Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Time for Lent and #GoldenActsOfKindness

Hello All!

I hope everyone has been enjoying 2016 so far! And that not too many of you are hung over from Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday Celebrations. It's Ash Wednesday and time again for Lent. I'm not a very religious person but I have always tried to observe Lent because I believe that being able to make a sacrifice, if only once a year, is good for me. Plus the money I usually save by making these sacrifices I'm able to donate to causes that I care for. So for years I've joined in with Lent, much to the confusion of family and friends who know me and my beliefs.

Last year I joined in with the group of #40acts. They are a wonderful organization but this year, I've chosen to branch out on my own. #40acts is very strictly religious based and some of their ideas were not in line with my own beliefs. But I enjoyed the experience so much that I didn't want to abandon the idea. Before I proceed I want to say please don't misunderstand, #40acts is a great organization and they are not preaching anything extreme and I'm not using my powers for evil. I just wanted to apply the concept to my philosophy and open up my capacity for kindness to more of my world around me. So this year I've been inspired to practice (what I'm calling) #GoldenActsOfKindness for the next 40 days.

So what's the plan? Well it's genius in its simplicity.

For the next 40 days I will attempt to spread happiness, joy, love and acts of kindness throughout my world. By doing this I'm hoping to accomplish hopefully two things.
  1. To help even just 1 person get thru a day that they may not have thought they were going to be able to make it through.
  2. Inspire others to do similar things, so that maybe by taking little steps we can all spread more than pure madness in this world. Because as a species we have to do a better job of loving each other before we rip this place apart.
If your interested in following along feel free to join me on twitter @theonlygolden and I also hope to post updates here on our blog. I am new to snapchat and am still navigating those waters, but I do hope to use my snapchat as a tool for the cause so check me out there as well if you don't mind my dumbass not completely knowing what I'm doing (@theonlygolden2).

Let me know what you guys are up to, if you make any sacrifices or have any ideas for acts of kindness.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why I love Cam Newton

Tonight on CBS was Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos or as the media talks about it the Cam Vs Peyton show, a changing of the guard type event. Now I live in a state that’s insane about College Football. Loyalties are formed before birth, often before conception. We taught my nephew to raise his hands in a referee touchdown motion so that we could slip his t-shirt on. No joke, people in my area have literally killed over it. However my state doesn’t really have a dog in the NFL fight. So I’ve often watched the Super Bowl just because everyone will be talking about it on Monday, I watched it for the commercials, but mostly watched it with one eye as I surfed the internet or put together a puzzle since literally nothing else was on.

However this year is different. This year I cared about NFL football. I wanted the Panthers to get to the playoffs undefeated, which they nearly did. I wanted everyone who was talking trash about Cameron Newton to shut up. I wanted people to take notice and man did they ever. However not all of it was great commentary on a man who frankly is just damn fun to watch. May we all have a job we love as much as Cam Newton loves playing football.

Now for full disclosure I’m typing this up as Carolina trails Denver 7-16 so it’s not like Cam is being remarkable on the field, then again neither is Payton. Denver finally figured out that the way to beat the Panthers (at least so far) is to shut down Cam and his offense. Granted the Panther offense isn’t giving Cam much time to do anything in the pocket, something they have been great at all year long. My point is this post isn’t about a Quarterback setting the field on fire with his awesomeness. No this post is about telling people about the Cam Newton that makes me smile. The Cam Newton whom I think little kids should look up to, the Cameron Newton who deserves more respect.

1.     Granted the man led my team (War Eagle!) to an SEC Championship, a National Championship, and did it with class. When I say he LED the team I mean exactly that. I’ve seen him walk up and down that sideline pumping up a teammate who may have had a bad play, cheering for the defense like a little kid for a good stop and I've watched him lead the team (all of them even the "bench warmers") down towards the student section before 4th quarter in an effort to bring the crowd into the game for one final push to victory. He knew then how much the crowd brings to the game, which is why it’s fun now to watch him give a ball to a kid after a touchdown (notice it's ALWAYS a kid). He didn’t just start caring about the crowd that’s been part of his DNA for years. That people is why people who love him LOVE him.

2.     Speaking of kids the man loves kids. He wants them to succeed he wants them to believe in themselves and his love for kids is infectious. He volunteered at an elementary school while he was a student athlete long before anyone took notice of it. When he left his JR year for the NFL he came back to see those kids whenever he was in town, he kept in touch with the school and keeps those connections alive to this day! He cared about these kids and because of that they cared about him. Did you see the instagram post where a kid on the sidelines at practice was telling him how to "throw the ball" and how focused Cam is on what the kid is saying? His caption for the picture was "Always be coachable!" A great lesson for kids to hear in a world where kids think coaches are a waste of time. The man is not just a role model but he should be the bench mark role models are held too.

3.     He finished school. This should be higher on the list cause i'm just so darn proud of this fellow alumni! Sure it was a promise he made to his mom, but let’s face it Cam could have gone anywhere he wanted for school. He came back to Auburn every summer (during his off season), went to classes, attended sporting events, and got that piece of paper when frankly he didn’t need it. It was important to her, so it was important to him. He returned to a school that he had already given so much and he showed kids everywhere that yes an education was important. Again if that's not a role model then I don't know what one is.

4.     His smile. No joke no one has a smile wider, bigger, or more genuine than Cam Newton and the man looks great when he smiles.

5.     His love for his family is admirable. He went back to school for his mom, he says a prayer at the beginning of each game for his mom. His mom is his inspiration, his biggest cheerleader, and I would argue his best friend. Did you see his Instagram page where he posted the text she sent him prior to tonight’s game? That’s love.

6.     His ambition in life is to open a day care center, or some other type of school for kids. There is no doubt in my mind that when his NFL career is over he will do something with kids and those kids will be the luckiest kids in the world for being a part of that environment. Nothing appears to make him happier than being around kids.

7.     I do think that as soon as he’s no longer having fun he will end his career. He’ not going to be a player that plays for the paycheck. He's not going to hang around long after the "glory" has faded and he's just there in the background. Granted he’s not going to play for free but the paycheck does not drive him, it's just what allows him to have fun and play a game he's been destined to play for years. 

So these are just a few of the reasons that I like Cam, notice not many of these have anything to do with his on the field capabilities, I let those speak for themselves. Everyone knows he can throw a ball, even if sometimes I think he might throw it a little hard. I love watching Cam play football, I love how supportive he is of the guys around him, the love he shows to the fans, and the smile on his face. Even in games like this one where not much to write home about has happened he wears his heart on his sleeve. He lives and dies with that team and what is happening on that field. He's not a QB who isn't really paying attention when the defense is on the field until 4rd down. Cam shifts into spectator mode and is as into it as the rest of us are. No one will walk out of that locker room tonight more upset that Cam. You can see it on his face he blames himself for the way tonight has gone, he's defeated but he's not down. They will regroup, they will come back and this is not Cam’s only shot at a ring with the Panthers or anyone else. There is no doubt in my mind he'll get that hardware one day and Chosen will be jumping up and down in the players box challenging his grandma for dad’s biggest supporter when he does!

Everyone needs to sit back, leave him alone and enjoy the ride cause it’s a fun ride to be a part of !

War Cam Eagle, forever and always.