Your Soul Food for June 17th 2022: The Longest Day & Does Your Work Matter?

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

Does Your Work Matter?

Make A Difference Of Consequence-

The Longest Day is the day of the year with the most light — the summer solstice. And it’s the day Mission Fed has committed to fight Alzheimer’s disease! We’re participating in The Longest Day, a fundraising event to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Mission Fed is also very proud to be the title sponsor for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month all throughout June in San Diego. Many of our employees, board members and members’ families have been touched by this disease and we want to help.

Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America, and one of the most feared? Left unchecked, it can destroy finances, families and futures.

Today, an estimated 50 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, including more than 6 million Americans. In the United States alone, more than 11 million friends and family members are providing their care. We must take action now, or these numbers will continue to rise.

Stand up to the darkness of Alzheimer’s and join us in making a donation today to help the Alzheimer’s Association support all those facing the disease. Thank you!

Donation Link: http://act.alz.org/goto/missionfed

Humble Bragging In Service Of Our Community-

Mission Fed Just Earned Juntos Avanzamos Designation:

The Only Credit Union in San Diego County and Why It Matters

We recently celebrated this milestone with a Juntos Avanzamos Proclamation Ceremony to support the spirit of what Juntos stands for, a commitment to serving and empowering Hispanic consumers. If you have a few minutos to spare, I encourage you all to watch the video with ceremony highlights, and focuses on how credit union members and our community will benefit from these financial inclusive efforts.

https://vimeo.com/simplerandsimpler/review/717998953/7c40758d48

The Awe and Wonder of Nature-

What’s the oldest tree on Earth—and will it survive climate change?
Bristlecone pines in the western U.S. have been alive for nearly 5,000 years, but an upstart Patagonian cypress challenges that record.

What’s the oldest tree on Earth—and will it survive climate change? (nationalgeographic.com)

Mind Bending Wisdom Traditions-

This woman navigated a 3,000-mile Pacific voyage without maps or technology
Polynesian wayfinding has long been a patriarchal tradition. Lehua Kamalu is breaking the mold—and helping to lead a revival of the ancient skill.

This woman navigated a 3,000-mile Pacific voyage without maps or technology (nationalgeographic.com)

To Fall Seven Times, To Rise Eight Times, Live Starts from Now-

High school hurdler bounces back from a fall to seal an incredible victory
Race favorite, Abby Dennis of Old Tappan High School, NJ, gets up after falling at the Bergen County Championships to win the 100-meter hurdles.

High school hurdler beats the odds to earn a sensational comeback win (usatoday.com)

Thanks this week to all of you that do important and meaningful work, that love and preserve nature, that help humanity way find our journey ahead and model perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds…

Pay it forward with love!

Neville

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbillimoria

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” 

– George S. Patton

Your Soul Food for May 27 2022: Wonder is the Beginning of Wisdom

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

  • Wonder
  • Self-Care
  • Kid Care
  • Pet Care

Wonder

A Flying Dog?

This guy is amazing!

This Dog Goes Paragliding With His Owner And Loves it! | The Dodo Soulmates – YouTube

Self-Care

A Psychologist explains why negativity dominates your daily thoughts, and what to do about it:

Great practical advice

Why negativity dominates your daily thoughts and what to do about it (fastcompany.com)

Kid Care

The Kids are NOT Ok:

Conclusion. Good Science is not enough. We need Activism!

The kids are not ok. Today I went to give a climate talk at… | by Julia Steinberger | May, 2022 | Medium

Pet Care

2022 Walk for Animals:

Enjoy these cute pets and their caregivers!

We’re so proud to support the San Diego Humane Society’s Walk for Animals

Whose a good dog? You ALL are…

https://vimeo.com/simplerandsimpler/review/711836717/531dbe215b

Thanks this week go to Chris B, Paula C, & the Mission Fed Team.

Please pay it forward

Love,

Neville

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbillimoria

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

– Greek Proverb

Your Soul Food for May 20, 2022: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Happy Soul Food Friday!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This week:

  • Armani’s Mambo
  • Women’s Rights with Amanda Gorman
  • The latest chapter in our deepening moral and political crisis in the US
  • The American economy is lumbering under monopoly and oligopoly
  • Did you see the Super Flower Blood Moon last Sunday?
  • Student with non-speaking autism gives powerful valedictorian speech
  • Strangers save a woman who had a medical episode while driving
  • Boxer Terence Crawford’s 7 year old daughter loses her shoe, then dominates field in stunning track meet

Armani’s Mambo to Feel From the Soul:

Reset your soul scape with this original composition by my son Arman:

Armani’s Mambo is an original Mambo inspired by Latin legends such as La Sonora Santanera, Poncho Sanchez, Louie Cruz Beltran and more… Vamos a Bailar!

MAMBO.wav – Google Drive

Now that we have opened our hearts.

It’s feeling, feeling, feeling kind of heavy…

Women’s Rights-

Amanda Gorman speaks on US Supreme Court leak on Roe v. Wade decision to ban abortion

Amanda Gorman speaks on US Supreme Court leak on Roe vs Wade decision to ban abortion – YouTube

The latest chapter in our deepening moral and political crisis in the US-

The Numbers Don’t Lie in America’s Gun Violence Problem:

Over the past decade, the Anti-Defamation League has counted about 450 U.S. murders committed by political extremists.
Of these 450 killings, right-wing extremists committed about 75 percent. Islamic extremists were responsible for about 20 percent, and left-wing extremists were responsible for 4 percent.
Nearly half of the murders were specifically tied to white supremacists:
Source: Anti-Defamation League

As this data shows, the American political right has a violence problem that has no equivalent on the left. And the 10 victims in Buffalo this past weekend are now part of this toll. “Right-wing extremist violence is our biggest threat,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, has written. “The numbers don’t lie.”

