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Posts Tagged ‘gift’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Downtown Chicago

Image by Storm Crypt via Flickr

Over the part few days I have been working on a presentation that I have to give in Chicago in August. I am giving a presentation on Communication skills. But unlike normal communication presentations, I am looking at it from the point of view of three prongs of the same fork:

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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A stadium filled with men listen as Cardinal Adam Maida introduces speaker Michael Timmis at the annual men's conference.

This past Saturday I attended a men’s conference. This was a state wide Catholic men’s conference and the first one I have ever attended. The list of speakers was impressive, but the one I wanted to see was Mathew Kelly, an

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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2316677591_6654e4ce6f With Mothers Day upon us, it is time to reflect on our mother, both earthly and those that are no longer with us. The other day I posted a blog about having parents, or better yet, the blog was tong in cheek about needing to prove I had parents on my

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One of my favorite people to look to or to quote is Albert Einstein. I think is because we both are so much a like…. (I’ll let that one sink in a bit before I move on…….)

Truthfully I do see a lot of similarities between us, no I am not as smart as him, no were near, but we both share a thinking pattern. For anyone who reads my blogs or knows me personally will know that I am a person with an imagination and a positive attitude. Albert also has this trait, and I have quoted him several times, in fact I have a small postcard of his hanging in my office and I have read biographies on him. I find him to be a very interesting person. I have no ability to understand his math or his logic (most of the time), but I can understand his outlook and his way of dealing with the world. Today as I was thinking I should blog about something, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t want to blog about politics again, not because I don’t have anything to say, because I do, but because both of my blogs are not primary political they are primarily spiritual. So my latest rant concerning Obama will have to wait…. So what than do I blog about. As I often do when I don’t have a solid idea I will look up quotes on the internet (God’s gift for writers block). What I found was this quote from Mr. Einstein:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

I like that, in fact I teach that… I have from the start, I have always valued questions. To me if you are not questioning that you are dead, dead to the topic at hand, dead to the presenter, dead to the faith, dead to what ever it is you are not questioning.

To an insecure presenter or teacher the questions may come across as attacks, good question by e-magic.as if the questioner is challenging there domain. And they very well may be doing just that, and that’s ok. Hell if it was good enough for old Albert, than it’s good enough for me!

My overriding passion is my faith and teaching my faith to youth. In fact this will be the first time since 1990 that I will not be actively involved in a teaching ministry, but back to my point… My passion is my faith and the passing on of my faith (teaching). Part of this passion is also learning more about my faith on my own and taking formal classes. It is the process of questioning my teachers and my students that grow and learn more. It is the process of questioning that allows my mind to explore other areas it normally would not travel. It allows me the freedom to play the “devils” advocate in the name of knowing.

Questions are what makes America a land of the free, if were are not allowed to question of government, than we are no better than and no different than present day Cuba. Our ability to place our public officials under the microscope of public questioning is our key to freedom. My ability to question my faith is what makes my faith mine is my ability to question her teachings and to question my understanding.

Albert got it right, The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Think about a toddler and there constant why? why? why?, it is their ability to ask why that allows them to grow, why should that be any different for a pre-teen or teen, a parent of grandparent. Our ability to grow never ceases, just our own limitations placed on ourselves do. We have that same power as the curious 3 year old, the power of WHY… That power to change the course of events is not limited to the mind of a 3 year old, it is innate in all of us, it is our nature to question. God created us to question and he celebrates us when we do so.

A single question has changed the course of history, a single question can place common scene on it’s ear and turn right to wrong and evil to good. The power of a question should never be over looked nor should it be played down or belittled.

The question was asked of Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the King of the Jews?” and all of history was changed for ever. The question was asked, “What is the price of liberty” and a new nation was born.

The ability to question is our basic right as part of humanity, to stop questioning is to stop participating in humanity. Teacher and politicians and parents that stifle the questions of those they are charged with not only stifle that individual but also all of humanity.

