Intelligence and Stupidity

image002 (1)Have you ever wondered why some of the most intelligent, capable leaders do some of the most incredibly stupid things? Really dumb things!

David Letterman, recent host of The Late Show, held a segway called Stupid Human Tricks. More recently, Good Morning America has created a category for news items termed Dumbest Criminals. [Like one man who turned himself in for the reward money. Truly.]  Then there are The Darwin Awards; a yearly review of the most creative ways some of us have eliminated ourselves from the human gene pool. Even reading them is unfathomable.

Too many of us have HHMD— Human Hoof & Mouth Disorder. Open mouth; insert foot. ‘Nough said. We simply do not think before we speak; and so, we sound stupid, offensive, or just plain weird. But the result is the same; people come to expect outlandish behavior from us and they cease to take us seriously. Our stupid comments, though even humorous at times, get in the way of our true-selves being known or trusted.

Why do seemingly intelligent people act so stupidly sometimes? I believe they step out of their area of expertise and speak out-of-turn, off-the-cuff, and without thinking. Maybe they miss obvious social-clues, maybe they’re nervous, or are merely looking for filler that turns out to be inappropriate. Who knows?!?

The solutions should be quite obvious—THINK. True, having to think before you speak will limit your free-flowing response; but it is a necessary limitation. Words, once said, are very difficult to take back. There is nothing wrong with a pause-for-thought before we vocalize our minds…, or lack thereof. The same goes for ACTIONS. How will what you do affect the other person or group?

Even the most intelligent among us can still be wise and creative without being stupid…, hopefully. Be forgiving of people’s faux pas, even of your own. Be the first to admit that you have acted stupidly. Yes, it could be embarrassing; but it sure beats expending further energies to cover up.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

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Hidden

051048048057054055054050124053048048124052048048Why are we hiding? Or— What is it we try to hide? Too many of us exert a lot of energy trying to hide, or trying to hide something about ourselves that, if revealed, would expose us.

The artistry of Bev Doolitle (1947-   ) depicts objects hidden to the casual observer. We are so much like the horses in her paintings. If people were to look intently at our life, what is it we would try to hide? I’ve worked with some people whose biggest fear in getting married was being known. I tried to assure them that being known, and still loved, was the best part of being married; I’m not sure they bought it.

What drives us to hide things? Insecurity, fear, shame, dishonesty? Or worse, why do we hide ourselves? Of course, if you’ve been betrayed or used, there is some warrant for it. You don’t want to be hurt that deeply again.

The issue, basically, is one of safety. We ALL want to feel safe. So we hide the parts of us that would expose us. This is wise…, to a point. But our need for safety can also choke the spirit within us. It can bind us in a box with just slits through which we take in the outside world.

Would you like to escape your box and take in more of the outside world? Here are some ideas—

  • Spend time with people. Reflecting off of them will give you insights into yourself. You’ll surprise them; they’ll surprise you.
  • Try something that engages your soul. Doesn’t matter what. Just not too much over the line. Deeper discussion, life challenging experiences. Hold back on sky-diving.
  • Build one-safe-friendship. Create a confident.
  • Create a private novel about the kind of life you’d like to live. Then, slowly, start to live it.

Hiding takes a lot of energy. Think what you might be accomplishing if you didn’t have to work so hard at hiding your true self. Think of the energy you could invest in developing new dreams, new skills or new relationships. Be intentional. Remaining hidden, if pursued over a long period of time, results in further isolation; and that creates further fear of being known.

You do not need to stay hidden. Make the decision to be known.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

Resilience

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Resilience

Bouncing back. Getting up again. Beaten down and rising from

the ashes like the Phoenix. Overcoming failure and discouragement. Going for it again.

Why are some of us good

at it and others not so much?

Resilience is not necessarily based on generation, gender, cultural affinity, location or situation. It seems to be ingrained in certain people; they just have what it takes.

For others, who have been beaten down repeatedly, it becomes a matter of fortitude and determination. Sheer will-power. They have to fight not only their surrounding circumstances, but themselves as well. That is no simple matter. So what does it take to become resilient?

First, it requires that you make a decision; maybe two. 1) That you will not let this thing, whatever it is, overwhelm you. You will not let it win. And, 2) that you will fight, FIGHT, to overcome it. If these decisions are not made right up front, you do not stand a chance.

Second, you will need to surround yourself with friends of equal mind, kindred spirits, who share your dreams and goals in life. Do NOT hold back from seeking their advice, solace, and wisdom.

