Be True to You

 This week we are talking about things that get in our way and what we may consider doing about it. I have heard it said, ‘life is what happens when you’re waiting for a bus.’ And I suppose that’s true. We seem to be waiting for something, to go and do something, and in the meantime, our life happens all around us. My question is, why am I just waiting? Why am I not giving up on the bus and just going out and starting to do something?

Life seems to give us friends, family, and other helpers whose main job obviously rotates around keeping us in our place. These people sometimes seem to be zealots at performing their tasks of holding us back. We have a love for others in our hearts and ideas that can help people, why would we ever want to keep our ideas and projects from those who could positively use them.

I remember a family member who counseled me on not sending my oldest son to a large school or university. I was always told that community college would be good enough for him.  I shielded him from the advice of this family member and encouraged him anyway. He received his bachelor’s from Colorado College and his doctorate from Dartmouth. Upon receiving his doctorate, the family member looked at me and said,’ Who knew?’

There is a considerable danger in letting others write or decide your path into the future. They do not know what you are truly capable of, and do not know your desires and abilities to help others. After all, each of us has good within us and gifts to share with the world. Imagine what great things will happen when you go to work on your projects and better the world and the lives of others.

I am not saying go off on a wild goose chase, and do not lock yourself off from everybody. Work with others. You have an idea of what could be, and you could build something bright and shiny and new. Yet, if you do not work with others, you never find out what they really need and really want. Many great inventions have failed and now litter the path to the future because the inventors did not take into account what the people who would use those inventions wanted or needed. If you look at the great entrepreneurs and visionaries we have today, you will see that they all take stock in the people around them. They listen to others.

I hope you take time to understand that the naysayers mean you well even though they are often misguided. And I hope that you build positive friendships with those who encourage you and can offer sound advice. Each of us has talents, and I encourage you to find the ones that help you to positively engage and help others.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

What Are You Doing for Blue 4 Today?

I used to work at a headquarters during my last tour in the Air Force. I worked with an engineering unit that sat across a common area from an operations unit. The operations unit was made up of pilots and flight officers. And they had a huge sign that could be read from almost anywhere on the first floor of the building which said, “What are you doing for blue 4 today?”

Coming from air weather service and communications I wasn’t really sure what the sign was saying. I interfaced with a lot of the people in the operations unit, and one day I just had to ask the question, what did the sign mean?

The person I asked, used to fly a jet. He explained to me that blue 4 is the last jet in the flight formation. The sign also had another connotation about being sure that we were doing everything we could for everyone involved right down to the last man.

I had always thought it was important to do my best for everyone. Now that I understood what the saying on the sign meant, I adopted it as my mantra. I don’t fly except commercially, yet I always think of this sign and its meaning.

Whenever I work on anything, I try to look at how the work will be received, and will it be understood. Will what I build or do work down to the very last person involved?

Next time you take a moment and are wondering what you’re doing and how it’s being received, or how your work affects others, you can always ask yourself, “What have I done for blue 4 lately?” If you have the opportunity, you can go out and talk to somebody on the shop floor or someone in the field.

Sometimes you’ll be surprised about what gets through and how it’s perceived. Sometimes it will surprise you in a good way, and sometimes the surprise will make you want to dig in and work harder for everyone, even the last person in line.

Thanks for being with me today. I hope to be with you again soon.

Better For All

Before today’s blog, I would like to say that our hearts go out to those people in Alabama who were hit by such a devastating tornado last night. The devastation was truly heart-wrenching, and our thoughts and prayers are with you today.

When you live in a society, you agree to some common rules and certain amenities which makes life easier for everyone. These rules are important, not because they’re meant to keep everyone in line, instead because they allow for a safer, more friendly, and more enjoyable home setting.

Most of these rules are not written down and have little means of enforcement. Yet, they fall under the heading of doing the right thing. Think of it is do for your neighbor the way you would want them to do for you.

What are some of these rules? Well, it depends and changes a little from area to area. Small things, like if you going to walk around the house naked and people can see in, draw the curtains. If you’re going to throw a beer bash and leave cans all over the yard, at least let the neighborhood kids come in to pick up the empty cans and reclaim them for a little cash. Okay, so I’m a little facetious here.

If you keep your trash cans off the street when it’s not trash day, the neighborhood looks a little bit better. If you mow your lawn once in a while, the front yard looks a little bit better. Throw little water on, and it is better yet. A few flowers always make the place look better, and there’s nothing that tastes better than fruits or vegetables that you grew yourself.

Whether I really know them or not, I always wave and say hi to a neighbor when we happen to be outside together either getting into or out of our cars. Or if we are both out working on the lawn. It is more than being over friendly or annoying, it is forming a bond in which we start to know and watch out for each other. I look at it as being human.

In these days of driving everywhere, an overabundance of electronic devices, and little human interaction, it is vital to stay connected with others. Part of that is saying hello to other humans you meet on the street. I even say hello to puppy dogs and kitty cats. Showing a friendly side just leads to many positive things. You are seen as somebody who can be kind. Someone who cares. And you do a needed service to all those out there who may have only had one positive interaction all day. That was when you smiled and nodded at them or said hello.

Am I just talking about this or do I put actions where the heart is? After a day of snow yesterday, I was up at 6 o’clock this morning to go out and shovel the walk. Not so that I could talk about it here, instead because if the school a block down the street was open this morning, I did not want to have children or parents having to hike through the snow on my sidewalks. This is just one of those ‘right things’ to do.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Care For One Another

There is a time we come to realize that we are human. And as such, we need to take care of ourselves. As we grow in life our bodies age and with this aging comes the need to take better care of both ourselves and those around us.