Buffalo is part of that unfolding American tragedy:

Events in Buffalo require a response that goes far beyond allyship…

Opinion: Buffalo is part of an unfolding American tragedy – CNN

The American Economy is lumbering under monopoly and oligopoly-

What BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street are doing to the Economy:

Their combined $22 trillion in managed assets is equivalent to more than half of the combined value of all shares for the companies in the S&P 500 (about $38 trillion)

Opinion | BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Control a Piece of Nearly Everything – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

On a lighter and more heartfelt note-

Communing with nature-

Did you see the Super Flower Blood Moon last Sunday?

South America and much of the continental United States had the best view of Sunday night’s lunar eclipse, which lasted nearly five hours.

See a lunar eclipse turn the moon a stunning blood red : NPR

Celebrating and affirming differences-

“God gave you a voice. Use it,” valedictorian Elizabeth Bonker told the class of 2022 at Rollins College

Student with Nonspeaking Autism Gives Powerful Graduation Speech | PEOPLE.com

The power of community-

Strangers save a woman who had a medical episode while driving

Video shows people saving woman having medical episode while driving (usatoday.com)

Overcoming mishap with persistence-

Boxer Terence Crawford’s daughter loses her shoe, then dominates field in stunning track meet win with a Rich Strike like comeback

Terence Crawford’s daughter loses shoe, dominates field in track win (usatoday.com)

Thanks this week go to Armani B, Isa G, Brad D, & Paula C for this week’s submissions.

Please pay it forward.

Love,

Neville

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor“- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbillimoria

Your Soul Food for 4/8/’22: From the Great Resignation to the Great Rejuvenation!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

Many of us have read the story about 3 people doing what looks like the same job, but when asked what they are doing:

  • One says they are laying bricks
  • The second says he is building a wall
  • And the third says he is creating a masterpiece!

Same identical work, but experienced so differently.

How can this be?

This story was made popular in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The story is actually not by Stephen Covey, but because he sold over 15 million copies of the book it is often attributed to him.

Proper attribution notwithstanding, it does draw attention to our relationship to our world of work and invites us to explore if we experience what we do; simply as a job, part of a career, or a purposeful calling?

When we are able to find meaning and purpose in our work, the mundane can become profound and we can turn the usual into extraordinary, often leaving a legacy that lives on well past our lifetime.

Many today are revisiting their relationship to work.

Perhaps we can learn from history…

The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, designed by the world famous architect Antoni Gaudi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and described as, “the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”

Construction on the Basilica began on March 19, 1882 which is almost exactly 140 years ago.

Less than 25% of the Basilica was finished during Gaudi’s lifetime, and they are still working on it- though it was scheduled to be completed this year but was delayed due to the pandemic.

I am sure those working on it over the century, also viewed themselves as brick layers, wall builders and masterpiece producers- and they were all right.

It is after all all a matter of your frame of reference and your perspective.

What is often missing in the story, is that everyone focuses on the bricks, but people forget the mortar, and the mortar is just as important as the bricks!

The mortar is the social capital or glue that binds us together, when we know we are working together for a common purpose, when we know others have got our backs, when trust and transparency and even vulnerability become critical ingredients in the mix. As Peter Drucker famously reminds us, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

In a time when our relationship to our work is being seriously revisited, let’s take the time to both find meaning and purpose in our work, as well as, build our bench strength, grow our franchise value, and make sure we are playing together not playing each other by strengthening the glue that binds us.

Turns out the Great Resignation may be followed by the Great Regret as many employees that jumped ship, quickly realized that “the grass isn’t greener on the other side”, the grass is greener where you water it!

So today, let’s all attend to our purpose, invest in our social capital and let’s keep serving our stakeholders with care and consideration.

Here is to the Great Rejuvenation

Live, Love, Learn, Laugh & Leave a Legacy!

Love All,

Neville

Enlightened Self Interest-

How to Handle Stress Situations Better Than Will Smith
Use the S.O.S. method when triggered for better outcomes.

How to Handle Stress Situations Better Than Will Smith | Inc.com

Etiquette expert says we’ve overlooked Lady Gaga’s great kindness toward Liza Minnelli
While Will Smith’s shocking slap of Chris Rock during the Oscars broadcast last Sunday has been big news, one etiquette expert says far too many people missed a beautiful gesture shown on stage that same night by Lady Gaga toward a visibly flustered Liza Minnelli.

Etiquette expert says we’ve overlooked Lady Gaga’s great kindness toward Liza Minnelli | Fox News

Try Something New for 30 Days: (3 minutes)

Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t?

Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days.

This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days | TED Talk

How Gratitude Rewires the Brain: (10 minutes)

When a psychologist who studies well-being ends up with a brain tumor, what happens when she puts her own research into practice? Christina Costa goes beyond the “fight” narrative of cancer — or any formidable personal journey — to highlight the brain benefits of an empowering alternative to fostering resilience in the face of unexpected challenges: gratitude.

Christina Costa: How gratitude rewires your brain | TED Talk

Protect Our Planet-

The deceptively simple plan to replenish California’s groundwater
The state pumps too much groundwater, especially during droughts. Now, it’s learning to refill the overdrawn bucket. “It’s the simplest math in the world,” says one scientist.

The deceptively simple plan to replenish California’s groundwater (nationalgeographic.com)

1,000-year-old oaks used to create ‘super forest’
Could an experimental forest hold the answers to meeting the UK’s big tree planting ambitions?

