Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Uke Jam


creative TED

[ted id=1391]

creative don't speak...don't speak! TED

I wish…

“An honorable enterprise that advances the public interests.” #42

I wish I were perfect so that I could cast stones with ease.

I wish others would think before they cast.

I wish I were smart enough so that I understood tax credits, capital gains, health care, health insurance.

I wish I knew with out reservation who was right and who was wrong, factually.

I wish I were smart enough and had the time to find fact from fiction.

I wish that I were so sure of what I believed was right, but at the same time still cared about those around me.

I wish I understood exactly what created the national debt.

I wish I understood how tax breaks created jobs.

I wish that the difference between us created dialogue and not hate.

I wish that if you didn’t watch this yesterday when I posted it that you will now.

Dare to disagree

I wish that Republican’s and Democrat’s alike, had thinking partners and not echo chambers.

I wish that when you think of our differences, or diverse ideas, that you see those as a positive not a negative.

I wish that you would and will see the good in everyone.

I wish that compassion could be a mandate and that hate wasn’t an emotion.


What do you wish?

creative don't speak...don't speak!


creative don't speak...don't speak!

Last time I was unemployed I went to Truthout everyday. That was 2003.

Blog ideas were running through my head this morning and I was headed in a particular direction. Is Twitter a tool for shameless creepy self-promotion? For a few, I say yes. I signed into Twitter, March 30, 2008. At the time I will admit, that I didn’t exactly get it or know what it was, or if I would even use it. Therefore the Twitter handle @jgx. Turns out with the 140-character limit the short handle is perfect.

I don’t follow a lot of people. And I don’t have a lot of follower’s. Which is fine with me. For me it’s not a popularity contest. I don’t need to be popular. In September of 2008 when I really started using Twitter, the race was on. People where nuts!! Falling all over each other to get followers AT all costs. And they took it personally if you didn’t follow them. In some cases (one in particular for me) take great offense to unfollow. I got a curt little note sent to me in facebook after the unfollow. Well I had unfollowed them so how else where they to verbally beat me up one last time?

My opinion, for some Twitter is all about self-promotion. In some cases annoyingly so. For some it has become a tool to help those in need. For some, it is the selfless desire to do something for the greater good. I’m talking about Thirty Hour Day. (previous post)

So I was thinking about what makes people do things like this? What was it that just a few weeks three people decided to have a 30 hour live podcast to raise money for local charity. No really! Just a few weeks ago!

This goodness should be collected and put in a shot and a required immunization.

And a friend from high school on facebook post’s a link to a great article on TruthOut, Bringing the World Out of Denial: The Power of Passion, The Fallacy of Fear. It says what I wanted to say.

The entire article is linked to the title, but I pulled a few paragraphs here.

“In my opinion, there is only one force that can erase this self-protecting, laissez faire attitude towards critical global challenges, or any critical change for that matter: the energy of unbridled passion. This creative force is so powerful that it evaporates fear from the deepest level of the human spirit and can literally change the world.”

“Every one of us is born with this need. This can result in human efficiencies beyond 90 percent. Have you ever engaged in an activity so inspiring that you lost track of time and your desire for food, water or sleep?”

“How do we instill such passion? I think there are three components that must be present. First, and foremost, the challenge must appeal to a person’s need to help the “greater good.”

“People must perceive and believe deep down that they are part of a team that will change the world for the better. That is the magic.”

Creative and innovative people no longer work well under autocratic command and control. That world is gone forever. At this critical juncture, we desperately need a few courageous leaders stimulating people around the planet with the passion necessary to create a safer, more rewarding future for all.”



She lived on the third floor of a small complex. Acoustically it was at the right height so that everything that happened on the sidewalk sounded like it happened right outside her window.

The northwest part of Portland is dense and people live on top of each other. There is no parking so if you own a car you circle and circle to find a place close to your house but usually end up blocks away. One car had a bumper sticker. It said, “Visualize Parking”. She didn’t have a car so it didn’t matter. The neighborhood had all she needed, a car wasn’t necessary.