We find the time comes when we cannot do strictly for ourselves. And we have to count on a partner (wife, spouse, significant other, or friend) to do things with us and eventually, for us. It is the dedication of two people to each other and/or extended family which helps each of us to go further and accomplish more.

We need to be kind and caring to others. Because as we age, our marriage, friendship, partnerships, all serve to help us in our later years. Just we as we are part of the team to help others in their later years.

You can see that I have not called these times the golden years. If they are much like my years lately, rust would be a better descriptor. Yet, please remember even Rust doesn’t mean you’re down and out. Rust just says you have a little extra work to do to keep the chassis running.

I know that my alter ego is the mean old Master Sergeant. Please remember the job of a mean old master sergeant is genuinely to be of service to others and to help those others grow and do better. It is not something ordered by rules and regulations. The tasking of service to others actually stems from the heart.

Take care of your family, your friends, all those you care about and even more for those who care about you. You may find your work coming back to you filled to the brim, shaken down, and overflowing.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

 

 

 

Sharing

We are all somewhere in our lives. We have all had positives in our lives. We have all had negatives in our lives. And because of these experiences, we have all learned. And part of that learning is sharing your knowledge with others. We all need to share the knowledge we have with those who are coming up the ladder of life behind us.

Just as the Master Sergeant helps the new troops making sure that they learn the customs and courtesies of military service, we all have a duty to look after and advise those growing in our industry, our culture, and our society. This is important. I could talk about those ignoring history forgetting it. I could talk about the sharing of accumulated knowledge as setting a base for each generation to go farther. However you look at it, when you do, you realize this is the right thing to do.

Just as those with knowledge reach out to help our younger novices who need the assistance, it is important for those young novices to pay heed. Those learning need to pay attention and when necessary ask. Again, it is the onus of the mentors to ensure a positive interaction which makes asking easier.

When you think about climbing a ladder, I have heard it said that we are all linked together. Imagine everyone on a ladder, some a little higher and some a little lower, yet as a group, the highest person on the letter cannot move up rung until the lowliest person on that ladder can also move up a rung. So, helping the people who are new to our areas of expertise actually helps us to be able to climb higher. It is imperative that we support them and each other.

I remember once when I was about four and a half, I help my younger brother by teaching him how to crawl up the stairs to the second floor. This gave him a new skill, and he could do new things. I did what I saw as a need and helped someone learn a new skill. I was there and ready to help those who were coming up behind me.

Everyone needs help, and everyone needs to give the help that they can. Each positive act allows another, and another.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Donating to Others

I never knew this, but the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (the day after Cyber Monday) is known as donation day. I think this is a great idea. Mainly, because none of us got to where we are today without someone giving us a hand. It is always good to respect the fact that we do not stand here alone.  And, sharing what we have with others is a great way to say thank you.

Many people donate money. The funds collected can bring a lot of good to people in need. I have seen such donations help people return to their family homes, keep a roof over their head, keep utilities running, put food on their table, and help those who don’t have a place to live. I have seen magnificent things happen from even a small donation.

Some people have a hard time making what they have meet their needs, yet, they still donate. Rather than giving money, they give their time. Time, as I often say, is far more precious than money. When we run low on cash, we are able to go out and earn more. Money is a renewable resource.

When we run out of time, that is all there is. This is because we each only have so many years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes allotted to us on this earth. We never know how much time we are here for, and when it’s over, time is up. Time is a nonrenewable resource. That is why I look at time as being more precious.

I have seen people donate their precious time joyfully and with love in their heart. And because they do so, I have seen the recipients of their hard work find that spark of joy. It is more than just receiving the needed items, both the receivers and those donating the time to help them share exciting moments of mutual caring and thanks. And because of this, I also believe that those who initially provided the money to purchase the needed items, which made all this possible, are doubly blessed as well.

I believe that we each should donate in our own way. We should give respectfully, in a manner that respects those who will receive and shows respect for ourselves. You will be surprised by the blessings and the help that even a small donation can provide.

Thanks for being here with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Something Better

It is said, what we sow is what we will reap. This means that what we do in life may be visited back on ourselves. If we are kind to others, we will find kindness. If we shun others, we may be avoided. If we harm, we only hurt ourselves.

Whether or not someone else is kind, or mean to us, is not what matters. That someone is mean, angry or hurtful does not play into what we need to do, or give us leeway in our response. The responses we offer and how we do that is what we are responsible for.

We often forget this. Even in trying to do the right thing, to do good and help others, we are apt to go awry by moving towards the final goal and not thinking about what we are doing along the way. These errors become even worse when we tried to do what is right for our group at the expense of all others. When this happens nobody really wins.

The sad part is that until we realize we are caught up in these negative emotions and take measures to break the repetitive cycle of greed and emotional errors, it will be hard to advance as a culture. With all that we have learned about ourselves, our world and our technology, until we raise our awareness of how we should treat each other, we are still stuck in yesterday’s thinking.

Please do not take my word for this. Look around and see what’s going on in the world. You see it in the neighborhoods. You see it in mass media. And if you take time to talk with individuals, and you should, you will probably notice it there.

Does this mean that we’re doomed to a repetitive cycle that cannot be broken? No, at least I don’t believe so. We can break the cycle and go on to do better. We only need to desire and work towards something better.

Thank you for reading my blogs this week. I hope to be with you again soon.