Posted in Politics, Relationships, Wellness

Six P’s to Ponder for 2015

Happy New Year 2015 thoughts to share across the globe.  Thanks to technology, this message can be shared to my social network which spans every continent and has the ability to touch every demographic.  I thank you for reading and hope you will pass this message to others.

Purpose

For everything we do, there should be a valid need and reason (joy, entertainment, education, aid & assistance, growth, advancement, etc.) …. that doesn’t undo other great and necessary efforts already decided as priorities by people with experience and talent at providing solutions to human need.

Politics

Red, blue, black or white, rich or poor, famous or unknown, sick or well, disabled or fortunate all of our governments have a responsibility to the people who are being served or governed.  In our policy making and choices for the many, let us remember that “the people” are made up of individuals and every one of us matters.

Peace

In the 21st Century, we have greater access to advanced technology, medicine, science, knowledge, and power … is it possible that we might learn to use our vast resources for the betterment of the most common requirements of all humanity in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs that is true of all human kind regardless of country, status, power or position?   — guarantee equal rights to health and safety for all ethnicities and gender?  There is enough suffering life offers in our lifetimes, why should humanity foist deliberate suffering to any its members?

Patience

With age comes wisdom, or so it should … we should all remember, it is often our human created systems that fail us.  Author Jeff Sutherland tells us that “If we can blame someone else, we insulate ourselves from the possibility that we’d do the same thing. [make a mistake, do wrong, cause harm, be neglectful]”  There’s plenty of blame to go around, we should accept responsibility that is our own and try our best to remember life is a marathon, not a sprint … in our busy-ness lets look out for our neighbors and show concern, compassion, respect and kindness–be of help to others.

Practice

…what we preach … all of us are guilty, all of us are hypocrites to some extent (do as I say, not as I do).  Becoming a better person; changing a culture; replacing bad habits with new and better ones or strengthening our communities takes a conscious effort and much practice.  Concern, compassion, respect and kindness all require practice to improve…similar to the efforts of great athletes, musicians, inventors, painters and parents.  Let us find ways to encourage each other; to practice becoming better stewards.  We are all architects … of time, is what we are building going to last?

Pride

If something is worth doing, its worth doing it right…I know you’ve heard that before.  Let us not rush to failure.  Let us remember that daily we are building the reality we are subject to.  If we do not like what we see, hear, see, experience … there is opportunity for us to improve our product, our process, our speech, our results–the consequences.  In everything you do, take pride in your effort as though it is the last effort you will exert on this planet–how do you want your contributions to be remembered?

Thank you again for reading and I wish you much success in 2015!

Posted in Relationships, Wellness

Actions With Words = Meaning 

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.

Cheers

Posted in Relationships, Wellness

No More Ft Hoods!!!

Deep breath! Okay, today is one of those days. In spite of the enormity of homework on my plate, I just need to vent/share. As a motivated and persistent optimist, I generally lead the pack on number of smiles, positive compliments, and volunteered helpful ideas. I love having a great story to tell–one that makes people smile or laugh or marvel.

Sometimes however, I observe, learn, and connect dots I wish I weren’t able to. You know, life is very precious. We often zip right through it at high speed and don’t fully appreciate the opportunities were speeding past. People with great stories; people with sad stories–both need to be told, both need to be heard. Kids, spouses, co-workers, elderly people, and those who dedicate their livelihood to serving the needs of others who just need a listening ear or interested and engaged companionship.

In the realm of human experience, we all suffer, endure pain and loneliness. We also feel great elation, excitement, bask in moments of victory or success…and sometimes, feel humbled and honored. Before all other things, we are human first! Our humanity is the one thing we share regardless of age, gender, color, ethnicity, titles, beliefs, position, captive or free, employed or unemployed, sexual orientation, political leaning, etc. WE ARE ALL HUMAN!!!

It’s so easy to hide behind or use a label as an excuse to dismiss or discount another… as a reason not to feel, be curious, be patient, or be affected. But when the world takes a big dump on you, that’s when you begin to wonder where humanity has gone; why doesn’t anybody slow down and notice that you are in need? So it starts with you, with me…responsibility and leadership is everyone’s job! Too many sit around and wait for someone else to step up and take the lead. If you assume its “somebody else’s job” then its nobody’s job and you’re just as much a part of the problem you seek relief from.

So, if your organization has a health and wellness program, or makes counseling or support programs available to its personnel, be curious, be interested enough to become part of the culture these programs are trying to foster. Events like last week’s Fort Hood shooting, and the school stabbings this week happen IN THE WORKPLACE, IN SOCIAL SETTINGS.

A program that asks you to “go somewhere else” for treatment or counseling is insufficient and only plays lip-service to the spirit of the intent behind it’s purpose. We must all be part of the solution and accountable to each other as fellow humans to make real change, to touch the lives of people in need. It is not enough that you tell someone that there is a service, assistance, or that counseling is available. Sometimes the individual in need is too close to their condition (inward-looking induced by pain of some sort) to even see a need for help. Some are too embarrassed to admit to being someone who “needs” help (men especially are reticent to admit need).

