Thank You, Linus

I had a moment this morning. Actually, I had several, but two in particular stirred some very powerful emotions inside of me.

Please allow me a few minutes of your time to explain.

The day started, as it so often does, with a review of the morning newswires including a quick scan of my phone's AP app, five minutes of Twitter, daily updates on LinkedIn and my family GroupMe, hoping to catch the latest pictures of my grandchildren or family news.

Today was a full day!

First, I was blessed to come across a blog post by Jason Soroski on Crosswalk entitled “The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas” - the Peanuts’ holiday special that I have watched annually EVERY YEAR since it debuted. A quick read of the article and you can do the math concerning my age from there.

In a world that is seemingly teetering on the brink before, during and between every news cycle and in the midst of a holiday season that has gotten lost in our vain attempt to “show our love” for others by maxing out our credit cards, this simple passage from Luke 2:8-14 continues to hit that spot in my soul that only God knows about:

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.”

Fear not!

That is absolutely more easily said than done.

It’s been a challenging year. Actually, it’s been a challenging couple of years.

All too often I’ve allowed myself to wallow in the moment and feel sorry for my circumstance, personally and professionally, only to be brought back to reality through the innocent eyes of my grandchildren, or the support and reassurance from the most important people in my life.

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The holidays should be among the most joyous times of the year, a chance to take stock of what’s important in our lives, sharing memories with family and friends, embracing the spirit of the season and looking forward with hopeful anticipation to the year ahead.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and it seems to get harder each and every year.

I’m convinced that every generation bemoans the loss of innocence that comes with the aging process, but as I’m sure has been said many times before, this time it really does seem different.

I never missed a day of school because of a bomb threat, wondered what type of ideology was being practiced in that other church down the street, worried if my hover board was going to burn down the house, debated the need for a two-week conference on changing our habits before the world grows too hot for our continued existence, watched four hours of bloviating from mindless automatons who have memorized talking points that are supposed to resonate with the core constituency, searched online endlessly trying to find the perfect gift that includes a coupon code for free shipping, and unfortunately wished that Christmas would hurry up and get over with.

How sad.

Enter Linus and his blanket and a reminder of what this time of year is supposed to mean. Much like the replay button on the DVR, I am requesting a reset from the beginning of the program.

With much anticipation, I look forward to embracing the true meaning of Christmas during the final ten days ahead. No more shopping. No more wasted energy worrying about things I cannot control. No more time with politics, for now.

It’s time for God. It’s time for family. It’s time for me. Although I’m not sure what that last part even means.

I said that I had two “moments” earlier in this post, but I have gotten so lost in this one that I have run out of time for the second. It is, however, equally important and of great impact. So I shall reserve that thought for its own post later.

In the meantime, thank you Linus for reminding me what Christmas is really all about.

SOURCES:
Angel Visits the Shepherds courtesy of Gospel Gifs
Schulz, C. (Writer), & Melendez, B. (Director). (1965). A Charlie Brown Christmas [Television series episode]. In L. Mendelson (Executive producer), Peanuts. Los Angeles, CA: Columbia Broadcasting System.
GOP debate photograph courtesy ABC News,. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.

Sixth Annual Cincinnati Undy Run/Walk

Generating awareness for the fight against colon and rectal cancer is very important to my family. Maria Jung, my late wife and mother of our three wonderful children, succumbed to the debilitating effects of this awful disease after a nine-year fight in 2013.

Working with the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) in 2009, Maria spearheaded efforts to bring the Undy Run/Walk to Cincinnati. Now in its sixth year, thousands have taken to the downtown streets dressed with their underwear and boxer shorts on the outside to bring attention to that area of the body affected by colon cancer.

This year’s event will be held at Lunken Field on October 3, 2015, beginning at 9am. Click here to sign up.

If wearing your underwear in public is not unique enough, attendees have the rare opportunity to walk through the Colon Cancer Alliance’s larger-than-life inflatable colon exhibit, which helps create a dramatic visual by showing visitors the various stages of this disease.

A fun twist to a serious topic, the Undy Run/Walk allows hundreds of people who have been affected by colon cancer to come together as a community. The event honors survivors in attendance and also takes a moment to remember those who have lost their battles.

Whether you are an avid runner, a survivor or are supporting someone affected by this disease, the Undy Run/Walk provides a morning of inspiration and encouragement while making colon cancer a topic that is OK to talk about.

Within days of Maria’s passing, our family received a letter from Andrew Spiegel, then-CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance.

