Life: I Am Clearly Not Doing It Right

Sometimes when people take the high road it’s less about their unselfishness and more about making somebody else take the low road. This has been on my mind a lot lately. Passive aggressive behavior really sets me on fire, but of course, that is exactly what it is intended to do, isn’t it? Sure, there is waaaaay too much aggressive behavior in the world. I just think martyrdom is the wrong way to go in this day and age.

Is it political correctness that keeps us from saying, “What the hell, dude? Stop being a victim. Tell that bully to make like a tree and leave!” Is it the media or society or fear mongers or assholes who text behind the wheel of a moving vehicle who are the problem? If the answer is D: all of the above, then it’s time to rise up and tell them to knock it off!

I’m writing essays about leadership. I should not be writing essays about leadership. I should be exhibiting leadership behaviors. Leaders know how to balance tasks and relationships. They know how to prioritize and collaborate to get things done. Leaders don’t always get it right, but they certainly don’t blame others when they totally screw up. No, they own their mistakes.

If we don’t want violence to be our entertainment of choice, we should say so. Loudly.

If we don’t want our neighbors to go hungry or be homeless or snap and kill us all, we should help them out of their misery.

The mascot of my college is the eagle. The mascot of my high school was the eagle. The symbol of my country is the eagle. I’m sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.

In case you think I have gone ’round the bend, I haven’t. Truly. I’m just really ready for the semester to be over and to get on with the business of living.

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Social Reform Through Script Reform – Easy As ABC

There is a solution to the problem Americans seem to have with the use of certain words. The solution? Script reform. They’ve done it in Japan and Turkey. So, why not in the good ol’ U S of A? Yes, script reform would eliminate offensive words by removing all objectionable letters from our alphabet.

In short order, Americans could be free from nastiness and nonsense caused by the letter N. Additionally, the A word, the B word, C word, and F word would no longer plague our written or spoken language. How to eliminate thoughts of the offensive words would come later. (Possibly developed in Texas.)

Oh, never again having to endure abortions or botched boob jobs. (A win/win for Texas!) Just think of it, cold and flu season would never come around once “C” and “F” were banned. Yes, script reform is the answer. Banning offensive words will solve our problems and make life better for everyone.

Sound stupid? That’s because it is. 

Allowing ourselves to be distracted by stupid stuff is how industries are sliced right under our noses. It’s how customer service for banking and telecommunications was raffled off to the lowest bidder. It’s how buying and selling debt has replaced a free market of goods and services within our borders. Fear mongers have perfected the art of creating distractions with stupid stuff so we won’t notice what is really happening. It’s easy as A B C.

For instance, policy makers don’t want us to see that a genetically modified diet creates genetically modified bodies. Avert your eyes to sick care as big business and prisons as a booming cottage industry. None of which are viable for the future, but who does it hurt really? No, I do NOT believe there is a conspiracy, only complacency.

What’s it going to take for effective leaders to emerge? What’s it going to take to stop old wounds from being reopened? What’s it going to take to piece together our fragmented society and move us toward freedom from fear mongering as a means of control?

Certainly the answer is not script reform. The in-fighting among legislators over language hasn’t solved our problems. Viagra maybe? No wait, that enlarges problems. We have enough legislation to choke a horse. What has that gotten us? Dead horses.

They’re dead already! For God’s sake STOP BEATING THEM!

Instead of selling ourselves to the lowest bidder, why not recognize our value? Instead of perpetuating a destructive cycle of poverty and imprisonment, why not rethink business as usual? Instead of behaving as entitled, why not behave as the world leaders we say we are? Instead of being America – the chop shop, why not find common ground before our country is renamed New China?

These are questions that should be debated. Instead our elected officials choose to keep dragging out issues that have already been addressed. A woman’s right to choose and a woman’s right to privacy have already been established. Why try to rewrite history when the future is waiting? Maybe it’s because the future doesn’t look so good. It needs more than lipstick and mascara to attract interest. The future needs thoughtful partners. The future needs intellect and imagination. The future needs inspiration and innovation. The future needs to be valued and respected. Instead we’ve placed the future in shackles. The future, already bruised enough by the past, is frightened, paralyzed, cringing in the shadows, wondering if there is anyone willing to stop the abuse and heal the wounds. Anyone able to lead the way to liberty and prosperity.

If we truly want to reduce welfare rolls, improve public education, prevent drug abuse, stop sexual abuse, child abuse, and abuses of power by elected officials, if we want to live in a society that encourages the growth of healthy, productive citizens, there needs to be a demand for answers. If we don’t demand answers, we won’t get them and if our elected leaders don’t have them, then we need different leaders.

If you are so inclined to exercise your freedom of choice, Tweet #ENOUGH to @GovernorPerry AND @TeamRickPerry AND @TexGov or a legislator of your choice. 

Related Post: Enough Is Enough

The Not So Grand Scheme Of Things

On May 1, 2012 I wrote a post entitled Mayday Mayday Mayday Reason Reason Reason. Now, on May 1, 2013, in this moment, as I sit in the same spot having coffee, writing another post, the music playing through my headphones is different, but the mundane minutia of life however, is pretty much the same as it was one year ago. The laundry lists and grocery lists are the same looking forward as looking back. Fulfilling everyday commitments depends on nothing more substantial than a choice to honor myself and others. This seems at best, self-sacrificing, at worst, self-serving. Only Mother Teresa knew for certain if, in the grand scheme of things, the two are the same.

The difficulty with taking into consideration the grand scheme of things is that so many of us don’t experience grandness in our lives. Ever. Making it through childhood without being scarred for life or without screwing up so badly that it takes an entire server farm to store our permanent record, is about as grand as it gets.

