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 in 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.

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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.