Tag Archives: M.E. LAmpkin Media Services

We Can Work It Out

“We Can Work It Out”

As the hours count down to a possible technical default on it’s debt by the United States government, and the continued posturing and paralysis exhibited by both parties in Congress becomes more polarized, a song by the musical genius Stevie Wonder came to my mind, We Can Work It Out.

As a parent of two adult children, both of whom too often think they know more about how my life should be lived than I do, and that some errors made in navigating this experience we know as life are unforgivable, I also say, “”Try to see things my way…”

So, today I ask you to consider taking the approach that there might be a better way to resolve our personal and political differences. That “new” path will be found when all parties truly listen to the other side in a genuine effort to understand the truth of the other person’s perspective.

I am prayerful that we all can daily find ways to put aside our own biases, hard-line positions and prejudices in an effort to become free to make peace…nothing else really matters.

We Can Work It Out.


We’re All in This Together

We’re All in This Together…

While taking my daughter and her dog, Lovey, out for an evening walk, it became crystal clear to me how to solve some of the challenges that face our cities, country and world. Speak to me…

In my little corner of the world, Hercules, California, we have had our share of less-than-flattering press the past 6 months. The hillside less than 100 yards from my home had slid down again, destroying 6 homes…the then city manager was run out of office after it was learned that he had a number of shady deals with developers…with our city now facing financial meltdown. And the final act was holding a special election this summer to unseat 3 city council members who were all too agreeable with that crooked city manager…Hercules, Hercules, Hercules. Not laughing at that movie moment anymore.

But tonight while we walked for more than 30 minutes, my belief in our city was renewed. For you see, we were not the only ones out for a walk with our canine friends. So were many of our neighbors…and the most beautiful things began to happen. We acknowledged one another and spoke. Hello. Hi. Even just the simple nod of the head to say, I see you. Ah yes…a small but significant throwback to my childhood days, when neighbors knew one another and cared, at least on the surface.

It was good to see the Indian elder dressed in his white garb, the Filipino couple with their frisky dogs, the African American male doing his best to keep his two dogs from running too fast before him, and the Caucasian woman who took time to talk with Meisha and comment how cute her dog is. We really are all in this together.

Maybe, just maybe, we can send this message to Congress. Those elected officials who are sworn to serve in OUR best interests. Not those of corporate America or the lobbyists with millions of dollars to peddle influence. Nope. Just us neighbors who are the backbone of this once proud democracy. We the People…

During the last 10 minutes of our walk I heard this song in my head, and I hope you will listen to the lyrics…and remember that there is so much more about us that is similar than not.

Do me a favor today, make it a point to speak to your neighbor, the person in line at the grocery store, the older man or woman who is looking into your eyes, looking to see if your humanity is alive and willing…

We’re All in This Together.


Caregiving is Never Easy…

Caregiving is never Easy…

As we are at the end of May, and in the middle of moments when we have celebrated Mother’s Day and in a few weeks will honor our Father’s, I came across an article that reminded me of the challenges our family faced a few years ago when our parent’s needed care. Take a read and let me know your thoughts

Please click here for the article:

Running Out of Gas…

Running out of gas…

Tonight I had the opportunity to officiate three men’s recreational league basketball games. That means that the players are grown men usually between the ages of 18-50. Yes, I actually believe there was another 50 year old, besides me, running up and down the court. A few times I had a funny flashback to 1991, when I played my last rec league games.

The men I played with 20 years ago were, like me, ex jocks who usually played one to two times per week. And thus we thought we were doing pretty well for guys our age. Tonight, I got a glimpse at what it really looks like when your body is not doing what your mind is yelling to do. Granted, the men today are a bit bigger in height and weight than my contemporaries’…thanks in part to their eating habits and a preponderance to play more games on video than real ones. I think that I am actually in better shape than many of those men who are at least 15 years my junior. Their energy gas tank was just about empty…

As I also reflect as we approach the end of the first quarter of 2011, I wonder how much is left in the proverbial gas tank of the American working citizens…

How can we continue to allow the oil companies to push through the ceiling of our budgets, gasoline prices that have now spilled over $4.00 per gallon? I daily hear friends and colleagues share horror stories about the cost to fill up their automobiles. One even said it took one hundred dollars to accomplish that…for his BMW. Are you kidding me?

