The Responsibility of Influence

InfluenceThe young adult was walking through a local store wearing a t-shirt with a simple message – “Not a Role Model.” No other images, just the words standing out in bold type on his chest.

It wasn’t too long ago that NBA great, Charles Barkley made that phrase popular.  Barkley was known for his inappropriate behavior including on and off-court fights, breaking a man’s nose during a fight after a game with the Milwaukee Bucks, throwing a man through a plate-glass window after being struck with a glass of ice, and mistakenly spitting on a young girl in March 1991. Continue reading →

We want to sit at the head table.

Power 03“You let people walk all over you.”  A friend recounted how an advice-giver told him to “get a spine.”  Seemed like good advice.  Being everyone’s doormat is not a good thing.

Although…  Power is funny because it doesn’t always give what it promises to its possessor.   Continue reading →

The Apprentice

Old School HouseBefore a teacher left his village on a long trip he entrusted his two best apprentices with the responsibility of insuring that progress in education continued in the small community.  The village had rudimentary needs, and there was much work to be done in the teacher’s absence.

The first apprentice was meticulous in his lesson preparations and in doing things exactly as the teacher did them.  Rules were strictly enforced.  Lesson books were carefully followed.  Lunch was always served at exactly the same hour.  The apprentice left for the day precisely 10 minutes after the students left.  He was keenly aware of the exact obligations of the job. Continue reading →

Tapping the Brakes

Traffic JamThe highway traffic began to slow down.  Sixty-five was the speed limit, but when it hit fifty-five and then forty-five it was obvious that something had happened up ahead.  The curves and elevation changes of the road prevented seeing the cause, but everyone thought that it must be a bad wreck.

Forty.  Thirty.  Twenty.  Stop.  Nothing but tail lights and short tempers three lanes deep. Continue reading →

Treated Like Used Gum

Gum Stuck to ShoeChewing gum stuck to the shoe or under a chair once occupied a person’s mouth.  And, the more that other pieces of gum congregate with it the more noxious it becomes.  Like at the Pike Place Gum Wall in Seattle.

A used Kleenex blowing down the street on a windy day should only be touched with the edges of one’s fingernails, certainly not with the skin of the fingers.  Who knows what was blown into the absorbent sheet. Continue reading →

Compassion and the Leper

Pune Beggar

In an ancient middle eastern village a leper took up his usual place. He sat on his tattered carpet with a tin cup waiting for whatever would clink from the passersby of his little world. He stayed there from dawn to dusk, no matter what the weather. His meal that night would depend on what he received for the day.

A self-righteous person had a noticeably unpleasant expression on his face as he looked at the leper. He walked this way often, and this wasn’t the first time he had seen the leper, sometimes saying under his breath, “Lazy bum; why don’t you get a job like the rest of us. If I was in your shoes, I’d find some kind of job, even becoming a slave.” Continue reading →