Thursday, December 18, 2008

To: Copy To: Blind Copy To:

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, December 18, 2008

What on earth did we ever do before the Internet and more specifically the Email? Every day millions and millions of Emails are sent; most of them to me. Guilty – I am at fault for a lot of the Emails I receive because I have asked for them. Teachable moment here: I have asked for a great many Email online newsletters because you can receive some of the greatest thoughts in the world for free via these newsletters or Ezines; almost of them for FREE. I has been said, by me among many, that you should start and end your day by reading something positive and upbeat – you can easily do this by subscribing to the a couple of the hundreds of not thousands of available online newsletters or Ezines.

But I digress. The purpose of this Nugget is to bring awareness to an ever increasing problem or annoyance regarding Emails. We all receive I would guess at least 30 Email a day; some of us, yours truly included, many, many more. We do not have time to read them all so we pick and choose those we delete and those we read. Then comes the bigger decision, which ones are we going to send on to our friends? Here in lies problem number 1. There is nothing wrong with forwarding Emails but there is a problem in HOW you forward them. Can we agree that there are people in this world who would love to obtain YOUR Email and put YOU on their distribution lists? You know they are there. Therefore every time you forward an Email without properly addressing it AND JUST AS IMPORTANT, cleaning up the contents of the Email, you are sending out several people’s Email addresses if not hundreds and in some cases a thousand or more to everyone you FORWARD the Email to.

Whenever you decided to forward an email, look at the TO LINE. Usually there is only one address but their may be a smaller word that reads: SHOW DETAILS. If you click on SHOW DETAILS you will see all the Email Addresses that the email was sent to. In some cases you do not have to click on SHOW DETAILS, they all simply show up in the introduction to the Email you are forwarding.

What to do? Click on the FORWARD button then clean up the contents of the actual email. Highlight and delete any reference to someone’s Email address BEFORE you send your FORWARDED Email. This will remove any reference to someone’s Email address other than yours.

Have you ever received an Email that says if you don’t forward this to at least 10 of your best friends within the next 10 minutes, something horrible is going to happen to you or something good is not? Have you ever checked to see who else received the Email? Then have you thought, if this is true, (it isn’t), why your “friend” did not return the Email to you if you were so special in their life or vica versa?

There are organizations that send out these Emails for the single purpose of collecting Email address so they can send them direct to you to promote a product or agenda without relying on someone else to forward the Email.

Problem 2 occurs when YOU originate an Email to a group of people and instead of adding the addresses in the BBC (Blind Copy To for you-know-who). That means that the Email will be send to your group of people but no one will know who it went to because the Email addresses are all “blind to the recipients” and therefore the recipient as far a he or she knows, is the ONLY recipient.

There are times you may wan everyone to know such as in the case of an emergency. Who else was warned about this so you don’t have to warn them as well? These situations are very few and far between.

The Rule should be: NEVER MAKE VISIBLE ANYONE’S EMAIL ADDRESS OTHER THAN THE PERSON YOU ARE SENDING THE EMAIL TO. As stated above, if you are forwarding Emails, this will mean you MUST go into the text of the Email being forwarded and clean up the content.

This Nugget was created as a result of an Email I forwarded to everyone (but everyone did not know everyone else received it because everyone was a Blind Copy To (BBC). I immediately received several comments on just how appropriate the content was – thus this Nugget.

As Peggy McColl states in her book, Be A Dog With A Bone, “Drool Unto Others As You Would Have Them Drool Unto You.” That was followed by: “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” Andy Rooney (Had to add that because I thought it was funny). By the way, it is a GREAT book.

When you send out Emails,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Pen, Copy Paper and a Lie!

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, December 17, 2008

Who would have thought it possible? The Governor of Illinois allegedly selling a senate seat; does the word “integrity” come to mind? People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones so take it for what it’s worth from someone from Louisiana where our U. S. Representative had $90,000 cash in his freezer and was still reelected (thankfully he lost in a run off election).

What could have happened to create an atmosphere where an elected official apparently thought and acted as if he (she) were impervious to the law and more importantly common sense? As usual, I have an opinion, imagine that.

