Wood: Olive – The olive tree represents youth, vigor and nurturing and the olive branch is often offered as a symbolic offering of peace. In the Bible, following the great flood, Noah sent out a dove. The dove returned with a leaf from an olive tree representing rebirth and a world born anew. The bark of the tree is very green and it remains green and soft long after it is cut giving the impression that is forever youthful and never fully matured Symbol: Heart within a heart. The strong heart of a man must protect, teach and feed the tender, developing heart of the child. This is the last of the tenets of the code. It comes last not because it is the least important but because it encompasses everything that comes before it. For in everything we do we are setting the tone for future generations. Children are sponges. They easily and quickly absorb everything they see...
The MDI Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions. It was intended to reflect some very basic core values that all men could rally behind and support. Back in the late 1990s the men of the Western Region created an ark which contained 15 different pieces of word. Each stick was made of a specific type of wood and bore a specific design that reflected the way in which the men of the Western Region related to the tenets of the Code of Honor. The ark has made its way throughout North America and men throughout MDI have had the opportunity to connect with it. I had the honor serving as the caretaker for the ark and was moved to write a bit on how I related to the Code. Embrace All Men The wood representing this tenet is Willow – Willow is known for its flexibility. It...
The MDI Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions. It was intended to reflect some very basic core values that all men could rally behind and support. Back in the late 1990s the men of the Western Region created an ark which contained 15 different pieces of word. Each stick was made of a specific type of wood and bore a specific design that reflected the way in which the men of the Western Region related to the tenets of the Code of Honor. The ark has made its way throughout North America and men throughout MDI have had the opportunity to connect with it. I had the honor serving as the caretaker for the ark and was moved to write a bit on how I related to the Code. Be Humble The wood which represents this tenet is Bamboo – Bamboo is a grass and grows like...
Final Tenet of the Code – Be an Example to Children1
14th Tenet of the Code – Embrace All Men2
13th Tenet of the Code – Be Humble3
Posted by howard | Comments Off on The Gift of Paying Tribute
The passing of ESPN anchor Stuart Scott has received prominent coverage and deservedly so but the thing that stuck with me is that ESPN being fully aware that Scott was living with cancer had the foresight to conduct a series of video interviews with colleagues and athlete’s. It was moving it was powerful and it was ready to go within minutes. There was one unfortunate thing; Scott never got to see it and I suspect it never occurred to the interviewees to pick up the phone and repeat those words to him. It seems to be one of the blind spots of humans, the ability to acknowledge the impact others have had on us, not to others but to that person. The rationale is a desire not to make the person feel uncomfortable. Of course the recipient feeds the notion by protesting any attempt at public adulation. For some reason we buy into the notion that to accept the praise means you lack humility. That used to be me. I cowered from acknowledgement and did everything in my power to defect it, make light of it, or worse, belittle the praiser. Then one day I got it. It took 100 plus men paying tribute to me in the presence of my wife and daughter. But in the moment I shut up and listened for the first time. What I realized was it was not about me. It was about how others had their world shift because they chose to pay attention to and put stock in either my words or way of being. This was their opportunity to be complete with that transformation by sharing the lesson with others, paying it forward so to speak. It has happened often for me and I am continually amazed by who has been affected and by the little things that have proved impactful. It has also given me the ability to feel complete. There is always more to do but it is comforting to know how broad the ripples have been from my pebbles. So, take the time to acknowledge someone today. it is great gift for you and the person you praise. If you are on the receiving end, it is not your job, nor is it the time to offer praise in retort. Just, smile, say “thank you”...Read More
Posted by howard | Comments Off on Questioning What Makes a Classic Classic
After a year’s hiatus it is time to reengage and start pontificating again. With a daughter off at college with aspirations of writing for film and television, I have taken it upon myself to school in the classics. What I have come to discover is the list of great films is much like AP college football rankings; once you gain a spot high on the list, it takes seismic shift to move you off. Case in point, Citizen Kane. In 1941 it was groundbreaking in its approach to cinematography but in the intervening 70 plus years has there not been a better film made? From an entertainment perspective and the shear brilliance of its dialog I submit a better film, Casablanca, hit the screen the very next year. Yet Citizen Kane still sits a top most greatest film lists at number one. Visually it is innovative but the pacing is stilted and acting almost amateurish. In a prior life I was film critic for the predecessor of New York magazine. I was low man on the totem pole so I got to see some truly awful films. I maintained my sanity by finding something redeeming in everything I had to sit through. So I understand the gap between Earth Girls Are Easy and Citizen Kane but through seeing films I revered through my daughter’s eyes I am getting a better sense of what makes a classic classic. So my goal is to begin to delve into what makes a film worthy of the moniker of classic. However, it’ll have to wait until I am done watching Caddyshack for the 23rd time. Happy New...Read More