Monday, June 18, 2018

Holidays Provide Wonderful Opportunities for Reflection, Reverance and Rememberance

I write this post a day after Father's Day, a day set aside to celebrate fathers and fatherhood. History.com  provides an excellent historical synopsis of how this particular holiday began and I urge you to visit the hyperlink reference above to learn more. You'll learn information such as the fact that there are more than 70 million fathers in the United States (Bet ya didn't know that). 

The prompting of this post stemmed from my Father's Day 2018 experiences which began at a Father's Day breakfast at my church. The day proceeded with my daughter sitting with me during our church service, my visiting my own father's gravesite, being taken to dinner by my wife and ending with my daughter taking me out and treating me to an ice cream dessert. Father's Day 2018 ranked right up there on the top of the list as one of my best celebrated Father's Days in several years.

As I stood beside my father's gravesite, I found it hard to believe that 33 years have gone by since his sudden passing one week prior to his 49th birthday in 1985. Fond reflections of my childhood days with my father ran through my mind as if I were watching scenes from a movie. As I brushed some dried blades of grass off of his headstone, I could hear his voice, his laugh and even see some of his facial expressions. As I stood there, I reflected on my own experiences of being a father and it dawned on me why we pause to celebrate and commemorate on days such as Father's Day. 

As we annually interrupt our daily or weekly routines to acknowledge people or events, it can be easy for us to reduce the moments to just another "Hallmark Card" day that we take for granted instead of really taking the time to do what the breather from the norm was designed for. It behooves us to reflect, revere, remember, celebrate, commemorate, acknowledge, recommit, refocus, and respect whatever or whoever the various days honor. Depending on where one is or what is going on in life, these days can bring up a wide range of emotions and they can vary like a roller coaster from year to year. I mentioned above how Father's Day 2018 was one of my best in recent years because, for some years, Father's Day was not good for me based on what was going on in life at that moment. Another example might be someone who lost his/her father to death between Father's Days and is celebrating Father's Day for the first time without his/her father. Examples such as these can be applied to any of our holidays. 

Lastly, if at all possible, do whatever you can to take in the spirit of each holiday to the fullest because we really don't know when we are celebrating our last one of whichever one it is. Many loved ones pass away from one annual holiday to the next. We don't know when it will be our last Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year's Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. etc. or the last one our loved ones will be with us. Take these wonderful opportunities to enjoy your family and friends and take some time during each holiday to reflect, revere and remember. 

Hear me live each Saturday from 6-9 a.m. ET as I host The Reading Circle with Marc Medley radio show on gobrave.org(web streamed around the world) and on FM radio 88.7 FM in northern NJ. I invite you to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Please Take A Couple Of Minutes

To all of my "Critical Thinkers,"  please do me a favor and complete the following short and simple survey. It is for a book project that I am currently working on.  Please click the hyperlink below:

Marc's Book Research Survey

Thank you so much in advance.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Two Sportscasters Who Did It Well

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

I start this post with this quote because it is the eighty-ninth birthday of Rev. Dr. King, Jr. and because over the last couple of weeks we lost two sportscasters who we can all say "Here lived two great sportscasters who did their jobs well." I am speaking of Dick Enberg and Keith Jackson. The two stand out for me because throughout my childhood, teen years and adulthood, those two were the voices of so many sporting events that I watched over the years. They were both legendary and had distinctive voices, cadences, and catchphrases. Both delivered play-by-play of major American sports, memorable games and events. Their voices were known just as Howard Cosell's was in any house where a sports fan resided.

It's funny how you can see or listen to someone who you have never met personally, yet hear or see them so much that you feel as if you have met them and they are a close friend. That's the way it is with me with the voices of both Mr. Enberg and Mr. Jackson. I remember in 1973 when ABC-TV debuted The Superstars, a two-hour special featuring ten top athletes from ten different sports competing in events that were not their own and if memory serves me correctly, Keith Jackson was the host voice. I've watched countless football games called by Dick Enberg who was the voice of baseball, football, tennis and more. They did their jobs well and will be missed.

One never knows the impact on the life of others when he/she is following his or her calling. I believe Mr. Enberg and Mr. Jackson followed their calling and because it was their calling and they did it so well, many lives were made a little brighter when they were on the air during the weekends or whenever they were on.  The two embodied Dr. King's quote as they called sporting events like Michelangelo painted, Beethoven composed music and as Shakespeare wrote poetry. Like others who have passed before them and came into our homes on a weekly basis, their voices will be missed. My condolences go out to the Enberg and Jackson families.

Whatever it is you are called to do, do it well. Something to critically think about on this eighty-ninth birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King. Jr. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

We Can Indeed Lose Love By Abusing Love

Posts to The Critical Thinker are based on my observations of things going on around me, my personal experiences or both hence this post.  In my line of work, I see on a daily basis children who do not receive love or at least not the love a child ought to receive based on the fact that they are children who did not ask to be created or born in the first place. None of us asked to be here (be born). At the same time, I see children who receive an abundance of love and virtually abuse it. Love is shown to them in multiple ways and the response or lack thereof from the child is worse than the child who is not receiving an adequate amount of love and affection.

