LifeRevelation

Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Archive for the category “drawing”

Sort of Like Responsibility…Part III

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Wife-Bumper-Sticker-Decal/dp/B001P1PCWY

Most of you who read this blog know that I am deeply in love with my wife, Susie, and she was/is a major contributor to all that is good in my life. Her love, patience, sweetness, and guidance has been the one constant over the eighteen plus years we have been married. While not every moment of those years has been perfect, the sole reason for them not being was/is me.

During the days of my youth and far too long into what I was calling adulthood, I was always drawn to the darker side of life. If there was so scum to rub in, I was there. Nearly everyone who knew me figured I would end up in prison for life or dead. It just seemed like the way I was headed. She literally saved my life.

Susie is a woman of phenomenal intellect, yet able to talk to any one regardless of their age or station in life. I’ve seen her totally enthralled in conversations with:

  • A five year old short-stop on our Grandson’s Little League team.
  • The Metropolitan Bishop of North America and Australia for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
  • The mail lady.
  • A homeless man on the streets of Monterey, California.
  • The lead singer of a death-metal band from Norway.
  • A lady in the nursing home who just wanted her to keep on singing.

She has the type of personality that is rarely flustered or confused and is never mean. Her basic being is happy, compassionate, and above all loving. Even back in the day, my friends would say, “Dude you better quit screwing (okay, actually they used another descriptive word for sexual coupling, but you get the idea) around and marry this one…especially before she realizes what a waste you are.”

She is also, a raging incredible cook, who can make a tasty meal out of nearly nothing. During our early leaner years, I would often look around the kitchen cabinets, pantry, refrigerator, under the bed, and in the glove box and find absolutely nothing…and I mean nothing…no crackers, no bags of chips with only those crunched up little tiny pieces stuck in the bottom corners that nobody ever throws away, no crusty peanut butter jar with the lid stuck tight, nothing, nada, not anything…the great food void.  She would come home and I would ask what we were going to have for dinner, her reply was always the same…”Oh, I don’t know, let me look and see what I can find.” Thirty minutes later she would yell for me to wash up, dinner was served, and it would be this fabulous collection great tasting food, to this day I have no idea how she did it.

During the eleven months and three days it took me to run across the United States, Susie took care of everything. She made contact with our host homes, lined up speaking engagements, coordinated meetings, kept the mileage and rotated each pair of running shoes, doctored my left foot, did the laundry, had the oil changed in our support vehicle, got me breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus multiple snacks each day, dealt with police officers, wrote our newsletter for family, friends, and supporters, gave me a massage at the end of every day, kept track of the total miles I ran, and did all of this without ever once breaking stride. She smiled, giggled and was supportive of my every whim, which I am ashamed to say were numerous.

Susie is the rock that holds her three sisters and their families together. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all celebrated at our home, with Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day all being rotated. The general family consensus seems to be that everyone simply enjoys hanging out at the home Susie created. Family and friends often remark about how peaceful it is…and it is… because of her presence.

She possesses an incredible singing voice which she has used with our local Philharmonic Orchestra for the past seven years. She also plays banjo, guitar, piano, and I long ago gave up trying to get her out of any music store under an hour, because she has to “try” every instrument in the place. She reads and writes music, like the rest of glance through the USA Today…in other words, with ease. She can identify any song ever recorded dating back to the late 40’s.

She writes poetry and music, pursues photography with a passion, paints (oils and acrylics), writes computer code, runs, cycles, swims, is accomplished in all types of crafts, and lately believes she wants to try her hand at composing a rap song about our new start-up company. I have come home from my travels to find her:

  • Installing a new floor in our laundry room (a complete new floor, she had stripped it down to the stringers, or whatever those boards are called that the first layer of plywood gets nailed to).
  • Hanging new doors in our bedroom, guest bedroom, and one of the bathrooms.
  • Teaching our, then three year old, Grandson how to make guacamole.
  • Putting up new insulation in our book barn (large barn w/climate control that holds 70,000 volumes of books).
  • Creating a new garden.
  • Using a leaf blower to usher a 4 1/2 foot long black snake off the back porch.
  • Changing the oil on all our vehicles.
  • Splitting and stacking wood.
  • Bathing our 165 lbs. Husky.
  • Rearranging all the furniture in our living room (actually she has rearranged all the furniture in every room of our home several times).
  • And last, but certainly not least, I have come home to find a note on the dining room table (where we leave all our correspondence  for one other) that read, “Out for a 10 mile run…your dinner is in the frig…glad you’re home…I missed you…I love you…S.”

