Month: May 2012

What Qualities are Important to You?

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    I was fortunate to be invited to a co-workers wedding shower. It was an afternoon tea with several of her closest friends. Friends from her childhood were there and these close pals drove in from Atlanta to spend this time and celebrate this rite of passage. We were all adorned in our big hats, colorful dresses and played bridal shower games.

    I was honored that my co-worker’s mother asked me to say the blessing before we started the meal. As the evening progressed, I listened to the childhood stories told by her friends. I listened to other stories told by her big sister. I won one of the games that my co-worker expected me to win and she gave me a brief hug to solidify how well she knew me. She knew me well enough to know that I would win that game. Her mother knew me well enough to know that when I walked into the room, that I could be asked to say the prayer. I am reliable. I am dependable. I am trustworthy. I possess of certain level of panache that those around me have come to expect. I possess qualities that are synonymous with who I am and what I stand for; the qualities that are important in friendship and life.

Here’s the million dollar question my friends, what qualities are important to you? The qualities that we look for in our friends can also represent the qualities that we look for in our mates, dates or partners. Have you ever noticed that people who have long term relationships with a life partner also have long term relationships with friends? Here is a quality that is important to me when I meet someone knew. I often want to know the longest relationship they have had. If the answer is full of short term friendships, then more than likely, your relationship with them will be short term as well.

I look for people who share my values. I look for people who share my interest. I moved away from this group of friends that like to do X. On Friday’s I would hang out with my friends that really liked to do Y. Dammit, I’m grown. I now hang out with grown friends that like to do X & Y and if I suggest Z, they had better say, “Let’s do it!” These qualities are important in those who share my life and I want to feel that my qualities are important to them as well.

I liked wearing the tea hat. I like being invited. I enjoy people expecting me to be me and not the life of party, or the person who ruins it for everyone. I am reliable. That is a quality that is important to almost everyone; it is also what keeps your friends and family tuning in to your life.


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American Speaker

You don’t have to be a professional comedian or have a staff of writers to make an audience laugh, although that certainly helped Jimmy Kimmel and President Obama during this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last Saturday. The pair kept the audience laughing for nearly an hour by spinning jokes off topics in the news, from the Secret Service scandal to Kim Kardashian’s celebrity.

Here are some techniques you can apply to your presentations:

  1. Record the opening. Last year the president’s speech began with the song “I Am a Real American” while the images on screen included his birth certificate. This year’s performance began with a spoof about an open mic while he was off stage. When you record your opening, you can test it with colleagues and fine-tune it, so you are guaranteed to get a laugh, with no pressure on you for a few minutes to perform…

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Written by one of my students….


By Roberto Negron


A soldier’s wife holds the toughest job in the world. She is the one who holds down “The Fort” soldiers call home. She has to be strong for everyone else. When her children ask questions, with a big smile she says, “Your daddy loves you very much and will be home soon.” A soldier’s wife experiences long nights without sleep, waiting by the phone just to hear, “I’m ok, Baby. I can’t wait to see you and I love you.”

A soldier’s wife carries an incredible emotional burden, the mental anguish experienced day and night, and the exhausting workload of holding everything together. However, she doesn’t show her worries because it is her duty to keep the family going strong.

I have a picture of my wife and daughter, that I kept with me at all times during my deployment to Iraq, which reminded me that…

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