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Monday, May 18, 2015

Harley King

What do you do when you are faced with a water puddle blocking your path?  Do you walk around it?  Jump over it?  Or make a big splash?  As adults many of us have forgotten how to celebrate life and enjoy the gifts we are given.  A water puddle is something to be avoided so we don't get wet, muddy and cold.  As children we probably loved splashing our way through water puddles.  We enjoyed the moment.  As adults we must learn to find those moments again and enjoy them.

We often get caught up in the day-to-day struggle to survive — working hard to put a roof over our heads and food in the mouths of those we love — that we forget to enjoy the simple things like a sunrise or a rainbow or a water puddle.  Sometimes we feel that life is passing us by — that we are riding on the fast train to nowhere.  We need to climb down off the train occasionally and stomp through water puddles.

Life is filled with many blessings if we stop, look and listen — if we pay attention to the world of nature.  When was the last time you climbed a tree or went for a hike?  When was the last time you watched a butterfly flit from place to place, held a flower in your hand, or listened to a cricket chirp?  Life is filled with hope if we would only believe.  

Take time to celebrate life, to enjoy its blessings, and to live passionately because before you know it the journey will be over and the opportunity squandered.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Harley King

All human beings face suffering and pain in their lives.  Some of us are better at coping with our disappointments than others.  And for many of us time is the only healer. And in some cases even time does not heal — the pain still lingers.

Some are able to transform their pain and suffering into works of art.  Others remain trapped in an endlessly cycle of sorrow and disappointment.  As creative leaders we must find ways to mold our suffering into creative works that inspire others.  Pain can be a source of great beauty and hope.  Suffering can give birth to joy and happiness.

Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” 

We often dream of a world without pain, suffering and disappointment.  The pain inspires action and change.  Some of world's greatest creative leaders have used their pain and suffering to make changes in their lives and in the world.  

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

If we knew more about the pain and suffering of others, maybe we would be kinder and gentler towards them.  We often are so caught up in our own pain that we fail to see the suffering of others.  By embracing the suffering of others, we will be able to transform our own pain for the good of human beings.  Reach out today and hug someone who is suffering.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Harley King

Telling my personal story has often been difficult for me because my nature is to stick to the facts.  I was raised to believe in factual truth.  I have a bad habit of correcting my wife in front of people when she has the facts wrong.  And she lets me know it.  Old habits are hard to break.

It has taken me years to appreciate the importance of changing our stories in their re-telling — to understand the value of embellishing the facts.  Facts are not as important as meaning.  The truth resides deeper in our memories than facts.

Yet where does one draw the line? Reporters in recent times have been fired or forced to resign because they have played too loose with the facts.  And in some cases, reporters have fabricated the entire story.  Memoirists have been criticized and had their books pulled from the shelves because it was found that they fabricated some of their memories.

Do we violate the reader and writer bond when we embellish our stories?  The reader is expecting the truth and is upset to find the writer has altered the facts.  The trust is broken.  The reader feels betrayed.

Yet the great storytellers embellished their memories to make them entertaining.  Life as we live it has long stretches of boredom.  Life as we imagine it is full of adventure and romance.  Great writers understand this principle.  

Life as we know it is chaotic and without purpose. Imagination allows us to bring order and meaning to events.  Life is lived in the moment and only understood through creative reflection. Life is not as much about names, events and facts as it is about feelings, connections and dreams.  Life is about memory.  Cherish your creative memories.

May your memories grow in proportion 
to the richness of your creative spirit.