Categories
Gratitude

Be Grateful

Be grateful. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog.
Asian Community News Network

Friday, November 25, 2022 – The Thanksgiving Week

This week, at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Japanese national football team delivered a stunning 2-1 upset over heavily favored Germany. But as much as this installment of The Week could be about the near absolute likelihood of achieving whatever you believe you can do, or about how more-nimble Davids can prevail over too-slow and too-confident Goliaths seven days a week and twice on Sundays as long as they stick to the more-nimble playbook, it’s about neither of those things. It’s about gratitude and respect and how one begets the other.

See, after cheering on the Samarai Blue for 90 minutes, plus a bit of extra time, the Japanese fans stayed behind to help clean the stadium … not just the part they were sitting in, but the entire stadium. For Japanese football fans, Thanksgiving isn’t a once-a-year thing – it’s a 365 day a year thing. And because they are grateful for each day and everything in it, they likewise show respect for all they encounter; like football stadiums. It is not something the Japanese have to stop and think about. There are no dots to connect. It is reflexive … a common and simple truth: One will respect that which they are grateful for.

And that’s the point for the week.



Japanese football fans do not clean stadiums out of a sense of moral obligation or duty. They do so from a place of love and mutual respect – a place that is rooted in gratitude. The former simply flows from the latter. Easily. Without great thought or effort. Without gratitude, respect is nigh on impossible. Surely, one can behave in a respectful manner toward someone or something without having any sense of gratitude in their heart. But there is a world of difference between respect and being respectful.

True, caring leaders and those who fully buy into what they are trying to accomplish know these things. That’s why they wake up each day with grateful hearts and are careful, at any point in any day, when they feel that sense of gratitude slipping away, to restart their day – seeking to re-find that almost childlike sense of gratitude, and ensuring that it connects up with a spirit of respect for everybody and everything in their life. Because they do, people are more likely to want to follow them, and will more willingly engage in difficult tasks or invest long hours on their behalf. Think about your own experience. Recall the best boss, teacher, coach, leader, or superior of any other kind that you’ve had in your life. I’m willing to go out on a limb to bet you that this person was exceedingly grateful for whatever they had in their life.

And it was that spirit of gratitude that led them to first appreciate then respect you. And since, after all, because all of us want simply, and not much more than but, to be respected, those who lead with grateful hearts will, by the sheer business of odds, be apt to reach all of those around them, forming many-stranded cords of nearly unbreakable strength which become capable of accomplishing extraordinary things that exactly no one might ever have thought them capable. 

But it all starts with one person … waking up with a grateful heart … behaving with respect for others … picking up the very first piece of trash.

So, be that person. Be thankful for all that you have in the world.

Be grateful.

And win.

Categories
Make Others Big

Make it About Others

Make it about others. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog
Image credit: Didgeman | Pixabay

Friday, November 18, 2022

This week, CBS ran a story about Ironman athletes, father and son, Jeff and Johnny Agar. Jeff is 59. Johnny is 26. They have competed in over 200 competitions together – competitions that require a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. Jeff and Johnny are not your typical triathletes though. Johnny has Cerebral Palsy. So, in each race, when they swim, Jeff tugs Johnny; when they bike, Jeff tows Johnny; and when they run, Jeff pushes Johnny. The two of them together with their gear weigh over 400 pounds.

This is not something Jeff Agar does for himself. Speaking of her husband, Becky Agar said, “Even though he got him the 140 miles, he’ll always be hiding behind Johnny. He doesn’t want to be announced as an Ironman. It’s Johnny’s moment. And it’s the most beautiful thing to me.” Jeff Agar knows with 100% certainty that it’s not about him. And because of that, his son becomes really, really big. See, that’s the paradoxical truth of life and leadership: the smaller we become, the bigger those around us can get.

And that’s the point for the week.



Those who make it about others attract followers to them. Because those who follow them recognize in them a genuine care for those they lead as human beings, and a true concern for their welfare and safety. When we make it about others, their interests are placed ahead of our own, and as a result, we are made more aware of that which stands in their way of health and happiness, and we’ll move heaven and earth to fix it when these things are threatened. When we make it about others, they flourish, because nothing other than that is more important to us.

