Actions matter. But they’re not to be judged individually. They’re to be judged as a series.
Just as a series of positive actions can be undermined by a series of negative actions, the same can occur in reverse. A series of negative actions can be undone by a series of positive actions.
And the more global your perspective on your series of actions, the truer your interpretation of “good” and “bad”.
Yesterday we were involved in a minor car accident.
After a long, very good, day at work we headed home. It happened as we traveled north on I-405, passing through Culver City. We were in the carpool lane. Traffic was moving slowly and the car behind us (in the carpool lane) moved to change into another lane (illegally crossing double yellow lines). The driver didn’t see the motorcycle coming up, splitting lanes, behind him. The motorcycle driver swerved to try to avoid, lost control of his bike, and hit the “offending” car, another car in the next lane, before sliding on the ground and hitting the rear of our car.
The best part is that the rider got up. He was okay (no injuries). There was only minor damage on the bike and the three cars. Again, the best part is no injuries. I could care less about the vehicle damage.
And that’s the lesson learned. We say it all the time, “Objects aren’t important. People are.”
Another admirable thing: all parties involved kept their cool. No anger, no blame. I saw an extraordinary amount of compassion and courtesy. Not to mention the two other drivers who stopped to make sure everything was okay, and stayed until we all took to the road again. All four drivers were primarily concerned, and relieved, that we were all okay.
Really, unless you have taken any action to correct the things that you are unhappy about (politically), your complaints are invalid. The easiest, most effective way to take action is by voting. If you don’t vote, but still complain about our government, I have no use for your views.
Even more effective? Communicate with your elected officials. Write a letter, send an email, and if you’re truly unhappy about the state of things, go to one of their appearances and/or speaking forums. CONTRIBUTE and express in lieu of your passive-aggressive complaints.
With so many dividing issues, passing of blame, lack of accountability and responsibility, decrease in quality, financial struggles and mismanagement, etc, etc I still stop down and truly appreciate how fortunate we are to live in this country. A lot of us don’t realize that it is the fact that we have opposing opinions that really makes this country great. It could always be worse. Remember that.
It can always be better. But, it takes true leadership and action, not negativity and passive voices.
When I was a kid, a day seemed like a year. If someone told me that I had to wait a month for something to happen, I’d be in agony over how slowly that time passed. That’s all different now.
Now, I would love for time to slow down to an agonizingly slow pace.
- On Tuesday, I received confirmation that my Project UNIFY grant application was accepted, and fully funded. This is a huge project with aspects that will reach into every aspect of our programs to change it for the better. If implemented correctly, we’re going to see a tremendous about of growth over the next few years. We’ll also see increased efficiency and sustainability in what we do. It changes our approach; it will affect every singe aspect of our organization. And believe me, I’m not exaggerating when I describe it this way. Click here for the SOSC web page on our School Partnership Programs and Project UNIFY. Admittedly, the page needs a complete overhaul, including much more information about what we’re doing, but keep checking it for updates if you’re interested.
- Within the past few months I’v gained a renewed sense of drive and loyalty to my career. It’s funny how quickly things can change. At the end of last year, I was ready to make a career change.
- I’m getting increasingly annoyed with myself for not following through on things I tell myself that I should do. Best example is me constantly saying “I need to eat better. Smaller portions and more cooking at home.” Then using the excuse of “my busy schedule” or “I’m too tired” to back out of it.
- Speaking about (not) eating better: one of the best things I’ve ever eaten was the pastrami chili cheese fries, from The Hat, I had for dinner last night. So good but, the chances of me ordering it again are pretty slim. That is, unless there are 10 other people I can share it with. So much food. I didn’t take a picture of mine, but my friend Elissa took a pic before her and her husband tackled it a few weeks ago. View it here.
- No “Things I didn’t tweet this week” post because I simply didn’t have a lot of time for Twitter (or any other social network). And, when I did have the time, I didn’t “filter” what I did post.
- Family and friends are surprised when I tell them how much busier things are (as we’re all already very busy as it is). I think there’s an even greater need, and sense of urgency, to really focus on making time for them as we move forward. Especially important is that my wife and I make it a real point to turn off work and spend real time together.
And it’s a good thing I didn’t. Though, it’s not to say that the things that were published to my Twitter stream were actually worth posting. I mean, come on.
Consider this the equivalent of the Friday evening newscast. Really, nothing of importance.
- Harley stopped next to me playing Taylor Swift on his radio. Lesson from this moment? Do what you want. F everyone else.
Tom Hank’s character tells Private Ryan, in the movie Saving Private Ryan, to “earn this”. That scene is important, really driving home one of the main points of the story. Private Ryan, while reminiscing about that moment, expresses how much he tried to live his life in order to earn what that group of soldiers did for him.
Applied to my life, I use the “earn this” mantra more and more often. Are my actions worth it? Is what I do something that will “earn” a positive result? Am I working to ensure that what I do, in both work and personal life, worth what I achieve?
And, it’s also fun to use the “earn this” mantra to other things, like:
- Remember the ginormous meal you just ate? “Earn it” by working out, cycling, hiking, etc.
- Want something specific from your wife, friend, or family? “Earn it” by doing something for them as well.
- That new camera/lens/other photography equipment you want to buy? How do you plan to “earn it”?
No “deep” thoughts for today’s musing. I’m anxious for a for a few things coming this week. Nothing bad, just want things to start moving. Patience is, and always will be, something I continually strive towards.
I did grill this evening (no pictures because I simply wanted to enjoy my evening). I made Korean-inspired tacos. I grilled some bulgogi (purchased pre-marinated from Fresh and Easy), grilled a bunch of corn tortillas, added some shredded cabbage and Sriracha for some delicious tacos. Next time I do this, I’m skipping the pre-marinated pack and doing my own because, 1) the marinade (flavor) wasn’t strong enough for me, and 2) the quality of the meat wasn’t all that great.
I’m slowly working through my Flickr photostream, reorganizing sets and collections, adding titles, descriptions, tags, and really trying to set it up so that it’s easy for me to keep things organized moving forward. I’m still a little unsure about “investing” more effort into Flickr; I just need to see some more innovation come from them. Right now, the features I want aren’t there. But, I feel a bit loyal to them (as I’ve been with them since Nov 2004).