Concentrated power of will…

Who should get the “credit”, when a doctor does a phenomenal job on a surgery?  Surgeons typically say that, they do an excellent job, because they are the best.  Sadly, there are those that they are forgetting to thank.  If a gymnast does a good job on their balance beam routine, again, who should get the “praise”?  If a football player does a particularly good job during a game, they usually say that they thank God and their team mates.  They are also, forgetting to put someone on the appreciation list.  In all of these cases who deserves merit?  Who is the unsung hero?  The truth is that, yes, the individual themselves, should get a portion of the credit.  Yes, the team mates are also, a part of it.  God DEFINATLY played an important role.  But the person who is rarely appreciated, as much as they should be, is the coach, the trainer, the instructor or the teacher.  They “sometimes” get thanked while training, but all of the people mentioned, would not be where they are, if they did not have a good trainer, teacher, coach or the like.  Training is like this: 10% luck, 20% skill, 30% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 35% pain and 100% reason to remember your instructors’ name (If not, it’ll be more “pain” lol).

I have a friend who is a firefighter.  The lives that he has saved, or helped save, is partly due to his skill and his associates.  However, he would not have those skills, if it were not for his instructors.  It is undeniable, that architects have exceptional knowledge.  Yes, their success is partly due to their own creativity, but they too, would not be where they are, if it were not for the teachers that they had.  No matter how capable a person is, at a specific task, they were once a neophyte.  

I spent two years at the local YMCA taking an aqua therapy type class.  I did this because it is extremely beneficial and safer for me, to move in the water, as opposed to exercising on land.  The entire time, at the YMCA, I saw very minimal benefits.  Don’t get me wrong, no matter how small the benefits were, they were still “benefits”.  Then over the summer, I moved to the local community center.  They have a great pool, an excellent staff and an exceptional instructor.  For the record, I’m sure all of the instructors are great, but I’m talking about the one that I have worked with the most.  In the beginning, I needed significant help.  The “chairlift” puts me in the water about 200 feet from where the class is held.  At that time, the instructor would, have to walk backward holding my hands, as I struggled to walk to the class location.  I always hold a water noodle, under my arms.  However, I was so unstable, that when I got to the class location, I would cling to the wall, like a gecko, sunbathing on a window.  I did this while I did my exercises, on my own, as I really could not participate in the class.  Often, the instructor would come over, to guide me by showing me exercises that would benefit me, and correct my form as needed.  As time went on, with her guidance, I got stronger, more stable and even braver.  I now, participate in 98% of the class, doing a few minutes of specific arm exercises.    Within 3 months, of working with her, I saw SIGNIFICANT benefits.  Now, 4 months later, I have also, swam to the deep end several times, using a very technical device called (I may misspell this), a waist floatee swim thingee lol.   I know that, it is extremely unlikely that, I will ever walk again, unassisted on land, as I have MS.  However, with her continued support, we will slow the MS progression considerably.  I have thanked her many times, and she has often said that, I did all the work.  And sure, you could put it that way.  Yet, as the instructor, her coaching and teaching is just as important.  My instructor understands how crucial, it is to me, to maintain my Independence.  She also recognizes, most of my limitations, and never hesitates to say “do only what you can”.  And at the same time, she encourages me, to go a little farther, when I am willing and able.  It is imperative for me, to not stop moving, because when you stop moving, you “rust”.  I also, have the willingness to push my boundaries, and implore her to, not let me “slack”.  This shows that, we make an excellent team, when it comes to my physical health.  

As you can see, the individual, and the fortitude they must have, is very important.  However, a great instructor is also tremendously important.  We all at one time, or another, needed to be trained, in some way.  So no matter if you work fast food, flipping burgers or work on the international space station and are fixing the oxygen system.  Trainers are extremely important and help keep us improving our skills.  So no matter if it is your teacher in school or your trainer at work, don’t forget to say “thank you”, frequently.  It may seem silly to say “thank you” so much, but the knowledge that they impart on you, may just save your life, or at least help you continue to make improvements.

Choreography of altruism…

What happened to “civility”?  What happened to the simple “thank you” and “you’re welcome”, in life?  Humanity seems to be failing us, as “civility” gets, tossed out the window.  This seems to be, the world according to ‘’me-isms”. When I was a kid and I, or anyone, would do something for someone else, one person would simply say “thank you”, and the other would simply say “you’re welcome”, and the matter was closed.  We did not “look in the bag” searching for more.  Some people in life, apparently, do not follow, the kindness “protocol”.  If one person has three “apples” and the other has none, person number two, is happy when given one of the “apples”. He does not search out a way to get the other two.  It is called “share” not “take”.  Humanity seems to have lost that “trait”. 

