You Must Deal With Discomfort In Order To Win Big

You Must Deal With Discomfort In Order To Win Big

You must deal with discomfort in order to win big in life. Being able to leverage that unease feeling we feel in our stomachs is critical if your goal is to achieve something of significance in this life. You must experience discomfort. I mean, literally.

These are some examples of discomfort that often leads to big victory.

  1. Pumping iron religiously in order to gain muscle mass
  2. Studying long hours in order to ace the test
  3. Programming overnight in order to finish a game prototype
  4. Initiating anything worthwhile in life and not giving up
  5. Taking a stance on a position and sticking to it

These are some examples of comfort that often leads to loss.

  1. Pumping iron in order to gain muscle mass today but quitting tomorrow because of body pains.
  2. Studying long hours in order to ace the test but compromising on focus.
  3.  Programming overnight in order to finish a game prototype but giving up at 4:42am.
  4. Initiating anything worthwhile in life and giving up when challenges arise
  5. Taking a stance on a position and failing to stick to it

There is no way out. Either you go through the motions of experiencing discomfort or you will never experience a big win. Tiger Woods hits golf balls for hours on end in order to win the Masters; Edison failed over one thousand times before inventing the light bulb. Arnold schwarzenegger didn’t become Mr. Olympia seven times by avoiding the uncomfortable.

My advise is this — Put your smartphone away and start working hard unless the discomfort your need to experience to win big involves using your smartphone. You have the chance to be like anybody else and don’t win anything big in life or experience the uncomfortable and win big.

What is your choice? Choose wisely.

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Your life on-line is a reflection of your life off-line

Your life on-line is a reflection of your life off-line

This is what I’m seeing. Your life on-line is a reflection of your life off-line. It pays off to build your personal brand off-line first. People believe in what they can see. A picture may be worth a thousand words but three dimensional conversations are worth about a billion.  Your on-line popularity is secondary to your ability to communicate well off-line.

By engaging with people face-to-face and off-line, over time and with much persistence, eventually you will earn the privilege to be categorized as an influencer on-line. Personal brands are built after remarkable performances, memorable experiences and the like. Why do you think Beyonce has millions upon millions of social media followers and fans? That’s elementary — She was awesome off-line first.

It amazes me how many people still believe that they can build their reputations solely on-line without caring much about their off-line campaign. What a big mistake.

Audiences are earned not bought. It takes time and is labor intensive. It’s part of the game. There are no shortcuts. Off-line work is as important if not more important than  on-line work but the real work starts off-line. 

Faking until you make it is a dead concept. You need to be authentic, truthful, and careful about how your persona is seen by others, off-line. That’s the world we live in these days. I’m going to say it again, “Your life on-line is a reflection of your life off-line.”

Culture is our frame of reference, ladies and gentleman. We might as well be a part of ours, don’t you think? We celebrate people who we like and trust. One of the best ways to build trust is to have meaningful conversations with people in a coffee shop, library, or church.

If your ambition is to build an on-line audience worth engaging with, you may want to start your quest by being the very best off-line communicator you can be. Your on-line popularity is secondary to your ability to communicate well off-line.  

 

Conversations First, Social Media Second

Conversations First, Social Media Second

Sherry Turtle once said, “I’m not anti-technology. I’m pro conversation.” I agree with her very often. We are creatures of habit who make sense of the world by living in community. The act of speaking and engaging with a fellow human being, AKA having conversations, is something that cannot be taken for granted even though too many people are ignoring the act. We were born to live in community, experience the human heat and speak with others for survival for thousands of years.

I see hundreds today choosing to start conversations with people in social media networks first with the hope that these interactions will lead to more friendships and therefore conversations. I don’t like this approach.  Let me say this differently. I don’t think it will work.

Why complicate if you can simplify? Start your conversations off-line.

I like meaningful conversations, off-line and on-line. What I’ve come to observe is that having conversations off-line first helps us to engage with our friends and acquaintances off-line better. Go figure! Human beings tend to speak with others when they establish boundaries and rapport first. We may live in a modern world where social media communication is a reality. I beg to differ that on-line communication, by itself, will generate great conversations off-line in mass by many.

Despite the many avenues we have these days to communicate with friends and strangers on facebook, instagram, peach… the secret to having great conversations off-line and on-line, is is to start the conversation off-line. So I say, “Conversations First, Social Media Second.”

If your goal is to build relationships and have meaningful conversations…

Don’t Squish The Bread

Let me share something with you today. I am very concerned with how fast paced our society has been and how this fast paced lifestyle has been having an impact on our grocery shopping. Let me go straight to the point. Smartphones are having an impact on who we hire in food retail stores. 

Things are accelerating because of the technology. We now have machines replacing the youth in places like McDonalds because machines often perform quicker operations. In grocery stores, the youth is replacing the elderly precisely for the same reason, I think. These things are happening because the people are demanding efficiency. The problem is the people not the retail stores because of what I call technological conditioning. People are now conditioned to doing things quickly because the machine gives them feedback quickly… text messages, instagram messages and so fourth.

Let’s be real. People are more impatient today with slow paced operations which I would argue is a side effect of living in a technopoly. You may be asking. How do I know this? Here is my answer. If you go to any grocery story in Cleveland, most employees who bag groceries are young, sometimes very young. By the way, I would rather have an older person bagging my groceries than a college aged kid because they typically take a little longer to bag my groceries to ensure that everything is okay. Youngsters are not as careful with arranging your groceries. But hey what would the management of a grocery store do? Hire “slower” employees and risk losing its clientele or hiring the youth, gaining speed, but risk losing the client because of increased bagging errors? I would go with an older person but that’s just me.   

We live in the age of social media, ladies and gentleman where a “dissatisfied customer/employee” literally has the power to do a lot of damage to a brand at anytime. It is not fair, in my opinion at least, to push any fragile segment of our working class out of a job because of technology but hey, who said that life is fair? It isn’t ethical to me. Grocery stores are in a tough situation, I must add.

Just because advances in technology are making our pace of life quicker doesn’t mean that we should accept such demands face value. It isn’t right to replace a 69 year old woman who needs her job as a bagger in order to buy her prescription because the bagging per second of an eighteen year old is 2.754 seconds quicker than hers.

I actually care about the elderly, you know? The elderly don’t deserve to be treated like the scrap of society after 70, especially if they need to work in order to survive. Let me say this again. The problem isn’t the grocery stores. The problem is that people demand efficiency because of technology.

Listen carefully: Sooner or later, you and/or your children will be 70. Would you like to be treated as a nobody, someone that wouldn’t be good enough to bag groceries? I understand the position that grocery stores are in but thankfully I have a solution. The solution may lie in training. With careful training in customer service we can fix that.    

We can increase bagging efficiency by hiring kids but I guarantee you that if millennials perceive that the organization is lacking social responsibility, it will backfire. The millennials hate this kind of mindset. How do I know that? Because my wife is an older millennial. If they perceive that you treat people poorly, they go. You suffer.

Grocery store managers, be cautious with replacing the elderly in your grocery store. We need to find them jobs despite issues of bagging efficiency. Be very careful with how you treat them. They deserve a job and millennials are paying attention. Training is the answer.

Doing one for the team for the sake of humanity is the right thing to do. It is true that computer systems performs faster than human labor and that the youth perform faster than the elderly often but the former can have serious consequences to the well being and longevity of your business in 2018.

Be Selective: Only The Best Should Join Your Inner circle.

Success Starts At The Bottom.

You Need To Keep You Up

Technology makes you very boring

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In this life you need to be fascinating.

Do you have an accent and come from Greece? Cool! Fascinating!

I hope you didn’t choose to live life without taking any risks, because in this world those who don’t take risks live both a boring and a dangerous life.

I don’t know about you, but unless I am playing with black pieces in a chess game, my best defense is always the offense. I don’t play not to lose, especially if I have the ability to make the first move.

All this new technology made possible by the microchip is making people boring and too much like cookie cutters, in so many respects.

Recently, I decided to skateboard on campus as a means to connect with our students in a way that they would understand. I doubt that many people my age would even consider skateboarding, because our technological society doesn’t place a premium on those who deviate from the norm that much, even though you can be quite captivating when you listen to what your heart is telling you.

Who cares if we have all these technologies but we fail to influence? Being boring and “old school” isn’t always the best way to connect with the youth, if you know what I mean.

Some people have said that to be more cool, we have to emulate what Apple does. Yes, they are a tech company, but what amazingly makes them fascinating is their ability to take risks and  deviate from what others are doing. They lead by celebrating their differences in contrast to others.

