Recent Updates:

FAU Med School Gets Record Number of Admissions

 

FAU Med School soaring.

FAU Med School soaring.

Nearly four years since its inception, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU has received a record-breaking 4,370 applications for 64 positions for the incoming class of 2015. The College also received 4,739 applications for 36 positions in the University’s first residency program in internal medicine. These numbers represent a 35 percent increase in medical school applications from last year, and a 22 percent increase in applications for the residency program from the previous year.

 

“The response we have received from prospective applicants to our medical school and internal medicine residency program is outstanding and truly speaks to the quality of our programs in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and our hospital partners in the FAU Graduate Medical Education Consortium,” said David J. Bjorkman, M.D., M.S.P.H., dean and executive director of medical affairs in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.

 

Demographics of the applicants for the M.D. program show that 52 percent are Florida residents (nearly half of these applicants are from South Florida) and 48 percent are from out-of-state. Fifty-four percent are male and 46 percent are female. Qualified students from groups currently underrepresented in medicine are included in the applicant pool—20 percent are Asian/Asian Indian; 16 percent are Hispanic; and 12 percent are African/American. The average Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is 33.5 with a GPA of 3.8.

 

“This has been a stellar year for our new medical school and we are delighted to have so many qualified candidates apply to our unique and personalized medical education program,” said Betty Monfort, assistant dean of admissions in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “The high volume of applications we have received indicates that there is a great demand for a high-quality state medical school in this region.”

 

The first class of 36 residents in FAU’s internal medicine residency program began last June. Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the primary site for the program with participation from Bethesda Hospital East and Delray Medical Center, three of the five hospitals participating in the Graduate Medical Consortium (GME) supporting FAU residency programs. The other two participating hospitals in FAU’s GME Consortium are St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center.

 

 

The Future is Here

Entrepreneurs have discovered Delray.

Entrepreneurs have discovered Delray.

I don’t believe in the status quo.

I’m not even sure it’s possible to stay in place even if you are determined to do so.

Change seems to be the rule of the universe and while sometimes it can be hard to embrace, it’s inevitable.

Time passes; things change.

I also don’t believe in the conventional wisdom when it comes to living the good life.

For many that means winning the lottery or cashing in big in business and living on a beach somewhere.

Seems pretty good in the abstract, but it doesn’t explain why:

  • Entrepreneurs begin yet another business even after cashing out big.
  • Humans seek constant mental, spiritual, and creative development.

People aspire, we are restless and we constantly seek knowledge and progress.

A pessimist would  view this as living in a permanent state of dissatisfaction. But an optimist celebrates the journey and sees the hammock on the beach as a rest stop, not a permanent destination.

I think people, organizations, schools and communities thrive when they have a sense of purpose; when they strive, envision, iterate and engage with the world.

Consequently, I think the same entities erode when they cling to the status quo.

Last week, I attended one of the most exciting events I’ve been to in a long, long time. It was called “Smart Uprising” and it was hosted by an immensely gifted young entrepreneur named Jeremy Office and his wonderful team at MacLendon Wealth Management right here in Delray Beach.

Jeremy is a financial professional with a sterling reputation; but he’s also an entrepreneur brimming with ideas, enthusiasm, warmth and vision. He’s an investor, community volunteer, VC, and deeply involved in our community with pursuits ranging from education to mentoring entrepreneurs.

The Uprising was staged at Honey, a smart, sophisticated new bar/lounge at 16 E. Atlantic Avenue. When you walk through the doors of Honey, the first thought you have is the bar has indeed been raised in Delray. (Pun intended).

The Smart Uprising event  is proof that Delray has reached a new level in its development.

The creative class is here and they are embracing Delray in a big, big way.

As I soaked in the event at Honey; listening to a brilliant young Goldman Sachs executive speak about market opportunities and my friend Nabyl Charania, co-founder and CEO of Rokk3r Labs,  discuss disruptive technologies I couldn’t help but feel energized and excited for the future.

I hung out at the event with John Ferber, a super guy and a world class entrepreneur who has  fallen hard for Delray; choosing our village to build more businesses and a life, with his lovely wife Jenna. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of marrying John and Jenna on the beach and was thrilled to see them put roots down in our city because I know that John and Jenna will create great things and provide opportunities and inspiration for others.

