The Nail That Stands Out

So everyone knows what happens to the nail that stands out…


It gets hammered down!


Deviation from the norm or the groupthink is met with a resounding klop on the head. 


You conform or you face the guillotine. 


Way too dystopian. 


Freedom, individuality, diversity, self-expression—these are the engines of innovation and growth. 


If every nail gets hammered down, you have a society that implodes with inbreeders and Stone Age stale ideas. 


Tradition is one thing, a closed mind is something that is an extinction level event. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Operation Thunderbolt: Fighting Prejudice and Persecution

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Operation Thunderbolt: Fighting Prejudice and Persecution.”

No people should suffer blatant prejudice and persecution and everyone should be “entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These are part of the foundational values that America and Israel share. We stand as friends and allies for respecting and valuing human rights, always to be underscored by peace and security for our peoples. Isn’t it an amazing “coincidence” that the rescue in Entebbe occurred on America’s 200th anniversary, July 4, 1976!


The raid on Entebbe and the miraculous rescue of the hostages stands as an everlasting symbol of courage and triumph of good over evil. As we continue to work and pray for a genuine peace in the Middle East for all its inhabitants, we also must stand resolutely and say “Never Again.”

(Credit Photo: Government Press Office Israel via Flickr)

Not WHO They Seem

People may all sort of look alike. 


But they are not all the same.


It’s NOT a matter of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. that is important.


But rather it’s what is inside people’s hearts. 


Some hearts are pure in intent (even if not in every deed). 


Others are sullied with hate and abuse of others just because they can. 


But why hurt others when you can help them?


People are not all the same. 


Inside they are different.


Luckily G-d looks at the inside; the outside is just the packaging. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence

I really like this Pyramid of Emotional Intelligence (EI). 


It starts at the bottom with your own personal self-awareness–knowing who you are, including your beliefs, values, priorities, needs, and dreams, and being able to express this. 


Next level is your personal self-control–being able to manage your feelings, control your actions, and cope with challenges and adversity. 


Moving to the social level is then social awareness–having a consciousness and respect of others, their feelings, thoughts, motivations, needs, desires, and rights.


Finally, at the top is relationship management–the ability to actively listen and empathize, assert and influence, be patience and unconditionally accept differences, develop trust, give and take, collaborate, and manage conflict.


Most people work on developing these areas of the EI their whole life, and it is definitely a pyramid worthy of the climb. 😉


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Goals Vs. Tactics

I liked this saying from someone in the IDF. 


Be “flexible in tactics, but stay fixed on the goals!”


There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. 


And different people have their own approaches. 


As in the lyrics: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.”


That’s absolutely okay. 


In fact, that’s one of the strengths and benefits of diversity.


We bring different ways of looking at the world to the table.


Hence, we can bounce fresh ideas off each other and come to a great way forward. 


The main thing is that we focus on our goals and progress to achieve them. 


Be rigid on goals and flexible in tactics. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Call Me Sir!

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Don’t Call Me Sir!” 

In a split second, the officer zeros in on me and admonishingly says: “I’m not a Sir!” I’m taken aback, as I watch the officer speak, their face hardened and angular and their full mustache rising and falling with their words.

 

It’s Pride Month, and I learned a valuable lesson in sensitivity, respect, and diversity and that in short: 


Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, Jewish Lives Matter, All Lives Matter!  We are all children of G-d. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

East Meets West In The Holy Land

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, Israel, Where East Meets West

The modern State of Israel is truly the embodiment of this oneness and this diversity. The Jewish Nation-State Law embodies this concept where Israel is defined as the national homeland for the Jewish People, yet it is democratic, open and welcoming to everyone. For Jewish people, there are Ashkenazi Jews and there are Sephardi Jews. And at the same time, there are people of faith, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and others from all over the globe.

Hope you enjoy.   

(Photo credit: Andy Blumenthal)

The Diversity Tapestry

I really liked this sign with the saying by civil rights leader, Maya Angelou:

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter what their color [or race, or origin, or religion, or age, or gender, or sexual orientation, or disability].”


Ok, I added the “or” statements at the end. 


But the point is the same and important.


Discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, and bias are stupid. 


They are a function of ignorance. 


– We learn from diversity. 


– Life is richer with diversity. 


If everything was in monocolor…if life was homogeneous…if there was only one type of everything, then what type of humdrum, monotonous, and boring place would this be?


Value the variety.  Value the diversity.  Value the differences. 


They make us better and stronger than we could ever otherwise be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)