Fortunately, in a basketball game there are bench personnel who can substitute for those players on the floor who have “run out of gas.” What is the plan to provide substitute relief for the American people? If it is true that Exxon/Mobil made more than $10 Billion dollars in 2010, and yet paid no federal taxes…what is their motivation to make less money? Somehow I feel another Enron or Wall Street implosion looming on the horizon.

Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of taking time between quarters, like in a basketball game, in order to strategize our plan for the second quarter. But yet, we must do something to get the attention of those who would call themselves our leaders. Maybe it is time to take to the streets…walking, biking, carpooling, and riding mass transit. Whatever it takes to get the powers-that-be to take notice of our collective pain. Otherwise, just like those players I saw tonight, we will all be left with the dreams of what used to be…and nothing left to finish the game we truly love to play. The Game of Life.


“If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”

“If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It”

We all know that cliché, and are likely guilty at one time or another of trying to make something work that is just not going to function…the way that we want it to anymore.

We are now in the second week of this new year and, for most of us, still seeking to honor the resolutions that we have made. The BIG question I have for us is, are we willing to let go of a person, place or thing that is no longer needed in our lives? How can it be so clear to see that imbalance in others, yet is so difficult to fathom in our own circumstance?

Maybe it is the thing we must do as this year begins to take shape, and we desire for a new way of thinking, feeling and being…could it be the reason a surgeon is paid better than a general practitioner? They have to make the tougher choice. Instead of putting duct tape on a broken piece, let’s get rid of it. Cut it out. Pass it on.

So, today, let’s honestly reevaluate whether or not it is them that needs to be different, and be willing to see that it is us that needs to see the situation with open eyes.

Because that square peg is never going to fit into that round hole. NEVER!


“Thanks For Riding With Me…”

Thanks for Riding With Me…

How exciting it is to be at the threshold of another new year. For many of us 2010 was quite an amazing experience filled with some triumphs…and a few troubles. Yet, we made it through. Hopefully, we are changed in at least some small way. Maybe you finally stopped smoking. Or you lost those unwanted pounds…and kept them off by employing a new way to enjoy food. Some of you have that book written and out for the public to embrace.

What will be the driving force for your 2011? Let’s acknowledge that we can have a different life. It starts each day when we choose consciously. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Drinking more water and less soda. Telling your loved ones…”I Love You.” Before they become the dearly departed…

I am grateful to those of you who kept me in your inbox as I wrote my blog posts. There were times I had that old tape playing…why am I doing this? No one is reading…Crap!

But, I kept going, determined to honor my commitment to sharing my life and thoughts in public view. Some people dropped out…more dropped in. And many of you gave me encouragement to keep going. I thank you.

As I did last December, I would like to know what it is you deem important going forward. For it is true that when we have people to whom we are accountable, we are less likely to quit. Something about knowing that someone cares gives us even more of a reason to press on. So, forward one or two of your 2011 goals…and I will do the same.

A year ago I challenged us that when we looked back at 2010, we would see a new path created. And, thus, a new life experience. I am pleased with what I can see looking behind me. I pray that you are encouraged as well…let’s make 2011 an even better year.


2Ply or not 2Ply…

2 Ply or not 2 Ply…

For those of you who have had the experience to hear a sermon by the Rev. Frederick D. Haynes, III of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, you know what I am about to do is straight out of his playbook. For those of you who have not witnessed how this master theologian can weave everyday inanimate objects into a message and make them come to life to tell a story…I will do my best impression.

I was having an experience last week while just making a few groceries at the local supermarket, when I pushed my cart into the isle where one can ascertain the vast array of lavoratory paper…bathroom tissues…toilet paper. Needing to restock my house with this basic staple, I began to wonder about the differences in the size, price and effectiveness of these items. I mean there are literally hundreds of choices to make on this product. And before today, I had not given much thought to the purchase.

