About Me

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Cookeville, Tennessee, United States
I am a member of Cookeville Lodge 266, Grand Lodge Of Tennessee.
This is a blog about my thoughts on Masonry. I also post other peoples thoughts and storys on the subject.
Thoughts on other topics are also posted here, such as religion, politics, and whatever else I can come up with.
I am still very new to Masonry. I was Raised Sept. 20th 2010. I am Looking forward to continuous learning (more light) throughout my life.
Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Titanic

This was posted from a group I follow on facebook, wanted to share:


With 2012 marking the centenary of its first and only voyage, the RMS Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history. After setting sail from Southampton for New York City on 10 April 1912 with 2,223 people on board, the ship hit an iceberg four days into the crossing, at 11.40pm on 14 April 1912, and sank at 2.20am the following morning.

More than 1,500 people died – the high casualty rate due in part to the fact that, although complying with regulations of the era, the ship carried lifeboats for only 1,178 people. The Titanic was the largest passenger ship in the world at the time and the loss of this ‘unsinkable’ ship was a major news story around the globe and covered by masonic newspapers.

The Freemason’s Chronicle wondered whether Grand Lodge itself would ‘vote a considerable sum… to one of the funds now being raised in different parts of the country’. This didn’t happen but the Chronicle recorded lodge donations, at the suggested rate of one guinea, to a Freemasons Titanic Fund, which the paper established, and which were then sent on to a larger fund set up by the Daily Telegraph.


Among the English Freemasons who died on the Titanic was Howard Brown Case, aged 49. Case was the managing director of the Vacuum Oil Company (part of the Standard Oil Company), based in Rochester, New York, and was establishing the company’s operations in the UK. He lived at Ascot with his wife, two sons and two daughters and was described as ‘an exceptionally hard worker’ with a ‘magnetic personality’. Case had been travelling in a first-class cabin and some survivors recalled that he helped women and children into the lifeboats and finally stepped back to meet his fate. He had been initiated in America Lodge, No. 3368, in June 1909.

Percy Cornelius Taylor, aged 32, was a Past Master of Musgrave Lodge, No. 1597, at Hampton Court, and a cellist in the ship’s orchestra. The band famously kept playing as the Titanic went down, with all eight members sadly perishing.

Two Liverpool-based stewards, Robert Arthur Wareham, aged 36, from Toxteth Lodge, No. 1356, and Arthur Lawrence, aged 35, a member of Neptune Lodge, No. 1264, also died.

Henry Price Hodges was a 50-year-old salesman of musical instruments from Southampton who was travelling as a second-class passenger en route to Boston. He had been initiated in Caulsentum Lodge, No. 1461, Woolston (Southampton), before joining Royal Gloucester Lodge, No. 130. Pierre Giuseppe Bochet, meanwhile, had moved to London from Aosta in Italy where he worked in the catering trade. He joined the Titanic at Southampton as a waiter, aged 43. He was a member of Loggia Italia, No. 2687 and also Columbia Chapter, No. 2397.


One Freemason was known to be among the survivors. Herbert John Pitman, aged 34, was third officer on the Titanic. He helped to load and lower one of the lifeboats and row it towards the nearby ship Carpathia. Pitman went back to sea with other liners and served in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War. He had joined Abbey Lodge, No. 3341, in Hatfield in 1909 and remained a member until his death in 1961. A letter from the lodge congratulating him on his rescue was sold at auction in October 2011.

As the Titanic was bound for New York there were many American passengers. The condolences of several grand lodges, including Hungary and Cuba, to the Grand Lodge of New York are recorded in the proceedings of that Grand Lodge in May 1912. Three New York casualties were also recorded. Henry Harris was a New York theatre manager and a member of Munn Lodge, No. 100. Frank Millet was vice chairman of the Fine Arts Committee, based in Washington DC, and member of Kane Lodge, No. 454. Alexander Holverson was a member of Transportation Lodge, No. 842. Another Freemason casualty was Oscar Scott Woody, a clerk in the on-board post office. He was a member of Acacia Lodge, No. 16, in Virginia.

