Accountability

Unfortunately, we once again suffered another senseless school shooting in our great nation. 10 more of those destined to guide us into the future, perished in senseless slaughter. This aggravates me to no and, as it should all of us. I spent the weekend racking my brain for the why and the what can be done to stop the deaths of so many young people in their haven of learning.

I first looked at the schools themselves, and realized arming teachers is not the answer. I looked at local law enforcement, the legislature for caving into demands, and other places to lay blame. It took me a while and then I think I stumbled on an answer.

My first thought was that all weapons should be locked in the town Armory and signed out by their owners as needed, and then returned to the armory and signed back in. And then, I realized the irrational fear of the government taking guns. I then thought of the owners of weapons developing and running their own armory where the people they would hire would control the arms and sign them in and out. For many, the fear of armed villains breaking into their homes would preclude this. That’s when I realized I was overthinking the entire problem.

What we need is to hold the NRA responsible for gun violence in schools. The Second Amendment did not guarantee 33 round magazines. Nor did it guarantee automatic weapons. The Second Amendment was written in a time where if you were really good with your gun you might possibly get off two shots a minute. Today’s automatic weapons, semi-automatic weapons, and high capacity magazines were not dreamed of when the Second Amendment was written.

The NRA lobbied and bullied to have its way in Congress, and the street armament we have today is a result of that. It is time to hold the NRA responsible. Until the NRA makes our schools safe from mass murder by weapons it lobbied to make legal, they are on the hook and should be held accountable.

I am not talking in a figurative, or pie-in-the-sky thought pattern. The NRA as a whole needs to set protections in place to ensure no schoolchild or teacher is injured by a rifle or a gun at any time on campus. If they fail to do so, federal and state government should step in and hold them accountable for this protection. And, they should reconsider their need of high-capacity magazines. If it takes you 30 rounds to shoot a deer or an elk, you probably need to stop hunting and take up a hobby that would be safer for the rest of us.

By the way, when I was a kid, I was a member of the NRA. They taught me to shoot with my single shot .22, and they did an excellent job on gun safety. Like anyone else in life, they have their good points in their bad points. Don’t we all.

Just one mean old master sergeant’s opinion.

 

Learn Something New

Ever watch kids grow? They learn something new every day. They are excited about it. When they first learn they feel that there’s something that they have learned, which no one else may know about. And they go out to tell everyone.

As they grow, the young learners find out that although what they learned was new to them, it was already well-known by many others. They start to doubt the remarkable vision of the vast world before them. And, as they grow older, they slow in their learning of new things.

The slowing of their learning is not because of a lack of wondrous new things to learn. It is because they are inundated by so much. Also, because they don’t want to look awkward or uninformed by trying to master new skills.

The difference between the third-grader and a mature adult is the ego. In children that ego is not yet developed. In mature adults, the ego is formed, and the ego is also very fragile. Because of the delicate ego, adults are less inclined to try things they know little about.

As I have grown, I have grown out of the belief I know everything about everything. The higher I have gone in education, the more I realize there is an entire universe out there, and then some, of things I know nothing about. And that is okay, because I am curious and interested, and I don’t mind looking the fool if it means I can ask questions and learn new things.

I encourage everyone to reach out and be curious. Learn something new. Do not worry about how others perceive you. Just have fun and feel good about yourself.

If you see me being foolish, that is all right.  Just figure it is because I am learning something new.

Slow Down

For a time, when I served in the Air Force, I worked for great Chief Master Sergeant. He worked very hard both completing a mission of vital importance, and training those who worked for him to be better workers, and better leaders.

The Chief always said one thing I never understood at the time. When people would miss a deadline, including myself, he would tell us we had to slow down. At that time, I did not understand the concept of slowing down. If I was missing deadlines, I felt I needed to speed up. It took me years to appreciate his wisdom in the statement of slowing down. And, today I know it.

The idea of slowing down is not one of ignoring what needs to be done. Slowing down means taking the time to do things right. To slow down correctly, you need to know the importance of each task you take on. And, allocate the proper time to those things that are important and must be done within a set timetable.

 Will some things still not get done? Probably. Yet, knowing that gives us choices to make. The first choice, is this something I should do or is it better delegated to someone else? Is this time sensitive? If so, have I been given enough time to complete it. If not, have I asked for more time?

I understand now that slowing down doesn’t mean doing less. Instead, it’s doing the things that must be done, wisely. And, always ensuring you have the time and resources to complete any task you undertake.

Thank you for being with me today. Hope you’re here again tomorrow.

A Question?

Today I would like to ask a question.

I have found that most of my adult life I have been coaching people. In the Air Force, in manufacturing, helping people to find jobs, and even now as I write books and develop courses. I have done this over and over again, although definitely, each situation is different, with its own nuances.

I actually like coaching and helping people. Not for my own enjoyment, instead to help them. The real thrill is when I see the light of understanding click on in their eyes. It is the moment when something they’ve been trying to figure out comes to full knowledge.

