Obviously, some of you out there are confused. The phrase, “Hi, how are you?” is RHETORICAL!! “Fine, and you?” is an appropriate and polite response. It is not an invitation to launch into a detailed description of how you actually are to a relative stranger.

Let’s establish some guidelines. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve never had lunch with the person, they don’t really care how you are. Regardless of how many times you’ve noshed with your buddy, if you are currently in the men’s room, he doesn’t really care how you are. And if you are having the conversation through a stall door, well, then you really should think about getting a fish to talk to at home.


In the “what were they thinking?” column comes news from NYC that they are opening a public high school exclusively for gay, lesbian, and transgender children so that they’ll be able to get an education free from harassment.

While I’m sure the intention behind this was noble, in execution it is misguided, and not at all because this is about homosexuals. The fundamental problems are two-fold. First, what makes gays a unique demographic when it comes to harassment? Why not a separate school for fat kids, nerds, dumb kids, etc.? They all get picked on. Ironically, New York State’s education policy is very pro-inclusion at this point. Classrooms should be blended with kids of all abilities, races, genders, etc. The decision to open this gay-only school would seem to fly directly in the face of that policy. Inclusion for all… except gays?

The second issue is harder to defend, but I think equally pertinent. If you are different, you will be picked on. This is reality in school and in life in general. It doesn’t matter if that difference is sexual orientation, race, religion, or body type. Granted, school can be merciless when it comes to being picked on, but if you are different, thickening up your skin and learning to deal with the real world is an essential social adaptation for life. Yes, school is an intellectual pursuit, but it is also a social pursuit. Learning to deal and work with others is as much a part of your education as math class.

And one final thought. Given the anti-discrimination laws which prevent employers from making decisions based on a person’s sexual orientation, it is not necessary to reveal your orientation to your employer. Yet we will be putting “I am gay” on each of these kids’ resumes by virtue of the high school they attended.

And one really really absolutely final thought (for the moment)… what will be the entrance criteria for getting into this school? Sexual orientation is hardly a black and white delineation. There are shades of grey too numerous to comprehend. Who will decide where to draw the line, and by what measure will you fall on one side or the other?


Okay, this was from Jay Leno last night, but I thought it was funny.

The U.S. is saying that they are moving in on Saddam and that he has no where left to hide. I sure hope he doesn’t hide with his Weapons of Mass Destruction! We’ll never be able to find him then.


In considering Kim’s thoughts about heroes, I like her idea about making heroes out of people you know. I think every parent hopes his child thinks him a hero, and for at least some part of their youth, I contend most children tend to view one or both parents as their heroes. If not parents, then perhaps close family or friends. But I think we need to define “hero” to take this any further. To me, a hero is someone that you not only respect, but that you wish to emulate or grow up to be like. But I don’t think it’s necessary to want to emulate every aspect of that person for them to be a hero to you. You could emulate the bravery of a NYC firefighter and that might make him a hero. For all you know, he goes home and kicks his dog. Would it diminish his hero status if his dog kicking became public? Undoubtedly. But blind to his animal abuses, you simply focus on the known traits and the ones you want to emulate. In this case, what you don’t know, can’t really hurt you. The hero is simply an embodiment of an ideal. Truth is not really the point. Striving for personal betterment is. Therefore, I contend that heroes don’t need to exist as all-or-nothing ideals. There is an element or a vector of behavior you strive for. The rest is blissfully invisible.

Another point about restricting yourself to heroes you know is that for many people that can be overly limiting. Like most parents, I want my kids to grow beyond me someday. I want them to be more than I am, and more than I’m capable of. If I am their only hero, then that limits what they aspire to be. I don’t want them to be just like me, or just like anybody else. I want them to draw on the best of breed behaviors they see from a variety of people. People they know, people they read about, or even fictional characters can all be valuable role models, and to my mind, that makes them heroes.


Kim has some additional insights and observations on heroes and celebrities. Kim’s comments are below in Purple Text – As always, Italicized Text of any color is quoted material from previous posts.

I can’t stop thinking about this. I agree completely, as I’ve said, that our society is wrong for creating the fact that celebrities are in such demand in people’s minds. However, I think it stems from the fact that people don’t teach what real values and character traits should be for those “heroes” in your life. It’s situations like this, when celebrities do (or are accused of doing wrong) that should be what parents use to teach their children what’s important about other people. It’s not what someone can do well that makes the person, but who the person really is that’s important. I try at all costs to tell my girls that it’s what’s on the inside of a person that’s important, not what they look like, what talents they have, or what they’ll do for you that counts. People make celebrities what they are.

You, as everyone else, knows that I have an enormous fondness for Toby Keith. All I know of him is what he chooses to let me know. I only watch shows he’s a guest on and listen to comments he makes himself. I’m no stalker of his by any means. My kids know I love ’em. But… if he were accused of something like this, I probably would want to know. I don’t think I’d watch all the details about it, but should it turn out to be true, I would sure want to know that I should have the right to feel differently about him.

Heroes should be good people that you KNOW. I don’t feel I know any celebrity. I may have a great respect for them, but that’s different than knowing them. In fact, one of my other favorite celebrities said it best when Larry Bird (Celtics) had a father come up to him and ask for his autograph for his kid because Larry was the kids hero. Larry’s reply was “that’s too bad… you should be his hero”. If more kids had good role models to teach them, maybe all these celebrities wouldn’t be so important.