Your Human Résumé Challenge

So I continue to see doom and gloom in the news.  The world is ending.  Say goodbye to your loved ones………………Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.  Our biggest problem, as I see it, is we continue to seek ways in which to differentiate ourselves from each other.  Nowhere else, as much as here in America.  We use race, gender, religion, political party, state, income, you name it, to make us stand apart from each other.  So instead of looking for solutions we seem to look for problems.

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I went to school originally to teach history.  And history has told me that since we began this experiment known as humanity, we have been in the last days. Meaning, that our earliest records seem to indicate that we live in impending doom.  So instead of dwelling on what is wrong, how the world will end and how terrible everyone and everything is.  I wanted to encourage some positive thinking.

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Below I am going to include my resume for entry in to humanity. I am asking anyone who reads this to

A. Share it with someone else.

B. Write your own human resume

C. Tag me or send me a link so I can read your resume.

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To: Humanity at Large

Name: Dan Gourley

Address:

3rd Rock from the Sun. Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy , Virgo Super Cluster

Objective: Seeking relative happiness with the freedom to pursue a better life for me, my family and my fellow humans.

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Education:

School of Hard Knocks

1979-Present

  • Course Work In Life
  • Course Work In: Death
  • Continuing Education In: Compassion
  • Masters in Humility

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Experience:

Human Being 1979-Present

  • Participated in the basic human condition for nearly 4 decades
  • Major expertise in heart ache, sorrow and loss.
  • Minor experience in charity and compassion
  • Developed general sense of self awareness
  • Developing ability to think for myself

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Volunteer Experience:

  1. 2014-Present Coach, Clover Recreational Soccer  Renegades Soccer
  2. 2014-Present Volunteer, Rideability Therapeutic Riding Center Rideability
  3. 2014-Present Coach, NC Special Olympics, Equestrian Division NC Special Olympics
  4. 2014-Present Volunteer, SC Special Olympics SC Special Olympics
  5. 2015-Present Director, Play On Clover, Charitable Movement Play On Clover

 

Cover Letter:

Dear Hiring Manager,

Thank you for taking the time to review my resume.  Though my experience is limited, I believe you will find that I am more than willing to work with your organization in the hopes of a better tomorrow.  I am currently attending the School of Hard Knocks, and will be for the foreseeable future.  I have taken active training in compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, kindness and charity.  I was issued a passing grade but I am seeking a master level understanding in order to better serve humanity.

I hope that you after reviewing my qualifications, you will see the mutual benefit in our continued relationship.  Please fee free to contact me with any questions or to arrange a more in-depth interview.

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#HumanResume

 

 

 

 

X-Gen apocalypse or Y2K WTF

I haven’t been posting recently as time as really gotten away from me. I use this blog as a way to soapbox my ideas in a way in which people can choose to follow or not follow me. I seldom do politics, but sometimes you have to take a step out and post what you are thinking.

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I have noticed a huge divide in society as of late. And no, this isn’t about Trump and Clinton. Nor is this about race and morality in the new millennium. Today I want to address the imagined battle between Generation X (aka my generation) and Millennials. I say “imagined” because I sincerely do not understand this us versus them mentality that both generations seem to embody.

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This divide is most prevalent in the posts found on LinkedIn. I joined the ranks of LinkedIn several years ago. My current career requires that I be a part of this social/business machine. I have used it to learn about trends in my industry, reaching people who can benefit from my company offerings and keeping job prospects in an ever uncertain economy. The pages are ripe with articles about Gen X versus the New Millennials. Gen X writers speak of them as the scourge of business. Millennial writers speak to the “greed and old fashioned notions” of Gen X.

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A simple fact is that our predisposition in life is to raise your replacements. This the very way that humanity and every other species on the planet, continues into the next generation. Each generation actively seeks to sire a usurper to our “throne”. I fear that as we grow smarter, our wisdom is not growing at the same rate. We seem to be able to process the way in which things happen, economy, life cycles, genetics etc. But we never seemed to fathom the implications of this knowledge, people grow old, times change, technology changes the landscape etc.

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The parents in the Victorian age were out raged by women who wanted to vote. The baby boomers were outraged by civil inequalities. Generation X was outraged by the conformity of the baby boomers. Millennials are seeking equality in gender identification and inclusion. If you look back and look at the issues each generation faced, they all seem antiquated. I am speaking of course of fully developed countries (or first world countries as the old system used to call them). I do not discount the suffering of certain countries that still offer no protection to women, gays, trans, other religions etc.

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My best advice to both generations is simple. Get over yourself. New isn’t always better. The way things used to be wasn’t always the best way. Show respect to your elders. Show respect to your next generation. Be both leaders and followers. Collaborate. And most importantly stop looking at how we are different. Start looking at the ways we are the same. Appreciate the fresh approaches and revere the established etiquettes.

