Things I Love

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This Valentine’s Day, in particular, I am feeling down – not at all what I expected. I was feeling lonely and off-centre. Life just didn’t occur to me this way – not in a hundred years to me anyways.

I had plans.  I was jazzed to enjoy today as probably the most important thing that was ever going to happen to me for a long time … but …

*

I belong to a couple of LinkedIn groups, I enjoy watching and reading more than participate too much (because it will overcome me, for sure).  I was emailed a discussion – and for the first time (I think), I actually got down and wrote something on the computer that wasn’t work related.

And boy-ole-boy – I needed it today!

***

Nope!

It’s not happening!

(I hope she doesn’t read this > ), but I was to visit a dear out-of-town and long-time friend of, maybe by now, close to 30 years.  It’s been a long time since I saw her – maybe 20.  We have been talking about it for some time – all by email. Every time I write, I can hear her voice as if she’s right in front of me.  Every time – I can see in the vivid minds-eye of my memories:

  • her animated and hilarious antics
  • her laughing and putting the guys to shame
  • she was the smart one
  • her 2 beautiful (now grown/ing) daughters (only pics for now)
  • the most fun person I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing – because it’s all fun.
  • she has more balls than some guys (sorry – to everyone, lol)
  • it’s not about sex – besides, we’re two old buggers, now!

I was going to visit her after all this time; invest some time into each other’s lives (you know, get the scoop on all the drama and such from the past – console, yada yada) and share as much as any moment we were able to cherish or dare to remember.  We were planning on 3 or 4 days together.

Nope!

So yes, I am disappointed.

***

Yet, lo and behold – I was saved by the web (or eaten) and came across a group with this LinkedIn post:

“Quick! In honor of Valentine’s Day, name 20 things you love!”

In a most uncharacteristic moment, I decided to sit right down and start writing.  I knew this would help.  And it did.

To make a long post (story) short, this is what I posted as the “Things I Love”:

  • a light sprinkle of snow on my face on a sunny afternoon,
  • the joy of a boy and his dog frolicking and talking to each other as they tumble together in the snow,
  • when a stranger comes up to me at a coffee shop and wishes me “Happy Valentine’s Day”
  • chocolate when I shouldn’t … shhhhh!
  • a busy, busy day and get absolutely nothing done >> yet still had fun!
  • getting a compliment from my coach(es) and a wider share on a blog post
  • all the women who ever said they loved me 🙂
  • all my nieces and nephews (they eventually go home, lol)
  • my housemates – to a point, lol
  • my ability to recognize an opportunity when I see it … by start writing.

I can’t come up with any more for now.

Thank you Jeanenne at NonProfitCommunity for posting this activity. I was feeling lonely as my Valentine plans went to … {8-/

I needed that; and now I can get on with my work.
Kevin
Happy Valentine’s Day” everybody.

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A Panhandler’s Contribution

I recenly had a dream that I was a panhandler.

Okay – it was more like a nightmare – but it ended up still inspiring.

It was such a vivid and interesting dream,
when I woke up I had to write it down.
I didn’t know how I was going to use it, but I knew there must be a purpose.
*

winter flower

Winter Possibility

The other day on a trip into the city core (in Toronto, Canada); I came across the usual people that is often seen day in and day out.  It is rather sad because they put so much effort to be at their corner every day (like a job), they could easily see solutions to their challenges and make a difference in their life.

Then I remembered my dream.  And I’m going to share it with you here.  I hope there is hope and possibility that maybe someone will pass this on to others who can use this idea.

***

I was sitting on the downtown corner of Bay and King Sts – the financial district to Canada’s financial power and major economic decisions.  So anyway, I wasn’t doing so good in getting money from people passing by.  Actually – NONE!

I was so saddened and disappointed in people that they could not spare a quarter; when they often pay $3.00 for the small cup of orange juice they were drinking. I thought to myself, “Don’t people realize there is poverty, despair, struggle, and other challenges that people face every day among all this wealth and privilege?”

