Enlightened Conflict

Words unite and build (or divide)

January 16th, 2017

 

words big brevity

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“Discourse should be proper, restrained and dignified, if possible.

A society that devalues meaningful conversation slides into mediocrity and is debased by the decline in accepted standards of speech.

 

Our English language is an amazing vehicle that allows us to communicate effectively and with the finest of nuances. But abusing the language by stooping to deride or threaten another is not what helps keep our society operating smoothly. We should instead seek to encourage and uplift others and not tear them down with negative rhetoric that serves to promote discord.

 

Americans need to tone their language down, and it’s imperative we begin to act like adults who know how to use self-restraint in guiding our thoughts and actions.”

 

 

Patrick Martin

==========

 

Well.

 

It must be a word day for me.

 

trump twitter storm

………… poor leadership communication ……….

The same day I talk about the hollowness of a tweet and empty words <and how Trump refuses to effectively communicate as a leader> I read that the Prime Minister of the UK is using words in an almost striking example of how to address division, and a divided citizenry, with words.

 

We could replace the UK specificity with USA specifics in her proposed speech … and … well … it would be exactly what we should expect from one of the most divisive public servants <I use ‘servant’ loosely in this case> we have ever faced.

 

She is expected to say <with Britain references changed>:

“… focus on building “common goals” – such as protecting and enhancing workers’ rights – in an attempt to create a consensus after months of acrimonious exchanges.

 

“One of the reasons that USA’s <sic> democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result. The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together.

Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – loser and winner <sic> and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success and build a truly global USA <sic>.”

—-

 

Well.

 

This is a leader looking for a clear path forward and using words to not only unite … but to seek civilized progress.

 

This is a leader recognizing that a tweet is insufficient.

 

This is a leader who identifies the problem, appeals to the better aspects of people and offers a solution.

 

 

Look.unite-have-each-other-everything

 

I recognize words only have so much power.

In fact I could argue that they do not have actual behavioral power but rather they are the things that enable the behavior to happen<they get the mind in the right place to actually do what should be done>.

 

Asking people to simply ‘come together’ because of nationalistic acceptance is unrealistic.

 

Viewed harshly in this context … words are being tasked with asking people to partially give up on who they are and become followers of a nation defined by uncertain leadership combined with an uncertain vision <and a decision & vote they may not agree with>.

 

And this is where someone like Trump would have to take a step farther than the prime minister of England. England has their task set forth – Brexit. It is a specific tangible fulcrum point of where to go from here.

 

The UK needs to align behind it and align behind its success <because it is going happen regardless of whether you were a winner or loser in that discussion>.

 

words change inspire futureAnd maybe that is why words matter even more so for President Elect Trump than anyone else.

We do not have a specific task … and, no, “great again” is not a task. And, no, dismantling a relatively successful prior administration agenda is not a task <that is destroying to create>.

 

Without a specific task solving divisiveness and a divided 330 million people universe is a tricky thing. It is not binary <as many people seem to want it to be>.

 

It is not binary because some people define losing in different ways. Some people define winning in different ways.

 

And the truth?

 

A concept can look great as a ‘winner’ but in practicality is a loser.

And vice versa.

 

This is not a game where one team’s win is another team’s’ defeat.

 

Just look at immigration <which is a hot topic almost everywhere these days>.

People may want to see a substantial reduction, or better control, with immigration but may not agree on at what cost <let alone be clear about that cost> and the steps to be taken to address it.

 

You can actually be a winner & loser at the exact same time – winner on the fact immigration is being addressed and loser in that the way it is being done doesn’t match what you want.

 

Winners and losers and combinations thereof are strewn among all the issues Trump has made specific promises, vague promises and no promises on.

 

Free to trade globally has an upside as does nationalism.

Standing by the rule of our own laws and controlling our own borders has an upside for some … but a downside for others.

Eliminating regulations has an upside for some … and a downside for others.

My main point would be that regardless of any decision a president and the administration make there are winners and losers … and to suggest 300 million people win is … well … ludicrous.

 

But let’s take a minute and talk about words and our new most important words time brevity‘winner’ – president elect Trump.