Third, you will want to set timely goals or check-points along the way for evaluating your recovery. How well am I bouncing back? Have trusted friends also give you feedback on how you’re doing. Be assured that setbacks will assail you; that’s life. But you are not back at Square-One. It’s just a setback.

Finally, and I hesitate to suggest this because so many of us use this as a scapegoat for being responsible- try PRAYING. (not for relief but for strength and wisdom) There’s something that cleanses the heart, mind, & soul through prayer. So, Christian or otherwise, try talking to the ceiling: you may just be pushing beyond it.

Resilience is every bit as much a matter of faith as it is fortitude. It is a determination within your soul that has its expression in the lives we live. Don’t hold back.

You can teach yourself to bounce back. Keep practicing. One day it will come more naturally.

Now, where’s my Pogo Stick,

  Gary

Damn Hot

HeatDamn Hot

Last week was the hottest scorcher of the summer in New England. People in the South say you get used to this. I grew up in the south and never got used to it. The heat made me sick— migraines, dehydration, exhaustion. Now I live in New England where people never need air conditioning! Wanna bet? Last Wednesday it was 99º. The heat index for the day felt like 105º. Add to that the 78% humidity…, oh never mind. Maybe it’s just me.

How does the heat affect you?

No, not the daily temperature: HEAT; PRESSURE; being pushed to your limits and then some. STRESS! The majority of us cannot stand too much heat. We simply give into the pressure and blow up. Thankfully, there are still some stalwarts who will give our lives for what we believe in and not give in.

Various sciences of our day have offered healthier stress-coping mechanisms for dealing with the HEAT. Here are some—

§  Take care of yourself.

§  Eat healthy, well-balanced meals

§  Exercise on a regular basis

§  Get plenty of sleep

§  Talk to others. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.

§  Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help with the stress. In the long run, they create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.

§  Take a break. If your stress is caused by a national or local event, take breaks from listening to the news stories, which can increase your stress.

Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress.aspx

Here’s my list—

§  Go into the woods & hit a tree: or, into an alley and pound a wall.

§  While you’re in the woods, let off some steam.

§  Contrary to the professional opinion above, find a “mate,” you can have a nice, cold Fosters with. This is a great way to dissipate the Heat.

§  Take time to process everything.

§  Write things down to clarify what really happened, or, what was said. Put it away for a week; then take it out & read it again. Still accurate?

§  Don’t blame God. [You know it’s not His fault.]

§  If you are the cause of the heat & stress, apologize.

§  If you are the recipient of the pressure, the stress, the HEAT, find people to help share the load. Then do the same for them when they need help.

There are probably many more ways to handle the HEAT. But I’m tired of thinking about this on a 90º day.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Tolerance isn’t what you think it is

Gary, davis, reverberation, wilhelm, friedrich, hamlet, thesis, antithesis, tolerance


Georg W
ilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German born 19th Century philosopher who speculated on the nature of Being and Nothingness (“To Be or Not To Be…? Hamlet?). He concluded that for every thesis, a statement about some idea, there is an opposing antithesis, an opposing idea. These two opposing positions would battle it out and result, most of the time, in a synthesis of the two. Hegel used this formulation only once, but it formed the basis for many of his subsequent hypotheses.

So today, 200 years on, what does this have to do with anything?!?

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel  1770 - 1831  In these last few weeks/months/years our society has become so reactionary that people are neglecting the common courtesy of thinking before they act. Too many of us are jus’ letting” it all hang out, blowing up, accusing each other, not even listening to the other group’s full thesis. Thus do tempers flare, stereotypes flourish, and a kind of seething hatred takes over, further widening the gap between people and positions. Winning is all that matters. Being right. It’s always tit for tat: thesis vs. antithesis. We never seem to grow into a synthesis beyond all our posturing.

The recent Supreme Court rulings for gay-marriages, Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner, and our President striking a nuclear pact with Iran, Confederate Flag waving, have all contributed to the further polarization of the Left & the Right, Conservative vs. Liberal, Bible Belt/Wheat Belt vs. East/West Coasts & our larger cities. E pluribus unum still means Out of many, One; but we are hardly definable by that precept any longer

It would be more accurate to admit that we are a nation of individualists, of special interest groups, of political parties & sub-parties, of religious and non-religious groups all seeking dominance in the dance of democracy. One group wins over another, then another group triumphs: thesis- anti-thesis; we never arrive at a synthesis for the common good.