On the way out, I chatted with Jeremy’s colleague Kilburn Sherman who heads the Young Professionals Association of Delray. YPAD is a group to watch, they are not only focused on growing their businesses but on a new initiative called #BekindDelray which is encouraging kindness in our community; much needed at this time.

I also ran into the talented Ryan Boylston, who has a creative agency called Woo Creative and is a co-founder of The Pineapple Newspaper. He has an office on Atlantic Avenue that he is transforming into a hub for conversation and events.

I also spoke with some out-of-towners who marveled at Delray’s energy and vibe.

All this is not to say that we don’t have real and enduring problems and challenges to overcome. There’s still too much crime, vagrancy, drugs, poverty and lack of economic opportunity. We have educational challenges and neighborhood concerns to address. We are a diverse community and that is a real strength, but we are also segregated in so many ways.

We suffer from terrible political divisiveness and sometimes the level of our debate is debilitating and dare I say less than intellectual.

But…there is a youth movement in Delray and it’s not just chronological.  It’s a youthful mindset, one that embraces change, community and challenge.

Our host, Jeremy Office summed it up when he said he sensed a “brotherly love” taking hold in the business community; an ethos that embraces building relationships, trust and value.

There is a belief that problems can be solved; opportunities can and should be created and that there is a desperate need for leadership, entrepreneurship and community.

We can keep our charm and evolve. We can respect our heritage and history and still embrace change. We can welcome new people and ideas without fear and we can engage each other to solve some of our city’s pressing problems.

Delray 2.0 is here and it’s a good thing.

Water Cooler Wednesday: In Praise of Rescues

Teddy was rescued by Golden Retrievals.

Teddy was rescued by Golden Retrievals.

Randy was rescued by Animal Rescue Force.

Randy was rescued by Animal Rescue Force.

My wife and I love animals.

We have birds, have cared for cats and have a soft spot for Hopkins, our son’s bearded dragon.

But we have a special affinity for dogs, especially rescue dogs. We are firm believers in the saying that first we rescue them, but they end up rescuing us.

A number of years ago we adopted Casey, a gorgeous golden retriever from Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue (www.egrr.org) a magnificent organization that does great work. A little while later, we came home from the Delray Affair with Randy, a Chihuahua mix that we adopted from a booth run by the Animal Rescue Force (www.animalrescueforce.org). Randy has become a Facebook sensation and has given us more joy than we can express during his short life.

When Casey passed, we went back to ARF and rescued Sophie, another Chihuahua mix who was found roaming the streets of Miami. She was a tough little girl, but was very loyal and loving to us.

We lost Sophie when she was attacked by an unleashed dog around the block from our home. It was a traumatic experience, but we were grateful for the time we had with her.

So Randy was a lonely guy until two weeks ago when we made the acquaintance of Golden Retrievals, a Boca based non-profit that rescues goldens, which has always been a favorite breed of mine.

Thanks to our friend Kelli Freeman we got connected to Golden Retrievals and its wonderful founder, Linda Ripps. When she brought us “Teddy” we fell in love instantly and so we added him to our hectic, but enjoyable lives.

A day later, my sister in law and niece arrived from Pittsburgh with cats and a 90 plus pound yellow lab named Sunny, who likes to spend her winters in Delray. The cats went to the condo at Country Manors, Sunny moved in with us so for now we are three dog, two cockatiel family and while noisy, hairy and crazy we have a great vibe in our house thanks to the energy and personalities of these wonderful pets.

Randy has adjusted and still gets his share of car rides, walks and social media time. Sunny avoids another Pittsburgh winter and Teddy has a forever home. He seems really happy and we absolutely adore him. He’s a wonderful personality and a beautiful, beautiful golden with the typical great retriever personality.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that if you can and you’re thinking about it, take the plunge and rescue a dog or a cat. Birds are very cool too.

At the very least, support a local rescue. (Dezzy’s Second Chance at the Delray Green Market is another terrific group). They do the work of angels.

 

MLK

MLK“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”
MLK

Max’s Social House A Welcome Addition

Max's Social House expands Delray's smart culinary scene.

Max’s Social House expands Delray’s smart culinary scene.

Dennis Max is a visionary restauranteur.

He has the ability to see trends and envision design elements that make restaurants special places.

Max’s Grille in Mizner Park has been a long time favorite, luring patrons to Mizner Park since the center opened and Max’s Harvest in Pineapple Grove is a hot spot.

Last weekend, we had a chance to sample Max’s Social House, the latest addition to the Max Restaurant Group line-up.