 

Where our President Elect gets most challenged with words <beyond the fact he really doesn’t know big nor good words> is that now we track what I refer to, loosely, as the Trump promises.

 

In the vaguery, or the wretched hollow, of past promises and today’s reality there remains … well … a divide. Therefore, the words encourage divide and reinforce divide. There has been no attempt of words to unite … which would simply be important words that bridge the past promises and present realities <of what will be done>.

 

Just try to track Trump promises versus the reality of the global construct of … well … everything … and there is big question with who the “loser” is.

 

In order for Trump to win, and be a winner, he needs to use words well & wisely — not think in terms of 140 characters but rather paragraphs. The words used well offer the path for alignment and put a ‘hold’ on divisiveness for a while so we, as a nation, can get started.

 

Any leader worth a shit knows to even have half a chance with regard to organizational success <winning> you have to not have part of the company holding you back and you should have as a goal to have a much of the organization stepping forward together as possible.

Power & efficiency resides in unity.

Fragmentation is inefficient and less powerful.

 

Now.

 

words are free cost youI will end by pointing out that words are not the only thing that unites or divides. Words establish the framework from which things happen … when behavior either makes the words themselves winners or losers.

 

Words may say “end divisions and work together” but if actions say the opposite … well … we all lose.

 

The UK PM offers a word path, not a word salad as our President Elect seems to prefer, toward uniting a divided country. Words are powerful when used well.

juxtaposition

November 24th, 2016

 

juxtaposition-stop-keep-moving-life-advice

 

“It is a union that suggests the essential mystery of the world.

Art for me is not an end in itself, but a means of evoking that mystery. ”

 

René Magritte on putting seemingly unrelated objects together in art

 

====

 

jux·ta·po·si·tion

noun

 

  1. the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

==============

 

Thanksgiving often represents the ultimate juxtaposition.

 

dream interesting headA time and place in which generations intersect.

 

The ones intermittently stepping with both uncertainty and moments of certain confidence … growing into who they will be.

 

The ones intermittently standing in a space of satisfaction and moments of dissatisfaction … who grapple with who they are <and what they have done and have not done>.

 

The ones intermittently looking at how things have changed, for good and bad, who desperately hold on to who and what everyone was … while every bone in their body wants to see how it will be better for those around them despite how much has changed.

 

 

Thanksgiving is fraught with juxtapositions.

 

And we wonder why there is often conflict?

 

Thanksgiving often forces us to view the past, present and future in one forced viewing. And not only that but instead of the more common sit back and introspectively view your own intersection of past, present & future this one is more often done in a collaboration & consensus event where all participants weigh in and offer some thoughts on. And the participants aren’t typically some random people pulled of the street or employees in some department you only see in the break room … these participants are representative of what truly happened in your past, are most likely semi involved in your present and , whether you like it or not, are places you will visit again in your future.

 

The juxtaposition of what is in your own mind and what is in others minds shifts the intangible to tangible as real as the turkey being served on a plate to everyone.

 

I often do think that Thanksgiving is art coming to Life.

 

We picture the picture.

We choose the palette of colors to use.

We all place a brush on the canvas.

 

And, in the end, we gaze at the end product … each seeing it through our own lens of what Life means to us and what we mean to Life.

 

Juxtapositions can be difficult.

 

Difficult to … well … like … or maybe to embrace easily.bad-good-juxtapose-life-family-ideas

 

Difficult to easily see how the good and bad embody … well … good shit.

 

Difficult to see a reality that matches … well … the reality we had in our head before we were forced to encounter this juxtaposition.

 

Regardless.

 

I have one word for you today, on this thanksgiving, as we ponder this day in which we are faced with juxtaposition  … “neighboring.”

 

In the Modern Guide of Synonyms juxtaposition does not have its own heading.

It can only be found under “neighboring.”

 

Juxtaposing can be found only side by side with adjacent, adjoining, contiguous and neighboring.

 

Far too often we, I included, separate past, present and future … “live in the moment” … “learn from the past” … “the future is now.”

All that shit.

 

Last year on Thanksgiving I suggested it is the functional dysfunctional being served as a good tasting dish on the day. That on Thanksgiving all of that typically comes together and eats together. But I also suggested … “all I know is that my family is my family and my childhood was my childhood and my future is my future.”

