Living Dangerously

Recent news stories have reinforced a belief that I hold. A belief that I routinely engage in the most dangerous activity imaginable for an adult male. Now I am no thrill seeker, and I don’t engage in extreme sports. I have never climbed a mountain, jumped out of a plane or gone white water rafting. In fact on the surface it would seem like I do very little on any given day that could be considered ‘dangerous’ in any sense of the word.

austin-powers-i-also-like-to-live-dangerously

No the danger that I speak of is that I routinely interact with children and teens. Here is a list of my dangerous activities;

1- I help run a youth group

2- I coach my children’s sports teams

3- I help out at my children’s school

4- I take my children to the park, the mall, the grocery story without my wife accompanying me.

Maybe these don’t sound like dangerous activities to you. If that is the case God bless you. However I am painfully aware that there is a rapidly growing sense in our culture that every male presents a very real possible risk to minors.

If you think I am exaggerating here are two stories that filled my Facebook news feed over the past few weeks;

First a little more than a week ago a YouTube video went viral. It was of a man and a puppy going over to three different children at a playground to see if he could convince them to leave the park with him. He was successful each time. The video ended say that 700 children are abducted a day. Which as far as I can tell is not true.

And second a man in Australia who took a selfie in a Target store with a Darth Vader cut out. A mother thought he had taken a picture of her children. She then followed the man around the store took his picture shared it on Facebook describing what she thought happened. The picture was shared well over 20,000 times. The man discovered while he was sitting in a business meeting the following day that this picture of him was circulating accusing him of being a pedophile. He had to go to the police and relinquish his phone to prove his innocence.

These kind of stories chill me to the bone. But I am just not sure what to do with them. The fact is that children in the US and Canada have never been safer. Yet it seems like parents have never been more scared. Lives of well meaning, innocent adults are being destroyed, and children are being kept sequestered away for no good reason.

Back in February I was asked to be Olaf at a community festival. I did it because I knew my daughter in particular would be so excited to see Olaf in person. I also knew that a lot of other kids would enjoy it as well. I was excited, but also nervous.

I knew that the kids would want to hug Olaf/me, he does love warm hugs after all. And they would want to pose with him/me for pictures. And that is what happened. So during the evening I tried to make sure that you could see my hand in every picture that was taken. My hands were either resting somewhere on my costume or they were waving in the air. I got the sense that the women dressed up as Elsa and Anna didn’t have the same concern.

Daddy Olaf

My name is Olaf, and I am generally nervous about hugs

 

I love my children, and I want to be active in their lives. But I also believe in the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. So I want my children to have other adults in their lives that affect them in a positive way. And I hope I can affect others in a similar positive manor. I am just worried that it is getting too dangerous to try.

What do you think?

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I Just Ran 50,000 DM

I am not a runner. I feel I have pointed this out a few times already. When I spend time with a treadmill at the gym instead of running I set it to a very high incline (25%) at a relatively brisk pace (4 miles per hour). Normally I am happy with this plan.

Today was different. Today at the gym I ran my first official 5k, or 50,000 decimetres which sounds way more hardcore. I did this to help support a friend who is running for a cause. The ‘Soul Sisters TNT‘ that are raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma research with Team in Training.

By the way, this was almost the third official time I ran 5k. The first was when I ran a fun run called ‘run or dye’ a few years ago, but turns out their track was not actually 5k. The second time I was supporting another friend raising money with Team in Training, but like today the treadmill I used was in miles and I did the conversion wrong. I didn’t realize until I got home that I only ran around 4 1/2kms which annoyed me.

Today I set out again to run 5k and this time I was going to get it right so I kept a distance converter app handy.

Did you know that 5k is roughly equal to;

2734 fathoms

196850 inches

1.03 leagues

and 2938 smoots

Actually I think I am going to start reporting all of my walks/runs in non-standard distance measurements. If you will excuse me I have to start training for my next 10936.13 cubit(uk) run.

5k run

‘Hey Soul Sister— Your sweet moonbeam The smell of you in every single dream I dream’  For the record, Train I am pretty confidant I did not smell like a dream here.

 

Spirited Conversations

I have been, sort of sitting on some news that I find very exciting. Starting around May 17th I am going to be a radio show host!

A face made for radio

Man I really thought I was having a nicer hair day until I saw this picture.

I have been a pretty big fan of talk radio for the better part of 10 years now, so this feels like a dream come true. If you live in the Halifax are you may have noticed that there is a new community radio station broadcasting from Lower Sackville. If you have not bumped into the station yet it is 97.5 FM.

The station will have a diverse mix of music and spoken word programs. The focus will be on local communities and local interests.  I have been invited to host a radio show that focuses on the very board topic of faith and spirituality.

The show will be called ‘Spirited Conversations‘ and it will be divided up into three segments.

Part One- Interviewing a person or group of people about what they do and how it connects with the concepts of faith and spirituality. For example I am looking forward to a conversation with Steve Vernon, a local author who has written among many other things, Uncle Bob’s Red Flannel Bible Camp

Part Two- This is a chance to highlight the work that local faith groups are doing in their communities and around the world. This might be a church, a charity, a synagogue, a mosque, and so on. Any group of people who are organized around the broad concepts of faith or belief. For example I am looking forward to a conversation in the near future with the charity Chalice.

Part Three- We will have a panel discussion about all of the local, national and international news of a religious nature that has bubbled up over the past week. For example a lot of people here in Halifax and all over Canada have been talking about whether it is appropriate or not to have prayer at city hall.   

But I want to do more than just share this news with you. I am hoping to find people who are interested participating in the show. Right now I have a short list of authors, politicians, bloggers, ministers, yoga instructors, scientists, doctors, professors, artists, free thought group leaders, business owners and people who run charities lined up as possible guests in the near future.  

If you think you might interested in taking part in this show at any time, in any of three segments please contact me. Also If you know of anyone who might be interested in participating in this show would you consider sending them this blog and send their contact information my way.

If you think you might be interested, but you’re not sure if you fit into what I have said contact me anyway. Almost everyone I have signed up so far didn’t think they were what I was looking for until we talked for a few minutes.

We all have stories of belief or disbelief to share, I can’t wait to hear yours.

Spirited Conversations