Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time Goes On....and On

“Adversity is beating the odds, standing strong when the easiest thing to do is to hide or runaway...we chose to stand in the face of adversity because it is either our natural temperament or because we believe in something”
The Life On Point Group COO

Yesterday was one of those days where you never really have enough time to get done what needs to get done in the life of a productive citizen…don’t get me wrong…I accomplished a host of activities in that 24 hour period however I still have more to go and much more to do today…some of which I could have done yesterday but I choose to put off for various reasons…book signing events; lodging for the ski trip; travel arrangements for Asia; food shopping; etc are now on the calendar for today versus yesterday when I should have accomplished these mundane tasks…but I did not.

So what did I do with the precious 24 hours that was 22 November, 2010? A quick breakdown;
1. Dinner at 5 Guys Burgers: What was memorable about this meal was not the burger itself but the two toddlers that were watching us eat our meal – it made me think back to Jake and Ian playing with french-fries at the table. These two kids were quite comical and without a care in the world as they devoured the food in front of them while providing a free show for those fortunate enough to be in close proximity. It made me think of how much I missed being that father of such young boys! I always had a dream of having 4 boys to raise…hmmm…I wonder…just two more!
2. Searching for my Ski pants: I had no idea of where the hell I put my pants from last season – trivial I know BUT I have had these pants for almost 10 years and they are a part of my skiing persona…Jake and Ian have always told me that I needed to buy a new pair to bring myself “up to date”…well that time has finally come…the pants were thrown out back in July along with a bunch of other stuff…a very long and costly story that has yet to be resolved…oh well…over to!
3. Consolidating the Life On Point Group: I divested myself of a former organization that I was holding on to (Life On Point Therapy Group) simply because we were not going to use it anymore. I was contacted several weeks ago about utilization of the name and its close approximation to another existing organization…so rather then fight about it I relinquished the domain name (Life On Point Therapy Group) as of 22 November, 2010. Now some of you may ask “what the hell is Life On Point Therapy Group?” – well this was an initiative started in 2008 in order to facilitate counseling services after I completed my doctorate studies…well with everything that is happening with our not for profit organization, my personal health as well as ongoing work in Asia I thought it best that my focus remain within the not for profit community…henceforth the decision to forgo Life On Point Therapy Group. My discussions with the president of the organization that will take over/utilize that name went well and I wish them nothing but the best.
4. More ski pants: Now Ian called me yesterday…I can’t tell you how much I enjoy our conversations…he has become so “British” in his sarcasm, wit and humor…well I had thrown out the question several days ago asking “do you need anything for the upcoming ski trip”…to which Ian replied that he needed “neon yellow snowboarding pants”…now I have been skiing since I was 4 years old and in that time I have NEVER had a piece of “neon-anything” never mind psychedelic yellow snowboarding pants…but we have a saying here…”what Ian wants…Ian gets” and so it was off to the internet to find said pants. It should be noted that conventional colors such as brown, blue, black and tan cost far less then neon pink, yellow and green…SIGNIFICANTLY LESS! I sent Ian a picture of some nice used ones from E-Bay…wonder why he has not called me back yet?
5. Updates on Asia: I spent considerable time speaking with my boss regarding funding and support for our efforts in Asia. One thing I have found is that in the not for profit world you are continually running to find funding…its not like a conventional job where paychecks “magically” appear in the bank twice a month…no...that is not the way it happens when charities and not for profit organizations are in need…besides planning for operations we also discussed funding streams for 2011 and beyond and just how much is enough given our plans for the future. It costs money to do charitable acts across the globe…and the reality of it is that the greater the charitable act the larger the funding needed!

"Why Burma...and why now?"
Somebody recently asked me why I care so much about Burma…to which I stared at them sipping their full fat Double Mocha-Latte in Starbucks and carefully picked my words...I said quite frankly...“because nobody else does” … a recently published Reuters news piece captured the essence of why I care…the interview was conducted while I was in country and gets to both US policy as well as the international community’s views on Burma;

“A significant reapportionment of US Government aid is in order, so that it is focused on internally displaced persons (IDPs) and villagers under attack inside Burma. The case is now that around $10,000,000 is spent in Thailand principally on 150,000 refugees there, while less than $2,000,000 is spent inside Burma where many times that number of villagers are at risk, under attack or on the run”

Recently, Baroness Cox, a prominent member of the British House of Lords and no stranger to Burma visited the border areas with Thailand - having run her own not for profit organization prior to entering politics she is no stranger to what is happening to the Karen people – she was asked to comment on the assistance being provided by the international community - her response albeit short and quite blunt hits the mark in so many ways…and causes one to think about what we are doing versus what we should be doing:

“It’s kind of like handing a pillow to a repeated rape victim just as she is about to be ravaged yet again. No matter how noble or helpful at the moment, it does not get at the proximate cause. These impoverished people have been denied the fundamental right to protect themselves. Nothing will change until they have this capacity.”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving…and like many of you I have much to be thankful for…and yet still so much more to do. The day is over 8 hours old and I have yet to make a dent in what needs to be done…top of the list…neon yellow ski pants for Ian!

Warmest regards


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