But when we make it about us, those around us cease to thrive. That’s because we suck the very life out of them. It’s exhausting and soul-crushing for others to support the nearly endless need of a narcissist to feel more important than they truly are. Those who put themselves first make others feel unsafe, less valued, and less important. They feel like disposable parts whose opinions matter for nothing and who wouldn’t be missed if they didn’t bother showing up one more day.

In organizations where it’s not about those in charge, the rest of the place looks out for one another and for their leaders. They offer up ideas to make things better and to catapult the organization forward. They bring their whole hearts to what they do because they know that it’s about them and making their lives better. And as a result, the businesses they work in move ahead with speed and force, accomplishing things that those in them only ever once dreamed were possible. All because people started making it more about others than themselves.

So, make others really, really big … by making yourself really, really small.And win.

Categories
Listening

Listen to One Another

Listen to one another. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog
Image credit: Couleur | Pixabay

Friday, November 11,2022

This week, an election was held in this country. Despite predictions of a huge “red wave,” from state legislatures, to governorships, to the U.S. House and, ultimately, the U.S. Senate, those who were victorious were those who spent their campaigns talking about things that actually mattered most to their voters. Conversely, those who spent the past twelve months talking only about those things that mattered to them and their party – things their constituents were not truly concerned about – were punished at the ballot box. But life is like that. People will more often follow those who place the needs of others ahead of their own.

And that’s the point for the week.



The success of any enterprise, whether a country or a company, is inversely proportional to the degree to which those leading it impress their own personal self-interests upon it. That’s because when the direction of an organization is determined solely by those leading it, enthusiasm and commitment among everyone else becomes harder and harder to find. See, people want to be heard. They want a say in the direction of things they are expected to contribute to, and which impact their lives. Most importantly, they want to know that when the enterprise achieves its goals, their lives will improve.

All this begins with people who listen to one another and who take the time to understand what’s important to them. It’s no harder than asking then caring enough to listen to what comes next. It’s a simple fact that we learn things about each other when we take the time to talk about what matters to each other. Those who do so build things that others want to be a part of, believe in and fight for – because they see a place for themselves in these structures, and can imagine the better futures that they promise – all because someone cared more about what mattered to them than their own self interests.

So, take the time to understand what matters to each other.

And win. 

Categories
Do Good

Enough.

Enough. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog
Image credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969 | Pixabay.com

Friday, May 27, 2022

This week, an act of pure evil was committed in Uvalde, Texas.

To all who are shouting, “Enough!” I agree.

Enough of politicians using dead children to score cheap political points. It’s gross. It’s dishonest. And it won’t do one thing to fix what’s wrong in this country.

I grew up in a time when there were more guns in every American household than there are today. We also had more people doing a lot more good and raising their children to do the same. And school shootings were a rarity – less than one occurring each two years during my twelve years of elementary, middle, and high school.

In recent decades, though, school shootings have risen into the hundreds. While every household in America has fewer guns in it, these killings have soared. Because what most households in America also have far less of today than they did forty years ago is goodness, civility, and love. These things aren’t taught much anymore – and our kids are dying because of it.

And that’s the point for the week.



Instead of love your neighbor, we teach our children to physically assault anyone who disagrees with them. Instead of educating young people to perform acts of kindness, we teach them to burn down communities. Instead of showing them how to bring people together in awful times like these, our current and a former President model how to sow division, suspicion, and hate. Instead of raising kids to do for others, we urge our next generations to take for themselves. We tell them that there is nothing good about America, its founders, its flag, or those who protect it.

Then the same people fomenting the hate, manufacture more of it and more false outrage aimed at people who have nothing to do with these killings every time one occurs.

So yes, enough! Enough of not doing good. Enough of teaching entire generations of children that distrust, hate and violence are the answer to any perceived slight or injustice. Enough of all of us forgetting that we are all in this together and that the more good there is in the world, the less room there is for evil in it.

And while a little more good from all of us may not stop all of the killing, it’s going to go a long, long way toward it.

I think the English theologian, John Wesley offered the best advice as any I’ve ever heard for us to follow. He said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

So, do that.

And win.

Enough of all the rest.

To learn more about the author, click HERE.

To purchase a copy of my new book, click HERE.

