LifeRevelation

Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Archive for the category “fun”

My Political Thought

Banksy.jpg

http://dystopia-11engadv.wikispaces.com/

I read a post by Lisa at http://agrippinglife.wordpress.com/ entitled Dear President Obama. She didn’t write it, but felt it was a good summation of how she and possibly many more are feeling. The original post was written by Maggie at http://somethingfathappened.wordpress.com. I don’t know Maggie, but since I started this blog Lisa and I have become good enough friends that we have actually entertained our families getting together for a meal sometime when we all can find the time.

Lisa is not someone who goes off on political tangents. She isn’t the kind of person that would pigeon-hole you in a corner for over an hour while she rants on about big government and how the apocalypse is upon us. However, if I were you I would steer clear of talking about a certain cashier at the local diner where she has breakfast every morning, but other than that Lisa strikes me as being fairly level-headed, compassionate, intelligent, extremely witty, and someone who truly cares about the quality of life for others.

So she worried about posting something political. She didn’t want to have to wade through reading a bunch of hate mail that questioned her mental stability, gender identity, social status, and/or whether she was an enemy mole feverishly working the inner ropes of the blogging community. She just wanted to post something that reflected how she felt…end of story.

She inspired me.

Like Lisa I am posting something that someone else created (although I wish I had the talent and the spray paint). So with my tongue planted firmly within my cheek the above is my political statement. I should acknowledge this is my statement and my statement alone, it does not necessarily reflect the thoughts of Susie my wife, Jake the Wonder Dog, Callie the Sleek Dog, OC the World’s Tiniest Cat, Zip the Pet Me or Die Cat, or Annie Now Called Andy Because My Stupid Parents Can’t Recognize Sex Parts on a Kitten.

I am Stephen Edwards and I support the contents of this blog.

Be encouraged!

How I Ran Across the US

From http://thebettermanprojects.wordpress.com

People always have the same question when they discover I have run across the United States, “How did you do that?”

My answer has varied throughout the years. Not because I am being shifty. I want to answer as honestly as possible, but as I grow as an individual, I have discovered something quite remarkable about my past experiences. Although the events of the past are set in stone, the life lessons learned are not.  Those life lessons are active, moving, and working. Each passing year reveals more fruit.

Lately I have been giving considerable thought to how I learned my life lessons. There has been an extremely wide variety of methods. The one  constant however,  is I tend to learn by experience. This has not always been the best method. It has often been the source of intense hurt and suffering for those who love me.

Several years ago I began to think I was my own worse enemy. This thought took hold during an extremely difficult period that I had inflicted on myself. I labored to dig myself out of the hole I had so expertly dug, then dove into. This was no quick and easy fix. Lives were damaged, families hurt, feelings were rubbed raw and bloody, and this was the best side of it, and I was responsible for all of it.

After years of struggle I was able to see fruit from my effort. My life began to be about something else other than the tragedy. About the same time another idea began to germinate. I certainly wasn’t willing to embrace it. I didn’t believe I deserved it, but I certainly was willing to consider it. With the passage of time, I entertained the idea more often. I grew to like it. I kept it guarded at first. I didn’t tell any one. I wanted to make sure it was Truth before I shared it.

Finally, the time arrived that I was willing not only to share it, but more importantly, to believe it. I decided to defeat the little voice in my head that had always proudly proclaimed I was good for nothing. I realized after all those years of believing I was my own worse enemy, what I was doing was looking at the wrong end of the stick.

Instead of thinking of myself as the antagonist, I could be my best friend.

What a concept! I could set myself up to be successful instead of fail. Of course, failure is considerably easier to engineer, but success is far more exciting. I’ve never been shy of doing whatever is necessary to get the job done. Once committed to a goal, I could/would lower my head and move heaven and earth to get whatever was needed done. This was my game and I loved it. I could make my world better.

I haven’t completely defeated the little voice, but I have severely contained his ability to control how I view life. He no longer reigns supreme without any opposition.