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Like almost everything else under the sun, we can be more than we are. We simply have to stop believing that there is a “them”. It is only “us”. It always has been and it always will be. So stop buying in to the overly embellished war between the generations and simply be humans.

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Life Of A Volunteer Soccer Coach Or Why So Serious?

Those of my readers who know me personally, know I am a husband, father, soccer coach and an equestrian coach for the Special Olympics.  Outside of  husband and father..coach is probably my favorite title.  I truly love to participate in the lives of young athletes.

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(Yes that is really me and my U12 Renegades)

Coaching started out with me wanting to spend more time with my son.  He is the stud in the front row on the very far left (kneeling)  However it turned in to much more than that.  I sincerely began to love coaching.  Now so you know, I never played soccer.  I played American Football and was a very good wrestler.  So I understand the mechanics but not the intricacies of the game.  Once soccer season was over I began coaching Special Olympics through Rideability.  A therapeutic riding center that works with the disabled and special needs, which also is the training facility for Special Olympics.

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(Yes again that is really me preparing a horse for a rider)

Coaching has become such an important part of who I am.  Now for the problem.

As I admitted above.  I never played soccer.  And now 13 young men and their families look to me for guidance. These young men deserve the best.  But what if I am not the best? For years we heard the old cliche, it doesn’t matter if you when or lose.  It’s how you play the game.  But at the U12 age group, competition gets intense.  People want to win.  Heck I want to win.

Is it possible that even with the best intentions I am letting the team down by not being an actual soccer coach/player?  We always mange to win a game or two.  We have even managed a few playoff runs.   But the nagging question is, do they deserve better?

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I have never been one for self doubt.  But when your team walks off the field head down.  You can’t help but feel their pain.   As a coach you build them up.  You tell them great game.  We will get better.  But then you wonder where you failed them.

 

I am not writing this as some feel sorry for me cry for help.  Losing is a fundamental part of life.  But the question remains….even with the best intentions, can you let down a team by not letting them get a better more experienced coach.  Now being that we a recreation league there is no guarantee that the next coach ( a volunteer like me) will have more experience.  Or that a coach will even be available.  But still it worries me that somewhere along the line, my desire to coach as exceeded my ability to coach.

Now all that being said.  I highly recommend coaching as a volunteer.  Being a part of the kids life will change yours.  You can have a great impact and not even know it.  The little ones (Under 8 for sure) Truly just want to play and have fun.  As a volunteer you can change the direction of someones life.  Don’t be scared to sign up.  The worst thing you can do is do nothing.

 

 

 

How The Hippies Got It (Mostly) Right Or Make Love Not War

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So Full disclosure here.  I was born in 1979 and that means I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.  Which culturally speaking was about as far from the 60’s as possible.  We had benefitted from the surge in women’s rights and fight for civil rights.  But we lost our soul.  The children of the 80’s and 90’s were flushed with consumerism.  We (collectively but obviously not all) were raised as the center of attention.  We were special, just like everyone else.

I have always been a fan of history.  My dream is to finally get my degree and teach at a high school level.  Eventually I want to earn the title of professor.  Even if it is adjunct professor of basket weaving.  But back to my point.  I LOVE history.  To read about the great men and women who forged ahead to create the very privileged world I now live in.  But history is wasted on so many people.  No one cares where we came from or how we got here.  We simply are here.  As if we magically appeared one day in 1979 and nothing of interest happened up to that point.

The 60’s especially astonish me.  The United States (My dear home) was a flashpan for new ideas.  Revolutions were the happening thing.  People no longer blindly followed king and country.  The way it was, wasn’t the best it could be.  Burn baby Burn!  Times They Are A Changin’.  The world was on fire and we were the fuel for it all.  Women burned bras, men burned draft cards, people of color marched, and former soldiers renounced war.  And love was in the air. (and on the ground, and in the back of a VW Minibus, and in trees and on stage, and in alleys, and dance floors, and parks and beaches……………………)

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Now I can’t say this was a perfect time or a perfect movement.  Violence was the method for peace it seems.  Sit-ins turned to riots, love-ins were little more than drug inspired orgies.  But “Make Love. Not War” became a slogan of the time.  And this is where the Hippies got it mostly right.

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Like anything that can be used, love, can be misused to the point of abuse.  But again this isn’t my point.  As I write this article, several things have recently gone down.  A few weeks back a man entered a nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people.  He swore his allegiance to ISIS, a terrorist state. (Though ISIS really had no contact with him)  His target was a gay dance club.  Worse still from his apparent history it appears he may have struggled with his own homosexual tendencies.  Combine this with a very strict religious upbringing, and you have instant terrorist.  This man (I want to call him names  but I neither feel sorry for him nor hatred, merely sad) was so pent-up that it was likely easier for him to murder 49 people than to admit he was probably gay.  Something that would shame his family before God.

