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On The Bricks Archives

 

On The Bricks

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May 22, 2017

Some of the ways that Dale Carnegie writes makes me smile. He says, “Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin on yourself?” How is that for a great way to start out? I loved it.

Later he goes on to say, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.

“Bitter criticism caused the sensitive Thomas Hardy, one of the finest novelists ever to enrich English literatures, to give up forever the writing of fiction. Criticism drove Thomas Chatterton, the English poet, to suicide.

“Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? ‘I will speak ill of no man,’ he said, ‘… and speak all the good I know of everybody.’

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self – control to be understanding and forgiving.

“’A great man shows his greatness,’ said Carlyle, ‘by the way he treats little men.’”

So, Dale Carnegie says that we need to keep our words kind. He tells us if we want to win friends and influence people we need to not criticize, condemn or complain. He is so right.

This week let’s watch our words and listen to whether we’re criticizing, condemning or complaining. How do we sound to others? Think kind. Be kind. Speak kind.

Pioneer Days is over. Start your kind days by saying thank you to those who worked so hard to bring such a wonderful celebration to our community. Thank the businesses who sponsor parts of it.

And I’ll see you on the bricks!

May 15, 2017

The big secret to dealing with people is the next part of the book, How to Make Friends and Influence People, that I’m sharing with you. It’s impossible to deny that we have to deal with people all the time and it’s best to find out the best way.

According to Dale Carnegie, “There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”

He goes on to say that “the deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important. Some of the things most people want include health, food, sleep, money, life in the hereafter, sexual gratification, the well – being of our children, and a feeling of importance.

“Almost all of these want are usually gratified – all except one. But there is one longing – almost as deep, almost as imperious, as the desire for food or sleep – which is seldom gratified. It is what Freud calls ‘the desire to be great.’ It is what Dewey calls the ‘desire to be important.’

“William James said, ‘The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.’ He didn’t speak, mind you, of the ‘wish’ or the ‘desire’ or the ‘longing’ to be appreciated. He said the ‘craving’ to be appreciated.

“Here is a gnawing and unfaltering human hunger, and the rare individual who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold people in the palm of his or her hand and even the undertaker will be sorry when he dies.”

So, we need to show our appreciation of others. But it needs to be an honest showing.

“When we are not engaged in thinking about some definite problem, we usually spend about 95 percent of our time thinking about ourselves. Now, if we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and begin to think of the other person’s good points, we won’t have to resort to flattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost before it is out of the mouth.

“One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation. Somehow, we neglect to praise our son or daughter when he or she brings home a good report card, and we fail to encourage our children when they first succeed in baking a cake or building a birdhouse. Nothing pleases children more than this kind of parental interest and approval.

“The next time you enjoy a meal at a restaurant, send word to the chef that it was excellently prepared, and when a tired salesperson shows you unusual courtesy, please mention it.”

So, our lesson today from Dale Carnegie is to give honest and sincere appreciation.

It’s a good habit to have. Let’s all be aware of the difference our positive words can be to people this week. Hand out as many deserving compliments as you can.

And I’ll see you on the bricks!

May 12, 2017

Some of the ways that Dale Carnegie writes makes me smile. He says, “Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? That is fine. I am all in favor of it. But why not begin on yourself?” How is that for a great way to start out? I loved it.

Later he goes on to say, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.

“Bitter criticism caused the sensitive Thomas Hardy, one of the finest novelists ever to enrich English literatures, to give up forever the writing of fiction. Criticism drove Thomas Chatterton, the English poet, to suicide.

“Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? ‘I will speak ill of no man,’ he said, ‘… and speak all the good I know of everybody.’

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.

“But it takes character and self – control to be understanding and forgiving.

“’A great man shows his greatness,’ said Carlyle, ‘by the way he treats little men.’”

So, Dale Carnegie says that we need to keep our words kind. He tells us if we want to win friends and influence people we need to not criticize, condemn or complain. He is so right.

This week let’s watch our words and listen to whether we’re criticizing, condemning or complaining. How do we sound to others? Think kind. Be kind. Speak kind.

Pioneer Days is over. Start your kind days by saying thank you to those who worked so hard to bring such a wonderful celebration to our community. Thank the businesses who sponsor parts of it.

