Take Ownership

There is a problem rampant in the world.

Refusal to take ownership.

I run across it daily in my professional life. People refuse to take ownership of their actions.

“I didn’t do that.”

“I can’t do that.”

 “It is the company.”

“It isn’t me, it’s the business.”

I always want to shout through the phone or through the office.

I run across this in my private life. People who refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions. Always blaming it on the next person never on themselves.

I am a take responsibility kind of person.

I take ownership of the projects, work, and information provided to me by my company. I consider that the most important function of my job. Knowing what or how or who needs what.

I have been this way in my personal life also. I don’t have the attitude that my circumstances aren’t based as a result of every decision I have made to date.

Life is a result of every choice made each and every day.

Take ownership of your reality.

Your professional life is the result of the choices you make day in and day out.

Take ownership of this!

The other night I watched “The Iron Lady,” the movie about Margaret Thatcher, and I started thinking to myself about the lack of leaders who take ownership. Do we have a strong leader out there like her? I am too young to know if she took ownership of her failures in life before she was out of the public eye, but the film made it appear as though she did.

Do we have some person who has made choice after choice to do what is best, even if it’s not what’s easy?

Do we have leaders who take ownership of not only their triumphs but of their failures?

As a politician Mrs. Thatcher made the choices to serve her country before herself or her family. It made her relationships difficult, but look at the mark she left on the world.

Right now what do we know of the men running for the highest office in our land?

We know that one…they do not take ownership of their failures.

Like most politicians they gladly own their successes but how often have they said, “This was my choice. I did this. I’m sorry for the result, but it seemed like the best option at the time.”


At least not to my knowledge.

Maybe they do in the quiet confines of their offices, but they pay people to spin the story.

A good PR person can be worth their weight in gold if the problem is of their own doing.

Pay the media and they will do or say whatever you want them to. Befriend them and shower them with gifts. It may not be the ethical approach but it gets you the results you need.

Why is it so hard for people to say – “I messed up”?

I messed up and there is nothing that can be done about it except try to accept and learn from the failure.

I know why too. I know the answer to this question.

Because people are afraid of failure. They would rather lay blame elsewhere than accept failure for their poor decisions.

But like I said I am a person who takes ownership, to my detriment I assure you on many occasions.

Professionally I have only been fired from one job. Why?

I accepted responsibility for a mistake made by several because I should have seen it. I should have recognized it. It didn’t matter that it was in my training period with the company and the export forwarder from China sent me the wrong information. It also didn’t matter that my trainer and our supervisor were both actively involved in the shipments. What mattered is that I had three typos on a shipment release and it cost the company money.

But you want know something? I’m okay with this. I learned a lesson about trust and leadership. (Not to mention double and triple checking my work.)

What did I learn about leadership?

I learned that people make mistakes and you shouldn’t judge their future based on one mistake. A true leader looks at the potential.

I learned that you should take ownership of your choices – no matter the result. A true leader knows that they will make good and bad choices and accepts it.

I learned that in a corporate environment you can’t trust your coworkers when they feel you are competition. They would just as soon throw you under the bus than admit their own faults.

We all have faults. We are human. We are not expected to be perfect nor can we be perfect. If you set that as your expectation you will fail every time.

Rather set your expectations on ownership. Can you effect change or results in any given situation based simply on the choices you make?

If the answer is yes, then do it.

If the answer is no, then find someone who can and let it be theirs.

We can’t all end hunger or feed nations, but we can accept that we can do our part.

I think it is time for our leaders to accept ownership of the condition of the nation, the successes and the failures.

I think it’s time for citizens to accept their circumstances.

Regardless of what is happening you can change them.

I changed mine.

If I can change mine – you can change yours.

All it takes is making the choice.


Now be good boys and girls and Share

I have been trying to think of a way to explain and humanize the information on ACTA for you all. As to what it means to the average citizen…how it will affect our lives.

I must admit it is hard.

