Stewardship

StewardshipThe difference between rich and poor is not money. It is the ability to manage the resources available. Many have inherited great amounts of wealth to die broke. Others were born into little and leave behind a legacy.

In the annals of history and the stories of today, Captains of industry are less influential than the Stewards of relationships. In other words, the Empire is less important than the Builders. Regardless of what is built, it is temporary and limited in effect. Those who touch hearts and souls, today, influence the future for many generations.

As we consider our “ships” of families, friends, and communities, why is our role of “steward” important; and, who, really, is the ultimate beneficiary?

Let’s take a look at what stewardship is.

Historically, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee’s responsibility for managing household or domestic affairs. Stewardship later became the responsibility for taking care of passengers’ domestic needs on a ship, train and airplane, or managing the service provided to diners in a restaurant. The term continues to be used in these specific ways, but it is also used in a more general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something owned by someone else.

At the moment we fully embrace the reality of our temporary existence, our view of life changes. In the simplest of terms, our focus shifts from Stuff, to People!

Our thinking changes to embrace the concept of: Service over Self. To do so, we abandon any desire to have power over another. We take inventory of our gifts and work to multiply their effectiveness by mentoring, nurturing, and sharing in authentic ways the best of all that we have been given.

Specifically, great Stewards:

Share Information
Are Accessible
Keep Their Hands Engaged
Stand For Something
Banish Superficial Distractions
Make Everything Better
Coach, Mentor, and Serve

To share, we must first of all possess something of value. We have all been entrusted with unique gifts and have a fiduciary responsibility to enhance them into more powerful tools.

People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. We must be willing to move to where others are to guide them to where they want to go.

The mind cannot forget what the hands have learned. To fully understand the process, we must engage the hands to enlighten, empower, and encourage the mind.

We learn to walk by falling down. Those most appreciative of standing are those who have been beaten down and, yet, refuse to submit their ideals to the vulgarity of others.

The outward appearance is less important than the inward character. Rather than become copies of societal propaganda, it is imperative to enhance the unique image of who we are.

There is always a better way. What got us here will not take us to where we need to go. Good, Better, Best: Never let us rest; ‘Til our good is better and our better, best.

The greatest enduring gift of love is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

In summary, stewardship is a dynamic focus on home, abundance, and the responsibility to give of ourselves to receive the best of all that the universe has to offer!

www.kimfoard.com

Sacrifice

Giving and ReceivingThe answer to the human condition, literally, leaped from the screen into my consciousness. Last week, a Fellow vented his frustration at me by announcing, “I never sacrifice, even for friends because: a) if they are true friends they would not want me to sacrifice, or b) I would be willing to do it and therefore was not a sacrifice.”

First, let me share the rest of the story. As you read through the conversation thread, below, which was the catalyst for the Fellow’s remark, remember to always listen carefully to what people say and you can, vividly, see into the core of who they are.

The topic of discussion on this professional forum for the exchange of ideas was about which word is best: Customer, or Client.

(Kim Foard) Much more than a matter of semantics and the focus on our “professional” command of the English language, the concept is to build a relationship and produce positive results. From experience, I have found some (of those for whom I work) like the word Client, others like the word Customer, and everyone (who pays me) loves to believe they are my Friend. Let’s raise the bar and think of those we serve as Friends!

(Fellow) Friendship can happen, but the vast majority are business relationships and not friendship, IMHO.

(Kim Foard) One thing I have noticed: My “enemies” respect me; they don’t do business with me as Customer, Client, or any other label.

(Fellow) True, but being friendly is not the same as being a friend.

(Kim Foard) Again, it is a matter of semantics. Included in my definition are these parameters: “Friends” deserve the best in everything. No sacrifice is too big, or task too small, when friendship is being nurtured.

(Fellow) I never sacrifice, even for friends because a) if they are true friends they would not want me to sacrifice, or b) I would be willing to do it and therefore was not a sacrifice.

