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Common enemies…

Posted Dec 6 2017 by in True North with 2 Comments

“OK Pokorn”, you might be thinking… “How will you correlate that title with peace and positivity?”  Well, there is actually great power found in emotional negativity that can be harnessed for the greater good.  And it is this appeal to the greater good that we should remember today, tomorrow, and every day.  Tomorrow is Pearl Harbor Day.

On December 7, 1941, an event occurred that summoned a powerful, driving force for the greater good – Pearl Harbor.  From a factual standpoint according to Wikipedia:

In total, 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded.

Nothing remarkable in the annals of bloody combat, or even the bloody headlines of 2017, true?  But the highly-charged political discourse that followed epitomized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Infamy Speech” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infamy_Speech ) united our country against a common enemy.

Moving on to the Oxford Dictionary and the word “Post-truth”:

Post-truth adjective

Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

Their definition continues:

‘It’s not surprising that (this word in 2016) reflects a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse’, says Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Dictionaries. ‘Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.’

“…Fueled by social media and a growing distrust of facts…”  Negative emotions can be a powerful, driving force.  But a force for good?  With the difficult events that have occurred almost daily throughout 2017, we certainly hope so.

We witnessed this kind of power in the sporting world.  The 2017 Houston Astros won the first World Series for a city that earlier in the year was devastated by Mother Nature.  Were the events related?  Only God would know.

In the business world we have seen evidence of power when uniting against common enemies.  Steve Jobs continuously crusaded to be taken seriously – until Apple rose to dominate personal, technology devices and the way we all consume entertainment and information today.  The common enemy of marketplace disrespect drove Apple to great heights.

“ADVERSITY”:

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. 

Horace

We’ve witnessed Oracle Corporation’s leader, Larry Ellison and his passion to conquer everything and everyone – business; technology; sailboat racing – everything!

The Salvation Army started in 1865 in London and The American Red Cross inspired from the carnage of our Civil War, formerly launched in 1881 in Washington D.C.  These powerful organizations are also untied against common enemies – the wounded; the needy; the sinful; the destitute; the addicted; the hungry; the homeless.  There are many common enemies that give rise to great power for the common good:

In every community, there is work to be done. 

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

So yes – common enemies, and the personal, emotional reactions they stimulate, can and do harness the necessary power for the greater good.

Here’s to Pearly Harbor Day and all the power it generated to propel our country forward in the face of common enemies.  What lessons have we learned?  How will we propel America and our fellow Americans, forward this December in the face of our many common enemies?

In every community, there is work to be done.  And in our hearts, we all have the power to do it!

GAP

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Exceptions…

I have been leading in a major training initiative for my company’s re-sellers this year.  We are making significant changes and we’d like our partners to adopt these changes in their approach, too.  That way the customer has a consistent experience across all of our channels.

Seems logical, doesn’t it?  Yet, with but a few exceptions the majority of our partners offer resistance during the training sessions.  They cite all sorts of exceptions (real and imagined) that suggest our new methods aren’t as good as their existing methods.  Sometimes they even suggest that our new methods flat-out, won’t work.

It reminds me of my Father-In-Law.  He was a carpenter and a true “master mechanic with the tools” (as they say in the trades).  In the 1960s and 1970s he trimmed million dollar mansions in suburban Chicago when million dollar mansions were rare.

When my wife and I bought our starter house in 1978, we had a whole list of home improvement and remodeling ideas.  Champagne taste; beer money (as they also say in the trades).  It was natural to turn to Dad for a little help.

My wife would show him what she was thinking for remodeling the kitchen; building a deck with a clubhouse for the kids; changes to the living room; bathrooms, too; the list went on.  And his initial response invariably was, “That won’t work”.  We heard the phrase “that won’t work” so frequently that we carry his legacy in our life to this day.

You see, when he said, “That won’t work” he didn’t mean it couldn’t be done.  What he meant was it actually could be done, but he would have to do it differently than the way the idea was initially laid out.  He did remodel our kitchen, living room and bathrooms.  We did have a deck and a clubhouse.  The clubhouse was built so well that we relocated it to our next backyard when we moved up from our starter house.

