Plan To Do Good

Two words can be a constant reminder of our life’s purpose: Loyalty and Kindness.

Loyalty and Kindness

All we do begins with a thought.

The gift of thought raises the human condition above the animal kingdom.

Without the ability to think, we would react as all animals do — with instinct.

With the freedom to choose, we are able to be the Captain of our own destiny.

Although able to choose, the question remains,
Will we?”

Able and Willing are two entirely different concepts. The first is an inherent gift. The second is, literally, a moment to moment decision. Often, the next step is taken with furrowed brow and gritted teeth. By sheer determination and courageous will, action follows thought.

In other words, the ability to think and talk must be followed by the willingness to wink and walk. Thought without action is simply a fleeting fantasy of imagination.

The bridge between thought and action is a plan — a blueprint — if you will. Great plans result in great results.

If you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

A certain amount of brick-and-mortar is necessary for a comfortable life. Food, clothing, and shelter are the basics to survive. What is required, if we want to thrive?

The surprising answer is not something we accumulate for our own comfort. Yet, we benefit the most by giving them to another: Loyalty and Kindness.

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.

We must choose to believe in the merit of these two words and all they can produce. Constant in our thoughts, they are of value only when practiced. Knowing and Doing are as different as Able and Willing. Education and Experience are required to draft the next great plan of action.

If you search for good, you will find favor.

Mother Nature abhors a vacuum. The only way to displace the unpleasant is to fill the vessel with goodness. That requires a conscious thought, a plan of action — and, a commitment to do so.

Your kindness will reward you.

As the uncertainty of current events swirls around us in a torrent of conditions beyond our control, let’s focus on the jewels around our neck and the journals of our heart.

Two words can be a constant reminder of our life’s purpose: Loyalty and Kindness.

Let’s plan to do good!

www.kimfoard.com

Truth and Freedom

To avoid manipulation, think of direct, clear communication as the psychological equivalent of holding up a cross to a vampire.

Truth and FreedomIn the journey from childlike innocence to adult discernment, one trait requires a metamorphosis.

Naivety contains the seeds for discovery and destruction.

As to which we will nurture? That choice is within our control.

To fall under the influence and control of another person is dangerous. A lack of worldly experience and understanding can result in harm, to ourselves and others. Good judgment comes from experience — experience comes from bad judgment. Discretion is the better part of valor.

Yet, these are the naive qualities all children enjoy — and, we, older kids, can continue to practice:

  • Free from guile, cunning, or sham
  • Absence of complexity, artifice, or pretentiousness
  • Childlike directness, simplicity, and innocence
  • Spontaneity and freedom from self-consciousness
  • Sincerity and unaffected simplicity
  • Absence of insidious or treacherous cunning

As we practice the pure qualities of naivety, there is one, very, large caveat: Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. In other words, the Machiavellians, Narcissists, Borderlines, Histrionics, and Manipulators do not subscribe to a mutually beneficial Code of Honor.

To combat the scurrilous tactics of these Con Artists, only one weapon is required: The Truth.

Before we engage in daily interaction with the Disturbed Characters, the truth empowers us to be free.

  • Our conscience is free from regret and blame.
  • We boldly step through the doors of new opportunity.
  • The benefit of our actions lifts the spirits of all in our care.

From the book, Who’s Pulling Your Strings?, by Harriet B Braiker, PhD, comes this powerful observation:

Think of direct, clear communication — especially when it is about the manipulation itself — as the psychological equivalent to holding up a cross to a vampire. Most manipulators recoil in the face of being “busted,” and the air goes out of the pressure they are trying to create just as easily as it escapes a punctured balloon.

Direct, clear communication is just another way of making reference to: The Truth.

From the sages of old is this simple request: “I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”

The truth will set us free.

www.kimfoard.com

Offer & Acceptance

From the quid pro quo of dysfunctional relationships to the generosity of healthy, vibrant, dynamic relationships, the journey is made by walking together in agreement.