Now, remember this is a dream.  Yet, while I was thinking that, I really couldn’t blame them – I suppose.  What do I mean to them other than just another faceless tragedy lost in the game of life.  As the warloads would say, “There’s bound to be collateral damage when progress is made.”

I was a cold morning; and the winds were pushing their way around the concrete structures without any shelter other than what I provided for myself.  Not the best way to invest a life – any life.  Even a dog would be taken in.  I would look up into people’s faces as they walked by and noticed their frustration as well.  Not one smile, or a glance, or even an acknowledgement that a human body was living on the corner for the day.

Sometimes I can be a little dense in my thinking ( – even in my dreams I’m not any smarter, lol); so it took a lot of time to work through how I was going to survive a winter on the desolate wasteland of financial power and oppression.  Of course, it took a lot of time (frustration and humility mostly) for me to work it through.

It took a lot of introspection about myself – about my past, present, future; about my skills and abilities; about my life lived as an “unfulfilled expression to the world” in my own little way. In dreams, as we know, there are no real time barriers or set patterns; so I managed to get in all the learning I got from life from my waking past to cram it all in, lol.

I learned something in Sales (in real life) many years ago and it came back to me in the dream.  It was about human motivation – their wants and needs – and the role it plays in getting people to do things.  It is actually based on psychology and is used in our lives by the media the most.  I remembered the very most single important thing that affects every single human (and sub-species, too).  It is this:

WII-FM:

What’s In It For Me

We are all in life for ourselves.  The individual is most important to themselves; otherwise, there would be no effort to live.  No point in eating if we don’t care whether we want to live or not.  So with that in mind, I came to the realization I had nothing to offer the people as they passed by.  There was absolutely no reason whatsoever to even look at me because I was not more than street furniture.

In the dream, I decided to give something in return for their donation.  So then the idea hit me!  This is the inspiring idea:

  1. I contacted a small business printer who prints business cards.
  2. I sought out the printers that give free cards in exchange for free advertising on the back of the card (WII-FM).  There are a couple in Toronto.
  3. With the cards I had printed 250-500 cards with inspirational and motivational quotes and anecdotes (with the ad on the other side).
  4. When I am on the street, I hand them out to the people as they walk by.
  5. The person will read the quote and (hopefully) get inspired from the “Thought for the Day” (or another title). In the fine print, you request a small donation.
  6. The next day, the person will take another card (with a different quote) and remember to give a donation the next day. The person remembers the feelings the card left her/him over the course of the day. They wanted to get the WII-FM – and they do!
  7. That day next, the person will have some change already taken out (from their cofee shop stop); and when they take a new card, they begin the habit of leaving change every day.

So, as you can see – everyone benefits as I can make a contribution in their daily lives – hopefully it’s a smiling and fulfilled day for the collateral damage of having someone inspired and happy around you every day at the office.  In this process, the WII-FM is fulfilled for everyone (printer, panhandler, donor) involved and everyone benefits greatly.

All it takes is a very little creative thinking and some work in the research.  ANYBODY can do this – no matter who they are!

***

So, that’s my dream from a little while back that I wanted to share with you about the possibilities in even the most worst conditions in life.  I also wanted you to consider sharing with others with whom you may cross paths.

Namaste

k

Past Hurt

dave

I need to know …

When the pinch inside my heart

is pressing, and a nervous rush of fear

recalls a frozen moment of confusion,

will it always void the possibility of a lesson learned?

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Will THAT THING always be there?

I’m no longer afraid.

But does it ever end?

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The “Blue & White” Blues

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Verse 1: The 60’s

 

In another era, quite some time ago,

The Leafs ruled the game, and it always showed.

Every night they came to skate,

We die-hard fans would celebrate.

.

The Leafs stood proud and played the puck right,

Armstrong and Keon would win the night.

