Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mission Statement

[Photo: pastoral promise by zachstern]

"The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value."
-Stephen R. Covey

Most companies draft a mission statement for the purpose of describing the institutions' reason(s) for existence. The mission statements of successful companies incorporate specific and measurable goals and describe the manner in which the companies wish to be viewed by external and internal parties. Successful companies ensure that their priorities, decisions and actions mirror the values set forth in their mission statements and do not overextend their resources by pursuing goals not part of their original visions.

This concept can be successfully applied not just to our places of work, but to our personal lives as well. Developing a personal mission statement provides us the opportunity to reflect on what our goals, values and priorities are. Once completed, the statement can serve as a measure to help ensure that the daily decisions you make reflect the values and image you wish to project.

Take a moment to reflect on what is important to you and what the major components of your mission statement would be.

If you had to write a one sentence mission statement for your life, what would it be?

Modern Deceit

If you haven't already seen it, please take a moment to watch the following ad by Dove (only about a minute long).

Yes, the content of the video probably does not come as a surprise to many of us. And I won't lecture on how unattainable standards of beauty affect the self-esteem of both girls and women. However, I think the ad clearly demonstrates the barrage of lies and deceit we are exposed to on a daily basis. So many recent events demonstrate that we must consider all information we are exposed to with a healthy dose of skepticism. The list is long of people and information sources that have proven themselves untrustworthy: the president, politicians, the media, corporate leaders, advertising, etc. How is it that trickery and deceit have become commonplace and justifiable? Is it acceptable that we have come to expect this behavior from those that are in leadership positions and from influential information sources? Is it possible to decipher when we are presented with the truth or with fallacy?

How do these untruths affect our relationships with our fellow neighbors, co-workers, community members? How will they affect the future of our communities and our country? Will our interactions with others become defensive and full of skepticism?

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Your Bait?

[Photo: The Picture Fish by GodMadeMeFunky]

Here's an interesting question, made me smile:

If you were a fish, what would a fisherman want to use as bait if he really wanted to catch you quickly?

Question selected from The Conversation Piece 2.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

50 lbs

[Photo: Hope, Desire, Need by Brian Oberkirch]

I apologize for the recently large number of extremely short posts. Things have been hectic here recently, not affording me much time for blogging. Hopefully things will clear soon, but in the meanwhile here's a fun question to contemplate:

If you could have 50 lbs of anything other than money, what would it be? Why?

Question selected from The Conversation Piece by Nicholaus and Lowrie.

Friday, October 20, 2006

the Unknown

"Get comfortable not knowing."
-- Richard Carlson

Easier said than done?

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Just a quick note to remind you to check out this week's tenant, The Great Blog Review, by clicking on the icon to the right. I thought the blog's concept was quite clever. It is accurately represented by the blog's slogan, "We read the blogs so you don't have to." Essentially, the site's posts review blogs which the authors deem as "must reads." The authors also consider readers' suggestions for the best overlooked blogs in cyberspace! Click on over and discover your newest favorite blog, or submit a nod for your current favorite blog!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


[Photo Swinging kids by Chan"ad]

So, say you're Pluto.

You've just recovered from what may've been the greatest letdown the scientific community has ever bestowed on any astral being. You're trapped here, like all the "current" planets, due to the force of gravity. The planets have enough mass to interfere with your orbit a smidge, but for all intents and purposes, you're where you are, travelling along the path you do because of the sun.

Like an imaginary rope/chain, you're continually being pulled in towards the sun at a rate equal to (bunch of math here) but maintain your distance because of (more math).

You're in orbit.

If you were a bucket at the end of a rope, swinging in orbit around a 12 year old girl, some of the principles here would be reasonably similar. We "get" how the rope/bucket trick works, and it's a good time watching the bucket go round with no water ever spilling out.

Cut the rope though, and the bucket immediately flies away in a straight path, there being no present force any longer pulling it towards the girl. Cut the rope, kindnap the girl, loosen the knot, etc.. It doesn't really matter.. Once that force is removed, the orbit stops, and the object's momentum takes it off into the distance.

Back to you, Pluto.

If the sun were to explode, or otherwise lose its mass in some significant event, Pluto would hopelessly fly off into the nothingness of space. /wave Take care!

My question to you, is this:

How long does it take you to notice? It takes light 320ish minutes to reach Pluto. Would you feel the loss of gravity 6 hours before you saw the explosion/event? Is gravity across that distance, instant? Or delayed? And if it's delayed, what keeps pulling Pluto in towards the sun for those 6 hours while the Sun -isn't- any longer?

Monday, October 16, 2006


[Photo: social skills by mixergirl]

If you could teach everyone in the world one skill, what would you teach them?1

For me, hands down, it would be critical thinking -- urging people not to accept what they are told by "authority" and the media simply at face value. In essence, I'd like to give people the tools necessary to effectively reflect on what they choose to believe and the ability to seek out alternative views if they so choose.

1 Selected from The Conversation Piece 2.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


[Photo: Horizons by ???]

I saw a man pursuing the horizon

by Stephen Crane

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said.
"You can never --"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

This poem provides an excellent impetus for reflection on the times when we choose not to acknowledge the facts and realities of circumstances in our lives. Often times the choice is unconscious and we feign ignorance as a defense mechanism. Other times, the truth of a situation may not be clearly evident, causing us to react based on misinformation.

When was a time that you couldn't recognize the truth about a situation? Was it an unconscious choice to ignore the facts, or were you not fully aware of the situation? What happened when the truth of the situation became apparent?

Is working through a situation without acknowledgement/recognition of the total truth always detrimental to the parties involved? Can it be beneficial?

