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Common enemies…

Posted Dec 4 2019 by in True North with 0 Comments

“OK Pokorn”, you might be thinking… “How will you correlate that title with peace and positivity?”  Well, there is actually great power found in emotional negativity that can be harnessed for the greater good.  And it is the appeal to the greater good that we will be reminded of this weekend.

Saturday we will recognize Pearl Harbor Day.  On December 7, 1941, an emotional, negative event occurred that summoned a powerful, driving force for the greater good.  From a factual standpoint according to Google:

In total, 2,335 Americans died and 1,143 were wounded.

Nothing remarkable in the annals of bloody combat, or even the bloody headlines of today, true?  But the highly-charged political discourse that followed, epitomized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Infamy Speech”, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infamy_Speech ) united our country against a common enemy.

Negative emotions can be a powerful, driving force.  But always a force for the greater good?  With the difficult events that have occurred almost daily throughout 2019…where will we find the greater good from “impeachment”; “tariffs”; “homelessness”; or “global warming”?

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. 

Albert Einstein

The hyperbole of current events seems similar to the highly-charged political discourse that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor.  But today, have we become our own common enemies?  Or, are we willing to think differently?

I always feel good when everyone says I’m nuts because it’s a sign that we’re trying to do something innovative. 

Larry Ellison

Thinking differently may offer us hope, but different does not have to be radical; dis-uniting; mean-spirited, does it?  Our thinking should create more friends and allies than it does enemies, shouldn’t it?  Back to Larry:

On the other hand, when people say you’re nuts, you just might be nuts… You don’t want people saying you’re nuts too often – once every three or four years is good.  Any more than that, and you should be worried because no one’s smart enough to have a good idea more than once every three or four years.

In the business world we often see evidence of power when a company unites against common enemies.  Steve Jobs continuously crusaded to be taken seriously – until Apple rose to dominate personal, technology devices and the way we all consume entertainment and information today.  The common enemy was their adversity when facing marketplace disrespect.  And that negative, driving force drove Apple to astronomical heights.

“ADVERSITY”:

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. 

Horace

The American Red Cross inspired from the carnage of our Civil War, formerly launched in 1881 in Washington D.C.  This powerful organization is also untied against common enemies – the devastated; the wounded; the needy; the destitute; the hungry.

Yes, there are many common enemies that coupled with the negative, emotional reactions they stimulate give rise to harnessing power for the greater good:

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

Here’s to Pearly Harbor Day and all the power it generated to propel our country forward in the face of common enemies.  What lessons have we learned?  How will we propel America and our fellow Americans, forward this December in the face of our many common enemies?

In every community, there is work to be done.  And in our hearts, we all have the power to do it!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Pleasantness…

I’d like to be more pleasant.  And Lord knows others around me would like me to be more pleasant, too!

I think I’ve been caught up in today’s modern society and the propensity for hyping the extreme; focusing on the negative; over-emphasizing the bad; highlighting unpleasant people.  There are many negative influences that continuously pull me towards becoming a poop-in-the-face.  It’s time to fight that gravitational pull.

Oh sure, I could make excuses.  Blame it on income taxes – that’s unpleasant.  Or, I could blame the negativity on my job; that’s what many people do, true?  Or we hate our boss; or, our workload; or, our compensation; or, or, or…  But those are just excuses and don’t justify maintaining an unpleasant personality:

Oh, you hate your job?  Why didn’t you say so?  There’s a support group for that.  It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar. 

Drew Carey

After writing about the month of March; basketball; and “Coaching” (link); I’ve been mulling over the quote related to sales coaching from an Integrity Solutions Research Brief:

People need to change their thinking first in order to change their behavior.

That coaching tip is resonating with me because for the past year my behavior has not been as pleasant as it could be; as it should be.  Well, if recognizing the situation is the beginning of finding a solution, then the thinking I’d like to change is to change my fatty-grumba attitude:

A smile on someone else’s face can make you feel good too – especially a cheerful expression on the face of your boss.  Having a boss who is, as a habit, cheerful and pleasant, is one of the nicest things that can happen to you.

Likewise, developing a cheerful attitude is one of the nicest things you can do for the people who work for you.  No matter how capable you are otherwise, a cheerful, friendly attitude will produce better results. 

