Archive for January, 2014

Pete Seeger passed away this week. The man was a great folk singer, his music inspired and is inspiring and will continue to inspire the world for generations to come. I could fill this post as well as at least three others with me paying accolades to Pete Seeger. I am not going to do that to you on a Friday. If you don’t know about Pete Seeger just think about “Turn Turn Turn” yep written my Pete Seeger of course adapted from  Ecclesiastes, but the song is, as many Pete Seeger songs are, timeless. He was an amazing man. 

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I was listening to some old interviews with Pete Seeger. He had written a new song, it was called “Take It From Dr. King”. The radio host asked Pete Seeger where he drew his inspiration from. Pete Seeger said that he drew inspiration from Woody Gutherie, another amazing song writter who brought us “This Land is Your land”.  To be specific he said he drew inspiration from Woody Gutherie’s genius of simplicity.

He commented on how Woody Gutheries songs were timeless because they were simple fun and easy to sing along to. Pete Seegers music was simple easy to sing to, every song he has written has a refrain, for the listeners to become active participants.

Sometimes in life we forget to employ “the genius of simplicity”.  I can’t help but think about my drill Sargent yelling (he did that a lot) “don’t over think this private!”

peace and enjoy the weekend

john3c

 

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Diversity, difference, uniqueness that is what makes the world go around. In an effort to make ourselves to feel more comfortable it can be tempting to participate in homogenizing our culture.

Big words for a Thursday I know, allow me to explain with an anecdote. I looked it up an anecdote does not have to be funny. The small town I live in has been working “feverishly” through legislative means to beautify the area we live and work in. Among the ordinances passed the government body has one (and I have blogged about it before) concerning the placement of a households trash receptacle. The ordinance outlines when and where (on your own property) that you can place your trash can. The neighborhood has already provided the same color and type of trash can for everyone in the neighborhood, now they want all to placed at the same time and same place. This is the same neighborhood who has a school system that requires all of it’s children  to wear matching tops and bottoms, uniforms. When the beauty ordinances like the trash can law were presented to the public, they were done under the guise of a more beautiful neighborhood but this as well as the uniform and other actions by our small town are nothing more than making the unique less unique or the homogenization of our city.

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Instead of rejecting the uniqueness that makes the world truly beautiful (not the artificial beauty which comes from the uniformity of everyone)  it is more wise to embrace the uniqueness of the world and my small town.

Homogenization efforts quite often result in intolerance which can cause prejudice and bigotry.  When we split up society as us and them we miss out on the opportunity to learn and discover people. What else is life about if it is not about relationships?

peace

john3c

 

 

Winter storm Leon

Posted: January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
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The day has started as the winter storm Leon rolled and and was to drop on the southeast, area of the United States (the area I live in) the worst of his wrath. For the area I live in his wrath was not much more than some unseasonably cold and some rain No snow. The last time there was snow in this area that I can remember was 5 years ago.  (Well it is official with that statement I am now old.) Weather, nature things man learns to live with and cannot control happen. Because of Leons predicted fury my place of work was closed, but I have to still work. We live in a new time now. I am working from home today. I am still undecided if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I will say one thing so far, the coffee and company is much better than what we have at work.

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Being flexible is part of being human and staying sane. The weather will change predictions will be incorrect and someday you will have to work from home.

peace

and enjoy the coffee

john3c

 

“This movie, I think you will like it. You trust me right.” Those are the words I uttered before me and my girlfriend walked into the movie theater to see “The Silver Linings Play book“. Yes she is patient to put up with a yammering fool like me.

Maybe less yammering and more rambling, but she handles it in stride (just one more check in the plus column). We watched the movie at a theater, that I absolutely love. The theater is an older one but not yet a classic or historical one and it features a lot of the movies that the mega-plex style theaters do not play.

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I love the theater and me and my girlfriend loved the movie. The movie was a beautiful story surrounding two individuals who had suffered traumatic psychological damage.   The main protagonist of the movie played by the actor Bradley Cooper, went through the movie mentioning that every thing in life had a silver lining.

How true is that? Everything does. I know I know it can seem small (it is a lining) and I know that it can be hard to find but if you don’t…. well you know what happens when you don’t.

