I’m Better Today Than I Was yesterday… Much Better, Actually.

I’m Better Today Than I Was yesterday… Much Better, Actually.

Practice makes it perfect. After being a college professor for 11 years, I can confidently say that I’m a better professor today than I was back in 2008. I finally know the difference between good and great as it pertains to media production and research. After having advised more than 500 students, I can say with certainty that I have helped many students to get jobs in industry or go to graduate school fully funded. God has been good to me.

We learn many lessons in life, including lessons relating to our professional careers. Today I know the ins and outs of social media and how to get the perfect exposure in photography. The websites I design and develop are robust, easy to navigate, have great copy and its’s simple to use. I can speak in public with ease and can discern between good deeds and manipulative attempts through non-verbal communication.

My students benefit from all of that now. It’s a blessing to them, I must add.

Back in the day that wasn’t the case. I thought I knew so much about communication when in reality, I knew so little. When I see some of the artifacts produced by some of my graduate school classmates on facebook today, I know that after 11 years, they still know very little about media which is sad thing. I guess that being unaware of one’s circumstances is often the norm among many educators of my generation rather than the exception.

I thank God for the opportunity to participate and learn…

We all get better in whatever we do if we choose to practice our craft. I most definitely did and so can you.  I’m a better educator today than I was yesterday… Much better, actually. I’ve learned a lot in these past ten years but there is still much to learn. At least, I’m humble enough to realize that.

One more thing…  Never, under any circumstances give up. The word “give up” should not be on your vocabulary. You will thank me later. Just trust me. 

 

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The Purple Cow Is For Real

The Purple Cow Is For Real

During this past year, I’ve been engaging with college students, face-to-face, in a very different way — Dancing latin music on campus with them, skateboarding with some, singing karaoke with others, attending their rock concert events and playing guitar with many around campus. These former activities aren’t usually done by many college professors across the United States and I know it. That’s exactly the point! I’m the purple cow around here. I decided to make my brand remarkable.

Seth Godin, back in the day, introduced the concept of the purple cow, which literally means that in an market of abundance, much like the one that we are living right now in the United States, people need to be the only option available to their audiences because of the amount of noise/supply that there is on the market these days.

By being different, or shall we say eccentric, I’m finding out by students that many students perceive me as animated and fun to be around but more importantly… that no other professor behave the way I do. Ladies and gents, I’m the purple cow and I love it.

Attention is a currency as Gary Vaynerchuck once said. I agree with him. Leveraging this “attention,” whatever the method, often results in people/brands growing in their popularity and influence among their real target audience. Some may think that my approach is juvenile or too over the top but the reality is that it works.  How do I know this? I take a very close look at my social media analytics in order to test a working hypothesis on the topic.

Since early October 2019, my instagram account alone has grown 300%, after I literally met 300 students dancing merengue on campus. Of these 300 hundred, 30 of those decided to follow my account on TikTok, and many others my account on facebook. My office visitations doubled this semester, as well as the conversations I now have in my own building with them. Off-line communication is a must if you decided to be a purple cow in your own organization.

I cannot go to lunch at the cafeteria without a random student screaming, “Dr. A!”

In sum, The concept of the purple cow is for real. If you make yourself worth of making a remark about, AKA being the purple cow… you will grow and audience. Read Seth Godin’s work and apply his concepts if you want to grow a brand.

You won’t regret.

I’ve Learned As Much From My Students As They’ve Learned From Me

I’ve Learned As Much From My Students As They’ve Learned From Me

It is true. Every semester, I’m shocked by how much I learn from them. This semester alone, I’ve learned that great video games should have exit points, that click by click instruction is how college students like to learn these days… they taught me how to ride a one wheel skateboard, to sing better and innovative ways to make friends on campus. In addition, they have showed me how to use some of my own systems at the university and where to go for help a little better.

These are the lessons I can remember… There are so many more.

I have the humility to admit that they, the students, know so much… which reminds me of what my grandfather once told me, “Everybody is an encyclopedia.” “Listen to people because they often have something good to say.” There is wisdom to the former, that’s for sure. I listen to my students and put what they suggest into practice.

As I approach my 46th birthday, I’m starting to rethink the notion that old people are wiser than the youth. It depends! The kids know much more than people want to give them credit for. Today, in my website design class, I taught them how to use a google based web system to produce a landing page website for a potential business. These were some of the ideas that they came up with.

  • A foundation to raise money for Israel
  • A math tutorial business to help special education kids
  • A grocery shopping on demand business
  • A recruiting system for local organizations
  • A rapid website business for local communities
  • A mechanism to send 100 individuals to global mission trips

And more.

Who am I to tell them what or how to think? Clearly, they can think for themselves. I’m thankful for the opportunity to assist them in this process…

In this life, we all learn from each other, I say. I’m a fan of the saying, “In college, you don’t learn from a professor… you learn with a professor.” It is true man.  I feel that way. I’ve learned as much from my students as they’ve learned from me.

 

 

I’m Not Sure If Living In Southeast TN Is Good For Latino Families

I’m Not Sure If Living In Southeast TN Is Good For Latino Families

I’ve never experienced what I’m experiencing right now in America. A number of people in the town that I’m currently living classify me as a second class citizen not worth of their respect. In a period of two and a half years, I’ve been called a monkey, you people, and have experienced a number of non-verbal aggressions because of the way that I look and speak. I’m not used to that, I must add.  Let me make this clear for everybody. I’m a highly educated citizen of the United States who is fluent in english.

After living for 21 years in this country, I can attest to you that the general American public is overall very welcoming to those who come to this country legally and make the decision to becoming an American citizen the right way. I’ve done that! I followed the rules and went to the process of naturalization the right way. I still experience racism in this town from the poor cashier working at wall-mart to teachers at the local elementary school, despite the fact that I’m de facto an American.

Today, I went to a local elementary school to get my daughter Sophia who is participating in a children’s play at school. To my surprise, she wasn’t waiting for me in the school’s lobby where parents often stop by to get their kids after a school sponsored event day. I asked the standing teacher if the play rehearsal was over and whether my daughter Sophia was done with the play practice. The teacher decided to “speak” with me both verbally and non-verbally.

That’s where trouble began…

First, the teacher immediately stop looking at me and kept moving without destiny speaking at me with her back towards me, sometimes looking over her shoulders to see if I was paying attention to what she was saying. With a tone of superiority, she interrupted me every time I tried to communicate with her. The former was clearly a power play.

When a white fellow came into the door to get his daughter, she immediately left me to serve him, always looking at his eyes. Then a white mom came into the building… she treated her with much respect and regard. I wondered…

Like a good Christian man with morals, I ignored her offensive behavior towards me and asked her again if I could then get my daughter and go home. She then looked at me as if I was a career janitor and started moving quickly one more time “talking” with her back towards me again, with a diminishing voice tone

This time, I stopped and interrupted her to say… maybe we should see if my daughter is in her classroom. She looked grumpy at me then said that she was a second grade teacher and that she knew who my daughter was. On a click of an eye, there she was again walking in front of me with her back towards me and speaking as if I was an uneducated latino farmer going to her class in attempt to find Sophia.

