Friday, May 13, 2016
A little earlier I was watching through tears a Charlie Rose interview with Michael Kinsley who now has latter stage Parkisons Disease. I have watched him many times in interviews and contributions and always appreciated his insight and energy. To see the devastation of this terrible disease was cutting to my heart in realizing we are both basically the same age. In one of his responses to Rose, he spoke of the four stages of life which always interests me. Sadly, he never spoke of Heaven nor anything spiritually but that is a choice he has made.
Interestingly and thus what caught my attention was about the "value" he had been given and experienced from his parents for he was a typical, whatever that means, Baby Boomer with two parents at home, calmness in the home and time investment by both parents into his young life. He is a brilliant man thus I found myself probing and prodding the canals of my own childhood looking into the mirror he described to see if I could see mine in there any where. Mr. Kinsley's childhood and mine are sort of but not very similar.
Please keep in mind the predicate of my mindset is on the horrific nature of that dread disease for but for the grace of God I would be there as well as would be each of you reading this. His closing comments fundamentally were about with only minutes of life remaining, what becomes most important?
All the cars, the wealth, the desires that tend to fallow our lives on the journey turn to mist and what you are left with are memories in snapshots. Wow, think about that! I have no doubt that when my time is no more on this earth that that next moment I will be transformed to my heavenly home in my heavenly body so it only gets better from here and I believe that in my Faith in God. For those that do not share that faith, I realized per Mr. Kinsley that one moment after end of life, there is no hope and that really purged me into the reservoir of what the essence of life is and why.
The values I derived from my childhood are certainly unique to me and quite ununique to Kinsley. He was reared in wealth, two parents doting on him, assured of college at Harvard where his father attended. He was apparently smothered in love and adoration by both his parents and that yielded a scholar with amazing writing skills that loves his family and even more is that love as the reallity of the Parkinsons looms ever near his time remaining on earth. Watching him through this lens took me to tears and near sobs.
My life, destiny and journey based on experiences is quite different and in fact completely different. Yes I had two parents but being doted on, loved on, energized, pushed, etc, were not the verbs I can recall. Alcohol was a major force in my upbringing due to my father. My mother was a hard charging, tough love, saving, work for every nickel lady that I admired for her drive. A value she bestowed on me which lasted me to this moment was "always work hard for your boss and he will always take good care of you." Well, that did not always hold water through the trajectory of my life but still the value equation was sound and I still adhere to its merit. Another value was always be on time and never quit. Amen to both as those that know me will attest.
There was never discussion nor expectation of a college education as to my parents being financial partners in the journey. Basketball provided me the means to get my college thus I poured my heart and soul into that venture. The force that fueled I realized in retrospect was the overwhelming desire to leave the place where I was, to be part of something big and good to experience the nations of the world. I knew that by age twelve or so. Happily I can say that I got to experience all of those in that last sentence but it came with a cost and it came with much good so while Kinsley's value source was quite different than mine, I would not change one thing, now, about what I was given to work with.
The Values of the post WWI, the Baby Boomers some call us are a vast list to accomplishments based on pushing and driving to accomplish and then to thoroughly enjoy the pleasures of the accomplishments. Some chose to use their bodies versus their brains and that never turns out well. But what I see lacking so vividly today is a lack of driving, pushing to accomplish and a desire to succeed. I do believe social media, electronics and the economy are part and parcel to the why but the value to accomplish through hard work is direly missing. My wife and I are so blessed to see that push and drive in both our children and in their chosen spouses so we know our grandchildren are being filled with the Post WWII values still.
So the question, what are your Values you are instilling into your children and grand children for this is a generational matter?