If you believe that stress can cause illness…you may want to read further.
I have been told that there are incentives in the Affordable Care Act for healthcare institutions to become a place that promotes wellness as a way of doing business, as opposed to exclusively being a place where the sick are treated.
My name is John Trayser and I am known around the country as The Greatful Dad. In my 65 years of life, the hard truth I see on an almost daily basis, is how sad and unhappy people are from the way they were raised by their parents. The stress that causes in their daily lives is the source of most alcohol and drug abuse I believe. Those key formative first five years of life are crucial to the core of belief that they are loved and supported, which allows each of us to have the opportunity to become comfortable in our own skin. Without that support, life can be fraught with hardship. The hard truth is that is just as easy to pass on dysfunction as a way of life as it is to pass on kindness, guidance, love, support and happiness.
I am trying to change the world today and every day by inspiring people to see the hope that we can find ways to better connect with not just our families, but everyone we meet by watching over others. It is what my three sons do best. That is why I write books about the subject. Teachers in grade school years constantly pointed out how unusual it was to watch my children watch over other children on a daily basis. At a critical 3rd grade conference of my son Jared, a teacher begged me to write down what I had done to create that behavior. And I did.
Today at 29 years old, Jared is that same person. His boss took me aside this year and asked what I had done to create such an unusually caring young man…and that his behavior had actually changed his business in a way that he never knew existed. All three of my sons (I had a little girl who lived 13 days) and the children of my brothers as well, carry that same behavior and DNA that was given to us so unconditionally by our parents. I believe that this is something that can be shared and learned if presented in the right manner and at the right time…the early formative years.
Here is why I want to challenge you to create a paradigm shift in parenting. Your hospital connection is the RIGHT PLACE to begin a wave of change in helping create more safe and happy children. Most parents are willing to invest 6 or more blocks of time for Lamaze classes in order to have a good chance of a great birthing experience. For that amount of time, they get their child in usually one day right? Who, when, how and where do we invest time from that point on in ensuring the safety and emotional care of that child? Stop now and try and answer that for me.
My third book about these formative years is ready to be published…and yet, my brother Dave always very simply says, “You know what you know.” I KNOW he is right! But what if what you know is dysfunction and unhappiness? Is that what is passed on? Alarmingly yes, that is what is being passed on. And NO ONE says it is getting better.
To clarify, I am not a clinician, a psychologist or any type of trained parental expert. I am simply a GREATful Dad. All of my success in the financial services world, I was the founding member of Franklin Templeton Funds Institutional Group 30 years ago, was achieved by treating all of my clients like family. I often was accused of being more like family than my client’s own families. And to the chagrin of my competitors was often a guest overnight in their homes. I am still Uncle John on many refrigerators around the country. My boys are finding happiness and success sharing that same appreciation for the extra joy that comes from changing hearts one at time by watching over others.
I speak around the country in a variety of places. Schools, corporations, associations and the like find my message inspiring. Yet, you hold the key to the future welfare of our society. You can hold the banner of WELLNESS high and get the attention of the parenting world like no other institution. You are there from the very first day. I even talk about your institution at the very beginning of my presentations…
My core belief is this. When the father goes to the maternity ward to wheel Mom down to the front door of the hospital…God, whichever one you believe in, goes to the trunk of your car and puts a load of bricks in your car. When you get home…you have two very distinct choices as to what you do with those bricks. You can either build a path between your hearts for your child to walk safely on each day…or you can build a wall between your hearts.
The simplicity and honesty of that statement stops people in their tracks…because EVERYONE knows if they had a path or a wall. For the last ten years of my life I have been very busy trying to build paths and knock down walls with my daily effort. I was making just short of a million dollars a year in the finance world. Yet, when I started speaking and touching hearts, my world changed almost overnight. People would stand in line for almost 2 hours to talk and hug me after a presentation. But the real change came from people who tracked me down at home and called to say they took my advice and read my book out loud with their children. The first caller said she got up the courage to read the book out loud with her two teenage daughters. She said it took 3 1/2 hours to read the first two chapters because they were sitting on the floor in their room crying, laughing and hugging because conversations had started with the words that had been left unsaid for all those years…and that I had changed their family forever. FOREVER!
I quit the financial services business in the next few months. It had become unimportant in my life. I had built a fishing resort in The Bahamas, Bonefish Beach Club of Andros and hoped that it would allow me the financial freedom to change hearts for the rest of my days.
Someone sent a copy of my book to NPR Radio in Milwaukee and it started a chain of 8 years of Father’s Day call in shows. The host was suffering from a distant relationship with his own father and he called from time to time for help in knocking down his own brick wall. Business people are not sure what to make of my message until they stop looking at quarterly numbers and realize that creating a “Family at Work” culture is where sustained growth and long term success is where real value can be found. Almost every one of the Best 100 Companies to Work For List in Fortune magazine has created the feeling of being a family. Same goes for successful sports franchises…you hear it at the end of EVERY Super Bowl interview right? That’s why my core presentation is called “Does it feel like Family.”
I moved to Nashville last July because the people at The Renaissance Center in Dickson, the place where they produce the local PBS shows, offered me a TV show based on all my work. As will happen, things have changed and the center was sold to a college and my original sponsor had a change in management. So I have been trying to make efforts to find a way to change hearts more than one at a time…I am running out of time. I am absolutely certain that I was put on this earth to touch hearts.
I am reaching out to you after meeting and talking with an attorney that does acquisitions for HCA and loved my message. I also had an advocate at Centennial (F. Clarke Holmes) who was helping me with a torn muscle in my elbow, who tried to get me an appointment with the head of marketing. He loved the book I gave him and read it with his children. I am asking you for an audience as a group or individuals to see if we can find a common ground in creating a new wave of hope for parents who NEED A TEMPLATE when the day arrives for creating a path to their child’s heart. My son Jared has the same DNA of belief that he can touch hearts as well and we have been looking for an organization that would allow us to share our message together in a format that will inspire others to believe that paths can be created…and walls can be knocked down.
Please excuse the length of my letter, yet I write like I speak…with passion and caring right out front. I am looking for advocates who might help the hospital world hear my voice. Help me help others!
John Trayser… The Greatful Dad!