Getting Things Done Rapidly Or On Time Is Not Always​ A Good Thing


This #is #a response to the one-word prompt “Rapid” by “The Daily Post.”

Let me ask you something, and I want you to really think about it before answering. When you work #on a “project’ #or any kind of “choir/job” how long on average do you spend on completing it? Do you finish it in the #time allotted, a “little less than,” or “a little more than?” When we are working on something that tends to take awhile, we tend to try and do our best to complete it as quickly as possible for many of reasons. But time’#s tricky hands can and often do stop us.

Sometimes it is because we are “lazy” and just want to get it over with. Sometimes it is because we seek to save time by #getting it #done before the “projected” time of completion to move on to other important #things or to impress. And of course sometimes it is none of these, we just spend the minimum amount of time required.

The impressive, shocking #thing that I have found from my own experiences and that of others is that in a lot of cases it can be very beneficial to complete something on time or ahead of schedule; which are the most widely held beliefs on the subject. Yet, it can in some rare cases actually be better #not to “rush” or finish on time, but to take our time even if it means “working overtime.” This is usually the case when the “project” we are working on requires delicacy and permission.

A #good example is writing, which can regularly take more time than first thought. It is in cases like these that in allotting or being allotted time for the project, the amount of work/man hours needed to complete the project can be underestimated. Thus it is left to the person who is actually working on it to make a “judgment call.

So, what are your answers to the questions at the top and does this make you really question if you are usually giving the right amount of time on your project? Are you usually spot on in time spent? Or do you tend to be “lazy” sometimes, be honest it happens to all of us from time to time?😇

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on the subject? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted.

 

Be A Friend To The “Cranks” In Your Life


This is #a response #to #the one-word prompt “Crank” by “The Daily Post.”

Is there someone #in #your #life that you come into regular if brief contact with that are just never in the “mood”  and really have anything nice to say to anybody. I think we all at least once in our lives have come across one of these “#cranks” and we are never quite sure how to deal with the person.

Usually, when we look a little deeper we tend to find that the “cranks” in our lives do not behave as they do “just because” but that there are actual reasons behind the behavior. Any number of reasons that prevent them trying to connect with others. The best thing to do is whenever you see the person is just as a starting point give them a friendly greeting and move on, but keep doing this every time you see the person.

Eventually, hopefully, this will “break the ice” at some point and those greetings will turn into small conversations which may then turn into a friendship of shorts and before you know it, you are no longer dealing with a “crank” but a normal person. Which they have always been, the “crankness” was always just a cry of help; the person needed a #friend. So why not #be that friend whenever you encounter a so-called “crank.” You will begin to make the world a much better off place as a result. It also does not take much if any effort on your part but the impact pays “big dividends.”

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted. 

To Have a Glimmer of Hope


This is #a response #to the one-word prompt “Glimmer” by “the Daily Post.”

How important is it to #have#hope” in tough situations? Is it actually encouraging and helpful or is it really damaging in the long one? These are questions that people have struggled with forever. On the one hand, “hope” does seem to allow us to get through our challenges in life by focusing our attention less on the bad situation/possible outcomes and more on something positive that gives us reason to “push on.”

Yet “hope” can indeed be damaging if those positive outcomes do not materialize. We then will “lose hope” and become even more demoralized. Although I would say that the danger here lies not so much in “hope” but in reality “false hope.” Wheres “hope” can give us something to hang onto that encourages us to “fight on” despite how bad the situation may appear; it never does so by “magically changing” the situation we may be facing, only how we perceive it.

Before getting “hope” we already had the “tools” and ability to “get out” but our “despair” prevented us from seeing that. With “false hope” we are given something positive to hold onto, but when we really don’t have the ability to make things better. So the problem with “hope” is not that there are times when we can get “too much” #of it, but that we can confuse “false hope” for “real hope.”

To have real hope in our lives, at our “deepest lows”  is to the have the “tools” needed to “get out” at our disposal and the “vision, courage, and drive” to make use of those tools. “Hope does not give us anything new that we don’t already have, merely a reason for us to make better our situation.

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share, all are welcomed and wanted. 

“The Founding Fathers’ Guide To The Constitution” by Brion McClanahan; A Review


#Brion #McClanahan‘s book “#The #Founding Father’s #Guide #to the #Constitution” is #a very compelling and complex history of just how The Constitution to the United States had come to be and of the views for and against it. The way he percents his facts and figures and the back-stories behind each of the debates during the Constitutional Convention and the ratifying debates is just stellar in the thoroughness and ease of following.