So how did I run across the United States? By defeating the little voice inside of me that told me to quit.

Be encouraged!

Virtue #8–Caring

http://www.uexpressit.com/character_education.htm

This afternoon before leaving to come to the office I kissed my wife good-bye. I always make sure I kiss her good-bye. It is something I started early in our relationship. You never know what a day is going to hold, so I make sure I kiss her and tell her I love her before departing our home.

As I turned to leave I heard her voice soft and low asking, “Are we on the same page?”

Susie and I don’t have any big issues, but occasionally little, niggling, side line ripples will develop that need attention. Fortunately that was not the case this morning. In my mind I was already sitting in front of my computer, writing my heart out, and trying to take the twisted, convoluted spaghetti mess that passes for congruent thought in my mind, and turn it into brilliant prose that not only dazzles your receptors dear reader, but also sparks you to change the world as we know it, into the world that we want.

In other words I was distracted.

Susie did not ask because she was afraid our relationship would fall apart if she didn’t. She wanted to make sure she hadn’t missed anything, because she cares. As I drove down the drive it made me feel closer to her, loved, and as I turned onto the road that would bring to the office I had tears in my eyes.

And that got me to thinking.

John Wooden, the well-known UCLA basket ball coach who led his team to an unbelievable 10 national titles once said, “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you”.

Lao Tzu, philosopher of ancient China, best known for writing Tao Te Ching, and often called the Father of Taoism is quoted as saying, “From caring comes courage.”

 The Spanish cellist and conductor, Pablo Casals, who lived from 1876 to 1973 said, “I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.”

Our American statesman Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “Want of care has done us more damage than want of knowledge.”

Caring is an essential part of us. No doubt it is important to those on the receiving end…because often it comes out of nowhere. I know I loved having Susie inquire if we were okay, but I suspect it moved something inside of her to an even greater degree.  I am the person who has been joined to her. Together we make one, in a way I can’t explain. I know it, I feel it, I live it, and I share it, but I can’t put it into words. This afternoon as I watched her turn away to go back into our home I could see the edge of her lips lift up in a smile. Her head turned upward, just a bit. Her shoulders pulled back only a smidgen. Her height grew by a hair, but her heart, I knew, exploded in a sun lit explosion of warmth.

I suspect it is more important to the giver. Maybe it makes us different inside. I believe it changes us just a little bit for the better with each act of caring. Caring creates more caring and that can only be a good thing.

Take a moment after you read this and spread a little care. It might not make the evening news but I bet it registers in your heart. Don’t be afraid, worried, or anxious. Don’t try to make it special. Anything will do.

Be encouraged!

Virtue #6–Benevolence

http://www.freechurchaccounting.com/benevolence-policy.html

BENEVOLENCE

At http://dictionary.reference.com underneath this:

benevolence

[buh-nev-uh-luhns]     Origin

Brain Training Games
www.lumosity.com
Improve Memory with Scientifically Designed Exercises – Free Trial!
Bi Polar Test
healthyweb.com
Find Out If You Have Bi Polar In (9) Simple Questions.

Why Men Pull Away
CatchHimAndKeepHim.com
10 Ugly Mistakes Women Make That Ruins Any Chances Of A Relationship
I found this:

be·nev·o·lence

[buh-nev-uh-luhns]  Show IPA

noun

1.

desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness: to befilled with benevolence toward one’s fellow creatures.
2.

an act of kindness; a charitable gift.
3.