Housed in the former Ceviche and Falcon House building on U.S. 1, Max’s Social House is a welcome and unique addition to the city’s burgeoning culinary scene.

Smartly designed and cleverly conceived, Max’s Social House is designed to be a place where locals and visitors mingle, share, talk and enjoy familiar food prepared in a unique way.

So yes, you’ll find staples such as Mac & Cheese, short ribs and potato chips, but they’ll be prepared in a way you might not be familiar with, but you’ll be delighted nonetheless.

We had a chance to visit on a “Friends and Family” night ahead of this week’s soft opening courtesy of manager John Brewer, a local who will be familiar to Delray diners from his long time involvement in local restaurants, including Ceviche.

John and his friendly staff are engaging, knowledgeable and attentive and add to the “social” atmosphere of the restaurant.

We ran into Mr. Max himself and per usual, he was gracious to share his vision for Max’s Social House with us while explaining his goal of creating a warm and local friendly atmosphere.

We had the braised short ribs, which were fabulous, the burrata, an outstanding “rocket” salad and warm potato chips with a unique dip that was simply to die for.

We also sampled from the restaurant’s strong wine menu which includes Numanthia, a fabulous red wine that hails from the Toro region of Spain. We enjoyed a hoppy IPA from the local Saltwater Brewery which was excellent.

Delray’s restaurant scene is taking on new and interesting shapes. With restrictive parking codes enacted on Atlantic Avenue, new restaurants on the main strip are unlikely but the city’s nooks and crannies are beginning to fill up with interesting spots. Max’s Social House is the latest to lead in this new direction, it’s a welcome one.

Food culture is here to stay and Delray is a leader of this trend, which creates jobs, lures visitors and builds community.

The next step would be to grow and nurture local food purveyors and brands–many are being incubated in the CRA’s fabulous Green Market.

Am I believer? You betcha..I’m a partner and CEO of a Boca based hot sauce company Tabanero, an all natural sauce that is available in 1,500 restaurants in Florida and California and 155 HEB markets in Texas. We also have a Bloody Mary Mix and our chefs are busy cooking line extensions. We are inspired by the culinary scene in Boca and Delray and so are many, many others.

 

 

 

Goal Setting Is Essential

Goals can align elected officials, staff and community.

Goals can align elected officials, staff and community.

I rarely watch City Commission meetings and if I do it’s usually after the fact, so I can check on an issue I’m interested in without having to wade through the other stuff.

The Commission I served on made the decision to stream commission meetings way back in the dark ages of 2007 when we hired a company called Granicus to film and stream meetings. It was a good investment (although only two of my meetings are in the archives and so much history was missed as a result of not having this technology in the rocking 80s and progressive 90s) residents and interested parties can tune in from wherever they are in the world to catch the happenings at City Hall.

At the tale of end of last week’s meeting, Commissioner Jordana Jarjura welcomed new City Manager Don Cooper and called for goal setting meetings, which she says she has waited a long time for.

It’s a great idea and one that was used to great success in the past. Commissioner Jarjura rightly noted that goal setting sessions done well in advance of budgeting gives policymakers the opportunity to shape the budget according to the city commission’s goals. What a concept.

I never understood how you can have a budget that doesn’t reflect your goals and objectives as a commission. And I wouldn’t want to be part of any organization that didn’t spend the time upfront figuring out what it hopes to accomplish, with clear strategies, budgets and plans to make sure that the goals are achieved.

Goals promote smart budgeting and goals promote accountability and transparency, two things we keep hearing a lot about.

When you work off of a blueprint, it helps you decide whether ideas and proposals make sense. Does the idea advance a goal or objective? If so, it can help you decide whether to support and fund the idea. Consequently, if the proposal contradicts your mission or just doesn’t fit, it gives policymakers an elegant way to say no.

Back in the day, both Delray Beach and Boca Raton used a consultant named Lyle Sumek to work with the commission, senior staff and the community on goal setting. I liked Lyle. He was funny, made sure everybody participated and he worked with cities all over the country so he brought a national perspective to the process. A lot of cities wrestle with the same concerns and Lyle was a fountain of information on how other jurisdictions solved problems or why certain approaches fell short. He had case studies galore.

It probably makes some sense to use a range of consultants over time to guarantee fresh perspectives, but Lyle got to know us and that was helpful too.

