Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Run

The contents of a rich life consists of experiencing meaningful events. I've said it many times before: the title of my autobiography will be "Certificate of Participation." Being first. Winning. Achieving dominance in a given enterprise is not as important as having a wealth of experiences to draw from to comprise the "act of living." I've never really developed a strong streak of competitiveness. However, years ago I developed "adventure" as a personal value. Thus, new things to do and see holds great appeal; this includes achieving milestones that are never too late to add to one's catalog of meaningful moments.

Because fitness is a universal indicator of our ability to manage ourselves, I've desired a life characterized more by fitness than sloth because the disciplined life can yield greater blessings than the undisciplined existence. Bodily fitness can be achieved through a variety of means. Some use cycling, jogging, hiking, biking, swimming or martial arts. The avenues to fit a life are too numerous to comprehensively list here. Suffice it to say that an active body if better than an inactive one, regardless of the activity chosen with which to remain active. Nevertheless, since inactivity is often more easily achieved than activity, motivation is at a premium. One does not need motivation to do nothing. Motivation is needed to overcome one's propensity for sloth and to sufficiently exercise the body.

What, then, was the motivation to exercise regularly whether or not conditions or comforts cooperated? Simple: a specific goal written on a date.

By signing up for the YMCA Thanksgiving Day "Turkey Dash" well in advance (even paying money!), I had committed myself to a measurable goal on a specific date. Therefore, I had to run on a regular basis in progressive distances to make sure that the race day goal (5K) was completely doable. However, the achieving of the goal on Thanksgiving was not the greatest value. It was was whole experience of people out for this community event, with 2,000 other runners in the neighborhood. It was a rewarding experience, and I felt enriched for having participated. Singing up for a couple of these each year will keep me motivated to maintain a fit body the rest of the time. But the chief value in these is in being with so many people for a fun community event. Again, my "certificate of participation" will be the prize of a full life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Abusive Power

I yelled at my daughter the other day...
...because I could.

Why could I? Because she's the daughter, and I'm the father, and that gives me power. Is it wrong that I have that power? No. The benefits of parents having the authority to exercise their office are too numerous to list here. However, that same power that the authority bestows can be used destructively... and I did.

I apologized later, but the moment had been lost already. Did she forgive me for abusing power like that? Likely. She's that kind of person. But I'm left with the sick feeling in my stomach that knows such abuse is always there waiting to face. I wouldn't yell at an adult like that. Why would I raise my voice at my child that way? Because there's seemingly no immediate consequences for doing so. I can get away with it because my children have no recourse; except maybe to lost respect little by little for the pathetic specimen before them who lacks the self-control they will one day admire in someone else.

God help my children to grow up into better, more well adjusted people than can be accounted for from their interaction with me.