New Address

If you're here looking for something new, please make one more click. Thoughts & Philosophies is now thoughtsphilosophies.com. Come to see the new home, stay to see some new ideas. Carolyn

December Blog Tips

This month’s blog-tipping is devoted to bloggers I’ve recently discovered. They’ve been around for a while and, since many of you know them already, you’ll appreciate that they’re being given distinction today. “Take your life from good. . . to great!” is Phil Gerbyshak’s motto at Make It Great! and Phil lives that motto. Compliments: 1) His links posts are a treasure trove of information on everything and anything. 2) Phil’s positive attitude on life dominates his work. 3) If you need a dose of personable and friendly, it’s in there. Tip: Talk more, Phil. You have a lot of good to say and we want to hear it. Ben Yoskovitz tags Instigator Blog as “Instigating discussions, ideas and better business” and, indeed, he does. Compliments: 1) Ben’s ’Goal Writing Project’ is a fantastic ’get-off-your-butt’ tool. 2) A commitment to online community that gets and deserves admiration. 3) He’s a self-touted entrepreneur and opportunity seeker. Watch him. Tip: Continue doing what you’re doing, Ben. We’re all learning. In her mission to “demystify technology for small business women”, Leah MacLean does that and more at Working Solo. Compliments: 1) It’s been said elsewhere, but I’ll repeat: those cartoons are fantastic. 2) Her tips are worth every second of the attention they command. 3) Leah has a ’heads-up’ approach to sharing her wealth of information. Tip: I have no tips, Leah. I’m too busy learning from you.


This Is The Closest I'll Come To A Goal Post

I’m a maker of lists and a jotter of notes, but it took Ben Yoskovitz' Post-Thanksgiving Goal writing project at the Instigator Blog for me to stop long enough to set my goals and plans in readable form. This will be my goals and plans ala Napoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich”. The first of Hill’s steps is to fix an exact dollar amount, the third is a definite date to possess that amount. Five Grand a month starting by the end of January, 2007. How’s that? Hill doesn’t specify, but it’s likely the first dollar figure is a starting point. At least that’s what I took from Steve Pavlina when he said his first fixed dollar amount was 5K/mo. It must be do-able. Step Two according to Napoleon Hill is what I would call Karma. “Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.” First is my Mom, then we’ll see what’s left. Now I’m ready for Step Four: “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.” Because I’ve seen how people are treating each other in the blogging community, I’ve come to believe it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It’s important work we’re doing. Blogging has been and will continue to bring together people of such diverse backgrounds that the art will be, if it isn’t already, instrumental in some level of world peace. We’re tearing down the “us and them” mentality. My goal is to become as integral part of this community as I possibly can be, to foster this feeling of well-being already flourishing. To do that, I bought a domain, signed up with a host, and am in the process of moving to another platform where I’ll have more freedom to stretch beyond my current capabilities. Thoughts & Philosophies will be showing off some new digs as soon as I get the template uploaded. There will be a website in about five or six weeks and, perhaps, an ezine. The point is that I can't sit back and expect other people to build this community to its height; since I can help, I will. For those of you interested in Napoleon Hill’s next two steps:
“Fifth: write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it. “Sixth: read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read -- see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.”


Do You Listen Or Are You A Stinky Fish?

If managers and leaders in business don’t listen, they probably stink like a fish. At least that’s my conclusion from two business posts I read today. At Drew McLellan’s blog, The Marketing Minute, his post Are you really listening? made me stop to listen. Drew’s contention is that, rather than pouring energies into innovation, business leaders should be doing a lot more good listening. The customer will provide the innovation.
“Pay more attention. Listen more intently. Wonder a little.”
In Terry Starbucker‘s blog, Ramblings From a Glass Half Full, his post, The Pithiest Leadership Advice I Ever Got really caught my eye because there aren’t too many people who use the word ‘pithy’.
“My boss and I were discussing another company that was having troubles, and while I produced a whole list of detailed reasons why this business could be failing my boss simply said this - ‘Terry, a fish stinks from its head down‘.”
It doesn’t take much imagination for the top dogs to realize where the bottom line is. When heads of business take interest and make the time to know what people really want, it’s necessarily win-win. If the consumer’s wants are dismissed, the innovations will go elsewhere. Take responsibility. Listen. Don’t be the fish.

