Poverty Stinks

Poverty.jpeg

A lady dropped these placards around on the Metro yesterday with a little pack of tissues. 


It says:

“Hi, I have 2 kids and I’m a single mother and I have no job. If you can please help me for food and for rent. G-d bless you. Thank you.”


It is heart-wrenching, the poverty!


People without food or shelter. 


Many without medicine and proper clothing. 


Basic things that most of us take for granted.


It takes so little for everything to go to sh*t. 


Both individually and also societally. 


The world can be a cruel, cruel place. 


But people can open their hearts and wallets to help others. 


Also, advocate for people that are less fortunate. 


Imagine G-d looking down and what does he see from us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Time Travel Is Real

Time.JPEG

Sure, we can travel space…from continent to continent, into the depths of the oceans, and to the far reaches of outer space.


But can we also travel time?


Yes, and we regularly do!


Whether individually, in our minds eye, we go back and forth in time–remembering poignantly the memories of the past with regret or with joy and thinking forward in time whether worrying what could happen or eagerly look forward and hope for a brighter future. 


Similarly, as a human collective, we can travel back and forth in time well past our individual recollections and remember, celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize what came before us through generations and millennia and even plan great innovations, feats, and civilizations well into the future. 


Time is but a shadow that is cast off us from the our great Heavenly Father who shines his grace upon us by his creation and is himself timeless. 


In the shadow of time, we can glimpse the externalism of what supersedes our mortality and the significance of us as a speck in time amidst the greatness that lies across the reaches of space and time–that is the soul of the matter. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Reconstituting The Water Of Antarctica

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So Antarctica is the 5th largest continent of 7 in the world. 


It is 5.4 million square miles, and it is larger than both Europe and Australia. 


But it has only a temporary population of 5,000 people, mainly researchers. 


About 70% of the world’s fresh water is held in the Antarctic ice sheet, which is 90% of all the world’s ice. 


And the ice there extends 7,000 feet thick.


If all the ice would melt, the global sea levels would rise 2,000 feet!


Despite 95% of models over the last 30 years predicting the ice sheet melting due to global warming, it actually continues to expand.


It’s a paradox for the science community, but one of the explanations is that as ice shelves break off, they actually forms a protective barrier for the new ice being formed along the main ice landmass. 


Even with global warming, the average temperature in Antarctica is still -35 degrees Fahrenheit, and most parts never get above freezing. 


So here’s an idea–rather than fear global warming, is there an opportunity to use it and advance it, if only we can channel the effects of it for the good of humanity. 


The Antarctic Treaty System prevents nuclear weapons explosion there, but wouldn’t that be a cool way to melt some ice and get some fresh drinking water for this thirsty planet or even to somehow move to MARS for colonization there?


Also, we could place solar mirrors in space to redirect sunlight to melt the ice–that’s either some probably some pretty big mirrors or the dispersion ray of a space laser(s). 


The key now is to get the water to where you want it to go and not to destroy by massive flood our worldwide seaboard cities–and that’s where a mass molecular transporter comes along. 


There is still much to discover and invent, but when it’s done, I think we will definitely be heading to Mars and beyond.


Really, we have to, there is no other long-term survival choice for humankind. 


And perhaps, G-d placed the survival pod for us right under our feet at literally, the southern most point of the world, Antarctica! 😉

(Source Photo: here via Wikipedia)

What’s Old And New

Old and New.jpeg

Just want to share a quote that a colleague said they saw recently displayed at the Kennedy Center:

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” 

 – John Cage

Perhaps, it’s not what’s old or what’s new that is scary, but simply what is unconstrained evil in men’s hearts at any time or place. 

It’s the age old fight of good over evil, and when evil gets the upper hand, even if just for a short time, it can be the most unbelievable and frightening to face off with. 

Let’s give new ideas plenty of opportunity as long as they are based in kindness, compassion, and humanity. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

This House Is For The Birds

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Beautiful simple birdhouses in Downtown DC.


We all need to live somewhere.


Too many people in shelters and on the streets. 


Started giving money to some of the homeless on the way to the Metro. 


My friend’s father used to say, “If they ask then they need it.”


Perhaps what’s needed is a little more kindness, TLC, and compassion for all G-d’s loving creatures. 


While it’s nice to look up to aspire and climb the next rung of life, it’s as important to look down and remember from where you came and where you can still go again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Suicide Office To-Dos

Suicide

So at times, organizations send out notices to their staff with self help suggestions or organizational resources that are available.


One such case is for suicide prevention. 


For example, if you are thinking about suicide, perhaps you should contract the employee assistance program.


It’s a good idea to reach out to employees when the messaging is done in a way that makes employees feel they are genuinely cared about and needed, and substantial help is available to them.


People contemplating suicide are in a desperate state of mind and proper handling is nothing less than a life or death situation.


Going to the extreme to make a point for a moment, office reminders about suicide prevention should never be selfish or cavalier, such as:


– Remember to turn the lights out.


– Set your out of office message on.


– Have you done a knowledge transfer to ensure a smooth transition?


If employees are coming away feeling like the organization is just sending out a form message or treating their feelings and situation lightly or in their own interests (such as to remove/reduce liability) that is apt to make things worse and not better.


Please treat employees with genuine dignity, respect, caring, and humanity, and offer them substantive help when they need it.


There are families depending on them and they love and need them. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jason Kuffer)

See The World Through The Eyes Of Others

Earth
It’s not only important what we think, but also what and how others see things. 

