Archives For Higher Ground

Brilliant kids test answersOur son, Jared, has always been mature beyond his years. He’s also the smartest person I have ever met – except when it came to some basic things that Beth and I take for granted. He just graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering with Highest Honors (Summa Cum Laude at other schools). Having taught over 500 students, he was voted the Teaching Assistant of the Year for all of Georgia Tech his senior year. He worked for three semesters in engineering co-op positions and even went to France to be a teaching assistant at the request of the professor teaching the class.

I tell you this not to brag (well maybe a little) but to offer context for what would be one of the greatest and most humbling lessons I have learned. It all started with a phone call during his Junior Year. Continue Reading…

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The Stranded Whale

joe —  Sat 15-Nov-14 — 2 Comments

Hello kitty whaleThe other day I was thinking about the whole premise of The Stranded Starfish – the idea that even though there may be a thousand stranded starfish on a beach, throwing back one may not change the beach landscape but it makes a big difference in the life of that one starfish. This is a great story if that creature is as small as a starfish. What if there were a thousand whales on that beach?

There is a homeless man in downtown Atlanta that I’ll call Mark. Mark is pretty consistent in his choice of spots near the North Avenue Marta station. Our son, Jared, is a student at Georgia Tech. Jared regularly passes by Mark and offers him a sandwich or whatever food he may have on him. Whenever Jared comes home for the weekend, he remembers to stuff his backpack with some food because he knows that he will see Mark when he gets off the train at Tech.

Continue Reading…

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Creating Heroes

joe —  Sat 1-Nov-14 — Leave a comment

Lollipup GuildHalloween is a mixed bag for me. I’m not wild about the door to door stuff, but I absolutely love watching dads and moms turning their kids into superheroes. Seeing parents’ incredible passion for brainstorming creative ideas is only surpassed by the bright beam that comes from the smile of a proud Superman or Elsa.

It’s so much fun turning our kids into heroes. It’s a practice we do with great ease when it comes to our own kids, yet we seldom do it anywhere else. What if we were to try and make heroes of others at work?

What if we were to come to the office every single day with the intent of trying to help someone on their journey to superherodom? What if every conversation we held became an opportunity to lift someone else up? Could we truly be happy watching someone else succeed? Continue Reading…

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Dear GI

joe —  Sun 27-May-12 — 1 Comment

Girl at grave
Dear GI,

You don’t know me, and I will never know you. Yet, you paid the ultimate price so that I could sit behind this keyboard and freely express my thoughts.

Well, my thoughts today are about you. You and I may not have known each other, but we have a lot in common.

It’s about standing up for what you believe. I believe in that too. But you did more. Continue Reading…

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The Best Day of His Life (so far)

joe —  Fri 20-Apr-12 — 1 Comment

Surprise signHave you ever had someone do something outrageously cool for you? Not just “made me breakfast in bed” kind of cool but seriously outrageous?

I am blessed in that I get to see cool in action almost every day. I have awesome friends. But it wasn’t until my 50th birthday that I felt it to the outrageous level. Sure, there are lots of surprise parties in the world, but the stories behind this one were over the top. Whether it was Paul & Carrie driving 400 miles just for the event, or listening to John Carrozza behind my mother-in-awes piano, everyone had a beautiful part. I enjoyed the party for weeks afterward, listening to the stories describing all the tiny miracles that Beth and her cohorts pulled off.

I have no idea what my face looked like when I saw everyone in the house, but I suspect it looked something like Caine Monroy’s. Caine is a 9 year old boy that has become the talk of the internet recently. Take a look at why… Continue Reading…

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I Am Batman

joe —  Fri 16-Dec-11 — 2 Comments

Good Funk  reversedYou know those days where you are in a real funk and everyone knows it but you just don’t know why? I’ve had a few of those this past month.

What makes it worse is when your friends and family all try to help you “perk up” and it just doesn’t work. It’s like spinning your car tires in the ditch. You love them for their effort but only a snarl comes out when you say thank you. Continue Reading…

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Reflections of…

joe —  Sun 20-Nov-11 — 1 Comment

Moon FramedI love the moon. There are so many amazing sights in this world but nothing stops me in my tracks like a huge, glowing circle of orange light sitting on the fall horizon.

Not only is it beautiful, it often feels so close that you could actually touch it – and we did back in 1969. We will not be able to say this about any other celestial object in our lifetime.

This neighboring orb has always fascinated me. Many times I’ve pulled over on the side of an empty road with its radiant light directly in the center of the windshield (yes I get up early). It was always the perfect, solitary moment to sit an offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Continue Reading…

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