Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are you hated or loved?

It has been an interesting couple of months!

I have experienced feelings that are most comparable to Tom Hanks alone on that island, or to a prisoner in solitary confinement: I act a little crazy sometimes and debate with myself on issues, but it does pass the time. It also serves as a great way to keep my mind active, plus I never lose an argument!

Due to the malfunctioning radio in the work van, the only audio accompaniment to my work day has been conservative radio and it has driven me nearly insane. Not that I am a liberal, though conservatives would argue that, but it is the way in which messages are delivered and framed and how people go after other people without guilt that gets my gears going.

Considering the banter was mostly about politics, I figured it was harmless. Radio personalities criticizing political personalities is a wash. Both have agendas either through sponsors and advertisers, or donors and lobbyists.

Yet my aggravation has reached a point to where I am now tussling with myself over what used to be a non-issue!

So, I have developed a theory in which I base all of my opinions on these matters and luckily, after doing some research, there are some guidelines laid out in my all-time favorite book.

"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets." Luke 6:22-23

And conversely.

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets." Luke 6:26

So how exactly do you win? Obviously everyone wants to be blessed, not woe'd. So where do you draw the line in your popularity?

It seems that it is easy to criticize and judge other people that have differing viewpoints. Yet, it is getting even more popular to label people as extremists and condemn them for everything they say and do, despite context. But are you doing that person a favor by bringing the heat?

To me, there are more important things in life that people should be focused on. Instead of criticizing those who are different than you, why not accept them as another person in the world who was not cut from the same cloth? Embrace the differences and find mutual ground and understanding, then move into a dialog about your ideology and connect as human beings!

By doing so, not only will your positive feelings overcome your desire to ridicule, but you will also appreciate the variety that is amongst us.

We all have our motives. We need to realize that we don't like ideas forced on us, so we should not force ideas. Though our minds are not always made up, we are only open to ideas that are presented in ways that do not forcefully challenge our belief system.

Once you find the way to successfully communicate with those that have differing opinions, your ideas will experience an exponential amount of consideration, and may even have a chance at winning someone over.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be Sons of God." - Matthew 5:9


Monday, April 19, 2010

This is no conspiracy...

After reading a response to my last post, and having a laugh at my father last night, I decided that it's time to bust a bubble that has been looming Online for quite some time.

A reader sent me a message of concern regarding my disregard for personal safety by posting links to all of my social media accounts. "You're seriously willing to submit your personal life to complete strangers?"

Then, while creating an online account to pay off a student loan (long story within itself) I was choosing a security question. "Mother's place of birth" seemed like a good one, since I didn't even know that. So I asked my dad what the answer was and he was reluctant to give me the answer.

"What's it for?" he said with a sincere tone of concern.

"Nothing, just a security question."

"I'm not comfortable giving out that information. Once they know where you live they can get your social security number and then they can steal your identity."

...I know what you're thinking.

Yes, this is possible. Of course this happens all the time.


What I want to point out is the amount of information about you that you think is personal but is really quite public.

Imagine all the things that we do online these days: online banking, online bill pay, online taxes, e-mails, document sharing, instant messaging, Googling... all of these things are logged into a database. These databases are manipulated to provide companies with information about selected groups of people. (I actually have a friend that works in this field and is able to create algorithms that can predict crazy things, like how many times a person will eat fast food in a week.)

So, should you really be concerned about linking your social media profiles and making the birthplace of your mother an answer for a security question?

It's up to you. How deeply do you want to involve yourself in a system that knows everything about you?

I would just rather go along with my life and hope that my profile doesn't stand out amongst a database to be targeted by some information science terrorist that is out to steal all $242 in my bank account.

But then again, exposing this terrorist's plot to destroy the world one person at a time makes me a target...

Nice knowing all of you.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Long Time, No Read

If you ask my little brother, I am not busy at all.

I have all the time in the world to play on Facebook, see my girlfriend, take trips to the west coast (of Michigan) and go on shopping sprees for new pants. Yet, despite all my leisure, I haven't found the time to do what I love most: write!

Turns out there are lots of people out there in the world that don't have the ability to put together sentences in a logical way, or spell things correctly or to transmit humor through a two-dimensional medium.

Fortunately for me, I am a good faker at all of those things. Dictionary.com is on my favorites bar, my mom taught me to talk like a genius and most of my jokes aren't picked up on anyway. Win-win-win!

So this is my plan: I will get back to writing what's on my mind, because for some reason there a lot of people that find that kind of thing interesting. (What would be a better idea is to start podcasting from my work van, because there are some very entertaining conversations that happen everyday... with myself.)

It's time to get back into the swing of summer and reconnect with the platform that got me hooked to social media.

So... connect with me and let me know what you wanna read. I'm open to anything.


Good to see you again. : )


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I don't need another girlfriend!

Luckily for me, unfortunately for others, I have a lot of time to think at work.

Usually my thoughts are scattered, and rarely make much sense, but today I thought of an amazing metaphor that describes my current situation! Anyone who has read my blog posts from the beginning knows that I speak very metaphorically, so this should be no surprise.

I realized today that freelancing is a lot like dating.

