Find What You Love

Happy Friday, All!

Once again, T.G.I.F.!

Oh boy! Am I glad the weekend is here! Do you think Amanda Knox is happy to be home?! Maybe the Detroit Tigers are happy they beat the Yankees to advance in the ALC as well as millions of others in the baseball community! lol! I heard that Sarah Palin isn’t running for president and that Christy Brinkley said, “Yeah, that’s good!” Still the candidates who are running continue to sling mud on Obama and blame everything on him . . . as if he inherited a “Happy Healthy Country”. Peace be still!

As one of the greatest contributors to technology of this age “goes back home to be with his maker”, the world mourns and pays tribute! May the heavens open up to receive Steve Jobs. Would there have ever been an iPhone if it weren’t for him? Would grade school kids be asking Mom and Dad for the coveted iPad if he hadn’t developed such a device? Perhaps there would be iStuff if it weren’t for him, but the fervor with which he lived and developed his talents and skills may never be duplicated! What a man . . . what a different type of hero . . . who revolutionized the communications in this technological world we live in! Do you think Steve’s Creator and angels who guide him to that realm beyond which we live will welcome him and say, “We’ve been waiting?” Won’t he be missed?

Worldwide commemorances have been held in honor of his passing as the developer of Apple Inc. took his final bow before leaving the “Big Stage” of life. Etched in my memory are his words in his speech at Stanford University, June 15, 2005 and his three stories about “connecting the dots”, “love and loss” and “death”! I read this speech from time to time when I am feeling unmotivated and almost sorry for myself and his words catapult me back to reality … the fact that we all share certain things in common, in particular death. Truth be told, those three stories are universal truths that come from the core of this individual and reflect on his passion for life. If you haven’t read it lately, do so. I can only imagine the joy he must feel (and have felt along the way as he developed a company with products that connected the world as we know it) to be remembered with such honor and respect. May he rest in peace as we love and lose him … and perhaps take a lesson (or lessons) from his life … and “find what you love” if you haven’t already! (excerpt, Steve Job’s speech at Stanford)

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

May We Never Forget . . .

Happy Hump Day, All!

For the past few days, with all the craziness happening, including the “war scarred victim” from dancing with the stars whose recent dance brought tears to many people’s eyes, including his own, as well as Hank Williams comparing President Obama to Hitler because he was playing golf with a friend … I have been feeling a bit “mystical”. Now, that doesn’t mean that I have any powers of clairvoyance or anything, it just means I’ve been feeling a bit unsettled spiritually lately. After digging around in my chest, I realized that next month will be the 6th Anniversary of my mother’s passing, may she Rest in Peace … There are a couple of resolutions that I made last year and I have fallen short of two of them …. one involves my mother. I have a couple more months to get a grip on both of them, especially the one related to her . . . Peace be still.

Early this week, I got a call from Marie Achille, whom I worked with at ACORN several years ago. We had an interesting family at the Broward ACORN office that Marie had nearly single-handedly organized and I was fortunate enough to join after my training as a foreclosure prevention organizer in Nashville, TN and Orlando, FL. We used to have fund raising events and food drives, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, everything donated and even cooked and served by the members themselves! I remember going door to door in the neighborhood where our office was located, which was the neighborhood in Broward with the highest foreclosure rate, with a most heterogeneous group of women, children, men, Haitian, Caucasian, Latino and African American people to heighten the awareness of the gravity of seeking options to prevent foreclosure, including attending the workshops that I delivered twice a week.

Marie told me that a gentleman who was a major active member in our group, Bob Campbell, had passed away from cancer. It hit me hard because Bob and I had moved refrigerators in and out of the office, which he donated, we picked up ice and trash bags together for events we had, and he was at nearly every meeting. Now, my father passed away 20 years ago from cancer, too, so I am brushing tears away from my eyes as I write this. So, anyway, the wake is this weekend, and Marie had called me to inform me of his death and the events to follow.

Finally, this month is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and everybody from NFL players, the Miami Beach Police Department (with a pink police cruiser decorated especially for this occasion) as well as many many organizations and cities, including Fort Lauderdale who is hosting a special event next weekend at the River Front Park’s Esplanade, are acknowledging it. So … may each of us join in … and “May We Never Forget” … those important things that occur around us daily!

With gratitude, love and peace!

John I. Cook, Director

Listening Skills

Happy Monday, All!

Here’s to hoping your weekends went well and were productive … even if you only rested, maybe did some home and house keeping chores like I did. I even watched some football though I have never been known as a person who knows all the teams and their players, coaches and owners and the like. For me, basketball is that sport and here of late, it looks like the season may not begin as planned.

Another Morgan Freeman movie topped the box office ratings this weekend – A Dolphin Tale – nothing to do with the Miami team, of course. Texas Governor Perry has been accused of having some racial epithets (I don’t want to know …) at the family’s hunting lodge. And, Andy Rooney did his last regular show on “60 Minutes” last night at the tender age of 92! While those items, and much much more, are on the news and events scene worldwide, the latter is the most interesting for me.

Andy was told in high school that he could be a good writer. So, when he entered the military, he wrote for the Army magazine, I believe. Years later, he continued working for many different organizations as a writer and commented on how one famous broadcaster was hard to work for because in his words, “He was nasty!” Now those of us who have watched “60 Minutes”, as I have since I was a teenager with my father every Sunday night, know that he does not “bite his tongue”! While much of his work is humorous, some of his commentaries take a specific position or stance on a subject. Yet, he is rather honest and straightforward in his work …. and …. I believe, he still uses a manual typewriter!

One thing I always try to do, though in some instances, I haven’t done a good job and it caused me some problems, is listen to people when they speak to me.

“You should not have your own idea when you listen to someone . . . . To have nothing in your mind is naturalness. Then you will understand what he (she) says.” – Shunryu Suzuki

May I learn to set aside my own self-centeredness. Today, I will grow more if I set my ego aside when others are talking to me. (TOUCHSTONES October 3rd)

Have a great week.

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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