Especially compelling is how he counts not just the well-known men that “we” all “know” from history as “Founding Father’s” (Washington, Madison, Hamilton, so forth), but literally everyone involved in the making and ratifying of the Constitution. He measures involvement #by the debates on what type of government the United States should have; which were going on all across the thirteen states since during the Revolution on till the ratification its self.

He tells how the “founding #fathers” included not just the names we recognize such as those mentioned above, but many others such as Luther Martin, Rodger Sherman, and George Mason, to name a few. He also does away with the “common” terms of “Federalist” and Anti-federalist” in explaining his reasoning; where he shows how the opponents of the Constitution were actually wanting to preserve the existing federal system of the Article of Confederation.

Brian’s work shines because of the detail he puts into his findings that the Constitution would not have passed ratification let alone pass the Convention floor if it was not understood to be putting in place a strong centralized government, but one with limits in place. He also does a wonderful, enlightening job of explaining away certain preconceived notions and myths about the “founding fathers” and the making of the Constitution.

It is a myth-but one often repeated-that the Framers “really wanted” the president to be chosen by the people at large; supposedly they rejected this method only because the people in one State would not know enough about the candidates from others States. But the records from the Philadelphia Convention clearly illustrate that the Founders intended the Electoral College to be a buffer against the potential abuses of democracy (p.129).

Overall, the book is a very well thought-out, telling of the history of the Founding of the (2nd Republic) of The United States under the current Constitution. He does an excellent job of keeping to a “fact-based” scholarly approach while at the same time showing the suspense and conflict experienced by our “founding fathers” to keep the reader entertained as well as informed and not be drowned in “dry” texted. A very good history of the subject with some surprising turns in its direction. The most important point from a historical perspective is that the author Brian does so well in not just telling the history of the Constitution’s making, but the telling of “all the sides” involved.

I hope you enjoy this book #review; please do share your own thoughts and viewpoints. All are welcomed and wanted!

To be “A Blink of the Eye”


This is #a response #to #the one-word prompt “Blink” by “The Daily Post.”

What exactly is meant by the phrase “a #blink in the #eye” or “a blink #of the eye?” Obviously is it is referring to the blinking of one’s eye/s. Usually, it refers to the speed of the blinking and how fast it happens. So when you describe something happening as “a blink of the eye” you are saying that it either has or will happen so fast that you will miss it if not paying attention. That is how the phrase is usually used but, I think it could just as easily mean and refer to the ease of blinking one’s eyes and thus suggesting something may #be very easy.

A New Year; New Opportunities For Success And Failure​


So today marks the beginning of 2018; #a whole #new #year filled with its own challenges, its own possibilities, #and its own typical life filled craziness.  That is one thing that will not change #for 2018; this year like 2017 before it, and every year before that, and every year after 2018 has and will have its own #opportunities for #success or #failure in life both for the individual as well as communities and nations.  What does change is the nature and flavor of those opportunities and how we as individuals and as groups react and respond to them.

Are we going to let ourselves get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of everything that happens in this new year of opportunities, or are we going to push on and work our way through each one with confidence? How we answer the question will determine how the year turns out for each and every one of us regardless of what actually happens.

I for one tend to go through the year with confidence, no matter what I face good or bad. I hope you all do so as well. Happy New Year everyone!

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them; all are welcomed and wanted! 

A Time To Cherish


This is #a response #to the one-word prompt “Cherish” by “The Daily Post.”

For Christians, Chrismas is the #time to celebrate the birth of humanity’s savior Jesus Christ, but even for the non-Christian, it is an important time of year. Christmas for everyone is a very special moment of each year that deserves to be cherished. For Christmas is all about hope; hope for the coming new year, hope for an end/lessening of one’s troubles, and just plain hope for whatever hope is needed for.

With that hope that we have come to associate and #cherish with Christmas comes a much needed reminded of perspectives in life; of what is truly and really important to ourselves and our communities. Christmas for a brief time takes away all our troubles and problems from our minds and removes differences, hates, and reveries between peoples as well.