At that point, I knew that our communication exchange was a lost cause. Clearly, she had a problem with my ethnicity. Being aware of this fact and to make things more pragmatic, I asked her directly if I could go to the after school program and see if my daughter was there. When I used a leadership voice tone with her, she got confused and wondered how a latino like me could speak with such authority at her. I politely ignored her non-verbal messages and kept walking.

What I don’t think she realized is that I’m a communication professor, who has served as in leadership positions in higher education, who is proficient in non-verbal communication and know how to speak with different kinds of people in a multitude of ways.

By the way…

I was right. Sophia was in the after school program’s room.  I finally got my child after 10 minutes of questionable communication exchange with this teacher. By the way, the teacher immediately left me and literally disappeared from the scene when I got into the room to see my kid. Go figure.

My conclusion…

I’m not sure if living in southeast TN is good for Latinos. This incident isn’t the first one I’ve experienced in Cleveland and I suspect won’t be the last. This town isn’t very friendly towards latino males and females. The racial climate against hispanics in this town is not very good.  If you look latin American in here, you are perceived to be of an inferior caste. It’s sad but it appears to me to be true.

 

 

To every thing there is a season… Be Aware

To every thing there is a season… Be Aware

… and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

From the book of Ecclesiastes…

I must admit that at 45, I have the duty to speak a little more than listen especially with the youth. After all, the good God has given me a number of abilities that are often not given to many professionals I know. In fact, the combination of these abilities, I’ve come to realize, is very rare.

They are the following:

  • The ability to conceptualize, build, deliver and sell a business for a big profit.
  • The ability to use charisma for building teams and alliances.
  • The ability to discern good from evil through non-verbal communication.
  • The ability to write, speak, design, see and edit media.
  • The ability to learn new skills quick and lead others.

It is my time to speak, I feel. This is what I want to say today. I hope you find value in what I’m going to write in here. These thoughts and ideas are for real man. Listen carefully to them.

Here we go.

“This life is full of evil people with evil intentions. No matter where you go, you will find your fair share of falling angels claiming to be nice and kind but in reality, these bunch are as bad as your worse enemy. Be aware.

“I’ve seen good people get cancer and evil people retire millionaire, full of friends and with much influence. I’ve witnessed the poor being labeled lazy and faulty for their misfortunes. I’ve witnessed the ultra wealthy planning the demise of the poor in more than one country. It is real… Be aware.

“Everywhere you go, there will always be a ruling group, a group that wishes to be in the ruling crowd, the outsiders and the independents of thought. The “wish team” is often the group with the least character/integrity as they would do (or say) what is necessary to be in the ruling group. Be Aware.

“I’ve seen manipulators being labeled great leaders because of their wealth and influence. I’ve seen church leaders profit from the sweat of their congregation, sending their own kids to private school at the expense of the poor. A number of churches are social clubs instead of places of worship. Be aware.

“Most people are the opposite of what they show to the public. A quiet public character is often a loud private person. Those who claim to be great in a particular skill are often poor in the skill. Be aware.”

“The insecurity of people often leads to expensive purchases, e.g., big houses, luxury cars, fancy clothes and extravagant dinners and parties. People who are secure in who they are don’t need these former materialistic possessions or the need to show them to others. Be Aware.

“Most of the wars people fight in life are a collection of uphill battles often fought with limited resources. No wonder why so much conflict is silent. The moment a person is silent (or absent) towards you…. Be aware.

“Only a fool thinks that people aren’t paying attention. Things always make sense to someone. Be careful to assume because when you assume, you make an… Be Aware.”

“Never, under any circumstances, lose momentum. Give yourself maneuverability by being mobile. The former helps you to better understand different kinds of terrains. Eventually, you will find yourself in a position of inertia! It is normal, it is expected. Being a cog is a consequence of much inertia. Cogs are easily replaceable pieces in any operating system. Be aware.

For your own sake, resist nothingness and the comfortable position that inertia may bring you temporarily. Do what you can to be in motion, always seeking what will come next. Embrace change and don’t be afraid to change course, if necessary. Those who see trouble ahead and decide to fight a lost war, pay the price. Be aware.

The bible teaches us that, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:18-21).

There is nothing new under the sun, ladies and gents.

14 Quotes The Youth (and not so young) Should Read

14 Quotes The Youth (and not so young) Should Read

 A couple of things I’ve said over the years. Hope you enjoy.

“A true christian doesn’t live a life of envy. He lives a godly life always seeking to follow God’s message of love.”

“If you choose to stay in a job simply because of a title… I would argue that money isn’t the only problem you struggle with. You most definitely struggle with ego issues.”

“Compensation is far from being everything that there is about a job. Flexibility is as important and as valuable (if not more valuable) than income received.”

“I don’t let money or titles control me. I make my priorities based on scripture — based on what is written in the Bible.”

“The moment that you make God the center of your life, the former struggles start to disappear. You will quickly realize that possessions and job nomenclature is de facto meaningless.”

“There is tremendous power in calling your shots even if authority resides in the hands of others.”

“In the volatile market that we live in these days, having the capacity to engage in job maneuverability is without question a necessity these days.”

“Be good and do good in God’s eyes because it is good. Smile, give and receive hugs, laugh, eat and enjoy your family and friends — Work hard!”

“Brothers and sisters, you will find injustice in this world and even fools will reach positions of great authority. Don’t envy their privileged positions or try to justify your circumstances according to what happen to others.”

“Making a difference in the lives of others is a critical component of being a practitioner of Christianity.”

“Order can be brought out by fixing disorder. Don’t let jealousy and envious relationships get out of control and as important… control you.

“A true Christian doesn’t spend his or her journey comparing themselves to others or worse — putting themselves ahead of others. We put others ahead of us.”

“Don’t forget… Make someone happy. This is your duty and mine in this world.”

“Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God.”

Hope you liked it.

 

Things I’ve Said In My Life Before

Things I’ve Said In My Life Before

Hope you enjoy these sayings as much as I do.

“We all have our own beliefs and value system. I certainly have mine and won’t give them up. You have yours and we all have to respect that.”

“God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in your path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake.”

“Complaining and blaming others for your misfortunes and lack of luck will not change the fact that we need to work with others in order to operate with distinction.”

“Give yourself a chance of winning big by aligning your talents with what God has called you to do.”

“Money comes second: Do what you like first.”

“When a well executed strategy is put in place, winning becomes a consequence.”

“Don’t confuse temporary success with God’s will.”

“Live your life in the moment. Give a hand to someone, forgive often, listen more and be real.”

“Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come.”

“Excessive speech isn’t appropriate and should be avoided whenever possible.”

“A leader canʼt have an evil stream otherwise, problems occur.”

Thank you for reading.

Thursday Thoughts For The Youth

Thursday Thoughts For The Youth

These are Thursday thoughts for the youth!

