(#Issue 469) Taking a Stand


It, however, did lead to a deeper conversation with myself.
And, even if on a minute level, a deeper appreciation for people
who stand up for what they believe.

Slacktivism references a “low-cost substitute for substantive actions.”  Hitting a “like” or “heart” button. Maybe inserting a GIF. Or a tiring and impact-diluting string of # symbols and associated words.

I’ve done it. (Though, I do my best to avoid multiple distracting hashtag phrases.)  It can be a way of sharing a feeling or recognizing that someone has captured my feelings about a subject.  It might lead to a deeper dive into a subject, increased understanding, and clear vision.  Or it can just create a warm feeling without really taking a stand.

Whatever the reason or depth of “involvement” it does not replace front-line action. It does not come close to understanding or appreciating what the people involved in a movement experience or feel.  This came through to me in a jolting moment of self-awareness last week.

Outside the Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, AL)

My wife and I spent a day touring various civil rights museums and locations in Montgomery, Alabama.  Every stop proved to be sobering and powerful on many levels. One of our first stops was the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial.  Among the exhibits, we found the Wall of Tolerance.

The Wall (20 feet by 40 feet) has a constant stream of names cascading down like a waterfall.  Each  person had placed her/his name on the wall to show commitment to the following pledge:

By placing my name on the Wall of Tolerance,
I pledge to take a stand against hate, injustice and intolerance.
I will work in my daily life for justice, equality and human rights – the ideals for which the Civil Rights martyrs died.

At the base of the wall, a keyboard waited for us to type our names and add them to the wall.  So, there I was set to type my name.  For some, this may seem like a bit of slacktivism. For others, a way to show (in a small way) solidarity with a greater number of people for a greater cause. That was my thought as I stood there. I believed in the words I read.

Photo taken at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Montgomery, AL)

My moment of self-awareness came when I paused. My fingers poised over the keyboard but not immediately inputting my name. Not sure what was stopping me. On one level, I heard an internal voice questioning why I would want to place my name on this wall for all to see. Outside, the SPLC is constantly under guard, we were told, due to death threats.  I felt a bit of trepidation.

And then I had to talk to myself. If I felt a hesitation, what in the world did the protestors who marched in the civil rights demonstrations feel as they came face-to-face with hatred and violence? All I had to do was type my name in the comfort of a room and onto a wall with more than 500,000 other names. No threat to me. Imagine what the protestors confronted.

I typed my name.  Slacktivism for me? Maybe. It, however, did lead to a deeper conversation with myself.  And, even if on a minute level, a deeper appreciation for people who stand up for what they believe. Despite the opposition. Typing my name allowed me to show support.  Their actions displayed courage. It is up to me to show action in my day-to-day life to support the pledge.


Video Recommendation for the Week

A few years back, on a visit to Little Rock, Arkansas, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the Little Rock Nine. Minnie Jean Brown-Trickey speaks about facing a mob and its impact on her.


 


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon.
More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in assumptions, awareness, courage, Life lessons | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #468) Thank You, Mom


Shortcuts shortchange the long run.

It has been more than three decades since I have been able to share a Mother’s Day with my mom.  Like all moms, she never had an “owner’s manual” when it came to raising a child.  She learned; she intuited; she struggled; she made mistakes; and she left an indelible mark on me.

I have written on this blog a few of the many things I am grateful for in my upbringing. There is one, though, that always brings a smile to my face. I often shared it with my students. Here is the short story.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

We lived in a small New England town. I received an even smaller weekly allowance.  If memory serves me correctly, it started at 25 cents and eventually “escalated” to about a buck a week.

In our small town was a savings and loan institution. Back in the day, this bank had accounts known as “Christmas Clubs” and “Vacation” accounts.  You’d get a coupon book that served (again, as best I can remember) as deposit slips. Fifty-two slips. A way to remember to put money away each week for the future gifts and opportunities.

My mother took me to the bank, and we “opened” one of those for me.  Each week, she expected me to (and I did) go to the bank and place 50% of my allowance in the account.  I never particularly enjoyed doing it. But I complied. At the end of the year, because of my growing discipline I had a few bucks saved.

That habit, however, had much more to do about discipline than money. The amount of money at the end of the year paled compared to the life lessons learned about goal setting, priority management, commitment, and financial planning.

My mother helped me to understand that little steps are important. In fact, over the years I came to realize a larger lesson—there are no little steps. Each step is an important step toward the larger goal. Each step helps to plant deeper roots. More than wishes. More than quick catch up. More than cramming at the end. In fact, without consistent effort over the long haul, achievement is spotty at best.

Shortcuts shortchange the long run.

For that lesson, I am forever grateful.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli. ©2019


Video Recommendation for the Week

Thank you, Mom.


