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Nordstrom's Employee Handbook — short and sweet - (37signals)

Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.

via 37signals.com


I found this by accident. I find it very interesting on a lot of levels.


And yes, this is my signal that I am back to blogging. I will try to put out two posts a week. I really want to finish a draft of my book so I can finally put it down one way or another so that is getting most of my writing time. 

Because of that, there may be some weeks where my only posts will happen on Mondays. I will endeavor to have one post on Mondays and one on Thursdays. 

What can we learn about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman?

I have been hesitant to enter the Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman fray.

In my opinion, it’s just too emotionally charged to get into it online.

Sunday morning, I woke up before anyone else in my family and as is my custom, I checked my email, and did a few other things.

Then I checked Facebook.

This was my newsfeed:

Person #1’s Status: You’re not paying attention if you believe Zimmerman was innocent.

Person #2’s Status: You’re not paying attention if you believe Zimmerman was guilty.

Person #3’s Status: You can’t really love Jesus if you believe Zimmerman was innocent.

Person #4’s Status: You can’t really love Jesus if you believe

That literally happened in almost straight succession.

Now, I’m not interested in debating the merits of the case with you or anyone else online. In truth, the list of people that I would discuss it with in real life is probably short.

Unless you want to talk about what we can learn about us from this death, trial, verdict and reaction.

Not about George Zimmerman.

Not about Trayvon Martin.

I’m not interested in discussing the judicial system, or anything else about the logistics of the case.

I want to talk about what we can learn about you and me.

I want to talk about our response to this event.

Both sides are drastically concerned with one thing. What they perceive to be justice.

People on both sides have used totally inaccurate arguments. They have both stated things as facts that they were proven to not be facts.

For many people, emotions have run extremely high.

People have made cries and accusations about everything.

This angers the people on the other side.


Because both sides believe they have justice on their side.

I think our desire, our passion to see justice happen is a good thing.

The problem, I think in this case is that it is blinding each side to seeing the view of the people on the other side.

We want justice so badly that we have failed to stop and hear the opinions of those who disagree with us. We’ve failed to stop and ask how someone in another reality from us might see this case.

We want justice so badly that we fail to make sure we act justly to people who have done nothing wrong, besides disagree with us.

I am afraid that until this changes there will alway be another Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman case. The names will be different. Perhaps, it will be different races.

But it will happen again, because I am afraid we have become a non-empathy society.

In a society where have nearly been enslaved to political correctness, which attempts to force empathy, we’ve lost our way. As long as we fail to embrace our alikeness, and differences while admitting our yearning for justice in a world full of injustice, we will never actually heal.

We will always be enslaved to our worst of emotions because it will be more about stopping the pain than true justice.

Stopping the pain is never about true justice. When we just want to stop the pain, we don’t really care if we have to stretch a few truths, or tell a few lies to get our point across. We believe we can bend a few of our own morals in order to achieve the greater good.

Of course, then we’re the ones perpetrating injustice.

May God have mercy on us all.

5 lessons learned (too late?)

As part of our practice, we get Psychology Today every other month. The latest issue has an article in it that I cannot find online but that I found to be very interesting. According to the author, there are five life lessons we all need to learn and typically don't.

According to Dr. Elizabeth Svoboda we need to learn these five lessons.

  1. The role of radical acceptance:You can't fix the ones you love so focus on fixing yourself. The author takes this to every relationship in our life.
  2. The beuty of benign neglect: It is more harmful to overparent than to underparent.
  3. Opposites don't attract forever: Seek a mate whose values and background echo your own.
  4. Social networks matter: The strength of your friendships is as critical for your health as the lifestyle choices you make.
  5. Lust diminishes but love remains: Being inured with your partner isn't the same as being out of love.

What do you think of this list on the face of it? I realize it is somewhat unfair to ask you to judge an article without reading it, but I can't find it online yet so you'll have to work with me. Thanks. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Is Divorce selfish?

So I have been unable to get any of my own posts up this week. The good news is that our business is extremely busy and there are so many wonderful projects going on that I am literally running from one project to another.

That coupled with school, coupled with family has meant that my blogging has suffered. I have still had the privilege of being involved with a number of really good and interesting discussion lately on various topics. One of them has been on this blog post.

I confess I don't know much about the author, but she suggests that divorce is inherently selfish. The comments are really interesting. Her reasons for her position are really interesting to me as well. Some of her provocative statements in the post are the following:

I see divorce in every story. For example, as soon as I heard about the school shootings in Chardon, OH, I got stuck on the fact that the kid’s parents had just gotten a divorce and left him with his grandparents. I blame the parents.

I’ve heard those things so many times. From parents who are getting a divorce who are full of shit

This one is really provocative

Divorce is for people who can’t think ahead enough to realize that the cost to the kids is so high that it’s not worth the benefits the parents get.

Because divorce is the ultimate example of just running away. And, while your kids probably will not pull out a gun in the school cafeteria, long-term sadness and a lingering inability to connect to other people is an irrefutable result of divorce. It’s something that you can prevent.

I interact with people in various stages of a relationship with divorce. Some are headed that way. Some are coming back from it. Some are pondering it. Some have lived through it. Whenever the topic comes up, the discussion is usually pretty intense. You can read her whole post by going here.

