Community Bright Spots! Sea Turtles


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

From May through October, sea turtles visit our beaches to lay eggs. Their trek from ocean to dune line and back reminds me of the traits of fortitude, determination, and resilience.

We are fortunate to have the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol in our part of the world to help monitor and protect the nesting of these ocean neighbors.

A lone hatchling that made its way to the ocean.

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Expected post next week: Sunrise Vibes.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

Posted in Life lessons | Leave a comment

(Issue #584) Wisdom of the Ages


Do you think a twenty-something and a seventy-something,
for instance, share life lessons, questions and advice?

Last year, I did some reading about the oldest of old. What they lived, thought, and hoped for moving forward.  It made me wonder about the recollections, lessons, and questions our older residents could pass along to the rest of us. What could we learn from, for instance, eighty plus years of living? Hoping to tap into the wisdom of the ages, I developed a list of more than sixty questions to pose to older people in my community.

And then I heard Amanda Gorman deliver her poignant inaugural poetry reading on January 20, 2021.  Here was a twenty-something (twenty-two to be exact) with recollections, lessons, and questions.

The obvious occurred to me: We can receive wisdom from all age groupings.

Their perspectives may be the different. A vicenarian (people in their 20s) and a quinquagenarian (people in their 50s) may both experience a job loss but how is the perspective different? Is it different? Does three decades of separation create a different world view? Or six or seven decades? If it does, can we find lessons in that separation that speaks to us as common humanity?

And what about the denarians (10 to 19 year-olds)? They have learned lessons and they have questions. Don’t they have something to share in this conversation? I believe they do.

Life is Like a Round of Golf

The golfer starts at the 1st tee and she makes her way around the course encountering open fairways, sand traps, water hazards, trees and, depending on the location, perhaps an alligator or two. Each hole, obstacle, swing, success and challenge provides experience on which to draw for the next hole. While all eighteen holes occupy the same course, the experience from each hole brings about a different perspective for each hole to come. Finally, on the last hole, as the golfer walks the fairway toward the green, she has an entire round to reflect upon. When the ball drops in the cup, the match is over. The “19th hole” awaits in the clubhouse lounge. (Of course, we can take the metaphor further and compare “diverse” golf courses and clubhouses.)

For example sake, let’s say life expectancy in our nation comes in at roughly eighty years. Staying with our golfing metaphor, that means each hole equates to about 4.5 years. The golfer making the turn from the 9th green to the 10th tee has lived, (using these metrics), about 40 years. She is at midlife looking back and reflecting as she tees up the beginning of the back nine.

At this writing, I am sixty-eight years old. I’ve “played” about fifteen holes with three left before I exit to the “clubhouse.” My view will more than likely be different than those on different tees and greens who had different experiences or a better (or worse) set of clubs.

Regardless of where we are or where we are going, we have recollections, lessons, and questions.

And that is the point: Respect each group from the Denarians to the Supercentenarians for what it has to offer to the wisdom of our respective communities.

Next week I will share some wisdom from different generations. Do you think a twenty-something and a seventy-something, for instance, share life lessons, questions and advice?

You might be surprised.

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the Week:

An Andrew Zuckerman video in which various celebrities share what wisdom is and what it is not.

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons, wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Community Bright Spots! Beaches Habitat Housing


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

In 2019, Beaches Habitat for Humanity (Atlantic Beach, FL) and its dedicated volunteers and community leaders celebrated the completion of OceanGate, a 70-home community of multifamily homes. A tangible reminder of their mission to “bring people together to build homes, community, and hope.”

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Expected post next week: Sand Dunes and Sea Turtle Nests.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #583) The 7Rs and Public Health


Public health is a community good that connects each of The 7 Rs. |
How can we remain good stewards for our community?

Over the eleven-year history of this blog, seven values have repeated themselves. The same seven interrelated concepts provided a foundation for two of my last three books. (One dedicated to teacher resilience and the other community development.)

The simple model shows the interconnection of each value. One cannot be discussed without considering its impact on the other six. Note in the diagram below the big circle in the middle that intersects the seven surrounding spheres. In workshops, I have asked participants to identify a goal they have for their team. They write that goal on the line. And then a conversation begins about how that  goal will need the input, support, and respect of each of the Seven Rs.

Steve Piscitelli

Today, I suggest you take a moment and write two words on the line in the middle of the large circle:  COVID VACCINATION.

Whether you have planted your flag in the pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination camp, perhaps The 7Rs Model can assist you in determining the impact of the vaccination beyond yourself. 

For instance, you ask yourself:

  • If I don’t get the vaccination what is the impact on my relationships—the people with whom I come in contact with each day? Same question for the scenario of getting the vaccination.
  • What is the impact of the vaccination on my own resilience and that of the relationships in my life?
  • Will the vaccine impact the resources in my community—like health care, elective surgeries, and supply chains?
  • What relevance does the vaccination (getting it or not) have to your rainbows (your dreams)? How about the significant others in your life?
  • Do each of us have a responsibility when it comes to vaccinations? If so, what is that?
  • When the vitriol spikes about vaccinations, what can you do to help yourself and those close to you reflect on the decision they have made (or are considering to make) concerning vaccinations?