And that the functionally dysfunctional in all aspects, and all the aspects, helped craft the man, the person, I am today. I imagine I am not that different in that aspect from anyone else.

 

I was a victim of it all without becoming a victim of the experience. Just as I will be a victim of the future without becoming a victim of the experience.

 

Anyway.

 

Past, present and future are neighbors. We see each other every day and say good morning even when grumpy and not awake and talk about what is happening with our kids and lives over the fence in between chores. And these neighbors paint the canvas of our lives. Yeah. Sometimes we don’t always like what we see but sometimes it all comes together just right.

 

Thanksgiving, while a forced juxtaposition in which we are forced to sit and face next generation of thinkerspast, present & future, is a gathering of neighboring thoughts, adjacent thoughts, adjoining thoughts and contiguous thoughts.

 

And that, my friends, is what art is.

 

A gathering of all those thoughts.

A creation borne of the mystery of the world … and our world.

 

Ponder that this thanksgiving wherever you are and whoever you are with.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

wearable technology and everyday schmucks

October 28th, 2016

A19D55 COMPUTER CIRCUIT BOARD WITH BINARY CODE

 

 

“… technology companies want us to think that by engaging in self-monitoring and self-care practices using wearable wireless technologies we will be empowered to “take control” of our health.

“These apps and devices also sometimes ‘push’ or coerce us into using such technologies in the interests of other actors and agencies”, raising questions about their potential for “economic and social discrimination”.

 

—-

Deborah Lupton, a sociologist who has made a critical study of the digihealth market.

 

============

 

 

Well.

 

strategy think anger angry business ideas filterI am not a sociologist and I am not a wearable technology expert.

 

And, yet, for some reason I find myself in another discussion where I have been asked about some futuristic type stuff including:

 

What do I think will be the future of healthcare?

 

What do I think about artificial intelligence and the workplace?

 

What do I think about tomorrow’s business organizational model?

 

What do I think about 3D printing and its effect on manufacturing?

 

What do I think about Wall Street and the overall financial industry

 

What do I think about globalization and its effect on individual country’s business ,and jobs>

 

What do I think about the young <in business, in education, in critical thinking>?

 

And.

 

Now … what do I think about wearable technology.

 

Let me be clear.

 

At best … I am 50% right on thinking thru innovations success <maybe the last I got right was the double edged razor>.

At best … I am 50% right on thinking thru the future of entire industries.

 

But … that doesn’t mean I do not have an opinion … and I do know some things about people’s behavior and what they like and dislike <from a usage standpoint> … so here goes on wearable technology.

 

I read somewhere that 2014 was greeted as ‘the Year of the Wearable.’

 

Well.

 

That’s a little over-the-top nuts to me.

 

As most over-the-top futuristic type things are … someone has decided to make some over-the-top claim about an innovation and the future of “the next hot thing” <which is most likely tepid at best>.

 

I think wearable technology is going to have some major complications as it tries to become integral into people’s lives.

 

Why?

 

Well.

 

As people try to cram more and more stuff into whatever they are already doing and what they want to do there will be two main decision criteria for anything trying to work its way in to someone’s routine:change-people-technology

 

  • Lubrication:

 

We all have gobs of things to do and a to-do list longer than time available. In most cases we are not seeking to add things but are more than happy to utilize techniques & tools which make what we have to do get done more efficiently.

That’s Life lubrication.

 

If someone or something can convince me that buying it & using it will lubricate everything I already have on my plate … well … they can have my money.

 

And if it actually DOES lubricate? Well. They will continue to not only get my money but I will use the product/service on an ongoing basis because it … well … has shown value.

 

Everyone should note that the link between purchase & proof of value is tenuous between innovations and people/users which is why many them look good in trial but die overtime.

 

I will admit … for the life of me I cannot figure out why futurists or the blowhards who espouse ‘year of anything’ with regard to an innovation ignore this.