English History . a forced contribution to the sovereign.
Because, you know when I think of benevolence, the very next three things that come trotting through my mind is Brain Training Games, Bi-Polar Testing, and Why Men Pull Away. Whoa! those catchy Google-ites, they are on to me.
Sometimes the world I inhabit truly amazes me .
But I digress.
Benevolence is making a comeback. Not that it ever officially left the scene, but it definitely ebbed considerably during the unabashedly greedy era. We became more concerned with IPOs, LBOs, and several other acronyms all associated with making money by moving paper around instead of actually producing anything. We forgot there were people less fortunate than us.
Now that benevolence is making a resurgence it needs a new name and image. You remember bell bottoms from the 60’s and 70’s, well it is sort of like that. When bell bottoms began to return in the early 2000’s they were called flared legs. Same thing, just a new marketing scheme. Same scenario with ladies jeans that ride on the hips. In my day, they were called hip huggers. I haven’t made the effort to find out what they are called now, because I could care less. The only way I know they aren’t called hip huggers any more is because I referred to them as hip huggers when talking to my daughter and she started laughing uncontrollably. Between giggles she said, “Dad you are so out of it.” I interpreted that as her way of saying she admired me and when she finally grows up she wants to be just like me.
Benevolence is now cutting edge, except we can’t call it benevolence anymore for fear someone will think we are old and out of touch with what is happening. So now we call it philanthropy. It is just as hard to spell and equally as difficult to pronounce so it is a win-win situation for everybody. I am going to continue to refer to it as benevolence, because I am old and old fashion, and I’m writing this post and can pretty much decide to do whatever I want.
There are some very large companies that have decided to push at least some of their money from the profit column into the let’s make the world a better place by helping out those who need it column. I’ve listed a few below, but trust me there are literally thousands more:
  • Wal-Mart                   $319,454,996
  • Goldman Sachs       $315,383,413
  • Wells Fargo               $219,132,065
  • Bank of America     $207,939,857
  • Exxon Mobil             $198,692,197

Some of these are my favorite companies to intensely dislike, but the above info came from http://philanthropy.com, so I trust the figures, even if I don’t entirely embrace the companies themselves.

Then there are other companies doing some remarkable things.

TOMS is owned by Blake Mycoskie. His company makes some very cool shoes and eyewear. When you purchase a pair of shoes they give a pair of shoes to a child somewhere in the world. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? To date TOMS has given away over one million shoes throughout the world. Their eyewear division has given sight to over 45,000 people and they just started.

Since the inception of Patagonia in 1985 they have given 1% of sales to environmental issues around the world. How much money? I’m not sure and couldn’t find any specific figures but it is in multi-millions of dollars.

Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream company, although no longer owned by the founders, but now owned by the conglomerate Unilever still commits 7.5% of pre-tax profit to charitable organizations.

There are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of churches that have designated not only finances, but also provided personnel to assist in a variety of humanitarian aid.

So benevolence lives, but where do we stand? Do we have a stranglehold on our hard earned cash? Do we guard our precious free time? Our we a little stingy with our resources?

The company Susie and I have founded, LifeRevelation is committed to donating 1% of all our fees back to the community wherein we speak. It is our small way of saying thanks and trying to do something to help.

Benevolence can take on many different forms, in many different areas of your life. I believe it can apply to your marriage, your children, co-workers, friends, family members, the guy behind you at McDonalds. Think about it…is there some way you can help? Do what you can.

Be encouraged!

My Head Is Dizzy…

There has been a strange force moving through the universe lately. Maybe it has something to with the monster sun spots which are getting ready to unleash these massive, powerful solar flares. Or it could be something connected to the recent return of the first commercial space craft to carry supplies to the Space Station. Maybe some kind of alien life form attached itself to it and was released into the atmosphere as craft plummeted back to earth. After all it landed close to California.

I guess it could be nothing like that at all. There always seems to be a lot of weirdness in the air every time there is a presidential election. So it could have something to do with the fact that two grown men are spouting a lot of words that a lot of other grown people don’t believe for a moment.

Whatever it is, it is causing some very unusual things to happen in the blog world. Let me give you some solid rock hard evidence which will convince you beyond any reasonable doubt that mysterious elements are a drift in our midst.

  1. I received the Lovely Blog Award.
  2. I received the Sunshine Blog Award.
  3. I received the Tell Me about Yourself Award.
  4. I received the Beautiful Blogger Award.