1. Be yourself. In this life, nobody wanting to be original can be a carbon copy of somebody else. The qualities that made Napoleon great were not the same qualities that made Patton extraordinary. The great Patch Adams cared for his patients more than any other physician ever dreamed of. Yet, we have obtuse doctors who just get things done making them as great. Women are from Venus and men are from Mars and that’s okay. Whatever unique traits the good God has given you, He gave you your uniqueness for a reason. There are a number of things in this life that are possible — by studying one gets better grades; By practicing, one gets better scores; By forgiving one becomes a better man. What isn’t possible is to strive to be unique by emulating others. It simply doesn’t work regardless of what others may tell you. The great Jim Furyk would have never made it into the PGA Tour by swinging his clubs more like Ben Hogan. The earlier you realize that you need to be original, the greater your impact in this life will be and the most glory to God you will be able to give.

2. Challenge yourself. History is full of cases of individuals who put themselves in a bubble and accept mediocrity in exchange for complacency and security. Just because you can play football in a AA division doesn’t mean that you are ready to compete against the Quad A state champions. You need to be original or should I say — be different. What you really need is to ditch the idea that you should work for money and rather… work in the talent that the Lord has given you by doing the former, you will be able to be great in your area of strength which if you keep course, success will go your way when you least expect. Give yourself a chance to be challenged and embrace the opportunity to achieve high grounds by challenging yourself.

3. Create something worth sharing. Whenever you create something out of nothing, you are obligated to think with no box yet generate a working prototype of your imagination.  With the former comes conceptualization, production, revision, re-engineering, more and more revisions leading to a final product or outcome.  Even if your creation is a failure financially, there are great lessons to be learned by going through the motions of raw creation. The uniqueness of your efforts in many ways speak louder than your inability to take a chance.  If you want to be unique, you will need to take risks and give yourself a chance to achieve the unimaginable. Creating something worth sharing isn’t the test but a task and duty. Next time you think about being unique, create something worth sharing.

4. Tesla sell their cars to their tribes, always catering to them. 78% of Tesla sales are done on-line. It is different, it’s unique. Elon Musk seems to be empathetic with his team. What is the result of his efforts? Success! A lot of it. He understands his audience. He is clearly not catering to everybody. What are you doing everyday to cater to your tribe? remember: Whatever we do professionally, we do for our audience not to ourselves. “Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe.”

That’s it! Did you learn something? Let’s keep the conversation going and chat. Hope you have a great Thursday!

Sunday Thoughts For The Youth #1

Sunday Thoughts For The Youth #1

Some Sunday thoughts for the Youth…

  1. The message is clear. When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. I add to the former by saying that when Newton’s 3rd law is applied to people affairs, “an equal force equal in magnitude is excerpted in the direction of the first body either directly or indirectly.  It is naive to believe that unchristian like behaviors, when done constantly and overtime, will be always received by individuals without an equal degree of retaliation in the long run. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes, the reaction is direct or indirect, coming from the left or from the right… up, down, from the east or from the west. Sometimes the reaction comes from nowhere. It’s impossible to predict where it will come from… but eventually it comes. Equilibrium is achieved, sooner or later making opposing forces balanced.
  2. Christlike behavior isn’t demeaning. Christlike behavior isn’t unkind. Christlike behavior isn’t self-centered. Christlike behavior isn’t ambitious to the point of isolating a Christian brother or sister for self gain. Christlike behavior is based on the figure of Jesus Christ and how he treated others above himself. If you claim to be a Christian, treat people with respect and don’t be partial. It is a sin to stop speaking with people because of what others may think (or do) to you. We need to be people with principles and character. Thankfully, there is hope against much adversity. In James 1:12, it is written, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
  3. The voices (and sounds) of the people are a trademark of what makes us human and there is no technology that will ever replace that. For some of us who believe in Christianity, our voices are also instruments that we use to glorify God. What are people thinking to believe that technology can replace labor in everything in life including music? I know, you know… we know. It is because of money or should I say greed. This new mindset of cutting human resources at all costs and replacing labor with technology is reaching dangerously absurd levels in American society and to a certain degree — reaching high levels of ridicule and greed.
  4. You are not better than me. We, however, are better than most. I say, “synergy.” A united people can never be divided. Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are. Behaviors speak much louder than any words in this world. All we need to do is to take notes. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Yesterday? Who cares. I will keep moving forward and thanking all the people who believe in my life mission of goodwill. We are all creatures of habit who enjoy reading tidbits of information to make us a bit smarter by the day. As technology permeates our lives in this new world we live in, not too many people have the time and resources to truly learn useful quotations these days.

Enjoy your Sunday!

I Am, Therefore I Think

I Am, Therefore I Think

Some of my thoughts for this Friday. Hope you like them as much as I do.

Use technology wisely: and if it makes your life better. If technology starts making your life worse, stop using it immediately. Let me illustrate this point — I am a professional photographer who is constantly capturing and editing stills for profit. Modern photography technology helps me tremendously with capturing great shots, editing my photos, storing and selling them. In fact, it helps me considerably, I must add. There is no question about that. I have learned that when I edit photograph for about an hour or so, my eyes and neck start hurting pretty bad. This is precisely why I don’t work in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time. I came to realize that overuse of technology will make your life worse.

A gentleman does not spread rumors, I mean never: Under no circumstances does a gentleman engage in this kind of behavior because he knows that 10/10 times, these rumors cause hardships on others and eventually the other party finds out about the unfortunate event which can haunt them in the future. Only a boor engages in such behaviors. Schmucks love to talk about others behind their backs because they have nothing better to say or anything important to do. A true gentleman doesn’t put himself in the position of being a vermin. When asked to feed a rumor mill, a gentleman says no without remorse.

Read God’s word: Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.” “Not everything that feels good or right is in fact good for you in God’s eyes. We need to life a moral life that puts God first and we second.” “God is a gift — pray continuously. The reward is worth the sacrifice. “f you dream and have faith… God will help you to achieve.” “Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come.” “Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God.” “God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in their path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake.” “Listen carefully: Nobody is perfect in this life, not even you or me. Only God is perfect.

Elitism is alive and well: Elitism happens in America. It’s all that I’m saying. I think that our societal obsession with equality has made many blind to the obvious class favoritism  that we have in this country. To me, elitism is alive and well, even though many deny that it exists in our nation.

Last thoughts: 1) Accidents happen. No matter how cautious we are with our bodies, things happen beyond our control sometimes. I wasn’t negligent hitting my head this time, that’s for sure. 2) Life is short — Do what you love. Man, I got even closer to my wife and kids because of this incident. I went for a photo trip with them and decided to use the trip to rethink our future. Priceless. 3) We are all terminal. Live life to the fullest because time is gift. One day you have time to play with your kids. The next, you hit your head and don’t have time to think about playing with them. It’s life.

Peace.

SPAM! The “Finest” and “Classiest” Messages You Will Ever Hear

SPAM! The “Finest” and “Classiest” Messages You Will Ever Hear

I get spam emails on a hourly basis. I mean, TONS of spam. I get spam in my inbox in gmail, my email from school, and in my spam folder in all of my 15 email accounts. SPAM sucks, I say. It’s time consuming to go through them and they can be quite offensive, actually! In this blog post, I will share with you some of the mot amusing SPAM messages I received This month. Are you ready for this? Be ready! It will be weird.

