Nov 14 2008

Today’s Poll: What Jobs Are Absolutely Necessary?

It’s here. And you’re feeling it. It’s what some have called an “economic recession” and others have flat out called a depression. Whatever it is, many people I know have felt the pain. From losing a job to the panic of uncertainty about your job, in some way we have all felt the sting of this crisis. There’s a lot of talk but very few answers.

All of the discussion has started my brain thinking (a dangerous proposition at best!) and I wanted to ask your thoughts on a specific question:

What jobs, if any, would survive if our economy totally tanked?

A fair question I think. What industry or job or the like would still be absolutely necessary if the economy ceased to exist as we know it?

I’d love to hear your response! Make a comment and we’ll put it all together to find out what America (or at least our little corner of it!) thinks about this subject.

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Nov 11 2008

50,000 Shoes…Be the NEXT Pair


This is hitting the web hard and I’m way behind the game (thanks to a crazy head cold!), but I can’t say enough good things about Anne Jackson. Go here and check out the details on how you can get involved with 50000shoes.com.

While you’re at her site, be sure to check out the rest of her incredible thoughts. Oh yeah…you can also pre-order her new book here.

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Nov 4 2008

The Fight to Vote

I voted today. And so did you. At least most of us.

It didn’t take long to vote. As a matter of fact, it took much longer to visit during the “before and after” then it did to actually cast my vote. Today was the day I realized that voting has become more of a social activity than a right we should be compelled to exercise.

I also realized something else. You may say you care about the issues, but the truth is that you really don’t. Most Americans will wake up tomorrow and go on with their lives as normal. The election will be over and within a week it won’t matter to you who you voted for or what issues passed or failed. Most of us care more about the fight than we do the cause.

I posed a simple question the other day…Obama or McCain: who should I vote for? The response was incredible…but not necessarily in a positive way. To be sure there were opinions flying everywhere…the fight was on. But I began to wonder…are people more interested in the fight or the cause?

Think about everyone you have engaged with over the past month. I’m betting that politics were discussed at some point. And I’m also betting that there were some passionate discussions that ensued. People love to voice their opinions and engage in a fight to defend them. But when the election is over and the fight is through, where will all those defenders go?

What if we spent more time worrying about the cause than the fight? What if we spent more time feeding those who are hungry and finding clean drinking water when only dirty water can be found? What if you woke up tomorrow and the fight you were so passionate about for a few days suddenly became a cause that you were committed to for a lifetime?

I challenge you to re-evaluate your priorities. Pursue a new passion. Take your fight and put action behind your words. Make indifference your enemy. Struggle. Dream. Live.

We will make a difference.

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Oct 28 2008

Are You Guilty of a Prayer Violation?

Over the past three months I have had countless people tell me that they would be praying for me and my family. I’m sure it’s always meant with good intentions, but it’s become a “pet peeve” of mine. Are you guilty of a “prayer violation?

Here’s a scenario:

A friend of yours resigns from their job. Well, not really resigns, more like let go, but that’s another story. Anyway, you hear about it and stop by to see how they are doing. After listening, small talk and such, you get ready to leave. What do you say next?

A. “It was good to see you. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.”

B. “Sorry for what’s happened. God always has a plan.”

C. “I’m sure there is a reason for this. I’ll be praying for you.”

You probably fall into one of the categories above. It’s kind of like a visitation; you feel compelled to see the family, but you’re not sure what to say. But what really gets me is when someone chooses response C. BAM! They’ve just committed a “prayer violation.” Why a violation? Let me explain.

So many of us throw out numerous religious terms, including the “I’ll be praying for you” line. What they really mean is that they need to sound like they are connected to God (aka “I’m religious”), and besides, isn’t that what Jesus would say? In reality, they probably won’t give it another thought unless they happen to see you at WalMart. Even then, there is a 50/50 chance they won’t know what to say next and they will turn and avoid you by going down the sugar and baking goods aisle.