We used to meet in the Sunshine as a commission and everyone attended—usually all day.

Separately, Lyle would meet with department heads to garner their ideas and input, an important exercise since ultimately it is up to staff to implement the goals set by the commission.

We also used to engage 50 or so residents, a cross-section of people, to get their ideas and input before settling on the next year’s goals which were printed, distributed via newsletter, web and brochure and at speeches we made at various Homeowner Association meetings. The goals were also framed and displayed at City Hall for all to see—a reminder of what we were striving to achieve. At the beginning of the New Year, we shared our successes and where we fell short, at a Town Hall meeting, a practice started by Mayor Tom Lynch in the 90s, that we sadly abandoned a few years back, at least for a spell.

What struck me during my tenure and during my time covering the commission as a reporter during the late 80s early 90s, was how in sync we were with the community and senior staff.

More often than not, if we named ten goals, the citizens and staff would have 8 or more of the same things they wanted to see accomplished.

Goal setting builds team work and community unity, which was a goal we adopted in 2000.

Charettes, visioning exercises, roundtable discussions, mayor’s meetings and getting out into the neighborhoods also build community and make people feel a part of their hometown.

We did a visions exercise in 2013 that seems to have disappeared. That’s a shame.

Goal setting has been spotty as well.

That’s why Ms. Jarjura’s idea is a good one.

We have a new City Manager and many new department heads, it will be good for them as well.

Then of course, you have to execute.

Here’s hoping they listen to the junior member of the commission, she’s a good one.

 

To Be An Officer

Often not credited, but invaluable.

Often not credited, but invaluable.

There’s been a lot written and said about policing in America over the past few weeks.

Everyday 780,000 police officers across our country put a badge on and go to work knowing they may face extremely dangerous situations. There is no such thing as a routine stop or a routine call.

Yet, they go to work anyway.  In most cases, the pay is low, the hours can be terrible, and there is sometimes little appreciation for what officers really do.  Yet, they do it anyway.

There’s a toll to the job: every year officers are killed in the line of duty. Usually between 100 and 200 officers a year, according to C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) a non-profit.

Another 50,000 officers are assaulted, 14,000 are injured and over 300 officers commit suicide each year.  There is no other profession in the world, except the military, where you will find these kinds of statistics.

I’d never claim to be an expert on policing, but the one department that I feel I know fairly well is the Delray Beach Police Department.

I’ve seen the department transform from arguably one of the city’s biggest weaknesses in the 1980s to arguably one of its best assets.

When I moved to Delray in the mid-80s, the department was suffering from a major image problem. There were plenty of outstanding officers but the department had a fraught relationship with key neighborhoods and crime was a huge deterrent for businesses and residents.

I spent many nights in cruisers and vans as dedicated officers wrestled with the crack cocaine epidemic. I was a young reporter at the time and the crime story in Delray Beach was a big one. Entire neighborhoods were open air drug markets. At all hours of the night, you could find dealers on corners selling crack while sitting on milk crates. The dealers employed small children on bicycles—some as young as 7—to zip around the streets looking for the “jump out” crew, which was formally known as the Tact Team, a group of officers who travelled in a Black SUV  and were tasked with fighting street level drug dealing.

There were major dealers who were eventually brought down. One king pin actually used to impale the heads of pigs on street signs as a warning to cops.

I accompanied officers and detectives on raids, sweeps, stings, reverse stings etc., and saw sights that became seared in my brain. A teary and broken old man held hostage in his own home by dealers who were using it as a crash pad, a former high school football star who now weighed 100 pounds– his body ravaged by crack and AIDS–  people whose fingertips were burnt from cooking crack on roach infested stoves.

Thankfully, we have come a long way since then. Back then it would have been hard to imagine that the biggest debate in town would be whether or not a building should be 60 feet or 54 feet. Nobody was building anything in those days.

We have the luxury of these discussions about growth, investment and development because the men and women of the Delray Beach Police Department made it safe for people to invest in Delray Beach.

That is not to say that we don’t have serious problems with crime, drugs and violence in our community. We do.

A feud between families in Delray and Boynton has led to over 40 shootings in the past year or so, drugs and addiction continue to bedevil our city and we still log our fair share of serious crime.

But the neighborhoods are much safer and quieter than they were in the 80s and downtown feels much safer than those days. It took a village to bring about some positive changes, residents who spoke out, neighborhood associations, city and CRA investment, a land trust, churches, non-profits, schools and the police department all working together.

