What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"
There was a day when men shook hands and agreed a gentlemen’s agreement between two. A man’s word was his honor. Nowadays attorneys draft up legal documents that are crafted to look for deception and deceit. Where has honor gone? Speaking the truth should never be hard to do. Many preach about truth and justice, yet they drag out an attorney when the truth is directed at them.
Along with honor comes respect. Respect for your fellow man or woman. Meeting a call to justice to help someone in need. Believing in others, and relying on a friendly hand. Honor, respect, and dignity, are the strength and the armor that uphold strong men and women.
Integrity - the truth. Integrity is becoming a rare thing. Yet it is something worth fighting to hold on to. No matter how weak your voice may be, you may be the only voice someone else has. Injustice can overwhelm an individual soul quickly – but with many there is triumph as they come together. Speak the truth. Value integrity above all.
Not every argument can be won in a court of law. Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” is all that is needed. Waging war over trivial pursuits never ends well, if at all.
Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” is all that is needed.
What is important is that you stand up and your voice be heard. Speak about those passions you hold dear inside. Especially when others would keep your voice from being heard if they could. Don't let fear or intimidation keep you from doing what is right. Your voice might be all it takes to change an empire, regain a friendship, mend a broken heart. But unless you stand up and let your voice be heard – others will steal the soil out from under your feet - the very ground you walk upon.
INTEGRITY, RESPECT, HONOR
Rise up, ever so weak – yet strong because you decided to take a stand. Integrity, respect, and honor – there really isn’t any amount of money that can buy those attributes. As human as these attributes are, they will give you a greater sense of value about life, and grace you with a peaceful mind. Without them – anxiety, crippling envy and stress take the very life from your own hands. What are your gains if you aren't around to enjoy them, or can't feel satisfaction for the things that you tried to build? Fake friends will praise you in the morning, and damn you in the night.
Life is simple. Live with a giving hand, a kind shoulder to lean on, and stand up when integrity demands a voice. Stand up, let your voice be heard.
How long has it been seen you have felt the Adrenalin pumping through your veins as you landed your first big deal, sold that property, or made the biggest financial score of your life time? What risks do you remember taking? Would you take them again? Would you advise others to take the same risks?
I happened upon a group of young adults this past weekend who were enjoying themselves by swinging off the walking bridge that spans the width of the Colorado River, just outside of Moab Utah. With nothing more than a rope and true grit, each young man took their turn toppling off the side of the bridge holding onto a rope about 8 to 10 feet long. The rope they were swinging from wasn't a bungee cord either, so once their bodies weight hit the end of the rope, their shoulders would have to take the full force of the blow. But the thrill - it'll get yea, and that is what these young adults were after.
But the thrill - it'll get yea.
Risk takers, thrill seekers. As their bodies are swinging in mid-air, there is the additional thrill of knowing you have to let go of the rope and drop your body into the wild and muddy Colorado below you. Then you will need to swim out of the river and hope you don't get caught in an underwater eddie. Then there is the potential that the cops will be called and your mom will have to pick you up at the police department. Putting caution to the wind - you take that risk anyways.
..you take that risk anyways.
Some opportunities in life and in business don't come along very often. Even when they do, we forget to take those risks, and instead favor the easy route - or easy chair. Age refines us, and defines us. We no longer want to jump in feet first without seeing the bottom of the pool. If you want to see whats at the bottom of the pool, that is perfectly fine. It just means you've learned a little along life's highway. A good dose of business savvy has set it's mark upon your life.
You may no longer be that dare devil you were in your early years, or that thrill seeker who just couldn't stop to ask "is thing safe?" But It is still very important to make sure that you never allow yourself to be defined by others. There are still some risks out there for you.
The risks you take now days depend on your level of physical and mental preparedness. We know how fun it is to win, but our journey through life teaches us lessons. Lessons that help us define our own character and balance our daily living. I do have to admit, that if I were years younger I would be joining those very same young men for a dive into the river. I'd be crazy not too!
Let the young be young - even in their 50's, 60's, and beyond.
Migrating from bureaucracy or meritocracy to the world of free commerce is a journey of new learning, and that learning curve is steep. You quickly learn that the blue collar/white collar tags are real. The way business is handled within both sectors is uniquely different as day and night.Within your institutions you have departments and policies and procedures that govern your everyday operations to a fine line. Job subsidies and cushiony benefits hold many employees in their place. In the world of free commerce you have a business plan, and expectations in meeting your next payroll. Your staff is made up of people from various backgrounds; some from corporations and institutions, and the remaining have never seen a mission statement or walked the halls of education. Fed up with the bureaucracy many often are attempting to take their lives back in a meaningful way. Through exploring new career paths and innovation, Americans want more than to be spoon fed tasks day in and day out.
Where we as a society decide to take our country is contingent on the free will of the people to keep bureaucracy at bay. While a cushiony office with the many perks may sound like the ideal dream job, it’s not without its downside. When overwhelming policies start to absorb the very creativity of your work force, you end up with corporate zombies. Those same policies and procedures often bastardize individuals against one another, splitting relationships that were once solid into many pieces. Bureaucracy is a heartless wheel – and many rats turn upon its squeaky wheel.