She wasn’t sure if it was people who didn’t have cars or people who just bought too many groceries. But you would see shopping carts randomly parked around the neighborhood. Sometimes they would be there for days. There were two groceries with in five blocks she just made several trips a week and rarely shopped using a cart. She never bought more than she could carry, what could fit in a basket. A redish orange truck would drive the neighborhood each day, collect the shopping carts and take them back to the store where they belonged.

Then one day she started really thinking about those carts. She thought if she had a camera she would make a video about these abandon carts. Think about it. You are a brand new cart, you just came off of the assembly line were loaded on a truck to be taken to your grocery store.

Your wheels are straight, your cage is shiny there isn’t a nick or scratch anywhere. You are nestled inside another and one is nestled resting gently inside you. You get to the store you are unloaded from the truck and carefully lined up just inside the door. The lights go out and it’s dark. All of the carts are there, waiting in anticipation of the next morning when the doors are unlocked and customers start coming in.

But the unthinkable happens. The new cart gets his chance. He feels the warm hands on the handle. His wheels are smooth and silent. And as she pushes him he understands what his purpose is as the light shines on his shiny new frame. Isle after isle more and more gets put into the cart. He can feel the cold go to warm as they leave the produce section. Then colder as they enter the frozen isle, that actually feels good. He breezes through the isles and proudly carries fresh vegetables, fresh loaves of bread, toothpaste, soaps, it all fits perfectly.

At check out he wonders if the shopper even noticed that he was new or if the checker knows? They have to, he is so shiny. The shopper unloads the cart, pushes it forward and the cart waits to be reloaded. The checker is very neat, so the bags are fit in perfectly and sit snuggly next to each other. Now his first trip outside to the parking lot! Will they leave him in the cart bin outside or bring him back inside? Oh it’s a nice day he hopes that they leave him outside, the sun feels good. What kind of car does she have? What color? Where is it?

Then it happens. She doesn’t go to the parking lot. Ok, she is parked on the street. Is it this car? This car? This one? She keeps walking. Where is she going? She is getting further and further away from the store. Then she turned the corner! He couldn’t see the store any more. Where is she taking him? He started to panic. How would he do his job and be there for the next person if he is so far away?

He heard some rumbling the night before among some of the other carts but he didn’t pay any attention. He figured it was an old cart. How crazy to think that someone would take a cart to there house so far away from the store. Then he remembered someone saying something about a redish orange truck. He had to keep an eye open for that truck. Where was it? Oh no! Another corner and further away from the store, he had to be brave. Things looked nice so it must be a nice place. Where was he going?

Several blocks have gone by. It’s getting dark. There are a few people on the street, but it’s pretty quiet actually. Then she slows down. There is a street lamp and the light is shining down on him. He feels it bouncing off his shiny new frame. One by one she takes the bags out of the cart and into the building. There is one last bag in the cart. This should be it. She will take the bag come back and push him back home so that he can continue to serve the customers. She takes the last bag and walks inside. He waits. And waits.

He doesn’t really have a concept of time. He is a shopping cart after all. But he is thinking that she is taking longer than needed. Even allowing for time to put frozen things in a freezer and other goods in the fridge, she should be out again. And it’s getting darker and darker. How could this have happened to him? His first run and now he is stranded and has no idea how to get back?

Wait! The redish orange truck he heard them talking about last night! It had to come soon. Was he going to be visible to the driver? How did he make sure that he was picked up in that truck and taken back to the store? He looked all around as best he could. But there was no traffic. Now it was really late and very dark. She had forgotten him.

It would be a very long night. There was some foot traffic, but no trucks. Two boys walked by and threw their empty coffee cups in the cart. He wasn’t a trash can, but now he had trash. He hoped that was all that he had to take on until that redish orange truck found him. He didn’t mind just staying in one place. That was part of his job. He was too far away and felt useless.

