The First Soul Food Friday of 2012

Happy New Year!

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions to kick off 2012?
Did perpetuating the power of goodness and kindness make your ‘to do’ list as a continuation of your “naughty or nice” list?

Kindness has been part of our higher selves since time immemorial.

Almost every philosophy, human potentiality movement and world religion includes a derivative of kindness as it is a foundational human virtue.

It is 2,500 years old. Now it is the latest thing.

In the last few years, Kindness as a ‘brand attribute’ jumped a whopping +391%, the most of any attribute according to those with access to the largest consumer database on the planet.

This was followed by:

  • High quality +124%
  • Friendly +79%
  • Socially responsible + 63%
  • Leader +40%

This is as an outgrowth of our migration from mindless to mindful consumers, our move from industrial to industrious thinking, us becoming more self-reliant and resourceful, and realizing we are happier with a simpler more down to earth lifestyle.

Model all those attributes, personally and professionally, and you are changing the world for the better!

But since you are reading this blog you already knew that, and didn’t need the data to back this up (although it is useful to impress your friends and critics 🙂  )

“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next” – Jonas Salk

The Power of Kindness is not just a human thing

Check this clip out (Thanks Elisa)

Looking back

A little bit of historical trivia to give us some perspective.

Bet you didn’t know this… (Thanks Larry)

Did you know the saying “God willing and the Creeks don’t rise” was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century.. He was a politician and Indian diplomat.  While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington . In his response, he was said to write, “God willing and the Creeks don’t rise.” Because he capitalized the word “Creeks” it is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and
both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.. ‘ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’
because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression
or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board.’

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile’. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . Therefore, the
expression ‘losing face.’

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’ wore a tightly tied lace.


Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades..’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some Ale and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we
have the term ‘gossip.’

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the phrase ‘minding your ‘P’s and Q’s’.

One more:

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs
would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’ (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)

Looking forward

Now fast forward the tape to the 21st century. Unbelievable!

Check out the Social Media Revolution

Did you know 4.0?

After that whip lash is there a snowball’s chance in hell of building positivism in 2012?

I am being punny…

Snoball aims to encourage viral social giving via a platform enabling users to donate based on an event or action where triggers leading to donations can simply be dates – for example, on the first of every month the user will donate USD 2 to a specified charity. You can be even more imaginative. Check out: and start your own snowball effect (thanks Paul)

Are you crafty? Turn your craft into art!

See how one person made up their mind and then made up their local stop signs- to make a difference in their community

At the end of this project, slated for the beginning of spring, there will by 100 stop signs like this all over Clairemont. (Way to go Bryan!)

Seeking inspiration not news?

Check out: and sign up for your “Daily Good”

People are awesome:

Here are a couple of sample stories to whet your soul food appetite…

(Thanks Greg)

See you on the rebound!

Pay it forward,


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