This random linking epidsode, combined with some screaming protesters on the street at Union Square last night make me thing that one of the problems with our country, and maybe even the world, is that we spend way too much time criticizing other people and debating issues and not nearly enough time actually creating positive change in our immediate lives. How much money was donated to political campaigns this year by people who have never given a dime to any charity in their lives before, or even worse, never having given any of their time to any charity. I try to help people around me... that's why I want to write the book, that's why I do these mentoring programs, and that's one of the reasons I like the Boathouse. Not everyone has to spend time in a soup kitchen for it to be a worthwhile charitable endeavor. Just treating people right would be a start.
Ask yourselves what are the last three selfless things you did for other people? Stuck for an answer? What about the last time you criticized someone or attacked them personally for their political views?
Now, that's not to say you can't have views and support politicians that represent your views, but the level of derisiveness that we've sunken to has to stop, especially since so few of us are doing our part as quality human beings. This is not a glass house we should be throwing stones from, people. Go spend more time with your family and close friends. Be supportive of them. Go do something nice for someone... go show your appreciation for someone. Give of your time to a charitable, as oppossed to a political, cause. Helping people is the most non-partisan activity you can take on, and there's not enough of it. Was John Kerry going to save the world? End homelessness? Comfort the sick? Take in the tired, the poor, yearning to breathe free? No, and neither will George Bush. Its up to each and every one of us individually to, as Ghandi says, to "be the change we want to see in the world." I'm so sick of everyone being so negative and critical. And I do it, too, so I'm not saying I'm perfect. One of my new goals is going to be to encourage people to find positive solutions to as many simple, immediate problems as they can find. Let's not waste any more time debating this bygone election. Neither candidate was a great man, and I'll debate that with anyone. We don't have enough great people around because it seems easier to knock people down than to aspire to be great.
Who is a great person that we can all get behind? Is Barak great? I don't know. Sein seems to think so. I honestly don't know enough about him, but his blog is on my FeedDemon. He's holding town hall meetings and he's asked for commentary on his site. I think the most important comment was simply, "Thanks for asking." I never see my local counsel people except for election time. They're supposed to be representing me, but I don't see them asking me what I think. I'm trying to get Fordham to do some polling or town hall type things to see what the alumni base is thinking. Feedback. Great people are great because they ask a lot of questions and strive to inform themselves about their constituencies. Great marketers know their audience, and great politicians should be spending half their time in their own districts just talking to people.
I think I'm going to try and make an appointment with my local counselpeople just to talk and see what's on their mind, find out what they do, etc. I think that would make for interesting blogging. Let's see what our representatives are up to.
We have a first today at the site... Someone random linked to me.
I was looking at my referring sites and noticed a site a didn't recognize. I have no idea who this person is, but he linked to my post regarding "the big red middle." I'm not going to defend my opinion for two reasons:
1) I shouldn't have to. I posted my feelings and I wasn't knocking anyone else's feelings.
2) The comment obviously wasn't meant to be serious political analysis and commentary. Anytime I end a post with "warm, fuzzy feelings" and "Go Rudy" you should be intuitive enough to realize I'm not being serious. Truthfully, that's how I feel, but it was a silly, offhand comment. If I was posting a more serious assessment on the reasons why I think Rudy Giuliani would make a better President than Hilary Clinton you'd be able to tell the difference.
Obviously, people's opinions differ from my own, and I respect that. What I can't stand is people who will personally attack those whose opinions differ from their own. The random guy who linked to me went on to describe the Midwest, which supported Bush in large numbers (4-8% in a controversial and highly contested presidential election is a pretty solid margin as far as I'm concerned... ), in the following manner:
"That big red middle you got your mandate from, a lot of that "red" is sand, dirt, rocks, water, and three guys with AK-47s! Do you really think every square mile of this great country has the same population density? Dear Lord no, you can't be that stupid, can you."
I'm sorry, but that's just really offensive. My best friend is from Wyoming and she's a lovely human being. I understand the nature of population density and we can debate this all we want, but the bottom line is that Bush won and Kerry lost, no matter how you slice it. What's not necessary is to rip on anyone's personal opinion. I don't think anyone was stupid for voting for John Kerry. In fact, I was a Kerry voter, just barely, for a good part of this election, and it wasn't until the debates that I ran out of patience with him. I don't think anyone would be stupid to vote for Hilary Clinton if she ever ran either. I personally dislike her (greatly) but the best part about our country is that we're all free to express our opinion. There's no need to characterize people in Middle America as three guys with AK-47s. That's just offensive and disrespectful, and there's nothing that can justify that. We're one country, and while we don't always agree, we should respect each other and take each other seriously.