Image credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969 | Pixabay.com

Categories
Make Others Big

Light a Candle Instead

Light a candle instead. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog
Image credit: Ben Lambert | Unsplash.com

Saturday, May 7, 2022

As a way to spend time together and to get away from normal life for a bit, my wife, Annie, and I enjoy watching British crime dramas such as you’d find on Acorn, Masterpiece, and BritBox. This past week, we invested three nights of our life in a NetFlix Originals offering called, The Anatomy of a Scandal. It was engaging enough … until the end, when it became apparent why NetFlix is struggling.

The mini-series follows the prosecution of a British MP who has been accused of a heinous crime by a former subordinate. The viewer learns that the crown prosecutor, who seems far too invested in the case, is, in fact, far too invested in the case – having both a story of her own to tell about the man, and an unhealthy obsession with making him pay. Eventually, though, the man is acquitted as the prosecutor fails to make a case. But in an almost unfathomable turn of events, the man’s wife recounts to the prosecutor knowledge of her husband’s and the Prime Minister’s involvement in an even more horrific scandal, bringing down all of (yes, Tory) British government. The film ends with scenes of the man’s (ex?) spouse enjoying life with the couple’s children outside new, posh, but magically affordable, seaside digs near Dover, and of the prosecutor, who had, just before, looked sadly beaten and worn, now shown back at it in court, bright, happy, and confident-looking, shoulders back, with a gleam of satisfaction in her eye, as if riding on a cloud – number 9, no doubt.

While there were near-countless reasons to dislike this mess and to have regretted pouring three nights into it (that I won’t ever get back, mind you), the biggest issue I had with The Anatomy of a Scandal is the moral of its story: that it’s possible to lift yourself up by tearing someone else down. See, it doesn’t work that way. No one ever got taller by cutting the legs out from under anyone else. 

And that’s the point for the week.



It’s not possible to make one candle burn brighter by blowing another one out. Doubt it? Try it sometime. For fun, light three, then blow two out. The one remaining will not provide any more light. Those who go through life believing that it is possible to improve their position at the expense of someone else are the same sort of people that compete with people they work with and the same kind of folks who make films like The Anatomy of a Scandal. It’s the same mentality that fuels cancel culture; the thought that by destroying someone else, I can make myself look better, feel better, do better, or somehow be better. But the only thing that gets better is the likelihood that decent human beings will want almost nothing to do with me.

See, people don’t want to be around negative people, or people who seek to move ahead by tearing others apart. Instead, people want to spend time with, and be led by, people with something positive to say – by people who lift others up and who by their words and actions seek to make others bigger, not smaller. People want to spend time with people who have something to give, not people whose entire persona is built around taking things away from other people.

Most often, despite the fact that these people believe the problem they are having is with someone else, the problem they are having is solely with themselves. It might be some insecurity or grudge that they’ve ascribed to someone else, but the issue they are having exists only in their own mind. They’ve given control over their life to some offending party for some real or imagined slight –  or simply because that person reminds them that they aren’t good enough, smart enough, kind enough, or whatever enough. But that person is going merrily along living their life while the brutish candle-snuffer makes their own life and the lives of every person they touch a living nightmare because of it. Because they become obsessed with the notion that it is possible to make their life better by making someone else’s worse.

But it’s not possible. Not even once. Not ever.

But the good news is, it does not have to be that way. There is a better way to live and to lead.

The alternative to living this life of hate and resentment isn’t hard. Like almost everything else in life, it’s a choice. It’s a simple choice to reject the notion that your life can somehow improve when someone else’s life gets worse. It’s a choice to lift up rather than put down. It’s a choice to build up rather than tear apart. It’s a choice to make others feel big, not small. It’s a choice to give more than you take. It’s a choice to light candles instead of blowing them out. And it’s a choice to start forgiving others for everything. For until we stop giving other people control over our lives, we are not in a position to lead the lives of anyone. It’s no more complicated than that.

So, make the right, better choice. Light a candle instead.

And win. 

PS. It’s apparently also a choice to stop watching NetFlix originals.

For more about me, please follow this LINK.

To purchase a copy of my new book, please click, HERE.

Image credit: Ben Lambert | Unsplash.com

Categories
Love

Tell Them

Tell them. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog
Image credit: Marc Shaeffer | Unsplash.com

Friday, April 29, 2022

In my work with clients, at the end of each engagement, we conduct an exercise among the members of a firm’s leadership team wherein each member of the team takes a moment or two to tell each individual in the room what they mean to them personally. It is not uncommon for these sessions to become emotional. One I was a part of this week, in Hot Springs, AR, was particularly so. At one point, a member of the team shared with the business leader that the things he was told had so profoundly moved him that he felt like a new person, ready to take on anything, adding that there was not one thing he wouldn’t do for his boss.