And I’ll see you on the bricks!

May 9, 2017

For years people have been saying that the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is such a great read. Ignoring them, I kept to my usual and only read trashy novels that were totally for entertainment. But recently I cleaned out the desk and there were five books there that were on the “Good for You” read list.

Last week traveling to the National Main Street Conference, I packed the book, “How to Win Friends …” by Dale Carnegie. The famous Carnegie family comes from Pennsylvania. My conference was in Pennsylvania. Seemed like fate.

Reluctantly I picked up the book. Soon I couldn’t put it down and read on and on. Devoured it in two days and even attended the conference classes! Such sensible statements in that book, which was first published in 1936. I cannot help but share some of the tidbits with you. It isn’t that you need more friends, it’s just interesting conversation.

Carnegie says that the only knowledge that sticks in your mind is that you use. So, yes, that means I need to start practicing some of this grand advice. Great. But getting new friends and influencing people should be fun.

“It is much easier to criticize and condemn than it is to try to understand the other person’s viewpoint; it is frequently easier to find fault than to find praise; it is more natural to talk about what you want than to talk about what the other person wants; and so on.” Yep, he says it straight out in the beginning of the book that these are not the sort of habits that garner favor for you from other people. That if these are your norm, it is time to form new habits.

“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.” Certainly not the way to a person’s heart. Even if you think you’re doing it for “their own good”.

One of his explanations on this topic was a favorite. “George of Enid, Oklahoma, is the safety coordinator for a company. One of his responsibilities is to see that employees wear their hard hats whenever they are on the job in the field. He reported that whenever he came across workers who were not wearing hard hats, he would tell them with a lot of authority of the regulation and that they must comply. As a result he would sullen acceptance, and often after he left, the workers would remove the hats.

“He decided to try a different approach. The next time he found some of the workers not wearing their hard hat, he asked if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from injury and suggested that it always be worn on the job. The result was increased compliance with the regulation with no resentment or emotional upset.”

Good thoughts to consider in how we deal with people.

Other good thoughts about what’s going on in Guymon to share today too! The Guymon High School Powerlifting team is looking for odd jobs to help pay for their state championship rings. Then strong young men are available to help you with any odd jobs you might have. Call Head Coach John Richmond to schedule an athlete. His numbers are 806-893-2278 or 580-338-4350 or email John.Richmond@GuymonTigers.com.

Garrett Martinez won the Best Overall Pioneer Day Beard. Congrats to him! The traditional contest was brought back by Brown and Associates Insurance. Great idea!

The Panhandle State Rodeo Team (men and women) broch home the team titles from the recent OPSU Rodeo and the last one of their season. I’m thinking these guys may be bringing home another national title this year. Keep watching because good stuff is happening with these teams. They’re impressive.

See you all on the bricks!

May 3, 2017

Sometimes we just need to get an attitude adjustment. And it is good to get one before something forces one on us.

I read about a preacher going to visit a woman named Judy who was dying of cancer. Judy told the preacher, “You know, before I got cancer I used to think what was important was a clean house, great looking clothes, and always having my hair fixed. But what is important for me now is spending time with God and my family.”

We need to be reminded what is really important.

Monica Ronne and I were visiting about the Iron Thunder Five State Motorcycle Run that is coming up. Monica and her husband, Shawn, volunteer for the Outback on Friday evening and for the run on Saturday. She told me last week that it was nine years ago when Iron Thunder helped buy their son Austin’s wheelchair.

We need to remember those who have been there for us and for our friends. We need to step up when they need help. Whether it is Pink Heals, Panhandle Partners, Rotary, Lions Club, Iron Thunder, or whomever … if they’ve helped someone we love then we need to pitch in for them.
They are some of the people who are important.

My hope is that you take some time during this Pioneer Days and spend it with someone who is important. Whether you go to the Rotary BBQ, watch the parade, take a tot to the carnival, attend the rodeo, or walk through the Mercantile, may you have that time to enjoy and share.

And if you’re not one of the hundreds who work to make Pioneer Days happen, take a moment to thank someone who does. We are so lucky to have such a fantastic event here to enjoy, of that I am certain.

