One night in Vegas

It was many years ago – back in my twenties – when I first put a visit to Las Vegas on my radar. That plan got cancelled, I went to London instead, and ever since I’ve been telling folks that I intended to go someday – just to see it.

That day came.

Cool stuff. And crazy stuff. And I haven’t even seen much of any of it.

Yeah, I would come back – now that I have the lay of the land (a little?), I could plan a fun trip for a weekend that would be totally worth it. But I’d also be fine with never seeing it again. So it’s on the list of possible future vacations.

The most magical piece of it, though, was seeing a Michael Jackson tribute show done by Cirque de Soleil. Truly beautiful and magical. And makes me sad that I’ve never listened much to his music.

This morning we will try a true Vegas buffet for breakfast – the kind that we have always heard so much about. And I’ll get to measure it up against our fancy dinner last night!

Then, off to the desert for the drive back to Los Angeles for our flight home… 🙂

 

Vegas-Bound…

It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally having my trip to Vegas. It’s a place I have always wanted to see, and finally seeing it may finally get my wife to stop her good-natured chuckles when she hears me describe what I think it’s going to be like.

“It’s nothing like that,” she keeps saying.

There’s nothing like experience to inform opinion – and I expect walking around inside the spectacle of Las Vegas to give me just the kind of experience to allow me to have meaningful opinions about a slice of the world that right now is foreign to me.

 

Inter-Party Conversations

I’ve never been a big fan of politics – at least not the kind that causes divisiveness.

If anything, I remain hopeful that politics can be a way of uniting and finding common ground – rather than fighting to advance causes that are not universally appealing.

Since the 2016 American Presidential election, I’ve been seeing a lot of efforts to advance various political views, bring new life to partisan issues, etc… More people than ever – it seems – want to be a politician. At least in their second-life.

But how important are “issues”? Aren’t they just a way of identifying the differences among us?

Should the public care about issues at the expense of values, goals, and common bonds?

And if we *should* care about issues, does it really all the time have to be the ones that never seem to have any hope of progress, and always seem optimized for creating division?

I’m looking for the common bonds – I continue to believe that we all have more in common than we do different. I’ve been seeking out guidance and strategy for a way forward which focuses on bringing folks together around common goals.

And there doesn’t seem to be much out there in the way of guidance!

😦

My wife passed along an opinion piece recently:

Wanted: Leaders to Turn Interfaith Conflict Into Trust
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/opinion/wanted-leaders-to-turn-interfaith-conflict-into-trust.html

When we talked about it, I realized that the folks who have been working in inter-faith communities actually have a boat-load of experience with today’s political problems.

I mean, what better way to figure out how to get folks who disagree to work together than to do it by learning from successful work-together projects originating in communities which fundamentally disagree about the basic foundations of spirituality and existence?

So how can we apply the lessons learned from inter-faith work to the problem of inter-party work?

For starters, we can focus on the common bonds – which is where my gut feeling took me from the start.

In the article linked above, we have a story of a community which found common ground by caring individually for children who needed their help – putting aside the hot-button and divisive issues surrounding women’s rights.

Further on, we can commit – broadly and deeply – to finding ways to work together on our common values, goals, and projects.

With a deep commitment to putting aside differences in favor of embracing our natural unity.

When we do that, no party will win. But all parties will win.

Even a guy like me who’s not a member of any party! 🙂

 

Post-Election, 2016

There are a lot of people with a lot of strong thoughts after this most recent presidential election in the United States.

It seems like there is something important going on – some folks are disappointed and looking for a new way forward. Some folks feel energized about a renewed focus on achieving the goals they care about.

And some folks still don’t really care about American politics. Maybe there isn’t anything important going on after all?

I know where I fall in the confusing mess of opinions and viewpoints, but I’m not sure yet what I want to do about it.

I do know it’s probably not what you will expect.

 

Plunging into the middle of failure…

Netflix has a “Chaos Monkey.”

It’s a program that runs around in their systems and randomly kills things – just to see whether what didn’t die can still keep going. It sounds dumb, right? Self-destructive?

But when you take that kind of plunge – put yourself into the middle of failure – you become better. Failure becomes a positive learning experience or validation of success, instead of simply a demoralizing catastrophe.

The trick, of course, is to ensure that you are getting better and learning from what happens after failure. Don’t fail for the sake of failing – but fail for the sake of succeeding.

Sure, there are times when self-imposed random failure won’t make matters better. But most times, failing through to your next success is the best thing you could have done all day!

And you heard that from a monkey. 🙂

 

Stuff That Doesn’t Work Deserves Hugs Too!

We used to have stuff like gardening.

Stuff that worked, even when it didn’t come out a certain way.

Now, things that don’t work in a beautiful sort of way just kind of fall off a cliff instead – to die a technically incorrect death…

… decisions, actions, the yanking of weeds from the dirt – it all goes either rightly or wrongly. And explainified either way – as right-ish or wrong-able.

But stuff that doesn’t work deserves hugs, too!

And “wrong” is just “right” spelled with more imaginatively selected letterings…

 

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

When you fly, you get the doomsday advice that if everything goes to hell you should put your own oxygen mask on first – before helping others.

After all, how much help can you be once you are unconscious and incapacitated? Self-preservation is key.

It’s good advice. And doomsday scenarios aside, it’s got valuable lessons for our work and personal lives.

Resist the urge to be today’s hero by helping others, or the goto guy/gal for every little nag that someone has.

Put your own house in order first. Build and maintain your foundation. Focus on ME.

It may seem selfish or like you’re shirking responsibility. But when you do it, then you’ll end up – paradoxically – as a person who helps others more than yourself.

Huh.