(Kim Foard) You’re right! It is a spectrum of thought. You and I have clearly identified the “Pots of Gold” on each side. The real secret is to be passionate about our beliefs, because we will attract those of like mind.

In my humble opinion (IMHO), he is “right”, only, in the context of being entitled to his opinion. What is your belief? As you can see, the conversation morphed from a matter of semantics into one of foundational issues at the core of any relationship. The label choice between Customer vs. Client pales into insignificance when measured against the word: Sacrifice.

Is sacrifice important? Is it old-fashioned? Is it taken, or given? What do you believe?

Let’s set the stage for our thoughts by considering two simple Proverbs:

When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.

Calloused climbers betray their very own friends; they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.

Thoughts of the vernacular, which might come to mind: “With friends like those who needs enemies.” And, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Yet, we are encouraged to move our thoughts, words, deeds and character to a higher level.

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Right about now is when we, all, start squirming and looking for the semantic Exit Strategies. With thoughts running wild: Great idea, cute concept, life changing; we accept the realization that Knowing and Doing are very different. Yet, we remind ourselves and move, forward, through the pain: Hard is easy; Easy is hard.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

The idea that one person can define what sacrifice is to another individual reeks of arrogance and ignorance.

When we ask for anything from another person (as simple as a glass of water; or, as complex as the price for an exchange of goods and services), they make a choice between Yes and No. If the request is beyond a boundary of theirs, they will choose: No. If the request is within their will to deliver, they will choose: Yes.

To fulfill our request, another individual might offer a sacrifice.

What is a sacrifice?

Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.

To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.

Surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil.

Something of value given away or up in order to gain something more important or to benefit another person.

One word, sacrifice, is the thesis of “Giving to Receive.” It is an individual choice executed by the internal will of that person. No managing by committee. No having it all. No maybe in approach. Sacrifice is a committed decision to offer. What another person does with the offering is their choice.

In my closing remarks in the conversation with the Fellow above, the “Pots of Gold” on either side of the rainbow are Time and Money. In business, the focus is generally on Money and the opportunities it can buy. Of the two, Time is more precious, because of the priceless relationships it can build.

When my Friends offer money in exchange for the value of my time, plain and simple, they are making a sacrifice. From the blood, sweat, and tears of their effort, they produce value in the marketplace. The money earned, by the sacrifice of their time, has great value to them. They exchange it for something perceived to be of greater value. I acknowledge and appreciate their sacrifice.

As their Friend, I believe in: Going far beyond the call of duty, Doing more than others expect, Striving after and maintaining the highest standards, Looking after the smallest detail, and Traveling the extra mile. Sacrifice means giving my best, in everything and every way.

Beyond the realm of business, the gift of Time is a daily sacrifice that we all make. The question becomes: At which altar do we place it?

On the altar of Narcissism, humility is sacrificed by those who believe they are the center of the universe.

On the altar of Friendship, pride is sacrificed by those who believe they are, simply, conduits of goodness for the benefit of others.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

www.kimfoard.com

Making A Difference

Making A DifferenceThe adverb “madly” is an intensifier.  It is used to amplify what follows. For example: “She was madly in love with her new puppy.”

What if all of us were mad, all of the time? Mad, as in MAD: Making A Difference. Not just a little bit MAD. I’m suggesting an all out, purposefully chosen, intensely driven, positively MAD!

Each day, we touch people. At every moment we have a choice to lift others up, or push them down. The truly angry of the world are, right now, scowling and muttering, “I keep my hands to myself and touch no one.”

Oh, but they do! By their facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and choice of words, they slap, kick, hurt, and do as much damage with their covert intentions, as do the overt attackers. They are emotional terrorists.

Yet, terrorists are powerless without a hostage. If we are MAD, they are sad!

How do we make a difference? The same way we build relationships: one person at a time. Those seeking to save the whole wide world must, at some point, acknowledge how that is done. The secret is empowering others to choose a path that is right for them.

