Thursday, February 27, 2014


When you read the word "intuition" what do you think? Do women hold the exclusive rights to intuition, or do men have intuition as well? It is an interesting thought.

We often hear about women's intuition, but rarely do we hear about men's intuition. Why is that?

Several years ago, I gave a workshop at the University of Minnesota's Landscape Arboretum for a group of about thirty social workers one morning. I was done with my section at noon as the group broke for lunch. I could have gone home, but something told me I wanted to stick around and listen to what this woman had to say in the afternoon session on intuition. I was very glad I stayed.

My own intuition was telling me to stay, and I listened to it. We were sitting in a large circle in one of the beautiful conference rooms they have at the conference center. I cannot find the woman's name who was leading the group, but she started talking about both male and female intuition. I was sitting next to a young man of about twenty-five.

At one point in the discussion, he asked her, "Would intuition be like if I was playing football and I didn't feel quite right, so I asked to sit out a play, sit down on the bench, put my head down between my legs and wait for this feeling to go away? Would that be intuition?"

Now mind you, I was sitting right next to this young man who was in the same position I was in about twenty years earlier. After he finished, I looked up and everyone was looking at me including the instructor. I looked at her and said something like, "Why did I stay here this afternoon? I could've gone home at lunch. I was supposed to hear that, wasn't I?"

The instructor said, "Yes, I believe you were."

I honestly believe my intuition was telling me all day long the day of my accident something was not right. I did not listen to it! Instead, I chalked it up to nerves. I was just nervous because it was my first varsity game, and I was nervous.

The irony in this entire experience for me was a month before that I spent the first two weeks of August at my aunt and uncle's farm near White, South Dakota helping on the farm like I had done for several years before I was old enough to drive. That summer from August first to August fifteenth I spent helping my aunt and uncle at their farm and spending some time at my grandma and step grandfather's farm doing whatever I could to help. I loved my time each summer I spent working on the farms and working out in the evenings preparing for football. I would run around the section which was four miles each night, do wind sprints in the yard, exercised, stretched and prepared for my upcoming football season.

When I went to leave that day and go back to Worthington, I had this strange feeling something was not right. I drove down the road about fifteen miles and the feeling did not go away, it just got stronger. I turned around and went back to the farm. When I entered the house my aunt asked me what was going on. I told her I had forgotten something and I believe I had left it in my room. I went upstairs, sat down on the bed for a few minutes and the feeling went away.

I believe my intuition was telling me something was going to happen on my drive home. I listened to my intuition that day, and that pit in my stomach went away. Two and a half weeks later, on September 3, 1971, I did not listen to my intuition and I broke my neck. I believe that with all my heart.

Do you always listen to your intuition when it is telling you to do or not to do something? Do you believe in intuition? Do you believe women have it and men do not?

What would have happened had I not gone in to the game that night because I told my coach, "I don't feel right,"? Would the feeling have gone away if I had sat out that play? We will never know because it never happened. Intuition is funny that way.

Before I close, I want to tell you how I came upon writing this post tonight. A little more than a week ago, someone signed me up for a new Facebook page titled "Growing up in Worthington, Minnesota." I did not sign up for it because I did not really grow up in Worthington. Worthington was the eighth town I had lived in before I was fourteen years old. We never lived in any town more than three years and any one location more than eighteen months. My dad was always getting a better job so we were constantly on the move to the next place that was a little bigger, had a few more amenities to offer a young boy growing up and paid my dad a little more money. I believe all of the changes I had to go through as a young boy prepared me for the life-changing moment that happened to me when I broke my neck. It was preparing me to deal with all of the changes I have had to adjust to since that night. It set me on my path of lifelong learning.

Someone signed me up for this page and I started getting friend requests immediately. I noticed a woman was commenting and liking several of the same posts I was responding to. So I looked at her profile and decided to see if Cathy wanted to be my friend. Her acceptance was almost immediate. I had never had someone respond to a friend request so quickly. I rapidly found out there was a reason for my intuition to tell me to become her friend.