John L. Beckley

I’m not a boss today, but being a boss; an individual contributor; or simply an American citizen, having a pleasant persona is a terrific quality to continuously strive for, don’t you think?  And it can catch-on.  If I’m pleasant, others around me may be pleasant back.  Before we know it, everyone can start looking on the bright side of our daily lives!  It may not make the evening news, but it would be pleasant, yes?

OK then – it starts with me.  The research suggests changing attitude precedes changing behavior.  Of course, to be successful I must follow through and not just think about it.  I must take action and avoid Glyme:

Glyme’s Formula for Success

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made. 

Unknown Sage

It’s easy to get caught up in today’s fast-paced; me-first; uncaring world.  And when we feel wronged, finding who’s to blame can become all-consuming:

Peter’s Perfect People Palliative

Each of us is a mixture of good qualities and some (perhaps) not-so-good qualities.  In considering our fellow people we should remember their good qualities and realize that their faults only prove that they are, after all, human.  We should refrain from making harsh judgments of people just because they happen to be dirty, rotten, no-good sons-of-bitches.

Unknown Sage

No, starting today I’m not going to follow Peter and his Perfect People Palliative any longer.  I’m going to change my thinking to change my behavior and I’m going to be pleasant again.  Do you think you’d like to join me?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Common enemies…

Posted Dec 5 2018 by in True North with 0 Comments

“OK Pokorn”, you might be thinking… “How will you correlate that title with peace and positivity?”  Well, there is actually great power found in emotional negativity that can be harnessed for the greater good.  And it is this appeal to the greater good that we should remember today and every day.

This Friday is Pearl Harbor Day.  On December 7, 1941, an emotional, negative event occurred that summoned a powerful, driving force for the greater good.  From a factual standpoint according to Google:

In total, 2,335 Americans died and 1,143 were wounded.

Nothing remarkable in the annals of bloody combat, or even the bloody headlines of 2018, true?  But the highly-charged political discourse that followed epitomized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Infamy Speech” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infamy_Speech ) united our country against a common enemy.

Negative emotions can be a powerful, driving force.  But always a force for the greater good?  With the difficult events that have occurred almost daily throughout 2018, we certainly hope so.

Take today’s constant drum beat around “fake news”.  Fake news is a phrase that has in recent years dominated American politics, true?  According to Wikipedia:

Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media… The relevance of fake news has increased in post-truth politics.

Post-truth politics?  Let’s follow the Wikipedia link:

Post-truth politics is a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored. Post-truth differs from traditional contesting and falsifying of facts by relegating facts and expert opinions to be of secondary importance relative to appeal to emotion.

Sounds similar to the highly-charged political discourse that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor.  But in 2018, are we our own common enemies?  I say again, can these negative, powerful, driving emotions become a force for the greater good?  I certainly hope so.

Let’s look at the business world.  We often see evidence of power when a company unites against common enemies.  Steve Jobs continuously crusaded to be taken seriously – until Apple rose to dominate personal, technology devices and the way we all consume entertainment and information today.  The common enemy was their adversity when facing marketplace disrespect.  And that negative, driving force drove Apple to astronomical heights.

“ADVERSITY”:

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. 

Horace

The American Red Cross inspired from the carnage of our Civil War, formerly launched in 1881 in Washington D.C.  This powerful organization is also untied against common enemies – the devastated; the wounded; the needy; the destitute; the hungry.

Yes, there are many common enemies that coupled with the negative, emotional reactions they stimulate give rise to harnessing power for the greater good:

In every community, there is work to be done.

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

Here’s to Pearly Harbor Day and all the power it generated to propel our country forward in the face of common enemies.  What lessons have we learned?  How will we propel America and our fellow Americans, forward this December in the face of our many common enemies – real and fake?

In every community, there is work to be done.  And in our hearts, we all have the power to do it!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

 

“That Guy”, again…

I have written about this side of me before (see http://thequoteguys.com/2014/04/that-man/).  Not the proudest time in my personal or professional life.  In a competitive world when there is seemingly a lot at stake; sometimes we feel it is OK if we “have to do what we have to do”:

David didn’t beat Goliath with a whiteboard. 