People need to simplify. Yet, technology often complicates what we do. Don’t believe me? How complex is your password? Eight to 10 characters, which must contain a special character, two numbers and nothing that repeats itself or resembles your Social Security number?

Look man, don’t be boring like everyone else. Be yourself and celebrate your differences because in this technological world … trust me, you will need it.

You must invest in you, not always in technology. Will that make some people uncomfortable? Absolutely. But hey, life is about dealing with ambiguity and finding ways to control the uncontrollable without having technology controlling what we do.

You know what? Now at age 44, I’ve come to the conclusion that people have to project themselves somehow, but not always by using technology. In a society where most people tend to make decisions before thinking, many people need to be reminded that being human and perceptive makes us much more fascinating.

I like making myself uncomfortable for the sake of growth. How about you? Please don’t tell me that you get afraid of displaying who you really are for the sake of technology! Remember: Life is about living with enthusiasm in a fascinating way. Live and let die!  That is, live your life and let technology’s control of you die away.

Let me say something to you: I am cool, perhaps the coolest professor higher education has ever seen. Hey, I’m not being humble today, all right? I hold a Ph.D., can bounce a golf ball and catch it behind my neck, can talk with strangers like we were “besties,” and can play a mean game of Ping-Pong!

Thank goodness technology doesn’t control me. My life would have been way too mundane if I allowed the smartphone to control me. My recommendation for you follows. Are you ready?

Life is what you make of it. Don’t allow cheap machinery to control or dictate how you live. Technology is helping us to be more productive and empowered. The irony is that what we gain in production and empowerment we lose in authenticity.

I am very concerned that these technologies we have in America and elsewhere today are changing our society to a point of no return, one where homogeneity will be seen as the norm.

What has made this country what it is today was partly based on the risks we took in order to be more fascinating. Technologies are changing this by asking us all to be more uniform and predictable. How boring!

Live and let die, or shall we say … carpe diem: Live your lives to the fullest, ladies and gentlemen. Say no to technologies and embrace your humanity.

In the end, it’s all you’ve got.

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

‘People think with their eyes’

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We all must watch our visuals very carefully. How you present yourself offline is as important as how you present yourself online.

People think with their eyes and hear what they can see, as the authors of the book “You Inc.” once said. Visuals are powerful and when used carefully and strategically, overwhelm the verbal.

Technology has allowed us to show ourselves visually to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people every day, and this has both positive and negative effects.

Some of the positive sides include: You now have the ability to produce a personal brand like never before. As long as you present yourself visually in a way people want to perceive you, I bet that you will profit from it.

Hey, a CEO just can’t present himself on Facebook constantly wearing a pair of flip-flops or Hawaiian shirts. Remember: People believe and trust what they see.

The way you present yourself in social media visually has a tremendous impact on how others perceive you outside of cyberspace. I know it is crazy, but people form opinions about who you are based on what they see. Image is almost everything. We might as well better understand the impacts of it in order to better position ourselves.

Some of the negatives are clear-cut: People today are overwhelmed with information. The majority of  us have a Facebook page, some of us have a Twitter account, and some have an Instagram or even a Snapchat presence.

We are present everywhere, and just as important, we are advertising ourselves visually all the time, believe it or not. Technology has now infused itself into your personal life to “help” others form ideas about you, based on what they perceive in social media. Let me share with you a test I did recently.

For 1 1/2 weeks, I decided to change my wardrobe at work to gauge students’ reactions to seeing me dressed in a way contrasted with how I present myself in social media. I didn’t wear anything extravagant. I didn’t have a suit or one of my fancy bow ties. I was dressed with what I like to call “a preppy look,” with dress shoes, professional pants, a formal dress shirt with a fine tie and a fancy vest. Oops, let’s not forget my fancy socks, or what my wife often refers to as, “Crazy Luis’ Socks.” I dressed differently, yes.

This is what I found: Most of the students didn’t change their behavior toward me much, which in itself is an interesting finding which proves to me that they are pretty genuine people.

A couple of them noticed a “change” in Dr. A simply by what they could see. Let me tell you: I didn’t make any changes to my persona. It was just an impression. But hey, we are creatures of habit. When things change, people tend to notice. I don’t think that this will ever change, regardless of how much technology we have in our society.

All this technology has changed people’s perceptions about how people should look based on how they see you online. How one chooses to dress often triggers a stereotype.

Facebook is a visual platform; therefore, stereotypes will be formed and some thoughts about you and me will be shared based on how you look. The way we present ourselves in real life is now tied to how people imagine us in social media, as crazy as this may sound. We need to realize that, move on, and not look back.

People are going to judge you with their eyes, not with their hearts, in this life. Technology is complicating this by enforcing the idea that what is shown online is a reflection of who you are offline.

I don’t like this idea that people “know” others by what they “see” in social media, because  social media so obviously often lacks context. Remember: Not everybody behaves in social media the way that they behave in real life.

We need to be careful with assumptions. However, people will judge others based on what they see. In the age of technology, we all need to be more accustomed to that.

——— (Article Previously Published in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

Technology breeds lack of information

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Let me tell you something. I am a pretty empathetic guy who enjoys giving praise to others.

When somebody hits the jackpot on anything, I am there celebrating with him doing high fives, singing a song, you name it.

Many peers throughout my career have said, “Luis, you are the best cheerleader higher education has ever had!”

I think they are probably right about this one. I get emotional about peoples’ successes. There is no technology that will ever replace the amount of empathy I have inside of me. Sorry motherboard: You will never change the way I treat others, regardless of how fast your processor is.

Not everybody is wired the same way. People have different personalties, likes, dislikes, beliefs and values. Some of us are a blend of what we call introvert and extrovert, whereas others are either one or the other.

Not everybody has the godly gift of exhortation, that’s for sure. A man with common sense must realize this fact. I do believe, however, that some technologies can be used to help others by serving as a mechanism for comforting the distressed to communicate with someone.

When people are down, technology can do wonders for them, as long as there is a caring person on the other side of the fence they can speak with. Texting and Facebook are great examples of these. That’s a good thing.

Paradoxically, technology itself has contributed to many feelings of distress that people experience these days. Our life pace is so fast today because of technology that many people are now forced to ignore others in order to accomplish in life what they themselves want to achieve. As a consequence, some folks have felt left out, which decades ago wouldn’t have even been an issue.

Let me say this: Advances in technology have changed the way we behave in society for the worst, because all of this technology has significantly reduced the amount of free time people have to be more empathetic toward others, and that’s not good.

Am I saying that technology has contributed to the lack of empathy we have in America today? That’s exactly what I am saying. People today have to learn the ins and outs of any system by themselves, most of the time. Fortunate are those who get a life coach in order to assist them with learning the waters of a new system.

I am fine with that, personally. Not everybody is comfortable with this new reality, though. Advances in technology have caused more anxiety as some people need to be nurtured more than others in order to perform to capacity. The moment that we choose technology over people, this begins to happen more frequently.

In my opinion, the award-winning citizen of the present is the guy who gets things done and is also able to put himself in the shoes of others in order to comfort people once in a while. We need to realize, however, that empathy doesn’t always mean agreement.

Time has become a commodity for us all because of the constant development of faster microchips which has created the illusion that we can now work like a machine without experiencing any side effects. No we can’t!

Let me explain: If you overwork a machine, in two years you can replace its mechanical brain by acquiring a new computer. Can you replace your human brain every two years? Think about it. Failing to take this into account is lack of empathy itself! Lack of empathy is a major side effect of technology.

I do realize that I am a rare breed. I tend to easily empathize with people, but I have the common sense to realize that not everybody is wired the same way.

I am OK with people who aren’t as empathetic as me, as long as there is respect involved. People have different personalities, and unless you are in a person’s shoes, never assume that things are the way you think they are all the time. Chances are pretty high they aren’t.

Technology has made us more robotic, making us less warm toward others overall.

That’s all.

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

Sometimes breaking it will make it better

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Let me shock some of you today: Sometimes, pain and suffering are good for you.

Wait! Don’t go crazy and damage your body before reading what I am going to write next. We need to be reasonable, OK?

Let me explain: Many times, people get better by experiencing a traumatic event such as getting trigger-point treatment in a massage session, by re-breaking a bone or burning out from the computer after years of engaging in bad behavior. Pain and suffering are necessary for things to get better in life. Don’t believe me? Go ask an economist if reducing interest rates is always the best course of action in an economic recession.

