As I stand in the class and look at the poster I wonder if this type of motivation is the correct motivation. The poster reads “Students fail by choice.” I try hard but it becomes pretty hard to understand what good this poster serves. I know that the audience is a student and the purpose is to have the student understand that their choices are powerful. Choices are powerful that is true but to say that a Student fails by choice seems a bit simplistic.

Critical thinking and decision making can be difficult often we want to satisfy our immediate desires in spite of damage that can result in the future. Obviously we want to teach our students the importance of critical thinking and decision making and one way to teach them is a scare tactic like the poster points out however, I cannot help but put myself back into my shoes in school and consider how many poor choices I made and wonder how dire the consequences actually were.

I had a pretty amazing support structure with family and community while growing up. My parents, other family members, teachers and community members did a great job to make sure that I was safe healthy and that I could drive. There were moments when my parents “got real’ with me and used some scare tactics but they were few and far between definitely not enough moments to warrant the creation of a poster about them,

I know that choices matter however I do not think anyone ever choices to fail. I think everyone wants to win and when we see someone who seems to choice failure they are making a choice that seems like winning because of how dire their situation is. Perhaps instead of scaring a student time would be better spent understanding how that student sees the world and maybe opening their perspectives so that they can make a better choice.

Who are you mad at?

Last year my niece told me that her favorite song was “I’m mad at Disney” by Salem Ilese. We were at the pool and I almost fell out of the chair. This is a seven year old who owns all the princess dresses. Then I listened to the song and me the tow of us did a Tik Tok Video with her dancing to the song.

The song “I’m mad at Disney” is very catchy and the singer has a beautiful voice. The lyrics are not profound but they touch on a topic that I call growing up. When I was seven, eight, nine, ten all the way to basically high school, I was being raised on a diet of pop culture that included John Hughes movies, Comic books, GI Joe and Double Dare.

Photo by Leah Kelley on

In the song “I’m Mad at Disney” the singer mentions how life is not really a fairy tale and life and love is messy. Salem and my niece are right kind of. Life and love are messy and most fairy tales are clean but, life and love are hopeful and fun and can be full of joy just like a fairy tale.

I like watching plays with little kids in them. Sometimes the kids come out know all their lines and crush it and sometimes the kids come out know none of their lines fall all over the set and still crush it. How can this be? How can the kid get up there forget their lines and stumble around and still crush it? Because, love. With an audience full of loving and supportive family and friends no one ever fails. Life is kind of the same way. If you are loving and surround yourself with loving people than you haven’t ever really failed and your life is like a fairy tale just a messy more real one.

No one knows

“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”

― Vince Lombardi

Happiness is? Subjective right? I mean a memory from Sunday school growing up was the youth pastor explaining heaven. “My dad imagines heaven as a farm in the country and I imagine that heaven will be a beautiful city with sidewalks.” – youth pastor Block (courtesy of Johns childhood memories)

Heaven is like happiness. My happiness and your happiness probably do not line up. I don’t know many people but there are some that do not enjoy petting a happy dog (I know crazy right?)! Our idea of happiness changes as we live our lives too.

When I was younger I was happy at my friends house watching his snake in the aquarium, now the snakes kind of make my skin crawl a little. I saw one on a walk with my dog two days ago and nearly jumped out of my skin.

Some say that being happy is a choice. I am not sure about that. I can choice to pursue things that I believe will make me happy however if I do not receive these things will I still be happy? Also, what things will make me happy? Lots of questions no answers.

I find joy in the unknown and the search for the truth. I really do. I think that this is good because I spend a lot of life with unknowns and looking for truth. If we are completely honest with ourselves well all do.

Enjoy every moment as much as you can because we never know when we will not be here anymore.

What to do?

Just the other day I watched the first episode of the the Aple + tv show Foundation. is a show based on the novels of Isaac Asimow so being a science fiction fan I could not wait to watch this show and it did not disappoint. The first episode explains how our heroes got themselves exiled.

The heroes used math to predict when society would collapse and their reward for this insight was exile from the society they served. No good deed goes unpunished, am I right?