1,000-year-old oaks used to create ‘super forest’ – BBC News

Eight Endangered Places We Can Still Save
Half a degree Celsius will make all the difference for these famous and far-flung destinations.

8 Endangered Places We Can Still Save From Climate Change | GQ

The Silver Years:

My doctor asked if anyone in my family suffered from mental illness and I said, “No, we all seem to enjoy it.”

Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say, “Close enough.”

Being an adult is the dumbest thing I have ever done.

I’m a multitasker. I can listen, ignore and forget all at the same time!

Retirement to do list: Wake up. -I Nailed it!

People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable.

I don’t have grey hair. I have wisdom highlights.

Sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done.

I don’t trip, I do random gravity checks.

One minute you’re young and fun. Next, you’re turning down the car stereo to see better.

I’d grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds.

Some people are like clouds, once they disappear it’s a beautiful day.

Some people you’re glad to see coming; some people you’re glad to see going.

Common sense is not a gift. It’s a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.

I came. I saw. I forgot what I was doing. Retraced my steps. Got lost on the way back. Now I have no idea what’s going on.

If you can’t think of a word, say “I forgot the English word for it.” That way people will think you’re bilingual instead of an idiot.

I’m at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.

I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.

I don’t mean to brag, but I finished my 14-day diet food supply in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented. … I forgot where I was going with this.

Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.

It’s weird being the same age as old people.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be older… This is not what I expected.

Life is like a helicopter. I don’t know how to operate a helicopter either.

It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult.

Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So, remember… don’t sing!

I see people my age mountain climbing. I feel good just getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.

We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. That’s my story anyway.

Thanks this week go to Alan D, Jack A and TedX SD, Marlaine C and Parenting 2.0, Larry H,  and Rejuvenators Everywhere!

Please Pay it Forward

Love,

Neville

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
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“Talent hits a target no one else can hit.

Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

–Arthur Schopenhauer

Your Soul Food for April 1st 2022: YOUR Purpose Is No Joke

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

T.H.I.N.K

Before we speak let your words pass through these 5 gates

Is it True?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?
Is it KIND?

Jail Break Leadership:

Here is a recent podcast of me with my friend and colleague Jeff Blanton a pioneer and thought leader in the Conscious Capitalism space. Unlike the rest of us, when Jeff’s deep self-reflection recognized a “smoldering discontent” he decided to do something about it, changing his life and changing the world! If you are doing purpose work or need to operational it in your world of work, talk to Jeff!

The Soul of Business – Neville Billimoria – Jailbreak Leadership

Navigating Tradeoffs: How Purpose Becomes a Company’s ‘Lighthouse in the Storm’

Navigating Tradeoffs: How Purpose Becomes a Company’s ‘Lighthouse in the Storm’ – HBS Working Knowledge

Larry Fink’s Annual 2022 Letter to CEOs:

In today’s globally interconnected world, a company must create value for and be valued by its full range of stakeholders in order to deliver long-term value for its shareholders.

Larry Fink’s Annual 2022 Letter to CEOs | BlackRock

4 Principles of Purpose-Driven Board Leadership:

The Four Principles of Purpose-Driven Board Leadership (ssir.org)

On a lighter note-

Watch as the crowd reacts when a blind basketball player makes a free throw
High school junior Jules Hoogland wowed the crowd at a home game this week.

Watch as the crowd reacts when a blind basketball player makes a free throw | GMA (goodmorningamerica.com)

WATCH: Paraplegic Golfer Sinks Hole-In-One For the Ages at Torrey Pines
Most golf fans would say Tiger Woods’ playoff-clinching putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 U.S. Open is the greatest shot of all time at Torrey Pines Golf Course. That’s because they haven’t seen this one-armed ace from Abdul Nevarez.

Paraplegic Golfer Sinks Hole-In-One For the Ages at Torrey Pines – NBC 7 San Diego (nbcsandiego.com)

Limbo Roller-Skating??

Check out the unbelievable strength of these limbo roller skaters. I’m quite surprised this is humanly possible…

 (Click here to view

Thanks this week go to Chris B for the limbo skaters vid, to all you Kind and Conscious Leaders Everywhere!

Please pay it forward

Love,

Neville

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbillimoria

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit.

Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

–Arthur Schopenhauer

Your Soul Food for 3/11/22: Green Lights, Strong Backs, Soft Fronts & Critical Foundations

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

Did You Notice The Green Lights?

Whether it is the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, or other challenges that seem to keep rearing their ugly heads, it sure seems tough to stay in a positive frame of mind.

I am telling you, if it’s not one thing, it’s another…

Now that traffic has picked up, have you noticed that if you are running late and trying to get to your destination on time, every red light can get in your head and make you stressed?

You feel your pulse racing, anxiety rising, frustration building…

Now replay the tape…

If you think back, how many of the green lights did you notice?

If you are like most of us, we have a form of attentional blindness to the green lights and seem to miss all of them, while we perseverate on all the red ones.

Humans brains seem to be wired to be velcro for the bad stuff and teflon for the good stuff.

Just recognizing this default setting, and choosing to attend to the green lights, both literally and figuratively can be a powerful tool in dealing with the day to day challenges we all face.

So here is a thought for the week:

Take some time everyday to focus on the green lights in your life.

When you find yourself thinking about all the things you don’t have, consider all the things you don’t have that you don’t want!

Focusing on the green lights is a form of practicing an attitude of gratitude.

It is hard to be hateful and grateful at the same time.

