Showing posts with label Potential. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Potential. Show all posts

September 4, 2019

G-d Is Good


What a cool barber shop in downtown Miami called, The Spot Barbershop.

When you are lying back in the chair, look what you see on the ceiling:
G-d Is Good.

The other day we went out to eat with some folks. 

And the question came up whether you think most people are good or bad. 

Interestingly, most of the people at the table thought either they are predominantly good or at least that they have the potential for good. 

Really, it is G-d that is the ultimate good. 

And to the extent that we are created in His image and have the opportunity to choose good from evil, then we too can be good. 

G-d is inherently good, but man is a toss up based on which direction he goes. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 19, 2018

When People Fear You, You're Not A Leader

As the fortune cookie I came across yesterday says:

"Leadership is action, not position."

And actions demonstrate a good or evil heart.

When everyone hates a leader is that a "leader?"

- Fear is not leadership.

- Bullying is not leadership. 

- Corruption is not leadership. 

Leadership is:

- Showing others what is right and being a good influence. 

- Rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work alongside everyone else. 

- Helping others to achieve their potential. 

- When others see you as a leader based on your integrity of purpose and actions. 

How we treat others is as true a test of leadership as of where we want to go and how we want to get there. 

G-d sees everything man (leader or not) does, and only He in Heaven is the Leader of Leaders and the King of Kings.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 24, 2017

Beautiful Israel Architecture









Just wanted to share some of the beautiful architecture from Israel. 

Side by side...

The old and the new.

The proud and the natural.

The strong and the spiritual. 

Obviously, I've only had a chance to see a very little bit.

But everywhere just seems marvelous.

So much achieved, and still such great potential. 

A people who survived the genocidal Holocaust and faced down the devil himself, with G-d's help have rebuilt their ancient homeland.

Miracles everywhere, I can attest to it with my own eyes and soul. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2017

Invasion of Dinosaurs



So what's with the invasion of dinosaurs. 

First one is standing next to the checkout line in Whole Foods in Maryland.

Second one is actually on someone's terrace overlooking the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

Third one is the real McCoy from the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. 

Certainly, dinosaurs aren't cute and cuddly--even the plush ones from Whole Foods--they'd eat you and I for dinner if they could!

So why do we gravitate to relics from the Ice Age past?

Perhaps, just like looking forward to Aliens from outer space, the dinosaurs represent an important historical link for us, and thus anchor us in a much larger perspective of time and space. 

In a way, it all points to the dichotomy between us as humans with great--almost endless--potential, and yet at the same time, how small we are relative to the enormous dinosaurs that roamed the earth of yesteryear as well as the distinct possibility of mighty extraterrestrials that we may someday (soon) encounter from outer space. 

From this context, I guess what's really amazing is that we, as a people, are still here!

Despite our bad habits and unsustainable living, we continue to innovate our way out of own messes of greed, conflict, contagion, pollution, and resource depletion, and create a future far beyond what destroyed our predecessors or even what may come from current or potential future foes. 

Like the economy, we think we can grow ourselves out of all our troubles--and who knows, maybe we can if we can continue to stay at least one or two steps ahead of all the challenges and threats--but, at the back (or front) of our minds is what if we can't or don't?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 7, 2017

Is Man An Angel Or Beast?

So is man an angel or a beast?

On one hand, we see small and great acts of love, kindness and generosity. 

People feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, donating clothes to the poverty-stricken, and standing up to defend those that are abused, discriminated against, and victimized.

Every day is an opportunity to be a gracious, heavenly angel!

At the same time, we are witness to horrible acts of hate, cruelty and inhumanity.

The strong preying off and committing gross acts of violence against the weak, the rich elitists taking from the poor lower-class, the powerful violating the human rights of the masses and ruling with a brutal iron fist. 

Every day is the possibility to act the vicious, lowly beast!

It's a choice as we stand here teetering on the world we are injected into. 

The angel and the beast fight within us. 

Our souls yearn to emulate the spirit of our Holy Creator, while our bodies look for raw physical and material satisfaction. 

It is truly a battle that rages within us, and can tear any or all of us apart. 

Yet, our mission is for good to overcome evil--in everyday small and large ways.  

To fight the urges that torment us and to rise, rise, with the wings of an angel to reach our potential and fulfill our destiny. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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December 26, 2015

Can't Live With 'Em & Without 'Em

Remember the funny comedy show, Married with Children.

The theme song is playing in my head, "Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage."

Love and marriage--it's something we all aspire to. 

Like in Noah's ark, we all want to couple off and be with that special person that complements us, can finish our sentences, helps us grow and develop and reach our potential, and of course raise a family!