Since each of us is a unique creation, empowerment is about relationships. Relationships are, always, one-to-one. The relationship we have with an individual is completely different from the relationship that person has with anyone else. It is for this very reason that we have a fiduciary responsibility to be uniquely MAD (Making A Difference). No one else can do it!

Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome are sure indicators of a MAD individual. They will look you in the eye and smile, every time. There is a twinkle in their eye and a greeting on their lips. Patience, kindness, honesty, protection, trust, hope and perseverance are obvious character traits.

Send the MAD practitioners a short email and receive a tome in return. Give a little; receive a lot. Test them and watch them learn; challenge them and watch them grow.

Just a little time in their presence and we are better for the experience. Much more than what they say or what they do, it’s who they are and who they are becoming. From little pebbles to larger rocks, when thrown into a crowd, they make much more than a ripple It’s an absolute wake of integrity.

From the inside, out, those who are MAD begin each day by acknowledging what they, really, are: a conduit for the goodness from above to flow through them for the benefit of others. Full of life, they are open at the top and intensely focused at the bottom. Lucky for us; they are positively MAD!

www.kimfoard.com

Surf`s Up

Surf's UpBrace yourself; serious erosion is on the way!

Predictive models rely on probability. This is not a prediction; it’s not even rocket science. It is number relativity, with a 100% guarantee of occurrence because “SURF’S UP”: Silly Us Rabid Followers Swallowing Useless Platitudes.

Contrary to the storms of nature, we have the opportunity to push this tsunami back over the horizon; to turn the tide of human events. Since we get what we allow, it is reasonable to believe that we have the power to manage that which is within our individual control.

In fact we do it every single day: we live within the budget of a net paycheck, or net profit, from a business. Net is the secret, here; because what happens to the Gross is, well, simply, no other way to say it: ugly!

What we live on is a percentage of the whole earnings pie. If taxes take a 20% slice of the pie, we live on the remaining 80%; if taxes take a 40% chunk, then, yes, we can visually see the gaping “hole in the whole” and the, smaller, 60% share for us. What if, though, we need the 80% to feed our families?

Let’s pretend that we need $40,000 after taxes. By now, your mind is running wild with the calculation of: how big is the total pie, right?! Lucky for us, I was pretty good at 4th grade math. $40,000 divided by .80 equals $50,000; taxes are .20, or $10,000; and, we are left with $40,000. Ah, the family eats well.

Pretending further that prices never increase and our family is happy with $40,000; yet, considering the wall of taxes headed straight for us, something and somebody has to give. How much will the “gift” be? Just a little more division and we can multiple our knowledge, and that, my friends, will empower us to calm the winds of catastrophe. $40,000 divided by .60 equals $66,666; taxes are .40, or $26,666; and, we are left with $40,000, for our family.

In the mail yesterday, I received notice that my Health Insurance premium was going from $300 per month, up, to $400. Every other day for the last few months, I have been notified of other price increases on a variety of goods and services. If the question is: Why? The answer is: Families need $40,000.

Folks; Pogo was right, “I have seen the enemy and he is us.” It is true: We get the government we deserve. After all, isn’t the founding concept of our government: Of the people, By the people, and For the people? Yes; that is a question mark. Do we believe it? More importantly, are we able and willing to accept the mantle of leadership and take individual responsibility for our families?!

A simple, “YES”, in word and deed, is all that is required to make a difference in the world, today. We can turn the tide by declaring, “GIG’S UP”: Get Ideas Growing Splendidly Using Passion.

www.kimfoard.com

All Gave Some

Silverado HeroesSome Gave All

As we pause to consider those who serve, the gray of semantics bends a knee of deference to the black and white of right and wrong. We will honor those who make the ultimate sacrifice while wearing a uniform, and those who offer themselves as a living sacrifice, to make this world a better place.

In war and peace, there are heroes recognized for their bravery with medals of metal; and, there are those unsung heroes who exhibit their mettle by always doing the right thing.