Believe it or not (I prefer to believe it) I think it all started with a pen, some copy paper and a lie. Who does not know someone, certainly not you, who has not taken home a company provided pen, or has taken copy paper from the copy machine? Then comes the lie, “They can certainly afford it; it won’t be missed.” Then like any lie, subsequent lies become more frequent, easier and even believable with each lie we tell. Who has not driven the interstate system at 75 mph instead of the posted 70? “Everyone is doing it, they won’t stop me; they’ll stop the ‘real’ speeders.” I know this because…

It is a simple matter of progression from very minor things like taking copy paper to more complex issues like taking illegal drugs or even selling a senate seat, after all, everyone is doing it, aren’t they? As in the case of the Governor of Illinois, the loss of common sense is the result of two words (at least in my opinion) – POWER and ARROGANCE.

Contrary to what a great many people think and say, POWER does NOT corrupt; people corrupt, the acquisition of power just makes it much easier. Arrogance dulls the natural wisdom people have to delude their thinking to where they “believe” they are beyond being responsible for their actions and they can do no wrong. In the case of the Governor of Illinois it would be my guess that he believed that “Chicago Politics” are what they are, and “everyone is doing it; aren’t they?” Since everyone is doing it, why not become the beneficiary of the opportunity of selecting a replacement for Senator Obama’s senate seat? “I’m the Governor of Illinois, who would dare stop or question me?”

This attitude is not reserved only for politicians, on the contrary, every person, man or woman, who reaches the pinnacle of their profession such as Chief Executive Officers, Senior Military Officers, company owners, etc. are subject to the “potential” for a deterioration of their own common sense and moral compass. The key word is “potential” because it is not something that MUST happen, but only COULD happen if there is no internal moral compass to help guide you past the “doing what everyone does” to “doing the right thing.”

I am old enough to remember when people were held accountable for their actions. Times when people did what they said they would do and felt a moral obligation to “do the right thing.”

I would like to suggest that if you believe as I do – that having personal core values is extremely important – then I would highly recommend you visit the web site of Joe Tye at Joe once gave me a gold colored card for my wallet that I still carry. It reads, “Is what I am about to do or say consistent with my ideal best self?” Joe refers to that question as a Direction-Deflection-Question or (DDQ). The premise is quite simple but extremely effective. You are headed in one direction with your thought process when you ask the question and hopefully use the question to validate the direction you are headed. If YES, proceed; if NO, stop! On the back of the card are the twelve Core Action Values Joe feels are critical to maintaining your moral compass: Authenticity; Courage; Perseverance; Vision; Mission; Enthusiasm; Focus; Awareness; Service; Integrity; Faith; and, Leadership. Would there have been a different outcome if the Governor had first asked himself, “Is what I am about to do or say consistent with my ideal best self?” He could have substituted any one of the twelve core action values in the DDQ question; example, “Is what I am about to say consistent with my own best authenticity, courage, perseverance, etc.” In a word, ‘NO!”

A good friend of mine purchased a new Hummer automobile probably worth in excess of $50,000 at the time. When I asked him why he would buy such an automobile he responded, “Because I could.” Why would someone take a company pen, copy paper from the company copy machine, drive 75 mph in a 70 mph zone or sell a senate seat to the highest bidder? Because they could! Not because it was the “right thing to do.”

The first order of business when climbing the ladder of success is to make sure the ladder is against the right wall. In the case of Governor Blagojevich I would think that he probably exemplified one of the Core Action Values, that of being focused. He was focused on what he wanted regardless of what was right or wrong. The ends do not justify the means. Unfortunately is seems that in politics in every corner of the world, people use the political process to satisfy their own agenda rather than to truly serve the people – what a pity!

I cannot even begin to contemplate the good one could do by being a governor of a state, can you? Jobs, education, health care, elimination of poverty. It is literally mindboggling. How then could someone use the position of governor for personal gain as was the case of the Governor of Illinois? I truly believe that at some point in his life, it started with a pen, some copy paper and a lie. In for a dime; in for a dollar!