I am a blogger. I post my opinions on life. I post my opinions on politics. I post my opinions on the government and civil liberties. Occasionally I have shared music videos and speeches. I have posted photographs that accentuate the point I am trying to make. I don’t fill the page with images, I see no point in that. I am not a photographer, I am a writer.

I write utilizing my first amendment rights to freedom of speech and press.

I consider it a wonderfully fun part of my day, this sharing process that occurs with you all.

Some posts I think of me talking to a shrink, that’s really what this blog started out as…a place to put my thoughts. Other posts are more like news articles sort of the content of the last weeks or content on the occupy movement. I have commentaries on how I perceived the Houston branch of the Occupy movement, my life over the course of the last year, and how we can effectively change the world. I wrote – not so long ago – about the Human Project. I plan to write on the Venus Project and more from TED.

Acccording to the Freshly Pressed home page there are  445,814 bloggers on WordPress alone. There are dozens of free blog hosting sites, not to mention the sites that own their domain, and have a blog to share content with you all.

Imagine all of them disappearing.

Last Wednesday’s SOPA/PIPA protest was just a taste of the changes that would be made.

Here’s the thing though…that legistlation is going to be resubmitted and reworked and attached as riders to other bills until it is passed.


When I think of or hear the word Treaty I think of war. There is a treaty signed to end most wars. So…I Googled the word “treaty,” and if you can imagine it Google gave me the Wikipedia link first!

SOPA/PIPA for shame! ACTA be damned! (Haha)

Anyway, Wikipedia defines a treaty as “an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an (international) agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all of these forms of agreements are, under international law, equally considered treaties and the rules are the same.[1] Treaties can be loosely compared to contracts: both are means of willing parties assuming obligations among themselves, and a party to either that fails to live up to their obligations can be held liable under international law.”

I know when I worked with contracts that if a contractor did not live up to the contract that they were in default and we dealt with the company accordingly. Sometimes in court, sometimes in words, either way we made sure to have the partner company make good on their contract. Only one service contract I know wasn’t honored and that contract was terminated.

This makes me wonder what will happen if the U.S. Trade Representative and the IIPA is unable to convince the majority of the Congress to vote for a bill that would dissolve the use of freedom of expression, speech and press. Simply because we are now able to share content through a medium like the Internet.

ACTA is a treaty after all, it’s important to know what that means.

Share…is that a bad word? My five-year old thinks so…he has toys, but now he also has a little brother. His brother is growing up and wants to play with his toys too. He didn’t pay for them, but they are there and he wants to use them. I have to teach a lesson in sharing every morning and evening to my five-year old. He had a monopoly on the toys for five years, but now he does not.

He is angry about it, but it has to be done. He has to learn this to be able to socialize properly.

The five-year old is a whiz at utilizing the Internet. He can download, upload, and I think he has even shared videos on my Facebook page. He redesigns my Droid homepage on my phone every chance he gets. He can’t wait to be able to have a computer of his own to play with and create on.

The treaty the U.S. government has signed with other nations effectively ends this right. This thing that my son can’t wait to do is dying because someone in Hollywood who used to dream this way as a child says no you can’t do that anymore (at least not without giving me my dues.) What would the world be like if Steve Jobs or Steven Spielberg hadn’t had dreams of grandeur as children?

Original content is their argument. What original has come out of Hollywood in the last few years? Really?!

Everything is recycled, reproduced, reused, and we are on our fourth and fifth installments of some movie enterprises.

I don’t care to see another Marvel comic book made into a movie! If I wanted to watch a comic I would actually go to the comic book store and buy one!

Original content…really?!

Are we at war over the Internet? Are we choosing our sides as we share?

The anonymous hackers that are bringing their message to the nations that support ACTA believe we are.

The government is behaving in a manner which says you are guilty until proven innocent, and the only time I have witnessed that stance is in wartime.

I have been raised to believe that the Bill of Rights is something I can depend on that will allow me the freedoms I need to be a fruitful member of society. I should be able to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” I should be able to speak out against a bill, a charter, or a treaty; and not be keyworded into being an enemy of the state. The wording of the Patriot Act is perfectly clear and even if the Supreme Court has declared some line items unconstitutional, by speaking about changing the world as we know it, I am siding with the dissidence. Whether I agree with how they are doing it or not I do agree with the groups at Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Congress, Occupy the Courts, and all the other protests.