Setting The Links In Order

I was so enamored of Luke Gedeon’s blog The Way It ought 2B, I jumped to a conclusion and committed a mis-link. Luke was kind enough to point this out and to give me the original source. Even though I found the material at Luke's blog, it's actually from Christopher Carfi’s blog, The Social Customer Manifesto. The article, "Charlene Li On Social Computing", was posted October 24, 2006. Credit for "The Participation Pyramid", therefore, is duly given to Charlene Li.
* Creators - bloggers, etc. * Critics - commenting, ratings, reviews * Collectors - bookmarking, “save to favorites” in youtube * Couch potatoes - passive
I apologize for any confusion. Many thanks, Luke.


Tips To Make Blogs & Websites Better

Today I collected lists from three sources, each with tips to make our blogs and websites better. Luke Gedeon’s Four levels of participation in The Way It ought 2B is what he called “The Participation Pyramid”.
    • Creators - bloggers, etc.
    • Critics - commenting, ratings, reviews
    • Collectors - bookmarking, “save to favorites” in youtube
    • Couch potatoes - passive
    Social media: “It’s not about the media, it’s about getting people to participate.”
    In Seth’s Blog, Seth Godin wrote How to write a blog post. Short, sweet and to the point:
    • An appropriate illustration.
    • A useful topic, easily broadened to be useful to a large number of readers,
    • Simple language with no useless jargon,
    • Not too long,
    • Focusing on something that people have previously taken for granted,
    • That initially creates emotional resistance,
    • Then causes a light bulb to go off and finally
    • Causes the reader to look at the world differently all day long.
    Working Solo’s Leah published Things To Create a Great Website. I’ve edited the list a bit, but the meat is still there.
    • Make it about the reader and easy on the visitor
    • Organize your site the way a real person would use it
    • Be clear to communicate why people would be there.
    • Each page should have one primary objective. Make a different page for each important thing and make that important thing the most obvious thing on the page.
    • Don’t make people jump through hoops to get what they are looking for.
    • Have logical steps that keep the visitor with you until they reach their objective for being there or your objective for the site/page.
    • Have a customized page for error messages or failed searches that is more than the usual “can’t find the page” information. Provide some information that might keep the visitor with you, like top 10 things people download, articles or products. Use a “tell me you saw this error link” on your customized error page.
    • Don’t ever have an under construction page. Use the space an have a static “flyer” with your contact information or don’t have anything.
    • You may not be able to test everything but you MUST test the money path.
    • Say thank you.
    • Have a send this page to a friend link.
    • Do something to start a conversation.
    • DON’T use pop-ups.
    • Find sites that work well and learn from their organization.
    • Don’t just create it and leave it – make sure there is regular updates to the pages.


    Blogging Is A Business: Shout Outs

    Thoughts & Philosophies is in the midst of a massive move. Rather than spreading new tentacles of T&P all over the place, and trying to patch things together, a new roof is being built. In that light, today’s post is a Shout Out to some of the bloggers who have been instrumental in my decision. Joe, at Working at Home on the Internet offered Blogging Tip #3 - Use Trackbacks.
    "Trackbacks are a way of letting another Blogger know that you have written something related to an article of theirs and included a link to them as a reference . . . In essence, using Trackbacks can help expose your Blog to the readers of the sites you have referenced in your articles. This could lead to more readers of your work. The more people that see a link to your site, the more likely someone will visit to see what you have to say."
    From Rick Cockrum’s Shards of Consciousness, Look for Evolution - Not Revolution:
    "Some beliefs, we find, are limiting. We impose them only on ourselves out of habit. They served a purpose at some point, but are no longer necessary. We discard them and so expand the framework of our lives. A wholesale destruction of your internal framework or your social framework is possible, but rarely necessary or even healthy. Change, and change is imminently desirable, is always accompanied by stress."
    And, in Simplenomics, a great blog I found this week, Mike Sigers says, Go Big . . . Or Don’t Go At All.
    "If you’re going to be a player, you’ve got to play. If you can’t run with the big dawgs, stay on the porch. Either go big, or don’t go at all. Lukewarm companies are worse than a cold company."