Fast forward to my training classes this year.  Every time a partner says “That won’t work” and cites an exception that doesn’t fit with our new and improved engagement model, it triggers old behaviors.  My knee-jerk reaction is to engage; to argue; to discredit the cited exception as some fantasy.  Then, after I regain my composure I remember my Father-In-Law.  I smile and think that’s what they said but that’s not what they meant.  At least I hope so.

I understand exceptions, I think.  I agree with Malcolm Forbes:

There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be the exception to the rule. 

And I’m no exception – just ask my wife when she says we need to remodel thus and so.  I give it the old, “That won’t work” try.  Then we smile and realize my will power will wilt in the face of her vision.

The opinions expressed by the husband do not reflect the views of the management of this household. 

Unknown Sage 

We all deal with exceptions throughout our day; at work; at home; in the community.  I believe our views about exceptions are grounded on our individual perspectives:

Nothing makes me more tolerant of a neighbor’s noisy party than being there. 

Franklin P. Adams

So this year I’ve been trying.  I’ve been learning how to address exceptions.  I’d prefer such cited exceptions to fade in the face of our training, but I understand Malcolm Forbes is probably right.  Then I remember my Father-in-Law.  And then I’ve learned to smile.

GAP

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What’s the answer…

I have a training class next month.  Classes afford me the enjoyment of a little intellectual sport.

When conducting class for our resellers I insert a variety of exercises designed to strengthen our problem-solving “muscles”.  A lot is being studied and a lot is being published about how technology is actually reducing our ability to think.  I mean, is artificial intelligence making mankind’s intelligence artificial?

I have contributed to the conversation myself (see http://thequoteguys.com/2015/02/self-obliteration/).  Instant messaging; email; social sites; et al, are contributing to the weakening of our intellectual capabilities; dulling our minds; making us stupid!

Sorry, I inserted that last phrase of hyperbole to catch your attention – odds are you’re reading my little ditty from a cell phone or a tablet while having additional devices and screens open; multi-tasking.  If you are driving – please close my post and keep your eyes on the road!  Please drive defensively against those around you – who are ignoring my plea and reading my post!

But I digress…

As I work with my partners on problem-solving exercises; constantly competing for their intellectual attention in the face of continuous multi-tasking; I get their frustration and their preference – “Gary, just give us the answer!”  In my last class, one participant Googled for the answer to the opening exercise (which was a 3rd grade math problem from the year 2000).  He didn’t even try to think.

I understand.  We’re all busy; we’re all stressed; we’re all distracted; we’re all connected every waking minute of every waking hour.  If you believe that such behavior has very negative impact on our intellect, it begs the question, “So what?”

To me, our value in the workplace of today and that of the future is based on our thinking abilities.  Simple jobs are being automated; employers are hiring robots; employees who can’t think will be left with the leftovers of the jobs machines won’t do, true?

So how do we gain or maintain our intellectual strength while avoiding Donsen?

Donsen’s Law

The specialist learns more and more about less and less until, finally, he knows everything about nothing; whereas the generalist learns less and less about more and more until, finally, he knows nothing about everything.

We are on top of the animal kingdom because of our minds aren’t we?  We can trace this fact all the way back to the invention of the wheel.  But what if they we’re distracted back then?  What if the invention of the wheel was overlooked due to the dulling that comes with technology?                           What are we not inventing today because we’re overly dependent on machines that may decide to overlook solutions to problems that impact mankind, but not machines?

I remain hopeful that we can snap out of our social media induced; cellular technology driven; Siri mind numbing; drone sleep-walking environment.  I believe we can reverse the trend and regain our intellectual strength:

Imagination is stronger than knowledge.

Dreams are more powerful than facts.

Hope always triumphs over experience.

Robert Fulghum

I enjoy Robert’s expressions of hope.  Here are a few more; https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/robert_fulghum

I understand.  Problems are hard; answers are easy; can’t we just get to the easy without going through the hard?  I don’t think so.

In class I try to offer a little fun in the pursuit of the “answers” because getting to the “answer” is grounded on the strength of our “thinking”.  The mathematical solution comes from the accuracy of the formula.  From the caveman days forward, it always has – don’t you think?

