Archive for April, 2013

The world is changing. Always changing. The way we did things two years ago are not the same way we do things today. You can go to www.amazon.com and buy a 3-d printer (for about 2 grand). You can then go to www.thingiverse.com and download designs for..let’s say a microscope. Feed the printer with the raw material and design through your laptop or tablet and within less than an hour (depending on which printer you bought) you will have a working telescope.

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The process which only a few years ago that took a dozen people, a warehouse and an extensive toolkit can now be accomplished at home in your garage. This example is a drastic one but not un-realistic. Because of the changing work place managers and executives have been struggling to keep up with employees and their productivity. Companies which offer managers, productivity tools have cropped up like weeds on my un kept lawn.

As I look over all the productivity tools I began to think that many tools and managers miss the point of employees. Isn’t it the employees job to make the company profitable? So much focus is on productivity today in the modern work place and office that I think not enough maybe spent on turning production into profits.

This trap of losing focus on what is important is not exclusive to business and managers. It can become a trap that many parents, uncles aunts and siblings fall into. A relationship with family members can become estranged for many reasons and most of the time these reasons are petty and small.

At work and home today I want to try to focus on what is important and less on what isn’t. Maybe I will not get left behind  the ever changing world. Maybe

 

peace

john3c

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If you have read other Monday posts of mine, you may know that, I am a Baptist. That is the religion I practice and Sunday mornings I usually find myself, between the hours of 11 am and noon in the Baptist sanctuary. Yesterday I found myself in the sanctuary listening to the minister read from  the book of Joshua in the Bible. The Baptist denomination of the Christian faith uses the King James bible as its religious text. The book of Joshua is a book found in the old testament and is in the Hebrew bible as well as the Christian Bible. The text was written in Hebrew and outlines Joshua’s time as ruler of Israel.

Yesterdays sermon was taken from the first chapter of Joshua. Something that really resonated with me happened when the minister began to demystify through his elucidation of Joshua Chapter 8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night”. It seems that the Hebrew  word meditate also means murmur.  The preacher mentioned this in passing because his sermon was more about how to be strong and courageous as a leader, but like I mentioned earlier this small point really resonated with me.

 Murmuring is something we all do. We do it at home, at work in the car. Some psychologist call it self talk and it is often done in frustration and anger and because of this it may involve profanity or cursing at individuals oneself or a situation. The word of God in the book of Joshua verse 8 was all about love.

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Now I know that there is much talk of the old testament god being a vengeful god, but the recurring theme in the Christian faith is a loving god.

So I thought how much better would my Monday go if when I began my murmuring I make sure to include love? I am not sure yet because Monday isn’t over but my  murmuring and self talk so far today has been a mix of profanity and love. If nothing else this experiment will make for an interesting monologue.

peace

john3c

 

This week in the news there was a story about the opening of the George W Bush presidential Library opening in Dallas Texas. The 43rd president of the United States, caught the ire of much of the world for the United states role in the Iraq war.  No matter what the side is on the polarizing war in Iraq it is significant to note that the nation of Iraq went from a brutal dictatorship to a free democratic government that tried the dictator in the countries judicial system.

Iraq is still a nation in some turmoil but now they are free from Saddam Hussein and for the most part the Baathist party.  I try to not be political at all, but I am a fan of democracy and freedom. Democracy and freedom as great as they are do not come with their costs.

Iraq is and has experienced as any nation rebuilding some of the costs of freedom. A nation will pay for its’ freedom and so will individuals.

This weekend my girlfriend and I will run in a 5k., The proceeds of the race will go to a shelter and counseling center for abused women. An individual who has just left an abusive relationship is a little like a nation that was just liberated. Their path to freedom will often be a rough one, sometimes the path to freedom can seem harder than their abuse.

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The difference in a path to freedom and an abusive relationship or a dictatorship government is that the path to freedom assures we succeed or fail, thanks to our own decisions and actions.

You may have just left an abusive relationship, started a new job or career and you may be looking at your decision wondering if it was worth it. Only you can answer this, but if you know it is worth the cost. I would like to take this moment to encourage you and, let you know that, you can do it!

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” — unknown

peace

john3c

This morning while getting ready for work I look down at my bare wrist and pull over the black watch with the leather band. While participating in this rote morning ritual I recall a message sent to me earlier in the week from my girl friend. The message had an excerpt from the Mitch Alboms “The Time Keeper”

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”

I love this message. I think she sent it to me because I have always found the concept of time  fascinating.

There is really nothing tangible about time. It is impossible to measure and yet it is so important.

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Time does not exist but clocks and watches do and we live in a world that requires we adhere to schedules set by others. I think instead of fighting against time we should do our best with our “time” here on earth.

Despite time being non existent there is an end to this life as we know it. All we can really do is, treat everyone the best we can and then maybe we will find a way to be timeless

peace

john3c

I get up and get ready for work, almost every morning, and almost every morning I can hear and see birds in the tree that I park under singing and flying. The sound really is something. I may not be the most pleasant person in the early morning but the cacophony coming from the foliage canopy shading my car is great. I almost look forward to it.

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Yesterday was a rough work day and I thought about the birds and their singing and how they seemed so happy. Of course the birds are happy they don’t wake up and go to work. Then I remembered the poem…

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou
 
Life can get tough and we can feel hopeless and like we are standing on the graves of our dreams (that is a great poem!) but, we should never stop singing.
 
peace
john3c
 

As a child I would be carted around every summer on all of my moms errands and as a child I was a sponge. I heard and saw all different kinds of places and people and I remember hearing people say things like “well this is how they do this” or, “we will be fine if I don’t do that”.

I remember thinking who is this “we” or the “they” that I heard so much about and I also remember thinking that they must be tired. After getting older graduating from school and entering the work place I realized quickly that the they is really us. In case you couldn’t already tell todays rant has to do with personal responsibility.

Chores at work and home can seem mundane and tiresome but they have to be done. In an office I used to work at a woman had a paper taped to her desk it read like this:

“There were once four brothers: Everyone, Someone, Anyone and Noone. They had a very important task to do. Everyone was sure that Someone will do it. Anyone could have done it, but Noone did it in the end. Someone was angry because it’d have been Everyone’s job. Everyone thought that Anyone could have done it, but Noone realized that Noone will do it in the end. In the end, Everyone was angry at Someone because No one did what Anyone would’ve done.”

I love that paper. I have seen and, shamefully, must admit have been involved in that exact situation before.  Today there will be tasks that you face and although it can be tempting to walk away and let someone handle them I challenge you to see what you can do. Because it is like Christopher Robin told Winnie the Pooh ” You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  

I am sure whatever task you face you can take care of it and I am also sure that you will feel so good about yourself after you have taken care of it.

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I think I should close with the words of a man who has made an impact on the world and continues to make an impact.

What makes something perfect? Hard to answer isn’t it? I was reading about one of the deepest studies of the universe. There was an image generated of the universe and something startling was discovered. The universe is lopsided. Yeah crazy huh?

It is often that we look for perfection. I find myself looking for perfection many times a day, week month year but I am beginning to realize that perfect doesn’t exist. Even the universe is lopsided.  Once you stop seeking perfection life slows down and for me became more enjoyable. Instead of trying and failing for perfection I reach what I like to call pragmatic perfection. “That will do for government work.” Words my dad would utter as a joke but that will do is a classic example of pragmatic perfection. The universe may be lopsided but the sun rose yesterday and today and I guarantee it will be here tomorrow.

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When you get discouraged about not reaching perfection take heart. No one is perfect even the universe is lopsided.

peace

john3c