Sharing Good Ideas

Nov. 28, 2019

Laying aside the myths concerning Thanksgiving, like many events in history, there are some positive things about which we acknowledge. Perhaps, you are one of them. Of course, there's the food, family reunions, and for many, another day off from the work routine. There are three particular matters brought to mind beyond these things worthy of consideration.

1) Recognition of God. Although many do not want to acknowledge God's existence, many do. Some are offended and intend to remove national celebrations because they wish to deny deity. Thanksgiving is a reminder of the faith of those historically connected to the festival. For the most part, the founders of our nation had no problem with the idea of "one nation under God."

2) Time of unifying differences. Some have suggested that Native Americans, along with some of the pilgrims, celebrated harvest together. It is interesting how celebrations can bring people together who have common interests in spite of their differences. 

3) Freedom from religious oppression. Some of the people coming to America did so to escape persecution by the institutional religious establishment. People of integrity and faith desired a clear conscience without the interference of overreaching spiritual ambitions. 

We have much for which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov. 7, 2019

Dr. M. Scott Peck, late psychiatrist and author of numerous excellent books mentioned a secret we can all apply to make significant improvements in all areas of our lives. One day a patient left his office, got into her car to go, and couldn't move the gear shift lever. She returned to Dr. Peck's office. Well, he felt helpless with such a mechanical problem he envisioned. 

As Peck pointed out in his book, Further Along the Road Less Traveled rather than settling with the old excuse, "I can't," he decided that there was a chance to test his advice. He went to the car and spent moment after moment trying to figure out how to unjam the gear shift lever. Finally, he did it! His advice was, rather than saying, "I can't," take time to do the thing you think you can't." Eventually, you can do just about anything you intend to accomplish.

Decades ago, I recalled never saying, "I can't remember names." Was it ego or just plain refusing to admit what I was not proficient at doing? I decided to take up an offer to attend a series of classes (Dale Carnegie Course) in which the promotion used the "how to remember names" as a calling card. After a few sessions, each person was instructed to change their names to demonstrate how to remember names. I made a perfect score on the test! I realized that I could recall names by using the right strategy.

By not self-talking ourselves with "I can't," take the time to learn.  It will work in all areas of our lives, whether personal or business. The trick is to take the time to learn. In most cases, you can. (Bonus: When parking your car with steering tires pressed against an obstacle back off a bit, use the emergency brake and put your shifter in the park position to prevent a gear jam.)

Oct. 27, 2019

John, a local from my hometown, came to my brother's tent during the largest fly-in in our nation, Oshkosh, WI, a few months ago. Significant attention is standard when a man talks important severe matters in a gathering of friends enjoying themselves. John asked if my brother and I had ever heard of "kaizen." That was a new word for both of us. Being sponges for useful information, we quickly learned a new word.

Kaizen (pronounced "ki zen"), according to Wikipedia "is the Sino-Japanese word for 'improvement" and means "change for better." Much of our current level of knowledge is not as advanced as we think. The ancient philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus (530-470 BC), was credited with stating that "The only thing that is constant is change," though said in varying ways. Moses, centuries earlier, referred to the change phenomenon in Genesis 8:22, though not by the word itself.

During our conversation, something surprising occurred to me. John mentioned that Toyota used this principle. That explained why "The Toyota Way" enabled the standard life-time drive-chain warranty could be a strong selling point for their automobiles. The high demands on workers involve doing something every day better than yesterday, constant improvement, ever how small. Well, there's one business application. What if we apply the principle to our personal lives, in our work, etc.? Every area in which Kaizen is used would improve significantly.

Sep. 29, 2019

What an eye-opening eventful week it has been! By having a background in elementary education, my attention is being focused on a severe issue involving a sixteen-year-old girl being abused and used for political purposes. There are two philosophies at work in the field of academic education. Significant interest in homeschooling has risen in the last few years. It seems that those who love America are realizing that we, as parents and educators are going to have to take charge of our futures. 

Have you seen Greta Thunberg on youtube? Take a few moments and watch the melt-down based on a hoax and tell me that this child is not being abused and used by political elites who will stop at nothing to destroy our country. As always, they use illegal euphemisms to entrap the vulnerable. I have known for decades that the academies are casting a dark shadow over what used to be a positive ideology. Too much focus is on teaching people what to think rather than how to think for themselves. Giving young students roots and wings to navigate the landscape of life may be the best we can do for them.

While some educators are worthy of praise, there are others subjecting students from kindergarten to doctorate degrees to a myth that has divided our country and led us toward socialism and globalism. Traditionally, students had hope of a positive future. Now many are being scared to death, and in some cases literally. Is there hope?

Evidence is abundant that the founding fathers of this great nation had faith in a Higher Power. Several decades have been spent in an effort by some toward a Godless society. Just what if this little girl had been reared to read the Bible? Genesis 8:22 flat-out denies the effects of "Climate Change!" So why is this girl being abused by the news media and a global government agenda? Billions, maybe trillions of dollars and political power lie at the root.

The strong and resolute have a choice. Let's pass on hope rather than fear for our children. That, my friend, may well be determined at the polling booth.

Sep. 19, 2019

She had plans for this day, but time was cut short. It was a beautiful day on September 19, 1972, that Tara was born in the boot hill of Missouri. From infanthood to old age, one thing we all have in common is a recall of one special day each year we'd better not forget. Tara always wanted to be remembered on this particular date. She had not yet reached 45 but had anticipated this day for months with plans and hope. 

While death is an appointment, all must eventually face, we can celebrate life while we live. One of the saddest realities is that once the bar is crossed, only memories remain for there is no turning back. The accompanying photo was taken about six months after tragedy met rescue. She had come from homelessness to medical care demanding 15 prescriptions per month. The difference was remarkable. Health challenges became unbearable before being released from the dreaded anticipation of numerous back surgeries. 

Whether her death was hastened by mental anguish remains only in the survivors' imagination. While life is forgiving, death is not. My last words to my daughter were, "I love you." These are words which leave no regrets just in case they are the last to a friend or foe. So love, and kindness should be our goal in all our relationships. May we be reunited in the great beyond! Tara, you are remembered for all your blessings while you were with us who remain. For us, the best advice is that to honor the dead, serve the living.