I see children who are given gifts and not utter the words "Thank You" or even acknowledge that the gift was given. I see children who talk a whole lot of big talk, who do know anything about life nor can support themselves act as if they know it all and have the world by the tail when in reality they cannot perform basic life tasks. It amazes me how a young child can talk back (yell) to his/her parent(s) in a way that would lead one to believe that he/she has had the same experiences and has the same knowledge base as the parent(s) who are seeking to teach and discipline him/her in order to prepare him/her to function successfully in society when they are an adult.  I share with children all of the time that any parent who allows you as a child to do whatever you want to do does not really care about you. Any parent worth his/her salt will correct and chastise his/her child when needed in order to avoid larger problems in the future.

Child yelling back an adult
I am well aware that each generation claims that the following generations are much worse than the previous generations; however, based on the observations and experiences that I have both at work and at home, this is not just empty rhetoric. We are raising a generation of children who seem to know no bounds in terms of how they interact with adults whether it is with their parents or any other adults who make an effort to instruct them. These children actually believe that they have either come up to the adult's level or the adult has come down to theirs. I am quick to remind children that neither has occurred and that each needs to know their place. I am not saying that children do not have a voice or experience emotional challenges as well, but I am saying that there is a way to conduct one's self. A child being disrespectful to an adult is not cute or ought to be tolerated.  I've literally witnessed children hollering at the top of their lungs (as in the photo) back at a parent or an adult who is paying the bills. It's ludicrous! I've witnessed children attempt to justify and rationalize their aberrant behavior when a parent or adult is trying to show them the error of their ways. It is utterly ridiculous and certainly was not tolerated by my parents in the 60's, 70's and early 80's when I and my sister were children.  In fact, when my sister and I were in school, teachers were able to physically discipline us if need be and they were supported by the student's parents. This "Capital punishment" nonsense did not exist back then (I am fully aware of the difference between discipline and abuse).  My teachers had all kinds of methods to keep us in line. Some put us in the coat closet in the back of the room, others popped our outstretched hands with a ruler, some twisted ears, and some placed us in the corner among other things. Ironically enough, we survived and were the better for it.  Between home and school, most children learned how to respect authority and adults. Sadly, we no longer seem to be able to help children understand that when they are being disciplined that they are actually being loved as there is a difference between discipline and punishment. While the two words [discipline/punishment] are used interchangeably, the objectives are starkly different.

Many of our children and adults for that matter who is being loved and continuously abuse it are losing a lot of love and then they don't understand why it is happening. When one constantly gives his/her posterior to kiss to the one who is attempting to show him/her love, at some point the one attempting to show the love stops, this being my premise of this post. Oh yes my friends, we can indeed lose love by abusing love. So if you are reading this post, feel free to reflect and share it with others. Retweet and reshare it on all of your social media sites. Use it as a discussion starter with family, friends and other loved ones. We are going down a wrong path and in the end, we all are going to pay a heavy price. Something to critically think about.






Monday, December 25, 2017

IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY!!!

Merry Christmas to all reading this post. It's Christmas morning in the United States and I awoke around my usual time without the alarm clock. The house is quiet and the Christmas tree lights are on with some presents under the tree.

As I make my coffee and toast, I listen to Dave Grusin's soothing and meditative jazz version of SOME CHILDREN SEE HIM over and over again and reflect on all of my Christmases past all the way through today, Christmas 2017. I reflected on how excited I would get as a child awaiting Christmas Day. I reflected on the anticipation of the toys that I would receive on that morning; the cold that I would catch from the last Saturday of November until that magical Christmas morning when it went away right on cue. My mind saw the dinners my mother would cook and my father playing on the floor with me and my sister. It saw my father's childhood friend Ernest stopping by at 10:00 a.m. already toasty from celebrating Christmas early in the morning or perhaps never stopping from Christmas Eve.

My mind moved as if it were watching a film or traveling through a time machine. I saw the various celebrations throughout the years with family members who we laughed and shared time with who have transitioned and are no longer with us. I saw my own children's first Christmases and their response to waking up on Christmas morning and seeing all of the presents under the tree. I also remembered the Christmases following some of life's rough spots and zoomed right up until today, December 25, 2017.

As I did in my Marc Medley Show podcast Christmas episode (below), I encourage everyone to spend quality time with their family and friends today and every day for that matter as we do not know when we will be spending our last Christmas together. I remember countless friends and family members who have passed away who were at gatherings similar to the ones that we are having today.  I read a social media post that said: "Stop falling out with ya family and friends...stop holding grudges..fix the issues because when they in that ground it's too late."  The post may be grammatically incorrect but it makes a very good point. The time is out for family and friends to not be speaking to one another. The time is out for being bitter and mean towards each other. As cliche as it may sound, life really is too short.

So let there be peace on earth and let it begin with you and me. If you are reading this post, I hope you are having or had a blessed and peaceful Christmas. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.





Sunday, December 3, 2017

Stevie Wonder Said It Best In Terms of The Trump Administration - YOU HAVEN'T DONE NOTHIN'


We are amazed but not amused
By all the things you say that you'll do
Though much concerned but not involved
With decisions that are made by you
But we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothing
It's not too cool to be ridiculed
But you brought this upon yourself
The world is tired of pacifiers
We want the truth and nothing else, yeah
And we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothing
Jackson 5 join along with me say doo doo wop
Hey hey hey, doo doo wop
Wow wow wow, doo doo wop
Hm hm hm, doo doo wop
Co co co, doo doo wop
Bum bum…

ENOUGH SAID. Stevie Wonder said it best. While written for the Nixon Administration, the words were prophetic for today. Something to critically think about.