Isn't it great to live in America? In the early 1900s, my grandfather signed the registration roles at Ellis Island. His family immigrated here from Denmark. Some of my Knudsen family landed in Hawai'i. I grew up around wooden shoes and pictures of windmills. My great, great grandfather, Robert A. Lower, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor fighing as a Union soldier at Vicksburg. The Confederate surrender on July 4, 1863, is sometimes considered, when combined with Gen. Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg by Maj. Gen. George Meade and retreat beginning the same day, the turning point of the war. The picture below featurs three generations of Goolds. I'm the one with the FAT belly. LOL
Today we work to create more windmills in the U.S. Isn't that a fantastic touch of irony? We return to our roots, although using more advanced technologies and materials, as we work to end our addiction to oil — particularly foreign sources.
While I am eternally thankful for this opportunity to grow up and live in this land, I am disappointed in my fellow Americans. We have lost our way as a nation. We appear to be endlessly selfish, dominated by a "ME" generation. This is not our greatest feature. Heroes like my grandfather, my wife's grandfather, former WWII POW, Ray Larribas, lived as Americans should live. They sacrificed for each other. They cared about this nation and our ideals.
Today we need better Leadership. We need to focus more on Team Building, both here and around the planet. Brand American used to stand for Quality and Excellence. Few people would use these terms in our modern environment. Our team pictured below had a phenomenal coach and leader, Jenny Lang Ping. We put our team first and ended up with an Olympic silver medal.
We are nearly a decade into the 21st century, but we have made little forward progress. As Americans our situation is challenging, to say the least, we no longer lead the world; we no longer lead here at home as conditions around the world affect us more and more each day. It is time to talk about Leadership. Are we headed in the right direction as a nation? The keiki from Kumu Rachel's class are ready to move forward. Are we deserving of their respect and admiration?
Shortly after September 11th, 2001, this nation stood united. Yet we are not standing together today. Is this due to our greed, our lack of tolerance or our cultural differences? I don't believe this is why we struggle. We fail because we don't understand Team Building. We have forgotten how to consistently commit to Excellence. We can no longer say we are Winning as a society. Our current situation doesn't look like Success.
At Scott Goold.org, we work to develop quality Leadership; we must structure our lives so we enhance Team Building; Excellence must again characterize American products and services. Americans can once again return to being Winners as well as a nation that focuses on Success. Training with professional athletes from Japan is part of this mission. What a blessing to work with such dedicated, kind and humble people.
The photo at the top highlights one of my favorite creatures in the sea ... the honu (Hawai'ian for turtle). This beautiful guy reminds of of our obligation to the planet. I kind of think he is looking at us ... asking why we rush to destroy nature and the blessings we all have. We share similar goals: we want decent living conditions, safe communities for ourselves and our children, and a world that is not on a path toward self-destruction. Of course, none of us are successful by ourselves. I'm extremely fortunate to have a loving, talented and committed partner. What strength and patience she has to battle along side me.
For 15 years, I co-directed an annual basketball camp to provide quality sports education for Special Needs athletes in a unified environment, HoopCamp.net. We blended traditional athletes with Special Olympians to allow both groups to enhance their skills. Traditional athletes played alongside Special Needs athletes and helped also as volunteer coaches. Today HoopCamp.net provides basketball camp organizational consulting. We train you not only to teach basketball fundamentals, but how to offer all athletes an opportuntiy to develop a greater understanding of their blessings.
Of course, life can't simply be work. There must be recreation, fun and play. And, when it's time to play, I'll be at one of my favorite (and secret) surf breaks. Never get enough of this radical challenge — and be sure to know I'm stoked on surfing. Don't miss out on the Hawai'i Surf Foundation competition special. See young groms and veterans do their best at PKs surf competition.
To accomplish these shared goals, we must cooperate with each other; be tolerant of different cultural and political values; and recognize that we must SHARE the planet.