This past week, I was at a political event that was disguised as a holiday party, or maybe it was a holiday party disguised as a political event, but either way I found myself elbow to elbow with candidates running for office and the political operatives who wage the battles and stage the campaigns.
It was against this background that I found myself talking with a candidate for citywide office who had just welcomed a newborn child into his home two weeks ago. Surrounded by the din of political aspirations and machinations, we ended up comparing notes on our experiences with the nocturnal feeding habits of our infants, firmly putting the travails of the world in perspective.
As I traded “new father” anecdotes with one of the most powerful men in Los Angeles, I realized that our experiences contained within them the lessons that could move LA forward.
Here are five things I’ve learned as the proud father of a newborn baby boy:
- Pay Attention: A heightened state of awareness can be an exhausting experience, but it actually results in greater energy and productivity. “More effort takes less effort” may seem counterproductive but it works!
- Keep Close: Babies raised in cultures that favor contact over separation cry less. It’s true no matter how old we are, social connections are the key to happiness.
- Give Thanks: To hold a newborn baby is to hold the powerful of thankfulness. I count my blessings as I look as his perfection and as I experience the support of our community of friends and family.
- Keep Moving: Nothing brings a smile like going for a walk, even if it’s just a small journey around the neighborhood, and it’s a reminder that we were born for action.
- Be Positive: Our energy is contagious and to see a baby mimic our attitudes and emotions is to experience the incredible responsibility that demands our optimism. After all, it’s our only choice, that and then delivering on our promise to make it come true.
As for the party, I’m sure the food was good and that lots of good work was done, but from where I stood, it all faded into the background as two fathers slowed down, just for a moment, and connected with the power of optimism and its place in our immediate future.