Public health is a community good that connects each of The 7 Rs. How can we remain good stewards for our community? Perhaps my Seven Week Challenge will provide a clue or two.

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the Week:

This short video connects The 7 Rs to student success. Consider how you can connect it to a considered conversation about public health.

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in COVID vaccination, public health | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Community Bright Spots! Parks (Neptune Beach, FL)


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

Last week I focused on a few of the parks in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. This week we stroll to our neighboring community of Neptune Beach, Florida–nestled between Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Jarboe Park
Jarboe Park
Jarboe Park
Basil Park

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Expected post next week: Beaches Habitat housing.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #582) When Strangers Become Friends and Friends Become Strangers


“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” ~attributed to Donna Roberts

“I once had a best friend who is now a stranger.”
~Author Unknown

We’ve heard it. We might have said it. Friends forever! But what happens when forever comes quicker than you expected? The bond frays, tatters, and separates? How does the unexpected happen and a friend is no longer a friend?

Before we tackle what might cause the ending of (what seemed like) a life-long commitment, let’s look at what friendship entails.

Friendship involves trust, conversations, questions, listening, understanding, challenges, connections, encouragement, and awareness. And more.

Friendship evolves. There are those in our lives about whom we can say we instantly became drawn to and became friends. Still, the development and cementing of the relationship more than likely (under normal circumstances) took time. Consider the following stages of friendship (there are other models and labels depending on your source of information. The point is friendship develops.):

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

1. Strangers. Consider this the introduction phase. A friendship may develop based on some common interest. Or it may not bloom for lack of connection or interest.

2. Acquaintances. Think of your casual hello and goodbye situations. Like when Roxie and I pass people on the beach in the morning. We come to recognize them and their canine companions. We smile. Exchange a greeting. The dogs get ear scratches, belly rubs and, maybe, a biscuit. And the interaction ends. We know little about each other. We are cordial in the moment without a deeper connection. Some of your neighbors might be acquaintances. Maybe the same for some members of your spiritual congregation. Likewise for the cashier who gives your coffee.

3. Casual Friends.  We interact more; care more about each other. We ask deeper questions and get to know more about each other. A bond begins to form because we have similar interests or concerns. We meet more often, maybe more planned meetings (rather than just bumping into one another). We begin sharing more information about ourselves.

4. Close Friends. As time moves along in the casual phase, we come to a point where we have committed to one another. We share deeper thoughts, desires, concerns, and dreams. We become more aware of our friend’s family members and dynamics. We let our guards down in that we see each other at our best as well as the not-so-good times. We do not view each other as a potential threat. Trust and respect exist as we share more about one another.

5. Intimate Friends. Over time we become intimately connected in that we have shared more than hopes and fears. We have made ourselves vulnerable because of the trust we place in the other. We feel for each other. We cry and laugh together. We empathize. We are connected heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul. We hold nothing back. Secrets are shared. We even might say we are friends forever! It takes work and time to build and keep the friendship.

So what can cause this forever to devolve (or, maybe, evolve) into the end of the friendship?

A piece in Psychology Today offers four reasons we outgrow friendships:

Photo Steve Piscitelli

1. They become depleting.  When you are with this person, you feel drained. The relationship becomes all about him. Conversations become monologues with the other person dominating. When you used to be together, you came away energized. Now you need a nap and a cold shower.

2. They remain stuck in the past. Yes, you and your friend laugh about the good times back in college, high school, on the team, or in the band. But you have changed over the years. Who you are now has evolved. However, she remains stuck in the past with the same old jokes, images, and stories. Your current self is not respected or acknowledged.

3. One or both of you has stopped trying. Making plans, sending a text, or leaving a voicemail has become one person’s job. The other is not interested. You do what you can to stay in touch, he barely notices. Or he calls to check on your latest project. You have not even inquired about his current endeavor. The relationship withers.

4. You have nothing in common. You used to but no longer. Whether due to family dynamics, job responsibilities, political views, or something else you no longer have as much in common as you once did (or at least, as much in common as you once thought you did). Yes, you have a history but you no longer have a friendship. One or both has stopped investing in the work of building and keeping the relationship.

You have become Strangers. Refer to the beginning of this post.

____________________________________

Video recommendation for the week:

James Taylor singing You’ve Got a Friend.

___________________________________


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Friendship, resilience | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Community Bright Spots! Parks (Jacksonville Beach, FL)


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

Last week I focused on a few parks in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Today we move a couple miles down the beach to Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Just a few shots of the many bright spots the JB parks provide for the community.

South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground
South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground
Oceanfront Park
Oceanfront Park
Cradle Creek Preserve

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Next week: A few park scenes from Neptune Beach, FL.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

If you would like to learn about community bright spots from the paws of a dog, check out Roxie’s blog. WOOF!

Posted in neighborhood | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #581) Curiosity


Without curiosity we become a little duller and a little dimmer.

Ian Leslie’s book Curious reminds us that to be curious we have to first realize there are things we do not know—which requires us to ask questions about our information gap.