The joins of technology! SPAM, SPAM, and more SPAM. Here we go.

1. “𝑭𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑳𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑭𝑹𝑬𝑬 𝒐𝒏 Get Started for free on the #1 trusted dating website.”

Dr. A’s response: I’m married! HELLO! ???? Do you offer anything else for free?   

2. “I want you! I sent you my photo. Do you want to chat with me? Yes or no?”

Dr. A’s response:  Hmmm… you have good taste to like me but no thanks. 🙂

3. “Get Lifetime Access to Trade Partner at just USD 250 — Your access fee has been removed, so, your full membership benefits are completely free. The fee returns next week, so, it makes sense to use your free membership now before you have to pay. Activation only takes a minute. You will be approved straight away and your account will receive money not long after. Just click here to begin. We wish you every success. Regards, Sandra D.”

Dr. A’s response: HAHAHAHA, okay. Next please. 

4. “Hi, I wanted to reach out and ask if you’re happy with your website right now or if there are things you’d like to change.  Do you have any upgrades that you’ve been thinking about making, or possibly a redesign?  I’m a very talented web developer and I can create just about anything you want.  Let me know what you think. Kind regards, Christopher.”

Dr. A’s response:  I’m sure you are, brother. I do teach web design though. Thank you for the offer. Good luck! 

5. “I’m married but need you! Pictures and videos from Sarah. I’m waiting on you.”

Dr. A’s response:  This SPAM is so flattering! Am I the sexiest man in the world or what? HAHAHA. Next. 

6. “Hi There, Greetings of the Day! Not sure my previous email reached you. Respect your engagements perhaps due to which you are unable to reply. This was to gently seek suitable timeframe when you are ready for the discussion. Are you looking for affordable and customized website designing services to make your business presence out of the web-crowd? Your Business website needs to be SEO friendly in order to achieve profit gaol. We offer comprehensive website solution to turn your Business into a well-known Brand. With our examined Organic SEO tricks, you can easily build & retain your website ranking on the top of search list. If you want to make your website up-to-the-minute, then provide us your contact details and web requirement. Thanks & Regards, Gauri Gupta”

Dr. A’s response: How do you achieve a profit gaol? You said, “This was to gently seek suitable timeframe when you are ready…” What? 

7. “This tiny pill really can increase your intelligence. Now Available – The Most Powerful Brain Enhancer on the Planet! This tiny pill really can increase your intelligence! Meet the pill that increased intelligence. Improve memory, focus, cognitive ability. Top Intelligence boosting formula reviewed. This tiny pill really can increase your intelligence. See How This Raises Brain Performance. Secret Brain Pill Billionaires Are Using.”

Dr. A’s response: I knew that the millionaires had an untold secret! “This Tiny Pill!” I need something to increase my intelligence, you?  

8. “Luis, you awake?  I am thinking about you this morning… …and want to share something that may interest you here (especially if you have tried to succeed but failed miserably). Check it out and let me know your feedback (click me). To your success, Jeremy.”

Dr. A’s response: Are we done yet? 

9. “The Search For Your Girl is Over! You want to play with me! Mia, 24 years old.. Build: Slim… Height: 163cm… Distance To City: 14 Kilometers. View here sexy photos.”

Dr. A’s response: Mia, shouldn’t you be either in school or working somewhere? 

10. “Watch: 1 Odd Trick That Can Destroy The Diabetes Industry (Try This Tonight)…” [Cut by Dr. A]

Dr. A’s response: You Don’t Want To Hear About This, trust me. 

11. “INHERITANCE PROPOSAL! Attention!!! I have an important business discussion I wish to share with you which I believe will interest you, because it is in connection with your last name and you are going to benefit from it, please get back to me ASAP. Thanks, Steven, Chief Financial Officer.”

Dr. A’s response: Am I going to be a multi-millionaire today? Hahaha. I wish. 

12. “Sell or Trade In your iPhone X for $50 to earn a 10% off coupon. A reward to treat yourself to any of the millions of items in the marketplace. Offer available now through 10/9. Terms apply! Happy selling.”

Dr. A’s response: I’m tired. It’s 12:45am. I need to go to sleep. 

Tomorrow is another day, thank goodness! And no, I didn’t respond to any of these emails. Are you crazy?

🙂

You Must Be A Gentleman If You Are A Man

You Must Be A Gentleman If You Are A Man

No matter your age, where you come from, which high school you have attended or the college that you have received your degree from, if you are a real man… you must be a gentleman. The reason why I am so firm on the former is because God calls us to be one. The bible says in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” Clearly, we must do what we can to emulate the teachings of Christ and be gentle to one another. In this blog post, I will briefly share with you how a man can be more like a gentleman in three ways. Here we go.

1. By listening: A gentleman knows how to listen and understands that listening is an important trait of a real gentleman. There is no reverse to this one. In order for any man to be a gentleman, he must listen. Being a good listener means not interrupting others when others are speaking, actually listening to what others have to say, and considering alternatives solutions if the alternatives received are better than the existing ones. A true gentleman strives to make decisions that take into account the voices of his or team. A gentleman also understands that listening is a skill that can be mastered. 

2. A gentleman does not spread rumors, I mean never: Under no circumstances does a gentleman engage in this kind of behavior because he knows that 10/10 times, these rumors cause hardships on others and eventually the other party finds out about the unfortunate event which can haunt them in the future. Only a boor engages in such behaviors. Schmucks love to talk about others behind their backs because they have nothing better to say or anything important to do. A true gentleman doesn’t put himself in the position of being a vermin. When asked to feed a rumor mill, a gentleman says no without remorse.


3. A gentleman is humble and realizes that he doesn’t know everything:
  Because a gentleman knows that he doesn’t know everything and that the opinions of others are to be respected, he asks for other people’s opinions and balances his own thoughts and ideas with facts. He doesn’t take other people’s opinions as his own necessarily but he is open minded enough to hear what others have to say. A gentleman doesn’t need to act like an “I known it all” person because he knows that nobody knows everything and because the former is a quite impolite, arrogant practice. A gentleman would rather be quiet than to confront left-hand contributions, unless these are reoccurring/repeated events.

No matter how old you are, where you come from, which high school you have attended or the college you have received your degree from, if you are a real man… you must be a gentleman. Gentlemen are trained to listen, to not spread rumors, and to ask the opinion of others in oder to made the best decisions. Being a gentleman should be a lifelong goal for any man who labels himself to be a person of character. It is important to be a gentleman fellow men.

You must be a gentleman if you are a man.

 

A Christian Without Integrity Is In Vain

A Christian Without Integrity Is In Vain

“Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral uprightness,” according to the Webster dictionary.

A person with integrity is whole and undivided. They don’t allow external forces to dictate how they should behave with other people in life. Their moral principles take precedence before allowing the opinions (and perceptions) of others to dictate how they behave in this world.

