Soul Food for Friday, June 15th, 2012

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

One of the best ways to enhance academic performance – and assure children and families thriving – is to care for the WHOLE person. LinkedIn’s top ranked Parenting 2.0 group is leading the chorus in nurturing whole child development through sharing of The Life Skills Report Card and advocacy of proactive education for non-academic Life Skills.

If you still accept the age-old paradigm “Children learn what they live”, the P20 Talks 2012 Conference at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, which I have been instrumental in organizing, may be your wake up call. Fifty presenters from four continents will present on critical Life Skills that are too frequently tossed in the parental junk drawer and ignored by exhausted, overwhelmed parents.

Topics include: Digital Safety, Interpersonal Communication, Finance and Organizational Skills. Full details can be found at 
In addition to being introduced to a new more dynamic and proactive narrative for “Raising Humanity.” This is a rare networking and career enhancing opportunity for Engaged Parents, Parent Coaches, Life Coaches and anyone passionate about nurturing a more dynamic narrative for raising humanity. Register at
Seating is limited so please act promptly if interested.

Sack Lunches: A Soul food story about Honor
I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. ‘I’m glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,’ I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.
‘Where are you headed?’ I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. ‘Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan. After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. ‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch.
Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to base.’

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. ‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers.’ She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. ‘My son was a soldier in Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, ‘Which do you like best – beef or chicken?’
‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class..
‘This is your thanks.’

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me. ‘I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, ‘I want to shake your hand.’ Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.

With a booming voice he said, ‘I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’ I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.
Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. ‘It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.’

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.
As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little…

A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.’

Interested in Building Engagement and a Positive Team?

Data indicates that not everyone is engaged in their work, in fact here are the national stats:

  • 31% are fully engaged
  • 52% are not engaged (neutral)
  • 17% are actively (toxically) disengaged

A few weeks ago I saw this…

A Positive Team: The Positive Pledge has now had over 10,000 people share it. As I was reflecting on the pledge I started thinking about all the teams I work with and the negativity that sabotages them. I realized that most of us are part of a team whether it’s a work team, school team, sports team, family team, etc. This inspired me to write a Positive Team Pledge for those who want to be their best and bring out the best in their team. Feel free to also share it with your youth sports team, high school team and/or work team.

I pledge to be a positive leader who sets the example for my teammates through my positive attitude and actions.

I promise to share positive energy and encouragement with my team.

I will not be an energy vampire nor will I sabotage myself and team with negativity, complaining and excuses.

When I make a mistake I will own it and seek to improve.

When I’m not performing well I will stay positive and strive to get better.

When I experience self-doubt I will remember a time when I succeeded.

When I feel fear I will choose faith.

When I face adversity I will find strength.

When my team experiences a defeat I will choose to stay positive and prepare to achieve another victory.

With hard work, determination and faith, I will never give up and will always help my team move forward towards our vision and goals.

Today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on my team

You are never too old…

What great editing can do… Pick your musical genre
Staying Alive by the bee gees

or Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte

Pardon my French, but have you heard about the price of gas over there?!

Click here to read all about it.

Stay Positive and Pay it Forward!

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
— Pablo Picasso

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
— Pablo Picasso

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