There is a great example of such from World War I, called the “Christmas Truce” where during the Christmas of the first year I believe, the common soldiers on the western front on both sides stopped fighting and exchanged gifts and such. Sadly this “truce” did not last, but the fact that it happened at all is indeed something to cherish. Chrismas does not just bring hope, it brings us as humans altogether by reminding us of what we all have in common instead of what we do not; that truly is something to Cherish! Merry Christmas to all!

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this Christmas subject? Please do share, all viewpoints all welcomed and indeed wanted!

To be “Mighty” and “Great;” What has made the United States a “Great” Nation?


This is #a response #to #the one-word prompt “Mighty” by “The Daily Post.”

According to Merriam Webster to #be #mighty is possessing might: powerful, to be accomplished or characterized by might, or to be #great or imposing size or extent. President Donald Trump both during his campaign for the presidency #and during said presidency so far #has championed a returning the #United #States of America to a “great” #nation once again and to make it “mighty” in its powers. My question is and has been for quite some time is #what does the President mean by “great” and or “powerful?” A lot of nations in today’s world can be considered “great” and or “powerful” so too can we look to the history of past nations/countries and empires that were certainly considered “great” and or “powerful.”

The thing is, to be “mighty” and or “great” is, can be, and does mean several things. Also “mightiness” and “greatness” do not necessarily go together and are certainly not the same thing. As said above to be “mighty” is to process great strength, in the case of nations usually either military strength, economic strength, or both. But for nations to be considered “great” historically refers to the impact they have had on the rest of the world and on future generations long after the country, nation, or empire in question is either gone or had waned in power and greatness.

“Greatness” requires not just “power” and “might” but unequal influence over all other nations and peoples. It requires the nation to be quite different from others in its values, outlook, behavior and so on. Greatness can be either “good” or “bad.” To improve upon or bring back to “greatness” the United States as President Trump says is his goal, is all well and good, but not if he is focusing just on the economic and military strength of the nation. One has to look at the underlying foundations of the culture of a nation for greatness. If one believes that the United States has been a “great” nation (as I do and still believe in the potential for greatness) one must answer how has it been “great” and what #made it so. How has the United States traditionally acted and behaved in response to the rest of the word and its self?

One must remember that what makes up a nation is its people, thus it is its people that can or can’t make a nation “great.” If it is the people that have made the United States “great” then it is the culture, morals, and beliefs of the people that matter in making and deciding “greatness.” In making a nation “great” its people will also decide the underlying character of that “greatness;” that is if that “greatness” is either “good” or “bad.” Will the “great nation” have an overall positive or negative impact on the world? This is the fundamental question that must be asked by someone trying to “return” a nation back to greatness; what was the underlying “character of that greatness in relation to the rest of the word, good or evil?

I believe that the United States is and has been a “great’ nation for some time. That ‘”greatness” is not reflected in the military or economic “might” of the United States, (though both are and have been considerable) those are more a byproduct of said “greatness” no, the “greatness” of  the United States is reflected in the people’s traditionally strong sense of belief in both the individual and the community and a willingness (indeed eagerness) to reach out and help those in need, and not just those they know but in a lot of cases complete and total strangers.

The United States, I sincerely believe has become a “great” nation also because it is and was founded on a certain set of ideas and principles, (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). In that regard, unlike other nations and countries who have either collapsed and or have been conquered; as long as there is but a few to carry on those ideals and principals, the “United States” is and will be “immortal and everlasting. (But only if the morals and beliefs that made it “great” remain.) One could say that to be “great” is to transcend and transform the “normal” human experience and existence.

So, if President Trump or anyone wants to “return” the United States to “greatness” they need to look at the people and culture, not the military and economy, though those are important, just not the “be all by all” that some may think they all. “Greatness” is more than strength! The United States has been a great nation because traditionally the United States has been “good!”

What are your views on this subject? Please do share, all thoughts and viewpoints are welcomed and wanted.

 

A Gathering of Friends; Helping out after Hurricane Harvey


When disaster strikes and you hear about it and see the effects on the news about all the hurt and heartache, and all the people and communities coming together and even though your emotions are triggered it still is not the same as seeing first hand without the lens #of #a television.  Being there in person and seeing up close the effects of the disaster just brings it to a whole other level and makes it real.

This is what happened to me over the weekend #after Hurrican #Harvey, in the Greater Houston Texas area. A couple who have been very good #friends with my family all my life was one of the countless many who had their house flooded. So I went down Friday and Saturday to help #out with cleaning up and moving their things to storage.