See, the thing about this little exercise is that in it, people say things that they never have and maybe never would have to people that they’ve worked alongside for years – decades in some cases. It puts people in a position to let others know that they care about them, that they are valued, and that they matter; and for many people this is knowledge enough to run through a wall or walk over broken glass for the person who said it. See, people don’t do things for others because they have to; they do things for others because they want to, and almost always because somebody made them feel like they were loved and had value in the world. But people won’t always know these things if their leaders don’t say it out loud. To be certain that people know that we care, we need to tell them.

And that’s the point for the week.



Assuming that others know how we feel is one of the gravest errors we as leaders can make – right behind believing that love has no place at work. Most leaders routinely make both mistakes, and as a result, they sub-optimize in almost everything they do.

Too often, whether at home, at work, or in our communities, we fall prey to the notion that those closest to us, those we spend the most time with, and those we see every day must know how we feel about them, for no other reasons than they are closest to us, spend the most time with us, or see us every day. Surely, we think, they must know how we feel. And besides, we go on, we’re not comfortable with all of this lovey-dovey, soft-skill stuff. We’ll just slip them an Amazon gift card one day next week, we tell ourselves.

But people don’t want Amazon gift cards. They want gifts from the heart – words that say you matter to me, I care for you, and I couldn’t imagine doing this without you. More than anything they want to know that they are loved, and they long to actually hear it said out loud.

Our engagement-ending exercise is so powerful because it is the closest thing most of these organizations will ever get to experiencing love in their workplace. And once experienced, it becomes transformational. People will do almost anything for those they love and will likewise do anything to avoid hurting them or letting them down. Such is the result of simply opening one’s mouth and telling people that they count for something – that they are loved.

Organizations that trade on love are able to accomplish extraordinary things because those in them want extraordinary things for the other human beings that work there. It is no more complicated than that. 

And the key to unlocking the extraordinary power of it all is no more difficult than telling people what they mean to you, that you love them, and that you never want them to leave. Because if you do, they won’t.

So, tell them.

And win.

For more about the author, please follow this LINK.

To pre-order my new book, please click, HERE.

Image credit: Marc Shaefer | Unsplash.com

Categories
General Leadership

Be the One Others Want to Follow

Be the one others want to follow. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog.
Image credit: Todd Greene | Unsplash.com 

Friday, April 8, 2022

This week, the North Carolina men’s basketball team very nearly beat Kansas to win the 2022 National Championship game in Boston. I say nearly because the Tar Heels lost by just 3 points, 72 – 69, after having led for much of the contest. UNC was not even supposed to be in this game, let alone be in a position to win it. They were an 8-seed. The last and only time an 8 seed ever won the tournament was 1985 (with no team lower than an 8 having ever reached the final game.)

But the Tar Heels were, in fact, there, and almost won.

Along the way, they beat a 1-seed, a 2-seed and a 4-seed. They got there the hard way. They won their way there.

And they did so with almost the same group of players that had lost in the first round to Wisconsin just one year ago. UNC returned 4 starters from the 2020 – 2021 season. So, with the exception of newcomer, Brady Manek, the team wasn’t much different.

What changed was the coach.

Hubert Davis was different. Hubert Davis was someone these kids wanted to play for. See, teams perform at a significantly higher level when they do what they do for someone they want to follow.

And that’s the point for the week.



In the semi-final game, UNC played Duke in a rubber match it was not supposed to win. Duke, a 2-seed was favored to win by 2 baskets. But it became clear relatively quickly that Carolina would be only the fourth 8-seed to ever play in an NCAA final. It was clear because it became plain to see that the Tar Heel players love playing for Hubert Davis. These kids would follow him anywhere. Duke’s players, on the other hand, were listless. Even in Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game ever, the Blue Devil players didn’t rise to the occasion. There was no apparent love of Coach K. There was no one going over a cliff for him that night.