Now to I want you to hearken back to the days of the Perry Mason show. I realize for some of you this will require you to call your Grandparents or take out your Smart phones and google “perry mason”, but I’m patient, I’ll wait.

Perry Mason was a fictional defense attorney created by Earl Stanley Gardner. He authored over 80 books in which the masterful Perry Mason always got his helpless, maliciously maligned client acquitted of first degree murder by verbally applying the screws to some poor daff who thought he could get away with taking another’s life.  The daff didn’t have a chance. Under Mason’s penetrating glare and mountain of facts, the daff always collapsed, sobbing his confession.

The TV series kept me glued to the screen as a kid. First by the riveting voice of Raymond Burr who portrayed Perry Mason. His voice was a cross between soft velvet and rolling thunder. He was awesome. Just as awesome was Della Street played by Barbara Hale. For a young boy on the verge of puberty, Della Street was smokin’ hot.

But I digress.

The real reason I have taken you down this bunny trail of a long forgotten TV series is to draw attention to the poor scared defendant. Up to the point when Mr. Mason would unleash his avalanche of evidence on the unsuspecting daff, it would look like the miserable suspect was guilty as sin. All the evidence would point to him or her.

Well I am that poor, miserable, lost, hopeless defendant. Except instead of accusing me of first degree murder you are saying I am worthy of awards. Oh you poor misguided souls. In the past I have alluded to having been nominated for these awards because I  transferred large sums of money from my account (which would have been impossible, because there are no large sums of money in my account) to your account, of you being under the influence of strong drink, and possibly allowing yourself to be driven by spirits that do not have your best interests at heart.

I confess I have greatly enjoyed receiving these awards. They have given me the opportunity to indulge in a type of writing that I normally don’t do (as in never). Plus they have allowed me to suggest to you some other bloggers who have deeply enriched my life with their posts. I’m telling you…you all can do some seriously great and freakishly awesome writing.

Karen at http://alifelessscripted.com nominated me for this award. As I understand it I don’t have to reveal any hidden nasty elements in my life. I can just go straight to telling you about some fine writers, who have blogs that are a true blessing. So here goes:

  1. Bird has a blog entitled Everyone Has A Story at http://birdmartin.wordpress.com…and does this woman have stories. Sometimes they are hilarious, other times you can feel the pain. No matter what she picks it and soldiers on. Talked about a trooper…this woman is the real thing.
  2. Arianna at http://ariannasrandomthoughts.com keeps writing me telling me she wants ideas for posts, but geesh the woman has over 32,000 views. Don’t you think she should be giving us advice. Heck for that many views I would pay for it. Check out her blog…there is a reason so many folks are flocking to read what she has to say.
  3. This woman at http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com just received this award a couple of weeks ago, but I’m giving it to her again…and the reason is you’ve got to read this post…http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/…it is the perfect post encompassing everything I believe in regards to facing our fears, then using them to become a stronger person. She ROCKS!
  4. Amelia at http://lifeintheblueridges.wordpress.com is an unique young lady. She is writing a book about her obstacles in overcoming Cerebral Palsy and while you might be inclined to think the subject is not something you have driving desire to read…give her a go…her writing is so pure and well constructed you will find yourself wanting to read everything she has written. She is one great young lady and for an old person like me, she provides substantial evidence that the next generation will be just fine.
  5. I just like the way Beverly at http://januarytodecember.wordpress.com writes…and besides she just became a Sherlock Holmes fan…and I love everything about Mr. Holmes.

Thank you again, Karen. I am hopelessly indebted to you for your belief that I deserve this. And just as I wrote in the comment section of your blog…the check is in the mail.

Be encouraged!

Motivation?

Motivation?

The relationship between visits to seek.com.au and Web conferences

http://www.themaninblue.com/writing/perspective/2006/10/11/

Does this look familiar? I think we can all see ourselves in this graph. We are running low on motivation, then we go to a conference/seminar/retreat  and suddenly we are on inspiration steroids, without the nasty side effects, unless you count being slightly over-the-top annoying to your co-workers. Then the reality of the job/family/personal relationships start to encroach on our stimulating high and we begin a downward trend. At first, we tell ourselves it is alright. There is a reason nothing grows a mountain tops, it is unreasonable to believe we could be highly motivated all the time.

