With the moon's spectacular display last night, once again I thought about how incredible our universe truly is. The heavenly bodies enable us to watch an amazing show every day and every night. The sun, the moon, the stars, and other entities floating in space, allow us to experience both the vastness of the heavens and how tiny, yet powerful, each one of us really is.

The Earth is but a "grain of sand" in the hugeness of space and we are only tiny individual inhabitants of that "grain." Yet...our intelligence and abilities to dissect information, as well as recognize that we are those tiny inhabitants, gives us a perspective about ourselves and our place on this planet that will, hopefully, bring some humbleness to each of us.

Perhaps we, as a species, need to spend more time thinking about how "small" we are in addition to the "bigness" of our hopes and dreams. Maybe, if we spend more time realizing the oneness of everything, we'd be able to understand how important it is to appreciate each other and the things that bring us pleasure, without bringing harm to those people and things around us.

And, then...we might even find that we can revel in the wonder of a peaceful existence and be in awe of things that enable us to see the beauty of life - like...a full moon on a June night.

The world has been going through a perceived crises for some time now. Unemployment rates are high around the globe and here in the United States the economy and jobs have been a pressing issue for the last decade.

During last November's elections there was a cry, by some folks, to elect people who will help the "job creators" - whatever that means. Never overly specific as to how those jobs would be created, the proponents of the "job creators" always tend to believe that giving economic breaks to, and loosening government regulations on, businesses will ultimately create those elusive jobs. But, I have a better idea! I've mentioned this in class many times to my university business students.

Here it is: do away with ALL government regulations on businesses. They can pollute as much as they want, ruin our water, air, and ground, to whatever extent they choose. They can also pay whatever wages they want as well...minimum wage laws would be done away with, totally. Soon, people would be hired in droves. 

Plus, because there would be so much pollution, new companies would be formed to clean up all the mess our now non-regulated businesses would create. Ah...entrepreneurial ingenuity! Employment would boom! There would probably be more jobs than people to fill them.

Of course, there are MAJOR drawbacks. No one would be able to breathe clean air and respiratory sicknesses would skyrocket even further than they are now (the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries would then...need more employees too), our water would be a mess and unhealthy to drink unless heavily filtered, the plants grown in our ground would be contaminated (as would be the ground itself), the animals that ate the plants would, most likely, become less healthy (including us), and our overall health rates would deteriorate quicker than they are today (the U.S. is ranked 51st among nations of the world in life expectancy). 

It is very, very, unlikely that the cleaner-uppers would be able to make our environment clean enough to negate the constant pollution emitted by the messer-uppers. And - most of us, and our children, and their children, and their children, would have an extremely tough time existing in such an environment, let alone have the money to buy much more than basic necessities. 

But...people would have their precious "jobs."

It is interesting to me that people put jobs on a higher pedestal than quality of life. To paraphrase a Native-American Chief who was addressing the "White Man" about work and jobs - his words are so very prophetic: "What is this thing you call work? Everything you need is right here." 

So, be careful what you wish for, strive for, and desire. Unless you fully think it through and attempt to make sure that it enhances the quality of life for everyone (including, of course, yourself), and everything, on this can wind up being the cause of your own demise.
Smell doesn't get enough press. Yeah - that's doesn't! We write and speak a lot about feeling stuff and touching things (including those we love), talking and listening (both VERY important to any type of relationship). Hearing keeps our love of music, language, and the other interesting stuff that vibrates our eardrums, at the top of our lists of things we enjoy. While seeing, looking, and viewing life as it passes stimulates us as much as, if not more than, the movies, videos, and TV shows we watch.

In fact, our society is fixated on how we look and what we see. That's what style, the fashion industry, marketing, and advertising, are all about. Including - the optical/eyewear industry - where my entrepreneurial background took shape and grew, and a field that combines both fashion and vision (in both the literal and figurative sense)

And...we certainly love the titillation of our taste buds! How else can we explain the popularity of cooking shows, restaurants, wine magazines, "liquor stores," delicatessens, food courts, food trucks, all the various food stores, and the myriad of other wonderful places and stimulating venues for our gastronomic desires!