GAP

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High School Sweethearts…

Posted Oct 4 2017 by in True North with 4 Comments

Fall; October; football; high school; Homecoming – do you remember your first high school sweetheart?  High school is a very special and memorable time for teenagers; it certainly was for me.  And I always enjoyed the autumn season when I was in high school – Homecoming; Halloween; dating; parties (most chaperoned, some not).

Forty-seven years ago, this very time of the year, I asked the prettiest girl in my high school out on a first date.  I guess it went well enough because here we are forty-seven years later and I’m still awe-struck by the glow of her beauty.

I hope you enjoy this opening to Chapter XII True North, of my book, The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective © as much I enjoyed writing it:

Dedicated to… a crisp night in October; with a slight breeze blowing through bare trees – waiting for the coming winter.   Close your eyes.  Can you smell remnants of autumn leaves burning?

To winning the homecoming football game.  To being carefree. To a Saturday night party at the teenager’s house whose parents are away.  Can you hear the kids having fun in the kitchen; the basement; and the backyard, all to the beat of the Rolling Stones?

To couches, blue jeans and sweaters.  To the floor lamp reflecting on her blond hair making it shimmer with silvery streaks of light.  To the nervous small talk of a teenage boy in the presence of a varsity cheerleader.  To the patience of the teenage girl sitting on the couch with the captain of the varsity basketball team.  Can you remember when you could actually hear your heart throbbing?

To throw pillows, which come in handy when the small talk runs out – what else can a young boy do?  And to playful pillow fights; which lead to gentle wrestling and ultimately to that first kiss. Remember how delicate she felt in your arms – the hint of her perfume – the taste of her lips?

To first dates – dinner and a movie.  To the movie Catch 22 and the Oriental Theatre in downtown Chicago.  To dating the prettiest girl in your high school; to falling in love; to asking her father’s permission for her hand in marriage.  Were you ever so nervous?

To the tears welling up in my eyes even as I write this short memoire.  To all those emotions; all the happiness; all those hopes and all those dreams; some fulfilled, some yet to be; and all that I can remember today as if it just happened yesterday – that I will remember everyday, as long as I live.  How can someone be so lucky?

To 1970 – and that Saturday night in October in Elmhurst where I kissed Debbie for the very first time.  And to the friend’s house whose parents were out – to their couch, their floor lamp, to their throw pillows; and to the Rolling Stones music.  Can you imagine being so young, so infatuated, and so in love?  I still am.

Gary A. Pokorn

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How was your day?

I was in an earthquake in Mexico City; 7.1.

How do you work that into casual conversation?  Yesterday at about 1:15 pm local time, a powerful earthquake shook the bejeezus out my training class; our lunch break; my colleagues and me!  Thankfully, no one in our group got hurt.

Please pray for those in Mexico City and surrounding states that did get hurt; over 200 people killed; hundreds if not thousands injured.  According to The Guardian ©;

It was the second major earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks and came on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City, killing 5,000 people and destroying 10,000 homes.

Because of the anniversary and to commemorate that devastation we actually had an emergency evacuation drill scheduled for 11 am.  Just 2 hours before the real thing!  How do you work that into casual conversation?

During the episode, I wasn’t afraid; but I was not brave either.  I was conscious of the fact we were experiencing an earthquake – on the 19th floor of a hotel!.  What started out feeling like a freight train passing by, causing the table to vibrate quickly erupted into what seemed like a prolonged period of ferocious shaking; I could not keep my feet.

Those much braver and more capable than I were calling out; directing us towards the room’s framed archway.  Firmly they instructed us to move away from the windows; calmly, they reassured us that we will be alright.

I can remember looking out the window and seeing the glass buildings across the plaza moving and swaying.  It was surreal; reminded me of that scene in movie The Matrix when a disturbance rippled through the facade of an office tower.

In today’s aftermath, my overriding feeling is one of disappointment.  So many had invested so much before the earthquake hit – and after.  Gustavo Moussalli, out Latin American Division Director and the executive sponsor for the class made a huge commitment to his local partners; coordinating a 3-day enablement class to help contribute to their success.

Gerardo Diez Martinez, our local Channel Manager made all the logistical arrangements.  The meeting rooms and room set-up; AV equipment; food and beverage; Gerardo spared no expense to insure we would have everything needed to support his partners.