I married up.

I married WAY up.

Every good thought you have ever had, as a result of reading this blog, is directly related to her presence in my life.

This post is dedicated to her…thank you Honey…you are my everything. Amen.

Be encouraged!

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Before I Die I Want To______________________.

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/07/before-i-die-i-want-to-street-art-project-candy-chang/

Okay this is what’s going on. An artist named Candy Chang wants to change how our cities exist. She wants to make them more emotional. So here is what she did. She started with this rather rough looking abandoned building in New Orleans. Then with the help of some friends she covered it with black boards and stenciled in, “Before I die I want to ___________.” When she was finished it looked like this.

before i die street art project in new orleans on side of abandoned building

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/07/before-i-die-i-want-to-street-art-project-candy-chang/

Then she put out some chalk for folks to use.

close up of chalk holder and chalk sticks for before i die project in new orleans

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/07/before-i-die-i-want-to-street-art-project-candy-chang/

Then she waited and this was the result

close up of before i die wall with peoples entries

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/07/before-i-die-i-want-to-street-art-project-candy-chang/

Then it spread around the world

before i die goes wordwide and in multiple languages

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/07/before-i-die-i-want-to-street-art-project-candy-chang/

So here is what I want all of you to do. I am going to write out the statement and I want you to fill in the blank via comments. Let’s open the door and continue the process of creating a better world.

Be encouraged!

BEFORE I DIE I WANT TO ___________________.

Before We Go Any Further

Stop Sign 2 Clip Art

PLEASE LOOK AT THE DAY & DATE

OF THE LAST POST

THEY DON’T MATCH

Here is my point…lying and believing are intertwined. Someone once commented they believed people wanted to hear a lie just as often as they wanted to be told the truth. While I”m not ready to whole-heartedly embrace that philosophy, I do believe there is a connection between lying and what we want to hear.

Do I believe there should be a NO LYING DAY? Absolutely. I would love to see the concept reported on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, the news wires, and go viral. What a great concept. The realty will probably fall far short.

Why? Because many of us are simply comfortable in our lies. It is where we live and work. Our lies are no more a distinct separate part of our existence. They are part and parcel of who we are. We have lived and breathed them for so long, that our lies feel like the truth, and the truth now feels as strange as lies once did.

We operate in a world that not only encouraged the use of falsehoods, but actually, it many respects rewards it. Whatever the reason for lying, we are masters at justifying it. All the way from “everybody does it” (which is probably true) to “it wasn’t REALLY a lie.”  If we want to, we can find an excuse.

I have received several emails and comments about this subject. Many writers were intrigued by the question of morality it raises, others were more interested in the philosophical underpinnings. There were writers who complained of my over-simplified explanation. The point is, the issue of lying, deserves to be a topic of conversation. It needs the light of us blog writers, the press, think tanks, TED talks, church groups, and folks sitting around having a few beers. In my heart I believe change bubbles up. Only when we the common folk, the 99%, the silent majority, or whatever it is we are going by now, rise up and say, “Wait a minute! This is an issue. Lets talk about it.”, we are going to continue to experience an erosion of truth it all its forms.

I hope this post causes you to think. After you think about lies, and truth, and the role you play in it, maybe you will talk. Start a conversation with a loved one, or your child, the neighbor, your pastor, those in your study group, or any one who is willing to listen. With all my heart I believe change bubbles up. And, just maybe, some day we really will have a day of NO LYING.

