Training Them To Be Like Us

So I saw this in the supermarket. 


This kid was pushing the shopping cart with groceries in it. 


And a little sign at the top that says:

Customer in Training


His mom is nearby with the big shopping cart full of even more groceries. 


It’s interesting how we teach our kids to be just like us and at the same time to be not like us. 


They emulate some things and they reject others.


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


But no two apples are the same either. 


Teaching is an important component of parenting and schooling. 


We need to impart important lessons from the past, so children don’t have to recreate the wheel in the present and future. 


But spitting out little clones is not helpful to innovation and the engine of “what’s next.” 


Sometimes, I envision that there is a really big war–maybe World War III–nukes are used and all our bits and bytes are wiped out, and we are thrown back to the Stone Age. 


All the teaching is evaporated in the vapor of the blasts.


All that’s left in what’s in the soul of the remaining. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Entering The Oculus Rift Matrix

So this was my first time actually experiencing virtual reality. 


Using Oculus Rift and climbing this mountain…


I’ve got to say how incredibly fabulioso this was!


It is absolutely an immersive and real experience. 


When I looked over the side of the mountain and down at the water and “realized” how far up I was, I was freakin out. 


My feet were grabbing the floor like I was about to fall off the mountain and then I eventually did. 


This is the next big thing!


You can literally be anywhere and doing anything with this technology.  


The real world is not there. 


And now I believe more than ever, that just like we enter the virtual reality body and start to move around and interact in that make-believe world, so too our soul enters our human bodies and we are present in this material existence to experience the worldly wonders all around us. 


But like the virtual world, this earthly world is the playground for our earthly bodies are just a temporary vessel for us to face challenges, learn, and grow.


When the time is up, our souls depart our bodies and return to its maker, just like when the virtual reality game is over and we are back here. 


G-d is the greatest game-maker of them all, and we are copycats in every sense of the word. 


The body is the vessel, and the soul is the essence. 😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Homeless and Hungry

street-sense-jpeg

I took this photo in Washington, DC.


Two statues of back-to-back homeless people in the grit on the sidewalk.


They sit as everyone rushes on past them–many stone faced as well as too many stone hearted.


In this case, someone put the newspaper Street Sense on the lap of the statue. 


As many in DC, the homeless are trying to get back on their feet in this case by writing articles for and selling this newspaper about homelessness, poverty, and social issues. 


Impressive that they sell about 16,000 of the biweekly 16-page paper and that the homeless vendors make about $45 per day doing this. 


Like this picture of the homeless on the street, bracing back against each other and sort of huddled up among the masses of the fortunate around them, I imagine that they must really feel like these statues–odd, uncomfortable, lost, scared, and painted over by society that marks them as dirty, dangerous, and unwanted.


But these homeless and hungry are G-d’s children, no less than any of us!


I applaud Street Sense and other advocates and activists that see, hear, and feel beyond themselves and help the needy and downtrodden. 


Helping these people in desperate need is truly G-d’s work, and like recently sainted, Mother Teresa, is an act of unbelievable kindness and mercy that we can all learn from and should emulate. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can I Help You?

Act Nice
This was a beautiful story that I heard from a very senior colleague recently.



Years ago, when she started working, for whatever reason, it took many weeks for payroll to catch up and for your first check to arrive. 



In her case, she was notified that it would be something like 6 weeks before she would receive an actual paycheck.



Not a lot of good that does, when the mortgage comes due, the utility bill arrives in the mail, or you need to go shopping for groceries or medicine. 



What’s interesting and inspiring here though is what this lady’s boss did at that time. 



She recalled that when he heard that she would not be getting paid for so many weeks, he came to her and asked her if she needed any money in the meantime to hold her over–how could he help? 



He was willing to take his money and give it to her to help her through until her paycheck would arrive. 



WOW!!!



That is extremely powerful.



How many of you know a boss that would do that for you now or ever?



You see he was not only willing to step in and make some calls (which may or may not have helped anyway), but he was actually willing to pony up money from his own self/family (and which I understand he did not have a lot of either) and give it to her. 



This is caring. This is giving. This is selflessness. 



I am awed of people of this personal and moral character. 



These are people to emulate. 



There is a difference between a work environment that is purely work and get the job done, and those few and very special places still out there that have family values (and which at least try to think of you and treat you as part of some sort of an “extended family”). 



No work is not family…but decent people in any situation–in the office or on the Metro–can make a difference in someone else’s life. 



To me this is a story worth retelling and reliving for others to benefit. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Heaven and Hell

Someone hung this sticky note off the wall in the Metro. 

It asks: “Do you want heaven or hell?”

Two incidents with some neighbors this weekend reminded me of this message: 

The first–there were some boxes put out for donation to Hurricane Sandy victims, and we saw one of the neighbors actually take stuff out of the charity boxes. Was he needy too–I don’t really know. But I do wonder whether he’ll enjoy his new jacket, at the expense of someone perhaps homeless and who lost everything in the Superstorm.

The second–I was hauling a really big box–it was extremely heavy and I come to find out that the wheels on the dolly were flat. It was nearly impossible to move on the the bare metal. All of a sudden, a wonderful person comes over–a stranger–and says “here, let me help you!” He accompanied me, pushing with me all the way to my destination. This guy was like an angel. 

Heaven or hell–we are tested everyday in our actions–some choose one, while some seem to gravitate to the other. 

Finally, I can’t say again how grateful I am to the neighbor who went out of his way to help me–and in a difficult situation–I hope that I can learn from him!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)