Brad Feld

Here’s the good news:  If we have demonstrated behaviors we are ashamed of in the business world (or any other part of the world for that matter), those behaviors, embarrassments or failures don’t have to define us forever.

Life is change…

Growth is optional…

Choose wisely.

Karen Kaiser Clark

Still, those tendencies may lurk underneath; I know mine do and recently did – again, not my proudest moment.

I am on a cross-functional team working to support a strategic initiative at my company (which I have also written about  http://thequoteguys.com/2018/03/strategic-direction/ ).  One member on the team, from another department, has several different views than I on both the initiative and how we should work together.  OK, we have our differences; happens every day in your world too.

Normally, our disagreements are tempered by the fact that we live in different cities and communicate via phone and email.  When “that guy” begins to surface during a disagreement, I can put my phone on mute and vent; or I can write my scathing email reply and then push “delete” instead of “send”.

But recently, he was in my office and came over to my desk for a visit.  I appreciated the gesture and told him so.  The conversation started with customary pleasantries… the weather, his flight, sports.  Then the topic turned to our strategic initiative.  He wanted an argument.  Argument?  Count me in!

Pratter’s Prayer

Lord, make my words as sweet as honey, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.

Unknown Sage

I don’t know, maybe this is a result of our generational gap; he a millennial (e.g. a bright young man with little real-world experience) me a baby boomer (e.g. a grumpy old man with plenty of real-world experience).  Maybe I could blame it on the horses as in the opening to Chapter Two of my book:

Dedicated to those business professionals who know the difference between the smell of horse manure in the barn vs. the “sound” of horse manure in the office.  Not everyone can do this for a living.

Maybe I just like a good argument once in a while.  Regardless, when my boss called and asked about the encounter I knew “that guy” was sited – again.  No honey in sight.

Coincidentally, my colleague’s manager works on my floor.  In fact, she walks past me many mornings on the way to her office.  I don’t really know her – just an occasional exchange of “good mornings”.  She wanted to see for herself if I was the ogre her direct report said I was. We had a very pleasant conversation – “that guy” was gone.

Today, the cross-functional team is back on track.  My young colleague and I are communicating on a professional even pleasant level.  And I’ll be more careful with any future, in-person encounters:

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. 

The second-best time is today. 

Chinese Proverb

Oh, I still bite.  But when it comes to horse manure at the office, I have enough real-world experience to “choose wisely” and seek growth.  After all, there’s not much time left in my professional career to grow that tree.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Memorable…

Posted Jan 24 2018 by in True North with 1 Comment

What do you remember about 2017?  Or for that matter, 2016 or even 2015?  You know … it wasn’t very long ago.  What stands out?

Living in the moment is one thing; but pausing our daily grind to remember why we’re grinding every day to begin with is important as well, true?  Do you have to consult Facebook or your cell phone photo gallery to remind you?  Are today’s machines going beyond dominating our daily routine and now replacing our memories also?

If we’re not careful, our fast-paced life can become a blur.  Guilt can surface when we’ve missed time with our family because of our job.  If we don’t pay attention, our failures, short comings, and tragedies can consume our memory.

Here’s an item (and a picture) I’m adding to my 2018 plan reminding me to lighten up – courtesy of Guy R. Ratti:

I carry a picture of myself as a child (about six years old) to remind me of two things: 

To remember to always look at the world as a child does, with wonder and excitement of what I can become.

To remember to forgive and love myself just as I would that innocent child in the picture. 

Too many grown-ups live their lives feeling guilty over mistakes made or lose time blaming themselves for things that could have been.  I remember what it is like to be a child and know that in many ways I am not much different from that boy in the picture.

Our approach to remembering things can vary by age group, too.  The young have their whole future unfolding in front of them.  Looking back is less common because looking ahead is a wonderful opportunity to imagine what can be; what will be.  The old are in a different state and we often look back.  Here’s Jan Carroll’s observation:

The young are luckier:  They don’t need to remember what the rest of us are trying to forget.

Will we commit to memory all of the wonderful things that happen in our lives; every accomplishment; every enjoyment; our family; our friendships; all of the good things that surround us in 2018?

