Surprise!

You know how you go along in life as the parents/adults?  And often you “think” you know what this kid or that kid would be great at or should possibly do?  And then…then? Well take a look at this! I’m still in shock, and it’s the very best kind! The punk stellar young man on the left, is the son of my friends Cathy and Dave Brown. Chad attended FanFest for Mariners baseball last Saturday, and snagged a spot in the Roots Sports booth.  Holy Cow!  It’s like he’s been a commentator for years!  My older kids were so pumped,while my youngest (rabid Mariners fan) sat with his mouth hanging open. Literally.

Just goes to show you…you simply never know.  Life is full of interesting things.  And chances are, you really haven’t a clue as to the talent, potential and possibilities belonging to those individuals with whom you live.  What a privilege it is to dwell with greatness.  It is an even greater one to watch it unfold!

While it is often said that parenting isn’t for whimps…it is most definitely for the privileged!

GO CHAD! He’s got the “head nod” part down really well, dontcha think?!

 

 

This could possibly be the longest, biggest “sports blitz” I have ever been on in my life! Over and out.

TeriSig

And Then There’s This One…

I’m still pondering one of the hottest trends on the web. Wrote about it Tuesday, didn’t excuse poor behavior; and read this yesterday.  A lot of food for thought.

Own your errors, admit it when you’re out of line…but man! This has gotten way out of control!

I hope you’ll read the article and weigh in.

Richard Sherman classless

To Read the Article, Click Here

TeriSig

Out On A Limb

The title is where I’m headed today.

For you see, I know quite-near-next-to-nothing about the NFL. And yet, Sunday’s game has left me very troubled in a lot of ways. This is quite an understatement.

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks

For me, there are issues involving “the incident” with Richard Sherman that come from a definite rookie angle; but are the topic of much conversation in the Helm’s Household, as well as out of it; for I have texted voraciously with Son #1 and others.

In the spirit of the Leadership Education principle “You, Not Them,” I have a confession to make. It involves a basketball game in 1993 that my brother was coaching.  I was visiting Seattle with my two oldest (and only at the time) sons. My brother invited us to ride the bus to the game, thinking that the boys would love it. They did. (At least on the way there.)

Perhaps the game became rather intense, and perhaps I felt that one of the refs was blind (my brother Tim later confirmed he was, but that is still to this day beside the point) and perhaps I stood to my feet and screamed this fact, until the principal of the school left his post on the other side of the gym; taking his time to get to where I was seated, asking me sincerely if I needed to step outside.  He was absolutely right in what he did, and I was mortified. So was my brother. I remember one of the kids on the bench choosing to seize that momentary awkward silence in which the entire game stopped, and everyone’s eyes were on me by stating, “Geez, lady, you have serious problems. This is only a game!” That bus ride home was awkward at best and I was very alone in my seat near the back.

It is still not one of my finer life moments by any means. And there have been others not related specifically to sports.

I do have a small measure of comfort in the fact that my brother, Tim, (who clearly can no longer defend himself, but could also not deny one thing here in print) has been kicked out of many a game; using up his quota of technical fouls.  His reputation for quietly and professionally goading refs and other coaches lives on in infamy.  Son #3 and I were laughing last evening over the fact that during one particular visit with my brother,while at a high school game, he had mentally uttered to himself, “What the h*ll is your problem?!”

Be that as it may, I believe we are faced with some big ones.

For after Richard Sherman’s “unprofessional outburst” (and it was, there is absolutely no question,) a fire storm within social media venues everywhere ignited.

Sadly, the blaze continues and has burned both bridges and opportunities in its pathway down the slippery slope of things not even pertaining to football.

Leadership Education also encourages knowledge that is both broad as well as deep.  I have zero depth in the world of the brown pigskin ball, other than what my brother Tim, my father, and my BFF Cathy have graciously passed along.  In an effort to understand a wee bit about the game, I read this book,

Tony Dungy

and had many a discussion with Tim about its contents.  It was a wonderful, insightful and eye-opening read and I highly recommend it. Since then, more than once, I have heard a zealous but well-meaning parent declare, “I would never want my child to go into politics! Oh no! A career in sports is where we’ve got them headed!”
I laugh, for I can’t decide which is more fraught with political strife: the career or a professional game!

Somehow, in today’s America, the fan/observer/enthusiast has come to be expert, gospel-truth-providing political pundit; taking the convenient form more often than not, of an anonymous-but-influential package.

Know this: I am not defending poor sportsmanship or unacceptable behavior. But there is plenty of it coming from the 12th man, and they aren’t just Seahawk’s fans.

The 12th man in my book, is the crowd that weighed in and then, from the comfort of their own easy chair, complete with an array of snacks only an arm’s length away; began fueling an age-old fire, that in many arenas is still blazing.

