affinity for their brands too.
There’s been a lot of talk this election from both parties about greatness. “Make America Great Again.” “The next chapter in American Greatness.” “America is already Great.” etc. However, I would submit that America is only truly great when we do great things.
During the quick lap around the museum, I gained confidence that as a musician, a citizen, and someone who has worked directly with evangelicals my whole life, I was right where I needed to be. I don’t have a position of power, but I had a perfect opportunity to speak truth to power. I took the stage with confidence and shared from my heart about the importance of finishing the fight to end extreme poverty.
Over the last few days, our country has witnessed a breath of fresh air. Dallas police chief David Brown has demonstrated a case study in effective leadership. His calm, comforting words and tangible authenticity have brought a hopeful feeling to an otherwise tenuous situation.
When the African-American community asserts that #blacklivesmatter it’s because they genuinely perceive that they have not been allowed a seat at the table. Can any of us deny that their perception is well-founded in the racial narrative our nation has told since its inception? Our response as the majority white population should not be to say that #alllivesmatter. Instead, those of us that have always had a seat at the table should take the first step. We should stand up for our dark-skinned brothers and sisters and agree that their lives matter too.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, congratulations on the incredible integrity, servant leadership, and legacy that you have built in your life together. My humble way of expressing my appreciation for you is to do my part to be the kind of leader you described. I will strive not to pre-judge my fellow inhabitants of this planet, regardless of religion, age, race, national origin, or sexual identity. I will strive to move others from fear to faith and make the world a better place in the small, measurable ways I can.
As we all spend time with friends and family this weekend, many of our conversations will turn to how divisive our current state of politics have become. I’m here to tell you, that’s not a new phenomenon. However, we had leaders who were willing to exhibit the kind of “bravery” and “beyond you” leadership that was needed to address the challenges of their time. That is exactly what we need today.