Up Up And Away

Had a wonderful time with Rebecca Blumenthal today.

We went air ballooning over Las Vegas.

I was surprised at how large the balloons were and how easy the ride was–didn’t even feel it when we lifted off the ground and before I knew it, we were 4,000 feet above sea level.

I shot the video standing in the balloon as it was being inflated–never knew you could do that!

And I took the photo of the balloon with the Vegas Strip in the background–you can see the Stratosphere on the left along with the other fancy hotels and sites.

The view from above was beautiful, the air outside was cool, but under the burners of the balloon we were warm and toasty.

Sheldon Grauberger was a terrific aeronaut and guide today and you could see, completely, the total passion he had for this sport.

He told us how he actually trains others for free–he “pays it forward,” since he was taught almost 20 years ago similarly.

The sky, mountains, city, breeze, and peace and quiet floating overhead was so amazing.

I sort of felt like the young boy, Pascal, in the movie, The Red Balloon.

He dreams of a better future and is carried off by the balloons into the wild blue yonder to live happily ever after, please G-d. 😉

(Source Photo and Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Giving–Coming Right Back To You

I love this video!

It is about a giving man who helps a hungry child pay for food that the child had stolen.

The man throughout his life cares and provides to those in need.

Later in life the man gets deathly sick and needs an expensive operation.

The doctor in the hospital provides a bill to the man’s daughter, but all the charges are zeroed out.

It turns out that the doctor is the hungry boy from years ago and he recognizes the patient as the man that had saved him.

It is now his turn to pay it forward to the man who gave all his life.

One act of giving can influence and spark countless other good deeds.

Never underestimate the power of giving to others.

It is the one thing that we can do universally to help.

If We All Just Pay It Forward


Pretty much everyone knows the Ripple Effect when it comes to a pond of water, but we don’t think of this principle as much when it comes to how we treat people.

With water, when you drop, say a rock, into a pond, the water ripples outward in waves extending seemingly endlessly beyond the original point of impact in the water.

Similarly, with people, the way you treat someone, impacts them and others way beyond the original act of kindness or meanness.

I was reminded of this the other day by a colleague who told me about workers she knows that are so mistreated and they themselves suffer not only emotionally, but also in terms of health effects and so on. But more than that she told me, how when these people go home at night from work, it affects their relationships with their spouses who they fight with, with their children who they act abusively to, and even to their pets, as the old saying goes about going home and “kicking the dog.”

But like the waves in the Ripple Effect, it doesn’t end there, because then the spouse perhaps goes out and abuses drugs or alcohol, the kids get in a fight in school, and the dog goes and bites the neighbor, and so on.

While this is not a new concept, I think it’s something we don’t always have in mind when we interact with others, at work or otherwise.

We get so caught up in the moment, of whose right and wrong, of our own ambitions and honor, of the use and abuse of power, and so forth that we act out on others without listening to them, really empathizing with them, or generally giving a hoot what affect our actions have on them and those around them.

Too many people act like it’s the old paleolithic “us versus them” world, and in that world, where only one person walks away from a confrontation, people make sure that it is them and not the other guy.

But we are not cavemen any longer, and while there is nothing wrong with a little competition or managing a fair performance management system, we need to do it with a kind heart to others, being constructive, making sure others are really okay, and generally with respect and gratitude.

Nobody is perfect–not our staffs and not us, and the way we treat them may not seem all that important in the realm of the mission and our success, but it really is incredibly important because feeding people with good comes back many times over in terms of their loyalty, hard work, improved performance and how they in turn treat others.

Please don’t think that I am lecturing from a soap box, but I really see this as a struggle, especially for people in the workplace, where politics and power play an important role every day.

(Source Photo: here by Sergiu Bacioiu)