Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business


Ten Things I Love About You

I love the way you dress when you want to get my attention.

I love the way you let other women know that I'm taken.

I love the way you love me when I'm weird.

I love when you act weird.

I love it when you melt to the music.

I love that you're never too tired for ... me.

I love that you let me feel like I'm in charge, when you're the real power behind me.

I love your mighty tornadoes that blow through and lose steam and turn into a beautiful sunset if I'm patient enough to wait it out.

I love you for letting me be a boy but treating me like a man.

I love you for believing in my dreams and standing beside me through the good, the bad, and the ugly!

I Love You

You know who you are.


Love Your Family, Choose Your Peers Pt.2

I've received plenty of mail from my readers expressing opinions regarding my previous post titled: Love Your Family, Choose Your Peers, and I feel that it's all valid and we all have our own ways of dealing with opposition in our lives.

A lot of the responses centered around the issue that it's just not right to choose your friends, or peer group according to what suits you best, so after some thinking I wanted to offer this simple analogy:

Let's say you and your friends all somehow fall into a mud pit and you are stuck and can't get out, and after some time you all start to feel pretty comfortable there because you are getting used to it. In this situation if you are going to make progress you will have to break from your present peer group and and find others who are not in your situation to give you an outside perspective that can actually help you to get out from where you are.

Once you make the break, and get the progress that you need in your life, you can come back to your friends who are still stuck, but this time from a higher point, a place where you can help them from, and then elevate them to your level.

So I offer this simple advice: If you are not surrounded by friends with whom you are experiencing growth, and now feel fulfilled, or can see yourself becoming absolutely fulfilled, then the best thing you can do for them is to leave them.

This may sound cruel or self-centered but after you make the progress that you need to make you'll be in the position to help them, and then bring them up to your new level.

This has been repeated time and again in the Bible and throughout history from Moses and Joseph to Peter the Great of Russia.


How I Killed My Pet Hamster

A little while back on a hot summer day I was planning on driving my family for an outing. I playfully held Stuart, our family pet of three years in my hands and let him run around in my closet shelves sniffing and licking everything he could find. He stopped and stared at me with his shiny black eyes. "I love this little fella", I thought to myself. As I placed him back in his cage my six year old daughter Suzi walked in and excitedly asked "Oh daddy, can I please hold him in my hands?" I was  annoyed because I wanted to get the children out the door and into the van.

"Not now, okay?" I replied.

"But I really want to hold him, and I haven't played with him for a long time."
It's true, it had been at least two weeks since she had played with him, but now getting out on time was more important so I repeated "Not now!" in a slightly stronger tone this time. She sadly turned and obediently walked toward the van.
When everyone was finally in the vehicle I placed Stuart's cage on the window sill where it belonged and quickly locked up before driving off.
Upon returning my wife discovered him dead, dead from heat exhaustion after being in direct sunlight in a room with all its windows shut, essentially creating greenhouse. A closer inspection confirmed what we had suspected.
My initial thoughts were that I felt very sorry for him, but then I recalled Suzi's last request before we had left for the outing.
How insensitive I felt. She would never be able to hold or play with him again, and I had denied her last opportunity.
That evening I broke the news to the children. I knew she would take it the hardest and sat next to her as I explained what had happened.
No amount of comfort could console her as she wept uncontrollably.

From that day on I'm reminded of Stuart when my children talk to me. It's so true how we as parents can so quickly judge what's important and what's not, forgetting to take into account the opinions of our children.

How I wish I could relive that day and let her play with Stuart before leaving the house.

There was enough time, there just wasn't enough patience.

Take time to listen, to play, and never miss an opportunity to love your children.


Love Your Family, Choose Your Peers

It's a dilemma many of us face at some point in our lives: we want to grow and progress in a certain area but the people we hang out with just aren't into it, or sometimes are downright against it.
You know what I'm talking about: the new exercise routine, the healthy food diet, or the new direction you're taking in your lifestyle altogether.

You know that if you are going to make the kind of progress that you want, you're going to have to shed the things that hold you back, but your friends and family aren't something that you can just trade like baseball cards.
There's no easy solution when it comes to friends who you love but are holding you back, but you have to make some decisions.
The way I see it is as the title says: Love your family, choose your peers.
Your family are the people that God put you with, so love and respect them always--same with your friends.
But here is where you must make a distinction:

Your Peer Group

These are the people who you respect and want to be like, and who you want to spend as much time with as possible. When forming your peer group, which may take some time, strive to be the dumbest one in it. This is not to mean that you should try to be stupid, but that you surround yourself with people who are more skilled or smarter than you in some way.
Many studies have proven that whether we like it or not, we will become like the people we spend the most time with.

Choose carefully.


Death Comes Unexpectedly

(cut to shot of chandelier rattling)

Now watch this TV commercial below if you haven't seen it already.

I don't think I would add to or take anything away from this sad yet beautiful piece.

Now wipe your tears away and go love those who are closest to you. Love those who you are not so close to, and to your children: Tell them you love them. They need to hear it, they need to see it, and most of all they need to feel it. Love is something that we just can't fake to our own children. They're smart, and they can sense a fake smile and half-assed hug before it even hits them.
When our loved ones mess up, even if it's really big time messing up, love them even more, hold them closer and forgive unconditionally--always!

What I described above is not me, this is simply what I want to be, and what I need to be, what by God's grace I will be.

And if you aren't crying yet, here's another tear-jerker:

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