My church passes out rolls of wrapping paper, at Christmas time.  Last Christmas, they went to the parking lot, of several different stores.  Talk about, “wondering about humanity”, some stores did not allow the church do this, WAIT, WHAT?!?!  Sometimes, it was not even the store, but instead one specific manager, double: WAIT, WHAT?!?  I was told about one manager, who allowed it.  That manager even spoke with the church volunteers, and told, how they were doing, such a good thing.  When the new manager came on shift, he chased the volunteers away, stating that it was not allowed.  Yes, this is even after they told him, that the other manager had allowed it.  Sadly, I think people are too skeptical of, someone doing something nice, just to be nice.  For the record, the church does not, and was not, asking for anything.  They were asking for, no donations, no church attendance or anything of the sort, so again nothing was required.  They simply said “Merry Christmas” and here’s a roll of wrapping paper.  They were simply wishing people a “Merry Christmas”.  What is wrong with this church, right? Lol.  Showing kindness on Christmas, how absurd?  These “churchy” people are, obviously, mentally disturbed lol.  From my understanding, people were not very receptive to the idea, of taking this wrapping paper.  They seemed to think that, there was some sort of “obligation” attached.  Surprise, again, there was no obligation or requirements, it was simply a gift.  Good people doing, good things, what a concept. 

Some friends, got together, and made bags for the homeless.  Included in these bags, where all sorts of necessities and goodies, I was not there so I don’t know the contents.  Then, when they saw a homeless person, they gave this person a bag.  Again from my understanding, several people looked in the bag and said “what, no money?”  WAIT?!? REALLY?!?!    There is a simple: “gratitude” and “graciousness”, which I THOUGHT was a common practice.  I personally, started learning this in Boy Scouts, as a young man.  Apparently, not everyone was taught this simple, lessen.

THE WAY IT “SHOULD” WORK: The other day I went out to lunch with some friends, and I paid.  I’m not telling this to “brag” about myself, but I am still simply “disappointed” in society, and wanted to show how things could and should work.  We went to Red Lobster during lunch, so the meals were less expensive.  Keep in mind that, they eat like birds anyway, and we are only talking about $8 or $9 meals. They seemed to be unsure of how to deal with my treating, but after a few “attempts” to pay me back, there was a simple “thank you” (several actually J), then I said “you’re welcome”.  Issue closed. Everyone knows me, and they know me well enough to know, that when I do something kind, I do not “expect” anything in return.  It is called “kindness”, hoping to brighten the day of others, again what a concept, right? 

It is obvious, that society has become more about hatred, greed and indifference.  However, we should not be skeptical of every “act of kindness”.  There are many of us out in this world, who have nothing, but kindness and love in our hearts.  “Compassion” needs to be the shining factor and not “greed”.  Obviously, not everyone can buy lunch for a group.  We each need to, find our own way to help, make the world shine.  The only way to start making this world better is, for each of us, to “Be the Change”.  We can do this by adding, joy, altruism and outstretched hands to this world.  Let’s leave footprints of “kindness” and “love” wherever we go.  LOVE MUST PREVAIL! 

“”X” never, EVER, marks the spot…

Thankfully, Doctor Indiana Jones is not here, yet.  If I do this correctly I will “RULE THE WORLD! MWAH HA”…wait! Not actually “the world” but, I will “RULE MY LIFE!! MWAH HA”…well actually, the “Big Guy” rules the world and my life, so…I will “CONTROL THIS MOVE THE BEST I CAN, DEALLING WITH WHATEVER HAPPENS, THE BEST WAY I KNOW HOW, AND WITH A POSSATIVE ATITUDE MWAH HA HA HA!!!”

Contemplating this complicated conundrum of craving capacious containers to carry this clutter, I realize that I am in lack.  I don’t know if Indiana Jones could, understand the clutter that is in this defiled decayed and defective debris, but I will do my best, before his arrival.  Of course, just when I dig through one pile, another tumulus appears.  Doctor Jones and I are in a “race” to discover as much as possible, to see who will control the destiny of the artifacts.  I want the artifacts to be used and not simply sit, taking up valuable space, in a museum.  As I dig in the space called, named by a local tribe, a “garage”, I find odd things.  I found, what looks like some sort of footwear, 2 different types, for a one legged man.  Although, I found no signs of any children, I found what appears to be “art” that could have only been done by an adolescent.  Realistically, the “art” could have also been done by an adult who indulged excessively in some sort of ritualistic “wine” dance.  The artifacts that I am finding are confusing, at best.  Some of these antiquities resemble those found in Greece, as if someone lived there, before living in the “dwelling” that I am currently digging in.  I don’t mean to be anthropocentric, but it appears that they also had some sort of feline, living with them.   It looks like they must have “worshiped” this creature.  I read some research papers, showing how some cultures will “worship” specific animals, like a deity, that lives among them.  There are also plenty of pictograph signs of the tribe that lived here.  