Offer & Acceptance

A friend remarked, “Ninety-plus percent of intimate personal relationships are based on nothing more than business transactions.”

At the time, I found her comment distasteful. Since then, I have taken off the rose-colored glasses and actually seen how couples behave in their relationships. Increasingly, I have noticed more of the quid pro quo inherent within what many fantasize to be a loving relationship.

As I listen closely to their words, the intent of their heart is expressed, “Yes, he is the leader of our family, because I say so.”

What?!

Recently, I have been able to weave the last few years of observation into a theorem, which proves my friend wrong in prognosis. The vast majority of personal relationships aren’t based on business principles. In fact, they don’t, even, rise to that level of common courtesies.

For those desirous of building dynamic relationships, consider this:

Give our Best
Pause to Rest

Guaranteed, this article is multifaceted. It will thoroughly thrill and consciously chill, you, with a wonderful blend of logic and emotion.

From the annals of history comes an accepted parable of wisdom, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?”

The simple answer is: No.

By default, then, for two people to walk together, or do anything together, they must be in agreement.

The de minimis requirement for a valid business contract is agreement.

Contract law is based on the principle expressed in the Latin phrase pacta sunt servanda, which is usually translated “agreements to be kept” but more literally means “pacts must be kept”.

As a means of economic ordering, contract relies on the notion of consensual exchange and has been extensively discussed in broader economic, sociological, and anthropological terms. In American English, the term extends beyond the legal meaning to encompass a broader category of agreements.

Common Law jurisdictions recognize a high degree of freedom to contract, with the parties largely at liberty to set their own terms. In other words: Freedom of will to choose what is right for the individual. There is, only, one person who knows what that is: the individual.

The elements of a contract are mutual assent and consideration.

Mutual Assent

Mutual assent is typically reached through offer and acceptance; in other words, when an offer is met with an acceptance that is unqualified and does not change any of the terms. The result is a concurrence of wills or ad idem (meeting of the minds).

Consideration

Consideration is something of value given by a promissor to a promisee in exchange for something of value given by a promisee to a promissor. Typically, the thing of value is an act, or a forbearance to act when one is privileged to do so. The purpose of consideration is to ensure that there is a present bargain, that the promises of the parties are reciprocally induced.

In most systems of law, parties have freedom to choose whether or not they wish to enter into a contract, absent superseding duties. In American law, one early case exemplifying this proposition is Hurley v. Eddingfield (1901), in which the Supreme Court of Indiana ruled in favor of a physician who voluntarily decided not to help a patient whom the physician had treated on past occasions, despite the lack of other available medical assistance and the patient’s subsequent death.

Such a simple concept: Freedom to Choose.

We think nothing of claiming the right for ourselves. Do we graciously extend the same right to others? Or, do we make an offer and accept it for them? Laughable?!

Consider the last time you did something nice for another person and they rejected it. What was your reaction? Offended? Thinking, “How dare they?!” Here is the issue: Your definition of nice may not be the same as theirs.

The root of dysfunction in any relationship is the bad belief that we know what is best for another person. It is Our Bad to believe another person could, should, would (all of the ‘ould words denote an aura of judgment) accept what we are offering. That belief is bad, not the individual who says, “No, thanks.”

Give our Best
Pause to Rest

Let’s take a look at the ABC’s of building dynamic relationships.

Attitude

The foundation for success is an attitude of service to others.

Offer to fulfill a need, satisfy a desire, or fix a problem and a relationship is possible. This initial effort to give value begins the circular motion for acceptance to be received.

The sphere of benefit and influence will grow relative to the effectiveness of our communication. Crystal clear transmissions, static free receptions and a dedicated channel of feedback produce a synergy of unlimited potential.

Knowledge, wisdom and understanding are required as a prerequisite to valuable exchanges. We learn, grow and dream by focusing on Facts of the Past, Choices in the Present, and Vision for the Future.

Purpose in life is discovered by acknowledging a power greater than ourselves; delivery of value is possible by being a conduit for timeless and priceless gifts.

