Even mentioning my plans to look at minivans earned the kind of under-the-breath-but-actually-directly-at-you reactions you might expect.
“Well, well, well, a minivan, huh?! Going to be a van dad, huh?! Deciding to give up being cool, huh?!”
Even as jokes, the point seemed to be that entertaining the minivan — no matter the circumstance — constituted some failure on my part.
Let me say one thing from the outset: I place very little value on out-dated definitions of masculinity, strength, coolness, etc.
Any apprehension I had adopting the minivan did not hinge on any arbitrary definition of what constitutes a ‘manly’ or ‘cool’ automobile or not. My personal credo is not inherently linked to any product or campaign. (Gillette or otherwise.)
My real issues with a minivan rested in my realization that I’m entering a very different phase of life, and that my definition of ‘utility vehicle’ must change.
Continue reading “Why I hesitated becoming a Minivan Dad (it’s not why you think)”
Kevin McGinty was one of those people whose generosity of spirit cut through the callousness of a world drenched in cynicism.
He could be cynical, like all of us, but I only heard it in the form of his jokes, or anecdotes, or a few words of encouragement.
As I heard of his death today, I wanted to offer an anecdote of him that I remember daily.
[Listen to a special program in tribute to Kevin]
Continue reading “Remembering Kevin McGinty”
In the pangs of grief the simplest tasks can seem the most insurmountable.
Buttoning a shirt.
Pouring a glass of water.
Writing a paragraph.
Inexplicably we can burst into tears because our subconscious remembered that we were grieving, before our conscious selves permitted the rawness to claw back to the surface.
Continue reading “In grief, the shortest writing can be the hardest”
It’s a powerful scene in the movie Kingdom of Heaven, in which newly-minted Christian knight Balian (Orlando Bloom) releases into freedom ‘Saracen’ knight Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani…on account of his quality.
Balian had fought and defeated what he thought was Imad’s master, over a horse found on the master’s desert plot. Balian ordered Imad to take him to Jerusalem, but then released him and gifted him the horse.
“Your quality will be known among your enemies, before ever you meet them,” Imad says, before riding off.
He recognized the goodness (or at least capacity for mercy?) in Balian.
Continue reading “Your quality known among your enemies”
It wasn’t until long after the car had passed, and I had escaped unscathed, that I realized I hadn’t panicked. I remember hearing once that traffic incidents often happen near home, probably because we let our guards down.
Maybe that was in the back of my mind as I rode my scooter, on my street, three houses from my home, and I saw the headlights veering toward me. Cars park along one side of my street, so it’s not unusual for a car to drift farther than necessary. I watched closely though, shifting closer to the sidewalk on my side of the street. The headlights kept coming. The speed was noticeable. I moved even farther to the sidewalk. Then the headlights swerved quickly toward me, then away, and the car passed.
I stopped, letting my scooter lean beneath me toward the sidewalk as I looked at the car, waiting for some sign that the driver was aware. It appeared to run a stop sign and hurry away. After continuing home, and taking stock of what had happened, I realized: I didn’t panic.
It may seem like a silly thing to think about, “did I, or didn’t I, panic, and why, or why not?” But I’m very aware of how much control over my reactions I do or don’t have in situations. As a radio host, I’ve been told I’m uncannily cool under pressure, under deadline, under the constraints of a clock. The fact about radio, though, is whether or not I hit a post (speak within my allotted time) or not, is not a life or death matter. Of course I have pride in my work, a deep work ethic, and a desire to do my best for my listeners, employer, and self.
Continue reading “As the headlights swerve toward you, don’t panic”
Coming into an event to talk about freedom of speech, sponsored by a ‘citadel of free speech,’ one might expect to have an open and honest conversation about..free speech.
But in reality, fear of persecution for panelists or their families is sometimes too strong a factor in how open people want to be.
Continue reading “When a forum on free speech faces realities of censorship”