Archive for June, 2014
Take heed to “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” By doing so, you may not know if they are planning an attack, but you will be in a better position to protect yourself from harm. The Godfather, Marlon Brando has spoken! Listen! Act!
My research on this quote revealed the following:
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is ranked #58 in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. The quote has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Niccolò Machiavelli, but there are no published sources yet found which predate its use in the film, The Godfather. There is, however, an Italian proverb that follows closely: “Dai nemici mi guardo io dagli amici mi guardi dio!” – I can protect myself from my enemies, may God protect me from my friends. My thought is that if you know who is drilling holes in your boat, you can stop the leaks and throw the drillers aboard!
Photo credit: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
In culinary circles, butter is the ultimate spread for bread. Let’s examine its other flavorful non-nutritional value. Enters Mr. Goody Good Shoe; a name uncharacteristic of his attributes because good he is not! The little work that he does is wrong, but he is the boss’ protagonist so he doesn’t have to be right. He worries not about being chastised because he is also the mouthpiece for the reclusive boss man who is seldom seen in business meetings or at the office. Go to any popular watering hole, however, and you will find the boss swirling on a royal barstool ordering drinks for the house! Mr. Goody says everything that his boss wants to hear, lies upon lies, but he has nothing to prove because the boss takes good care of him. In fact, the boss just gifted him with a two week exclusive European vacation and a luxury chariot to drive as he locally cruises through town. Good googly moogly! Everybody knows he is a “flake” but his “Master” (excuse me, his boss) likes his servants to be unchallenging, aloof, patronizing, and faithful. Mr. Goody Good Shoe cares not what his colleagues think. Why would he? He has favor where it counts. Mr. Goody has successfully caused countless acts of office chaos and has been the catalyst for even the “Nobel Prize brainiest” and the “cream of the crop” resigning or being fired if they got under his skin. Since he is mediocre at best, he loathes those whose intellectual capital mirrors Einstein. Yes sir boss! He gets away with unethical behavior and sabotage in the nth degree because he knows better than most how to butter the boss’ bread!
Photo credit: LittleMeesh on DeviantArt
Thieves have no honor or respect. They not only steal from strangers; they will steal from each other and even you! Be on guard! Never think that a thief will be your ally. If a thief is your friend, he / she may “rob you blind.” You have to watch more than their hands! They will not only steal your possessions; they will steal and squander the deepest emotions of your heart, mind, and soul. They are not to be trusted whether they are in your presence or not. Thieves will “sell you out” – be they colleagues at work, home, church, or play. They look normal. Their chameleonic appearance is misleading; so get to know these yellow belly traitors. Keep your emotions close to your heart until doing so! You don’t want to be a victim of their thievery. You may never be able to reclaim what they stole, particularly if they take something personal that is near and dear … like your “heart!”
Photo credit: www.shilohslighthouseministries.blogspot.com
My Daddy often told us, “If you do wrong, wrong will follow you!” “Bad associations spoil useful habits. Be in the midst of good people. Hire smart people and people smarter than you. Surround yourself with intelligent people.”
The advisory list of sayings stretches for miles.
As people, we are natural born copy cats. We learn from repetition. “Monkey see; monkey do.”
Being around good people may not necessarily produce good results, but following and imitating bad people will surely land you in harm’s way! So, surround yourself with goodness so that more of its substances can rub off on you!
Ironically, this is a practice that is not age sensitive. It is a process that we must follow all the days of our lives! Remember, older people who are unwholesome have had more years to practice and perfect their bad traits! Who is in our company may determine what we become and influence what we do … at any age! Knowing who people are – is the first step. Use your best judgment to decide who enters your world and who you permit to stay!
Nothing shows maturity than the ability to say No even to the amazed audacity of people who feel that you should never utter that two letter word, at least to them. No – is a very powerful word. I am using it more and more these day. Maybe, it means that I have arrived! Maybe, it means that I have grown up! Or perhaps it means that I now have the courage to say to some and profess to others… my ability to let no one make my decisions, control my destiny, or put words in my mouth. Unlike the person of old, I now say what I really mean and feel, sometimes diplomatically but nevertheless, the No word escapes my lips. It’s a great feeling to go against the currents of someone else’s waves when you can rightfully wade through the waters yourself. It is in fact, downright empowering, refreshing, and stimulating. It’s a beautiful thing! Try it! I guarantee that you will agree and like the throne from which you sit. You can however tell me No and to mind my own my business! It’s your prerogative!
