Castles in the Sand!

IMG_0888A few weeks ago as I ambled along the golden sands of (in my humble opinion) the most beautiful islands in the world, (The Islands of the Bahamas) I stumbled onto a sandcastle. This was not your ordinary, archetypal sandcastle sculpted using the minuscule phalanges of an adolescent boy or girl. This sandcastle’s architecture easily rivaled that of the Windsor Castle in Berkshire England, which served as the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As I stood and watched as the waves inched closer and closer to the Krptonian fortress of solitude, I could not help but think of the parable of the fool that built his house on sand.

In the parable the wise man build his house on a rock. When the rains and wind came the house stood firm. However, a foolish man built his house on sand. The rains and winds blew and beat against that house and if fell with a great crash.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

How often do we find ourselves caught up directing all our energy towards building up an abundance of treasure that will only rot, be plundered, or left behind once we exit this world? We tend to become so consumed trying to win first prize in this treasure hunt that we get tangled in the tightly spun web of materialism. We want the lavish homes, cars, and designer clothes that serve as status symbols. We should treasure having moral fiber, character, doing good will, and helping those we can. These actions define a legacy that will last long after your days are numbered on the earth.

Don’t build up treasure that will be swept away with the tide once your wave of life goes out!


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Wordy Conversation

compssionloogo“Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” – Confucius

About a month ago I found myself in the middle of a unique exchange. I made the health-conscious decision to walk down the plethora of stairs that led to my destination rather than taking the elevator. After getting mentally prepared for the arduous task I now faced, I decided to commence with my descent. As I was making my way down the stairs an acquaintance of mine began making her way up the same stairs. She’s normally a happy go lucky, outgoing and rambunctious lady. However, something didn’t seem right. I had no way of deciphering what or if something occurred that caused the Learjet that is her day to go uncontrollably spiraling downward. As our separation distance shriveled down to that of the length of a five dollar footlong sub; I did what I thought was best. I simply gave her a hug. No words, no interrogation, just a compassionate embrace. Immediately, a tsunami like flow of tears disgorged from her eyes onto my shoulders. She later proceeded to divulge an abundance of details about her life that she hadn’t shared with anyone.

“A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.” – William John Bennett

We all had moments in in which we ignored or chosen not to be bothered with the plight of those around us. We inhabit a world in which demonstrations of compassion has become as rare as red diamond. We all can do a better job being sensitive to the needs of those around us.

A simple conversation, lending an ear, or even a hug can serve as the salt needed to add an explosion of flavor to an individual’s dish of life!

Comments are welcomed!

Listening – A Forgotten Art Form

“No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.” – Yiddish Proverb

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation in which the other person does 100% of the talking? The individual completely drenches you with monsoon like rains via thoughts and words without taking a meager millisecond to listen to what you have to say or to give you an opportunity to speak. I’ve found myself in this position recently. I have a friend who approached me seeking guy advice. I’m no expert on the subject matter neither have I published any thesis papers on the topic. However, I chose to oblige her request out of the goodness of my heart. During the entire 20 minute conversation I think I may have gotten out a maximum of 5 words. She desired my advice but did not take the time to actually stop and listen to what I had to say.

One must quiet his/her mind to be able to truly hear and understand. How often do people miss out on what was being said because they were too busy thinking of what they should say next? Listening can serve to defuse many relationships before they escalate out of control. Heavyweight yelling bouts between spouses can be easily dissipated or avoided completely if the parties involved would simply take the time to LISTEN to each other. Many people have missed out on great opportunities because they did not listen.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

We need to place a greater emphasis on listening to those around us. Don’t allow a listening impediment to cause you to miss out on sound advice!


Comments are welcomed.

A Lasting First Impression

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with a hiring manager in a one on one, face-to-face type of setting. I immediately thought “I need to make a good first impression.” A first impression is truly a lasting one. It can influence whether you land a job, make a new friend, entice a random stranger to perform a random act of kindness for you, etc. However, you only have once chance to make a good first impression. Thus, you must be sure to use the opportunity wisely.  There was an occasion in which I was approached by a lady that I did not know. She came up to me with intentions of gaining my phone number in order to start a relationship with me.

Within that thirty-second conversation I was able to generate assumptions that were influenced greatly by my first impression of her. She spoke in an uneducated manner, she was dressed as though she left some type of cabaret, and she chewed gum with her mouth wide open in a similar fashion as a cow chews grass (ok maybe I was being a little nit picky there). Obviously she failed at making a good first impression on me. I didn’t share that story in order to pat myself on the back or toot my own horn. I shared the incident only to illustrate the impact a bad first impression has on future relationships with an individual. A first impression is easy to screw up and takes an abundance of time to repair. So I encourage you to be mindful of the impressions you are making on others. You never know who you are talking you! You could be talking to a hiring manager of Microsoft who will go out of his way to help you land a job. You may be talking to your future spouse. You may even be talking to a celebrity dressed as a homeless person. No matter who you engage a conversation with, ensure that you are portraying an accurate first impression of yourself! Also don’t chew gum with your mouth wide open!

See you soon blog fam!