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I struggle with the notion that the supposed creator of all things, would create a condition within a man or woman, that so affronts the creator that he should condemn them to death.  This is the way of the extremists.  And no, I don’t mean Muslim extremists.  I mean overly zealous religious sects around the world.  Some Christian faiths are every bit as tyrannical as Muslim sects.  Imagine just for a minute, without religious implications, that this young man was able to express himself to his family and his faith without fear of retribution, secular or otherwise.  The best case is 49 people are not brutally gunned down.

Now back to the hippies.  The world seriously needs to get laid.  Yes i said that.  let’s be adults for a minute and talk frankly about sex.  Mainly the feeling after sex.  It is difficult to imagine committing violence after having sex.  Sex releases endorphins and lends itself to relaxation and sleep.  We need to MAKE LOVE. NOT WAR.  Now, as my tagline says the hippies got it “mostly” right.

Let me add what little wisdom I have gained in my 37 years of life.  Sex without soul is an addiction.  But sex without dogma is peace.  The hippies were mostly right in the notion of free love.  But in order to be more than animals in an orgy we need to practice some discretion.  So while I do seriously believe the world needs to get laid in the worst way possible, we need guidelines.

Being committed (sic married) is a method in which we semi-evolved animals have taken some of the violence out of finding a mate.  We no longer have to kill the largest male in order to sire young.  And finding someone you trust and love is a treasure in our semi-evolved lives.  So “free love” can and should stay between the two married adults.  Marriage should be open to anyone willing to commit to another.  there, I said it, let everyone who is of age and consenting get married.  Man and man.  Woman and woman.  Trans and Trans or whatever combination you come up with.  We should encourage everyone to find sex with other safety minded, consenting adults.  ( A note on hypocrisy. Some cultures encourage the marrying of children 10  years old to men in their 40’s yet believe sex between two men or two women is somehow unnatural) 

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So to sum this up.  You young men and women of the summer of 69.  You had the right idea.  Let’s get the world laid and stop bringing violence upon ourselves.  “Make Smart Love.  Not War”

 

Namaste~

The Madness Without the Method

Ever Wish You Were A Mantis Shrimp? Or Man’s Inhumanity To Man

Here is a fun fact about mantis shrimp:

The mantis shrimp has one of the most elaborate visual systems ever discovered.

Compared to the three types of colour receptive cones that humans possess in their eyes, the eyes of a mantis shrimp carry 16 types of colour receptive cones. It is thought that this gives the crustacean the ability to recognize colours that are unimaginable by other species.

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So what right?

So much of our society looks at life in black or white terms.  Some more evolved may even admit to seeing the world as shades of gray.  I believe that all of that is wrong.  The world is a myriad of colors, hues, shades, gradients, textures and forms. 

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(The colors you see above are composed of only THREE primary colors, a mantis shrimp can see an estimated ELEVEN)

We are crudely formed apes, a mere step out the primordial forest.  And in our ignorant bliss, we believe we have reached the zenith of our potential.  We replaced clubs for bombs.  and we call that progress. I look to our friend the mantis shrimp and envy his ability to observe life with so much more clarity than we naked apes can.

We profess our humanity and demonstrate our hatred.  We brag of our intelligence and wallow in our ignorance.  We embrace our own righteousness, by trampling those who do not agree. We claim or innocence by finding fault others.  We fear that which we don’t know, but are too lazy to seek the truth.  We hope and we pray, while we wait and we waste.

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As I write this post, I see an odd world outside my window.  A world that should have grown closer together has found a myriad of ways to alienate each other.  This same tool I use to send thoughts of peace and unity ,will be used TODAY to bully, intimidate, besmirch, hurt,  herass, lie, cheat, steal, and malign our fellow humans.

Today fear will be wielded by politicians and religious leaders.  Today someone will be killed for not believing what he was told he must believe.  Today friends and families will stop talking to each other over differing views.  Today someone will hide who they really are for fear of judgment (or worse). Today someone will take their own life, because no one reached out to stop them.  

 

Or is today the day we see the world in all its’ splendor and all its’ colors?

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This Is Your Song or When the Levee Breaks

Instructions: Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.

Now to be fair this was not originally done by Led Zeppelin.  It actually predates the album by about 40 years.  For those who don’t know this song was originally about the great flood of 1927.  A flood that devastated the deep south.  Mostly Mississippi and Louisiana.

