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Monday, February 27, 2017

Help Wanted (by Anonymous)

My life’s journey has been interesting and exciting to say the least. But it really took off when I found a career in Human Resources. I enjoyed every minute of the interviewing, recruiting, and event planning, especially when I was able to find the right people to help our company succeed. I always believed that if I found the right person for the job, most of the details could be learned, and that proved to be true. However, I have to say recruiting was never an easy task.

I spent a lot of time pouring through resumes, conversing with people on the phone, and interviewing them in person. Sometimes resumes would be too brief or too casual and at other times, they would be packed with too many words (indicative of a person who may like to talk a little too much). One time, the encounter was really strange when an older male candidate I was meeting in person pointed out to me that he was breathing at the same pace I was – in his effort to bond with me! Since team chemistry is also important, I would do my best to select the resumes of people who potentially possessed the right skill sets to do the job, but who also seemed like they’d be a good fit for our team.

Sometimes I would be surprised when a person came in for the interview because they would turn out to be much more complex and interesting than their resume suggested. So I learned to get to know the person for who they are and not what they put on paper. It’s easy to look at someone and think we know them by what we see on the surface, but quite often that impression is wrong. I found that if I am patient enough to dig deep, people would often surprise me in a good way. When recruiting, I also discovered it’s important to understand what motivates a person to do a good job. That way I could make sure they would be happy, challenged and fulfilled in their new position.

As I reflected on my career in Human Resources, I spotted my Bible which I try to read on a regular basis. It is a version that is in chronological order, so it helps me to have a better understanding of the history of it all and get it to stick in my little brain. I’m near the end now and have been reading about the day that Jesus was crucified and all the events that unfolded with His disciples. As someone committed to recruiting people, it occurred to me that part of Jesus’s job on earth was to recruit people. But even more important, He was sent here to enlighten His disciples and the rest of the entire world with a singular message.

“A new commandment I give unto you. As I have loved you, so shall you love one another.”

That message really hit home with me. Loving one another means getting to know people at a deeper level, accepting their differences, and giving them an opportunity to make a positive difference, in our company… or in our lives.
Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
~ Anonymous

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Plate

My daughter, Brooke, is quite a bit younger than our other three children so she truly was the baby of the family growing up. But at three years old she developed this booming voice and outsized personality that would crack us all up. In my mind, I see her as this tiny little girl who slept in a tiny plastic bed and said the funniest things in the loudest voice. Actually, that loud voice served her well when she became a high school soccer star, because referees would sometimes blow a call and she would be forced to let them have it.

She was so cute and so funny and that included at dinner time as well. She somehow got this idea that she had to finish everything on her plate or she would get in trouble. We never asked her to finish her meal, but if there was any food left on her plate, she would get all stressed out about it, saying, “I’m tired. My stomach hurts. Daddy, will you finish my steak?” (Or my hamburger, my mashed potatoes, my ice cream, or whatever it was.) And of course, being a loving father, I was always willing to make those tough sacrifices. I’m surprised I didn’t blow up like a balloon trying to ease her stress over having too much on her plate.

Which reminds me of that old saying, “I’ve got too much on my plate”. I don’t know where it came from but it certainly applies to most adults, especially those of us living in Southern California. When we are kids, life is simple. But the minute we make a friend, life becomes more complicated because all of sudden we have to learn to share. Then we grow up and take on a spouse and things become even more complicated because we have to learn to compromise. The next step of course is having children of our own. Now we have to learn to share, to compromise and to sacrifice. And if that’s not enough, we have to go to work in high paced environment, fight traffic, get along with our neighbors and pick up the dog poop. And if you’re a typical wife and mother, you have to do all of that and also feed your family a delicious meal every night, while of course, making sure you don’t put too much on their plate!

I don’t know what the best solution is when you have “too much on your plate”, but I was definitely feeling that way yesterday and stressing out about it. But isn’t there another old saying that goes something like, “God won’t give us more than we can handle”. Well, that may or may not be true, but I think it will only work if we fully trust Him. I mean think about it the next time you have problems to solve and too much on your plate… If He truly is our heavenly Father, then He probably won’t mind at all helping us with our steak, our mashed potatoes, or our ice cream. (Or any other problem we may have!)
 One day, someone showed me a glass of water that was half full. 
And he said, “Is it half full or half empty?” 
So I drank the water. Solved that problem!
~ Alexander Jodorowsky

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love Letters

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and although it’s meant to be a happy time, for most men it can create major stress. If we don’t have a loving wife or girlfriend, Valentine’s Day is simply a sad reminder of how lost and lonely we feel. On the other hand, if we do have a loving mate, how can we possibly come up with a gift that is so awesome, it will totally express our love and appreciation? This is a huge problem!