Don’t be a person without integrity. Be yourself and fight the temptation to give up your morals for the fear or acceptance of what others think. Have your own stances and principles. Resist peer pressure and evil schemes. You are so much better than that, are you not?

Maybe we should look at what the Bible says about integrity…

In proverbs 11:3 we learn, “The integrity of the upright guides them. But the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

As Christians, we need to be more Christlike… have more integrity as Christ did. Strong man and woman can deal with misfortunes and always find a way to do what they love with minimum interruption, especially if God is with them.

It’s pointless to believe otherwise…

Evil schemes are easy to reverse engineer. Non-verbal behaviors and mediated messages (or silence) reveal much in any communication exchange. We cannot not communicate!

Be like Jesus and resist any activity that may have a negative impact on your integrity. A Christian without integrity is in vain.

Remember that.

Win Through Your Actions Never Through An Argument

Win Through Your Actions Never Through An Argument

“Win through your actions never through an argument,” says Robert Greene. I agree. Quantifiable actions disarm even the best arguments given by defense attorneys. People respect more what they see instead of what they can hear, I’ve learned the former in my life the hard way.

I used to be a screamer but not anymore… I’m glad. Be silent instead and counter-attack with actions, accordingly. It’s the best method, I say.

If you pay close attention to the people around you, you will quickly realize that there is a large amount of delusional people in this world of ours, convincing themselves about  whatever makes themselves feel good in the moment. We live in a free world… Folks have the right to be delusional and think what they want, as long as their illogical thoughts don’t impact the well being of others, if you know what I mean.

People think what they want, convincing themselves of the most irrational (sometimes comical) realities and circumstances. It may be why so many people need to take valium on a regular basis in this country in order to function… to be taken back to reality instead of living in a fantasy land inside their own minds.

Each man (or woman) often (if not always) think that they are right. Arguing with them will only result in you digging your own grave deeper, ladies and gentleman. Learn to demonstrate the correctness of your ideas or skillsets indirectly instead of engaging in an open debate with an irrational opponent. It will only give you more headaches and frustrations. You say A they say B. Learn to ignore these bunch… Do your own thing and let them wonder how you did what you did so easily. The former is such a powerful strategy, I must add.

Lee me give you a real life example that has happened to me recently. It’s absurd. You will be shocked by what people believe or convince themselves to reinforce what they believe, even if their own justifications defy all the logical rules of common sense.

Apparently, some people (students and/or non-students) thought that I didn’t know anything about photography. That’s absurd, of course. Ridiculous, if you ask me. Yes, it is true. How do I know? Well, I have my methods and ways to gather my intelligence… Sorry, my methods are classified.

Outrageous! Sickening! Laughable! Evil, if you ask me. Nothing unusual though…  It’s human behavior fueled by envy, a capital sin.

I could have engaged in an argument with them which would obviously not take me anywhere simple because, “Each man (or woman) often (if not always) think that they are right.” It is pointless to argue with them. Why bother? As my buddy Kurt once said, “Sometimes, you need to show what you know, in a kind but firm way, so people realize how dumb they are. “You need to put people in their places sometimes, Luis,” Kurt used to tell me.

Kurt was absolutely right. I decided to follow his advise this semester again. Strategically, yet firm and to the point. They all got the message by now, I bet. How do I know? I can see in their faces — Silence… through non-verbal communication, irritation and disdain. People are irrational and can be quite ignorant and evil. It’s human behavior. Do your work and let’s your actions speak.

Sometimes, you need to put them in their places and enjoy the ride. Don’t argue! It ain’t worth it. A picture is worth a thousand words! A collection of well composed photos in awesome locations can be worth tens of millions, especially if they are seen by people who think that you don’t know anything about photography.

Don’t argue… There is no need for screaming… People are irrational, egoistic, and will do what they can to defend what they believe. Win the game through your actions. That’s how the game is played. Trust me…

 

 

Speak Your Mind Within Reason

Speak Your Mind Within Reason

Let me tell you this straight: Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in timely professional development. Life, my friends, isn’t about you or me. Life is de facto about others and how we share and learn overtime. Don’t get me started — if you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the near future. Nobody knows everything… not even you or me. We need to be prepared, thats for sure. We need to keep learning and sharing. We need lifelong learning! We need lifelong sharing! Be ready to speak your mind with reason once is a while as the former is certainly critical to your success in life.

All that I ask you is: Be reasonable. We already live in a world that is so unreasonable out there. We most definitely need to be vocal about the former because acting without reason is dangerous and always backfire overtime. At least. this has been my experience.

In fact, being unreasonable is both dangerous and oppressive as it can silence the voices of people who might otherwise change the world for the better. Our goal is to make things better not worse in this world. It is to carry and advance honorable agendas in a timely fashion. Be patient, be kind, be loving and strive to be great in the eyes of others. Speak your mind with reason and defend what is right and honorable once in a while.

Remember: Being impartial or overly judgmental of others, especially if your life depends on the same people you criticize, isn’t wise. One thing is for sure — Your goals are not that different than mine. I bet your goal is to move forward in life by being and acting as a reasonable person. Is it that complicated? I don’t think so.

There are many ways people can speak their minds reasonably in this life. I will share with you three ways I speak my mind with reason in this blog. Here we go.

  1. I write. Well, the former shouldn’t come a surprise to anybody, right? I write my blog often on a daily basis in order to communicate my thoughts to the masses with a tough of reason. Writing allows me to speak my mind symbolically through language. What is my overall goal you may be asking. My goal is simply to speak my mind to others so that engagement takes place as I believe that sharing what I know and hearing what others have to say is a critical to my own professional development and with succeeding in life. This is my advice to you — You should do the same and write daily. Writing is a wonderful tool to tell others about how you feel, as long as it is done with reason. It is a way to keep yourself sane in this insane world that we live in.
  2. I photograph. Drawing with lights allow us to speak our minds visually. Differently from writing, a well taken photograph is art in itself with no symbolism. We all need art to be reasonable. Life is art and without question… life without art isn’t life as we know it. At least, this is how I see it. The whole idea of being critical is tied to the field of photography. Have you ever met a professional photographer who wasn’t critical of his/her photography work? Are you critical of your photography? Are you critical of your work? Tom Petty once said, “Sell your computer and buy a guitar.” I say, “Sell your computer (or guitar) and buy a DSLR!”
  3. I speak. Speaking in public allows me to speak my mind orally. When was the last time that you delivered a public speech? If you haven’t done one in a while, I would strongly suggest that you make plans to deliver one this year. In order to speak your mind with reason, you need to be versed in public speaking. I bet Dale Carnegie would agree with me on this one! Get yourself a good public speaking training program and start developing your repertoire of speeches so that you also have the ability to change the world for the better by speaking and being reasonable! We need more people like you, that’s for sure.

Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in conversations in a timely fashion in this world. If you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the future. Nobody knows everything… not even you or me. Be patient, be kind, be loving… take time to write, photograph, and speak so that you also have a chance to speak your mind with reason. Are you ready for the challenge? I hope so.