It concerns me that inappropriate behavior somehow managing to be redefined as expert opinion or even “fact” can be manipulated and reworked into equally absolute truth with influence, by those all too quick to seek immunity, safety and absolution behind a keyboard and a screen.

I know from personal experience, being a passionate person who shares opinions and ideologies too freely at times, that there are simply those moments, when after the fact; one wishes they had done things differently.  I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but I find it horrifying that a gross error of judgment escalates to blanket statements encompassing things one really knows very little about, and never will. And just that quickly, gaining even more followers, also armed with blanket-statements-and-stereotypes-turned-truth, it focuses relentlessly on an individual’s ethnicity and stereotypical prejudice which still, after all these years, slides too easily off both tongue and fingertips…despite yesterday’s holiday being all about honoring the headway this man made for the cause.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Undoubtedly, professional athletes have significant influence over youth in America. Who am I kidding?  They have influence over all of America as a culture!

But do they honestly possess influence at its greatest?  It is my opinion that the answer is no, for real genuine relationship trumps iconic moments of glory every time.

Face-to-face, consistent, accountability is what is life changing in the end. And what kids (mine in particular) see me living, texting, writing, and what their ears hear me saying about and to others, is the greatest influence to abolishing hyped up, misdirected fear there is. Dr. King was all about this particular angle and made staggering headway using it towards fear’s demise.

Fear serves no one well. Responding to inappropriate actions with further inappropriate action, gives way to an even greater foothold where it is concerned. It limits and produces myopic vision that sees snippets and parts rather than the whole.

Fear feeds on opinion rather than fact. It takes root quickly and tenaciously where stereotypes of others based on culture and color are used to qualify those opinions whether they are relevant to occurring actions or not.

The oldest of my children asked me after the principal walked away that day, “Mom, are you in trouble?”

I meekly and humbly replied, “Yes.” It went far deeper than that one word answer.

One of Webster’s definitions of bravery is “showy display, magnificence.” Richard Sherman’s prowess and play are certainly in that category, are they not?

Wisdom, on the other hand, which is defined as: “a wise decision, good sense showing in a way of thinking, judgment or action”, seems to be what is lacking. Not just on the part of the athlete, but a lot of 12th man individuals who continue to weigh in.

Perhaps pursuing impact through relationships with the power of our personal influence in mind would serve to honor the legacy of Dr. King’s dream. A dream, referenced often, and revered much, that involved abolishing fear so that understanding could reign.

Let’s be leaders who stick to the real issues, readily admitting fault when there is a need.

Courage: it “involves qualities of the spirit and personal conduct.”

In the future, even when I “lose it”, have need to apologize and own my errors, may it always be void of color.
TeriSig

A Definite Blessing Through Adversity

Bruce Brown1

The greatest adversity in my life thus far has been the circumstances and aftermath of my brother’s death.

Even the greatest of cliches in life resonates truth when the rubber meets the road.  Adversity builds character, and with it, can unwrap gifts that are incredible.

From the time my brother entered junior high, Bruce Brown began to mold and influence his pliable young life.  The results were much of what you grew to love, admire, and cherish about Tim.

I knew Bruce and his wife, Dana, through my brother.  When he passed, they, along with so many others, supported, encouraged, served, and bolstered me.

They continue to.

Bruce’s legacy within athletics is impressive, illustrious, and chock-full of success.  He is a man who weighs that success in consistent, measured contacts with former students, athletes and coaches. Oh, and there are “cheerleader-loving-sisters-of-former-student-brothers-who-turn-out-amazing” types like me in there, too!

That last post resonated with so many of you!  I smiled at all of the commentary I received in e-mails, comments, and face-to-face.

Bruce is gracious to me and reads the blog.  His wisdom is so faithful to encourage, connect, and uplift others.

It is my privilege to share his words with you here.  Good things do come from adversity, and many of them are true blessings in disguise.

He’s one of them.

 

“Well said! Listen for truth, separate out the mean spirited or garbage and flush it – keep your focus on the people (like me) where you are making a difference.

WIN – What’s Important Now – move forward and don’t let anyone impact the positive energy.

Secure people solve problems, insecure people create problems when they don’t even exist.

You’re the best!”

I happen to think that he is. Those are some insights to file away; and they are guaranteed to bless during and through adversity!
TeriSig

 

Just a Friendly Reminder…

Salvation Army Kettle3

Just a friendly reminder during this Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

a season of good will and cheer.

If you are looking for venues to give charitably…

The Salvation Army kettles are a wonderful option.

This past weekend, as we pulled up in front of our local Trader Joes…

Salvation Army Kettle1

there were our friends the Whites and the Blodgetts!