This last couple of days for me the overarching theme has been the importance of a good marriage.

First I saw this funny sign that said, "Get married once, and do it right."

Well, okay...

Then the wonderful Rabbi Kaplan of Chabad, here in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, spoke to us about the great joy and "naches" (pride and gratification) of marriage and family.

And once again, when my wife asked this classy lady she met in Florida, how she stayed so thin, the lady responded, "It's the divorce diet."

Ah, eat your heart out baby...that's not the best way to lose weight now, is it? 

Anyway, it's a true blessing to find that great match, and when there is an overall healthy relationship built on respect, trust, good communication, and of course being best friends. 

I wish I had that (just kidding...).  :-))

Perhaps a nice New Years wish is for everyone to find their soulmate and live happily ever after. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 24, 2012

Baxter Disappoints


This new robot named Baxter, by Rethink Robots, is practically being touted as the greatest thing since Swiss cheese--"allowing our people to use their minds more than their hands"--but this demonstration video shows a clumsy and awkward robot instead. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18 September 2012) actually calls it a "huge disappointment" and I've got to agree.

The product manager in video calls Baxter--developed with $62 million over 5 years--"easy," "complaint," and "collaborative," but unfortunately Baxter, the robot, comes off looking anything but as he slowly and laboriously tries to pick up and move items from one location to another, and the product manager pulls his arms and pocks at his screen/face to program it.

While I am a huge fan of robotics and see their potential to transform our society--where robots can becomes surrogates for humans in everything from work to even odd companionship, I do not see the breakthrough here by Rethink Robots--except in the affordability of this robot to be used in manufacturing for only $22,000 a unit. 

What I do like about Baxter is that it is generally a good-looking device--with a solid looking grey base and long 9 foot wingspan red stretch arms.  I even sort of like the eyes and brows giving it a humanoid nature, but the quirky and flimsy looking red screen hanging off the main body looks chinsy. 

Also, if the robot is so "friendly," you'd almost expect it to be on wheels and mobile with the ability to speak, so that it could more genuinely interact with others, but it does not.  

Baxter is the brainchild of one of the pioneers of the Roomba vacuum--another toyish device that I wouldn't spend a dime on. 

Maybe, the way to look at it is that we need to take baby steps before we get the real iRobots coming to us--and hopefully that day will come soon.

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January 13, 2012

Where There Is Life, There is Hope




After a very busy week, I can really appreciate this video, called Move, where Rick Mereki and 2 friends travel 11 countries in 44 days.

I love how fast yet seamless this video takes us around the world--like flying through space and time.

There is so much to see and do and every moment is a blessing.

My grandparents use to say, "where there is life, there is hope" and we are so fortunate to be alive and have the opportunity to change, grow, and self-actualize.

And while real life is not as smooth as this video--whereever we are, let's try to enjoy the ride.

Have a great weekend!


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December 28, 2011

People--What's Inside

People can perform good and kind deeds--they can love and care and share, they can be giving and help others in need, and they can innovate and create magnificent and beautiful works.
Yet, as we all know, people can also do horrible things. It's strange that when people do such things, we call them inhumane acts--I guess that helps to divorce us from their behavior, which we cannot understand or accept.
In Hebrew School we learned that it's as if there is a good angel over one shoulder telling you to do the "right" thing, and a "bad" angel over the other shoulder telling you to do the base and corrupt thing.
We were told that we all have free choice--to choose good over evil--some succeed and some do not. Unfortunately, there are way too many instances of the latter.
- Last week, I followed in horror the news story out of New York, where an elderly women in an elevator was cornered by a man who proceeded to douse her with gasoline and set her afire with a Molotov cocktail. This woman didn't have a fighting chance. She died a gruesome and senseless death.
- This week, I watched "To Catch a Predator" on Dateline with Chris Hansen. After many sessions airing, it is unbelievable that dozens upon dozens of sexual predators keep coming out of the woodwork and descending upon those who they believe are young teens home alone for what they think will be a "good time." This week, they caught a married man with 3 children of his own, someone who worked for Nickelodeon, and even a doctor!
What is remarkable about the Dateline series is that most of the predators know exactly what they are doing is wrong--they openly acknowledge it--yet they seem helpless to stop or control themselves. Many pursued the children even when they suspected it was a sting operation and they would get caught. The bad angel must really have their ears and consciences!
Of course, these examples are just that--snapshots of scary, bad things that people do every day, every moment in time. The flip side is that there are also good people doing extraordinarily good things too. The "CNN Heroes" series is a great example highlighting people feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick, and protecting the downtrodden. These are just but some of these admirable and giving actions of decent people in our society.
Sometimes even it's the simple things that no one knows about or sees, but you know you did good. For example, the other day, there was some trash on the staircase going down to the metro. Someone could have easily slid, tripped, and fallen down the stairs. But after seeing numerous people just walk by it and pretend it wasn't even there, one person stopped and took the time to move it and prevent anyone from getting hurt. A simple thing, yet a small good deed in time.
Regardless of how we choose to live our live, the point is really that every choice/action we make can be a pivotal one--like our actions on a scale of justice--that can throw the world (our individual world or literally the entire world) into judgement for good or bad, and therefore we should choose wisely.
In the Torah, where G-d's angels are sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham tries to negotiate for the cities by whether their are 50, 20, 10 and so on good people there. Good people and their deeds count.
So what's inside people that really counts--it's potential. People have the potential to do the greatest acts of love, kindness, and self-sacrifice. But they also have the ability to do the unthinkable and inhumane.
It's challenging to know who and exactly what we are dealing with every day.
Maybe that's where the expression comes from: to hope for the best, but expect the worst. Judge everyone as if their intentions are good, but don't be too surprised when they are not.
While hope and expectations are part of our daily interaction with others, they are not enough. We need to be demanding of good choices of ourselves. Maybe even harder yet, we need to have the courage and strength to stand up to those who choose to listen to the demons that drive them.
(Source Photo: here)