Photo reprint: www.lightshouse.org
Fathers have a heavy load to carry. They are providers, creators of children, comforters, nurturers, builders of houses and men, and so much more. Their roles are many. They were designed to be stronger and leaders. My Pastor, Rev. Larry Harris, Mt. Olive M.B. Church always says that the greatest gift of a “Father is to show his children how much he loves their Mother!” I couldn’t agree more!
I dedicate this article to my son who is the Father of my only grandchild. Watching you my son up close and from afar, you are a great young man and a loving, caring Father! Keep developing, learning, and applying sound judgment to guide your son. Keep your soul anchored in the Lord and your decisions and guidance to your son will be better!
Happy Father’s Day!
Photo credit: www.theoldblackchurchblogspot.com
When you hear associates talk about other folks in your presence, they likely talk about you in your absence. Yep, I said it! Never think for one moment that you are exempt from their scrutiny and conversation. They see everything about other people because it is their nature to critique. If you have dust in the corner of the room, their magnified eyes picked it up before your vacuum cleaner. If your teeth are discolored, they know before your dentist. Remember, it’s all about them when you gather. If and when they asked, “What’s going on with you;” you are too exhausted to talk because you have heard hours of their chatter. That’s why I love the admonition in Matthew 7:5: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Therefore, the next time she opens her mouth, I will gracefully, wisely, and charismatically share with her what Jesus said! Hopefully, she will get the message!
Photo credit: www.toledoblade.com
Pink slips are traditionally regarded as the official termination notice of an employment arrangement. No one knows how the term – pink slip – was derived because the notice is not on pink paper. Go figure! How ironic is it that the word pink means sweet, nice, and charming; everything contrary to being asked to leave your place of employment because of a job loss or elimination. Working with people produces bonds, associations, and friendships. So when a person loses a job, there is a void that is felt by others as well! Some work affiliations transcend into other aspects of our lives; many of which will continue beyond departures. Although sixty, parental advice still rings in my ears. My Mother once told me, “When one door closes, another one opens.” Conversely, the opposite of fired is hired, with the latter antonym being more favorable. Just ask Lee Iacocca, Steven Spielberg, Vera Wang, Oprah Winfrey and others who were fired or asked to leave before they made their respective marks of greatness! So pink slips may indeed signal greater horizons. Certainly, they don’t end heart felt associations with colleagues left behind. As for the pink slip recipients, forge ahead for you are leaving a world of bureaucracy full of red tape from the company that is now blowing in the wind of your past!
Photo reprint: www.interactionmedia.com – Donald Trump
There is a dating game show called Baggage. The contestant can reveal details and personality flaws, be they hideous or not, that will provide their suitor the option to accept or reject him / her. It’s a sneak preview before you get involved. Although dating provides a fabulous test drive before getting hooked up, its accuracy and predictability are sometimes questionable. What if you knew or could see everything about that special person beforehand that you know /see now? Would you be with him or her? Whisper your answer in silence. No one has to know! Lock up the response in your baggage….and keep rolling!
Photo credit: www.nordstroms.com
Have you ever gotten tired of hearing yourself talk about doing something and yet it is undone? If you try, you will be better off than doing nothing. Remember, other people also get tired of hearing you talk about what you are doing, but never did! I had to stop giving myself the repetitive speeches about launching my books. I have always been a risk taker so why was there a hesitation? Everything is new until you do it once! I realized that I was competing against myself! I was in the boxing ring alone…. thinking about the world being my reading audience. For the past five years, I wrote something practically every day if no more than a paragraph. As I kept writing, my production kept growing generating five books and countless articles. The writing disciplined me as I trained and perfected my skills. My latter writings are better than the initial ones. Practice makes perfect! However, at some point in your life, you must come out of training and peddle your ware. Good, bad, or indifferent, I have done just that! Finally, I girded my loins, took the dive, fortified my courage and just did it! Failure was not an option! I am now a published author, not just a writer. I had enough practice testing the waters. It’s still a journey and I am still work in process; but I am learning, developing, and improving. I am doing what I love and having tremendous fun! I am in my element with a good “go forward” disposition. It all happened when I surrendered my fears, clicked my ruby red slippers three times, occupationally arrived home … and repeated to myself, “There is no place like home!”
Photo credit: www.scoop.it