Whether you are a veteran, a friend of a veteran, a doctor, a lawyer, a neighbor, a banker, a teacher …. I encourage you to keep your eyes open to the human condition filled with stress, trauma, and depression around you. Ask yourself, is there someone in my sphere or daily life who may be in need. When you walk down hallways, say good morning or afternoon–make eye contact. Ask your neighbors or co-workers how they’re doing….I mean, “how are you really doing?” Sincerity is often all it takes to break through the walls of personal reservations for someone to begin sharing their need.

And another thing…Human behavior should be viewed on a spectrum… none of us stay in a single state, condition, or behavior all of the time. Behavior is just that–sometimes people may identify or describe our behavior as strange, normal, odd, different, optimistic, stressed, cheerful, buoyant, outgoing, reclusive… I have news for you–we all slip and slide across the spectrum throughout our lives; that’s what makes us “human.”

You may say, I have entirely too busy a life…if I begin opening up to one person, I stand the risk of becoming the office counselor or a whining post. I’d much rather give a person 15 minutes of undivided attention on a recurring basis and let another human being know that I recognize, relate to, and appreciate their human condition, than to walk into work and at some point be in lockdown because I didn’t.

Please feel free to comment and share this post!

Posted in Education, Politics, SocialMedia, Technology, Wellness

What Would I Chance if I Could Not Fail?

An acquaintance on social media asked me “what would I chance if I knew I would not [fail] fall?” Here’s my response…

– Do away with the two-party system (Republicans/Democrats)

— Require that elected representatives vote their conscience, instead of a corporate/party position

— Return power and decision making to municipalities and states; but include states in setting, planning, and achieving nationally voted priorities and objectives

– Develop and fund a national & global vision for medical and space research

– Find ways to reduce the cost of medical care (comparable case study~SpaceX vs $huttle program)

– Eliminate hunger and homelessness!

– Immediate removal from power/control any national leader who inflicts pain, injury or death to their people

– Re-market the care, availability and necessity of treatment for those suffering from mental health issues

– Reform education in all aspects: costs, management, delivery, consumption options

– Draw a line in the sand regarding energy reform to invest in the protection of our planet at all cost

That’s what came to mind as I thought over the question…. I know it doesn’t sound personal…but to live in a world managed by the conditions above would make me truly feel safe, happy and proud of our humanity.

Cheers

Posted in Relationships, SocialMedia, Technology, Wellness

Viewer Discretion is Advised

I received feedback from those on my Facebook page that the picture I’m including here should have come with a warning. So, if you’re eating something, you might want to wait to read this.

Back on January 10th, I slipped and fell on black ice in a parking lot at work. A couple hours later I was in the hospital getting x-rays due to the enormity of pain & swelling. Because initially, there was no indication of a break in the bones…I was released with pain meds, told to elevate & ice and I should recover in time.

A follow-up appointment in February yielded another x-ray due to continued pain & swelling. Finally, around April, due to no explanation for continued swelling I received a referral to a podiatrist! After examination, I was given an appointment to have an MRI. After a whole month, at last, I received authorization through the VA health care system for a surgical consult from downtown doctors.

This appointment with a foot/ankle specialist at Ortho West revealed that not only had my ligaments been ripped off my ankle back in January, but on that day I received a fracture to my Tibia, as well as a 3cm vertical tear in my right peroneal brevis tendon. Because the fracture was never diagnosed or treated (getting off of my foot long enough for the fracture to heal), scheduling myself for the tendon repair would give me the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone! So, finally, on 8 July I was scheduled for the procedure~a couple of hours and 16 staples later, I was on my way to begin recovery.   If you want to take a look at exactly what happened in my case…I’m pasting a url to a YouTube video of the procedure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU7e669fZLA. If you have a weak stomach at all I don’t recommend you watch it.

Picture of the finished work on 8 Jul

Right Peroneal Brevis Tendon Repair!

What it looked like at home until 11 July!

Bandaged

Freed from the bandage 12 Jul

Reclining

Today, 15 July is the first full week post op!  I’m thankful to be home in my own environment, but this procedure took a lot more out of me than I ever could have predicted.  I’m thankful for a great family who has catered to every need…and to everyone out there on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn who’ve sent messages and posts of encouragement and support!

OrthoWest, the Orthopedic specialists, and the Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital staff were fabulous.  I haven’t ever encountered a hospital workflow system that put people first like these two health care establishments do.  Their business processes, Information Technology and automation solutions were designed with the patient’s needs in mind.  If you need orthopedic consultation, I highly recommend this team of professionals!

I have spent my recovery time using distraction techniques like reading, being deeply engaged in social media, listening to my wife read to the family during lunch times, watching a few videos with the kids, listening to Pandora and sleeping!  I am so thankful for my family and the network of friends across the globe who’ve taken the time to inquire about my status and post notes of encouragement.  Many of these friends I’ve known for a couple of years now but have never met in person (thinking of a lot of #UsGuys pals).  This is just one example of how social media can be extremely helpful to the emotional well being of individuals.

Apologies if this post was a little disturbing (pictures/video) but when you have many people asking what happened…how’s it going…a blog is the best way to speak once~inform many!  I thank you for reading!  Hope you all are well and in great health!

Cheers