Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have a question for everyone to discuss. What is tolerance? There are several groups that push their own variety of tolerance. Some push some form of religious tolerance, some push tolerance of some type of behaviour, some push tolerance of various ethnic groups, age bands or political movements. My question though does not look at any specific group but instead at the word itself, what is tolerance?

Does tolerance equate acceptance? If I tolerate a certain behaviour, do I have to accept and legitimize it? Do I have consider that behaviour that does not conform to the "norm" just as "ok" as the "norm"? Or, do I literally just have to put up with it and not persecute? I guess what I mean is, how do I demonstrate tolerance? Moreover, how do I demonstrate tolerance if that particular group's morals, norms, ideals, activities, whatever go directly against my personal set of beliefs? If that is the case, are my beliefs "wrong"? If your answer to that question is yes, are you being intolerant toward me?

Do your answers to those questions change if I talk about tolerating an ethnic group instead of a behaviour group? What if I ask those questions about a political movement? What if the questions are about a new religious movement or even an old religious movement that starts to take off in "your" country?

Again, I am not looking specifically at any current movement--I know the marriage rights camp is in full swing right now. That just has me thinking about the concept of tolerance. More, it has me thinking about human behaviour and our built in tendency to flock to similar people and shun "weird" people (based on our own personal definitions of weird).

For me personally, I tend to believe in the live and let live side of things. I think our government gets WAY too involved in WAY too many aspects of our lives and stirs the pot by sort of picking and choosing the winners in all sorts of arenas. I think our lives would be way simpler if the government got out of 60% of the things it sticks its nose into and just let us live our lives. I think people would naturally evolve into a tolerant culture if there were not divisions placed (socioeconomically, socially, etc.) by our benevolent, omnipotent government.

I am inviting you to share your opinions on this topic. I posed lots of questions. Feel free to pick one or two or reply to the whole thing. The only thing I ask is that you refrain from rudeness. Be respectful and share your thoughts. Others will do the same.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


It is sometimes very difficult for me to ask for help. I know I am not alone in this issue. There are lots of reasons someone might be reluctant to ask for help. They might not think someone could do it as well as they can. They might be too prideful to admit they can't handle something. They may not realize that they actually need help in the first place. They may think no one would be willing to help. For me, it is two issues simultaneously: 1) I don't want to be a burden on someone and 2) I tend to think that taking the time to explain something will take more time than just doing it myself.

I have to get better at this. I took a big step in the past few weeks. I brought on a business partner. Her name is Taylore Massa. She is new to Weichert and is energetic and eager to learn. Also, Cindy was able to get her license back and now there are 3 of us. It's pretty cool to have two reliable people ready to help. I just have to get better at getting them stuff to do!

For those of you that have people working for you, how do you choose what to delegate? How do you train people to do it the way you want? Share some stories of good experiences and bad experiences with assistants/employees.

For those of you that are directly under someone else in your job (i.e. you are a secretary/administrative assistant/personal assistant), how do you help your boss be better at delegating? How did you learn to be effective for the person above you? What are some techniques you can share to be more of a mind reader?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why I Love My Children

Going in a COMPLETELY different direction today because I feel like writing something that will make me feel good.

I have two kids. Jonas is 6 and Maggie is 17 months old. You may not be aware of this but my kids are the smartest kids on the planet. Sorry if you thought yours are, you are wrong. How do I know this? Because they are my kids, of course.

Jonas is a reading machine. He is in Kindergarten and is reading Magic Treehouse chapter books. He loves it. He is also so insightful. He recognizes when people are sad, angry, etc. by their body language--they don't even have to speak. I can't do that half the time!

Maggie is a spitfire. She is into everything. She is also talking in two word sentences and understands WAY more than I think she should. She has even used the potty a time or two. Told you, smartest kids ever.

