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Back To School

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This cartoon was titled “How Our School System Has Changed.”  Really?  How about “How Parents Have Changed?”  I see it way too often..excuses made for a child by their parents.  Think about this as you start to get ready for school again.

The End of Men

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I hate to say I am not surprised, but I am not.  The Atlantic offers a piece this month titled “The End of Men: How Women Are Taking Control of Everything” and it is a nice blow to the man’s super ego!  The story summary:

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences.

I am looking around my neighborhood and see numerous men who have been out of work for a year or more.  Their wives are the bread winners and they are home taking care of the family and house.   For one thing this recession has created an environment where the higher priced middle age men were the ones let go.  In the meantime, I am a witness to the business advantages being offered company’s owned by anybody other than a male (and while this is not a post about race, all the disclosures I am exposed to also ask my race so I think it must be acceptable to add the classification “white” to the group affected).  So, in addition to the societal advantages this article so aptly exposes, there is also an orchestrated direction in our society to move women (and other groups) in front of  (white) men in the food chain. The two factors combined explain why so many men may be permanently out of the work force as we once knew it.

Regarding the societal changes-some outtakes from this article that are relevant.

“Men seem ‘fixed in cultural aspic.’ With each passing day, they lag further behind.” Numerous college women assume they’ll be primary bread winner; guys “are the new ball and chain.”

“As thinking and communicating have come to eclipse physical strength and stamina as the keys to economic success, those societies that take advantage of the talents of all their adults, not just half of them, have pulled away from the rest.”

“The evidence is all around you [e.g.] in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the eight million jobs lost were lost by men. The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance.”

“Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.”

“Women hold 51.4% of managerial and professional jobs—up from 26.1% in 1980. … In 1970, women contributed 2 to 6 percent of the family income. Now the typical working wife brings home 42.2%—and four in 10 mothers are the primary breadwinners in their family.”

“What’s clear is that schools, like the economy, now value the self-control, focus and verbal aptitude that seem to come more easily to young girls.”

If you have raised boys and girls, this last point brings all of this home in a different light than just blaming cost-cutting and diversification efforts.  The information age we now live in favors the skill sets of women.  It is part of their genetics..better communicators, better understanding of a problem, more focused.   If you are raising a boy today, it may be the greatest gift you can give to allow them to absorb the skill sets that involve the characteristics that are those of great communicators,organizers, and disciplinarians.   Boys have been raised, and continue to be raised, to excel on the playing field and in stiff competition.  We, as the American society, reward our boys for success on the football field, and tend to overlook failure in Composition classes.  Girls, this is reversed.  Where is your child’s future?

If this article is correct, for the first time boy’s are now arriving in the future at a disadvantage.  I see evidence of this change everywhere.  Better consider the affect of your priorities on your son’s.  Very few of them are ever going to play a sport after high school, and fewer yet will ever receive a dime for their athleticism.

This article is a wake up call.   Not much you can do if you are a middle aged (white) guy like me, but you sure can recognize what the world will look like for your children.

Lessons Learned From Father’s Day

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By now most people are done writing about Fathers Day.  Did that last week…right? 

A few bells went off in my head yesterday from the fantastic day I was honored to experience.    My kids (and my wife) made sure I felt special.  From that I learned a few things.

I really enjoy sitting outdoors in the morning.  I just do not have a great place to do that.  I now have a major goal for our home.

It is really nice to not have to apologize for disappearing for an hour to ride my bike or exercise.  I normally feel bad leaving Jennifer alone with whatever issue arises at home while I enjoy some sweat time.  No guilt in leaving to bike yesterday for an hour.  Lesson learned is do everything possible to allow my wife to feel the same way when she wants to do something she enjoys.

I really love coming back from exercising on a beautiful morning to a hearty breakfast.  I am not sure this is a lesson.  Just sayin…

I love being around and with people.  Yet, there is a gift in taking the kids to the pool and allowing a Dad time to putz around the garage, read the Sunday paper, and listen to a ball game.   No interruptions.  I would not want to live my life like that, but 3 hours on Fathers Day..what a treat!

Of course, Fathers Day is not just about me either.   My Dad is 75 and he loves his kids and grandkids.  My Mom can cook like no other, and a late afternoon and evening spent at their home with most of the kids and recognizing my Dad (and brother in law Scott also) was a way to balance out my own gluttony!

My Dad likes driving little Roadster sports cars with the top down.

My older daughters still call me Daddy and wished me a final Happy Fathers Day before they went to bed.  Life has been pretty good to you if your kids are that appreciative when they are 19 and 16.

Joey loves giving crazy cards with pictures of crying toddlers with their pull ups on-equating them to his Dad!

I am blessed in ways I could never have imagined.

Hopefully I can remember all of these lessons by next May for Mothers Day!

Don’t Quit!

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I came across an inspiring video this morning.  Makes me count my blessings but then, on a whole different level it does so much more.  After spending a few minutes with Nick, that problem at the office will be put into perspective.   He is truly a bigger man than I will ever be!