Bonding and Solitude

“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. For, if it lies in the nature of indifference and of the crowd to recognize no solitude, then love and friendship are there for the purpose of continually providing the opportunity for solitude. And only those are the true sharings which rhythmically interrupt periods of deep isolation.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

A Well-Regarded Behavioral Therapist's Thoughts on Love

“Unfortunately in our culture vulnerable relationships don’t happen as often as they should. People feel they have to have it together, be totally positive, and not show weaknesses. They are surrounded by warm bodies, but there is no deep connection. The one word that best describes the situation is 𝒆𝒎𝒑𝒕𝒚.

On the other hand, a few vulnerable relationships will always create a sense of connectedness. With any significant connection with someone, over time we will disagree, bug each other, hurt each other’s feelings, or separate from one another. No relationship of any gravitas is without its speed bumps. It’s just the nature of being human.

If you have never disagreed with someone important in your life, one of you is not necessary. But the great relationships are those which employ the love, persistence, character, and skills required to work things out and move on. The connections are often stronger once the storm has been weathered.”

John Townsend

Helicopter Parenting?

The helicopter at its onset was unique. The vehicle did not require runways. It could be taken places planes could not. It could be landed vertically.

As to parent’s landings, now they even have software to track their offspring’s whereabouts. Why track?

It is true as teenagers we feel bullet proof. We take chances we would rarely, if ever, take as adults.

As children our neighborhoods, years ago, seemed safer. I don’t know that they were, but, it sure seemed that way.

Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in the first round to win the heavyweight championship in 1962. My father and I went to see him train not long after that at a gym in Miami.

As Sonny finished his workout he shook hands with the visitors. I was 17, took more risks than I do now, but, was a little leary of shaking this bear of a man’s hand. He surprised me and was gentle as we shook. No helicopter needed, though Dad was there.

I guess parents should keep those helicopters in shape just in case they are needed. Don’t you think?

Football in Full Bloom

Tonight we have the NCAA, Division 1, football championship and over the weekend we had the divisional play in the National Football League. What’s all the ruckus about this violent sport?

I actually tried to kick it a couple of times in my life. Nonetheless, at the very young age of 7, I was introduced to college football by my father. We saw Ohio State play in Columbus that year and that was extremely impressive for a seven-year-old. The band, the hoopla, the football action itself, and the joy of actually bonding with a difficult father were strongly embedded in my memory.

I lost my father one quarter century ago. Nonetheless, the game still has for me the grace of a perfect spiral thrown by a heroic quarterback. It has the courage of a receiver catching a ball over the middle with a potential, painful slam to his torso. It has the amazing battle that transpires between 300 pounders in the trenches of the offensive and defensive lines, the key to a successful team.

One can step off a curb and endanger one’s life. The older football players in pain who can think straight deeply miss the camaraderie despite their physical pain. The cerebral trauma aspects of the game are upsetting, particularly as I spent my life in various aspects of healthcare. Are there worse ways to spend your time than supporting the game? Certainly. Is football talk the best men can do sometimes in bonding to other men. Yes. Will it be around in 100 years, the NFL having just turned 100. Probably.

H. Robert Rubin, best-selling Amazon memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This? available on Amazon

George Carlin's Gift to Us All

“SOMETHING TO PONDER: George Carlin

George Carlin’s wife died early in 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin”

(From Sumo Sato on Facebook)

Old You Say?

I must be old. On February 2nd the 54th Super Bowl will be played. I have seen either all, or, a portion of all, the Super Bowls to date as an adult. The best seats for the first one were nowhere near $5000.

The stadium where the Super Bowl will be played, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, didn’t exist when I was growing up in Miami. Miami’s South Beach was one big old folks home and now it’s one of the most hip, young places on the face of the earth.

I have read that if you see the glass as half-full and you have no chronic pain in some ways you feel like a ten-year-old despite being aged. I have no chronic pain but my arthritis in various locations comes and goes. Correct, I don’t feel 10.

On the other hand, there is an enormous richness to having two adult children and two grandchildren. Because, thank God, I am retired, I can read many books I never could before without guilt about my day job.

I have been blessed with huge favors, particularly a spouse who has stood by me for 42 years. May you be blessed with a deep, meaningful, joyous life in your later years.