Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Govie Too


Some people have a negative perception of government workers (“govies”).  

They think that it’s just a cushy job with a lot of free time and benefits. 

Sort of like the photo above with the lady streched out over her laptop, eyes half shut, and with the lightbulb above her head–thinking up great ideas for running the government and regulating the people. 

Ah, no–it’s not like that at all. 

Okay, maybe a little for some people. 

Having been in both the private and public sectors about 40-60 of my career, I can tell you that there is plenty of unproductiveness (i.e. dead weight) wherever you go. 

But there is also a lot of hardworking (some super hardworking) and really smart people too. 

Yes, there are meetings (lots of them) and paperwork (piled high), but there is also a good amount of out-of-the-box thinking and trying to figure out how to do more with the same or less.  

There is also some really big thinking like how to win the next Big One (i.e. war), how to protect the country from deadly terrorism, disasters, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber attack, how to partner with others around the world to achieve big ambitious projects and peace, how to colonize outer space, protect the environment, and improve the economy, healthcare, education, and so much more. 

Not all the big thinking is good thinking–some of it is unrealistic, biased towards this or that constituency, counterproductive, or even corrupt. 

But many govies really do want to do a great job and save the world!

If you think there isn’t plenty of hard work, passion, dedication–you’re wrong.

If you think, everyone is doing the right thing for the right reasons–your delusional.

Like with people all over the world, there’s a mix of good and some not so good, but overall, there is lots of opportunity to lead, problem solve, and do good and great things with real effect, nationally and globally. 

And if for that alone, being a govie is an amazing career move where you can have an influence on matters of tremendous importance and lasting impact. 

Wild perceptions and pictures can be deceiving–instead think about the hero that you can and want to be.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Integrity is Priority #1


So I was speaking with some leaders about what is most important to them in their organization. 

And what was fascinating to me is that they didn’t describe the usual things…

– Leadership 

– Innovation 

– Emotional Intelligence

– Technical skills

And so on. 

Instead and in all seriousness, they spoke with me about integrity.

Integrity is what I call, doing the right thing, always!

And I was so impressed how these leaders understood that integrity is integral to their organizational culture, and is the cornerstone to it’s ultimate success in everything else it does. 

If everyone does the right thing, then the organization will do the right thing!

In the bible, we repeatedly learn the importance of following one’s moral compass. 

– In Ecclesiastes (7:1), “A good name is better than fine perfume.” 

– In Proverbs (22:1), “A good name is more desired than great wealth.”

And as in the photo above from a local synagogue, “A good name endures forever.”

What is new here though is that a good name and the integrity it takes to build that name for yourself is not just critical to your self development, but ultimately is really congruent and even synonymous with your organization’s success. 

If unfortunately some are not doing “the right thing,” we need to know about it, so we can course correct.

What we do matters not only to ourselves, but to the larger organization and community that we live in. 

Good is contagious, and it inspires more good, and this is what we want to be successful.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Election Disillusionment


So invariably you hear these days from those that dislike one or the other candidate running for President, that if he/she wins, they are moving out of this country. 

That is apparently how strong people feel in terms of dislike for the candidates–in fact, the most disliked candidates in American history!

Well, I ran into this couple in the Metro.

They were from New Jersey and visiting Washington, D.C. with their daughter. 

They were wearing matching t-shirts that said:

“Election 2016Time To Move To Mars”

Now moving from the USA is not far enough away for people to get from the horrible politics and/or politicians that they can’t seem to stand…so next stop is Mars!

As a big time proponents for colonization of other planets, I think this may actually be one of the best things to come out of this election cycle.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sukkah Surprise


I’m in Washington D.C. and I look towards the World Health Organization (WHO) a specialized agency of the United Nations. 

And lo’ and behold, what do I see? 

It looks like a sukkah!

A sukkah is a small temporary hut that is put up on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths) which we are celebrating now. 

The sukkah commemorates when the Jewish people left Egypt and journeyed through the desert for 40 years until they reached the promised land of Israel. 

Sukkot is traditionally one of three times a year of historical pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem, and this was fascinating to see this in DC just as the UNjust UNESCO failed history by erroneously declaring the Temple Mount in Jerusalem only sacred to Muslims. 

So while I’m thinking how cool is it that the WHO has a sukkah for the celebration–I’ve never seen a sukkah in Washington DC before.–I’m realizing this is something much more.

As I get closer, I see there are pictures of impoverished people with names of diseases like chagas and elephantiasis caused by parasites. 

As I then learn, this is not like any traditional sukkah–usually decorated, happy, and celebratory for the redemption from slavery and the founding of Jewish nationhood. 

I stop by some people outside and ask what this structure is and they tell me it’s a favela (like a shanty town hut from Brazil).