 

<on a separate note: that’s why I believe smartphone telehealth is the next generation of general practitioner medicine … it lubricates Life on a valuable consumer need>

 

 

  • Enhancement:

 

Sticking with my to-do list or stuff I do daily <regularly> … if something can

improve, maybe make more effective, something I am already doing … it is an ‘enhancer.’ In most cases we are always looking to subtract something if we can add something better. Or even better … enhance something we are already doing that we like <better because that incorporates less change in our Life and it suggests what we are already doing was smart>.

That’s Life enhancement.

 

If someone or something can convince me that buying or using it will enhance my life, make it better or more enjoyable or ‘fuller’ on an ongoing basis … well … they can have my money.

 

And if it actually DOES enhance? Well. They will continue to not only get my money but I will use the product/service on an ongoing basis because it … well … has shown value.

 

All that is kind of basic but for some reason gets overlooked.

 

That said.

 

Wearables, for the most part, neither lubricates our life nor enhances it … they simply educate us on how effective, or ineffective, or how efficient, or inefficient, we are already managing our Life.

 

It simply adds shit to what we are already doing and … well … adds work.

 

It simply provides information.

 

Good information? Sure.

 

But all it will either do is piss me off or show me what else I need to be doing.

 

Look.

 

I have more than enough things, and access to a zillion things, which will tell me what I am doing wrong or what I could be doing better … and all for less than $300.

 

If wearable technology would actually change shit without me having to do shit <kind of like a morphine drip without the morphine> then maybe it would meet lubricate/enhance criteria.

 

At the moment all wearable technology does is highlight the eliteness of the super fit and the rest of us every day non super fit schmucks.

 

They are certainly cool … but in today’s world ‘cool’ doesn’t get you too far in the marketplace. It can gain you a business niche but if the cool doesn’t Life lubricate or Life enhance … it will gain nothing more than a niche.

 

By the way.

In the business world a niche model can be quite lucrative.

 

Anyway.

 

I hesitate to jump on board the ‘digital wearable technology revolution.”

At least from a mainstream consumer choice perspective.

 

Now.

 

Let’s take a minute on corporate wellness or health or maybe … the “digitally health and fitness continuumengaged patient.”

 

Let’s say wearers can earn discounts of as much as 15% on their health insurance premiums. Well. That sounds appealing … and not just to me … 70% of consumers surveyed by PwC said they would wear a device to reduce payments.

 

Let’s say that wearable applications become more practical as both hardware and software develop where the devices can measure temperature and blood chemistry which would permit doctors to monitor patients from afar. Well. That sounds appealing … and not just for me … doctors love the idea and for people with chronic illness it could be life-saving or at least life-changing.

 

Let’s say wearable devices, which could include a smartphone that can measure blood-oxygen and blood-glucose levels <key if you’re diabetic>. Well. That sounds appealing.

 

Let’s say that a wearable device can monitor your ECG linked to an app that can tell when you’re running low on heart medication and need to order up a repeat prescription. Well. That sounds appealing.

 

Some of these devices are already on the market or coming soon via private health providers. And some people envision a time not in the not-so-distant future when physical activity and vital sign data will be collected seamlessly from devices planted on or in our bodies without our having to do anything mobile-technology-phones-antennamuch at all. Well. That sounds REALLY appealing from a lubrication and enhancement viewpoint.

 

Fitbit, and other wearables, don’t really seem that viable to me, however, they do appear to be on the leading edge of what will be valuable to us.

 

 

 

I imagine that if you have some extra money to waste or you are one of the superfit obsessed with maximizing every little edge out of your body then a wearable is well worth pursuing.

 

But for us every day schmucks who are comfortable getting what little we can out of our bodies when we do choose to do some exercise or like to take it easy on Sundays in front of a TV watching other people exercise … well … my wearable is much more likely to be a ‘cold one’ in my hand then some $300 wearable on my wrist.

 

functionally dysfunctional is actually the norm

November 26th, 2015

dysfunctional functional

“My life doesn’t teach me absolutes.”

Unknown

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Okay:

according to some etymologists, was an acronym for “oll korrect” <slang for “all correct”>.

=====

 

 

 

I thought on Thanksgiving, a day when families typically gather, it would be a good day to discuss dysfunction.

 

 

In a way functionally dysfunctional is actually one of the Life absolutes.

 

 

This becomes important because I imagine beyond moral imperatives Life thanksgiving darthabsolutes are few and far between.