    They Don't Know Us Until They Meet Us

    The day TechZ posted Blogging Misconceptions at TechZ Online was the day I found Bloggertalks. Threads are all over the place here. The new blog run by Thord Daniel Hedengren and Tony Hung, Bloggertalks is dedicated to interviewing
    “bloggers who matter, what they do and their experiences. We’re acting as the middle man here, talking to them and doing interviews, so that you - the dear reader - can learn. Twice a week”
    TechZ listed some ideas non-bloggers have about us.
    “It popped into my head all of a sudden, what misconceptions are out there about Bloggers & Blogging? . . . Let’s start with what the obvious misconceptions could be:
    • Bloggers only blog for financial gain
    • Bloggers get stale
    • Blogging is an exact science
    • Making a living out of blogging is easy
    • Blogging is easy”
    These ideas and others float around us and it’s ok. The art of blogging is still relatively new to us and it’s bound to bring confusion. We’ll help the non-bloggers work out their feelings toward us as smoothly as we post each day and communicate with each other. With their twice-weekly interviews, Thord, Tony and Bloggertalks are doing their part to let those who don't know us get to meet us.
    “Our goal is to tell the stories of all the successful bloggers out there, and the companies and services that revolve around them. Not all of them make a lot of money, but sometimes you can get rich in other ways and we’re acknowledging that.”


    Happy Thanksgiving

    On this, my first Thanksgiving as a member of the blogging community, I thank you all. Each day, I give thanks that I stumbled through the portal and that it was you I met here.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle" ~~Albert Einstein


    Two Sides of Thankfulness

    As bumpy as the field might often be, it’s still level. Well, at least that’s what I took from two posts I read today. One talked about good service, the other was about some of the not-so-good service we get. One reached out to thank, the other to help. In the end, they said the same. At Brains on Fire, Robbin Phillips titled a post Rude People. Robbin started the post referring to rude people and then surprised me by switching to the nice things people in the service businesses do for each other and their customers and the karma they create for themselves.
    “I believe that kindness in business is one of the keys to creating advocates.”
    Robbin’s right. The customer is always a person. In a three-sixty (yes, I meant that), Joe from Working at Home on the Internet wrote in The Value of Old Posts that he has a beef with the telco’s. He thinks they give lousy installation instructions. This, too, is often true, particularly for the technically challenged. But Joe didn’t rant and rave about it, put it out there and forget about it. He helped a reader install a router and provided a link for anyone to download the files for the drivers.
    “I have no doubt that the people who sell the services have no idea what it takes to install the damn thing.”
    See what I mean? One blog a thanking hand, one a helping hand. Fantastic wash.


    Blogging is a Brave New World

    There was a time when old men, punk kids and middle-aged housewives had nothing in common. Things have changed. Through the art of blogging, we have, for probably the first time in history, dropped the barriers. It’s a good thing. Case in point are two absolutely unrelated blogs, probably neither in contact with each other today. Stripped down, however, each said the same thing. Each blogger spoke to the positive nature of our community. Disclaimer: I have no idea if either (or both) is an old man, a punk kid or a middle-aged housewife. Mike Sansome, ConverStations: “As this thought relates to businesses who blog (rather than blogs as a business), we're searching for a weighted measuring stick. Something we can use as a barometer that might address strengths and weaknesses in our blogging practice.” TechZ, TechzOnline: “I’ve noticed this everywhere. Blogging creates Positive energy or better yet, it charges bloggers. It charges them to make changes in their way of thinking, their behavior, and more often than not for the better.” Mike: “I've been thinking a lot lately about how we can measure blog efforts for our customers.” TechZ: “Collaboration between people and companies, entrepreneurs finding a new medium, it’s a driving force in a crowded industry, and it’s done well for itself.” Mike: “If there's a tool or conversation about this, let me know. If not, let's start one.” TechZ: “I posted this because I saw how much of a positive tone there was to blogs, and felt I had to say something. Feel free to add your own views.”


