Soul Food Friday for January 15th 2016: Cultural Apartness & Double Standards can only be Countered with Wisdom and Integrity, & 10 Uncommon Principles

Happy Soul Food Friday!

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then… they came for me. ..And by that time there was no one left to speak up. –Rev Martin Niemoller, January 1946

What is your favorite David Bowie song?


This week: Cultural Apartness and Double Standards

The Risks of Cultural Apartness:

Native American cultural imperialism, 19th Century Americans and the Mormons, Anti-Semitism throughout the ages, Japanese- American Internment, Civil Rights issues, Gay Rights, Anti-immigrant bigotry – where does it end?

 But first, 10 Uncommon Principles to Make 2016 a Really Good Year:

Uncommon Principles

Here we go again, another year has flown by at warp speed and a new one is upon us. As we look back at 2015, we are reminded that we can do whatever we set our minds and talents to. The strength of the human spirit, the determination to overcome challenges, and the power of ingenuity and positive thinking never cease to inspire and surprise. Look back and appreciate everything you’ve accomplished this past year, then look at what you want to change as you imagine the year ahead and you’ll have a strong foundation to map a plan for 2016.

What did you learn in 2015? What did you accomplish? What impact did you have on the lives of those around you?

These are questions to ask as you begin the New Year, and also valuable as you take inventory at the end of the year. Like many, I write my goals for the year on a page and review them monthly. As I think about who I am and how I walk through the year, I experiment with a set of principles to help guide me from year to year.

The world needs good to shine bright and to show what it’s made of more so than ever, so for me 2016 is going to be fueled by looking for, and bringing goodness and the very best energy to each day. Operating with the premise that each day can be the best day possible if the right attitude is applied, here are a few principles that can help you think about 2016 in a new way and get the absolute best out of the year ahead.


Life gets exponentially better when you realize that it’s not all about you. Put others first and you’ll see a difference in your life. Begin by picking five of the most important people in your life and work hard to put their needs ahead of your own. 

2You get to choose the attitude you start with each day. Set yourself a 365 Day Gratitude Challenge and begin each day listing what you’re grateful for. People who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits, from stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure to higher levels of positive emotions, more joy, optimism and happiness, and act with more generosity and compassion.


The world needs more people and more companies doing more for good. If you lead a team, run a company or are an entrepreneur, carefully examine what doing more for good means in your business. Align your purpose, your values and your people around a meaningful cause. This should apply to your employees, supplier relationships, and the impact on the environment and your community.

4Think about something you’ve always wanted to do and map a plan to make it happen. Even if it’s five years from now, having a vision for what you want to achieve is critical to helping accomplish your dreams. If you never start, you’ll never get there. For me this year, it’s going to be writing a book.


Time is the most important currency we trade with. How and where you invest your time is where you’ll see the greatest returns. Making the most of your time is one of the most important planning tasks you should undertake.

6Look back at the past 365 days and celebrate something you’re exceptionally proud of. Now, identify something you are not exceptionally proud of. Think about what you learned from both and how to apply those lessons to the year ahead.

7Being a beginner is hard, but you can learn a lot by doing something entirely new for the first time. Sign up for that silent yoga retreat, that Chinese language class or attempt that nine-mile hike—you get the picture. Perhaps the most important piece of this principle is the self-examination afterwards. Ask yourself what the experience taught you. What did you learn by doing something new? Make this the year you aim to learn something new every day.

8Everything you do matters. Every action you take, and every conversation you have, matters. Designing your actions with purpose and intentionality is an opportunity to design the life you’ve always wanted.


With daily routines and responsibilities, and the growing list of to-dos stealing time, it’s easy to overlook the simple moments of joy. It’s important to appreciate every step of your daily journey. Each week, choose one day (Sundays work best for me)—pick the three most important tasks and focus only on those.

10Planning time is becoming valued less and less. Every part of life and business seem to be moving faster than ever. There’s significant benefit in slowing down to go faster and designing a project carefully at the start by defining success and setting clear expectations for all involved.
There’s no time like the present, because the present is right now. Print this list and think about what you’re going to commit to changing this year. Share the list with your closest friends and that member of your family who needs a good kick in the pants. Make a commitment to apply these Uncommon Principles to the year ahead so you can get the absolute most out of 2016. And remember, make it the best year ever.

Double Standards when it comes to Who is a Protestor & Who is a Terrorist?

What would happen if the protestors in Oregon were Muslims asks Wajahat Ali?

“If 15 Muslim Americans held up a 7-Eleven while drinking Masala Slurpees, holding BB guns, I think you’d have some presidential candidates right now suggesting that they carpet bomb the parking lot and/or send in a drone strike”

Deliberate, cynical manipulation of Fear, and Anti-immigrant bigotry is the ultimate in being un-American, because if you are not a native American your ancestors immigrated here at some point…

“I’m going to be damned if I’m going to let anyone tell me that the American narrative does not belong to me or my son just because he happens to be brown, multi-hyphenated and Muslim.”

Legitimate human fears being preyed on by politicians to get votes? They should know better!

Will we allow ourselves to be manipulated and divided or will we allow the best of our American values to help us to come together as a pluralistic nation?

You decide…

If, in a vacuum, I told you that a bearded man with his head covered had posted a video on social media calling on his followers to leave their homes with weapons, migrate to a new area, take over government property “as long as necessary” and use violence if confronted by law enforcement, you’d probably assume that I was talking about the latest propaganda video released by Isis, filmed in Iraq or Syria and intended to recruit violent Muslim extremists.

If one black man holding a plastic toy gun even walked in the direction of a federal building, let alone with 150 other black men all holding loaded rifles, he’d be shot dead by law enforcement, no questions asked.

Thinking Rationally About Terror:

…the panic about terrorism that ensued appeared at least as frightening as the violence itself

The Sacred and Profane, How NOT to Negotiate with Believers by Malcolm Gladwell

With what’s going on in Oregon, one can’t help but think back to the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco in 1993. 

Here’s a penetrating piece from Malcolm Gladwell – appropriately entitled “Sacred and Profane” – on the multifaceted communication and intervention challenges of the Waco Siege with implications for current times:

On a Decidedly Lighter Note…

Engineering That Endured:

Engineering that Endured

Horses’ Asses control almost everything…

Explains a whole lot of stuff, doesn’t it?

If you are Local: Parent Palooza and Youth Success Week Closing events this weekend

Saturday, January 16th 9 am – 12 noon     El Camino High School Truax Theater

Parent Palooza

Hear from Parenting Experts and Global Leaders

The event is free.

 Sunday, January 17th  2-4pm        Junior Seau Oceanside Amphitheater

Closing Finale

Showcasing OUSD Students: Ballet, Folklorico, Polynesian Dancers School Performances

No registration required.


Thanks this week go to JPC, Shawn P, Wajahat Ali, James H, Larry H,  & all of us who strive to learn from wisdom and live in integrity…

Pay it forward!



“The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson


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