Humanity is at a precipice.

We are at a point in history that decides our next evolutionary marker.

Are we going to allow our governments to put an end to things like open-sourcing and sharing of ideas? Are we going to allow a few men at the top to tell us that they are right and we are wrong and we are not allowed to have an opinion much less voice it in a digital media that can be shared?

Are we sheep?

My favorite quote from Einstein is, “In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep.”

I am not a sheep, and I don’t even pretend to be immaculate. I feel sorry for those who do. I try to live right, but if that means to some I am living wrong, that is not my karma.

Sharing and speaking and gathering to protest is the right thing to do right now.

We are at a point when we either follow or create a new path.

We can live as previous generations extolling the high moral standards of the immoral or we can be a generation of exacting change.

Choose wisely.

John Lennon was way ahead of his time, but that's what makes him eternal.

Ideas – Solutions – Thoughts to make this work!

I keep saying I have ideas for the general population to make life work for the benefit of the whole, but since no one has contacted me, I guess I will write a post and see what happens.

On a side note: In all you do harm none. Non-violence is the goal in all this. Be aggressive in your pursuits to change yourself, but realize that you can’t change anyone else. Not their opinions or their way of doing things. Only yours. 

Here is my list of the top 15 things YOU can do to make the world a better place and silently side with the Occupiers.

1) Move your money from a bank to a credit union.

2) Pay cash for all your purchases…this isn’t just for the benefit of your bottom line, this keeps you from paying fees to the thieves.

3) Shop at your local markets and local farmer’s markets.

4) Find a local butcher for any meats you may need, check to make sure that the animals are grain/grass-fed and not fed with corn.

5) Remember your three R’s! Recycle, Reduce, Reuse! – Find new uses or homes for things you are throwing out. Reduce your carbon footprint. Reuse EVERYTHING.

6) Buy from resale shops (Thank you Cathy for this one)

7) Donate items to a local charity. A local library that might have a shop to fund their book purchases.

8) Stop buying name brand products.

9) Plant a garden, if you are in an apartment community see if they would be interested in a community garden.

10) Research your service providers. Find providers that have sustainability clauses.

11) Use public transportation whenever possible. I did this for years when I lived downtown I loved it. Walking, meeting new people and getting free entertainment because of some of the crazy people…and its cheap – just be safe!

12) I know that a lot of people are not going to agree with this one – BUT – I have to say it – STOP SHOPPING AT MAJOR STORES LIKE TARGET AND WAL-MART. Woe to me the naysayer of these stores, but here is the thing…these are the guys sending massive amounts of money overseas. These are the guys that are sending our manufacturing jobs overseas. The American Textiles industry is just about shot because these guys want to pay someone 10 cents an hour for a task that used to be completed in the USA but then they had to PAY people more…so they thought of THEIR bottom line and shipped jobs overseas.

13) Think about where you are working…what are you doing?? Who is benefiting from your job the most? I quit a job a few years ago after witnessing corporate greed first hand. The company I worked with received a several BILLION dollar government contract and turned around and laid off at least 1000 people claim to not have jobs for them, but then asked those people to work for them overseas. MEANWHILE those of us that were left had to do the jobs of allllll the people who were let go did not receive compensation for this BUT had to work 80 hour weeks just to keep the company working.

14) Get the word out. Research. Tell your friends and neighbors what they can do to help. Spreading the solution is just as important as finding a solution.

15) Many people find fault with me using Facebook or having a smart phone…you know what – I don’t keep a house phone. My cell phone is the only phone I use (AND it is not with a major provider), so why not have one that will keep me updated on email and cyber life? I have written blogs and posted them on that little thing. As for Facebook, I talk to people I would otherwise never be able to speak to through a format made for my generation and it has been embraced by the world. I have been on Facebook for nearly 7 years, I’m not quitting.  Take these things and use them as tools to inform the public.

