Human Energy.

I have shared this TED talk before. This is Angela Ahrendts speaking at TEDx Hollywood in March 2013. She speaks about human energy. She knows of what she speaks. I watch this from time to time to remind myself of the importance of authentic communication in this fast paced, technologically fueled world.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

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Elevator Logic.

IMG_1507 I started the new chapter of my career this week. I am in Greenville, S.C. and starting the path of “Senior Consultant” at Windstream Communications. I officially have a Virtual Office; I will be doing most of my work from our home office, but if I had decided to move us to Greenville, I’d be working in my own office (complete with door and windows) in the 23rd storey building shown in my photo. Our team is situated on the fifth floor. I’ve noticed each morning that there is quite a traffic jam at the bank of elevators. I like to think that I’m pretty adept at the operation of an elevator: press the button in the desired direction of travel, await the arrival of an elevator car, step aside to let passengers out of the elevator and then get in, face front, press the button of your desired floor and try not to pass gas. It’s pretty simple. These people ALWAYS press the elevator call button in BOTH directions, regardless of where they are going. I don’t know if there is some sort of code that I missed in the orientation manual or if it is some secret incantation that only works in the south, but every person that wants to get on the elevator in the lobby calls the elevator by pressing both the up and down button. Invariably the down bound elevator arrives and people pile in. They head down and then in a few moments the same car load of people arrive and the elevator opens the door in response to the “up” request. Because the car is full of people, I’m not stepping foot in the elevator. Today I was a rebel and joined a couple of other men in the service elevator, even though the sign said “no passengers”. The metal lined walls had a sleek look to them and I figured the elevator was rated for more weight since it was designed for service purposes. Plus, the service elevator doesn’t have CNN blaring in the car like the five other cars (designed for passenger service) do. I’m not a fan of CNN blaring in the elevator. It covers the sounds of someone passing gas. Without that, there’s no warning.


So yesterday the three of us went to Epcot to tour around the front half of the park, otherwise known as “Future World”. Epcot is my favorite of the parks here at Walt Disney World. Upon embarking on our trip for the day I noticed that Jamie was wearing one of his Hostage Calm shirts. He’s friends with Hostage Calm and has done a lot of the photography of the band. The particular shirt has large letters on the back “I support same-sex marriage”. The message is wonderful. The worrier in me was concerned that the shirt might be a little too “politically charged” for Disney and I voiced my concern with this. My concern was vetoed and Cub held his ground. I sulked about it for a while and was overly sensitive for the first hour or so at Epcot. I know, I’m an idiot. Plenty of people have told me that over the years but I am who I am and I’m always trying to be better. I’m certainly not ashamed of being gay, I’m certainly not ashamed of being married to a man and I have officially been out of the closet since my first day of college way back in 1986. I say “officially” because everyone always tells me there was really no reason for me to come out of the closet because people already knew. Humor me. Here’s the thing. I grew up in a household where we didn’t talk about politics, we didn’t talk about religion and we certainly didn’t talk about sexuality. That’s all ok, and I wouldn’t change my childhood for any other, and I know that it was decades ago but some things take root and are hard to change. Add that to my firm belief that change will only come when people come to their own beliefs on their own. I don’t believe in forcing religion on another, I don’t believe in forcing political beliefs on another and I don’t believe we should do the same with one’s views on same sex marriage. Being true to ourselves and demonstrating who we are should be a big enough billboard. I have faith in people and believe that they will find that same-sex marriage is really no different than any other marriage. Each marriage is unique unto itself; it’s not the gender of the participants that make it unique. Now, add all of this to the words of a co-worker way back in 1990, “If I met you outside somewhere I’d shoot you between the eyes, you fag”, and you might understand why I’m sensitive to this sort of thing. I know, I need to calm down. So I’m sulking and a little bit sensitive about it all when we first arrived at Epcot. We rode the Nemo ride and then stopped for lunch. A woman came up to Jamie and vocalized her strong support of same-sex marriage (later I noticed that she was from Earl’s hometown). She was a Disney cast member and she was looking after the tables in the “Seasons” food court. Later, an older gentleman came up and voiced his support as well; his son had just married his husband in Maryland. A third person supported the message on Jamie’s shirt as well. So I stopped sulking after the first encounter. I calmed down. No one was cranky about the shirt, I was the only one that was worried about it. I learned a lot at Epcot yesterday.