“There is only one thing about which I can be certain,” said author Somerset Magham, “and that is that there is very little about which one can be certain.”

Have a wonderful Pioneer Days and I’ll see you on the bricks!

April 26, 2017

Change makes people nervous. And it seems to scare some people. Others it just makes mad. But change happens. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not considered a good thing, but it is inevitable. Nothing stays the same. Someone dies and someone is born. Even that small happening brings immense change.

No more can a person walk into Wolf Creek Mini – Mall just to have a little bit of Johnni sunshine into their life. That’s change that hurts. And her family is probably hurting more than I can imagine. To have someone so special that is part of you, is wonderful, but saying goodbye to them has to be much harder than losing someone that isn’t that great.

Good – bye, Johnita Gloden. You are already missed more than can be imagined. But change happens. Each of us needs to act a little nicer, a little less judgemental, and smile a little more just to make up for the absence of Johnni.

Our Pioneer Day Parade is also beloved. And there’s change happening with it, too, this year. First, it will start at 9:30 am, an hour earlier. Deal with it. It is still going to be wonderful. Second, there is a fee to enter of $20. That’s so there can be awards given out. Skip your daily soda this week and the $20 will be there. Third, the parade route is changing. It starts at Northridge Shopping Center on Highway 64 North and travels down Main Street to North Fifth Street (Long and McKinnon, City office, RC Party) and they turn right and go straight on to the Texas County Activity Center. There is a jog cut out, much to the relief of some of the drivers.

As people have found out about the changes, as is normal, some have been quite irritated and vocal, too. One such person called the Chamber, all up in arms, and ranted a bit. She/He was also confused and incorrect, thinking the parade was going over the railroad tracks and on south. Really? There certainly wasn’t much thought in that rant. Over the railroad tracks? And what would we do when a train comes through? Politely ask it to wait? Shees.

Sort of makes Mark Twain’s comment come to mind, “Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.”

But, in all fairness, we all have our moments when we don’t think things through. Certainly is true for me. And think on it, it can be said of the church, too. Some churches are against surrogate mothers. Good thing they didn’t have that rule when Jesus was born.

Last Saturday was also a time of change. More than a hundred people came out and helped with the Main Street and City Community Clean – Up. What makes someone come out and help others, cleaning up someone else’s trash? Some came because their coach told them they had too. Some came because they told their teams they were required. Some did because they have advisors and mentors that are trying to teach them the importance of service.

Each and every one of them deserves our appreciation and gratitude. And if you were home sitting on your tush, you need to ponder the thought of why these youngsters (by far the majority) were there, pitching in and smiling and making a difference and you weren’t. If each of us receives in accordance to what we give, those youngsters are going to be cashing in while some of us are still playing couch potato. It is what it is.

The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.” My selfish self tries to remember this often and I aspire to get better at it. We all should.

Signing off, I wish to send blessings to all those who helped with the Community Clean – Up. And while doing so, to also ask for peace for the family of Johnita Gloden who was one of our county’s greatest helpers. May we all receive some of the blessings like Johnni gave.

See you on the bricks!

April 25, 2017

Sometimes sarcasm is just the tone for the day. That day is today. And I’m feeling the need to share some of it with you, if you don’t mind. Well, even if you do because you and I both know that you can just quit reading this at any point of your choosing.

The basketball playoffs are going strong and there are some good games being played. Those who love watching sports have to be enjoying them. Dave Berry is a sports columnist and he once wrote, ‘If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.” That’s funny.

Vanity Fair ran a column by Graydon Carter filled with sarcasm. I saved it. Here’s one little jewel from it, “Only in America could a man who brags about groping and kissing women without their consent win 53 percent of the vote among white women.” Ouch. I tell my children that you must show respect to whomever is holding the office of the President of our nation, but I couldn’t keep myself from sharing that little tidbit.

Gosh the list goes on and on. You getting into the sarcastic mood yet?

“Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.” That was Oscar Levant, an American comedian who died in 1972 who said that.

Rodney Dangerfield, another American comedian, said, “My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”

There are those who say that they are always honest and I’m here to say that they must not have had small children. Nor many friends. Personally, I think it is wise to remember the saying, “Tell your boss what you think of him, and the truth shall set you free.”
Just because it’s the truth to you, doesn’t mean it’s the truth to everyone.