Let’s not forget how pain and suffering can help students. Without reading books and spending countless hours memorizing and applying knowledge gained, students won’t complete their college degrees, and guess what? They won’t build the necessary skill sets they must have in order to succeed in life.

When students go to a college or university, they aren’t only learning course content. The better ones understand that by pain and suffering, they are building resilience to face adversity in life, which is, in my opinion, worth $15,000 a year.

Most PhDs have to experience pain and suffering when pursuing their degrees in graduate school, when going through the process of tenure, and when writing a book or two in their careers.

When we use technology excessively, we get both positive and negative feelings. Back in 2011, I got a severe burnout from using tech devices nonstop. Although I got clinically sick from it, I’ve come to learn that experiencing pain and suffering from overusing computerized devices was actually good for me. It has helped me to wake up from this modern-day nightmare and create a research agenda addressing the danger of these tools in society.

Since then, I have spoken on the topic with over 22 million people, including you! Experiencing pain and suffering, as far as technology use is concerned, may be good for you.

Do you think that I don’t know? What I am writing right now isn’t popular, but I know that some of you agree with me. Why? Because what I am writing here is real. Read carefully: Failing to “keep things real” backfires. Remember, pain and suffering are part of life.

Do me a favor. Get a copy of this column and give it to your grandkids. They need to read this.

Many people have to break an old wound in order to make it heal better and stronger than before. It is no different when it comes to technology. People aren’t facing the pain and suffering that are required for them to stop using their smartphones excessively.

If we break a bone in our body and this bone doesn’t set correctly, many doctors would recommend re-breaking the bone in order to fix it. In the end, induced pain and suffering will be better for the person, as his leg won’t hurt as much anymore. Facing our addiction to technology head-on is a must if we are to live a good life. It will hurt less in the long run.

Very few people in our society want to face smartphone pain and suffering today. How can we fix our TechnoCrazy problem, then? We won’t, I bet.

From this standpoint, burning out from the computer doesn’t seem to be a bad idea. I know, and you know, as well. Not too many people will be able to deal with this idea that experiencing the pain and suffering of a burnout will be good for them in the long run. I understand. Yet, I bet this solution will be more beneficial to them than the alternative.

We all experience pain and suffering in life. In 2018, we need to realize this more than ever.

It is OK to experience some pain, suffering, or both, in order to gain control of your life over technology – or regain control.

A burnout is a small price to pay for regaining control of yourself. If we have to pay this price to regain our humanity, so be it.

——— (Column previously published in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info).

An unseen problem: E-waste is piling up

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Very few people can deny that electronics manufacturing is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world these days.

We are now producing tons of high-tech gadgets all across the world. People are buying these devices left, right and everywhere else, and it’s a trend that is unlikely to be shifted or rolled back.

The business of technology manufacturing is good, there is no question about it. However, all this excessive production of computer devices generates a lot of waste, or what a few of us call  “e-waste.” E-waste is electronic waste, including TVs, computers and smartphones, among others.

 Let’s face it. Our society’s technological turnover rate is staggeringly high, which causes too many of us to change our smartphones every year, even though our work wages have stagnated since the 1970s. People are now upgrading technology devices as often as babies’  diapers are changed.

One day you have an iPhone 6s. Six months from the time you got your brand-new iPhone, you are told your device is outdated and that it doesn’t give you the amenities of the new iPhone 7 model … only to later discover than the iPhone 8 just came on the market because hey, you need what is the newest and the most advanced technology on the market!

Why not release two new tech gadgets a few months apart in the name of innovation? Don’t worry, Android fanboys! You don’t need to be an iPhone user to buy one or two devices a year. There are Android gadgets all over the place for you to buy, many times over, every year if you desire.

Have you thought about what we do with the devices we don’t use anymore? I bet you haven’t.

Throwing away an electronics item is a big no-no. As the device corrodes, the chemical soup inside starts leaking into the ground, contaminating surrounding areas with toxins. Taking your device to an electronics store for disposal doesn’t always work either. Places can use the devices for scrap parts, but then some of the pieces are still thrown away or burned. Burning the device is just as bad. All those toxins are then airborne.

E-waste is a huge problem all over the globe. Waste generated from electronics range between 7,500 tons in Kenya to 60,000 tons in South Africa — all on the African continent alone. E-waste is a much more problematic issue in Asia where the volume of e-waste approached 12.5 million tons in 2015!

China now carries 6.7 million tons of e-waste. Hong Kong and Singapore have the largest e-waste per capita in East Asia, making e-waste a big problem there. What is the e-waste level of Cleveland, Tennessee? Do you know? I don’t, but I bet we have one.

Let me ask you this. Do you know how much future toxic waste you have in your house because you now own all these technological devices? I don’t know exactly how much, but I do know that most of us now have over 50 different types of chemicals and heavy metals in our homes, all because of our obsession with electronics.

Look, computerized devices are toxic and bad for your health. Don’t believe me? Listen carefully: Your smartphone contains heavy metals such as mercury, lead, brominated flame-retardants, polyvinyl chloride and, in some cases, polychlorinated biphenyls. At least, this is what was reported by the Daily Nation.

 Just because we have access to thousands of different gadgets each year doesn’t mean they are free from side effects. E-waste is a problem everywhere, and its consequences must be addressed accordingly.

What do we gain by acquiring all this technology if we destroy ourselves in the long run by contamination? We gain little, if anything.

As I aways say, “We are to use technology in moderation” — NOT completely surrender in our attitudes toward technology. Say “No” to the dangers of e-waste by saying “Yes” to moderation and reasonableness.

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)

Funny how Bill Gates doesn’t get criticism

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Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech free, according to an article written by Entrepreneur magazine.

Let me share something else with you. Bill Gates didn’t give his daughter a smartphone until she was 14 years of age, fearing the effects of too much screen time.

What I find so ironic is the backlash that sometimes I get for promoting techno moderation in society. Some folks have said to me things like “Luis, you don’t love technology all the time. Blasphemy!”

Or, “Isn’t it hypocritical to have created the @escthemachine movement and use technology to spread the movement?”

Give me a break!

So, the late Steve Jobs said it is OK to use computers in moderation, but when I say it … many people go crazy on me, especially my own colleagues in my field when I attend certain national media conferences.

Maybe I should change my name to Bill Gates and enjoy the perks of being a big celebrity in computing rather than a critic of technology with big aspirations. I kind of like his position. Please call me “Bill” from now on, OK?

Listen carefully: All this technology isn’t good for you, period. All this fascination with smartphones will only make you more dependent on devices. By the way, how much more money have you made because of all of this technology?

Do you remember how fascinated people used to be with cigarettes? The smartphone took the place of cigarettes in this regard with the exception that we are now conditioned to using these tools 24/7. People didn’t use to smoke 24/7, did they? Technology took addiction to a new level of conditioning, and that’s scary.

It is 10:31 p.m. as I write this, and I am receiving text messages nonstop on my iPhone right in front of me. Shouldn’t I have the right to rest from work on a Friday evening prior to homecoming? I need to wake up very early tomorrow and yet … my phone is constantly blinking with new messages.

Of course, I could choose to ignore these messages, but you get the point. Smartphones aren’t always good for us, especially because they can be an intrusion in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I like to rest a little bit once in a while, especially on a Friday evening.

Back in 2011, I had a different philosophy, I must admit. I made technology first, above my family and above my health, and I paid a high price for it. I got very sick because of my obsessive use of digital devices back then, and ended up walking with a golf club as a cane for almost a year, my body was so stressed out.

I ended up developing a systemic health problem which led to an inflammation of my middle ear, causing severe dizziness and other heath-related side effects.

No wonder the inventors of all of these technologies protect their children or say we should block these technologies from reaching them until a certain age. Good for them!

Now that you know this, what are you going to do to protect your kids? I protect my daughter by limiting smartphone use to one hour a day. She is only 4 years old, I must add. She doesn’t need to be on that smartphone for long. She needs to learn from Daddy about the need to love others, play and treat everyone with respect, not make her life about what is playing on YouTube.

I don’t know about you, but using these technologies in moderation makes complete sense to me.

Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ kids were sheltered against all this technology, but mortals like you and I were not. But, who said life is fair?

I am pretty proud to have taken a stance against all this nonsense. This overreliance on smartphone technology, other digital devices and social media isn’t that great for you, in my opinion. Its side effects are as dangerous, in today’s society, as some would have you believe not using them could be.

The answer to all of this is moderation. As I always say, “Use technology in moderation!”

