LifeRevelation

Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Archive for the category “religion”

Sort of Like Responsibility…Part V

http://www.steliasorthodoxchurch.org/

There are few things in life that split people as quickly as talking about religion. Everyone has an idea, a thought, and/or a conviction. And rare is the individual who will listen to views, other than their own, without certain walls going up. So what I am going to ask may border on the impossible…or at least in the very difficult zone. Yes this post is going to be about what I think about God. But is only my thoughts. I am not writing to sway anyone’s opinion. I’m writing this post with the same intention I have written the prior four posts on responsibility (there is only one more), to share what has happened in my life and to prove to others who have issues, situations, or circumstances in their life that there is hope. Real honest to God, life changing hope.

So, as I usually do, let me start with a story…

The year is 1998 and I have already made significant changes to my life. Although those changes started only four years earlier, I am a completely different person. Not that there weren’t matters that needed attention (and still do). But I was no longer spending every night in a bar, chasing every skirt who happened by, or indulging my considerable desire to steal everything that wasn’t locked down and stowed away. The drug use was history and I had quit drinking. Both were considered minor miracles by those who knew me, because I had been doing a gram of cocaine a day (no worry about pesky nasal hair) and drinking a case of beer and a bottle of cognac (nice mix, huh?) a day.

No coincidence, Susie and I had been married for four years as well. Her presence in  my life had opened the eyes that were blind, the ears that were shut, and the heart that was to hard to care. It was like being born again…literally. I was experiencing emotions I didn’t know existed. I would watch the McDonald’s commercial where the little ducklings followed their mother in the rain, and tears would roll down my cheeks. I could talk to people about Susie and choke up ( actually this one still happens). I suddenly found myself loving small children, something that had NEVER happened before.

Susie had introduced me to church, which I thought was about as strange as anything I had ever witnessed, and I had witnessed MANY strange things. I liked it, but it just felt weird. I had never attended church in my life and I was extremely uncomfortable. It was like a secret society. The people were nice enough, but they had there own way of talking. A language I was completely unsure of. It was English all right, but in the world I came from being “washed in the blood,” meant you were probably dead of a gun shot wound or had been bludgeoned to death. Even the individual words were used in a different context. “God” was no longer connected to damn it and “Jesus Christ” now referred to a person/deity as opposed to being an expression of surprise. I also noticed no one used the F word, this was extremely strange, and VERY difficult to get use to. Occasionally I would slip and I was aware this was not a good thing. Susie promised to help me.

In 1998 I met this man……I’m not quite sure why he is holding that sign, but just ignore it. His name is Fr. Stevan Bauman and he is without a doubt the greatest person I have ever met in my life, which is something he would definitely not acknowledge. Knowing him has changed my life from our very first encounter over lunch at a downtown Indianapolis restaurant. I came home and told Susie things were going to change. This was a fairly large statement considering the evidence I have just presented. Over the years Fr. Stevan and I have grown quite close. When I was baptized into the Eastern Orthodox Church he became my godfather. His presence has been like having my own flesh and blood incarnation of God, another statement he wouldn’t be able to disown fast enough.  He is kind and gentle, compassionate and loving, holy and pure, patient and humble. I don’t believe he knows what anger or frustration are.

So what is this post all about?…certainly not just a window into a side of me that I rarely talk about. Well yes and no…I do want you to know about this side of me, I think it will help you understand me and my writing better, but no I’m not trying to convert you or anything remotely like it. I’m not trying to convince you of the presence of God…or of the Truth of Creation.

So what is it?…it’s about being honest, being open, being vulnerable, being authentic, and being real. It is about telling the Truth. My journey through this life has been exciting and painful, thrilling and suicidal, adventurous and paranoid. At one time my living expenses were $33,000 a month and my income far exceeded my expenses. Other times I stood in front of a Coke machine and cried because I didn’t have enough money…and this was when they were only cost 35 cents. I have run across America and stood in front of thousands telling about it and I’ve slept in a dark alley next to a dumpster because I had nowhere else to go. I have known personal pain so severe I didn’t know if I could draw my next breath and happiness so complete I didn’t have words to express it.