May you have a week filled with green lights both personally and professionally, and maybe share your evergreen attitude with others.

Joy shared is doubled. Misery shared is halved…

You’ve got this!

Love,

Neville

Celebrating International Women’s Day Week:

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”

Strike the Pose!

IWD: IWD 2022 campaign theme: #BreakTheBias (internationalwomensday.com)

200 classical musicians join London orchestral flashmob in solidarity with Ukraine
Musicians took part in a flashmob in London’s Trafalgar Square, to show solidarity with Ukraine.

With no rehearsal time, the musicians gathered for an outdoor flashmob described as “spine-tingling” by spectators walking past the square.

200 classical musicians join for London orchestral flashmob in solidarity with… – Classic FM

Compassion IT-

We need to keep a “strong back and a soft front”

Yes pay attention to what is happening in Ukraine, but also pay attention to what is happening within you…

How can you ‘compassion it’ for Ukraine? (mailchi.mp)

5 Simple Acts Of Kindness Giving Ukrainians (And The World) Some Hope
The world is coming together to help Ukrainians – on the borders and at home.

5 Simple Acts Of Kindness Giving Ukrainians (And The World) Some Hope | HuffPost UK Life (huffingtonpost.co.uk)

CRITICAL FOUNDATIONS: The Thirty Questions Anyone Must Answer to Build a Meaningful Life:

 By Scott Schimmel

What are the step-by-step ingredients someone needs to build a meaningful life?
The current school system is a sprint to gain the knowledge necessary to pass tests and be ready for the academic challenges in college. There’s little room for reflection, integration, or building relevant self-awareness.

Through years of research and work with tens of thousands of students, educators, transitioning veterans, and parents, we’ve developed a keen perspective- a meaningful life has to be intentionally constructed. It doesn’t work to give answers—you have to ask questions. You have to create the circumstances for people to discover their own answers to life’s most critical questions.

In this book, Scott walks through each one of the thirty critical questions—why they’re so essential and how to go about answering them. With vulnerable storytelling, these foundational concepts become accessible and relatable to someone of any age. The second half of the book delves into common sense skills to help guide young people to find their answers to these critical questions.

Get the book on Amazon

Thanks this week go to Sara S, Scott S, Trailblazing, Game Changing Women everywhere, and You for being Soul-filled!

Please pay it forward

Love,

Neville

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;

indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”— Margaret Mead

Your Soul Food for Friday March 4 2022: Autocracy v. Democracy & Staying Sane Even As The World Seems Mad

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week: Autocracy v. Democracy & Staying Sane Even As The World Seems Mad

Different Perspectives on the World-

The Bad Guys Are Winning
If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse.

Autocracy Is Winning – The Atlantic

Opinion | Why Should Americans Care About Ukraine? It’s Not Complicated.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is geographically distant, but the consequences of Putin’s aggression could have ripple effects beyond Eastern Europe.

Jeff McCausland: Why Putin and Russia’s Ukraine war should matter to America (nbcnews.com)

Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West’s Liberal Order
The Russian president thought he sensed an opportunity to take advantage of a disunited West. He has been proved wrong.

Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West’s Liberal Order – The Atlantic

Staying in the Positive-

3 Science-Backed Ways to Better Deal With Stress and Be More Focused, Productive, and Successful
Totally avoid stress? Impossible. Better deal with stress? Surprisingly simple.

3 Science-Backed Ways to Better Deal With Stress and Be More Focused, Productive, and Successful | Inc.com

The Secret to Happiness, According to This Harvard Professor: A Reverse Bucket List
If you want to be truly happy, don’t just think about what to add to your life, but about what to take away.

The Secret to Happiness, According to This Harvard Professor: A Reverse Bucket List | Inc.com

Study Finds Having Pets May Have Positive Impact on Brain Power
“Prior studies have suggested that the human-animal bond may have health benefits like decreasing blood pressure and stress,” Dr. Tiffany Braley of the University of Michigan Medical Center shared, adding that the “results suggest pet ownership may also be protective against cognitive decline.”

Study Finds Having Pets May Have Positive Impact on Brain Power | Complex

These Adorable Animal Pictures Will Bring a Smile to Your Face
Bored Panda has collected pictures from around the world to create this adorable gallery, featuring sweet animals who will bring a smile to your face.

These adorable animal pictures will bring a smile to your face | Daily Mail Online

Thanks to those courageous souls who are willing to stand up for their values even in the most difficult of circumstances!

Please pay it forward!

Love,

Neville

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NevilleB108
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“To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all.”–
Oscar Wilde

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

You Are Resilient:

Wow did I have a BBBAAADDDD Monday.  Another cloudy day, my weight went up, some calls didn’t go well, I spent the day telling myself what a terrible leader I am, got slammed by an e-mail where I felt someone was questioning my ability to do my job, and that ended with a friend of mine letting me know that she got COVID and is very afraid.  What a day!  Ever had one like that?  

I woke up this morning thinking – how the heck am I going to be positive for others when I didn’t sleep, I don’t feel like anyone cares or sees how hard I am trying, I can’t do anything to help my friends, and the world is in such a bad place (in other words – pity party in full swing – really more than full swing, kind of like – took over Disneyland, had Beyoncé sing in person, and had a cocktail named after me, kind of over the top pity party).     