But then I'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you think about what she is writing? I saw this on a Facebook page and the back and forth was amazing.

P.S. If you do comment there, please don't attack her personally. Feel free to agree or disagree with her position but leave the person out of it.


Facebook isn't making us miserable. We make ourselves that way

There's an interesting blog post making the rounds. It's called, "Facebook is making us miserable." Interestingly enough, I found it on facebook. Now, it's on the Harvard Business Review blog, written by a published author who is undoubtedly very smart. This is not an attack on him.

It is a complete disagreement with his post though. Essentially, he posits that the problem is facebook.

I say, that's horsemush.

He actually has a great line. He writes,

In writing Passion & Purpose, I monitored and observed how Facebook was impacting the lives of hundreds of young businesspeople. As I went about my research, it became clear that behind all the liking, commenting, sharing, and posting, there were strong hints of jealousy, anxiety, and, in one case, depression. Said one interviewee about a Facebook friend, "Although he's my best friend, I kind-of despise his updates." Said another "Now, Facebook IS my work day." As I dug deeper, I discovered disturbing by-products of Facebook's rapid ascension — three new, distressing ways in which the social media giant is fundamentally altering our daily sense of well-being in both our personal and work lives.

He goes on to list three disturbing things that Facebook is "creating" in us. They are:

  1. First, it's creating a den of comparison.
  2. Second, it's fragmenting our time.
  3. Last, there's a decline of close relationships.

Do all of these happen on facebook? Sure, probably. Did facebook create any of them? No way. They've been around forever and a day.

The problem isn't facebook. It's us. It's how we choose to interact and react. Nothing makes us jealous of anything. We can control that. A core bedrock of change is the truth that we have to own our own choices. We have to own our own responsibility.

If reading facebook makes you jealous of your best friend, you have a problem. You should actually thank Mark Zuckerburg for creating a tool that revealed a character flaw in you. It's not facebook, it's you. Seriously, when you're done thanking him, call and schedule an appointment with a counselor. I can recommend a great Counseling Agency if you live in the Grand Rapids area.

Now, my disagreement as to the cause aside, I agree with his remedies. If a person can't handle facebook and can't figure out how to change themselves, removing the temptation might be a good choice.

Deleting facebook could be a good choice for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

Taking away jealousy or being happier probably isn't one of them. Facebook, like adversity doesn't build (or make) character, it simply reveals it.

You can read the HBR post here.

Restaurant bans kids under 6. Discrimination or smart move? - Parenting on Shine

It's not illegal to ban kids from eating establishments, but some parents consider the move discriminatory, and potentially a violation of rights for certain special needs kids. What do you think: are kid-free restaurants a great idea or flat-out wrong?

via shine.yahoo.com

What do you think? Is this just more of our society not valuing kids or a good call?

5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing

Of course, most people don’t bother to write down their goals. Instead, they drift through life aimlessly, wondering why their life lacks purpose and significance. I am not saying that committing your goals to writing is the end-game. It’s not. But it is the beginning.

via michaelhyatt.com

The internet is a fun and wide open community. I spend times in different "neighborhoods" where I get to meet different people and be exposed to different ideas.

Michael Hyatt's blog is one neighborhood I hang out in occasionally. I doubt that Mr. Hyatt and I would ever cross paths in real life, but on the internet we have a bit of a one way relationship (he writes, I get a notification that he wrote and decide if I want to read it). It's working for use right now.

OK, humor aside, Hyatt has some good things to say/write. I'm sure you can find some stuff to criticize too but that's not the point of this post. The point is that he has an excellent post on why you should commit goals to paper. I am a big believer in both goal setting and putting them on paper. Click the link above and enjoy.

Intriquing article about education and outcomes

If you follow me on twitter, you'll know that I sent out a tweet of Elizabeth King's article about teachers, accountability and outcomes. Her blog is provocatively named "Stay out of School" and then you are told that the blog isn't about "Schools."   Seriously, thought it was a good enough read that I thought I thought I'd link to it here as well.


The opposite of a 'Tiger Mother': leaving your children behind - Parenting on Shine

"I have been a mother since I was 20," she points out. "I did not have the life a normal 20 year old would have. While I don't regret that, I knew that I now have the opportunity to reconnect with who I might have been then, but with all the tools and skill sets I have learned through motherhood. I have the unique opportunity most women don't get to have, of being able to truly create the life I wish to have, do something in the world that makes a difference, and model this kind of independence for my children."‬

via shine.yahoo.com

This is a really fascinating article. What are your thoughts on it?

It strikes me that this is incredibly selfish and her conclusions are foolish, but that's my thoughts on it. What do you think? I'll post more at a later time.

Do Your Friendships Feed You or Bleed You? | Psychology Today

One important aspect of living authentically is living in truth. From the standpoint of relationship, this means not living in state of denial about the conditions that surround a relationship. It also means not passively accepting the negative aspects of the overall circumstances that surround us. With regard to friendships in particular it means not holding space for those aspects of others' personalities and social comportment that are either toxic to us directly, or just negativity that we would be better served to avoid.

via www.psychologytoday.com

I thought this article was really interesting. I love his statement that one important aspect of living authentically is living in truth. I have often said that the most powerful lies we tell are the ones that we tell ourselves. Read this article and enjoy.