Start here, start now, tell me your ideas to change the world…

A few thoughts on Occupy

I don’t know if this will be my last post on the Occupy movement, or not, that remains to be seen…BUT I think I need to share a few lasting impressions that I gathered over the weekend.

1)  The key to doing is organizing.

If you are going to accomplish anything you need to have a plan of action. You need to know not only what your goals are, but how you are going to get there.

2)  To change the world you have to STOP arguing amongst yourselves!

Who cares if you are protesting for change if you don’t shut your mouth and realize that you will not solve anything by not having a unified front. Quit yer bitchin – PLEASE!

3)  No one wants to be part of something that is seemingly ineffective.

That is maybe the biggest problem. If you don’t know where you are going. If you can’t stop discussing the issues. If you can’t consider the greater good for a few minutes. If you can’t develop solutions for all the ills you see in the world, then you are ineffective. You will have no results.

You will simply, eventually, go away.

These are my problems with this movement and they seem to be the things that keep the average citizen from joining our ranks. The very idea that people are quitting their jobs to hold signs up to be part of the crowd is so completely NOT what we need to be doing. 

That is a problem that the older generations see with this movement…”The Greatest Generation” worked hard for everything that they have/had. They worked and sweat and plowed and did all of the labor to create the infrastructure that makes this nation so great, but they do not want to get behind what they see as a bunch of lazy free money seeking liberals with chips on their shoulders.

I have heard so many varied opinions from politicians and citizens alike. Some say our protests are Anti-American and others that the very ability to hold these protests is Americanism at its finest.

What we have here is a noble cause! We have a fabulous idea! We have the ability to influence the future RIGHT NOW!  

This is a copy of a note I sent to the organizers of the Occupy movement in Houston, because lets just say I was less than impressed by the situation I witnessed.

We’ve got the bones to make this a truely awesome event…it’s what we make it.

I have been researching the movement and agree with the most ardent issues.  There is, however, a less than pragmatic approach to changing the world as we know it based on what I witnessed while attending the event on Saturday. Figuring out what we are as a team is difficult. Knowing what we are fighting for is the easy part.

Saturday all I witnessed were people determined to argue points that we all already know. Corporate greed is bad. Decision making in the government is broken. The democratic process is no longer democratic. Come on. We can discuss these things until we die and we would still be arguing amongst ourselves. It does no good.

What we need is to go beyond the voice of the protest and find solutions that can be organized and implemented that would actually change things. Organize period. Get the permits needed for sound equipment. Get the approval to stay at Eleanor Tinsley. What better place in all of Houston than directly across from our branch of the Fed. Let them see us. Know that we aren’t going away. Don’t rename the park that’s ignorant and only lends itself to allowing the image of the group to be marred by fanaticism. (That was probably voted down, but really…it was ridiculous.)

Allow the points raised at the GA meetings to be voted on by all who would like. Create a page on the Occupy Houston webpage specifically for the referendums and provide a 24 hour period for voting on the actions of the group. Allowing the 85 people in attendance to make decisions for the almost 8000 people in the group is not any better than what we’re fighting against.

Allow people to teach the group what economics is in theory and then what it has become in reality. Find a professor willing to explain what the democratic process is then explain what it has become. We’ve all taken a few classes but who couldn’t use a refresher. Saturday I saw the need for that all over the place.

Take a step back and look at how you want to be perceived by the general public. Do you want to be the fanatic group that scares the remainder of the 99% away or do you want the population to be able to relate? There is a big difference  and only one will give you the backing you need to actually make a difference. Give the 800+ people in attendance at the original march and the nearly 8000 on this page the opportunity to continue their support.

I am not the only person thinking these things. There is a huge difference in approach to what Occupy Houston is doing versus other groups that have been organized are doing across the nation.

I would share all this in the GA this morning, but I have to work. And on that note, anyone not going to their actual jobs to attend this is missing the point of the protest to begin with.

I know that on some things I am missing their point, but in reality, which point of view is going to gather more support? Feel free to post and ponder.