It is not complicated.

——— (Previously Published In The Cleveland Daily Banner)
(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book, “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)

Funny how Bill Gates doesn’t get criticism

Tech users become modern-day gladiators

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We live in a sort of modern-day Rome, where those who control the crowd become invincible.

The gladiators of the past were poor slaves in the eyes of Caesar, but they were the true heroes of the people. They could entertain and temporarily persuade the masses to do whatever they wanted them to say and do in the arena. Although they had no Roman right, as long as they were fighting in the Roman Coliseum, they were free and in control.

The modern-day gladiator, or the small guy who now interacts with a crowd on-line in order to make a living with his craft, may not be fighting lions in a stadium to entertain Caesar and the Roman citizens; however, technology has empowered them to display their talents to thousands of followers on Facebook, and truly entertain and influence the masses, much like Roman gladiators.

It is a form of power that can be easily understood by the powers to be. I have to admit, the smartphone has empowered the weak to be seen and valued, and that’s good. Let me whisper this in your ears, and please promise me that you will only tell your mom about it: Evildoers are short-lived in the new age of information.

Trying to oppress others isn’t worth the trouble anymore. Like a Roman gladiator in his day, when the modern slave is given access to technology he or she now has a voice to share in society. And this is because of technology.

In reality, I have pity for those who scheme against the weak, and use positional power to oppress their brethren. That’s because in modern-day America — where most people have the chance to share what they really think to millions of people, and at little expense — being evil against good people with technology access and a crowd will, sooner or later, backfire. Let me explain.

Have you ever heard about the United Breaks Guitars campaign? I bet that most of you never heard about this modern-day corporate nightmare, because the campaign was targeted at the youth. After United Airlines baggage claim employees mishandled and broke an unknown country artist’s guitar, United refused to admit their mistake and replace the guitar. Uh oh.

Let me make this story short. YouTube allowed vocalist Dave Carroll and his band to tell 17,877,563 different YouTube users about how United Airlines mishandled their baggage and broke his Taylor guitar by composing a country song titled, “United Breaks Guitars.”

The refrain went like this: “I should have flown with someone else or gone by car… cause United Breaks guitars.” What a nightmare for United!

Almost overnight, an unknown figure became a hero to the masses, like a gladiator.

Here is the reality, folks. People today are empowered by technology. Decision-makers need to think twice before assuming that a person is powerless in the new age of information. A simple Facebook post can cause tremendous stress to any organization, and consequently cause the crowd to cheer. In a sense, we are all modern-day gladiators.

Organizations must be aware that we have democratized technology. Access to sophisticated devices made possible by the ever-evolving microchip has given the masses a voice and a large audience to entertain. Social media platforms are now modern-day Roman Coliseums where we fight and look for audience support. The crowd is now being entertained, persuaded and influenced online, as well as in real life.

The reality is that we live in an evil world where powers aren’t evenly distributed. We have the haves and have nots, much like in ancient Rome. Advancements in technology have allowed modern man to become a gladiator with a crowd. At little cost, campaigns can now be made and shared with millions of people per one post. Social media is a weapon, my friends.

The world of communication has changed forever. In the age where sophisticated media users have the ability to control and influence millions of people, the everyday person has a voice, too.

Modern-day gladiators are uncontrollable warriors with a platform on which to share their thoughts. Everybody today has a voice, and a crowd to entertain. A single Facebook post can now make history. Fortunate are those who understand this simple fact.

——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info.)

 

 

Talking tattoos? You kidding me?

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It seems that the latest fashion among young adults these days is to get a music tattoo.

Wait, what? Are you serious? Yes, I am. Dude, the world is getting TechnoCrazy.

Soundwave tattoos, as they are called, are an actual tattoo that can be read by a mobile app that will play the sound. They are here to stay, I must add. People now can get a sound wave tattoo and play the song using the skin motion app. Welcome augmented tattoos, ladies and gentleman.

Some people are making the argument that this new technology is awesome because it allows a person to fully express himself or herself using the latest techno art. Others are celebrating this latest development in technology as a means to remember a former girlfriend or to have a quote or a favorite song to be with them forever.

I know, I know. You think that I am kidding, right?

You are probably saying, “Dr. A, that’s enough. For Pete’s sake! Who in the world would be making decisions like these? This can’t be real!”

I wish I could tell you that sound wave tattoos aren’t fashion these days, but they are. Let me make a prediction: The majority of your grandchildren will have one of these or maybe more before they reach 21.

Why is our society silently accepting these kinds of things anyway? Did anyone even question the moral of not having tattoos on their bodies in the first place? Of course nobody is even talking about this old school, dated alternative!

I must admit that I don’t like tattoos of any kind, especially this new strain of app-based tattoos. I wonder what grandparents in Cleveland think about this new TechnoCrazy trend. I’m not sure, but I will ask. I am curious.

Tattooing a music wave on my body would make my grandmother have a stroke, that I know. I can only imagine me going to her house for dinner and saying, “Grandma, look at my new tattoo. It speaks! Isn’t that cool?”

I know exactly what she would have replied back. It would be with a reply like this, “Neuza Neuza (her long-time maid’s name), please get me my heart medi-cine! I think I‘m dying.”

Let me be fair here for a minute. Not everybody has a grandmother like mine. Some of you may be OK with having your grandson’s first cry tattooed onto your son’s forearm. Maybe I am wrong about that. You tell me.

This is really what I don’t understand when it comes to technology. Rather than people using technology for greater things, people use these useless technologies for frivolous things.

Just because we can now tattoo a wave onto our bodies, and play it with a smartphone app, doesn’t mean that this technology is of any major significance to us. I would much rather spend time and money funding better auto-correct algorithms than in creating apps that play sound wave tattoos.

Since I have been typing this column, I had to go back 14 times in order to undo the changes that the computer has made to my writing! Who cares if kids these days can tattoo music waves to their bodies? Which significance does that have in the grand scheme of things? The answer is none. By the way, what happens if the app to read the tattoo is discontinued?

Listen to me carefully: Be a little old school and resist this madness we now call sound wave tattoos. If your grandchildren initiate a conversation on the topic, change the topic. Discourage their efforts, if necessary.

Am I suggesting that you should ignore them for their own sake? Absolutely. Remember: Your grandkids’ brains aren’t developed until they reach the age of 25. Until then, they will be making some of these nonsense decisions. OK, in many cases kids make some crazy decisions after 25, but you get what I am saying.

In 2018, you can be a walking billboard! In order to play your playlist you need an app! Is it a good thing? I don’t think so.

Which benefit would anyone get by being a human full of music tattooed to their skin?

I can’t believe that I’m writing this piece, yet I am.

How can anybody in their right mind think that all things technology are good?

Think about it.

——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

Offering Some Love For The World Of Print

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There is a new study out there that claims that students learn better by reading paperback books than e-books. It is about time for us to be talking about this undeniable fact.

I am for using technology in the classroom with reason, but if given the option to buy print versus e-books, I will always defend print because of what I have read, seen and tested in my career as a college professor.

Getting right to the point: Assuming that students will learn better by using e-books because they grew up with a computer is irresponsible.

All right, fasten your seat belts because what you are about  to read isn’t popular, and will probably leave some people very confused. Technology in the classroom is important and, to a degree, necessary. What we must avoid is believing that everything that is technologically advanced is, by default, better for you.

Students will always learn better from print because of the following factors:

First and foremost, books are printed at 300 dots per inch; images and text are displayed on screens at 72DPI. This, in itself, concerns me as our eyes get more eye strain when reading content at lower DPI. Have you noticed that you get headaches more frequently when reading that iPhone of yours, compared to a book?

Part of the reason why you feel that way is because the medium with the highest resolution today is paper, not the screen! The lower the media resolution, the higher the side effects. It’s no wonder Barnes & Noble has stacks and more stacks of print books for sale. Paper sells, or shall we say, “Screens give us headaches?”

Look, there is so much more to this discussion than DPI and resolution. Did you even know that your smartphone messes with your radio frequency exposure? What do you think higher RF exposure will do to your learning? Now I bet I  am scaring you! Let me get technical now for your benefit, and then we will tie this all back to education.

Electronic devices emit radio frequency waves. Specific absorption rate, or SAR, which is a fancy name for explaining the rate that your body absorbs radio frequency electromagnetic field waves, must be monitored closely in order for subjects to avoid getting deadly conditions, including cancer.