The passengers on the Titanic were drawn from all walks of life so it is no surprise that the Freemasons, casualties and survivors, were too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Originally posted by Masonic Vibe. Makes me proud to be a Mason. Thought I would share.

Freemasonry has existed because it teaches the moral law. The man who takes the name of God in vain is guilty of a Masonic offence. It exists because it has never stooped to the intrigues of politicians. It exists because it has a universal language found in no other Society. It exists because it is a science based on the philosophy of that religion in which all men agree-that of the existence of a SUPREME RULER and the immortality of the soul. When kingdoms and republics have fallen, when wars have been fought between nations, it will exist on the side of conqueror and conquered alike.

Its Landmarks are indestructible.

Freemasonry has been established for generations.It has maintained its peculiar characteristics.It has never changed.Its principles have been maintained.Its esoteric teachings are unaltered.Its ceremonial has been conserved.Its traditions are given as in the aforetime.

Its Landmarks are indestructible. The devotion of its associates now is as earnest, sincere, and impregnable as at the beginning.
The history it has made is unassailed.The foundations on which it rests are eternal. These facts will hardly be denied, even among the incredulous profane. Faith in them is the heritage of the true Mason.
What other human institution can make these claims on the intelligent, thinking student of the records time has written on "now" as it becomes "was"?
There must, therefore, be in Freemasonry some special vitality, some indefinable spirit or essence, some superhuman inherent faculty that has operated to secure such results. Through the ages Freemasonry has lived and maintained its character. When the rise and fall of empires, the revolutions in thought, opinions, and forms of government had worked out changes among mankind ; when the iconoclasts had broken images, the laws, social order, overthrown many institutions, made martyrs and victims, and immolated many of their devoted adherents, yet Freemasonry lived. Strong, persistent, reliant, filled with faith, and ready for perils, the Craft never faltered in the performance of its duties.
In caves, on the mountain tops, the Craft met and obeyed the teachings they had received. Thus did the brethren conduct their ceremonies.
They were animated by the spirit of a devotion to their association that seemed to partake of a solemn recognition as a revelation. Their social relations, their identification with the people of the country, their responsibilities as units in the communital organizations of which they were part, while rendering them amenable to the profane laws, in no wise weakened the ties or bonds that bound them to the Fraternity of the Craft. They were ever, always, Freemasons.
Obeying the civil magistrate, engaged in no conspiracy against government, they believed in God and trusted to His care.
These Freemasons were often only a few persons. It may be said, in one sense, their strength came out of their weakness. But, no. It was the strength that the history of the past of the Craft made irresistibly potent. It was a faith that had marked the concurrent evidences of the indestructible organization which came to them from the fathers. The quiet, pervading courage of the Craftsmen would not desert the Lodge. The principles which were the cementing power of the foundations of Freemasonry were the refuge and defence of the brethren.
The teachings of the Lodge inspired them. Duty was never to be ignored. The "Great Light" was a lamp to their feet. From it they were never. to depart. As long as they adhered to an obedience without question, they felt safe and secure.
This, brethren, is your heritage. Your obligations to it command your strict adherence to the principles and teachings which indelibly mark and make manifest what to say is, as in the generations that have passed, true Freemasonry. This is our heritage. It is worthy of our earnest, sincere, abiding devotion. Let nothing separate us from our courageous adherence to every principle which has made our inheritance so glorious.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Supply Side Versus Vulture Freemasonry

Original article:

Supply Side Versus Vulture Freemasonry

 Reflecting on the last few years in Freemasonry, I have been remembering what a friend of mine always said, “Nobody knows who we are anymore.”  This was always followed by an intense debate over modern Freemasonry’s use of Institutionalized charity to solve that problem.  He thought all the charity work was great and just the thing to get Freemasons noticed.  I thought it was too expensive and time consuming, taking away from the practice of Freemasonry.
 DGM Michael T. Anderson PHA MLK Parade
If you want people to know who you are then connect with the community.  This means getting active in the small local efforts to make your community better. One of the ways Freemasonry can get noticed is to march in a parade. Here you can see the Prince Hall Texas Masons marching through Dallas on Martin Luther King Day.  Leading the group is Deputy Grand Master Michael T. Anderson (on the left, front waving), no stranger to Freemason Information regulars. He made an appearance on Masonic Central which is archived here .
If you want to be of service to those in your area clean a highway, spruce up a park or maintain a ball field. Or have your Lodge host a hero’s night honoring a special teacher, fireman, policeman, social worker or charity service group. Hold the honoring ceremony outside the Lodge, open to the public and invite the press.  Another alternative is to run a blood drive offering a free breakfast to all who donate. If you have a hospital in your area regularly scheduled visitations to any and all would be most welcome. Local scholarships given by local Lodges, not Grand Lodges, will cement a friendly community relationship, provide a much better outlet for that Masonic charitable component and get Freemasonry noticed, all at the same time.
Where Freemasonry gets off on the wrong track is when it goes into big time, impersonal, costly and never ending charity – Institutionalized charity – aimed at everybody, to gain publicity. Or when Freemasonry runs costly television, radio and theater ads. Instead of making the product better they spend their money on trying to market Freemasonry. What they are trying to do is to increase the supply by hyping the demand when they really should be increasing the demand by hyping the supply. If that doesn’t seem to ring true, The Beehive will get Art Laffer  to explain it to you.
The Mainstream Grand Lodge of Minnesota has announced that it will raise and donate $65 million to cure Cancer. A noble gesture for sure but how is this helping Freemasonry in that state? Think of all the more productive ways that money could be spent. The Grand Lodge could help any of its chartered local Lodges replace a costly building expense like a new furnace. It could run workshops and seminars to better educate the Brethren. It could pay for a speaker’s bureau to tour the state adding, in many cases, a much needed zest to boring business meetings. It could finance out of state large visitations beyond the budget of most Lodges. It could make the difference between a Lodge having to fold or a Lodge able to continue on. In essence Grand Lodge could do a lot to further the growth of Freemasonry and lead local Lodges in a more inspired, better educated and higher quality practice of Freemasonry. Improve the product and the membership will grow as a result of that effort. It is “Supply Side” Freemasonry at its best.
And Minnesota isn’t the only one who has chosen this path. The Mainstream Grand Lodge of Massachusetts now runs a massive health care system at multiple locations in addition to a very expensive CHIP program. Recently the Grand Lodge has doubled its Grand Lodge dues and fees that local Lodges must cough up, who in turn pass the burden onto the local Lodge Brethren. Many other Grand Lodges have similar such programs. This is “Vulture” Freemasonry at its worst.
What do massive charities, health systems and cash donations do for the advancement of Freemasonry within a jurisdiction? Why try to buy good will and notoriety when just practicing the virtues and tenets of Freemasonry will do more for you? If all the sweat, effort and money goes to marketing, advertising and financing others while bankrupting and diminishing Freemasonry, everybody loses. Why not try being side by side in the trenches with your community rather than an outsider trying to buy friends. And then go celebrate and march in a parade

Friday, January 20, 2012

Three, five, and seven


Three, five, and seven

3 5 7

By Stan Shapiro MD, Grand Lodge Education Officer G.L. of MN


“Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation, every possession, a duty”.

John D. Rockefeller
“When some men discharge an obligation you can hear the report for miles around” Mark Twain

Brother Jeffery W. Agan, Templar Lodge LEO and member of the Rochester Lodge #21, sent this informative article to me to be edited for this publication. It has an important message about our commitment to our brothers and God.

Oaths and Obligations Are Commitments.

Are the words in an oath or an obligation we just say or words that we live by. Ask yourself the following questions: Why do you say the pledge of Allegiance? What is the pledge? Repeat it aloud slowly and listen to the words. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Are they just words? Do you say them because that is what we do? Did you mean what you said?

What is meaning of the word obligation? Webster’s has the following definition: Obligation: Any debt, written promise, or duty. Useobligation in a Sentence

See images of obligation

Search obligation on the Web

As Masons each of us has taken an obligation more than once. So what did the repeating of this obligation mean to you? Were they words you repeated or were they words that had a purpose and a duty?

