Good morning world!
I just felt like sharing a few thoughts of reflection as I enjoy my coffee on this 2014 Thanksgiving.
Within the past week all four of the family vehicles used at our house have had to go in the shop. One of them was pronounced dead on arrival–that was the car the kids were using to drive back and forth to college. That same day my wife had an accident in our family van–all the kids were on board. Luckily there were no injuries. So, the hand-me-down process is alive and well. I’ll be getting a new car; my old one will go to the kids.
I’m finishing up the last few weeks until my Master’s program in Public Administration is completed at Bellevue University. It’s been a long journey–I have learned so much! The greatest revelation about this part of my academic journey is how much I enjoy research and thinking…and sharing this with others. Perhaps when the kids have left home I’ll pursue a PhD (topic/field yet to be determined). I have learned that I have an insatiable passion for social growth/change & unrest, education, sustainable practices, and understanding the intricacies of human relationships. All of these topics are at the heart of everything that is wrong and everything that is right in this world. Governments make choices and the people weather the consequences. It is ironic to me that without people there is no government, and yet globally, “we” are often victims of our own choices (or lack of choice-making).
I hear a lot of people who say they want to make a difference, actually change some aspect of the world–leave a legacy. Sometimes I wonder how committed we are to the words that escape our mouths. It seems more accurate to assess that unless there is an immediate crisis or challenge facing us, we’re content to sit back and criticize other’s attempts to create meaningful change. I don’t know about you, but seeing this dynamic saddens my heart. However, I hang on optimistically to my growing belief in cycles and rhythms that seem to be more deliberate than any human intent. A perspective I’ve gained (maybe it is because I’m getting older) is that life is a marathon, not a sprint! This dynamic applies to EVERYTHING where any human is involved. If you take that perspective to moderate your expectations, it is easier to exercise patience, tolerance, and participation.
The greatest challenge to our humanity in modern day life …. communication. The quality of our listening, our non-verbals, how easily we’re distracted shows we’re a society that has a tragically short attention span….
- If you don’t make (and keep) eye contact in conversations, if you don’t offer feedback in response to hearing someone speak that confirms to the speaker that you heard what they’re saying;
- if you don’t stop what you’re doing long enough to visually acknowledge and PAY ATTENTION to the individual … what is the message?
Introspection is one of the best things you can do with some of your spare time. Think about your own words and actions–do they align? When someone talks to you, are you paying attention? The greatest gift we can give each other is our time. I’m thankful that soon, my plate won’t be quite as full and I can give more of my time back to my family.
I truly wish each of you a wonderful day (Thanksgiving for Americans) and weekend. I appreciate your time taken to read this message.