I spend several hours each week helping my young neighbors improve their English. Last week one of the girls brought a library book that she had chosen for a book report.
She chose the book because it was short – not because of the content. It was a book about an all black baseball team in the 1940’s in America. (A land and a time she can’t relate to.) …So as she read the book I had a lot of explaining to do.
And that opened the door to talk about how racism and perceptions impact individuals and our world.
My husband and I just returned from his biggest bucket list vacation, EGYPT! ..And the last remaining wonder of the ancient world!
In spite of wonders like the Pyramids, the Temples, and the Nile ~ Egypt has experienced significant declines in tourism because of the continued reports about the conflicts in their country…
- Our first day of the vacation we visited places that were surrounded by armored vehicles, armed guard stations, and lots of men with rifles.
- On our second day, an armed guard accompanied us as we drove and walked. (It was quite an adventure to have a guard follow 5 of us through the city!)
- On the fourth day we met an fully armed group at 3:30 in the morning and caravanned to our destination.
Although we experienced no threats, it was hard to miss that safety was not something to take for granted!
Later that day we began to see things from another perspective…
This week has been filled with the wrapping up of several projects, the planning of future projects, and the packing of suitcases for a much-needed break.
And in that space, I’ve been pondering the past few months.
This fall was a season of EXTREME TESTING. (Only the teacher forgot to warn me that the tests were coming so I didn’t get to study. And truthfully, I didn’t realize how much testing was occuring – until things slowed down and I paused to reflect.)
It’s worth noting that although the tests were different, one theme was repeated over and over again: When I’m under-fire ~Do I really practice what I say I believe in and write about? (A sampling of some of the tests are listed below on the left, previous articles are on the right.)
An owner of a couple of small businesses is frustrated with dwindling profits.
He blames his staff, treats them badly, moves them to different locations, stalls their vacations and refuses to listen to their feedback.
The truth is:
- He has been an absentee owner that has happily collected profits from the businesses while choosing not to be involved in day-to-day operations.
- He hasn’t trained his employees or empowered them to make decisions.
- He has not been engaged with his customers and doesn’t know what they value.
- He hasn’t been proactive about growing his businesses or even keeping up with his competitors.
- His prices are higher than the competition and his facilities are cramped, cluttered, outdated, and equipped with poor quality equipment and tools.
Several years ago an executive told me that if I knew about a problem that was unsolved, it didn’t matter how hard I wanted to be a part of the solution,… I was a part of the problem until it was solved.
Ouch. That was a hard pill to swallow.
Recently I was reminded of that pill, as someone contacted me and asked for my help.