You Are What You Consume

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

“You are what you eat” is among the best nutrition advice if understood and practiced.

Think about it, if you consider your body will rebuild your bone and muscle and brain cells specifically with the food you eat, would you think twice about tossing back a sugar-latent coffee and two donuts for breakfast every day?

Similarly, your thoughts and emotions are formed from  information you consume throughout the day. The music, social media posts, gossip, TV shows (and commercials), movies and magazines you and your children consume make up your perspective about the world.

This is not a one way street, especially for children who are still forming their frame, or perspective, of the world around them. What goes into your mind and heart comes out in the way we relate to others in action and words.

You are what you eat. You are how you move. You are what you consume.

Choose wisely, for you AND your kids. I love that my wife continually teachers our children:

“your eyes and ears are the windows to your heart, mind and soul.”

Inspiring Kids to be Creative – TED Talk with Stephen Hall

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Inspiring Kid's Creativity with Stephen Hall TED Talk

Are kids’ toys too processed? Do they invite creativity or do the job for them?

 “Necessity is the mother of innovation.”

Parents want to give their children everything they can … but should they consider giving them less? Is modern children’s play too processed?

The presenter, Stephen Hall takes a minute or three to get to his point, but his emphasis on parenting and inspiring our children to be creative by giving them less is awesome. The less our children need, the less they may express their intuitive creativity.

I read once that around 93% of children are rated as creative when they are 3 years old, but by the time these same children are 18 years old, only 15% or so are rated as highly creative. As a country, we have dug ourselves into a hole by developing an educational system based on uniformity and conformity.

In most grade schools, Art and Physical Education are only taught once per week. We are so focused on Literature, History and the Sciences that most adults are now walking around “Physically Illiterate” and with what I call “Right Brain Amnesia.” (more…)

StL Cards Manager Mike Matheny to Youth Team Parents – It’s About The Boys!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

We may not win every game, but we will be the classiest coaches, players and parents in every game we play.

I don’t believe a week or two goes by where I don’t hear a parent or grandparent mention something about (other) parents yelling during a youth sports game. If any of you have been to grade school games, especially for a “select team” competition, you know what I am talking about. Someone recently sent me this letter St. Louis Cardinals new manager (and former catcher) Mike Matheny wrote to the parents of  his son’s baseball team he was coaching. It is impressively lengthy and detailed, but also very important in today’s parenting/youth sports climate.

I have included the introduction along with what I found to be high lights from the letter (bulleted below) … there is no more important job in this world than being a parent … I hope a few of them take a minute to check this letter out:

Coach Matheny to Baseball Team Parents:

Mike Matheny letter to youth team parentsI always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans, and now here we are. The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest problem with youth sports has been the parents. I think that it is best to nip this in the bud right off the bat. I think the concept that I am asking all of you to grab is that this experience is ALL about the boys. If there is anything about it that includes you, we need to make a change of plans. My main goals are as follows:

  1. to teach these young men how to play the game of baseball the right way,
  2. to be a positive impact on them as young men, and
  3. do all of this with class.

We may not win every game, but we will be the classiest coaches, players, and parents in every game we play. The boys are going to play with a respect for their teammates, opposition, and the umpires no matter what. (more…)

Sports Still a Training Ground of Virtue (Re-Post) – St. Louis Review

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

“(Sports) are a training ground of virtue, a school of inner balance and outer control …”

Submitted  to the St. Louis Review on Aug. 8th 2012

Playing Ball in The Back Yard, Virture, Dave Reddy, John Paul, Catholic, blogBlessed John Paul II, an avid sportsman in his youth, once lauded the moral value of sports. “They are a training ground of virtue,” he said.

His wisdom is worth contemplating during a busy summer that, in addition to the usual menu of baseball, football, tennis, golf, etc., offers the Olympic Summer Games in London.

Unfortunately, virtue can sometimes be difficult to find in modern sport. Multimillion-dollar professional salaries, bloated TV ratings and lucrative endorsements frequently breed a cult of celebrity that often spawns immoral behavior both on and off the playing field.

The Olympics are supposed to represent sport in its purest form but, even if that was once the case, that purity has been compromised. Commercialism is rampant and, in many glamour sports, the financial stakes are high. Organizers in London will spend millions of dollars on drug testing and it will be a shock if they fail to expose some cheaters.

But those inevitable incidents shouldn’t detract from the overall celebration of virtue that Blessed John Paul II believed was the essence of sport.

Blessed John Paul II was affectionately known as the “athlete pope.” As a student he was a runner and soccer player and later became an ardent swimmer, skier and hiker. He believed that sport, in its pure form, could provide an arena for evangelization because the attributes required to become a champion — sacrifice, passion, obedience, discipline — were similar in many respects to those required to become a saint.

Sportsmanship, as an ideal, is all about character. It’s about humility, honesty, loyalty, respect and generosity. It is not a quest for perfection but, like a faith journey, is a quest for virtue. There will be moments of temptation and times of failure but the true sportsman, like the faithful person, will acknowledge setbacks with integrity and strive to become better.

Blessed John Paul II once said the Church values sport because it advances the complete development of the body and soul and contributes to the advancement of a more human society. He believed the virtues evident in true sport could cultivate harmony among cultures and peace among nations.

“Sports have, in themselves, an important moral and educative significance,” said Blessed John Paul II. “They are a training ground of virtue, a school of inner balance and outer control, an introduction to more true and lasting conquests.”

He called sport a gift from God to mankind. And like the late pope, the 19th-century founders of the modern Olympics believed in sport as a training ground of virtue.

That noble ideal may have taken a beating over the past century, but the pursuit of virtue is still worth championing and, when it bubbles to the surface in a young athlete, well worth celebrating.

This editorial is from the July 25 issue of the Catholic Register, the Toronto-based national Catholic Canadian newspaper.