Take an ordinary person of average intelligence. The grand scheme for them, beyond puberty, is what? Getting laid into their college of choice, landing that dream job, finding the love of their life in the next cubicle? Wow! How much more grand could it get, right? Buy a house, have a kid or two? Possibly create some new whiz-bang that gets them a promotion or at the very least, saves them from the first round of out-sourcing?

Let’s stretch a bit and say they make it to the gym regularly, try out for a reality TV show, get chosen for season one and don’t get voted off in the first episode.


That isn’t what happens for most of us though, is it? We caffeinate ourselves enough to trudge through a day at a job that requires little more than marginal performance and at the end of the day, lubricate for a happy hour (or three), go home, sink into a hot bath, watch the news and wonder what the hell is wrong with everybody else.

Most people don’t give a damn about their carbon footprint, corporate greed, or the poverty that occupies streets all over the planet. Nope. For most people, the small scheme of things is hard enough to handle. It’s easy to see how the grand scheme of things scares the hell out of us. For those inclined to even consider more than how to lose 10 pounds AND get rich in four hours, celebrity tweets, or their next Starbucks order, the idea of making a difference in the life of another person may seem too much to hope for. Yet there are people who do it every day.

We are all bombarded with requests to give, give, give ‘til it hurts. The thing is, there are hundreds of causes, charities, and organizations with advertising budgets so huge that donating money seems more significant than volunteering. While funding is important, I can assure you that without people dedicated to community service, willing to make an investment of their time and to some degree an emotional investment in the life of another person, nothing of significance would be accomplished.

Recently I heard a presentation given by a young man who has a passion for community service. Our paths would probably not have crossed except we are in a class together. I was so moved by what he shared with our class that I decided to check out the programs he is running, not in a state-of-the-art facility with enormous funding and a board of directors, but in a few trailers set up in a small section of a parking lot for kids to have a safe place to be after school, staffed by three employees and a few volunteers.

The community outreach center was originally put in place by the local police department  to facilitate interaction with residents in an area that has an above average crime rate in comparison to other neighborhoods. There is no public park in the area for youth recreation. So, the center is an environment where kids can play and get help with homework. It also offers space for adults interested in making a better life for themselves and their families to access GED prep and other adult learning classes at no charge.

The center relies on people skilled at coordinating a network of resources to provide assistance to what may seem to some like a small portion of the population, but it has a huge impact on the grand scheme of things. When individuals have access to recreational, educational, social, and cultural enrichment, their communities thrive. In thriving communities there is less violence. Less violence means more public resources can be used to benefit the population as a whole.

Attempting to improve the quality of life for the entire population of the planet is too daunting a task. It’s that grand scheme thing again. It makes little difference what rhetoric we use – the ripple effect or the trickle down effect or pay it forward – in the grand scheme, talk is cheap, it’s the doing that makes all the difference.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions.

First, take a breath. Think about your own life experience. What do you know how to do that may be easy for you, but seemingly impossible for someone who doesn’t have a support system, computer, driver’s license, a job, or if they could get a job, a babysitter? Think about your own resources. What do you have to offer besides worn out clothes and obsolete electronics that could empower someone else? Think about your own priorities. What do you want to improve in yourself, your community, your world?

That’s just for starters.

You are not alone. You have value and you can make a difference. That’s all any of us really wants to know. It is my privilege to know so many people willing to offer hope to others.

See You In The Funny Papers

I don’t usually post on the weekend, but the news today is straight up Twilight Zone. 

Dennis Rodman is now Secretary of State delivering a message from North Korea’s Kim Jung Un, “Tell Obama to call me,” [love ya, mean it]. What kind of bizarre joke is this? Meanwhile, the President and Mrs. Obama make the talk show circuit. The only ones disturbed by this are me and Whoopi Goldberg? 

The View

I could ignore this non-sense, truly I am not one bit interested in the politics, but not even I have an imagination good enough to conjure up a Gérard Depardieu style escape from the madness. So, my refuge is in the Sunday comics. Today, that Scott Adams is some kind of genius. If only Dilbert could get elected to congress or better yet, host SNL.

Yeah, that would really get the public engaged.

Photo Credit:
The View - Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images

A Response

To predatory lenders that use the postal service, the telephone, and the internet to offer credit to anyone who has little or no ability to repay debt

To greedy bastards who hide behind attorneys

To putrid scum that floats on social media like this:

Samara x New Boyfriend badge is now avaialble and it only goes to my heighst tipper, if they can maintain there boyfriend status for a period of time (see boyfriend page)Also now available is the Christmas Badge tip 600 tokens and get yourself a special prezzie from your princess! Happy Holidays!

Hackers x Johan Liljegren November 13, 2007 Jeff,Great to get some new blog tips! However, the link to Matt Evans’ The Admin Exchange is most likely incecrort, as it is the same as the one to Salesforce Times.My Google karma doesn’t give me any tips on where to find it either. Do you have an updated link to it?Regards//Johan

To pathetic excuses for leadership who wouldn’t know a legitimate rape if it were being perpetrated on the entire American public right in front of them

To zealots and fear mongers who prey on the weak to sustain their own delusions

To vile, reprehensible wastes of human flesh who should be dismembered for violating the body of another human being

To apathetic, vapid creatures who take up precious oxygen with their mockery and do nothing more than strengthen the arguments in favor of both abstinence and abortion

There may be no outrage fierce enough to compel swift action against you. There may be no resources powerful enough to expose all of you.  There may be no penalty harsh enough to punish you. But there is no force strong enough, no indifference discouraging enough, no deceit or hatred wicked enough to keep us from trying to defeat you.