“The Bible is not an argument, it is a record of human experience. The point is not to prove that it’s the word of God or it’s inspired or it’s whatever-is-the-current-word-people-are-using, the point is to enter in to its stories with such intention and vitality that you find what it is that inspired people to write these books.”—What is the Bible? Part 17: Assumptions and AA Meetings (via azspot)
Via post found on LinkedIn by Jeff Jones, EVO/Chief Marketing Officer at Target
I have two young daughters, Hannah and Maura.
Since they were born, my wife and I have written them notes to read later in life. It’s our way of passing on advice and sharing our thoughts on some of the moments that can pass by all too quickly when you’re raising children. We keep a notepad in our bedroom, and when one of us has something to say, we write it down and drop it in a big glass jar.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of sitting down with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg during her visit to Target’s headquarters. We discussed some of the topics from her book, Lean In. At Target, a quarter of our board — and 42 percent of our executives — are women, but the kind of equality we have at Target isn’t the norm. In fact, as Sheryl put it, it’s “unheard of.”
I went home feeling inspired. Knowing that Time recently teamed up with Sheryl’s nonprofit to ask fathers to write open letters to their daughters, I grabbed my notebook and got to work on the following note to my girls.
I plan to hold this particular letter back until they graduate from college (of course, I’m sure they’ll find it online much sooner). In the meantime, I thought I’d share it here given the importance of this conversation in today’s workplace.
Dear Hannah and Maura,
You’re about to begin what I know will be a rich and satisfying professional life. But before you do, I want to tell you about the time I met an amazing woman named Sheryl Sandberg. I interviewed her on stage at Target headquarters in 2013, and she made me think of the two of you. I even talked about you in front of a huge audience, but that’s nothing new.
Sheryl is one of the world’s most accomplished women. As I write this, she helps lead Facebook and ranks sixth on Forbes’ “World’s Most Powerful Women” list. Earlier in her career, she was a vice president at Google and served as the chief of staff to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Bill Clinton.
She came to my office to talk to Target team members about some of the misconceptions that hold women back in the business world. I have always been surrounded by female leaders, so I sometimes forget how rare it is for women to hold leadership positions. Right now, there are only 16 female heads of state, and women head up only 4 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
Sheryl has spent years researching women in the workplace, and she’s found in today’s culture, women often feel as if being ambitious is, in a way, un-ladylike. In the corporate world, women sometimes doubt their abilities and think of themselves as unworthy of promotion or recognition. She’s found many women are preoccupied with acting grateful for what they have – and never act entitled, even if they deserve it. Too many women avoid speaking up and going after their dreams.
By the time you read this, I hope this seems strange. I hope you’re used to fair treatment and always having a seat at the table. Nevertheless, these are attitudes that you may confront in your career. If you do, I hope you consider a few of the lessons that Sheryl shared with me.
First, trust your own passions and tastes. Don’t let people tell you who you are or what you’re best suited for — especially when their opinions are based on old-fashioned gender stereotypes. If there’s a job you want or a subject you’d like to study or a career you’d like to pursue, go after it. And don’t apologize.
Second, don’t be afraid to fail. As Sheryl explained to me, women are more likely to play it safe in their careers, even if it means giving up on something they truly want or deserve. Promise me that, when you see an opportunity that excites you — whether it’s a new job, a philanthropic endeavor, a business venture, or something else entirely — you’ll dive in before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it. I can tell you from experience that failure is never as bad as you think it will be. In fact, it’s an important part of any successful life.
Finally, don’t accept the traditional “masculine” idea of what it means to be a good manager, or employee, or entrepreneur, or whatever you choose to do. Just because the business world is male-dominated doesn’t mean that you need to act like a man in order to thrive. Know your strengths — you both have many — and figure out how to use them to achieve your goals.
I’m not asking either of you to run for president or become a Fortune 500 CEO — although you’re both more than capable of doing either. I’m only asking that you pursue your goals without regard for foolish ideas about how women “ought to act.”
Every day I’m amazed at how capable, motivated, and smart you both are. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.
I’ve made so many wrong decisions. I don’t always say or do the right thing. I am not always good. But I thank God everyday for each and every one of my mistakes…each moment of temporary failure and every struggle encountered. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
“Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study useless sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge.”—Jean Jaques Rousseau
“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”—
Camberwell Foxes Radio & Blog
I’m not one to put anyone down for plastic surgery. If it makes you feel better about yourself…by all means, do it. If it’s reconstructive surgery or to improve your health…please, do it. I just think everyone is blessed with beauty in their own unique way. Why would you want to look like everyone else? God made you the way you are for a reason. Why mess with his creation? Just a thought.
"Love me or leave me…But please don’t deceive me and say you love me how I am. You love the way I fit some ideal, not the real woman you’ve yet to understand. See love ain’t all heaven and I am no angel, but I do the best I can.
You always wanted something more from my body, and said you needed something more from my loving. But all you got was me and that’s all that I can be. I’m sorry if I let you down.”
Society:Mental illness. (lost soul, complicated psyche, quiet loner, misunderstood, frustrated with life, experienced recent, traumatic, life-altering events that set him off; not to mention all the positive descriptors that are attached to him, i.e. intelligent, PhD candidate, honor roll student, etc.)
