Integrity

I wrote several “Business-related” books a few years ago centered around “Managing Change.” One of these is particularly close to my heart: “Honoring Work and Life: 99 Words for Leaders to Live By.

I have decided, since there is so much distrust in politics today (and in business as well), to discuss, at the rate of about one per week, these 99 words — to weigh these and my thoughts about them against what is happening today. It is a sad, sad statement that our leaders (whatever side of the aisle you may look to) have lost their way in regards to almost all of these.

Integrity:

I don’t know about you, but this, I truly believe, does belong at the head of the list. One thing we have within ourselves that defines who we are more than anything else is our integrity — our honor. AND there are no two ways around whether we have it or not.

How do you see yourself? Can you look in the mirror and truly say — I AM the person I want to be. I place my honor at the forefront of my choices, my actions, my beliefs? And though I sometimes make mistakes; or perhaps make the wrong decision when I am weighing many factors in a difficult situation, overall I can say that INTEGRITY is one of the foundations of who I am.

Yes, we all do make some choices that later seem to feel wrong, or not as wise or honorable as we would like, but what characterizes a person with real integrity is how they feel about those dicey choices they may have made in the past… as well as that they strive to make better choices as a result. They learn from their choices, don’t repeat the past, and make amends when they can.

Do you feel, as I do, that far too many people — especially those we should be able to look up to for guidance and truth — seem to have completely lost their connection to the center of who they are/should be. Integrity and honor just don’t seem to matter any more. Actions speak for who they are; not their grandiose words of “leadership.”

Integrity sets the foundation — if its not there; then we need to let the world know that it is what we value.

Best,

Joe Koob

 

 

 

 

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Talk with your actions — always.

Today, starting now, we all should live our lives by living what we believe in our hearts.

ALWAYS!

The Golden Rule suggests that we should act as if we are are interacting with ourselves. We should be the person we think other people should be to us.

Do you want people to treat you badly, lie, cheat, steal, be dis-honorable, do poor work, yell at you, blame you, charge you more than they should, treat you as “less than,” offer excuses all the time, do poor quality work, stomp on your beliefs, take your freedom,… ? This could be a really long list and you could add to it, because you know exactly what I mean — you’ve been treated badly, likely recently.

Or would you rather put the REAL YOU out there, as you would like others to do, too?

We make these types of choices many times a day. Somewhere within everyone I believe there is a sense of what is right and honorable and what is not. Some people have REALLY lost their way, in this regard, it seems;  but I do believe they once knew where that place was within their hearts. Somewhere along the way they made choices that caused them to lose that truth, that honor, that understanding.

I don’t think most of us have; though — I think we forget to honor it and we find excuses not to honor it.

Is money, or power, or things, or one-up-manship… is ANYTHING really worth losing that truth?

LIVE YOUR TRUTH again. Start now and don’t lose sight of it, ever. Because… this IS your life and every day speaks to who you are and where you are going with it. Honor who you are at heart.

THAT is how we will change the world.

Now get out there and hug someone; just because somewhere deep inside I bet you would really like a hug.

best,

Joe Koob

 

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A Universal Truth?

It seems that this might be a good time in history for the world’s major religions to get together and come up with some truth about life that crosses all boundaries — something that doesn’t rankle even the most devoted followers. Is there such a truth?

Well, I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that what may be as close to a universal truth as can be found, and something that does cross a good many religious boundaries is…

… well we call it the Golden Rule:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Believe it or not, this is not a principle, value, truth expounded by just one religion — it crosses far more lines in the sand than you might think. In a wide variety of subtle ways it IS found as a truth/tenet/saying in many of the world’s religions.

So why don’t we GET IT?

This saying does not tolerate:

Bigotry

Lying

Cheating

But it does work well with: Compassion

It isn’t about:

Cheating

Treating people badly

“I’m better than you; you are less than me.”

