Tree Static

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Nature never remains static as everything slides on a continuum. Humans have a choice. Mentally and spiritually they could remain static and refuse to grow. Physically they could choose to exercise and remain active, or choose to do little or nothing and slide down the continuum towards decrepitude.

Trees however exist to fulfill their potential. Being static would not be part of their life experience.

Humans are meant to grow mentally, spiritually and physically.

Be like a tree.

 

Photo by veeterzy from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-forest-trees-park-38136/

Static

Evoked Emotions

scent-sticks-fragrance-aromatic-161599Smells evoke the strongest response. The “Proust phenomenon” occurs when a certain smell evokes a specific memory. Odor-evoked memories are more emotional than those elicited by the other senses because of the direct neural communication with the brain.

Certain disinfectant smells evoke memories of the junior high locker room. Not a pleasant memory even after 40 years.

I love the smell of low tide. This evokes happier memories of spending summers at the ocean when I was just a tyke.

Chocolate doesn’t seem to evoke a memory response. Chocolate is more of a to hell with delayed gratification eat me now type of response. The absolute best live in the moment approach to life.

Evoke

photo Pixabay

Carving a river

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Our lives appear so busy that we find it necessary to carve time out for ourselves. But if time is a river, how do you carve water out of a flowing stream? Once you have removed the water from a river, it truly is no longer a river. Just a few drops of water.

I believe you have to put yourself into the flow of the river instead and do the things that must be done to become human. Carving time becomes a travesty.

Carve

 

photo credit

Diane from Pexels

Sea Life

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Whenever I scuba dive, my favorite species to observe always includes the jellyfish. Scyphozans (the “true jellyfish”) are exclusively marine. Jellyfish have roamed the seas for between 500 million and possibly 700 million years which makes them the oldest multi-organ animal.

With no vertebrae, or any boney structure, they are truly able to undulate in any direction supported by ocean water. Their ability to ‘dance’ surpasses about any other living animal.

Undulate

photo credit: Oday Hazeem

Treated to a Treat

pexels-photo-332091 (1)Back in the day, almost everything was a treat. A milkshake, a doughnut, candy of any sort became a treat. And this was unusually in response to good behaviour.

Now we treat ourselves whenever we want. The joy has been extracted from the treat since  they have now become commonplace. The ambient level of our happiness has been increased as we become adapted to the hedonic treadmill.

I recall the treats I used to get when going to grandma’s place on the coast. This was normally a coke float. I am not sure why this only happened when travelling to her place. there was a special little malt shop on the corner. I remember trying to swirl the coke and ice cream together to make a smoother concoction.

I now realize how I miss those times even more when the smaller things used to give me joy. How can get those little enjoyments back?

Treat

Conversation Cruising

pexels-photo-604897Nothing rivals a good conversation between close friends over good coffee. Texting between friends seems more like the Turing test where you try to discern whether the one replying is a machine or not.

Conversation occurs informally, systematically, and for the purposes of establishing and maintaining social ties. The development of conversational skills and etiquette becomes an important part of socialization.

One loses too much without personal contact. You miss the tone, context and body language. A thin argument can be made for social media such as Skype or FaceTime, but face it, the eye contact becomes lost as you focus from camera to screen.

There are several benefits to conversation:

Understanding and being understood.

I used to draft legal memos by laying out the issue, including a bit of legal analysis and following with a conclusion. This made the entire situation quite clear. Apparently, only in my own mind.

I eventually simplified my notes and used numbers to enumerate the various problems. I found that this still did not seem to clarify the situation.

I became more convinced that no one was getting to the bottom of my memos and it was better to have the conclusion at the beginning. This prompted me to move parts of the memo around.

When this didn’t make the issue clear, I went for the conversational approach. The verbal method along with the tone and body language finally made the necessary points. I only use the “Peter Pan” fists on hips stance in cases of dire emergencies.

This clarified to me how certain points can simply be lost in the noise of facts and other things that are just happening concurrently with everything else. The traditional format seems to bury information. This is similar to the PowerPoint that led to the Challenger disaster. They eventually found that the critical decision-making information was buried with all of the information. PowerPoint may be useful for presentation but seems to reduce the potential for any discussion of the various issues.

More self-confidence: Certainly discussing issues with actual people leads to better relationship building and confidence in one’s self.

More workplace value: Others can see greater value when complex ideas are presented simply. You can do this sometimes in a note, but the best customer interface is simply when you get out of the chair and speak to people about whatever issue they are facing.

Better relationships: Getting out of your chair also allows you to interact with people in a normal fashion. Asking about other people’s lives and what is going on with them is important not only for work purposes but this is what humans do.

If you have the time, I find bringing baked goods really helps the social interaction.

 

 

Conversation

A drifting moral compass

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As you approach the magnetic north pole, your compass becomes less accurate. By the time you are on top of the pole, the compass tends to drift. The compass loses its direction.

The same thing can happen to your moral compass. The closer you become to an issue, the more your moral compass can drift. Perhaps you are a politician or business person where the common practice simply is to claim every expense whether related to your activities or not. This seems fine since everyone else you know does the same thing. No one raises a stink.

Until finally a whistle-blower comes along and brings this to the public’s attention. Now, once you back away, get a bit more distance, the accuracy of the moral compass increases.

You may not notice an ethical issue until you pull back and start to include other perspectives and viewpoints. You start asking the typical man or woman on the street about your ‘common practice’. These people confidently state that claiming expenses you are not entitled is wrong. All of a sudden the lack of an accurate moral compass becomes more apparent.

So ask yourself, if your actions hit the front page of the newspaper, how would the public react? If you think they would respond negatively, then rethink your actions.

Compass

7 degrees

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Degree by by degree she slowly turned. She planned to give Ted the third degree. He received his degree yesterday and went out all night partying with his buddies. She turned the thermosat down a few degrees as she felt her cheeks flush. At this degree, none of that mattered any longer.

The door opened by degrees, and Ted and Kevin Bacon strode in. Her mouth opened slightly as she realized that Ted and She had both achieved one degree of separation.

 

Degree