Three God heads…
Six features of our face…
Seven days of creation…
Eight legs of a spider…
Nine sodoku squares…
Ten pins in bowling…
LFLS36 times we should love God.
In this ugly cloudy day, I woke up in one piece.
Not two or three pieces. I’m in now in peace.
I increase not decrease… I’m not Joe but Luis.
God made you and me to be a masterpiece.
Sorry buddy, you ain’t the centerpiece. Please!
But a dot far away…. near the coast of Greece.
You are on your knees, blind in legalese.
Maurice! You try too hard to police. Cease!
I’m not Clarisse, Denise or cheap whool greace.
Just someone who loves the Lord on the street.
I’m in peace. You? Falling into pieces.
I go east. You chose to go west.
I ask… did you do what was best?
Was it worthwhile to be a pest?
To give me no morning rest?
Now, you feel so so stressed!
Now you feel the weight on your chest.
Stressed, suppressed, depressed, you feel.
We aren’t dreaming, this isn’t Brazil.
You chose to belittle and to conceal.
Let me reveal. The seal? Ain’t made of steel.
So many promises, so little “we will”
Some call you Lucille, Camille, or ordinary Bill
No no. Fake, you are. You ain’t even that real.
I think I’m transitioning… I’m transitioning from an associate to a full. The good news? It won’t be a cruel process.
I can now see what comes next. My mind is finally at rest. I will be able to finally do my very best. I’m not distressed.
The roadmap? Ironically, It came to me in a text. They told me what I needed to do next. God, you are the best.
Accident? Coincidence? Fate? No, our God is just that great.
Indirectly he gave me the way. Directly I’m going to play the game, if I may.
It starts today. Yesterday I couldn’t start. Tomorrow? It’s a gift from the most high. My future? This good guy won’t be on standby anymore.
In fact, I won’t be the same guy that I was once before. The price of the struggle just became so much cheaper and difficulties I see no more.
Love God because He gives everything that you ask for. Jesus is the El Salvador… He isn’t a sophomore but a Lord worth dyeing for.
I say A, you say B…
I say C, you say D…
I say E, you say F, G, H, Z.
I don’t think you see what I see.
G, how can that B?
Our ABC isn’t a reflection of we.
It’s a reflection of you. It’s a reflection of me.
My Lord, I’m an American not Guarani!
It’s key for us to agree not disagree.
Oh Tennessee, Oh Tennessee…
Why do you do this to me?
I’m a PHD not a wannabe.
Accept me in your family tree.
My plea? That we agree from A to Z.
Thank God Is Friday. Time to rest after a whole week of hard work. My friends, the beginning of the sabbath is a few hours away at sunset.
I can’t wait.
Shalom I say to you. I’m enjoying the time of the Lord who gives me life and air. There is no more extra miles today, there is no more despair, I say.
Hope exists before tomorrow’s sundown. Much good and little bad you get if you just persist. Be careful to stop before the journey is completed. You just can’t quit.
Tomorrow is another day, full of challenges and unexpected surprises. There will be no more compromises. Let’s say no to this crisis.
Rainbow colors I see after so much water dropping from my eyes. It can so easily fill the skies…
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet… resentful, outrageous, yeller, grumpy, belittling, indifferent and violent, you are. You may think you are a star.
Let’s raise the bar —To me? You are so far from being a superstar.
God saves and keep us at bay. Your insignificance, my friend, will be forgotten so very soon… so very soon.
In every way.
A tornado just passed by me, I think I’m safe. The Lord has opened His arms to protect me. Glory be to the one God.
In this ugly and falling world, full of sin, empty of love everywhere… I see lots of tragedies here, I see lots of tragedies there.
Humanity seeking its own destruction in the name of self righteousness and egotistic schemes. How far from God have you gone, my priest has asked you. You don’t know, do you?
Happiness and justice is the ideal my dear friends. Not hate, not disdain, not callousness, not dismay. Stop, think and realize this today.
I’m skeptical. Tomorrow we shall see a tsunami, an earthquake of lies and direct or indirect attacks.
There will be no break, only tension headache and stomach ache. Piece of cake. It’s too much for anyone to undertake.
So much love, so much patience. You my God comfort so much of my impatience…
We all breathe the air of worldly pleasures day and night but with your strength and love, we dive into new horizons that are ok and bright.
Treasures in heaven we are to build. I listen, I do feel the calling to do so… I’m glad to shout out loud my will without guilt and my heart full of glow.
I chose the narrow path. I’m back… please protect me and keep me at bay. I’m patiently waiting for you to take me away.
In your time, of course… my God.
How evil of you! We are to live in this world to do good not bad deeds. Listen to me and don’t get mad. Writing this poem makes me so sad…
I hear a child crying for help and for an opportunity to do and see, how much heartless compatriot can you be? Really?
Not even one silver coin? To many false promises and excuses you give. Is this really the best way to live?
You say no way and ask me how do I know about if of this today? I reply with a firm and enthusiastic God with capital G. I don’t think you see what I see.
Being with God is a gift. Fortunate are those who believe in Him because much discernment and gold they will receive. Mercy and eternal life they will get. An expensive price you will pay for being so callous, inconsiderate, and selfish, I bet.
What goes around comes around.
So many tears, so many fears, little do they know how the end to this is so near. Be faithful and patiently my loving dear. Things are not what they may appear.
I hear the sound of a man coming from the deep ocean saying lovely words. I now look at the sky, with my own eye and I cry. What do I see? Do I see a thunderbird? No, it’s a hummingbird! It’s a special little bird…
Are you that bird? That bird of hope? That hope of peace? Just say that you are, please. I’m standing on my knees seeking comfort in the God of hosts. Ask and you will receive… I believe.
My souls seeks its place under the sun and a space to glorify God fully not temporarily but for eternity. I see the light in the end of the tunnel. It’s bright. It’s light. It’s full of delight. It’s gonna be all right, not yesterday, today but tonight.
In faith I wait for a better future. A future of love, a future brought from a beautiful dove that won’t ever fly away again. A future where pain will never leave a permanent stain in my human brain…
Without faith, the present becomes the worse of the days. A present of hate, of contention from an ugly sword, which thank God will be temporary. A present where pleasure is unseen but the temporary impact in the spirit will be without blemish.
Oh brethren… your jealousy, fear, your words are so insincere my dear. It doesn’t take an engineer to break down your systems this year.
The most high shows me who you are. You ain’t a superstar but a ball of fragile air, so insignificant, defenseless against the winds from the west or the east.
North and south, we all need both. Listen to me this morning once and for all. Why would you want to be so arrogant, so small?
We need each other after all.
You say I, I say we… You too say I and I again say we with no remorse. We is better than I. Listen carefully to this, “I think you need a correspondence course in social intercourse.”
Self-centered statements bring the worse in us and is short-lived. Selfishness isn’t a trait of the Lord. You need to be restored, let’s go back to the blackboard and learn God’s ways.
Love your neighbors as you love yourselves… Even an evil thought is sinful according to Christ. Be aware! Repent. Change your ways. You will see much better days.
Say we. Let your I say goodbye. Why? Because in this life we need to obey the one who lives in the sky. Glorify!
Abide by the Lord’s laws. In a blink of an eye, you will choose to say goodbye to your own flaws. Pause, reflect… review the laws monsieur litterateur!
Be that person that you once were.
I rest under the wings of the Lord. My sleep is light and my dreams are so bright at night.
I look at your light in the morning with adoration and much faith on what is to come in the near future. What do I see?
The enemies of men growing weaker. They lost an important piece of the puzzle and a faithful keeper. The hole just got so much deeper, I say aloud softly.
I can see a blind man confused in his own thoughts in the crowd. Elementary! The Lord opposes the proud and blesses the humble.
What was distant is now so near. Change is here this year. Did I make myself clear?
In you rest my strength. In you I find peace. In you and for you I live. Who am I without you?
I’m just a blind sheep walking in darkness. I’m just skin and bones running in complete madness in distress.
The Lord of heavens has blessed me in full colors for many to see and hear. The end of the journey, my friends, is now very near.
Nothing will cause me to live in fear. I’m being sincere and cavalier today like I was yesterday.
I hope I’m taking your breath away like two peas in a pod. Breath again, and again, and again… again. I’m not even that odd today.
The answer to everything in this life was, has been, and always will be, Our Lord… Our God. Who are we without Him?
I’m copying the testament of my life. All the plans, all the dots, all my dreams, by all means… No extremes. Only love.
I hear the sound of God, the silence of man, the white of snow and say to myself, “What do I really know?” Reflecting.
Am I allowing my students to glow and to grow? That I am by God’s grace. That’s dope, Its my hope… At least.
In this insensitive world full of masks, dark and evil schemes and people planning tasks to hurt others… Why do you do this to me, my brothers? Would you do that to your significant other or your mother?
Come one… don’t be the one who doesn’t listen to anyone. It’s long overdone. We can coexist you just have to believe, don’t be afraid.
Write your testament, dream of great plans, with all the dots and deeds you deserve. God taught us that we are to be the salt and the light of the world.
Act like it today, not tomorrow. This Summer not next winter. In this life not in the afterlife. Not just temporary but eternally.
Go and do likewise.
I hear music, I see The Holy Spirit, I taste the glory of the most high. I’m gonna do my best. I won’t deny… I may cry.
Who do you serve? Who do you choose to obey? Please listen to me if you may. Be careful with not being caught as an easy prey for obeying a false promise you heard yesterday. Turn way!
Choice, rejoice, I’m not going to say this in passive but with my active tenor voice, “God saves. God forgives. God relieves.”
Faith! Believe and don’t be shy to choose the only creator of the universe. It’s our duty. It’s the right thing. Do you hear what I mean?
He is the kind… King of kings.
I was dead but now I live. So colloquial were my words. So trivial were my thoughts. I woke up. I’m not sleeping anymore. Academia? You’re going to see me like I was before…
Precise. Inquisitive. Critical. Systematic. I can feel postmodernism getting away from my body. I’m in peace… it’s the beginning of the second part of my story…
That just begun. It will be fun. I’m unlearning one-by-one many of my mistakes that were clearly overdone. I’m a scholar, I’m a thinker, I’m an educator! My research? I’m back to being an innovator and creator rather than a mere speculator…
I’m back and firm. I have no doubt that this time will be like none. I was a lost prodigal son. Travelled many miles away, seeking a dream that could only end in dismay… but hey.
I’ve come to my senses. Academia, your son has returned after five years lost in the wilderness. You say a fatted caff waits for me in love. So many smiles, so much celebration! I know that this blessing comes from above.
No more stagnation. No more suffering. No more frustration. I have no hesitation about what I just said.
I’m looking forward to what is coming ahead.
My eyes close, my eyes open, my eyes see the invisible faces of God. What more can I ask for? I have no more conflicts with the horrors of war… Not anymore.
I smell justice, I hear the blue birds singing on the sky, I’m touching the most beautiful sunflower on the field. I’m so far away from that ugly and exhausting battlefield…
The bullets are passing by. I hear so many screams, I hear so many fights! Oh my Lord, what a miscalculation! They can’t see the obvious highlights! Or the southern lights.
So much lack of insight. Please stop the Apartheid, tonight! Peacemakers are called the sons of God, the Lord has said… You doubt? Go ahead but don’t be mad or sad.
Whatever you do? I won’t be afraid. Never again, I say… go away.
Sin sidetracks everyone. For bad not good. The good news? Much hope is at bay… God can deliver you and I from it today. Stay tuned and just listen to what I say…
Everybody sins. I sin, you sin, who doesn’t sin? What’s the secret to reverse the mess that we are in? Repenting from our sins! Changing our ways. I guarantee that we will live much better days…
Don’t hate! And with much love, peace and truth… Say no to eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Listen and listen to this American youth!
Anger, lies, schemes and evil plans… Repent! repent! Relent from the past… our conscious once and for all… will rest at last.
In love I say this to you… Under this immense blue sky, the calmness of the green ocean and this invisible wind that is passing by.
We are the salt and the light of the word as God has said. Much good we are to do… Much evil we shall undo. It’s time to work… It’s up to you.
A city on the top of a hill cannot be hidden… God proclaimed. Be that city! With splendor and grace. The results? They will be amazing.
God protects the peacemakers and those who seek good. Understood? It’s your turn.
Go and do likewise… The journey has just begun. Easier said than done.
You’re wrong about me. You judge me only with what you see. Why do you do this to me? It’s not the way this is supposed to be… trust me.
You’re to love one another and not judge. We’re to be Christlike as my buddy Kiz would say. Only God can judge, we are to simply obey! Today not tomorrow, not just now but forever.
Do not judge or you will be judged. That’s the law of Christ. It ain’t a new zeitgeist but an old sermon spoken on a mount. Are you a believer or a person with an evil mouth?
What goes up, eventually goes down. East hits west, finger pointing is like a double edge sword. Do you hear the sound of this most beautiful chord?
What you need to do is to trust the Lord and obey. This is all that I have to say.
Be hungry and thirsty for righteousness we were commanded… We’re not to abandon this important message from God. Reflect!
The music plays, I can see the windows rays, praise! The color blue so amazing in the skies… I hear so many songs, I see so many so signs.
We are to live with God all the days of our lives. There is a oasis ahead of me! I see water, I see fire, I can’t control myself but be inspired…
My stomach growls, my water cup is now totally empty! I’m thinking… what a great opportunity to be gently and do good.
Thanks be to God.
Husbands and wives, live in love your whole lives because the eyes of Lord are upon you. It’s true…
Do good, do no harm… stay in awe with God, methodically not symbolically or illogically. Be Godly now not later. It’s a must… It’s the voice of the creator…
Wives, learn to suffer! Husbands, learn to suffer! Honor and love each other. Dishonor and hate must flee from you. It’s wise… through and through.
It’s right, it’s a command from God indeed! Trust, believe… you will succeed. Repeat in every beat of your heart beats…
Seek peace not war today! It’s a part of God’s message to us all. In times of trouble and confusion, I say…
It’s okay to suffer. It’s okay to walk away but above all, dedicate yourselves to pray. Ok? All the way! Replay.
I see life back in me, I delight in you Lord… I encountered the fabulous God of heaven at night again. It’s a joy! Overjoy.
What a moment of kindness, love, mercy, not opulence, peaceful, quiet, renewal.
You are our savior, transcendental, ubiquitous, vida! Yesterday, today, tomorrow… forever.
To you I pray. To you I say… You are and always will be…
The light of the world.
Let your light shine before man! Yes indeed you can… We are to do good works and glorify God in heaven, we’ve learned. Don’t lose your turn…
Comfort is attained by mourning. The earth is inherited by those who are meek… Be slow to speak but fast to seek… be unique.
Be merciful to receive mercy. Those who are pure in the heart will see the Lord. You children of the most high, be peaceful never deceitful or ungrateful.
Much persecution will go your way… it’s okay, It’s part of your life’s essay… Just remember what I say…
The Lord’s day will be your payday.
It’s night not day, so far from the month of May… What shall I say I say loud and clear, my dear. It’s all unclear.
No one is here, I have no fear! The end? You got the answer already… the end is near, my dear. So I say, So I hear… Are we approaching the next frontier?
I’m being sincere, in high gear, all here! Waiting for a call from you. Do I need to play it by ear, my God? Please interfere.
I don’t know? How can I know? You know? I hear that if I persevere… I will be worth more than mere souvenir. I’m trying to be cavalier.
Hear my cries! No more lies! Where is my prize? In patience I wait for your will. After all, you are the only one who can make me stand still.
I see war, I don’t see peace in the middle east… Human beings are seeking their own destruction. My God, how can this be?
We were made to love not hate. To be mighty instead of fighty. We lack so much harmony! So much dissonance…
In Christ I pray today not tomorrow. For wisdom not folly. For placid winds… For purity of hearts. For positivity and perfect peace.
Please… I’m on my knees.
I see death and blood, what a mess! So much hurt and pain, can you refrain? So many people are gonna die, so many cry. Can you purify, pacify? See eye to eye?
No more eye for an eye! Don’t vilify.
I see a butterfly in the sky. Is it hope? I hope. It’s my hope. It’s dope! Is there an end in sight or just beginnings. Give us peace, please.
Piece by piece… I’m on my knees.
I’m walking, I’m living, I’m thinking, I’m reflecting… Who are we without God?
Nothing, we are.
Much time has been passed, I’ve been blessed, no, no… I’ve been vested… vested in the wings of the angels and favor of the most high.
Why? I sinner like me, full of faults, empty. I ask for forgiveness for my sins, mercy, and grace.
I see riches on my right, that’s right, it’s all right. On my left? More riches, I see. Why me? I ask and say if I may.
With God, everything is possible even the impossible… I’ve seen, I’ve tasted, I’ve heard, I’ve touched His blessings. They arrived.
It’s true. It’s real. It’s God’s love for you and me. Can you see? How can that be?
Ask and you will receive. Much mercy will reach those who are merciful… don’t be a fool! Don’t resist! God does exist.
I’m walking, I’m living, I’m thinking, I’m reflecting… all the days of my life — night and day, left and right, up and down, east and west.
Glory be to God for everything is His. I mean, all not half of it. If you have ears, listen.
I’m not a black and white kind of guy, right or wrong kind of man. I don’t lack tactfulness, I’m not harsh. I’m far from being belligerent, as those tho possess the gift of proclaiming.
I don’t like doing something with my hands, I can play second fiddle and detect needs but I find little fulfillment in meeting those needs many times. I like to serve but the gift of serving isn’t my primary gift.
I’m not a person who lives to investigate every single detail about a particular phenomenon demanding total accuracy and precision — to a degree, but I enjoy providing systematic instruction. I do enjoy to resolve issues. I’m practical but and can interrogate. I have a teacher in me but I’m not sure if the gift of teaching in my primary gift, either.
Administratively, I’m a teacher with Evangelistic tendencies. The whole spirit manifests in me through knowledge and discernment of spirits.
I have much encouragement to give, I lift people up fast, I urge others to achieve goals, I’m an idea person who sees potential in others… motivating and stimulating, providing practical steps to achievement. Sometimes, I believe in my students more than they believe in themselves. This is my primarily godly gift! The gift of exhortation!
Why not the gift of giving? I don’t think about life in regards to money and finances much, primarily. I’ve never had the passion to belong to a church committee that dealt with raising funds for the church. I don’t think life in terms of money or as a game of capital.
If a friend of mine was in the hospital, I don’t think I would tell him not to worry that other people are doing his work until he comes back (gift of ruling) or, “I feel for you, let me pray for you now,” gift of mercy.
Instead, I would have said, “You’re going to be all right.” And that’s exhortation according to the Bible.
The former isn’t to say that much mercy I have for the poor and the weak. It is our duty to clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty, and assist those who are hungry.
God is our best teacher. All we have to do is to listen. To God be the glory, always.
For many years, I’ve thought that the Lord has given me exhortation as a primary gift of the spirit. I was wrong, I didn’t know. Now that I’m 46, and after going through an in depth study of the gifts of the spirit, I’m completely convinced that I have the gift of mercy as my primary gift. It ain’t exhortation… Not quite.
God has given me much kindness and gentleness. I sense and reflect the spiritual and emotional atmosphere around me, I’ve always reach for people who are suffering and do what I can to comfort them in my house or at the office. God has given me much literature to read on the topic of war for me being so anti-war and naive.
In higher education, I’ve sensed much hurt and responded to it with love and understanding, especially with students. Now I understand why so many kids come to my office to chat and unload. I thought the former was exhortation but after an in depth analysis with another believer, it was conformed to be mercy.
I forgive. Love is at the core of who I am. I’m not vindictive, never been or will be. I’m too compassionate to seek anger or to destroy the brethren. I could if I wanted to. It’s not going to happen, though. I’ve witnessed so many times God doing the war for me against those who consider themselves to be my enemies.
I have an incalculable amount of patience for the afflicted — I’m empathetic and a good listener… I have been there for others when they needed it, many times. Severe lonely and depressed students come to my office constantly. Now I get it why.
I “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). My God, now I know. “Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as is forgiving,” as found in the catechism’s works of mercy. I have them all. I see little mercy in this world but with you, everything is possible.
God has made me to instruct the Ignorant: Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:47-49; John 20:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:1-5.
Now I get it.
I’m a little over three hours from being 46 years of age. Much is going through my head right now. All of it very good… I’m not a youngster anymore. The Lord has guided my ways in every way, I can see it — The experiences that I had it or not, the books He gave me to read, the people He put in my patch (both the good and not so good), as well as my innate abilities especially exhortation.
I’m thankful for everything, literally…
I just inputed my wife, daughter and I into a photo taken by my parents in Atlanta, after working the whole day in a research article. Over the weekend, I’ve comforted a Lee University golf team member and he shot five (-5) under part in a competition in Florida. Today, I’ve written another research article relating to social media. Tomorrow, I will be designing a full website for a church in town followed by composing a song for a friend.
My God! How good you have been to me when I don’t deserve the air that I breathe.
And you thought me how to write… Poems included. “I Will See You Again.”
I Will See You Again
I was old you were young
In a very bumpy road far from the sea
Against all the odds we met
You and I know it just can’t be
Fourteen years apart we were made
To live a life of greatness for God’s glory
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
It’s just part of our story
I hear a magical flute playing outside
It must be a bird, it stopped… it must be a sign
Too much thinking is being done here I say
The music has come to a stop today. But hey!
Sadness is taking control of the sky
I ask God why? I hear you say good bye
Not to worry… One day, if I may…
I will see you in Tampa Bay.
The future is a gift to be discovered
That is only shown to the finest of men
Things come and go but they do have an end
Not to worry bro. I will see you again.
Among many other gifts, I say. Much discernment you’ve given to me and the ability to forgive and have hope. I wonder, what is next? What do you really want from me? I think you are showing it to me right now.
I opened the bible… It reads, “… raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth…” You are the salvation of the world, my God. I hear your call…
Going back to basics, for now. In adoration, I will do your will. Why do you bless me so much? Nothing bothers me… I feel your protection. You’ve put a shield in our household. Thy will be done, always…
It’s 9:20pm. It’s time to pray and reflect what yesterday was and what tomorrow will be. Life is a mystery but with you, everything is possible. So help me God.
Listen carefully and take notes…
“Dear children, don’t let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is righteous is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil…” 1 John 3:7-8.
“Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:10.
I’m four days from being 46 years of age. I’m blessed — The Lord has given me much discernment, even more these days, it seems. I’ve seen a lot of sin in 2019, doubled face people acting egoistically, and much attention being directed to those who oppress. I think I’m seeing a phenomenon around here, “The Stockholm Syndrome,” under a plutonomy eager to see an increase in precariat — precarious proletariat, as Noam Chomsky once put.
It ain’t very Christian bible belt fellas… Not really.
Southeast Tennessee is too autocratic maybe even heartless in its core, I’m witnessing. The disregard for those who struggle around here is ungodly. It seems that fear tactics are the norm in this region, along with repression of ideas and thoughts done by outsiders. You have to learn how to ignore the structure of power in order to live a decent life in this place or submit to the local wishes, even if they are perverse in nature, in order to have a chance to be accepted by the inner circle.
“Do as I tell you. You are below me. No questions asked” is the ultimate regional philosophy, it seems. Thank God I’ve decided to live my life adopting an independent policy mindset rarely attached to the wishes and impositions of local cults. Disdain, disregard, desolation, depression, disaster! I see them all…
My God… Have mercy on them.
We live in a small city with the characteristics of a small town. The concentration of power and wealth around here is cyclical and predictable. The wealthy are elected to positions of power and pass legislation to protect their own. It become a vicious cycle, overtime.
It is what it is.
My childhood friend once told me, “If something appears to be, it often is.” It appears to me that the culture of southeast Tennessee is very callous, everywhere you go. My frame of reference is based on the several states I’ve lived in before coming to Cleveland, TN.
Love is what we need not hate or malice. Playing power games is part of life but it doesn’t make it Christian. Being insensitive and showing complete disregard for others due to fear of repression by a local leader is of the devil.
Please… Don’t be afraid to comment on my facebook wall. It’s okay… I’m not the enemy.
My advice: Be less hypocritical and have more heart. Love your neighbor as yourself. Show care for others by being reasonable with your actions. It’s the right thing to do. Put away your frowning faces and smile.
“Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:10.
“Dear children, don’t let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is righteous is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil…” 1 John 3:7-8.
I’m thankful that the Lord has put me to work with good people in my department at school. They are the exception… The answer is often found in the small print, I say. I think I found the answers in the fine print.
But I’m a methodist.
This is how I live my life… Through the beatitudes of Jesus Christ — In every way. I still remember to this day a few of my close American friends being angry for me for being too meek, merciful with those who may not deserve mercy, for being a peacemaker and more.
The first book I’ve read in the English language after the bible was titled, “Brag: The Art Of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It.” Clearly, I didn’t know how to do it. Now I do but it’s not natural to me.
God taught me, through the many books I’ve read and the people he put on my way, how to identify those who are my enemies, thirty for war, callous, unmerciful, unkind and mean… Kind, warm, faithful, friend, trustworthy. Much discernment God has given me.
I thank the Lord for it. It’s important to have the capacity to know who people really are. They won’t fool me. God already showed me who they are in detail — the good and the bad.
For awareness sake… 1 Peter 2:1-25, starts with, “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander…” Recently, I’ve seen a lot of the former be directed at me and I became less meek tempted to fight. I’m not weak but being less meek makes me uncomfortable. I love peace.
This is my biggest struggle around here.
I’m not callous, unkind and cold-hearted. I’m a warm, kind and compassionate fellow. I’m a follower of Christ and celebrate his teachings. I live my life according go the beatitudes of Jesus and expect others to somehow live the same way, especially if they are Christians. Maybe I expect too much of others…
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10
I do know. God has wired me with the ability to engage in corporal and spiritual works of mercy — Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, instruct the uninformed, forgive offenses, comfort the sorrowful, and so on.
I know that all I got comes from God. I’m open to the word of God, all the time. I have an inner peace for God’s will. I don’t seek revenge, ever. I mourn with the sufferings of others. That’s perhaps why students come to my office crying and asking fo help and get help. I’m glad.
I’m obedient and submissive to the will of God. Gentleness, kindness, and docility of spirit describes me. I seek moral perfection and a desire for justice. Mercy, mercy, mercy! I’m not selfish — never been. I seek peace before war. I have been persecuted for my faith and have lost friends because of it. I’m glad.
My family raised me according to the beatitudes of Jesus Christ. I think I was born predisposed to fulfill them all. There is nothing that will ever change this. With God, everything is possible.
To God be the glory, always. Amen.
“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.” BK.
No single soul has ever told me the former… Go figure. The great advices in life are often discovered on your own by learning from the legends, those who have actually achieved things big in life. Thank goodness that we have access to books.
I read extensively, constantly and always will. I’m an avid reader.