    Jumping Into The Present With Syndication

    My ex-husband taught me to drive a stick shift. We got in the car, I started the engine, let out the clutch and stalled. “If you give it more gas, it won’t stall.” So I started the engine again, let out the clutch and stalled. “If you give it more gas, it won’t stall.” This went on for a few times before I managed to have some margin of success and we called it quits for the day. For the next day or so, I took the car solo and stalled alot. Finally, on the third day, I came home beaming and told him “guess what? If you give it more gas, it won’t stall!” Luckily we were newlyweds. Today I’m home beaming and telling Chris Cree SuccessCREEations and Mike Sansome ConverStations “guess what? Syndicated feeds are the way to go!” Traditional email subscriptions were the first thing to catch my eye and, well, old habits sometimes don’t even notice something new is on the block. Actually, the email sub life was so time-consuming I couldn’t consider anything else. Last Sunday, in Business Blogging 101, Chris discussed feed syndication with a link back to Mike and, between the two of them, they sold me. Sold me so well that I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening switching almost all of my subscriptions to RSS. It might have taken so long because my computer was contrary or because I subscribe to a bunch of blogs. Regardless, it was time well spent. Yesterday, when I wanted to refer to an article, it took some hunting. Today, it takes a whistle. Gotta love that. Thank you both, Chris and Mike. Oh. Where is the button here? Frankly, my dear, I’m to exhausted to attempt it tonight.


    Treat Your Business Like Your Garden

    Most of us want and are working toward building bigger and better empires. But, let me ask you something. Are you a good business person or a busy good person? I’m not asking if you’re pulling in the money. Busy good people can do that. I’m asking if you can relax while you do what you do because you’ve figured out how to do it strategically. Today Liz Strauss Successful Blog and I were talking. She asked me about my strategy and I must admit it’s close to non-existent. My planning is sketchy, at best. Focus? I know how to spell the word. I’m living up to my talents, but not to my potential. Liz likened the success of any business to the success of any garden; they need planning, attention and care. Well, she said it a little differently, but that was the gist. Today, I started planning my business garden with a simple first step: planning. Before I sleep tonight, I’ll have a good idea of what each post will be for the rest of the week. Along the same lines, I was reading something Steve Pavlina,Steve Pavlina.com had written and found this very helpful list on his homepage. I stole it to share with you.
    * Time Management: Master your time usage and become extremely productive * Motivation: Cultivate burning desire to keep you moving towards your goals * Overcoming Procrastination: Defeat the thief of time * Goals: Set realistic goals, create action plans, and achieve the results you want * Courage: Summon the inner strength to take action in spite of fear * Work/Career: Build a career you're truly passionate about * Wealth/Money: Achieve financial abundance without compromising your integrity * Momentum: Develop the ongoing habit of success that keeps your energy and enthusiasm high * Problem Solving: Confront and solve the hard problems of life, from business to relationships * Balance: Enjoy the feeling of inner peace by balancing all areas of your life * Fulfillment: Experience pervasive lifelong fulfillment by living consciously according to your deepest values and beliefs * Consciousness: Raise your awareness and live more consciously than ever before


    Is Saving Your First Expense?