We slip a little more, but we are busy and it is difficult to keep track of this all the time.  We’ve got commitments, there are reports, job issues, kid’s soccer and dance, significant others who aren’t quite as supporting as we would like, and before long our motivation has sunk back to where it was before our big event.

This is one remedy:

Trying to maintain innovation motivation using constant Web conferences

http://www.themaninblue.com/writing/perspective/2006/10/11/

The trouble with this concept is you end up going to every type of motivational seminar you hear about, you read the top motivational books, you subscribe to the motivational emails, and you end up driving yourself batty trying to stay on top of your game.

We need to stop the merry-go-round and get off. I believe there is a way to avoid the roller-coaster and still keep our drive and passion running high. I know there is a way to enjoy the benefits of inspiration and enthusiasm without it becoming another burden in life to deal with. The reason I am convinced of this is because I have utilized it in my own life. I have been able to eliminate the erratic up and down flow of emotions. I have discovered a method of smoothing out the rough patches and maintaining the energy and excitement.

I was asked one time by a slightly skeptical individual if I was a motivational speaker. When I replied I was he had a look on his face like I had fallen directly into his trap. With as much disdain as he could muster he said, “So motivate me?” I looked directly into his stare and said, “I can’t.” He looked like the cat when the mouse gets a way. He stammered back, “Whaddya mean?”

I ran through much the same scenario as I have outlined above and then said, “Only you can motivate you.” At that point he was intrigued enough to forsake the testosterone fueled attitude and we began to talk.

I told him how all the words and encouragement in the world don’t mean anything until the individual begins to act. There must be a decision. There must be action. There must be follow through. Only when we make a choice to change our ways can our circumstances change. Thinking all the right thoughts will help and reading the books by the most influential motivational speakers will assist, but nothing will happen until you make a decision.

I have gone from deceiver to achiever, dope to hope, and mess to success. I did not do it by reading or hearing or thinking, I did it by getting up off my sofa and acting on what I knew to be true. I added fuel to the fire and turned up the flame. Turning the criminal life I was leading into a life of benefit to others was no overnight sensation. It was hard, continual work. There was a lot of sweat and tears, and then more sweat and even more tears. When the going got tough (and it always will, at some point) I lowered my head and kept going. I was not about to give up no matter what. I knew what was behind me. I had no desire for my past to dictate my future. It was full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes. There was no exit ramp. There was no time out area. There was no alternative, except to move forward. The options list had been added to the fire. Now maybe you don’t have the drama I had or maybe you have more, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except getting up and doing something. There are no excuses. There are no reasons. The only thing left to do, is do.

Is changing your thought pattern beneficial? Absolutely! Is reading inspiring books good? You bet it is, I’m reading inspirational material all the time. Is associating with others who share my desire alright? Yes it is, I have surrounded myself with people of integrity, who share my vision for changing the world. Isn’t all of that enough? No it isn’t. You’ve got to take action. All of those ideas will help, but until you take matters into your own hands and implement everything into your actions, your emotional state will remain flat, or worse, continue in a downward descent.

Will you have fears? Yes you will. Will you get scared? Yes you will. It will be so bad at times that your insides liquefy. You will get headaches. You will sweat profusely at times. You will think you can’t go on. You will want to quit. You will want to give up. You will cry. You will yell. You will curse. You will hate it at times with every ounce of your being. You will imagine death to be easier (it is not). It will be both mental and physical. But keep moving forward.

