Showing posts with label Humble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humble. Show all posts

April 11, 2019

Black Hole--What's Really Important?

Amazing beautiful photos of a black hole from 55 million light years (311 million trillion miles) away. 

It measures about 25 billion miles across--about the size of 29,000 suns. 

If this doesn't make you (with all the money, smarts, good looks, and ego to match) feel small, nothing will. 

We are but a speck of dust in this vast universe (maybe not even that). 

Perspective is in order for your life and what it means. 

Forget the money-grubbing and honor-seeking.

Realize what's really important is what you do in terms of choosing right from wrong and good over evil in every small thing you do.  ;-)

(Photo Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)
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June 3, 2018

The Blessings and The Curses

L-rd, Bless your loving children. 

And do swift justice to the wicked that seek their destruction. 

Bless those that stand guard at your heavenly and earthly gates. 

Curse those evil ones that make a mockery of your lofty kingship. 

Bless the humble and faithful to you and your laws.

Curse those that stand in arrogance and spread hate and vileness before you. 

Bless those that bless you and seek to do good. 

Curse those that curse you and do harm to your creations. 

Bless the righteous people with all that is good. 

Curse the wicked and tear them asunder so that they are utterly destroyed. 

L-rd, please hear your lowly servant and bring the ultimate redemption to your people. 

And verily discomfort, smite and throw to the depths of punishment and exile the cursed wicked. 

None can stand before you in their shame and disgrace. 

Do it for your name's sake; do it for your children's sake, do it for your justice's sake, do it to make things right in your beautiful and perfect world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 22, 2018

Controlling The World, Really?

So, unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination and hate out there. 

Often, I see, hear, or read lots of anti-Semitism. 

People don't like what I write in my blog, that I eat Kosher, Keep Shabbat, or that I wear a head covering or whatever. 

I get things like "Dirty Jew!"

Sometimes, "Get out! Go back to Israel!"

Or when I try to express myself, "Uh, the Jews control the world,"

The funny thing is if Jews control the world, why do I feel like I don't control anything!

I feel so small and insignificant in a way in the realm of G-d's great universe. 

Where I am but a speck of dust.

I see tall skyscrapers.

Huge mountain ranges. 

The deep oceans.

The rolling plains. 

The infinite stars in the sky. 

I see a world with hundreds of countries. 

And billions of people. 

And I see me, and I am just a person. 

And I see the Jewish people--a tiny minority.

One that has been subject of pogroms, inquisitions, exiles, destruction, and genocide--over and over again. 

I grew up pretty poor and watching my parents work so hard trying their best to support the family. 

I think Jews don't control the world. 

I certainly don't think I control even my day. 

The reality is only G-d is in control. 

And for that, I am most humble and grateful to the L-rd above. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 27, 2016

How Great Are You?

INDISPENSABLE?

      Sometime, when you’re feeling important,
      
      Sometime, when your ego’s in bloom,
      
      Sometime, when you take it for granted,
      
      You’re the best qualified in the room.
      
      Sometime when you feel that your going,
      
      Would leave an unfillable hole,
      
      Just follow these simple instructions,
      
      And see how it humbles your soul.
      
      Take a bucket and fill it with water.
      
      Put your hand in it, up to the wrist;
      
      Pull it out; and the hole that’s remaining, 
      
      Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
      
      You may splash all you please when you enter,
      
      You can stir up the water galore,
      
      But stop, and you’ll find in a minute,
      
      That it looks quite the same as before.
      
      The moral in this quaint example,
      
      Is just do the best that you can,
      
      Be proud of yourself, but remember,
      
      There’s no indispensable man.
            
      - Saxon White Kessinger

(Thank you to my daughter, Minna Blumenthal, for sharing this)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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February 20, 2016

Who's Da Boss

At work, we all report to somebody--no matter high up the chain you go. 

IMHO, I think it's always important to remember though who the Big Boss is and He/She is the top of the food chain and is the one who really calls ALL the shots--and if you keep that in mind, you can show proper respect to your boss at work and follow their lead without falling on your sword in human antiauthoritarian revolt. 

