Go ‘Head On! Give Fearlessly


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We welcome and embrace December: cold, rainy, snowy, last-month-of-the-year December. And, what do we think about? What is behind all the fighting at the mall? Somebody’s smile! December is about GIVING! All the greasy stuff at the bottom of the drip pan that floated up about the legitimacy of certain non-profits the presidential candidates associated with generally put non-profit organizations in a not-so-flattering light. An “Ebenezer Scrooge spirit” has gripped America as reflected in weaker, stingier resposes to the call of the mercy-showers on behalf of the needy.

Let me predict something here: the rules about who gets funded and who goes down in flames will definately and drastically change –not in the favor of charitable/humanitarian orgainizations. Fewer volunteers will answer. Fewer donors will contribute less. Some of the biggest and best known names in the non-profit world will close their door forever. It will not be a kinder, gentler America unless…

…We defy hopelessness and come up with new ideas:more cost effective, more effective, less wasteful ways to alleviate poverty and its ugly sisters. Refusing to throw a general “Bah, humbug” blanket over all non-profits, we will purpose to give fearlessly. Resisting the urge to withdraw we will move forward toward fearless giving. We will lend our knowledge and skill to help a startup business come into existence. We will start and support grass roots effots to give a “hand up” wherever we can. For ecample: pre-interview low-cost haircuts and grooming essentials for the unemployed; a one-year subscription to Lynda or Alison learning companies for anyone who wants to upgrade a skillset.

I say fight the current move  toward “Scrooge-ism”. It’s December. It’s giving season. Go ‘head! Give fearlessly!

Happy Labor Day, from Victoree


Rosie The Riviter Honor Labor poster

Rosie says…

It’s the last party of the summer. It’s the holiday before we hang up our bathing suits and face the fact that last fall’s clothes don’t fit. After the heartburn from the hot dogs is long gone, we launch into the matter of school–beginning with, “what is school for?”

trinity-knot-clipart-1Whether we in this society state it clearly enough, consider that an active, successful producer in the workforce is the end product of schooling. We go to school to go to work and expect to work darned hard, too. Here’s a twist on that from the founder of Mindvalley,  Vishen Lakhiani. Over the years, industry has uncoupled itself from any responsibility for training and the task floated to education to basically prepare new entrants to the workforce. So, education and industry work hand in hand (or they used to). Instead, Industry and Education became like long-married people who grow apart over the years. This is why companies grumble when they discover they have acquired new hires who do not “come up to spec”. They feel somehow that they have been “cheated” and the schools have “failed” because the product they were promised never shows up. The relationship of school and industry is essentially a provider-consumer relationship. Then, we as a society hope that the schools we release our precious youth to, these educational expert partners we support with our taxes will somehow accomplish this:

  •  turn out good, patriotic citizens
  • caring, concerned parents
  • generally moral people

Yes, I said, “turn out”, because, let me repeat, the unspoken social contract school has with industry is that school will do the workforce preparation and industry will provide the employment. Religious institutions have the job of providing the moral piece. However, something has happened to “the triple knot” of home, school and business.

Whether you will be returning to school, college or work, remember on Labor Day (before the heartburn after that hamburger) that an honest day’s labor is an honorable thing to be celebrated. Work is not a curse. It is a blessing.

Happy Labor Day, from Victoree

 

 

 

Industrial Myth #4: Careers Do Straight Lines


Ahem.

Please observe the illustration found at a career blog I saw at:http://www.thedavidwells.com/blog/.

Real Career Path

I could talk until the wind shifts.

I could write until the words run together like tears and mascara.

Compare the “fantasy” with the “real”.

Stare at it as many times as you want. Chances are your consciousness will return and return to this when the mind is just wandering around as our monkey-mind thoughts do whenever we’re bored or stressed.

Let the learning tattoo itself on your soul.

A career begins with divine desire, intention and aim; if the intention is strong

And the aim is true–

Real purpose will meet you in the maze of living.

Real purpose is the surprise at what seems to be a dead end.

There is a path,

But it is not entirely of our own making

And it sho’ nuff ain’ straight.

 

 

 

 

Industrial Myth #3:College Teaches All


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2016…S.O.S. (Same Old Stuff)

SURPRIZE!