Bureaucracy is a heartless wheel
There is a lot to be said about the free market and those who work in that arena. They still provide this country with a fair amount of innovation and “guts”. The “guts” to get out there and change the structure of the market with new ideas and concepts. Bureaucracy on the other hand wants to own all your ideas and hand those ideas out to others who really have made no contribution. It’s like writing an essay and giving the guy In the next cubical part of the credit. It doesn’t work.
Hard working free Americans – that is what this country is made up of. Bureaucracy is not necessarily American. It is socialist in form, and tends to batter the little guy with its strength. Money can’t fashion the heart muscle, it can only corrupt it. When bureaucracy becomes too large, it is used as a weapon to hurt others, all in the name of power.
Hard working free Americans – that is what this country is made up of.
Helping small businesses to succeed – that is the real dream . If you want to put your money somewhere – put it into small business. Bureaucracy is bloated and needs to get its hands out of the working mans (and women’s) pocket.
Ringggg, ding, ding, ding goes the bell. Sixth hour - last class, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to join the Native American Studies group for a day. This group is made up of mostly Native American high school students, a few white students, and one hispanic student.
I approached the group with a short question pertaining to the movie. "If you could ask one question after watching this movie what would it be?" One young women responded by stating "How do you read white people?"
Others in the group were shocked that she would boldly state that to me - but I thought it was appropriate. She and I have an open understanding.
I asked, she responded
We talked about the challenges of a number of different cultures and how the traditions of each of these cultures have suffered through the ages.
I then had the group write a brief paragraph expressing how the movie made them feel. I wanted them to explain in their own words 1) the best parts of the movie, 2)the worst part of the movie, 3) and what they learned by watching the movie.
A Students View Point - Loss of Buffalo
The worst part for many was watching as the children were being forced to go to the white man's school. Losing Identity, Integrity, Spirit and Pride. They were proud people, not deserving of the pain and suffering that was afflicted upon them.
The best part was when it was over. Student's were saddened by the loss of many things, including the Buffalo which the white man slaughtered. Grieving for a generation of elders who fought to hold onto the traditions - traditions they practice today. Conviction on a personal level. A renewed spirit to find their own destinies.
The Most Interesting was learning about the traditions. Wanting to know more, to learn, to absorb, and to make proud those who came before them and those who still walk the earth. A real thirst to learn about who they are as people.
Culture and Traditions
At what age group in our American culture do you see the most activity and enthusiasm for cultural studies? When I asked the students this, I found that they were way ahead of me.
One of the young ladies spoke of the clubs at the elementary level, but noted that the real learning comes in junior high (middle school) during Navajo Class. In Navajo class the studies are more personal, and much detail is added. The club structure allows the students to participate in events that are related to their culture, by building upon the foundations of their beliefs. They embrace the cultural learning experience - this happens in middle school.
Native American Studies
Native American studies at the high school level is more about all of the cultures combined. Thus you see a more diverse group of students who have a yearning to learn the historical knowledge and gain their own perspective from the historical study.
Raising a generation of young people that will lead our society and pass down the cultural heritage of their forefathers is important. When asked to collaborate on what part of their culture and traditions they most appreciated, all were in agreement that family was of the first importance. The following information was provided by the Native American Studies students.
One student noted that when she was little, her mother would speak Navajo to her and her siblings. While she cannot speak the language fluently, she understands the meaning of the words when she hears them speak. Yet, not as much as she would like to understand. There is a Navajo Language & Cultural Perpetuation Project that has gain momentum to try to preserve this language of the people.
The Native American Church leadership as told to me by one young women consists of:
The Road man
The Cedar man
The Fire Chief
The leaders of the church perform the sacred ceremonies. Ceremonies that last for days. It is an honor to learn the songs of the Native Americans. Students want to learn peyote music in church, as well as drumming. Some songs take a very long time to learn, but they are very important.
One student spoke about how her father learned drumming as child. She expressed with great pride by stating ,"it is beautiful to hear my parents singing together. My father taught my mother the songs. I love to hear them sing together".
Another student spoke openly about his adventures with his family who lived a long distance away. Family, grandparents, are very important. Being able to travel and visit his family is important. Help his grandfather with making traditional pottery; not just making the pottery, but also going on trips to sell them with him. It's an art that is passed down from one generation to another.
Loss of Buffalo & the Anger
One young student was angry, and I allowed her to write out her anger over what she had experience after watching the movie. The love of the land and nature are embedded into the caretakers of tomorrow. The very fabric of their existence is interwoven into the earth. The Native Americans don't just learn the lessons of the past, they learn the stories - they enact the stories into their daily lives. They continue with the ceremonies and traditions that others would seek to steal from them even today. "The stories about the Loss of Buffalo are important. The stories need to be told from one generation to the next".
Teaching for the Future While Holding onto Tradition
How we teach our children about other cultures is important. The younger we teach them, the more influence we have with molding and shaping responsible relationships.
As I sit with my 6 year old granddaughter watching the movie Into The West, she hasn't said a word. Already I can see she is a history buff. She requests to view more of the series. She is excited to see history unfold before her. Once in a while she will look at me in amazement, or place a hand over her mouth during a scene that elicits emotion. We stop the movie, we chat, we move on, we learn, we grow.
Just have to give a plug for the beautiful state I live in. Utah! With some of the most beautiful landscape around, Utah is a marvel. Know for its snow, red rock canyons, mountain biking, jeeping, river rafting, and scenic hikes - there is something for everyone.