We have become fast friends, chat quite often and have spent several hours already talking on the telephone. My intuition told me to friend her and I am very glad I listened to it. She is the one who recommended I do this post on intuition tonight as we both shared stories of how intuition has affected our lives numerous times. So, Cathy this post is for you. Thank you.

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is Michael Sam Ready?

Michael Sam made a bold move last week when he came out and announced to the world he was gay. The media has made a hailstorm of his announcement and everyone is telling us what is going to happen in the upcoming NFL draft because of his announcement. It seems everywhere I look there is an opinion about this young man's announcing his homosexuality. 

He told his teammates and coaches in August, and it was not a big deal. He writes in Sports Illustrated how he wanted to stay ahead of this announcement and not have it come out in some sleazy way by an unscrupulous reporter. I have been thinking about it for several days, and decided to put my two cents in.

In polling one anonymous group of fifty-one NFL players, (by the way, an NFL roster has fifty-three players), forty-four of them said they would have no problem sharing a locker room with Michael Sam.

Again anonymously, an NFL executive made a statement to the effect that society may be ready to have an openly gay football player, but he doubted the NFL was ready for it. He said it was something about having a testosterone overloaded locker room filled with players, trainers, equipment people, coaches and the like could not tone down their foul language, derogatory anti-gay slurs and jokes to accommodate a nonthreatening work environment for young Mr. Sam. It sounds like a huge excuse to me.

I have included the cover of February 17th's Sports Illustrated to show you how intense a football player can be while he helped his Missouri Tigers beat Texas A& M and Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl just a few weeks ago:

Missouri finished it's season with an impressive 12-2 record and a number five ranking in the final polls. With the NFL scouting combine coming up in Indianapolis in a few days and the NFL draft in May, his selection status is being questioned because of his announcement. He was the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the last seven, and eight out of the last nine SEC Defensive Players of the Year were all drafted in the first round. The only one not drafted in the first round went in the second round. Sam is being projected as a third to fifth rounder, if that! Some experts are even predicting he may not get drafted at all!

It is interesting to note that Chris Kluwe, the former Minnesota Vikings punter, who has been an advocate for gay rights and same-sex marriages was let go by the Vikings and has not been able to find another job in the NFL. Kluwe is convinced the reason no other team wants to hire him is because of his outspokenness for same-sex marriage.

In the NBA, after Jason Collins made his announcement about being gay, he has not been able to find a team who will take him on their roster.

It is incomprehensible to me how professional sports has not caught up with the rest of the country and this important Civil Rights issue when several prominent former athletes have come out of the closet and done tremendous work in getting this issue accepted by the main section of society. Billie Jean King is an excellent example to show what someone can do when they set their mind to it and educate people about homosexuality.

I could name several more, but I think you get my point. When roughly 10% of the population is homosexual and they cannot be accepted based on their gender preference, we have a sad state of affairs in our so-called "Everybody is equal" country.

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

50 Years Ago Tonight

It is hard to believe it has been 50 years ago already the Beatles appeared for the first time on "The Ed Sullivan Show"! It was one of those seminal moments in history when we remember where we were when we watched as Ed Sullivan introduced the four lads from Liverpool to America. That is if we were alive in 1964!

America needed an uplift because only seventy-seven days earlier President Kennedy had been assassinated and the country was still in mourning. The Beatles gave us that lift and changed America forever. An astonishing 73 million people, or roughly 40% of the population were tuned in to "The Ed Sullivan Show" that night!

It is interesting to note the Beatles got their name because they were big fans of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. John Lennon formed the Quarrymen in Liverpool in 1957 and quickly added Paul McCartney in July 1957. They soon became friends with George Harrison and added him in early 1958 as their lead guitarist.

In doing the research for this post, I found the Beatles had changed their name several times and gone through numerous drummers before Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, became their drummer.