Just imagine if:

  • Edison never question electricity
  • Ford never question the assembly line
  • Jefferson never questioned Liberty

It is the questions that have created the humanity we know today. With each stifled question our next Ford, Edison, Einstein or Jefferson might never be able to ask that all important, life changing question.

If we do not allow questions, than who will question poverty, hunger, global war’s and the outer limits of space or the inner limits of the mind? Sniffle one is the same as stifling all.

 

 

Just something to question….

Paul

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Yesterday, I will admit it, I watched the services for the King of Pop… I had to see it for myself, and all in all , it was well done. But it does bring up some questions that we as a society must answer.

The media and fans and even some nonfans have turned Michael Jackson in to a saint a world peace maker a ambassador for race relations, and well the truth be told he was a troubled man with many issues.

I too think that he was a very gifted and multi talented person, and I agree that he brought happiness to the world through his gift. And yes he should be praised for this, but the out pouring of grief for this man, whom most of us did not know on a personal level is, well jest just say its a tad bit overboard.

King of Pop or not, Mr. Jackson had issues to deal with. In the limelight or not, he is human and should be held to the same standard as all others are help too. It seems that we often times forgive the sins of the famous with all to much ease. Lets look at a few of his:

  • Accused of child molestation
  • Drug use
  • Self hatred

I do not list them to be disrespectful, but to point out that MJ was not a saint, as most of us are not. That we must be willing to accept him as a whole being. He was not a monster as some would like to make him to be, but nor is he a saint as others would like us to believe, but what he was, was human, like all of us are.

To counter balance the short list of his sins, lets look at his humanity, he was:

  • A Son
  • A Brother
  • An Uncle
  • A friend
  • A Child of God’s
  • An Entertainer like no other
  • Listed in the Gunnies book of world records for the Pop Star to give the most to charity
  • and lets us not for get a Father

To be fair to him we need to list all his traits, good and bad, but we mustalways keep in mind that he, like us all, was human. Mr. Jackson was a frail little boy locked up in a mans body, the issues run deep with in his soul and in some ways we all have a little responsibility for this, we as fans place him up high, create a god of him than we abandon him in his hour of need, we play to his vulnerabilities to fulfill our needs, leaving him empty and spent. We treat our stats as our own personal play things and disregard them when we are done with them. Mr. Jackson, like all of us was given the gift of free will, he chose to do the drugs and other acts of self pity and hatred, but lest us not forget that we all, in someway, enabled him to do so.

You may not be a Jackson fan, so you may be saying, “Not Me”, but I would say to that, “Yes You” because if you did not do it for Mr. Jackson you did it for some other star. Indirectly we all all played a roll in this, in someway we all enabled him, in some way we all can take a small bit of reasonability for his demise just like in some way we all can take a bit of responsibility for his rise to stardom.

 

RIP Michael… May God Bless your soul…

Paul

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So why haven’t you changed yet?

Excuses about age, time, money, and every other item we throw into the mix to help us feel better about putting our dreams on hold will end up killing our hopes for a happy and fulfilling life.

We can create ten thousand reasons not to do something, and ignore the one reason why we should. Often times that’s what it comes down to, I know for me I use ten thousand and one reasons why I don’t work out, No time, I forgot, I need this, Ill start tomorrow, and on and on the list goes, and each day it is getting harder and harder to do. And one day, if I wait long enough, it will be true, I wont be able to work out, I be dead.

We each have that one area we need to work on, and most of us have the excuses why we don’t memorized. It’s a sad state… each day I tell myself, today I will start to use the treadmill again, pr today I will walk the dogs, today I will lift the weighs and go on that diet, but today never seems to come, because I am always finding excuses.

Excuses are easy to come by, any old one will work really, from the creative to the everyday. It truly don’t matter as long as you have one. If you don’t I am sure a friend will give you one, there cheep to get.

