Brad Links

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Daughters in Transit

My wife recently handed me a copy of an article that Stacy Schiff wrote about young women finding a place in this world. She used Jo March of "Little Women" as an example both of how to be a success in life as well as of how to get lost on your way to it. In short, it takes hard work and shrewd planning for professional women to find success and fulfillment in today's hectic world. The working world isn't the same challenge for them as it is for their male counterparts. It's harder and takes careful personal management to best. I have a daughter who is just finding her way in to this world of professionalism. She has not yet "arrived" and has had her share of struggles along the way. I would like to offer some advice both to her and to all in her situation.

My dear daughter, I know you to be a highly intelligent and highly motivated young women with designs on having both a successful career and a successful family life some day. Both are within the grasp of your abilities and talents, but neither will come easily without conscious effort on your part to be smart about your personal choices. Okay, so what does that mean, right?! Well, I have one area of concern in which I would caution you to be watchful: your close personal relationships, particularly those with members of the opposite sex and most particularly that one which will eventually lead to your choice of a life partner. In her article Stacy Schiff quotes statistics among female executives that strongly suggest a woman's partner has much to do with her success. Choose wisely, grasshopper. Wisely, in this case, is someone who is your intellectual equal, someone who can and does think on the same level as you do. If you look for a partner among those whose thought patterns and world view are not as developed as your's, you will eventually find someone who will expect you to fit into a mold much smaller than that for which you were made and for which you aspire. Think of it as a foot race in which you can either choose to have a head wind or a tail wind. The head wind could easily cost you the race, but a tail wind will add to your already ample ability and propel you to the win. I want the world for you, my daughter and that world is there. Secure your thinking in the wisdom that will get it for you.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Perfect Wife

Sorry, guys, but I'm afraid I got the only truly perfect wife. I have been reading numerous blogs about husbands relating to their spouses in various situations. Most of them I can relate to with at least a reasonable level of empathy. I was particularly moved by an account of a couple celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary (http://thehappyhusband.com/?p=515). In another a man displayed a level of committment to his wife that I have rarely seen, caring for her every physical need with tenderness and love as her abilities to function slowly passed. The way he cared for her in the physical realm is the way my wife cares for me in what I will call the spiritual realm. Her spirit loves with a degree of integrity that speaks of a higher level of being. She cares for people with True caring. I know many people who meet the needs of others with a concern for what they or I see in front of them, but who don't consider what may lie beyond that immediate need. My wife looks beyond the visible through depths of ambiguity to complexities that few can fathom. She perceives True needs and concerns that may actually be thwarted by caring for the visible, physical problem. What's more, she will not be deterred from embracing that person's True needs even if to do so will bring her derision from those less perceiving souls looking on. In her innocence, this derision causes her confusion and pain for her integrity assignes those onlookers a higher degree of decency than they are capable of or willing to exercise. Unfortunately, I am all too often one of those onlookers myself. For this I am ashamed. She teaches me by example every day with the patience of a saint, but then why should that surprise anyone when she has the practices of a saint. I fear I am too old now to reach an 80th anniversary with her, but no matter, I don't plan to lose her just because of a little thing like death.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Full House

Just a quick note about my family. They are all home this week! It has been a while since all were here. My daughter is home from Iraq for just a few days. My wife and son are home from school for the summer, so my older son and daughter-in-law are hosting the rest for a short while. It was just a marvel to watch them all interact with music and talk last night. These are some truly remarkable people... all of them. They are intelligent, intuitive, vibrant, caring and very talented in many ways. My wife threads her way through the various levels and mediums of communcation with practiced ease, touching each in just the way they need to be touched. While it lasts, there is nothing like it. All too soon the nest will begin to empty again. Treasure your families while you can. Today will never come again.