However, it goes hand and hand with: Kindness

Certainly it doesn’t mesh with:

Arrogance

Dis-honor

Untrustworthiness

Hatred

Ill will

Taking what is not yours; what you have not earned; what you THINK you are entitled to

Forcing others to your will, beliefs, view of the world

I believe it is fundamentally about acceptance of others for who they are and allowing them the space and rights to live a life with the same opportunities of truth that you have.

Perhaps most importantly — if one truly ascribes to a set of beliefs where this is one of the central tenets — then most of humanity have many adjustments to make. Somehow I don’t think this truth means: ” I can do anything I want, anytime I want, no matter the consequences to others, as long as I can seek forgiveness now and again for a free pass to the hereafter. I really don’t think it means that. Just how I feel.

Best,

Joe Koob

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My New Book

Friends,

Sorry to be away so long, but for awhile there I was once again struggling with my meds. That seems to have settled down considerably and there is hope in a new treatment that will hopefully solve this concern as time goes by.

In this blog I would like to introduce my new (old) book that I am publishing for free over the course of the next several months on a new blog: http://purpleisforsearching.wordpress.com.

I wrote Purple is for Searching many years ago — circa 1971-1972 — and very nearly got it published back then, but being completely unfamiliar with the publishing world, I let several opportunities slip away. Much thanks to several senior editors for their encouragement to a young writer. It is also the first book I ever finished.

When I wrote this work I had in mind to make a statement of the times, and as such , wanted to couch that in the guise of a children’s book: not unlike, but very different from The Little Prince. Thankfully I had the artistic talent of my dear sister to draw upon. I am publishing this book in her memory.

If you would like to read this book for free on my blog, please go to the address above. However, it is also available for all the different e-readers at their respective on-line sites or at https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=purple+is+for+searching for $2.99.

I also hope to eventually offer a free version in its “Purply” entirety on its own website: purpleisforsearching.com. However, that is still a bit down the road.  Unfortunately, e-readers and the blog do not offer the opportunity to publish the work as it is on paper with purple lettering and precise formatting.

Hope you have all been well. Please stay in touch, and as a taste for “Purple”:

Purple is for Searching 1600x2500 (2)

Purple is for Searching

 

A Book for Children of all Ages

 

Joseph E. Koob II

illustrated by

 Katherine R. Koob

 

 

Enjoy with

a spot of tea

a cup of coffee

or

a mug of hot chocolate

and

if you dare

with

some nice

Lemon-Blueberry Scones*

  

*see recipe at end of the book

 

 

after all

 

 PURPLE IS FOR SEARCHING

 

is

 

an adult book for children.

 

Or

 

perhaps

 

it is really, simply

 

A children’s book for adults

                                                             

One day in City

        a baby boy was born. His name was Littlewhiteyellowblackboy.

Which wasn’t a very appropriate because he wasn’t

        white at all . . .

                or yellow . . .

                        or even black . . .

 

                                         He was purple.

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The Gift of Giving

I am thankful and blessed to be comfortable in this life. Yes, I and my wife have worked hard for what we have and we are not spendthrifts in any sense of the word, but I know there are many people far worse off than we are.

I have been and probably still am to a certain extent “tight with money.” I suppose that comes from my parents always fighting over money when I was young — and I mean fighting — get down, drag out shouting matches. Early on when I was first out in the world on my own — college, then the US Air Force — I kept a fairly tight control of my finances. I guess I could have enjoyed some of that money I saved more like some of my buds, but that was me.

When it comes to giving, charities, and the like, I have my moments. Interestingly, often my wife will ask me — “I want to give something to such and such a charity,” then she asks how much she should give. Often I tell her an amount more than she was thinking, but we both are also often on the same page.

However, I am far more likely to give in other ways because money is still difficult for me to part with. If you haven’t discovered all of these, here are some ideas for giving that don’t involve giving money directly (and I’m always open to new ideas!

