Differences: Some Silly, Some Serious, All Simple Once You Get It

The Difference Between Women and Men. You ready for this. Women will agree. Men will say, yeah he’s right but I’ll never admit it. Those are the same guys who never  changed their babies diapers and brag about it. The same guys who don’t leave a tip at restaurants and hotels or wherever tips are expected. Why, ’cause they never worked for tips. Off topic once again but when the happy, silly and spot-on thoughts enter they must exit. This a good forum for me or anyone, to do so.

Let’s say two women are waiting for the bus or train. While waiting, usually instinctively,  they start a conversation about anything. Within ten minutes they will know it all. Top- Bottom – Inside – Outside – Backwards – Forward – Upside Down: names, kids, schools, jobs, men, where they live and work, struggles, stories about their Mother’s, cycle time, ailments, hair and nails. From there the breaking of the ice forms a unique bond which perhaps only occurs at the bus /train station. But, at least the foundation of common ground was formed.

Two men can stand in the same place as the women for twenty years and never get past: Hey, ya see the game last night?

Women get it. Men can’t, wont’ or don’t want to get there. Don’t want to show our vulnerabilities do we guys?

As always the best explanation is an example so here we go:

When our kids were born my wife had Birth Announcement Cards made indicating the name, height, weight, hair color, eye color and a simple welcoming message about our kids entering the world.

She mailed them to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. She had a dozen or so leftover from her mailing and asked if I would like to mail an announcement to the guys I have been playing basketball with 2-3 times per week for three years.

I said “mail them out, I don’t even know their names. One guys is a plumber. One guy drives a big truck. One guy always shoots. One guy never passes”. Guys, we don’t get there the way women do. Someday perhaps.


The difference between an offensive lineman and a defensive lineman. Guys will get this better that the one above.

A defensive lineman can rip a computer into a million parts.

An offensive lineman can put it back together.

I was defensive lineman. Nuff ‘said.

I could never be an offensive lineman. Too cerebral. Too many assignments. Too much to think about and remember. I was a put your head down and go guy working as a part of a synchronized team of defenders. I had fun playing defense and would not have had fun playing offensive though I did try it a few times. Not for me. Hey, I learned something about myself by doing this. Finding out what you like often comes from finding out what you don’t like. What a concept. Not the open floor concept of those television construction scripted shows but a concept about discovery of yourself..

By the way, throughout this BLOG and my entire BLOG it is never my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings which I am most certain someone out there will experience so let me apologize now if this happened to you. My apologies to all the offensive lineman. I am envious and respect what you do.


The Difference Between: Enabled and Empowered

By now all of us know that if you take a person fishing you can eat today but when teach a person how to fish they can eat everyday since you are not there. Over used, over stated, over simplified and a bit cliche-ish. However it is a simple definition of the difference between enable and empower.

Parents empower their kids. When. When teaching kids how to ride a bike, tie their shoelaces, clean themselves after using the toilet, make their lunch, wash the dishes, clear the table, take out the trash, clean their rooms, say please, thank you, yes ma’am, yes sir and teach kids their ABC’s, 1-2-3’s, letters, numbers, shapes and colors before kids enter the school world so the teachers do not have teach those basics. Kids enter the school world empowered and ready for teachers to actually teach rather than begin with no foundation. It is the parents job and responsibility to prepare kids an the teachers teachers job to teach and not pay outiof their own money for school supplies. Where is all that money going. Administration maybe?. It is, also, the parents job to instill discipline, respect and manners for their kids so teachers can teach without distractions and interruptions. I know I am dreaming. Get rid of the electronics and see what happens. We all will be surprised, pleased and satisfied. I know I am right just like I know the protestors are right. It just takes a generation or two for the mainstream to realize it. Let me, right here, say that I use the word parents which includes grandparents, nannies, care givers and everyone else responsible for the kids health, safety, up-bringing and overall well being. Don’t want to exclude or hurt anyone’s feelings.

Now where was I. Oh those tangents which I never understood in math class but I go on one almost every BLOG Post. I hope they are informative and a little amusing just like me and my BLOG.

When we keep doing for kids, especially without limitations, boundaries and consequences they do not develop a sense of responsibility and accountability resulting in an environment of enabling and entitlement not empowerment. Think of the valedictorian in your school. The smartest kid, All kinds of awards, certificates, affirmations, successes with an ego the size of the classroom globe. What does this kid do. Goes to a college with a hundred or so other valedictorians to find out hey I am not what I was in high school. Gee, I thought I was empowered. Everyone told me I was the best, greatest, smartest, gifted and talented. Maybe I am not. Nah, not me. I am still all of that and more. Just wait my friend. Humble pie is awaiting. Be ready. It stinks and hurts but from there you can begin to learn, grow and prosper on your own which is kind of scary. We teach kids everything except how to exist in the “real world”. Now, how do you address an envelope? Where does the stamp go? How many stamps do I need? The empowered person does not have all the answers but knows where to go to get answers. The enabled person still doesn’t know what a return address is and why it is used. Hard to believe but it’s out there.