They were cheerfully singing while ringing the bell!

The kids were adorable in the child-sized aprons…

and my friend Genevieve…

Salvation Army Kettle2

was a two-fisted ringer!

A couple of facts for your learning pleasure:

The Salvation Army does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or religion…

and one hundred percent of everything you give to the red kettle stays in the local community…

where it is received to address needs there.

Easy-peasy!  And definitely a way to help “Do the Most Good!”
TeriSig

World Changers

I remember approaching Dr. Oliver DeMille at a function in which we were seated in a classroom where beautiful portraits hung on the walls.  They were made in a fashion to look like oil paintings, and I had been studying them for quite some time while the lecture was going on. (Busted.) Individuals I recollect were Abigail Adams, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa and Benito Juarez. There were others, who sadly, escape me in this moment.

I had been pondering the lives of these people, who weren’t without mistakes; some of which produced consequences that were less than desirable, or even admirable.

“Dr. DeMille, I’m wondering how one reconciles looking to some of these individuals, when perhaps character and integrity were comprised at pivotal times within the course of their lives. Clearly I ask based on my own values and core, but still; I ask.”

He smiled and clarified something that I have not forgotten.

“Within the context of Leadership Education, the idea isn’t to always find world leaders and icons from history with which our own values and core principles align. Rather, it is to look to the attributes, qualities, characteristics and methodologies that they employed that brought about a ground swell that changed the world. There is, and always will be great opportunity for personal growth and epiphany when studying through that lens.  Especially when we begin to see patterns that emerge that are similar in nature.”

Freedom lies within the facts that I don’t have to agree with everything you have done, represent, or value, in order to learn from your life and be profoundly challenged and changed.

This man deserves to be honored for remaining steadfast to tenets in which he believed. When faced with adversity, he chose to become self-educated. And without a doubt, he changed the world.

I, for one, am grateful that he lived, and for the inspiration through his example I have been able to glean; because my life has been present on this planet alongside his.
TeriSig

 

  Nelson Mandela quote1

 

Three Additional Gifts

I was overwhelmed at the kindnesses expressed by many of you regarding the previous post “True Gifts.” Some commented here, others e-mailed, while still others sent texts.

Yesterday, an incredible man was laid to rest. And in keeping with both legacy and the season, he gave me three additional gifts in the form of poignant reminders.

It is my privilege to share them with you now.

1. Service to God and country affords freedom: both personal and collective.

Dale Young Graveside1

Dale Young Graveside22

I wept profusely at the privilege of witnessing military honors.  I never tire of them. Sacrificing for freedom ushers in abundance of spirit.  Abundance of spirit gives birth to possibility.  And possibility is endless where freedom exists.  Honoring God is the bonus that guarantees a kind of success that can’t be defined.  Dale risked all, and therefore gained all; both by the world’s standards as well as Heaven’s.

2. Family Is a Grounding Source In All We Do.

Dale Young Graveside2

Dale Young Graveside3

What you are seeing present here, are Dale’s immediate family members plus a few employees and friends. Very few. It is mostly just family.

The community service will be after the first of the new year.

Pretty magnificent site, is it not?

Despite differences, disagreements and viewpoints that often may not align completely; at the end of the day, family matters. It grounds, supports, defines and refines us. All of us. While for many people, the basic family unit may not be pleasant, what we ultimately choose to do with those circumstances will make or break our lives.

What you choose to leave speaks very clearly to what you valued, invested in, and prioritized. Today I saw the fruit of that priority and it was a beautiful thing.

3. Never lose sight of where you came from and who you are.

Dale Young Graveside25

The simple, unadorned beauty of Dale’s casket was thought provoking.  Afterward, it was shared in conversation with a family member, that he personally dictated exactly how it was to be.

Community icon, extremely successful, capable and self-sufficient; Dale didn’t let it go to his head. Rather, he viewed his resources and positions as tools within a framework that allowed him to bless as well as influence others for good. Quietly. Faithfully. Without a lot of hoopla, fanfare or glory seeking. He was an individual that never lost sight of who he was or where he came from.  A rather novel perspective in today’s Western Worldview, is it not?

Those are my three things.  They were generous reminders, indeed.

I guess there were really four.

Never underestimate the power of association and friendship.  It will make or break you; for influence is everything.

Dale Young Graveside26

Merry Christmas to me.

TeriSig

Because One Day Really Isn’t Enough…

and because no longer post on Mondays.  I simply can’t overlook this most important honor, and the opportunity to say thank you to our veterans.