Your turn. Just do it.

46 Other Quotes I’ve Said Throughout The Years

46 Other Quotes I’ve Said Throughout The Years

We are all creatures of habit who enjoy reading tidbits of information to make us a bit smarter by the day. As technology permeates our lives in this new world we live in, not too many people have the time and resources to truly learn useful quotations these days.

I am shocked by the number of college students who are clueless about the basic tenets of life. They have been my inspiration to write these quotes, almost daily, on social media for about a year and a half.

Are you ready for this? Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.

— Quotes —

“You can’t keep having fun forever without control, judge and think that life will run like a disorganized mess forever. Eventually the fun will stop and reality will be made transparent.”

“In silence, there is rearming.”

“I tell you this to you: God doesn’t tolerate evil doers. He does justice in His own time, don’t worry or get angry. Those who are unjust will pay for their transgressions. Don’t be envious of their evil deeds. God will put them in their places. All you have to do is pray.”

“Seek love and avoid contention.”

“Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Yesterday? Who cares. I will keep moving forward and thanking all the people who believe in my life mission of goodwill.”

“People trust specialists not generalists. The Jack of all trades was born dead! Wait a minute, have you seen a general practitioner lately?”

“Behaviors speak much louder than any words in this world. All we need to do is to take notes.“

“New affiliation doesn’t erase experience. New lessons are learned. Old protocols are still applicable and relevant.”

“Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger. Enjoy the ride and trust.”

“Positioning is key, ladies and gentleman. By overworking you subordinate. Confident people aren’t intimidated by frowny faces.”

“We are no longer 9-5. We are 9 to forever.”

“This world is too complex for us to live life complicating the obvious.”

“Flee from the perverse and always look in between the lines.”

“Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are.”

“Whenever you make Christ the center of your life, you find true happiness and tremendous freedom.”

“Your people are a direct reflection of your attitude.”

“Those in power will protect themselves at the expense of the oppressed.”

“In the age of influence, technology became a commodity.”

“Don’t live in your past. Living there won’t help the “now” that you are in today.”

“Young professionals must realize two things: First, enemies are more loyal than your buddies.” “Second, nothing in life can be accomplished without influence.”

“If life doesn’t give you the opportunity… Create the opportunity.”

“Be firm and fair. Any questions?”

“The moment we try to guide our lives and “command our destiny…” is when we get into trouble.”

“They (enemies) will come hard at you, I guarantee — especially if you are competent at what you do.”

“Life is like a game of chess. Are you playing with white or black pieces? Strategize accordingly.”

“Look at life objectively. Be quiet and simply observe… An evil plan can be found in its details.”

“Never, under any circumstances, criticize anyone. The moment you do… you lose them.”

“It’s impossible to cheat excellence.”

“The answer to professional success isn’t extravagance. People’s decisions to live an extravagant life, in the end… tend to handicap them.”

“Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe.”

“We can’t change the yesterday but we certainly can influence the tomorrow.”

“Opportunities are a privilege for the common man but is a right for the wealthy.”

“If you can’t control yourself, you will never control others.”

“When you go or work places, you gain perspective. You know how crazy people are everywhere you go.”

“True excellence is only achieved when people have experienced tremendous adversity.”

“It isn’t hard work that differentiates you from others necessarily. It is your ability to think differently… Hard work, of course, is a part of it.”

“One of the best decisions a professional can make is to better understand people.”

“God didn’t make Adam and smartphone. God made Adam and Eve.”

“Just because someone (or something) is old doesn’t mean that they have no use. You will be amazed by how much you can learn from a 80 year old man.”

“A body in motion keeps it in motion. Inertia take you places… the moment you stop making progress in your life problems will occur.”

“Good employees are born. Great employees are made.”

“You can gain the world with a happy smile.”

“If you competitor dresses in red, be blue. If he goes left move right. This is a way to position yourself.”

“The method of intuition is a method of knowing.”

“When undecided, pray… When in question, ask… When in trouble, resolve… When you know, share.”

“You are not better than me. We, however, are better than most. I say, “synergy.” A united people can never be divided.”

After An Error, Regroup, Be Patient, Seek And You Will Find

After An Error, Regroup, Be Patient, Seek And You Will Find

I’m currently walking to the monthly Cleveland Media Association meeting where I serve as President Elect in this beautiful Tennessee Friday in September.

What I didn’t share with you was that I drove to today’s event by car first but couldn’t find a parking spot. It was clearly an error on my part. I should have known that Friday’s, especially between the hours of 10:00am and noon, parking is scarce here on campus.

The result? I couldn’t find a parking spot and had to drive back to my building and find another parking spot because mine was then taken immediately after I left. I had to regroup and realized that I’ve made a mistake. The only option I could take was to be patient in order to find a spot again on campus, without being late for my meeting.

So I did… I went one more time around the block and was able to find not one but two spots to park my car. What a blessing! The former isn’t typically the case in this hour of the day here in Cleveland, TN.

I looked for it and found it. I had a seek and you will find kind of moment. It made me remember of how things really are in the workforce. Sometimes, we make mistakes. They are inevitable.

The best thing to do in order to fix them is to accept the fact that we have made an error, regroup, be patient, seek and eventually you will find what you are looking for. Don’t be upset or get disappointed.

The recovery or the long term solution to your error may not be immediate but if you go through the motions of fixing the issue, like identifying the error, regrouping, being patient, seeking and finding an alternative… eventually you kick back and win in whatever endeavor you are pursuing.

Do your part and live, ladies and gents. I don’t think that you will get gravel if you follow this model. That’s what a I think, at least.

Be blessed and enjoy your Friday.

Twenty Pieces Of Advice From A Professor Who Cares

Twenty Pieces Of Advice From A Professor Who Cares

Hope you enjoy these “pieces of advice'” as much as I do. Here we go.

“Secret of success? Make yourself useful to other people. Are you being useful to someone right now? You better!”

“Flee from egoism and embrace a humble and godly life of service and humility. Whenever possible, help kids to laugh so that they have fun, even if you have to sacrifice your weekend for their benefit. God blesses those who help others and put others ahead of themselves.”

“Never underestimate what you don’t know or what you can’t see. Behind every star there is much unseen sweat.”

“Arrogance, vanity, envy and many other vices backfire. Be true to your real self and celebrate!”

“Many enjoy revenge and returning a punch to someone who have hurt them before. Don’t be like them. Pray for them! Be slow to anger and if you do lose your temper, be quick to being yourself again.”

“As Allen once said, “Self control is strength, right thought is mastery, calmness is power.”

“Listen, test, and be a leader who fears the lessons and teachings of God.”

“Life is always about others not yourself or me. Life is about loving God and doing what is best for your family.”

“Students, you need the following to win in life: 1) God; 2) Courage; 3) Skillsets.”

“Before making any major life decisions, you need to pray and fast. You are to never let anyone chose your life path for you. Understood?”

“The path to success is clear: We must read voraciously.”

“Life is about God not us. I must become less so God is more and so should you.”