The Stanley Cup was ours to hold,

We’ll keep on winning – for years, we’re told.

.

 

CHORUS:

 

We’ll always be contenders,

The Leafs are not pretenders.

     We want the Cup,

     We won’t give up,

So we shall not surrender.

 

 

Verse 2: The 70’s

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The next few years, the team would build,

As trusting Leaf fans, not exactly thrilled.

We’ll turn the corner, we’ve nothing to fear,

Cup’s on the horizon”, that’s what we’d hear.

.

We traded, we drafted, we played our cards smart,

Sittler, McDonald and Williams brought heart.

We fought through the brawls, we raised a few heroes,

But where it most counted, we still had fat zeroes.

.

 

CHORUS:

 

We’ll always be contenders,

The Leafs are not pretenders.

     We want the Cup,

     We won’t give up,

So we shall not surrender.

 

There’s always a next season,

The Leafs are only teasin’.

     We’re behind you,

     We’re bleeding Blue,

We’re fans beyond sound reason.

.

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BRIDGE: The 80’s

 

They fiddled, they fuddled, and generally muddled, all fans can do is drink,

Without all this hope, we’re just dopes on a rope, because the Maple Leafs stink!

 

They pittered, they pattered, as if nothing mattered, and still the Cup they’d deny,

With Ballard – no wins, yet we still hung in, and we promised we wouldn’t cry.

 

 

 

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Verse 3: The 90’s

 

After years of waiting, the Leafs have arrived,

The Cup is soon ours, we won’t be denied.

Burnsie had wisdom, and the skills to lead,

As fans we went crazy, we’ll finally succeed.

 

The season brought promise, the Leafs were legit,

With Gilmour and Potvin, we readied to commit.

We got fired up, and prepared for great advances.

Then that damn Gretzky, he killed our chances.

 

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REPEAT CHORUS     …..

 

 

CLOSING (slow):

 

So here we sit,

another year gone,

our beer is warm,

another yawn.

We want a winner,

is that too much to ask,

‘cause if you don’t do it soon,

We’ll kick your ass.

 

 

REPEAT CHORUS     …..

 
 
 

Why Knowledge Is NOT Power

Knowledge is Important – and I think we all can agree with that statement.  Recorded history has shown us that our very continued existence as humankind is dependent on the success of gathering and disseminating correct knowledge.

This posting on Knowledge and Power is the first in a series of three I will be posting over the next 10 days.  I will inquire about this issue of knowledge and how it is used in our lives.

I am certain we probably are already aware of what I write – because it is so pervasive.  It is my hope over the next few days I can spark some thought to entice you to embrace possibilities in your life that come from the power in the knowledge you possess.

Let’s face it – everything we know and do is based on the transfer of that knowledge; and we as a human civilization have acknowledged and placed a high value on it.

As our civilizations grew, we became more and more obsessed with knowledge; and as a result, we created and developed systems and processes to maintain the integrity of knowledge.  We were organizing ourselves as societies and we recognized that; so these are some of what we created ways to do:

  • How to develop valuable knowledge,
  • How to validate its authenticity,
  • How we decide on the systems of organizing the information,
  • Ways in which to gather it,
  • The means of transferring the information,
  • The use of that knowledge,
  • and much, much more.

When this happened, we gave birth to the phenomenon of “Knowledge Is Power”.  We created a living social way of dealing with knowledge.  This is where POWER morphed from the “Physical” realm and into the “Intellectual”.

When we understood the incredibly immense power information held,
we then created systems to manipulate that information.

It is in these systems and processes where we need and want to better understand knowledge.  And … it is in these systems where the greatest abuses take place – especially by those who wield the most power.

Why We WANT To Know About Knowledge

 

Knowledge Has Been Bastardized

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER IS INFLUENCE

After the world woke up to how knowledge can be used, the use of knowledge was used and manipulated to focus more on achieving the ends of its intention.  On many occasions, the content of the information wasn’t/isn’t even important – it was the intention.  (I will provide examples below.)