 


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon.
More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in financial literacy, Goals, Gratitude, Life lessons, Priority management, resilience | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #467) Listen. Learn. Lead.


To lead, you must first listen (hear; respect; ask authentic questions).
Then learn from the exchange (willingness to change).

Two experiences. One message.

First experience. I helped organize a candidate forum for our beaches in Duval County (Florida).

The candidates shared their vision for our community. During their give and take, one spoke three words that caught my attention.  He said that as a public servant he understood the importance of communication—real dialogue. Even when disagreement presents itself, a leader must be the bigger person in the room. In short, to be effective he promised to “listen, learn, and lead.”

I thought how many times the first two steps go AWOL when managers think leading means to say what they think is the way to go, and, then, demand adherence. At times, some would-be leaders will ask inauthentic questions, with no intention of listening or learning, and then go about the plan they have already concocted in their minds.

They did not listen. Therefore, they could not learn from the people on their teams. There was no team spirit. Leadership is absent. They strained rather than built relationships.

Second experience. My wife and I attended another community event intended to promote conversation about how to talk to one another.  About 120 people attended. We broke into small moderated discussion groups and began to examine what fractures public discourse.

One commonality seemed to bridge all options (at least within my group): The importance of setting expectations for civil, respectful, and authentic conversations.

How can we influence, educate, and change (ourselves as well as others) if we engage in toxic conversations laced with personal attacks and/or inauthentic (read: leading or insulting) questions?  Posting words and emojis on social media rather than looking in the eyes of another person seeking to understand.

Which requires listening.

You don’t have to be a CEO or CFO to be a leader. You can lead your neighborhood, your congregation, your book club, your workplace team. And to lead, you must first listen (hear; respect; ask authentic questions). Then learn from the exchange (willingness to change).

You will be a more effective leader.


Video Recommendation for the Week

I recorded this video more than four years ago.  It still holds value today for leaders.


 



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon.
More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in collegiality, Communication, Community, leadership, learning, listening | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #466) Spoiled?


This week’s post comes to us from a guest first-time blogger, Roxie (BDE), my pet therapy team leader.  Enjoy her observations.


As the sun popped up over the ocean,
I thought if that is being “spoiled” then I like it.


Most mornings, after Steve and I finish our morning stretches and meditation session, we make our way to the beach for sunrise. One of the things I enjoy about these walks is meeting up with my canine buddies. Baby, Makers, Bear, Dino, Dash, Coco, Gigi, and Roscoe make up the regulars. We do the doggie handshake, jump around, and enjoy the company.  Not once have we ever exchanged a cross utterance. Civility at its best.  Steve refers to me as the Best Dog Ever but truth be told, my buds are pretty awesome themselves.

And, Steve always has a pocket full of biscuits for my buds and me. Yum!

On a recent walk, I heard one of the humans say to Steve, “…We think Roxie is the most spoiled dog on the block….”

Spoiled?

Not sure what that word means. So, as Steve and I sat on the beach, I tried to figure it out.  What would make me “spoiled”? What do the neighbors see that would lead to that conclusion?  I thought of my life and thought “spoiled” must mean:

  • Never having a cross interaction with another being.
  • Getting affectionate touches from humans.
  • Going on two or three great walks a day on the beach and in the park.
  • Visiting the local dog park and having “sleep overs” at Pooches Playhouse.
  • Being served nutritious and tasty food each day. (Yum-yum-yum!)
  • Enjoying “couch time” at night with my people.
  • Getting a treat now and then.
  • Sharing a treat with my canine buddies.
  • Having comfortable beds to rest, sleep, and dream upon.
  • Receiving consistent love and attention from Steve and Laurie.
  • Being regularly bathed and cared for.
  • Having all my shots up to date.
  • Ministering to humans at the airport and the hospital each week.
  • Reading with elementary school kids.
  • Visiting high school students to help them de-stress.
  • Having a backyard so that I can enjoy nature.
  • Sleeping as needed.
  • Following commands from my person and being respectful.
  • Bringing a smile to the faces of people who may need a healing touch.

So, does Love + Health + Discipline + Relationships + Care + Attention + Purpose = Spoiled?

As the sun popped up over the ocean, I thought if that is being “spoiled” then I like it. Yes, I guess I am spoiled, and I hope my canine buds (and their humans, too!) are “spoiled” as well.

Woof!


Video Recommendation for the Week

Perhaps Roxie is helping to heal one corner of the world. Listen to how the Reverend Elizabeth Teal explains this gift.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

Posted in amplifying, Appreciation, authenticity, Choice, Civility, collegiality, Communication, consideration, dignity, Discipline, Gratitude, Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #465) Gratitude: A Reminder


If we give a gift expecting a return, then we have not offered a gift.
We have tendered a loan. Not gratitude.