“Smile. Being grumpy won’t take you anywhere.”

“In life, you can’t compromise quality and/or bargain your way into what makes you exceptional.”

“We are called to love God and not use our mouths for evil or our tongues for deceit. We are to edify our parents and do what is right in God’s eyes. We need to be gracious to God and for everything that He has given us. God will last but not man. Whatever you do, do it for God.

“Seek love and avoid contention.”

“True talent is like a speedy Audi. Trying to stop them is futile!”

“If something appears to be, it usually is.” “Between zero and fifty thousand, money matters for a person. between fifty-five thousand and 100 million, money doesn’t matter as much as you may think.”

“Stay quiet and observe.” “Anger, slander, malice, arrogance…everything that is evil along with hate comes from the enemy. We need to be the salt of the world and act like it. Flee from hateful behaviors and welcome love in your life.”

“We are all good at something. Some of us are fine engineers, others are good with numbers, some are excellent speakers or nurses and a few are indeed awesome photographers or graphic designers. One of our main goals in life is to find out what is that “something” that we are great at so that we can glorify God all the days of our lives with it.”

Quotes taken from Tidbits By Dr. A.

We Are Either A Member Of ‘The Few’ Or ‘The Masses’

We Are Either A Member Of ‘The Few’ Or ‘The Masses’

Some like to label themselves as either a republican or a democrat, right or left wing, conservative or liberal… the labels are many. How fascinating… I’m not sure if the former is the best way to categorize who we are in American society, though. I like to categorize Americans as either being a member of ‘The Few’ or ‘The Masses’. Let me explain.

If you find yourself lobbying for lower taxes, for the country to have policies that defend big businesses in a global context, and/or defend bank bailouts for self gain, you are probably “The Few” who belong to the top 5% of America or shall we say… the people who have the money to spend and the money to give. You have the capacity to lend capital for the state to operate. You know that the country can’t function without you. Politicians look for your support to help the country to operate and you gladly give them the funds (along with interest) in exchange for paying little to no taxes for your enterprises. The “Few” have the capacity to pass legislation protecting their interests… Reality.

If you don’t like to pay taxes (or if you are okay to paying some), but have have little to no wealth relative to the few (with rare exceptions), if you are a working class men or women or make a living with a small business… And want the state to give you free health care or public education or grants for your small business to function better or to send your kids to college for a discount price, you are likely to be a member of “The masses.” When the state is seeking funds to advance the country forward, “The masses” just don’t have it. “The Masses” need the state more than the 5% do in order to operate to capacity. Since the 1970’s, “The Masses” haven’t receive a proper wage increase. Tragic.

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I can understand our positions (who we are in society) a little better this way. How about you? By the way, I’m shocked by how much difference exists between “The Masses” and “The Few” today. It reminds me of Brazil of the 1980’s — The decade that wasn’t, where wild capitalism took precedence. Sad.

The following I find fascinating…

Michelle Obama and George W. Bush are friends, it seems. George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton are friends, I seems… At one point, even Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were friends. Why am I saying this? Well, because all of these families have one thing in common which isn’t their affiliation with a political party. They are all part of “The Few” or shall we say… the 5%, regardless of which political party they belong to.

In the United States, I belong to “The Masses.” I bet that most of you belong to this class, as well. At least I know where I stand. Do you know where you stand? Things sometimes aren’t what they seem, ladies and gentlemen. I’m a fan of living in reality, with much dignity, always glorifying God above anything.

Maybe we shouldn’t pretend as much and look at the facts to better understand our situations/positions in life. I wish we discussed these topics a bit more in higher education all across the country… we simply don’t. It’s my hope that we shall in the future. Hopefully.

 

 

 

 

Differences Between The North And The South: An Outsider’s View On Tradition

Differences Between The North And The South: An Outsider’s View On Tradition

In the north of the United States, more often than not, we deal with people without caring for their traditions and solve problems along with them. In the south, I’ve come to learn that the former is most often not the case, at least this is what I’ve seen. Both in Mississippi and Tennessee, I had to work with a local or/and influential person in the community in order to solve simple practical problems because I was not a local or shall I say, an American but not a Mississippian.” What I’m saying is that tradition reigns around here, ladies and gents. It’s just how the system operates.

Is it a bad thing? It’s not necessarily a bad thing, no. It’s cultural. It can, however, make some people’s lives… mine for example… much more complicated simply because I’m not a member of General Robert Lee’s family tree or another southern influencer from Alabama or good ole Georgia. I’m used to it now but the fact that my efforts alone sometimes aren’t enough to solve an urgent problem or get things done quickly irritates me a bit. Why, you may ask. This is why. Let me explain.

  1. When I need to call my “Southern mommy or daddy” to help me to solve some of my problems, I’m not as efficient or productive. I’m 45 not 15. In Mississippi, the former happened quite a lot. Thank Goodness that I had a supporting angel on my side to help me to navigate the southern system. Her name was Dr. Anthony, a kind and very nice lady in which I truly respect and appreciate. What she told me, I heard and did. I still remember the number of times that she helped me to fix my office phone, helped me with printing documents/computer problems, assisted me with political things, you name it. Of course I love Dr. Anthony… But Dr. Anthony is also a very busy person. I respected her time then and would respect her time now. Should I really have to stop one’s work in order to get my things done? I don’t think so.
  2. I believe in independent thinking. I mean… thinking for yourself and being able to share what you know and don’t know should be an accepted practice anywhere we go, regardless of the accepted cultural norms in the region, in my opinion. I know that in practice, the former isn’t realistic but as a romantic… I dream of a world where everyone can be the owners of their own destiny through Christ Jesus our Lord freely. I’ve seen that the former is easier to accomplish only if you are from the south around here.
  3. Even though I value hierarchy in my life, I’m not a big fan of controlling behavior or systems that operate under a controlled set of variables where the user is rarely involved in the design of their own systems of problem solving. As an expert in instructional systems, I look at ‘systems’ perhaps from a different perspective, more from a critical point of view than not. In New York, I was able to participate in events and influence a system for the better by literally getting involved in the community and building local trust. In the south, these same methods don’t apply as much as I thought they would be, regardless of attempt and tenure. I’ve waited almost three years to contribute to a number of systems who aren’t really interested in hearing from me, despite my sincere interest in them. I might need to change my last name to Sanders and perhaps become a colonel in order to not be controlled by others or be given a chance especially in small towns in central Tennessee.

I knew that the north and the south were different. What I didn’t predict was the amount of tradition that exists in the southern states. The former is then transferred to how business operate and how people communicate in their jobs, churches and at home. Holy cow! What a huge wake up call!

At least I know where I stand and how things operate around me now. Thank Goodness that my wife is a southerner. At least, they listen to her a little more than they listen to me. I’ve learn to leverage that overtime. Reality.

It’s Impossible For Parents To Not Be Proud of Their Kid’s Accomplishments

It’s Impossible For Parents To Not Be Proud of Their Kid’s Accomplishments

There are exceptions to this rule but it’s rare. If you love your kid (or kids), you will be proud of their accomplishments and be emotional about them especially when others give them recognition. It’s impossible for my dad and mom to not be proud of this clip below or this report right here. I bet that them both have told others that I got a PhD from public Ivy, Penn State. They are human. It’s normal.