The excuses we use often times come with a free gift, the gift of believing. If we use the excuse often enough we will believe the excuse. It’s a rather remarkable thing really. You see if I tell myself enough that I will start tomorrow, knowing full well I wont, but after time, well I start to think I truly will start tomorrow. Problem is, tomorrow never comes…

So why haven’t you changed yet? What poor excuse have you used?

  • It’s hard
  • I will, but not yet, I need to do _____(fill-in the blank)
  • I am waiting for this or that
  • I was going to start today, but this happened
  • Well I figured I needed to wait until this, then I needed to do that, and once this comes in the mail, and the moon if full, I will start, I promise!

And the list can go on and on…

So what is it you need to do?

  • move
  • go back to school
  • clean out the attic
  • work out
  • quit smoking
  • diet
  • return to Church
  • find yourself

What ever the task, what ever the goal you need to start today, no excuses, one small step, is a step in the right direction. As for me, a friend and I are to start walking at lunch time today. Not much, but a small step in the right direction.

Paul

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We all need a break every now and then, time to just to be, time not concern yourself with others or with things. Time just to allow… Allow what ever it is you need to allow.

 

Well I just had such a day, allowed the day to take me where it needed to, allowed me to just relax, allowed me to be as I wish. Now I am not saying that I am not always who I am, because I am, I do not have several faces of Paul, there is only one of me (and many would say thank God to that, I am sure). But there is a difference to a day when you have plans, you know places to be things to do, all that good stuff, and you allow that schedule to run your day and you. We all have days like that, in fact I would say that most of our days our like that, we have work demanding our time, kids needing to go to and fro and a thousand other things that need to get done. And once the weekend hits, now we have to get everything else we have not done all week done on the weekend. And on Monday it starts all over again. UGH! Does it ever end?

 

Well yes it does end, if you allow it, if you stop the cycle and you allow the day just to happen. Now granted you can’t very well show up to work when ever you want, and yes the kids need to get to and fro, but other parts of your life can be allowed just to happen.

 

I find that the best days I have are days that I just putts around, doing a little of this and a little of that. The this may be cleaning the house, and the that is taking a nap. No rush to clean the house and no rush to take that nap, I just allow it to happen. The house gets cleaned and the nap takes place, but I didn’t plan either and if one didn’t happen, there is always the next day.

 

Life is too short to make every task a major priority; life is too special to plan it all out, to be on the run all the time, to make everything a priority.

 

If everything is a priority in your life, then in truth nothing is a priority. If cleaning the house is a top priority and so is your child, if taking the dogs for a walk and taking out the garbage is the same priority, if cleaning the toilet and cooking dinner hold the same ranking… Life has tasks, life has priorities life has rankings, we need to place everything in its proper place, give it its proper ranking, not everything can be priority number 1, then nothing is really more important then the other, your child holds the same ranking as your toilet, the dog the same as the garbage?

 

We need to learn to allow life to just happen, we need to allow ourselves the freedom to let things be. We need to learn that life is a gift to be lived, and that cleaning the toilet is not living, but walking the dog is.

 

So how do we learn this, by making a list of course…

 

List you daily task, then rank them from 1 to 10, with 10 being highest priority and one being the lowest. Keep in mind that you not have all number tens, nor can everything be 1’s. Life is a mix, a little of this and a little of that, and I would venture to guess that most things in your life are not number 10’s, but more like 4’s or 5’s.

 

I can hear you now, “What do you know, you don’t live my life, I got this, and that, and so and so depends on me for this and that…” and the argument goes on. You are correct I don’t know your life, but I can bet its not as you state it, I can bet that you place it all on yourself. So here is what I would tell you “Get over yourself, your not that important, none of us are”.

 

So create your list and be honest with it, and you will see that life is really not that demanding, lots of stuff can wait, and we have plenty of time to just allow life to happen. And if you do allow life just to happen I guarantee that you will be happier and healthier and believe it or not, you will get more done. The house will be cleaned, the nap will have been taken, the dog walked the kids driven and the all the rest.

 

Paul

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