Helping leaders emerge

Blog - January 2014

How Would You Show Up with Six Months or Five Years Left to Live?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.   Anonymous

“You have lung cancer and six months left to live,” said my father's doctor. Fortunately, the doctor was 100% wrong. Dad did not have cancer but instead aspiration pneumonia and five more years.  

But aspiration pneumonia, while not cancer, had its own set of difficult complications. Unfortunately, Dad had lost his ability to swallow properly because food and liquids were going down the wrong pipe, into his lungs, and causing infection. During his final five years of life, I watched this once invincible, active man, who used to refer to himself as one handsome devil, fight for his life.

So while the disease took away my father's ability to eat, drink and breathe on his own, it did not take away his ability to teach us how to live and how to love. For the remainder of his life, my dad was deprived of the simple pleasures we often take for granted, he used an oxygen machine, had a tracheotomy, and a feeding tub. His medical charts had  "NPO" stamped on them, acronym for "Nil Per Oz," a Latin phrase that translates to nothing through the mouth: no food and no water.

I don’t think anyone, including my dad, would have believed he could endure these new set of circumstances but somehow he did, rising to the occasion and teaching us the meaning of really hanging in there and surviving.

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My New Year’s Resolution: How to Be Perfect with Being Imperfect

It’s now 2014 and a new year has begun … many of us are setting resolutions – how can we become fitter, thinner, smarter, richer, more likeable? And the list continues.

In our current Facebook generation, how many of us (including myself!) become seduced by posting and viewing pictures that reflect an image of our perfect lives to our “friends” and family. Isn’t it ironic that our behavior on Facebook is really the opposite of what true friendship and connection is about?

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