Leading up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I, like most people, are reflecting on what that tragic day was to us personally. Do the events of that day conjure up thoughts of American Pride, anger, sorrow, of course. But for me, personally, I have mixed emotions from that month. NO, I don’t plan on writing about my frustration with airport security, or the issues around ground zero. The other half of my emotional spectrum is joy.
On September 11, 2001, my wife, Jennifer was 9 months pregnant with our child (I didn’t know if it was a he or she at that time). He was born on 9/26/01 and we named him, Truce Gehrig Souza. A lot of people at the time thought that we named him that because of what was going on at the time. That was not the case. Truce Myers was Jennifer’s great Uncle and he’s named after him (Gehrig is after my favorite baseball player of all time, Lou Gehrig).
Following that days after 9/11, Jennifer and I poised the big question; What kind of world are we bringing a child into that things like this happen? My son was born into the war on terrorism and two weeks from now he’s going to celebrate his 10th birthday. He’s never NOT lived under the flag of war.
But 10 years ago, there was no such thing as a “War on Terror”. There was only me, my beautiful wife and our soon to be born son. There was no such thing as autism. It existed, don’t get me wrong, but to us it was Dustin Hoffman in Rainman. It would be 3 more years until we became connected to autism. There was Jebadiah the wonder dog, and Junebug but no Eve or Bella. There was 2003 Westview, but no 1516 Bowman. There was a Nana, not the memory of her. There was an A.G. Edwards & Sons, there was not a Souza Financial Group.
My 30′s have given me the best damn 10 years of my life. I’m happy and grateful for so many things that I can’t begin to name them. America, I love ya, however I’m going to spend the day relishing in the joys you offer us, not in the tragedies of the past. I have a pork butt on the grill and there is a full day of NFL games on. If that doesn’t say “America”, I don’t know what does. God bless the families of those lost on 9/11 and everyday in the war since. God bless everywhere.
I have told you before about how much I love TED talks. One of my favorite TED talks is from Sir Ken Robinson. He talks about how schools kill creativity. (I added the video below.) I came across a video that features Sir Ken again doing a talk for RSA. The RSA is “an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.” One angle on that is the RSA Animate that is shown with Sir Ken’s talk. Very TED-like, so I can get on board with that.
This the third or fourth post that I have done relating to education reform or the way that our children learn. I remember hearing that all revolutions start in the back room of an ale house. Well, maybe blog posts are the modern day pint of ale.
It’s a little over 11 minutes long, but well worth the time invested.
Here is the creativity talk from Sir Ken Robinson:
While at a conference this past week, I received a card with the following quote on it. Take a second to think about it. I have not been able to get it out of my head since I got it last Thursday. I have made a printout of it and it’s on my bathroom mirror.
Yesterday, I was flipping channels and stopped on the “Real Housewives of wherever”. I watched about 15 seconds, thought about this quote, turned it off and fired up Netflix and watched an interesting documentary.
I have thought about my daily routine and have started to look for ways that I can replace useless activities with something better. Things that feed my mind and soul. I’ve already replaced the talk radio stations with books on tape. Read this through and give it some thought for your daily life. You may just find some opportunity for change.
“This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be a gain and not a loss; good, not evil. Success, not failure in order that I shall not regret the price I have paid for it.”
While cleaning out some old papers this morning, I found a copy of this article by Rick Reilly. Since everyone is busy today putting their new year’s resolutions into place, I thought this article would put it all in perspective.
Funny You Should Ask
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Posted: Tuesday April 13, 1999 10:13 AM
So we were lying on our backs on the grass in the park next to our hamburger wrappers, my 14-year-old son and I, watching the clouds loiter overhead, when he asked me, “Dad, why are we here?”
And this is what I said.
“I’ve thought a lot about it, son, and I don’t think it’s all that complicated. I think maybe we’re here just to teach a kid how to bunt, turn two and eat sunflower seeds without using his hands.
“We’re here to pound the steering wheel and scream as we listen to the game on the radio, 20 minutes after we pulled into the garage. We’re here to look all over, give up and then find the ball in the hole.
“We’re here to watch, at least once, as the pocket collapses around John Elway, and it’s fourth-and-never. Or as the count goes to 3 and 1 on Mark McGwire with bases loaded, and the pitcher begins wishing he’d gone on to med school. Or as a little hole you couldn’t get a skateboard through suddenly opens in front of Jeff Gordon with a lap to go.
“We’re here to wear our favorite sweat-soaked Boston Red Sox cap, torn Slippery Rock sweatshirt and the Converses we lettered in, on a Saturday morning with nowhere we have to go and no one special we have to be.
“We’re here to rake on a jack-high nothin’ hand and have nobody know it but us. Or get in at least one really good brawl, get a nice shiner and end up throwing an arm around the guy who gave it to us.
“We’re here to shoot a six-point elk and finally get the f-stop right, or to tie the perfect fly, make the perfect cast, catch absolutely nothing and still call it a perfect morning.
“We’re here to nail a yield sign with an apple core from half a block away. We’re here to make our dog bite on the same lame fake throw for the gazillionth time. We’re here to win the stuffed bear or go broke trying.
“I don’t think the meaning of life is gnashing our bicuspids over what comes after death but tasting all the tiny moments that come before it. We’re here to be the coach when Wendell, the one whose glasses always fog up, finally makes the only perfect backdoor pass all season. We’re here to be there when our kid has three goals and an assist. And especially when he doesn’t.
“We’re here to see the Great One setting up behind the net, tying some poor goaltender’s neck into a Windsor knot. We’re here to watch the Rocket peer in for the sign, two out, bases loaded, bottom of the career. We’re here to witness Tiger’s lining up the 22-foot double breaker to win and not need his autograph afterward to prove it.
“We’re here to be able to do a one-and-a-half for our grandkids. Or to stand at the top of our favorite double-black on a double-blue morning and overhear those five wonderful words: ‘Highway’s closed. Too much snow.’ We’re here to get the Frisbee to do things that would have caused medieval clergymen to burn us at the stake.
“We’re here to sprint the last 100 yards and soak our shirts and be so tired we have to sit down to pee.
“I don’t think we’re here to make SportsCenter. The really good stuff never does. Like leaving Wrigley at 4:15 on a perfect summer afternoon and walking straight into Murphy’s with half of section 503. Or finding ourselves with a free afternoon, a little red 327 fuel-injected 1962 Corvette convertible and an unopened map of Vermont’s backroads.
“We’re here to get the triple-Dagwood sandwich made, the perfectly frosted malted-beverage mug filled and the football kicked off at the very second your sister begins tying up the phone until Tuesday.
“None of us are going to find ourselves on our deathbeds saying, ‘Dang, I wish I’d spent more time on the Hibbings account.’ We’re going to say, ‘That scar? I got that scar stealing a home run from Consolidated Plumbers!’
“See, grown-ups spend so much time doggedly slaving toward the better car, the perfect house, the big day that will finally make them happy when happy just walked by wearing a bicycle helmet two sizes too big for him. We’re not here to find a way to heaven. The way is heaven. Does that answer your question, son?”
And he said, “Not really, Dad.”
And I said, “No?”
And he said, “No, what I meant is, why are we here when Mom said to pick her up 40 minutes ago?
Issue date: April 12, 1999