  • Your time — I have done this off and on and could do more of this. Think about Habitat for Humanity and other similar organizations (I worked on building houses after Katrina); hospitals always like volunteers, other organizations, or just helping a neighbor out
  • Stuff — I give lots of “stuff”
    • Things I have accumulated — I once gave a ton of musical instruments, parts, accessories, etc. to the local school district when I shut down a repair business I had done for years. Good for them, good for me. I bet you have this kind of “stuff” laying around too.
    • Books, kitchen supplies, videos, dvds, cds, household, even furniture, cars, and so on. Much of that “stuff” is useable and needed. We all accumulate “stuff” in our houses that we don’t use. Go on a rampage and clean out some of that “stuff” and give it to where it will help others: Good Will, Salvation Army, Purple Heart, etc. What’s your favorite charitable organization?
    • Clothing — Good, clean clothing is always welcome.
  • Garage sales, auctions, and so on: I love garage sales, auctions, storage units, and places I can buy tons of “stuff” for almost nothing. I’ll often buy boxes of “stuff” for not much money and after I’ve gone through it I’ll take out a few things I can use, throw out the junk, and clean up the rest to donate. A great adventure, I have fun, and it benefits me and others!!! What’s not to like.
  • More time — have a skill? a talent? I have given speeches for organizations, played my violin, worked — I have handyman skills, and so on. You wouldn’t believe how much this can help out: hospices and what we used to call “old folks homes” (I’m sure there is a better term these days), charitable supporting organizations like Rotary, Lions Club, etc.
  • On-line — There are ways to donate your talents on-line as well. Search the web for opportunities.
  • Give something of yourself — As you know, I write and publish my own books. I almost always carry copies with me and give them to people when I see an opportunity: one of my favorites is giving a book to someone who I see doing something nice for someone else.
What I’m really talking about here is giving the gift of YOU! It really is that simple and it becomes fun when it is “YOUR” gift. If you’re like me, money is still a bit difficult to part with, though my wife and I do have our favorite charities and always try to expand a bit in other directions every year. Giving from yourself and your talents is easier sometimes than parting with that hard-earned cash, and it can be loads of fun. It’s not even too late for this Holiday season (which, “hint, hint” doesn’t end with Christmas). Not to mention the fact that there is a whole New Year ahead — start early!
Best,
Joe Koob
P.S. Happy Holidays
P.P.S. Much of the above is also tax deductible; what’s not to like!

 

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Day of Kindness

Tis the season, so they say. We just had Black Friday, followed hard by Cyber Monday. How about “Kindness Thursday tomorrow?”

This is a gift you can give that doesn’t cost anything except a modest effort, and it has the potential to keep on giving. Nothing to lose here.

I don’t need to tell you how to be kind. I don’t need to give you little suggestions — what I can do is suggest that you be “OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITIES OF KINDNESS.”

Here’s what to do on “Kindness Thursday”:

Right after you wake up, before you get out of bed, think about kindness — what it means, what things you might do, who you might do them for, and so on. Start your day off with this reminder.

Then, keep it up. Keeping this in the forefront of your mind in spite of everything else you have to do is paramount.

Finally, “watch for it.” There will be opportunities — you just need to take them.

Here’s a moment I missed some years ago:

This is many years ago and yet I think of it now and again because it reminds me to take KINDNESS opportunities when they present themselves. It was pouring rain and I was in a hurry to get back to my car for some reason — business related. I had an umbrella and was using it because it was really coming down. [Now this is an unusual circumstance in and of itself, because I rarely carry an umbrella; so maybe providence was setting me up; saying to me “look for an opportunity to be Kind today.”] As I was scurrying past several downtown buildings I passed a woman sitting on a bench. She was soaking wet; had no umbrella, was just sitting there. Yeah, I went right on past and didn’t think about giving her my umbrella until I was in my car racing away to whatever was next most important on my list.

I remember this lady clearly and this incident because it is something I should have noticed sooner. I certainly didn’t NEED to have that umbrella, and that lady really could have used mine. I doubt she even noticed me. She was probably in her own world at that little moment in time too. But that little moment taught me one thing — keep your eyes open for such moments because they can happen quickly and be gone before you know it. I kick myself now-and-again for missing that one. Wish I had noticed sooner, thought it through more quickly, done something right then. Well, now I have that moment to remind me to WATCH.