The bible teaches us that “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” in 2 Timothy 1:7.
Why should we be timid? God gives us the means to live our dreams! All we have to do is to not be selfish but focus on what God wants us to do to serve others for His glory.
Remember: Don’t rush into things. Take your time. “Success isn’t a race. It’s a marathon.” BK.
Go build your dreams! Do what you love and celebrate God! Don’t be on the defense, be on the offense. You only live once! Go build your long lasting story! According to you.
Response: Hmmm, not sure if I buy that. I wonder how many of these men (or women) were the head of the household needing to provide for their kids and spouse. Stop making men look bad HBR with headlines like this. It promotes sexism.
HBR: Leaders have a responsibility to convince their people that they value their talents — and that they should, too.
Response: Well, it’s difficult or could be difficult to use your strengths when leadership purposefully doesn’t want employees to use them. And then, there is politics, jealousy, power, and so on.
HBR: One of the reasons we see far too little emotional intelligence in the workplace is that we don’t hire for it.
Response: That’s true. Most organizations hire resumes not people. That’s a big error, obviously.
HBR: Recognition and appreciation are two different things. And your employees need both.
Response: Not sure if they are the same term but I agree with you HBR. Recognizing and appreciating people’s work, even if the contributions are small, need to occur. Let’s not forget that no leader can accomplish tasks alone. It’s elementary.
HBR: Do you need charisma to be a great public speaker.
Response: No but it helps.
HBR: Multiculturalism can help you accomplish cross-cultural tasks, connect people, and develop creative solutions.
Response: For sure. The understanding of culture can de facto assist diverse groups to solve problems in a novel way and most definitely connect people in ways to solve ill problems creatively. I’ve seen evidence of the former.
HBR: Be grateful more often.
Response: Great advice. Being grumpy and entitled don’t take anybody anywhere.
Life is cruel for many, I must say. In my 45 years of living in this world, I’ve heard too many cruel stories that has happened in people’s lives to have an opinion about it. I’ve witnessed poor Brazilian kids going from innocent boys carrying golf bags as caddies in a country club to becoming part of the red command drug cartel in Brazil, ultra wealthy families going from exuberant lifestyle to poverty, lovely couples going from love birds to vicious enemies, and of course… Good people lose a battle with cancer, just to name a few. In this post, I will share with you many other examples of how cruel life is, from what I have witnessed.
The stories are so many… These three stories are just a few of them. How cruel life can be, my God… Have mercy on us.
I’ve seen this my whole life, “God Opposes The Proud But Gives Grace To The Humble.” It pays off to be humble and push pride to the corner. You won’t gain much by taking a prideful stance and behaving as if people are below you. Instead, live humbly always loving each other.
In proverbs 3:34, we read, “He has no use for conceited people, but shows favor to those who are humble.” In James 4:6, we also read, “But the grace that God gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Clearly, from a biblical standpoint, we are to be humble in order to receive God’s grace.
Receiving the unmerited favor of God is de facto a gift. Grace, ladies and gents, is a theme found in the bible over 150 times. Check this out… According to Neders (1989), there are 159 grace verses found and 170 matches.
We all need God’s grace in order to cope with being alive. I fall, you fall… we all fall short of the glory of God. Be humble, oppose the proud and in all circumstances, love each other. Doing the former is the quickest, most efficient way, to receive God’s grace. What a gift God’s grace is.
I’ve seen this my whole life, “God Opposes The Proud But Gives Grace To The Humble.” It pays off to be humble and push pride to the corner. Trust me.
They are… Not necessarily in order.
“I’ve decided to bring back my Indiana University of PA style of teaching and academic spirit back this upcoming Spring 2020. It was the teaching style that granted me tenure the first time. It worked then and it will work better now. It was a philosophy of operation that has given me the privilege to be published academically in four continents across the world.”
“In the words of my mentors, “Don’t do their thing. Do the right thing,” “Promotion and tenure is measured at the national level.”
“Respond promptly for a greater impact: Manage your conversations in an organized fashion. The timeless of your responses is an important part of trust-building on-line. Leaving questions answered for days/weeks can dissolve that person’s trust in you.”
“Quite frankly, I feel like being Rocky Balboa having to retool with Apollo Creed in order to have a chance to beat Clubber Lang. I’m ready to face “Clubber Lang” in the Spring, though. I think I finally got what they want.”
“In my career in higher education, I’ve always taught a college class where a third of the students could pursue a college education anywhere, the other third was your typical college student and the bottom third… Well, they shouldn’t be in college in the first place. I’m very familiar with teaching college courses to the middle student, challenging the brightest kids and remediating the ones who need help.”
Interact authentically with your audience: Be real and genuine. Show your personality but be consistent with your communication. Are you fun? Fearless? Serious? Savvy? Whatever you are, make sure they see this part of you in your social media postings. It will help you build credibility with them. Consistency of correct information output builds credibility.
“If you push me, I will push you harder. If you discriminate against me, I will call on you. If you lie to me or play games, I will call your bluffs and confront you.”
Today is a blessing. Tomorrow, who knows? It is a gift. Trust and obey. It pays off.
One of the joys of being a college professor is hearing back from students after a semester is over, via email. I’ve worked with students one-on-one A LOT this semester, to as point of giving to some of them daily feedback on assignments which resulted in students doing very well in all my classes.
The more feedback an instructor gives, the more students learn and the better they get. Like my colleagues and peers at LeeU, I like to give back more to my students than what the class cost them. I did my best with much care… I must add.
These are some of the comments I received this December, so far… Here we go.
“I wanted to thank you for everything this semester! I have truly learned a lot about Social Media, how to grow your account, how to be authentic, and so many other things! I also wanted to thank you for your passion and energy that you bring to class and your interactions with students!”
“Thank you for everything you did in class! I really enjoyed it and took away a lot of content that I am sure will help me in my future.”
“Thank you so much for an excellent semester. I have thoroughly enjoyed your web design course and have learned so much from you!!”
“I just wanted to thank you for everything you taught me, I’m most definitely utilizing those skills on a daily basis.”
“I came to this class to get some tips to play better golf… Doctor A came and gave me a few tips… Kind of tailoring my swing for me… Giving me a lot of helpful tips on speed, accuracy and ball contact. I can definitely see an improvement now. I was able to break 45 on a nine for the first time ever.”
“Thank you so much for the great semester, I really enjoyed your class and learned a lot about social media engagement.”
“I had so much fun in your class Dr. A. I did learned so much about WordPress, and thank you so much to help me out with my website. Thank you.”
“You are an incredible professor and I thank you for all that you have done and for taking the time to personally help me with my website outside of class.”
— Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning, Proverbs 9:9 — KJV. Thank you God for making me into a college teacher.
For many years, I’ve tried to be kind even to those who purposely disrespected me. Why? Because deep in my heart, I felt that I could win them over and live in harmony with them thereafter. I’m not sure if the former is even practical — The more I live, the more I realize that people can be pretty mean and ill intended many times
Here is a lesson I’ve learned five years age… There will always have people who don’t care or want to be associated with you. That’s fine. Less work for me, their loss, my gain.
It’s human nature.
Life has been good, for the most part. My guard is never down and my eyes are constantly scanning for double-faced individuals who have no character. It has become a way of living… studying the intricacies of non-verbal communication for almost seven years.
You can’t force people to like you or the things you do or have and that’s okay. Life goes on, you will survive. Fortunate are those who understand this simple fact. Live your life to the fullest according to what you want to do. If you like photography, go photograph! If you like sports, go play some. If your gig is reading, then go read! Who cares what people think?
Just keep in mind that people will find a way to blame you for something, no matter how nice or terrible you are. There are some nasty people out there, ladies and gents. They may carry a demon and they may not even know. Let them alone. It’s better to keep a distance from these kind of people.
What do I say? Carpe diem — seize the day! Live your lives extraordinary as Mr. Keaning once said. Who cares what people think or do anyways, in the big scheme of things? If they say or do things you don’t like, flee from them or significantly reduce contact with these “angels.” It’s really that simple.
Live how you want to live and remember, “If a person wishes you evil in any way, evil will follow him or her until justice is done. Some call this karma. I prefer to refer the former as, “The wrath of God.” Don’t do it evil ones… It ain’t worth the trouble.”
At 45, I think about these things, you know? I admit. I pay attention and take notes. What do you think?
That’s it! Hope you liked them.
If I may, let me share with you things I’ve learned in my life that perhaps, you should know before you graduate. These are my words words but important ones to process. Read these lines very carefully… Are you ready for them? Here we go.
More to come next month! 🙂
I’m amazed by how evil and unchristian like many people can be… in this world. It’s shocking to me to witness the amount of what my Pastor calls, “Christianity Immaturity” in the heart of the bible belt. I see hypocrisy, lack of brotherly affection and evil schemes being planned behind closed doors in southeast Tennessee… Lack of love, unkind behavior, arrogance and much pride seems to be an epidemic among many people in the south. Inhospitable people, I say. At least, I see this towards hispanics.
It has been almost three years and I’m still feeling like an outsider in here. The things that I hear and don’t hear sometimes is literally unbelievable. I don’t think you would believe if I told you, actually. Perhaps, things are different in the city of Atlanta, GA. That’s my hope. Tennessee isn’t a welcoming state, that’s for sure… unfortunately.
In Romans 12:10 we read, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” In Hebrews 13:2, we are reminded to, “Not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you,” Romans 16:16… Sometimes I feel people want to hit me with a baseball bat and see me suffering around here.
Thankfully, there is hope against much adversity. In James 1:12, it is written, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Christlike behavior isn’t demeaning. Christlike behavior isn’t unkind. Christlike behavior isn’t self-centered. Christlike behavior isn’t ambitious to the point of isolating a Christian brother or sister for self gain. Christlike behavior is based on the figure of Jesus Christ and how he treated others above himself.
If you claim to be a Christian, treat people with respect and don’t be partial. It is a sin to stop speaking with people because of what others may think (or do) to you. We need to be people with principles and character. “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” The former advice found in James 2:9 is clear cut about how we should communicate with others.
My hope? God. Always…
I’m becoming convinced of this. Students come to my classes because of me and because of how and what I teach. Dr. A is now a recognized brand in Cleveland TN who offers a fun and practical college experience in communication arts and golf from a Christian perspective at Lee University for students.
College professor’s experiences and accreditations seem to be as important now as the brand of the university itself, I think. Students in my golf class were as impressed if not more impressed that I hold a Masters Teaching Golf Professional “Class A” certification than me being associated with Lee University. Interesting…
I’ve heard from two students from my golf class telling their friends, “Dr. A knows golf. Register for his course.” I didn’t hear, “Lee University offers a golf class. Dr. A teaches the class.”
Students respect professor’s accreditations and experiences a lot these days, it seems. It made me think about my personal communication arts accreditations which right now, I have none other than practical experience and many years of action research on my topics of teaching expertise.
Not for that much longer…
I’m already working on being accredited in my area beyond research where my accreditation is a PHD.
In order for students to keep “buying Dr. A,” I better give students what they want. They seem to want Professor’ accreditation in addition to an academic degree and work experience, I feel. Maybe I’m wrong about this but with all honesty and humility… I don’t think so.
Onward and upward. I have some work to do and certifications to get. The former is already in motion, that’s for sure.
I need it. God is great. He shows me stuff.
I’m 45 almost 46 years old. I can’t believe that I’m approaching 50. I don’t feel like it I must admit but hey… This is life, I guess. It’s time to re-brand again. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. At least, this is what Robert Greene recommends.
This is my new facebook banner. Do you like it? I hope so!
I’ve always had a lot of energy, passion, desire, love for righteousness, my brand deliverables need to have some red color on it. Yellow! I’m a happy, positive, loyal, who values the intellect. It only makes sense to have some yellow as part of my brand, as well. White: I still believe in faith, spirituality… The color white must be a piece of my new brand look, that’s for sure.
The example shown above was released on instagram today. I will revolutionize the look of all my social media accounts, now that the re-branding is finally completed. I will go 1000% forward with my mission of being authentic and motivational with colors that represent who I’m as a person. This is exciting!
I feel now like a new person. Rebranding is good for your mind. I recommend that you do the same, once in a while. I’m looking forward to what is to come next.
When we trust the Lord, wonderful things head your way. I’m grateful for everything.
These are this month’s top spam messages i’ve received… As Seth Godin would say, “you need to earn the permission” in order to effectively communication with your audience through email. Clearly, these companies need a lesson on email marketing.
Enjoy them! Literally.
“How would you like to promote your ad on over 1000 ad sites every month? Pay one low monthly fee and get virtually unlimited traffic to your site forever! For more information just visit: http://www.postingmoreads.xyz.”
Dr. A’s response in his head: Hmmmm, no.
“Do you want more people to visit your website? Get thousands of keyword targeted visitors directly to your site. Boost revenues quick. Start seeing results in as little as 48 hours. For more info write a reply to: email@example.com”
Dr. A’s response in his head: Hmmmm, definitely not. hgmail.biz?
“Orchid romance: Can you keep a secret? There is a lots of of beautifulls need a boyfriend. six missed messages, four calls. Join now! *This is is not an advertising”
Dr. A’s response: Hey Amanda, look at this one! I’m on demand! hahaha.
Dr. A’s response: I wanna live longer. How about you? LOL. Next one please.
” Olá querido amigo, Como você está hoje, sou a Sra. Clara Ahmed, fui casada com meu falecido marido, Dr. Walid Ahmed, cidadão da Arábia Saudita. Por favor, decidi entrar em contato com você por causa da minha condição de saúde. Estou tendo um diagnóstico de câncer de mama. Preciso de suas orações. Em 20 de novembro, disseram-me ao meu médico que tinha câncer de mama. Devido à minha condição de saúde, decidi doar-lhe esta quantia em dinheiro que tenho na conta bancária para você, num total de dez milhões quinhentos mil libras esterlinas (£ 10.500.000,00 GBR) para você me ajudar a construir casas para os órfãos menos privilegiados e os pobres do seu país. Depois que meu médico me disse que tenho apenas alguns meses de vida por causa do estágio do meu problema de doença, quero que saiba que 40% do fundo total é para seu uso pessoal. enquanto 60% é para o projeto. Vou lhe enviar mais detalhes assim que receber sua resposta. Estou esperando sua resposta urgente permanecer abençoada em nome do Todo-Poderoso. Responda-me com este endereço de e-mail: ms.christinaclaraestrada@
Dr. A’s response: Ms. Estrada, Cumprimentos nao e a mesma coisa que grata. Jeez…
“Hey dear, My name is Sarah and I need a *&^%**^^& tonight. I’m married but need your %#(&. I will be entirely yours. View my pics. From Sarah Savannah Key.”
Dr. A’s response: Amanda, are you ready yet? Let’s go to Atlanta ASAP.
What can these companies be thinking when they send these junk mails to people? Give me a break! Don’t they understand that permission is a pre-requisite to sending correspondences to people? Man.
Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving!
I’m convinced about this. The youth is relational. if your plan is to influence them for the better in life, you must talk to them in a place where they feel comfortable speaking with you. My plan is to have a positive impact on them. I meet and talk to them in the school’s cafeteria on a daily basis.
And I love it. This semester alone, I’ve met 300 new students in the cafeteria alone and an additional 50 across the university. We have talked, shared, laughed, celebrated, cried and dined together. My level of “relatability” was pretty high before I decided to target them and talk to them on a daily basis. Now, the level of through the roof to a point of students screaming my name across campus for a return response.
This is what students like these days. People (professors, friends, family…) who understand their struggles, wishes and dreams, along with being able to bring them up when they feel down. Anxiety and depression is at an all time high in this country. Students comprise a large portion of this new age epidemic.
Technology overuse is definitely a variable in the growth of anxiety and depression conversation. In fact, I predicted, back in 2013 that by 2024…the globe would reach a global anxiety epidemic. We are over half the way there, it seems.
The beginning of the anxiety pains have already started. No wonder why the youth wants to be relational with people, including you and me. So, this is what i think… if you want to have a positive impact on teenagers and young adults, be relational and plan time aside to speak with them.
That’s how this is done, I’m finding. Like you and I, the kids want to live a good life that is meaningful. Be a servant and speak with them! They are relational. You will influence them by taking this stance. Trust me.
Every time that I pack and unpack my panels and merchandising for a craft show, I realize how blessed I am to be a college professor and for having the privilege to assist the youth with understanding how difficult life actually is in America. Craft shows keep me grounded in reality, that’s for sure. It is my way to understand, as a college professor, the struggles that the average man experiences in a controlled sales environment.
In this article, I will share with you what I’ve learned by going to these shows for many years now, why pursuing a college education is important, and how you can actually profit from going to these events.
Let’s start with the lessons, if I may… “I’ve learned by going to these shows for many years now.”
Next, “why pursuing a college education is important?” Because being a successful small business owner is very hard and takes between 3-5 years to make a business have enough cash flow to sustain the owner and his family. Entrepreneurs have to eat and have a place to live, as well while they build their businesses… Any questions?
Lastly… This is how you can profit from going to craft shows… (This is what we do, exactly).
Having a profitable successful business is rough. It was very tough for us to build I Do Therapy back in the day and to make it generate tens of thousands of dollars but we did it and sold the business for a big profit. It is possible to build a business from scratch in the USA still. It is a lot of work though.
“Craft Shows Keep Me Grounded In Reality,” especially for a college professor like me who has the duty to teach students how to make a better living in life. I’m glad that we went to another event! Now, it’s time to go to the bank and deposit our sale monies and have a conversation about what we got from this show.
It was real life, ladies and gents. The event kept me grounded in reality again, that’s for sure. I thank God for the opportunity to “see” and “experience’ these former things and teach my students about them. It’s a blessing.
Much toxicity in the workplace is related to gossiping. Let’s not forget that like in Vegas, the house rarely loses. Eventually, gossipers are caught. Don’t do it.
In an economy of abundance with too much supply on the market, the only logical stance to take, it seems, is for subjects to leverage their uniqueness with the goal of becoming remarkable.
Smartphone technology in the hands of trained speakers/performers can become a voice of democracy and call to action, regardless of how algorithms act or react. A single video clip, in the hands of an influencer, will be as good if not better than a message pushed through a social media algorithm. I have empirical data to defend this former statement.
I Am, Therefore I Think. Be the voice of reason. The best ideas are often the simplest. Stop thinking and do it!
With all the respect HBR, we need to define what we mean by reading here. Scanning a book, or a few chapters, listening the book in speed isn’t reading in the true sense of how we define reading to be. To me, reading a book means reading every word in that book, from cover to cover… Perhaps underlying, and circling words and sentences for understanding. There is no way that a serious reader, doing all of the former and working full time, can read anything near 100 books a year. I would rather see people reading 5-10 books cover to cover (underlying content and practicing what they learned) than kidding themselves that they “read” 77, 85, or 100 books a year. No they don’t. I doubt that.
Complaining and blaming others for your misfortunes and lack of luck will not change the fact that we need to work with others in order to operate with distinction.
My concern: AI will hire resumes not the best people for the job, perhaps. If so, how is AI different from a biased human being?
Make the unknown known. Uneasy but only in the beginning. If you are afraid of conflict, read the 48 Laws of Power and Executive Warfare, immediately and engage in a conflict, even if you lose the battle. Embrace these challenges by facing them all heads on. It works. It changes you. It makes you a leader.
I hope that you don’t get offended by what I’m going to write in here because is so simplistic. Subjects learn essentially in only one way: They learn by receiving a stimulus of a sort from a source, responding to that stimulus… and receiving feedback from the source after that. There is room for technology to be a part of this model especially in the form of treatments.
Practice makes it perfect. After being a college professor for 11 years, I can confidently say that I’m a better professor today than I was back in 2008. I finally know the difference between good and great as it pertains to media production and research. After having advised more than 500 students, I can say with certainty that I have helped many students to get jobs in industry or go to graduate school fully funded. God has been good to me.
We learn many lessons in life, including lessons relating to our professional careers. Today I know the ins and outs of social media and how to get the perfect exposure in photography. The websites I design and develop are robust, easy to navigate, have great copy and its’s simple to use. I can speak in public with ease and can discern between good deeds and manipulative attempts through non-verbal communication.
My students benefit from all of that now. It’s a blessing to them, I must add.
Back in the day that wasn’t the case. I thought I knew so much about communication when in reality, I knew so little. When I see some of the artifacts produced by some of my graduate school classmates on facebook today, I know that after 11 years, they still know very little about media which is sad thing. I guess that being unaware of one’s circumstances is often the norm among many educators of my generation rather than the exception.
I thank God for the opportunity to participate and learn…
We all get better in whatever we do if we choose to practice our craft. I most definitely did and so can you. I’m a better educator today than I was yesterday… Much better, actually. I’ve learned a lot in these past ten years but there is still much to learn. At least, I’m humble enough to realize that.
One more thing… Never, under any circumstances give up. The word “give up” should not be on your vocabulary. You will thank me later. Just trust me.
“We are going to see another economic downturn next year,” many high profile economists predict. If these high profile economists are correct about their predictions, higher education won’t be the same again after the economic downturn. I’m scared about what will happen to higher education in the United States next year, I must admit.
This is my fear: Another major recession will inevitably result in less demand for employees in organizations and less money to be circulated in the economy overall. Enrollment in colleges and universities is already down. If a recession is looming, as Richard Wolff is claiming, enrollment in colleges and universities will decrease, perhaps drastically to a point of decreasing enrollments in double digits.
I witnessed IUP going from 15 thousand students in 2010 to 11 thousand in 2015. That’s a lot! Less than 10 thousand students are now enrolled in this institution full-time. Four year non-profit colleges dropped 9% in enrollment. These numbers are scary, I must add. I’ve seen what they do to department budgets, faculty salary, and student tuition.
Don’t be fooled by what you may hear — In the current landscape of higher education, students are clients and universities need them in order to survive, period. The moment that the clientele, students in this case, decide to transfer schools or hold on pursuing a college degree… three things eventually happen. First, colleges and universities close their doors. Second, less staff is hired to perform the many tasks that are necessary in the system. Third, employees experience high levels of stress and anxiety.
It’s tough, very tough…
To make things more complicated, college tuition along with room and board is at an all time high and society is skeptical about the value of a college degree. I don’t know how you feel about this but to me, college prices along with public skepticism about higher education is a recipe to disaster. Eventually, the bubble explodes, you know?
I think we are going to see the beginning of the end of higher education in this country starting in 2021. I doubt that colleges and universities will change the way they operate and will continue to leverage the use of temporary faculty to teach classes in institutions of higher learning all across the United States. Big mistake! Students don’t want to pay for a non-PhD teaching their classes. How do I know this? They tell me this over and over again in my office.
They want a professor who is presently active in their academic lives. They don’t want a scholars, they want a mentor who takes the time to understand and help them. Students could care less if a professor publishes an academic article or delivers a presentation in a national conference. I don’t recall a student being interested in what a VP of institutional advancement does.
They would rather have a professor speaking with them in the school’s cafeteria and helping them to cope with college life and its stresses than seeing a professor cash a check every month and making extra income selling her books to fans. Yet, most colleges and universities still premium these activities for promotion and tenure, instead of catering to those who actually pay the bill.
My predicted outcome for such idiotic leadership philosophy is bankruptcy. Much change is required in higher education, I must add. Why? This is why..
Twenty colleges have closed their doors since 2016. The former doesn’t include the number of colleges and universities that merged with other institutions in order to be in business. By thew way, we are going to see a lot more colleges closing their doors in the years to come because of academic vanity and economic pressures, I think.
Let me clarify one thing. The industry of higher education won’t disappear overnight. Of course not. The recession, if it comes, will force our school administrators to re-engineer our educational institutions and layoff faculty and staff. That’s the fear…
The good news — Faculty members who can wear many hats will be in high demand in 2021, as the operating budget of many colleges and universities will be cut, I suspect. Many jobs will be lost or merged, though. In fact, let me make a prediction.
I predict that colleges with less than 1000 students will be the first ones to go under, followed by expensive tier two private universities with small endowments. I suspect that public higher education, as we understand it to be today, has 20 years to go before they go under also, if that. Why? Because no college education, at the undergraduate or graduate level, is worth paying over one hundred thousand dollars for it.
Would you pay $96,439 dollars for a degree in Management or Psychology? Or a $180,000 for an MBA from the MIT? I admit. I wouldn’t. The value just isn’t there, sorry. It’s too expensive…
What this upcoming recession may do is to accelerate the pains that we are going to experience in our industry, perhaps damaging the existing system to a point of no return. I’m seen the industry of higher education coming to an end in this country, as we understand it to be. I’m already getting prepared for the transition but I doubt that many college professors are ready to what is coming, unfortunately.
If the recession de facto comes next year, it will damage the finances of many college professors and school administrators in this country. We are going to see, I guess. I hope I’m wrong. Who knows… I don’t know. That God be with us. We are going to need Him, I think.
During this past year, I’ve been engaging with college students, face-to-face, in a very different way — Dancing latin music on campus with them, skateboarding with some, singing karaoke with others, attending their rock concert events and playing guitar with many around campus. These former activities aren’t usually done by many college professors across the United States and I know it. That’s exactly the point! I’m the purple cow around here. I decided to make my brand remarkable.
Seth Godin, back in the day, introduced the concept of the purple cow, which literally means that in an market of abundance, much like the one that we are living right now in the United States, people need to be the only option available to their audiences because of the amount of noise/supply that there is on the market these days.
By being different, or shall we say eccentric, I’m finding out by students that many students perceive me as animated and fun to be around but more importantly… that no other professor behave the way I do. Ladies and gents, I’m the purple cow and I love it.
Attention is a currency as Gary Vaynerchuck once said. I agree with him. Leveraging this “attention,” whatever the method, often results in people/brands growing in their popularity and influence among their real target audience. Some may think that my approach is juvenile or too over the top but the reality is that it works. How do I know this? I take a very close look at my social media analytics in order to test a working hypothesis on the topic.
Since early October 2019, my instagram account alone has grown 300%, after I literally met 300 students dancing merengue on campus. Of these 300 hundred, 30 of those decided to follow my account on TikTok, and many others my account on facebook. My office visitations doubled this semester, as well as the conversations I now have in my own building with them. Off-line communication is a must if you decided to be a purple cow in your own organization.
I cannot go to lunch at the cafeteria without a random student screaming, “Dr. A!”
In sum, The concept of the purple cow is for real. If you make yourself worth of making a remark about, AKA being the purple cow… you will grow and audience. Read Seth Godin’s work and apply his concepts if you want to grow a brand.
You won’t regret.
It is true. Every semester, I’m shocked by how much I learn from them. This semester alone, I’ve learned that great video games should have exit points, that click by click instruction is how college students like to learn these days… they taught me how to ride a one wheel skateboard, to sing better and innovative ways to make friends on campus. In addition, they have showed me how to use some of my own systems at the university and where to go for help a little better.