I have been delivered…I have been set free…I am alive…and anyone and everyone can do it…no matter where you are at, or what you have done, or what has been done to you…so please…be encouraged!

For You

http://www.desicomments.com/flowers/good-afternoon-flowers-for-you/

This post is going to ramble somewhat, but hopefully you will extend me a little grace as I get to my point for writing today.

Maybe it is because I spent the afternoon with a couple of old friends who race bicycles and we just had a great time talking as they laid down some very respectable times on a 12 mile time trial. We reminisced about the old days and how we were getting along as age begins to affect our riding abilities.

I guess it could be that I just finished reading the autobiography of a rock icon who I have followed for over 42 years, Gregg Allman.  I remember the effect of the Allman Brothers’ Live at the Fillmore album had on me some 38 years ago. As a youngster, all of 17 years of age, I was simply blown away. Now I listen to him with tears in my eyes. Our lives have paralleled one another in many remarkable ways, but the thing that got me the most was when he has spoken about how he felt regarding his music. The power of believing rock n’ roll could save your soul. I felt that for a long time and it was a very rude awakening when I discovered possibly the complete opposite was true.

Or it might be that today is Sunday. And Sunday’s have always produced a certain melancholy mood in me. Even long before I became a Christian, when I was about as far away as one could get from any type of moral, ethical lifestyle I would feel a difference on Sunday. If I were on a multi-day bender of cocaine, alcohol, and debauchery, when Sunday rolled around I always pulled back from the edge. Many times I would take off by myself and just go someplace where I could be alone. I remember several times I parked across the street from a church as it was letting out. I watched as they came out, talking, laughing, the kids running, and the couples walking arm in arm. Some carried a black book that I was fairly sure was the Bible. I sat there in my new black-on-black Porsche  928 and wondered why people would get up early and come to this building. I thought about what they did in there. I was completely unchurched and didn’t have a clue as to how it worked. But still I wondered what it would be like to go.

Of course, it could also simply be that I am not as young as used to be. The truth is I have probably lived more days than I’m going to live. That thought never ceases to amaze me. I’m not sure why, but it always does.

I’m writing all of this because I am warming up to something that I want to say: to quote Janis’ I want to share a little piece of my heart with you.

I started this blog back in February and I didn’t have any idea what to expect. I knew there where ideas I wanted to write about. Ideas about honesty, and truth, and respect, and boundaries, and morality, and love, and compassion, and a zillion other things, but I didn’t know how they/me would be a accepted. And it was me. My thoughts and ideas and the words I write, well they are me. They are how I live my life. They can’t be separated from me. They are me.

I want you to know how deeply you have touched the very depths of my soul by your open acceptance. Every comment you have written and every time you selected the Like tab has brought a smile to my face and a grateful feeling to my heart. There have been a couple of thousand comments and I have no idea how many likes from all over the world, but each and every one has been like a soft breeze blowing straight across my heart. That breeze brought refreshment, encouragement, and enlightenment to a parched soul.

There are far too many of you to thank individually and I’m afraid if I were to call out a few it would perhaps diminish what the rest would take away from this post. So I’m resisting the urge to do that, because I want everyone of you who have used the valuable (and limited) time in your life to read, like, and/or comment to know you have lifted my Spirit.

So from the very bottom of my overflowing heart…I humbly thank you.

I bow before you.

Be encouraged!

Time Is On My Side

http://www.bowdoindailysun.com

Time is on my side, yes it is.

Time is on my side, yes it is.

(Time Is On My Side by Jimmy Norman and made famous by The Rolling Stones)

Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in the International System of Units. It traditionally has taken two different forms. The first being the calendar and the second form being represented by the clock. For the purpose of this post we will be focusing on the clock.

