Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Favorite E-mail Tagline for Today

"Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."
Martin Luther King

Things to think about

A few things to think about from Seth Godin's Blogs:

The following three posts are copied exactly from and "reblogged." (is there such a word?) If these ideas make you think, check out his blog for yourself.

Assuming goodwill

Productivity comes from interactivity and the exchange of ideas and talents.
People are happiest when they're encouraged and trusted.
An airport functions far better when we don't strip search passengers. Tiffany's may post guards at the door, but the salespeople are happy to let you hold priceless jewels. Art museums let you stand close enough to paintings to see them. Restaurants don't charge you until after you eat.
Compare this environment of trust with the world that Paypal has to live in. Every day, thousands of mobsters in various parts of the world sit down intent on scamming the company out of millions of dollars. If the site makes one mistake, permits just one security hole to linger, they're going to be taken for a fortune. As a result, the company isn't just paranoid--they know that people really are out to get them.
This is the fork in the road that just about all of us face, whether as individuals or organizations. We have to make an assumption about whether people are going to steal our ideas, break their promises, void their contracts and steal from us, or perhaps, that people are basically honest, trustworthy and generous. It's very hard to have both postures simultaneously. I have no idea how those pistol-packing guys in the movies ever get a good night's sleep.
In just about every industry (except electronic money transfer, apparently), assuming goodwill is not only more productive, it's also likely to be an accurate forecast.
Trust pays.

Where do ideas come from?
1. Ideas don't come from watching television
2. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
3. Ideas often come while reading a book
4. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
5. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
7. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner's mind. A little awareness is a good thing
9. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week
10. Ideas come from trouble
11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they're generous and selfless
12. Ideas come from nature
13. Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence
14. Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice
15. Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we're asleep and too numb to be afraid
16. Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we're not trying
17. Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute
18. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones
19. Ideas don't need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity
20. An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.

Reasons to work
1. For the money
2. To be challenged
3. For the pleasure/calling of doing the work
4. For the impact it makes on the world
5. For the reputation you build in the community
6. To solve interesting problems
7. To be part of a group and to experience the mission
8. To be appreciated
Why do we always focus on the first? Why do we advertise jobs or promotions as being generic on items 2 through 8 and differentiated only by #1?
In fact, unless you're a drug kingpin or a Wall Street trader, my guess is that the other factors are at work every time you think about your work.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Abnormal Norms

Things that might seem out of place elsewhere are just so normal here, like two sisters cooking a meal over a campfire on the government hospital lawn, with earphones in listenin' to some tunes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Redefining hospitality

Last week was a little crazy with firsts: I got invited to a wedding
as I shook my officemate's hand to meet him for the first time "Hello,
my name is Chenden, please come to my wedding."

I met my neighbor, Shobnu. She introduced me to her daughter and
invited me to her first granddaughter's naming ceremony, where all of
the family gets together to name the child and each gently whispers in
her ear her new name, "Athiti".

And to wrap up the week, Christmas carollers came at 11:30pm on Sunday
night, singing amazingly and praying with the family where I'm
staying. They continued carolling until 4am!

"Southern hospitality," move over, here comes something leaner. Wait,
neither the food in India nor in the American south can qualify as
lean, but South Indian hospitality would surely give Alabamans a run
for their money.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, December 3, 2010

Attending my first wedding reception in India

7:00 start, notice the empty seats at 8:30 pm...people have barely
begun to arrive

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What are we nurturing?

"Eric Rudolph the religios terrorist was not inevitable, just as the
teenage bridge builders of Whitwell were not. They were each carefully
and intentionally nurtured." Eboo Patel in "Acts of Faith"

Eric Rudolph is the man responsible for the bombings in both the
Alabama health clinic and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The bridge
builders in Whitwell are middle school students responsible for
building a Holocaust memorial to encourage people to "pause and
reflect on the evil of intolerance and hatred."

What kind of actions are we nuturing and encouraging in our
communities and specifically in young people? Why is it more accepted
to love the Jews that were massacred in the Holocaust than to love the
Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian next door, across town, or
across continents? Can we learn to love while we are both alive to
receive the love?

Quote from Eboo Patel's book, "Acts of Faith"

Quote from Eboo Patel's book, "Acts of Faith"

"Someone who doesn't make flowers makes thorns. If you're not building
rooms where wisdom can be openly spoken, you're building a prison."
Shams of Tabriz