 
One the things, the folks that work with me frequently hear from me is “Let me put myself in the other person’s shoes for a moment, and give you feedback on that.”
 
We are what we are and not as our customers are, and while we may strive for excellence in customer service, our customers may have completely different notions of what that means.
 
For example, I may think a 24-hour turnaround on something is pretty good given everything on our plate, but when I imagine myself in the customer’s shoes for a moment, I may change that expectation to “We need to get this done by noon today (or sooner)!”
 
People are different, our experiences, our cultures, our context and the way we interpret things. 
 
So when it comes to work or family or even social issues, being compassionate often means seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. 
 
There was an interesting article in the New York Times called “Imaging The Lives Of Others” by psychologist, Paul Bloom. 
 
While he notes the importance to “behold the universe through the eyes of another,” he also says how difficult this really is. 
 
If you haven’t done something, how can you really imagine what it was like, let alone know what it was like for someone else to experience it?
 
Without the access to the particular significant life experience, the duration, the controls (so you can’t just say stop like in an experiment), perhaps a person can never fully know what it’s like. 
 
For example, if you haven’t been through a devastating war, can you truly know what it’s like to be in a foxhole and have the bullets whooshing by your head and the tanks rumbling over it?
 
Yes, we can imagine, but that is probably a far cry!
 
Yet, to really empathize with others, do right by them, and to make good leadership decisions, we most certainly need to at least try to see and experience the world the way others do. 
 
Thinking about the over 805 million hungry people in the world today, it is much more impactful to imagine myself hungry and starving, then just to say the mere fact that these poor people exist.
 
We can probably never know someone’s else pain and suffering the way they do, but through our own experiences, extrapolation from them, and our imagination, we can at least try to elevate ourselves for a purely self-centric universe of one that is of billions (under one G-d), and who need our understanding, compassion, support, and help. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Teats Or Not

Bull

So I heard a new phrase from one of my colleagues recently…


He goes on about somebody (or something) being like “2 teats on a bull!”


I’ve always wanted to spend some serious time on a farm…but never really have had the opportunity to learn about that whole rural world, and I’m like what????


But I got it, and didn’t really like it. 


Sort of a harsh way to call someone out as a useless piece of [you know what]!


I’ve heard kids joke about “man boobs” and I sure you can guess what those unflattering things are on a male.


Too often, we write people off without giving them a real chance!


While perhaps, there can be useless appendages through genetics or illness, there are no fundamentally useless people (although maybe some can be troubled, dejected, in a bad fit, etc.).


More often, there are unflattering comments from others who don’t appreciate differences or see clearly what each person can “bring to the table.”


Let’s just say, if G-d created someone, there is reason and purpose to their lives, and we need to understand and appreciate them for their value. 


It may take (some) exploration, but everyone has strengths (as well as weaknesses–we’re all human) and we can find what each person is good at, cultivate it, and leverage it for the good. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Carol Von Canon)

Colors Of Race

Street Color
With the race riots in Ferguson again this week, the divide between black and white is once again evident in America.

 
Coming from big city life in America, like New York City and Washington D.C., I’ve grown up in divided neighborhoods and united organizations.
 
For example, just this morning, my daughter and I walking down Las Olas had to duck into an Illy’s coffee shop when an impoverished (black) man in dirty clothes and talking loudly to himself turned around on the street and was coming up steadily behind us in a threatening way. Similarly, the day before, there was a (white) lady at the bus stop talking out loud, hallucinating, and thrashing…also scary in this otherwise posh neighborhood.  In other words, these issues are race-agnostic!
 
Simultaneously, I go to synagogue where blacks and whites (as well as “black hatters” and the modern religious) sit and pray and socialize together, and go to work where many of my esteemed coworkers are African-Americans, and watch as one of my daughter’s best friend in school and who she blabs with on the phone is a nice young man who happens to be black
 
Also, I remember last year I think it was having to move a heavy piece of furniture and one of my black neighbors went out of his way to help me get it upstairs–he was incredibly generous and he and many others where I live are friendly, neighborly, and we live side-by-side together.
 
We need to move from racial inequality to racial harmony!
 
We don’t have to wait for an alien invasion to realize we are all human beings here on Earth and that we share more than not.
 
In Fort Lauderdale, by Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University, and Broward College, the actual intersections of the street are pained in multi-color. 
 
I love it..not black and white, but the colors of the rainbow…mixed, flowing, getting along, and happy.
 
Let it be–black and white, yellow, brown, and red–a melting pot, together throughout the world in peace and prosperity. 
 
No more rioting in Ferguson or elsewhere, but celebration of humanity–nothing more, nothing less. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014

I was so humbled to hear the story of survival of Dr. Alfred Munzer today at the Holocaust Memorial Observance.

Dr. Munzer was hidden for the first four years of his life from the Nazis by a righteous Indonesian family in the Netherlands.

Earlier this month, Dr. Munzer visited Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, to share his awesome story of humanity and compassion in the face of Nazi brutality and genocide.

Dr. Munzer told his story today through photos of his Jewish and Indonesian family’s life during the Holocaust, and related how his father and sisters were murdered by the Nazis; from his immediate family, only he and his mother survived to come to America in 1958.

I was so inspired by Dr. Munzer’s story and encourage everyone to hear it at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum where Dr. Munzer volunteers.

When people help other people, even at their own peril, that represents true globalization of the human race and the unity of all mankind. 😉