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)
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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


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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DISCLAIMER: WordPress occasionally adds an advertisement at the bottom of my blog. Twice, I’ve been notified by readers that those ads were offensive. I am unable to view these ads, and I cannot delete them. I apologize and am attempting to prevent this from happening in the future.

On Transparency and Fear of Conflict

“Why reinvent the wheel?” someone asked.  So often others say things better than I ever would, so I like to share quotes.  Here are two:

On fear of conflict

“Why are we so afraid of conflict? Because we associate it with combat. Why are we afraid of combat? Because we don’t want to get hurt. In the workplace, the fear of conflict stunts creativity, growth and collaboration. So, if we want to get those three important ingredients for productivity and job satisfaction back, we need to learn how to manage conflict effectively for all concerned.” – Karen Mattonen

On being real (transparent)

“To be transparent is a relief. Muddy water hides a host of unpleasant surprises. Clear water shows us the bottom of the sea-the rubbish and debris if they are there, but also the multicolored fish, shells, starfish. Honesty allows us to look into someone’s eyes and through them into their heart.” – Joe Roberts

Osama Bin Laden

While driving in the backcountry of Alpine Ranch, my friend, Don, said to me, “Chuck, Christians and Muslims are a lot alike.”  I replied, “Yeah?  How’s that?”  “Neither of them have read their book,” he said with a smile.  I grinned back at him and said, “You’re right.”

Then he said, “If Muslims read their book, they’d all be terrorists.  And if Christians read their book, they’d be a lot nicer.”  This time I laughed.  He is correct, no doubt.

Have you read the Koran (Quran)?  I have.  It’s an intriguing book.  The Koran often advocates death to “the Great Satan” and killing “people of the book.” Many modern Muslims believe the United States to be “the Great Satan.”  They also believe that “people of the book” refers to Jews and Christians.  Osama Bin Laden did read his book.  No doubt, he truly believed he was an instrument of Allah.

Oh, and no wonder the troops encountered female human shields in Mr. Bin Laden’s compound.  The Koran treats women as chattel – to be used and of little value.  Yes, Osama read his book.  God, have mercy.

Diet and Health

Noticing a new limp, I asked a friend, “What happened?”  “It’s just gout,” he replied.  “Ouch,” I said.  “I understand that gout’s painful.”  He affirmed that rumor.  Then he went on to tell me that it is hereditary.  In his family he had inherited a predisposition to gout, and his brother had inherited a predisposition to diabetes.  I told him I was sorry.  He said, “Oh well, both are controlled by what we eat, so we just watch our diets.  I just got off my diet, and I’m paying the price!”

He had a good attitude about it, and he knew how to avoid the unnecessary pain and illness.  In truth, having inherited a predisposition to gout (or diabetes) might have been a gift.  It forced him to eat more healthily.

Years ago I had to do the same thing, and I am grateful and much more healthy than I would have been.  Watch what you eat, friends.  I want you to be healthy and be my friend for a long time!

We Are What We Eat

Many years ago both my father-in-law and mother-in-law received serious health diagnoses.  She was hypoglycemic, and he had serious blood pressure issues.  Both were in otherwise good health.  Neither were overweight, but both were instructed to change their diet.

He was instructed to monitor his blood pressure–taking readings before and after meals.  He soon discovered that anytime he ate any form of a favorite food, pork, his blood pressure spiked.  Bacon, sausage, ham, pork chops – all had the same effect.  He discovered the same result from adding salt to his food.

She was monitoring her blood-sugar levels.  She also had to change her diet.  She had to avoid meals high in simple carbohydrates and she had to avoid concentrated sweets such as candy, table sugar, soft drinks, cookies, cakes, and ice cream.  There were other dietary changes too.  Basically, she switched to a very healthy diet – one we all should probably follow.  If she didn’t eat right, she had sinking, almost fainting spells.  Hypoglycemia can be serious.

So, as an observer of all this, I thought to myself, “Why should I wait until I have health problems to change my diet?”  I decided to make some drastic changes to the way I ate.  Then, years later, when my brother died, I had already made the changes the coroner recommended I look into.  I am amazed at the number of maladies that can be remedied by eating healthier.

Blue Genes

A devastating telephone call came that Sunday morning.  Nick was dead.  Nick!  Age 34!  Dead?  He was on a business trip in Amarillo, Texas and staying in a extended-stay motel suite.  So,  an autopsy was required.  A few days after the funeral, I went to Amarillo to get some information and closure.  One stop was the coroner’s office.

The coroner was a very nice man.  He told me the same thing I’ve heard on some of the CSI-type television shows, “We can tell a lot about a person from an autopsy.  Let me tell you what I learned about your brother.”  He told me that Nick had obviously enjoyed life to the full.  I fully affirmed that.   He said that Nick obviously enjoyed eating well.  That was for sure.  Nick and his buddies consumed sumptuous feasts regularly.  The doctor (coroner) added that although Nick died at age 34, he had lived a full life.

Then he told me that Nick was in excellent physical condition.  I affirmed that, telling the doc that Nick was even working out regularly in a local health club while conducting his business in Amarillo.  “But,” the doctor continued, “your brother did have a serious health problem that he probably didn’t even know he had.”  “What was that?” I asked.  He said that Nick had hyperlipidemia–a pre-disposition to building up lipids in his blood vessels.  In fact, the artery going from Nick’s heart to his lungs was completely occluded except for an opening the size of a pin point.  Apparently a blood clot broke from a previous ankle wound and found it’s way to that pinhole opening in Nick’s artery.  The doc said this traumatic event would be like being hit in the heart with a sledge hammer.

“The good news,” said the doc, “is that he died instantly, in his sleep, and felt no pain.”  “The bad news,” he continued, “is that this condition is genetic and is passed through the males in the family.  Your Dad, you, your sons, if you have any, are at risk.”  The sad news,” he went on to say, “is that all this could have be prevented with a change in diet.”  “You and your Dad and son(s) must do whatever is necessary to ensure that you eat healthily.”

We could have become blue over our genetic dilemma – “blue genes.”  We could have moped and complained.  Or, we could change the way we ate.  We did the latter.  I want to live a full life.

Fathers

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.

The Bean Dance

Piki Bread

Last Saturday, Zoe and I (along with Nancy, a friend) enjoyed the Bean Dance at Mishongnovi, Hopi, AZ on Second Mesa.  Zoe and Nancy went early and helped the women prepare the food.  They saw things I didn’t.  The Bean Dance is associated with couples’ engagement to be married.  It involves the exchange and consumption of much food and Kachinas.

The whole week before the day that the woman takes the food to her in-laws, her family prepares a lot of pastries like cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, sweet rolls, etc.  Baskets and baskets of bread are also prepared as are strings of fruit.  The female relatives bring boxes of Piki bread, a traditional food only made on a hot, flat stone.  Piki bread is made from dried Sweet Corn kernels.  Dried Sweet Corn is a very costly commodity and  must be finely ground to make what the Hopi call a ‘Horse’.  It is actually a kind of a cake.  Many families have to prepare for this event a year or two in advance to be able to have everything ready.

The Dance itself has Kachinas coming out of the Kivas and dancing, chanting, snorting, and making other noises as they scurry in and out of the kivas with loads of food and other gifts that they take to members of the village.  The event we attended lasted approximately two hours.  This was preceded by a nice meal in the ancient home of the family of the woman who invited us.  Her home was directly across the street from three Kivas, so we literally had a ringside seat (sitting or standing just outside the front, and only, door).

We feel honored to have been invited to and participate in The Bean Dance.