Ahh - but what about the joys of the nose?! Smells are miraculous things. You can walk by something and its odor can take you into a memory so deeply that you actually feel like you're there. There are certain "Army smells" that transport me right back to my days in fatigues and "dress greens." The smell of a skunk instantly teleports me back to my farm and living the life of a man tilling his garden, wading in his stream, riding his tractor, and checking out his barn. So...that "skunk smell" it just fine by me. In fact, I kinda like it! I guess those memories have negated all the propaganda against the "stink of the skunk" that has been "thrown out there" during my lifetime.

Of course, the fragrance industry recognizes the monetary benefits of smell. It's been with us since recorded history. I'm sure there's an odor that reminds you of someone important in your life. It could come from the perfumeries of a designer or be strictly the work of Mother Nature.

But - some of the greatest smells of all, for me, are the odors I encounter when I walk into a bakery! Mmm...they're really tough to beat! Freshly baked bread, newly made cakes and cookies, scones, pies, bagels...yum! I can smell 'em right now! Can't you?! I always wondered how a baker can resist constantly eating all those luscious things they make. The smells alone cause my mouth to water. It's like walking into mom's kitchen on a cold winter's night when the stove, oven, and counter tops are all doin' their thing at top proficiency with the best ingredients she could buy!

So my friends, take joy in the wonders of the nose. Revel in your olfactory sense. Enjoy what nature and  human innovation have provided through those waves of smells that waft up your nostrils and into your brain, to be locked there for the rest of your life and brought back as a reminder of days past and experiences lived!

Now, if only you could smell that picture at the top of this post! Does anyone have any strawberry jam?  

I'm like every other human in an industrialized country...I'm bombarded with advertising. Everything is for sale. Of course, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the object of marketing is to make you feel insecure on some level so that buying what they're selling will, supposedly, make you feel better about yourself.

The beauty industry is chuck full of this tactic. And...not just for woman, but men as well. You must have a "certain look." to be thought of as beautiful. Or - act a certain way to be in with the "beautiful people." Regardless of the cream you apply to your skin, the deodorant you use under your arms, the spray, color, or gel that permeates your hair, or the makeup you put on your face, one thing is always can't make your inside beautiful by buying some sort of cosmetic.

Yes...we all have our chemical attractions to another person. There's a physical look that turns us on. The sound of one's voice, the way a person carries himself or herself, their build, certain parts of their bodies, their hair, smile, eye color, and teeth, all play a role in attraction. Still, it's all for naught if the inside isn't developed, is miserable, negative, insecure, narcissistic, or any myriad of things that negates the beauty on the outside.

Did you ever look at someone and think that they were a beautiful specimen of a human being? Of course you have. Did you then have the opportunity to get to know them and find out that, within a short amount of time, you realized that their inside didn't match their outside at all? And longer found them as attractive, or maybe even, wanted to get away from them as fast as possible?

We work so hard on our outward appearance that we forget that what's on the inside is more important. What makes a happy couple? Of course, they have to be physically attracted to each other, but...what keeps them together comes from within.

When you look in the mirror, think about the qualities that make up who you are. What legacy would you leave if you died today? I know it's a morbid thought,'s an important one. Would people say that you were a good, caring, loving, compassionate person? Geez...perhaps they'd also think that you were attractive (which is a relative term) too. Or...would they just say that you were good looking but not someone others wanted to be around. Or - at the very least was tough to be around?

The question is real. The reactions are real. That's life. You may be rich and not liked, rich and loved, poor and hard to feel close to, or poor and deeply loved. Money has nothing to do with it. It's about you and what's inside. Take stock of who you are and what others will say about you when you're gone. You may not care. But...those around you will. One way or another our legacy lives on and our impact on others continues long after we're dust.