Stephen Boudreau

Love your family. Love your friends. Do what's in front of you.

Do it anyway

The verses below were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta. They seem to be based on a set of “commandments” penned originally by Dr. Kent Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. I think both are brilliantly inspiring and want to share them here:

From Mother Teresa:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

From Dr. Keith:

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Dec 12, 2013

"I love watching my kids grow up. But I hate it that they’re growing up."

– Frank Barnett

Oct 31, 2013

Assembly required

Recently, I spent an afternoon assembling a playground toy for my sons.

Piece by piece. Hesitation after hesitation. I bumbled through the process as it slowly transformed from a disorganized mess into a completed masterpiece.

My four year old stood by throughout the entire process. Impatiently, he wondered when it would be complete — trying to will the pieces together with his words. Let me tell you, the boy has quite a bit of questioning-stamina. Even after four hours — he was still energized by the potential he saw in the pile of parts.

I get that. I’m the same way.

When I look at my boys I realize that much assembly is still required. I do my best to help these pieces take shape. To mold them into men. To reveal the beautiful masterpiece. A lot of times I’ll realize I’ve made mistakes and do my best to take steps back, minimize damage and keep moving forward.

Let me tell you: I’m building up my Fatherhood stamina. Some days I hit that wall and feel like I need a break, but a second wind is always just around the corner.

It comes in the form of a sweet hug before bedtime. Watching them share and play together. Or witnessing their eyes glimmer with wonder as they see their dad busy doing the precious work of assembly.

Jan 30, 2013

I was wrong vs I’m sorry

Admitting fault is a conduit to reconciliation. "I was wrong" is far more disarming than "I am sorry" when apologizing.

I break this little rule more often than I care to admit.  And it certainly isn’t because I am always right. It is because I want to win.  

The problem is that winning is one-sided and relationships are not.  When you’re wrong, be wrong… Let the other person be heard. Allow them to be right.  Eat that crow… and say, "I was wrong."

Let go of the need to leave an argument the victor.  Instead, leave the argument behind. 

Jan 17, 2013

There is little value in free

"That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly." -Thomas Paine

There’s no better feeling in the world than starting out thinking you can’t do something and ending up being able to do it.  

Jan 7, 2013

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