The clock has never been my favorite unit of measurement for time. Probably due to the fact that in the past I was late for everything. Years ago I learned a trick for defeating this deficit in my character make-up. I began to set my watch ten minutes ahead. Although in my mind I understood what I had done, the reality was if I looked at my watch and discovered it was time for me to be somewhere I would immediately begin to move heaven and earth to get there. Of course, I still had ten minutes, but my mind would overlook reality and simply begin issuing commands as if I were late. Later, I turned all the clocks in my home ten minutes fast and have eliminated my lateness. Susie is not particularly fond of this method of brainwashing, but after twenty years she has adapted. Only rarely now does she ask, “What time is it in the real world?” In the interest of full disclosure, one night while she was sleeping I got up, tipped toed around to her side of the bed, and set her watch ten minutes fast as well.

Back in 1977 two social psychologists, Dan Barton and John Darley from Princeton University, set about conducting an interesting experiment involving the interpretation of time. They approached Princeton seminary students who were preparing a speech on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Each student was told either: A) He is late, that he was actually expected in the lecture hall a few minutes ago, and that his instructors are waiting for him. or B) He has plenty of time, but might as well start to go over now.

As each student headed to the lecture hall he passes a person slumped over and coughing profusely, obviously in need of assistance. Of course, the person is an accomplice of the researchers. With no one else nearby the seminary students are confronted with a decision. While going to give a speech about the Good Samaritan, who stopped to deliver aid to a hurting individual when no one else would, do they stop to help or do they go on to their lecture. The only difference in the two groups is the time pressure. One group believes they are late, the other thinks they have plenty of time.

The majority of those who believed they had plenty of time stopped to render assistance. Of those who believed they were running late 90% failed to stop.  All students involved admitted they saw the individual slumped over and understood he needed help.

Allow yourself to slow down and look around. Are there people in your family, your work place, and/or your group of friends who might be “slumped over” and in need of help? Are we missing anything? Could someone we know be telegraphing pain, hurt, stress, worry, and/or fear and we are missing it? Reduce our speed, quiet our thoughts, and remove the blinders from our eyes and take a closer inspection of those we interact with on a daily basis.

Let me know what you find.

Be encouraged!

Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in the International System of Units.

The Brain: As I Know It

http://www.willamette.edu/~gorr/classes/cs449/brain.html

I do a lot of thinking throughout the day.

Some of it is non-productive like; “When are the Cubs ever going to be real baseball team?” or “What if I won the lottery?” or “How happy I would be if Jake the Wonder Dog would stop licking his privates when people are visiting.”

Some of my thinking is very non-productive such as;  “I wish I was smarter”. or “Hey idiot, why don’t you learn how to drive!” or  “Wow are those ever big?”

Every once in a while I veer over to productive thinking usually along these lines: “I think the world needs to hear about virtues.” or “I believe we can create a company around that idea.” or I should get up and go tell Susie I love her.”

Over the years my brain has truly amazed me. Let me show why I believe that.

Once there was a man who was a successful drug dealer. He was making a seven-figure a year income. He had all the man toys that a seven-figure a year income can provide. He had nice homes, several luxury sports cars, bespoke suits, over 200 pairs of shoes, dined in all the right restaurants, attended (backstage) all the big rock n’ roll shows, dated models, and never wanted for a single physical thing in life.

Then there was another man who was quite different from the first. This man pushed his body to the limit. He was an ultra-distance runner. He started by running 5Ks, then quickly went through 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons. Then he started running even longer distances. He ran 335 miles from Houston to Dallas, Texas. He ran 665 miles from Copper Harbor, Michigan to Pontiac Stadium outside of Detroit. Eventually, he ran 3,160 miles across the United States.

Now let me introduce you to a third man. This man climbed the corporate ladder quickly and became a member of the management team for a Global 100 manufacturing firm. While with this company he developed the metrics for identifying high-potential and high-performing associates. He then developed a program to ensure these associates continued to grow within the organization.