Be encouraged!

 

From Those Who Comment…

This post is purely inspired by those who commented on Lying–Maybe…Maybe Not.

Lem Usita writes at www.identityspecialist.wordpress.com. His post show a deft knowledge of leadership and how it ought to work. Her posts are filled with practical, rubber-meets-the-road type of information that I personally crave. I am the just-tell-me-what-to-do-and get out-of-the-way kind of guy, and Lem tells you what and how to do it. He wrote:

You bring up an interesting idea for me – this idea that lying takes on different forms depending on your stage of development – pick your developmental theory. I need to think about what a lie looks like in light of this. Do you have any articles that talk about this?
Thanks for the post.

I responded with:

Lem, first of all let me say how much I enjoy your posts regarding leadership. I would like to swap a few emails, or even a phone call or two , to discuss my experiences in leadership development at a Global 100 manufacturing firm. I think you’ll find the stories interesting.

Developmental theories are kind of like a bad haircut, everyone has had one, but their idea of what it is differs widely. Lying when we are younger is often seen as punishment avoidance. Q.-Did you spill the milk? A.-No way, the cat did it. As we age lying is the result of peer acceptance or is seen as a useful tool to gain something. Such as Q.-Hey Dad, can I have the car keys? A./Q.-Did you get your room cleaned like your Mom asked? A.-Yeah, pretty much (Reality-room looks like a bomb went off in it, but you told the guys it would be no problem getting your Dad’s car and promised to pick them up at 6:00). By the time you have graduated from college and entered the work force, the lies start to look more like CYA. Q.-Did you get the Jones Report done? A.-Yeah, you’ll have it on your desk when you arrive in the morning. (Reality-What the hell is the Jones report?)

If you look at Maslow and Metamotivation, is it possible we are seeking fulfillment of our Being Needs via lying through our teeth?

I don’t have any articles which speak directly about what I’ve written. However, I have pulled from Psychology Journals, books, magazines, newspapers, and friends who I have bombarded with questions, concepts, and theories. While sitting around having a few beers I have often pulled the topic of our conversation from whether the Yankees will pull it together to make another run for the pennant to when do our dreams become reality?

I drive my friends nuts, but as long as I’m buying, they seem to hang around. lol

My email is stephenedwards922@gmail.com. Give me a holler and maybe we can exchange phone numbers. By the way…what do you think…when do dreams become reality?

Another comment I received was from 5kidsmom. She writes at www.carnivalcommunications.wordpress.com. Her writing is clear, pure and cleverly insightful. I have always deeply enjoyed her thought process and delivery. Also in the interest of honesty; her and I have discovered we share remarkably similar, yet different perspectives, so we have agreed to collaborate on a book. She wrote th:

oh my….
>>>>>”Some men (not all, ;) have to lie about ‘WHY’ they lie!!<<<<<<
Rack ’em up boys!! Keep lying about why you’re lying, we’re listening LOL! What he doesn’t realize is….while little boys are lying to their mothers, (???FEAR??) little girls are being taught by their fathers, BOYS LIE!
Too late MacIntyre—-we’re onto you, and just like you, we started ‘getting it’, from a very young age!! That’s no lie ;) One more thing, boys lying to their Mom’s didn’t really make life easier, it probably just sparred them the consequences. So come on guys, you lie because you’re afraid of the wrath lol!

I responded:

Gosh, this lying thing has started our own little personal firestorm. Why? Well probably for two reasons. 1.) We all do it. We aren’t exactly proud of that fact. We don’t go around saying, “Alright! I just told another whopper!” Truth is we are ashamed. We are ashamed, because even after all we’ve been taught (programmed?) we still know it is wrong. 2.) We have all been lied to and it is frustrating. It hurts and we clearly understand the world (shoot, forget the world, even our little lives) would be a better place if everyone would stop.