Also, there's no need to characterize me as Republican. I'm a registered independent and I'm pretty liberal on a number of issues. Frankly, I think political parties should be banned and I'd like to just choose based on each candidates individual criteria, rather than their ability to tow a party line. That's why I like Bloomberg. Let's be clear, now. Mayor Mike is a Democrat. He switched parties to run in the mayoral election and avoid a very crowded Democratic slate of hopefuls. He could care less about political parties, because he's rich enough to care less. He says what he feels and does what he feels is right. I respect that.
Anyway... I will give the random linker credit for an amusing headline to his post.
"This is going to be stupid. I can feel it." Highly amusing.
I wonder how he found my blog. Perhaps now that I've posted this, he'll come out of the woodwork and post a comment on my site as opposed to just talking behind my blog. :)
I'm in the newspaper! (I'm not sure if that link will always work, but the article is written by Patricia Kitchen and its in today's Newsday.)
The article is about young people and their careers. Here's my part:
"New York, especially, can be a breeding ground for a who's-in-the-lead mentality, says Charlie O'Donnell, 24, an analyst in a New York City private equity group. A graduate of Fordham University, he's set up a young alumni mentoring program there for students and finds that some are "very focused on getting a job as opposed to getting the best job for them," which would call for slowing down and doing some self-assessment.
Young people also can "pay too much attention to what they perceive as the pace around them. Others get jobs and move up and it's easy to feel like you're falling behind."
While he's no advocate of staying stuck in a going-nowhere situation, he does say there's value to finding some kind of fulfillment in the job you're in for as long as you're there. He addresses such career issues on his Web site www.findmypath.com."
Ok, how cool is that?! The story behind it is funny. I e-mailed her months and months ago when I was trying to generate interest in my book, and she literally just called me last Monday for this article. She even featured the Find My Path site! haha... wooooo I'm going to get to work on advertising the site more now that its been featured in a major newspaper. wooooooo
Leave it to idiocy to bring out idiotic comments from people. So someone hacked into the transit message system in the subway and made the signs say, "Pretty Girls Don't Ride the Subway".
So a reporter goes around asking people about this, as if this is real news that we should be wasting brain cells on.
"It's a vicious lie," said Rachel Russell, 37, an East Village arts-program coordinator, mostly in jest. "I think someone is trying to be clever." (Someone... not you, but someone...)
"That's horrible," she said of the sign. "I'm pretty, and I take the subway every day."
(Horrible? Horrible is a curious puppy getting his nose snipped off by a weed wacker. This falls slightly short of horrible, ma'am.)
Nick Bello, 57, a technical representative from Brooklyn, said he has seen proof that the message is wrong. "It's very strange," he said. "I see a lot of pretty girls on the subway."
(Good to know that 57 year old Nick is ogling pretty girls on the subway on his way home. I'm sure his wife will have something to say about that.)
Actress Katharyn Bond, 33, of the upper West Side, who was wearing a little black dress with heels and a pink shawl, was taking the subway to a theater to see a play. "Pretty women," she said, "take the subway so we can go spend money on more important things - like alcohol."
(Clearly she already had a few in her when she gave the reporter the spelling of her name.)
So after I walked out of the Starbucks this morning, I walked down this street with a sign to "Coit Tower". There was a long set of steep stairs up this hill and a spire at the top of the hill... looked like an interesting place to go, plus I wondered with the view might look like from up there.
Odd pink castle up the hill...
"Hey, where do these stairs go?
They go up..."
- Ghostbusters (One of the most well written comedies ever.)
Well, maybe I do have some photographic talent. Although, a untrained monkey probably could have taken a good shot from this spot given this fantastic scenery. Obviously, that's the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. Perhaps New York should start painting some of its bridges. How about painting the Verrazano bridge yellow?
I'm here.... literally. The little black asterisk on the top left of the map marks my spot... but I'm also right there in the reflection. Cool, no? My tat my reflect my inner badass, but this picture definately reflects the inner dork. Check out the panorama of photos at the top of this hill by the Coit Tower below...
You know what, I'm not even going to include a picture of the tower itself, because its not nearly as cool as the view.
But you know what is cool? This guy's door...
The rest of the day I spent mostly driving. I drove down to Palo Alto to have lunch with Valarie from CM Capital at Zibbibo. I had a puttenesca pizza... good stuff.
I did visit Stanford, but I didn't take any pictures. I don't want to jinx it, because then I'll feel like a goofball. After Stanford, I drove around University Avenue... there are some great houses down on the other end. I love looking at houses. I took an architecture course in Regis and every time I look at an interesting design, I mentally add it to the list of stuff I'd like in my own house one day. I think it would be great to design my own house--with someone special of course.
A really special architect. ;)
Oh, Holian will appreciate this. On the drive back into the city, I snapped off a quick photo on the highway..
How sweet is that Vette? Its like a '70 or so. I also saw a new Mustang at Stanford. I can't decide whether or not I want a new Mustang or an older car like this. I guess it depends on whether or not I'll be driving to Greenwich everyday.