Surprisingly, someone suggested something about the storage structure outside, more STUFF I forgot about.  Maybe, that is where Doctor Jones began, in the outdoor structure?  Interestingly, these artifactitious items seem to be never-ending?  Apparently, the ancient storage structure out back has some sort of “lock” that has no signs of any type of “key”.  This means, as I delve into this conglomeration of physical remains of this “ancient culture”, I am also searching for the “key” of “725Powhatanstructure”.  The “725Powhatanstructure”, appears to be, a burial ground for more of these “historical artifacts”.  I do not want to dig these artifacts up, only to rebury them in a new location.  It looks like; I will find them before Doctor Jones has a chance. Meaning, I will decide where the artifacts will go.  I believe the best choice is, for me to give them to the local tribe.  I know that Doctor Jones wants to give them to a museum, but I believe the local tribe would benefit more.  I understand the “reasoning” that Doctor Jones has for wanting them to be in a museum.  However, I know that the local tribe will “share” them or use them to barter with the tribes down the river.

Archeology is not my specialty, however, I learned a lot from this dig.  Sadly, the artifacts from the tribe, from this dig, are perplexing, to say the least.  It appears, from various relics, that they lived in only a handful of locations, before deciding to stay in this domicile.  Since I will be scattering these relics, the proof of the existence of this tribe, will all but disappear.  Although, it appears that they were joined in some sort of “matrimony”.  It seems they saw the sun circle the earth, seven times while in this “wedded state”.  Since they will no longer reside here, nearly all proof of the existence of this tribe, will be gone.  It seems that this tribe ended its “wedded state” over a decade ago.  And although the pictographs show pure joy, it is hard to imagine the cause of such a tragic ending.  No matter if it is the Romans, the Mayans or this tribe; it is truly disappointing to see a “tribe” disappear in such a disheartening way. 

Sealed With a Kiss…

Some people shop at the grocery store and they automatically grab the name brand of a product. They do this thinking that the store brand is an inferior product. However, the name brand of a product is not always better (IMHO).  Of course this is subjective because it is mostly about “taste” and personal preference.  Other people automatically grab the store brand because they think that they will save money, and that it does not taste different.  I would disagree with both thoughts.  The truth is that you don’t always save money with the store brand.  Also, taste is again “subjective”, so the idea that there is no taste difference is absurd. However, packaging can affect the product as well. Let’s take honey mustard for example, since I use it on some of my sandwiches.  I have bought both the name brand and store brand, in the past.  Let me state that the taste of store-brand vs. Name brand, of anything, can vary drastically.  As for the honey mustard, the slightly better taste goes to the name brand, but just slightly.  The aperture on the bottle, that you squeeze the mustard through, of the store brand is larger. This larger aperture forces you to use more of the mustard, as more comes out in each squeeze.  This “larger flow” of mustard, forces you to replace the mustard more often, and THAT doesn’t sound “money-saving” to me. The aperture on the name brand is narrower, and this makes it easier to control the amount that you want.  On the other hand, plain yellow mustard does not have a significant taste difference, again in my opinion. Also the size of both apertures, are very similar. In the case of yellow mustard: store brand wins. Now, let’s consider pre-wrapped, pre sliced cheese.  The store brand has plastic edges that are “crimped” together tightly and are hard to open, without tearing the package and or the cheese.   Also, there is typically cheese crushed in the seams, and does not make it to your sandwich. This not only makes a mess when you finally get them separated, but the cheese crumbles that are in the seams spills out.  Also, many times some corners of the cheese rip off because of said packaging.  This again does not sound money-saving (not to mention, it sounds “mess making” lol).  Lastly, there are restaurant “to-go” containers to think about.   I have seen everything from very simple Styrofoam containers to those that are very nice and reusable.  Keep in mind that, I am not talking about top restaurants.  Some of these “to-go” containers, you cannot tell which end is up.  Yet, some are microwave and dishwasher safe, for the thrifty, who like to reuse them.  As you can see there are more issues other than simply “cheap” vs “expensive”.   Maybe you never thought about packaging, but as I always say “it’s not an issue, until it becomes an issue”.  Packaging is an industry of well over $900 billion.  It is said that for every $11 item, at least a dollar is spent on packaging.   It is estimated that by 2020, the packaging industry will be an industry of over 1 trillion dollars.  Packaging is something that we all tend to take for granted.  We do this even though, packaging truly can control us.  Their goal is, to make us choose their brand over their competitor.  They have done studies telling them the colors that sell the best.  These studies show the size and shape of the packaging that encourages the consumer to choose their product over that of their adversary.  I find it interesting that now the packaging, for products focused on millennials, is much nicer than it used to be.  Maybe now you might give packaging a second look, and think “why am I choosing this product?” and “how will the packaging affect my interaction with this product?”