Finally, let me present to you a man who very few know. He is quiet and studious. He takes his role in life quite serious and seeks to share what little wisdom God has graced him with. Several years ago he was baptized into the ancient Christian Church known as the Eastern Orthodox Church. Officially it is the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church, but he doesn’t mention that often. It just makes people wonder if he is Bulgarian (he is not) and it takes a long time to explain why he belongs to a Bulgarian Church when he isn’t Bulgarian, so he skips over that part. He prays frequently for his family, those he knows, and the world around him. He sincerely believes in his heart that prayer changes things, especially when nothing else seems to. He is much quieter than the other men and is happiest when it is simply his wife, his pets, his grandson (whom he adores more than life itself) and himself.

All four of these men know each other. In fact, you might say they know each other intimately, although not in a sexual way. They recognize a little bit of themselves in each other. They have a special feel for what the other might be thinking. They sense the emotions and thoughts of each other.

All four of these men are me. 

Now back to the thinking I do. How is it that these four men can exist within one human being? If we rule out schizophrenia (which we can), how can this happen? I believe I know the answer.

The brain is capable of far more than we think. It is capable of rewiring itself. We know, from what scientists have seen with those who have had brain damage, the neurons will begin to seek alternate routes of connection. I am no scientists and I’m certainly not a brain specialists or psychologist of any kind, but I know what I have lived through. I know how I have taken the grey matter I have been bequeathed and changed how I think. I know it wasn’t easy. Plain and simple, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. In some ways it took years to make the transition. I am the living, breathing proof lives can and do change for the better.

The reason I am telling this story again, I have told it a different way before, is I hope to spread hope to anyone who is struggling, either with changing or one who isn’t changing. There is always hope. Hope never weakens. It is always there.

Be encouraged!

The Wall Street Journal & Me

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-astonished-businesswoman-reading-newspaper-image13499072

I knew there would be a day when it would finally happen. In my mind I had thought/seen/dreamt about it many times. Usually when I was in that half awake/half asleep semi conscious state in the morning before I roll out of bed to take our rescue Husky Callie out for her 2.6 mile morning walk/trot/run when she sees wildlife adventure.

In my mind’s eye I could see myself picking up the Wall Street Journal at the local gas station/snack shop, like I do every morning, and casually turning to the Review section where I would unfold the newspaper and gaze with misty eyes, and a burgeoning sense of pride, at the one inch headline with a sharp clear black/white photo. The photo would perfectly encapsulate the intellectual weight of the article, accompanied with the byline Stephen Edwards…always in bold.

Well it didn’t turn out exactly that way. In fact, it wasn’t even close. But they did have an article about the same subject I’ve written about, which is probably as close to getting a piece in the Wall Street Journal as I will ever get.

The article is entitled, “Why We Lie”, (Saturday/Sunday, May 26-27, 2012) and it is written, not by me, but by Dan Ariely. I have no idea where they found Mr. Ariely at (according to the WSJ he is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavior Economics at Duke University. Tell me there isn’t more than one way to skin the cat.). I figure he was Plan B.  My post Lying-Maybe…Maybe Not was published on April 14th. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m thinking that is about the time my cell phone battery went dead. I’m surmising they (WSJ) read my post, were blown away by my depth and insight into the human psychic, tried to call, couldn’t reach me, then in a moment of panic (which I am sure they now regret) got hold of this southern yahoo from Duke.

I do have to give Mr. Ariely his props though, although he was obviously Plan B, he did do a fairly decent job of throwing together some interesting facts and supporting data. For instance, his overall nutshell conclusion is, “Everybody has the capacity to be dishonest, and almost everybody cheats–just by a little.” Which is kind of the problem. Because when you have nearly everybody cheating a little, that adds up to a lot.