OK, but what about the “other stuff”?  Yes, we all have to face the constant drum beat of negative impressions often courtesy of our modern media where negativity; mud-slinging; and shock seem to be their stock and trade.   It’s true that we have to face it; and when it’s real, we have to deal with it.

We have to deal with it when it’s labeled “fake news” as well, but we don’t have to commit those images to memory:

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness. 

Elbert Hubbard

There is a limit to everything that one can remember over the course of our lifetime.  Starting in 2018 let’s commit to remembering the good things in our lives and leave the “other stuff” to the machines.   Google can call up that “other stuff” as necessary.

We can also count on those that have better memories for counting stuff than we do:

Creditors have better memories than debtors. 

Benjamin Franklin

We don’t have to constantly stress out over our credit card balances; student loans; and mortgages.  Others are doing that counting and they are more than happy to remind us.

So, let’s make 2018 memorable for all of the right reasons.  Go ahead and share your childhood pictures everyone.  I bet they are memorable!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Christ’s birthday…

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing you a day of peace, hope, joy and celebration with family and friends.

Of course, Christmas is more than just one day, true?  Whatever our spiritual beliefs, may each of us find meaning to our life during this season in a way that lasts throughout the entire year.  So here’s to looking back and celebrating 2017; and to looking forward to an even better 2018!

Lest there be any confusion, may we be reminded of that which was important this year, and that which wasn’t.

We are reminded by bankers to be of good cheer:

A little boy received a new drum for Christmas.  Shortly thereafter, his father came home from work and the mother told him, “I don’t think the man upstairs likes to hear Georgie play his new drum, but he’s certainly subtle about it.  “How do you know”? asked the father.  “Well, this afternoon he gave Georgie a knife and asked him if he knew what was inside the drum.” 

Herbert Prochnow

We are reminded by the gospel to be satisfied with who we are not what we bought:

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. 

Matthew 5

We are reminded by the novelists to remember (and be thankful for) our “fortunes”:

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. 

Charles Dickens

We are reminded to offer His blessings to you and yours from me and mine.

GAP

Common enemies…

Posted Dec 6 2017 by in True North with 2 Comments

“OK Pokorn”, you might be thinking… “How will you correlate that title with peace and positivity?”  Well, there is actually great power found in emotional negativity that can be harnessed for the greater good.  And it is this appeal to the greater good that we should remember today, tomorrow, and every day.  Tomorrow is Pearl Harbor Day.

On December 7, 1941, an event occurred that summoned a powerful, driving force for the greater good – Pearl Harbor.  From a factual standpoint according to Wikipedia:

In total, 2,403 Americans died and 1,178 were wounded.

Nothing remarkable in the annals of bloody combat, or even the bloody headlines of 2017, true?  But the highly-charged political discourse that followed epitomized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Infamy Speech” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infamy_Speech ) united our country against a common enemy.

Moving on to the Oxford Dictionary and the word “Post-truth”:

Post-truth adjective

Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

Their definition continues:

‘It’s not surprising that (this word in 2016) reflects a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse’, says Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Dictionaries. ‘Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time.’

“…Fueled by social media and a growing distrust of facts…”  Negative emotions can be a powerful, driving force.  But a force for good?  With the difficult events that have occurred almost daily throughout 2017, we certainly hope so.

We witnessed this kind of power in the sporting world.  The 2017 Houston Astros won the first World Series for a city that earlier in the year was devastated by Mother Nature.  Were the events related?  Only God would know.

In the business world we have seen evidence of power when uniting against common enemies.  Steve Jobs continuously crusaded to be taken seriously – until Apple rose to dominate personal, technology devices and the way we all consume entertainment and information today.  The common enemy of marketplace disrespect drove Apple to great heights.

“ADVERSITY”:

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant. 

Horace

We’ve witnessed Oracle Corporation’s leader, Larry Ellison and his passion to conquer everything and everyone – business; technology; sailboat racing – everything!

The Salvation Army started in 1865 in London and The American Red Cross inspired from the carnage of our Civil War, formerly launched in 1881 in Washington D.C.  These powerful organizations are also untied against common enemies – the wounded; the needy; the sinful; the destitute; the addicted; the hungry; the homeless.  There are many common enemies that give rise to great power for the common good:

In every community, there is work to be done. 

In every nation, there are wounds to heal.

