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Kenn Blanchard For Maryland

I’ve listened to Mr Blanchard in a couple podcast interviews. He sounds like a clear thinking level headed person. I can’t vote for him from Ohio but I do support his run for office.

SlowFacts

Kenn Blanchard is a friend of mine and he is running for county office in Prince Georges County, Maryland.  Please give him a read and then give him a hand.  Here are Kenn’s words.

Kenn-the-author3I am not a career politician. In fact, this is my first go at this thing. I used to wary of anybody that actually wanted to be a politician. But here I go. Why, because I care about the state of Maryland. I care about the state of my community. I am entering into the Maryland political race this year as a county councilman. It’s not a big position to some since most folks don’t even vote for these lesser known spots,  but I’m going for it and will win if you help me. I want to be here for you, and for the long term.  This is your investment in someone you know. Someone who…

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There is nothing more important than family.

Ive been a big proponent of teaching my kids the value of family. I come from a very broken family and find it extremely important to teach my kids to take care of each other. I won’t bore you with my personal history of adoption, multiple divorced parents and evil step mothers. There are years of not communicating with parents, step parents and siblings. I want my kids to stick together. I constantly ask them what the most important thing in life is. They quickly respond with “Family”.

I’ve managed to do several things different than my “father”. I married the perfect person for me the first time. I actually stuck around to raise my kids. I have supported the mother of my children. My kids are growing up in one house, one school system and have built lasting friendships in our community. I feel good in knowing my wife and I dated, got married and then had kids. I think there is something to that system that works. Having a marriage, kids and a home were not coincidence for us. My wife and I have planned and worked for it. Families are assembled in many non traditional ways. Please don’t mistake that for a judgment. How a family is built is not as important as how it stays together.

My wife and I try to set the example. We take care of each other and volunteer in our small town. We include our kids in the volunteering. The small town I live in is full of families that stick together. Generations of family working, playing and growing together. By helping in my community, I have been repaid with witnessing multiple good examples of families that stick together. My community has helped me grow. I am quite envious of how these families all depend on each other. I want my kids to make depending on each other second nature. I want to be in their lives forever. I want them to understand the value of helping those outside our family. Part of having good neighbors is being a good neighbor. My kids will be good neighbors.

I wish it was easier to get my siblings, parents and myself on board with this theology toward ourselves. I am not sure how to teach this to the parts of my family that are distant or non existent from my life. I’ve made some attempts in the past with short lived success. The relationships seem to slip back into a funk of no communication or concern. I’ve had my own father hide when he married my one of my step mothers. There is even a chance he has done this a second time. Even serious life threatening medical issues are kept as information not worth communicating in my family. It’s sad but I have given up all hope of mending this area. Some one else will need to step up this time.

I will do everything in my power to help my kids support each other. I could not imagine my kids being as distant from me as most of my family is with myself. Family values are still alive in my house.

Thanks for reading. I hope You can find inspiration in my story.
Have you hugged your kids today?

Marc in Ohio

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De we care enough to do the right thing?

It’s expensive to own 4 redneckafied children. I’ve worked several days in a row and look forward to an ATV ride. I filled the ATV after my last ride. As I turn on the key it becomes obvious I need gas again today despite not touching the ATV for over a week. I reach for my largest gas can. The big can is empty. I start searching for one of my smaller cans. A smaller gas can is on the seat of the kids ATV. It seems both their ATV and this small can are empty. I see another can next to their minibike. You guessed correctly, there is a gas shortage at RNR. Like most issues around here, this can be solved with dad’s wallet.
Years ago this simple issue would have me angry. It seems so simple to leave a note, make a call or send dad a text asking for more gas. Was my kids solution to stop riding the machines until dad discovers the gas shortage? Years of managing people has offered a different perspective. It’s better to coach the correct behavior and set expectations. I still let the consequences of poor choices be felt. I have a plan for this now.

My experiences tell me people would rather walk away from a simple thing then ask for it to be corrected. I’m not sure if it’s caused by fear of liability or just an inability to problem solve. Let me explain further with toilet paper(TP) as an example. If I walk into a stall I check the TP situation prior to any need for it. If I see there is not enough for the coming task I will use the next stall. Then I inform an attendant of the shortage. It’s the informing of the attendant I think most people skip. Most take what they need then leave the problem unresolved because it no longer effects them directly. An empty TP roll also indicates the cleanliness of some users. Did they really run out at the exact same time the need for TP was completed? (Gross).
Let’s take this a step further in a less disgusting area. Let’s say you go to your bank. The pens are all chained to a desk. You are using a pen. The pen stops writing. What do you do?
A) Put the pen back where you found it and seek a working pen.
B) Advise the teller and seek a new pen.
I argue that most of our population solves their own problem by seeking the next pen. They are not going to be tasked with the difficulty of informing a teller about the pen needing replaced. They may even utter words of discontent that the bank has provided a faulty pen. There is also a good chance the teller has been watching people try to get that pen to write all day. The teller may even say to herself, some one should change that pen. What ever happened to problem solving skills and the initiative to use them.
For the record, I will buy some more gas. However, I will let my kids bikes continue to be out of gas until they ask for more. I will coach them to ask for gas prior to creating a shortage. I want my kids to be foreword thinkers. They should be solving problems before there are problems. Plan ahead then act your plan. Think of the next person coming to use the TP, ATV or pen. We can be better citizens.

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