These are the lessons I can remember… There are so many more.
I have the humility to admit that they, the students, know so much… which reminds me of what my grandfather once told me, “Everybody is an encyclopedia.” “Listen to people because they often have something good to say.” There is wisdom to the former, that’s for sure. I listen to my students and put what they suggest into practice.
As I approach my 46th birthday, I’m starting to rethink the notion that old people are wiser than the youth. It depends! The kids know much more than people want to give them credit for. Today, in my website design class, I taught them how to use a google based web system to produce a landing page website for a potential business. These were some of the ideas that they came up with.
Who am I to tell them what or how to think? Clearly, they can think for themselves. I’m thankful for the opportunity to assist them in this process…
In this life, we all learn from each other, I say. I’m a fan of the saying, “In college, you don’t learn from a professor… you learn with a professor.” It is true man. I feel that way. I’ve learned as much from my students as they’ve learned from me.
I’ve never experienced what I’m experiencing right now in America. A number of people in the town that I’m currently living classify me as a second class citizen not worth of their respect. In a period of two and a half years, I’ve been called a monkey, you people, and have experienced a number of non-verbal aggressions because of the way that I look and speak. I’m not used to that, I must add. Let me make this clear for everybody. I’m a highly educated citizen of the United States who is fluent in english.
After living for 21 years in this country, I can attest to you that the general American public is overall very welcoming to those who come to this country legally and make the decision to becoming an American citizen the right way. I’ve done that! I followed the rules and went to the process of naturalization the right way. I still experience racism in this town from the poor cashier working at wall-mart to teachers at the local elementary school, despite the fact that I’m de facto an American.
Today, I went to a local elementary school to get my daughter Sophia who is participating in a children’s play at school. To my surprise, she wasn’t waiting for me in the school’s lobby where parents often stop by to get their kids after a school sponsored event day. I asked the standing teacher if the play rehearsal was over and whether my daughter Sophia was done with the play practice. The teacher decided to “speak” with me both verbally and non-verbally.
That’s where trouble began…
First, the teacher immediately stop looking at me and kept moving without destiny speaking at me with her back towards me, sometimes looking over her shoulders to see if I was paying attention to what she was saying. With a tone of superiority, she interrupted me every time I tried to communicate with her. The former was clearly a power play.
When a white fellow came into the door to get his daughter, she immediately left me to serve him, always looking at his eyes. Then a white mom came into the building… she treated her with much respect and regard. I wondered…
Like a good Christian man with morals, I ignored her offensive behavior towards me and asked her again if I could then get my daughter and go home. She then looked at me as if I was a career janitor and started moving quickly one more time “talking” with her back towards me again, with a diminishing voice tone
This time, I stopped and interrupted her to say… maybe we should see if my daughter is in her classroom. She looked grumpy at me then said that she was a second grade teacher and that she knew who my daughter was. On a click of an eye, there she was again walking in front of me with her back towards me and speaking as if I was an uneducated latino farmer going to her class in attempt to find Sophia.
At that point, I knew that our communication exchange was a lost cause. Clearly, she had a problem with my ethnicity. Being aware of this fact and to make things more pragmatic, I asked her directly if I could go to the after school program and see if my daughter was there. When I used a leadership voice tone with her, she got confused and wondered how a latino like me could speak with such authority at her. I politely ignored her non-verbal messages and kept walking.
What I don’t think she realized is that I’m a communication professor, who has served as in leadership positions in higher education, who is proficient in non-verbal communication and know how to speak with different kinds of people in a multitude of ways.
By the way…
I was right. Sophia was in the after school program’s room. I finally got my child after 10 minutes of questionable communication exchange with this teacher. By the way, the teacher immediately left me and literally disappeared from the scene when I got into the room to see my kid. Go figure.
I’m not sure if living in southeast TN is good for Latinos. This incident isn’t the first one I’ve experienced in Cleveland and I suspect won’t be the last. This town isn’t very friendly towards latino males and females. The racial climate against hispanics in this town is not very good. If you look latin American in here, you are perceived to be of an inferior caste. It’s sad but it appears to me to be true.
… and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
From the book of Ecclesiastes…
I must admit that at 45, I have the duty to speak a little more than listen especially with the youth. After all, the good God has given me a number of abilities that are often not given to many professionals I know. In fact, the combination of these abilities, I’ve come to realize, is very rare.
They are the following:
It is my time to speak, I feel. This is what I want to say today. I hope you find value in what I’m going to write in here. These thoughts and ideas are for real man. Listen carefully to them.
Here we go.
“This life is full of evil people with evil intentions. No matter where you go, you will find your fair share of falling angels claiming to be nice and kind but in reality, these bunch are as bad as your worse enemy. Be aware.”
“I’ve seen good people get cancer and evil people retire millionaire, full of friends and with much influence. I’ve witnessed the poor being labeled lazy and faulty for their misfortunes. I’ve witnessed the ultra wealthy planning the demise of the poor in more than one country. It is real… Be aware.”
“Everywhere you go, there will always be a ruling group, a group that wishes to be in the ruling crowd, the outsiders and the independents of thought. The “wish team” is often the group with the least character/integrity as they would do (or say) what is necessary to be in the ruling group. Be Aware.”
“I’ve seen manipulators being labeled great leaders because of their wealth and influence. I’ve seen church leaders profit from the sweat of their congregation, sending their own kids to private school at the expense of the poor. A number of churches are social clubs instead of places of worship. Be aware.”
“Most people are the opposite of what they show to the public. A quiet public character is often a loud private person. Those who claim to be great in a particular skill are often poor in the skill. Be aware.”
“The insecurity of people often leads to expensive purchases, e.g., big houses, luxury cars, fancy clothes and extravagant dinners and parties. People who are secure in who they are don’t need these former materialistic possessions or the need to show them to others. Be Aware.”
“Most of the wars people fight in life are a collection of uphill battles often fought with limited resources. No wonder why so much conflict is silent. The moment a person is silent (or absent) towards you…. Be aware.”
“Only a fool thinks that people aren’t paying attention. Things always make sense to someone. Be careful to assume because when you assume, you make an… Be Aware.”
“Never, under any circumstances, lose momentum. Give yourself maneuverability by being mobile. The former helps you to better understand different kinds of terrains. Eventually, you will find yourself in a position of inertia! It is normal, it is expected. Being a cog is a consequence of much inertia. Cogs are easily replaceable pieces in any operating system. Be aware.”
For your own sake, resist nothingness and the comfortable position that inertia may bring you temporarily. Do what you can to be in motion, always seeking what will come next. Embrace change and don’t be afraid to change course, if necessary. Those who see trouble ahead and decide to fight a lost war, pay the price. Be aware.”
The bible teaches us that, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:18-21).
There is nothing new under the sun, ladies and gents.
A couple of things I’ve said over the years. Hope you enjoy.
“A true christian doesn’t live a life of envy. He lives a godly life always seeking to follow God’s message of love.”
“If you choose to stay in a job simply because of a title… I would argue that money isn’t the only problem you struggle with. You most definitely struggle with ego issues.”
“Compensation is far from being everything that there is about a job. Flexibility is as important and as valuable (if not more valuable) than income received.”
“I don’t let money or titles control me. I make my priorities based on scripture — based on what is written in the Bible.”
“The moment that you make God the center of your life, the former struggles start to disappear. You will quickly realize that possessions and job nomenclature is de facto meaningless.”
“There is tremendous power in calling your shots even if authority resides in the hands of others.”
“In the volatile market that we live in these days, having the capacity to engage in job maneuverability is without question a necessity these days.”
“Be good and do good in God’s eyes because it is good. Smile, give and receive hugs, laugh, eat and enjoy your family and friends — Work hard!”
“Brothers and sisters, you will find injustice in this world and even fools will reach positions of great authority. Don’t envy their privileged positions or try to justify your circumstances according to what happen to others.”
“Making a difference in the lives of others is a critical component of being a practitioner of Christianity.”
“Order can be brought out by fixing disorder. Don’t let jealousy and envious relationships get out of control and as important… control you.
“A true Christian doesn’t spend his or her journey comparing themselves to others or worse — putting themselves ahead of others. We put others ahead of us.”
“Don’t forget… Make someone happy. This is your duty and mine in this world.”
“Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God.”
Hope you liked it.
It has been suggested that a lack of positive thinking can be detrimental to one’s chances to achieve their goals. A series of negative thoughts in your subconscious can de facto have an impact on how you reach your goals.
Reprogramming the subconscious mind isn’t as difficult as it seems. It won’t be done overnight but it can be accomplished if you are serious about engaging in a series of well known exercises.
It is in an employee’s best interest to reprogram their subconscious in order to reach their goals because by doing that, they have a higher chance to be respected by their peers and promoted to a high position within the organization.
In this article, I will share with you three ways to reprogram your subconscious mind to reach your goals in plain English.
The simple answer is because people are often afraid of not succeeding. Many times, the fear of failure may cause some to believe that failure in their lives will then be eminent leaving them little control in the process.
I have to admit that I suffered from this when I came to the United States as an ESL student back in 1998. When I came to the United States in the late 90’s at age 24, I was terrified about the prospects of having to learn the English language in six months and having to attend college in a second language right after and graduate within four years.
Clearly, I had to reprogram my conscious mind and convince myself to believe that engaging in such a daunting endeavor was possible, rewarding, and within my reach.
It has been said that our conscious mind represents only 3% of our brain. The other 97% belongs to the subconscious mind. According to Dr. Collautt, our subconscious mind is one million times more powerful than our conscious mind which leads me to believe that working on our subconscious mind is worthwhile.
I’m not in favor of recommending anyone to engage in hypnosis, meditation or anything new age. I’m in favor, however, for people to realize that they do have the power to work in harmony with their inner self from a scientific standpoint which is what I will be presenting next in this article.
To reprogram your subconscious mind to reach your goals, do these following exercises for a period of a year and pay attention to what you feel.
The following exercises are exactly what I did to conquer my fears of failure in academics which lead me to complete a PhD in Instructional Systems from a big ten school in 2008.
. Listen to your subconscious resistance.
When I was young, I wasn’t very humble. I assumed that I knew everything. I definitely didn’t listen to my subconscious which led me to having to leave a country to find my place under the sun.
I grew up playing golf in a country with no history in the sport. I was great at it which made it very difficult to be humble. I thought I knew everything about life because I knew the intricacies of golf but as early as 16 years old, my subconscious used to tell me, “Yes, you are a great golfer but Brazil doesn’t have a healthy professional golf league. Shouldn’t you be studying instead of playing golf?”
Long story short, my subconscious was right. I spent way too long dreaming of being something unattainable because I “knew” what was best for me despite the fact that my inner person was skeptical about my prospects of being a pro-golfer in Brazil. By the way, most of my close friends agreed with my subconscious mind. I resisted and paid the price.
When I came to Mississippi in 1998, I decided to do something different. I used to sit down for one hour or so alone a day and listen to what my subconscious was saying which led me to be humble and have a much higher degree of humility. I embraced my subconscious resistance and made all the difference.
Lesson learned. I have been listening to my subconscious ever since.
It is okay to listen to your fears and define what these fears are.
When I was a student of Sports Management at Slippery Rock University, I wanted to be a sports agent. But in order to be a great sports agent, people need to go to law school. I wanted to go to law school but the prospects of scoring high on the LSAT and read law causes extensively made me re-think my future academic decisions back then.
I was afraid of failure. I remember going to the Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh, PA for a day with a notebook in order to face my fears and defining what these fears really were.
What a great exercise! Facing the unknown is an important exercise that should help to reprogram your subconscious.
I listened to my fears and defined what they were in order to help me to maneuver in life. I decided not to go to Duquesne Law School because of my fear of not speaking the English language well enough and due to cost.
I thought harder and realized that going to another smaller school to pursue a masters degree in Communication was a much better idea. In fact, it was a great idea. Six years later, I completed a PHD Summa Cum Laude. I was able to reprogram my subconscious in order to pursue what was the most logical.
Yes, you heard that right. You need to do affirmations or the action of affirming something — “You can do it!.”
I convinced myself that I was going to be a college professor throughout my bachelors degree experience. At Penn State University, where I completed my doctorate, I was studying among the very best students in the world interested in technology in education.
I repeatedly told myself that I was a top student in instructional systems in the United States and visualized my career being a college professor in a teaching university.
Ladies and gentleman, repeating my beliefs through affirmations in graduate school have proven right and today, I’m a mid career college professor in a teaching university on my way to senior status.
It’s amazing what you accomplish when you convince yourself that you can do something multiple times a day. Affirmations work. It worked out for me and it will work out for you as well.
Negative thoughts won’t take you anywhere. Reaching your life goals are directly related to how much you believe that you can achieve them along with God’s grace.
It is possible to reprogram your brain in order to achieve your goals with distinction. It will take more than a couple of hours though.
Be patient and keep course. Engaging in subconscious training may be the difference between you achieving your goals to failing in your life pursuits.
Be humble, listen to your fears and repeatedly tell yourself that you can do it. Take advantage of affirmations! The power of the mind is amazing. You won’t regret.
Hope you enjoy these sayings as much as I do.
“We all have our own beliefs and value system. I certainly have mine and won’t give them up. You have yours and we all have to respect that.”
“God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in your path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake.”
“Complaining and blaming others for your misfortunes and lack of luck will not change the fact that we need to work with others in order to operate with distinction.”
“Give yourself a chance of winning big by aligning your talents with what God has called you to do.”
“Money comes second: Do what you like first.”
“When a well executed strategy is put in place, winning becomes a consequence.”
“Don’t confuse temporary success with God’s will.”
“Live your life in the moment. Give a hand to someone, forgive often, listen more and be real.”
“Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come.”
“Excessive speech isn’t appropriate and should be avoided whenever possible.”
“A leader canʼt have an evil stream otherwise, problems occur.”
Thank you for reading.
In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.
Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.
Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.
Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?
Our habitat has become too technological
The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings. There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about. Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.
How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.
According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.
Too Many People Don’t Want To Unplug
Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation. Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different. The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.
Listen carefully: We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.
The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness! Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.
8 Mindfulness Exercises
There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with, out there. In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try. Are you ready for it? Let’s go!
1. Pray daily
You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so. When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life. Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.
Pray. You won’t regret it.
2. Pay attention to your inner thoughts
A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness. By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head. Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head. If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.
3. Smile Often
Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person. Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy. Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal. The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.
4. Organize Your Working Desk
A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that. When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic. Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity. Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.
5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories
I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well. Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate her!
What is also awesome is that when you celebrate others, they often celebrate you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.
6. Listen To Your Spouse
God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her. I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest. I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.
7. Give yourself a break from technology
You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis. How do you do that? This is my formula. First, go to my website: luiscalmeida.info/ and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum. If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm. If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm. If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately. Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?
8. Go Exercise
Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life. The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits. You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just because.
It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living. It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you. Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.
These are Thursday thoughts for the youth!
1. Be yourself. In this life, nobody wanting to be original can be a carbon copy of somebody else. The qualities that made Napoleon great were not the same qualities that made Patton extraordinary. The great Patch Adams cared for his patients more than any other physician ever dreamed of. Yet, we have obtuse doctors who just get things done making them as great. Women are from Venus and men are from Mars and that’s okay. Whatever unique traits the good God has given you, He gave you your uniqueness for a reason. There are a number of things in this life that are possible — by studying one gets better grades; By practicing, one gets better scores; By forgiving one becomes a better man. What isn’t possible is to strive to be unique by emulating others. It simply doesn’t work regardless of what others may tell you. The great Jim Furyk would have never made it into the PGA Tour by swinging his clubs more like Ben Hogan. The earlier you realize that you need to be original, the greater your impact in this life will be and the most glory to God you will be able to give.
2. Challenge yourself. History is full of cases of individuals who put themselves in a bubble and accept mediocrity in exchange for complacency and security. Just because you can play football in a AA division doesn’t mean that you are ready to compete against the Quad A state champions. You need to be original or should I say — be different. What you really need is to ditch the idea that you should work for money and rather… work in the talent that the Lord has given you by doing the former, you will be able to be great in your area of strength which if you keep course, success will go your way when you least expect. Give yourself a chance to be challenged and embrace the opportunity to achieve high grounds by challenging yourself.
3. Create something worth sharing. Whenever you create something out of nothing, you are obligated to think with no box yet generate a working prototype of your imagination. With the former comes conceptualization, production, revision, re-engineering, more and more revisions leading to a final product or outcome. Even if your creation is a failure financially, there are great lessons to be learned by going through the motions of raw creation. The uniqueness of your efforts in many ways speak louder than your inability to take a chance. If you want to be unique, you will need to take risks and give yourself a chance to achieve the unimaginable. Creating something worth sharing isn’t the test but a task and duty. Next time you think about being unique, create something worth sharing.
4. Tesla sell their cars to their tribes, always catering to them. 78% of Tesla sales are done on-line. It is different, it’s unique. Elon Musk seems to be empathetic with his team. What is the result of his efforts? Success! A lot of it. He understands his audience. He is clearly not catering to everybody. What are you doing everyday to cater to your tribe? remember: Whatever we do professionally, we do for our audience not to ourselves. “Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe.”
That’s it! Did you learn something? Let’s keep the conversation going and chat. Hope you have a great Thursday!
Some Sunday thoughts for the Youth…
Enjoy your Sunday!
Some of my thoughts for this Friday. Hope you like them as much as I do.
Use technology wisely: and if it makes your life better. If technology starts making your life worse, stop using it immediately. Let me illustrate this point — I am a professional photographer who is constantly capturing and editing stills for profit. Modern photography technology helps me tremendously with capturing great shots, editing my photos, storing and selling them. In fact, it helps me considerably, I must add. There is no question about that. I have learned that when I edit photograph for about an hour or so, my eyes and neck start hurting pretty bad. This is precisely why I don’t work in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time. I came to realize that overuse of technology will make your life worse.
A gentleman does not spread rumors, I mean never: Under no circumstances does a gentleman engage in this kind of behavior because he knows that 10/10 times, these rumors cause hardships on others and eventually the other party finds out about the unfortunate event which can haunt them in the future. Only a boor engages in such behaviors. Schmucks love to talk about others behind their backs because they have nothing better to say or anything important to do. A true gentleman doesn’t put himself in the position of being a vermin. When asked to feed a rumor mill, a gentleman says no without remorse.
Read God’s word: Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.” “Not everything that feels good or right is in fact good for you in God’s eyes. We need to life a moral life that puts God first and we second.” “God is a gift — pray continuously. The reward is worth the sacrifice. “f you dream and have faith… God will help you to achieve.” “Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come.” “Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God.” “God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in their path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake.” “Listen carefully: Nobody is perfect in this life, not even you or me. Only God is perfect.
Elitism is alive and well: Elitism happens in America. It’s all that I’m saying. I think that our societal obsession with equality has made many blind to the obvious class favoritism that we have in this country. To me, elitism is alive and well, even though many deny that it exists in our nation.
Last thoughts: 1) Accidents happen. No matter how cautious we are with our bodies, things happen beyond our control sometimes. I wasn’t negligent hitting my head this time, that’s for sure. 2) Life is short — Do what you love. Man, I got even closer to my wife and kids because of this incident. I went for a photo trip with them and decided to use the trip to rethink our future. Priceless. 3) We are all terminal. Live life to the fullest because time is gift. One day you have time to play with your kids. The next, you hit your head and don’t have time to think about playing with them. It’s life.
These are things I’ve done (or philosophies that I have adopted) in order to develop my career as a college professor. There is much wisdom in them! I suspect that these activities will also be of great value for you as it helps us to be grounded in things that really matter. Are you ready for it?
Here we go. In order to develop yourself professional…
Be a source of pleasure. No matter which career you are in or want to pursue, don’t be grumpy, melancholic, egoistic or egocentric, self-centered, or arrogant. Be the type of person you and your friends want to be around with. You don’t need to force your new image on others, either. Be a source of pleasure and celebrate creating harmony by making others to celebrate themselves. Eventually, others will invite you in their circles and will legitimately enjoy being around you for the right reasons not because of your position or authority. I see too many people today failing to re-create themselves into someone better because of a false belief that they need to stick to their century long traditions. Their stagnation is eminent; Loss of talent is predictable; lack of self-innovation and brand depreciation is likely.
Question your assumptions once in a while. Be careful when making lifetime assumptions because when you assume, you make an… you know how the saying goes. Things change, life evolves, and people learn lessons. Not always but you know what I mean. In the spirit of wanting to recreate your image and questioning some of your lifelong goals and objectives, you have to be open minded to the possibilities that might head your way. One of the ways to accomplish the former is by questioning what you may think is untouchable to you. If I was so defensive about ever changing my upbringing instilled ideologies from childhood, I would have never turned into a college professor. In the country club culture in which I was born and raised in, becoming a college professor was seen as the ultimate sign of failure only after lacking a formal college education. I knew then and certainly know now, however, that the truth is far from what I was once told. It took me “questioning my childhood assumptions” in order to be able to see life as it is.
Avoid using the word “I.” Professionals who constantly use the word “I” rarely make the greatest impact in the life of others especially students. If you hear someone constantly using the pronoun “I” in conversations, be aware. Chances are very high that “I” means excluding you. A caring and dedicated professional must learn how to use the word “you” or “we” 95% percent of the time because the overuse of the word “I” will only lead to contention and suspicion. As a responsible worker and leader, you need to create harmony and transparency… A star employee champions equilibrium in the life of his/her team and puts him/herself second to the needs of the team. A great way to accomplish such pursuits is by replacing the word “I” with the better alternative… “You” or “We.”
That’s it! These are five ways to develop yourself professionally. If you have a question or comments, don’t forget to leave a comment down in here. Peace.
Are you sick of working 60 hours a week, going to a restaurant and constantly seeing folks dining yet texting at the same time at the table? Maybe you believe that resting once in a while without being ostracized for being human by others is a normal activity? I certainly believe that. By the way, you can believe that too.
We are living in a very stressful world and frankly, I feel that the main reason we are so stressed out is because of being exposed to a ridiculously amount of technology every day, all day long. Have you thought to yourself, “Why are we doing this to ourselves?” “Is technology use all that important?”
What is crazy about this whole conversation, to me at least, is that extreme uses of technology can in fact be quite detrimental to you and me yet we are celebrating its uncontrolled advancements if there isn’t a tomorrow. Do you now that unplugging from the machine can reduce feelings of jealousy? Do you now that 1 in 3 people feel worse by going to Facebook? What if I told you that most people probably go to social media when they are sad or bored?
What the heck is going on! Are we going mad? No, maybe we just don’t realize that technology is perhaps controlling our lives and turning us into technology itself! We must TechnoModerate. I am Mister TechnoModeration.
I feel pretty proud to say this publicly.
If you are from the position that technology should be used in moderation in society… Join the team, pay attention, investigate and disconnect once in a while. Get in touch with me! I would love to hear from you.
Why lose your life for the sake of technology, I say? It ain’t worth it, that’s for sure. Thoughts?
What is a friend to you? Is it a person in which you can chat, share your concerns with, bounce ideas… A person who is going to be there no matter what. A person who you know will tell you the truth no matter if you are wealthy, poor, in control or wondering in life or trying to figure it out what you want to do? A friend is much more than a Facebook friend, don’t you think? A Facebook friend many times is a number. True friends are not numbers; they are just your friend.
Let me ask you this… Did you accept people you don’t know to be your friend on Facebook lately? Maybe on Instagram? Twitter? Tumbler? Let me ask you a better question — Did you clean your Facebook lately after doing a critical analysis of your “friendships” in cyberspace? My guess is that you probably did the first and didn’t do the second.
Well, I did the second about one year ago. I went back to my Facebook accounts (plural) and cleaned the crap out of folks who didn’t belong in there. The reason? Because they were not my friends. They were a number not a true friend. They were Facebook friends. A true friend, as least to me, is somebody I have some affinity with. As I wrote previously, a friend is a person in which I can chat, share my concerns with, bounce ideas… A person who is going to be there no matter what. If they don’t have these qualities… Maybe they shouldn’t be in my Facebook friends list no matter what the computer says.
I personally don’t get offended and frankly don’t care if my Facebook friends like my postings or not or put comments in my wall. A true friend has reasons to comment, be indifferent or simply be silent for reasons I don’t need to know. Not everything I post should be liked or have a comment by a friend just because it was shared in social media! What I am saying is that likes and comments don’t always equal friendships! But in the American technopoly, likes and comments are “king,” as social media algorithms take into account “interaction” as a variable in calculating your influence on-line. How fake!
Clicking the like button or putting a comment down in one’s wall can have more connotations than simply linking what you posted or commenting on a great idea. Most human beings don’t really operate that logically. The illogical plays a large role in this whole process of internet communication. Look for trends. If “Facebook friend” John Jones is constantly praising you for your efforts in a genuine way — Premium him. If he is trying to gain something from you, you will know it. If you have a foe among your “friends,” unfriend him. It isn’t worth having the numbers if in the end, they are really not your friend. I’ver learned this the hard way.
It is making us dumber, yes, because it is conditioning us to use all these technology without reflecting on why we are using these tools resulting in the idea that we don’t really need to process all this content because it is accessible somewhere on-line. At least, this is what I think.
Some of us who hold a PhD in Instructional Systems Technology, where we are academically trained to implement computer technology and strategies for classroom delivery, have noticed that technology sometimes does more damage than good to learning. I can say with authority that implementing all these technologies in schools without doing a 360 degree assessment of the students and their life circumstances is simply irresponsible and can make them dumber, from the standpoint of Crystallized IQ.
Students will rarely choose to pay attention in class if they are given the opportunity to use technology freely. They will simply go elsewhere on-line. Why? Well, because they are young and youngsters for the most part want to party and get their bodies in shape or have their persona being popular among their peers in order to increase their local and regional Q-Ratio. It is no surprising that students come to class (often late) and even after arriving in class, they start texting their friends as if they were still in their dorm rooms. Maintaining all these social media accounts takes time! They are “busy” doing precisely that! Folks, students are trying to post things on twitter to advance their own brands or going to Tumbler to speak with their friends in order to be cool! Do you think that using all these technology in the classroom will change that? Of course not.
Who are we trying to fool here? Let’s get real — When you were 19, did you prefer to do school work or to party? Did you prefer to get in shape and look good at 20 or do homework for your history 103 course? I am not anti-technology. Of course!
I am for truth and against error. 🙂
With very few exceptions, young adults would rather play than study regardless of the tools they are giving in class. When I was their age, I did the same thing. Didn’t you? Why is technology going to make it different somehow? It won’t be different, I don’t think. I honestly think that technology is dumbing us down and we are allowing this to happen with the believe that technology can solve every problem in our society. Technique will never solve all of our problems. The former, in fact, is a typical belief of citizens of a technopoly.