When we display gratitude, we demonstrate appreciation, kindness, respect, and, above all, acknowledgement for the person in front of us (or in our thoughts).  When we display gratitude, we show joy for what we have; a sense of contentment. Like this (one of my first posts on this blog).

It feels good for the recipient and we benefit as well. When we show gratitude we are paying attention to what is good in our neighborhood, community, and world.

Photo Steve Piscitelli

Gratitude can benefit our health, career, social sphere, personality, and emotions.

Recently, I have reached out to people who have made an impact on me and our community. Just a simple handwritten thank you note. Each note felt good to write. From the responses I have received, they were good to receive, as well.  A few of my gratitude recipients have shared the following with me:

  • Thank you for the wonderful gratitude card you sent me. It really uplifted me!
  • How nice to have a former student and friend who writes a generous note of thanks.
  • From you came the old-fashioned way!  [reference is to my handwritten note—not an email]
  • Steve, thanks for the kind note. It meant a lot to me.
  • Your note surprising, encouraging, and unexpected! Many, many thanks!
  • Made my day!
  • It’s moments like these when someone stops and acknowledges us, that w are reminded that we are a part of life’s great journey with some amazing people.

Sincere gratitude does not come with ulterior motives. If we give a gift expecting a return, then we have not offered a gift. We have tendered a loan. Not gratitude.

Take time to reflect on your gratitude. Maybe make a list.  Appreciate …embrace.


Video Recommendation for the Week

Can gratitude improve our well-being?  Watch this video.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in action, amplifying, authenticity, Communication, Community, compassion, Gratitude, resilience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #464) Food. Family. Farewell.


But we get distracted and believe we can wait to make the connection,
lend the hand, or offer a shoulder.
There will always be tomorrow . So, we postpone.

Last week I learned of the death of a friend’s mother. She traveled this earth just shy of 104 years. Her longevity is hard to fathom.  More than a century of experiences and relationships.

A while back, I had the pleasure to sit and learn with another centurion (who is now moving toward 102 years young). Today, she still overpowers a room with her warmth, incisiveness, and care for others. Quick witted, well-read, and mentally agile, this woman lives each day for its fullest. Legacy.

While I never met my friend’s mother, I was taken by what he told me of her last night.  She ate her meal in the den. Got up with the aid of her walker and moved herself to her bedroom. She then rested her head on the pillow for a final time.

Food. Family. Farewell.

She left this part of her journey with what and who mattered to her.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli. ©2019

I remember reading a book passage where the author asked an aging mentor how he would like to live his last day.  As I recall, the older man said he would take a walk in the park and then, surrounded by his family and friends, have a final satisfying meal.

Simple. Eloquent. Poignant.  Living and ending on his terms. With whom and what resonated with his soul.

These stories remind me of the need to reach out and experience, share, and appreciate what is around us now.  But we get distracted and believe we can wait to make the connection, lend the hand, or offer a shoulder. There will always be tomorrow. So, we postpone.

“What are you waiting for?” can push us to hurry up, move faster, and experience an authentically-lived life.  It might, also, cause us to miss what is important and right in front of us as we hurry right on by it.

Do you show compassion to yourself and those around you while you play your song now? Do you pause to allow in the silence, stillness, insights, and clarity that you can miss in the rush of the day?

As I wrote nearly nine years ago, we are not promised anything.  We can, though, choose to take time to embrace the truth and connections that have helped shape us. We can make that promise now and act on it.

We build our legacy, one way or another.


Video Recommendation for the Week

Sammy Kershaw sings about living as if we had “One Day Left to Live.”

 


 


My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land,has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

 


Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast). You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli

The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in awareness, curiosity, Goals, Gratitude, intentionality, Life lessons, listening, Living a remarkable life, Mindfulness, resilience | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

(Issue #463) Inside Out


What are your prearrangements with yourself
when it comes to your stated priorities?

Consider a significant goal you have. One that you claim as a top priority for your life. Satisfied with your progress? If yes, congratulations. If not, consider the following.

I have asked people to consider the question, “How bad do you want it?

Seth Godin wonders if he will see you tomorrow?

Anne Lamott reminds us that nothing outside of us, except maybe an organ transplant, can change us. Nothing.  She cautions that in order to reach a goal the required work is “an inside job.”  We must behave like accomplished (read: those who finish the essay, story, or novel) writers and stay focused by “prearrangement with ourselves.” Bird by bird, she says, we tackle the task.

What are your prearrangements with yourself when it comes to your stated priorities?


Video Recommendation for the Week


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in accountability, amplifying, assumptions, awareness, Dreams, fortitude, Goals, Life lessons, resilience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment