Why Worry?

So I had an interesting conversation with a colleague, and they tell me their philosophy about worry, as follows:

Worrying is suffering twice!


I thought this was pretty smart. 


With worry, we suffer when we worry and then we suffer again if the thing we are worrying about actually comes to fruition. 


So in essence, we are doubling up on the suffering.


Yet, worry can be constructive if we use it to spur us to positive action such as in confronting and dealing with challenging situations. 


But when we worry just for the sake of worry because we can’t control our anxiety and moreover, it actually may paralyze us with fear, then this is obviously a bad thing. 


Do I worry?


Sure do, but like my dad, I use worry to try and think out-of-the-box, to plan, to problem-solve, to figure out coping mechanisms etc. 


Worry is suffering for sure. 


However, if we can channel the worry to positive impact, then the worry can be worth the pain it inflicts on us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Three Legs of Quality of Life

So this is something that I am learning. 


Quality of life means perspective and balance. 


When people go to the extreme and focus all their energies on any one area almost to the exclusivity of the others in their life, it usually means they are going wrong. 


Some people are “party animals”–life is all about their fun, enjoyment, experiences (and even excessive partying, sleeping around, getting drunk and high), and their very immediate gratification. 


Others are all about work–climbing that professional ladder and earning more money, material goods, and more power is the holy grail and also the bane of their existence. 


And yet there are some people that are focused on faith, family, and community–they are mothers and fathers, religious students and clergy, community organizers and organizers of charitable events and giving. 


The problems is that people need multiple facets of their lives–yes, they need playfulness, interests, activities, hobbies, and fun and joyous times; at the same time, they need intellectual curiosity, professional contribution and achievement, and the wherewithal to be responsible and pay the bills; and very importantly, they need  social, spiritual, and emotional fulfillment from family, friends, giving, and faith. 


When a person stands on only one of these legs, like many seem to–they are on wobbly ground and are likely to fall hard and fast.  


Even on two legs, something is missing in their lives–they are standing tall, but not strong and stable. 


On all three legs, a person can be grounded and able to not just stand for themselves, but able to bear weight like on a stool, and they are can play music and sing and smile, knowing that they have a genuine quality of life that few ever really achieve. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s Free And What’s Not

I like this saying and wanted to share it:

“The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.”


Yes, this is the home of the free. 


And we are all able to dream BIG dreams.


However, without the hard work and hustle, dream are not made, but rather they die on the vine. 


So dream big–imagine the very best.


Reach for the stars…


And then work your butt off to make it happen.


Choose carefully. 


No one can have it all.


You have to prioritize.


Also, you need to balance. 


In the end:

Dreams+Hard Work+Blessing From G-d


That’s success by whatever standards you measure. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Tooting Your Own Horn

So I always try to see the best in people.


But sometimes it is hard when they are so intent on tooting their own horns. 


Bragging, boasting, patting themselves on the back about how smart they are or a job so incredibly well done.


Oh, you’ve got to ask yourself…


Is it all really true?


OR  


Do we have perhaps some slight exaggeration going on with a dose of self-aggrandizement, a spoonful of self-promotion, and more than a pinch of big ego?


Perhaps, also the person is in denial as to what their own capabilities–and limitations–really are. 


For example, many artists are enthralled with their work and themselves.

“Isn’t this so good?”
“Can you believe I made this?
“Wow, this is impressive, right?”


Sure, there are plenty of talented people out there doing good and even amazing work. 


But even then tempering your achievements with a little modesty and balance, like “I do this well, but I need to grow more in that area”–goes a long way to making the admirable talents and achievements more honest, humble, and believable. 


Always, people are good at some things, and worse at others.


We all have things to work on and improve, and nobody is so perfect in this world!


We can try to come close–that’s our job to strive for it–but true perfection belongs to G-d alone. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Managing for Humpty Dumpty Risk

Humpty Dumpty.jpeg

So this was interesting…


I was in a meeting and someone was discussing the risks involved in a project.


And they mentioned the Humpty Dumpty Effect.


A bunch of people looked at them like what’s that. 


Then they explained that it’s the risk of breaking something during the project. 


Sort of like the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take to, “first, do no harm.”


When we are planning, designing, building or implementing a project–be it information technology or something else–we don’t want to break something in the process. 


That’s the Humpty Dumpty Risk to beware of and it’s an egg-celent point! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Needed: A Giving Hand With Smart Border Security

Border Security Needed.jpeg

While we should certainly help immigrant refugees and those in need, we also need to provide adequate vetting and border security for our people. 


This does not mean that all immigrants are bad or that we are mean or paranoid, bur rather that we need to take smart and measured precautions in the dangerous times we are living in.


Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other such brutal terrorist organizations have shown they mean murderous business, and they are vowing to strike at the hearts of America and the West.


So while we open our hearts, we can’t close our eyes!


Safeguard America and the good decent people already here, and at the same time be merciful and giving to immigrants, but don’t sacrifice one for the other. 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal with photos adapted from here and here and with attribution to the New York Times and Alan Silver)

The Trouble With Our Security

Pope Mobile Fiat.jpeg

So the problem with our security is that we value our openness more than we do our security.


And perhaps, we fear war more than we desire true peace. 


This was a photo from Summer 2015 when the Pope was in DC.


And despite a “massive” security apparatus set up to protect the Pope, the “largest security operation in U.S. history“…


Check out this photo of a colleague who was able to literally run up to the Fiat car where you can see the Pope waving from. 


Our security is full of holes–if this guy had a gun, molotov cocktail, or bomb then the top Christian leader in the world could’ve been taken out, just across the street from the U.S. State Department.


As a democracy, we value openness and freedom to say what we want, do what we want, protest what we want, carry guns as we want, but when is open too open?


Again, whether it comes to cybersecurity or physical security, unless we start to get serious about what massive and large security really means, it is just a matter of time before something really terrible happens, G-d forbid. 


We’ve got to do a better job balancing security and openness. 


No one should be getting right up to the Pope’s car like this!


No one should be smashing windows, burning cars, and attacking police and pedestrians in Washington, DC or anywhere.  


No one should be buzzing our battleships and jets!


No one should be hacking into our sensitive cyber systems, taking down and crippling them and stealing our secrets!


No one should be recruiting, plotting, and carrying out increasing and devastating terrorist attacks right under our noses in this country or elsewhere. 


No one should be using chemical weapons around our red lines in population centers or in airports!


No one (Iran, North Korea, Russia) should be developing, testing, and aiming nuclear ballistic missiles at the West!

War is a last resort, but this is not peace.


It is time to rethink our security posture…it is past time. 😉


(Source Photo: A Colleague)