 

 

What I do know is that if you google Life absolutes you get overwhelmed with ‘life help lists’ of “5 truths of Life” … ‘absolutes of womanhood’ … ‘absolutes of family’ … but none of the absolutes seem to recognize the functional dysfunctionality of Life.

 

 

Lets face it … we are all victims of some dysfunctional aspects of Life, family or something. To suggest that anyone’s life, or family, doesn’t and didn’t contain some dysfunctionality is kinda silly <if not honest>.

 

And this means everyone.

 

Haves. Have nots. Seemingly well adjusted families and people. Seemingly non well adjusted families and people.

 

 

We all have encountered good and we all have encountered bad. I am not suggesting the life balance sheet is evenly balanced between good and bad … just that we have encountered some on both sides. I would argue the dysfunctional aspects are neither good nor bad. They are simply dysfunctional things we either navigate, or do not navigate, in our attempt to become functional human beings.

 

 

As for not navigating <or not accepting the responsibility to navigate>?

 

I admit.

 

I don’t fit in with, nor do I understand <in a way> what is called the ‘victim mentality’ which seems to pervade society today. We seem to labor under this burden of having been victim to some dysfunction which either <a> is an excuse for our own seeming quasi-debilitating dysfunction or <b> suggests that we have overcome some extraordinary thing which makes our ‘being functional’ more heroic in some way.

 

 

I personally don’t need any excuses nor do I need to try and make whatever I have made of my life look better by suggesting my ‘better’ occurred despite some obstacles or ‘odds against me.’

 

functional to dysfunctional business

Some call this personal responsibility.

 

 

And I imagine I could but instead I simply suggest that all of us decide to be functional within, or despite, what is normally some dysfunctional family & life aspects.

 

 

The whole idea that someone commits a crime or some ‘lesser than desirable behavior’ which is a portrayal of some lack of moral fortitude because … well … we cannot really blame them because they had a rough or less than perfect childhood or came from a dysfunctional family environment is … uhm … generally speaking … an excuse.

 

 

Ok.

 

 

In general … let me suggest it is bullshit.

 

 

Everybody had a tough childhood.

 

 

I could argue that being a child is tough by definition.

 

 

=====

Everyone is bigger than you, older than you, smarter than you … and can tell you what to do. and while parents who are abusive, mean drunks, & addicts are fortunately not in the majority pretty much 50% of marriages end in divorce … and of the other 50% … let’s say about 90% of those sputter along on 2 cylinders most of the time. so when I hear people moaning or making excuses about a dysfunctional childhood & family … I am tempted to challenge them to show me a truly functional childhood. A real one and not one idealistic concept from a TV show.

<lost source but loved he words>

====

 

 

And part of being a kid is being part of a family <or typically some cohort of adults>.

 

Adults typically defined by two things with regard to our childhoods:

 

dysfunctional family people

– Good intentions for the child <making decisions based on the best future interest of the child>

 

 

– Flawed behavior and decisions made with good intentions

 

 

That is the weird thing about our families and what creates most of the dysfunctional functional aspects. Parents and families represent the worst of the worst and the best of the best.

 

 

Families can represent the most fucked up aspects of Life which if you reflect upon them too much could represent all the excuses anyone could ever need for a fucked up life and adulthood. But families also represent the most hopeful aspects of Life if you reflect upon actually represent all the good one would ever want to find in Life.

 

 

And on thanksgiving all of that typically comes together and eats together.
All I know is that my family is my family and my childhood was my childhood and my future is my future.

 

Functionally dysfunctional in all aspects and all the aspects helped craft the man, the person, I am today.

 

 

I was a victim of it all without becoming a victim of the experience.

 

dysfunctional life family

I do know that growing up sports was pretty much all I thought about. I played as much as I could anywhere at any time <yea … I was one of those kids who shoveled snow off the courts to play basketball and played baseball at 2 in the afternoon on 100degree + days>.

I studied the games, studied the athletes and knew its history. As a tween I threw a ball against a wall for hours on end pitching and fielding games of future glory.

 

And that was within a family in which sports was code for ‘leisure and nonproductive activity.’