I have always been intrigued by the capabilities of predicative algorithms and probability. Right now algorithms are used in our lives everyday, often unknown working behind the scenes algorithms influence our career home choice where we are seated on public travel. There is a pretty good book Weapons of Math Destruction. The book outlines how and when algorithms are used in our lives.

The stock market is a pretty volatile business world. Fortunes can be made and destroyed in short spans of time. There are some pretty interesting predictive algorithms that are used by powerful players in the stock market that work well to make many fortunes.

There are some very accurate algorithms out there and some of the predicative algorithms are becoming more and more accurate. I for one love the idea of knowing what the future can hold. I think I like it because I understand that the future is not written it doesn’t even exist time doesn’t exist really. The future is simply the effect of the cause and the cause is the present. Pulling levers now makes a difference immediately and in the future.

I have some children and my major desire for my children was, initially for them to be healthy and happy however I quickly realized I had very little influence over those aspects of their lives and happy is pretty subjective. Now that the children are older I just want them to do the right thing. I want them to be Good with the capital G. I myself also want to do as much good as I can.

I really think that this is the most we can do. With all the predictive algorithms and formulas and tools we have doing good is still the best thing we can do. Thwe formulas and tools can help us choose the most good thing to do but at the end of the day it is doing the good or right things that will save humans and the world.

Do as much good as you can and do it now.

It takes all of Us

For as long as I can remember I have been a comic book fan. I love the stories, the art, the heroes and the villain’s. In a good comic book it all comes together for an enjoyable read. A real treat.

Most comic books feature a main protagonist, their name is usually plastered on the front of the magazine. The worlds our heroes protect and villain’s terrorize are mythical landscapes some are dystopian style and others are more balanced but in almost every comic book the villain is awful in their deeds. Some comic books have taken strides in humanizing their villains’ through back stories but still the actions of the villain’s are big. What the villains do gives the protagonist a mountain to climb and provides drama that propels the story forward. In the new comic book from DC Superman:Son of Kal-El. Jon Kent son of superman and Louis Lane does take on some real life villains like climate change, as well as a pretty bogus villain that was just introduced this month, and in the Marvel property The Black Panther, our heroes take on racism’s as well as the heinous villains. In the comic book Superman Lex Luthor the CEO of Lexcorp ran for and became president of the United States. Lex Luthor Divested from his company and made Talia Al Ghul the president of Lexcorp. Donald Trump never divested from his company while he was president, so the writers could not even imagine a world where someone would be as awful a president as Donald Trump was.

In the comic books good always wins, this is also true for the real world however in most comic books our protagonists defeat good on their own or with a partner, this is not how it works in the real world. To defeat evil or bad things we all have to work together. We can’t strap on a cap and eradicate diseases, poverty, climate change or crime.

Right now the world is experiencing a health pandemic with Covid 19. The last case of Polio in the United states was recorded in 1979. The scientists worked together with the doctors to craft a vaccination against Polio. The hospitals worked with communities to administer the vaccine and the citizens took the vaccine. Right now scientists and hospitals have done their part now it is time to step up and do ours. We have to get vaccinated. Herd immunity is essentially a myth. The mythical nature of herd immunity is being proven with the Delta variant of Covid 19. We have proof in nations that have not embraced the Polio vaccine like the United States that without a majority of citizens doing the right thing through vaccination we will never beat this villain. Afghanistan and Pakistan have been vaccine hesitant with the Polio vaccine and Polio still exists there unfortunately it seems that the children suffer the most.

There was just another story this morning on the news about a healthy college student Freshman that would not get vaccinated who died from Covid 19. If you love your children, grandchildren, family and neighbors it seems like you would jump at the chance to be a hero.

If you have already been vaccinated I salute you and thank you for doing your part you are a hero. If you haven’t been vaccinated I implore you to be brave. Joshua 1:9 Tells us to be brave and of good courage. Roll up your selves and get the jab.

This link will give you more information on where and how to get vaccinated.

Its free and pretty quick. It is a small step for man but a leap for humanity. Be a hero get vaccinated