That is not why I love them so much. I am proud of them for that kind of stuff but I don't love them because of it. I love them because they are my kids. I love them because God placed me in a position of responsibility for their EVERYTHING right now. I am responsible for their physical well being, emotional well being, spiritual well being and mental well being. I am responsible for their growth as individuals, as members of the church and as members of our society. I am responsible for teaching them about giving--both of time and money. I am responsible for showing both of them how to have a healthy marriage. I am responsible for demonstrating to them God's love for his church, for people and for them as his children. That's a lot of responsibility! I cannot adequately put into words how that responsibility translates to love, but it does--and it's pretty cool.

The responsibility seems overwhelming but it is not without reward. My kids return that love 10000 fold. They love me no matter what. When I pick them up from daycare, they both come running and grab onto me like they haven't seen me in weeks. When they hurt--no matter how "independent" they want to be, they come to me or Cindy. They trust us unconditionally. I cannot do wrong in their eyes. I am my son's hero right now. He tells me how awesome I am. I tell him how awesome he is. It's pretty awesome.

I write all this as an encouragement. Fathers, love your kids. Acknowledge them, value them, build them up. The rewards for taking care of your responsibility here are boundless. Show them how to be the best possible version of themselves by striving to be the best possible version of yourself. They learn the MOST by observing and mimicking you. Make it count.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Smoke Screen

I have been thinking about this topic for a while now. I've been debating on whether or not I want to put this out there. I decided (obviously) that it is a worthwhile topic and one to discuss. Government and media alike love to create catastrophes. They both love to sensationalize issues to the point of "crisis levels". Both institutions will latch onto the most compelling "evidence" for their pet issue and ram that down our throats, conveniently leaving out the rebuttal evidence or even the most accurate or up to date evidence. This is nothing new and it is definitely not partisan--they ALL do it--every single one of them. Lately I've been thinking about the real purpose behind it and here is my theory, and no, I'm not a doomsday prepper, nor do I have some secret website exposing all the government conspiracies out there, this is just a theory.

If you polled 100 average people and asked the question, "What is the biggest problem facing our country/society right now?", I would expect at least 20-30 different answers. Think about that, how can the "biggest" problem be 20-30 different things? Obviously words like biggest and worst and most dangerous ask for opinion, not necessarily fact so it stands to reason people would have different opinions. I just think the number of differing opinions would be staggering. How can people living in the same society have so many opinions of what the biggest problems are? I would suspect answers to include the following plus more--Obamacare, gun control (both sides), debt, moral decline, religious zealots, terrorism, illegal immigrants, marijuana, medicare cutting, conservatives, liberals, military spending, entitlements, the Federal Reserve, abortion, high taxes, low taxes, death taxes, Social Security, government spending, unfair advantages for the rich, discrimination against a race/religion/sexual orientation, etc. Here are my thoughts on all these problems.

I think all of these issues warrant discussion and have potential to be big problems but I do not think ANY of these are the "biggest" problem we face. I think the biggest problem America faces right now is an unwillingness and perhaps inability to focus. As a society, we cannot prioritize issues as the relate to the continuation of the country. We cannot even agree to agree on which problem to work on first. The media might spend a little time on the national debt today and then tomorrow devote a whole segment to gun control and then the next day devote a large chunk of time to terrorism. We are schizophrenic and ADD all at the same time.

I think it is on purpose. Now I cross into the realm of conspiracy theorist. Now you might think I am crazy. I think the government leaders and the media does this so that they can hide their own pet issues and keep us "informed" about everything so we focus on NOTHING. I think the only way this country will save itself and will move forward with anything resembling meaningful reform is if we as a society table discussions on most things and focus on 2-3 major issues that shore up our foundation. Honestly, the discussion about abortion and discrimination against homosexuals will not matter if the country is bankrupt. Not saying those issues aren't important, just saying there are things we need to do as a country to survive,  before we can worry about making it a better society.

Hope I ruffled a few feathers out there. Hope you can read this objectively and hope you can weed through the ADD media and see the things that matter most. Hope we can come together as a country and fix the ship before we worry about placating the passengers.

One other note, I am switching to writing on Thursdays instead of Wednesday. Schedule will be a bit more accommodating. Love to read your comments.