Does this sound like the old coach revving up the players for the big game. Yes it does! Why? Because it works, pure and simple. Actions change our lives. It isn’t rocket science, thank God or I would never have gotten it. What it is, is plain old fashion hard work. I know that isn’t popular, there is a reason why there is a glut of “labor saving devices” in the market. But it can’t be avoided. An alcoholic must go through withdrawals. The same is true for any type of drug addiction.  The withdrawals are painful, uncomfortable, and sometimes feel like hell itself, but they work…and they are unavoidable.

Forging the life we want isn’t always sweet chimes, white fluffy clouds, and incense. More often it resembles a hard day of baling hay. The sweat stings your eyes. Your nostrils are clogged with the thick dust of hay. Your arms feel like they will fall off. Your mind goes into tunnel thought. Your back is made aware of a whole new level of searing pain, but at the end of the day, when you look up in the loft and see it full of stacked bales, the pride you feel is overwhelming. A sense of job well done. Nothing automatic about it. You worked for it and have the proof of your labors.

Forge a new life. Set yourself free. Work for it. Feel the sting, the ache, the desire. Know in your mind it is more important than your next breath. Feel it in everything within you. Unleash yourself. Cut the chain and run. Run until your lungs burn like hot fiery pokers have been shoved down your throat. Feel the exhaustion. Feel the power. Feel the freedom.

Live the life you want. Whatever that is. Is it being in the center of the road? Is it the road less traveled? Is it the road traveled by your friends, family, and loved ones? Is it not even a road? Is it a path? Is it just two points strung out on a distant map in your mind? Is it uncharted territory? Is it a deep and rolling sea? Is it a small babbling brook? Is it hunkered down in a home you love as much as anything else on earth? It doesn’t matter what it is…live the life you want.

Whatever it is, live it to the raw fullest. Be inflamed with your life. Let it consume your being and ooze from your pores. Don’t hold back and never give up. Have it stamped on your forehead. Burn it into your consciousness. Put it out front. Wear it on your sleeve. Brandish it like a double edge sword. Hold your banner high. Keep it up. Don’t give up. Keep adding fuel to the fire.

Action is the key…now get up and go for it!

BE ALIVE!
BE ALIVE!

BE ALIVE!

BE ALIVE!

BE ALIVE!

BE ALIVE!

Be encouraged! 

Be encouraged!

Recommended Reading

http://www2.elc.polyu.edu.hk/CILL/writing.htm

I recently picked up a new book by Danielle LaPorte entitled, The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful & Practical Guide to Creating Success On Your Own Terms. Now normally I am somewhat hesitant to read anything that claims I can be successful. I realize it seems a little incongruent considering my chosen profession is helping individuals to be successful in their lives. Let me explain, I am leery of any book, CD, movie, video, business investment, or anything else, if I will only pay X amount dollars in XX number of installments it will transform my mundane existence into a life full of meaning, purpose, wealth, gold, health, white teeth, charming personality, precious metals, drive thousands to my web site, and  guarantee dogs, cats, and the opposite sex will find me irresistible.

In past centuries these pitches were reserved to snake oil salesman, but now they can be found in most email in-boxes, no matter where you live. The motivation industry is rife with get rich quick money schemes that promise you success in every aspect of your life with little or no effort on your part, except for a few dollars. I recently looked at a life coach’s package offered at $24,000. Another person was offering a one day seminar for $20,000. Sorry, maybe they are worth it, but I’m not convinced. So as I said, I’m a little leery.

Ms. LaPorte’s bio says she was a former executive for a future-studies think tank and a communications and business strategists, all without a college education. Since I have a soft spot in my heart for those educated by life experiences, I was willing to look at her book and I’m glad I did. She is the real deal. Nearly all of her ideas caused me to think about what I believe and, more importantly, why I believe it.

The book is divided into sixteen sessions and Fire Starter is a an accurate name for the book. The more I read the more excited I became. She shoots straight from the hip. At times it is liking reading a stream of consciousness, think trying to drink from a fire hose, but the message is solid. The front flap gives you a taste of what to expect:

  • Life balance is a myth.
  • Being well rounded is highly overrated.
  • Screw your principles (yeah I know…this one took me a while to digest, but trust me).
  • We have ambition backwards. Getting Clear on how you want to feel in your life and work is more important than setting goals

I am never shy about recommending what I think is good…and this is very good. In the future I will illustrate more of her philosophy, but in the mean time, you might want to consider at least looking at it at your local bookstore.