The Obligations that we took at each of the degrees that began our journey as Mason’s were placed there because they had meaning and a purpose. The obligations that we took had a debt with them, a duty, and a promise to the members of the craft and God. Does the same weight apply to the obligations as they did the day the craft started, or when the operative members of the craft took their obligations? Each of us need to look inside of our self and see the reason we said these obligations and at the other oaths or obligations that we have taken. Do you live by the words of the obligation? If not, see if you can live by them. If you cannot then consider the possibility, Masonry is not the place for you.

If we allow members in the craft to just say the obligation to complete the degree, what does the future hold for the craft? Will there be a craft if the brother just says words that have no meaning or duty for him to follow? When you enter the lodge the day you took your first steps in Masonry, what did you do before you took the first degree? Before you were allowed to seek entry, what where ask some questions into the lodge? Each asked on your honor do you …. ; So from the beginning of your journey as a Mason, honor was a key aspect of Masonry.

Brothers, the obligations we take as Masons are not mere words. The words of the obligations have a debt to them, a debt not just to the brothers of the craft but to the deity that each of us invoked during the obligations. So we must look again at the obligation we took and ask if we just did it so we could complete the degree. Did we say it with a true heart and understanding that our Deity accepted the obligation as a debt that each of us has to answer to on that day when we enter into that house not made with hands?

There was a time when a man’s word was his bond, that if a man said that he was going to do something then he did it and when there was a sense of honor. A lack of honor among men is one of the reasons for the issues we have in society today.

Without honor there is little chance that a society can continue. If a king or ruler wanted to do away with a group or person they had people present false witness against them. If the society has honor, it makes it harder for the leaders to find people who are willing to lie.

Brothers of the craft owe it to our brothers that have gone before us to honor the craft and to ensure that we only allow brothers into the craft that understand that the obligations are not just parts of the degrees. The words have meaning and a debt that will be paid one day.

It is important that each of us to think before we act and to think when we say the Pledge of Allegiance. Are they just words or do you mean what you are saying? Remember the Pledge is a form of an obligation. Never take an oath or obligation without realizing it is a commitment to our brothers and God and is based on our honor.

Words to Live By: “I believe that a worthwhile life is defined by a kind of spiritual journey and a sense of obligation”. ---Hillary Rodham Clinton

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please send them to shapiro.stanley@... <mailto:shapiro.stanley@...

The Education Videos by our education committee can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/glmned

The latest Masonic Monday Question, and some of the past questions, can be viewed at www.Lodgebuilder.org and at www.mn-masons.org

Ed Halpaus 32° K.C.C.H., FPS

Grand Lodge Officer

Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of MN

Executive Secretary - The Philalethes Society
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"Freemasonry is an organized society of men symbolically applying the principles of operative masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building." C. C. Hunt

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Understanding the Moral Law on MLK day.

Understanding the Moral Law on MLK day.