The letter gave details, as provided by Cincinnati-area gastroenterologist Dr. Michael Kriens, of how Maria’s efforts directly led to the first “save” of a Cincinnatian who through proper diagnosis and treatment was spared the pain and finality that often comes with this dreaded disease

Clearly every dollar raised by the Undy Run/Walk can indeed make a difference.

It’s not March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and I know that many of you are in the midst of your own personal causes and campaigns, but please take a few minutes in the week ahead to help us raise awareness for the ONLY cancer that is truly preventable, treatable AND beatable.

Sign-up and participate. Make a donation. Tell a friend. And I will see you this Saturday morning beginning at 7am.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

SOURCES:
Colon Cancer Facts and Figures courtesy of the American Cancer Society
Photo courtesy of the Colon Cancer Alliance

Till The Well Runs Dry

Anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes with me, which is admittedly asking a lot given my verbose nature, knows that I love a good quote.

Quotes are a part of my daily existence. I re-quote in conversations, as part of meeting agendas, as icebreakers, to emphasis a point, or just to show how smart or well-read I am.

The latter is self-deprecating, because I clearly understand that most people are smarter than I and I usually follow my re-quote with an exasperated “I wish I had said that”.

To start the second day of my tenure at WKRC-TV as the Director of Integrated Marketing (actually New Media Manager at the time) in July, 2002, I broke out my first quote during a Tuesday morning sales meeting before an incredibly well-seasoned team who I know had to wonder where the heck this strange-looking bald guy got off trying to impart on them his implied wisdom.

The quote was actually a lyric from a song composed in 1871 by Rowland Howard, a little-known Brit who dabbled in comedic and melodic parodies. Thanks to a more in-depth Google search, I know that now, although at the time I mistakenly attributed the quote to Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials.

“For you never miss the water till the well runs dry.”

Part of the chorus, this lyric is just as relevant today as it was 13 years ago.

The point I believe I made in 2002 was that I was humbled to be given a chance by a powerhouse television station like WKRC-TV (not yet Local 12) after spending a little time wandering the wasteland looking for my next opportunity.

The first time I ever really hunted for a job was after I closed my cigar store in 2001. And in the year-plus that it took to find my way to Cincinnati, I kept thinking that as much as no one really likes to have to work to make a living, you really miss it when you don’t have it.

Not just the money, we all like that, but the reason to get up in the morning, to look your best, to meet new people, be with friends, energetically attack the day and all that it holds…it was all of that which I missed before being given a chance to become a part of society again.

Well, it’s 2015 and I’ve got that song rattling around in my head again.

My last day at FOX19 was May 1. I’ve spent the summer working on numerous self-development projects, both mental and physical (emotional, too, if I really want to be honest with myself and the blogosphere).

It’s been refreshing and it’s helped me to decide what I want to be when I grow up, although I’m nowhere near certain that I ever really want to grow up! It’s been a change and anyone who knows me understands that I love the c-word.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
— Dan Millman

I am a proponent of change, a big believer that the status quo needs to have the foundation shaken once in a while, to point toward new directions, challenge the norm and occasionally just drive a different way to work.

It’s the only way that you’ll see things from a different perspective and who knows it might lead to greater success or abysmal failure, but you’ll never know until you exit one block sooner than you usually do.

I’ve certainly exited the highway and although I won’t claim to miss the rush hour I will refer back to Rowland Howard:

“Waste not, want not is a maxim I would teach,
Let your watchword be despatch, and practise what you preach;
Do not let your chances, like sunbeams pass you by,
For you never miss the water till the well runs dry.”

I’m ready for the next chapter in my life to unfold and as such I’m casting my dye into the social media waters.

Know anyone who is looking for a Chief Engagement Officer, someone who knows how to engage, ideate, build a brand, lead the charge, fire up the troops, sell, market, challenge the norm, put the foot down hard on the accelerator, champion a cause, build a fire, or dig a deeper well?

Call me, text me, tweet me, or drop me a line.
I miss the water, but this well is far from running dry.

SOURCES:
Original photo by Wenrick Katigbak
Harmoneion Singers, The. You Never Miss The Water Till The Well Runs Dry by Rowland Howard. On Where Home Is: Life In Nineteenth-Century Cincinnati/Crossroads Of The East And West, Vinyl/LP. U.S. New World Records, 1977
Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives, Page 113, (H J Kramer, Inc., Tiburon, California, Distributed by Publisher’s Group West, Emeryville, California, 1984)
Grand Prix. Dir. John Frankenheimer. Perf. James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Yves Montand and Toshiro Mifune. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1966. Youtube. Web. 16 January 2012.