Guidelines for Fully Living, Part 4

  1. Be still and quiet
  2. Do not interrupt
  3. Apologize
  4. Mind your manners
  5. Watch the watchers
  6. Go boldly where no one has gone before; do it.
  7. Shoulders back, chest out, head up
  8. Don’t take yourself too seriously
  9. Rest is as holy as work
  10. Practice, practice, practice (if you want to improve)

Guidelines for Living Fully, part 3

  1. Baby steps, slowImage
  2. Count the cost
  3. Selah
  4. Keep your eyes on the ball
  5. Wrist follow through
  6. Practice, practice, practice (if you want to improve)
  7. Give extravagantly
  8. Give 100% effort
  9. Network
  10. Collaborate

Rules for Fully Living, part 2

11. Honor confidentiality
12. Be appropriately transparent
13. Listen well
14. Grieve your losses fully
15. Confront evil
16. Honor differences
17. Hurting people hurt people
18. Trust your instincts
19. We teach people how to  treat us
20. Enjoy simple pleasures

Guidelines for Living Fully

I started a few months ago compiling some guidelines (rules, if you prefer) for living fully. I share a few with you below.

1. Be grateful
2. Rejoice
3. Smile and laugh often
4. Trust
5.  Don’t waste good
6. Tell the truth
7. Know when to cut your losses
8. Know when to say no
9. Know when to wait
10. Know when to say nothing


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Who wants to study Chuck? Why would anyone want to? He’s a nice guy and fun to be around; even I acknowledge that. He’s also interesting and has some great experiences to share. He likes people. Chuck is also human and can empathize with almost anyone. There are skeletons in his closet, but he doesn’t try to hide them–for the most part.

But study him? He doesn’t want anyone to study him. The very idea gives him the shivers. Chuckology? The suffix, ology = the study of.

Bio = life.

Biology = the study of life.


Geo = the earth.

Geology = the study of the earth.


Chuck = me.

Chuckology = the study of me.

Boring! Why not just spend time with me, get to know me. We might become friends. I’d like that. Yes, indeed.


Theo = God.

Theology = the study of God.

Boring! Why not just spend time with him, get to know him. You might become friends. I’m told that he’d like that. Hmmmm.


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Children desperately need fathers healthily involved in their lives. My son-in-law, Garth, is a great example of a father.  He shares responsibilities for staying with Katelyn, his 1-year-old-daughter while Kim, his wife, gets some “free” time.  He shares responsibilities for changing diapers, feeding, bathing, and getting up at night when Katelyn wakes up upset.  He talks to her all the time, continually telling her how wonderful and beautiful she is.  Thank God, for Garth.

Fathers who accept their parental responsibilities are all too rare.  As Katelyn gets older, Garth will be responsible, along with Kim, to provide age-appropriate discipline for Katelyn.  Parents, if they love their children, do provide wise, appropriate discipline for their children.  If they do not discipline their children, they prove that they don’t love them.  Love isn’t a feeling.  My friend, Keith, says, “Love is a verb.”  Administering fair, wise discipline to children is an important aspect of loving our children.  Fathers, please love your children.

Dine Culture

Dina dancerI learned several years ago that to engage a new culture, one can learn their songs, dance, and food.  When we lived in Kentucky we learned to eat Hot Brown and enjoy Bluegrass Music.  We went with some friends to the granddaddy of all Bluegrass Festivals in Lexington, KY.  It was great.  We saw and heard most of the performers who provided the music for the movie released about a year later – “O, Brother, Where Art Thou.”  We also took clogging lessons.  That was great fun, and it got us accepted into the culture very quickly.

In the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, where much of the population has an Eastern European immigrant heritage, we went to the almost weekly festivals at area churches and other venues.  There we were introduced to the amazing foods new to us – like pierogies and baclava.  And we gained a new appreciation for polka and other folk dances.

On the Navajo Nation, the native music is mostly Navajo language chant, and the dances are part of their religion.  So, we struggle to learn and engage in their culture.  But, we keep trying.

Navajo Nation and Socialism

navajoWhy would I call the Navajo Nation a socialist nation?  I’m glad you asked.

The Diné (Navajo people) receive monthly checks from their government who receives monthly checks from the U.S. government.  They depend on those government checks.  They do not have to work to survive.

Few jobs exist on the reservation – other than governments jobs, school-related jobs, health-care related jobs, and jobs in the few retail businesses that exist – convenience stores and fast-food outlets in the smaller communities – and larger retail stores in the few larger towns.  Other possibilities include mines (coal) and power plants.  Most of the businesses are owned by people outside the Reservation.

Navajo Nation government, local and National, experience corruption typical of governments.  Power, control, and opportunities for fraudent accumulation of wealth corrupt humans.  To be sure, many government officials are very honest and servant-minded.  Nevertheless, corruption frequently harms the Nation’s citizens.  U.S. government corruption also harms.  Some local citizens call the Bureau of Indian Affairs – the BIA – “bossing Indians around.”  🙂

From my perspective, socialism is not working well on the Navajo Nation.

Indians on the Reservation

indiansWhere I teach, at Piñon High School on the Navajo Nation, we have one Indian on staff.  His name is Udai Singh, and he teaches Chemistry.  He has an earned Ph.D. and is originally from India.  Therefore he is an Indian, right?

Columbus Day is coming next month.  We won’t be celebrating it on the Navajo Nation.  When he crossed the Atlantic Ocean and struck land, Columbus thought he had arrived in India.  He called the natives he encountered “Indians.”  Unfortunately, the moniker stuck.  To this day, I have yet to meet a Native American who originated in India. But, on the Navajo Nation, I have an Indian friend, Udai Singh.

Interestingly, Udai (Dr. Singh), tells me the British called his dark-skinned people, native to India, “Niggers.”  Oh, the arrogance of cultures that think they are better than others!

Socialism on the Navajo Nation

100_3833The most difficult challenge that I see on the Navajo Nation (Dinetah) is giving the people incentive.  Incentive to acquire an education, incentive to study, incentive to get a job (if any exist), and incentive to start a business is lacking.  In the public school classrooms, children lack incentive to study and learn.  Yes, that’s true in most public schools, but it appears to be more of a challenge on the Navajo Nation.

Understandably, many Navajo people do not want to leave their homeland to work.  They really love their homeland and most love their culture.  The younger people who do not love their culture at least are more comfortable with it than with “white man culture.”  When they do go to college, off the reservation, they face many cultural challenges.  A high percentage do not persist until graduation.

The Navajo do highly value military service, and a high percentage of them do enlist.  Military service ensures some form of education, including technical, that helps them obtain work after discharge.  Military service also provides opportunities for travel and reasonably safe immersion in another culture.  While many of these enlistees are very patriotic, almost all are willing to die for their country, they primarily enlist to protect their land (the Reservation) and to get off the Reservation and receive an informal and formal education.

I really respect the Navajo.  I really want to provide incentive to start businesses on the Reservation.  The people are highly intelligent and creative.  With a little incentive and encouragement, the sky is the limit for these amazing people!