Tag Archives: Helping Others

Yoga Dad Turns Cancer To A Positive

Yoga dad Dennis Ingui has a story to tell that all you dudes need to hear.

Now, I don’t normally turn over the precious white space here at A Dude’s Guide very often, much less three times in less than a week, but this is a special case. See, a friend of mine told me about Dennis and, once she did, I knew I’d have to have him share his story here with all of you. It’s a long story, so I’m going to have a jump that I want you to follow and I think you will.

This yoga dad is more than a health nut, more than a cancer survivor, more than a business man. Although he’d probably fight against anyone telling him this, he’s a bit of an inspiration. But let’s hear the story from Dennis’ mouth instead of mine.

Despite completely changing my life starting with a yoga practice at the age of 48, I wouldn’t call it a mid-life crisis.  

My mid-life turnaround was brought about after a stunning diagnosis of prostate cancer and surgery. What began as a journey of recovery and self-discovery has grown into a new business venture, mentorship for other budding entrepreneurs and a path toward philanthropy, touching the lives of children and adults across the globe.

Born and raised in the Bronx, I’ve always been athletic and physically fit. Which meant I was thrown completely off guard after a cautionary check up with my urologist showed a slightly rising PSA test. I will never forget the moment I received a call from the doctor on my way to the airport for a business trip. Immediately, I turned the car around and my wife and I went straight to the doctor. Within a few weeks, I was scheduled for surgery.

Continue reading Yoga Dad Turns Cancer To A Positive

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Awesome Elementary Brings The Awesome — Again!

Mrs. C is a fifth-grade teacher at Awesome Elementary School in Charlotte and she’s bringing a great, African philosophy into the classroom to help her kids find a more harmonious path through life.

Just for the record, there is no Awesome Elementary School. I’m using a nom d’frenchwordforschool. Also? Mrs. C does have more letters to her last name, but we’ll keep it that way because I’m all about not using actual names here. Just ask my kids, Sarcasmo, Zippy the College Boy and Hyper Lad. Or my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Kept In The Dark.

Moving on.

The philosophy, as I talked about yesterday, is Ubuntu. Which, according to Mrs. C, translates loosely into “I am what I am because of who we all are.” I love this philosophy because it says, basically, that no one can succeed if he or she doesn’t bring the rest of society with them to that success. We stand on the shoulders of giants, but we need to stand also in the company of giants.

Ubuntu is all about treating others with respect, with helping others who don’t have your knowledge or skills, receiving help from others who have different knowledge or skills than do you, and working for the good of the community as well as your own good.

“At the beginning of the year, I had my students read am article about Ubutnu,” Mrs. C told me. “It was a story about an experiment in South Africa and an anthropologist who was studying Ubuntu. To test it, he put a giant bag of candy under a tree and told a group of kids that the person who reaches the bag first can have all of the candy.

“The kids ran towards the candy, so excited, and, once they got to the tree, they started dividing it equally. My students were blown away, but really understood that Ubuntu is a way you live, a way to share, a way to care about others, a way to live in balance.”

If you’ve stuck around here long enough to have read at least one or two entries, you’ll understand I’m not some hippy-dippy treehugger. I’m not about to go raging on about how values from different societies, more traditional societies, are always better than our own because they’re closer to nature. That’s bunk. Culture is culture.

That said, however, you’ve got to love this sort of thing. If Ubuntu philosophy can get a group of kids to share candy equally without any kind of force, to have them do it spontaneously. . . There’s something pretty darn special about it. That was Africa, though. How would it work here in America?

That’s something I’d really like to know. Good thing, then, that I asked Mrs. C about it. I asked her how Ubuntu was going in her classroom, in which it is an integral part of the culture there.

“Does it work? Well, the kids have definitely internalized it,” she said. “They will say things to each other like ‘That’s not showing Ubuntu’ or ‘I’m putting this on my Ubuntu tracker.’  (They track the ways they show Ubuntu every day.) That being said, my students still do not treat each other the way the philosophy dictates. Not all the time. Sometimes they get frustrated, use words that are not so nice, or are nasty towards each other. Like I said, its a process.”

Still, I think we can agree that it’s a process that needs to continue. In a world where kids have to be worried about being bullied, and where we as a society have to worry about bullies deciding enough is enough and going back to school with a weapon and a bad attitude. . . Isn’t it about time we decided to try and nurture a little caring and community spirit?


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Sunday Serenade: A Little Help From Who?

by Richard

Telling the tales of the Flying Dutchman helping a random stranger in a car left me in a mood to think about helping others. Which led, naturally, to twitching and writhing and jerking around like an electrocuted chimpanzee.

Joe Cocker of course, dude. Who else?

Really the best way to remember Joe Cocker is to google up his name and the name of John Belushi. A comic who overdosed back in the early ’80’s, Belushi was an amazing man who anchored such great comedies as Animal House and The Blues Brothers. Before he hit the movies, Belushi rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, you know, back when it was actually funny. He did an amazing Joe Cocker impression.

All of which has absolutely nothing to do with this. I just can’t think of Cocker without Belushi.

So here’s a little Cocker doing something from the Beatles. He’s getting by “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

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