Showing posts with label Dedication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dedication. Show all posts

May 22, 2019

Take Responsibility

I thought it was an interesting sign in the office.

Responsibility: At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start to be successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren't where you want to be, you will always be a failure.  - Erin Cummins


While I agree that we have to take responsibility for our lives and do the work hard to achieve success, at the same time, we obviously aren't in control of everything. 

We have to play the hand we're dealt in life and make the very best of it.  Whatever challenges that we have, they are there for us to learn from, grow from, and become better human beings from. 

Also, success means different things to different people--for some it's money, power and honer; for others it's physical fitness and dashing good looks; still some care more about travel, experiences, partying, and having a good time; and yet for others it's about G-d, family, country, and good deeds.

Whatever we want to achieve requires dedication and hard work from our end, but also a generous dose of prayer and good fortune for "the stars to align."  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 10, 2019

The Not So Civil Service

At one time, it was considered a great honor to work for the Federal government, and people fought for the jobs and to take the civil service exam. 

The Civil Service was not only a term, but also a reality filled with honor, dedication, and devotion to one's country. 

Working for the Federal government meant interesting and exciting work opportunities not only defending our great nation, but in making it just and prosperous, and literally a beacon of freedom for the world. 

While no one became rich working for the government, you could make a stable living, build tenure over your service, and finally receive a pension upon retirement. 

Over the course of almost 20-years of my federal career, I have had the opportunity to serve in positions that I only could have dreamed about as a child, and to feel such pride in serving. 

But it seems like times have taken a turn for the worse either willfully or through neglect:

- From Capitol Hill to the Executive Department, we see the extremus of polarization and endless obstacles to getting anything done.  

- With each change in administration, aside from a change of leadership and direction at the top of each Department, the workforce is seemingly accused of subversion for the other side and turned on itself. 

- Just recently, we've seen the longest federal government shutdown lasting 35 days and with hundreds of thousands of Federal workers required to work without pay at the time. 

- We have also seen many years of pay freezes--with not even a meager cost of living adjustment (COLA), while the overall economy is booming!

- The pay for grades at the upper levels are hitting up against the Congressional limits with multiple pay steps being the same pay and no increase for career advancement or growth of responsibilities. 

- Employees have been forced to endure the A-76 outsourcings, threats of disbanding entire agencies, demands to reduce the size of government, and hiring freezes even while serving a larger population requiring ever more services. 

- There have been limitations on the power of employee unions, and an ongoing series of tightening of benefits from CERS to FERS and continuing thereafter requiring greater employee contributions and what feels like ever less benefit payouts. 

- Staff are threatened with firing in a short(er) period of time for making a small number of mistakes to a host of "conduct" issues that may or may not be true, and may at times be the outcome of poor leadership rather than problematic employees.

- The system for employment grievances and judging these has gone without a quorum for the longest period on the books and the backlog of cases continues to build. 

While no system is perfect, and there are bad apples on every side, there clearly seems to be a devolution of the federal service, and what this means for governing and for our defense and prosperity is yet to be fully felt. 

For me, serving the Federal government has been one of the greatest honors and has been many of the best years of my life. My wish is for others going forward to have a positive and productive experience as well. 

Perhaps with an appreciation and true respect for the millions of good men and women that serve our country--from the front lines to the back offices--we can once again create a system that is equitable, fair, and just and that inspires the world-class results we needs for our nation and our people. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2018

Ramath Orah Synagogue



So the other day, I received this wonderful email from someone working on the 75th anniversary of Ramath Orah Synagogue on the Upper West Side in Manhattan where I grew up. 

My grandfather (Opa), Simon Blumenthal, had served as the President of that synagogue for many wonderful years.

I remember always being so proud of him for his dedication and hard work for the community. 

I look up to him when he got up to give the announcements at the pulpit. 

And he built the beautiful center bimah, the special succah downstair with the roof that opened up to the sky at holiday time, and made many other truly impressive improvements to the synagogue. 

He and his wife, my grandmother (Oma), Hilda Blumenthal were an absolutely beautiful couple and the finest of people. 

My parents, Fred and Gerda Blumenthal, continued in their footsteps and to be members at Ramath Orah long after we had moved away to Riverdale, and they were contributors to the shul and attended the annual synagogue dinners for many years. 

Even though the synagogue was mainly filled with elderly people at the time, we always knew and prayed that it would become revitalized again, which it did and is now. 

Pictured at the bottom is me as a kid sitting with a talit over my shoulder and in my grandfathers (the President's chair) in the front of the synagogue.