Lack of information processing through practice is in fact making us dumber as students perceive that the internalization of factual knowledge and principles for problem solving to be secondary to one’s abilities to find information on a search engine. Although the former is an important method of solving problems, the over reliance on such methods is dangerous and to a degree quite childish.
Can you imagine going to a physician and having him or her tell you back, “Oh… you have a headache? Let me check on google and see what is wrong with you.”
What I have seen in my career as a college professor is that no matter how much technology we adopt in the classroom… Students will always chose the easier route to get the “A” grade without wanting to do the work and enjoying all the technology we give them to update and advance their own images on-line. Technology is a distraction for them, for the most part.
\Some argue that by engaging students with technology, the former argument is reduced. Obviously, these folks are either not teaching the millennial generation regularly or have other reasons for implementing all these technology in our classrooms.
Do you want to teach your kid to be a superstar? Make sure your kid understands that it is only through TechnoModeration that he/she will win in life overtime. The secret to success is having the ability to solve problems with technological tools and having the ability to internalize information along with it. A blank slate full of technology is like being a poet with a tablet without words.
We live in a society driven by technology. We see technology being used in churches, education, medicine, music, in banks, you name it. There is no question that people benefit from advancements in technology, including me. However, why are we so shy to talk about the flip side of technology? I tell you this, ladies and gentleman. The side effects of technology are many! We find the other side of technology when analyzing unemployment due to automation, the real cost of creating a successful social media campaign, or the unknown side effects of virtual reality systems. Churches are struggling to attract millennials and when we see them there, they are often texting. There are industries being pushed out of business due to what I like to call, “TechMania.” What a tragedy!
Artificial intelligence is a reality now. Fedora, the Russian robot that can shot a gun and drive a car is real. On-line bullying is still a big problem in America. Kids now are committing suicide at record levels. We are experiencing a wave of anxiety among our people to a level that we have never seen. We are now all tech gladiators.
Can you believe that kids these days are starting to have a difficult time reading non-verbal behaviors? Thank goodness we can still build influence off-line. Bots can now help writers like me to create stories for media consumption. Net bias is now a reality in the United States. We have no other way but to pay attention to the extreme views and opinions often generated by technology. This is the world we live in.
Be aware ladies and gents. Questions?
For Immediate Release: 10/14/2019
Almeida Featured By The Smithsonian Magazine
Cleveland, TN – A college professor and photographer living in southeast Tennessee has been featured by the Smithsonian Magazine’s website. Dr. Luis Almeida’s “Fantasy Photoshoot” photograph has been chosen to be the collection “Altered”’s cover photo in mid October. Almeida’s work is being featured along side award winning photographs from the competition’s previous years in the Altered category.
“The Smithsonian Magazine has been very kind to highlight my work in its “Altered Collection” category in this years’s competition. It’s an honor to be featured on their website,” says Almeida.
“The image is of my wife, a few weeks after she received a certification in makeup artistry. She was creating this look, hidden from me in the bathroom. When she came out, my inspiration hit,” Says Almeida.
“Doc, you have talent and skill in one fingernail than I will ever possess” says Brad Smith on-set photographer for the movies, “Malicious,” “The neighbor,” and “Assimilate” starring Josh Stewart and Deroy Lindo.
The 2019 Smithsonian Photo Competition is open for photographers’ submission until November 30 of this year in a number of categories including Altered Images, Travel, People, The American Experience, Natural World, and Mobile. Finalists will be announced in early Spring 2020.
Almeida is an Associate Professor of Communication Arts, earned his bachelors degree from Slippery Rock University, a masters degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from Penn State University.
Almeida’s Smithsonian entry, “Fantasy Photoshoot” can be accessed at: https://tinyurl.com/yybm9jrc
Almeida’s photo website can be access at: https://www.draphoto.biz/
The bible is a great book that teaches people a number of very important lessons about life. You don’t need to believe in Judaism or Christianity in order to learn from the teachings that are included in the holy book. In this post, I will share with you several bible based principles I’ve learned from the bible throughout the years that when applied often helps people to live a much better life.
Are you ready for this? I am. 🙂
“The moment that you make God the center of your life, the former struggles start to disappear. You will quickly realize that possessions and job nomenclature is de facto meaningless.”
“God called us to be wise. The way to wisdom is fearing God not being the owner of our destiny based on what we want to believe outside of scripture.”
“Be different; Choose God and sanity before earthly wealth. Make your life meaningful.”
“A true Christian doesn’t spend his or her journey comparing themselves to others or worse — putting themselves ahead of others. We put others ahead of us.”
“Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.”
“Not everything that feels good or right is in fact good for you in God’s eyes. We need to life a moral life that puts God first and we second.”
“God is a gift — pray continuously. The reward is worth the sacrifice. “f you dream and have faith… God will help you to achieve.”
“Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come.”
“Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God.”
“God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in their path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake.”
“Listen carefully: Nobody is perfect in this life, not even you or me. Only God is perfect.
“Don’t forget this: God is paying attention. Are you giving yourself a chance to be helped by God by being reasonable with others?”
That’s it for now. Reading the bible is good for you and me. Read it regularly and critically. You won’t regret.
I get spam emails on a hourly basis. I mean, TONS of spam. I get spam in my inbox in gmail, my email from school, and in my spam folder in all of my 15 email accounts. SPAM sucks, I say. It’s time consuming to go through them and they can be quite offensive, actually! In this blog post, I will share with you some of the mot amusing SPAM messages I received This month. Are you ready for this? Be ready! It will be weird.
The joins of technology! SPAM, SPAM, and more SPAM. Here we go.
1. “𝑭𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑳𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑭𝑹𝑬𝑬 𝒐𝒏… Get Started for free on the #1 trusted dating website.”
Dr. A’s response: I’m married! HELLO! ???? Do you offer anything else for free?
2. “I want you! I sent you my photo. Do you want to chat with me? Yes or no?”
Dr. A’s response: Hmmm… you have good taste to like me but no thanks. 🙂
3. “Get Lifetime Access to Trade Partner at just USD 250 — Your access fee has been removed, so, your full membership benefits are completely free. The fee returns next week, so, it makes sense to use your free membership now before you have to pay. Activation only takes a minute. You will be approved straight away and your account will receive money not long after. Just click here to begin. We wish you every success. Regards, Sandra D.”
Dr. A’s response: HAHAHAHA, okay. Next please.
4. “Hi, I wanted to reach out and ask if you’re happy with your website right now or if there are things you’d like to change. Do you have any upgrades that you’ve been thinking about making, or possibly a redesign? I’m a very talented web developer and I can create just about anything you want. Let me know what you think. Kind regards, Christopher.”
Dr. A’s response: I’m sure you are, brother. I do teach web design though. Thank you for the offer. Good luck!
5. “I’m married but need you! Pictures and videos from Sarah. I’m waiting on you.”
Dr. A’s response: This SPAM is so flattering! Am I the sexiest man in the world or what? HAHAHA. Next.
6. “Hi There, Greetings of the Day! Not sure my previous email reached you. Respect your engagements perhaps due to which you are unable to reply. This was to gently seek suitable timeframe when you are ready for the discussion. Are you looking for affordable and customized website designing services to make your business presence out of the web-crowd? Your Business website needs to be SEO friendly in order to achieve profit gaol. We offer comprehensive website solution to turn your Business into a well-known Brand. With our examined Organic SEO tricks, you can easily build & retain your website ranking on the top of search list. If you want to make your website up-to-the-minute, then provide us your contact details and web requirement. Thanks & Regards, Gauri Gupta”
Dr. A’s response: How do you achieve a profit gaol? You said, “This was to gently seek suitable timeframe when you are ready…” What?
7. “This tiny pill really can increase your intelligence. Now Available – The Most Powerful Brain Enhancer on the Planet! Meet the pill that increased intelligence. Improve memory, focus, cognitive ability. Top Intelligence boosting formula reviewed. This tiny pill really can increase your intelligence. See How This Raises Brain Performance. Secret Brain Pill Billionaires Are Using.”
Dr. A’s response: I knew that the millionaires had an untold secret! “This Tiny Pill!” I need something to increase my intelligence, you?
8. “Luis, you awake? I am thinking about you this morning… …and want to share something that may interest you here (especially if you have tried to succeed but failed miserably). Check it out and let me know your feedback (click me). To your success, Jeremy.”
Dr. A’s response: Are we done yet?
9. “The Search For Your Girl is Over! You want to play with me! Mia, 24 years old.. Build: Slim… Height: 163cm… Distance To City: 14 Kilometers. View here sexy photos.”
Dr. A’s response: Mia, shouldn’t you be either in school or working somewhere?
10. “Watch: 1 Odd Trick That Can Destroy The Diabetes Industry (Try This Tonight)…” [Cut by Dr. A]
Dr. A’s response: You Don’t Want To Hear About This, trust me.
11. “INHERITANCE PROPOSAL! Attention!!! I have an important business discussion I wish to share with you which I believe will interest you, because it is in connection with your last name and you are going to benefit from it, please get back to me ASAP. Thanks, Steven, Chief Financial Officer.”
Dr. A’s response: Am I going to be a multi-millionaire today? Hahaha. I wish.
12. “Sell or Trade In your iPhone X for $50 to earn a 10% off coupon. A reward to treat yourself to any of the millions of items in the marketplace. Offer available now through 10/9. Terms apply! Happy selling.”
Dr. A’s response: I’m tired. It’s 12:45am. I need to go to sleep.
Tomorrow is another day, thank goodness! And no, I didn’t respond to any of these emails. Are you crazy?
Colleges are expensive, yes. There is little doubt about that. However, what we often don’t talk about are the other expenses associated with being a college student these days. The “other expenses” are as “expensive” as college itself, I say.
College tuition where I work at costs students $7,700 in tuition a year before room and board is added to the bill. Not a bad price in today’s market, is it? Since young adults have to pay rent and eat whether they are college students or not, I will not talk too much about housing and meal plans in this article. By taking this fair metric, college costs are really then the price of tuition, student fees and books which again, I believe is the true costs of education in the United States.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that college students at university A spend 9K a year in “college only” expenses totaling a lifetime college investment of 36K. Is it little money? Of course it isn’t but this value isn’t that far off from what the market will pay recent graduates when they leave the university with a degree in communications, on average. I predict student value after graduation to be between 28 to 32 thousand dollars in medium size to large cities, by the way.
So in reality, students aren’t really making a very bad investment by going to get a college education with a 4 thousand dollars upside down in loans over a period of 15 tears. It is is, in reality, a negligible value, especially in the long run. I would be much more concerned if the value of tuition was 26 thousand dollars in tuition a year.
Look, my problem with this debate isn’t necessarily with the price of tuition. I agree that tuition is expensive. My problem is with constituents who talk about the large debt that students accrue without taking into account the brand new (or used) car payments they have, car insurance policies, speeding tickets received, gasoline, smartphone bills, clothes, beer… College student debt is much more than just college tuition.
Today in my office, I calculated the “college expenses” of a student totaling 10 thousand in extras! How fair is it to say that college is bankrupting students when students themselves spend that amount of money in unrelated college expenses or more every year? Let’s not forget that folks can always find an on-line education option so driving shouldn’t be an excuse to have a car payment. The truth is that the cost of tuition is as much of a problem to the debt crisis as how misinformed our kids are when going to college.
Unfortunately, our students will spend four to seven years of their lives in college living life as an adult and fifty to seventy years of their adult living as a poor college student. It’s tragic but I think it will happen. College students are also part of the problem (perhaps their parents) as they spend a lot of money in expenses that simply don’t matter.
College students need, more than ever, mentorship in finance and a big wake up call. I help my advisees and clients to save money during their four years of college. We are lacking caring professors who tell the students the things they need to know for life and students who are willing to look beyond the obvious and critically investigate their own circumstances in life. I took the stance to be pro-students but that’s just me. I do realize that my motto of “If you do what is best for the students, you will do what is best for you” isn’t for everyone but at least it should be considered as an option by many in higher education.
Take the lead and help students to realize that they are also part of the problem when it comes to student debt. They need to know that there are other costs in addition to student tuition. Smartphone fees, having the newest iPhone, car payments, insurance, gas… are optional.
Colleges are expensive, of course! Let’s not ignore the fact that we have a 3% to 4% inflation a year, plus depreciation of currency, and miscellaneous cost in addition to tuition price, making this crisis in education more than just the price of tuition alone. Think about it.
Alpha males and females tend to compete a bit too much, which in the long run, result in eminent defeat. Driven by the motto, “Winning isn’t everything… Winning is the only thing,” these kinds of individuals miss the point that not everything is competition in life. Uncontrolled competition can do much damage to you and your family. It is stressful and counter productive, I argue.
When friends become foes, teammates become rivals, and people develop the philosophy of “Anything you can do, I can do better than you,” much stress and anxiety is experienced, along with an eminent counter-attack from the parties involved in the game exchange. Sometimes, the retaliation comes directly. Other times, the retaliation is subtle and indirect yet very damaging. Too much competition in the work force can cause more problems than solutions for any unit. At least this is what I think.
I know how to compete. Being a competitive golfer for many in my past, I know how to play this game quite well. I’ve seen the worse come because of unnecessary competition. I would rather see more collaboration than confrontation. It tend to produce better outcomes for everybody in the end.
Only an amateur doesn’t foresee the various side effects relating to executive warfare. Acting like an alpha commander wanting to win and dominate others, seeing the world as a zero-sum jungle, is unwise and destructive. Inevitably, these kinds of people eventually end up lying, cheating, and stepping on others good deeds in order to convince themselves that they are winning the battle.
What a big mistake… One’s wishes to rise above his or her peers, in any industry by the way, eventually find his/her paths broken by an inevitable catastrophe waiting to happen. People can read the evil intentions of others quite easily. Don’t be like them! Be a person of character and avoid such unwanted behaviors.
I’m not sure if alpha employees (males or females) realize the damage that they do to their organizations. Too much competition will only result in animosity which in its essence is destructive. I would rather be a leader who collaborates with others and who strives to find a way for everyone involved to win.
To me, this makes sense. Excessive competition leads to defeat. Be aware, ladies and gents.
No matter your age, where you come from, which high school you have attended or the college that you have received your degree from, if you are a real man… you must be a gentleman. The reason why I am so firm on the former is because God calls us to be one. The bible says in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Clearly, we must do what we can to emulate the teachings of Christ and be gentle to one another. In this blog post, I will briefly share with you how a man can be more like a gentleman in three ways. Here we go.
1. By listening: A gentleman knows how to listen and understands that listening is an important trait of a real gentleman. There is no reverse to this one. In order for any man to be a gentleman, he must listen. Being a good listener means not interrupting others when others are speaking, actually listening to what others have to say, and considering alternatives solutions if the alternatives received are better than the existing ones. A true gentleman strives to make decisions that take into account the voices of his or team. A gentleman also understands that listening is a skill that can be mastered.
2. A gentleman does not spread rumors, I mean never: Under no circumstances does a gentleman engage in this kind of behavior because he knows that 10/10 times, these rumors cause hardships on others and eventually the other party finds out about the unfortunate event which can haunt them in the future. Only a boor engages in such behaviors. Schmucks love to talk about others behind their backs because they have nothing better to say or anything important to do. A true gentleman doesn’t put himself in the position of being a vermin. When asked to feed a rumor mill, a gentleman says no without remorse.
3. A gentleman is humble and realizes that he doesn’t know everything: Because a gentleman knows that he doesn’t know everything and that the opinions of others are to be respected, he asks for other people’s opinions and balances his own thoughts and ideas with facts. He doesn’t take other people’s opinions as his own necessarily but he is open minded enough to hear what others have to say. A gentleman doesn’t need to act like an “I known it all” person because he knows that nobody knows everything and because the former is a quite impolite, arrogant practice. A gentleman would rather be quiet than to confront left-hand contributions, unless these are reoccurring/repeated events.
No matter how old you are, where you come from, which high school you have attended or the college you have received your degree from, if you are a real man… you must be a gentleman. Gentlemen are trained to listen, to not spread rumors, and to ask the opinion of others in oder to made the best decisions. Being a gentleman should be a lifelong goal for any man who labels himself to be a person of character. It is important to be a gentleman fellow men.
You must be a gentleman if you are a man.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind after looking at the photograph displayed above? Some may say addiction others might simply state silliness but very few would say conditioned as in classical conditioning. There is little doubt that folks are addicted to technological devices today especially if we use the traditional and most accepted definition of addiction which is “An activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work…) as stated in psychology today. What if I told you we are beyond the point of addiction and are in fact conditioned to using these gadgets?
Classical conditioning can be easily understood if we break it down in distinct stages. The first stage is the stage prior to conditioning. In this phase, an unconditioned stimulus produces an unconditioned response. What is the world is that you might be asking! Ok, let me explain it in plain english. Let’s take the example of smartphones which I will define as a computerized device. Here we go — a computerized device (unconditioned stimulus) would produce a response of use (unconditioned response). In this phase, it is all there it to it. It is as simple as that.
After stage one we jump straight to the during conditioning stage. In this stage, the unconditioned stimulus (computerized device) which is neutral or simply understood as not producing any response as of yet starts (phase one) becoming associated with that stimulus and seeing signs of a conditioned stimulus pattern. Let me explain again! In this phase, the computerized device (unconditioned stimulus) might be associated (start showing signs) with use (conditioned stimulus). We start seeing evidence that whenever subjects are given a computerized device, they use it almost without too much thinking.
The last stage is referred to as after conditioning. In this stage, conditioning stimulus has been associated with unconditioned stimulus resulting in something called a conditioned response! What the heck is that! Let me explain — In this state, a subject who has been associated with a computerized device (unconditioned stimulus) now associates him/herself with automatically using that device (conditioned response), making him or her conditioned to using such devices overtime automatically.
Classical Example: As soon as you look at a smartphone… BAM! You use it! This is perhaps why a large number of people wakes up early in the morning, look at their smartphones and immediately start using it before doing anything else — Why? because they are conditioned to using the smartphone! Don’t you think?
Are we addicted to computerized devices? I think so. Are we conditioned to using the smartphone among other computerized devices? It appears evident to me especially from a classical conditioning standpoint.
Academia can’t afford TechnoHitlers and/or TechnoPhobics anymore. As operating budgets are being cut and the need for recruiting and to to give good student treatment increases, so is the need to TechnoModerate. The need to educate students with technology yet maintaining an acceptable level of emphatic communication behavior is indeed a pressing need in 21st century American education.
Professors who are anti-technology and believe that technology shouldn’t be implemented in schools might as well change their careers or simply retire. It would be a disservice to students and a poor allocation of both private and state funds to keep faculty members who are either knowingly incompetent or unwilling to adopt technique in their courses. We don’t live in 1991 anymore, people. We live in the age where the Pads reign, where learning management systems can and indeed do make our lives easier (as long as they work)… a time in history where students can work at their own pace out of the classroom yet acquiring a college education. The new media revolution is here to stay. Embrace it or you will be left behind.
Wait a minute, TechnoHitlers. This doesn’t mean that we should replace faculty with machines, do whatever is required to make all our courses as technologically advanced as possible at all costs, or discourage anyone to deviate from printing a document on paper. This is unwise as good human communication not only help to recruit students — it is also critical to keep them! Communication is key! Empathy is key! How much technology one needs to use in order to be empathetic, by the way?
One more things technoHitlers… It is a not a good idea to impose technology use on anyone as too much technology can in fact backfire on you and cause eye strain, technostress, and in some causes clinical depression or anxiety. So, let me ask you this — How good is the “Let’s use technology at all costs” if your faculty members now have more medical problems to deal with due to technique? Isn’t that going to make university’s health insurance higher? Do professors are more productive when they are healthy or sick? You might be saying — Yes but who needs professors if we have technology? Let me answer this question to you publicly. 1) Students. When students are passing though difficult times, they want to speak with an empathetic faculty member. 2) The university. Governance can’t be don without people. 3) Your stakeholders. Without faculty and staff, your town deteriorates. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Flint Michigan. Do you want more? Do you see TechnoHitlers, your extreme ideology is as toxic as the ideology of the TechnoPhobics.
STOP TechnoPhobics tenured faculty members! Don’t come to me and say, “But hey, I am tenured and I have the academic freedom to do whatever I like in my classroom.” Hmmm… TechnoPhobic, you have all the rights to believe in whatever you like but you won’t work in a department I chair for too long. In fact, I bet you won’t last too long in the profession because in academia, especially these days, we are to do what is best for the students not necessarily what is best for you. Remember, a department without students isn’t a department. Avoiding technology is not only a mistake but a death sentence to any PhD these days. Adopt some or get out.
What is my proposal? As I always say, “Use Technology but in moderation. Be a TechnoModerator!” Embrace technology with reason. Why not use a Content Management System to help teach your classes? Of course this assumes that the tool you are given works. If your organization is having issues with it, create your own system. The former is too good of a technique to be ignored. Develop tutorials, podcasts perhaps. These are overall good and moderate use of technology in the classroom. Don’t require all students to use everything “technology.” Some students read better on paper. Give them the option to read the course content on paper. Adopt socratic methods to help students to think critically. Ask students to work in groups and solve problems with a paper and pencil in their hands to help them to use group thinking as a means to produce once in a while. Encourage interpersonal communication in class! Don’t make all the assignments dependent on using technology! Make some but not all. Moderation people. Is it that complicated to understand?
Today, I did what I always do. I used computer technology in moderation and enjoyed life. Was it complicated or difficult to do? Not really. If was quite easy, in fact. The good news is that you can do the same thing, if you wish, as well. You don’t need to be a slave to smartphone technology or anything electronic. What you need to do is to take control of your life and make the machine work for you rather than the opposite. Yeah right! You might be saying. You maybe be even saying, “This is good on paper but how should I do it? ” Let me share with you how. Are you ready? Here we go.
First, you need to change your mindset in regards to technology. Nobody should live life thinking technology is more than what it really is — technique. Believing that technology transcends its definition and application will result in dependency and could eventually result in you loosing control of technique overtime. Human communication is anthroposemiotics, or the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation done by a human being. Some of these signs and symbols can be interpreted by a human being when using emoticons or abbreviated TXT messages via computer mediated communication. I think that the current state of affairs of our society has proven that one can indeed communicate using modern social media platforms. I do it, you do it, and in fact, most people do it. But just because we do it doesn’t mean technology is a panacea to all of our problems.
However, just because we can exchange symbols via a Facebook newsfeed or chatroom with our smartphones doesn’t mean that this kind of communication should replace thousands of years of interpersonal communication evolution within the human species. Interpersonal communication helps the human species to connect emotionally and create relationships. You should engage in as much face-to-face interactions as you do on-line. Why? Because if you don’t, I bet you are going to get very sick — mentally sick. You and I were not wired to live in isolation. SO, stop thinking that smartphone can fully replace human things well. Technique might replace labor but there will be serious consequences in the living system in which technique exists, if that occurs long term.
Second, use technology wisely and if it makes your life better. If technology starts making your life worse, stop using it immediately. Let me illustrate this point — I am a professional photographer who is constantly capturing and editing stills for profit. Modern photography technology helps me tremendously with capturing great shots, editing my photos, storing and selling them. In fact, it helps me considerably, I must add. There is no question about that. I have learned that when I edit photograph for about an hour or so, my eyes and neck start hurting pretty bad. This is precisely why I don’t work in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time. I came to realize that overuse of technology will make your life worse.
Suggestion: Every 30 minutes of computer/smartphone use, get away from the machine! Go get coffee or chat with someone. Get away from the smartphone on a regular basis.
Lastly, make an effort to get out of the machine and visit the outdoors. There is something magical about going for a walk in the woods, I have to tell you. Just make sure that you don’t use your smartphone during your “outdoor walk” activity as this action would then defy the purpose of going into the woods in the first place. Take this opportunity to think and reflect on your daily life and make the adjustments accordingly. I bet life will be different for you and your dependency on technology would decrease.
There is something magical about listening to a live group of church choir singers accompanied by real musicians playing real instruments on a Sunday morning. Their pitches, voice tones and expressions make the experience of listening to them one that everybody should experience at least once in life, especially if there is a bassist, guitarist and drummer near them. From the deep voices of a bass to the upper range of a soprano… along with talented musicians — Music performances done by people make the machine “look dumb” against the sounds humans can produce together.
The former isn’t, of course, to say that orchestras shouldn’t use any electronic device to record human noise or amplify music instruments played by musicians. Of course we should use technology to record performances and help the audience to hear the musical abilities of the members of the orchestra. However, replacing choir members or musicians with technology doesn’t make too much sense as talent shouldn’t be replaced with technology. In my opinion, replacing singers/musicians with pre-recorded sounds don’t make too much systemic sense. Yet, there are folks who dare otherwise.
What in the world! Are people going mad? This new mindset of cutting human resources at all costs and replacing labor with technology is reaching dangerously absurd levels in American society and to a certain degree — reaching high levels of ridicule and greed. Let me ask you this, “Can your smartphone replace a talented tenor in a church choir? Of course not but that’s obvious. Are pre-recorded music instruments “being played” by a live orchestra elements of a live performance?
The voices (and sounds) of the people are a trademark of what makes us human and there is no technology that will ever replace that. For some of us who believe in Christianity, our voices are also instruments that we use to glorify God. What are people thinking to believe that technology can replace labor in everything in life including music? I know, you know… we know. It is because of money or should I say greed.
Ladies and gentleman… This is TechnoGreed! Let me define this term for you. TechnoGreed, according to technoModerator Luis is — Definition: The act of using technology to increase one’s level of greediness in music. I know the former terminology is goofy and probably cheesy but at least you can’t say that I am unoriginal.
It will happen — It is coming… it is so predictable. The upcoming rise of TechnoGreed in music is coming to a city near you. Be ready to pay for seeing technology and clapping to robots. What a shame.
Here they are… Plain and to the point.
Harvard Business Review Stated: It is both a moral and economic imperative for companies to implement education programs to help safeguard the future labor force.
Dr. A Replied: HBR, I love your magazine and rarely disagree with you. Let me disagree with you on this one, if I may. Agreed! Automation will take away a lot of jobs in the near future. However, the responsibility for retooling lies in the hands of the workers themselves not the organizations. It is unwise, in my opinion, for any worker living in 2019 to wait on any corporate body to provide them with professional development opportunities in the age of YouTube, Edx… There is so much output on the market right now that workers can literally choose what and where they want to learn, often free of charge. I happened to have retooled on data science and analytics lately on my own. Of course! It’s the present. HBR, I won’t wait on any organization to provide training for me in any area. I read heavily and I’m always on the quest to learning something new and relevant.
Harvard Business Review Stated: Failure hurts. But new research shows that it can sometimes lead to more impactful work.
Dr. A Replied: I fail, I get up… I fail, I get up… I fail, I win, I fail… I win… I fail less and win more. We all fail… Not everybody learns from their failures, though. Big opportunities come out of massive failures.
