I Stand

I stand, yes – I stand

I stand for every man

I stand for equality and justice for all

I stand with my fists held high

I stand for freedom and liberty

I stand to reflect my dignity

I kneel

~Anita Jefferson

Question:  What do you stand for?  Reply and share your conviction

Monday Miracle: Lauren Hill

Miracles in life often mean that you learn how to “hoop it up.”  When you live life as a normal, routine existence it delivers safety since your habits are rarely disturbed.  But, what happens when that “safety” that is grooved into your being is shaken, when NORMALCY is disrupted?Lauren Hill                                     (photo found at http://www.thecurestartsnow.org)

That question was answered by Lauren Hill on CBS Sunday Morning.  This nineteen year old is chasing her dream, living her life in spite of the terminal brain tumor.  She wants to live long enough to play her first game next Sunday at Mt. St. Joseph College where she is a freshman.  This game is sold out, 10,000 tickets were sold in one hour to support #22. “She feels like she would be a quitter” if she stops playing the basketball game that she loves.

Lauren Hill disrupts safety, she is committed to hoop it up in spite of cancer.  Her favorite charity is http://www.thecurestartsnow.org (a foundation to cure pediatric brain cancer) and she stills gets up at 5:00 in the morning to practice drills with her team.  She defies normalcy.

Lauren Hill as she takes to the court on November 2 at 2:00pm in the NCAA season opener as Mount St. Joseph University takes on Hiram College at the Xavier University Cintas Center. Let us all cheer for Lauren by living beyond your usual normalcy scope; instead “hoop it up.”

How do you “hoop it up”?  Please post your comments below, we want to know you you live your dreams–thank you.

Take the Risk

LeBron James, Mr. Millennium Basketball Star, is having his challenges with his current team the Miami Heat. I suspect that he knew challenges would come as he learned to gel with his new teammates this first year in Miami, but he risked it and left the Cleveland Cavilers with a smile.

Altruism pays. This former Akron, Ohio native is all about altruism. He is iconic for so many reasons. He is a game showman – ask a fan or just sit in the audience wherever he plays.  I have been there and was thrilled throughout the game. LJ-“Mr. LeBron”  is a good dad, he regularly visits his old Catholic school or community centers and spends quality time with the youth in camp programs. LeBron helps others.

A few years back he took a risk when he shocked the athletic community by firing his agents and replaced them with his friends from home with whom he grew up playing the game of basketball. They got the job because LJ (which is a brand in itself as is MJ (for the famous all-star Michael Jordan) trusts them to guard his financial and franchise empire.

That’s a risk; you’d better believe that it is. To trust homeboys with your millions…I possibly wouldn’t take that risk. Even though that is an improbable risk to take for me, I applaud LeBron James for deciding the benefits outweigh the detriment. “You can’t be afraid to fail, that’s only way to succeed,” says LeBron.

Do your own risk equation prior to making big decisions.What are you in a quandary about?

Here is how to Minimize Your Risk and Maximize Success:
1. Identify the Risk
2. Write the Risk down in the form of an “IF” question. For example – If I decide to write a book, what are my risks?
3. Take a sheet of blank paper and divide into two columns: Benefits and Detriments
4. List everything you can freeform think of. Do not second guess, just build your list in both categories…..write, write, write
5. Examine your list with an objective party. Try to select someone or two or three people who will offer constructive feedback. Someone who will probe beyond the obvious. Someone who will be tough and confident enough to buff out the true gains and risks.
6. Last, Set the list aside after you have completed Step 5. Mediate, mentally massage what you know. Think and process. Some practice I Ching as a decision-making aide.
Then decide your best course of action.

Don’t ignore risks, but more importantly don’t overlook benefits.
You are capable of making an informed decision…just do it aware of both the risks and benefits.

The main thing is to


The Heart of Grace

ABC News highlighted a high school basketball team as its “Persons of the Week” last year  for their acts of compassionate grace. View the video http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6926639 to capture the fullness of this post.

My immediate feeling after viewing the video referenced above was What is grace?

Grace is humble acceptance. It is honor, dignity, values, strength, compassion, fearless faith.

My next question was How does grace feel?

To most grace feels soothing, non-competitive, empathetic, solid.

For the members of the rival basketball teams, grace felt like caring.

The Milwaukee Madison Knights high school basketball team’s co-captain, Johnntell Franklin, mother had just died from cancer.  He left her bedside and came to the game played against rivals Dekalb Barbs of Illinois.  Because he was not listed as a player the coach could not put him in to play, even though he recognized how important it was for Johntell to assuage his personal pain, without incurring a technical foul.  He sent Johntell in, but the grace evolves deeper when the Dekalb coach told his top free throw shooter to miss the free throw shots in deference to Johntell’s grief.
These young men felt grace, the whole crowd felt grace, and the coaches taught the permanent message of grace to these young men. Dekalb Coach says, “There are a lot of things much more important than the Xs and Os of basketball.” Knights coach wrote “unheard of sportsmanship and class.”

I recently experienced another act of grace after witnessing an unjust act which would have spun others into anger, harsh words or recrimination. Instead this person acted with grace by accepting the outcome without complaint or finger pointing.  That too is grace – to be so aware that circumstances or outcomes do not make the person.

Let us all act with grace.