Anyone interested in forming a solutions work group just let me know…because I have ideas…ideas that won’t end the world as we know it, but might change the way things work.

QUICK NOTE FOR ANYONE VISITING FROM CRITTERS AND CRAYONS! These last few posts are NOT my normal material…however…this is highly relavent to current events and I think it needs to be discussed. If you are interested in self development, recovery, recovery from an alcoholic marriage, et al…please see previous posts and CHECK BACK TOMORROW! 🙂

This is NOT happening, just in case you hadn’t heard

Occupy Wall Street, NY, NY

Today is a little bit of a different approach to my post…there is so much good content online and I want you all to see what is “not happening.”

Major media outlets are still not taking this seriously. Our nations leaders are not understanding our call to action…we will be heard. All images seen here are from facebook, Occupy Austin, Occupy Dallas, Occupy Houston, and images that have been shared on my own facebook wall.

Occupy Austin, Oct. 6, 2011

Occupy Dallas, Oct. 6, 2011

Occupy Houston, Oct.6, 2011

 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Ephesians 5:11-14

This video is from a Russian television station. Information you WILL NOT hear from our American television sources.


Protesters – cling to this ideal! ↓

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! Begin it now!” – Goethe

Everyone note…

“Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?
Expediency asks the question – is it… politic?
Vanity asks the question – is it popular?
But conscience asks the question – is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” ~MLK, Jr.

Remember this next time you think one of us in this protest are nuts

Always remember that it is the content of your character, not people’s perceptions of you that matters.

Have a glorious day at Occupy events all over the nation! It’s gorgeous!

Occupy is more than a movement its a change of existence

Today across the nation people are gathering. We are raising our voices in unison to our parents and forebearers to say that their way of doing things – their mindset – is no longer functional.

The progress of the past is not the progress of the future.

”We are the 99%” plan a demonstration Thursday in Washington: the “Tea Party” antidote

Sadly, there are people across the nation, and certainly in our own neighborhoods and families who do not understand. They witness us rocking the boat, and they shy away and say “SHAME ON YOU!”

I read on a facebook update, “We are all victims.” No, we are not. We are only victims if we allow ourselves to continue to live as victims. We are only victims if we do not take a stand and “decide to rise!” (Thank you Danielle La Porte for your pep talk today.)

We have sat and watched and listened and stood crippled by our own inexactitude. We have allowed the mainstream media and popular culture to mold and shape us into unrecognizable robots. We listen to the music handed to us, we watch the TV made for us, and we read the novels that are given to us by the educators of a system that is less than ideal.

When was the last time you read a book just because it looked interesting?

When did you do something simply because you thought it would teach you something?

Occupy America, Occupy Wall Street, the Occupy movement is just as much about the changing of our mindset as it is about corporate greed and the government’s undermining of our rights as citizens.

Yesterday, as I watched and reviewed a litany of information I was struck by the publics lashing out at these protesters calling them lazy, communists, hippies, and worse. I tried to explain to one group in a comment on yahoo’s article entitled,

(Please note that I wanted to copy and paste it here, but the link is no longer functioning.)

I stated that just because my view is different from the norm does not make me a communist. We don’t have communist goals. We do not think that we should be handed a bunch of free money. If you look at what me and millions of other people in my generation are saying you will not find communist idealism. We are not saying that every one deserves an equal portion of the pie.

We are saying that it’s time to remake the pie.

It’s time to go back to ground zero, to join forces as a population to remake and reform the errors of the past. Sometimes problems get so huge that all you CAN DO is full stop, back it up and start over. The democratic system is not broken. The perception of the people against this movement is that we are trying to abolish the system as it is. No…most of us are not.

The system is flawed – yes, but correctable.

The older generations raised us to believe that anything is possible if we work together and strive to make the world a better place. Then you threw us in front of a television and fed us bull shit, hoping that we wouldn’t wake up to realize the extent to which you have tried to brainwash us.

We are waking up.

We are finally realizing the truth of the consequences of your actions.