In the United States, the limit SAR value, set by the FCC, is 1.6 watts per kilogram of tissue, as I understand. That iPhone of yours transmits a lot of RF signals and that’s why the device offers many of us the option to talk hands free or using a headphone. Don’t believe me? OK. Go to your iPhone device, click “General,” then hit “About.” Scroll down the screen until you reach the option, “legal.” After that, click the option, “RF exposure.”

Now, relating this with education, as promised. Could it be that higher levels of SAR in the human body due to exposure and frequency of use of these devices affects the way we process information from our short-term memory to our long-term memory?

I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that higher RF exposure in your head results in higher electromagnetic radiation. Books don’t emit any RF waves.

Question, “Who do you think will learn best: The student who is reading a book in print or the one who reads that e-book emitting RF waves?” Sure, not all students will put that e-book reader against their heads, but will they put that device against their bodies? Uh-oh.

It is not over. When people are reading on a cellphone screen or another computerized device including the Kindle, people’s brains apparently only skim over the material. When people read a physical book, people’s brains connect both its hemispheres together. This  phenomenon does not occur when people read books on smartphones. No wonder people remember more content when reading from a book than when reading from an e-book.

As I always say, “Use technology, but in moderation.”

When it comes to education, print books are preferable for the reasons I just told you.

Responsible educators take into account the potential side effects that technology has on the development of their students. I certainly do. You should do the same.

——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner). 

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

Do No Evil…

Do No Evil…

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“Now finally, all of you should be likeminded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9).  

Under any circumstances, do no evil. In this life, we must live a life for the Lord not for men. God is pretty clear about how He wants us to behave and live our lives. Acting evil in either words spoken or behaviors is to be forbidden. Don’t insult others — Be sympathetic, be compassionate, and humble, as Peter has taught us. In every opportunity, do what you can do make others feel good and above all, obey God’s law. The former is our task.

The world is full of injustice, mean spirited people and arrogant individuals who think they are wonderful. Be different today! Be a Christian! Be the salt of the world and by your actions… be a testimony of the love of Jesus Christ to the nations. We need to show others that only God saves and is merciful. Without God, we aren’t anything.

That God be glorified!

Advice: Stick With Your Talent

Advice: Stick With Your Talent

The Lord has given you a gift for a very good reason — to glorify Him with it. We all are good in something and brothers and sisters… we need to make sure that we stick with the talent (or talents) that God has given us. The actual gifts given by God to us are many. So the question is… What is your gift? Seek to find what you are good at and use it! Keep in mind though that the gift that you have received came from the creator of the universe. 


God be glorified, always. Be blessed, 🙂

God Gives Us Wisdom and Understanding.

God Gives Us Wisdom and Understanding.

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“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

Ladies and gentleman…  Only the Lord is wise and has great knowledge and understanding. In the spirit of back to school I tell you today, “Let’s focus our efforts in what is important and the what is really important is being with God and following His commands.”

Students, welcome back!!! Keep your eyes on God and He will bless you. Ask and you will receive! This upcoming academic year will be a great one for you in Jesus Christ. BY the way… Don’t forget to read the bible while in school. It is amazing what can be accomplished when you are in God. He loves you yesterday, today and for the whole eternity.

In His name we pray… Amen.

 

True Wisdom Comes From God.

True Wisdom Comes From God.

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5); ” Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:7). 

True wisdom comes from God. All we have to do is to task Him and he shall give it to us. Our God is a generous Lord who cares and wants us to grow spiritually. The idea that we can be wise in our own eyes doesn’t come from our creator. Ask and you will receive! With God, everything is possible. God blessings to you brothers and sisters.

God And Possessions

God And Possessions

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“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:19-24). 

We must focus on the Lord or what we say in Brazil, “Nos temos que concentrar no Senhor.” Believers and unbelievers, God is wonderful and worth abdicating possessions for being close to God. We don’t need treasures. All we need in God on our side! Either we glorify God or we make money our God or shall we say… Idol.  Don’t love your possessions. Instead, choose to love the God of the universe.

Blessings.

God Disciplines You Because He Loves You.

God Disciplines You Because He Loves You.

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“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:11-12). 

Most people are uncomfortable with receiving a dose of discipline. Chances are high that you will be disciplined by someone sometime in your lifetime, both privately and publicly. It is the way that God, through the holy spirit, acts in this world to teach you and show God’s love to you. God develops those He loves. Remember: God Disciplines You Because He Loves You. 

You are to welcome discipline and try to better understand what God has planned for your life. In this world, the most impactful learnings you can have come from predictable rebukes given by others yet orchestrated by the Lord. With reason, be open to this unpredictable criticism — as long as the criticism is constructive and well intended. The spirit will tell you if the feedback is well intended or if it is malicious. My recommendation? Pray about it every time you are rebuked. It is amazing what God does to you and the person who disciplined you after you pray. Our God is a fair God.

God bless.

The Importance of Good Works.

The Importance of Good Works.

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“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, captives of various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another” (Timothy 3:1-3).

We Christians understand the importance of following orders and to do good much in the same way that we understand how to lead many times and how to do better things when God calls us to the task. There is no wisdom in fighting with others for nothing or to slander anyone. A believer must be gentle to his neighbor even if that person doesn’t like him. The former isn’s to say that we (Christians) need to always accept what others have to say or accept how they behave towards us but in our core… we should be gentle with others and be understanding.

There are too many people out there who live life to be malicious, envious and hateful towards others. We need to pray to God so that they can see the light. It is our duty yesterday, today and tomorrow. Being with God is a gift.

God bless.

The Secret To Living A Good Life

The Secret To Living A Good Life
“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be. You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time. His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for. Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe – and all because you believed what we told you. Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time – pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely” (2 Thessalonians 1:2-12). God loves you. 

Words of a Godly Man, Age 92: The Problem Of Self Denial.

Words of a Godly Man, Age 92: The Problem Of Self Denial.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26). 

Only God knows the right way. We just have to follow… Life isn’t about us — Life is about God in Jesus Christ.

Be Kind, Care For One Another — God Loves You.

Be Kind, Care For One Another — God Loves You.

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“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4); “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). 

Life is about following God’s commands and glorifying Him. Flee from selfishness, help others as Christ has helped you. Choose kindness over hate, be forgiving and loving. Who can be better than God, I ask? Nobody can, that’s for sure.

In this Life, we need to lose our lives in order to gain it, as God has instructed us. Be on the lookout for others, always.

The Lord Is With You Wherever You Go.

The Lord Is With You Wherever You Go.

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” The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:8); “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:1-6). 

There is no reason to be alarmed or worried, brothers and sisters. God is good and He will take care of you and me. We don’t lack anything in God as he owns it all. Our God is a generous one. He is a protector — a fair and honest God. The Lord is our strongest shield and will comfort us in times of distress and pain. Quiet waters are coming our way because God is good and just. In this life, we need to look at things objectively and be willing to accept the fact that we are, more often than not, in control of our own destiny and that’s okay.  Christians must keep the faith and move their lives forward despite the many challenges that we face on a daily basis. It is the nature of life and many times… the Lord’s will. Everything happens for a reason under the sun.

One thing is for sure: Don’t be discouraged… “Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

Qualifications For Church Leaders — Overseers.

Qualifications For Church Leaders — Overseers.

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Qualifications for Overseers

“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1 Timothy 3:1-3). 

Not everybody was set to be a an overseer in church. Watching over the flock, caring for people and families, feeding the poor and disfranchised, protecting the weak, and leading a mission to a foreign country isn’t a job for everyone. In fact, the Lord is pretty clear about it all throughout scripture. The book of Timothy is a good one to read about the criteria for leadership in the church. Remember: “There will arise false teachers who will seek to lead many astray” as we learn in the book of acts.

It is our job to keep our eyes open to our church’s overseers. If they only care for themselves or are men of little integrity, if they seek riches for self gain or ignore those in need while leading the church, or are failing to watch over children of God’s faith development, be aware. Remember: “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matthew 24:11). 

Keep the faith brethren. Always keep your eyes wide opened even at church. God be with you.

The Loneliness Of Wealth.

The Loneliness Of Wealth.

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“All labor and all skill work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastics 3:4); “Better one handful with rest, than two handfuls with effort and pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastics 3:6). “There is a person, without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches” (Ecclesiastics 3:8). 