There are times when you’re asked a question that it is just best to say nothing. America’s President Calvin Coolidge said, “No man ever listened himself out of a job.”

Most people are more interesting once they stop talking.

Comedian Roseanne Barr who could be called a hefty lady, said in her comedy routine, “I asked the clothing store clerk if she had anything to make me look thinner, and she said, ‘How about a week in Bangladesh?’” Ouch.

How about a weekend of Pioneer Days? It’s coming up the first weekend in May and it’s going to be good. You can sign your kids up for the Mutton Bustin’ at the YMCA until Friday the 28th.

The Rotary BBQ is Friday starting at 11:30 and ending at 1 with a plate costing $7 each. Don’t miss that great fun meal at the Activity Center. The Rotary gives many scholarships with the funds garnered that day.

Kids Clown contest is Friday at 10 am in Big R Standard Supply.

The golf tournament is also on Friday morning and the rodeo ends the evening.

Lots of fun. There are schedules out and about or you can go to the Chamber of Commerce website and see what’s in store.

But don’t miss the OPSU rodeo this weekend.

And remember never to give a party if you’re going to be the most interesting person there.

See you on the bricks!

April 24, 2017

Today is simple. I am simple. For those reasons, I am just going to copy a piece I recently read.

“My first eight grades were spent in a rural one – room school. I struggled to learn to read and had difficulty with spelling and grammar. My high school English papers were returned with red circles marked around the many errors and a D written on the top of the page.

“My senior year English teacher, however, was different. She assigned the task of writing an essay on The Lord of the Flies. My paper dealt with the evil in the world. To my surprise, I received an A. She praised the content of the paper, and this made a difference in my life.

“When I write devotions and sermons, the inspiration for them comes from the Lord, but the encouragement to write is a result of that English teacher. She was an instrument from God making a difference in my life. She encouraged me to write and to make a difference in young people’s lives.

“Which teacher inspired you? How have you been an inspiration to others?”

Provokes some thought, doesn’t it?

Here’s another thought. Just because a preacher speaks to his congregation every week and just because a teacher speaks in front of a class every day, this does not mean that their speaking skills cannot improve. Everyone’s speaking skills need to improve.

The best and most enjoyable way to improve your speaking skills is to join a Toastmasters Club. There are two in Guymon, one that meets in the morning over breakfast and one that meetings in the evening, both on a weekly basis. Sitting amongst others who know they can improve how they speak, or can get to the point that they can talk in front of a group, you work on your speaking skills at your own speed and surrounded by people who understand and who share positive instruction. Call Dianna Brown at 580-338-7270 to learn more about visiting this group.

Now let’s all go forth and be an inspiration.

See you on the bricks.

April 10, 2017

Generation Z has some really interesting aspects in association with them. They are the young folks who are buried in their cellphones. In fact, they don’t get magazine subscriptions like we do, but they read the same articles on their cell phones. They don’t watch the news on TV, but they see the same reports on their cellphones.

This is the generation that has had social media and cell phone (ie miniature computers) their entire life as a consumer. Social is not “virtual” to them, but is reality.

One Gen Z came up with a great idea … that there should be a phone invented that is attached to the wall so you can’t lose it. A rotary dial phone is an artifact that they likely have never seen, let alone used.

In a study, 46% of the Gen Z would choose to have internet access over owning a car. The reject traditional and authoritative marketing. You don’t tell them to “Go out NOW and buy XXX.” They need to be constantly courted for their attention and they are much more socially responsible than previous generations.

Often, they will buy the lesser brand if that company has made a social statement and commitment that is shared by the Gen Z, such as those who give a portion of their profits to social endeavors like conservation. They look for a personal / emotional connection to products.
This generation is very influential in what their parents are purchasing, too.

These are the people who Big Business has laid off their parents or lost their retirement, Big Banks have taken their homes, and Big Media has lied to them. They have grown up in a recession and they do not trust those entities that their grandparents trusted.

Those companies who are aware of these changing attitudes are changing their marketing plans, their employment strategies, and they are building and growing. Those who do not change according to the changes in their customers, may not grow.