For most of us men, trying to understand the need for a 2 ply versus single ply roll of toilet paper is like trying to grasp the difference between a 100 thread count sheet and a 300 thread count…it’s just sheets. Or, in this instance, toilet paper.

But the toilet paper started talking to me…and expressing itself in such a way as to educate me on the need to purchase this multi-layered brand, which also informs me on the packaging that it has “A difference I can feel…” Really?

As the rolls of tissue and I continued to banter back and forth about the importance of “knowing” that my butt is really clean, and not just assuming that it is…my thoughts would drift to other instances in our lives where we think we are doing just enough (single ply tissue paper), in our relationships, jobs and business. Or when we really give more (2 ply paper) than our competition and gain the longer-term trust and respect because we invested more time and sweat into the endeavor.

As my hand reached toward the cheaper, single ply brand, it hit me…that it is better to invest more today into what is going to be the same process, but insuring a smoother, cleaner outcome versus spending less time and money, but having to clean up a mess that could have been avoided with more forethought and self-love. An epiphany in aisle 12…

So, like Pastor Haynes might say, I got my sermon that day from a most provocative and perfunctory participant. Put more effort and thought into what we really need and want and the outcome will be better in the end…literally and figuratively.

Now be my guest, and squeeze the Charmin…


Think Pink…

Think Pink…

Pop Quiz: tell me three things that come to mind when I say the color pink…

* Pink Panther
* Pepto Bismol
* National Football League

I am in awe, as we are now mid-October, to see the amazing marketing campaign that has big, hulking men who are trying to hit each other harder than one can imagine, wearing pink gloves, helmet chin straps and cleated shoes. And they are proud to do it.

There is likely no one in America who has not been affected by breast cancer. I have a sister, cousin and numerous friends who are breast cancer survivor/warriors. The initially frightening news that a person/family has to come to grips with is no longer a badge of shame or embarrassment. Like the proverbial elephant in the room that everyone can see, but no one wants to address, we are finally looking breast cancer squarely in the eye and saying, boo.

The awareness of the need for getting mammograms, and other early detection tests is helping our mothers, sisters and spouses to live…and not the sad alternative. Kudos to all of the agencies involved in this life-saving awareness campaign.

Every brother, son and husband should be proudly wearing a pink wristband, at the minimum, thus ensuring that we talk about how blessed we are to have those life-affirming women still walking among us today. And then, brethren, make our own appointments to get our prostate exams. Oh yes, this is an equal opportunity life raft.

Cancer need not continue to be a death sentence for us either. Let’s take a cue from the breast cancer advocates and shine the light in the darkness. And choose life.


Pushing Past Potential Problems

Pushing Past Potential Problems

We all have times when we get stuck…emotionally, financially, even spiritually. Just when things seem to be rolling along so smoothly, then BAM!!!, someone says something or we hear an old song, and our mind gets frozen in time. Before we know it we have lost a day or two of momentum, and wonder why it still has such an effect on us today.

If you are looking to me for an answer to that mystery…here’s what works for me. It is imperative that we keep moving forward, and that we revisit our goals and plans for that day/week/month. And a dose or two of prayer is always in order. Then putting on a CD by Earth, Wind and Fire is divinely therapeutic.

Here in this still unstable economy we must stay focused upon our dreams…not the dreams of others. Tune out the naysayers who tell you all too frequently that your dreams are unrealistic and that you need to scale it back…tell them to talk to the hand, because we aren’t listening.

Review your goals that you wrote out in January of this year…find them and revise them if you must…but keep them as your mental and emotional focal point at all times this week. Your problems are just hidden opportunities for you to think deeper into the situation. Which in turn will produce new ideas and creativity that you had hidden deep inside. This is a reservoir of energy that can propel you/me/us toward a more productive and peaceful prosperity.

As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts, feedback and successes.