We are going to connect, correct, and contend with the changes that must be made in order to make the future for our children, one in which they don’t have to have the same struggles as we are faced with today.

Look around the media outlets today and check what the reports are about.

Check up on your congressmen and congresswomen, look at what they have done and are they doing anything?

Read and research the news for yourself. You will be shocked at the inaccuracy of some new stories.

Take the time to think about how you impact the world.

Take the time to think about how you could change your impact.

Take the initiative to play against type and stand for something.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, and today we mourn his passing. This portion of his speech from the graduation ceremonies at Stanford in 2010, speaks directly to this need to act now, don’t wait for someone else to do what you can do.

“It was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Links to information about the Occupy movement can be found here:

Life and Times in these United States of Dysfunction

I write about my life, my experience, my struggles all the time. It is not easy to constantly strive to be better than my circumstance in today’s society. It is not easy to live with a quality of life that is similar to most of the people I know without the financial resources available to me.

I am one paycheck away from being on the street.

If something happened and I was not able to go to work, I would have to live in my car. Why? I am highly skilled, highly trained, highly trainable, highly motivated.

It doesn’t make any sense!

HOW did we get here?

HOW did we get to the point in American society that we can not sustain the economic advantages of life for all?

The preamble to the Constitution –

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Promote the general welfare…no it doesn’t say handouts. However if the goal of the founding fathers was to maintain a certain level of progress, then you occasionally have to provide for those who are in certain life situations.

Yesterday I tried to get assistance for a $94.49 electric bill. One time, all out, they are going to cut my lights off if I don’t get this paid by tomorrow bill. I work. I generally am able to pay my bills. Life happens. I had expenses that had to be covered and have not been able to get this paid. I asked my boss if I could come in late to work. I took the kids to school and daycare, and I went to the social services offices for our school district.

In Texas, our social services are not set up according to county, but according to school district. This I guess is to ensure the proper demographics, but if you are in an already poor school district, how are you going to have anything different on a service level?  I don’t understand the logic behind this system…but it’s the Texas government, and I don’t understand half of what they do.

Heck! I am even paid by the state of Texas and don’t get it!

I am angry at the system as it is…no I don’t have any solutions off the top of my head, but give me a little time and I can sure come up with a few.

Yesterday, as I was sitting with the social worker I was told that there was no assistance. There was not $94.49 to assist me with my electric bill. She called the various other charity organizations as I was sitting there. She was told the same thing from all of them.

There is no money.

How is that even possible? There are so many other people in MUCH worse situations and there is nothing for them?! Have I died and woken up in some desolate third world country?! I can’t even wrap my brain around this. I am flabbergasted.

This is totally insane! I am one voice of MANY and I know that our voices will be heard. They HAVE to be heard!

I am not a liberal, a democrat, a left-wing psycho. I would say that I am conservative, but compassionate to people’s needs. It’s been my life’s lesson that if you work together anything is possible. ANYTHING! We are all in this thing together. We are all stuck on this planet together. We all must WORK together. I am completely against a one world government. I am completely against even having a big government. They create needless red tape and giant agencies that DO NOTHING but spend money that is apparently NOT THERE!

I am a quiet voice in a movement that has been building across the nation. I have publicly stated that I am all for a revolution of thinking. I have said it for years. I stated problems that are wrong with the credit system of our economy since I had a blog on Fast Company in 2007-2008. I have not been ambiguous in my views on this. I have not wavered.

I generally don’t agree with Michael Moore, but even he has a point. I wish I had written down some of the things he said in his interview on MSNBC (I think) the other night. He is in NYC at the Occupy Wall Street protest. The Occupy Houston protest begins Thursday morning with a walk from Market square to JP Morgan Chase building, and then the group is walking to Hermann Park.


I would love to be there, but as it is I can’t afford to get to work much less skip work to attend a protest. Thus I am supporting via WordPress post today.

I am hoping that the link I am posting will work for you. It is an embedded video that is a message from anonymous to the 99%. Anonymous I am with you. I am in.

I have been a quiet voice for long enough, but if you need a louder voice let me know.