Then this showed up in my feed…

 When I saw this, I remembered the story of the Farmer and the Donkey.  Thought that maybe some of you may be going through a rough patch as well.  If you are, you may benefit from this as well.  If you’ve heard it before, well, I know it helped me to read it again. Maybe keep it handy for a time when you feel like you are heading out to your own pity party, or we can have a party together (socially distanced with masks on) and read it to each other.  😊  

 The Farmer and the Donkey

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway-it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all of his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

A MacDonald’s Employee Jumped Through a Window and Saved a Customer. Here’s What Every Leader Can Learn:
Sydney Raley, a 15-year-old with autism, likely saved the woman’s life.

A McDonald’s Employee Jumped Through a Window to Save a Customer. Here’s What Every Leader Can Learn | Inc.com

The Boldest Design Proposals of 2021:
Robot forest rangers, floating houses and other fascinating ways to look at the future… 

Boldest design proposals of 2021: How architects, designers and entrepreneurs are envisioning the future – CNN Style

5 Lessons on Spirituality, Activism and Humility I Learned From George Harrison
George Harrison stood as an example of modesty and humility, and his legacy is one that I think we can all learn from.

Lessons on Spirituality, Activism and Humility From George Harrison – Rolling Stone

“An unhealed person can find offense in pretty much anything someone does.

A healed person understands that the actions of others have nothing to do with them.

Each day you get to decide which one you will be.” – Unknown

18th Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium Jan 27th 2022 (Virtual):

Please join me at the 18th Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium on January 27th!

I will be presenting on Leading Consciously with Purpose- Especially During a Pandemic, alongside over 30 local and nationally recognized experts in nonprofit leadership, governance, and more!

Hope to see you there…

Website: 18th Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium – School of Leadership and Education Sciences – University of San Diego

Register now! https://buff.ly/3DbidkS

Thanks this week go to Angelica G-W, Brad W, Chris B, Kurt C, and Sherry S.

Please pay it forward!

Love,

Neville

“We’re still living with the old paradigm of age as an arch. That’s the old metaphor:

You’re born, you peak at midlife and decline into decrepitude.

A more appropriate metaphor for aging is a staircase.

The upward ascension of the human spirit, bringing us into wisdom, wholeness, and authenticity.”

– Jane Fonda

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You Last Soul Food for 2021: “Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to All (Hu)Men”

Happy Soul Food Friday for the last Friday in 2021!

We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness.

We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders.

All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all.

We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.

― Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This week: “Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to All (Hu)Men”

  • Making Peace with Nature
  • Christmas Joy and Holiday Cheer Extended
  • How to Best Prepare for this Next Round of Covid

Making Peace with Nature-

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Mobile Film Festival Awards: 1001 Ways to ‘Make Peace with Nature’:
The Jury for the 2021 Mobile Film Festival has announced the 12 winners of this year’s edition within the challenging theme “Making Peace with Nature”. Three of the winners were from Iran and two from France.

From the high snowy peaks of Bhutan, to parched, rocky terrain in Iran or the inside of a cow’s stomach, the entries in competition are eye-opening to say the least. Although some take a humorous or satirical angle, most act as wake-up calls, showing a glimpse of a dark future which awaits future generations if humanity doesn’t act to save the planet now.

The Mobile Film Festival concept, now in its 17th year, is based on making a 1 minute film using a mobile phone, adhering to a chosen theme. Organizers say this allows for maximum creativity without expensive equipment. Obviously organizers had their hands full combing through nearly 700 entries from 92 countries received this year, whittling the choice down to just 50 films from 34 countries in the final selection, with only 12 winners.

Mobile Film Festival awards: 1001 ways to ‘make peace with nature’ (rfi.fr)

The African Wildlife Foundation is Using Photography to Inspire the Next Generation of Conservationists with the African Wildlife Foundation’s Inaugural Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards:

 The competition, named after the late Tanzanian president and longtime AWF board member, hopes to encourage African people to take a more active role in conservation. After all, as CEO Kaddu Sebunya said, all of this beauty and life is part of their heritage.

The African Wildlife Foundation is using photography to inspire the next generation of conservationists – CNN Style

Christmas Joy and Holiday Cheer Extended-

Christmas “Queen”!
This family’s holiday lights display choreographed to Queen will rock you!

Queen Mix – 2021 Christmas Light Show – YouTube

A man strung Christmas lights from his home to his neighbor’s to support her. The whole community followed.
“Little by little, the whole neighborhood started doing it,” said Kim Morton.

A man strung Christmas lights from his home to his neighbor’s to support her. The whole community followed. – The Washington Post

This Amateur Dad Dance Crew, The Christmas Jumpers, Really Pulls Out the Stops!

Dads Pull Out Surprise Dubstep Dance For Christmas | Sainsbury’s Ad | Christmas 2014 – YouTube

Navigating Covid (Vox)

Expect the Best, Plan for the Worst-

Why the 1918 Flu Pandemic Never Really Ended:
After infecting millions of people worldwide, the 1918 flu strain shifted and then stuck around.

Why the 1918 Flu Pandemic Never Really Ended – HISTORY

You might get a breakthrough case of Covid-19 this winter.

Here’s how to prepare:

If you’re hoping for the best but still want to plan for the worst, there are things you can do now.

As case numbers increase in the US and a new variant of concern circulates, it’s hard to feel optimistic about our upcoming Covid-19 season. Among people who are vaccinated and who have been fairly cautious thus far, a dark feeling of inevitability may be beginning to settle in — a sense that even if you’ve avoided the coronavirus until now, that might not hold through the winter.

While it can be anxiety-inducing to see a cluster of storm clouds gathering and know there’s a very good chance you’re in their direct path, there is still time to do a bit of weatherproofing, so to speak — or at least put on a raincoat and grab an umbrella, so that you’re not caught totally off guard when it starts to pour.