Which good do we get by working our bodies non-stop, at the expense of our health and sanity? No good I would say. Riches should not be the reason for why we live in this world. We live for God to glorify Christ to all the nations of the world not to collect gold and silver for our own purposes. remember: Everything passes and is short-lived, brothers and sisters. Life on earth and in heaven is about glorifying the Lord not a seek a blind trip towards accumulating wealth at all costs. What a miserable task chasing the pursuits of the wind is. Be different; Choose God and sanity before earthly wealth. Make your life meaningful.

God must always come first.

 

Confront The Jealous and Envious If Necessary.

Confront The Jealous and Envious If Necessary.

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“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (James 3:16); “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot” (Proverbs 14:30); “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). 

We all need to flee from jealousy and envy and to recognize others who are envious and jealous. Always be on the alert for these former bunch and pray for them. The moment you see others jealous of your work or circunstances in order to protect their own using malicious means of communication or any other delivery, confront them is they start bothering you. Don’t let their aggressive tendencies make you uncomfortable. The same should be done about envy. Order can be brought out by fixing disorder. Don’t let jealousy and envious relationships get out of control and as important… control you.

Always, in prayer, live your life.

We Can Only Turn To God As A Source Of Truth.

We Can Only Turn To God As A Source Of Truth.

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In the book of Ecclesiastics, we learn about the futilities (short-lived and quickly passing) of life. Some of these include possessions, the relative value of wisdom, and work. Christians are to glorify God and make the Lord the center of our lives as everything including silver and gold, singers, cattle and flocks, our diligent work and many others come and they go. Everything in meaningless. “There is nothing new over the sun” (Ecclesiastics 1:9).

“What happens to the fool also happens to me. Why then have I been overly wise?” (Ecclesiastics 2:15); “The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastics 2:14).

Brothers and sisters, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work” (Ecclesiastics 2:24). Life without God is futile. Things in life come and go. Most of the work we do will be given to others. The only way to live is to love the Lord and live our lives to Him.

Thanks always be to God.

Trials And Tribulations Are Signs Of A Godly Life.

Trials And Tribulations Are Signs Of A Godly Life.
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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). 
Trials and tribulations are examples of how the Lord test our faith. By testing our faith, we develop perseverance according to scripture which then makes us stronger and more mature Christians. We are constantly maturing in God’s eyes in order for us to be a little bit more like Him. Brothers and sisters, never forget this: Trials and tribulations are signs of a godly life. Don’t be surprised if you face them in the future. Let’s not forget that they have hated Christ before us… Celebrate — God is with you! Stand firm in the faith! Thanks be to God.

The Secret For Doing Well In School.

The Secret For Doing Well In School.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24); “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). 

What is the secret for doing well in school? Study, plan, study more, get involved, meet people, collaborate… Pray. The differentiator is prayer. Do you want to do well in school? Do all of the former and before every quiz, test or project — pray. Prayer is powerful and biblical. Prayer was my secret for doing well in school. Let me say this differently — Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Humility Is The Answer. 

Humility Is The Answer. 


“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phillipians 2:3). “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God” (1 Peter 2:17). “So the last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:-6). 

Brothers and sisters, in this life, there is always someone who is better than you in your craft. Be very careful when trying to fiercely compete against others because chances are pretty high that sooner you later you will be beaten. 

Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are. In this anti-intellectual world that we live in these days, it is tempting for many to think they can compete intellectually against intellectuals. Be aware of the risks…

It is like having intellectuals trying to compete physically against a physicalturist. Ok, some non-PHDs are intellectuals but not many; Some PHDs are physiculturists but not many. We all have value, that’s for sure. 

Humility is the answer. Live your life to God not anyone else. Stay firm in the faith… Thanks be to God! Amen. 

The Poor is Stuck; The Middle Class Moves; The Wealthy Chooses.

The Poor is Stuck; The Middle Class Moves; The Wealthy Chooses.

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Let’s chat about class, shall we? Don’t get excited! We are not going to talk about class as one would chat in a college classroom or anything educational but class as a societal class as it relates to social mobility and strata. For some goofy reason, we Americans don’t talk too much about social class and I would argue that to a degree at least, many consider talking about social class as a taboo. It is kind of a taboo to talk about social strata in American society as many Americans, regardless of gender or ethnicity, think that many of us belong to the middle class.

Don’t be ashamed if you are either born poor or wealthy. God has good reasons to have created all kinds of people and every circumstance under the sun and never forget — God has created you for a reason despite of how much money you have or don’t have or how many cars you drive or not drive. Let me tell you this: In this article, we are going to break some taboos and discuss class classifications. We are going to talk about social strata and the unwritten realities that exist within each one of them.  I will share with you three types of American classes and what do they really mean to people who belong to them.

  1. The poor class. Many would categorize this class as composed of folks who chose to ignore the calling for pursuing formal education. “Individuals belonging to this class tend to be categorized as lazy and hopeless and unable to support themselves in a market economy,” many say. The former, in my opinion at least, is at the bare minimum deceiving because poverty is such a complex construct to define that I find the former a bit problematic to accept face value without being skeptical about it but since a critical mass of individuals think this way, we will include the former definition in this article and consider as a possibility. I would rather define “the poor class” as citizens belonging to a class that can’t literally move — who are stuck. Even when they try to leave their place of dwelling, they often cannot because of financial circunstances.
  2. The Middle class. Too many would categorize this class as “middle class” without looking at the obvious, which is to realize that within the middle class… there are other subcategories of what we define “middle class” to be. A 50K family middle class should not be seen as “middle class” against another family who bring home 39K or 125K. I would say that the middle class has divisions within itself into low, “middle” and “high” classes within the class. You might disagree and that’s okay but to me at least, the middle class is rarely in the “middle.” I would rather categorize the middle class as a moving class — Those who are always on the move for opportunity and can literally move. In 2017, members of this class rarely buy houses, drive luxury cars, consume experiences and are often members of what I call “the excellent” class because to belong in the higher strata of the “middle class,” you have t be excellent in what you do. If the poor class is stuck, the middle class moves. Those at the top move more often.
  3. The Wealthy Class. The wealthy class do what they wish. They stay or go as they wish but they rarely move from one location to another because they social capital is often local. The ca “choose” because of the social capital infrastructure their families have acquired throughout the years making “tradition” a critical variable of their lifestyle. They are much (I repeat) much different than what I call the “Middletocracy,” or those in the middle class who try to look like a wealthy class person but we all know (including the real wealthy) they they are more like a middle “middle” class than a wealthy one. The wealthy class rules and often do what they want. The rules of the system are based on them and they often make the rules in the first place. If the poor class is stuck, the middle moves… the wealthy chooses.

Don’t be ashamed if you are either born poor or wealthy. God has good reasons to have created all kinds of people and every circumstance under the sun and never forget — God has created you for a reason despite of how much money you have or don’t have or how many cars you drive or not drive. The poor is stuck; The middle class moves; The wealthy chooses. Just because the former might be true, it doesn’t mean that you should be sad or happy about these circumstances because in the end, God is in control not you. Never forget, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways” (Proverbs 8:6); “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). 

Be vary careful with loving money, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pang” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).  
Love God above everything and be content with the Lord has given you. We are, perhaps, called to better understand our situations in order to better glorify God with what was given to us. Remember: Life isn’t about you or me. It is about God.

God Blesses The Humble — God Gets The Glory.

God Blesses The Humble — God Gets The Glory.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2); “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3); “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (James 4:10). “Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (Proverbs 29:23).  

We are to live our lives for the Lord and to always give thanks for everything that He gives us. Remember: Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). We are to live for God not man and to God shall the glory be given all the time. God is worthy of praise. We are to serve Him as his witnesses in this world by being humble and gentle.

As most of you know, I am a media professional who enjoys great conversations about “The media” with others. In my short journey here in Jackson, Mississippi, I had the privilege to speak with a number of very nice “media folks.” One of them, in particular — was Brad Smith! A gentle, nice, patient and above all… humble man who is de facto a quite talented film maker. Ladies and gentleman, this is Brad Smith below.

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Brad Smith

Sure, you can find him at Deville Camera and Video near interstate 55 in Jackson, MS but you can also see him producing cool video clips (and films) around the city, as well. The clip below is just a tiny example of the amazing work that he does. One thing is for certain —“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). 

Brad, as we say in colloquial English… is the man. He is the man because he is humble. He has the common sense to realize that God gets the glory for his talent not him, you or me. Brad is nice and wise and above all humble. Listen carefully: God Blesses The Humble — God gets the glory. Be like Brad, be humble and be nice. Never, under any circumstances, be prideful because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).  It pays off to be humble and kind. Brad knows it! Now, it is your turn.

#Christianity

Your Greatness Is Judged By Others.

