Ghost of Christmas Past

August 2, 2012


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You, rushing and on your way to work
I was a child, daydreaming by the window
About snowflakes and simple things
You looked at me and said,“Feliz Navidad, mi niño”
I smiled at the joy that the season brings

Soon you’ll be silent and
Every star will look down and cry
Leaving me wishing for one more day
Waiting, a child with my father’s eyes

You called to me from the kitchen
I was reading in the other room
Under an old, dim lamp, hollow and gray
You said, “Mantener tus memorias cerca de ti”
I said, “No one can ever take those away”

Trapped inside yourself
Struggling to endure
The fruits of your labor replaced with doubt
Now I watch your woods fill up with snow
Every hour the same; day in, day out

Soon you’ll be silent and
Every star will look down and cry
Leaving me wishing for one more day
Waiting, a child with my father’s eyes

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Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent from Connecticut, appears to be taking the lead in the Senate to expand gay rights.

President Obama has been working with Lieberman to create a strategy to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bans openly gay servicemen from the military, the Advocate reports.

“On ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ this administration is talking directly to the Hill — we are in direct discussions with Senator Lieberman,” John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, recently told the Advocate. Berry is the administration’s highest-ranking, openly gay official.

A spokesman for Lieberman confirmed that the senator, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, had been speaking to the White House about the bill, the Advocate reports. The spokesman, however, gave no other information regarding the senator’s plans.

Lieberman is already working to expand rights for homosexuals with legislation to grant the same benefits to gay federal employees and their spouses as given any married federal employee and their spouse, the Hill newspaper reports.

The bill has one GOP co-sponsor, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), along with 23 Democratic co-sponsors. Lieberman hopes to bring the bill to the Senate floor by the end of the year, the Hill reports.

With respect to repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Berry told the Advocate the White House would like to see Senate legislation gain bipartisan support.

While many in the gay community are losing patience with Mr. Obama for his lack of action on gay rights issues, the Washington Post points out in an editorial Tuesday that Congress shares the blame.

“Ending… forms of institutional discrimination based on sexual orientation requires leadership. Pity there’s not enough of it coming from either end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” the Post wrote. “Overturning ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and DOMA require legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) have been content to sit on the sidelines while Mr. Obama takes the hits. This can’t continue.”

Magic and Loss

September 11, 2009

911a

When you pass through the fire
you pass through humble
You pass through a maze of self doubt
When you pass through humble
the lights can blind you
Some people never figure that out
You pass through arrogance you pass through hurt
You pass through an ever present past
and it’s best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light

As you pass through the fire
your right hand waving
there are things you have to throw out
That caustic dread inside your head
will never help you out
You have to be very strong
’cause you’ll start from zero
over and over again
And as the smoke clears
there’s an all consuming fire
lying straight ahead

They say no one person can do it all
but you want to in your head
But you can’t be Joyce
so what is left instead
You’re stuck with yourself
and a rage that can hurt you
You have to start at the beginning again
And just this moment
This wonderful fire started up again

When you pass through humble
when you pass through sickly
When you pass through
I’m better than you all
When you pass through
anger and self deprecation
and have the strength to acknowledge it all
When the past makes you laugh
and you can savor the magic
that let you survive your own war
You find that that fire is passion
and there’s a door up ahead not a wall

As you pass through fire as you pass through fire
trying to remember its name
When you pass through fire licking at your lips
you cannot remain the same
And if the building’ burning
move towards that door
but don’t put the flames out
There’s a bit of magic in everything
and then some loss to even things out

Written by Lou Reed

Talent?

Talent?

In 1997, several executives at McKinsey & Company, America’s largest and most prestigious management-consulting firm, declared what they termed the “War for Talent.” So began the current era of talent management.

What exactly is “talent”?

The recent return of American Idol , and the dreadful Susan Boyle on the UK version, has me thinking about the word ‘talent’ lately.

Dictionary.com describes it as ‘a special natural ability or aptitude.’ Some people are talented athletes; others, gifted artists. I, on the other hand, pride myself on my ability to help people better perform their jobs. It’s probably not what my mom had in mind when she had me taking lessons in everything from the clarinet to karate to computers, but you have to make the most of what you’ve got, right?

To put in another way, talent is something that produces value that is meaningful for our organization’s results. Let’s look at this definition in respect to sports: World class organizations from the New York Yankees (or the Boston Red Sox : ) to Olympic skating teams to regional bowling leagues are constantly out there scouting for the best talent. Why? For the same winning results that all organizations work toward.

While this talent mindset is the new to many American managers, most agree that an organization is considered only as strong as its stars. In the past few years, the talent management message has been promoted by consultants and management gurus all over the world with some arguing that it is the organization that “raises up” an employee and not the other way around.

Even the goings-on in the financial sector and the turmoil created over some less-than-honest companies hasn’t confused the message that the best talent has to be recognized and cultivated.

Simply put, talent is each of us delivering on our own unique capabilities every day.

So, while I may not have become the world class jazz musician that my mom was hoping for, I do contribute in a meaningful, worthwhile way to my organization’s results. (While drinking a great deal of coffee!)

What about you? Why is your organization better because you show up there every day?

What’s your talent?

Industrial evolution

January 29, 2009

Recession-era Dilbert

Recession-era Dilbert

As the Republicans continue to be frustrated with the size of Obama’s package (ahem) and the country at large continues to grow frustrated with leaders in the private sector, the stress has even trickled down to Dilbert, who lost his job in this past week.

Above is Dilbert from earlier in the month, trying to remain relevant around the office before he loses his job. Hits a bit too close to home for some of us.

Unemployment is about more than just losing one’s job. It diminishes some people, but can devastate others.

For many, work defines them and gives them a sense of purpose.

Other words that come immediately to mind are dignity, relationships, structure and respect.

We all need to be loved, accepted and respected and –whether we admit it or not– our jobs takes on a huge part of that role in our lives.

How has unemployment in this economic downturn affected you and your loved ones?

It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own. ~Harry S. Truman