On this national Holiday, we are to reflect and celebrate one of the greatest Americans in our pantheon of Founding Fathers, D. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of his many contributions to our American way of life came at one of his darkest hours which produced one of his brightest writings in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. In it, king gives us an insight to the truth behind his protests and a reflection in how far afield we, as a nation, have walked from justice which we derive out of our own understanding of the moral law.
Masonry speaks at many levels about the Moral Law, how it is a rule and guide to what ‘being’ a Freemason is all about.
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his Letter from a Birmingham Jail which was an answer to his criticism for his peaceful protests in the south in pursuit of equality between white and black Americans.
In his letter, King writes to address criticism made against his presence in the Alabama protests to southern religious leaders who, in their collective opinion, thought the American Negro should wait for their equality, which King says acts as a “tranquilizing thalidomide” which, in the African American ear rings as a justice “never” to be had.
If you’ve never taken the time to read his letter, I highly suggest you not only read it, but take some time to understand his meaning and intent behind it, especially on this day of remembrance.
But, my purpose here is to look at his teaching of the Moral Law and how that squares with the Masonic understanding as taught in the fraternity’s catechism. In his letter King, talking about the unjust laws of segregation, says that a just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. He says “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
At the time of his writing, segregation was a daily reality for black Americans, which “distorts the soul and damages the personality” giving the “…segregator a false sense of superiority, and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.”
So what does this have to do with the Moral Law of Masonry? First we need to understand how masonry sees the Moral Law, which is something I explored in 2010 in Whence came the Moral Law in Freemasonry? In that piece, the question asked was “Is the Moral Law from a religious perspective, as in given to man by the Great Architect, or a man made law constructed with religious ideas but applied in a humanistic manner so as to apply to our interaction with one another?” My conclusion, after looking at several sources, was that the idea of the Moral Law was best exemplified as being “…the virtues which we ought to cultivate, always tend to our own happiness, and that the best means of promoting them consists in living with men in that perfect union and charity which are cemented by mutual benefits.”
In essence, the Moral Law could be distilled down to living of the Golden Rule which, in the Christian faith, comes from Matthew 7:12 which says:
“In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law of the prophets.”
Interestingly this is a Rule, Law, or Code that is in nearly every faith system.
So, what lesson can we take away from Kings Injunction of the Moral Law and the Masonic application of it? Essentially, King and his peaceful protest to fight injustice in American society was a challenge to fight a law of segregation that was out of harmony with the moral law, even though many felt that it was. His example was to examine a just and unjust law saying “An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself…difference made legal” while “a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that is willing to follow itself,” or “sameness” made legal.
The greatest stumbling block to this sameness is not the extremist of ideal but the “…moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” In other words, not going with the status quo and working to make things better for all.
Further in the letter King asks “…Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love?” He also writes about the role of religious institutions and their lethargy in the movement to end segregation as “…a religious community largely adjusted to the status quo, standing as a taillight behind our community agencies rather than a headlight leading men to higher levels of justice.” which I believe could be applied to religiously concerned fraternities who hold so dearly to be upholders of the idea of a Moral Law.
Needless to say, King was angry at the position religious leaders of the south had taken and puts the challenge to them to aspire to justice and the upholding of the moral law saying “There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period when the early church Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” But he goes on to challenge the church saying “The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound…so often the arch-supporter of the status quo” that “…if the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant ‘Social Club’ with no meaning for the twentieth century (emphasis mine).”
Again, on this Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday, I strongly recommend reading his letter so as to gain a better understanding of the past within which it was written and to apply that understanding to the injustice that remains to this day, now nearly 60 years since its writing. When you read it ask yourself if your institutions of association application put you in the headlights or the taillights leading to higher levels of justice. As you read it, reflect on the ideals of the Moral Law, in society and in Masonry, and what it means to you in your faith, practice, and understanding of justice, as without it no law could be truly just.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rewarding Incompetence

I thought this article to be very enlightening and true from my experiences in the workplace.