In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

So yes – common enemies, and the personal, emotional reactions they stimulate, can and do harness the necessary power for the greater good.

Here’s to Pearly Harbor Day and all the power it generated to propel our country forward in the face of common enemies.  What lessons have we learned?  How will we propel America and our fellow Americans, forward this December in the face of our many common enemies?

In every community, there is work to be done.  And in our hearts, we all have the power to do it!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Reasons…

I’m sorry for any typos in today’s post; my spell-checker wasn’t working.  And the post was late this morning because the power company had a blackout causing my alarm clock to malfunction.

When I (finally) arrived at the office I had to explain to my boss why my project really isn’t behind schedule.  No; the reason we’re waiting is I sent an email to the marketing department and they haven’t responded yet.  Oh, and now the Channel Manager is calling.  I bet she’s wondering why I haven’t responded to her emails yet.  Doesn’t she understand the reason is I’ve been so busy?  Today is already stacking up to be one of “those days”!

I can’t wait for lunch hour.  My wife packed me a healthy lunch of fruits and vegetables.  She just doesn’t appreciate the reason why I’m overweight is all of the pressure I’m under.  Besides, according to medical research, chocolate has a mood-soothing effect.

Now I have to jump on a conference call with the training team.  I can’t wait to hear their reasons for the bugs in the company’s machine learning initiative.  When we tried to log in and take our Level 1 course, the whole system crashed.  They said the reason was IT didn’t apply a software patch.

A friend of mine in IT said the reason why they didn’t apply that patch was they were told to wait until the training team updated materials in the course.  When the “fit hit the shan” our Business Unit President blasted the IT Manager!  He said our continued IT fowl-ups were the reason our stock price has been flat.

Come to think of it, now I will have to work a few more years than I wanted to before retiring.  My 401k account isn’t growing fast enough and the reason is obviously a combination of our flat stock price coupled with the national political mess.  Everyone knows the reason for our national crisis is those people supporting that other party.

And I know my wife is going to be mad because I want to watch the NFL game this weekend even though it’s her Aunt Ester’s wedding anniversary.  The reason why I don’t want to go to the anniversary party is the last time we played cards I think Aunt Ester purposely sabotaged our game so we would lose and leave so she could go to bed.

First Law of Bridge

It’s always the partner’s fault.

I understand – life can be a b%#*! sometimes.  But when we make a mistake, we don’t always have to have a reason why it wasn’t our fault.  We’re all in this together; we’re all impacted by Gerrold:

Gerrold’s Laws of Infernal Dynamics

An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction.

An object at rest will always be in the wrong place.

The energy required to change either one of the states will always be more than you wish to expend, but never so much as to make the task totally impossible.

And we all know about Murphy…

The New Math Version of Murphy’s Law

If there is a 50/50 chance of something going wrong, nine times out of ten it will.

Too many times, in too many instances – although I am wrong – I create some far-fetched reason why I am actually right.  Someone else or something else is convenient to blame.

Today, a little personal accountability might go a long way to getting me back on the right track.

Bridge anyone?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Playing Angry…

I was reflecting on my career the other day (heavy stuff, yes?).  I was reading Seth Godin’s book, Tribes ©; ten years after he wrote it; nine years after it was published.  Better late than never as they say.

The theme of his book revolved around individual leadership; chiefs leading tribes; stepping out; stepping up; a pox on “sheepwalkers” aka, meek followers.  (OK, pox is my word, not Seth’s.)  His thoughts about tribal leadership led me to reflect on my career leadership.

I believe I have been a leader throughout much of my adult life.  However, I have not followed the traditional path up the corporate ladder.  Hanging with the “suits” as humorously portrayed in the movie Secret of My Success © was never my thing.  But why?  That was what I was reflecting on.

And then it came to me – since my teenage years, in order to overcome life’s challenges I have been playing angry.  Whether sports competition; sales positions; family adversities; corporate promotions; even independent consulting… in order to succeed I have chosen to play angry.  Not my proudest attribute.

In his book, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun © Wes Roberts draws parallels between one of the most merciless tribal leaders of all time, and business leadership:

Huns learn much faster when faced with adversity.

