Nov 302012

Be kind.

How often do we give this advice to our kids as we send them off to school or to win the big game? Not often I’ll bet. Do we, as a society, admire the kind CEO, the kind football coach, the kind Hollywood superstar? Do we, as parents, insist that our kid help the other kid up after a foul in sport? Do we let the person in a hurry cut in front of us in traffic or do we block his path, enjoying the moment of silly triumph? Are there any reality T.V. shows following the lives of kind stars, or just Kardasians and tyrannical Abby Lee Millers of the world?

Should we then be surprised that kindness and respect for others seems to be disappearing in our society?

I believe kindness, to be kind and considerate, is very important to becoming a well developed member of a family, a community, and society as a whole. At the root of it all, I think there is a misguided perception that kindness and respect somehow leads to weakness and failure. This is not true. I wish to be kind this year, and kinder the next. Ultimately, I will be a very kind old man, not a cranky one yelling about the kids cutting across my grass.

Consider these five observations about kindness:

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.
Caroline Kennedy

To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things.
Martin Scorcese

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.
Nathaniel Branden

A great idea would be to decide to have a personal quota of just one kind act each day, and record what you did in your journal. Great habits start with small daily steps.

I.M. Optimism Man

Nov 252012

You are either growing or you are dying. Never maintain anything. Never maintain a career, a marriage, a small business, a life.

I love Coach Holtz. This speech, which is broken into four parts due to youtube restrictions a few years ago, is well worth watching. You could live a great life with just the simple lessons from this 30 minute talk:

Living well comes down to making lots of good little decisions each and every day.

I.M. Optimism Man

P.S. A great goal is to learn one fun magic trick.

Nov 172012

People with little hope can get hope, get recharged a bit, if they use their imagination and dare to dream. Unfortunately, “take a goals workshop” is advice that doesn’t exactly get it done in neighborhoods where the struggle for one’s daily bread remains front and center.

Check out this great idea by Candy Chang of New Orleans, LA. She manages to combine the power of a community / social experience with the power of hope that having goals, or just one goal, has.

Fabulous idea!

I. M. Optimism Man

PS. More info about Candy and her ideas is found here:

Nov 092012

I have oft said that the amount of opportunity available to us that are fortunate enough to live in this day an age is truly unprecedented and extraordinary. The human race in just the last few decades has become networked and indexed to each other in real time. The possibilities are endless.

Here is a slide show well worth reading and considering. It does a great job in sparking thought about where our interconnected planet is going in the near-term, at least in terms of interconnectivity:

Making big things happen has never been more democratic. Competition has never been keener. What a fascinating time it is.

I.M. Optimism Man