Wednesday, August 27, 2014

These are the champions, my friends!

Tens of thousands of Chicagoans attended a parade and rally honoring Jackie Robinson West, the southside kids who brought the national little league championship to a city that desperately needs something to cheer. These boys handled their time in the spotlight -- on the playing field, on the road, with the press, on stage and along the parade route -- with grace and southside style. We're all just so proud of them.

Grown ups at today's Millenium Park rally
I know that the nation at large seems to believe that young African Americans on Chicago's south and west side are all gun toting thugs. Obviously it's not true. I'm so happy that these 13-year-old heroes are Chicago's ambassadors, letting the world know our young men have have class, dignity, dedication and drive.

The city was especially alive this lunch hour -- with buskers and street vendors and happy adults wearing gold JRW shirts and carrying signs that hailed the heroes.

This warm and lovely August afternoon reminded why this is where I live, and how very, very much I love baseball. America's city embraces America's game!

Would it kill me to be more compassionate?

I have an especially annoying coworker. He handles our printing, and you'd think that in a world where more and more advertising is going digital, he'd be grateful for the opportunity to do our massive quarterly direct mail projects. He's not. He always sighs heavily and is resistant and forever putting other jobs before ours because posters and more "fun." Unfortunately, we don't charge my Fortune 500 client the lower, "not fun" rate and therefore they deserve his highest level of service, as well.

I found out yesterday that he has cancer. The time off he took earlier this month wasn't a late-summer vacation, it was a biopsy. He has a few rounds of chemo in his future, and so we must be sure to copy his assistant, Rose, on every email. (I love working with Rose.)

I pride myself on being "one size fits all," and avoiding hypocrisy. Cancer does not make this producer less annoying. On the other hand, perhaps it does explain his lackadaisical attitude toward my projects. Maybe hasn't been feeling well these past 18 months. But then, I have seen him exhibit passion -- unfortunately it's been passion for other work.

See? I just can't simply be nice about this man.

I guess I just have to accept that the most I can muster is that I truly hope he's comfortable. I do not wish him, or anyone, pain, and I hope his treatments are successful. But I still don't like working with him and I still resent his attitude. I do.

I must work on this. I must learn to juggle clear-eyed honesty with compassion.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 26

Today's happiness -- Law & Order reruns.  It's established as one of my favorite shows -- after all, I named my cat Reynaldo after Benjamin Bratt's character, and there is no higher honor. WE-TV has marathons every Tuesday night and even though I've already seen each and every episode, I'm still riveted. Last night, it even distracted me from the Cub game ... and I'm not sorry!