My colleague Susanna Lagtapon sacrificed time her daughter’s 13th birthday; traveling instead to join us for the class.  My colleague, Tony Caporal, whose cooler head and bravery prevailed following the earthquake; helping us retrieve our laptops and luggage.  (Even stopping at the lobby bar to grab a free beer on his way out.)

Our VP, Brian Enright, being our “home base”; coordinating flights out of town; hotel reservations; and anything else he could do to support us from afar.

And especially Hector Garcia from our long-time partner NetSoft.  Hector insisted on personally driving us to the airport; would not hear of us taking a taxi or a private car.  He would navigate us through the city streets; on constant vigil for our safety.  Three hours to drive us 12 kilometers.  Three hours in the opposite direction from his own home and family – taking us in his care.

As with all disasters, there were many heroes – named and unnamed.

But that was yesterday; Mexico City; and an earthquake.  Today, it’s hurricane Maria pounding Puerto Rico; last week it was hurricane Irma pounding Florida; the week before that is was storms and flooding in Houston.  Many heroes indeed – named and unnamed.

Thank you all and my God bless.

GAP

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Class of 2029…

That’s my grandson’s class – the class of 2029.  WOW!  Now I feel old.

During my grandson’s recent kindergarten graduation event I thought a lot about education; learning; and knowledge over the generations.  It was fun to observe the family and friends of the kindergarten kids.  It was fun to observe the kids!

It occurred to me during that morning that everything I want to learn – my cell phone already knows.  I mean, if you think about what we need to think about in 2017 our little, cellular devices have put every answer to any question at our fingertips (and now at Alexa and Siri’s “fingertips”).  WOW!  Now I feel old.

Today, all we need is electricity; our cell phones will do the rest of the thinking for us.  But what type of “thinking” do these devices do?  Do phones have emotions?  Can they be compassionate?  Will these devices reinforce our social norms; mores; manners?  Will people equipped with these devices have the knowledge to even know the difference?

Ah yes, there’s that word “know”.  I asked my phone – it had the answer, of course:

verb.  1. Be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information

OK, seems pretty matter-of-fact.  But how does modern technology impact our ability to know?  Is technology enhancing or diminishing our inquiry?  Our observation?  Or just pouring out information?

I think we know that knowledge has value, don’t we?

An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends. 

Benjamin Franklin

But is knowledge “it”?  Is that all we need to know?  Is that the mission of the Class of 2029 – to know they need to gain knowledge?  Or, do they only need to know that cell phones run on electricity?  And their cell phones already “know” everything?

Could there be more?

Imagination is stronger than knowledge.  Dreams are more powerful than facts.  Hope always triumphs over experience. 

Robert Fulghum

Hmmm…  I’m aware through observation and inquiry that at my grandson’s kindergarten graduation one of the teachers cited excerpts from Robert Fulghum, too:

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten ©

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.  Play fair.  Don’t hit people.  Put things back where you found them.  Clean up your own mess.  Don’t take things that aren’t yours.  Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.  Wash your hands before you eat.  Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.  Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.  Take a nap every afternoon

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.  Be aware of wonder.

Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.  Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Siri – give that an Amen!

GAP

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Dads’ day…

My son might take my 6 year old grandson golfing this Sunday.  They go to the practice range often.  It’s the roots of a lifelong, father-son bonding; just like my Dad and I, along with my son for a few years, enjoyed.

Hopefully, the short amount of time I spent on the golf course with my son left him with core values of courtesy, camaraderie, and the pursuit of personal best.  Of course, other things are sometimes learned on the golf course:

Golfer Tommy Bolt is known for his sweet swing and foul temper.  While giving a clinic to a group of amateurs, Bolt tried to show his softer side by involving his 14-year old son in the lesson.  “Show the nice folks what I taught you”, said Bolt.  His son obediently took a 9-iron, cursed, and hurled it into the sky. 

Thomas Roswell

They don’t have to take us golfing to influence our lives, true?  Dads can simply set the example; doing – not just telling; instilling core values like pride in our work; ethics; honesty; quiet resolve to make a better life for our families.  That’s the paternal role my other son portrays.

Sunday, he might encourage his daughter (who has entered the workforce fulltime) to have a good day.  He might reinforce her customer service skills; how to address questionably ethical situations; address workplace safety.  Sunday, and every day, he is her Dad.