I volunteer on Saturdays and work with kids. The kids like to have jobs. Take this over there, get that from here. As a child and as an adult it can be easy at times, to feel helpless. A job gives us some modicum of normalcy  and makes us feel more proactive, but what is our job. What can we do when life seems to be spiraling out of control?  Well we can give up and succumb to despondency.  This route is never the preferred one but it happens. Now another option and what should be our job is the preferred and that is, finding the silver lining.  It is different for everyone and it can at times be really hard but that silver lining is worth the work.

peace

john3c

 

 

Yesterday in Sunday school the school teacher played a video that, featured the minister, louie Giglio.  The talk was incredible. Louie mentioned how massive space was and how small man was in the cosmos. What may on the surface sound like a message absent of hope was not at all. The speaker went on to explain, on a high level, how the DNA of humans work. We are incredible machines magnificently made and maintained. He spoke about how God is personal and works on a single level with each and every man (see lots of hope there).  The message was powerful and just thinking about it inspires hope. I like Sunday School and yesterdays different format was great it was a wonderful video.

If you get the chance find this guys video . The video is on youtube and yep, you guessed it that is a link to it in it’s entirety.  Take some time and watch and listen right now go ahead I will not have hurt feelings……

 

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Did you watch and listen? Powerful isn’t it??? The whole concept of how special mankind is to God is what hits me most when watching that video. The video was inspiring, but what happened later was much more inspiring for me. There is this guy at church, his name is Chris. As  we filtered out of Sunday School and into the sanctuary for church there were comments made about the video. “That was amazing. I really liked that” They were all true and I felt the same way but Chris mentioned how he would like to pipe that into the rooms at the place he worked in.

Chris works in the prison system. “I think a few of those guys need to hear that.” Chris is right they probably do need to hear that in the prison system. I can’t think of lower time in someones life than when serving time while in a prison system. Guilt, shame, low self esteem, just very despondent times. I am certain that Chris has a very good point. Human life, even the life of the convicted and incarcerated is valuable and precious.

You may not be incarcerated but today is a Monday and you may “hate” Mondays. Work may feel like prison and you may be suffering some with despondent feelings but you were made in a wonderful special way and you are very important. My mom had a wonderful refrigerator magnet and it read “God don’t make junk”

You are more than junk you are special and I hate to do it I know it is cliched but it is so true “God loves you and you should to”

peace

john3c

 

Enjoy yourself

Posted: January 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is Friday, you have worked hard all week and now you have earned the weekend. To the victor go the spoils. Enjoy yourself this weekend. Unwind and relax. There are many benefits to recreation. Unfortunately it can become easy to forget how important it is to enjoy yourself. We tend to fill our weekends with errands and tasks we didn’t get done with during the week. When we do this we can easily loose our much needed downtime.

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Last year I was riding through north east Ohio and I saw a billboard for the Cedar Point Amusement park.  Cedar point is an amusement park with high fast roller coasters, a midway full of games and food and just an all around fun fun place. The billboard had an image of a battery indicator (like the ones on our laptops or phones) the sign said recharge yourself. Love that sign.

We have to relax and slow down some times why not this weekend?

enjoy the weekend!

peace

john3c

 

When someone arrives late

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

“When someone arrives late that means, they feel that their time is more important than yours.” I was told that by someone who was my boss at one time. I wasn’t sure if I agreed with them or not. I was sure of two things though. One was, that I would do my best to never be late when working for this person and the other was, that it can be easily determined that a chronic late person would not value or care as much about your time as they do theirs.

There was an article I read that stated 1 in five people are not punctual. Being chronically late is a killer. It destroys your production throws off everyone’s schedules and is a good way to stagnate or end an career.  Whatever the reason for our chronic lateness it should be obvious that it is a problem and should be cured.

That is the first step realizing there is a problem. Many who arrive late have not reached this step yet. For them it is not a problem. Not until it becomes a problem do they fix it and when it does become a problem they fix it fast and it usually never becomes a problem again.

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How do they fix it? They get a reality check. Punctual people tend to be realistic. They understand schedules and route time and they follow the fifteen minute early. They don’t over book. The need to over book or be busy all the time is usually a result of having an ego problem (there is the un pragmatic).

Nothing wrong with day dreaming and aspiring for more, but without doing it pragmatically we will hurt the men and women around us with our actions like being late.

Dream in a pragmatic way.
Aldous Huxley

 

peace

john3c