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March 6, 2011

A Time To Remember

Someone sent me this cartoon today and I was moved by it.
As much as we want to look to the future, it is important to remember the past and the many millions who perished in the most horrible and cruel way.

And as we continue to live in times of upheaval and extremism, the lessons of just 60+ years ago, of the Holocaust, are as relevant today as ever.

As someone who is always looking at technology as the answer to everything (understanding of course, that all true answers come from above), this is a pause for me to question what if any are the limits to change and innovation?

My hope, of course, is that we can rid ourselves of hatred, bigotry, intolerance, and extremism and instead work together for the betterment of all humankind.

As long as our minds are blocked by hatred, we (in the collective) will never be able to realize our ultimate potential.

I believe in a future where we will ALL together achieve technological breakthroughs that will surpass anything that we can imagine today; where we will indeed travel--perhaps to the stars--together as one, not divided by race or religion any longer, but united in our commonality and strength and desire to achieve a future of hope, health, peace, and success for all.

(Source cartoon: Wiley)

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October 9, 2010

Is Technology Measured by Progress or Unrealized Potential?

Is technology progress measured by how far we've come or by what remains to be achieved?

The Wall Street Journal (9-10, October 2010) ran an interview with Peter Thiel, who in ranked #377 in Forbes 400 (2008) with a net worth of $1.3 billion. Thiel was a co-founder of Paypal. In 2004, Thiel made a $500,000 investment in Facebook for 25.2% of the company. Nice!

Remarkable for someone who has made a fortune in technology, Thiel now believes, as the Journal puts it, that “American ingenuity has hit a dead end.”

According to Thiel, “people don’t want to believe that technology is broken…Pharmaceuticals, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology—all (of) these (are) areas where the progress has been a lot more limited than people think.”

Thiel bemoans our inability to achieve the vision of The Jetsons, as he states: “We don’t have flying cars. Space exploration is stalled. There are no undersea cities. Household robots do not cater to our needs…” According to Thiel, we have reached and are stuck in a long-term stagnation.

Thiel’s theory of technology stagnation is completely contrary, I believe, to the reality that most, if not all, of us are living each and every day, where technology is constantly on the move and if anything, we as organizations and individual struggle to keep pace.

For me personally, the refresh rate for technology is 2 years or less, depending on available cash flow for all the new stuff constantly hitting the market.

In my experience, technology is as dynamic as ever, if not more so. In fact, I have seen no evidence that Moore’s Law has been overcome by events (OBE).

Across government, I am seeing the interest and rate of adoption of new technologies steady or on the rise in areas as diverse as cloud computing, mobile computing, social computing, green computing, knowledge management, business intelligence, and geospatial information systems, and more.

There is no shortage of technology investments to make, IT projects to work on, and new technical capabilities to bring to the business.

While we may not have achieved the full vision set out by Hollywood and other technology visionaries, yet—rest assured, we are well are on way and barring unforeseen events, we most certainly will!

I don’t know about Spacely Sprockets’, but I’d place a few good investments bets around on a future that looks pretty darn close to The Jetsons, along with a good dose of Star Trek ingenuity for measure.

Perhaps Mr. Thiel’s views are a result of frustration that we have not achieved all that we can, rather than a reflection that we have not gotten anywhere. In any case, I enjoyed reading his views and look forward to learning more.


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