Be encouraged!

One Lovely Blog Award & More Sunshine Than I Deserve

Jenny at http://jennysserendipity.wordpress.com has mistakenly nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award and before she realizes her error, I’m going to go ahead and rush this post out…I’m thinking once it is published she can’t take it back.

Then Anne at http://mylifeuncutalmost.wordpress.com hit the wrong button and included me in this Sunshine Award.

I believe the rules are you are supposed to reveal all your secrets to everyone so here goes:

  1. I secretly love opera music, but I’m so ignorant about it I have no idea what I’m listening to…I just like it.
  2. I buy the Wall Street Journal almost every day, but really only understand about half of what I read.
  3. I am truly bewildered by people who seem to be successful at everything they attempt in life.
  4. I don’t exactly know how to be a good husband…I just love my wife, smile a lot, say yes even more, and thank God she loves me.
  5. If I were one of those super-successful athletes who command multi-millions of dollars per year, I would play about five years, live like I was earning about $40,000 a year, then retire and spend the rest of my life hanging out with Susie, my wife.
  6. I have zero (actually less than zero) mechanical ability.
  7. When I press the publish button and launch my thoughts on the internet I am absolutely flabbergasted, amazed that people take the time to respond.
Now for the part when I get to recommend a number of bloggers I believe you all should read:
  1. Lisa at http://agrippinglife.wordpress.com. Her posts are great and when she comments on mine I am always forced to think.
  2. Check out http://happinessisnotadisease.wordpress.com. The young lady who writes this has some phenomenal insight.
  3. Stuart at  http://thechangeyourlifeblog.wordpress.com has just published a new book. The book is excellent.
  4. Jeremiah at http://knowthesphere.wordpress.com has also just published a new book. This kid can seriously write.
  5. Arianna at http://ariannasrandomthoughts.com has some quality content and I always enjoy her posts.
  6. If I could write like Heidi at http://hnsieverding.wordpress.com I wouldn’t have any problems in this world…this girl is gifted.
  7. I am not much of a poet, but Lily at http://onemoremorning.com is awesome. I love reading her stuff.
  8. This one is difficult for me to read at times, but Stella does an incredible job writing about a difficult subject http://secretlifeofamanhattancallgirl.wordpress.com
  9. Kati at http://toughmotivation.wordpress.com always has great content about motivation and the work place.
  10. While this young lady never reveals her name she does give you lots to think about, read her at http://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com
  11. Karen at http://writingyourdestiny.com has helped me become a better writer…a great lady.
There are about 183 more blogs I would like to recommend, but it is getting late, I’m still at the office, I wanted to leave thirty-five minutes ago, and I am old.  I would like to take a moment before I sign off and thank everyone who has taken the time from their life to read what I write. I am very grateful. For those of you who have made the extra effort to comment…I am especially grateful. Your comments have caused me to think and re-think my positions on what I write…in short you have caused me to grow as a person…how can I ever thank you enough? If you have enjoyed what I’ve written, if it has caused you to move forward in your life, if you in any way found it rewarding…then give glory to God, I can assure you it wasn’t me. On the other hand, if I have offended, insulted, or otherwise caused distress…forgive me…it is all my fault.
This has been fun…be encouraged!

Virtues…I Think

Recently I’ve given a lot of thought to what our society and culture holds in esteem. I’ve written several posts about how we now accept lying as part of our daily living. From the traditional used car sales person huckstering for every additional warranty and  loan percentage they can get to the added procedures ordered by doctors, to the average sales clerk in Barnes & Nobles who has been trained to focus on add-on sales. I have written about how and why we need to return to truth. But there are other aspects I’ve neglected. I’ve been wondering in this digitized age what has become of virtues? I have wanted to write a post about virtues for some time now, but I’ve run into a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, cloaked in a conundrum.

