You went to the what?

My wife and I have always enjoyed seeing new places. We have no issues with renting an air bnb or booking a hotel in a different city for a weekend trip. When we get to the city we do a lot of the tourist things but when we can we try to stop at the cities library.

I know super lame right? I grew up in Cleveland Ohio and my mom would take me and my sisters to the library as a treat. me my sisters and my mom would take turns pulling a red wagon from our home to the Eastman public library on w 116th street. I know the branch because there was a statue of a walrus in front and I remember the nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” That poem was fun and a little foreboding. You just had a bad feeling about the Oysters fate.

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Libraries matter because people matter and need to socialize even if that solicitation is done in whispers and nods. At the library I meet all kinds of people, borrowed all kinds of books and I think it helped shape into the citizen that I am and the tourist who likes to check out libraries when he visits different cities.

The Walrus and the Carpenter 

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BY LEWIS CARROLL

“The sun was shining on the sea,

      Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

      The billows smooth and bright —

And this was odd, because it was

      The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,

      Because she thought the sun

Had got no business to be there

      After the day was done —

“It’s very rude of him,” she said,

      “To come and spoil the fun.”

The sea was wet as wet could be,

      The sands were dry as dry.

You could not see a cloud, because

      No cloud was in the sky:

No birds were flying overhead —

      There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

      Were walking close at hand;

They wept like anything to see

      Such quantities of sand:

If this were only cleared away,’

      They said, it would be grand!’

If seven maids with seven mops

      Swept it for half a year,

Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said,

      That they could get it clear?’

I doubt it,’ said the Carpenter,

      And shed a bitter tear.

O Oysters, come and walk with us!’

      The Walrus did beseech.

A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

      Along the briny beach:

We cannot do with more than four,

      To give a hand to each.’

The eldest Oyster looked at him,

      But never a word he said:

The eldest Oyster winked his eye,

      And shook his heavy head —

Meaning to say he did not choose

      To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,

      All eager for the treat:

Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,

      Their shoes were clean and neat —

And this was odd, because, you know,

      They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,

      And yet another four;

And thick and fast they came at last,

      And more, and more, and more —

All hopping through the frothy waves,

      And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

      Walked on a mile or so,

And then they rested on a rock

      Conveniently low:

And all the little Oysters stood

      And waited in a row.

The time has come,’ the Walrus said,

      To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —

      Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot —

      And whether pigs have wings.’

But wait a bit,’ the Oysters cried,

      Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

      And all of us are fat!’

No hurry!’ said the Carpenter.

      They thanked him much for that.

A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said,

      Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

      Are very good indeed —

Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,

      We can begin to feed.’

But not on us!’ the Oysters cried,

      Turning a little blue.

After such kindness, that would be

      A dismal thing to do!’

The night is fine,’ the Walrus said.

      Do you admire the view?

It was so kind of you to come!

      And you are very nice!’

The Carpenter said nothing but

      Cut us another slice:

I wish you were not quite so deaf —

      I’ve had to ask you twice!’

It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,

      To play them such a trick,

After we’ve brought them out so far,

      And made them trot so quick!’

The Carpenter said nothing but

      The butter’s spread too thick!’

I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:

      I deeply sympathize.’

With sobs and tears he sorted out

      Those of the largest size,

Holding his pocket-handkerchief

      Before his streaming eyes.

O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,

      You’ve had a pleasant run!

Shall we be trotting home again?’

      But answer came there none —

And this was scarcely odd, because

      They’d eaten every one.”

Freedom and the United States of America

There was a book I read that really resonated with me. The book was titled “Abundance” and was written by Jakob Guanzon. The book told the anxiety ridden story of a father and son living in a pick up truck. I was turned onto the book after hearing the author in an interview explain his motivation to write the book. The author was working as a day laborer on construction projects while attending college. The author wondered what the lives of those laborers looked like when they left the job site and went “home”.

For me the book shined a light on the American dream versus the reality. There are at lest 12 million children a day that live in food insecure homes in the United States of America. These children are part of families that are not living the American dream. The American dream is a way of living that involves opportunity and equality and happiness. Many community members are living in an American nightmare though ripe with no opportunity, inequity and unfortunate situations (like no access to food).

The American dream does not match the American reality for a majority of Americans. Soon in the United States it will be time to vote and every citizen should get out there and vote. I myself will vote for the person that has a plan to make the American dream a reality for all of us not just themselves. Far too often we vote for the politician that supports our personal agenda and forget that we are part of a community.