The greatest gift is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others!

Boundaries

The walls of success are plumb and square because of a clear definition of ourselves and an understanding of others.

Until we clearly define and communicate what we want for the present and future, it is futile and even dangerous to pursue long-term relationships. Our individual commitment to a course of action is necessary before others can offer to help.

Definitive expectations allow another individual to make a judgment for themselves if they are able and willing to be a complement. We each have the right to say no to anyone, anytime, anyplace and for any reason.

Respect is only possible with clearly defined boundaries. The sovereignty of a country is defined by its border. As individuals, we are citizens of one.

Self-respect is everything that goes on within our boundaries. Respect for others happens at the border and according to mutually acceptable customs.

Profitable interactions occur through doors of opportunity that swing on the hinges of “No, thanks.” and “Yes, please!”

Commitment

The crowning glory of success is the courage to always do the right thing.

Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
And splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
Then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision
Raising in one’s favor all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material assistance,
Which no person could have dreamt
Would have come their way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

In the great state of Montana, we have an expression and tradition: “Good fences make for good neighbors.”

Those fences mark the boundary edges of ownership. They are the fine lines of distinction between what is mine and what is yours.

Now, consider the title of this article: Offer & Acceptance.

That little “&” sign is the difference between a healthy, vibrant, dynamic relationship and one that is dysfunctional. It is representative of a Montana fence and the fine lines we walk in life.

On the one side is my right to Offer; on the other is your right to Accept, or not. Depending on what I’m offering, your answer will be, either: “No, thanks.” Or, “Yes, please!”

One, or the other. Moment by moment; step by step; offer by acceptance: we choose to walk together, or not. One is not better than the other. What is important, though, is that we have an honest relationship.

Two mature individuals deciding what is best for ourselves, communicating that boldly and clearly, while mutually giving our best, and the freedom to choose, to our partner.

Give our Best
Pause to Rest

www.kimfoard.com

Of, By, For the People

Government must never be allowed to reign supreme above the People. I’m reminded of Pogo’s observation, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

Abraham LincolnThe Saga Continues

This is Part II of what, currently is a three act play. Part I was a request for relief from hardship on behalf of a Montana business woman.

It seems that there is widespread confusion as to what Government is. I’m reminded of Pogo’s observation, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

The basic purpose of government is to accomplish, for the greater good, those things requiring a united body of effort. It is not an entity separate and apart from the people; the individuals who provide the resources.

Most importantly, our Country was founded on the belief that Government must never be allowed to reign supreme above the people.

~

Dear Commissioner:

Thank you for your letter dated June 21, 2010, which clearly communicates the position of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), in regards to Independent Contractor status. Since your letter, also, graciously provides the opportunity for suggestions to improve Department procedure, I have one which I believe can achieve the mutual goals of Montana Employers and DLI.

Over the span of thirty years as a Certified Public Accountant, discovery has been made that: “Communication is what the listener does.” We can hear; yet, not understand. We can see; yet, not comprehend. Your letter emphasizes the efforts of Transmission by DLI; an important first step. Steps two and three are Reception and Feedback. Montana Employers and Hiring Agents have not fully understood and comprehended the seriousness of the issue.

As professionals, you and I work very hard to communicate clearly. For instance, the purpose of the “Mr.” in the signature block of my email to you dated June 13, 2010, is to remove any confusion about my gender; yet, your letter to me is addressed as, “Dear Ms. Foard”. One of your Field Representatives copied me on a letter dated February 11, 2010, using “Ford” as my last name, when it is actually “Foard”.

My point is this: We learn by doing. As professionals, we want the opportunity to correct our mistakes. Montana Employers, simply, want the opportunity to learn from theirs, too.