Your Greatness Is Judged By Others.

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“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12). Greatness isn’t measured by the person. Greatness is without a doubt measured by the perception of others. Never, under any circumstances, hold the belief that you can be wise on your own. God, the creator of the universe, is the Wise One. We are mortal sinners in great need of God’s grace and salvation. The former is precisely what we are.

“Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness or you will be like him yourself” (Proverbs 26:4).  Your trust should always be in the Lord. Be a fair man (or woman), full of integrity and show love towards your neighbor. In this life, you don’t need to be the center of attention or be wise in your own eye. Rather, humility should be your norm and others, not yourself, should complement the work that you do. Don’t be a fool and have high expectations about anything in this world. Life isn’t about you or me. Life is about God. All glory is to be given to God, anyways… Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe. “Don’t speak to a fool for he will despise the insight of your words” (Proverbs 23:9). 

“There is a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) but there is always the need to be more like God by obeying His commands. “For man certainly does not know his time” (Ecclesiastes 9:12). Let me leave you with this advice. Listen carefully: “Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool” (Ecclesiastes 10:3). Your greatness is judged by others. Be very careful to not appear wise in your own eyes. God will surely punish you for it. It is not worth the hassle. Be humble and glorify God all the days of your life.

 

Teach The Youth About The Way He Should Go.

Teach The Youth About The Way He Should Go.

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“Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The former proverb is our goal, indeed. College professors are to serve in this capacity, regardless of whether they teach courses in a teaching or research university.  Our main goal is to show the way to our students, “God’s way.”  

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The kids depend on us to show them our humility and fear of the Lord. We are to inspire pupils to understand God’s word and his generous mission sometimes by applying God’s grace on earth, “A generous person will be blessed for he shares his food with the poor” (Proverbs 22:11). It is by modeling that we teach the brethren and by acquiring knowledge that we are equipped to fulfill the God’s plan for us, “Apply yourself to instruction and listen to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23: 12). 

The good God has blessed me to help others. He blesses you to fulfill your mission, if you listen to your true talent. Pray, learn, and pray more. Ask God for guidance and you shall receive. The youth depends on you and me. Let’s do our part! it is our duty.

Everybody Is Replaceable — For The Most Part.

Everybody Is Replaceable — For The Most Part.

One of the biggest challenges companies can experience is to lose employee talent. This bunch are often hard-workers, strive to understand the culture of the organization and very often buys into the organization’s vision. They also add value to the body of employees, forgive and are able to listen to others. In addition, they bring team cohesion, hope and above all — they have a heart. In some instances, good people serve in two or more capacities sometimes more within the micro unit. If they are better than “good,” the impact of their contributions are seen and felt systemwide. Very often, without him or her, the unit and the system at large suffer in the short run as stability can then become shortly compromised especially in the subsequent three to five years proceeding their loss, but not always.

In the draconian times that we live in these days, losing a charismatic and competent employee can de facto be quite detrimental to any organization due to the general scarcity of funds. The advent of modern computer technology has caused job mobility to increase while corporate funds allocated to hiring staff have decreased due to automation and changes in corporate philosophy. Corporate re-engineering occurred in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Governmental re-engineering is happening right now, as we speak. There will be furlough in this sector, I bet. We have experienced retrenchment in the private sector before. Why would the public sector be different? It won’t be, unfortunately.

We are not all equal but we all have equal value. “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him” (Romans 10:12). The loss of a well liked colleague is demoralizing for the enterprise, especially to the other associated units within the macro system. Loss of talent serves as a reinforcement for other talented peers in other units to perhaps quit their position. The moment you see the former in action too often, change is eminent.

One of the main jobs of a successful leader is to hire and keep talent. It can’t always be done I realize as there are exceptions to the former but in my book at least, I see the former almost as a law. Don’t lower your guards… Do what needs to be done to keep good people on your team.

So, is everybody replaceable? For the most part. It will depend on the biases and beliefs that exist within a particular institution’s upper leadership. I personally wouldn’t risk losing talent due to trivial matters or vanity. At the end of the day, work still needs to be accomplished and the organization needs to keep moving its mission forward. You will need talent, sooner or later.

The Humble Will Have Joy After Joy In The Lord.

The Humble Will Have Joy After Joy In The Lord.

The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless one will vanish, the scorner will disappear, and all those who lie in wait with evil intent will be killed — Those who, with their speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice” (Isaiah 29:19-21); “Jacob no longer will be ashamed and his face will no longer be pale” (Isaiah 29:22);

Annihilation of the Assyrians…

“Look, Yahweh comes from far away, His anger burning and heavy with smoke. His lips are full of fury, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. His breath is like an overflowing torrent that rises to the neck. He comes to sift the nations in a sieve of destruction and to put a bridle on the jaws of the peoples to lead them astray” (Isaiah 30:27-28);

“Assyria will be shattered by the voice of the Lord. He will strike with a rod” (Isaiah, 30:31). 

YAWEH! YAWEH! Bring justice. The house has a firm foundation and longevity. By little we live and rejoice with much adversity. They bring canons; we have the armor of God. They fire, God rebukes, we win. “The end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4:7).

I am crying for what I see… I pray that God be merciful with you as the ocean’s waters are now dim. The skies have darkened… the waters have risen and the moon is full of blood. The Lord has played the flute and I see your destruction but you don’t repent. The great command I say to you but you chose disdain. You plotted against your own. Now, Yaweh will cease you. Repent! But you don’t.

“The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds” (Deuteronomy 28:20).  

Love Is More Important Than Hate.

Love Is More Important Than Hate.

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“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31). “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). 

I lose one — you lose 10. He gets 3 you lose 30. You lost the gold forever because of your vanity. Lack of love, I say. Love wins but never hate. You shall pay a big price for your transgressions. Never forget this: God is in control and will punish you. Whoever does evil, by evil they shall be destroyed. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Proverbs 16:18).    

I say to you — learn to Love. And never forget, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). You are called to love, at all times.

 

God Works In Mysterious Ways.

God Works In Mysterious Ways.

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“You are treasured to God. So consider the message and understand the vision: Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city — to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away injustice, to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal up vision and prophesy…” (Daniel 9:23-24); “The people of the coming prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26); “You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother” (Obadiah 1:10). 

If you have ears listen. I have heard the message and listened to the Lord. Praise I say to you the most high. Among you lived the just and the unjust. Malice, arrogance and self aggrandizement was found in the fields and the sands of the land. Only ashes I see along with sentiments of confusion and delusion. The time is past and the future is certain and predictable. New horizons we shall see; Old beings in sin you shall never be.  The prophecy has been fulfilled. Only through the glory of the most high that we understand and live. God takes care of His people. Tomorrow is a brand new day…

We shall proclaim the mystery of God as He works in mysterious ways. What is logical to us is illogical to God. “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21). Who are we to attempt to understand the one who is in heaven?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Everything in this world happens for a reason. Don’t be mad or sad but rejoice. It is God’s plan after all.  God is just and will always do justice to evil doers in His time. If you have ears listen…

They Will Persecute You — Pray For Them Anyways.

They Will Persecute You — Pray For Them Anyways.

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If you do love the Lord, you will be persecuted. How do I know? Because it is written…

–> “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12); “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18); “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14); “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).  

Here is the good news, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11); “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

I say — Pray for them anyways. Sooner or later, the good God takes you out of the lions den and will do justice to them. Sometimes, God will do the former in ways you least expect without much understanding.

If you think you are being persecuted is because you are. If something appears to be it often is… In my life, I have suffered a number of calculated attacks by a number of very evil people. Despite their ignorance and malicious schemes, I have always prayed for them anyways. My reward? The good God has done justice to them all and have blessed me with more than I deserve. 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.

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Psalm 37:1-3); “The face of the Lord is against evildoers. To cut off the memory of them from the earth” (Psalm 34:16). 

They have hated Jesus, first. They will hate you and me. It will happen. You role isn’t to hate them but to pray. It is amazing what happens in your life when you take this kind of stance. God will do miracles in your life, I say.

Encourage One Another, Always.

Encourage One Another, Always.

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Life is about glorifying God. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging one another and building each other up. Whenever we do the former, if you have God at the center of your life, inevitably you will give all the glory of you successes to Him anyways.

Never forget one important detail, though — “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.

Say Goodbye To The Job Fat — Be Multidisciplinary.

Say Goodbye To The Job Fat — Be Multidisciplinary.