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Friend or Foe?

[Photo Earth, Center of the Universe by Orin Optiglot]

The comments to the previous post reminded me of a related passage in the book, Ghosts of Vesuvius, by Charles Pellegrino:

"If not for global deterioration of the climate, a pair of asteroid impacts, and a simultaneous volcanic catastrophe in India, the 'ossies' (ostrich dinosaurs), or something very much like them, might have built the first cities, discovered the age of the universe, and laid the foundation for ascent to the nearer stars. Nature did not "select against" the dinosaurs so much as plow over them without even noticing. Those who say we humans must be wise and be caretakers of the earth, or nature will take revenge against us, are missing a far more frightening, far more sobering point: Nature does not notice us. Nature does not care." (page 88)

When I first read this quote, I was quite taken aback. But upon thinking about Pellegrino's assertions, I decided that he makes some very valid points. I don't advocate abuse of the earth and believe that we should make every effort to give more than we take. However, do efforts to live in an environmentally sound manner really matter when viewed relative to the big picture? As we all know, since its beginning, the planet has been undergoing a constant cycle of change and remodeling. These changes ultimately made conditions right for the evolution of humans. As the earth continues to change, our race will eventually become extinct (if we don't annihilate the planet first). Natural events, of a caliber and type which may be currently unfathomable, could instantly make the planet uninhabitable for human life. Despite all our technological savvy, and no matter how "green" our lifestyles, humanity could become instantly extinct. It is definitely a sobering thought, demonstrating clearly the insignificance of the human race despite the size of our brains and our egos.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Please take a few moments to visit the new tenant, A Green Earth. The site's purpose is to bring attention to the increasingly urgent environmental issues and concerns facing humanity, as well as making sugestions for ways in which we all can make our lifestyles more green. In addition, the site features some of the beautiful artwork of the author, as shown to the left. Be sure to click on her link in the side bar!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Relationship Quote

[Photo: Love Rock2 by Paul of Vermont]

"The key to a lasting relationship is not falling out of love at the same time."

Do you agree?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Personal Evolution

[Photo: Butterfly Dreams by iam4ranny]

I have previously reflected on how life's journey presents each of us with innumerable lessons which, if heeded, provide us with opportunities to strengthen our heart, intellect and soul. Often times we must revisit the important lessons many times throughout our lives before we fully embrace their messages. We may experience many stumbling blocks related to these lessons and the people that care about us may try to help us realize the error of our ways. However, no matter the advice or pressure we receive from others, it is only in our own time that we will accept the knowledge and wisdom within our grasp.

What happens when the situation is reversed and we must witness others falter during their own personal journey? No matter how stubborn or blind-sighted we are in traveling our own paths to enlightenment, it is often difficult to witness loved ones struggle along their paths, especially if we feel that we can recognize the error of their ways. The process can be extremely painful for us as observers as the urge is often great to make the other's journey easy and safe by sharing our own wisdom and providing a soft landing place. Many times we don't realize that our interference can actually retard the progress of others, as they must experience life through their own unique circumstances and experiences, not our own.

The Daily Om wrote an excellent reflection on this topic, saying in part,
Yet all human beings have the right to carve their own paths without being unduly influenced by outside interference. To deny them that right is to deny them enlightenment, as true insight cannot be conveyed in lectures. Rather, each individual must earn independence and illumination by making decisions and reflecting upon the consequences of each choice. In allowing others to walk their paths freely, you honor their right to express their humanity in whatever way they see fit. Though you may not agree with or identify with their choices, understand that each person must learn in their own way and at their own pace.
Being a control-freak myself, I often struggle with this issue by wanting to force my own insights and experiences on those I care about. I have to work hard to not make the personal issues of those I love into personal issues of my own -- in particular, not alienating myself from those I love when I feel that they make decisions that are harmful despite my previous "warnings." Letting go and allowing others to grow and develop without interference, no matter how many stumbling blocks may avail, is a difficult task. Reserving judgments and criticism and instead offering unwavering support and advice when sought is perhaps even more difficult, but is necessary to preserve individuality, independence and diversity.

How do you practice being a silent observer and supporter for those in your life? What forms of support and love do you find helpful when experiencing struggles and upsets in life?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


[Photo: Raven Cloak by Eye-Appeal]

In catching up on the day's news this morning, I was reading a synopsis of Monday's shootings at the Pennsylvania Amish school. If you're not familar with the story, in short, a man invaded an Amish school and shot 10 girls (five have since died) execution style before taking his own life. The following quote from the story caused me to take emotional pause and reflect on whether or not I would be capable of such strength and wisdom if challenged with a similar situation:

"As we were standing next to the body of this 13-year-old girl, the grandfather was tutoring the young boys, he was making a point, just saying to the family, 'We must not think evil of this man,' " the Rev. Robert Schenck told CNN.

"It was one of the most touching things I have seen in 25 years of Christian ministry."

"We must not think evil of this man." Wow. What an earth shattering statement. Would you be able to view the situation in such a manner? Would you be able to foster feelings of understanding and forgiveness instead of reacting with anger, revenge and hate?

Although most of us will not be faced with such horrible circumstances during our lifetimes, I think it is important that the words of this wise man find a home in our hearts. Many times when we feel wronged or hurt our reaction is purely emotional and we allow pain and anger to rule our minds, emotions and reactions. Perhaps by remembering the immense strength and wisdom displayed by this grandfather when faced with our own trials, we will be able to let compassion, forgiveness and love rule our minds and hearts instead.

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Monday, October 02, 2006


[Photo by Angela]