Each family has its traditions. With the passage of a quarter century, the movie Silverado is one of ours. The movie was released the summer of 1985, the birth year of my daughter, Lindsey. Superficially, it can be enjoyed as a shoot-’em-up Western. Its deeper themes are what make it a classic.

From the script are these three memorable quotes:

(Stella): The world is what you make of it, friend. If it doesn’t fit, you make alterations.

(Paden): I always figure you might as well approach life like everybody’s your friend or nobody is; don’t make much difference.

(Stella): From what I’ve seen, Paden doesn’t seem to care about money.
(Cobb): Ha! Paden doesn’t seem to care about anything, except he does. You just can never tell what it’s going to be.

Have you ever noticed how heroes, real and fictional, are always so calm, cool and collected? Right up to the moment of action! At that instant, all the thought, planning, training, practice, and preparation is executed in a burst of laser-like focus. There is absolutely no “should we – shouldn’t we” or “will we win – will we lose” to their efforts. Our heroes, “simply”, do what is right.

Agreed, there are two moral issues at work: Character and Ethics.

Heroes do care, a lot. They care about their core and all of those whom they touch. They believe life is best experienced from the Inside, Out. Heroes can be recognized by what they are: Patient, Kind, Truthful, Protective, Trustworthy, Hopeful, and Perseverant. Those seven qualities are inherent in the Love they offer to all.

Regardless of the religion, or belief system, there is always a stated set of principles. In fact, the principles have existed long before anyone thought to write them down. The short version of all the tomes is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Now, we come to the question for all of us: “Who, or what, is our God?”

For the judgmental types among us, I can boldly assure you that the answer to that question will be different for each of us. Even for those sitting in a church pew, your view of God is different from those on each side of you.

Silverado Risk All

The secret to answering the question, though, is to realize that our choice is singular. There can only be One, whom we serve.

At some point in all of our lives, we will bend, if not break, that rule. We will want to have our cake and to eat it, too. We will burn the candle at both ends. We will high-center on the fork-in-the-road.

Ultimately, we will learn: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.”

Once we decide to risk all to make things right, then, Teddy Roosevelt eloquently describes the effort, To Do.

Man in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but, who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Citizenship in a Republic
Speech at the Sorbonne
Paris, France
April 23, 1910 (100 years, ago)

The three hyperlinks above are to the text of the full speech. Depending on your reading preference, the first is to the original website, the second is a PDF conversion of that site, and the third is a PDF printed document in larger font. Click on the hyperlinks, only if you want to be a better Citizen and of greater service to others. In the time of a thirty minute Sitcom, you can read a fitting tribute to great Citizens of the past, present, and future.

One of my heroes was named after the fellow who provided a home for my grandfather, who at nine years of age was already practicing the core principles of the “Man in the Arena”. James Burnett, senior, (J. M. Burnett) accepted Charles Arthur Foard as one of his sons. My grandfather honored him by naming my dad, James Burnett Foard.

Jim Foard expressed his love for life by practicing the words credited to Jim Burnett, “I am bound to live up to the light I have. I must stand with anyone who stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.”

Once again, through the lives of our heroes it becomes obvious; within our control is the choice of Right, or Wrong. Heroes by word and deed, provide an example for us to follow, while in their tutelage. In time, the choice will be ours, alone, to make, live, and share with others.

Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed on members of the United States armed forces who distinguish themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.” It is made of Gold.

The poster images, above, of the movie Silverado contain these expressions of inspiration:

“Get ready for the ride of your life. Four strangers became friends. Four friends became heroes. On the road to… Silverado.”

“A dangerous place, in a lawless time… ‘Til four friends risked all to make things right. Ride with them to the adventure of your life!”

For all of us, there is a beginning and an end. A tombstone reflects that. It is impossible to change our beginning. At any moment, though, we can write a new ending to the movie of our life. In the same way that the dash on the marker of those who have fallen is of finite length, so is our time.

While uncertain of the length of our race, we can choose our Exit Strategy. Whether a shoot-’em-up Western, or the real life sagas, I’ve noticed that the Good Guys & Gals always win. Each moment, of every day, they win.

