Category Archives: Lifes Lessons

Calgary Economic Sob Stories

The headline may spawn furor among some and affirmative surprise among others.  I’m going to spell out one particular fact for those wooed by the press’ coverage of Calgary’s laid off white collar oil and gas workers.  These proud people have been paid more than everyone else in every other sector possessing similar non-industry specific skill sets.  Hence; one might rationalize that a cyclical premium was built into their higher salaries.  Guess what?  That down cycle came during 2015 and 2016.  If you worked in this sector and were laid off and drove a Mercedes, I bet you forgot to prognosticate the possibility of a downturn when salivating over the chrome wheels, glitzy dashboard, and heated seats at the dealership.  Perhaps, you own a house in Mount Royal while similarly hard working individuals with no less of an aptitude for learning work in the transportation industry and live in Martindale.  You see, workers in other sectors empathize with your plight but they have also been witness to announcements of your extravagance and penchant for lavish Christmas parties and Stampede functions.  They’ve occasionally heard you reference working in “oil and gas” in what could be perceived as an elitist manner.  Of course, you’ve espoused capitalist sentiment from a right winged political philosophy but now you’ve been afforded special consideration from the Employment Insurance fund whereby small business owners may be faced with the consequential increased payroll costs associated.  We want to see you get back to work if you haven’t changed sectors by now.  We want to see you win and hopefully carry yourselves with a modicum of humility having gone through a reality check.

Social Decline Amid Technology

I’m no sociologist but I did take a course in deviance during my third year at the U of A.   Anthropology also ranked highly on scholarly pursuits so don’t ask why I practice accounting today. This affinity for the liberal arts spurns frequent deliberations on the pervasion of interpersonal indifference witnessed by all in the form of the cell phone first phenomenon. Perhaps, you’ve sat down to a meal with a close friend only to be disturbed by the cell phone chime reminding one that a new facebook post has arrived. Or, perhaps you’ve experienced something similar to my peaceful wait for a fireworks presentation only to be interrupted by a pit bull on extendable leash let loose by an owner preoccupied with his “device”. Thankfully, in the darkness I had the presence of mind not to startle this supposed best friend of man. Then the kids came flooding over waving cell phone flashlights frantically unbeknownst to the notion that the fireworks backdrop was being compromised. Some may not have heard of the good works of Emily Post on the topic of etiquette. You can’t blame them really because home life structure is so informal nowadays that a lesson outside the classroom is for most too tough to deliver. How successful is mom and dad at mandating family meals three times per week where an occasion kids can pick up some tips and tricks on how to operate in the context of other’s interests as well.  Mom would do good to win time over Pokemon, violent video games, and instagram.

You’ve likely been at the other end of an email provocation whereby your heart rate instantly jumped and your trust in a relationship was questioned through a few trite words when in contrast you know full well those same words would never be spoken in person. The email twist which entertains most is a convenient contextual omission thereby tilting an agenda in the favor of the provocateur.

Of course, there is the opportunity to “unfollow”. It’s an online slight that humorously some perpetrators apparently are naïve enough to think that the unfollowed will never know.  However; it’s a real stain and has real world implications. Note to self.  If I over post – I deserve to be unfollowed.

The internet is not going away anytime soon. Hence I defer to a friend who is all over “social media” for its positive attributes.  She says, “you will leave a ‘digital footprint'”.  So, perhaps it would be prudent to leave a good one.

Text Walker Banned in Toronto

Could an automated age be disrupting the brain’s capacity for making coherent decisions,  Well, text walkers are now banned in Toronto.

At city council late Thursday,  Nunziata requested Queen’s Park consider making changes to the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit “actively using a handheld wireless communication device or handheld electronic entertainment device while on any traveled portion of a roadway.”

Her motion was passed by a vote of 26 to 15, with the support of Mayor John Tory.

The new bylaw is directed toward text walkers.  Legislators in Toronto apparently and from what I’ve also witnessed in Calgary believe you’ve become disabled mentally because of a propensity to respond to the bell similarly to Pavlov’s research subjects.  You’ve seen it all before.  Folks are so obsessed that it doesn’t matter what the present circumstance of existence – the phone comes first.

Could this become a slippery slope in regulating you because you can’t regulate yourself.  It’s fascinating and amusing all combined together in your nanny state declaring you need it!

Should You Compete

Should you compete?   I contend you should.  Mankind’s betterment and the fulfillment of one’s individual aspirations are served by competition.  The motivating instinct is bread from dissatisfaction.  Should it be the Jones’ next door that you source as your opponent.  No, but it should be someone who has what you want so that you can get your own or better so long as the target  is inherent to yours or society’s common good.

The notion of not competing puts one on a path of contentment which can be instilled from feedback accumulated over time that one may not deserve victory.  Your boss certainly doesn’t want you to compete.  He doesn’t want you to take his job.  Your spouse doesn’t want you to compete for fear that the relationship becomes imbalanced.  Your pastor doesn’t want you to compete lest it create anxiety around scripture interpretations.  Your teacher doesn’t want you to compete considering  it might make work by stressing curriculum boundaries.  Yet, our system of economics in western civilization is set up for you to compete and some lack want of a win. Regressing from competition is akin to defining oneself by losing when in essence losing should be considered a seed for future growth.   We were all born to win but the aforementioned feedback loops creates sideline dwellers.

When teams are destined to miss the playoffs, players don’t become motivated to lose as an incentive to earn a better draft pick.  Players fight for a victory in pursuit of excellence and pride for what they do.  It is an instinct of the human form which cannot be denied.  You are no different with exception to possible cognitive forces arising from environment.

The zero sum game doesn’t always apply.  Win win relationships and transactions are created everyday by people keen to compete.


Enriching Brotherhood

There is magic in coming to learn of unspoken agreements.  Those moments in time when bonding is real and you just know that fluidity in relating has everything to do with the blood.  Or do you know?  The occasions slip by with time mostly due to complacency.  Synthetic elements take on manifestations of importance and opportunities to celebrate kin become less valued.   Brothers are particularly tested by the ego.  While some families have it figured out, others have not and such is the course of life.  Perspective is easier drafted at life’s end when the mind is less burdened by the synthetic.   The forefathers bestow it but the newborn resist it.  Chattiness cedes to guilt.  Guilt gives rise to time.  Time creates the distance and magic morphs into a final hymn.