Now if she just had a camera she could take it to Freddies and attach it to a cart, fill it up, push it home and leave it out front of her apartment. She wondered if her neighbor downstairs would let her put a camera in their window to shoot over the night for time lapse? But like many other things it was just a thought. She would tell the story a few times to friends but never produced the video. It seems a bit traumatic maybe. But really it is comical. It’s A shopping cart after all!

The redish orange truck did make its way to that street and picked up the cart and took him back to the store. The cart was a little wiser and a bit more prepared for the next time someone took him home instead of leaving him. But he hoped not!


12.18 & 19 don’t miss it!

Watch Portland local’s, Cami Kaos and Rick Turoczy enter the charity marathon world with Thirty Hour Day, raising money for local fav’s;

Free Geek
Oregon Food Bank
Toys For Tots
Hands On Disaster Response
Mercy Corps
Portland Red Cross
Special Olymics Oregon

30 Hour Day

creative don't speak...don't speak!


Should I have put a question mark after “question” in the title? Or would that have been redundant?


One would think that this would be something I could do. But I find it harder than anything. What is it? Answering that question at the end of an interview, “do you have any questions for us?” That’s me being interviewed for a job. Do “I” have questions?

I had an interview yesterday. It was for a job that could be interesting. It would be a place to pull all of my experience together. I think it would be stable. It is a job that I actually would like to do. And one I can certainly do. There is a bit of a but, it’s with the state and three hours south.

I applied back in October thinking that they would never call me. They called last week for an interview. So off I went yesterday in a rental car. No reason to drag everyone in at this point.

It was a panel interview. Five people, two with the state and three from the community that are involved with the office.

When I interview people I do have a set of questions in mind before we start. But I also want to try to find out how they think and how they have a conversation. So I very often stray from the written questions. And work to have them do all the talking.

Yesterday, like many others they were right on track and did not stray from the questions. They were good questions and they took turns asking them.

The one that always trips me up, “give us an example of a difficult change that you had to implement…?” Life is loaded with drama and difficulty. The last thing I want or need is anything being perceived as difficult. So I don’t create it.

I think I achieve that by not working behind a curtain or veiled in secrecy. Nothing I have done to date has or needs any level of secrecy. It’s what thousands of people do everyday and have done for years. And no one has a unique way or market on the business of recruiting. Guess what everyone, you are all doing exactly the same thing! So there is no reason to not let the people around me know exactly what is going on.

That said, I’d like to think that because of that the space around me is fair and non-threatening. It’s a place that can and would grow leaders. A place that works together not against each other. A place void of difficult scenarios.

So I haven’t had “difficult” changes or situations. I have had challenging situations and changes, but not difficult. Difficult is finding out one of your dear friends has breast cancer. Difficult is finding out one of your dear friends loses her beloved four legged companion of 16 years. Difficult is having dear friends that long for and deserve to be married and recognized for the commitment of 18 years together, but can’t. And fear what that might mean as they grow old together. They have a long way to go, growing old, that’s difficult!

Difficulty in the work place is temporary and unless you have your hand inside someones chest waiting for a heart or another body part, it just doesn’t matter.

Now maybe I’m oblivious, like Portland driver’s, and have no awareness of the wake that I leave behind. But I think I’m pretty in touch and am the first one to know even before the wake begins and stop it.

I don’t know if they will call me back for the second round? I don’t know if I asked them enough questions? But I know what I will do next time. I will ask them the same questions that they asked me. If these will be the people that I will be interacting with on a regular basis, I’ll want to know how they handle difficult change. I’d want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. To what extent, they think, non-management employee’s should be involved in decisions. What is it they hope the new manager accomplishes in the first six months. And certainly, how do they develop long and short range goals with partners over which they did not have authority.

That’s what I will do next time.


Changing my image