Thursday, July 25, 2013

What Do You Do When You Go To Work?

One day a man was walking down Main Street when he noticed a construction site.  The construction firm had erected a large plywood fence around the entire site. Knowing that pedestrians would be curious, the firm cut large circles throughout the fence so people could peer in and see the progress taking place.  The man walked over to the fence, looked through one of the holes, and saw a bustle of activities taking place inside.

As he watched the activities, he saw a construction worker with a hard hat walk towards the fence then exit through a 'secret' gate cut in the fence. The construction worker did not properly close the gate so the man walk over, opened the gate, and went inside. 

He saw three bricklayers not far away and walked over towards them. He went over to the first bricklayer and said, Excuse me young man, what exactly are you doing?”

The young bricklayer looked up and replied, “What do you think I am doing? I’m laying bricks.”

I see,” replied the man.  

The man then walked over to the second bricklayer and asked, “Excuse me sir. What is it you’re doing?

The bricklayer never missed a beat; he didn't look up; he just kept on laying his bricks and said “What do you think I’m doing Buddy? I’m making $18.50 an hour.”

The man replied, I see.” 
 Finally, the man walked over to the third bricklayer and said, Pardon me sir, can you tell me what it is you are doing?”

The third bricklayer finished laying his brick, then put down his trowel, stood up, dusted off his knees, raised his hand and pointed to all the bricks he had just laid. He then looked the man square in the eyes and said, “I am hoping to create one of the most beautiful cathedrals this city will ever see.”

Now when you go to work each morning what exactly are you trying to accomplish? Do you go to work to lay a few bricks? Do go to work to earn a few dollars? Or do you go to work to create something you are personally proud of and something that will benefit others?  The choice as to what you do is totally up to you.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wanted to Share Some Great News I Received - Hope You Enjoy

Your blog post "How Local Government Decisions Are Really Made" was just featured on GovLoop  - Knowledge Network for Government....because it was awesome.

Keep up the awesome
- Steve

To see your blog post featured, visit:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Acres of Diamonds

Legend has it a young farmer and his family enjoyed a great life in Africa.  He had his health, a wonderful family, good friends, enough food and a life he enjoyed. 

One day a village elder stopped by his house to chat.  As they spoke, the elder talked about the wonders of diamonds; the power and riches they brought to any man who possessed them.  "Why, if you had only one diamond no bigger than the size of my thumb," the elder said, "you could buy this entire village. And if you had a diamond the size of my fist, you could own this country."

That night after the village elder left him, the young farmer tossed and turned in bed thinking of diamonds. When he awoke the next morning, he was sad because he didn't have any diamonds. Before the day was over, he made arrangements to sell his farm and send his family to live with relatives. When everything was settled, the next day he left his farm to go in search for diamonds.

He traveled all over south Africa - but found none; then to north Africa and still none.  Eventually he sailed to southern Europe, but no matter where he went - Italy, Greece, Spain - he found none. While in Spain, he found himself emotionally, physically and financially drained. 

So disheartened with how he wasted his wonderful life and his life-long savings, he decided the best thing to do was to climb a high mountain and jump into the Barcelona River, which he did.

The same day the young farmer committed suicide, the  man who bought his farm back in Africa was out watering his herd of cattle.  As the cows stood drinking in a small stream that ran through the farm, 
the rays of the early morning sun were shining on a stone on the west side of the shore. The stone sparkled like a rainbow.  Impressed by its look, the new farmer waded over and picked up the large rock. This stone was so beautiful he thought it would look perfect on the fireplace mantle. So when he arrived back home, he placed it on his mantle and smiled.

Later that evening the village elder stopped by to talk with the new farmer.  While in the house, the elder noticed the sparkling stone on the mantle.  He immediately asked if the old owner had returned.  "No, why do you ask?"

The elder replied, "Because of that beautiful diamond you have on your mantle."

The new farmer laughed and said, "You must be mistaken. That's not a diamond; its just a pretty stone I found along the  stream this morning. Come, I'll show you there are lots of stones just like this."  Together they went down to the stream and picked up dozens of stones lying on the ground. 

The Village elder said, "I can recognize a diamond  anytime I see one."  Then he asked if he could send a few samples to the big city for analysis. When the gemologist's report came back a few weeks later, it stated all the stones sent to him were high grade diamonds.

It turns out the new farmer purchased a farm littered with  diamonds - in fact acres of diamonds.  It was on this farm in the Mbuji-Mayi District of Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that the Millenium Start - the largest diamond ever was discovered.

Always remember that there are diamonds all around - opportunities that can change our lives; however, most of us don't always recognize them.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Ever Happend to the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independance?

With the Fourth of July holiday tomorrow, it might be a good time to ask this question, Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Here is what history tells us.
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.

Eleven were merchants.

Nine were farmers and large plantation owners.

They were men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy.

He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.

He served in Congress without pay and his family was kept in hiding.  His possessions were taken from him and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters.  He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire.  The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots.  It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: The Freedom we enjoy wasn't free!