A Different World

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I wrote a previous post called “when understanding…was simple” it was a reflection of my youth, the values and choices that I made and how I was influenced by the environment in which I grew up. Those years were spent in the late fifties and sixties.

I, like most of us, often refer to those as “simpler times”. I sometimes ask myself … “were they really simpler times or just less complicated because of my lack of awareness or adolescence”?  I really didn’t know the answer to that question.

I was recently searching the internet looking to add more songs and videos to my collection of favorites….when I ran across a video called “A Different World”…that was recorded a few years ago. The song was written by Mark Nesler, Jennifer Hanson and Tony Martin….and preformed by Bucky Covington.    If you are over 50 years of age I would recommend that you read the words or watch the video and listen.   I am not sure if those times were better …just that they were different.

We were born to mothers who smoked and drank 
Our cribs were covered in lead-based paint
No childproof lids
No seatbelts in cars
Rode bikes with no helmets
And still here we are
Still here we are

We got daddy’s belt when we misbehaved
Had three TV channels you got up to change
No video games and no satellite
All we had were friends and they were outside
Playing outside

It was a different life
When we were boys and girls
Not just a different time
It was a different world

School always started the same everyday
The pledge of allegiance, then someone would pray
Not every kid made the team when they tried
We got disappointed but that was alright
We turned out alright

It was a different life
When we were boys and girls
Not just a different time
It was a different world

No bottled water
We’d drink from a garden hose
And every Sunday,
All the stores were closed.

It was a different life
When we were boys and girls

Not just a different time
It was a different world

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

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BMFD

ImageWhat do a pre-school child (4 to 5 years of age) and a super senior have in common?

There is a good possibility…it’s a Brain to Mouth “Filter” Disorder (BMFD).  In one… it has yet to be installed and… in the other… it could be worn out.

When you were four years old you probably had a tendency to repeat things that you had heard that may not have been appropriate…or innocently expressed how you felt without any consideration of others.  If you are in your super senior years…you may have a tendency to verbalize what others would consider inappropriate…but you don’t care… “you say what you mean…and mean what you say”.

Somewhere in between these ages most people develop a “filter” within themselves… that prompts them to ask “Is this an appropriate thing to say”?  Now of course…we all know some people that have traveled through life without any “filter” at all…which could be more disturbing that we care to explore.

As one ages the “filter” that processes the intake of information prior to responding becomes less effective and results in quicker, honest, and sometimes hostile and more direct responses.

Example: (Joe at the age of 40 having a conversation with his 40 year old friend Fred).

JOE:  “Fred what do you think of the political structure in today’s society”?

FRED:  “I believe that we have a good check and balance system…etc…”

JOE:  “That’s very insightful…I have never viewed it from that prospective”.

Joe 40 years later asking the same question… to a “forty” year old friend Tom.

JOE:  “Tom what do you think of the political structure in today’s society”?

TOM:  “I believe that we have a good check and balance system…etc…”

JOE:  “You stupid SOB…I can’t believe that anyone could be so damn stupid to think that way”!

 …I believe that you get the point.

The real question is: Has Joe gained more knowledge to change his point of view or has aging just brought on a more aggressive behavior?  We could continue with more questions…but the complexity of the answer is never simple and would need to be analyzed on an individual bases.

I recall a certain individual that I meet in college…and after several conversations…I thought that he was the stupidest individual that I had ever met (please do not confuse intelligence with education).  By circumstances I had the opportunity to meet him again 40 years later in a business environment…and in spite of his education and life experiences…in my opinion he is still the stupidest individual that I have ever met.  Aging does not always bring wisdom with it…sometimes it’s just a process of getting older.

Have you checked your “filter” lately? Check it for tolerance and understanding…but never let it filter out truth and honesty.

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

Success vs. Success

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If you look for a definition of success you will find multiple explanations or interpretations that usually lead to more questions.  The general acceptance of success is defined as…

“the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted…the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status”.

The most interesting question is the simplest of all “What does success mean to you?”

Success is not the same for all people…the most common perception is…the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.  The other side of the coin could be described as self-confident, contentment, awareness, fulfillment…knowing “who you are” is more important than “how other people perceive you”.  We are all wired differently and it’s not that either of these two or correct or incorrect…and if a person possesses a combination of these…so be it. I believe that personal success is only obtainable when you “reach” an understanding within yourself.