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For years, people were able to get good jobs by simply fulfilling the requirements for a bachelors degree in any field which meant that college training in egyptology, nautical archeology, popular culture, leisure studies, and many other cool but weird college majors were viable options for employment despite of the skillset students gained in these obscure majors. The system has changed drastically — both inside but also outside of a college campus.  Listen carefully: Say goodbye to the job fat. Are you really ready to compete globally for a high paying position job?

I don’t think you are. Chances are high that you are behind in this quest and is likely to be missing a clear cut path or plan towards contemporary success in the contemporary American job market landscape. How do I know that? Because human beings are creatures of habit. We only change when is absolutely necessary for us to do so. Many graduates or graduates to be are literally sleeping or refuse to accept reality. Let me explain. Yesterday, we were told that the service industry was the future of the American economy. The lack of jobs found in post-industrial cities like Buffalo, NY or Detroit, MI would be short lived as manufacturing jobs were to be replaced with service jobs, anyways. Hmmm… That backfired.

Today, Macy layed off almost 10,000 retail employees. Sears and K-Mart also closed its stores nationwide laying off too many service industry workers. Staples reported a 548 million loss and is closing 70 more stores resulting in more job loss. Where is Circuit City? Where is H.H Greg? They are bankrupt because of the advent of Amazon. I like to add, “They closed because of the advent of an on-line retail giant and their low cost technology driven infrastructure or shall we simply say due to their advancements in technology.” The service industry era is dead. Our country is driven by information not manufacturing or the service industries. 

By the way, the industrial age ended in the year 2000. I honestly don’t know where retail workers are going to work at in the years to come. What I do know is that they will make less per hour due to supply and demand rules and logic. In my opinion, retail workers won’t be the only bunch to make less and struggle to make a living in the United States this century, unfortunately. Not sure if I would recommend my daughter Sophia to study career such as accounting, print journalism, law, or be a sales professional. As Gitomer once said, “We don’t like to be sold but we like to buy.” The former makes the job of a salesman obsolete. With Lex Machima technology, the field of law will never be the same again. The machine is already doing the job of dozens of lawyers for much less. When was the last time that you hired an accountant to do anything to you other than your taxes? By the way, have you head of turbo tax? Journalism, as we understand, is near extinction but the skillsets that a journalist has, e.g., reporting, writing, editing will never die which is the saving grace for folks pursuing a degree in journalism. Print journalism is not dead but it will be near death in a decade, I bet. 

If you major in certain areas of Mass Communications, you will struggle. Radio isn’t dead yet but it has its sentence set. Communication (singular) will be a viable option for students in the social science as speaking interpersonally, across culture, non-verbally and through mediated communication will de facto exist in this new and challenging upcoming job era. Film production will rise as a logical alternative to broadcast media production as the opportunity to create and produce new, relevant, and engaging media artifacts is higher. I am not saying that film in itself will help students to find jobs, necessarily. What I am saying is that film students will have a higher chance of producing a high quality piece of art that could indeed be seen by potential buyers as a true media asset or what I like to call, “an intellectual stock” potentially generating a sizable return over a film producer’s investment of their time and resources. Art will be an important variable in the upcoming job revolution as one’s ability to think critically is already a necessity. Public Relations will not die and shall be seen by many as a saving grace for students of Mass Communicators along with traditional Communication (singular).

The employee of the present is multidisciplinary. If you are in media, for example, it will payoff to know how to deliver a speech publicly, learn ways to talk with people of different cultures and backgrounds, design and develop deliverables, write well, know a bit about modern languages, how business enterprises function and operate, how history connects the economic dots and much more. Trash the idea that mediocrity (simply completing a bachelors degree) will help you and in itself will sustain yourself and your family economically. The former is farther from the truth. Even when you have more education than 1% of the world’s population, if you are not careful… can backfire and put yourself in a vulnerable position which could lead to job unemployment or a severe pay cut. We are seeing too many phd’s jobless out there, especially in the humanities. 

We have no option but to be excellent. We must be eclectic in order to fully contribute meaningfully in the current economy and defend ourselves against the woes of our modern times — uncertainty and unemployment. If you are graduating from college right now, my advise to you is for you to take what I just wrote in this article very seriously and understand that the game has changed. The excess job “fat” is gone. If you are graduating with a degree in Mass Communication, read the former paragraphs closer as some of these examples will definitely apply to you and your future. Under any circunstances, do not think about buying a house anytime soon. Scarce jobs lead to lower wages — extreme competition and advances in technology lead to unexpected layoffs. Unless you can buy a house cash, choose to rent. You can’t afford to lose your credit in an economy where we can only survive long-term on credit. Don’t be tempted. It is okay to buy a nice car, though. It is much easier to trade a car loan in than to sell a mortgage. Well, a car you take with you when you move. You can’t take a house with you. 

Learn to be ready to quit your job at anytime, if necessary. Be prepared to make a bold move to keep going forward. Be alert and observe trends. The over abundance of jobs in America is gone. Our reality is much different from the reality lived by our parents when they were our age. It is much more difficult for us, these days. Never forget that, okay? Be very careful with every decision that you make as our current circumstances don’t allow us to make too many errors without paying a tremendous price for making them.  Be versatile and learn continuously. Be a productive citizen of the USA in 2017 not 1917. You will thank me later — Just do it! 

 

 

 

What The Lord Hates. Flee From Them All! Today Not Tomorrow.

What The Lord Hates. Flee From Them All! Today Not Tomorrow.

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“Six strings the Lord hates; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: Arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers” (Psalm 6:16-19).

It is written that a worthless person, a wicked man (or women) who goes around speaking dishonestly will eventually be struck by the Lord hard and suddenly. We don’t need to be angry about them or anything like that. Trust God because he will do justice. “He (or she) will be shattered instantly beyond recovery” (Psalms 6:15), says the Lord.  There is more hope for a dead men than for a malicious man.  You have nothing to worry about. In reality, I have pity for those who are arrogant in behaviors and actions, verbal and non-verbal because God does justice in His own time. I am sick of malicious people. They think I don’t know them. God shows me everything I need to see. Just because I don’t say doesn’t mean I don’t know…

A lying tongue, a blow to the innocent of heart, wicked schemes and gossip… evil plans and desires and those who bear false witness will be judged. Anyone who stirs up trouble among brothers will perish in a capacity or another, “For a man’s way are before the Lord’s eyes” (Psalm 5:21). “The good obtain favor from the Lord, but He condemns a man (or women) who schemes” (Proverbs 11:2). God is fair and will do justice. Be upright, loyal, and have a pure heart. God will take care of you — not to worry. “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need” (Philippians 4:19).  

Remember: “I will not violate my covenant or change what my lips have said” (Psalm 89:34).  

Do Not Neglect The Gift You Have.

Do Not Neglect The Gift You Have.

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“Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.” 1 Timothy 4:14. 

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 that “something” we are great at is and go deep so that we can glorify God all the days of our lives with it. Our gifts aren’t to be used for man, like many do in the music industry. Our godly gifts are to be used, without question, for God’s glory.

Who are we without God? We are nobody, I say. Spend some time this week to find your true talent so that you can glorify the almighty with distinction. Remember: You work for God not man. Once you find that special gift, dedicate your life to that talent so that the Lord is glorified continuously. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

A True Believer Don’t Show Favoritism.

A True Believer Don’t Show Favoritism.
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Clarence has a great heart. He helps homeless veterans. What a great brother in Christ.

A true believer don’t show favoritism. He treats everybody the same regardless of how much he has, which clothes he dresses or where he lives. A brother (or sister) in Christ deserves to be treated with respect regardless of how much he has. The color of one’s skin (regardless of ethnicity) shouldn’t determine to which person you should address your speech to first, either. Don’t be judgmental, use good discernments and be fair. Reminder: There will be both white and black believers in heaven. Love them both…

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4). If you have ears listen… 

Don’t dishonor the poor man. “…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8). If you show favoritism, God will judge you sooner or later because it is written He will. Be careful with whom you show favoritism to. God is paying very close attention to your actions and mine.

If You believe, You Will See The Glory Of God.

If You believe, You Will See The Glory Of God.

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“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26

Yes, I Do. Being with you is a gift that I do accept and celebrate. Sure, the path has been rough and much persecution has occurred but I do realize that they hated you before they hate me. I don’t live for man but for you, Lord. Scripture has taught me to seek what is best for others many times over what is best for me. God, you take care of us all.

God works in us. We believe and are blessed. Glory is to be given to God, alone. If you believe, you will see the glory of god.