    I’m not (yet) a wealthy woman, so don’t take my words as having come from a financial guru. I wonder, though, when I see people well-past retirement age working because they need the money. It baffles me to see working-class people from credit card to paycheck to credit card. This post was prompted by two others I read today, two worthwhile reads. Alvin Soon talks about the saving before spending rather than spending and spending the rest because it’s too little to save, Life Coaches Blog. When you file your taxes, does the amount you’ve saved compare favorably with what you’ve earned? We all know that that favorable figure is at least ten percent. And that’s ten percent off the top. It’s really not that tough to stash away that little bit every week. Direct deposit works well. Ok, so maybe you already spend that 10%. Alvin’s suggestion is,
    “If you can’t make 10%, start with a smaller amount first, but the sooner you start, the more you’ll begin to have“.
    If you have to start by hiding five or ten bucks from yourself for a couple of weeks, do that. It works, I started that way. A link from Alvin took me to freemoneyfinance. The first order of business was what I considered to be a devil’s advocate statement about perspective.
    “There are plenty of things worth more than money (like your health, time, your mind, and your kids). So while this is an important list, there are things in life much more important“.
    This list, synopsized here, is nothing we haven’t heard before, but it’s something we need to hear over and over until we learn it. Visit freemoneyfinance for the full report 1. Spend less than you earn. 2. Increase your income. 3. Contribute to your 401k to get the full employer match 4. Get out of credit card debt. 5. Buy a house. 6. Invest your savings regularly in good, solid investments 7. Pay off all debt. 8. Save for retirement 9. Protect what you have. 10. Give . . . “giving people become wealthy”.


    Get Your Advice The Right Way

    A new favorite here is Mike Sansone’s ConverStations. His post. Horse and Buggy Web Development is a wonderful eye-opener to anyone who needs the eyes to see the whole picture; who needs to realize how blind we can be. Mike talked about web developers who don’t blog trying to give blogging solutions. He speaks of people who try to help when they don’t know what they’re doing. He speaks to people who need help and don’t know where to go to get the best they deserve. It’s some state of mind we’ve grasped and won’t give up. People for centuries have looked to priests for marital difficulties. I know a man who spent three years in jail because he went to a tax lawyer instead of someone versed in the DUI laws.
    "I see a trend happening where web developers are building blogs into their customers web package - and I think that's great. But equipping your customers with blog software is the begninning, not the end. If you're a web developer that doesn't blog - either start blogging or collaborate with a blog consultant." ~~ Mike Sansone
    Help is out there, if we know where to get it. Get what you need from those who know what you need.


    If You Don't Be You, Who Will Be?

    I saw a cartoon once. It was “Frank & Ernest”. Beats me what the picture was, but the caption said, “A place for everything and everything all over the place.” Comes pretty close to describing the perfectionist, huh? Yes, it does. We take utmost care to put away, file and tuck into our closets, desk drawers and corners the important to us. The rest? That stays scattered on every available open space we can find, is perfectly unorganized, but it‘s safe in our minds because we believe we’ll get to it someday.
    “People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it”
    Does that sound to you like something we might all consider insanity? Damn tootin’ it does to me. We are allowed to have scatterheads. We were made in the likeness of our Creator; listen to that word, “likeness”. It doesn’t mean we are God; it means we have been given the gift of being like our Creator and we are blessed with the capacity to grow, to learn, to achieve. My personal thought is that God (by whichever name you choose) is within us. I also think each of us is within God. “As above, so below” Rick at Shards of Consciousness reminded me of that when I quoted WuLi “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. The point? Don't chide yourself for taking the room and the time to be what you were made to be.


