As painful, difficult, and disturbing as candor can be, I like it.  Experience reminds me of candor’s power to take people, including myself, to places I never imagined!  I am not suggesting the journey between the present and candor’s destination will be easy.  In anything, it will be the opposite!  I am suggesting that candor is a tool and vehicle that creates opportunity for learning, dialogue, and even collaboration.

Recent experiences remind me how difficult the process is.  As much as I want candor, the reflection of my choices and decisions tells a different tale.  In addition to what is on my side of the isle, there is the reality of less that truth in the conversations with others around me.  To this, I can only whisper a prayer; “Deliver me from the liars, God! They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth.” (Psalm 120.2) read more

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I do not need to look at graphs and stats from my fitness band to tell me how I feel.  I am reluctant to digest the headlines of how evil is playing out in the world around me to inform my soul on how it should be reacting.  It is far easier to use four letter words to describe my energy level, emotional reserves, and the dark clouds inside and out than it is to find and embrace possibilities, opportunities, and a anything-can-be state of mind.

As I looked out on the recent F1 race, I could see a visual contrast between hope and despair, possibilities and barriers, light and darkness.  There was no question that those in and at the race were going to get dumped on!  Within minutes my view would be consumed by the same storm, wind lashing the windows, visibility down to nothing except the rain right in front of me. read more

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Small Stuff

In my frequent rides on a motorcycle, I am struck by how many details you cannot avoid.  There are the obvious things that few in a car think about.  The nature, quality, and nuances of the wind.  There is a difference in the wind that to the one who has not experienced it can be confusing; dry, humid, hot, cooler, moist, and jumbled uncertainty.  The mood of traffic in general and those around you specifically.  On most days, I do not notice it.  However, there is an interesting relationship between lots of uncertainty in the new locally and the tension expressed by how traffic is behaving. read more

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A friend is on a quest to bake the perfect loaf of bread.  I do not think his primary focus is on getting to the destination quickly.  His quest involves experimenting, learning, getting better and sharing the outcome along the way with people who are enjoying his quest.  His approach to his baking is a wonderful example of real in life.

Each step is an opportunity to learn, no matter how wonderful or bizarre the outcome is.  From forgetting steps to trying shortcuts, from getting it right only to discovering there is a better way to do it, each attempt is a learning experience that can and should be celebrated!  In the various attempts, I have had an opportunity to share in failures that looked bizarre while tasting wonderful.  I have also enjoyed celebrating each outcome regardless of appearance or texture. read more

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I was recently welcome to a new community with a ceremony, handshake, and meal together.  While I knew many of the individuals in the community before I joined, I was not completely clear on the group’s purpose and vision.  I find myself reflecting on my introduction.  The words and manner in which I was welcome by the members of the community left me with reminders that are now tagged in my memories.

Being different should not lead one to conclude that one will, in the greater story, be rejected.  There may be times where we are accused while being ourselves.  In these moments, the bias and ignorance of others should not be confused with truth.  While it can be distracting, our attention is called to the quest of being better and more.  As others highlighted the imperfections and differences, I could hear the echo of the psalmist words; “The godless spread lies about me, but I focus my attention on what you are saying;” (Psalm 119.69) read more

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I recently read an article on civility in the office.  More accurately, the writer was lamenting the lack of civility in the office while issuing a call to bring civility back.  As I read it was as if a feeling deep within me had found its voice. As I read I remembered the ideals from my grandfather’s era and wondered when and where politeness, courtesy, and respect decided to leave.  I look back over the years and see possible indicators, but no clear telltales of a departure.  Along the way, I look back with longing for the days when individuals started with politeness and respect. read more

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Today is, for some, a celebration of freedom, love, and country.  Others celebrate it a few days earlier or on other dates on the calendar.  As I reflect on the celebrations around the world under this theme, I find myself crossing cultures, friends I have not seen for a time, and great lessons shared.

At the top of my list was a magical moment.  A large group had spread out their blankets to make themselves comfortable in the fading light of a hot day.  The celebrations of the day so far had been good for everyone.  There was a quiet lull as our anticipation grew for the planned flyover and firework celebration. read more

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Open Tent

The temporary tent was bright, big, and bigger.  The sides curtains were up.  Multicoloured lights dominated the with a big sign in Chinese characters.

“What is that?”

“It is a temporary structure for a Taoist celebration.”

“Who can afford this”

“Temple sponsors, tickets sold, and items auctioned.”

As we talked about the details, neither of us Taoist, I came to discover a fine nuance I wonder would work in other religions.  Items that bring good luck are actioned off to the highest bidder for one year.  At the end of that year, the winner of the auction pays for her/his winning bid out of the fortuitous results that were anticipated.  Additionally, the item is freely given back with the understanding that it will bring good fortune to the next year’s auction winner. read more

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I wonder, how thin is the line between being committed and simply being stubborn?  Even as I vocalized the question in my mind, I realized the question was as rhetorical as it was practical.

In this case, the observation was being made in the context of business choices.  Which alternative was the best choice given resources, support, and when the results would make a difference?  When I weighed the three variables, candidly I was not, still not, sure what constitutes the “best” answer.  Candidly, I do not think I could accurately describe a good answer!  There are too many variables, points of risks, and constraining factors to have a clear view on the future. read more

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I have been told that the last thoughts one has before going to sleep sets a stage for one’s dreams and the dark night.  Having no evidence outside of my experience to support the theory, it is interesting to consider how many answers to lingering questions are answered with the dawn.  In my experience, the cause and effect correlation drives a habitual desire to be intentional, even when I sleep.

There are two warnings I would share with anyone thinking of being intentional with one’s mind when you are in control. First, be careful what you ask your mind to think about because it will!  Second, have a double think about one’s choice of topics.  The mind has a bad habit of giving you honest answers to your questions.  When you wake up knowing the answer to a question that you have been comfortably living with in denial, it is hard to ignore what you already know to be true. read more

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