And we are all so proud when our children demonstrate the skill of common sense we hope we have taught them:

Kid wisdom:

When your Dad is mad at you and asks you, “Do I look stupid?”  Don’t answer him. 

Michael

Sometimes our Dads employ “tough-love”.  The worst years of my life occurred when I was trying such a tough-love approach.  I wasn’t skilled at it; didn’t like the outcome; and today would caution any young father to be wary of such an approach.  Whoever came up with the idea of tough-love was probably not a Dad.

But the good news is our children are resilient.  (Did they get that from us?)  If we are tough with them from time-to-time, it doesn’t have to be permanent, as offered by our Unknown Sage:

A flustered father, stressed out from his day at work, was unsuccessfully texting his kids to come in for dinner.  Finally, he walks out on his porch and yells for his kids to come in.

At that point one youngster turns to his brother and asks, “I can’t remember, which one am I – Jesus Christ or God Dammit?”

Ah yes – texting; technology; stress – challenges all for fathers to be good fathers Sunday.  But I suppose no more challenging that the technology and stress of their time for our fathers; grandfathers; and great grandfathers.  Nonetheless, Dads today take great pride in continuing to provide a home for their families, even if the definition of “home” has evolved:

Home, nowadays, is a place where part of the family waits ‘til the rest of the family brings the car back. 

Earl Wilson

So, here’s to our Dads; Sunday’s time with them; or Sunday’s phone conversation with them; or Sunday’s memories of them.  And here’s to step-fathers and father-figures that share that special kind of unconditional love with children who don’t have their biological father in their life.  May we continue to pass on the traditions of love we received from our fathers, grandfathers, and father figures.

Dads all.

GAP

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April 20, 1999 never forgotten…

Eighteen years ago today, my hometown experienced the terror that two teenagers, feeling a sense of hopelessness, can bring to their high school, their community and our nation.  It was considered a rare event back then – unfortunately, it has become increasingly more common today.

Life is hard and can often seem hopeless for all too many youths in their teens and twenty’s.   If you have a son or daughter; grandchildren; nieces or nephews; or neighborhood kids; hug them today.

Tell them today that you love them and will support them as they make their way in the world to adulthood and self-sufficiency.  And if they are struggling to make ends meet – give them a few bucks.  Help them find a job.  Today, help them feel they belong.

Let’s reverse our society’s violence.  Let’s use our power of self confidence to increase the sunlight for those heading towards darkness:

It takes the sun to create a shadow – accept that the dark and the light live side by side in all of us. 

Chellie Campbell

It’s not just my home town of Littleton – Today, we are all Columbine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9Seqhcq23M

May you feel peace – and share the power of peace with others – today, and everyday!

GAP

Day by day…

If I do the math 44 years is the equivalent of 16,060 days.  This coming Sunday marks 44 years; 16,060 days.  A significant amount of time to be with one’s significant other, true?

In reality it’s been significantly more than 16,060 days when I think about our engagement, plus  the many days we dated in high school. And every day for over 16,060 days – more than 44 years – I have enjoyed being married to my high school sweetheart.  Happy Anniversary Debbie!

Many of you are in a long-lasting relationship; many have been married longer than we.  A Mile High Salute!  Maybe my relationship thrived because I was a “road warrior” for several years?  As one of my colleagues once said:

The secret to a long marriage is a husband that travels. 

Lisa Kwiecien

As you know, I write about my wife frequently; not necessarily daily; but frequently.  Like any couple, we have our good days and our not-so-good days.  Like many couples, we’ve also had some of those relationship-testing; foundation-rattling; we’re-not-going-to-make-it; kind of days.   When those days have occurred we followed James P. Owen’s advice:

When you’re riding through hell… keep riding.

Any meaningful journey is like that, don’t you think?  Even one of America’s most famous sweethearts offered all of us her guidance on life’s journey:

Pain nourishes courage.  You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you. 

Mary Tyler Moore

Over our 16,000+ days, we have had more than our share of wonderful things happen; all driven by love.  In fact, 44 years ago this month the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Love Train” by the O’Jays.  According to Wikipedia:

The word ‘train’ comes from the Old French trahiner, from the Latin trahere meaning pull, or draw.

