Archive for September, 2010

The Seconds Are Ticking, The Minutes Are Counting, The Hours Are Passing

September 4th, 2010 No comments

I just realized something, time is passing and we are all getting just a bit older every day. This reality is not something that I worry about too much, probably because I try my best to get as many items on my daily schedule as I can. Yet, my not worrying too much about this sometimes worries me. I suppose my lack of worry comes from the fact that my family has been fairly fortunate in terms of health and physical longevity. Mind you, we have had our fair share of incredible scares and battles with life threatening ailments (Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and various heart complications).

                For many of us, our parents are getting older. Many people, have also already lost one parent or both parents. Regardless of individual circumstance, it is a strangely soulful experience to think of one’s own mortality and the mortality of all the people we hold dear. Just thinking about it (really thinking about it), thumps our heart muscle to life while seemingly displacing the position of the heart in our chest – kind of like the heart makes a shuffle step left, down, right, or up. It is perhaps the one thought that irrefutably awakens the chemicals in our brain, propelling us to act with unparalleled inspiration – forget the New Year’s resolution crud – it’s a bunch of garbage. Start thinking about how much time you got left on this planet and plan accordingly.

                Let’s not get overly inspirational though, what about the existential side of life? What about your aging parents? What about a parent you may have lost unexpectedly? Where are your real feelings for such vital thoughts?

                Have you been honest with yourself about your real feelings? Have you been honest with anyone else about what you have kept inside all of this time? The kind of internal push-down that has the potential to trigger a salty and wet release out of your eye.  

                If you have already lost a parent and somehow they could magically reappear, just for a few moments, what would you say to him or her? What would you say to your father? What would you say to your mother? What would you want either of them to say to you? Would you want an apology? Would you want an answer (s)? Or maybe you would just want time to do things you used to do together, talk about the things you used to talk about, and laugh about the things only the two of you thought were funny.

                One thing is for sure, we get older every day. The seconds are ticking, the minutes are counting, and the hours are passing. Who in your life that you feel is important have you not reached out to lately? Is it your turn to reach out but yet you just keep on giving in to the stubborn, childish, and egotistical side of your personality – the part of you that internally says “I am in charge of this bus” – the part of yourself that stops the fence from being mended?

                Perhaps an alcoholic beverage would help to break the ice if a fence needs to be mended?

Matthew Polkinghorne

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The Jack Of Too Many Trades: Master Of Some

September 2nd, 2010 No comments

                Part of the problem with pretending to deeply understand numerous and complex subject matter is that it detracts from your credibility. That is, people begin to wonder if you really know what you are talking about because it always seems as if you have all of the answers. This is not to say that one individual does not have the ability to speak intelligently on numerous topics because some people are very eclectic in what they know and very articulate in conveying it. Yet such a broadly scoped knowledge tends to have people casting a squinty eye that is accompanied by suspiciousness.

                In others words, if you pretend or attempt to hold deep expertise in too many fields of knowledge, people will likely begin to think of you as a ‘jack of too many trades – master of some’.

                How then does an individual avoid such a label and become known and respected as an knowledge expert? While I will not over-answer this question, following are a few quick and simple  numeric suggestions;

1. Listen closely to what people around you are saying.

2. Don’t feel the need to make all-encompassing proclamations about your idealistic and romantic notions of what human perfection ‘is’. 

3. Ask a reasonable amount of questions even if you are in the role of professing (perhaps preaching).

4. Understand the interactive importance of humility and mild self-deprecation.     

5. Know that is it just fine to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I have no idea’.

6. Laugh if you feel like laughing.

                Hopefully the listed suggestions may help you steer clear of the jack of too many trades – master of some phenomenon. Who knows, maybe a few of the suggestions will save you from tackling projects that are outside the spectrum of your knowledge. And, as a result, your credibility will be enhanced and restored in the eyes of your peers while a very precious commodity is saved – time.

                Wouldn’t you love to work with someone who is going to save you time? I know I would I’d love to work with a person who loves to save time.

Matthew Polkinghorne

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