It’s time we brought divergent groups, parties, & whoever to the table of human decency and admitted we live in a pluralistic society. We are bound together not to fight only for our own rights, but to fight for each other’s right to exist and to have a voice. We owe it to one another to learn NOT to tolerate one another, but to defend each other, to care about the prosperity and happiness of people who are not like us. We may not be “under God” any longer (probably never were), but at the very least we owe it to ourselves and to our children to work on a resolution to all the brawling for self-aggrandizing superiority.

IF we do not, this reactionary positioning will have reverberations well into many future generations.

Synthesis.

God help us all

  Gary

Thou Shalt not Screw up

Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing

Are you a screw-up? Most of us, at one time or another, have made such a mess of things that there is virtually no recovery. We wreck our futures by doing dumb things in our teens. We forfeit our chances of a promotion by cutting corners, back-stabbing someone else, doing end-runs around our boss. We destroy our family relationships because we just had to be right…, about everything. We even cheat on our wives thinking they will never know. Who exactly are you kidding!?!

Some of us have even developed screwing-up to an art form. We seem to screw up no matter what we do. Is this intentional? Of course not! Unless we are complete idiots and don’t believe that our actions have consequences. They do, actually. All of them.

Advice: How to Stop Being a Screw-up.

1.      Be the first to say you’re sorry— to your boss, fellow employees, to your wife and kids. Life dictates that none of us get it right all the time. Admit your mistakes.

2.      Learn from the experience— No, really. Do I need to point this out? Well, yes I do. Far too often we stop thinking after our ass is out of the fire and go right back to the same stupidity. Learn some proper ways of going beyond your apology and correcting the mess. Learn the procedures, buy some flowers, be proactive in making a contribution to the situation and set things right again!

3.      Change your attitude— Not everyone will take your side even if you say you’re sorry. Work at both personal and professional action steps that will transform you into a new person. In other words, stop being a jerk and make a difference in this world. That’s a good place to start.

4.      Recover— Do not wallow in your failure: fight for another future. Whether it’s on the job or in the home, you will need to overcome that woe-is-me fixation. Teach yourself to move on. Fight yourself to beat that lingering depression that drags us all into an abysmal abyss.

5.      Watch internet vids that make you laugh— No really. I mean this. Get your mind off your failures and lighten up. Try cat videos. It won’t solve your problems but you will breathe a little better once you release some of those depression-blocking endorphins within your soul…, and maybe even in your alimentary canal.

6.      Have a beer! A good one. If you pay $15 or more for a good beer you won’t be able to wallow in your vomit from having too many.

That’s my advice. Now get your ass in gear and become a new you.

Life is not a bitch; you can change,

  Gary

infomercial

gary, davis, infomercial, crapInfomercials— the bane of a society with too much discretionary cash. They seem to be designed for people who have little to commit to in life. Thus do they stay up late watching these things for hours on end. OR, they turn on the Home Shopping Network when they get up, hoping to spend their $$$ on something they do not need, probably don’t want, just because it is there and ordering it gives them something to do in life.

Miracle Dicer or Rolls Royce, it’s all the same—$29.95 plus Shipping & Handling. It used to be $19.95 but costs have gone up.

In the name of all that is Right & Good in this world, WHY?!? WHY!?! Why would anybody pay any attention to these mass-sales appeals to take our last vestiges of income and personal dignity?!? Have we no shame? Evidently not.

If you DO have an extra $100 – $500 laying around why not give it to something you believe in? Your church, synagogue, cancer research, a political party (wait, did I just slip that last one in there?). Or buy surprise gifts for those you love; even better, buy a nice gift for someone who loathes you. That’ll shock the hell outta them!

But really…? Another gadget to clutter up your already crammed closets, jewelry chests or kitchen drawers?

Something is really WRONG here people!

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Wondering

Dr, Gary, Davis, wonder, life, love, invention                  Few of us take the time to wonder about our lives, why we’re here, or where everything around us came from. We’re too busy, moving as fast as we can for… what? We don’t take the time to sit still, gaze at the clouds, the ocean’s roiling waves, or the vastness of the night sky.

Most of us plow through one day after another, in a routine we don’t even notice over time; it’s just what we do. DO.

Maybe that’s the problem; we have become a society of worker-bees, following scheduled habits with little sensivity to WHY we do what we do. We just DO.

This has taken over our creativity, our ingenuity, our play, and replaced it with productivity. We measure a man by what and how much he can produce. Worker bees. Whether it’s on an assembly line or in a bank or in a staff meeting, we DO. So when do we get to think?

When do we get to address the why’s of our life? Satirist Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in anyone’s life are the day they were born…, and the day they find out why.” You need to ask that question—  the WHY one. Have you done it?

