Thursday, September 15, 2011


Today has circled around my role in leadership and what I do. In times of both struggle and triumph, I often turn to the beautiful words of Rudyard Kipling.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beauty from Ashes

On the radio show I host I often refer to beauty from an impossible situation can lead to something precious. It never ceases to amaze me as I get the chance to talk with people all across the country who have made Beauty from Ashes. They inspire me.

Today we received our new handwriting book. J3 decided he wanted to tackle cursive this year. I gently handed him the book. He was so excited. It was his CURSIVE book - and it was BLUE!!! (ah, the things that make a difference to our children! lol).

I had him look at the letters and their shapes. I labeled the cursive letters in print so he could have a "comparison chart". I was ready to close the book for the day and move on.

Instead I heard, "Mom, can I start it right NOW!??!?!!?"

"Uh, sure."

Off he went, zealous and excited, planning to do 2-3 pages.

He didn't make it 2-3 pages. He did finish the page he was on.

He made a very good and legible row of E and e.

He made a slightly less spectacular row of B. And a completely illegible row of b.

I drew smiley faces over every good example and gave him a hug. We agreed to tackle b tomorrow again.

He gave me another hug and ran off.

All from the child who 3 years ago would cry at the sight of a pencil because of his public school trauma.

So I tell each and every one of you as I tell my radio show audience nearly every week:

There is hope. There is light. There is beauty from ashes. Embrace it.