Tag Archives: Lessons

Let’s Play

No matter where in the world
No matter what  country
No matter what region
No matter how rich
No matter how poor

Children just want to play


This past weekend, I had a conversation with a gentleman who had traveled the world in the military and now working for the government.  We were talking about how similar we are, as human beings, and he gave the example of seeing children all over the world all wanting one thing  – to play.

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“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul
than the way in which it treats its children.”
 — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa


“Children must be taught how to think,
not what to think.”
  — Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
  — Fred Rogers, television personality


In the end

In the end
I can only hope and pray
That I can
With confidence safely say
That I

Achieved far greater success
Than monumental failure

Broke more unsubstantiated rules
Then played it safe

Caught a higher number of fly balls
Than committed unforced errors

Delivered on more promises
Then made frivolous excuses

Encountered much healthier days
Than sick time

Found greater inner peace
Than internal strife

Gained further financial freedom
Than shackled in debt

Harbored more authentic friends
Than true enemies

Invested extra time in people
Than to things

Joined healthier conversations
Than engaged in gossip

Kept closer distance to great wealth
Than extreme poverty

Loved life at a far higher quality
Than hated anything

Moved weightier mountains
Then got stuck running in place

Narrated more positive dialogue
Than negative thoughts

Performed at a higher standard
Then called upon

Questioned better
Then responded in kind

Reacted less to others opinion
Then formed my own

Swallowed more pride
Than ate unwanted flies

Touched the lives of far more
Than touched mine

Under promised at greater frequency
Than under delivered

Viewed more genuine good in others
Than focused on the bad

X-rayed greater depth of being
Than wallowed on the surface

Yelled much less
Than need be

Zeroed in on the right thing to do
Than followed others blindly

Shall I
With confidence safely say
That I did
I can only hope and pray
In the end.

~Bryan W Hayes
@ August 20, 2014


Taking Action – Act 2

How do we take action?   What propels us forward?  And, likewise, what keeps us standing still or pulls us into reverse?

My Taking Action project is my attempt to highlight people, places and amazing things that may be rather mundane but on some level have attributed some significance.  While the perception may be that there is nothing good to be had in this time and place, I would disagree wholeheartedly and say we live in the most remarkable time in history.  If nothing, right now is all we have so why not give it the most we have and make the very best of the situation?

We needn’t gloss over what ails us, whether it be personally or collectively but there really is nothing to be gained by continually proclaiming a defeatist attitude or a victim mentality.   Together or as one we are more powerful than we can ever imagine.  Our bodies have an innate ability to heal itself, and so theoretically can not the same be said for us collectively?

Maybe.  Maybe not.   The step though is forward.  The thought process is ahead.  The goal is upward, and the aim is high.    Not too high or we are apt to miss our target.  With feet firmly grounded and with winds of opportunity affording us every opportunity to take flight, where we go from here is each our own individual declaration.

On the ground was where we sat.  The P.E. class in the gymnasium watching curiously as a tall, lanky teenager prodded his way across the gym floor knowing full well that all eyes were on his with every step judging him before every speaking a word.  As he reached us, the teacher introduced him to us all, and it was I who asked him “do you play basketball?”

Was not sure if he realized his answer was audible or not, but he affirmed that he did, which was good enough for me.

While his trepidation of that first day in a new school was certainly real so too is how far he has come from there to now.   Having worked and traveled in numerous foreign countries to having served in war, he has grown in more ways than even he could ever imagine.  Who would have thought?  They would say, and he too most likely.

To think this was the same kid who had excruciating trouble getting up in the morning and get himself to school, and even when he did, he once fell asleep in the second to last period math class.  As the bell rang for everyone to get up in leave, the teacher not blind to his snoring in his seat beckoned everyone to be as quiet as can be as he turned out the lights and closed the door behind us all.

A couple of years later while moving, he had a flat bed trailer hauling most of his belongings.   Behind him we watched in curiosity when he turned the corner much too fast as one by one the boxes fell.  Off the trailer and spread out onto the ground, but without even a tap of the brake he continued forth not even slowing down nor the thought of stopping to pick  up the boxes ever crossed his mind.

Crossing the ocean though, we met each other in northern Italy and he introduced me not only to the country but also the language.  He taught me to say “You’re Welcome”, which would have been very helpful had I not instead been propositioning every person I met.  It was nothing something I realized until a native who spoke English looked at me mortified as I told her “You’re Welcome.”    Her face beat red, she told me to repeat that again.

Having the sense of humor that I have, I of course wanted to inquire further about my slip of the tongue.  When pressed further finally she found what words she could while keeping her decency.   “To have a bambino”, she said quite squeamishly.

And, now years later he now has his own “bambino”  to call his own.  A wife and child, both of whom are beautiful people.  His daughter not even one yet, already has a personality all her own.   Her mother is especially attentive and a superior person in every capacity.

And now, years since that day when all eyes were peering on him as his knees shook as he walked, he is strong and confident.  Some of his family, most specifically his aunt, are like my own.  I call her weekly.   And have done so for years.   She is someone who reminds me of Mother Theresa in that she is constantly seeing the best in others, and equally always looking out for the best interest of those around her.   Her days of mobility are not what they once were, but she has a tremendous family support system between her husband and her sons.  They all are by her side.

Sometimes people forget where it is that they came from.  Others do not where they are going.  While there are others too who are not quite sure what got them from there to here.     Then, some know exactly where they are at and understand their past and know they are responsible for their future.   They may have the support system by their side, or they may be fighting the battle solo.   Whatever the case may be there some of each of them in all of us.

Sometimes we walk that long walk with hesitant anticipation.   Other times we wonder who would have thought that we would end up here?  Where ever that here may be.

At least there is solace in knowing that even if in class you fall asleep, that does not necessarily stop you from going far both figuratively and literally.   Waking up happens differently for all of us.  It is what we do while we are awake that makes all the difference.

Our dreams are but the tales of the night too soon forgotten if not for action.   What is your action plan?   Your next move, or play?

Mine is now Act 3.