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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Ryan Howard is a sensational baseball player for the world champs – the Philadelphia Phillies.  (I am still struggle with the designation, “world champs” when only US teams compete for this title?)  Howard is a product of the Rockwood School District in St. Louis County.  I often pass an old ball park where he played as a teenager.  I am not picking on Howard as he represents the good and bad of professional baseball in particular and sports in general.  Howard wants $18 million but the Phillies organization is offering him only$14 million.  Let me repeat myself: Howard wants $18 million but the Phillies organization is offering him only $14 million.   Sorry, this bears repeating a third time: Howard wants $18 million but the Phillies organization is offering only him $14 million.  Americans are losing their jobs, their homes, their hope, their savings, etc.  because we’re in a recession.  And athletes like Howard continue to ask for such exorbitant salaries.  On one hand, we really can’t blame athletes like Howard because other athletes before him have asked and their requests have been honored.  Yet, isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

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I am First Vice President of my son’s Middle School PTO (Parent Teacher Organization).  This week we had a meeting.  When I arrived at the school, I was greeted by a counselor and I told her why I was there.  She was surprised and she thanked me many times.  I was more surprised by what she said, “Most fathers will say to their wives, you do that, that’s for women.”  In other words, apparently there is an ‘unwritten law’ that women should fill and have filled historically PTO positions and not men.  Before the Industrial Revolution, men were the chief educators in their homes and took more of a leadership role in their child’s education.  I would love it if more men ponied up and got more involved in their child’s education.  Men, our kids, need to see us at their schools.  Men, the administrators at our kids’ schools, need to see us actively involved.  (I know there are many men of all races, ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, etc indeed involved – Bravo! My charge to you – get other men involved.)

During the NFL or NBA playoffs I often hear commentators say this, “they are in control of their own destiny.”  Is this really true?  Who is really in control?  Can a mere human being with frailities and limitations say he or she is in control?  Can I know with certainty what the outcome of my actions will be?  I don’t think so.   Heck, I don’t even know what will happen the next minute.  Can I control the actions of other frail and finite human beings?  I don’t think so.  To take a recent example, can those who lost millions of dollars because of Madoff’s greed say “I am in control of my destiny?” Nope.  As a Christian I believe in a personal God who is actively and intimately involved in the affairs of mankind; so I can rest at night because God is in total control.  Knowing this relieves me of whole lot.  This does not relieve me of what my responsibilities are – being a responsible husband, father, educator, tax payer, and United States citizen, etc. but I a  relieved that I am not in complete/total control.  Whew, what a relief!