Being prepared for a Covid-19 infection in your household is just plain practical. Even if omicron turns out to be less dangerous than previous variants, the US is also still looking at its first winter with delta, which we know is highly transmissible compared to last winter’s dominant Covid-19 variant. This means people who have tested positive or are symptomatic and waiting for PCR test results need to be especially prepared to tend to their illness without leaving the house, reducing the likelihood of infecting others. Keep in mind that underserved groups are likely to bear the burden of this and future phases of the pandemic; even if you have a case that feels truly mild, it’s still crucial to do your part to mitigate exposure and keep the pandemic from worsening.

It’s also wise to get physically and mentally ready on a personal level. During uncertain times, it can be helpful to gain some small semblance of control. While we wait to learn more about omicron, doing something lightly productive — even just restocking your now-expired cold meds — can offset feelings of powerlessness or anxiety you may be experiencing.

Lastly, getting a positive diagnosis can be unmooring, even if you’re vaccinated and not afraid of a scary outcome. You might feel mostly okay physically, but it’s unlikely you’ll want to do a ton of research or make a lot of decisions in that moment. The more time you can spend resting and healing — versus, say, trying to find the most up-to-date info on testing and treatments — the better.

If you’re hoping for the best but still want to plan for the worst, here’s advice from one health expert on what you can do right now.

Get boosted (and get a flu shot)

Plain and simple. As Vox has previously reported, booster shots today could fight omicron tomorrow, and getting a flu shot will help keep hospitals from being overwhelmed (and reduce the risk of co-infection).

Make a plan for how and where you’ll get tested if you have symptoms or an exposure

“It’s really important for people to get tested, because it’s really hard to differentiate between seasonal flu, Covid, or just a regular cold,” says Syra Madad, the senior director of system-wide special pathogens for NYC Health + Hospitals. “There are a lot of overlapping signs and symptoms, and they’re nonspecific. You can have a fever, cough, or runny nose with any of those three.”

Depending on how you’ve been utilizing testing thus far, you may not have put much thought into how or where you’ll get tested if you start showing symptoms or if you need results ASAP. (According to the CDC, vaccinated people should get tested five to seven days after an exposure or as soon as symptoms develop. Be aware, however, that omicron may have a quicker onset than other variants.)

It’s wise to figure out a testing plan now, including at-home and lab tests, when you’re presumably healthy. Determine the closest testing site(s) to you and how you’ll get there if you need a lab test; ideally, you’d avoid public transportation and ride-sharing services, but if that’s not possible, think about what you might do to minimize the risk to other people. Also make note of the testing site’s hours, whether it’s open on weekends, and whether it’s walk-in only or if you can make an appointment.

Know that getting tested when you know there’s a fairly high probability that you have Covid-19 — versus getting tested as a formality or prophylactically — can be a stressful experience. In those moments, you’re likely going to want your results quickly. So you may also want to figure out where you’ll be able to get a rapid PCR test near you, if available, and add that to the “Covid dossier” (a.k.a. Google Doc) you’re building out. As Vox has previously reported, it’s also a good idea to stock up on rapid at-home antigen tests.

Finally, if you’re going to be traveling for an extended period of time over the holidays or in the new year, make sure you know where you can get tested while you’re at your destination.

Step up your mask game

It can be difficult to think of yourself as contagious, especially when you feel great or just “not that sick.” But it’s important to internalize the reality that, at any point, you could unwittingly pose a much bigger threat to others than you realize. That means taking extra precautions to protect your community, especially if you’ve gotten a little lax about this since getting vaccinated.

“No one wants to experience a breakthrough infection,” Madad says. “We know that even fully vaccinated people can transmit the virus, obviously at a lower extent, to fully vaccinated individuals. I think that’s really important for people to understand. It’s not just about you. I know here in America, it’s a lot about me, me, me, but we need to make sure we’re also looking at we, collectively.”

The best mask is one that fits, so make sure yours does, and think about replacing your cloth masks with N95, KN95, or surgical masks. If you want to stick with cloth, consider whether it’s time to replace your current supply. (Vox reported in September 2020 that a cloth mask likely needs to be replaced after 100 rounds in the washer or 50 in the dryer because the fabric will start to break down and become more porous.)

Determine who will be your main source of medical care if you get sick

A lot of people in the US simply don’t have a primary care provider they see regularly — even people who are insured. That’s a tough spot to be in when you’re sick and everything you’re reading is telling you to “talk to your doctor” about symptoms, and treatments.

“I would definitely encourage people to make sure that they have a primary care physician,” Madad says. Of course, many people don’t, and can’t, for a slew of structural and systemic reasons. Madad says she’d like to see more centralized hotlines that people can call about symptoms, for guidance on what types of treatments (like monoclonal antibodies) they might qualify for, and to know whether or not to go to the hospital. Until that happens, the best thing for you personally to do is to spend some time on your public health department’s website and the nearest public hospital’s website to find additional resources and information about free or low-cost telehealth options.

If you do have the resources to get a primary health care provider and have simply been procrastinating doing the research to find one, make that a priority in the next couple of weeks. The good news is that the advent of telehealth means this might be considerably easier, since you won’t need to worry as much about the doctor being a long car or bus ride away.

Have a plan for how you’ll isolate if you test positive

The Covid-19 vaccines are so effective at reducing hospitalization and death that it’s possible to start to feel like we’re post-pandemic or that getting Covid-19 is no big deal. It might not be a death sentence if you’re young, vaccinated, and generally healthy, but it’s still not the same as, say, getting a cold (even if it literally feels like you just have a cold). Plus, plenty of people are simply not young or generally healthy and very much want to avoid getting Covid-19 entirely. Which is all to say: It’s important to take isolation seriously.