    Get Back Up

    “No matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up!”
    Those are the first words I saw after a pain-reducing nap. While the nap helped, the words were all-the-more pain reducing. Thank you Chris Cree and SuccessCREEations His thoughts were reflective of a movie. What are movies, but thoughts in celluloid life? Chris speaks of the positive notions he took from that movie. 1) Stubborn is not a bad thing. Stick to your dreams, they will not haunt you.
    “No matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up!”
    2) Refuse to quit, no matter the odds. The angst of not forging into the unknown is worse than the angst of ignoring the unknown.
    “No matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up!”
    3) Remain true to your destiny until it’s revealed. Life isn’t a thirty-minute sit-com. Your answers will come, give the Universe time to get back to you.
    “No matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up!”
    I give you the words of Chris:
    "Whether or not things are prearranged by a higher power or not really isn’t our concern so much. If we press on and refuse to stay down, eventually our own destiny will be revealed to us. Have you been knocked down recently? Get back up. Are you tired and don’t feel you can go on? Get back up. Do you feel like you want to scream and quit if you hear the word “No” one more time? Get back up. Does the future look bleak to you right now with no apparent way to make it through? Get back up. Press on. The truth is you don’t know what your future holds. Yours may very well be a destiny of triumph over impossible odds. But the only way to meet that destiny of yours is to get back up one more time."

    Putting It Out There

    Technorati Profile I've joined Thoughts & Philosohies with technorati. To some of you, it's no big deal. To others, it's a measure of prestige. To me, it's a way of getting my writing and my thoughts out there as far as I can. What justification do we have for putting ourselves out to the world? Every. We seem to crave validation. And, for those of us who are writers, we need such venues as Technorati.



    Are you aware of Terry Starbucker, Ramblings From a Glass Half Full? You dis-serve yourself if you don’t listen to what he has to say. Today, I found him on Joyful Jubilant Learning Another disservice to your mind if you don’t visit JJL here. This morning, Terry spoke to the wonders of having “realistic optimism” through learning. He reminded me of a study or survey I heard about several years ago. It was done in one of our larger cities; Philadelphia comes to mind. (That was not meant to disrespect Philadelphia, I grew up there.) The results were staggeringly shameful. Apparently, an overwhelming number of households have one book, that being the local telephone book. Terry also reminded me of growing up in a home filled with books. He made me realize all the more that my credo is right (well, right for me): a home must have pets, books and plants. My pets are to me what yours are to you. They’re not part of the family, they are the family. If you care to cruise through the three bookcases in my home, you’re welcome. (Oh, by the way, I’m a bit of a classic snob with books.) The plants thrive and pay me everyday with their beauty. I digress, but, what the heck, that’s what a lot of writers do. Let me leave you with a few of Terry’s words.
    Now I look at the acts of picking up a book, or searching the internet, engaging in enlightening conversation, or any other form of learning, as acts of “proactive positivity”. Further, I’ve found that the reverse action, or sharing my learning with others, has the exact same effect. So how do you keep the Glass Half-Full? Never stop learning and sharing your learning. And join us at Joyful Jubilant Learning!
    Terry Starbucker lives in Connecticut, USA. He's an operations executive for a service company and loves business trips to the Rocky Mountain west. Terry posts his musings and observations about "the optimistic side of the daily grind" in Ramblings from a Glass Half Full.