Over the holidays, there was a lot of press about a confrontation between police and 60-70 people who were gathered at a party.

For some of the retired cops that I still keep in touch with, the response was interesting. That sort of thing used to be routine and hardly ever made the news, they said. Yes, times have changed.

But the recent local incidents and the national conversation ought to remind us that we still have lots of work to do when it comes to crime, race relations, and the role of policing. Not to mention the importance of having great officers who can protect and serve in a world that is often violent, angry and dysfunctional.

 

 

Daring To Create A Village

Dare 2 Be Great Scholars Believe in 'paying it forward'

Dare 2 Be Great Scholars Believe in ‘paying it forward’

About four years ago,  I met Morgan Russell for breakfast at Christina’s in Pineapple Grove.

Morgan was a long time investor and believer in Delray Beach and I got to know him when I served on the Delray City Commission.

Pineapple Grove was a far cry from what we see there today and the first time I met with Morgan he looked me in the eye and asked if we were serious about a public/private partnership to beautify the Grove. I said absolutely.

Morgan was referring to a plan to add a streetscape, landscaping and lighting to Second Avenue. The project would be paid for by property owners, the city and CRA. The investment, coupled with the hard work and vision of Pineapple Grove volunteers, transformed the area. Morgan bet big, investing in real estate projects and the Esplanade shopping center  in Pineapple Grove when most others were flocking to East Atlantic Avenue.  He moved to an apartment above some shops on Second Avenue so he could better understand the rhythms of the street and the nuances of the neighborhood.

His investment in Pineapple Grove did very well.

So when we sat down for breakfast back in 2010, he was grateful for his good fortune. Morgan says he has been lucky. I call him smart.

He wanted to invest again in Delray Beach by giving back to a place that was very good to him. On a napkin, we created Dare 2 Be Great and added a stellar board of directors and a terrific group of mentors.

In a nutshell, D2BG is a non-profit that awards scholarships and provides mentoring to Delray Beach students who want to go to college and come back to enrich Delray; either by launching their career here or paying it forward as we like to say. We look for kids who we feel exhibit greatness and have that intangible spark. We are looking for more than just good grades and a solid resume of community involvement.

Most are students who have overcome great adversity to excel. Challenges range from poverty and family dysfunction and illness to personal challenges so great that nobody gets through our interviewing process without tears. The stories are so touching, the kids so amazing, we are simply in awe of their strength, resilience and potential.

Most of them grew up here, a few came from Haiti (some after the quake)  and through hard work and resolve have managed to put themselves in a position to succeed—if we as a community can help them. And we are.

We often talk about being a village, but being a village is way more than whether or not you allow a 60 foot building or a 54 foot building. It’s about more than setbacks and density and parking calculations and all the others stuff us adults get hung up on.

Talk to kids who grew up in Delray and have gone away to school and ask them what they are concerned about and they’ll tell you that they care about jobs, opportunities and living in a place that has things to do.

They also talk about living in a community that cares. Really cares, not through  lip service, but by actions.

We have interviewed dozens of kids over the past four years and if there’s a common theme it is this:

They like Delray Beach. Many would like to return after college to live here. Most are concerned that unless they are going into a service profession that the opportunities to come back are limited. And most have a positive feeling about their town because of a city program or effort that touched them in some way.

Whether it was an art or photography class at the Delray Center for the Performing Arts that spurred Stephanie Brown and Maria Gracia to pursue careers in the arts or the Youth Council that spurred Ian Mellul to want to become an elected  official (future president? Don’t bet against it) or the Criminal Justice Career Academy at Atlantic High (generously supported by our superb police department) that inspired Joseph Elisma to apply to become a Delray officer, these kids—our kids—were touched by something supported by our community.

Those programs—Explorer Posts, Boy Scout Huts, Youth Councils, Sister Cities, arts classes, summer reading initiatives, early childhood efforts, partnerships with local schools, businesses and non-profits are what makes us a village. At least in the eyes of our children.

They understand that it’s  all about people.

Caring about people.

Helping people.

Looking out for our neighbors.

Creating a city of opportunities for existing residents, our kids and our grandchildren.

Dare 2 Be Great was our answer to how can we invest in the future of Delray Beach. There are other approaches and worthwhile programs in Delray Beach too.

As we approach the holiday season and the New Year, please consider what we can do to touch others in our great city. Happy holidays…see you after the New Year.