Along the way towards progress over the last 10 or so centuries, we became smarter (and more scared).  A lot of that fear is/was rooted in the “fear of the unknown”.  So, what was the most natural reaction to face that fear: WAR, of course.  Then, as war became less of an annihilating proposition to protect our fear (after all, we are smarter, right?), we slowly began focusing our efforts on the power of information – or knowledge.  Hmmm … mind games were born.

As a result, we invested time looking inward into the human psyche and biological processes (along with art and music and literature) because we started to have more free time to think (rather than react).

AHA ! ! !

The social rules of “democratic” life were then conceived, developed, and directed by leaders who best became experts in understanding the myriad of possibilities in achieving power by using knowledge.  And what happened then:

Those rules favoured their own personal self-interests
(ie: influence) …

… then Laws were created to protect against
those rules and the people who dared to exercise them.

So what we have now is this graceful dance in society where we play the game of knowledge and power.  Those with knowledge become powerful and those without … unfortunately, no so powerful.

Here are some ways in which knowledge is used against us (and we accept it):

The first step in creating POWER from your knowledge:

WE FORM GROUPS

Knowledge is no good to anyone if it is not shared.

This is how power was exercised (and still used) to give leaders their influence.  Within these groups, individuals exercise their influence in their level of affiliation with that group.  We see it in:

  • Associations
  • Agencies
  • Syndicates
  • Unions
  • Teams
  • Schools
  • Governments
  • Media
  • Individual celebrities
  • Corporations
  • Clubs
  • Families
  • Sects
  • Religions
  • Gangs
  • and many other types of groups.

What gives knowledge it’s power in these contexts is in the value we’ve GIVEN these groups (either individually or as a society).  From that high value:

  1. We give them status and credibility.
  2. They exercise their power by having an effect on the actions of others.
  3. It is difficult to remove the group from their status group.

The Group holds the knowledge and decides how much is shared.

Knowledge as Benevolence.

In most instances, there is great value in the inquiry into the issue they are discussing, such as medical associations, or non-profit organizations, or philanthropists, for example.  They draw out the brightest and best to advance the interests and (financial) opportunities of their field of interest and their group.

Knowledge as Influence.

For some, knowledge is used to exercise their influence/power on others.  For these individuals, groups were formed to raise awareness, create social change, entice action, among other activities within change agency.  They draw out the most compassionate and socially respectable who affect the majority of society. Their goals include making concrete differences in life.  Therefore, we see groups such as neighbourhood clubs, athletic groups, and other localized and accessible groups.

Knowledge as Assets.

Still for others, knowledge is just a tool to give people more time or money.  Knowledge is money and it is played in time.  For those who really see life as a game – knowledge is the currency.  Unfortunately, time has shown us where this area has been wildly abused.  As it becomes more available and validated, we have found many instances of abuses by institutions who were held in high esteem and value in their societies and circles.  Examples are found in the number of wrongful convictions discovered (DNA), or with countries trying to institute sedition laws, or when high-security information is leaked publicly about an entrenched group that cannot be denied (Vatican).

As we became accustomed to the whole idea of “knowledge is power”, we’ve mistakenly grown to give knowledge too much credit.  Up until recently, we’ve too easily accepted the standards of the use of knowledge because we never knew the unimaginable amount of information available.

The saddest (and damning) result is that Knowledge
has been blindly accept
ed as a form of Truth by many people.

But now, here in the 21st Century, we are now faced with (probably) the most significant change our civilization will probably ever experience.

The walls of secrecy, information manipulation,
and concentration are coming down.

(We’re just having a hard time right now
because we are in the middle of that destruction!)

 

We’re Using Outdated Rationale and Practices

People are still clinging onto old processes.

What is real information/knowledge and what isn’t real and believable?  The format of information – the digital transformation where it now all begins – has created the convenience of the transfer and manipulation of the knowledge, but we still want to hang onto the HARD COPY necessities of old and outdated practices.  Digital information is still an evolving phenomenon.

