McBride It!

I was going to post this a few days ago but thought that it made sense to wait until Mother’s Day.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there!

McbrideIn the modern world, there is a certain leaning toward being self-centered.  The pervasiveness of selfies in the social media world sends the message, “Look at me, I’m special.”  While I truly feel it is important for people to believe in themselves, things that go too far to one extreme tend to become their opposite.  Too much of a lifesaving drug becomes poison.  Too much focus on weight loss becomes anorexia.  Too much focus on the self becomes narcissism.  The key to balance is a counterweight.  Brian McBride seemed to have that balance figured out perfectly.

Now I’ve never spoken to Brian McBride about this.  So I’m not sure if I am representing his thought process but here is my outside view.  Whenever he scored a goal, he would kiss his ring in a form of homage to his wife.  This is only one of many reasons why I respected him as a player.  At the moment when all eyes were on him, his thoughts were on the person who supported him.  At a time when people point to themselves, their own name or have elaborate celebrations; his were a welcome counter example.

Each of us should be striving for whatever we deem to be “success”.  That could mean so many things that formulating a list would take forever.  Regardless of your chosen endeavor, none of us can make it completely on our own.  We all require support, encouragement, love and so many other ingredients that come from our family and friends.  No matter how big you get, McBride it!  When everyone one is praising you for how great you are, take a moment to pay homage to the person or people who got you there.  It makes the victory so much sweeter when you have people to share it with.  Maybe it’s even worth it to thank them now, before you’ve made it.  You’re going to need them on the climb!

Have a great day!



The Lake House (When Less Is More)

LakeHouseGrowing up, my grandparents owned an A-frame house in the Pocono Mountains.  It remains one of my favorite places in the world even though they sold it over 20 years ago.  This place was spectacular!  It had no TV, only a radio that may have been from the 1950’s.  There was no running water, we had to fill 5 gallon jugs at the spring nearby.  The toilet was filled by rainwater that needed to be pumped into the basin after each use.  There were exactly two bedrooms and about twelve beds.  The master bedroom was on the first floor and it contained one king size bed.  The rest of the beds were set up end to end in two columns on the second floor varying from a crib up to a queen size.  At maximum capacity, the second floor could sleep about 20 people.  It was located on a gravel road about a half mile from a lake with a small sand beach.  The nearest store or other forms of civilization were at least five miles away.  It was a wonderful place to vacation.

By many standards, this might seem like the exact opposite of a vacation spot.  It seemingly lacks all of the comfort that one might look for in a week away.  However everything that was lacking was what made it so great.  The lack of TV forced everyone to find other ways to entertain themselves.  My brothers and I caught salamanders.  We raced them down the gutters on the side of the house.  My grandmother taught us to play rummy and other card games at night.  The lack of running water made us conscious of our resources.  Also everyone had to pitch in with finding firewood for cooking or carrying supplies from the car on arrival.  The communal sleeping arrangements forced people to get along and be respectful of the needs of others.  We had everything that we needed when we had nothing that most people would have wanted.

In our fast paced, consumer based world, most of us do not lack resources but rather resourcefulness.  Having more things is not particularly the answer.  Now that most Americans have most of their needs met, satisfying their wants has not particularly made them any happier.  Since more is not particularly the answer, perhaps the answer lies in better and deeper forms of less.  Rather than having 500 Facebook friends, it might be better to have 5 irreplaceable friends.  In the place of better resolution on your flat-screen, put more resolve into the relationships with the cast in your own life.

I’m not saying that you can’t have it all.  I’m saying that the key to having it all may be enjoying all that you can from all that you have.  Less will always be more if it is appreciated for what it is and not lamented for all that it lacks.

Double down on a person or situation that really deserves it.