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

The Good Earth -Pearl Buck

When you vote go ahead and vote for those that will feed the 12 million children. When you vote go ahead and vote for the politician that will work to make the American reality look like the American dream for everyone in the country and on the Earth.

Why read

I grew up reading books. I can still remember my mom walking me and my sisters to the Cleveland public Library every Sunday to pick up and return books.

The Cleveland public library was a member of the Cleveland Public Library Summer Reading Program. We would read ten books over the summer get Cleveland Indains tickets (now they are the Guardians go Guardians!). In School me and my sisters participated in the Pizza Hut Book It program. In that program after we made our goals we were rewarded with Pizza! I was taught from a young age by my mom and the public school system that reading is fundamental.

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Confession time now, I would much rather read fiction than nonfiction any day of the week, but I am almost always in the middle of, starting or finishing a book (usually fiction). When I talk to my kids I almost always ask then a few things, how is school or work, how are there significant others and what books are they reading or read. The kids still in high school are usually not reading a book but the older ones are starting to come around.

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My mom, the public schools and most of the adults in my life understood the importance of reading. Reading strengthens connections in the brain, reduces stress, it can even help you live longer! Here is a pretty good article that goes over the benefits of reading.

I didn’t know all the hidden benefits of reading growing up I just knew that reading as something good and that it took time and forced me to slow down. As a child and sometimes as an adult I can feel my life moving really fast and I do not seem to have control over everything. When I was a child it as the lack of control that I had trouble dealing with and reading offered me that control, I could read whatever I wanted and disappear to a story anywhere (some of the stories were in space). As an adult I am attracted to the ability to pace my reading. I can read as fast or as slow as I want. I try to carve out time for reading everyday.

It is important to encourage the next generation to do good things and reading is one of them. It is also important to do good things. So…. what are you reading right now? Is it any good? Should I pick up a copy of it? Have you read my book 🙂 ? My book . It is not great but its a short read and kind of fun

When the idea becomes more

I read a book called syrup. The book was written by one of my most favorite authors Max Barry. The book like all the Max Barry books I have read so far was satire. Max Barry is a genius with this genre and his books are all fast reads if you are looking for an author to follow on Amazon (I know that you are always looking for an author to follow (really did you know that you can follow authors on Amazon? It’s pretty cool when the new books come out you will know )) the author to follow is Max Barry. In the book syrup there is a line.. “The average person has three million-dollar ideas per year” -Max Barry (Syrup) That is basically how the book starts, explaining that the difference between the average person and the millionaire is that the millionaire acts on their ideas.

In 2004 there was a Jack Black movie called Envy. The movie was good and the protagonist and maybe antagonist was played by Jack Black. Every day Jack Blacks character would get a ride to work with the character played by Ben Stiller. Everyday Jack Blacks character on the way to work would describe an idea to Ben Stiller’s character. Jack Blacks character applied effort to some of his ideas and one of the ideas blossomed into a successful business, of course then the Envy sets in Jack Blacks character is tone deaf and comedy ensues.

Hellen Keller is attributed with many quotes one that is apropos of this post would be “ideas without action are useless” — Hellen Keller.

Hellen Keller is correct in this quote and idea without action is useless. Actions are hard and not for the faint of heart. I know you have some great ideas in you and I know that the world will be better off if you can act on them.

  • Believe in yourself

I know it seems crazy but one reason ideas never manifest into reality is a lack of belief in ones infinite potential, whatever the idea is you can make it happen but it will not be in a vacuum.

  • Seek help and support

No one is self made we are all products of at least one joint effort from our parents. No millionaire has made themselves a millionaire. Behind every success is a team of talented and driven people, find these people treat them like the champions they are and do something awesome together.

  • Keep grinding

Every time I see the word grind I think about coffee (man I love coffee) Its so good! We have to grind coffee beans so that we can make delicious drip coffee and when you are putting your idea into reality you will have to grind away daily and nightly so that you can make the idea happen.

  • Be patient

Good ideas, great products or systems are not built overnight it just seems like it. The team of people that built the product or system worked behind the scenes for years on that thing. Great things are like Icebergs most of the effort is hidden below the surface of the water

I know that whatever your idea is you can do it. I have seen some amazing things in my life done by all kinds of people.

peace

john3c