shhhhh….

Introverts, Extroverts … Encouragement for the former.

I didn't have my glasses on....

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being a great lover of people, and the human story, and most all that is life, and even though i have always been a bit on the shy side, i have never thought of myself as an introvert. that is, until i heard susan cain speaking about her book on npr. in her book, ‘quiet’, she describes the differences between introverts and extroverts, and the challenges that come with being an introvert and living in a world that celebrates the latter. 

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what really hit home for me were  some of the many examples she gave: feeling most comfortable with just a few close people rather than in large groups, making things happen behind the scenes rather than in front, in a quiet way, and most of all – the need to recharge oneself by spending some time in solitary pursuits after being a part of the goings-on of the world…

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Men of 2014: Hold On To Your Hat!

Which ever side of the trees you are on, this post is for men and women. It is a time to encourage each other.

Wilder Man On Rolling Creek

I am hoping for a better year:

NO BRAINER!

Of course I am hoping for a better year; and, of course … you are hoping for a better year, right?  Tell me I’m right.  Tell me you are hoping for a better year.  That’s what we do, right?  We hope.  ‘Cannot stop hoping.  If we don’t hope, we die … mainly inside.  If we quit hoping, it may be obvious on the outside; but death is really happening on the inside, even though it is a gradual process.

And …

of course we are hoping for a better year.  If it is obvious, then WHY am I mentioning it?  I bring this up because I am a firm believer in reminding each other of what is true, what is important, what is dynamic.  I believe we need to talk to each other,  face-to-face, phone calls, EMAILs, and … blogging, of…

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Claire Davis: Peace, You Will Be Missed By Many

Claire_Davis_1387053062077_1649602_ver1.0_640_480
http://theobamacrat.com/2013/12/21/arapahoe-high-school-shooting-victim-claire-davis-has-died-rest-in-paradise-ms-claire/claire_davis

Claire Davis died on Saturday  12/21/13 at Littleton Adventist Hospital.  Claire Davis died from a gunshot wound, she sustained from a school shooter at Arapahoe High School, 12/13/13.

Please know I am not an activist for gun control, nor for NRA. This post is about acknowledgeing Claire Davis as an innocent victim.  This shooting at Arapahoe High School (12/13/13) took place one day before the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown Connecticut. Final thought: since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, there have been 23 school shootings in America.

“Massacres like the one that killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School a year ago are rare, but there have been 23 mass-shootings in the US since.”  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10516913/Interactive-graphic-the-23-US-mass-shootings-since-Sandy-Hook.html

I have a question that you do not have to answer.  Does that number concern you?   It concerns me.  

Christmas!! How’s the fog?

“Christmas lights should help with the fog, pending on how bright the lights are … how thick the fog is.”

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ca/Dense_Seattle_Fog.jpg/512px-Dense_Seattle_Fog.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ca/Dense_Seattle_Fog.jpg/512px-Dense_Seattle_Fog.jpg

“Christmas Fog Consultant”.  That would be cool.  People would say “Oh.  That is good to know …”  or ask, “WOW!  Are you … like … a Christmas Fog Consultant?”  And With a poker face, I nod, and say “Yes, I am.  Now, please stand back.”  I experienced Christmas Fog for the first time on  Christmas of 1993:  Antarctica Ross Ice Shelf – Willy Field, a cold, windy, desolate, and somewhat isolated place.  December 01 emerged, out of the white.  Antarcticans began to think about Christmas.  Memories showed up  (like non-scary apparitions) of earlier Christmases with parents, brothers, their families; and other festivities you find in cities across the North American continent.

Christmas Fog thickened up due to numbness, to push back emotions of sadness and anger.  I was 10,000 miles away from home, at the bottom of the world, living at a field camp out where the planes flew in.  But the group I was “top-notch”.  We all made it through our Antarctic Christmas together.

http://www.coolantarctica.com/Community/christmas_in_antarctica.htm                      

(My first month in Antarctica I stayed in a canvas and wooden “Jamesway” Hut”, which is pictured below. Photograph from   https://www.google.com/search?q=jamesway+hut)

I found a VHS movie – – – Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  I ended up checking this movie out countless times right before Christmas, right after Christmas, and periodically for the rest of my “tour” on “the ice”.