Here in the Panhandle we have a generation of young kids who care about their community, who want to be a part of improving our home and making it better for our people. Sometimes we get so set in our ways that we don’t let the young ones come in and help.

But they young ones have more energy, they have some new ideas, and they are stronger, quite often. We need to be partners with our youth. That means we need to listen to them, we need to talk with them, and we need to teach one another. It’s all about respect.

No matter what your age, I applaud those who care and who put some sweat equity behind the talk. I thank those who support our community, who work as volunteer Sunday School teachers, City Council members, School Board members, community clean – up helpers, Pioneer Days volunteers (and other community events), those who keep the community food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, going, who take care of the Oakes of Mamre, the businesses who are Chamber and Main Street members, the ones who encourage their employees to be part of the civic organizations and community efforts, the entities that are here to help like Iron Thunder Motorcycle Club and Panhandle Partners, Lions Club and Rotary Club.

Thank you to all and when I see you on the bricks, my hat off to you all. And if you’re not involved with some of these, ask yourself why you aren’t. It would be interesting to know.

See you on the Bricks!

April 6, 2017

The last week or so has been spent cleaning out my desk drawers. Files upon files have been gone through and my mind has wondered why this was deemed worth saving. One set of papers was filed under three different headings. Needless to say, I am feeling more organized. There are also those things that make me go, “Shoot, I thought I had done that!” So, there are more things to complete. It’s all good.

But there in the drawers sit four different books that seemed important to read for my job. They certainly aren’t to read for entertainment purposes. But there are some good thoughts to ponder in them.

I’m in the sharing mood, so let’s go to “The Road Less Traveled.” M. Scott Peck, M.D. has some interesting observations.

He speaks of children who receive “undisciplined discipline” where they are often “punished frequently and severely throughout their childhood – slapped, punched, kicked, beaten, and whipped by their parents for even minor infractions.” He says this type of discipline is meaningless because it is undisciplined discipline.

This is all following the chapter that says we need to be disciplined to meet the problems in our lives. But more about the undisciplined disciplining parents.

“They may frequently get drunk in front of their children. They may fight with each other in front of the children without restraint, dignity or rationality. They may be slovenly. They make promises they don’t keep. Their own live are frequently and obviously in disorder and disarray, and their attempts to order the lives of their children seem therefore to make little sense to these children.

“If father beats up mother regularly, what sense does it make to a boy when his mother beats him up because he beat up his sister? Does it make sense when he’s told that he must learn to control his temper? Since we do not have the benefit of comparison when we are young, our parents are godlike figures to our childish eyes. When parents do things a certain way, it seems to the young child the way to do them, the way they should be done.

“If a child sees his parents day in and day out behaving with self – discipline, restraint, dignity and a capacity to order their own lives, then the child will come to feel in the deepest fibers of his being that this is the way to live ….\

“Yet even more important than role modeling is love. For even in chaotic and disordered homes genuine love is occasionally present, and from such homes may come self – disciplined children. And not infrequently, parents who are professional people – who lead lives of strict orderliness and decorum but yet lack love, send children into the world who are as undisciplined and destructive and disorganized as any child from an impoverished and chaotic home.

“Ultimately love is everything.

“When we love something, it is of value to us, and when something is of value to us we spend time with it, time enjoying it and time taking care of it. Observe a teenager in love with his car and note the time he will spend admiring it, polishing it, repairing it, tuning it. Or a gardener with time spent pruning and mulching and fertilizing. So, it is when we love children; we spend time admiring them and caring for them.

“We give them our time.

“The time and the quality of the time that their parents devote to them indicate to children the degree to which they are valued by their parents.

“The feeling of being valuable is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self – discipline. It is a direct product of parental love.

“When children have learned through the love of their parents to feel valuable, it is almost impossible for the vicissitudes of adulthood to destroy their spirit.”

The author goes on to say that if you don’t get this from your parents, it is possible to get it from other people, but it is much more difficult.

Anyone who has children knows that there are no perfect parents … heck, everyone knows that because they are someone’s child. But we need to continually work at getting better. There is always a need for us to help give some sense of worth to those we love.

That’s the challenge for this week … go and share that love. And while you’re at it, come downtown and I’ll see you on the bricks.

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