Montana Employers work very hard to start businesses, stay in business, provide value to the marketplace, support their communities and offer employment to others. Granted, we are a nation and society founded on the Rule of Law. Furthermore, there is the premise so eloquently articulated in the Gettysburg Address:

… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

This is my recommended solution to equitably resolve the audit issue of Independent Contractor vs. Employee:

  • If the Employer has never before been audited in regards to this issue, then, they need the opportunity to establish a more formal relationship with their non-registered Independent Contractors.
  • For those individuals who have received payment during the period of audit and are able to demonstrate their independence, by successfully registering under the Point System and Signed Affidavit referenced in your letter, the Hiring Agent is acknowledged by DLI to be in compliance with those individuals, retroactively and for the next two years.

The benefit for the State of Montana is that these newly registered Independent Contractors are affirming that they have paid all taxes in the past, and will continue to do so into the future. If not, then, they can accept full responsibility and be held accountable by our Government.

By using this approach, Montana Employers have the opportunity to actively learn by practicing the compliance efforts to hire only Employees and Registered Independent Contractors. The Employers, in turn, teach others about the importance of this Montana law. Additionally, a sense of parity, and fairness, is achieved when considering those activities currently exempted from the harshness of this strict standard, as referenced in my earlier correspondence: Payments to the Directors of Bank Boards.

I, respectfully, ask that the consideration above be offered to Montana Employers; so that we have the freedom as good citizens to participate in a Government which fully understands the source of its strength and resource:

… of the people, by the people, and for the people.

If I can be of value in further explaining the merit of this approach, please advise.

Sincerely,

Kim

~

www.kimfoard.com

Freedom

We either nurture the character required to produce liberty and responsibility, or a society of selfishness emerges.

Liberty and Freedom At The Core

From the song written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, Me and Bobby McGee, comes the line, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”

The powerful, rhyming, complement in verse is what I offer for consideration, “We all have the free will to choose.”

In the darkest depths of war and in the slavery of a Nazi concentration camp, Viktor Frankl discovered true freedom.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory….

More from the Wikipedia article:

He (Frankl) often said that even within the narrow boundaries of the concentration camps he found only two races of men to exist: decent and unprincipled ones. These were to be found in all classes, ethnicities, and groups. Following this line of thinking, he once recommended that the Statue of Liberty on the East coast of the United States be complemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West coast.

Quoting from the Statute of Responsibility Foundation:

The Statue of Liberty has served as a symbol of liberty, both in America and throughout the world. Its counterpart, the Statue of Responsibility, will likewise serve as a symbol – a visible representation and call to responsibility – both in America and abroad. These two principles – liberty and responsibility – when linked together, will help engender and secure freedom for the present generation, and for generations yet unborn, wherever a thirst for freedom exists. Only by balancing Liberty with Responsibility can Freedom be sustained.

In other words, our freedom to choose is not a license to harm others. Our choices must be within the parameters of what is: Right, Just and Fair.

Loss of Freedom

Granted, the concepts inherent within the words Right, Just and Fair are intangibles; hard to understand and measure. So, the temptation is strong to take the easy path of materialism. The accumulation of Stuff becomes a way of life. It is visible to all, very tangible, measurable, flaunt-able, and laughable. Because: We do not own things; Things own us. As a result, true freedom is lost.

A wise, farmer, friend brought to my attention the fact that Mother Nature hates a vacuum. In his words, “You either plant seeds to produce a crop of value, or weeds will grow.”

So it is with our life. We either nurture the character required to produce liberty and responsibility, or a society of selfishness emerges.

The secret to happiness and freedom is found in: A belief that we are wonderful chunks of conduit for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.

Our value is not in who we are; it is in what we allow to flow at the core. We have the freedom to choose the object of our service. That choice will determine every thought and action.

Love Is ...

Some will gain the whole world and lose their soul. Others will embrace suffering and sacrifice in their journey to finding the true self.

The first group will be concerned about “keeping up with the Joneses” and “what others think about them”.

The second group has nothing to lose and everything to gain. They understand: The salvation of man is through love and in love.

As the song Me and Bobby McGee concludes, we hear the rest of the chorus: “Nothing ain’t worth nothing but it’s free.”

www.kimfoard.com