Sometimes their accomplishments are judged to be failures by the critics. Yet, our heroes take the lessons learned into the next battle. When the entire world acknowledges their success, our heroes defer the honor to all of those who were participants in the victory. They rest in the assurance that we have happy memories and will remember them, forever.

While gold medals are reserved to honor those who have sacrificed their life, let’s consider the silver to be a worthy recognition for the living: a reminder to present ourselves as a living sacrifice for the benefit of others. All will give some; some will give all.

Within the name is our mantra: Silver-A-Do. Let’s ride!

Silverado Warriors

www.kimfoard.com

Tailhook Episode

Hooks and FlowersEach spring, a pair of love birds prepare for the adventure of a lifetime: Children.

They give new meaning to the expression, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

More than just the two of them, the whole family joins in to celebrate the beginning of new life.

Actually, the bird type is Tree Swallow and a couple of them nest in a birdhouse on a pillar outside my kitchen window. Excitement reigns supreme as Mom and Dad take turns tossing out last year’s old furnishings and, then, gathering in the new grasses and feathers for their love nest.

All is relatively quiet for a couple of weeks as Mom keeps all warm at home and Dad stays busy with a modest fetch-and-carry routine. They seem to enjoy this time of peace and tranquility, abundant conversations, and visits from the rest of the family, who sometimes acknowledge the happiness with quick fly-bys.

All Is WellThen, everything changes! Quiet morphs into Rock-and-Roll. As quickly as Dad can leave the portal of open mouths, Mom is right there on deck with the next tender morsel. Bits and pieces of each meal are scattered around the house and, at the end of the day, Mom and Dad look frazzled.

As several weeks pass, those open mouths waiting patiently for food become voices screaming for attention: More, more, more! Hurry up, already! Yuk, another worm?! Mom and Dad, with the wisdom of experience, just wink at each other. Just a little bit more time and a big world will welcome all that chatter.

Leap of FaithOne morning, as I poured the first cup of coffee, there he was, Junior, standing on the hook of a hanging flower basket preparing for flight. Up and down the hook he wiggled, to find the perfect spot. Then, he stretched his wings several times, as he looked tip to tip. Tail feathers wiggled, he glanced down at the ground. Then, he seemed to focus on a spot in the distance just before he jumped … into nothingness.

He was airborne! Little bit wobbly; yet, he was definitely flying. The maiden voyage was a fairly small circle as he banked to the left to climb a little and then glide back down into cruising altitude. As he approached home, I found myself thinking, “Pull up, you’re coming in a little too fast!” Since, as a dad, I’m accustomed to talking to myself, I knew to keep quiet and just watch.

Sure enough, it was just like the Saturday morning cartoons. As Junior grabbed the hook with his little landing gear, the momentum almost swiveled him all the way around the hook. He struggled to keep his composure and, finally, regained his balance. Quickly, he looked around as if to say, “Boy, I sure hope nobody saw that!”

Then, an aura of accomplishment seemed to envelope his persona. He boldly stepped to the center of that hook, fluffed his wings, puffed out his chest, raised his sights a little higher, and leaped into his next flight.

Are we as brave? Do we learn from our children as much as (or, maybe even more than) we teach them? As we grow older, do we retain a youthful fascination for life?

The Cape

Kathy Mattea

(Guy Clark/Susanna Clark/Jim Janosky)

Eight years old with a floursack cape
Tied all around his neck
He climbed up on the garage
He’s figurin’ what the heck
Well, he screwed his courage up so tight
That the whole thing come unwound
He got a runnin’ start and bless his heart
He’s headed for the ground

Well he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Now he’s all grown up with a floursack cape
Tied all around his dreams
And he’s full of spit and vinegar
And he’s bustin’ at the seams
Well, he licked his finger and he checked the wind
It’s gonna be do or die
He wasn’t scared of nothin’ boys
He was pretty sure he could fly

Well he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Now he’s old and gray with a floursack cape
Tied all around his head
He’s still jumpin’ off the garage
And will be till he’s dead
All these years the people said
He was actin’ like a kid
He did not know he could not fly
So he did

Well he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

Yes, he’s one of those who knows that life
Is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape

While acknowledging that “discretion is the better part of valor”, when given the opportunity to take a leap of faith: Look both ways and then jump head-first into the Play-ground of life!

www.kimfoard.com

Forwards, or Backwards?