 

 

If I wasn’t doing some activity that ‘bettered me’ <boy scouts, internships, actual labor, education & learning acquisition> I wasn’t being functionally productive. That was our family dysfunction driver. I could shake my head in despair … and I have had people actually shake my their heads in seeming shock <because I turned out to be a decent athlete but not even close to professional> and in the way that good dysfunctional bubbles to the top … I have oddly even found myself defending my family drive. And I could do so because … well … the dysfunction was driven with good intentions.
I am not a psychologist but I assume that sports was more than just a boyhood passion … it was also either a means of escape or rebellion against the functional dysfunction of family.

 

 

Family life, dominated by my brilliant father, was highly, often relentlessly intellectual. I have never spoken with my sister about growing up but I tend to believe we some pressure to display copious brainpower at all times. While I was always a voracious reader <of everything> I gravitated towards sports.

This only exacerbated the functional dysfunction.

 

Doing what came naturally to me made me feel a second rate citizen in the family. To be clear … not necessarily a failure just an outlier or an oddball. The thing I loved, and was okay at, became a badge of our dysfunctionality … and in parallel … our functionality.

 

 

I never wanted to turn myself into someone different. I never wanted to be the intellectual brilliant parents I had and I never wanted to be the more serious and hard-edged focused person I think the functional best interest aspects of my family wanted me to be.

 

I always kind of knew <albeit I couldn’t articulate> that someone can’t unmake who we are and I tend to believe within all the dysfunctional functional aspects of our family everyone just wanted me to be successful being me … it is just their path looked different than what I envisioned my path to be. .

 

 

I can honestly say at the time it was miserable and confusing. But I can also honestly say it was miserable and confusing for all parts & pieces of eth family … not just me.

 

I shared some personal stuff to make a point.

 

 

All families are dysfunctional. And yet still mostly functional. It is a herky jerky Life within a family with moments of smoothness.

 

 

I made mistakes that contributed to dysfunctionality. The family made mistakes that contributed to the dysfunctionality.

We would like to believe our parents, and the family, have all the right answers and do all the right things … but family, and Life, just doesn’t work that way.

 

 

In fact.

If most of us could get their ‘victim’ head out of their asses it would become a little more obvious that the dysfunction contributed to the functional aspects of who and what we are today.

 

 

Childhood has a tendency to magnify the small things. Shit. Childhood has a tendency to super magnify the dysfunctional things.

 

 

All of this leads me back to one of my ‘quotes’ at the top of the post.

 

 

okay typeOkay.

 

 

“Okay,” according to some etymologists, was an acronym for “oll korrect” (which is slang for “all correct”).

 

 

Coming from a dysfunctional functional family has taught me many valuable lessons.

 

Maybe the most important is that despite any dysfunction, if you do not accept being a victim, “it’s going to be okay.”

 

 

Part of being in a family is having to shares loss, pain and heartache … as well as moments of joy, sharing and good intentions. Our experiences taint what we would have liked to be childhood bliss but at the same time this mixture of functional dysfunction teaches us that Life rarely turns out perfect, most of the time things, and you, are not magnificent and that … well … it is all going to be okay. In fact … I believe I could make the point that all the dysfunction is simply being part of an ‘all correct’ Life.

 

 

Life has never been perfect and never will be. Heck. Growing up is never perfect and will never be.

 

 

And while we may look back at the dysfunctional aspects and wish it could have been different … you cannot go back and revise what happened. Therefore you really only have one choice … accept you are a victim of it all without becoming a victim of the experience or become a victim of the dysfunction.

 

 

Anyone and everyone can find flaws or something insufficient in us. That is simply being human.

 

 

But blaming your circumstances on others <parents, childhood, God, fate> and not yourself?

C’mon.

 

Dysfunctionality begets functionality. That’s kinda Life’s gig.

 

 

Life has not betrayed you. No one has betrayed you. Only you can betray you on this particular topic. You have to pretty much embrace your dysfunction, and dysfunctional family aspects, on your terms and move forward.

 

 

===

 

“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

getting older awkward_family_

Not My Family

 

 

Anna Quindlen

 

 

===

 

 

So, on Thanksgiving, recognize that Life is functionally dysfunctional and that pretty much everyone has had a dysfunctional Life, childhood and family experience.