With that in mind, take some time to familiarize yourself with the current CDC recommendations for the Covid-positive. Plan that, per current recommendations, you’ll likely need to be at home for 10 days — and not just mostly at home, but literally not leaving your home, except to get medical care, for 10 days. (Also keep in mind the current guidance could change with omicron.) Here are some other things to think about:

Are there any steps you could take to mitigate spread to family members or housemates? For example, can you confine yourself to one room or even one floor? If you live in an apartment, does it make sense to buy an air purifier and a couple of fans to help with ventilation? Madad also pointed to New York City’s free hotel program for people and/or families who need to isolate. Not all cities will have options like this, of course, but it’s absolutely worth knowing that ahead of time.

If you have young kids, what might you do in terms of child care if you have to self-isolate and can’t send your kid to day care or school?

How might you get food and medicine if you can’t leave the house? Do any drug stores or grocery stores near your home offer delivery? Are there any local mutual aid groups you can join now, in case you need a supply drop-off from a neighbor later?

What is your workplace’s sick leave or PTO policy and how will that affect you, especially if you’re employed outside the house? Even companies with generous leave policies might require you to take short-term disability if you need to use more than five days of sick leave in a row, which is not something you want to learn for the first time mere hours after a Covid-19 diagnosis.

If you live in an apartment and have a dog you need to take outside, who could pick up your pet and watch it while you isolate?

The answer to some of these questions might be, “Well, I guess I’m screwed!” which absolutely does not represent a moral failing on your part. But facing the bleak reality that things like sick leave and child care in the US are not built for a pandemic (or for a non-pandemic, to be frank) is a tiny bit easier and less overwhelming when you’re feeling relatively healthy.

Stock up on essentials

One thing that will make it massively easier to isolate and to focus on getting better is a well-stocked medicine chest and pantry.

To tend to your symptoms, you’ll likely want to have a variety of cold and cough medicines, pain relievers and fever reducers (like acetaminophen and ibuprofen), cough drops, a thermometer, and a few boxes of tissues. Madad says a pulse oximeter to monitor changes in your oxygen levels also isn’t a bad idea, though the reliability of this tool varies somewhat, especially for those with dark skin. Think about what you like to eat when you’re sick and/or don’t have much appetite (jello, popsicles, instant ramen, soup, etc.) and consider bulking up your grocery list for a few weeks with pantry staples and freezer meals for the benefit of Future You.

For extra credit, here are two items that unexpectedly made my own bout of Covid-19 much easier: a big water bottle with a straw (like this), which made it much easier to stay hydrated, and a small trash receptacle to put next to the bed or couch, because having a runny nose and taking lots of individually wrapped cold meds generates a ton of trash, which quickly takes over your nightstand and adds to the generally rotten vibe of having a respiratory illness.

Mentally prepare for how much rest you’ll need when you’re sick

One of the big benefits of planning ahead like this is that it’ll make it easier to do nothing after you’ve tested positive — something that is critical to the healing process.

During the mild case of Covid-19 I had last January, I immediately took time off work, but I didn’t totally understand what it means to truly rest, in the doctor-prescribed sense. I thought I could do light chores if I felt mostly up to them, for example, or read a book. I even, somewhat inexplicably, set my alarm for a normal wake-up time every morning, like it was an average weekend instead of … time off to deal with the respiratory illness I’d spent a year avoiding. It took me a few days to accept that doing anything but lying down and watching TV was draining, and even if I felt okay in the moment, I’d pay for it by feeling awful in the hours that followed. If you’ve been healthy your whole life, it can be difficult to comprehend how physically wiped you might feel after doing your typical version of “doing nothing.”

“We want to give our bodies time to recover,” Madad says. “You’re not going to get that healing time or recovery time if you’re going to constantly be active and on your feet and doing things that we do on a daily basis. I know so many of us live active lives, and to just stay in bed is something that’s really hard for many of us. But it’s really important.” And know that if you can’t take it easy — because, say, your boss expects you to get back to work or you have to take care of your kids, or both — it might take you longer to feel like yourself again. “If you are not giving that time to your body, then it probably will take longer for you to deal with Covid,” Madad says.

Pick up the phone if/when the health department calls you

If you’re not one to answer phone calls from unknown numbers, consider making an exception in the days following your positive test — it could very well be the local health department getting in touch. Depending on where you live, they could be calling to get your help with contact tracing, or they might want to ask you some questions about your symptoms, answer any questions you have, and provide you with important info and resources. (On the other hand, Madad says a lot of states are currently overwhelmed, so you may not get a call at all.)

Madad says that people might feel hesitant to share their friends’ or coworkers’ personal information with the health department, but stresses that contact tracing is still a critical piece of preventing future outbreaks. “Oftentimes, I hear, ‘I’m not going to give out my personal information,’ or ‘I’m not going to give information of who I have been in contact with because it’s none of their business,’” she says. “But, again, I would look at it as a form of community service. If you get that call, give that information, because their goal is to end this pandemic. By giving that information, you’re contributing to helping reduce the spread of this virus, which ultimately will help end this pandemic eventually.”

Be ready to feel a wave of emotions

Even if you’ve told yourself you’ll likely get Covid-19 eventually and it’s probably not a big deal, it’s still totally reasonable to feel overwhelmed and upset by a positive test. (It’s also completely reasonable to think it is a very big deal, and to feel afraid.) “It’s okay to be concerned, it’s okay to have those types of feelings,” Madad says. “No one wants to experience illness of any kind, whether we’re talking about Covid-19 or any type of a virus — no one wants to get sick. That’s not a condition that anybody wants to experience, especially when you talk about a variant that we’re still learning more about.”