Harvard Business Review Stated: Boomers aren’t the only ones with skills gaps today. Younger workers also need to work to figure out which skills their career paths will demand.
Dr. A Replied: Great article. Things change, fast. It’s been 11 years since I graduated from Penn State with a doctorate degree unrelated to the field of business. 170 business books later, countless articles read from your magazine, many hours of YouTube learning and podcasts listened on the topic of marketing, too many conversations with industry leaders and my own master mind business group… Yesterday, I’ve learn a skill that will make our family a lot of money, finally. Students have to be obsessed with learning in order to figure it out themselves which skillsets they need to learn in order to help their careers. Students are different… It’s not a one-size-fits all quest, you know? The process is slow. It won’t happen fast but they must keep the course in order to learn the skill sets they need in life.
Harvard Business Review Stated: Skills like critical thinking are consistently valuable to employers — and still difficult for machines.
Dr. A Replied: Yes, of course. Critical thinking is valuable to any employer today as it was before… Our jobs will be automated, sooner or later unfortunately. Why? The globe should investigate what is happening in Shenzhen, China in order to see what will be the future of human business. Stores with no attendants, people not carrying a wallet… people using WeChat for transactions… an unprecedented push for innovation not seen in human kind history. Thinking about what machines can’t do is dangerous… Remember: We are in 2019. How are machines going to look like in 2034? Think about it.
Harvard Business Review Stated: Only 24% of the CEOs in this study had MBAs.
Dr. A Replied: Fact: Inheriting big messes call for strong leadership which can lead to presidency. “Everybody can hold the whelm when the seas are calm.” Syrus.
Let me ask you an elementary question — What will happen to our country’s infrastructure if we uncontrollably automate our macro systems and ignore our local needs, including our need to hire human beings so they can pay taxes and fix the roads especially here in the city of Jackson, Mississippi. A horrible thing will happen, right? Nothing! And nothing results in more lead in our water systems, more violence in our neighborhoods, drug problems, just to name a few.
Why are folks celebrating this uncontrolled automation at all costs ideology? Why are we cheering for the takeover by robots and artificial intelligence against us? What is so great about having families loosing jobs and being hungry because of technology? Hey you there who is celebrating this whole technology takeover!!! Do you think that robots will put food in your dinner table at night? One thing I do agree — Automated technologies will deliver food to you in the very near future but they won’t be able to pay you a salary. By the way, robots won’t pay taxes. Good luck paying for your public education.
If you think that the city of Jackson in Mississippi is full of holes, wait until the robots take over. The city will be a swiss cheese type of place… It will smell and be full of holes. As soon as that occurs, the people in the city will scream!!! Take these robots out of here! Bring what we have! We need jobs not more automation! Man, I am sounding like a luddite when I am really trying to just simply call for techno moderation. Here is what I really think…
It is impossible to adopt what I call replacing technologies, which I define as technology that replaces people, and and not have a significant systemic impact in the overall infrastructure of a town, small city, metropolis or a megalopolis. The systemic impacts of uncontrolled automation will make your life worse, hands down. How good is automation if it makes our lives worse? It isn’t! Why in the world are we so celebratory about implementing technologies that will make us suffer? You tell me.
Look, it will be a bad day in your neighborhood if you don’t have filtered water and energy. Right now, only Flint Michigan is showing its unintended consequences of automation or should I say the lack thereof and ho it impacted their water system. Automation is fickle, folks. Once they find a cheaper place that accepts their robots for cheaper, they will leave your city faster than a cheetah making your local economy screaming on its knees. So your city then loses twice. First? Automation takes jobs away. 2) Once the jobs are gone, so is its economy.
Think twice before vowing for uncontrolled automation near you. Who knows, you might be the next unemployed poor human out there screaming for a place to contribute your talents to.
Let me share something with you that you probably already know. Our school system isn’t in alignment with the needs and demands of the 21st century, for the most part. We tend to solve problems today using technology as a cheating tool. The old (yet still important) model of asking students to memorize content in order to develop a higher crystallized IQ and demonstrate evidence of internal storage overtime is quickly being replaced in society with fluid IQ activities of acquiring content from the environment and using this content to solve problems without having to internalize the knowledge subjects found externally. No wonder why sites like youtube, google, and even Facebook are now being used as tools of problem solving. Are you going to these sites to find answers to your questions? I bet you are. By the way, there is nothing wrong with doing that, as long as some of the “old” stuff isn’t totally replaced by superfluous techniques.
So, yes — I have to agree that teaching college courses adopting computer technology serving as scaffolding and assisting students to work in their zone of proximal development is appropriate and necessary in the new age of information. We are just too ingrained with techniques and technological procedures in our so called American Technopoly to simply go back 100 years and ignore the wonderful advancements we had in technology. So in a way, technology is doing some good. I have to admit that. One could argue that technology however is serving as a cheating tool for the new generation which in itself assists to increase the new generation’s fluid IQ levels at the expense of its big crystallized IQ brother. The former is a shame in my opinion yet it is real.
Do I agree with such tradeoff? Not totally. Why? Because our dependence on technology can in fact hunt us later on when we need internal storage in order to solve unplanned and unexpected problems or stressful situations that transcend the use of iPads, smartphones or a microchip. Am I anti-technology? Of course not. However, constantly relying on technology as a cheating tool can indeed backfire in moments when you need it the most. Did you remember the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina? How did the citizens of New Orleans and Biloxi Mississippi communicated with each other? C.B. Radios.
Folks, put your smartphone aside for a few minutes and think about what would happen to your brain’s internal capacity if you were to be constantly solving problems with technology without having to consult your physiological internal hard-drive? Don’t do it! This is a mistake. Just because technology can be used as a cheating tool doesn’t mean that you need to cheat yourself in the process. This is perhaps why school systems should not totally give up “analog” processes and procedures completely. They still have value in the world.
The reality is that unfortunately, life throw curve balls on us when we are prepared the least. Thinking on your feet with internal knowledge can, in some circumstances, be the difference between living or dyeing in some situations especially when technology isn’t available. This is why developing Crystallized IQ is still so critical and relevant today and it should still be insisted in schools. It personally think that technology help pupils with processing quite complex content more efficiently but totally relying on cheating technology can be deadly. This is why I say, “TechnoModeration is key,” especially in education.
GPS technology is, for the most part, a great tool that we can use in order to find unknown locations in our distant neighborhood or when going out of state to a friend’s or family member’s house for Christmas, thanksgiving, or spring break. There is little doubt that global positioning system technology helps us to find the unknown when we are at the mercy of our own understanding of the environment we are in a more efficiently manner than an old map. It is hard to argue against this undeniable fact.
From this position, GPS technology can serve us quite well. GPS technology should’t be used to guide us to go to the supermarket across the street, the health club across town, or that restaurant we go often in our neighborhoods at the end of the county or to go to work. My reasons are many but they can be mostly summarized in two: Physiological and technological.
The most obvious reason for why we should be careful about using GPS technology to help us to maneuver locally is because of the impact that this technology can can have in our hippocampus functions overtime. The hippocampus is the organ in our brain that regulates our spacial navigation and memory — long term memory. In order to maneuver through life long term, we are going to need the functions of our Hippocampus to be working at its age capacity. This small but important organ located in the brain’s medial temporal lobe is an important part of our body’s limbic system. It’s connections with our emotions and memories are also at the core of its existence. Therefore, gambling losing important physiological functions of this small but important part of our body for the sake of technology seems irrational and to a degree irresponsible — yet millions of Americans today are dependent on GPS technology to maneuver themselves starting at an early age now. Big mistake, in my opinion.
The least obvious reason for why we should be careful about global positioning systems is ironically technological. Did you notice that sometimes GPS devices provide inefficient routes? Did you also notice that the recommended GPS path to a familiar destination reached before changes quite often every time we ask for the directions again? If you haven’t noticed that, pay close attention to it next time and you will realize that perhaps… GPS technology doesn’t want you to get smart about your surroundings. The question then becomes why! Well, this is rhetorical question in my opinion. Could it be that GPS technology was programmed by someone who is more interested in making a profit on your dumbness than to make you more oriented about your surroundings? GPS systems wouldn’t be sold well if you knew where to go! Think about it.
When I moved my family down South to work at Jackson State University, I used GPS technology for two weeks in order to find myself around town. The device took me through three different routes every week in order to reach my destination, which drove me completely crazy. All that I wanted was one reliable route to reach my destination. Well, that didn’t happened. It took me a day to write down directions and memorize the path the old school way. Go figure. What is wrong with that method by the way? Nothing wrong.
Brick and mortar stores are floundering. Badly. Whether it’s a lack of adaptation to change or poor customer service, they are struggling. Let’s be reasonable. Not every store you see is red-lining or looking for government bailouts; however, an unprecedented number of stores are closing. Sears, (don’t panic, as far as I know, Indiana’s isn’t closing), is closing 300 stores, 128 Gamestop stores, 70 Coach stores are also closing, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Just because a company closes a brick and mortar store doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get their product. Companies are investing heavily in the online marketplace. Those online sales have an impact on our local and state taxes.
Think about this, Pennsylvania imposes a use tax to try and make up the deficit left by online sales. This particular tax is a self assessed tax on buyers of items bought out of state. So, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is struggling to collect the sales tax it needs to have a balanced budget.
What does all this mean? It means there are less jobs. It means less revenue for the building owners. It means less local taxes being collected from wages and sales. It means on an average a loss of about 30 jobs per closed store, depending on store size. It means a potential long-term financial hit to Indiana county or any county in the USA.
Indiana seems to be growing quite well by comparison. We just got a Super Shoe, a Salvation Army Thrift Store, a few new small businesses downtown and new stores and restaurants are on the way. This is great news that should be celebrated but what happens if you stop supporting these local businesses and start shopping primarily online?
The side effects of online stores have real life implications that can’t be ignored. I choose Indiana, PA over the mighty world wide web when I used to live there. To me at least, our local businesses create an integral framework that are the building blocks of this community. No one can live on Main St at World Wide Web, USA. Sterling Hills will never be located at Amazon Junction.
I’m not saying you should never shop online that’s unrealistic. We as a community need to remember that there are implications to making purchases over the internet. You need to support your neighbors, your friends, your local business owners, large and small.
Shopping is inevitable. Online is convenient. Shopping local is necessary. As I always say, “Use technology [shop online] but in moderation.”
As more intelligent technologies are introduced, more jobs will be lost in this country. The jobs that survive the upcoming infusion of “production technologies” will pay little and you will be lucky if these jobs pay you full-time wages. Retail, waitresses, and realtors will be the next batch of employees that will suffer with this imbecile infusion of technological adoptions. The problem for us all is that service driven positions represent a large chunk of American jobs left from the long gone assembly line plants. I am seeing a future where machinery will replace them all and cause a tremendous hardship for American families.
Think about it. Why would anyone go to a bank to chat with a teller when they can go to a machine to do the same? Why hire waitresses if we can place vending and ordering machines in restaurants to replace them? Car reservations can be done on-line, right? How about hotel reservations? Do you really need to buy clothes in a mall? The service industry of the United States will be slaughtered in the next three to five years because of technology and guess what? There will be nothing that you and I can do to reverse this scary trend.
“People jobs,” because of accelerated growth in modern computer technology and the financial support given by TechnoHitler capitalists– will be mainly performed by machines very soon. What will happen to the truck driving industry if we create self driven cars? Maybe if we adopt the brand new Phantom 4 to deliver products at your door? Artificial intelligence and smart technologies will be introduced to take a slice of the jobs performed by your brain. At least, this is what Robert Reich, former United States Secretary of Labor believes. Education is in trouble as well as health care. We are going to see technologies doing the “work” of a professor in mass scale. Interactive systems guided by low labor faculty will replace college professor jobs rapidly. This is an unfortunate but it will happen within a decade or less, I bet.
A large number of American citizens will be seen by RD’s (robot doctors) and/or receive health care prescriptions from a tele-medicine center, in a decade or so. Why am I saying all of this? Because I see celebration of computer innovation implementation at all costs and little attention to TechnoModeration. People want to dream with technology without critically thinking about its systemic consequences to the system.
I am a dreamer, maybe one of the very few left, who still believes in doing what is still best for the majority of the people. Human beings are seeking their own destruction and celebrating its demise to idolize technology. It is happening right before our human eyes! It is getting to a point of no return. Wake up! Be a TechnoModerator in your community. Be a lover of technology but don’t forget to love yourself and your peers in the process. You are gonna need it.
The research currently being conducted by Takao Someya, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, is fascinating. The idea of creating a cyber glove is certainly cool and I worth an article on CNN showing its application and use in our society. Ultra-thin film, patches and sensors are just a few technologies included in his prototype “e-skin.” I have some concerns about the technology infrastructure, though.
My main concern with all this kind of innovation, is that the skin, our real skin, needs to breathe. Don’t you agree? If you have a constant covering over it, the skin will get sores or start to rot like gangrene. Are they wanting to be like a patch or a total skin covering? This questions must be answered prior to Dr. Someya’s team move towards bet testing and eventually implement video clips in this story.
My other concern is how does the technology get it’s power? Is it getting power from the wear-er? Is it solar? Do you have to plug it in? Different forms of power can have different kinds of reactions to a body and sometimes they can be too risky. I can only imagine folks trying to use the e-skin, plugging into the wall jacket and being electrocuted. It probably won’t happen but hey… it is a possibility.
Another question — How does the data transmit? Does it interfere with the body’s nervous system, as it is an electrical conduit? These important details presented in the article are not a part of the overall article but maybe they should. How great is this idea if we cannot judge its real impact on children and adults? It seems like a waste of time, don’t you think?
Is it going to give too much info and stress people out or overload doctor’s with unnecessary info. Will it be more like trying to figure out your symptoms from the internet or will it be more like visiting a physician? These are real and important questions to answer in the current landscape of the school system. I decided to take a lead and get some answers.
You know what I think? This e-skin sounds promising in that it could catch many diseases, illnesses or other ailments early but just like the e-skin is super thin so too is the blade on which this technology stands, more a double edged sword than a knight in shining armor.
Lack of technology can be devastating. Every time a small town decides to isolate themselves by ignoring the benefits of innovation for the sake of tradition — poverty, drug use, crime, and violence often follows right after. There is just no other way to put it. The photograph you are seeing above is just a tiny example of what happens to a city when a community says no to technology (technique) overtime. Dinosaur communities make for great photo scenes but when it comes to wealth… they often come last if they finish.
Be sure to pay attention to the new technological trends of the new market and how these trends can be applicable in your town. It will be a big mistake to believe that one can live a good life without technology in the current state of affairs of the United States. Avoiding innovation in a highly technological world, even if these innovations come from systems overseas, is like trying to play golf against Phil Mickelson with wood clubs and no tees. Can you imagine the outcome of such endeavor? It wouldn’t be beautiful, thats for sure.
Be welcoming of new technologies provided by new people in your communities because these individuals have to think differently in order to earn a dollar to feed their families. When someone is hungry for food, they are often hungry for success as the former is the only way they can survive. What if they bring a new technology that you don’t know about? What if their techniques can help you to succeed and help feed your family?
Immigrants often bring technologies (techniques) that you can use to make your life better. This is how the United States became the superpower it is today. I am not saying that we should allow every immigrant come to this country illegally for the sake of innovation or anything along those lines. I believe in the real path to the American dream — A legal path to citizenship with reason which include allowing immigrants to actually come to this country. It is worth talking about the techniques that immigrants brought with them overtime as an example of historical innovation success done by foreign nationals.
Think about the food industry for example. The Polish taught us about pierogi and how they can be cooked to perfection. Italians brought with them not just their Italian cuisine but more importantly their techniques on how to make their product the way they are. The Germans brought with them a system to make German sausage with a degree of precision and discipline. Today, a large number of Americans eat pierogi, Italian food, and sausage. A number of communities sell these products and profit from. The consequence? The sale of these products generate American taxes dollars which are then used to sustain the various infrastructures of our communities all across the United States.
Foreign technologies, when used in moderation, are always welcome! See? There is much to learn from foreign national’s technological processes. In my view, we should continue learning from foreign processes in moderation. Be accepting of immigrants who want to contribute and hungry for success. Dinosaur community leaders, read this article and take notes! Your job is to help not damage your communities… You never know, foreign national technologies might be the ones that will hire and help your family to achieve and prosper in the future. Be kind to them.
If you decide to work like a maniac, or is being asked to work 70 hours a week without rest and make absurd deadlines with little resources, you will undeniably, sooner or later, break down. There is just no way that the human brain can handle this unhealthy combination of circumstances without resulting in Frazzle which is a fancy name for being in the state of constant stress, completely exhausted. The consequence? You work less not more because one just can’t physiologically focus on the task at hand as well, even when using technology.
So why are we still celebrating that folks work 70 hours a week and premium them for their robotic and unhealthy work behaviors? Well, this is because human beings today are robotic in nature and are in fact in the midst of what I call the human robot syndrome, a condition developed by the excessive exposure and frequency of computer use. This is my primary answer. The other reason is because we have created what I call the “Super Hero” effect which premiums this ridiculous idea that more hours at work equals being a better employee.
If you work 70 hours a week, stop! Nobody should be working like that. If you hear from your employer that if you don’t work like a maniac every day you are a poor employee — Look for another job. If all the jobs you get require that you behave in such manner, change your career. Your health is worth much more than the income you bring in from working like a mad man. Don’t be emotional about it, be logical. Don’t let your emotions control you. It is more important to be attentive than to be emotional, sometimes. In fact, Daniel Goleman once said, “Emotions take over attention.”
Performance decreases whenever a subject reaches low or ultra high levels of brain activity. Too much cortisol or too much adrenaline is in fact detrimental to performance. Moderation in brain activity is key for peak performance. Perhaps, TechnoModeration in your daily life can help you reach the peak of your career!
Be smart, work hard but with reason. Get away from the machine once in a while to release frazzle, meaning stress. In the end, I bet you will be much more productive. Ensuring that you take breaks once in a while and get away from that computer screen that hunts your life so much in the modern era of technology, can do you good. Be rebellious! Be different! Be human.
“Computers are supposed to make our lives better,” I once said.
That’s when I believed computer technology could enhance our lives more than not. I am starting to believe that it is in fact the other way around. What if I told you that we are reaching a level of computer use in our society that just won’t allow us to live a good life?
No healthy human being is capable of memorizing 15 different complex user account passwords and manage thousands of media files (photos and videos) without experiencing some form of anxiety over the possibility of losing important personal and/or professional data, or afford losing direct contact with “the cloud” in this day and age. How would you feel if you lost the hundreds of photos and videos you took of your child last week? I would be upset.
I don’t know about you but I have an actual book with my account passwords written down in a secure location to reduce my personal computer information overload. The reality is that we are being asked to be 24/7 data processing machines while at work, when at home, and often during our vacations.
How can living with constant technology overload fit the definition of a “good life”? There was a time when we could choose to block computer technology overuse without resulting in us being socially/professionally handicapped. Well, I am convinced that we are way past that point.
Can you imagine yourself not using a smartphone or somehow not being connected beyond 5 p.m. in order to complete your work or update the dozens of social media accounts you have? I try, but in practice, I can’t.
All that I can do, in fact, is to regulate how much I use technology. As I always say, “Use technology but in moderation.” Literally.
Look, I know there are some folks here in Bradley County who really don’t understand why I am writing this article. They are probably users of twitter, Instagram, GPS technology, flickr, Facebook or even Tumblr. They are also the folks who can’t see that technology is controlling their lives.
We mortals living with the current realities of the workforce, in the age of the cloud and the ever-changing age of computer technology, can probably understand my reasons. The “good life,” I am starting to believe, will be based on the analog luxuries we once had. It will be based on the moments when we shy away from technology and embrace our inner humanity.
Technology in moderation is key to a good life, I am convinced.
“Win through your actions never through an argument,” says Robert Greene. I agree. Quantifiable actions disarm even the best arguments given by defense attorneys. People respect more what they see instead of what they can hear, I’ve learned the former in my life the hard way.
I used to be a screamer but not anymore… I’m glad. Be silent instead and counter-attack with actions, accordingly. It’s the best method, I say.
If you pay close attention to the people around you, you will quickly realize that there is a large amount of delusional people in this world of ours, convincing themselves about whatever makes themselves feel good in the moment. We live in a free world… Folks have the right to be delusional and think what they want, as long as their illogical thoughts don’t impact the well being of others, if you know what I mean.
People think what they want, convincing themselves of the most irrational (sometimes comical) realities and circumstances. It may be why so many people need to take valium on a regular basis in this country in order to function… to be taken back to reality instead of living in a fantasy land inside their own minds.
Each man (or woman) often (if not always) think that they are right. Arguing with them will only result in you digging your own grave deeper, ladies and gentleman. Learn to demonstrate the correctness of your ideas or skillsets indirectly instead of engaging in an open debate with an irrational opponent. It will only give you more headaches and frustrations. You say A they say B. Learn to ignore these bunch… Do your own thing and let them wonder how you did what you did so easily. The former is such a powerful strategy, I must add.
Lee me give you a real life example that has happened to me recently. It’s absurd. You will be shocked by what people believe or convince themselves to reinforce what they believe, even if their own justifications defy all the logical rules of common sense.
Apparently, some people (students and/or non-students) thought that I didn’t know anything about photography. That’s absurd, of course. Ridiculous, if you ask me. Yes, it is true. How do I know? Well, I have my methods and ways to gather my intelligence… Sorry, my methods are classified.
Outrageous! Sickening! Laughable! Evil, if you ask me. Nothing unusual though… It’s human behavior fueled by envy, a capital sin.
I could have engaged in an argument with them which would obviously not take me anywhere simple because, “Each man (or woman) often (if not always) think that they are right.” It is pointless to argue with them. Why bother? As my buddy Kurt once said, “Sometimes, you need to show what you know, in a kind but firm way, so people realize how dumb they are. “You need to put people in their places sometimes, Luis,” Kurt used to tell me.
Kurt was absolutely right. I decided to follow his advise this semester again. Strategically, yet firm and to the point. They all got the message by now, I bet. How do I know? I can see in their faces — Silence… through non-verbal communication, irritation and disdain. People are irrational and can be quite ignorant and evil. It’s human behavior. Do your work and let’s your actions speak.
Sometimes, you need to put them in their places and enjoy the ride. Don’t argue! It ain’t worth it. A picture is worth a thousand words! A collection of well composed photos in awesome locations can be worth tens of millions, especially if they are seen by people who think that you don’t know anything about photography.
Don’t argue… There is no need for screaming… People are irrational, egoistic, and will do what they can to defend what they believe. Win the game through your actions. That’s how the game is played. Trust me…
“Everything in moderation,” I was once told. I am not sure about that. I would rather state, “Almost everything in moderation.” In my book, computers are to be used in moderation. Why? Well, because if we use computers excessively, it might give us a “computer face” and make us ugly. I don’t want to be ugly because of technology, do you?
According to Dr. Michael Prager, heavy computer users develop turkey necks, saggy jowls and deep-set wrinkles on their forehead and often around their eyes. Spending long hours in front of the computer can actually affect your beauty. Dr. Prager goes further to state that computer concentration and grumpy faces can actually make you older and uglier overtime. Can you imagine what our population will look like after two decades of uncontrolled computer use?
I can. Our beautiful population will just be plain ugly unless we stop our obsession with social media and extended computer use. I am pessimistic because we now can even buy computer watches to keep us more connected and therefore uglier. Would you like to sacrifice your beauty for the sake of technology? I really don’t.
Heavy computer exposure is affecting your looks, according to the Cosmopolitan. No wonder, especially because of the large amounts of bacteria that modern computer technology devices carry. A recent study indicated that our phones are dirtier than a public toilet and that if the device is near our skin, we are more prone to outbreaks.
And, it isn’t just bacteria that is making us sicker. Artificial computer light is also contributing to the epidemic of insomnia, which contributes to dark circles, which suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, making us uglier. At least, this is what was stated at the Career Addict blog. I believe it, especially after using the computer for hours, prior to going to sleep. How can we get a good night of sleep by being connected prior to going to bed?
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be uglier and sicker. I enjoy using the computer in moderation, looking my age, along with the prospects of living in good health. Just because technology is available and is good doesn’t mean we should consume without control. Even water, if drunk in excess, can make us sick and possibly ugly!
I once stated that the “Societies of the future will be based on the ideas of the past.” Perhaps, not having multiple computer devices per household could actually do us some good. “Almost everything in moderation,” I say. Reduce your technology time exposure, fight the “computer face,” and take charge of your life by living in moderation.
Our brain is a wonderful thing. It is adaptable in so many ways, take for instance the difference between reading a “real” book, magazine or newspaper versus a “fake” book. “Fake” books are considered any online material. The brain actually interprets print versus online reading differently. Online reading isn’t absorbed as easily. The brain has a tendency to skim over words focusing on just the important parts of the text. While reading a “real” book, our brains absorb the information, whether fact or fiction, quite easily. This absorption is tested by being able to recall or regurgitate what was just read. As for that skimming skill, when reading a print book our brains have the capacity to weave the tapestry of text into a visual movie inside our heads.
It is known that not everyone has the capacity to visualize what they read; however, I’m going to create a small text tapestry for you to ponder…
As the winter wind blew snowflakes dancing down the street, a little boy wanders clutching a small device to his chest. It’s imperative that he make it to his grandmother’s house. In fact, he can see the warm inviting light beckoning to him only a few houses away. She knows he’s coming. She knows his panic over this small device. And she has the answer. Plus, a surprise.
In his hurry through the snow clogged sidewalk, people bustling around him, he slips. The small device slides across the sidewalk as though it has magically sprouted a miniature snowboard on its underside. The boy watches in mortification, sucking in a cold bitter breath, as the small device, ramps the curb in Olympic fashion, into the street. He gets to his feet and runs, his feet like lead. Before he makes it to the street, a strong hand grabs his arm, almost lifting him off his feet. A car rushes by smashing the small device with an audible crunch.
The boy pulls free of the strong hand, looking both ways, steps out into the street to cradle the small device, now broken, clearly beyond repair. He rushes onward oblivious to shouts and honks towards his grandmother’s house. No longer just inviting but needed so desperately in this emergency.
Sitting at his grandmother’s table, crying over the device, he explains, “Gram. It’s not fair! Now, I’ll never know the ending!”
His grandmother smiles and says soothing, “I know you loved your e-reader. It took you places your parents and I can never afford. But I know what you were reading, and I have a solution.”
Wide eyed, he asks in amazement, “Do you have a new e-reader? It’s so expensive.” The boy knows they don’t have much money. His parents matched the money he was able to save doing odd jobs for the neighbors. It took a long time.
His grandmother lovingly laughs, “No, I don’t. However, in my day, we had libraries with free books anyone could borrow. When our library closed. I went and collected some of the classics. So, I have for you this.”