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This song resonates with me because of the wailing blues.  I identify with the blues on a very deep level.  The blues are not about feeling better.  Nor do they make excuses or come across as whining.   The Blues are about letting all that pain out for the world to see.  Not for sympathy.  No for empathy.  To add fullness to your emotions.  The blues cry out to be heard.  And this song, while I admit is heavily produced, is still an iconic song for the Blue and the band both.

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The pure punch and power of this song can be felt without the volume cranked up to 11.  And while Page and Plant couldn’t really relate to the original writers.  They can most definitely understand the blues.  Take a few minutes and pull up When the Levee breaks on ITunes or Youtube and spend a few minutes really listening to this song.  Take it all in.  Like a fine wine, let all the senses take in the song.  Listen to the lonesome harmonica and the displaced drums.  Let the bass and the guitar show you the ways of the blues. Let the sorrow in the words swirl around you.

 

If that isn’t the blues…I don’t know what is.

 

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Album: Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
It’s got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well

Don’t it make you feel bad
When you’re tryin’ to find your way home
You don’t know which way to go?
If you’re goin’ down South
They got no work to do,
If you don’t know about Chicago

Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good
Now, cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move

All last night sat on the levee and moaned
All last night sat on the levee and moaned
Thinkin’ about my baby and my happy home

Going, going to Chicago…
Going to Chicago…
Sorry but I can’t take you…
Going down… going down now… going down….

 

 

This Is Your Song

Teen Age Idol or I was a Level 12 Paladin

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

I found the examples used in today’s prompt a bit short sighted.  I mean, I love music like many others, but the3 world is full of such prolific people. I was never a fan boy for any musical group.  That isn’t to say I don’t have a favorite, but was never the card carrying member of a fan club.

 

I have always been a huge fan of the written word.  So I have to say my teenage idol was J.R.R. Tolkien

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I know what you are thinking: “How can some old British author be an idol to a teenage boy?”  My reply to that is have you ever actually READ a Tolkien book?  The answer for most folks, sadly, is no.  Most people are limited to the works of Tolkien via the big screen.  i dare say most of the population has at least casually seen one or all of the Lord of the ring movies.

While I take nothing away from the movies, they are NOT the books.  The words of Tolkien are rich and colorful, but do not require a thesaurus to understand.  According to his own notes Tolkien sat down to write the first truly British folk tale.  Most of the “British” tales can be traced to some other nation.  For instance the Arthurian tales are most definitely French in origin.

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Being a master linguist Tolkien enveloped his worlds in rich and colorful languages.  Creating a language for each race that is complete with syntax and grammar. Meaning that you can learn, speak and write in Elvish.  A language wholly invented by the author.  If you can imagine the difficulty in creating a new language you will have a better appreciation for the greater body of work.

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Not only was Tolkien the founder of modern fantasy writers, he also launched an entire subculture of media.  From the very worlds of Tolkien sprang some of the most intense and fan loved games.  Dungeons and Dragons was a direct result of Tolkien’s writing.  Starting out at first as a board game before spanning the media market in every way imaginable.

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As a young teen I found a great deal of joy in imagination.  Crafting characters and story arcs from a cheaply purchased manual.  Spending hours with friends exploring worlds we created.  Undoubtedly there are the haters in the group you laugh at playing such games.  But to that I would say that my grades were never higher than when I played D&D, I had many good friends and even a girlfriend during this time in my life.  So the old stereotypes do not work here.

So as I close here, I was and still am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien.  He gave me so much to enjoy.  His books still adorn my shelves to this day and have been passed on to my own daughter.  His mark has been etched deeply into pop culture and literature both.

 

Teen Age Idol: Daily Prompts

Teen Age Idol

Learn More About JRR Tolkien Here

Please click here to donate to the Special Olympics

Keeping up with the Jones’ or James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party

Tell us about the one luxury item you wish you could afford, in as much detail as you can. Paint a picture for us.

Luxury?  Never really was a man for luxury items.  I find the more things you have the more responsibility you have to them.  But the assignment is not what I think of luxury items.  It is what one luxury item would I really want.

That is simple.  I want a hot tub.  A large, enclosed hot tub with built in audio and jets.  For me nothing else says luxury than a completely and ridiculously overly expensive bathtub.

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Now luxury or not this is not an item without it’s use.  I suffer from chronic pain in my knees and joints.  A result of both genetics and hard living as a teenager.  I want it to have the individual seating with cup holders, mood lighting  and adjustable jets.

 

Just for fun lets hang a disco ball over it.  I would also be cool if the Ghost of James Brown would haunt it and perform the old Eddie Murphy skit referenced in the title.

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Keeping up with the Jones’

Take Care or Soldier On

Daily Prompt:

When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?

Take Care