Everyone has their own view of what is a virtue. Such as;

  • Four Cardinal Virtues, as illustrated above, left to right – Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, and Justice.
  • Nine Noble Virtues – Courage, Truth, Honor, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Self Reliance, Industriousness, and Perseverance.
  • Five Biblical Virtues – Compassion, Kindness, Humility, Gentleness, and Patience.
  • Seven Wisdom Virtues – Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility.
  • Ben Franklin had thirteen – Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, Humility.
  • Seth Godin’ s new book Wisdom, Inc. says there are 26, but here are the first 10 – Attention To Detail, Balanced Lifestyle, Fearlessness, Grace Under Pressure, Hard Work, Initiative, Persistence, Intelligence, Responsibility, Self Motivation. 
  • VirtueScience.com tries to cover all the bases with – Acceptance, Accountability, Ambition, Assertiveness, Beauty, Benevolence, Bravery, Caring, Charity, Chastity, Caution, Cleanliness, Commitment, Compassion, Confidence, Consideration, Contentment, Cooperation, Courage, Courtesy, Creativity, Curiosity, Defiance, Dependability, Detachment, Determination, Devotion, Diligence, Discernment, Discretion, Discipline, Eloquence, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Excellence, Faith, Faithfulness, Flexibility, Focus, Forbearance, Forgiveness, Fortitude, Friendliness, Frugality, Generosity, Gentleness, Grace, Gratitude, Helpfulness, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Humbleness, Humility, Humor, Idealism, Integrity, Impartiality, Industry, Innocence, Joyfulness, Justice, Kindness, Knowledge, Liberality,Love, Loyalty, Magnanimity, Majesty, Meekness, Mercy, Moderation, Modesty, Obedience, Openness, Orderliness, Patience, Peace, Perseverance, Persistence, Piety, Prudence, Punctuality, Purity, Purposefulness, Reliability, Resoluteness, Respect, Responsibility, Restraint, Reverence, Righteousness, Selflessness, Self Sacrifice, Service, Sensitivity, Silence, Simplicity, Sincerity, Sobriety, Spontaneity, Steadfastness, Strength, Tact, Temperance, Thankfulness, Thrift, Tolerance, Toughness, Tranquility, Trust, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Understanding, Unity, Vitality, Wisdom, Wonder, Zeal.

Everybody from Aristotle to the conservative pundit William Bennett, to internet guru Seth Godin, to the local pastor I have breakfast with occasionally has had their idea of what is and in some cases, what isn’t a virtue.  If you Google search “virtues” you find 6,790,000 results. Not bad, certainly enough reading to keep one occupied at the pool for the summer.

Every virtue listed is a good one. If I could nail even one, I could die a happy man. In the face of this deluge of virtues I am going to pick out one a week  from http://www.VirtueScience.com and write a post about it. It will be published each Monday…think of it as setting the internal compass for the week. I’ll go in alphabetic order so you will know what is coming. BTW…if you counted…or if you care…there are 119.

Along the way, swamp my in-box with comments. I am anxious to know what you think.

Be encouraged!

Readers,

 

Found this post  by Stephanie at http://www.cafeforyourthoughts.wordpress.com and thought it was very much worth reblogging. I hope you will not only enjoy reading, but also apply as needed.

 

Thanks as always for taking the time out of hectic lives to stop in. I hope you always find bits of wisdom to add value to your lives.

 

Be encouraged!

Cake for Your Thoughts

I couldn’t really think of anything to say today. When that happens, there is usually something that someone else has said that needs to be said again, and I should stop rambling–kind of like the whole “80-20 Rule“.
(Get used to me saying redundant things like that, because I love it.)

Most of you have probably seen this somewhere.
We have a plaque thing hanging in our hallway that I read often. (See the proof?)
Different things stand out on different days, but all of it is so good and so true.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

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