Boys lie to girls, girls lie to boys, men lie to women, women lie to men, men lie to men, women lie to women, employees lie to bosses, bosses lie to employees, companies lie to customers, customers lie to companies, races lie to other races, nations lie to other nations, and I’m relatively confident if the human race ever encounters extra terrestrials, we will lie to them too.

So the bottom line is, “What do we do?”

This is too good for just a reply. I’m going to take this out and put it on the big screen. I will have a post forthwith, which will answer the question, “What do we do?”

WHAT DO WE DO?

Here is what I propose:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20,2012 IS A NO LYING DAY

START EMAILING YOUR FRIENDS & EVERYONE IN THE WORLD YOU KNOW! TELL EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH THAT WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2012 IS A NO LYING DAY. WE WILL TELL NO LIES FROM MIDNIGHT TO MIDNIGHT.

NOW GO

BE ENCOURAGED!

100x WORTHY!

You are worthy of an insanely great and awesome life!

You are worthy of great children!

You are worthy of sunshine!

You are worthy of a kiss!

You are worthy of your parents!

You are worthy of peace!

You are worthy of kindness!

You are worthy of love!

You are worthy of your spouse!

You are worthy of change!

You are worthy of what you want!

You are worthy of sex!

You are worthy of worship!

You are worthy of that gleam in your eye!

You are worthy of candy!

You are worthy of time!

You are worthy of big beautiful white clouds!

You are worthy of the time it takes me to write this!

You are worthy of flowers!

You are worthy of rain!

You are worthy of diamonds!

You are worthy of laughter!

You are worthy of smiles!

You are worthy of understanding!

You are worthy of wisdom!

You are worthy of chocolate!

You are worthy of dinner!

You are worthy of silk sheets!

You are worthy of the impossible!

You are worthy of belief!

You are worthy of change!

You are worthy of exploring!

You are worthy of wanting!

You are worthy of feeling!

You are worthy of knowing!

You are worthy of quiet!

You are worthy of conversation!

You are worthy of success!

You are worthy of a future!

You are worthy of solitude!

You are worthy of a voice!

You are worthy of mourning!

You are worthy of leading!

You are worthy of assistance!

You are worthy of knowing!

You are worthy of dancing!

You are worthy of faith!

You are worthy of wine!

You are worthy of prayer!

You are worthy of light!

You are worthy of family!

You are worthy of a song!

You are worthy of wonder!

You are worthy of worth!

You are worthy following!

You are worthy of help!

You are worthy of self-esteem!

You are worthy of being!

You are worthy of writing!

You are worthy of visiting!

You are worthy of hope!

You are worthy of dreaming!

You are worthy of confidence!

You are worthy of a vacation!

You are worthy of holiness!

You are worthy of patience!

You are worthy of cuddling!

You are worthy of devotion!

You are worthy of grandchildren!

You are worthy of greatness!

You are worthy of strength!

You are worthy of endurance!

You are worthy of passion!

You are worthy of creativity!

You are worthy of singing!

You are worthy of lullabies!

You are worthy of thought!

You are worthy of character!

You are worthy of obedience!

You are worthy of wildness!

You are worthy of your own mind!

You are worthy of action!

You are worthy of my love!

You are worthy of humility!

You are worthy of sacredness!

You are worthy of the divine!

You are worthy of fun!

You are worthy of a video!

You are worthy of shouting!

you are worthy of advice!

you are worthy of possibilities!

you are worthy of intelligence!

You are worthy of money!

You are worthy of following!

You are worthy of inspiration!

you are worthy of the ocean!

You are worthy of desire!

You are worthy of liking!

You are worthy of excuses!

You are worthy of compassion!

You are worthy of EVERYTHING!

This was inspired by my wife Susie.

Fascinating…

 

This art piece was created by Sarolta Ban who was born in Budapest, Hungary. She is passionate about the possibilities of digital photo manipulation. She says from her blog post on www.art-profiles.com, “she hopes that the meanings of her pictures are never too limited, are open in some way, each viewer can transform them into a personal aspect.”

This is my personal aspect.