When I got down to the area and was driving through the neighborhood approaching the street my friend’s house was on; I was just amazed at seeing all the damage done by the flooding. Front yard after front yard was just filled with furniture and trash from the cleanups being done to the houses and both sides of the streets had cars lined up and parked with people going here and there like ants.

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Again seeing it all first hand was just so surreal and of putting things into perspective; yet at the same time witnessing the destructiveness and livelihood interrupted caused by “Harvey” I also learned of the unexpected blessings that can come out of such things. Blessings like friends, family, and neighbors coming together to help, and still finding time to enjoy life.

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The above has me in the middle.

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In the end, from time to time we will have devastating storms and natural disasters, and people will lose their homes and livelihoods and be left to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

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But as long as we all have friends and family to depend on, that’s all that matters. It is the coming of together of community in times of good and bad that make life worth living (even with all the crape) it throws at us.

The Importance of having a Love of Literature


But #the Cyclops is also one #of the many examples, in the Odyssey, of people who are sub- political, and that is the first thing we are meant to notice about the island. For Odysseus reckons up the place with the eye of #a landsman and a leader. The Cyclopes have excellent bottom land for growing grain; the fields lie overrun with weeds. The Cyclopes have wild grapes growing everywhere; they do nothing with them. They have a harbor for ships; they do no sailing. They herd, and that is all. They have no marketplace. They have no assemblies. Each Cyclopes is the despot over his wife and offspring, and every family ignores its neighbors. –Anthony Esolen, “Out of the Ashes Rebuilding American Culture” 

The quote above by Anthony in his book is in the context of the #importance of the “Polis” or political place and the importance that Ancient Greeks put into it and how it is very important to the United States historically. His going back to and using the Odyssey to make his argument is both very informative and beautifully well done. In the end, Anthony’s arguments not only make the case for the usefulness of the “Polis or political life” to civilization and Western and American in particular, but it also indirectly makes the case for why reading and studying great #literature and the “classics” is so important to humans and human civilization.

As we see from the quote above great literature is not just about telling a great exciting story about heroes and monsters and such. It is about life and how to live and get along with fellow human beings. Great literature is about offering up lessons on life in new creative ways that the attended audience will pick up and listen to. It is also about answering the “great questions” of human existence and of the times. This is very true of the epic mid-evil saga Beowulf. Beowulf besides being about monsters and a hero “kicking ass” is also chuck full of lessons about life from the virtues required to be a hero, the conflict of good and evil, and how humans are supposed to get along and how they don’t get along.

What great literature is at heart are stories, but not just any stories, but stories of learning; for we as humans learn best with being told stories. Great literature is admired, remembered and told throughout the ages because of the fact that they don’t just entertain but tell/answer something of great significance about life, the world, and/or human existence and the meaning of life.

Going back to Anthony and his quoting of the Odyssey, he was arguing the case in his book that American society needed to return to a “polis” like based society where everyone was a part of the “political life” and did their part to help each other and society function. He quoted from Odyssey because he believed that its underlying purpose was to teach those who read it (Ancient Greeks) the importance of the “Polis.” If one is going to argue for a “polis” mentality in society than one obviously has to go back to the civilization that came up with and practiced the idea, the Greeks. Then, of course why not make the point by using what the Greeks used to teach the importance of the “polis” to political life, stories.

I have engaged in this meditation upon the Odyssey for several reasons. First, it was the Greeks who gave us the very word, polis, from which is derived our word for action that has to do with the passage of laws: political. Second, it was the Greeks who invented the study of political structures: Aristotle famously says, in his Politics, that man is a zoon politikon, a political animal. Third, the Greeks bequeathed to us also the form of government we have or believe we have, in part: democracy. And yet-this is my most impressing reason-those same Greeks would not recognize what we have as political at all, but as a corruption of the political, transformed in part by our cultivation of idiocy. –Anthony Esolen

This here is what Literature is all about, finding a new and creative way to teach the importance of and the values of the way things are the way they are in the world and society and why. For Odyssey, and the Greeks, it was what exactly the “polis” was and its importance to society and the “political life.” For the Greeks, it was the everyday interaction of everyone in society and their participation in the political life of the “polis;” that is “getting along with people.” One of the things that was important to the life of the “polis” was that one had to be small to function properly and that the bigger one got the more problems that would emerge to break one down. This was one of the messages in the Odyssey and why literature/stories are so good when they offer up lessons or discuss the questions of life.