Thus, in the earthly world, the boss in the corner office and on the high floor is the one who tells you what to do at work. 

Of course, the cardinal sin of management is be a micromanager--EVERYONE hates that and just wants to be told the goal but then let loose to get the job done--and not stood over and berated on how to do it and torn apart for everything they did [differently] "wrong" than perhaps their boss would've done it in their self-presumed all-knowing wisdom. 

Also, bosses who laud their boss status over their subordinates by telling and showing them how bossy boss with information and power, belittling them, they are--often these people are resented by the "plebeian workers" and as in the servitude of Egypt thousands of years ago, the Big Boss hears their prayers for justice and meets it out accordingly. 

The best bosses are human, humble, and admit mistakes, see people as children of G-d, have compassion, and treat their workers with due respect; genuinely listens to others, are inclusive, and values what each person brings to the table; says thank you and means it; looks for opportunities to recognize and reward people; and treat people as teammates and not indentured servants. 

Certainly, workers have a responsibility too--to give it their best and keep their commitments; to respect the "chain of command"; to tell it the way it is with some modicum of diplomacy and keep their bosses fully informed, to not demand the unreasonable or play games with the rules (that everyone at work lives under); and to generally be collegial and a team player 

One colleague on an interview told me that they were asked a really smart, tough question that put them on the spot, "Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with management?"

That could be a telling question or answer depending who's been naughty and nice at the office. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 23, 2015

Team, It's Not About You

This mug on teamwork was really funny.

Teamwork (noun):
1) A group of people doing what I say.
2) Work done that I can take credit for.

Of course, this really isn't teamwork, unless you consider it the "I Team." 

Yes, this is sort of sterotypical of bad bosses:
- They take the credit for the team's work when everything goes well.
- But they pass along the blame when something goes wrong. 

Has this ever happened to you?

It reminds me of another funny saying about how greedy, narcissistic people think:

"What mine is mine, and what's yours is mine."

In other words--mine, mine, and mine, why thank you!

The best bosses are humble and giving. They make sure everyone knows what the goals are and are working efficiently to achieve them. 

The credit goes to the indivudals and team who are working their butts off, and when appropriate, the boss will take the heat to help others save face and enable them to press forward with the mission. 

I remember one of my colleagues who is a supervisor and he was called out for doing a great job. Immediately he goes, "It's my team that make me look good." And knowing this person, that wasn't just talk or a show...he was completely sincere. 

That's leadership and an impressive human being--someone to emulate!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 11, 2014

Taking A Bow

Wow--this is some an awesome piece of art!

Aside from the beauty of it, what do I think about looking at this?

Something like this:

Some people take a bow in arrogance and self-aggrandizement, while others are bowed in humbleness and grace.

Those who see only their own greatness fail to see all those people, factors, and most importantly, G-d's mercy that enabled them to achieve what they have. 

We are but agents of the heavenly maker above who endows us with creativity and the ability to capitalize on it. 

We should be bowed in thankfulness to G-d, but unfortunately all too often instead stare in the mirror admiring our own image that we imagine is so talented and successful because of who we are and what we ourselves have done--that we can't even contain our bursting self-satisfaction in wonderful selves. 

Yes, it's good to recognize when we do something good and when we make mistakes so that we can learn from them, but G-d is not only our one-time maker, but he gives us the knowledge, skills, abilities, and good fortune to succeed in what he wills. 

I remember being taught in Jewish day school that not a leaf falls from a tree without G-d wishing it--that G-d is not only the creator, but is intimately involved every moment with us and the world.  

Like the most brilliant computer that can calculate gazillions of calculations a second, G-d can orchestrate the fates of all his creations in a just and masterful way that takes everything we do and don't do into account.

May it be G-d's will to endow us with what we need to succeed and for us to be deserving of it, and to recognize from where it all comes and not be so in awe of ourselves that we fail to see our innate limitations and mortality that is us. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 17, 2014

You're Not All That

So they say that all sin is rooted in arrogance. 

We get too big for our britches and think we can do whatever we want including stepping on others and defying our maker. 

