Dec 142009


Here is the beloved one, in hospital bed a-lying.

Monitors all disconnected now, the old sailor knows he’s dying.


Yet with it, the family understands, it’s what he’s been wanting.

Sick and unable to move, these past few weeks been daunting.


Above a computer screen urgently flashes … no time remaining.

Yet, he lives on – in slumber-induced sleep – ever weighing his staying.


He hears well the nurse’s instructions, adjusting his body again.

but he waits – until the last voice of loved ones, proved that they’ve been.


Now, the trial seems over, so clearly seen on his face.

With peace and contentment the new order, all worry’s been replaced.


A life worth celebrating, his favourite music plays.

Drinks all ‘round is called for … seems like old days.


And later, in the wee hours, when a last breath is drawn.

Under calm skies and time remaining, he sails into the dawn!


Oct 162009

This week, during our Customer Service class, we had a guest speaker who talked to us of the importance of respect in our daily lives – both personal and business.

He introduced us to 4 words to help us to remember the key concepts.

A – Assumptions: how it’s so easy to prejudge others, without any knowledge of them

K – Knowledge: finding out a little bit about them starts a connection

A – Awareness: we then become more sensitive about them as individuals

U – Understanding: ‘walking a mile in their shoes’ prevents us pre-judging others

Or, maybe we are turned off by not only what they say; but how they say it. When this occurs, it’s very effective to use the word “I” vs. “You”. (As in, “I feel uncomfortable with that language, etc … vs. “You shouldn’t say that, etc.”)


Finally, we were reminded to connect instead of just converse. Often times, we are  so concern with getting the next word in, we miss the opportunity to pick up on what has just been said – getting deeper into the other persons experience – which promotes respect. (Like peeling off the layers of an onion, so that you get beyond the superficial.)

This then prevents us falling into the trap of staying in our own ‘bubble’… tending to be more concern with our wants, our needs and not being aware of the damaging effects our lack of respect can cause others.

Oct 122009

I don’t know where this finds you; but in Canada, it’s Thanksgiving Day.

Actually, I woke early this morning to find this question beckoning me for an answer.

Of course, I’d like to think of myself as being grateful for my health and that of my family; but I normally just take my health for granted. It’s not until its upfront and personal – say a health problem with a family member for example – that it hits home. And yes, there have been some recent issues; but fortunately, although close, it has not been life or death.   

Mostly what I’ve been grateful for however, is how our family members have stuck together to pitch in, in whatever way they could, to take care of afflicted family members.

Now, you may say that that’s to be expected of family; but when it’s your family ‘that’s got your back’, it means so much more. This is especially so since family members: took days off work, showed up just days after surgery themselves and even had a 5 month old baby to take care of at the same time … and in all cases meant travelling out of town to do so.

 I’m also grateful for lost sons returning, second chances and, yes, forgiveness.

My wish for you is that you have a satisfactory answer to this question for yourself.

Oct 092009

Although I appreciate the comment; I wonder if the real question should be – professional or not, paid or not – is our writing adding anything to the common good? Or, are we at times, allowing our bitterness’s, intolerance’s and overall aloofness weigh us down? And, isn’t the reason we get hooked, in this way, is that we see in others, our own insecurities and fears trying to strike us down.

For every action there’s a re-action and before you know it, we’re ‘… just another brick in the wall’.

How can we stop this chain of events? We can start by seeing the positive in others, despite how they have acted. I mean, someone has to stop. It’s really a choice we make; and actually most of the time, I find I’m wrong about the intentions of others. Whether actions triggered from thoughts about the past, present or future, it’s irrational because we can’t do a thing to change others – we can only change our own reaction. We have to check the emotional bad habits within us; but like ‘freedom’, it takes a constant vigil to keep ourselves free.    

So, whether you wield a poison pen or a poisonous attitude, you determine if you’re a builder or someone who tears things down. Check it out, ‘by their fruits you will know them’. And, we don’t often like what we see in that mirror.      

By all means, we should always exhibit critical, as well as, creative thinking; but too often we turn a blind eye to the turmoil we create, by giving into the worst within our nature. And, is there anyone so blind that will not see?  .

An ancient Oriental story tells of a tiger meeting a panther in the jungle – each knowing it has the potential to kill the other – yet one slowly backs away. Why? This is not a display of fear; it’s a love of life. Maybe that’s what happens when we choose to respond with kindness and understanding, when others are failing in their fight to be true to their real self. Looking back … being really honest … how many times could others have inflicted serious (and deserving) hurt to us, but never did?  

Maybe a better question: What’s our own reality … right now?

Sep 292009

This question made me smile, and since I don’t know in what context it was asked, I’m going to make the leap (Isn’t that the creative prerogative of a writer?) to suggest it has more to do with the business article (Leadership in 2009: A Different Way at Looking at Things) you’ll also find on this blog.


 You see, I’ve always felt that if you’re not the same person in your personal life, as you are in your business life, then you’re missing out on a whole lot of what life has to offer.


You notice I didn’t say ‘successful’. I mean, if you’re having heart surgery, do you really care if your physician is a jerk to the nursing team and/or his family?  I think not! I mean its all relative, isn’t it? … Or is it? Where is the self-fulfillment in saving a life and yet crushing the ‘life’ out of everyone else around?


In his book, ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’, Viktor E. Frankl, a practising psychiatrist who was incarcerated into the Nazi death camps of WW II and was ‘strip naked of everything – loss of wife, father, mother, brother … every possession lost, every value destroyed, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, hourly expecting extermination – how could he find life worth preserving’?

His answer: ‘… to live is to suffer; to survive is to find meaning in the suffering … Each must find out for himself, and must accept the responsibility that his answer prescribes.


You ask me, “How much money has passed thru my hands?” … plenty. More importantly, how much money has passed through the hands of those who I’ve had the pleasure to serve? …  Plenty more! But no man can tell another what his purpose is. In this regard, author Salman Rushdie remarked,’ Sooner or later, we all have to take responsibility for our own fate.  And, although, by monetary standards, I’ve done reasonably well; it was hardly the point of my purpose in life – then or now.


Again, this theme is echoed in the Bible where we find that: ’… things that are considered of great value by man are worth nothing in God’s sight’.


 You ask me, ‘How much money has passed thru my hands?’ but I ask how much more in positive seeds have been planted? … God only knows … but why not plant a few more inspirational seeds of your own? You’ll be in good company!