Keeping It Real

keep it realHappy Friday, All!

Like clockwork, or even better, if there is such a thing, T.G.I.F.!

One of the reasons I often include a greeting like “Happy Whatever” is because I do believe in the power of positive thinking. This is something that has been believed in America and other parts of the Western Oriented societies for decades, perhaps centuries, now. A friend of mine had mentioned to me the title of a book, “Bright Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America” by Barbara Ehrenreich, that kind of taunts the concept of positive thinking. Now, that’s not to say that negative thinking is better but it appears to address how we here in America may over-emphasize the power of positive thinking. One of the things that I have been interested in for many many years, even before I knew what it was called, is philosophy – you know Voltaire, Socrates … even Jesus. So, I find myself drawn to any interpretations of accepting things like death, or, the end of a relationship and other things with finality as the “end result”.

This past week we witnessed the passing of Larry Hagman who got his start on the television show, “I Dream of Jeannie”, and later became the infamous “JR” on Dallas, another television series that rose to unexpected heights with Hagman. Did it seem he was invincible, and, if he ever had a problem, couldn’t he simply ask “Jeannie” to blink it away for him?! That’s television, folks! In addition, we witnessed the recent passing of Zig Ziglar, a renowned motivational speaker whose goal was to propel us towards our dreams utilizing visualization and positive thinking. Whatever the verdict is in heaven when Zig gets there, I embrace his hard work, dedication and desire to give humans another approach to handling despair and inherent difficulties in becoming and maintaining successfulness.

I simply try to “keep it real” not only because I grew up at a time when that was most important, and, actually had to learn to segway my way into levels of professionalism like teaching, writing and speaking. When researching logos and photos for this topic, I came across this: “Selling out is the new keeping it real!” This is truly a sign of our times as it appears that human emotions and the inevitable challenges we face occasionally “tail spin” us into “selling out”! Be very careful what you think … you might just become that!

As we look upon these Holy Days ahead for various religions, it seems that our focus, even with Kwanza, is regarding increasing the quality of life as the human community. Whatever you believe, you may want to consider and contemplate the validity of what you don’t believe so as to balance ones approach to living a productive and healthy life, spiritually as well! Have a great weekend!


John I. Cook, Director

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