Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday

Birthday CakeHappy Birthday!

I’m in Las Vegas this weekend to celebrate my Mother’s 90th birthday. And while there were so many other things going on in the world this week that I could be writing about (like the amazing events sweeping throughout the Middle East and Valentine’s Day), for me this one takes the cake. Because no matter how old we are, we’re still and always our mother’s child.

90 years is a long time – think about the events that occurred during that time: the roaring 20s, the depression, World War II, baby boomers, the interstate highway system, the rise of suburbs, air travel, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, the Beatles, Roe v Wade, a man on the moon, Woodstock, Watergate, Reagonomics, the boom and bust, the Gulf War(s), the Internet, the Hubble Space Telescope, the end of the Cold War, Bush I and II, the Great Recession, electric cars, the iPod, and Obama (just to name a few). And through it all, my Mom (and every other Mom) stood steadfastly for the simple proposition that each of their children should be all that we could be.

Moms everywhere are amazing: they seemingly know all, they’re always there for us no matter what, they all share an amazing ability to have the right thing to say at the right time (“I’m only doing this for your own good”), they cook and clean and toil endlessly without much complaint and they love without question. And all they ask in return is that we be good kids (and wash our hands, clean our rooms, stand up straight, comb our hair, etc.). Did you ever bring home a boyfriend or girlfriend that your Mom thought was good enough for you? Were your grades ever high enough?  It seems their role was and is to always tell us we’re the best while still challenging us to be better. It’s that balance between unconditional love and a gentle push to do and be more that’s the great lesson given by every Mom to every child.

Mothers never come right out and ask that we love and respect them in return – that’s not in their nature. But they know (because it happened to them) that in the end we do love and respect them. Because we know (or at least suspect) that they did their best to give us what was needed to have the life we wanted. That’s every mother’s gift to every child. And again, in the end, we children realize that the things our mothers say and do really are for our own good!

So Happy Birthday Mom – thanks for all you’ve done and, hopefully, will continue to do for a long time to come!

My message this week is dedicated to my Mom and Moms everywhere – they are and always will truly be the greatest and grandest things in our lives.

Arte Nathan“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”  -Art Linkletter

Arthur Gordon "Art" Linkletter (1912 - 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of radio and TV shows on both NBC and CBS for more than 40 years. Linkletter was famous for interviewing children on House Party and Kids Say the Darndest Things, which led to a series of books quoting children. I have a feeling this quote was somehow inspired by his mother.

In order to make great things you must have a positive attitude. It’s no longer good enough to do just enough to get by – sure you can make that work, but if you have hopes and dreams of a good reputation and a lasting legacy then you have to do more to get more.

A positive attitude helps you to see things in the best light and to think clearly about how to best approach tasks and people and life’s daily challenges. And while things often turn out to be less than expected, it’s your role with your family or friends or work colleagues or neighbors to appreciate the good and help others to do the same. This reflects an inner strength to make the best out of the way things turn out. Do that and see if things turn out the best for you today.

Stay well!

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