I was immediately struck by the look of awe and wonder on the child’s face. In the past I’ve seen the light bulb used as an icon for an idea. Look at the size of the bulb compared to the child. Isn’t that a beautiful metaphor for how much bigger our ideas can be than we are. Our ideas have the power to change not only our lives, but our world.

During the short time I’ve posted this blog it has been read by people from South Africa, Malaysia, Norway, and countless other places. It is read by other writers, housewives, ex-hookers, photographers, Sam’s Club cashiers, and God only knows who else.  It has reached people in areas I’ve only read about and most likely, will never visit. It is certainly much bigger than I am.

But that is how ideas are. Seth Godin, the marketing guru, best-selling author, online entrepreneur, calls it viral. I call it freakishly, insanely amazing!

I’m not bragging about this, quite the opposite. I am deeply appreciative of every comment I receive and of everyone who takes time out of their busy schedule to read. But look at what has happened to a blog that was started only a month ago. Folks it was just an idea. I took Seth Godin’s advice which he offered on a Success magazine’s CD. He was asked what to do if a person wanted to get their ideas before other people. He replied, “Start and blog and keep writing.” So thanks Seth (like he is actually reading it, but then again you never know).

We are all just kids, regardless of our age. We act, we posture, we imitate, we do everything we can to be grown-ups, but down deep inside, the place where only we go, we know in our heart-of-hearts we never really grew up.

So be a kid, be fascinated with big ideas, think big ideas, dream big dreams, think you can draw.

And as always…

Be encouraged! 

A few thoughts on yesterday’s post…

As I was writing yesterday I began to think of a story I had heard some time ago. I am great at remembering stories and people, but not so good at remembering where I heard the stories or where I met the people. So if I am ripping this story off of you please forgive me. Leave a comment and I’ll make sure you get full credit.

A few years ago there was a study done that went into kindergarten classes and asked the little students how many of them could draw? In every instance 100% of the children raised their hands. Then they went to third grade classes and asked the same question, this time 2/3 of the class raised their hands. Next they went into fifth grade classes with the same question, but now only about 1/4 of the students raised their hands. The final class they asked were freshman in high school. The response had dwindled to less than a handful who believed they could draw.

So what has happened? Is there a mysterious ailment that afflicts adolescents causing them to lose the ability to draw? Or do they quit because art now becomes another class they need to get through? Or do they become preoccupied with “other stuff.”

I am no psychologist, but here is what I believe, at least, begins to contribute to the falling number of students who believe they can draw. They begin to listen to themselves and others who say, “You can’t draw.” Now maybe they aren’t that direct, instead they hear these words, “What is that?” or “That’s dumb.” or “Yeah, whatever.”

These words set the tone. They are not encouraging. They don’t make you feel like you are making a good effort. Back in my youth we called it a bummer. They bum you out. They cause you to doubt. To believe what you are accomplishing isn’t very good and not worth the effort.

I wonder what would happen if we praised the art work of every child. No I’m not saying we have to proclaim each child the next Picasso, but if we encouraged the effort, the concept, or the idea. Not all children can draw, but I suspect that are a lot of drawers out there who don’t draw because somewhere along life they got the idea they weren’t good enough.

What if this is true, not only with drawing, but also singing, writing, playing an instrument, creating, thinking, wondering, traveling, exploring, love, and/or life. What if this type of dwindling belief in what we can accomplish is active in sports, business, religion, in our governments, in our schools, in our hospitals, in our families, in our lives.

Is there really only one Lance Armstrong? 

Is there really only one Usain Bolt?

Is there really only one Martin Luther King Jr.?

Is there really only one Gandhi?

Is there really only one Desmond Tutu?

Is there really only one Richard Branson?

Is there really only one Steve Jobs? 

Or are there more? Maybe even thousands more, just waiting for the right words or combination of words, so they can excel. So they can break the shackles of mediocrity and soar. How high? We don’t have a clue. But we’ll never know if we don’t encourage.

Be encouraged.

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