Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Observe at Your Own Risk

I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Jill Bee to attend the SMU Tate Lecture last night.

NOTE:  The Tate Lectures are normally sold out.  I love attending and I do get to go every once in awhile since I have generous friends who have subscriptions and they include me or every few years SMU seems to have my old boss William J. Bennett as a speaker and I beg my old boss for freebies (Second row, suckers, when you roll with Bill!).

Anyway, last night Jill and I had a quick dinner at Sushi Kyoto and then arrived at McFarlin to see someone neither of us knew much about -- M.K. Asante, Jr.

M.K. is a 30-year-old author, filmaker, and professor.  He's worked with Maya Angelou and is a recipient of the Langston Hughes Award.  He's amazing.

I had Aha Moments throughout his address, but my favorite was this:

When you make an observation, you have an obligation.

How great is that?

We do have an obligation to right wrongs, to share our thoughts, to make art.  I think most of us just want to observe (How many lurkers are there on FaceBook who never enter the conversation?) and judge or tell others how they need to fix it.

No -- M.K. is right.  We must fulfill our obligations.

Mine is to the abused and neglected children of Dallas County. 

I have observed.  I am obligated.  So are you.

P.S.  Melissa and Trevor -- you missed a good one last night!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Hangover Excuse

Where were you on Friday night at 7:45 pm?

I was sitting between Maria and Helen seeing the opening number of Catch Me If You Can at the Dallas Summer Musicals.  We had finished a quick dinner at Salum and rushed down to Fair Park, just in time to be seated for the show.  The opening number is "Live in Living Color" and it was just getting going at 7:45...

At 7:45 pm Friday 5-week-old Spencer Claire White was alone with her 20-year-old father in Garland.  The father said he had a hangover and a headache and was trying to quiet the baby when according to The Dallas Morning News he "placed his hand around the back of her neck and squeezed too tight".  You can see part of his jailhouse interview here from WFAA:

When a child dies -- and it makes the news -- we shake our heads and talk about the tragedy of the death.  About how someone could do such a thing.  About what sort of person could do that.

Where were you when Spencer Claire died?  Most of you were probably having dinner or watching TV or any number of "normal" things.

I wish Spencer Claire had been with me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What do you say behind my back?

I got to hear from one of my idols this morning, thanks to the Dallas Social Venture Partners!

Seth Godin is a marketing guru and writes my favorite blog (incredibly titled "Seth's Blog" -- I copied him on my blog title, but decided I needed the last name too.  For now anyway -- Ha!).  Here's how you can subscribe or read him here:

This morning he did a one hour presentation geared toward Non-Profits, but his message applies to all.  My aha moment was when he asked us this:

When people talk about you (your agency, your business), what do they say?

If they are not saying what you want them to say, teach them.

How great is that?  Not saying it's easy, but if you can make your story memorable people will love you for it -- at least I hope they will...

This is a project Seth did a few months ago and I think it is spectacular -- a colossal book that no one would ever publish (except him).  There are only 2,000 in existence and one of them is mine -- it is mostly a collection of his blogs (Remember, I told you he was an idol of mine.).  One of the first pages says this:

Tomorrow is too late, yesterday is over and now is exactly the right moment.  So start.

Love it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm not a fan of birthdays.

I went to a birthday party on Saturday.  A kid birthday party.

Now you might think that because I work for Community Partners of Dallas and because CPD helps 20,000 kids a year -- well, that I must just love kids. 


I like kids and I think they are cute and some of them are funny, but that's about as far as I'd go on the love meter.  Of course I love my nieces and lots of my friends have kids and I love them too, but a kid birthday party is on another level of love and it is just not my thing. 

NOTE:  Why do people think that adults without kids want to go to a kid party?  Would your kids want to attend a dinner party of adults at my home and listen to us talk about the super-hot Ben Affleck in Argo or about the drama on last night's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?  I think not.

Frankly, I'm not even that into talking about kids who are older unless there is something juicy going on like a wedding or a job loss or something that I can give advice about -- you KNOW I love to give advice -- SOOOO, just leave me off your kid birthday invite list for the most part. 

No hard feelings, please.

So, about a month ago when I was invited to the 5 year-old twin boy and girl birthday party referenced above, I said "Yes, of course, I'd love to come" -- but my mind said UGH -- that is until I heard more...

You see, this party was being thrown by one of Dallas County's fabulous CPS caseworkers who adopted the twins from foster care.  Mom (who has older, grown children too) is one of my favorite caseworkers and if she asked me to put on a bikini and have my picture taken, I'd do it if it would help her in any way.

NOTE:  Not that me putting on a bikini helps anyone -- believe me on that!

So when this caseworker called and explained that she was having a big party for her twins fifth birthday in the community room at the Southwest Center Mall (formerly Red Bird Mall) and that the twins wanted to give the toys to CPD, well I was just overcome.  We talk a lot about kids helping kids at CPD, but this gift of generosity just won the grand prize.

And the party was a blast.

I even danced.  Fully clothed of course.

These are the twins in front of some of the toys they donated to CPD. 

Amazing Kids and Amazing Moms make Amazing Families!