Archive for January, 2020

January 21, 2020

It takes a thinking brain to mend a broken heart

by Rod Smith

In the grips of a recent heart-break there are some things you can do.

He/she broke your heart, not your brain or capacity to think. So, think. 

During this tough time and you may feel deep, powerful feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and you may regret the time you had together. It may seem wasted. It’s not, unless you waste it. You can learn and grow, or not. You decide. 

No one is discounting your feelings and neither will it be helpful if you do. But, you still have the capacity to think, plan, to guide yourself out of the mire. So, think and plan, through the mist and pain. 

Remember, you think yourself into a new way of feeling. You do not feel your way into a new way of thinking. Let your fine mind lead. You got yourself into this; you can get yourself out. 

While it seems paradoxical, you entered the relationship alone, and you leave it alone. You have what it takes within you to rebuild a meaningful life. You are stronger than you feel. Don’t beg.

Walk, run, drink lots of water. Seek out old friends. Revisit places you went as a couple. Nothing is wasted unless you waste it.

January 17, 2020

Leadership

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Wednesday

The Genius of Powerful Leadership

• Is not that you, the leader, get your way. It is that those whom you lead discover their own skills, talents, and beauty and, as a result of your style, they are willing to apply their cache of potential to your mutually declared goals.

• Is not that you, the leader, are recognized. It is that those whom you lead are empowered and sufficiently “free” to make their own mark on your mutually declared goals and are positioned to receive appropriate credit.

• Is not that you, the leader, are the one with all the brilliant ideas. It is that you have created a context where the development and exchange of ideas is a way of life and your shared brilliance becomes difficult to pin on one lone genius or a singular heroic leader.

• Is not that you, the appointed or official leader, lead at everything. You understand that your ability to lead meshes with your ability to follow. You get out of the way, you assist, you encourage those who are better equipped at any task to assume the awe-filled position of leader when it is necessary.

• It is that you, the leader, know that how you handle yourself is pivotal, and far more important to your success than how you handle your charges.

January 9, 2020

Lies to girls and young women

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Friday

Lies to girls and young women – sometimes overt, mostly covert……

It has been my joy to interact with female audiences in several nations. Despite diverse cultures and languages, these messages, these lies, remain strong and consistent. They are even sometimes promoted as Biblical. Perhaps saddest, with the discovery of personal faith, young women seem to expect God to be the ultimate male who makes similar demands:

• Your body is more important than your brain. Don’t be, or appear to be, more educated than a man who wants you.

• Men don’t want women who are more educated than they are.

• Everyone you meet is more important than you are. You are born to serve others, especially men (and – in some cultures- their mothers).

• Once a man loves you, you give up yourself for your husband and your children. The “half” you are will be made whole when a man marries you. If you don’t marry you’ll never be complete.

• Your greatest calling is to be a wife and a mother. Other (foolish) ambitions will compromise serving your husband and your mothering.

• Your only worthwhile ideas pertain to cooking, cleaning, and childcare. Leave thinking about sciences, technology, and mathematics to males.

• If you suffer in silence God will reward you. Suffering comes with being a woman.

January 6, 2020

Tenderness

by Rod Smith

Tenderness can be very helpful. If I can be tender in my response to my sons when something is brewing in me, annoying me, rather than be bullheaded and confrontational, the outcome can be remarkably positive. When I am hot on an issue, no matter how significant or insignificant, I can see the rising resistance in my son (either son) before he’s even aware of what I am on about. It seems instinctual. 

If I am pursuing an apology, or if I express the mistaken idea that I am the only one who ever does anything around the house, it becomes rapidly evident that my zeal stimulates an equal and opposite reaction and things can escalate. 

My forcefulness, willfulness, my zeal, is met with an equal and opposite reaction. 

If I am tender, if I ask about things that are important to my son and if I take time to listen, and then carefully express what it is that is bugging me, the entire exchange quickly shifts. 

Tenderness dismounts me from my high horse and reason prevails. 

When I am tender my son is always willing to put his most cooperative foot forward and resistance flees, reason prevails, and neither one of us comes out hurting.