Selah

joe —  Sat 14-Feb-15 — Leave a comment
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Sit In a CornerI can only recall two things from third grade. The first is that my teacher really needed to invest in a better deodorant. The other was spending time facing the corner for being a little too sassy. Mrs. Thomas had said, “Words mean something” to which I abruptly replied, “Of course they mean something, isn’t that why they were invented?” All that was missing from my corner encounter was the dunce cap.

Years later I started to understand my third grade teacher’s Zen-like words of wisdom. I began to appreciate the importance of words when I couldn’t find one to express the way I was feeling. I am fascinated by words and phrases that mean something different when translated – like how the english “Got Milk” ad became the spanish “Are you lactating?” A simple word change can also affect the way you view the world. Instead of thinking “I have to go to work” think “I get to go to work.” Continue Reading…

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I Resolve To Not Resolve

joe —  Wed 31-Dec-14 — Leave a comment
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Calvin resolutionsI’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. If you are like most, you are not either. Yet, on January 1st, 45% of Americans will make a vow to achieve a goal this coming year. 92% of them will be disappointed.

It’s not that I am against improving myself. I just don’t like the odds. I think the only resolution I have been able to keep was to not make any more resolutions.

Why do 92% of all resolutions fail? One reason I believe they fail is because we choose goals where failure is a viable result. The results are binary – you either succeed or you don’t. “I will lose 20 pounds.” “I will quit smoking.” “I will get pregnant.” There is no “kind of pregnant.” You leave no possibility for claiming partial success. Continue Reading…

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Drunk clockHere I am, once again, the day before Christmas wondering how I seemed to have missed the month of December. Where did that month that seemed to go on forever as a kid go? Why does it seem to get shorter every year? Is it just me?

Time gets talked about a lot during the holidays. As the year winds down, it seems fitting to take stock of what has passed. In the days of yore we had to rely on our own memories to form those images. This year we have Facebook to thank for scraping together the highlights of our past year and putting our lives into a nice photo album for us. We are now as Facebook thinks we are. <sigh> Continue Reading…

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NEIL PEARTStephen Colbert cracks me up. His quick witted satire combined with an ability to keep a straight face is pure genius. My favorite moment was when he conducted the first American interview in 33 years of mega-rockers Rush. Perched majestically on high-top counter stools facing Colbert were my rock and roll idols Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee. Colbert asks a few great questions, then hits him with this piece of art:

“You’re known for some long songs. Have you ever written a song so epic that by the end of the song you were actually being influenced by yourself at the beginning of the song, because it happened so much earlier in your career?”

You can tell that the boys in the band were amused. I hadn’t laughed that hard in years. After I finally stopped laughing, which seemed like hours later, it dawned on me that Colbert’s question was as deep as it was funny. Why is it that whenever a star is asked who their major influences are they never say, “myself?” It would definitely make that person look unsettlingly egotistical, so you would never hear those words uttered. But is it ok to think it? I think I accidentally answered that question this morning.
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The Kids’ Table

joe —  Wed 26-Nov-14 — 2 Comments
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Star wars finger“Joey, pull my finger,” my uncle urged me. I’m not quite sure when that flatulence generating joke began, but it is so classic that it must’ve started about the time that man had a finger and an ability to fart. For me it was my seventh Thanksgiving, when my uncle uttered those four magic words. It was then I knew that I had to find a way to escape the kids’ table and make it to the nirvanic world known as The Table – where Jimmy and the adults ate and pulled each others’ fingers.

The kids’ table at our house was a red-legged folding table with a flimsy tabletop that resembled a pegboard without any holes. I never understood why the wildest of all beasts were put at the weakest of all tables. This year, I wouldn’t have to worry about that. I was sure that after sharing in the rite of the finger pulling that my uncle would invite me to join him at The Table. No more flimsy metal legs. No more childish conversations. No more airplane sounds as the spoon entered Eddy’s mouth. Yep – this was the year that I said niños adiós and hola adultos!

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The Stranded Whale

joe —  Sat 15-Nov-14 — 2 Comments
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Hello kitty whaleThe other day I was thinking about the whole premise of The Stranded Starfish – the idea that even though there may be a thousand stranded starfish on a beach, throwing back one may not change the beach landscape but it makes a big difference in the life of that one starfish. This is a great story if that creature is as small as a starfish. What if there were a thousand whales on that beach?

There is a homeless man in downtown Atlanta that I’ll call Mark. Mark is pretty consistent in his choice of spots near the North Avenue Marta station. Our son, Jared, is a student at Georgia Tech. Jared regularly passes by Mark and offers him a sandwich or whatever food he may have on him. Whenever Jared comes home for the weekend, he remembers to stuff his backpack with some food because he knows that he will see Mark when he gets off the train at Tech.

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Creating Heroes

joe —  Sat 1-Nov-14 — Leave a comment
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Lollipup GuildHalloween is a mixed bag for me. I’m not wild about the door to door stuff, but I absolutely love watching dads and moms turning their kids into superheroes. Seeing parents’ incredible passion for brainstorming creative ideas is only surpassed by the bright beam that comes from the smile of a proud Superman or Elsa.

It’s so much fun turning our kids into heroes. It’s a practice we do with great ease when it comes to our own kids, yet we seldom do it anywhere else. What if we were to try and make heroes of others at work?

What if we were to come to the office every single day with the intent of trying to help someone on their journey to superherodom? What if every conversation we held became an opportunity to lift someone else up? Could we truly be happy watching someone else succeed? Continue Reading…

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