As she handed him that well worn copy, his breath stopped in his chest. His eyes widened, the tears came just glistening in his eyes to match the snow delicately falling outside. He could finish the story but it was more than that. This story he could feel pages, real pages, between his fingers, smell the faint musty odor. The story literally had weight in his hands. He couldn’t fathom how people could let the gift of a library slip between their fingers but he looked at his book and realized his life’s purpose.
This short story illustrates why we need libraries. It’s not a place for useless books. We shouldn’t let it become a computer lab either. As with much of the new technologies used from smartphones to computers to e-readers, there’s a time and place for everything. But magic happens, new worlds emerge, veils are lifted when books are opened and pages are flipped. Even our brains think print is different and treat it better than online texts.
In our community, we can buy top-quality shoes, eat at a number of great restaurants, speak with local insurance agents, and even get a massage downtown. That’s wonderful and should be celebrated! What we seem to lack is the ability to effectively develop an internet presence for what businesses have to offer. In reality, this deficiency could lead to disastrous consequences including negatively affecting our local economic growth especially in the areas of sales and economic expansion.
What if I told you that our town’s collective diminutive internet presence could significantly reduce part of the wonderful goods and services we have to offer in Indiana. Possibly, even driving some businesses into closure. In the age of the world wide web, there seems to be a smaller margin for error when it comes to engaging your clientele with your business enterprise.
In my quest to have a better understanding of the impacts of technology in Indiana county, I decided to have a chat with one of our community’s economic development employees. During an extended discussion, I was pleased to hear that his overall view of technological business use was positive. Within the last two years our community has embraced the idea of businesses having an internet presence (just check out the Indiana Gazette’s online business directory). Some technological backlashes for business owners have occurred and will probably keep occurring into the near future. Dana puts it eloquently, “Although we have become more technologically oriented as a community, the overall rate of technological change has left some of our community members with unintended nuances… The rapid pace of technological change has left some of our members behind,” states Dana. For a business to develop an internet presence, time is the biggest factor, aside from knowledge of the technology itself, which can really impact the bottom line for many small and local businesses.
We as community members have a call to action! That call is simple. The businesses you frequent, you enjoy, you wish to see triumph in such a precarious economic time, engage with them online. Those businesses are trying to make the community a better place. As the community grows so to will the economy which means a bigger better Indiana for us all to enjoy.
I’m afraid that the American system of higher education is becoming more “Brazilian” by the day, with the exception that education in this country costs an arm and a leg. I’m witnessing the demise of a once wonderful educational system that rescued me from a life of much suffering and ignorance due to my lack of intellectual interest and much immaturity back in the day.
Despite our society having all these technologies…
This semester, only 5% of all students in my classes read the course’s book, if that. Some are behaving in such a disrespecting way that makes me wonder why they would choose to spend 80K in a college education and behave like a little kid in kinder garden. Brazilian kids pursuing a college education don’t read a thing, either. From what I hear, their attitudes in the classroom are as poor as some of our kids in this country.
Colleges and universities often defend them instead of doing what is right and reprimand poor behavior.
I can attest to you that many wealthy Brazilians send their kids to this country in an attempt to make their kids more mature and because colleges and universities made their kids read books as a requirement for completing a college degree. The former did the Brazilian upper class much good, as students in Brazilian universities rarely read anything. The former doesn’t happen much today in the social sciences, I don’t think. What a tragedy.
Let me continue…
A large number of Brazilian students believe that a college education is a requisite for getting a job, nothing else. I’m afraid that a large segment of college students in the United States have similar beliefs, if not exactly the same attitude towards college, as Brazilian students do. Both Brazilian and American students are constantly partying and doing little to get the “A” grade they expect by the end of the semester.
The contemporary “business” model adopted by many colleges and universities in this country has destroyed a great educational system, making immature clown type kids have way too much say in how a university is to be run. The biggest error to me is even more disturbing and is perhaps the root cause of this whole mess we call American higher education. Students, to many college administrators, are synonymous with being a customer… and in their minds, the customer is always right because they pay the bill.
The result? They (the immature youth) is somehow dictating how colleges and universities should operate and who the institution should keep or release, based on how well they (professors) adapt to them (students) instead of the obvious opposite.
Professors these days must strategically communicate with students without making them “mad.” I’ve learned to deal with them and handle these kinds of situations with much caution and care, always getting input from my colleagues on the issue before making a final decision. Many students today are living college as an “adult.” I bet that most if not all of them will live their adult life as a “student,” like in Brazil.
US students are now so similar to Brazilian students in so many respects. This concerns me quite a lot. Take a look at where Brazil ranks in education worldwide. Is this where we are heading next? Towards the bottom?
I’m afraid that the American system of higher education is becoming more “Brazilian” by the day. I’m not sure if the current model of higher education in this country is sustainable, ladies and gentleman. There is so many good things about Brazil but not its educational system. I’m concerned about the future of this country… very actually.
There was a time in our society where we embraced the floppy disc, 64 gigabytes of hard-drive space, digital cameras, and the laptop. Be prepared to say goodbye [if you haven’t already done so] to the former along with your regular keyboard, mouse, dvd players, and other dinosaur technology that is or will be soon, extinct.
The mighty iPhone and the Android have hundreds of high quality media development applications available for free or at a low cost. Smartphone technology users now have access to highly sophisticated digital camera and camcorder apps, a wide variety of film filters, special effects, logo design and audio production tools. You can even create video games with your smartphone these days!
Let’s took at two game changers — smartphone detach lenses and the square. There was a time when our only option to taking top quality photographs was to spend a minimum of $400-500 on a DSLR body camera along with additional macro, telephoto, and wide-angle lenses. It wasn’t unusual for photographers to spend between $200 to $2000 dollars (if not more) in photo lenses alone in addition to the initial investment of nearly $500 bucks, and we haven’t even talked about tripods and external flashes!
What if I told you that today, you could buy four detach lenses for your smartphone for less than $200 and also buy quality smartphone tripods for a fraction of the price of top regular tripods? What if I told you that you can now buy a great camera app that simulates a DSLR for $2.99? I suspect that within two to three years, the DSLR will be extinct with amateur photographers. Some professionals may even question the benefits of their DSLR over the assets of the new smartphone technologies. Traditional digital photography technology is just too expensive when compared to the mighty smartphone. My opinion? Traditional digital photography technology will decline and eventually die. It is like a dinosaur straining to breathe in a flood.
The square is a wonderful tool that has changed the game of credit payments. Not so long ago, credit services included equipment rental, in-house internet service, bank charges and credit fees. Small businesses were suffering with the lack of payment options for their clients but not anymore. The square has revolutionized the credit payment world, a smartphone, free app and a square reader is all you need. Technology is changing the face of the world.
Even though, technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, don’t forget that we are always human. As I always say, “The overuse of technology has the capacity to distract you from important daily routines including exercising, family time, and church attendance. Use them in moderation!”
There is little doubt that we live in the age of social media. It isn’t uncommon for us to exchange photos via Facebook, share updates on twitter, look at videos on YouTube, or start a conversation on Google Plus. On the surface, social media sites seem harmless and wonderful. What if I told you that social media sites have a dark side to it? There have been studies showing a direct correlation between social media use and decreases in work productivity, invasion of privacy, and even anxiety.
Social media technology, like aspirin, isn’t free of side effects. The American and British economies have lost billions of dollars due to employee’s participating in social media sites while at work. Rather than working on job related tasks to advance the enterprise, office workers seem to be spending a sizable amount of their working hours in social media sites updating profiles, sharing photos, and what I like to call, “goofing off… or simply wasting time.” Yet, we keep advancing the idea that social media is wonderful ignoring the multitude of repercussions the medium has. Perhaps, we should be a bit more conservative with our assumptions. We live in an open society where our traditional privacy values are being questioned. Thank goodness we seem to be annoyed and uncomfortable with this phenomenon here in Indiana county. We don’t need to compromise our rights to privacy because of technology. We should be educating our kids to realize that displaying everything about one’s life on Facebook (or any other social media site) isn’t necessarily a good idea. As a parent, I am disturbed when I hear that 13 year old kids are living a “second life” through social media. The great advancements of modern technology seem to have a dark side, doesn’t it? I like technology but don’t love it. Do you?
Anxiety is a problem. Anxiety due to overuse of computerized devices through social media is emerging as an epidemic. The decreased sense of self perception is a serious side effect of social media. Just because we can create a profile for the world to see doesn’t mean it is real or beneficial. The need to constantly update a profile also generates higher levels of anxiety among teens which could be toxic to their health. Our brains were not made to be working on constant information overload mode despite the belief of some that we should be always connected, especially to social media. This is what I propose. Techno Moderation! Use social media with care. Please realize that the medium isn’t free of side effects. Be aware of the positives and negatives effects of this innovation for your own sake. Before taking a medicine, we read about its side effects, right? Why should social media use be any different?
It is not possible to properly contribute to society if a worker lacks good health. It is in the interest of the American economy, from a particular point of view, to have a system of health care that allows workers to get healthcare assistance when they get sick without bankrupting them in the process. Yet… Not every worker can afford to have a reasonable insurance plan.
If you get really sick in the United States, and your insurance is mediocre, chances are that you are going to have to pay your astronomical bill in thirty days (to be off the hook against likely inhumane and perhaps unethical practices of having a hospital sending your remaining debt to collections, affecting your credit at their will) or ask to finance the huge debt of yours with the hospital with the hope you get a payment plan and pay the balance before the statue of limitations in your state expires.
No matter which political party you are affiliated with, the health care system of this country can and probably will bankrupt you if you get really sick in your lifetime. Is it ethical or humane for Tennova Healthcare or any other hospital, to send a patient’s bill to collections, even if the patient is paying large sums of money before the statute of limitations in that state has expired? How about the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)? To me, no, period.
If the patient is attempting to pay the bill, the humane and ethical thing to do for a hospital is to NOT send the remaining balance of this patient to collections just because you want to get yours in your time, especially if the client has a very good credit score.
Tennova Healthcare did this to me. I had to go to the emergency room two times because of a potential heart issue and a head impact and guess what? We inherited a $1800 bill, which for any middle class family is a sizable taxing debt. I don’t like to call my daddy for bailing me out of my own obligations, especially not at 45. We payed $200 in June, about $1,000 in July, and about close to $200 in August.
What did Tennova Healthcare do in September? They sent our remaining balance of $514.01 to collections which is likely to have an impact on my good credit score. If the former is legal or illegal, we are investigating. I suspect that the former is legal… But, is it ethical? Is it a humane practice to send you to collections without even attempting to call you when over 70% of the balance had been paid off in a few months? Isn’t health care supposed to be a humane activity? Not really, it seems. It is all about money and profit at all costs.
I hope that this practice didn’t happen to me because of my ethnicity. We are looking into it… We shall see.
Adam Smith once wrote, “A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily the citizen of any particular country. All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” This is the age that we are living in, ladies and gents. Our capitalist society is out of control, as Richard Wolff states.
Health care seems to be one of the mechanisms by which the “Masters of Mankind” use to get “all for ourselves, and nothing for other people.” Tennova HealthCare seems to operate under this wild capitalist principle of the 1800’s in 2019. I’m sure they aren’t the only one…
Let me say this publicly. Shame on you Tennova HealthCare! I question your humane practices and your ethics. I hope I’m wrong. Are health care providers being ethical and humane with their customers?
You tell me.
Artificial Intelligence is moving faster than I’ve predicted. Go figure! Listen very carefully Cleveland, Tennessee. AlphaZero, or shall we say a game playing AI created by Google’s DeepMind, is learning how to master complex games such as chess within hours now! In Fact, AlphaZero decided to teach itself the complexities of the game of chess and was able to defeat the current world-champion chess program in only four hours. I don’t know about you but when I was a kid, I had to study the intricacies of chess strategy and learn the many openings, middle game, and endgame tactics of chess due to necessity. Learning concepts such as dominating the center of the board, sacrificing pieces to gain position, the four houses defense or the imaginative attacking style of Alexander Alekhine, my favorite chess master by the way, took a lot of brain work.
Let me tell you, people. I have no idea how this machine mastered chess so quickly. It isn’t humanly possible! Well, AlphaZero is superhuman, without a doubt.
Let me put some drama in this column, if you don’t mind. It is December 9, 2017, and a piece of intelligent machinery just figured out a way to self learn the quite complex domain of chess without you or me, quickly. See? Back in 2015 when AlphaZero was using the innovative approach of mixing deep neutral-network machine learning and what is referred to as tree search techniques, many people thought that moving beyond that would take a lot of years. It is now two years later, after AlphaZero learned how to observe humans and engage in a process called reinforcement learning, DeepMind is reaching ridiculous levels of advancement in intelligence.
Look, Moore’s law teaches us that the number of transistors in a circuit doubles every two years on average. Can we now say that the machine is learning, or shall we say getting more intelligent every two years? I don’t know, maybe. Which world are we living in these days anyways? AlphaZero should be named by Time Magazine as the “person” of the year in my opinion. Who, in history, can learn a complex field in four hours? I don’t know anybody, do you?
Let me report on the specifics of AlphaZero’s developments in chess learning, as I understand. This bot is pretty savvy as “he” starts by first playing against a version of himself to eventually discover which move results in the best outcome. Sophisticated play is, with time, tied to the knowledge gained by the machine against the best chess players. Overtime, through continuous success, the machine learns how to make the best move by associating its move behaviors with its rate of success. AlphaZero’s secret to quick mastery is to always play against an opponent who is technically “better” than him. Overtime, this intelligent machine learns to play better chess by self study.
AlphaZero is now learning how to play video games better by trying to beat itself in an attempt to achieve excellence, engaging in critical thinking ties to life outcomes, and competing against the best aren’t just activities that a bot can learn to play better chess. Sooner or later, Google will leverage such developments to sell this technology to the corporate sector.
I wonder what will be AlphaZero’s real challenge! Google’s CEO, in an interview given about a month and a half ago, stated that the future of AI is already here. Some people are even stating that computers are adapting to us rather than us adapting to them! Listen carefully: The future of Google is in Artificial Intelligence, I bet. AlphaZero will only get better not worse. Remember what I once told you: Tomorrow will be nothing like today. We might as well get used to it and start adapting to this crazy reality, we call artificial intelligence. Yesterday we used to talk about IBM’s Watson. Today we speak about DeepMind and AlphaZero. I wonder what we are going to talk about tomorrow.
The world has changed drastically folks. The machine is now learning at jet speeds. How are we going to compete against these data warriors? AlphaZero has mastered chess today. I wonder what he will master tomorrow. This is getting pretty scary.
Let me tell you this straight: Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in timely professional development. Life, my friends, isn’t about you or me. Life is de facto about others and how we share and learn overtime. Don’t get me started — if you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the near future. Nobody knows everything… not even you or me. We need to be prepared, thats for sure. We need to keep learning and sharing. We need lifelong learning! We need lifelong sharing! Be ready to speak your mind with reason once is a while as the former is certainly critical to your success in life.
All that I ask you is: Be reasonable. We already live in a world that is so unreasonable out there. We most definitely need to be vocal about the former because acting without reason is dangerous and always backfire overtime. At least. this has been my experience.
In fact, being unreasonable is both dangerous and oppressive as it can silence the voices of people who might otherwise change the world for the better. Our goal is to make things better not worse in this world. It is to carry and advance honorable agendas in a timely fashion. Be patient, be kind, be loving and strive to be great in the eyes of others. Speak your mind with reason and defend what is right and honorable once in a while.
Remember: Being impartial or overly judgmental of others, especially if your life depends on the same people you criticize, isn’t wise. One thing is for sure — Your goals are not that different than mine. I bet your goal is to move forward in life by being and acting as a reasonable person. Is it that complicated? I don’t think so.
There are many ways people can speak their minds reasonably in this life. I will share with you three ways I speak my mind with reason in this blog. Here we go.
Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in conversations in a timely fashion in this world. If you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the future. Nobody knows everything… not even you or me. Be patient, be kind, be loving… take time to write, photograph, and speak so that you also have a chance to speak your mind with reason. Are you ready for the challenge? I hope so.
Your turn. Just do it.
If you type the phrase, “Get Rich Fast” on google.com, hundreds of millions of results will appear in 0.27 seconds. Sample topics include “9 ways to get richer quicker,” “How I became rich before 30,” or “Getting rich quickly.” Although the getting rich scheme isn’t a new concept, the internet seems to be the medium of choice to spread the get rich quick agenda. However, it distorts important work ethic values long ingrained in American culture – Hard work, time and effort.
Millenniums (and non-millenniums), perhaps because of heavy exposure and frequency of computer use, seem to be forgetting that technology doesn’t bring success… Hard work, time and sweat do. We even romanticized this notion in our culture with the idiom, “No pain, no gain!” Success isn’t achieved overnight despite what popular culture might believe. The internet is a great tool of discovery and should be used these days. The technological instant gratification propaganda, however, can do more damage than good.
The “I want the information now” mentality isn’t a healthy practice as time is a variable for success. Just because you might hear that a process can be attained quickly on-line doesn’t mean it would or is best. The dynamics of book and on-line reading is a great example to illustrate the former. When a person is reading a book, the brain works antagonistically to its nature requiring humans to make sense of unfamiliar stimuli through practice. The understanding process is unnatural, harder and takes longer. When we read on-line content, we scan material in a more natural way, as our brains seem to process scanning content more naturally. It is easier, quicker and faster.
We need to move beyond the instant gratification mode found in the age of technology. The “Fast, Quick, and Now” mentality might be financially costly in the long run. Why? Because we live in a society driven by expertise. Quality and success takes time and effort. In a competitive world driven by results, we can’t compromise the former for the sake of technology.
Rome wasn’t made in a day either despite the support you might find on-line somewhere. No wonder why a large number of students want to graduate college Summa Cum Laude, in two years, doing minimal work. “No pain, no gain!” Just because problems can be solved quicker on-line doesn’t mean they are real, safe, of any quality, or a good investment of your time and resources. Let’s go back to basics and reevaluate our values against technology. Technology is a good and a required commodity when used wisely and in moderation. It isn’t anything else other than that. Hard work, time and effort first… technology second.
I’m back… I’m back to doing empirical research again, against all the odds. I came to Tennessee to be an activist in TechnoModeration and I’m turning into an empiricist of visual literacy again. It wasn’t my plan to move to a teaching university to do the former. Now, I’m thinking… I guess that thinking critically is a good thing, if you know what I mean.
I have presented and published a number of academic articles in my career, along with teaching a large number of college courses. Some of my research has been featured in the British Journal of Education Technology, Tech Trends, DiGRA Japan, and many competitive conferences across the United States.
It’s my time again to make the next chess move, it seems… I’m thinking. Only God will tell what the future will be, I guess. I trust God to tell me what will happen next. Right now, this is how I’m feeling, though. Tomorrow, things may be different.
Right now, I’m working on multimedia based research projects in communication education and feedback with an aim at publishing articles at major academic publications and presenting its results in international academic conferences. I’m also contemplating getting an external grant again and scale the results of this much needed research agenda to a wider audience. The scope of my work is back to what we call, “R1 research university’s stuff” or required academic efforts often requited in academic institutions whose mission is to produce a large amount of academic scholarship.
What I’m finding out in my career is that every university, no matter the size or scope, wants to become bigger in population and in academic reputation. College professors should perhaps be do the same… I never thought this way before but in reality, the former makes some sense to me now. Only God knows the future, I repeat.
I’m back… I’m back to doing empirical research again, against all the odds. It’s ironic how I got back in doing much empirical research again but I guess it was what God wanted. God works in mysterious ways.
The following responses were written by me on facebook in response to the current trends we are experiencing in higher education — Declining enrollment and increase in adjunct faculty in colleges and universities.
This article is a collection of questions and answers about the former… Here we go.
1. On the argument that students should pursue technical training instead of a college degree…
Almeida’s response, “…College professors who are paying attention to the upcoming trend (declining enrollment) are aware of the threats. Although there are other ways to win, I’m still a firm believer in a college degree even for kids who aren’t made for college, as many say. They can learn to be with good guidance, for the most part. Kids who are good with their hands, for example, tend to fit well in careers in studio production in our field of communication. I’m afraid that the jobs of the future will require a BS as a requisite, handicapping those who don’t fit the criteria.
2.Why is education so expensive?
Almeida’s response, “…States must grant more appropriations to public schools and the private universities should have stronger offices of institutional advancement along with a charismatic president who is able to fundraise in order to operate to capacity and offer a more affordable price of education to students. In my book, no university employee should make more that 150 thousand dollars a year. We work in higher education for the love of serving others not to maximize profit. At least, this is how so see it.”
3. Who is making that?
Almeida’s response, “…Presidents of colleges, with rare exceptions, often make 250K or higher sometimes reaching a salary in the 500K. VP’s often bring home 200K home as well, followed by Deans in the upper 160K range. In some institutions, professors are bringing home 150-170K a year for a yearly salary. Adjunct salaries vary from institution to institution. In my book, we need to be careful to not have such high administrative overhead and faculty salaries in order to keep tuition prices to a reasonable price for students. By the way, football coaches in colleges and universities make a fortune.”
4. Should schools hire full-time faculty? If it isn’t possible, what can we do to complement a body of faculty?
Almeida’s response, “…Well, I agree with you that hiring full time faculty is more beneficial than operating an academic unit using a set number of adjunct faculty members. I’m in favor of bringing artists in residence or a few adjuncts to complement academic work and pay them accordingly. I’m not an administrator here so I’m not aware of what is being done exactly.”
5. Shouldn’t full-time and adjunct faculty make the same because they teach essentially the same thing many times? What is your recommendation for adjunct faculty wanting to be a full-time faculty member?
Almeida’s response, “…The question of load is an easier one to answer. A college professor full-time isn’t just teaching a class. This person is to advise students, conduct scholarship and serve the university… some of these faculty members represent the university in the media, produce films, assist with recruitment, in some cases bring an external grant, manage a media center, sit in the board of a non-profit, or lead a program and assist with accreditation efforts… and so on. I know… Adjunct faculty is treated differently in different institutions. I’ve always treated part-time faculty with much respect not as a second class citizen like many do. My recommendation for anyone wanting to have a career in higher education is to pursue a doctorate degree with good academic training. It is taxing but it pays off in the long run.”
6. Why is a PHD a requirement in higher education?
Almeida’s response, “…A doctorate degree is a requirement. I’m old school when it comes to this. A PhD is a weapon in higher education. If completed correctly under a well trained advisor, a person with a PhD will learn how to do research well which is part of the job. I’m not aware of any reputable university that will hire a full-time professor with rank without having some expectation for conducting scholarship. In fact, those who choose not to do it end up stuck in that university, at the will of a promotion and tenure committee or the president him or herself, in the hands of the university for future employment. As my advisor once taught me, “You have to do the right thing not their right thing.” It was because of my doctorate in Instructional Systems that I’m able to analyze and create operating systems of instruction in multiple areas combined which has helped me to acquire multiple areas of expertise overtime, always with an eye in the practical, leading to conceptualizing and selling a business for a profit. There is an element of intellectualism that should remain in colleges and universities, for the benefit of the student.”
7. Students Don’t learn much from a professor when it comes to what is required in the workforce, right?
Almeida’s response, “…Yep, we disagree when it comes to the importance of having a doctorate (a terminal degree) in order to operate to capacity in higher education and professors do teach content that is applicable to the workforce.
Let me just clarify that a person holding a final academic degree is also able to perform to capacity in our industry, as long as that person pursues terminal academic training. A person who completed a MFA, for example, is able to function well in higher education and assist students to be successful in their careers. We need to be careful when assuming that college professors don’t teach anything practical to students or that what they teach doesn’t help students in the current economy. When an English professor teaches students to write better, students gain the skillset of writing which is a much needed skillset to have in the workforce. When a professor of philosophy challenges a student to think critically about the world and to make better decisions with logic… students gain by acquiring a very important skillset (critical thinking) that we need much in today’s economy. Or a professor of communication who teaches a student how to deliver a speech or how to strategize a social media campaign for a client… they gain public speaking and strategic thinking which are definitely important skillsets to have in today’s marketplace.”
8. Adjuncts are required because a lot of professors don’t know how to teach and many only worked in higher education…
Almeida’s response,“…I do agree with you that not every PHD (or MFA) knows how to teach, true statement. In my doctorate degree, we got training on how to teach a course. What can be challenging is discovering how a particular population of students behave in order to get good student evaluation scores consistency. I can tell you from experience that students in private schools behave much differently than students in the public sector, in many respects.
Some professors only know higher education, true. However, let’s keep in mind that higher education is also an industry, full of politics, where professors must report to the chain of command and perform to capacity in order to maintain their jobs… all that cool stuff that we know about. College professors also have to apply for a job, like college graduates do and get the required qualifications. I also disagree with you (kindly, of course) when it comes to one’s expertise and not being related to teaching. It depends on what they study. Folks who got training in the field of education maybe trained in how to plan and deliver an educational intervention. The former are used daily by great college instructors in our region and beyond.”
9. Why do adjuncts need to get a doctorate degree to learn how to do research and gain skillsets if people can learn skills on their own?
Almeida’s response, “…I agree with you on the fact that we can get much of the skills we need on our own, including the skills that we teach in a college classes not just research. In my opinion, it is wise for an adjunct to complete a doctorate degree in order to be prepared to answer research questions that may have an impact in the members of our society. Doing top quality research isn’t as easy as it seems. We all acquire new skillsets on our own, absolutely. We are trained in a doctoral degree to keep this mindset, at least I was. The value added from Penn State (where I got my doctorate degree) is that they train you to seek where to find the resources you need to grow professionally. It’s an interesting debate. I do feel that obtaining a skillset under the guidance of a supervisor is important if one is to do the same for someone else. I’m old school when it comes to academic stuff but that’s just me.”
10. Why do students in the USA pay all this tuition when they could pay a fraction of the price overseas?
Almeida’s response, “… Tuition overseas is often cheaper than tuition in the USA for American students. I’m not sure how employers would feel about recruiting kids who attended a foreign college unless the university is among the very best universities in the world. The reason I say this is because many Brazilians who come to the US trying to find employment with a bachelors degree rarely get an opportunity to work. They often have to study again in here in order to be able to find employment in the US.”
Despite all these modern technology gadgets we have in society these days, it seems that access to computers haven’t helped university’s search committees much with finding male latino communication professors to diversify their body of faculty all across the United States. Minority recruitment in higher education is still quite low everywhere especially if we take into account the number of male Latino faculty members we have employed in the whole educational system.
After a quick on-line investigation, where I went on-line and took a frequency count of how many professors of Latino descent there are in six colleges across the state of Tennessee, I came to two conclusions.
In reality, I don’t know exactly the number of Latino males who are communication professors in the state because I haven’t look at all faculty members in every school across the state of Tennessee. Having little to no male professors of Latino descent in colleges and universities in the east coast has been the trend, though.