Rewarding Incompetence

It’s not about “taking turns”; it’s about getting the job done properly.
Throughout the corporate world we have seen examples of the Peter Principle in practice, whereby people rise above their level of competency; people who make a mockery of their job and discredit their company and themselves in the process. Perhaps they were promoted because nobody else wanted the job or perhaps they were simply selected based on seniority; maybe they politicked for the job and were rewarded not for what they had accomplished but their ability to kiss the backside of someone else in authority, aka “cronyism”. Regardless, they have risen above their ability to effectively perform the job they were assigned. In many cases, the job in question is just a pit stop in the road to the top, but more often than not, they covet the position they have acquired and either perform it with an iron fist or just let the work go to pieces (or both). This naturally raises the ire of subordinates and others more qualified to perform the work. It also becomes rather obvious to customers and vendors who have to deal with the person. Naturally, they scratch their head in bewilderment as to why this person was selected for promotion.
We also see this phenomenon in nonprofit organizations where people are seeking social stature as opposed to performing anything of merit, be it a homeowner association, a sports club, a professional trade society, a civic organization or whatever. Those who tend to covet titles in such groups normally suffer from low self-esteem as they never accomplished anything of substance in their professional lives and now crave recognition. Even in the most rudimentary 501(c) organization, they fail to grasp it is a legal entity in the eyes of the state which must conform to certain legalities. Failure to execute specific rules and regulations can easily lead to lawsuits and disaster.
I have seen too many Masonic Lodges where officers are promoted “through the chairs” without making an effort to learn anything along the way. If they graduate to the East, the Lodge usually suffers and the other officers are forced to pickup the slack. If they are voted out of office before reaching the top they are crestfallen and fade from view. Both scenarios upset the harmony of the Lodge and is indicative of the barbaric way Masons elect officers.
To the individual, promotion is a confirmation of his abilities. If he is a poor performer, his advancement sends a dangerous message that his work meets with the approval of others. Naturally, the person will not change and continue in his faulty ways. If his progression is arrested though, he will question why. Hopefully, he will receive some coaching along the way before this happens which is one reason why I’m a big proponent of Employee Performance Evaluations (click for a free COPY). Such reviews are just as pertinent in a nonprofit organization as they are in the corporate world. Without such reviews or coaching, and the person is rejected, he is blindsided and his ego is shattered.
To assure the right people are selected for key posts, political machines are often devised thereby compromising the harmony of an organization. You either play ball with the good old boys in charge or forget about progressing through the organization. Sadly, you find this in both the corporate and nonprofit world. It’s distasteful and ultimately impedes the organization’s effectiveness. Whenever the wrong person is put into a position of authority, the systems of the organization falter, productivity slips, the moral values of the business are put into question, and harmony is disrupted. Basically, it’s a “lose-lose” situation that can be difficult to rectify.
Aside from the political aspect, I am at a loss as to why people believe they should be elevated, particularly if they have not demonstrated they possess the skills or fortitude necessary to successfully perform the work. Perhaps it is a sense of entitlement, that it’s “their turn” to be promoted. Such a mindset is invalid and should be rebuked as nobody is entitled to a position based on “turns”; it’s ludicrous. People should be selected for promotion based strictly on qualifications and availability. In situations where people are selected out of desperation, it should be made clear to them that retaining their job and any possible advancement in the future depends on their ability to successfully execute their job and prepare for the next. The lack of counseling and instruction in this regard does them a disservice. Likewise, the failure to heed the advice does the organization a disservice.
Nonprofit organizations are particularly susceptible to promoting people through the ranks without merit. Such organizations today are struggling for members and consequently beg people to take positions out of desperation. The group, therefore, shouldn’t be surprised when such people accomplish nothing. Instead of pleading with people to take a volunteer job, perhaps it is time to merge with another like-minded organization, change your approach to membership, curtail what you are trying to accomplish, or call it a day.
Part of the problem is the myth that everybody must win, that nobody loses, which is something we have been fostering in our youth over the last few decades. This is just plain fallacious. Just about every aspect of life involves instances of winners and losers with the lesson being: if you want something, you must earn it. Only then will you value it as opposed to having it dropped in your lap without lifting a finger.
So, why do we reward incompetence? Maybe it’s because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings; maybe we want to throw someone a bone as a political gesture; maybe it’s someone’s “turn”; or maybe we simply do not have anyone else to do the job right now. Regardless, the person has received it for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully, they will rise to the occasion and do a competent job. Unfortunately, most do not and damage the organization, not to mention earning the ire and resentment of others. Remember this: for every person who takes a job they have no intention of performing, somebody else must compensate and perform the duty.
Rewarding incompetence is one of the most common management snafus that has cursed companies of all sizes and shapes for years. Longevity of a problem doesn’t make it right, it just means people do not want to deal with it, hoping instead it will go away on its own which, of course, never does. The message must be made clear to all involved, promotions must be earned. In desperate situations where people are forced into positions they are not qualified, they must be coached properly, but if they fail to assume their duties and responsibilities, or even try to put forth an honest effort, it must be made vividly clear their journey upward in the corporate hierarchy will come to a screeching halt. Advancing does a disservice to the company, the people, and the individual. It is just plain bad business.
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An article for reflection

Oringinal article: 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected: denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.

Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one.
Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is your life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.