Why do I know that? Because we were all tiny once and dependent on them. They raised us to be big things in life. It’s the dream and joy of any parent. When kids accomplish great things in life, they can brag about it when they are old to others. They dream of having their kids accomplishing big things and live better than they did.

I like to call the former, “Children Exceptionalism.” The idea that your kids should always live better that you. I’m in total agreement with this philosophy.

The clip below is extraordinary. It is better than Bon Jovi’s, “Bed of Roses,” in many ways.  I don’t say this very often about cover of well known artists, especially Bon Jovi. Nobody should be a mile better than Bon Jovi in music!

Witnessing accomplished artists literally displaying the feeling of, “I’m blown away by your talent,” will make any parent emotional. This kid’s parent and family members were obviously emotional. Question: How you would feel if you were this kid’s dad? Emotional, I bet.

So, I’m now emotional every time anyone says something great about Sophia. She is only 6 years old. I hear, “Sophia is so cute,” “Sophia is so photogenic,” “Sophia is adorable,” “Sophia is intelligent,” Sophia this, Sophia that. For obvious reasons, I’m emotional about it. I operate under the children exceptionalism rule. I dream big for Sophia so that she can dream bigger for herself.

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It’s impossible for parents to not be proud of their kid’s accomplishments. We might as well embrace this fact and wish the best for our kids no matter the size of that accomplishment. You will be emotional when someone tells you that your kid has an amazing talent for sports, is cute, or both. It’s normal! Remember, you are human. Do you believe in “Children Exceptionalism?”

Elitism Exists In The USA More Than People Want To Admit

Elitism Exists In The USA More Than People Want To Admit

I’m realizing that the United States is as elitist as Brazil, with the exception that in here, many seem to deny that class favoritism exists based on the pretext that we live in a democracy fueled by meritocracy.

Class favoritism exists in America. I’m convinced. I can identify a number of variables that can be argued to be required elements of a “healthy elitism” including higher education and club affiliation ease of access, local clicks and selective gatherings, as well as media preference to some people based on how much power and family name they have.

A recent sad event but very relevant event relating to the thesis of this article has strengthened my belief that elitism is alive and well in America. A few months back, I’ve witnessed what I call “blatant elitism” in my community. The daughter of a regional influential leader was diagnosed with leukemia which by itself is a tragedy.

To my surprise, many people in town went ballistic about this event as if the pope has died unexpectedly in a car accident. People were obsessed when they herd about this sad event and started saying, “What a tragedy that happened to her daughter… we need to pray for her.” Dedicated prayers in local organizations were conducted, the news got into the bandwagon and started a fundraising for her child.  

I was confused for a good while, I admit. How can this person get so much attention so quickly from everybody with such intense rate and frequency? I thought to myself. This person’s family must be a part of the elite. I was right. Maybe elitism exists in the USA more than people want to admit.

Facts: Cancer patients are twice more likely to declare bankruptcy, Cancer can ruin a person’s finances, Donations are key in assisting families to pay for cancer treatment. 

I wonder if the son of a truck driver making 29K a year would have the same opportunity for awareness and fundraising as his wealthier counterpart? I doubt, even though he would need much more help with fundraising than elite families. Our society seems to ignore the needs of the poor and the expense of protecting the pockets of the wealthy, it seems. By the way, it costs an average of $59,899 dollars to treat leukemia in children in this country, along with $3,452 in maintenance costs. Which can low income families afford such medial bill expenses?

My conclusion: Elitism happens in America. It’s all that I’m saying. I think that our societal obsession with equality has made many blind to the obvious class favoritism  that we have in this country. To me, elitism is alive and well, even though many deny that it exists in our nation.

Do you agree or disagree with this provocative thesis?

Elite Isn’t Synonymous With Exclusive

Elite Isn’t Synonymous With Exclusive

Seth Godin once said, “Elite and exclusive” are de facto different terms in our societal lexicon and should be applied and seen differently. I firmly agree with his position as long as these terms may mean different things to different people.

It is my belief that Harvard University is an elite institution that is highly exclusive. After all, Harvard is composed by a select group of scholars who are usually superior in ability and quality from scholars in other universities. The same principle apply for places like Oxford, Princeton, MIT, or the University of Tokyo.

Let me attempt to elaborate on this provocative thought. Penn State, my alma mater, is an exclusive institution of higher education. It is a tier 1 school with an acceptance rate of 56%, meaning that the university rejects almost 50% of incoming applications. To me, Penn State isn’t as elite as many claim it to be for the simple fact that PSU isn’t Cal Tech, Stanford or Cambridge. These institutions are often better than Penn State in terms of endowment size, quality of faculty and students, facilities, and so on.

Why do I feel this way? Well, because when we join the workforce and face reality, we realize that opportunities many times don’t go to some people because of their associations, regardless of how “hard” people try. With all things being equal (ceteris paribus), a clever Harvard graduate often has the upper hand in public opportunities due to the perception of what Harvard stands for and its network. I call this perception the ‘Elite Factor.”

Both Penn State and Harvard are exclusive clubs but Harvard is more exclusive making them an elite school, as their acceptance rate is 5.4%. We need to be careful, though, with only looking at acceptance rate as the measure for universities elite status. Here is why. Have you ever heard of Alyson Lloyd College or the Claremont McKeena College? I have never heard of them both, actually. Their acceptance rate are 22% and 10.9%, respectfully.  Alyson Lloyd College is ranked #16 among regional universities in the south. and Claremont McKeena College #9 among national liberal arts colleges.

So, are Alyson Lloyd College and Claremont McKeena College exclusive colleges? I would say yes. In fact, they are more exclusive than Ohio State or the University of Michigan. Are they elite institutions? I don’t think so. Alyson Lloyd College may be perceived by many in Kentucky as an “elite” school but in the grand scheme of things it’s not.

Why am I writing about of all this, you may ask. First, because I believe that Seth Godin is right when he claims that these terms are different. Second, because the level of delusion that exists in society is so high (in my opinion) these days that having these kinds of conversations can help us all to live a better and grounded life.

There is nothing wrong with not being a member of an elite club or even be associated with an exclusive club, university or political party. Belonging to an elite group isn’t for everybody and believing that you are without really being one can make people frustrated overtime.

Elite and exclusive are de facto different terms in our societal lexicon and should be applied and seen differently. I’m proud of being a Penn State graduate, don’t get me wrong… but in the grand scheme of things, we know which institutions are elite organizations by the influence that they have in things that matter most in society. Alyson Lloyd College and Claremont McKeena are great exclusive institutions but aren’t elite status to me.

Being a Holmes scholar is an exclusive privilege. A Rhodes Scholar is both exclusive and elite. Thing about it… Being delusional isn’t good for anybody. Ground yourself in reality and live the best life you can under what God has given you. Smile, be happy, and be real.