August 30, 2010

The School of Athens, fresco by Raphael (1509 ...

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We go to school to grow up and be smart.

We are smart so that we can have a job.

We have a job to pay the bills.

We pay the bills so that we can be satisfied with tangible things.

When do we learn that to be wise is to appreciate the family and loved ones around you?  Why does our society place such a high emphasis on money, stature, and appearance?  It is because those who have these things are hiding behind them? 

A poor man with the love of his life is richer than the richest man in the world.  How many of us believe this?  We all talk about it but what happens when you lose everything?  What happens when the one you love is hurt? 

Unfortunately for many of us, it takes a serious incident or a loved one being hurt for us to realize that no matter what kind of car we drive, how much is in our bank accounts, how many outfits are in our closets from Europe, or how many friends we have, that the people we love mean more to us than any amount of money?  Recently, I had one of these situations and I have finally had the experience to know that no matter what we have in this world, the welfare of our loved ones means the most. 

Looking in the eyes of a child, a spouse, a sibling, a parent, a cousin, and begging their forgiveness for allowing pain to enter their life is an event that I wish upon no one.  So the next time your kids ask you to play out back on your way to the gym, think of them before yourself.  You can get a workout running around the backyard.  When your spouse gives you that look that they need to talk and you have a project due for work, take the hit at the office or pull and all-nighter.  You never know what they need.  It might just be the last night of their life…


The wealth at the bottom

August 17, 2010

World Map flat Mercator

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The marketing of products and services to the poor of the world will increase your bottom line as well as improve the economic and social well-being of those nations. 

Transparency is in and demagoguery is out.  The time has come, as Friedman writes, that the World is Flat.  While many have argued that his positions are simply justification for companies to export cheap labor, the resounding cry remains:  There is money to be made amongst the poorer, under-developed nations of the world. 

Ayn Rand argues that humans are the only species that change the environment to its needs.  All other species adapt to the environment.  While this is an alarming reminder of the environmental destruction that we as humans have caused, it also raises a valid point Why can’t we change the environment to adapt to itself?  If the Biomimicry movement is true and humans can mimic nature, why can’t new production be modeled after nature, creating a cycle of natural rejuvenation?  Why do we as a human race, have to conduct business that will hurt that which is around us? 

If this world is flat and we can create products and services that will develop these under-developed nations, cause them to conduct more trade with developed nations, in a manner which is sustainable and which increases the bottom line, then why would companies not do this?

The answer:  The marketplace is not demanding it yet.  Consumers want cheap cheap.  In today’s bludgeoning economy, we seek the best deal and not the best product.  Unfortunately, companies are slashing budgets as credit becomes tight, and research and development is suffering as a result.  This means we will not improve our technology advances and never achieve the biomimicry that will allow us to achieve this euphoria.


August 14, 2010

Drawn by early 20th-century commercial cat ill...

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Why do we turn our heads?

Why do we think that it is from drugs or alcohol?

What is it that drives such a negative connotation to mental illness?

Professional Football players suffer from concussions that result in TBI which has significant behavioral effects down the road.  Do we think any less of these people who end up medicated and at home?  A resounding NO.

My biggest concern is with the innocent victims of mental illness: children.  It was not drugs that they ingested willingly.  It was not any sport that they willingly took part in that they knew had negative consequences.  These children simply are and now they suffer.  How many organizations for mental illness are the big celebrities backing?  While I applaud the work of thousands like them, many folks are not getting the word out that there are children who can be treated and who can be success stories. The problem?  There is a lack of funding.  There is a lack of publicity.  There is a lack of interest.  It stems from the fact that mental illness and behavior health issues are “ugly” in today’s society. 

Why are all of those “normal” folks out there not doing everything that they can to support the resolution of mental illness?  By that I do NOT mean eradication of the population (identifying genetic traits during fetal development and aborting baby).

What have you done today to help another fair soul in your community?  When is the last time you asked a homeless person what troubles them or to just listen to their stories?

Mental Illness

August 11, 2010

Maj. Gen. Mark Graham speaks openly about ment...

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We all talk about it.  We see the homeless out on the street and pass by without a second glance.  We drive past the psychiatric hospitals.  We watch the commercials on television for medications to talk to our doctors about.  Have we become so desensitized that we have no idea that we work next to them?  Our children play with them?  Hell, we might as well be one? 