SOME OF THE MOST VALUABLE STUFF IS NEVER TAUGHT IN SCHOOL.

There is still much emotionally charged discussion about exactly what role education is supposed to play in a society like the USA. Period. Some say college is for training certain youth for their professions. If true, what about the sizable number of college grads who never go anywhere near what they majored in. Again, another group of grads gets into the “chosen profession” only to find out they are a match made in hell.

It was that way with me and classroom teaching. Originally trained as an elementary school teacher–6 years of study and tears–I went off to bag my first teaching job after graduation. In my neighborhood, teaching was a respected profession so smart young women went to normal school. After my first career in Journalism fizzled out, I went to “plan B”.

unemployed-grad

confused graduate

Three failed classrooms later, I agreed with a teacher mentor in one school and a professor that perhaps my decision was not well thought out. I became depressed when they told me I would not be a very good traditional teacher(I was going to become one of those infamous “bad teachers” politicians have spun into legend). Had I wasted all that time and the government’s money? I did all that research so this would not happen to me!)  Then, I struck upon the idea that just maybe all the exploratory intelligence I had collected on my personality and my passions through professional and casual testing was not totally wrong. Yes, there I do have a teaching streak, but not one colored for the traditional classroom setting.

The knowledge I gained about myself; having a seeking spirit; a hunger to learn: these are things school hardly acknowledges exists at all, but very essential to the life of professionals. I’m through with the angst part, but if you want more of a view of the inside of what it is like to be twenty and in the throes of acquiring wisdom about your self and your profession; questioning everything you ever learned or thought to be real, please take a look over at All Groan Up with Paul Angone on You Tube.

The One Skill New Grads Will Use Most


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My English teacher told me in high school that I probably would not make a living at all as a poet, though pithy words on paper sprang like a primal spring  out of me. That was the day I purposed to go into journalism, the left-sided sister of poetry. All I knew in my heart of hearts was that words on paper was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. How was I going to get it done? What I did not know was what I did not know. The one skill everybody will use after formal classroom days are done is seeking: mining sources for information on which to base the decisions we make in life.

Upon graduating from high school, unlike Malia Obama, I went straight into university intending to grow my embryonic career through acquiring the explicit skills necessary to become a professional writer. I considered Columbia Journalism School because the place is literally enmeshed in the publishing industry. Back then, before I knew anything about networking, I had an inkling that whatever profession you wanted to be into, it was a good idea to be where its denizens were rife. I was a quiet, dreamy soul who thought I was channeling Ida B. Wells. I had no idea what becoming a professional journalist meant in real terms except from television and radio. I had no idea what people like Barbara Walters suffered as a woman in journalism. Back then, blacks in journalism were almost unheard of. I had serious knowledge gaps and I had to fill them myself.

The nearest and dearest do not always make the best sources of information. Nobody warned me away or opposed my burying myself in researching best journalism schools on the east coast. Nobody I ever heard of in my neighborhood ever escaped “the ‘hood”to become anything other than homemakers, teachers or preachers. Education and the gospel ministry were good, solid professions. Broadway, The Washington Post and NBC were not. My Sunday school teacher told me point blank that the theatrical stage was not a good career choice for a Christian young lady. My high school guidance counselors never suspected that the newspapers and broadcasting was behind all that “looking it up”. They probably just figured I was just being my personality test-perfect bookish self. Perhaps they were thinking to recommend to my parents that I be  submitted to therapy to treat my introversion.

Did I go to journalism school? Yes, but not to Columbia. One of the reasons for this “fail” was not having information enough to make a strong case before my parents.

New professionals; dearest readers, information rules.One of the skills any new grad will use most often after formal classroom is  this: where and how to access and extract needed information from the mounds of information dug up. You will use this information to make the billions of little decisions every day such as where to work, political affiliation, diet, personal style, and how to create a life.

 

 

Skills You Got In School Worth Gold


 

new-college-grad-quoteNow that you have graduated from formal education, campers, all kinds of advice will be flying at you from all directions at light speed.

What you learned in school, at home and anywhere else is not the “whole truth”.

