34 posts in category Tender Lions

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Let’s Just All Get Along!

While the outcome of the presidential impeachment process has been, relatively speaking, predictable from the onset, people’s varying reactions have fascinated me. What’s most amazing is how (seemingly) intelligent adults can observe the exact same situation and have polar-opposite opinions. Here’s my theory. We are losing our ability (or desire) to actually try to connect with, understand and care about “our neighbor.” Social media, honest to goodness real fake news, and giant ...

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Why I Respect Kobe Bryant

This past Sunday much of the world was rocked when we learned that Kobe Bryant, arguably one of the best basketball players of all time, was killed along with his daughter and seven other people in a helicopter crash. My wife, daughter and son all have basketball “in their veins” having been serious basketball players in school. They each have their “Kobe stories.” If you watched much (or any) basketball in the last 20 years, you probably have a Kobe story, too. This week the news ...

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Welcome Your Wounds

Recently, I heard an interview with Father Joseph Boyle, CEO of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. He’s a man (and a priest) who’s ministered to and with some of the toughest young men in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the world. He told a story of a young man, “Juan”, whose mother beat him every day because he reminded her of Juan’s father. When he was about nine-years old, she took him to Mexico and gave him to an orphanage, saying that “I found this boy on the street.” ...

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Time Matters!

Are you familiar with this famous quote from the man on his deathbed, “Gee, I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” Of course, not! That’s because no one ever said such a thing. Life is full of examples of those in their last days saying things like, “I wish I had spent more time with loved ones.” As we leave one decade and enter a new one, I’ve done some reflecting about 2019, and visioning for 2020. What does matter? Time matters. Today is not a rehearsal. We will not get ...

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Finding Gratitude or Trapping Monkeys is Easy…or Not

In order to trap a monkey (assuming you want to), all you must do is place some nuts in a bottle that's attached to something immovable. The mouth of the jar has to be big enough for the monkey to place his hand in it, but small enough that once the monkey grabs the nuts by making a fist, the fist is too large to escape the bottle. When the monkey’s curiosity gets the best of him, he reaches for the nuts. And as long as his fist is closed, he's trapped. I was just like the monkey, holding ...

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I Surrender

When I was in fourth grade I fell off my bike and took a really hard fall which left a gaping bloody wound on my left elbow. I was doing things that my parents definitely wouldn’t have approved of, so I hid the huge wound. Even though it was the middle of the summer I wore long-sleeved shirts so my make-shift bandages wouldn’t show. Then wound started to fester and smell. Fortunately for me, my Grandma Torbeck noticed it. I confessed to her what actually happened. She then uncovered ...

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Where Dads are Absent…Boys Suffer

Jeff and I published Tender Lions eight months ago. Since that time we've discovered more and more research and examples that demonstrate how boys without a healthy emotional connection to their dad are at risk, all kinds of risks! Last spring Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell revealed on CBS 60 Minutes the risk posed by “young males” who: don't look for work, are addicted to drugs, and are academically not prepared for adulthood. Powell posits that "this economic ...

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The Heart of a Dove & The Hide of a Rhino: Seven Lessons for Ethical Dilemmas

In the last few months both Jeff and I have encountered challenging ethical dilemmas involving organizations and people that we really care about. What follows are a few of the important lessons for Tender Lions to be aware of, because it’s only a matter of time before you and/or your son are going to encounter a challenging ethical situation. While you can’t anticipate everything, it’s best to have your eyes wide open. Consider discussing these seven observations based on our personal ...

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The Pursuit of Happiness…Is Killing Us

“I just want to be happy” was the short sentence a friend of mine said when he told me he was getting divorced. He had given up on his nearly 40-year marriage and just wanted to be happy. I asked him if, perhaps, he had the wrong goal. Another concern I have with having “happy” as a goal is that it often seems to be associated with relieving some type of emotional pain, like with my friend. He’s not here to answer the question, but I’m curious if the decision to be happy also ...

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What Do You Say…When You Talk To Yourself? by Jeff Becker

Are you talking to yourself right now? Listen…whose voice is it? Your voice, your boss, coworkers, dad, the devil? Yes, we all have many voices, but the reality is that you can only listen to one at a time. But…you get to choose. So listening to the “right voice” is essential. We all have internal speech that “beats up” on us from time-to-time. For some of us, the “saboteur” can be brutal. Have you heard this rattling around in your head, “He’s never going to listen to ...

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