I spend a lot of time getting my stuff together: my strengths and abilities, what I can offer someone and what it will cost to make me happy. Then after I find someone that I would like to pursue, I look at their current situation and see how I can make a difference for them.

It is pretty easy to point out if they have had rough relationships in the past, including abusive boyfriends that didn't have their priorities straight or didn't treat them with the respect they deserve.

Then, when the time is right, and I have all my research complete... *dun dudda dun* here comes Neely with all the answers!

With all the time I have spent establishing relationships with people across the country, selling myself and my abilities to a potential client comes way too easy for me. I barely have to rehearse, or come up with a script, I am very open and natural, and it is easy for someone to see that.

Just like girlfriends, no one wants someone that is fake; someone that talks a good game but can't follow through in the end. And just like dating, every girl is going to think that you have a trick up your sleeve: you are just going to take what you want and then leave them for the next victim.

Perhaps by thinking of your freelancing as dating will make it easier to gain perspective on where your potential client is coming from. There is no reason for them to trust you, because they have been hurt before.

Do something that will separate yourself from their past, and you will see yourself in my position... sitting next to the phone, expecting their call back!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You can talk the talk...

... but do you even know how to walk?

As I'm sitting in the back of an Astro van, using wireless from a hotel in a city that I have no stake in, I can only think of how different my life is now compared to even 6 months ago.

These have been desperate times for a lot of people, and I, for one, have come to appreciate these times because they bring out character in people that wouldn't be seen otherwise. Some of the most gracious people have shown their true colors to me in the last year, while others have shown how shallow and selfish they can really be.

Though my experience as a new graduate was supposed to have excitement of its own, the circumstances in which I have finished college have offered a whole new level of adventure. And the best lesson I have learned thus far is this: there are talkers, and there are walkers.

You'd be surprised to see how many people praise themselves for being "good" and "charitable," but then come to find out they have other motives that lead right back to their own benefit. And the surprise is equal on the other side of the spectrum: the people that you would think to not be interested in lending a helping hand are there for you no matter what!

So as I sit here, evaluating if I am doing anything or just talking about it, I have to remember and be grateful for those who were there for me when I wasn't expecting them to be. Especially in a climate of unexpected things, unexpected help is something I should be most grateful for.

Though I've been a talker all my life, I am ready to start taking a walk. Who's with me?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A different take...

After seeing an update on the Kanye reaction on SPORTSCENTER, I started to think about the magnitude of the incident at the VMAs.

I like to think of the stunt, which is what it was, as a potentially genius idea. Who knows if these motives are legitimate, but I think it is fun to think about.

After hearing his apology on Jay Leno, it seems that Kanye has been thinking about taking some time off for a while. The Taylor Swift encounter is proving to be an eye-opening experience that will make his decision to disappear for a while a little easier.

Since he knew he was going to go on hiatus prior to the VMAs, he needed to make a big deal about it. It's like going to rehab ... things are going bad, admit yourself into the hospital, then recover on your own merits: a heart-warming story that has played well for plenty of people.

Fortunately for this situation, all parties involved were able to benefit from some positive PR.

People who have never heard any of Taylor Swift's music now feel bad for her, and think she is a poor, innocent girl that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Beyonce was able to show some high class by bring Swift back on-stage later on to finish her speach.

Kanye will go into hiding for a while and come back with a vengeance, sporting some new, more mature writing that will take him to a different level a la Eminem.

It is hard to think that this wasn't coordinated. If anyone knows anything about going into hiding, it's Jay-Z, who just happens to be Kanye's big brother, and Beyonce's sugar daddy. It is also interesting that Jay-Z was on Jay Leno with Kanye after the apology... seemingly holding Kanye's hand through it all.

Taylor Swift was just an innocent bystander who's reaction would be predictable. If you have never been on stage at an MTV event and Kanye wants to take the mic from you, you don't say no. As for the other 98% of people that were there, they would have shoo'd him off stage. But Taylor Swift was just an easy target.

Like I said, it's hard to say if this was planned, but I can see how it will end up benefiting everyone involved.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just Hold On A Sec

The hardest part about finding a job ... is waiting for them to call.

If you are like me, which you probably aren't, your mind takes situations and runs in all kinds of directions. So when I am in an already mentally stressful(applying for a job), personally stressful (don't have a job) and environmentally stressful (why would I leave Florida?) situation my brain has a field day of ideas!

I have already lived out the next 5 years of my life in my mind according to each and every possible outcome of my job search, but the stressful part is that each one of these futures is pending a call back! Even though each future is different, and I honestly prefer some to others, the point is I HAVE A FUTURE.

It has always bothered me how complicated we have made life. Back in the day, the only thing people had to worry about was what they were going to eat, where they were going to sleep and what were they going to wear.

Thanks to some tremendously giving people in my life, I will always have those three things. Yet, by today's standards, that is not even close to being enough to be considered successful. And being successful is the only thing anyone ever wants, right?

The point is that though the search is tough now, and may even be driving you to the point of insanity, it will all work out in the end. I don't know how many people have told me that this experience is "building character." Honestly, I am not in need of anymore of that.

So I like to think of it analogical terms...

The best views are from the highest mountains that require the hardest climbing. Even Miley says, "It's the climb."

So just hold on a little bit longer... you're on belay!