INVENTION usually arrises out of a combination of playing around coupled with that Ah Ha! moment when it all comes together. But if you have no time to wonder at the clouds, to let your mind float along with them, how will you ever chance upon those moments of surprising, stunning revelation? Ah-Ha!

WONDER is the mixing-pot from which our imagination cooks up genius. It provides us with the time needed to separate ourselves from our daily repetitions and lifts our minds & spirits to leave the confinements of our bodies and soar into the realms of dreams, fantasies, and creation. If we never take time to WONDER, we will forever remain earthbound, going about our lives with little thought to what-could-have-been.

So, go sailing, take a hike, lie in a warm field of grass and get lost in the clouds or the stars at night. Give your heart to dreaming and your mind to wonder. Surprises await.

This is my challenge to you. O, wait, you don’t have time for this, do you?  Put down your cell phone.

What if…,

  Gary

Recovering from Betrayal

Gary, Davis, betrayal, recovering, recover, revenge       One of the deepest hurts that happens to any of us is that first time someone betrays us.  Not so much the actual betrayal, rather it is when we discover that we have been lied to, betrayed, deceived. It is a deep, soul-slashing hurt. It is not the kind of pain we want to experience ever again.

Then, of course, the stings of deception and lying continue throughout the entirety of our lives. It seems to be an aspect of human nature that we lie to protect ourselves, to look better, to hide the truth, and even, sometimes, to intentionally wound another person. This is the most painful bite of all— the friendly fire rained down upon us.

Recovering from such wounds is no simple matter. Some of us never recover; its pain either seethes within, becoming a poisonous infection or it lingers, waiting for the day of retribution. Still, our revenge is only temporarily satisfying. What we truly need is a full recovery from the corruption that eats away at us. Some recovery suggestions—

1.      Though forgiveness may not be the first thing on our minds, in our rage and anger, eventually we must come to a place where we forgive the other person, or group. If we do not forgive, our broiling antagonism will slowly destroy us.

2.      Processing the wound with a close friend is also advised; not a friend who will support you in your anger, rather one who will guide you to a clearer perspective. You don’t want to fan the flames; rather, you want to find a friend who will help you tame the flames to warm and calm you. Retribution burns everything in its midst: never rekindle its embers. Let it die.

3.      Time is on your side. You will grow past this. You will emerge from the dark tunnel of seething anger. But you will, you must, grow your way out.

4.      In worst-case scenarios, seeking the counsel of a psychiatrist might be needed. To this day, I know people who cannot let go of their desire to seek revenge on those who have wronged them.

5.      Not surprisingly, vigorous exercise (sports, running, chasing after small children) releases toxins while it brings body-mind balance back in line. Something to think about.

There are many more solutions to help you recover from betrayal and the inner scars it leaves behind. May these simple suggestions start you down the right road to recovery.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Vermicompost

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Worms, Compost, Vermicompost                 Vermicompost is the product or process of composting using various worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. Vermicast, commonly known as worm poop, is the end product (pun intended) of the breakdown of organic material by an earthworm. -Wikipedia

We had a cute little depressing nursery rhyme when I grew up— “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me; I’m gonna go eat worms.” ‘Turns out that might not be a bad idea. Worms seem to have a way of turning organic materials into a super-rich fertilizer. Eventually, they will even turn you and me into fertilizer. Doesn’t that just make your day!?! So the next time you feel like $#*%, enjoy it! You’re finally on your way to making a difference in this world. Worm poop at last!

You can find a ray of hope in everything. In pain, in prison; in terrible poverty or in facing death, there is always a hope that beams within us just below the surface of what everyone else sees. Why is that? Where does it come from? I believe it is a remnant of the glory of creation, where the entire Universe came into Being. Birds have it, I know dogs do, and children…, they have it. WE have it too; it’s just that we’ve allowed it to be buried deep within the dark void of our souls, unable to break through to the surface.

I’ve had my share of pain and horror in life, betrayal and judgment: somehow I’ve always been able to feel that glowing ember of hope, burning deep within, underneath the anguish of the moment, or month, or year. I truly believe that it was placed there by our Creator; it’s there to remind us that we are not alone. That leftover spark from the first millisecond of time is what still connects us to the Universe and to the God who made us. If I did not believe that, I would be no more than a speck of dust— a compilation of atoms that even the worms wouldn’t want. That connection is the real “god-particle.”

So the next time you feel like worm-poop, try to feel that tiny glowing spark of Creation still glowing with you. It’s there. Go digging. [Note- You might have to dig through a lot of worm poop to get to it.]

For what it’s worth, poopy-head,

  Gary