Opt in – Opt out

June 30, 2017

Opt In – Opt Out

As we are coming to the end of the first half of this year, one of the most insane and bizarre that many of us have ever witnessed, it is my desire to Opt out. Now do not worry, this is not my manifesto nor is it a suicide note. It is, however, my most recent step towards effecting change by rejecting the norm.

By now, most of us have had far too many opportunities to opt in…to a web site, email service or other online group. It enticed you with a free eBook, discounted services or some value-added element…all in the desire to keep their information in front of you.

And so, after enough years have gone by, we are now overwhelmed with daily offerings from hundreds of companies to whom we’ve opted-in…and, now, we want out.

I spoke earlier today to friend and colleague, asking her about her plans for the upcoming July 4th holiday. She said she was doing the normal stuff…even going to a local parade. I asked her why? She said…tradition.

And for the next 20 minutes we discussed the state of our Nation. And how tradition may be one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in. And so, we determined it better to opt out. Opt out of the tradition of flying a flag, attending a parade, buying fireworks. Opt out of just doing a thing, out of tradition, in a Nation that does not yet honor its credo that says all men being created equal.

When a jury can acquit a police officer, who murders, in cold blood and on video, an unarmed Black person, I ask myself, and must ask you, how can we remain opted-in?

Will it only hurt enough when it is your son/brother/father who is executed, with no justice being served? Will you only feel impassioned enough to rise up when you are staring at the news report of the murderer being exonerated once more, because they “feared for their life?”

No. Now is the time to opt-out. To not remain a reliable, revenue-generating cog in the capitalistic system that exalts profits over equality.

Start today. Start where you are. Opt-OUT!

Peace.

90 Days of Recklessness…

As a businessperson, marketer, and success coach I am of the knowledge that a new habit takes between 40-90 days to take root. It is during that time period when we are able to release the bad habits that keep us out-of-alignment from achieving our hearts desires. Midway throughout that time line we are gradually shifting from those ill-advised habits to ones that will better serve humanity and us. With wonder we then can look back and see that our new behaviors have furrowed new pathways of thoughts and actions, which are now bearing productive fruit.

In these United States of America we have been witness to a 90-day period that is unprecedented in our history. Or, at least since the 90 days immediately after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It was then that the new president, Andrew Johnson, began dismantling the agreements put into place by Lincoln, which were going to provide financial assistance to the newly freed African Americans who were now free citizens.

What we are trying to grasp as the 45th president, Donald tRump, seeks to dismantle many of the milestone achievements of his predecessor, Barack Obama, is as unsettling as it is bad policy. I wonder how many of those who cast their vote for this ill-equipped proprietor of the Oval Office, are regretting their choice. How many had hopes that he was going to honor his campaign promises…none of which he has fulfilled. Even while the Republicans control all three branches of government.

So, now we are between 90-100 days of this new president, and he has proven that not everyone can make the requisite changes needed to truly enJoy the success that comes from achievement. It is true that unless we learn from our previous bad-habit outcomes, we will continue to chase the tail that can never be caught. Tragically, there are 300 million Americans who are likely to be at risk due to this mental midget’s morass.

I can only hope that someone with the proper medications and morality will begin to regain control of this out-of-control stagecoach. Otherwise, hold on tight as we head for the cliffs…

Peace.

Time 4 Livin’

It has been quite an interesting 8 weeks in America.

The election cycle to end all election cycles; full of deceit, Russian hackers, WikiLeak accusations, media manipulations and expressed genital grabs…we are now poised to inaugurate as President of the United States, the most unqualified person in my lifetime. Hillary has gone back to her luxurious lifestyle with Bill and Chelsea. Bernie Sanders is still banging his drum to wake up the Milenials….and our populace wonders what the next tweet that will come from DJTrump. It is a bit surreal for those of us who do not read the grocery-store tabloids like National Enquirer.

And then today, as I sat and watched a movie about the challenges facing those in our country who are without a home in which to live, “Time Out of Mind” with Richard Gere, it hit me. It’s Time for Livin’. In this song from Sly and the Family Stone back in the mid ’70’s, it shares the need to change, rearrange, to not pass the buck. In essence, time to take responsibility for our lives. Not the Government. Not any outside entity.

We. Us. Now.

I am committed to doing my best to utilize the God-given gifts and talents that will create a better life for me, my family, my community and those who are in my ever-widening circle of life. Will you join me?

Take a few minutes to listen to the words of Sly here:

The next few months and years will require each and all of us to be our very best…

Peace.

Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place…

Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place…

I am not sure where this cliché’ originated or when I first heard it. Yet, it somehow is one that I have heard and used more times than I can remember.

It seems to symbolize the feeling of being trapped…

As I review this 2016 Presidential election cycle, which has felt like an amusement park ride that has lasted way too long, and we are now coming to the end, I am reminded of the title phrase…

Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place…

We Americans are faced with electing either a person who has shown the propensity to send young soldiers to war, in order to show her ability to be “strong”, or a buffoon who has decimated at least four business interests he’s been in control of over the past 30 years, while spewing hate-filled comments at anyone who is not of his-ilk.

And what we do in November will determine so much of what will be our destiny and that of our children and grand children…legacy at our fingertips.

Yes, America, it is true…

We are truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

"Rock, Hard Place" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Time To Tell the Truth…

Changing the definition of people to be admired is never easy…and so as we American’s grapple with the ever-changing dynamics of a society that is no longer accepting the status-quo, it is time to tell the truth about early American citizens for whom we now have discovered were not-so-pure. The latest revelation to come from out of the shadows is the author of the National Anthem, Francis Scott Key. Watch my short video…

What’s the Truth about %?

