Saturday, November 17, 2012

Various & Sundry: Clearing out the pantry, both virtual and actual

Isn't that beautiful?
As of yesterday, I finished (I think) all the edits for CnC for Adults and I've gone crazy with freedom! I cleaned out the pantry and put out a bunch of canned goods for the Boy Scout collection this morning, sorted the spices, and then, because as I say, I'd gone crazy, I tidied up the tupperware. Yes, that's the kind of life I'm leading.

And now it's time to clean out the virtual pantry. Are you ready?

Are election reactions past their sell-by date? Well, I'm willing to chance it. Here's one I think is worth reading: Letter to a future Republican strategist regarding white people from an official midwestern white person who explains why he did not vote for the Republican candidate, "purely for your education, such that you might be interested in winning an election on the national level at some point in the future." Hint: it's not because he wants free stuff.

You may have heard about people signing petitions about seceding from the union. A) Didn't we try that before? Didn't work out so good. And B), this post explains exactly what that would mean. Hint: no Social Security benefits.

One could almost call that passive-aggressive behavior. I thought this post offered an excellent primer in how to be passive-aggressive.

In other news, remember how I followed the Ivory Coast election about a while ago? Almost two years ago now--wow! Well, the new president dissolved his cabinet this week. Why, you ask?
"the decision came after a dispute Tuesday during a parliamentary committee debate over a possible amendment to the country’s marriage law. The change would make the husband and wife equal heads of a household. Under the current law, the husband is the head and makes decisions in the name of the family. Ouattara’s party supported the change, but other parties within the coalition opposed it."
I have to appreciate that the conflict came to a head over women's rights. Good luck, President Ouattara.

In the obituaries this week, David Durk gets his due. Remember Serpico? Well, it was really Durk and Serpico, testifying about police corruption in NYC in 1971. “It would be fair to say that without Durk, there would have been no police corruption exposé in The New York Times, no Knapp Commission investigations into the matter,” according to one source. Impressive and brave work, and boy were the rewards in heaven. He retired with a police pension of $17K a year in 1985.

I loved this story about a homeless boy taken in by a high school football coach. Very touching.

I am also often very moved by this blog from a contractor working in Afghanistan. A recent post answers the question, "So Ryan, what are most soldiers like?" Another explains The Best Phrase They Have in Afghanistan.

Here's a practical suggestion: Let's stop calling people leaders until they actually lead.
At the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, we use the simplest definition of leader that I have come across: people follow you. This definition intentionally omits any reference to rank or role. We see leadership as behavior-based. "Leader" is not a title you are handed just because you sit in a certain spot in a hierarchy; you have to earn it from those you aspire to have follow you.
Amen to that.

And finally, Ken Levine offers a reflection on his role model: Shari Lewis, in a wonderful story of generous professionalism. May we all be so good.

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