I have been a passenger on that love train as my wife has pulled us along for 44 years!  Of course, I’ve tried to pay attention to the little things that make a difference day by day; lighten her load a bit; smooth the tracks.  Rob Gilbert made a list:

How to have a Winning Day:

  1. You have to listen more than you talk…
  2. You have to smile more than you frown…
  3. You have to be fascinated more than you’re frustrated…
  4. You have to believe in yourself more than you doubt yourself.
  5. You have to work more than you whine.
  6. You have to do more than you don’t.

I have also paid attention to my role, responsibilities and boundaries:

Men ordering custom colors must first bring in a note from their wife. 

Guiry Paint Store

It’s OK; she writes the notes; I run the errands; we make a great team.  And on those occasional occasions where disagreement looms, we heed Harlan Miller’s advice:

Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving three or four things a day unsaid.

16,060 days and our love train is still rolling strong.  No matter our future course; no matter the challenges we will face; the trails that will test us; not even the weather we may encounter; our love train will continue – pulled along by my significant other – regardless of whether the wind is boosting us from behind our back or resisting us as it blows hard in our face.

Etheridge Knight’s words will continue to guide us:

Love is a rock against the wind.

Happy 44th Anniversary Dear.  You’re my rock and I love you.

GAP

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Luv rules…

Posted Feb 8 2017 by in True North with 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day is on its way – there’s still time to make special arrangements for that special person in our life.

OK, OK – so I can’t take credit for creating this awesome display of love for my love.  That was someone else’s awesome display of their love for their love.  But I can take “observation credit” for stopping along the roadside while driving through this western Illinois farming community to take the picture, can’t I?  I think my wife will give me credit for a little kind-hearted, photo-plagiarism because I know she knows:

Love rules without rules

Italian Proverb

Who says men are oblivious and have no powers of observation?  OK – so with the billboard approach there were no subtleties.  But observing his demonstration of love reminds us all that for next Tuesday, no assumptions; no taking her for granted; no obliviousness; no subtleties are allowed.  On Valentine’s Day, we must shout our love for our love from the top of the mountains!  Of course, we hope our women do the same for the men in their lives:

You know “That Look” women get when they want sex?  Me neither. 

Steve Martin

Next Tuesday may be a special day in my marriage, but our relationship over the years has taken constant care (and patience).  Thankfully, my wife has patience:

Patience strengthens the spirit,

sweetens the temper,

stifles anger,

extinguishes envy,

subdues pride,

bridles the tongue,

restrains the hand,

and tramples upon temptation. 

George Horne

It’s easier to be patient with the little things I suppose.   But when times get tough, the most convenient person to argue with, vent to, and take our frustrations out on is often our partner, true?  Life seems to move so fast; people seem to be so stressed; the media inundates us with so many sensationalized issues.

I don’t know; are meaningful, loving partnerships easier or harder to find these days?  With everything racing at a break-neck pace, who’s responsible for maintaining a healthy, loving, long-lasting relationship?  Well, here’s a view from Wyatt Webb:

You are 100 percent responsible for 50 percent of any relationship.

Carrying more than ½ the load you say?  Yep – you and my wife, too.

Thankfully, my wife and I are still in love after all of these years.  We will do something quiet this Valentine’s Day; we enjoy our quiet time together – always have.  We’re blessed with sharing many common interests, so spending time together and “decompressing” from our fast-paced life is a nice retreat.

Like you, our conversations will span a variety of topics; children; friends; happy memories; love.  Of course, when we’re together we will also synchronize our calendars; debate upcoming projects; disagree on priorities; discuss business; and almost always review our finances.  Yuck!  Necessary I suppose, but certainly not very romantic.

Yet this Valentine’s Day I will be reminded:

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. 

Mignon McLaughlin

So here’s to February 14th – Valentine’s Day.  May you enjoy it with someone special in your life.  If you’re lucky enough to be in love, may you cherish your quiet time together; sharing common interests; being patient with life’s challenges; relishing the restorative results of romance.

And if you’re with someone but you’re not yet sure if he or she is “the one”, don’t worry – trust your gut feeling:

Love is not finding someone you can live with; it’s finding someone you cannot live without. 

Rafael Ortiz

Love rules without rules on Valentine’s Day – and every day.

GAP

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