The former isn’t an isolated Tennessee problem, I must add. This problem isn’t a new one, either. I have been witnessing this reality for over a decade, now. Easy access to the internet has allowed me to investigate, count and report this problem to the public in informal ways. I’m currently working on a paper to document this issue for the academic world which will be released soon.
I wonder why we aren’t using more technology to bring attention to this pressing topic since the next big growth in American higher education is centered around Latino/minority enrollment and retention.
By the way… Retention of minority students is directly related to the number of faculty role models institutions have. If you got latino students, you must have latino faculty members on staff… males and females. Who will serve as a role model for the Latino students majoring in Communication at California State University in Los Angeles? There are a lot of latino students down there!
What I know is that Cal State struggles to get male Latino Communication faculty members. How do I know this? One of their Deans took me to the side in a recent academic conference and whispered in my ear, “Luis, I have a big problem. Most of my students are Latinos but the irony is that I cannot recruit male Latino faculty that easily. Let’s chat.”
Many people think that technology will solve all of our problems yet this elementary issue is far from being solved. Does it take a minority faculty member to bring attention to this important societal issue? Apparently yes. Why aren’t we investing more time and technology to fix these pressing issues in academia, I ask? Perhaps, we should look at the composition of these colleges and universities, along with predictions of upcoming enrollment and expected retention rates, and hire faculty members who are more representative of their student body.
Why are we celebrating VR technologies if we can’t even fix the elementary diversity problems in our society? This I do know… The future belongs to the Lord and only He knows our future and that’s a blessing. Not having minority faculty representation in higher education is both an epidemic and a disservice to our minority students enrolled in the system.
There is Latino male scholar population struggling to have an opportunity to make a difference in higher education. Recruit them! They are out there, remember that. In every field, actually. Seek and you will find them.
I’m an immigrant — A legal immigrant now a citizen of the United States of America. I help young minds to develop and mature in order to find employment in this country and think for themselves. America pay less in welfare costs because an immigrant, me in this case, helps the American youth to be more responsible and productive members of society.
I say the following..
Stop blaming immigrants for the tragic events that happen in this country! Stop thinking that just because illegal immigrants are “subsidies” to the American business community, as economist Wolff would say, that all immigrants are made the same.
Some immigrants are in fact American citizens, you know? Not everybody is a criminal. Some, in fact, contribute to the development of the United States in a wide variety of ways. How so, some of you may be asking? This is how.
Immigrants start businesses. Immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are own by immigrants. Stop and think about the former for a minute… Eventually immigrant businesses… next line.
Create jobs for American workers. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, immigrant enterprises employed almost five million Americans generating around 776 billion each year. Did you know that?
Immigrants create their own jobs. According the U.S. Department of Labor, 7.5 percent of immigrants work for themselves compared to 6.6 percent among born Americans. Interesting…
Immigrants develop top organizations and invent life changing modern technologies. According to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started a fourth of all major corporate enterprises given by a venture capital funding source including intel, google and eBay. Stunning.
Let’s not forget that immigrants help America with rejuvenating its population and procreating resulting in a much needed increase in the country’s demographics which in turn assist the nation to actually exist. Do you know that many countries in Western Europe, along with Russia… have declining populations? Russia has an immigration issue. They lack immigrants… how can Russia exist in 3017 without people?
Immigrants contribute to the development of the United States. They start businesses, create jobs for Americans and themselves and sometimes start big organizations in this country.
The former is an undeniable fact. Do the following, if you are not doing it already, if you please.
Treat an immigrant with respect today. They deserve to be treated as well as you do. No excuses…
Remember: Who knows? Tomorrow, you may be working for one of them.
We are all creatures of habit who enjoy reading tidbits of information to make us a bit smarter by the day. As technology permeates our lives in this new world we live in, not too many people have the time and resources to truly learn useful quotations these days.
I am shocked by the number of college students who are clueless about the basic tenets of life. They have been my inspiration to write these quotes, almost daily, on social media for about a year and a half.
Are you ready for this? Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.
“You can’t keep having fun forever without control, judge and think that life will run like a disorganized mess forever. Eventually the fun will stop and reality will be made transparent.”
“In silence, there is rearming.”
“I tell you this to you: God doesn’t tolerate evil doers. He does justice in His own time, don’t worry or get angry. Those who are unjust will pay for their transgressions. Don’t be envious of their evil deeds. God will put them in their places. All you have to do is pray.”
“Seek love and avoid contention.”
“Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Yesterday? Who cares. I will keep moving forward and thanking all the people who believe in my life mission of goodwill.”
“People trust specialists not generalists. The Jack of all trades was born dead! Wait a minute, have you seen a general practitioner lately?”
“Behaviors speak much louder than any words in this world. All we need to do is to take notes.“
“New affiliation doesn’t erase experience. New lessons are learned. Old protocols are still applicable and relevant.”
“Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger. Enjoy the ride and trust.”
“Positioning is key, ladies and gentleman. By overworking you subordinate. Confident people aren’t intimidated by frowny faces.”
“We are no longer 9-5. We are 9 to forever.”
“This world is too complex for us to live life complicating the obvious.”
“Flee from the perverse and always look in between the lines.”
“Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are.”
“Whenever you make Christ the center of your life, you find true happiness and tremendous freedom.”
“Your people are a direct reflection of your attitude.”
“Those in power will protect themselves at the expense of the oppressed.”
“In the age of influence, technology became a commodity.”
“Don’t live in your past. Living there won’t help the “now” that you are in today.”
“Young professionals must realize two things: First, enemies are more loyal than your buddies.” “Second, nothing in life can be accomplished without influence.”
“If life doesn’t give you the opportunity… Create the opportunity.”
“Be firm and fair. Any questions?”
“The moment we try to guide our lives and “command our destiny…” is when we get into trouble.”
“They (enemies) will come hard at you, I guarantee — especially if you are competent at what you do.”
“Life is like a game of chess. Are you playing with white or black pieces? Strategize accordingly.”
“Look at life objectively. Be quiet and simply observe… An evil plan can be found in its details.”
“Never, under any circumstances, criticize anyone. The moment you do… you lose them.”
“It’s impossible to cheat excellence.”
“The answer to professional success isn’t extravagance. People’s decisions to live an extravagant life, in the end… tend to handicap them.”
“Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe.”
“We can’t change the yesterday but we certainly can influence the tomorrow.”
“Opportunities are a privilege for the common man but is a right for the wealthy.”
“If you can’t control yourself, you will never control others.”
“When you go or work places, you gain perspective. You know how crazy people are everywhere you go.”
“True excellence is only achieved when people have experienced tremendous adversity.”
“It isn’t hard work that differentiates you from others necessarily. It is your ability to think differently… Hard work, of course, is a part of it.”
“One of the best decisions a professional can make is to better understand people.”
“God didn’t make Adam and smartphone. God made Adam and Eve.”
“Just because someone (or something) is old doesn’t mean that they have no use. You will be amazed by how much you can learn from a 80 year old man.”
“A body in motion keeps it in motion. Inertia take you places… the moment you stop making progress in your life problems will occur.”
“Good employees are born. Great employees are made.”
“You can gain the world with a happy smile.”
“If you competitor dresses in red, be blue. If he goes left move right. This is a way to position yourself.”
“The method of intuition is a method of knowing.”
“When undecided, pray… When in question, ask… When in trouble, resolve… When you know, share.”
“You are not better than me. We, however, are better than most. I say, “synergy.” A united people can never be divided.”
I’m currently walking to the monthly Cleveland Media Association meeting where I serve as President Elect in this beautiful Tennessee Friday in September.
What I didn’t share with you was that I drove to today’s event by car first but couldn’t find a parking spot. It was clearly an error on my part. I should have known that Friday’s, especially between the hours of 10:00am and noon, parking is scarce here on campus.
The result? I couldn’t find a parking spot and had to drive back to my building and find another parking spot because mine was then taken immediately after I left. I had to regroup and realized that I’ve made a mistake. The only option I could take was to be patient in order to find a spot again on campus, without being late for my meeting.
So I did… I went one more time around the block and was able to find not one but two spots to park my car. What a blessing! The former isn’t typically the case in this hour of the day here in Cleveland, TN.
I looked for it and found it. I had a seek and you will find kind of moment. It made me remember of how things really are in the workforce. Sometimes, we make mistakes. They are inevitable.
The best thing to do in order to fix them is to accept the fact that we have made an error, regroup, be patient, seek and eventually you will find what you are looking for. Don’t be upset or get disappointed.
The recovery or the long term solution to your error may not be immediate but if you go through the motions of fixing the issue, like identifying the error, regrouping, being patient, seeking and finding an alternative… eventually you kick back and win in whatever endeavor you are pursuing.
Do your part and live, ladies and gents. I don’t think that you will get gravel if you follow this model. That’s what a I think, at least.
Be blessed and enjoy your Friday.
In this article, I will be sharing with you 14 ways that you can build trust and credibility in social media, based on the content included in the books, “Social Media Engagement For Dummies,” “Linchpin,” “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” “Permission Marketing” and my own thoughts acquired throughout the years.
Are you ready for this. I hope so.
“Trust is a social good to be protected just as much as the air we breathe or the water that we drink.” “Smile, It increases your face value” (Dale Carnegie).
Trust can be developed in two ways.
I which ways do we get our audience to engage with us whether they believe we are already trustworthy or not? Here we go.
14 Ways To Build Trust And Credibility In Social Media
Way #1. Have a unified social media voice and keep consistency… of postings, theme, copy, and so on.
Way #2. Do your homework: Find out who your audience is and don’t forget to find out where they spend their time, and what they are talking about. Tailor your messages directly to them based on their interests.
Way #3. Interact authentically with your audience: Be real and genuine. Show your personality but be consistent with your communication. Are you fun? Fearless? Serious? Savvy? Whatever you are, make sure they see this part of you in your social media postings. It will help you build credibility with them. Consistency of correct information output builds credibility.
Way #4: Be honest: Honesty goes hand in hand with trust. It is difficult for anyone to be trustworthy on instagram (or facebook, pinterest, etc) claiming to be a life coach at 17. Be truthful. People pay close attention to these things on-line. If you don’t know the answer, say I don’t know.
Way #5 Be transparent: When people can connect with the real you… your brand/persona becomes more personalized resulting in higher levels of trust and credibility.
Way #6: Ownership: Take responsibility for your mistakes. They will happen… Your greatest critic can become your most outspoken “fan”. Be careful when criticizing others… It is a small world, after all. Remember: Never say, “you’re wrong” (Dale Carnegie). If you make a mistake, take the ownership for the error.
Way #7: Word choices: Use the word ‘you’ when engaging with your audience in social media networks rather that referring to them as generic people. Your audience prefers that you speak with them, not about them or at them. Make it personal.
Way #8: Build your social media presence: In 2019, failing to be in social media makes you invisible in our society (Gary Vaynerchuck). Engage in emotional labor in social media and become indispensable for your tribe (Seth Godin).
Way #9: Continue asking questions: Tribes love this. Prove to your audience that their thoughts and opinions matter to you. Listen to what they have to say and implement them accordingly.
Way #10: Create an incentive for your audience to engage with your content and come back: Share quality content in multiple outlets that fit their interests. Be their only option if you can…
Way #11: Respond promptly for a greater impact: Manage your conversations in an organized fashion. The timeless of your responses is an important part of trust-building on-line. Leaving questions answered for days/weeks can dissolve that person’s trust in you.
Way #12: Get training in-front of the camera: Performing poorly on an youtube video clip can damage your reputation and will have an effect your credibility impacting trust.
Way #13: Release press releases and use your blog to distribute these pieces of writing once in a while: Then, share the press releases to social networking sites for greater impact. make sure to include links to your social media networks, multimedia elements, and content that leads your audience to tweet a quote about you to their friends. In another word, make your content great pieces of independent micro content for your audience to share on your behalf with their audience.
Let them be your sneezers to spread your idea viruses (Seth Godin).
Way #14: Work on getting third party endorsements: One of the best methods to accomplish this is simply to ask. Don’t be afraid to request on-line reviews about you or your business from people in your network. Make it worth the effort for people to praise you publicly. It will help with your brand’s credibility and trust, that’s for sure. Public praises go a long way.
Your credibility and trust will result in eminent permission granted from your audience to share your content to them, as Seth would say. Be careful, however, to not burn your brand’s trust by attempting to gain short-term profits on the back of your tribe.
Remember: Permission is a process not a moment.
Tell me if these 14 ways to build trust and credibility in social media worked for you. I want to hear. Be blessed.
The unpredictability of life is a mystery that can only be fully understood by God. One day we find ourselves in a big city near the suburbs of Hong Kong. Another day we find ourselves living in a small town near the outskirts of Duluth Minnesota. How unpredictable our lives are, I say.
I often wonder how anybody can live life without believing that there is a God. Life is full of inexplicable surprises for anyone to deny the existence of a superior being. How can we explain the blessings that we receive and give? How can someone be born wealthy and chose modesty over principles? I don’t have the answer to these questions but maybe one day I will understand.
I realized in a very short period of time that it is only by the grace of God that we can live a good life, regardless of what some might say. I live a great life full of blessings given by Jesus Christ. Every semester, I speak with a number of college students seeking new knowledge and life coaching tips. I help them to find themselves and to use the gifts that God has given them and me in a creative way. What a privilege is to be able to encourage the youth into serving God with their lives. I love it… I was born to do this. In the bible, we read in Acts 15:32, “And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.” We must do so with enthusiasm.
Some of us have the duty to encourage others to achieve greatness, be compassionate, and care for the poor. Someone needs to be a cheerleader for students and give them unconditional generosity. The bible talks about exhortation, an important gift given by God to some. In Romans 12:8 we learn, “the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness…”
How great is His word and the plans He has for one’s future. The unpredictability of life is a mystery that can only be fully understood by God. I surrender it all. I want to be more christlike. It is well, it is well with my soul… As long as you lead me into your ways and future plans… We shall be just fine. My life without you is in vain, God. God always be glorified, forever and ever.
Life is a journey — You might as well enjoy the ride with God all the days of your lives. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The other side isn’t that far away.
“Technology is handicapping millennials.”
“Everybody wants to be a “Bentley” but only a few are willing to do what is required to be one.”
“The principle behind treating others well is quite simple. We need to understand people first and judge them second.”
“Seek alternatives when you are in a deficit.”
“In life, you can’t compromise quality and/or bargain your way into what makes you exceptional.”
“Even your worst enemy will teach you important lessons about who you are.”
“Technology is the corrupt’s worst enemy.”
“Students, you need the following to win in life: 1) God; 2) Courage; 3) Skillsets.”
“Take Time Off — Technology Can Wait.”
“Colleges and universities should have courses in social capital because many times… it isn’t how much you know but who you know or who knows you.”
“In 2017, your ability to engage in job blitzkrieg is a necessity for survival, especially if you haven’t found your dream job yet. Be very careful when buying real estate.”
“Sometimes life isn’t about work but network.”
“We need to display smartphone side effects in a label.”
“The workforce is war not peace.”
“Asking people to use more technology to fix technological problems is like asking alcoholics to use more alcohol to fix their alcohol addiction.”
“Let’s be realistic — Anybody who claims to be great, isn’t.”
“Your students are your legacy.”
“You can gain the world with a happy smile.”
“Great minds look beyond what they can see.”
“The secret to success is following God’s commands and working in your talent. It is that simple.”
“Many people believe that being a minority is a disadvantage. They don’t get it. It is an advantage! We bring a much needed view of the world that many can indeed appreciate. Be yourself — Be different.”
“Don’t let technology become the addiction that prevents you from living your life.”
Hope you enjoy these “pieces of advice'” as much as I do. Here we go.
“Secret of success? Make yourself useful to other people. Are you being useful to someone right now? You better!”
“Flee from egoism and embrace a humble and godly life of service and humility. Whenever possible, help kids to laugh so that they have fun, even if you have to sacrifice your weekend for their benefit. God blesses those who help others and put others ahead of themselves.”
“Never underestimate what you don’t know or what you can’t see. Behind every star there is much unseen sweat.”
“Arrogance, vanity, envy and many other vices backfire. Be true to your real self and celebrate!”
“Many enjoy revenge and returning a punch to someone who have hurt them before. Don’t be like them. Pray for them! Be slow to anger and if you do lose your temper, be quick to being yourself again.”
“As Allen once said, “Self control is strength, right thought is mastery, calmness is power.”
“Listen, test, and be a leader who fears the lessons and teachings of God.”
“Life is always about others not yourself or me. Life is about loving God and doing what is best for your family.”
“Students, you need the following to win in life: 1) God; 2) Courage; 3) Skillsets.”
“Before making any major life decisions, you need to pray and fast. You are to never let anyone chose your life path for you. Understood?”
“The path to success is clear: We must read voraciously.”
“Life is about God not us. I must become less so God is more and so should you.”
“Smile. Being grumpy won’t take you anywhere.”
“In life, you can’t compromise quality and/or bargain your way into what makes you exceptional.”
“We are called to love God and not use our mouths for evil or our tongues for deceit. We are to edify our parents and do what is right in God’s eyes. We need to be gracious to God and for everything that He has given us. God will last but not man. Whatever you do, do it for God.
“Seek love and avoid contention.”
“True talent is like a speedy Audi. Trying to stop them is futile!”
“If something appears to be, it usually is.” “Between zero and fifty thousand, money matters for a person. between fifty-five thousand and 100 million, money doesn’t matter as much as you may think.”
“Stay quiet and observe.” “Anger, slander, malice, arrogance…everything that is evil along with hate comes from the enemy. We need to be the salt of the world and act like it. Flee from hateful behaviors and welcome love in your life.”
“We are all good at something. Some of us are fine engineers, others are good with numbers, some are excellent speakers or nurses and a few are indeed awesome photographers or graphic designers. One of our main goals in life is to find out what is that “something” that we are great at so that we can glorify God all the days of our lives with it.”
Quotes taken from Tidbits By Dr. A.
One of the goals of a good social media strategy is to transform strangers into friends, friends into fans, and fans into costumers not simply scrolling a news feed for entertainment sake. The idea behind using social media networks is to accomplish something worth pursuing, like building a solid network, in my opinion. The moment that we stop accomplishing a strategic goal on facebook, for example, our actions become what I like to call “Merely Scrolling Behavior Pattern” (MSBP) behaviors without any chance of long-term network building.
Social media networks are about building networks and exchanging information. Networks of friends, family, fans, customers and so on. Let’s not forget that one of the definitions of network is, “To interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.” When a subject is ‘merely scrolling’ on facebook without any goal in mind, these behavior patters don’t often accomplish much, other than perhaps giving a subject something to do while bored. These repetitive behaviors do little to help a social media network user a chance to exchange information with others and strengthen their network nodes. Information exchange is key if you want to build a solid network in any social media platform today and in the future.
Some users simply engage in “MSBP” behaviors because it’s easy to do or because they may be bored, have you noticed that? We often see the former when a subject is waiting in line for a doctor’s appointment, when waiting in line in a grocery store, or at night before going to sleep. By the way, it is okay to be bored sometimes, at least this is what a research article published in the journal of experimental social psychology has claimed. It seems right to me. Pay attention to “MSRP” behaviors and don’t forget to engage with your audience.
So, next time that you go to facebook, take some time to exchange a line or two with your followers in there. You will be amazed by how a few nice and sincere words can go a long way in the process of transforming strangers into friends, friends into fans, and fans into costumers. Jeremy Owyang once said, “Social networks represent the digital reflection of what humans do; we connect and share.”
Let’s do the former, indeed! Let’s keep connecting and sharing, not simply engaging in “Merely Scrolling Behavior Patterns” (MSBP) without any chance of network building. We use technologies for a very specific reason. What is your reason for using social media networks? Mine is to connect and share. Your turn.
Some like to label themselves as either a republican or a democrat, right or left wing, conservative or liberal… the labels are many. How fascinating… I’m not sure if the former is the best way to categorize who we are in American society, though. I like to categorize Americans as either being a member of ‘The Few’ or ‘The Masses’. Let me explain.
If you find yourself lobbying for lower taxes, for the country to have policies that defend big businesses in a global context, and/or defend bank bailouts for self gain, you are probably “The Few” who belong to the top 5% of America or shall we say… the people who have the money to spend and the money to give. You have the capacity to lend capital for the state to operate. You know that the country can’t function without you. Politicians look for your support to help the country to operate and you gladly give them the funds (along with interest) in exchange for paying little to no taxes for your enterprises. The “Few” have the capacity to pass legislation protecting their interests… Reality.
If you don’t like to pay taxes (or if you are okay to paying some), but have have little to no wealth relative to the few (with rare exceptions), if you are a working class men or women or make a living with a small business… And want the state to give you free health care or public education or grants for your small business to function better or to send your kids to college for a discount price, you are likely to be a member of “The masses.” When the state is seeking funds to advance the country forward, “The masses” just don’t have it. “The Masses” need the state more than the 5% do in order to operate to capacity. Since the 1970’s, “The Masses” haven’t receive a proper wage increase. Tragic.
I can understand our positions (who we are in society) a little better this way. How about you? By the way, I’m shocked by how much difference exists between “The Masses” and “The Few” today. It reminds me of Brazil of the 1980’s — The decade that wasn’t, where wild capitalism took precedence. Sad.
The following I find fascinating…
Michelle Obama and George W. Bush are friends, it seems. George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton are friends, I seems… At one point, even Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were friends. Why am I saying this? Well, because all of these families have one thing in common which isn’t their affiliation with a political party. They are all part of “The Few” or shall we say… the 5%, regardless of which political party they belong to.
In the United States, I belong to “The Masses.” I bet that most of you belong to this class, as well. At least I know where I stand. Do you know where you stand? Things sometimes aren’t what they seem, ladies and gentlemen. I’m a fan of living in reality, with much dignity, always glorifying God above anything.
Maybe we shouldn’t pretend as much and look at the facts to better understand our situations/positions in life. I wish we discussed these topics a bit more in higher education all across the country… we simply don’t. It’s my hope that we shall in the future. Hopefully.
“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” The more I live in this world, the more God shows me that the former statement is in fact true.
God has been very gracious to me. Even though I don’t deserve the air that I breathe for falling short of the glory of God, The God of hosts has granted me all that I need in abundance under the sun.
When I left Brazil, I mean… the country, my circle of friends, family… I lost the blessings of the known, friends and family support. They were a blessing in themselves, I now realize. However, coming to the United States, to an unknown territory, without friends and family was also another blessing I wasn’t expecting. It’s amazing how God make things right overtime. Amazing.
I’m now bilingual, have as many friends as I once had in Brazil, my family is now near, and I got more education under my belt than I’ve ever thought possible. God provides, ladies and gents.
CS Lewis was right.
“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
Food for thought.
“My brothers and sisters, you are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. So treat everyone the same. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes. And suppose a poor man in dirty old clothes also comes in. Would you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes? Would you say, “Here’s a good seat for you”? Would you say to the poor man, “You stand there”? Or “Sit on the floor by my feet”? If you would, aren’t you treating some people better than others? Aren’t you like judges who have evil thoughts? My dear brothers and sisters, listen to me. Hasn’t God chosen those who are poor in the world’s eyes to be rich in faith? Hasn’t he chosen them to receive the kingdom? Hasn’t he promised it to those who love him? But you have disrespected poor people. Aren’t rich people taking advantage of you? Aren’t they dragging you into court? 7 Aren’t they speaking evil things against the worthy name of Jesus? Remember, you belong to him.” (James 2 1:8).
And the bible goes on and on… “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
Treat everyone the same and always greet everybody in your vicinity not just some. This is what a mature Christian is supposed to do. Don’t be like the immature in Christ who is selective to whom he or she speaks with, especially in front of others. Purposefully ignoring some is a sin, ladies and gentleman, at least from a Christian worldview. In Titus 2:7 we learn, “In everything set an example by doing what is good.” So be it, brethren.
We do good when we do what God asks us to do. Remember: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Christians, this is our duty, not just mine or yours! “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
The word of God is clear. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be very careful with how you treat others. The Lord is watching all of us under the sun.
I’ve been a technician of media for over twelve years. During this period, I had the opportunity to design and develop tons of websites, promotional flyers, corporate brochures and logos, a couple of songs, and a number of educational games. In addition, I’ve photographed a wide variety of sport events, church performances, and corporate gatherings in a number of states in America. I’m a communication technologist who knows how to use multimedia tools to produce tangible media artifacts. My art background is still a work in progress, though.
I got no formal training as an “artist”, only as a designer of media content. I’m glad to inform you that informally, I’ve been studying the history of the art for the past two years avidly. Perhaps, I should change my middle name to Picasso and live in Italy in 2021! Just kidding, of course. I don’t know about that but hey… I’m doing my work.
Right now, I’m transitioning from being a person who knows how to use the “toys” of media to someone who is literally engaging in producing timeless pieces of art. I mean, I’m transitioning from being a technician of media to the role of what I like to call a true artist… finally. Right now, I’m as interested in thinking about the intricacies of visual perception and appreciation… How to think art and appreciate different art forms as much as the development of the photograph itself.
I’m fascinated by impressionism. I can’t stop thinking about it, actually. It’s is challenge that I’ve been enjoying so far, I must admit. There is so much more to learn! It’s a wonderful feeling that I love.
Instead of simply taking a good photograph by applying the basic elements of design, e.g., the rule of thirds and lines of direction, for example, I now photograph by feeling, with the intent of producing new forms of perception without escaping reality. I still engage in some illusionist appeals (Produce my own filters and such… my baggage as a technician) but the appreciation of art forms and textures are now becoming priority during my quest to becoming a “true artist” in photography.
Emergent, I am. More sophisticated I will be, Lord willing. My past is currently helping me to construct a new future. Life is art. Artists we all should be. From a technician to an artist: What a transition, I say. Let’s keep the faith and keep doing art, if we may.
Work more, eat more… work less, eat less. I heard this former quote from a Chinese American speaker in an opening semester ceremony keynote this month. I must admit that I loved his speech as much as I liked the quote itself because of what the quote represented to me. Every time that I hear about the need to be hard working in the work force, I get excited.
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (NIV).
God teaches us to work to eat!
The moment that we stop working more, at least in theory, we start getting less. In addition to the former, there are a number of other benefits for working hard, other than eating more, though. Working hard provides opportunities for employees to learn, reason and engage in social events. A healthy person should eat well, keep on learning new skillsets and aptitudes, think critically about life events and attend social gatherings.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked a lot. I’ve ate a lot too! Thanks be to God. In a period of ten years, I strived to gain new skillsets, art skills for example, which has given me the opportunity to critically think about how art is related to the social sciences and vice-versa. Learning the intersect between the arts and the sciences has been instrumental in my professional life.