I think that in order to move on & past the hurtful or deceitful actions of others, you really have to be ready & willing to forgive— to possess the willpower & strength to be okay with the fact that some people will never comprehend the importance & value of a friendship, of a relationship, and the significance of their role in your life…what they meant to you & how much you trusted & relied on them to just be there; to not judge, to listen, and to reject the ideas of betrayal. But sometimes you have to realize that everyone is not like you. That these inherent traits are not inherent to everyone. That these things do not hold the same weight to them as they do to you. You have to realize this, and be okay with it. Realize it & move past it. Don’t let it bring you down or make you sad, but let it uplift you & bring you happiness. Because now you are rid of the facade, the hate, the unnecessary…the bullshit. You can do you & find those people who will stand by you while you do it. 2013 is a new year. An opportunity to do things differently, to see things from a new perspective, and to do you in an entirely different, new & amazing way.
…we will argue again about guns, or, rather, about why our politicians are hardly even arguing about guns any more. There are those who will object, who will say gun policy has nothing to do with any single event, that tragedies should not be exploited for political purpose. We know many of our readers are among this group.
And then there will be others, ourselves included, who will say, whatever the facts of this case, that the country would be safer with fewer guns, that mass killings are more difficult with knives, that it is not the Second Amendment but political cowardice that precludes sensible regulation. That we are not supposed to exploit tragedy to talk about this issue, but that in the absence of tragedy it never gets talked about at all.
“Gun control is an important issue, but the inaccessibility of mental health care in this country is an atrocity and a major contributor to these mass killings. Much about how we think about mental health and people who are mentally ill is wrong. It’s a frightening world of unknown unknowns, but the answer is not to continue to ignore these things.”—Jane Doe, “Stop Ignoring and Stigmatizing Mental Illness: Lives are On the Line” (via thetangential)
Throughout Monday night’s presidential debate on foreign policy, President Obama used past positions that Mitt Romney has taken over the course of the campaign to depict him as the wrong candidate to run U.S. foreign policy.
Obama used the tactic both to defend his own initiatives — particularly his Libya policy — and to characterize Romney as an untrained foreign policy hand who has been wobbly and inconsistent.
“I know you haven’t been in a position to execute foreign policy,” Obama said, in summarizing his theme of attack, “but every time you have offered an opinion, you have been wrong.”
Obama took the chance to needle Romney on his adversarial position on Russia. “I’m glad that you recognize al Qaeda is a threat. Because a few months ago when you were asked the biggest threat facing America, you said Russia,” Obama said. “The Cold War has been over for 20 years. But governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.”
Later Obama said directly to Romney, “You indicated that we shouldn’t be passing nuclear treaties with Russia, despite the fact that 71 senators, Democrats and Republicans, voted for it.”
Regarding Romney’s campaign positions on the revolution in Libya, Obama said, “[T]o the governor’s credit, you supported us going into [L]ibya and the coalition that we organized,” Obama said. “But when it came time to making sure that Moammar Gaddhafi did not stay in power, that he was captured, governor, your suggestion was that this was mission creep.”
Responding to Romney’s call for arming Syrian opposition and his critique of the Obama administration’s more cautious policy, Obama noted that “to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step. And we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping, that we’re not putting arms in the hands of folks who eventually could turn them against us or allies in the region. I’m confident that Assad’s days are numbered. But what we can’t do is simply suggest that as governor at times as suggested that giving heavy weapons, for example, to the Syrian opposition is a simple proposition that would lead us to be safer over the long-term.”
Osama bin Laden
Obama reprised a familiar line based on Romney’s position in the 2008 campaign that locating and killing Osama bin Laden would not be a top priority.
“[Y]ou said we shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man,” Obama said. “If we would have asked Pakistan for permission, we wouldn’t have got him.”
“You say that you’re not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq, but just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now,” Obama said pointedly. “You said we should have gone into Iraq despite the fact there were no weapons of mass destruction. You said that we should still have troops in Iraq, to this day.”
You said that first we should not have a timeline in Afghanistan, then you said we should. Now you say maybe or it depends. Which means not only were you wrong, but you were confused and sending mixed messages to our troops and allies.”
I once read that life is enduring not only because of the difficulties we encounter, but because of our own innate desire to do better, to overcome challenges, & to self actualize. We can not change anything until we choose to accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it only oppresses. And coming to consciousness is not possible without infliction or pain.
I get that.
But still…It seems as though moments of happiness will never compare to a continuum of struggle.
“One of the great wonders of the conservative movement is how effectively they’ve constructed this inverted narrative in which the rich are victims, and the poor are perpetrators. They’ve managed to convince tens of millions of decent Americans—many of them poor—to ignore any evidence that contradicts this worldview. You can jump up and down and scream, ‘Hey, the Americans who don’t pay income tax are dirt poor, or serve in the military, or are aged!’ Or, ‘Listen, the top ten percent of our country controls 75 percent of our wealth, while the bottom half controls 1.1 percent!’ These are factual statements. But they don’t register. The reality conservatives cling to resides in their hearts. The poor wind up poor not because they lack access to opportunity—to good education and good jobs—or because they lose their jobs, or get sick, but because they’re parasites. The rich are rich not because they were born that way, not because they’ve rigged the system in their favor, or because they’re ruthless or unethical, but because they’re braver and more noble than the rest of us.”—Steve Almond