I don’t want you to think that knowledge is a one-way street. I learn as much from my students and clients as they learn from me. I believe if I leave the classroom, work, or coaching situation without learning something new, I have really not done my job right. Because whenever two human beings collaborate, both should grow.

My question is a simple one. In the world that has more and more social media and yet less and less person-to-person collaboration, do you think that a service where someone can call up and talk to you for 20 minutes or a half hour and ask a question or two would be a viable service to offer?

This is just a thought, based on observation and viewpoints of what the worldview looks like today. Please send me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading the blog and commenting on the question.

Understand the Inner You

It is amazing how well we can do a task when we set our minds to something.

Sometimes what we do is so far beyond what we think we are capable of that we can’t see what we truly did and what it really meant until later. The time lag in our recognition doesn’t take away what our actions meant to others or how it helped them. The turmoil and actions of the moment mean more at a distance. You have to step back and take a look at the actions and what they led to as a whole.

It is important to have a set of values, beliefs, or goals you normally work towards. What you normally would work towards is what helps to ground you in the moments where you’re not so sure what the correct course of action is. This internal compass is going to help you to reach out and do the best you can.

When I was younger, there was a paper with many different feelings on it. And I was often asked to state how I felt any given time. I did not understand it then, I was used to people telling me what to think and feel. And yet now I have learned that knowing my feelings are very important. You need to know your feelings because they are you. And, we all need to be responsible for our own feelings.

To take ownership of your feelings, you need to know two things:

  • How do I feel?
  • Why do I feel that way?

This is the start of understanding your inner self and reading your inner compass correctly. When you can control your inner self, you can go far and do many wondrous things.

This is something to think about and to consider.

Have a great day, and I hope to talk to you again tomorrow.

 

Not Just Now or Then

We are hoping life is treating you well today.

It seems as though sometimes as technology changes, old and inefficient ways tend to drop by the wayside while newer and more innovative technologies take over. That is the way of the earth and the way it is probably meant to be. After all, when was the last time you saddled up the horse or took the buckboard to the store for groceries? It does still happen yet not like it did.

I know there are those who live in the years of their youth, and others who live in the years of their parents. Truthfully though, as good as the old days were, today is better. More diseases are cured, there are more empathy and understanding in the world, and, they’re more people able to do more things because of advances in technology and humanity.

Are there still illnesses to cure? Is there strife that is unneeded and still needs to be calmed?  Are wars still prevalent around the earth? The answer is yes, and there are poverty, homelessness, and crime. Yet think about it for a moment would you like to be living now or hundred years ago? Were there positives 100 years ago? Yes, there was. Was there unnecessary evil a hundred years ago? Yes, there was and much more than there is now.

I do not condone the evils and hardships of today, and I believe these are the challenges we and our next generation have to work on. And yet, as you look at our timeline you can see advancements in almost any area you wish to search.

Before taking the ideal approach to where the blame the good and the evil lives, we need to understand that good and evil lives within each and every one of us. And, we need to understand the good and the evils we see within the world also rage within us. This is true because sometimes every positive has a possibility of a negative side. That is why we need to think before we act. And it helps to understand the positive and negatives of every action and subsequent reaction.

Just something to think about today as we go on with our lives and our routines.

Thank you for reading with us today.

Talking to Others

Did you know that you can say just about anything to just about anyone and have it well received? Absolutely true.

It is not what you say, instead of how you say it.  I have taught so many classes and given so many line training sessions in my career that I have learned how to do this.

No one can run into a strange situation with a bunch of strangers, just say something and expect them to understand and agree with what you are saying. You need to be a known quantity who cares for and respects your audience.

I think it’s time I told you the secret, and also let you in on a secret of mine.

There is a tone that you can use when speaking to people. It’s the same tone that you use when you talk to a puppy dog. If you want a puppy dog to pay attention you have to speak to the dog nicely. You need a calm voice and an easy-going cadence. We start off telling the puppy dog that it is a good dog and you know that it is doing good things.

When you first start doing this do not go over and try to pet the puppy dog. That is how people end up with the nickname lefty. Rather, talk nicely to the puppy dog, and fairly soon it will come to you and nuzzle your hand for a pet or lick your hand. I usually speak to puppy dogs through a fence. When I do so, at some point, whether it is 10 minutes or 10 days, the puppy dog will put its front paws up on the fence, and then I can cautiously offer it my hand.

The same is true with humans. Talk to them nicely, tell them you appreciate what they do, let them know you’re here to help and give them enough space that they feel comfortable. Use the same calm voice and consistency. Understand their problems and explain that you are here to help them.

The humans probably will not lick your hand. If they do, it may be the time to involve HR. You will be able to tell you are making a good impression on the humans when they start trusting you enough to ask why, or they start to participate in the activities.

For you, this is a learned activity. The more you work on the way you talk, the easier it will become. Like everything else, start slowly at first and build upon your successes.

My secret? I used to be very embarrassed to tell people they needed to talk to other people like they should talk to puppy dogs. Actually, I got that wrong. You should talk to puppy dogs like you should talk to other people.