An interesting article in Harvard Business Review reminds us to beware of narcissism and hubris. 

Narcissism is a character disorder where because of feelings of inadequancy from childhood, people have to self-promote themselves every which way toSunday--they are "insufferably self-centered."

Hubris is a reactive disorder where due to past success and accolades from others, we become overconfidant, until the luck changes "toppling from their pedestals" and shrinking their ego back down to size."

I like the reminders from HBR cautioning about these:

- "Have more than thou showest; speak less than thou knowest." - Shakespear

- "Humble pie should be the only dessert served."

It's one thing to have decent self-esteem anchored in your knowing right from wrong and acting accordingly, and it's another to think and act like you have all the answers--none of us do. 

If your showing it off, it's likely a turn off. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jampa)
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May 16, 2013

So Sorry, Charlie

In the old Starkist Tuna commercials, Charlie the cool tuna thinks he's all that, but he keeps getting rejected by Starkist, because he's just not good enough and then the narrator comes on and says, "Sorry Charlie!"

These days, from my perspective, people often do not take responsibility when they mess up and arrogantly  they can't bring themselves to just say, "I'm sorry"--it was my responsibility, I messed up, and I am committed to doing better in the future.

It's really not so hard to say sorry, if you let your ego go. Most often, from what I've seen, unless the boss, spouse, or friend is just a jerk, saying sorry goes a long way to making things right--it shows you care about the relationship, your human and fallible (like the rest of us) and you are able to introspect, self-help, and learn from mistakes. 

In contrast, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18 April 2013) says sillily, "Don't Apologize"--that refusing to apologize makes a person feel better about themselves, more powerful, and less of a victim.

Certainly, we don't want to apologize for things we didn't do, when we really don't mean it, or to give someone on a pure power binge the satisfaction of making us beg--in those cases, we should be truthful and respectful and set the record straight. We should also, make it clear that we will not be victimized by anyone, at anytime.

But when we are wrong--and it's not easy for everyone to recognize or admit it--just say so. It won't kill you and you'll usually see the other person lighten up on the punishing diatribe and maybe even admit their part in it or the stupid things they may have done at other times. 

No one is so perfect--despite some very large egos out there. And the bigger the ego, the bigger the jerk. The humbler the person, the nicer and more workable they are. 

Don't apologize for things you didn't do or to satisfy someone's bullying, but do apologize when you could've done better and you are committed to improving yourself and building the relationship. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2013

Who Hasn't Been There?

So I was teaching a course this week in enterprise architecture, and some of the students asked about EA having a bad rap and brand (i.e. that it seems to not work so well in many organizations) and why is that? 

We had a pretty robust discussion around this--why some organizations fail and others succeed with EA.

We discussed the critical success factors that as the CIO or Chief Architect you can impact, and how these can drive planning and implementation for the organization to succeed. 

At the same time, we also acknowledged how--to be frank--not everything is in our control.

This was a class full of CIOs and Vice Presidents, and I gave an example and said you are all successful now in your jobs and careers, but raise your hand if you haven't been there--where you were on the outs and you boss or colleagues just didn't like you?

This was a class of about 20 people, and out of all these highly achieved folks, only one hand went up--a young kid--with only 3 or 4 years out of school, and still learning the ropes. 

Yes, this one person had not yet been on the losing end, but everyone else--all these successful people had been--ALL of them!

The point is not to say that success is just a chance event--it isn't! 

You have to work hard and try your best-- but no matter how much you think of yourself--it's even more important to remember that you don't control all the factors of your life that determine whether you succeed or fail.  

The same people that now had big, successful jobs, were the same people who had in a prior job or time been the person who could do no right at work. 

I tell myself to remember that there is personality, chemistry and fit at work; there is timing--and it is everything!--and there is how the stars are aligned. 

It helps a lot to be humble and learn, grow, work hard, never give up, have fun--and have faith in a mightier power above. 

From what I've seen, life is a cycle and today you may be down, but tomorrow you will be up (and the opposite is true too--so don't kick the person that is down and hurting). 

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)--for everything and for everyone. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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