Sunlight Basin

The inanimate objects of Things can be placed in a spot to never move; the animated creatures of human Beings are always doing, and moving towards, something.  We move towards Stuff, or we move towards Principles.  More than the destination, life is all about the journey! 

If I offer for you to take a trip with me by exclaiming, “Let’s go!”, a legitimate response might be to ask, “Where?!” 

Why, then, do so many stumble through life unaware that their discomfort in the journey is related to choice of destination?  In fact, some actually believe they can “sit on the fence” and “play both ends against the middle” by refusing to choose a direction.  Mother Nature hates a vacuum; Fate will make choices for them.

Silly them; not choosing is a choice!  By analogy, think of a “fork in the road”.  Our choices are Left, or Right.  Those who refuse to choose find themselves wedged-up, and high-centered, on the Fork in the middle, and as a result, unable to move! 

So, again, the question is: “Which way: Forwards, or Backwards? 

To be fair, there is a caveat to this “trick” question.  The best answer includes another component, which truly is a Gift

As human beings, we tend to measure life in the way it is experienced: chronologically.  We all have a Past, Present and Future.  So, we tend to “Think” in that order; One, Two and Three. 

You’ve probably seen the bumper-sticker: “Accountants Do It By The Numbers.”  Well, this one does It by the Numbers, and the Letters, too!  The result is this Cowboy Poet & Philadelphia Lawyer, who wants you to consider that “One, Two, Three” may have a more precise order.  In fact, “Two, One, Three” is what you and I are encouraged to practice. 

I am among those who start their morning with:

Give us today the food we need.

Forgive us our mistakes, as we forgive others.

Lead us in the direction best for us and deliver us from harm.

We tend to like our ruts, rotes, and routines; they are very safe and comfortable. 

Recently, I was jolted from mine, into the uncomfortable awareness that there is more to those three sentences than what I was mumbling! 

Present: Our focus is to be on, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive.”  Rather than consume ourselves with the insatiable desires of what we want, our awareness is to be on what we, and others, need

Past: We all make them and they are a burden to our growth, unless we forgive and forget our foibles, and, those of others.  Mistakes are simply disguised opportunities to learn important lessons. 

Future: It waits for us with bated breath.  We have the choice to approach it with resignation and despair, or fascination and curiosity.  Since it is of what dreams are made, let’s tackle it! 

A favorite quote: “The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no person. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” 

As with so many of life’s riddles, the answer is multi-faceted: We are to focus on the opportunities of today; learn the lessons from the past; and, boldly face the future! 

www.kimfoard.com

Love Dimensions

Love Birds

 

By applying The Golden Rule, this builder finds the temple of love to measure “3×5”. Three words, five letters apiece, all beginning with “S” and in alphabetical order: Serve, Share, Smile.

 

Serve: I believe in the philosophy that greatness is achieved by serving. First we learn, then we teach; the more we teach, the more we learn. The greatest love is that which is given.

Share: I believe in the merit of mirrors and teeter-totters. What we give is what we receive. If an equal is on board with us, fun is guaranteed. The relationship will be mirrored and balanced.

Smile: I believe in the principle of right here, right now, it’s great to be alive. Whatever situation we find ourselves, let’s make the best of it. Each of us is as happy as we choose to be.

While the “3×5” gives height and width to each day, the dimension of depth is added by YOU!