The WHO had this put up as a display for an important meeting of public health officials, and they said I am welcome to take a look. 

So what is to some a sukkah for celebrating the holiday of redemption to another is a favela for learning about critical health conditions around the world. 

People are so connected all over the world in more ways than we normally realize. 

Either way, this temporary shelter is no place to call home, even though seeing it from a distance made me feel just that way.

Unfortunately, the UN does not duly recognize and respect the Jewish homeland, it’s ancestry and religious connections to G-d, the Temple, and the Holy Land.

To the unfortunate bigoted and hateful UNESCO, I’m sure a sukkah is just another favela–that is the disease so prominent in their hearts and minds. 

But with hopefulness, perhaps even they can be miraculously redeemed like the symbolism we get from the sukkah. 

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting Organized


So I’m in this clothing store…

And behind the cash register is this closet. 

The cashier goes to the closet to get something and leaves the door open. 

The closet, especially compared with the rest of the upscale clothing store, is really a mess. 

But at the top, hanging is a yellow sticky note.

And the note says, “Keep Organized“.

The first shelf with some binders isn’t too bad.

But then as you get further away form the reminder to keep organized, it gets worse and worse. 

Office supplies, hand creams, napkins, sprayers, and more, all sort of thrown in there. 

I was surprised not to see someone’s leftovers from lunch. (lol)

And then on the door itself are all these taped up reminder papers and old used tape with papers long torn off still hanging there.

I don’t think this is the image or brand this store wants to convey. 

The funny thing is that out on the floor, the salespeople were working on all the fancy displays and using these corporate design books that show them exactly what to lay out, where, and how. 

Then again, what’s visible and skin deep doesn’t always represent what’s beneath the surface. 

Like politics, if you knew how the sausage was made, you’d probably never eat it. 

Maybe some things are better left behind closed doors.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Cocoa Trees To Honey Pizza


Had a chance to take in the United States Botanic Garden. 

Loved going in the greenhouse. 

The air was fresh and the flowers beautiful. 

The 2nd to last photo is a cocoa tree, which I had never seen before. 

It was incredible to me that those pods hold the amazing stuff that gives us chocolate. 

G-d’s creations are so amazing. 

Also, we went for dinner and my daughter had this amazing pizza with cheese, figs, spinach, and honey. 

I couldn’t have the dough because of my Paleo diet, but I just tasted the toppings, and it was literally like heaven. 

I was glad that the taste didn’t show up on the scale this morning. 

To me the wonderment is how our senses can literally indulge in so many wonderful things almost like the Garden of Eden. 

Thank you G-d for giving us life and the ability to enjoy your amazing creations.😉

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Help Find Missing Children

Missing Children.jpeg

Coming out of the mall into the parking lot, I saw this poster lying on the ground. 

It was a flyer to help find a missing child. 

Every time, I see something like this, I just have to take a big gulp and deep breath, as this seems like one of the scariest things that can happen to a child and their parents.

A child is dependent on it’s parents, and when they go missing G-d forbid, the fear of in whose hands they might fall and what may be done to them is unthinkable. 

The goal is to get the word and pictures out to find the child as quickly as possible. 

From 2002, statistics show about 800,000 children go missing every year (or about 2,000 per day)–that is unbelievable!

Of those, about 204,000 were family abductions, 58,000 were non-family abductions, a 115 were taken by a stranger, and the rest were mostly run-aways.

About 1 in 5 runaways are considered likely victims of child sex trafficking. 

A 1997 study showed only 5% of non-family abductions even get reported to police and entered in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC)–many may not enter a report when a child is gone just a few days or it may get filed under other categories like homicides or sexual assaults. 

In the 1972 and 1981, there were tragic cases of missing children Etan Patz and Adam Walsh, both killed at age 6, with Etan’s remains supposedly thrown in the garbage in Soho (he was never found) and Adam’s located in a drainage canal in Florida. 

Etan was the first missing child whose pictures were put on the back of milk carton. 

In 1983, the anniversary of Etan’s disappearance, May 25, was designated National Missing Children’s Day.

In 1984, the Walshes and other child advocates established the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) “to help find missing children and prevent child victimization”–shockingly before this there was no coordinated federal and state mechanism for search efforts.

– NCMEC tip hotline (1-800-The Lost) has received over 4.3 million calls in the last 32 years and they have facilitated the return of 227,000 missing children.

In 1996, America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) was set up as a a child abduction emergency alert system; it was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year old abducted and murdered in Texas. 

– AMBER Alerts, between 1997 and 2015, were credited with the safe recovery of 723 children. 

My heart goes out to these children and their families! 

Anything that each of us can do to help with the desperate situation of missing children and their safe recovery is worth not only our attention, but our utmost vigilance and helpful tips. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)