Those who unwillingly follow someone will bolt, curl up or mail it in at the very first sign of trouble, pain, or difficulty. Even in the best of circumstances, they will rarely give their all. That’s because in the human markets of give and take, the worst leaders take way more than they give. So, when it comes time to ask for more, they find only empty hearts. Those they lean into walk away, leaving them to fight alone.

But those whom others willingly follow are those who put in more than they ever take out. They invest in others with no expectation of return. They seek to make others really, really big, by making themselves really, really small. That’s because they understand the cardinal rule of leadership – that it’s not about them.

It’s the paradoxical truth of all of this: that the more we put others ahead of ourselves, the more they will stand behind us … willingly, without reservation, without fear, and without anyone ever having to throw a dry erase marker in the direction of another human being.

So, be like Coach Davis. Be the one others want to follow. 

And win.

To learn about booking Phillip to speak at your event, please contact us.

To order Phillip’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, please click HERE.

Image credit: Todd Greene | Unsplash.com 

Categories
Conflict

Meet Beyond the Conflict

Meet beyond the conflict. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog.
Image credit: Marta Esteban Fernando | Unsplash.com

Friday, February 18, 2022

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about a well-known quote from the 13th century Persian poet and Islamic scholar, Jalal-ad-Din-Muhammad Rumi, known more popularly as, Rumi. It’s actually the opening line from his poem, A Great Wagon, that goes like this, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

I’ve thought of this simple idea a lot lately, mostly as the division between human beings here in this country and elsewhere in the world deepen by the day. There is almost no issue upon which people can agree. And in that, the reflexive need to disagree has overtaken even the intent to actually solve the problem that is being disagreed about. We have arrived, it seems, at a place where the act or state of disagreement matters more than the issue itself – where the focus has shifted from fixing what is broken to fighting with those you have been programmed to disagree with.

It’s why I’ve been thinking of the Rumi quote so often.

See, I think what Rumi was trying to tell us is that beyond our conflicting ideas of what is right or wrong is someplace entirely apart from the fight – a place where neither combatant is correct – where a perfect solution to the problem can be found; if only they agree to meet there.

And that’s the point for the week. 



As toddlers, shortly after adults take care to teach us the concept of possession, we learn, likewise, to vigorously defend our own ideas. We’re taught that being right is more important than, well, almost anything else. It leads us to grow up and associate any idea with “them” as bad. We learn to focus more on the argument than the outcome. As a by-product of these arguments come ridiculous new additions to the lexicon, like “mostly peaceful.” We become so intent on being right that we lose sight of what or who we were even fighting for in the first place.

But true leaders are those who care little for being right and more about being correct, for there is a vast difference. They maintain focus on the problem they set out to solve originally and care little about whose ideas help move them closer to the ultimate and perfect solution. It’s not that they don’t have belief systems; they just don’t let them get in the way of doing the right thing.

Like Rumi, these people understand that only beyond conflict can meaningful solutions be found. They will tell you that “healthy tension” is a fancy phrase for failure, a term coined by someone who tried and failed to lead others to a productive conclusion. These leaders are trusted by others because they don’t show up with an axe to grind, or an ego to feed, or an agenda to advance. They arrive hands outstretched, palms up, prepared to get to work – together, as one team, on one, more perfect outcome. As a result, those they lead would follow them anywhere. It’s because these leaders put the best interest of others before their own.

When they do things to offend others or to create disagreement, their response is not to do even more of the things that caused others to become distrustful in the first place. To them that would be the same as moving further away from Rumi’s field, not closer to it. And that’s something they’d never do. Because for them, that field, or the idea of it, the vision of it, is ever present. It’s always beckoning, calling us … to a more perfect place, where the best versions of ourselves meet – somewhere out there, beyond the conflict, where imperfect situations meet more perfect ideas and the lives of those we meant to help actually get a little bit better because of it all.

So, stop caring who’s right. Meet out there … beyond the conflict. 

And win.

To learn more about the author, please click, HERE.

To pre-order a copy of Phillip’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, New Alresford, UK, please follow this LINK

Image credit: Marta Esteban Fernando | Unsplash.com

Categories
Caring

Go Among Them

Go among them. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog

Friday, February 11, 2021

Above I490 in Rochester, NY a spray-painted banner screams out for someone to care enough to actually do something about the raging epidemic. But it’s not the epidemic you’re thinking of. It is an epidemic that has been, though, responsible for the death of exactly 100,306 Americans in the 12-month period ended April 2021 – a 28.5% increase from the 78,056 overdoses one year before.