What’s the truth about 50/50, 60/40..?

I was thinking today about the trust that most of us place in the various media and journalistic outlets that seem to be everywhere. They range from printed articles, online op-ed pieces and the ever-nauseous talk radio blather. How many times do we hear about something being a particular percentage and we simply take it at face value?

The first that comes to my mind is the old 2% milk…that looked like regular milk with a bit of water added to dilute. The taste was not really any different…and this was long before any of us knew or understood what lactose-intolerance meant.

Even along side of that in the dairy section was the small container of half and half. Something that seemed akin to a combination of whole milk and cream? I often wondered why it got the short carton? Was it so good…that it could only be administered in pint size doses?

Then there are the items of clothing; a shirt is 60% cotton and 40% PolyEsther. Who would challenge those numbers? What if the machine operators for that day switched around the fabric spools…and it is really 60% PolyEsther and 40% cotton. Would you know the difference?

My spin on all of this is how trusting we all have become to the numbers told to us by the “authorities.”

For the next 10 weeks we will be bombarded with poll numbers from various and sundry sources, some familiar, others likely hatched just for this moment in time, all to persuade us to lean one way or the other in this election of government officials. When you hear those numbers…will you stop, just for a moment, and consider what I have posed to you above? Because, if the saying, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear is true, we never really knew if that milk was truly 2%. Did we?

Read. Research. Debate. DO NOT blindly trust what the media will throw at our feet.

Peace.

2%milk

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Right. Wrong. Republican…

Right…Wrong…Republican.

As I contemplate what has been the circus of the past three nights at the Republican National Convention, and, I must admit, since I did not feel it worthy of my time to actually sit and waste 12 hours of my life viewing such bombastic behavior, I have seen enough via numerous social media channels to give me a great deal of concern. Concern for the sanity of our still-evolving nation. Concern for the safety of people who have varying degrees of melanin in their skin. Concern for the rest of the world who must be wondering how could our nation, through a process of primary voting that took much too long, have left standing, as the now-declared nominee, one of the most unimaginative, unsuccessful, fear-baiting men who ever sought to glorify his own narcissistic existence.

My sense of what is reasonable and plausible in this nation is under siege. I can not grasp how we, as a nation of multi-cultural people who have proven ourselves to build both great underwater and earth-orbiting machines, create nano-technological devices that change how we live and work, and have the courage to elect a non-white man to our highest office…yet, we are now on the precipice of reverting back to those less-than-glorious days when fear was not just a concern, it was tangible. Ask any person over 70 years of age who survived Japanese internment camps, Chinese Americans who were used to build railroads and then exiled, or the many African Americans who never came home, found hanging from some tree. That is not the America that we can return to…

No. We will not allow fear to undermine the progress, though small and yet, important, that has been made here. We must, if never at any time before today, stand in unity and resist the hordes of “right-wing-fundamentalists”, whatever that term means, to undo what has been put into motion. This “melting pot” of cultures and creativity in America must repel the ignorance that comes from the likes of Donald Trump and his “bully gangs.”

Yes. We will find more common ground upon which to build a “more perfect Union.” We will dismantle the apartheid that still lingers in our yet-to-be-equal education systems, housing, and employment opportunities in America. We must strive to create real equality in financial sectors and in how to insure that no citizen is prevented from justice and their “day in court” by a fearful and shoot-first police force.

This time in history, the one directly succeeding the historic eight year Presidency of Barack Obama, will either set us on course to reach heights that will honor the Creator of us all…or we will sink to the depths of despair, and become fodder for historians in another century who will recall how we imploded from within. How we allowed fear to unravel and undermine the beauty of the great “American experiment.”

The choice is ours, come November. How shall we be remembered?

Peace.
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Regular Irregularities…

Words play such an important part in our everyday lives.

We say something, and hope that what is in our head, and comes out of our mouth, is understood by the person to whom we are speaking.

Today I met with a member of an organization that serves the community each week with free food. We discussed a number of ideas about how to improve their social media outreach. In that conversation, I made the comment about how seniors are increasingly among those who are affected by poverty. The next most affected group, and the words that came after…”the working poor” were, “isn’t that an oxymoron?”

How can we feel proud of our country, the wealthiest nation on the planet, and so readily accept that we have an abundance of families in poverty, while the parents work full time jobs. That, my friend, is where this commentary gets its title.

We are preparing to see, hear and experience the pomp and pageantry of the Democratic and Republican parties presidential nominating conventions. As if all that we have seen and heard the past 16 months, from still-standing and now-forgotten candidates, wasn’t enough. We will be bombarded with bullshit from all credible and incredible sources.

So, how shall we get through it all? Just remember those times shopping at various discount outlets; where the clothing on the rack is marked “irregular.” They look like the real thing. They appear no different than the item we see in the print ads. Yet, there is one, small thing, out of alignment. A bad seam. One sleeve shorter than the other. A lie brought to light via video/social media. And for that, we pay a discounted price.

Keep that in mind as we ramp up to this season of “regular irregularities”. We are going to only have a choice between the best of the worst regular irregularity.
Rather disappointing, for those who prefer more options; shopping or in politics.

Maybe we will get lucky and get some help for the “working poor” from the “honest politician” who is “freely elected” in this the “land of the Free.”

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Peace and prosperity.

The Silver Surfer