One who believes in the magic and power of Communication. More than a belief, yours is a demonstration of verbal songs of expression, written notes of thought, perceptive touches of connection, facial expressions of emotion, the whole encyclopedia of body language, and maybe, even, telepathic vibrations of positive intent, all, offered with a spirit of love.

www.kimfoard.com

Greatest of These

Faith, Hope, and Love

Some days we’re the windshield; some days we’re the bug. The roller-coaster of life can take its toll on our psyches. As a CPA, for the last thirty years, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity, and privilege, of guiding others toward the destinations of their choice. My focus has always been on that word in the center of Certified Public Accountant; I believe “It’s all about the people.”

The “it” is life itself; abundant, fruitful, rich and vibrant life.

Faith is “The substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” Gravity is a prime example for us to consider. Each morning, we awake to find ourselves firmly anchored to the bed; some mornings more so than others. As we roll ourselves out, our feet touch the floor with complete confidence that we can journey successfully through the day.

Hope is “The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.” Many tease that accountants have no feelings. While words can express logic, they are inadequate in the expression of feelings. As children, we all made wishes. Many times, adults tempered our hopes with, “If wishes were horses, we’d all have a ride.”

Love is “The greatest gift; and, is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.”

Since faith and hope are intangibles outside of our control, let’s focus on what is within our sphere of influence. While we can think Faith, and feel Hope; we can do Love.

Love is patient, Love is kind, Rejoices with the truth, Always protects, Always trusts, Always hopes, Always perseveres.

Question: Can we be patient, kind, happy, truthful, protective, trusting, hopeful and perseverant? Answer: Yes. Even beyond the simple affirmative, we can do that for ourselves, if all alone; and, for others, when given the opportunity. The secret is in the four-letter word: give.

When our faith is shaken and our hope is tattered, the road back to both is paved with love. We can begin immediately to offer it to ourselves, first; and, then, to others. As we do, we will find that love “Always hopes” and through that discovery, our hope is restored. Then, because of that hope, we find the substance of faith making it, all, possible!

Since perfect love casts out fear, we can boldly proclaim, “Now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; the greatest of these is Love.”

www.kimfoard.com

Mirrors & Teeter-Totters

Many define their quest for a life partner as searching for their “other” half. Any definition of the word “half” refers to a state of “less than whole”. I’ve tried rolling half an orange across a table; it goes roll, thump! I believe we are of greater value to ourselves, and a partner, when we are “whole” and able to “roll” smoothly.

The thought du jour: I think the answer is found in mirrors and teeter-totters.

Regardless of how attractive we are to others, when we look in the mirror we see someone with whom we are comfortable. We see our flaws, give a sigh and fantasize what it would be like to be different. In a way, that’s a good thing. If within our control, we have the opportunity to grow. Yet, before we turn away, we are accepting, forgiving, and, if mature, confident of what we have to offer the world.

Think of how our reflection, although reversed, responds to our every action. If I extend my right hand, the guy in the mirror offers his left hand in return. If I need a smile and offer one, he gives it back. What we give is what we receive. I believe when we find our partner, the same will be true. We will be looking at a mirror image of who we are. It is part of that universal principle, “Like attracts like.”

Equally as true is another universal principle, “Opposites attract.” Although it seems as though we have a paradox, I believe these opposing and contradictory statements actually offer a glimpse into what holds our world in orbit. The earth hangs perfectly in balance between North and South, East and West.

For electricity to flow there is a Positive and a Negative, for accounting systems to balance there are Debits and Credits: the principle of the magnetic Plus and Minus. It takes both. Remember when we were kids and it was OK to have teeter-totters? Sometimes they were fun and sometimes we walked away with a pain in the rear. It all depended on the partner, right?!

If an equal was on the board with us, fun was to be enjoyed. Up and Down we went. It was a relationship which required two, whole and relatively equal participants. In essence, the relationship was mirrored, opposite, and balanced. At the center of the action and our board was a fulcrum. In any relationship, that is Trust and Respect.

There is one reality to these reflections and tummy ticklers, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we voluntarily give of ourselves to receive the love of another.”

www.kimfoard.com