If there are redeemable lessons that can be learned from none other than Attila the Hun, a more balanced approach to adversity might serve me too:

Competition AND Cooperation

       I think we know how to do competition OR cooperation.  I just don’t think we know how to combine them.  And I think the effective combination of competition AND cooperation is necessary to the survival of our species. 

     We can compete.  Read a history book.  We competed and beat the British. We competed and banned slavery. We competed and women won the right to vote.

     On the other hand, we can cooperate…our church and temple suppers for the family next door who’s experiencing trouble; our Thanksgiving and Holiday gestures with those less fortunate; our too-numerous-to-mention school and community organizations who do this and that for these and those time and time again in the spirit of helping others;

    We just don’t seem to be able to put competition and cooperation together. They come to us as close cousins, we bring them to our people and issues tables yet, all too often, they and we end up sitting on parallel or colliding paths.

    With the above in mind, we stand a chance to move beyond our differences and our dissonance into more humane turf.  Is it easy? No.  Is it possible?  Yes, but it requires incredible effort and persistence toward getting along rather than getting even or getting ahead at all costs. 

    Our present-day mire with competition at the expense of cooperation in our politics, our religions, our schools, our communities, our businesses, and our families will continue to diminish our spirits, our resolutions and, in turn, the quality of our lives.

    The combination of competition AND cooperation will lead each and all of us to a higher ground.  It is a just and worthy cause. 

Topper Steinman

Truth be told; at this stage of my career it’s difficult to stop playing angry; still facing competition; not to mention life’s adversities.

Yet – whether facing competition or adversity – I don’t want to be “that man” anymore.  I’m trying to follow Topper and other tribal leaders who suggest balancing competition with cooperation is a worthy cause.  You?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Memorable…

Today of course, is Memorial Day; begging the question, what makes it memorable for you?

When we google the origin of Memorial Day:

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

2017 finds some wishing to eradicate the memory of those men and women who died on the confederate side of the Civil War.  Is that the best way to honor what was at stake; what was gained; and what was lost 150 years ago?

2017 finds us all “drafted” into a twisted type of military service.  Our foes don’t pitch their armies against ours anymore.  Now it’s fanatics terrorizing innocent civilians.  Is this worth memorializing?

2017 finds a special election in Montana in the headlines as the statesmanship (or lack thereof) of a United States Representative is called into question as he chose violence over tolerance in a stressful moment.  Is that the government, “of the people; by the people; and for the people” our Founding Fathers had in mind?

2017 finds our extensive and seemingly ever expanding media continuously pounding “we the people” with everything that’s wrong with our way of life, true?  Violence; dishonesty; greed; disgraces of every kind – even involving celebrity media members themselves – nothing seems off limits to the shock value needed to compete for citizenship followership.  Memorable?

As we celebrate Memorial Day I am torn between what is worth remembering and what I’d sooner forget.  In 2017 one has to “effort” to stay focused on the positive things in our world in the face of unending bombardment of negativity, don’t you agree?

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness. 

Elbert Hubbard

2017 finds us at this crossroads of what to remember and what to forget.  I mean, there will always be evil; wrong-doers; and negativity surrounding us.  In the history of humankind, there always has been.  2017 is no different.

So, in 2017 the real challenge becomes what do we do about it?  I came across this Monday Motivation that stimulated me to reflect on meeting the challenge; thanking those that positively influence my life – thought I would pass it along in case you didn’t see it:

https://twitter.com/MotivatorMonday/status/866536815913820160

2017 and Memorial Day reminds me to reflect on those who died in the cause of defending our way of life, to be sure.  I’m adding to my Memorial Day time to reflect on those who live and make my daily challenges easier to overcome.  Those are memorable and worthy of thanking, too.  And yes, you are on my list of those to thank – well at least most of you:

People who read me seem to be divided into four groups; Twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; 25 percent like me for the wrong reasons; 25 percent hate me for the right reasons.  It’s the last 25 percent that worries me. 

Robert Frost

2017 and Memorial Day is our opportunity to stay positive; hopeful; grateful; civil; in the face of it all.  And our favorite, Unknown Sage reminds us of what “all” likely is:

Law of Probable Dispersal:

Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

Distribution aside; in 2017 we have a choice over what is memorable; positive or negative.  What do you choose?

GAP

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