I fall into the latter group. I not only have a loving wife, she is also my best friend, constant companion, business partner, family psychologist, helpful adviser, teammate, partner in crime, fellow adventurer, and mother of my children. How can I possibly express my love for this insanely beautiful super woman who brings such passion into my life? What can I buy her, what can I do for her, where can I take her, what can I say to her? But wait….That’s it! Women like to talk and they like to hear what we think and how we feel. If I could find just the right words to express my love, I’m sure it would be a great gift. But we men are just not good at expressing our feelings. We would rather “build things” or “fix things” than “talk about things”.

Last night my wife made me (I mean asked me to) watch the movie “Sex in the City” with her. At one point the potential groom (Mr. Big) tells his fiancĂ© (Carrie) that he is having trouble writing his vows. Carrie makes it simple and suggests that all he has to do is write, “I will always love you”. She’s means well and it’s a good suggestion, but Mr. Big still gets so flustered he ends up bailing out on the wedding. I told you, it’s hard for us men to express our feelings. But wait!...That’s it! It’s hard to do! And that’s what makes it so special. If it were easy to write a love letter, women wouldn’t appreciate it so much. Yes, it’s hard and it takes guts to put your feelings out there for the whole world to see. (Let’s face it, you know your wife or girlfriend is going to share what you give her with her girlfriends.) But if we truly love her as we say we do, and if we appreciate her as much as she deserves, then we have to find the courage to write her a love letter.

Do you need inspiration to write a decent love letter? If so, it might help to think about the first time you told her you loved her and more importantly, how she answered you back in the same way. Think about how happy you were at that moment and how nothing else mattered. When she said, “I love you”, you knew you could then do anything, conquer any mountain, overcome any problem. The love of a woman has motivated many a man to overcome his greatest fears and accomplish his wildest dreams. If women can do that for us, then we should be able create a simple, sweet love letter for them. Or at least try!

If you still need some inspiration, I will share with you the passionate love letter I wrote for my wife this year. But wait…Forget it! That’s way too personal and you’re not getting off that easy. I will however, share with you a letter I wrote my wife a long time ago, when my Dad was terminally ill and I was having a hard time coping with the stress. My Dad died 11 days after I wrote the letter, but expressing my love and appreciation for my wife at that time, was not only a great gift to her…in a way it was a gift I gave myself because it made me feel so much better and stronger inside. So Gentlemen, may I suggest you start writing! (And make sure that Valentine's Day is not the only time she gets a love letter from you!)
One word frees us from all the weight and pain of life;
That word is love.
~ Sophocles


February 1st, 2001

Dear Debby,
I Now Know

That a very difficult situation lies ahead.
That it will be hard and that I will need your help, your love, and your utmost patience. I will be strong for I am a warrior. So whether or not I make it through this situation is not even a question, because with you, I know I can make it through anything.

Although I do not know what the future holds, I do know that you have always been there for me, to listen, to talk, to share, and to love with all of your heart….and I love you with all of mine. We can and will endure together!


My Wish For Us

Is that we will continue to share new interests and adventures
And allow each other the freedom to develop as individuals.

That our faith won’t be shaken by occasional feelings of hurt or anger.
That we will continue to acknowledge our differences openly,
And see them as opportunities to learn and grow closer.

That we will find in each disagreement the patience to listen,
The courage to trust, and the strength to forgive.

That we will find in each difficult situation that plaques our lives,
The wisdom to work together, to find the right answers.


May We Never Forget

The qualities that first attracted us to each other
And how much we still appreciate them.

To always inspire each other, applauding successes,
Nurturing strengths, believing in each other’s dreams,
And working as one to make them come true.

To look into each other’s hearts and see the true love that exists.
That “If Ever Two Were One…Then Surely We”

All my Love,

Joseph