There is an easy test you can do by simply asking yourself this question:


Nuff said!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown

Are we in a depression? If you look at the news you will see and hear how awful everything is. Cars are not selling. Homes are not selling. People are out of work (but not you if you have looked lately). Prices are falling. This is what you are led to believe if you watch the national news or read the newspapers.

Look at my newspaper:

Mortgage interest rates are still at record lows

Home prices HAVE fallen and there has never been a better time to buy real estate

Sellers are giving all kinds of concessions to get THEIR homes sold

No interest loans for new and even used cars

America, who just over 200 years ago (a drop in the ocean in regards to time) and where slavery was prevalent, has just elected its first black president; that’s progress

Louisiana elected the first Governor from India

Louisiana elected the first Congressman from Viet Nam

We’ve gone three years without a hurricane

If you are reading this, you are looking at the grass from the top and not from the roots

We may be at war overseas but we are peace at home; lot to be said for that
I work for a company who cares for me; you probably do as well but maybe never thought of it in that way before

Today I crossed a bridge that only a few short years ago was destroyed by Katrina

Today I gave a deposition in a legal case. Some would say that is bad. I look upon it as a learning experience and believe me when I say I learned

As I write this I am listening to some wonderful music. I am grateful for the music and my ability to hear it

As I write this I am looking at a partially blue sky as storm clouds clear; I am grateful for the view and my ability to see it

When I arrive home this evening I will be greeted by Sophie my Miniature Schnauzer (or I should say I am Sophie’s human) and my wife who both love me conditionally and I them

My four year old truck starts up every morning like clockwork as does my eight year old car; imagine that as we hear American cars/trucks are trash

If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, be grateful for this, I love you even if you don’t.

Some say I am in denial. To those folks, I would like to suggest that they are in denial for they fail to see and hear the blessings and opportunities that surround them every day. Every morning I have two choices to select from. I can join the pity party and feel and think horrible thoughts about the upcoming day and future days; or, I can choose to be happy and then create my own future by planning the seeds of positivity. I can look in the mirror and see only today and its problems or I can see my 62 years of being alive. I can look back on my problems or I can look back on the good things in my life like four children and nine grandchildren. I am grateful for the values instilled in my by my mother (who had a hole-in-one at the age of 89, so I brag) and father. I can either look forward and anticipate the next problem or I can look forward and relish my next success, that will be one of many to come.

If just one person reads this Nugget and looks differently upon their life than they otherwise would have, the Nugget would be in the words of today’s culture – PRICELESS! If just one person, and that would be you, encourages just one more person to do likewise – it would be… well let’s just say “priceless” has been taken.

When it comes to “gloom and doom” I choose not to participate. If you happen to pass me in the hall or in a store and I choose to ignore you - it may be for good reason; think about that for a moment. I choose to associate with like-minded people. I choose to read invigorating books. By the way, try The Christmas Box or The Christmas Sweater if you want to read a good book this Christmas season. I choose to say Merry Christmas in spite of the popular ridiculous politically correct nonsense. Over 20 years ago Belle’s Palsy took away my ability to smile on the outside but that does not mean I am not smiling on the inside. My inability to smile makes me appreciate a smile even more.

This is what I know. There will always be someone who has it worse than I do and someone who has it better but no one has it just like I do. Because that is true, I know that what I have has been my choice and my future will continue to be my choice. I know that I do not have to be satisfied with what I have but I can appreciate it nonetheless. I also know that what Earl Nightingale said over 70 years ago is just as true to day as it was then, “To change your life, change the way you think! (about your life)” Wallace Wattles said in 1910, to be healthy or rich, “Think in a certain way!” Joe Tye said, “Be today; see tomorrow!” Joe Tye also said, “Never Fear, Never Quit, Expect a Miracle!”

The “rubber meets the road” in your mind, not beneath your feet! If you-know-who is reading this, that means if you want to face reality, it starts with “thinking in a certain way.”


Taking a queue from Henry Ford, if you think the world is falling apart or if you think the world is great; either way you are going to be right! Why on earth would you want to think the world is falling apart? I’ll wait for your answer………