Mental illness is one of the unspoken horrors that continues to threaten the very livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people each and every day.  Do you ever hear a commercial about it?  No, mental illness is the ugly, the dirty.  It is the drunken, homeless man with no teeth that begs you for money outside of a liquor store.  What we forget to think about are the children who are affected.  The crack babies, the abused children, children with traumatic brain injuries, children who have committed no foul, done nothing wrong in their lives except live who are tortured every day with these sicknesses. 

When I go to charities and scan the highest visited page, I see Haiti relief, cancer, and the Red Cross.  While these are wonderful organizations and I applaud their efforts, I have to ask myself why are the mental illness organizations not out there educating and sharing the many wonderful stories of these children and adults who need help and who can be saved who aren’t because society is so self-absorbed that we forget about the dirty sicknesses?

The Tea Party

June 28, 2010

Constitution of the United States of America

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

I’m interested to know, what would “Pluribus”  and “Cato” think of all of this chatter?

Are the folks who attach themselves to the Tea Party as Constitutionalists running on a Federalist or Republican platform based upon the true intent of the framers?

Do we have such an amazing fascination with the framers that we forget that there was intense debate amongst those men as well? 

I’m currently in the middle of The Federalist Papers to remind me of one half of the political philosophy of the time.  I recommend each of us take the time to refresh ourselves with American history….

What is leadership?

June 19, 2010

Paris-Roubaix 2007 - The leaders

I’m looking for an answer. 

I have read countless books and listened to hundreds of audio tapes on the subject.  I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts on the subject.

Is it about influence?

It is the position you hold?

Is it about how much you can get others to do?

It is about how far you can lead others to develop themselves?

Is it about the quality of your influence?

Obama’s Katrina

June 19, 2010

Biloxi, Ms., September 28, 2005 -- Vice Admira...

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I have an hour commute every day.  I have the pleasure of listening to America Left and America Right in the morning and night respectively to gain a balanced perspective on current events.  I read the Wall Street Journal on a daily basis.

It never ceases to amaze me that all of these media outlets propagate the problem of placing blame when anything goes awry.  Why has the focus of the news media, the administration, the companies involved been on who is at fault? 
Why hasn’t the focus and attention been on how to identify the issue at hand and resolve. 

Adm. Thad Allen, an amazingly intelligent man and great leader, can do only as much as the political wonks allow him.  Infighting between local, state, and federal entities matched with the placing of blame on a foreign company has taken this disaster recovery and fed it to the birds.  We are satisfied with oil belching in to the Gulf?  We are more focused on ensuring that BP PAYS the CASH out than saving the thousands of species that are and will be completely decimated by this event. 

Where is our illustrious President when it comes to cleaning the birds?  He’s out making speeches on how BP will pay for the recovery, NOT on getting more people down there to assist in the clean up operations and how to stop that hole from causing more damage.

What is sustainability?

March 20, 2010

Toilet paper holder in a New Zealand shop

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It’s a buzzword with meaning.  The Green Movement has hijacked Sustainability as a guidon for followers.  In reality, sustainability is a three-part process that unites social, environmental, and economic policy to create long-term solutions to the issues that we face.

Too often, we associate sustainability with “Green.”  Sure, a portion of it has to do with the environment.  However, it is more than that.  It is a common sense approach to life.  If you use up all of your toilet paper, what are you going to wipe your backside with?  If you treat your workers in an inhumane manner, are they going to provide you with their highest level of output.  If you recklessly spend your money on one product, will you have enough to reinvest in new research to grow your business?

The answer to these??? A resounding No. 

Why should you, your family, and your company adopt sustainability as a way of life?  It makes sense.  It goes back to the Golden Rule- treat others as you would like to be treated.  Take care of your workers, they will take care of you.  Take care of your toilet paper supply, and your backside won’t burn.  Take care of your garden, and it will provide you with endless food sources. 

So why do we connect sustainability with Green?  Because Green is sexy.  Green is the hot topic of today.  Green is the UN climate, global warming scandal.  Green is the Greenpeacer’s of the world angering businesses. 

If people were smart, they would get the concept that Green folks need to unite with financial reformers and social improvement folks to improve things around this world.  The sooner we do that, the sooner we’ll be able to live a robust life here on this Earth.

Health Care Debate: Sustaining Power

March 20, 2010

I’m going to throw this one out there for some consideration:  I ask you to ask yourself why congressional members are afraid to vote for fear of retribution?  If you are not supporting the will of your constituents, then how are you serving them?  If Democratic Leaders insist upon twisting the arms of its  party members to blindly follow party lines in the face of negative public opinion, then will they sustain power?

Resource Wars

March 14, 2010

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

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Food for thought…

When there is only one source for potable water, who gets it?