According to one article, "The story of how The Beatles landed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" began with the group's formation in Liverpool in 1960. They spent their first couple of years playing in small clubs throughout Europe. During late-night gigs in the city of Hamburg, Germany, sometimes playing as long as eight hours a night, the Beatles perfected their act. However, it was not until an appearance on the British television show, "Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium" and the 1963 release of their first album, "Please Please Me" that "Beatlemania" began to spread. That March the album hit number one on the British charts, and by the end of the year, Beatles' music permeated UK radio. The "Fab Four" even performed for the royal family. It was only after this burgeoning success at home did the Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein, choose to launch their American invasion. They decided when they had a #1 song in the US charts, then they would lock in the date of their Ed Sullivan debut.

"There are a number of stories regarding exactly how The Beatles came to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. The most popular is that in 1963, while arriving at London's Heathrow airport, Ed Sullivan and his wife Sylvia encountered thousands of youngsters waiting excitedly in the rain. When Sullivan asked what all the commotion was about, he was told that a British band named The Beatles was returning home from a tour in Sweden. When he got to his hotel room, Sullivan purportedly inquired about booking the group for a show."

Whether that story is true, or any of the other ones is the correct story, is irrelevant. The fact remains. 50 years ago tonight four young lads from Liverpool took America by the hand and helped us through the collective sadness we were experiencing after the assassination of our president.

The Beatles only put out thirteen albums as a group. But, their musical and cultural influence changed America and the world forever. As many music fans know, only two of "The Fab Four" still remain. John Lennon was murdered outside his New York City apartment in 1980 and George Harrison passed away in 2001.

Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney will perform together tonight on CNN for a Grammy salute. The last time the two played together was in 2010 for Ringo's 70th birthday.

I believe it is safe to say there will never be another group that will have the kind of lasting influence the Beatles have had on us. I find it interesting when I get in an elevator and hear a Beatles song being played on the elevator Muzak. I do not believe John and Paul ever imagined that would happen when they were writing all of those number one hits in Liverpool more than fifty years ago.

It is not just the fact the Beatles songs have become elevator Muzak; their influence has taken hold in so many areas like being the standard for new musicians for generations to come. Their music is played by marching bands, school bands and choirs, countless piano recitals, not to mention, how many garage bands have played, or attempted to play Beatles songs? 

By early 1970 the Beatles had decided to break up and go their separate ways. In six short years, these four young men started what had come to be known as "The British Invasion" and British bands and individual artists were making their way into popular music in America.

We cannot deny the effect that musical invasion has had on American culture. And to think it all started 50 years ago tonight.

I look forward to your comments.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Little Girls And Daddies

I received a great article from a friend who saw it on The Huffington Post on February second. The title of the article was "What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew" and was written by Tara Hedman. It was a very good article and I will give you two ways of going to the article in the next couple paragraphs.

Ms Hedman was sitting in an auto repair shop waiting room when she experienced a father playing with his four-year-old daughter. She found their play very rewarding and came up with these twenty-five points little girls wish their daddy's knew. Go to the link by clicking here.

If that does not work, try this link: One of them should get you there.

The reason I am posting this is I am a member of a group of men and women called The Good Men Project. I have written about them before, and we are trying to help men help boys transition into manhood.

One of the interesting discussions we have in our weekly, hour-long conference call has to do with men not only helping little boys succeed, but also what we can do to break some of the stereotypes about men and little girls. Some of those stereotypes are good, and as stereotypes go, some of them are bad.

I have always contended there is a reason for stereotypes, both good and bad stereotypes. That reason is because people fit the stereotype. That is where the stereotype comes from. We all know the squeaky wheel gets the grease. When a man does something wrong to a child, it makes the news. Too often in our society today, we are not recognizing positive experiences men have with children. I believe that is wrong. That is one of the goals The Good Men Project is trying to address.

The Good Men Project always has interesting posts from many different perspectives and on a wide variety of subjects. For instance, right now one of the leading stories is about divorced fathers raising their sons. It is an interesting read.

Whether you are a parent of a young child, teenager or adult, I believe you just might learn something by reading some of the posts on our site. It is growing exponentially and has a wealth of information in helping us all become better citizens, whether we are parents or not. I strongly encourage you to check us out.

As always, I welcome your comments.