Aside from leading and singing the regular Yigdal and Adom Olam prayers, I loved to sit with my father and grandfather in synagogue.

We prayed together, and we stayed together as a family and community. 

I miss them all so much, but am sure they are up in Heaven together sitting in the Big Synagogue in the sky basking in the light of Hashem and watching over me and my family today!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 29, 2017

Doctors In Houston

With the crisis of Hurricane Harvey and the rains still battering Houston...

It was so amazing to read this morning about the doctors who are going all out to help people in need there.

Doctors staying in the hospital for days to cover their patients stuck there and requiring care and treatment.

And others that are wading through the waters at there own risk to get there to treat the sick.

One doctor mentioned was Adi Diab M.D. who trekked 3 miles through a foot of water to get Anderson Cancer Center "to attend to a patient undergoing an experimental cancer treatment."

He did this so as not to interfere with the patients scheduled treatment for the re-engineering of immune cells to fight a tumor.

I'll tell you, there really are some truly amazing people out there--whether doctors and nurses, firefighters and emergency responders, law enforcement and military personnel.

They run into danger and disaster zones when everyone else is running out. 

Is it professionalism, dedication, duty, or an angelic calling to help people and the nation in need.

This is our nation at its best--united!!!--and helping our neighbors, saving lives, and putting others before self.

"Houston there is a problem", and as unbelievably horrible and unfortunate as it is, perhaps it is also a critical reminder of what's really important and a healing to our great nation.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 17, 2017

The Success Iceberg

Thought this was really so true.

Under the tip of the iceberg of success lay all the factors that most people don't see.

The vast mass of persistence, failures, sacrifices, disappointments, good habits, hard work, and dedication. 

Success really is an iceberg!

Don't be jealous of the success at the tip of the iceberg of others unless you put in all the ingredients beneath--plus a prayer to the Almighty Above for his blessings.

Have a Shabbat Shalom!

(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
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August 18, 2015

Traits To Be Prez


The personality to be President:

1. Experience, Diplomacy

2. Direct, Honest, Strong, Results-oriented

3. Passionate, Dedication, Survival of the Nation

A short interview with Andy Blumenthal

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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October 28, 2014

^^^To The Six Million^^^

I am dedicating my 2001st blog post to my 6 million! Jewish brothers and sisters who were murdered in the Holocaust. 

May G-d have mercy on their souls and in their name bless us, the survivors, to do his holy bidding and good deeds. 


Thank you G-d for bringing me to this time and for all your enduring kindness. 


May you give me the strength and inspiration to carry on as a hopefully positive influence in this world. 


(Source Photo of Miami Holocaust Memorial: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 16, 2011

New Beginnings

Next week I am excited to begin a new journey as a Division Chief at the U.S. Department of State.

I just wanted to take a minute to thank the ATF for the opportunity to serve there as the Chief Technology Officer these last few years.

There are no finer or more dedicated law enforcement agents than those that work for our federal government, and I am so proud that the ATF chose me to support their vital mission of protecting our country.

I also greatly appreciate the opportunity to have worked and learned with such talented and dedicated professionals in the Office of Science and Technology.

Some people have asked me to comment on my tenure from the perspective of what's going on in the news. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to do that, but I do want to recognize and thank people for caring so passionately about our great country.

It's a new chapter in my life and I'm ready to roll up my sleeves, learn, and contribute as well.

I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity--ready, set, go!

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April 24, 2010

It’s The Journey, Not The Destination

There is a great quote by Theodore Roosevelt in a speech he gave called “The Man in the Arena” (1910). The quote is about not being deterred by criticism, and to keep “striving valiantly.”

Quote from “The Man in The Arena”

Theodore Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

To me, it is not the destination, but rather the journey that is of critical importance in learning, growing, and becoming more tomorrow than we were yesterday.

A colleague a work told me, whenever you make a decision, half the people will love you and half will hate you. I understand that it can be easy to get discouraged when people criticize your decisions and actions. Leadership means listening to the criticism, even when it is painful. You just have to sift the constructive elements from the pure mud slinging.

He went on saying that just by living life, you would be jostled by it. And maybe that is the point, it is the striving—along with the bumps we get along the way—that builds our character and makes us stronger to take on even greater feats in the future.

So not to despair when times are tough, this is the making of a (hu)man and the crafting of a leader.


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June 1, 2009

The Secret Service in Action


Once again, it's all about the mission. 

Focus, determination, absolute dedication to service. 

Principles every organization can adopt in their architectures.

And by the way, I am very proud to say my alma mater.


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