No one source on earth can ever be the sole font of truth. You have to test for the truth in all things for yourself. I have always made this a rule of thumb: Don’t believe everything you hear and half of what you see. In fact, right now, you may be questioning everything you have ever heard and doubting the validity of everything you have ever learned anywhere. You may even be disillusioned about the value of it all. Good! 

You are now synthesising knowledge for practical application to your life.

It’s a flashing headache! Don’t blame yourself for not understanding that life is like a 2 thousand piece puzzle scattered all over the floor without even a pencil drawing to guide you in putting it together.  Up to now, you probably learned math for math class and writing skills for English class. You were so busy earning good grades to pass the test to pass the course to get to the next higher course that you never thought about how to make a sensible whole of apparently unconnected information. School just crossed their fingers and hoped you would “get it” bye and bye–about the time you graduate. However, certain things you picked up in school are essential to the rest of your life. Such as…

  • Research: gathering information from many sources
  • Decision Making: justifying making a move based upon the results of your research
  • Focused attention: the ability to stay with an idea over an extended period of time until you get results. Focused attention is the one skill you will use to become an expert at what you do for a living. It is also the basic skill you will use to create what is called, “flow” –closely tied with cultivating a happy, satisfying life.

Congratulations on your graduation. Now, nobody but you have the responsibility to make wise decisions on your own about everything from maintaining good health to keeping a social life. Digging for and handling all kinds of information from unbelievably diverse sources is an essential life skill you will use the rest of your life. You see, formal education was just imbibing what society is obligated to hand down to you. That’s just background. You now stand at the place of the beginning of your real education.

 

 

 

Heaven, the Racetrack and the Hamster Wheel


This Lenten Season, I have taken on a personal/professional growth goal: working through Dan Miller’s 48 Days To The Work You Love. To force myself out of my one cracking great weakness, procrastination, I borrowed the book from my local library instead of purchasing it immediately. Believe me, this is one work worth the shelf space. It is available in traditional print and Kindle version at Amazon.com . Currently, I am  at the point of defining for myself the words vocation, career and job. Why don’t we travel together in this journey awhile? It would be a hoot!

Career "The Racetrack"

Career “The Racetrack”

Career

We must have clear, personal meanings for vocation, career, and job since these words are too often used interchangeably. A closer examination using the Oxford English Dictionary shows just how farcically inaccurate doing that is.  Consider that the word, “career”, which comes to the English language from a 16th century French word, “carriere”:a “road; a racecourse”. In turn, the French word comes from the Latin, “caraia”:a track for wheeled vehicles. Its root is the Latin word, “carrus”, or, wagon. This is probably where we got the word, “carriage” and “car” from. So, a career is a racetrack–like the Roman Circus Maximums in the movie, “Ben Hur”. Don’t you love this rushing around and around in a circle? Nascar: that’s a career!

Samuel hears the call.

Samuel hears the call.

Vocation

Gazing deeply at the word, “vocation”, we see in the Merriam Webster Dictionary that this noun strikes one of the main chords in “passion” (another word bandied about these days in employment lingo).  Having a vocation means having a strong desire to be/to belong someplace or in something. Vocation has a “fixation” or object/place of desire. Until the employment profession co-opted the term, it used to mean the personal answer to a divine call toward living a life dedicated to serving in a priesthood. The word has roots in Middle English, Anglo-French and Latin–combining “vocare”, to call, and “vox”, voice. A person with a vocation hears a “call” to a specific kind of work and is in essence “saying yes” in answer to that divine summons. Drawn toward heaven: that’s a vocation.

The J. O. B. (just over broke)

The J. O. B. (just over broke)

Job

Last of all there is the word, “job”. A job is “a paid position of regular employment”, according to the Oxford Dictionaries. This noun seems to be the “one-dollar bill” of economic currency, embracing the idea of a “task” or a “responsibility” carried out on a regular basis. I cannot get a fix on exactly where this word comes from, but it sure carries a nasty connotation that focuses on every-day, basic, common, and even difficult and dirty tasks. It is even used as slang for paid criminal acts. Of all three, this is the word that has in its morphology become an action word. The hamster wheel:what we have to do every day to earn the salt…or the lettuce.

So, tell me…what is the definition of these words in your life?