Friday, May 31, 2019

Defining Greatness

There is no clear measuring stick to determine the greatness of a man's heart, but there have been men who were so great at their jobs that they changed the rules of the career that they chose. One of those men was Bob Gibson.

I was born too late to view Babe Ruth hit a homer in Yankee Stadium but I did get a chance to see Bob Gibson pitch. When I was eight years old, Gibson, who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, absolutely ruled the sport of baseball. His dominance was so great that after the end of that 1968 season, Major League Baseball changed the rules of the game to help the hitters. First, they lowered the pitching mound by five inches and then they shrunk the strike zone, moving it from the batters armpits to the jersey letters. All of these changes were designed to help only one position, the hitter. These rules became known as the "Gibson Rules".

Friday, May 24, 2019

Socialism - Who Wouldn't Be For It

Socialism is similar to the experience of purchasing a new car. The showroom is designed to highlight only the stark appeal of your possible purchase. The custom lighting reflects the metallic midnight blue exterior of your future car. The cockpit interior that beckons for you to take control. You start the car, feel the power and then, magically, you're driving this technological wonder on the raceway (also called "streets") as your heart explodes with passion. Your senses are on overload and your brain is fixated on how to obtain this experience in your daily life. You deserve this!

So you say, "Yes", and you sign the paperwork but the experience is mostly a blur. Your real attention comes as you are seated in your brand new purchase, focused on the luxury, the world waiting as you start your purchase and begin your new life as the proud owner of this new car. In fact, you decide to mark your life as the time before this car and after this purchase.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Grace's High School Graduation (2019)

Grace's High School Graduation from Lakeside High School | May 19th, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Barbarity of Man

Let me ask you a question before we dive into the idea at hand, "With a basic knowledge of history, is it any surprise that war is an endless appetite from which mankind will never recover without divine intervention?"

I propose that anyone with a rational mind would answer "No". Conflict and national aggression is the norm, not the exception. To appeal to a broad base of the population, with small windows of exception, you can never go wrong appealing to the baser instincts of man. So our dilemma is this, how to lead a group of people, whether a tribe or a nation, without having to galvanize the platforms of conflict, greed and racism. Throughout history leaders have always found the quickest route to the hearts of their people is by casting one segment or more of the population as villains. It is difficult to find noble leadership throughout history that didn't stoop to pick this easy fruit.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Defeat In Detail

Defeat in detail is a military phrase referring to the tactic of bringing a large portion of one's own force to bear on small enemy units in sequence, rather than engaging the bulk of the enemy force all at once. This exposes one's own units to a small risk, yet allows for the eventual destruction of an entire enemy force. This is most often seen when an army divides itself into smaller groups, which can be easily be separated and defeated in isolation. - Edward Erickson "Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans"

Growing up, I loved to read about battles and the tactics employed by both sides. Living in the South there were several battlefields within easy driving distance and I took advantage of this close proximity. Walking these hallowed battlefields was humbling as well as inspiring with their stories of  bravery, sacrifice, and tactical brilliance.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Graduation Truisms

In this season of new beginnings, it is commonplace to gift graduates with wisdom, with the goal of easing some of life's challenges, helping them to not repeat the mistakes of others, along with the teaching that their upcoming challenges are not unique to mankind. Did you know that there have been more books written about how to achieve success than any other non-fiction category? Now anyone who is more than a casual reader of this blog will have already ascertained that I hold to the beliefs that the greatest source of wisdom is from God. I believe that He wrote the only book that can teach us how to live a life pleasing to the only person who matters, God.

But that doesn't mean that we humans lack the ability to encourage, equip and grow each other through our own life experiences and one such collection of that hard-earned wisdom is one of my favorite books, "The Best of Success". Recognize the temporal perspectives of all who are quoted but learning from their mistakes and resolutions can be a help as you navigate the life you are about to begin. So here, in honor of the Class of 2019 graduates, are some of my favorite quotes from that book.