 

 

And despite it all … most of us are pretty functional.

And we are because we figure out how to accept, if not embrace, the flawed dysfunctional functional people we are as individuals … and the individuals in our families. We figure out that despite all the dysfunction … it is all going to be okay if we believe it will be okay.

Large and full and high the future still opens

October 24th, 2015

imagery black ink write

————————

“I take up my old pen again – the pen of all my old unforgettable efforts and sacred struggles. To myself – today – I need say no more.

Large and full and high the future still opens.

It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.

I like these words.

For anyone approaching middle age, or wading through it, they may be the most useful words anyone has written, words that if we repeat often enough we may even start to act upon.

Words that could change our lives, or the long sweet stretch of it that is left.”

==

Henry James

<wrote in his early 50s>

—————————————

“We know that greatness doesn’t come from building walls, it comes from building opportunity.”

=

Obama

<note: the original quote has “America’s” before greatness>

————————-

 

 

 

 

Well.

 

 

Bad we help that

 

Yesterday I wrote about ‘no chance means no chance.’ Looking back upon it while I don’t regret the truth, or pragmatism, of it … I began recognizing I kept going back to it again and again … my fingers hovering over the pragmatic side of it and the ‘delete’ key … and having my thoughts hover over the hope portion with itchy fingers, and itchy mind, to write more and talk about how glimpses of ‘having a chance’ are the things that often not only get us thru the day but get us thru life.

 

 

That is the power of words. A word has the power to change the way you think about things but maybe more importantly a word … yes … a single word … has the power to change your life <because what you think often begets what you do>.

 

 

A word can surely be a wall … but more often than not … a word is a building block for opportunity.

 

 

Such a small thing is large and full and … well … high the future still opens.

 

 

And while that sounds big & sweeping and maybe easily dismissed as words of a dreamer and things that are nice to think about but will never happen … I would like to point out that for almost 20 years now the internet has brought more new & different words into our lives.
These words are opportunities.

 

 

These little things are big and full of the future.

 

 

Because of this seeming barrage of words our lives, our culture; our minds have been forever changed.

 

 

There is no going back and there is no ‘giving back.’ Words when encountered remain your companion to be hugged, bewildered by, spurned, loved and shadows you wherever you go from that moment on.words big brevity

 

 

Even on the days when we shut ourselves away from people and the bustle and grind of Life there will not be a single day in which you will not interact with words.

They are your constant companion <friend or foe>.

 

 

Whole companies are now dedicated to words.

 

 

Any search engine or browser company.

 

Any social media company.

 

Shit.

 

Whole industries these days has been developed solely on the use and management of words.

 

 

Your words beget their words.

 

They organize words which inevitably force you & I to consider, an reconsider, words.

 

 

At the core of our lives is one simple thing … a word.

 

 

one plusOne word at a time our life is built.

 

One word at a time … opportunity … a dream … a hope … is built.

 

 

This means that a word, or combination of words, is the key to everyday life.

 

 

The way we interpret a word can not only change the present but impact the future. One word can … well … actually change our behavior <Amazon is the most practical tactical example of this>.

 

 

 

Technology has actually given a word ‘super powers’ <and they were pretty frickin’ powerful before>. a word is no longer something we simply observed & absorbed … it now has acquired a more active role in life … it creates and impacts how we interact.

 

 

Simplistically.

 

 

A word is a fundamental catalyst of Life.

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

It is impossible to imagine the world without words.

 

 

A word enables us to do things that maybe seem unthinkable.

 

A word encourages us to think … well … we have a chance.

 

 

And, maybe most of all, while I think of a word as the small key to greatness and opportunity I continue to think of the one syllable 4 letter word that is possibly the most powerful word in any language – hope.

words a minute fast

 

Whenever I wonder why I sit in front of my computer and write I remember that words not only are the only constant companion we encounter every day but they are involved in almost every aspect of our lives.

 

 

 

In some small way maybe I think of James’ words … “today – I need say no more. Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.”

 

 

Weigh your words carefully today my friends … and take a moment and ponder the words you encounter … for most do not build walls but offer opportunities.

Enlightened Conflict