He did all kinds of fancy studies and found out that people will increase their cheating/lying when; others around them cheat/lie, thinking others benefit from your cheating/lying, and (this one put a smirk on my face)…knowingly wearing knock-off fashions. The last one seems to kind of open the door a crack to cheating/lying. The idea being, “What the hell, it is such a small thing.”

Now on the positive side Mr. Ariely did discover one thing that seems to cause folks to curb their larcenous tendencies one hundred percent of the time; when participants were told to think about the Ten Commandments or swear on the Bible with their right hand, they completely ceased from cheating/lying. Interestingly even when the participants identified themselves as self-declared atheists, when asked to swear on the Bible, their cheating/lying dropped to zero. Seems like being reminded of a moral code had a significant effect on their behavior.

The article is adapted from Mr Ariely’s forthcoming book, “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves” to published by HarperCollins on June 5. He goes on to demonstrate the devastating effects of the everybody-cheats/lies-a-little syndrome has on our society. He closes with a paragraph I am reproducing here in full, because I believe it is an excellent summation of what I have been trying to talk about for some time:

“We want to install locks to stop the next Bernie Madoff, the next Enron, the next steroid-enhanced all-star, the next serial plagiarist, the next self-dealing political miscreant. But locking our doors against the dishonest monsters will not keep them out; they will always cheat their way in. It is the woman down the hallway–the sweet one who could not carry away your flat-screen TV if she wanted to–who needs to be reminded constantly that, even if the door is open, she cannot just walk in and “borrow” a cup of sugar without asking.”

Lying and cheating have become so commonplace, it is difficult not to encounter it everywhere; the doctor who pads with extra treatments, the bank that takes an extra day to process your check, the mispriced items at Wal-Mart (always in their favor), the inability to return an item without a receipt (even when they can look up the transaction on their computers), the “I’ll be there in a minute” reply”…it just goes on and on.

I still wonder what would happen if we had a Occupy Truth Movement. Susie and I are starting a new business and we are using the tagline “Do It Right” as our vision statement…maybe it should be “Do It Right, No Matter What.” We interested to see what will happen as we decide to not fudge anything. Everything will be transparent…from our salaries, to the amount of money the company generates, to what the money gets spent on, to how we conduct the day-in-day-out business operations. It will be an adventure…and of course, I promise to document it here.

Be encouraged!

They Smile In Your Face

http://www.cfoinnovation.com/content/how-make-office-politics-work-you

They Smile In Your Face

In the corporate world there is a word used to describe a most unpleasant event. According to a survey of 250 advertising and marketing executives, conducted by The Creative Group, an advertising and marketing staffing company, over 50% had the dubious honor of experiencing this nefarious act. I suspect that among the rank and file the actual percentage would be even higher. During my own tenure in the corporate world I faced it often. The R & B group, The O’Jays had their first million dollar hit with a song about it:

What they do

They smile in your face

All the time they want to take your place

the backstabbers

We are talking backstabbing. The practice of criticizing someone without their knowledge while feigning friendship and fidelity to their face. Some take great pleasure in their ability to deceive. They feel empowered and talk about how they were able to “take out” the competition. Others are quieter, they operate on the fringe and in the shadows. They appear as friends, but it is just a ruse to cover their true intentions.

And it’s not only in the workplace, but also in our homes, our marriages (who would have thought?), our children, our families, our schools, our friends, our civic organizations, our politics (boggles the mind doesn’t it?), and our churches. The truth is backstabbing has become a part of our culture. It is a factor of our lives. We literally can not find an area that has not suffered from backstabbing.

What makes this so painful for the victim is the violation of trust and confidence. This betrayal of trust can be so acute that Jennifer Freyd first coined the phrase “betrayal trauma” back in 1994 to describe the effect on the victim. Since she first used this phrase an entire theory has been developed and put forth that defines the inner workings of the brain when an individual has been backstabbed and the attending psychological backflips the person initiates to shelter themselves from the mental pain.