I’ve ate great formal meals relating to the former! In fact, it has helped me to gain access to exclusive meetings in three states. All because I decided to work more not less.
My advice: Be ready to work and strive to be better in everything you do. Working hard is a must, I say. In addition to eating more, working hard will make you think about life in a total new way, as a bonus.
You will live life to the fullest.
Me too, Sophia. Living at the beach would be great, I must add… but my wishes come second to what the Lord wants for me. In the bible, we learn that “we shouldn’t be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:16). All we can do is to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Perhaps one day, we are going to move to a college town near the beach, I tell my kid. Lord willing…
“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) and mine… Everything in Gods’s time I say to Sophia and sometimes my wife. Why do I say that? Because nobody really knows what the future will bring but God. Fortunate are those who pray and wait patiently because they will inherit what they deserve from above. There is no need to rush into anything under the sun, I’ve learned.
Trusting God is always better than trusting men or women.
Th bible is full of verses advancing the need for humans to be patient and wait for God’s guidance. “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). In proverbs we also learn that “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9)… We must give God room to work in our lives, ladies and gentleman.
My daughter Sophia is young and full of energy and that’s a blessing. The former, however, doesn’t grant her, me or you the right to choose where we want to live or when we should move jobs, unfortunately. Only God can make that call! I trust in Him with all my heart and by faith… I wait in hope for my place under the sun. Thanks be to God who created us. I surrender…
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14 ). Trusting God’s judgement about our future is the responsible and right thing to do, brethren.
God is a wonderful Lord who protects us. Friends, what a great gift it is to be with God. In His name, we live… To God will always be the glory, amen.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, who is my refuge–then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Create like an optimist. Spend like a pessimist… Seth Godin once said. As you know by now, I’m a Seth Godin fan because he thinks critically about facts and concepts that are applicable to our daily lives. In an age where distribution has been commoditized, it only makes sense for us to create art if you think about it. Putting our brains to work makes a lot of sense to me especially because the cost for delivering art to s viable market is often free of charge. As a caveat, spending our income wisely or shall we say, with much pessimism if you please, seems right to me because it allows us to produce more art overtime.
I don’t foresee a decrease in art creation for public art consumption in the near future simply because we can produce artifacts with ease and because of the unevenly distributed global wealth calls that exists worldwide today. Let’s not forget that the art market has grown to 67.3 billion in 2017, making art a massive industry in the global economy. God figure! As Seth, would say, what we do is art. I say… We live for art since art is what we should create. We are creating beings, ladies and gents.
You can make a career in art.
At the same time we create, we should save… Or spend like a pessimist! Saving our funds enable us to create even more art, which is de facto the ideal these days according to Seth and other critical thinkers. It is tough to create art en masse without food in your bellies.
What Elon Musk produces is art. What Apple delivers is art. Our work outputs are artifacts… What we do is art, as Seth would say. I agree.
Let’s create like an optimist and spend like a pessimist. We are creative beings that were born to make art. When we spend our monies responsibly, creating more art becomes much easier which in turn results in more creative output.
What have you created lately? Are you spending your income wisely?
One of the best skills I’ve developed in my life is the ability to be quiet and observe verbal and non-verbal behavior around me. It is amazing what people find out when they simply pay close attention to what others say through words or actions. Let me share this with you. Silence, ladies and gentleman, is a source of great strength as Lao Tzu once stated. Being constantly on a smartphone won’t help you to better understand your surroundings where you work and live. Here is my recommendation for you: Put that fancy smartphone to the side and pay close attention to the world around you, especially how people behave and speak with you.
Your ability to read people is so much more valuable than going to facebook to share wall updates. Being able to make objective instead of emotional decisions is also a critical skillset that people must have these days in order to navigate society with a sense of authority and control. Yet, too many people today are choosing to spend their lives in front of the machine wasting their time doing frivolous actions and learning very little. I bet that most of your grandkids will choose an app instead of almost anything else.
Listen carefully: Being constantly on your computer will reduce your chances of being a human polygraph because to achieve the former, people need to be quiet and study key concepts of nonverbal communication and persuasion. I am not aware of any city or town, regardless of size and state, that will allow strangers into their most intricate local protocols simply by them liking the city council’s facebook page. Outsiders must gain a great degree of trust before access to any community is granted, unless a member of that community introduces him to the group. Do you really think that your instagram campaign will help you to get elected to a local non-profit board? I don’t think that this technology will help you much. Your ability to communicate matters, remember that.
I am fresh here in Cleveland but some of you have been very gracious to help me to navigate this nice but unfamiliar territory. Let me say this loud and clear: You are so much better than any app we find in the latest available smartphone. I wouldn’t be a part of my community without people’s help. Thank you! At least, I have the common sense to realize that in this life, everybody needs to be helped by someone which is in itself a consequence to choosing people over technology.
Remember: Your smartphone is maybe a great tool for you to call your parents, receive and answer emails and participate in social media conversations throughout the day. I urge you to put your smartphone ahead of you life. The value for doing that is simply not worth it. You would be so much better off by building contacts face-to-face than to naively believe that a piece of perishable machinery could de facto help you with navigating though society. In reality, life doesn’t work that way.
What really concerns me about people choosing technology over people in this instance is people overall inability to see and “feel” the obvious. We live in a rough world where too many individuals take advantage of others. Why should we sacrifice our own abilities to communicate and perceive behavior for the sake of technology? Well, I won’t and I hope that you join the team as well.
Psalm 22: With God, everything is possible despite the many challenges that may go your way. Stay firm in the faith and let God do His work. The schemes of men will be returned with the wrath of God. Trust… My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear youI will fulfill my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
Most colleges and universities in America seem to offer the same services to their students for a varied price with minimum variation. It isn’t atypical for an institution of higher learning in the US to offer a liberal arts curriculum containing classes in English, language and a social science along with a class in physics and physical education. In addition to the former, post secondary institutions in this country ask students to declare a major and complete major courses at all levels.
Most, if not all colleges, offer an opportunity for students to pursue an internship to gain practical knowledge about the concepts and principles they have learned while in the classroom and sometimes the opportunity to do an independent study. The system seems too homogeneous to me.
Due to the harsh competition for students that exists in higher education, colleges and universities are now offering “extra amenities” sometimes even literally shifting their business model to attract a higher number of incoming freshman and transfers to their institutions. Examples of the former include:
And so on… All good ideas, in my opinion, by the way. Some of these attempts to recruit more students are more expensive than others, though.
They do work, for the most part. The problem is that every institution seems to be implementing most of these strategies already. Fair enough! Competition for students are here to stay, I think.
Let’s not forget that we live in an age where people aren’t having as many kids as they once did which in itself causes a direct threat to the system of higher education in the United States. Let’s also keep in mind that the number of public universities offering a four year degree has increased (the Penn State System is a good example of that) over time and that the number of private colleges closing or being acquired by other institutions have risen exponentially lately, especially if their enrollments fall under 1000.
No wonder why we, college professors, are being asked to help position our institutions in order to assist administration to cope with such difficult circumstances. That’s difficult but not impossible. In fact, I’m, afraid that we haven’t tried something obvious, though.
BTW: I don’t have a complete solution for the enrollment problem that we are facing in higher education but I have a thought that could be argued to be the missing piece in this discussion of how to save our system of higher education in America.
I’m going to do my best to explain it to you. Here we go. In oder to differentiate one college from another, a college or university should do the following:
It should redesign courses and academic programs incorporating expertise from multiple professors in order to solve market problems through a multidisciplinary approach. Let me explain: Rather than offering a course in mathematics with a faculty member from the math department only… an institution of higher learning should create a math for communicators course, for example, incorporating concepts and examples from communication using mathematical principles to solve communication problems.
Another example would be to create a major in Data Engineering where professors of statistics in conjunction with others in engineering would then co-create the curriculum and co-teach all of these co-designed courses from a completely new and multidisciplinary perspective. As a caveat… It would be helpful to realign professor’s offices differently in order to make this plan work. I would argue that placing a professor of communication and a mathematician side-by-side (office location, I mean) would be an excellent idea to be implemented under this differentiated potential operational model of higher education. By placing a historian beside a chemist, colleges and universities could potentially start offering a course titled, “History of Atomic Structure In Western Civilization,”
It is true that some institutions attempted to do the former but with little success. Majors like Sports Management, Education Psychology and many others have been developed with this intention in mind, I think. The reason they weren’t as innovative, in my opinion, was because these majors were primarily taught by faculty members of one academic unit. In addition, these faculty members who contributed to the development of these majors, didn’t have offices side by side with members from another department in order to keep building more multidisciplinary courses in the discipline.
There is one threat to my potential solution to the problem of differentiation in higher education. I admit… In a decade or less, more colleges and universities may adopt this way to differentiate, emulating the same organization that introduced this solution. The good news is that things change and a new idea can then be introduced ten years from now, I don’t know. Only time will tell, I guess.
Hypothetically speaking, of course…
This potential way for a college or university to differentiate itself from others by redesigning courses and academic programs to incorporate expertise from multiple professors in order to solve market problems through a multidisciplinary approach, could be life changing. Is it the only way? Absolutely not. But, it is one way.
This is what I think. Do you have a better solution? Let’s chat.
According to Seth Godin, one of my favorite authors, trust is at the center of what makes a person sell a product to a particular market. In the United States, as he emphasizes, trust (for now) equates to fame for many. I think that Seth is right about this, as long as trust is defined by the people a “famous” person has on their side.
To Obama fans, Obama is trustworthy. Trump fans find him trustworthy. Putin is probably trustworthy among the people he serves. Now, all of these three leaders were famous before they were trustworthy. Obama didn’t become trustworthy on-line without fame off-line. The same goes to Trump, Putin or any other TV celebrity with millions of followers on instagram out there. I dare to say that every recent big account on twitter was started by someone who already had some clout off-line (fame) which allowed them to be “trustworthy” on-line which resulted in them having engagement rates at ridiculous levels on a daily basis. Today, having trust equates to sales, or being elected, and so on.
No wonder why Kim Kardashian is able to sell so much merchandise. Her fame off-line allowed her to be a trusted choice for the people she serves on-line. She was Paris Hilton’s friend who probably made her “famous” by introducing her to her network which eventually turned Kim into a trustworthy brand for a group. Without off-line fame (or connections), at least in the United States today, it is very tough for anyone to build a millionaire business that deals with the public, I bet.
I wrote over ninety columns for the Cleveland Daily Banner, here in town for about a year. There is no doubt that I became a famous local personality in this small city we call Cleveland, Tennessee, to some. How do I know this? Because people were constantly stopping me in the grocery store, gas stations, WalMart… making comments like, “Aren’t you the guy who writes for the newspaper?” “Man, I love your column!” “Would you like to come speak in our club about technology?”
The fact that my face was in one of my community’s main news outlets gave me tremendous trust in this community to a point of being invited to speak at the local Rotary Club, Civitan, United Way, WTNB, and two TV stations in Chattanooga. Think about this logic for a minute — “If Luis is writing for the Banner and people are talking about him so much in the community (fame), he therefore must be trustworthy (trust). Maybe we should bring him to our club to speak (sale).
I kind of knew this logic before through observation. Now that Seth has written about fame preceding trust in his latest book, “This is Marketing,” I’m convinced that anyone who threatens your path to “fame” (definitions may vary, of course), threatens your ability to be trusted and consequently sell whatever you offer to a viable market regardless of intentionality. More than ever, we need to pay attention to the former because appearances do matter these days.
We live in a weird global economy where people’s fame gives them a certain level of trust. The edge of trust. At least, this is the reality in the United States, according to Seth Godin. Trust is at the center of what makes a person sell a product to a particular market. Fortunate will be those who position themselves to build “fame” in order to build trust, if their goal is to sell something to an audience. It is goofy but if Seth said so, I bet it is.
Are you a famous person to a particular group? If you are, I bet they trust you or your brand and being “famous” had something to do with it. If you are not famous, I suggest that you become “famous” to somebody if your goal is to sell a product or service. We live in a shallow world in America these days where appearance of “fame” seems to matter more than ever in sales. It is odd, I know and agree.
Are you famous? Who is trusting you? You may want to know the answer to the former questions. It may be the difference between you selling yourself (or something) to an audience these days or not.
Take note, ladies and gents.
Some may argue that owning the latest Ferrari model, a contemporary mansion in the Hills of California or money to spend at will indefinitely is what makes people happy in life. Others dare to say, “If I only had a bit more (often money or the ability to buy) I would be so much happier in this world,” and so on. No wonder why we have so many people, even billionaires, wanting to own even more in order to feel good or shall we say, “be happy.”
What makes people happy are often things they do for free or are very cheap. I say often because money is part of happiness but isn’t everything. Be very careful with the popular belief that “having a lot of money” is the ideal scenario to make someone “happy.” A number of scientists, including researchers from the National Institute of Health (NIH) seem to agree with the former.
Between zero and seventy-five thousand, money makes a difference in happiness. Between seventy-five thousand and seventy-five million, I don’t think it does. The toys and lifestyle one can afford may get fancier if a person has a three million dollar checking account but having all this money also causes people to be quite depressed. Guilt, the need to compete with other wealthier individuals, and the fear of losing wealth are some reasons why the true wealthy person gets depressed.
So, what else really makes us happy? This is what I think.
When we see our kids playing a sport or smiling, it makes us happy. If they win anything, it makes us even happier. When Sophia and I go for a walk together, I’m happy. When she does silly things and come to our bed in the morning to give me a morning hug, it makes me happy. The former costs me zero dollars.
Going to the beach often makes people happy because of the calmness one feels when they are near the ocean. Accomplished scientists have said the following, “Ocean waves generate negative ions, charged air particles that have been linked to mental energy and emotional well-being.” I don’t know the reasons why the beach makes me quite happy but it does. It costs us zero dollars to enjoy the salt and the smell of the Pensacola beach or any other beach for that matter. One may need to pay for a hotel room if she don’t live in a beach area but let’s not forget that it also costs forty bucks to eat in a good restaurant with your spouse and kids.
That’s why having some money is critical for happiness…
I’ve heard, however, countless stories of ultra wealthy people getting super stressed because of their own wealth. I’ve even received a facebook message from a multi-millionaire, drunk as he could be, begging for attention and a solution to his life’s misery. I told my friend the following, “All your money will never make you happy.” Spending more time with your kids will. Go play with them! You will feel better.”
Some may argue that owning the latest Ferrari model, a contemporary mansion in the Hills of California or money to spend at will indefinitely is what makes people happy in life. What makes people happy are often things we do for free or are very cheap. Between zero and seventy-five thousand, money makes a difference in happiness. Between seventy-five thousand and seventy-five million, I don’t think it does.
What makes you happy?
I’ve learned the following by watching youtube videos. I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way to keep with relevant news is by watching YouTube videos. As a communication professor, I wonder what is the heck is happening to the news media.
It is possible to find some of the information contained in this article in the news, sure. What is frustrating to me is to turn to CNN, for example, and see Trump being featured every other minute. The same goes to other news agencies in the United States. Shouldn’t we discuss events that matters to us the most on air once in a while? What the heck? I think so.
This is what you can learn by watching YouTube videos. I’ve learned the following from youtube videos lately, I must add.
Poland is the jewel of Europe these days and Turkey is now being considered by some an upcoming world power. China is doomed to implode in the 21st century and Russia is on the decline. The overall strategy of the United States is to control the seas. The US will fight anyone who disturbs such strategy. This is why a war with China is inevitable. In fact, war is inevitable in the 21st century. The smartphone we all use contain many cold war technologies, e.g., the micro ship, a digital camera, and GPS. At least, this is what geopolitic expert George Friedman states.
Finding the smallest viable market is the rule of the law for the upcoming entrepreneur, the linchpin is the most desirable employee making the cog the most vulnerable one. It pays off to be empathetic to your tribe! Being weird and catering to the abnormal is the new normal for growth — it’s the “The purple cow” concept. Be authentic! Build trust with your customers. Advertising through word of mouth is more effective than than putting too much time on traditional advertising because we now live in an economy of abundance. At least, this is what 17 times New York Best Seller author Seth Godin states.
How is the world isn’t this knowledge being covered on cable television more often? Let me continue my research.
Johnson Atoll, Midway, Jarvis Island, Kingman reef, wake islands, and Samoa are part of the United States hidden empire. Do you know that? The US map that we see these days doesn’t show all the territories that we de facto have. The Star Spangled Banner doesn’t have the word America in it. Japan didn’t just attack Pearl Harbor during WWII. It attacked many other American territories (and British ones) at the same time in an attempt to gain control of the pacific ocean waters. Do you know that the damage that was done in the Philippines (an American territory back in the day) by the Japanese was as bad as the one dome to Hawaii during WWII? I didn’t know that and I love history. It wasn’t until I saw a YouTube video interview with Professor Daniel Immerwahr that I learned these things. Go figure.
Let me reveal one more thing to you. I read heavily and have daily conversations with my mastermind group about world events every day. I need to understand what is going on around me in order to strategize my next more. I need to be informed to make better decisions. It’s how I operate! YouTube video watching is a part of my strategy to be well informed. Ladies and gents, I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way to keep with relevant news is by watching YouTube videos.
As a communication professor, I wonder what is the heck is happening to the news media. It is time for he major networks (or at least one network) to put out relevant reports on things that really matter to people. Most Americans could care less about the government. Why are networks so fascinated with the former? I don’t get it.
My recommendation for you is to browse YouTube videos daily to get to know what is going on out there in the world so you can be informed. Poland is the jewel of Europe these days and Turkey is now being considered by some an upcoming world power. China is doomed to implode in the 21st century and Russia is on the decline. Romania is an American ally, Johnson Atoll, Midway, Jarvis Island, Kingman reef, wake islands are part of us.
I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way to keep with relevant news is by watching YouTube videos. Shouldn’t we discuss events that matters to us the most on air once in a while? What the heck? I think so. What do you think?
It is better to show what you can do than to say you have a skill. Alexander the Great didn’t became the greatest military leader of all time by saying that he had leadership skills. He had the largest empire in history because he showed what we could do which happened to be great leadership.
I’m stunned by the number of people who claim to have a skill but when we investigate a bit further, much substance is missing in the skills that they claim they have. Those who have skills just show them, I came to learn in my life.
The following people, as long as I can remember, have always shown what they can do rather than just say what they are. It is not surprising that they are (or have been) President of companies, the most well respected and accomplished golfer in the history of Brazil, creativity expert extraordinaire, respected pastor, the longest chair in the history of IUP, and so on. They are in order: My dad Alfredo, Mario Gonzalez, Michael Michalko, Jeff Smead, and Kurt Dudt.
Mario Gonzalez, who happened to have passed yesterday, have always shown what he could do with a golf club. I’ve never witnessed he saying that he had golf skills. If you knew Mario, you knew he had them. It was pretty obvious. He was a man of few words, like my dad. Kurt was the same way. He never claimed to know how to lead people in academic settings but he knew he had leadership skills. I’m not aware of anyone as creative as Michael Michalko. In all my email interactions with him, he has always been a gentleman, clever and willing to share what he knew.
Nowhere in our conversations did Michael stated that he was a creativity guru. We of course knew he was by the way he communicated. The world is full of examples of outstanding people. The vast majority of these outstanding men didn’t say they were excellent in what they did. They simply showed us.
It is better to show what you can do than to say you have a skill. Alexander the Great didn’t became the greatest military leader of all time by saying that he had leadership skills. Sun Tzu didn’t become who he was by saying he knew the art of war. He demonstrated or shall we say — Showed it to us.
Don’t Just Say It, Show it, I say.
In the new age of information, win the game of life those who build solid relationships with a smallest viable market with a touch of empathy. What I’m saying is that you must find your tribe and cater your talents to them if your goal is to advance professionally in 2019. I’m not convinced that talented professionals seeking to make a living doing what they love are to focus their efforts into reaching the normal population, most logical audience out there. I bet that catering to your crowd with a touch of empathy will take you much further in your quest for success than strategizing policies “in the middle,” if that makes sense.
With the technology that we have available to us today, we are capable of creating change one step at a time, to the least amount of people we want to cater to in order to make a decent living. If you are talented in photography, specialize in an area relating to photography and cater to them and only them. Our goal is to have little to no competition on what we offer our clients. The moment that competition catches up with our innovation, it’s time to move on and innovate again. Your smallest viable audience will appreciate your efforts to change as much as you do because people are often fascinated by what is new.
Have you noticed that the new restaurant in town often gets business simply because they are new? What happens when Apple introduces a new unexpected product? We see tons of people wanting to buy that new apple innovation, right?. Tesla Motors introduced a new kind of car and a way to sell cars. What was the result? In 2019 alone, they are on track to have a 20 billion dollar in revenue. Tesla don’t focus on selling a lot of cars to a lot of people, it seems. Apple only has 9.57 percent of all PC users. Its market share is less than 10%. They don’t need to cater to everyone. They need to offer outstanding customer service to their loyal “small” tribe, which they do.
Tesla sell their cars to their tribes, always catering to them. 78% of Tesla sales are done on-line. It is different, it’s unique. Elon Musk seems to be empathetic with his team. What is the result of his efforts? Success! A lot of it. He understands his audience. He is clearly not catering to everybody.
With the technology that we have available today, we are capable of creating change one step at a time, to the least amount of people we want to cater to in order to make a decent living. In the new age of information, win the game of life those who build solid relationships with a smallest viable market with a touch of empathy. You don’t need to cater to everyone. Focus your efforts on the few and treat them well.
Seth Godin seems to be right again. Go figure.
Simple answer: Because the holy bible is among the most popular books of all time.
You should also read the holy bible because of the tremendous value (wisdom) that the bible provides to anyone who wants to live an upright life. Why should anyone be opposed to learning the wisdom of Solomon, for example? Atheists (anyone, really) could learn the following from the book of proverbs… Check some of these lessons out from below.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching,” “Turn your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,” “Do not be wise in your own eyes,” “Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways,” “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers,” “Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin,” and much more.
The bible is more than proverbs. Ecclesiastes is a bible book about the bottom of the bottom. Its a book about emptiness… life for life sake’s is empty, or money for money’s sake is empty, as well. It’s about how vain life is, a topic that everyone should know in this world including you and me. It is full of poems and speeches, great ones de facto. You will find purpose in this bible book, even though the tone is a bit dark.
“For in much wisdom there is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18). “There is a time for everything under the sun,” (Ecclesiastes 3) and much more.
Ecclesiastes in particular discusses topics like the inevitability of death, oppression and evil of man, laziness, business failures, the forgetting of strong leaders, working for money for nothing, among many other lessons including the chances of getting wealthy and the importance of generosity.
The bible teaches us that there is more gain in lightness than in darkness. Its content has given us many of the idioms that we use today in American society, including:
“For everything there is a season…”
“From dust to dust…”
“There is nothing new under the sun…”
And many more.
I wonder why so many people choose to not read the bible? Is it because the bible is God’s word? So what! I’m a Christian, a non-pushing one… but I’m also a reader. If you like to read and gain wisdom, you should read the bible even if you are an atheist, agnostic, muslim, or pagan. Don’t underestimate the value that the bible provides to human beings.
I bet that if you choose to read the bible, you won’t regret it.
Seth Godin once said, “Elite and exclusive” are de facto different terms in our societal lexicon and should be applied and seen differently. I firmly agree with his position as long as these terms may mean different things to different people.
It is my belief that Harvard University is an elite institution that is highly exclusive. After all, Harvard is composed by a select group of scholars who are usually superior in ability and quality from scholars in other universities. The same principle apply for places like Oxford, Princeton, MIT, or the University of Tokyo.
Let me attempt to elaborate on this provocative thought. Penn State, my alma mater, is an exclusive institution of higher education. It is a tier 1 school with an acceptance rate of 56%, meaning that the university rejects almost 50% of incoming applications. To me, Penn State isn’t as elite as many claim it to be for the simple fact that PSU isn’t Cal Tech, Stanford or Cambridge. These institutions are often better than Penn State in terms of endowment size, quality of faculty and students, facilities, and so on.
Why do I feel this way? Well, because when we join the workforce and face reality, we realize that opportunities many times don’t go to some people because of their associations, regardless of how “hard” people try. With all things being equal (ceteris paribus), a clever Harvard graduate often has the upper hand in public opportunities due to the perception of what Harvard stands for and its network. I call this perception the ‘Elite Factor.”
Both Penn State and Harvard are exclusive clubs but Harvard is more exclusive making them an elite school, as their acceptance rate is 5.4%. We need to be careful, though, with only looking at acceptance rate as the measure for universities elite status. Here is why. Have you ever heard of Alyson Lloyd College or the Claremont McKeena College? I have never heard of them both, actually. Their acceptance rate are 22% and 10.9%, respectfully. Alyson Lloyd College is ranked #16 among regional universities in the south. and Claremont McKeena College #9 among national liberal arts colleges.
So, are Alyson Lloyd College and Claremont McKeena College exclusive colleges? I would say yes. In fact, they are more exclusive than Ohio State or the University of Michigan. Are they elite institutions? I don’t think so. Alyson Lloyd College may be perceived by many in Kentucky as an “elite” school but in the grand scheme of things it’s not.
Why am I writing about of all this, you may ask. First, because I believe that Seth Godin is right when he claims that these terms are different. Second, because the level of delusion that exists in society is so high (in my opinion) these days that having these kinds of conversations can help us all to live a better and grounded life.
There is nothing wrong with not being a member of an elite club or even be associated with an exclusive club, university or political party. Belonging to an elite group isn’t for everybody and believing that you are without really being one can make people frustrated overtime.
Elite and exclusive are de facto different terms in our societal lexicon and should be applied and seen differently. I’m proud of being a Penn State graduate, don’t get me wrong… but in the grand scheme of things, we know which institutions are elite organizations by the influence that they have in things that matter most in society. Alyson Lloyd College and Claremont McKeena are great exclusive institutions but aren’t elite status to me.
Being a Holmes scholar is an exclusive privilege. A Rhodes Scholar is both exclusive and elite. Thing about it… Being delusional isn’t good for anybody. Ground yourself in reality and live the best life you can under what God has given you. Smile, be happy, and be real.
I say this because a person’s social capital is as valuable if not more valuable than a person’s human capital. Sometimes is not how much you know but who you know, or hall we say… who knows you! Your inner circle is one of the most valuable assets you gave in life. Don’t let anything destroy what you got or give the impression that your network is not of any value or both.
Building a quality network of any kind is difficult, time consuming and can be quite expensive to build. For those reasons and more, be selective: only the very best should join your inner circle. Remember: In this life, people will judge you according to the people you associate yourself with, regardless of which philosophy of life you end up adopting. Build your inner circle with care.
You can be nice to people yet protecting your space, privacy, and network. Choose your friends very carefully. Why? This is why… Look at what the bible teaches us about friendship.
1. “The righteou