It’s also very normal to feel a sense of shame or guilt, but Madad says it’s important to not let those feelings stop you from taking necessary steps to protect others. “Regardless of how you got infected, you want to do the right thing in terms of preventing other people from getting sick and contributing to that community transmission that is happening,” she says. That means telling close contacts they need to get tested and taking isolation seriously. “I think there should be no shame, no embarrassment,” Madad says. “You’re doing community service — you’re letting people know to protect themselves, because you’re infected, and you want to make sure that you’re staying away from them.”

Wishing you and yours a safe New Year and a much better 2022!

Thanks for this week’s submissions go to Chris B, Eric K & Kurt C.

Thanks for sustenance all year go to The Conscious leaders group, Bright Lights, the Mission Fed team, Aoinagi Karate @UCSD, The Future Design Society, All our educational partners, NCPC and All our nonprofit & philanthropic partners, the UC San Diego gang, our extended family-biological or otherwise- All that contributed to Soul Food Friday this year, as well as to each and every one of you for reading, caring, and paying it forward!

We are better together!

Love All,

Neville

PS. Ideas for Soul Food next year or interested in submitting your own inspirational or heart-opening content? Ping me!

LOVE is our Soul Purpose”

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We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness.

We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders.

All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all.

We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.

― Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Soul Food Friday: Life on the Edge

Happy Soul Food Friday!

I am with full and unqualified FAITH intending these things to come true this year and sending them by special envoy to be seeded, nurtured, energized and released into the Universe:

  1. Health, Healing and lots of Pure Loving Energy for my whole family and myself and for your whole family and yourself
  2. Positive Self Esteem, Acceptance of Unconditional Love, and a year of Rich Educational Success for my children and all children
  3. Genuine Encounter Moments and a Rich Satisfying Intimacy for my wife and I, and for you and your partner/significant other
  4. Career Stability and Advancement leading to Abundant Wealth and Prosperity for all the breadwinners in our family and yours
  5. Deep Meaning, Value and Fulfillment in ALL our a-vocational passions
  6. Continued Success in Living, Loving, Life-long Learning and Leaving a Legacy for my loved ones, for myself, and for YOU.

We are grateful for making this come true.
We are grateful for making this come true.
We are grateful for making this come true!

And it is done…

Today marks my 53rd trip “trucking’” around the Sun.
Looking back, “What a long, strange trip it’s been”
Looking forward, “Here comes the sun”

Reflecting now, “Crossroads”…

Sometimes it has felt like life on the edge as I try to reach escape velocity
Other times it has been in the wilderness of human values where I have found my center of gravity
It’s always been interesting and mostly filled with love, spirit and energy. These are the soul fuel have sparked ignition on both inner and outer journeys

Enjoy some samplers of these themes and tribulations but be forewarned…

“We appreciate frankness from those who like us. Frankness from others is called insolence.” –Andre Maurois

THE ROYAL PIGEON

Nasruddin became prime minister to the king. Once while he wandered through the palace, he saw a royal falcon. Now Nasruddin had never seen this kind of a pigeon before. So he got out a pair of scissors and trimmed the claws, the wings and the beak of the falcon. “Now you look like a decent bird,” he said. “Your keeper had evidently been neglecting you.

Moral: Don’t buy into the notion that, “You’re different so there’s something wrong with you!”

Be Yourself. There is only ONE You!
The Journey Continues…
Love,
Neville

Taking ‘bout my Generation:
They say you either pass it forward, or pass it back
Experience this extreme Father/Son communication
Watch the non-verbal handoff at the 2 minute mark and the final note as the world says goodbye to Maestro Bebo Valdes one of the greats
Great musicians are Great listeners!

A little Yang Spirit…

It can be tough out there
“Business is a combination of war and sport”, said Andre Maurois, and as a martial artist, I have appreciated this notion…
Expect to battle heatedly but fight fairly.
Focus on excellence not success because success is about how you measure up to others whereas, excellence is how you compare to yourself!
Be your own yardstick
Look your friends in the eye and know you didn’t let them down.
Can you live in that moment?
How Great Can You Be?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6xLYt265ZM

Life on the Edge
Aggravated or Acrophobic-
It is lonely at the top but it is scary as hell on the edge!
You better hang on to something before you look at these pics…
Click here!

On Perspective:
Sometimes you need a Long View
On the one hand, from 30,000 feet, all water looks drinkable
On the other hand, without perspective you wouldn’t have this incredible viewpoint!
Click here!

Speaking of perspective…

A little Yin Spirit
The Earth’s Prayer is something I wrote in 2009 after an inspirational trip to Europe.
It is scary to share it, but here goes…
Click here!

Up Close and Personal:
That which is most personal is most universal
This deck captures a world view and the diversity of human spirit
Click here!

It takes Energy to Grow!
This deck inspired by the Happy Planet Index is dedicated to mobilizing a global movement towards Your health, happiness and well being
Click here!

Crackpot Friends:
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her shoulders.
One of the pots had a crack in it:  the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.  After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”
The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?’  ‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’
‘For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.  Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding…  Just accept each person as they are and look for the good in them.
SO, to all of my cracked-pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Thanks to ALL of you that have contributed to the quality of my life!

Love,

Neville

“There are two educations: the one that teaches how to make a living

and the other that teaches how to live”

—Anthony DeMello