    It'm Not White, I'm Pink

    I'm a little behind in my reading. Well, it's a chronic condition that most of us can understand. This morning, in my browsing, I found thoughts that disturbed me. Maybe I shouldn't think these thoughts are directed to a bunch of us, but I do. This is from Ahmed at Aimless Thoughts. I consider Ahmed a friend, please count him as one of yours.
    TEN TRUTHS BLACK, HISPANIC, NATIVE AMERICAN AND ASIAN PEOPLE KNOW, BUT WHITE PEOPLE WON'T ADMIT: 1.Elvis is dead. 2.Jesus was not white. 3.Rap music is here to stay. 4.Kissing your pet is not cute or clean. 5.Skinny does not equal sexy. 6.Thomas Jefferson had black children. 7.A 5 year old child is too big for a stroller. 8.N-SYNC will never hold a candle to the Jackson 5. 9.An occasional spanking helps a child stay in line. 10.Having your children curse you out in public is not normal
    My Answers
    1) Well, who cares, Ahmed? If people of little intelligence think Elvis, JFK, Plato or Socrates are alive, let's let them have their thoughts. 2) Jesus is not of color, nor is he of sex. Jesus is one with the Universe and will always be that. Jesus, or any of our spiritual leaders might be plaid, for all I know, for all you know, and I don't care the color. They gave us more to think about than petty skin color. We are what we are; color should never be a question. 3) Rap music is a means of communication. I was turned off when "Big" talked about sewing eyelids open. Scared the hell out of me. Regardless, Rap is here and it's here to to be part of our history. 4) Who the hell ever told you kissing your pet is unclean? And why should they care? Our pets are gifts. "Suffer the little ones...." 5) "Skinny" is a concept of those who have a problem with thin people. I was born thin. Why do people speak of me as if I was a freak of nature. 6) It's always been a mystery to me why people feel that what Thomas Jefferson did or didn't do is any of their business. Black kids, white kids; they were his kids. 7) The ability of a child to walk independently is decided between the child and the parent; not by passersby. 8) N-SYNC vs Jackson 5? Don't care for either. Doesn't mean good or bad. 9) The spankings. I know personally of too many parents who've used spankings to the detriment of their children. Mine didn't. Regardless, I have too many friends who've been scarred. 10) No, you'll not get a nod from this quarter about cursing. Parents shouldn't do it, children shouldn't hear it. Children cannot be allowed to think it's ok to give that sort of disrespect to thier parents.


    Perhaps Hendrix Would Have Challenged: Do You Have Gratitude?

    Maybe the title here is true, maybe not. This post has nothint to do with Jimi Hendrix, but I think he'd agree with the sentiment. I’m going back a few weeks to Rick Cockrum’s October 31 post in “Shards of Consciousness”, Giving Gratitude. . (Yeah, I’m really behind on my reading.) In essence, Rick starts with telling us that he feels “gratitude” is an ikky word. He doesn’t like it, I don’t like it, most of us shy away from it. But, ya know what? If we want to be happy, we need to have it and, much as we don’t like the idea, we need to admit to the Universe we are grateful for it. Rick and a slew of other great thinkers are right that “we create our own reality”. If we think life sucks, it does. “My boss is a prick”, “The kids are brats”, “Taxes are too high”, “I can’t afford, do, think, read”. It all goes into the negative column. We need to do the work to put us into the positive of life. Are you, am I, is anyone else not worth that work? Fire the boss who’s a prick; become the boss of yourself. You can do it, if you find gratitude enough in your heart to realize you’re worth what it takes to try. Give the kids some discipline. You’re the adult; they’re not. I think it was Dr. Phil who said, “you’re not raising children, you’re raising adults”. Don’t throw your hands in the air as if you have no control. You are making the adults of tomorrow. You’re the Moms and the Dads. Instill in those children of yours a sense of love, responsibility, gratitude for the world around them and you’ll reap the rewards. You, me, all of us can afford to take the time to make our lives better and richer. We have no excuse for doing otherwise. Can we realistically gripe about anything that’s in our control? Everything is in our control! Let all of us be grateful today and all days. It will enrich all of our lives.