Like most, I’ve been victimized more times than I care to think about. But, I am not the type of person who wants to throw up a number of defensive actions to protect myself from future backstabbing. I’m cautious, I don’t want to be stabbed again, but I’m not focused on making sure all my bases are covered either. Plus I don’t want hold people at length. This world already has enough of that. I want to be open. If I’m going to error, I want it to be on the side of grace.

Without picking at old wounds, tell me how you deal with it. Are you still trusting? What are you doing to insure you are not victimized again? Is it hard to trust? As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

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!

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!

Heart of HHG

Head, Heart, & Guts. Could it be this is all we need to be truly successful in every area of our lives? Might it be possible to reduce all the variance of life down to something so simple it could be covered by three diagrams I lifted off of Google images?

Well it might not provide you with the opportunity to become one with everything in the universe, but I’m willing to state it could radically revolutionize most of our lives in a way we never thought possible. Even though I really had to evaluate a lot of disgusting photos to find one that covered Guts without provoking a gag response, I believe these simple drawings portray EXACTLY what we need for a successful life. A life of transformation for us privately and for the businesses we own or work at.

This is the second of a three-part installment. I have arranged these drawings in a certain order, because I believe it is the order they need to be accomplished. Let’s take a look at the Heart.

This is the Wikipedia definition of Heart; 

The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system (including all vertebrates), which pumps blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions.

This isn’t the heart I am talking about.

Here is another Heart definition;

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson first showed the world that women can rock when their band, Heart, stormed the charts in the ‘70’s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” and so many more. (off of www.heart-music.com)

Again, not the Heart I am referencing.

This is more like what I had in mine when I write about the Heart;

“…the emphasis of knowledge and emotion is centered in the heart.”

I am not thinking of the heart as a blood pumping organ, nor a Seattle based 80’s band, but as a place within us where our emotions reside. A place we tend to guard. It is the place where we nurture and grow our hopes and dreams. I like to think of it as the place where passion is born.

When Googling the internet this is what you get for passion;

or

While I have nothing against either expression of passion, neither is the exact type I am writing about. The passion I am writing about is described by Merriam-Webster online as:  a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. I like that. “A strong liking or desire for or a devotion” is EXACTLY what I am mean. Devotion is a very strong word, it conjures up thoughts of religious fervor. Now I understand how that thought can send many to move the cursor to the little x in the upper right corner, but hear me out.

Your passion will motivate people to devote their being to your cause. The deep-seated, singular desire to do what it is you want to do. This comes quite easy for me, because I am a type-A personality. This didn’t work for me when I was standing in a dimly lit bar, late at night, plying myself with alcohol and drugs, while planning my next crime. It was when I got my life turned around and began to focus on health, success, and sharing with others, I found it to be a godsend. The very thing which enabled me to destroy a large portion of my life is what provided me with the passion to create not only a new me, but to also help others.

Once you find the one thing in life you truly want to do, your TruePath, you will discover your passion, your desire, and your devotion will flow like water down a mountain side after a spring shower. Your passion will run over obstacles. It will flow around impediments. It will create a new course when others are dammed up. Your passion will drive you to find answers. It will cause you to create your own opportunities. It will provide you with what you need to get up and do what needs to be done.  

I hope reading this last paragraph left you a little breathless. I wrote it while holding my breath. I get so excited about what I’m trying to convey to you as a reader that I forget to breathe. 

At LifeRevelation we call this the InflamedAche. Yeah I know it borders on corny, but you never forget it. All of us have at one time or another had some type of inflammation. As an ex-ultra-distance runner and now an ultra-distance cyclist I am intimately acquainted with inflammation and aches. Yet the all consuming scream for attention is exactly what I feel when I sit down to write for this blog, or when I work on my book, or speak to an audience who can’t wait to hear what a guy with my past has to say.

Find your TruePath and the InflamedAche of passion will come…just be ready.

Be encouraged!

 

 

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