Here lies the purpose for this thought:

We are taught at an early age to strive and plan for success…and specific people were pointed out as examples that had reached that plateau…only to find out later in life that some of those examples were the most insecure, unhappy and self-destructive individuals that you could  possibly imagine.  Perception does not always reflect reality…contrary to the over used phrase of “perception is reality”.

Surface observations do not always reveal the truth.  It reminds me of the old line “are you going to believe me or you’re lying eyes?”  If you judge an individual only by fame or fortune rather than by ones’ self contentment …then you may be judging a false sense of success.  I have seen individuals that have achieved monetary wealth and fame…and yet still strive for other people’s approval and acceptance because of their own insecurity.  Success is not a group-awareness but self-awareness. In my opinion the more important question.. as it pertains to “success” is simple… “Have you achieved self-confidence and happiness within yourself”?

It is never too late in life to achieve success…sometimes the achievement is the “discovery” not the intended journey.

 

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

When understanding…was simple

the-simple-lifeI grew up in a time when understanding…was simple.

Prime example is the first twelve years of my formal education. I knew in advance that the purpose for attending school was to receive an education in order to improve my chances of becoming successful.  The word “successful” is a subjective word meaning different things to different people…which we will discuss another day.

Ok….let me backup a little…in the first few years of my education I couldn’t even conceive the words that I just used above…must less spell them. The first few years were spent learning (without my awareness) to interact with other kids, structure, sharing, respect for authority, discipline…and heartache.  Yes…heartache, there was a little girl in the third grade that was cute that had absolutely no interest in becoming my girl friend.

Beyond those first few years I gained the “simple understanding” of several things. If I didn’t listen and study…not only would I not learn…but there would be consequences. I would not be promoted to the next grade level with my friends if I didn’t meet the minimum academic requirements… that my family who cared about me would be disappointed… that it was my fault that I didn’t pass because I didn’t apply myself because of my priorities.  I had a great deal of respect for my teachers and their attitude toward us as developing individuals. That respect never wavered…even when I was sent to the Principal’s office to have my ass whipped…that’s right …have my ass whipped.  I didn’t need a thirty minute lecture or therapy session with the Principal, I knew what I had done was wrong and I new the consequences beforehand…it was my choice.  I also knew when I got home that my Pop would not be going to the school the next day to try and have the Principal fired…but that he would just whip my ass to reconfirm the Principal’s action.  I began to make better choices after a couple of those sessions.

This was also an age that you learned in life that everything was not necessarily equal.   I am hesitant to use the word “fair” because to me that meant you “cheated or didn’t play by the rules”. Today I feel that word is used more too express “resentment or entitlement”. It was a time…if you didn’t win your ball game…it’s was because the other team was better that day. It was fair…it just wasn’t equal on that given day. You also realized that your physical skill level may not be equal to some of your team mates, but you didn’t resent their talent…you used it as an incentive to play your best.

The first twelve years of my formal education was for the purpose to help me reach a level of knowledge and understanding that should benefit me in making choices in the “real world”.  There would no longer be a bell ringing every 50 minutes to direct me to the next event of my life… it was my time to make my own choices in life…the understanding was simple.

 

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

Are They Crazy?

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“Decision making isn’t a matter of arriving at a right or wrong answer; it’s a matter of selecting the most effective course of action from among less effective courses of action”.  ……..by Phillip Marvin, Developing Decisions for Action, 1971, chapter 6

Decisions by committees…good concept…democracy, majority rules, sharing of ideals, etc…

Here is the flaw that lies…”not in the concept”…but many times in the end result of those decisions.

How many times have you heard or read a decision that was made by a group of individuals (a committee)…and you asked “How in the Hell could anyone think and agree that’s a good idea?”

For the sake of simplicity…let’s look at all committees as a “jury” of 12 individuals that make decisions that can affect our lives.  To name just a few …school boards, city councils, committees within committees of government agencies, board of governors, advisory boards, church boards, etc…You get the point?

After reviewing all the facts and options…one’s intellect and common-sense should led to a rational and justifiable decision (don’t confuse intellect with education)… but here lies the answer to the question “How in the Hell could anyone think and agree that’s a good idea?”… because not all committees consist of objective and intellectual individuals.  As the fictitious character Forrest Gump said “stupid is as stupid does”.