Arlington with Lincon quote1

The Student Centered Movement

I’m asking (imploring, really) you to read this article.  It will take a few minutes.  It will both inspire and haunt you. I loved it, and since I love you too, I’m asking you to invest in learning (or revisiting) one of the paramount “whys” of Leadership Education. There are thousands upon thousands of Paloma Noyola Buenos in this world. It is for the betterment of us all that we find them.
TeriSig

mexicanschool_large

José Urbina López Primary School sits next to a dump just across the US border in Mexico. The school serves residents of Matamoros, a dusty, sunbaked city of 489,000 that is a flash point in the war on drugs. There are regular shoot-outs, and it’s not uncommon for locals to find bodies scattered in the street in the morning. To get to the school, students walk along a white dirt road that parallels a fetid canal. On a recent morning there was a 1940s-era tractor, a decaying boat in a ditch, and a herd of goats nibbling gray strands of grass. A cinder-block barrier separates the school from a wasteland—the far end of which is a mound of trash that grew so big, it was finally closed down. On most days, a rotten smell drifts through the cement-walled classrooms. Some people here call the school un lugar de castigo—“a place of punishment.”

 Click here to continue reading.

 

Never Forget

 My brother, Tim, wrote this piece in 2011.  Truth is truth…regardless of the year. May we never forget. And may we always act. ~ Teri

It’s hard to believe that 12 years ago we were a different country.

People could go to the gate to see loved ones off on a trip…

you could put a bottle of shampoo in your carry on bag…

and when the power went out in a large section of Southern California…

no one had to announce that it was NOT an attack of some sort.

Yes, we definitely behave differently because of the 9/11 event that happened 12 years ago today.

I’ve always believed you can tell a lot about a person by how they choose to remember things.

I am accused frequently of being an optimist.

One of my favorite T-shirts of all time was worn no doubt by a pessimist, and it read, “Optimists are half full of it”.

There is humor and truth in that statement!

It seems there are 3 ways that memory can be applied when it comes to times of crisis.

One way is to look back with REGRET…

remembering the horrific events that caused, panic, death, destruction, and anger.

Another perspective would be to reflect on the PERSONAL impact of such events.

Dwelling on how an event affected someone individually is not uncommon…

and often people like to recant where they were, what they felt…

and how influenced their own lives were during times of stress and fear.

There is a third way to revisit crisis and change…

that is much more productive and conducive to growth and connection…

between people, teams, and organizations.

Out of most crises come two things: HEROES and HEALING.

There have been many specials offered this week…

that focus on the planes crashing into the towers…

people jumping off the roofs, and the destruction that ensued.

That is sadly what sells advertising in this day and age.

No doubt others will tell their personal stories.

While there is nothing wrong with remembering all aspects of such turbulent times…

it is more beneficial to the future to focus on other aspects.

Allow a moment for a recollection of other events.

Let’s remember the heroes who became such…

simply because they chose to act.

Many had no special talent or background.

Todd Beamer, whose name honors a high school in our state…

gave the order, “Let’s roll”…

undoubtedly saving lives from being taken by Flight 93.

Firefighters went back into the buildings…

in order to save others.

History recognizes these types of people, as it always seems to do.

Paul Revere, John Paul Jones, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr….

it doesn’t matter what era one chooses…

there are accounts of those who chose to act in times of crisis.

What might have seemed insignificant and simply “what needed to be done” at the time…

can often live eternally as heroic.

But remembering the heroes only brings half of the value…

when moving forward from times of turmoil.

Focusing on the healing that takes place…

coming together for a common purpose…

setting aside past bitterness, overcoming fear…

and creating a united resolve to move forward…

is the hidden value of crisis.

Remember when members of Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol building and sang together?

There were no Republicans or Democrats that day…

just Americans.

How sad that a mere 12 years later…

they are back to the fighting and backstabbing…

for power against each other.

Remember when companies pitched in…

to help their competitors stay afloat…

amidst the debris of paperwork on the streets…

and lost data from destroyed networks?

Remember the construction companies that volunteered equipment and manpower…

to clean up seemingly insurmountable piles of rubble?

Remember the feeling of unity and pride in what our nation had survived?

These are the actions and memories that should be sustained.

In no way is there a comparison…

between the 9/11 tragedy…

and smaller crises that we face in our corners of the world.

But our REACTION to those crises can be applicable.

During high stress…ACT.

Be the one who makes an effort to assist.

ANY effort is valuable.

Be the one to set aside past resentments and fears…

for an opportunity at growth and healing.

Resolve to unite with others for a common mindset and goal.

Take pride in overcoming problems that are mountain-like in appearance…

turning them to molehills collectively.

By doing so…

we can look back on times of crisis…

like the Revolutionary War, The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor…

and yes even 9/11 with pride…

because of the heroes who acted…

and the healing that resulted.

Best,

Tim

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