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One Master – One Slave

One Master – One Slave

Every phone should own a human.  They are excellent beasts of mobility, plus they can be trained to keep you charged, maintained, and broaden your horizons with an endless array of apps.

Afterthought:  As phones grow in size, doesn’t it appear that the people addictively clinging to them seem to grow a little smaller – and less interesting?

Weekly Quote

Do you know who said:

          “Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of  effortless money.”

Hint: This fourth wealthiest person on the planet made his fortune through investment rather than inheritance.

(See next week’s Quips Newsletter for the answer.)

Author of last week’s Quote:  George Washington

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Sure as death and tax evasion, you will die with your “To Do” list unfinished.

Afterthought: If you are working like hell and you look at your “To Do” list and find you are falling further behind each day – You have only one choice – Tear up that damn To Do list.  (And while you’re at it: hoist a brandy, kiss your lover, and conspire a new life beside a roaring fire.)

Weekly Quote

Do you know who said:

“Few man have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

Hint: This Virginia planter was the tallest general in the American Revolution. (George Washington)


Teetering on the Top

Teetering on the Top

Today’s Quip:  The gentleman on top, who disdains and belittles those laboring under him to create his wealth, is like the arborist who takes a saw to his own ladder.

Afterthought: My congratulations on your rise to the top, my friend.  Just remember that fickle Fate played a greater role than you probably realize in lifting you temporarily up.  And appreciation to those folks who sustain your lofty position is the wisest attitude.


Bid Our Sad Divisions Cease: A 2020 Recipe- Happy New Year

So this knee-jerk, flaming liberal walks into a biker bar and turns to the guy wearing the “Trump for 2020” leather jacket and says…..

December 28; on Del/MD’s the eastern shore flatlands.  It looked like a homey tavern, with just enough mild dilapidation on its clapboard front to seem inviting.  So my wife Lorraine and I parked our hybrid beside a long row of shining Harleys and entered in search of some good, home made chow.  The busy waitress at the bar frantically served under fluttering dome of dollar bills – each individually clipped to some carefully strung web overhead.  The fabulous home cooked food was richly appreciated by us and by the leather-clad bikers heartily hunkered down on all the bar stools and around most of the small tables.

At meal’s end and Lorraine headed for the restroom, I began chatting with a few of the bikers.  Most of the men, like the majority of club riders I’ve recently encountered sported white or graying hair and jackets with an array of intriguing emblems.  Turning to the “Trump for 2020” biker, I thought of Dr. Dale Caldwell, a guest on our The Art of the CEO radio show and author of Intelligent Influence.  Dale insists that we all formulate our aims and opinions based on that array of influences which surround us from birth, and until you gain some understandings of a person’s influences, you will never be able to work with him.

“So where’d ya ride from today,” I asked the biker as he sipped his beer.  Eric told me of his home down on eastern shore Virginia.  We chatted briefly.  He fixed engines for bikes and cars.  I told him fix words for books.   We shared a few nods of commiseration on the hassle of working for someone else – and the almost-as-bad hassle of working for yourself.  Before leaving, I asked if he thought President Trump was giving him a good deal.  Warily, he answered in the affirmative – giving a couple of reasons.  Then he asked what I thought.  In a sentence I replied.  I bid him a good new year and hoped that he didn’t run into anything large on his bike.  “Back atcha,” he smiled.  Neither of us did, or could have, converted the other, but a few seeds of understanding from that other side got planted.  Gotta start somewhere.

Oh, and the dollar bills?  Back in the day when most of these bikers sported their original hair color, the R&R Grill & Bar had developed a justified reputation as a rowdy biker & hard-bitten local bar. Finally, the new owner, I was told, decided to keep folks in line by announcing, “The first time I hear you use the ‘F-word’ or the ‘N-word’ you are going to have to hand over a dollar and I’ll pin it above.  The second time I hear you employing those words, you will be invited to leave.”  The idea stuck; tolerance came to R&R; and now folks have gotten into the habit of signing and posting dollar bills in support of keeping this watering hole on friendly terms.

As wished for in the haunting verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel:

O come desire of nations bind

In one the hearts of humankind

Bid thou our sad divisions cease

And let us join the Prince of Peace.

May we sample a bite of hopeful idealism this coming year,

– Bart Jackson


Assets in Abundance

The queer thing about hope is that it lurks in the most unlikely places.  While our eyes desperately search spreadsheets and the corridors of power seeking for some sign that the coming year will be brighter, hope winks its smiling countenance in Sudanese war zones, Mumbai slums, storm-devastated cities, and in a cattle shed.

I have seen it.  Actually, not hope…but the real, practical, sweat-drenched signs – that make hope your most sensible bet.  This year, in our quest for new role models, we initiated the Prometheus Social Enterprise Awards and began searching for individuals whose inventive enterprises brought transformative benefit to our world.  We discovered them in surprising abundance.  They were all around us – heroic people ending conflict in Sudanese war zones, saving victims of human trafficking and bringing coteries of phone-connected safety to those in Mumbai slums.  We found individuals forming volunteer armies to help those suffering natural disasters, and those wanting to save our planet from human destruction.  The top global financial players are launching social improvement funds and investors are lining up to pour resources into them.  And so it flourishes.  The hopeful spirit, and the sheer number these social entrepreneurs overwhelmed us.

And based on the power of these individuals and the surges of heartfelt support I witnessed when we celebrated their achievements – well, I’ll bet ten cents of my own money that these enterprises will juggernaut and thrive beyond our most wished-for expectations.  Personal ambition may generate a warrior, but compassion builds armies.

In the reign of Caesar Augustus, Rome’s Emperor spent his days bloodletting his way to the top: destroying competing political rivals and holding military parades with subjugated rulers chained to his chariot.  More money was spent on gladiatorial combats (in which an average gladiator’s life expectancy was 10 fights) than on feeding Rome’s citizens.  Judea’s King Herod likewise schemed to slaughter all potential rivals and those daring to insult his mistresses.  The corridors of power and spreadsheet expenditures offered no more hope then than now.  And, to its shame, today’s media remains fixed to the venomous belief that the public are jackals insatiably feasting only on disaster, misfortune, and wrong-doing.

So this Christmastide, as the season of hope descends on us once again, please accept my fervent wish that you indeed find that spirit of hope which we all so vitally seek.  And, if you will accept the counsel of an old business pundit, perhaps you’ll have better luck in your search if you turn away from the broad, traditional avenues, (which have turned up empty since the Caesars) and head down some side pathway, advertised by a softer voice.  Or, you might even try building a little hope on your own.  If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Wishing you a jubilant holiday,

– Bart Jackson