Holiday Inn (1942) PosterIt was, and is, a great movie.  But it probably perpetuated my numbness, getting me to think of being somewhere else besides a windy, cold, desolate, flat, boring field camp.  Having said that Antarctica was good.  But I don’t think I need to do it again.

My hope for you is that you will be able to see clearly through the fog, whatever fog it may be: materialism, cynicism, loneliness, missing loved ones, illness, transitional stress.  At Christmas time, the Christmas Fog is always near.  Keeping a good focus on what is important, and what is good, can be difficult at times, depending on … how thick the fog is, and how bright the lights are.  Peace.  T

Story Series: An Extraordinary Conflict and a Profound Victory Part 1

Story Series: “An Extraordinary Conflict and a Profound Victory”

Notes: A great joy, storytelling, comes with a great privilege: to release my craft of storytelling in the midst of a fairly large group of willing listeners, two to three times each year.  After telling a fellow blogger, prior to the most recent storytelling session (12/1/13), that I would be telling one of my stories in front of a crowd,  I was fortunate to have this good man / blogger express his interest.  He suggested that I bring the story to the blog realm.  Here are some “safety tips”, if you choose to read An Extraordinary Conflict and a Profound Victory”:  

      • Time and setting: 1779; a young America is at war with England.
      • American Patriots are severely outnumbered and out-trained.
      • This story is not about the United Kingdom being “The Bad Guys”.
      • This story is about the reality that we all have battles to fight.  
      • Our battles are interlinked with our own individual, unique stories.
      • Our battles are harsh, and ugly, and we will get nicked, wounded, clobbered, dazed, knocked down, discouraged, and at times we will forget what is it we are fighting for.
      • We are not fighting alone; we need vision, hope and courage; we do not give up; we need to know we are fighting our battles for something worth fighting for; and this will help us see why we do not give up, why we  keep fighting.

George Washington Crossing the Potomac / http://www.PasteMagazine

The Story: An Extraordinary Conflict and a Profound Victory Part 1

The year is 1779.  We are at war with England.  We are patriots.  We are Americans.  We are a young country, and therefore, we are a young America.  We are thirteen colonies. And, in the eyes of England, out of the mouths of the British, we are fools and rebels.

Below: picture of King George III made possible from www.napoleon-empire.com.

Rebels?  Yes.  We are rebels. We rebel against tyranny, oppression, excessive taxation, and “The Quartering Act”.  Fancy wording, eh?  “The Quartering Act”: it means “Home Invasion”,  British soldiers living in our homes, against our will.  Rebels? Yes.  Fools?  No.  We are not fools.

Right: picture of George Washington, made possible  from sccoec.edublogs.org.

 The British Monarchy and King George III’s perspective goes something like this:
      • “I don’t care if you live in America, Russia, Jamaica, or on Mars.  It makes no difference.  The British Monarchy and I, own you … the Patriots.
      • We will tax you heavily, you will pay dearly.
      • We will take what we want, when we want.
      • You will fear us because we are so powerful, you will be thankful to be servants of the British Monarchy.
      • You will LIKE it, you will not complain.  You will be silent, say nothing.
      • This is the way it is, this is the way it will always be.”

The Patriots’ perspective is, as you might imagine, quite different from that of King George III’s.  Picture yourself sitting with King George III.  The discussion might go something like this:

  • “Your Majesty … Let me stop there and confess my confusion.  This wordmajesty” means dignity, and grandeur, supreme greatness.  And then, there is you: a “majesty“; a little man, a large amount of greed, and an addict’s desire for control and respect; but you will not give freedom, and you will not give respect.
  • Anyway, Georgie, that’s not why I came.  There has been a misunderstanding.  You and your people have expressed that we will LIKEyour oppression and tyranny and excessive taxation; that we will be thankful for our servitude to the British Monarchy; that we will not speak; that we will accept this as it is, and as it will always be.  
  • Here is the truth:  we do not like “it”, and never will.  We will not settle for this. We will not take this lying down.  George, we have made efforts to work this out with you and your people.  But it looks like you want a war.  If it is a war you want, it is a war you will get.   I’ll close with this, sir.  Read my lips, I know I do not speak very loud:

WE … ARE NOT … VICTIMS.

WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS.

In 1775, British troops marched into Lexington and Concord with two objectives:

        1. To seize the armory of the Patriots: their ammunition, artillery, and supplies;

        2. To capture two Patriot leaders, John Adams and John Hancock.

The British failed with both objectives, thanks to an American spy ring, successful in obtaining  invaluable intelligence data: the British plans to march into Lexington and Concord, and their objectives.  The Patriots moved their armory / supplies ahead of time to a safe place; and  the Patriots moved John Adams and John Hancock to locations where the British would never find them. 

Below:General. Gage, Commander of the British Army and Military Governor of Massachusetts, from www.landofthebrave.info.

File:Thomas Gage John Singleton Copley.jpegThere is a rumor . . .

that the intelligence data came from Mrs. Thomas Gage, the wife of the General Thomas Gage, Commander of the British Army and Military Governor of Massachusetts.

Mrs. Thomas Gage - John Singleton CopleyTrue, all sources indicate that this was never proven.  However, General Gage sent his wife away, back to England in 1775, shortly after the battles at Lexington and Concord.   
Mrs. Gage, wife of General Thomas Gage, from

April 19th of 1775.

British troops marched into Lexington and Concord.  A 500 man militia of Patriots were waiting, armed and very much pumped up.  The Patriots gave the British a run for their money: key word “run“.  They retreated all the way back to Boston.  These two battles, Lexington and Concord, marked the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.  It was a long, and ugly, war.  The Patriots did not win every battle.  But they did win the war.  

This is a good perspective: we will lose some battles; but we will win the war. We are called to fight with honor, for what is good.  We are called out to live with passion and vision, even when the cards are stacked against us.  We have an opportunity to leave behind us a powerful legacy.

This is the end of Part 1

Tis the Season … Greed and Need: Same Thing?

'Tis the Season.

“Tis the season …”  For what?  http://longisland.news12.com/features/holidays/tis-the-season-series-1.6494620

I need a refresher course on this; a refocus supplement.  I think I need to reconnect with what is important.   This world seems to be moving faster as I get a bit older.  I was thinking about what it is that I really need . . . versus what it is that I really want.  Here is an example: I have gone to the refrigerator more than once, peered inside … not because I was really hungry, but … out of my boredom, or melancholy, or some other emotion.  Thus the question, “What am I hungry for?”  Recently I came across an article that seemed to be more about “greed”, as opposed to “need”.   Here is an excerpt from the article.  I chose to replace the name of the subject with “Happy People”, to prevent any unwanted phone calls from someone who is angry that I called them out on their greed.

“(Happy People)‘s top execs are using their private fleet of jets to fly to some of the world’s most exotic vacation spots — and taxpayers appear to be footing part of the bill.
When they aren’t grounded at NASA’s Moffett Field, the search engine’s jets guzzle government fuel to carry (Happy People)‘s billionaire bosses to Tahiti, Hawaii and a host of private Caribbean beaches, according to a detailed analysis reviewed by FoxNews.com.
(Happy People) — and the government — say parking spaces and discounted fuel are justified because of the scientific research the company does with the space agency. But the data shows trips may be more about surf than science, said Drew Johnson, a fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom.”  http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/11/21/google-execs-soaring-to-tropical-destinations-on-your-tax-dollars/

Private Jet

These two words,”greed” and “need”, can be disruptive.  Example: parents of a special-needs child, who don’t make enough money to go on a vacation, who don’t have date nights because they cannot be away from their kiddo … Do they need some help?  And is it greed for the husband / father to want to take his wife out for a date night?  Is it greed for the husband / father to want to take his family on a vacation?  I realize that the link at the end of the excerpt might suggest what company the article is referencing.