    We Are A War-Infested Society

    Damo, my friend at My Apologetics wrote today about war and how we kill ourselves.
    “If we’re so clever, why can’t we stop killing ourselves?”
    Why, indeed? I’m one of the tens of thousands of products of the baby boom. That fact means something, but let’s go a back a bit into the history of all of our generations. I wish I could remember where I recently read that the US has been involved in a war since it’s inception. For you Brits, you of the middle east, you of Asian decent, whoever else I’ve not mentioned, don’t think I don’t include you in our World of Wars. We all have guilty leaders; we’re all un-wanting and fearful participants of our leaders’ serendipity. Can we stop it? No. We are the powerless empowered. We can speak our mind and find those who agree, but we still have no power to change what we see as wrong. Damo said, “As I write this we are actually sitting on the edge of oblivion staring toward a disaster that seems impossible to stop. War makes beasts of the gentlest people; it creates hatreds that can last generations and untold misery. We all know this, so there is no point try to convince people that war is bad. It is bad and only the insane claim it to be otherwise.” Oh, let’s get back to the baby boom part My family, my history of friends are filled with the pains of war. I never had the pleasure to meet my Uncle Woodrow. He was, to my knowledge, a handsome young man, a fighter pilot in WWI. His plane was shot down and he died before any of us was given the chance to decide if we liked him; we were never given the chance to meet him. Dad, was part of those who served in WWII. He didn’t die in the war, he died FROM it. Daddy carried problems with him through his short life. He died three weeks shy of his 67th birthday. My Uncle Richie passed about ten years ago. He also served in WWII. Richard Kupczyk was able to let go of the past. I often wonder if it let go of him. My friends, my contemporaries, are dead. They’re either buried with earth or buried with the awful stuff of Viet Nam, the Gulf War, the war in Iraq. I leave you with Damo’s words:
    "We are a clever species. We can put a man on the moon; cure diseases; feed millions; move rivers and build cities. We can write great works of philosophy, mathematics, engineering, theology and science. We can enjoy music, art and nature. We can feel empathy, sympathy and compassion. Even our ancient ruins stand as testament to what we have done. We are so clever that we can do all these things but we cannot stop killing ourselves. We cannot stop war."

    My Answer To Katyzz

    Katyzzz, I’m going to try to answer your questions in order. Of course, we all know elderly people and I believe we’re all at least a little remiss with them. I don’t know. Is it that we think we and our lives are so tunneled and important we don’t want to give of ourselves to get from those who already were there and did that? My feeling is that every generation of young (at least in the West) treats its elders deplorably I don’t talk to older people as much as I should. For that I offer the pitiful excuse that I’m afraid they’d be unhappy with me; I fear I’ve not lived up to what they knew I could be and I’m reluctant to present myself to them as a failure. For the older and elderly to have computers to relieve depression is good on one hand. They have access to people and to life. For them to require this as a grasp on life is terrible. Sure, it’s wonderful they can show that they aren’t the dottering idiots they’ve been portrayed; but why do we refuse fill that emptiness without relegating them to the technical wonders of cyberland? Don’t take this wrong. I firmly believe that any and all intellectual stimulation helps to maintain a healthy mental life. But I also believe computers are not the answer to happy, meaningful longevity. Sharing a pot of coffee with Mom, talking about the old books I just found, finding my heart swell with pride that she’s interested enough to want to borrow those books, that’s something a computer can give to neither of us. How long do I expect to live? Seventy is now considered the new middle age. I’m not there, yet.

    Are We Elder Or Older? Are We Loved For What We Are?

    These are the words and the art of my friend, katyzzz at over at Ms Paint Art' Katyzzz has a total appreciation for computer art and, wow, you must give yourself the gift of seeing her work. She also has an appreciation of words. These are hers.
    Do you have relatives, friends who are elderly. Studies have shown that those older people who have access to computers suffer less depression than older people who do not? What do you think is the best way for them to be able to access computers. Do you talk to older people? Do you have access to them through some organization such as Church or community activity groups. Do you think their use of computers could enhance their lives? Do you think that learning about and using computers could enable them to exercise their brains and encourage the growth of neural connections to help postpone dementia and other degenerative brain diseases?. Do you think they could be assisted to maintain their memories? How do you think this could be done? Do you have any ideas or opinions about these things? Given that one day, if you are fortunate, you will be elderly too, wouldn't you like to be given and practice techniques to help you maintain your memory longer and defer the ageing effects of degenerative diseases. How long do you expect to live?
    My answer follows in a few minutes. Will you give your replies?

    New Ideas On Old Thoughts

    This entire blog will probably be a repro because some days we all lack the initial thoughts to give a good dissertation. Nothing’s new anymore; we passed the ‘news’ part of our minds thousands of years ago. This reproduction is part of my way of allowing all of our well-processed thoughts to be found, assessed, melded into our lives. Please allow me the pleasure of bringing those thoughts to your lives.