My point in all this? Instead of talking the talk, change your tune and “walk the walk.” Instead of saying that you’ll be praying for them, DO IT! Stop what you are doing, put your arm around them and PRAY! That one moment in time will make a bigger impact than you “thinking” about doing it a million times. Turn your M.I.A. into F.I.AFaith In Action. I guarantee you that no one will be upset when you take time to pray.

While it’s important to keep others in your prayer thoughts, it’s more important that they experience it first hand. Besides, God already knows they need the prayer.

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Oct 23 2008

National Wave Day

Disclaimer: A few days ago, I posted a quick comment on Twitter which automatically updates my Facebook status. Within minutes, several folks posted a comment and the discussion was on. This post is a humorous attempt to discuss a serious topic.

National Wave Day. Yes, this fictional day took the “heartland” by storm. This past Wednesday, several volunteers took to the streets to find out exactly who or better yet, who “would not” wave. While I will encourage others to post their thoughts as well, you’ll find below my discoveries on this historic day.

The morning started at 6:45am as I took my son to early morning band rehearsal. Even though it was dark outside, I stood firm by my decision to wave at anyone I met while I was driving. As the few early morning travelers approached, my hand immediately shot into the air for a friendly “wave.” Not surprisingly, there was no response. Obviously it was too dark to see.

My next test would be the drive through town. This time it was light outside, and the cloud cover made for a perfect hand-waving day. I made my way to the elementary school to drop of my youngest daughter. First car. WAVE! No response. Second car. WAVE! No response. Dang! What’s going on people!?! There’s a bus! WAVE! It’s a friend, Kelly Korokis. She spies me in the car and with a smile…WAVE! YES! Score one wave! Two no-waves to one wave. At least it’s close.

On my return home I pass at least ten more cars, all of which I incessantly wave at. The response? Zero. I had been brushed off. Surely my next trip out would be more enlightening?

About an hour later, I make my way out of the house, this time driving through town and then out towards the highway. WAVE! WAVE! WAVE! Each time I wave, but this time I try some different techniques. First I try the “one finger wave” (not that finger!). Not much luck. Then two fingers. Still no response. Then I hold the steering wheel with my palm/thumb and shove all four fingers in the air…AHA! Success. The first car sees me and responds politely with a wave back! Maybe the key is in the technique?

As I pass several more cars, I give it the four finger salute…WAVE! Very little response even with my new found technique. In desperation I throw my entire hand in the air, nearly running off the road as I do so. Out of the next five cars, only one waves back.

After a day spent teaching, I head back home trying to figure out this apparent tragedy. I pass many cars on the way back through town…dissed…again. I finally arrive home, head hung low, reeling from a lack of self-confidence. I smell my armpits. They smell delicious. It wasn’t body odor then. What could it be? Would National Wave Day be destined to failure? I’d have to examine the results.

Here are my official results from National Wave Day:

As you can see, National Wave Day was a dismal failure. 6 out of 52 cars? Are you kidding me? What would cause people to be so rude and uncaring? Who do these people think they are not waving at me!?!

When it comes down to it, most of us lead a very busy life. When you’re in the car, a lot of us tune out the world, our minds become focused on our current problems or situation, and our “auto-pilot” takes over (either that or an alternate form of ourselves takes over, kind of like that new TV show, “My Own Worst Enemy“). What happens to you when you enter the car?

Now, I must admit, most of the time I don’t wave to people while I’m driving. I just don’t. But then again, neither does the person in the other car. But…have I been guilty of a “no-wave infraction?” Not that I recall. I don’t ever remember actually seeing someone wave at me, only to glare and turn my head and continue driving without so much as lifting a finger. I would much prefer someone give me “the finger” then totally do nothing…on purpose. Has society digressed so much that we can’t offer our fellow citizens a courtesy wave?

So for now, National Wave Day is complete and in the books. A dismal failure? Perhaps. Or just maybe this day has opened the “hands” of would-be-offenders as they take their next drive around the neighborhood. May your hand (and the others you see) be with you.

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