Examples:

  • Twelve left wing liberals or 12 right wing conservatives in two different committees viewing the same set of facts…will arrive at a different solution to the problem at hand. Common-sense and objectivity will not exist in either of these environments.
  • A committee of 12 individuals with 2 strong personality that agree…and 10 passive individuals that don’t have a clue are easily intimated and will probably vote in line with two other members…and if those two are “idiots” that would answer you question.
  • A committee of “dueling personalities”…where you have the majority voting with and for the dominate “personality that they liked best”…the subject matter was lost in the duel itself.
  • The committee of “self importance”…the individuals that are so enamored about being on “the committee”… but don’t have a clue and could care less about indulging into researching the subject matter at hand….but will always go along with the majority and are happy as long as their name is pronounced or printed correctly.

NOW…let’s thank the individuals that dedicate their time for the right reasons.  Not for recognition or monetary reasons…but because they may have the experience, expertise, or passion for the subject matter that lends value to that committee.  In the public sector these people truly are public servants that make decisions for the benefit of others.

The reason we may not think or hear about them as often is because they don’t readily factor into… “How in the Hell could anyone think and agree that’s a good idea?”

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

Good Decisions vs. Bad Decisions

3-4-2013 9-24-20 AMI am a firm believer that the more facts you have…the more prone you are to make intelligent decisions.  We sometimes tend to fool ourselves about our preexisting knowledge of everything. You may be very knowledgeable about a particular subject matter which will create a high level of  confidence in yourself…but when you allow that high level of confidence to gravitate to something that you know very little about…the old adage takes over “I little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing”.

We are all “ignorant” of various subject matters…but we become “stupid” when we don’t realize or acknowledge that fact.  The best advice you can give (if asked) when it is outside your rim of expertise is simple… “I don’t know…but if you would like…I can help you find someone who is knowledgeable in that area.”

I have been in sales all of my adult life…and to me…sales is a simple matter of identifying the need or pain and arriving at a solution that benefits the recipient.  Sometimes it takes more than your knowledge to achieve that objective. Get over it…you are not an authority on everything.

I have always found it interesting when talking with someone about a particular subject matter (that I do have some expertise in) that they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about…but they do it with such confidence, conviction and authority.   This supports the old adage “when someone thinks you are stupid…remove all doubt by opening your mouth”.

It is not always the right thing to take advice or use someone’s service from someone that you like and respect.  The example that I often use is: “I have a friend that is a doctor who I like and respect his knowledge and ability…but I would never consider using him if I needed a life threatening operation”…because he is a dentist.

Knowledge is the most powerful thing when properly applied to your decision making process.

 

 DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.

Shame on Us

constitution

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“The Intent”

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People…hmmm…what an honorable and interesting concept.

 “The Reality”?

Unfortunately it has become more evident that…

 We the Politicians

…will lie, pander, and do whatever is necessary to preserve our well being.

…will be irresponsible with the money that we take from you without hesitation.

…will use your tax dollars to support the projects and groups that can keep us in our position so that we can maintain the status, lifestyle, and perks that we have become accustom to… regardless of how ridiculous or expensive the projects may be.

…will pledge not to diminish any perks or privileges that our predecessors have established on our behalf, and if we can add to them…it will gain us admiration of our fellow co hearts.

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Do all politicians fit into this framework? … that’s for you to determine. There have been honorable people that have gone to Washington with a mission to do the right thing…but when self-importance, power, influence and status begins to take precedence over that intent…then their mission has failed. When a politician asks his or herself… “Is this decision going to affect my ability to raise money for re-election or cost me votes?”…he or she has sold out.  This is one of the key arguments for term limits….the “idiot” factor is a topic for another day.

“Needed Change”     

We the People…need to wake up… listen… and get involved. Don’t misunderstand me…we need leaders…we need responsible individuals in Washington to communicate with each other and determine and implement decisions that are best for the welfare of this Country.  The concept of our system was well thought out as a check and balance system. “We the Politicians” of today have become an embarrassment to that system. It is our responsibility to elect the right individuals to fill these positions…and replace the ones than can’t. You or I don’t have to run for a political office…we don’t have to be a political pundit…but we should be informed in order to make an intelligent decision when it becomes time to exercise our right to vote.  With today’s technology it is easier to verify the claims and positions of the individuals that are pandering for our vote ….but it is our responsibility to use these sources that are available…and if we don’t “Shame on Us”.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information presented is either my opinion or information obtained from sources believed to be reliable and factual; however, I make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Any errors, including misuse or misspelling of words is either due to my fingers hitting the wrong keys, oversight, or my own ignorance.