Woodfield Launches Health Challenge

Wellness @ Woodfield.

Wellness @ Woodfield.

 Relying on the concept that healthy employees are excellent employees, Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton recently started its year-long “Wellness Challenge,” a fun and entertaining event that places a premium on health, wellness, and physical fitness.

Woodfield Country Club is an active country club community that encourages its residents to be healthy and physically fit,” said Eben Molloy, general manager. “It stands to reason that we would have the same philosophy when it comes to our employees, and it’s gratifying to see that we are helping employees make positive physical changes to their health. ”
Based on results from its Annual Employee Survey, the Club created a comprehensive wellness program to encourage employees to live a healthier lifestyle.  From personalized nutrition counseling to healthy cooking classes, employees are focusing on making healthy lifestyle changes both at work and at home.
Through a series of fun and entertaining programming, employees can qualify for a variety of awards with the Grand Prize being $500 or 40 hours of paid time off. But even more important is the fellowship and teamwork that is being fostered among Woodfield employees as a result of this program.
“Our research indicates that organizations that promote healthy lifestyles among their staffs have fewer sick days, higher employee evaluations, and less turnover,” added Molloy. “This type of program is a win/win for the employees and for the members and residents of Woodfield Country Club. The bottom line is that we care about our employees and want them to excel professionally and physically.”
The programming is divided into three categories, including nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle. Employees receive points for participation within these areas. Some of the activities include:
·        Attend a healthy cooking class at Woodfield
·        Meet one-on-one with Woodfield’s registered nutritionist
·        Plant your own garden
·        Join a fitness club
·        Participate in Woodfield’s 5K Employee Run
·        Tour Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s MammoVan
·        Schedule an annual physical
·        Volunteer in your community 
 “This program is fostering a wide range of other benefits,” noted Molloy. “The activities – such as the 5K run and the softball games —  inspire team building among employees and allows them to socialize with fellow workers in other departments. As the year-long program and activities continue, we’re seeing increased camaraderie among employees which translates into better service to our members.”
As part of the program, Woodfield also hosted an “Employee Wellness Expo” that featured a variety of local programs and vendors who endorse healthy living. Dentists, health clubs, insurance agencies, and physical therapists were among those with booths at the expo.
In addition to these activities, Woodfield also scheduled a “Community Services Expo”, an event that educated employees on a wide range of local programs and resources, including:
·        Credit counseling
·        Public speaking
·        Adult education
·        Tuition planning
·        Child care resources
 
About Woodfield Country Club
Woodfield Country Club is a family-oriented social and recreational full-service equity country club featuring a wide range of residential selections and world-class, resort-style amenities.
The country club features an 18-hole championship golf course, nationally recognized tennis program, a fitness and salon/spa complex, and an array of casual and fine dining opportunities. In addition, Woodfield is the recipient of several of the highest designations in the country club industry, including Platinum Club of America, America’s Healthiest Clubs and Distinguished Emerald Club of the World. They are presented by country club trade organizations.
For more information on Woodfield Country Club, visit www.woodfield.org or call 561-994-5203

Water Cooler Wednesday: Perspective

perspective

Just this week…

One of my favorite people lost her dad to cancer and one of my childhood friends called to tell me his dad was just diagnosed.

In Pakistan, the Taliban butchered 141 people, mostly children at a school. In Yemen, 26 children were killed by terrorists—it barely made the news.

In Newtown, Connecticut, parents marked the second anniversary of the Newtown Massacre and face another holiday season without their children.

In suburban Philadelphia, an Iraq War Veteran killed six family members before taking his own life. It is said that the soldier suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I don’t list these items to depress you, but merely to ask that we exercise some perspective as we navigate the daily inconveniences of our lives.

Last I looked, the sun was shining, gas prices are low, we are using dollars not rubles and the temperature is just delightful.

Downtown Delray Beach is abuzz with activity and people seem happy as they stroll Atlantic Avenue and snap family pictures in front of holiday displays.

We visited Mizner Park this week and it was packed with shoppers and diners. I saw a lot of smiles, despite the long lines at the valet. If waiting for a valet is your biggest concern, you have it pretty good.

Life is fragile.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Clichés, but true nonetheless.

Your world can be rocked by one phone call or simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Here are some of the greats on perspective:

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty.

I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”

― George Carlin

“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.”

― Oscar Wilde