65%, or about 65,000 of these deaths, were attributable to synthetic opioids, primarily Fentanyl. By comparison, a decade ago, in 2011, just 2,666 people died of Fentanyl overdoses. That’s a nearly 2,500% increase. And the people closest to the problem are screaming for help. But those in charge of things – those furthest from the problem – don’t seem to be listening. Those who live with the impact of this horror have an acute understanding of the issue. Those who’ve never seen it before have not one notion about it. See, it’s almost impossible to manage what you’ve never seen before.

And that’s the point for the week.



The amount of knowledge associated with anything is inversely proportional to the distance from that thing’s epicenter. Want to know less about something? Move farther away from it.

Those on the front lines of things know what matters most about those things. If you ask them about these things, they will gladly tell you. If you refuse to ask them, they will find other ways to be heard – they hang banners over interstates, or quit their jobs, or act out inappropriately. But whether asked or not, two things will always be true: one, these people know what they are talking about, and two, these people speak up because they care.

And they will tell you that people who have never spent a single minute in their reality have exactly no chance of solving their problems.

The drug crisis in this country is getting worse because the people in charge of this country have spent almost no time at the leading edge of the problem. Pick a chronic issue and you can be assured that whoever is in charge has never seen it before.

The worst leaders are those who pretend to know things about anything they’ve never seen before. The right answer is easy enough to come by – if they’d only just ask, if they’d only just go look, if they’d only accept that the possibility exists that they might not have all the answers.

True, caring leaders don’t need desperate pleas scrawled on bedsheets to alert them to the fact that problems exist. They know these things because they spend time in every province of their responsibility, with people at every level. For them, these visits are “get to dos” not “have to dos.” It’s because these people genuinely love every single person they have the privilege to care for, regardless of where they are from, who they love, what they look like, what they believe, or who they might have voted for. They do things not because they are popular or because they are easy, but because they make the lives of other people better. They believe in the notion that the first will be last and that their purpose in life is to serve others.

And because they do, people will follow them anywhere. They will do so because they trust these leaders completely – to do right by them, to attend to what matters to them, and to make life better for them. This trust is earned by spending time with those who follow them – where they live and work, by shaking their hands and looking them in the eye while thanking them and assuring them that they matter, and by following through on promises made.

Fixing even badly broken things can be done. But no more are these things possible to do with one’s eyes closed than when what needs fixed has never been seen before. Those who believe they can are the same narcissists who look down upon those closest to the work and who likewise reject the poor in spirit; who have no empathy for those who mourn; who prey on the meek; who cast out those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; who ridicule the merciful, the pure of heart and the peacemakers; and who ignore those who are persecuted and who hang banners on interstate overpasses.

So, go among them. Get close to the problem.

And win.

To learn more about the author, please follow this LINK.

To pre-order Phillip Kane’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please click HERE.

Categories
Love

Be Happy

Be happy. Phillip Kane's andwin.net blog

Saturday, February 5, 2022

This week, one of my heroes left. 

After simply telling people for years that I can count my heroes on less than both hands, I decided to do so more definitively today. I have exactly 7 heroes. 2 of them I’ve never met. Of the other 5, only 2 are still here. 

Quite a long time ago, I decided that grief is a rather selfish emotion – especially for those of us who believe what HE came here selling. 

If we truly believe what HE taught us, then the departure of a hero should be something to celebrate, something to be happy about, not something to grieve over.

And that’s the point I need to be reminded of today.

The man who left this week became a father to me when I lost mine. It was a relationship that only my Aunt T and my own wife fully comprehended. When my world was about to wobble off its axis, he grabbed it, put it back and never let go of it – for almost 23 years. He held on with his whole self because he felt a whole self holding back. He was like that. He gave what he got. 

I’ve missed him for a while. His illness stole his beautiful mind. In a way, he was gone before he was gone.

But in that he taught me to live knowing that he was there, but knowing that he wasn’t holding on to the axis of my world as tightly as before.

He taught me that I could live without him – mostly.

So, today, my world spins on, only a little bit wobbly. 

Mostly I’m happy – like HE taught us to be.

I’m happy that my Uncle RS is happy again. 

And I’m happy that two of my heroes are together again – holding onto each other, with their whole selves.