There are degrees of curiosity. Diverse curiosity propels us to look for knowledge. Think of an internet search with which you may have been recently involved. That is a start but does not go far enough, Leslie found.

That is where epistemic curiosity enters. We go beyond finding a nugget or two of information. We invest “sustained cognitive effort.” We want to learn more even if it challenges our current knowledge. Or, possibly, because it challenges our status quo. We are not satisfied with cursory information. We wat to/need to dig deeper.

Curiosity adds color and pleasure to life. Without it, Leslie found, “you’ll become a little duller, a little dimmer….Curiosity is contagious. So is incuriosity.”  

Good storytellers (novelists, for example) understand this. They create mysteries giving the reader a little bit of information while enticing the reader to desire more. The book is a page turner because it has created curiosity.

A problem arises, Leslie says, when we think we already know everything. One study identified the ignorant but happy effect. “When people are confident that they have the answers, they become blithely incurious about alternatives.”

Think of brainstorming sessions in which you participated. Have you ever had someone in such a session who, no matter what is put forth, shoots it down? Often she’ll start with a but which will lead to more buts which will kill curiosity. (For the Top Big Buts, click here.)

Elizabeth Gilbert believes curiosity is what leads to passion. But we have to be open and allow ourselves to explore. This supports Leslie’s findings that “curious people take risks.”

Curious for more from Leslie? Click on this presentation he did about the curious and the incurious.

Video recommendation for the week:

A short clip of Elizabeth Gilbert contrasting jackhammers and humming birds—and their connections to curiosity and passion.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.

Click here for more information about the book. In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in curiosity | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Community Bright Spots! Parks (Atlantic Beach, FL)


NOTE: You can find more information about the purpose of this page here.

Atlantic Beach, FL has an array of parks scattered throughout the city. Some host sporting events or playground areas. Others serve as quiet places for retreat, reflection, and rest. In addition, the city has a beautiful beach with public access points.

This week, I share photos of a few of the parks and recreation areas. For more information, please go to the city’s website.

Dutton Island Preserve Kayak Launch Area
Dutton Island Preserve
Donner Park
Gail Baker Community Center in Donner Park
Howell Park
Howell Park

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Next week: Park scenes from Neptune Beach, FL.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

Posted in Life lessons | Leave a comment

(Issue #580) What if Teachers….


It comes down to seeing the person as someone in need of what you have to offer.
And finding a respectful many in which to connect with that individual.

After my most-recent experience with a repairman not returning phone calls, I thought of comparisons and contrasts to the teaching profession.

I can speak from nearly four decades of classroom experience when I often mutter, “If a teacher did that he’d be in deep yogurt!”

Regardless of the situation, teachers are expected to respond and act in a respectful and professional manner.  Whether interacting with a student, parent, colleague, or community member the expectation is for appropriateness. (Yes, there are those that do not and probably should find another line of work. That’s another series of what ifs.)

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Consider the missed or delayed appointments, the shoddy work, the unexpected add-on costs that you may have encountered with repair people, contractors, the medical profession, or some other service related entity. And then ask, What if teachers

  • Continually showed up for their classes anywhere from fifteen to ninety minutes late?
    *Perhaps you, too, have experienced this with virtual and in-person doctor visits. I know, there are emergencies that must be dealt with immediately. But when the delays happen again and again and again, the process needs to be adjusted. If you blame the “corporate” structure of medicine for these delays, then, do you give a pass to teachers by blaming the bureaucratic structure of the educational system?
  • At the beginning of the second week of classes the professor hands a student a letter stating the cost of the course had just doubled? Why? Because this particular teacher is an out-of-network teacher.
    *See insurance policies.
  • When the student above protests, “But I’m going to an in-network school!” the school’s rebuttal is, “Sorry, but that adjunct is from out of district? You did not pay attention to the catalogue.”
    *See above.
  • Do not return a student’s call or email? A student calls to speak with her teacher about her last test. “You know,” the teacher says, “I’m so busy with all these students. Registration numbers are exploding. We have a lot of students. I’ll just ignore this one. No need to respond. I have enough to keep me busy as it is!”
    • Acted like the contractor who no longer has time for “small” jobs.
      *Why he cannot return the phone message and say that is a mystery. And rude.
  • Do not help students find open source books or books on loan or a publisher program for assistance where possible for reduced costs?
    *College professors may have more flexibility in this area than K-12 teachers. But, still, they are beholden to departmental regulations and bookstore pricing. Think of open source as generic replacements for the higher priced brand name books. Students appreciate the help. And a good teacher will understand that some of the generic replacements are not as good as the brand name items. She is there to guide the students.

It comes down, in many cases, to caring about the person in front of you. Seeing that person as someone in need of what you have to offer. And finding a respectful way in which to connect with that individual.


Video recommendation for the Week:

A humorous collection of less-than-desirable customer service experiences. Or should we say, inadequate customer service? Or customer lack of service?


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.

Click here for more information about the book. In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in awareness, Civility, Community, resilience, teaching and learning | Tagged , | Leave a comment