We have seen over time that all the greatest advances in the world have taken place when the availability and transfer of knowledge increased.  Look at the changes we’ve experienced such as the invention of writing tools, the printing press, morse code, telephone, television, and radio.

With these advances in society, and because of the acknowledged PRIZED value to society, the creation and transfer of knowledge gave us sets of rules of conduct and systems to manage information and ensure it’s integrity and value.  From these, we got newspapers, books, literature, movies, advertising, won wars, greater health, and so much more to list.

The sources of knowledge also changed.

Where and how knowledge is taken in has been overran by technology changes the information highway.  With the advent of computerization, the changes in securing the integrity of information has not been able stay up to pace with changes in technology.  We are not accustomed to the speed of taking in information as it comes to us today.  The same can be said for access to information; as it globally has never been so widely available before to us.

The Greatest Social Change Ever Experienced Is Upon Us

Today’s technology can be cause for confusion.

Technology can cause greater confusion among the masses because we are faced with thoughts (in the back of our mind) concerning what to read or view.  Is there too much information?  The quick pace of change has been overwhelming, and for half of society (mostly the older half, lol) – too quick.  We have never been exposed to such quick changes – we were brought up to establish habits and routines.

Issues of trust is amplified.

There are many sources of TRUSTED information in many formats from many places.  Skepticism among the general public (50% is under 30 years old) is increased because the established forms and sources of information no longer have their power.  Established media cannot control information any more because they themselves are being overrun by credible competition.

The model for sharing is not just changed – it is transformed!

Whereas, before it was:

  1. information came in,
  2. information-holder decided what was worthy of releasing for public knowledge (for whatever reason – mostly money!),
  3. the information was released (or not) and spurred public discussion, then
  4. they moved onto the next issue/story/problem/upset.

NOW:

The ability for true knowledge-sharing
is taking place
for the first time in civilized society;
AND it’s global.

SECRECY CAN NO LONGER BE ASSURED

 

Information is becoming more segmented and personal.

Where and how knowledge is used is now changing faster and has no current base from which to measure itself successfully without established credible systems and institutions.

  • Over 50% world’s population is under 30
  • Younger people have developed different needs and wants from their information.
  • Individual “Niche Expertise” is becoming the new frontier in information sharing and the systems of knowledge exchange.
  • Young people do not trust established sources of information.
  • Now we have “crowd-sourcing” or “group-think”


As I have noted, Knowledge is NOT Power.  There was a time when it was what made the world go ‘round; but with the events of the last 25 years, this is no longer the case.

In the next posting, I will look at the current struggle for maintaining the status quo, and how it is being feverishly supported and maintained with much at stake.  It proves to be an interesting and eye-opening post.

See you then.

An Enlightenment

This poem is written as my ode to possibility – a possibility within everybody’s reach.

K

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Descending from my frozen mountain

I meet the yawning sea,

Reflecting my many memories

Crying back at me.

.

My face lifts skyward, takes in air

A floral springtime breeze,

Reminding me of happier days

And brings me to my knees.

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The soil invites me to rest my soul

So rich, so soft, so warm,

Inside the bosom of Mother Nature

To leave days long forlorn.

.

I bare my breast to the waking Sun

It’s song of love sedating,

With childlike wonder I breathe again

My heart no longer waiting.

.

My stretching limbs reach for the sky

Embracing life’s energy,

My mind wide open, my heart now settled

And now my eyes can see.

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(c) 2012 – Kevin Collins

A Broken Heart Again

In pain, there is ALWAYS Hope.

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Love’s still calling,

regardless of devotions.

In my heart,

I suffer …

through the morass

of a love broken and burned.

.

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In my falling,

I nail my emotions.

In my health,

I flounder …

through the abyss

of another lesson learned.

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(c) 2009