How do you know what is good if you never experienced bad. Lets say your life is perfect without ever being told that perfect does not exist. You are an academic success, all star athlete, good looking, envied by all, hated by some as well. Live in a beautiful house, (not a home, read below please), have beautiful clothes, go on vacation and so forth. One day you wake up and there is a pimple on your face. You hide in shame afraid to be seen. Uncomfortable in your own skin. Oh the humiliation and embarrassment just from a simple (get it) pimple. Yet another drift away from the topic but still appropriate.

All simple stuff right? Remember my BLOG is Keep It Simple – Keep it Real.

Simple works best. I am a simple guy which is why folks get along with me. They like the simple things in life.


The Difference Between: Winning and Losing

Why did we lose? We were not prepared. We did not practice. The referee did not like us. It was too cold. We did not listen to our coach. The other team cheated. The spectating rude, crude, and socially unacceptable meddling parents were screaming, hollering, yelling, cursing, badgering, harassing and annoying everyone at the game while distracting and embarrassing us, their kids. Hey parents am I describing you. Not many but I know you are out there continuing to act and behave disrespectfully. Shame on you as a person and more importantly as a negative role model to your kids.

Why did we win? We practiced. We prepared. We listened to our coach. We  followed the plan. We went the extra mile. We overcome obstacles. We made adjustments duirng the game. We respected the game. We were determined, focused and resilient. We communicated. We did not blame anyone or anything. We were lucky. The ball bounced our way since sometimes we do not win, the other team loses. Like in tennis keep the ball in play and let the other player make mistakes.

The first paragraph are excuses which describes failures.

The second paragraph are reasons which define success.

You make the choice for you. You gonna’ provide reasons or excuses?


The Difference Between a Home and a House:

When I was a kid we would visit our grandparents.

One set of grandparents found us sitting on the couch with those plastic skin ripping covers, not allowed to touch anything since we might break it and never ever go into the kitchen for a drink or food. Wipe your feet on the outside doormat and take off your shoes upon entering the house. Speak when spoken to. Never utter anything while watching their shows or eating a meal. Do you know how many sneezes, belches, yawns and farts I held in. It’s a miracle I did not explode. Finish all your food regardless. I never used the bathroom since I might make it dirty outside of the bowl. This was a HOUSE, a sterile and antiseptic building.

The other grandparents was a HOME. A comfortable, welcoming and inviting HOME. A little dirt and dust in the air and on the floor, a dish or two in the sink, leftovers in the fridge, boy were they good. A junk-room to hide and play in with all the stuff on shelves, in boxes and on the floor. A place for imagination and discovery with all that stuff. Fun stuff. Always a filled refrigerator accessible at any time. Family sleepovers using beds, couch and floors. We made a “fort” using towels, blankets, pillows and sheets as the frame and tables, chairs and desks to hold things upright. Everyone knew you were in the bathroom by the sound of the flush which echoed and reverberated throughout the HOME.

There was love, nurturing and encouragement in both places. I prefer the HOME which is what I hope I made for my family.


The Difference Between Recovery and Prevention:

There are two guys: Joe and Tom. Just random names so do not be offended if I did not use your name. I suppose I could have used my name but I didn’t.

Joe is fifty three years old and has a heart attack. He goes to the hospital. The doctor tells Joe to drop 30 pounds, quit smoking and drinking, begin an exercise routine, eat healthy and sleep more.

Joe begins the journey to meet the challenges of conditioning his mind, body and soul to achieve his goals. Joe joins a “health club”. Joe is now in RECOVERY.

While on the treadmill Joe meets Tom. They begin a conversation since they share some common ground by being at the health club. Of course, you know this is in direct contrast to the opening entry in this BLOG’s Post but let’s continue anyway.

Joe asks Tom, “Yo, how yuh doin”? Sorry for this but I grew up in Philly. Yeah, I know the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

Tom says great, how about you?

Joe, a bit nervous but he figures what the heck, says, “much better now” and proceeds to tell Tom about his heart attack, hospital stay, advise from his doctor and plan to get and stay healthy.

Tom, also in his fifties, says to Joe, ” You sound like you’re doing what I do. I have been active since I was a kid. I watch what I eat which is routine after all these years. I quit smoking in high school. I never got used to the smell of tobacco on my fingers which was more disgusting than when I would pick my nose and all I would smell is stale, nasty and funky tobacco from my tobacco stained digits. I indulge in a cookie or two or a scoop of ice cream a few times each month. Since I hated that septic tank mouth taste in my mouth I quit drinking a year or two after high school. I do not miss the junk food, tobacco or alcohol and the burdens it brought to my world.  Water is my friend and has been for many years. I am at the gym 4-5 times per week for my 1-2 hour workout and when not here I go for a walk 1-2 times per week sometimes on the same day as I visit the gym. I am doing everything I can to avoid a heart attack and more. Tom is in Prevention.

See the difference? I hope you said there is none. Correct.

Joe is in Recovery. Tom is in Prevention. They do the same or similar things.

The hardest part of Recovery is knowing and learning that you are not the only one. There is a half a world of folks who are in Recovery. The other half is in Prevention. All of us need to be in one of the two groups.

Keep It Simple – Keep – It Real








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