Kindness Thursday, following Cyber Monday, which followed Black Friday is “that moment.” It’s a day we can make “that moment,” It’s a day to especially watch out for those little moments when you can make a difference to someone. Heck, you could even go out of your way to make a difference. Let’s start something good this holiday season.

Best,

Joe Koob

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YOU are not good enough!

You’re not Good Enough!

I am Good Enough and You’re not.

You aren’t as smart as George……………………………….because YOU are not good enough!

You never get anything done…………………………………. You’re not Good Enough!

Steve always does that better than you………………………. You’re not Good Enough!

Why can’t you get it right……………………………………… You’re not Good Enough!

You left your coat on the couch…………………………… You’re not Good Enough!

You always got picked last for sports…………………….. because You’re not Good Enough!

Why can’t you be like Barb?………………………………… because You’re not Good Enough!

See how smart she is; why can’t you be like her?…………………………………………………..

I guess I’m not Good Enough.

What’s that book doing there? Put it away where it belongs………………………… I’m not Good enough.

Why don’t you get better grades………………………….. I guess I’m not Good enough.

Joe won’t understand; ask Kathy, she’ll know……………………….. I’m not Good enough.

Look how great your brother is…………………………………… Yeah, I know, I’m not Good enough.

Stay in the closet all afternoon………….. because you aren’t Good enough.

You’re not worthy of my love………… because you aren’t Good enough.

Shape up and fly right!……………… You aren’t good enough.

BAM! Take that! …………………………….. You are not good enough.

Stop crying and take it like a man………………………. You are not good enough.

He doesn’t love me……………………………….because I’m not good enough.

She hurts me………… because I’m not Good enough.

God is punishing me…………….. because I’m not Good enough.

You’re not Good Enough! You’re not Good Enough! You are NOT good enough! You are not GOOD enough! You ARE not good enough. You’re not Good Enough! YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!!!!

THIS is NOT your truth!

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! In fact, you are better than good enough – you are a divine manifestation of this universe and you have as much right to be here as any other being on earth. You are eons better than good enough because you have survived a thousand-thousand people who don’t know anything telling you that you weren’t good enough. You have done the unthinkable – you have stepped above your upbringing and done a million things that prove your worth: YOU have chosen KINDNESS, instead of one-up-manship; COMPASSION, instead of rightness; KNOWLEDGE, instead of being better than; TRUTH, instead of falseness and lies; SELF-GROWTH, instead of braggadocio; HELPING OTHERS, instead of putting them down or stepping on them… and so much more.

You understand the path of POSITIVITY as a foundation, instead of negativity.

You have already lived through horror and come out the other side – to YOUR truth. The truth that TODAY, THIS DAY, this MOMENT in time is another moment and day when you will bring your gloriousness to the world by being the loving, caring person you are to the fore.

This is who we are – the NOT GOOD ENOUGHS. We are the truth going forward. We are the kindness that so many others forgot. We are the choices that make life worth living. We are the fight that was never worth fighting about, because there are better ways, there are always better choices than putting others down. We raise ourselves up by our deeds, by how we treat others, by what we focus on, and most importantly by what we do.

Be the WHO you want to be and you will manifest what needs to be manifested to get past that past above. NO, you will never forget. You WILL remember the pain – the deep pain that grinds at you some days because of how you were treated. BUT! You will use that remembrance to bring something better into the world.

Yes, it would be nice if the memories and pain of how we were treated would go away. They won’t; they are part of who we are. YOU, however, can still CHOOSE who you are and how you continue.

Choose LIFE – not darkness.

Choose kindness – not hate; not what perpetuates what you went through.

Choose caring/Choose love – because they are the opposite of the pain and fear that motivated what happened to you in the past.

Choose YOU – anything else is the path to more pain and darkness.

Choose the LIGHT that radiates from every kindness you bring into the world.

I know. I was NOT GOOD ENOUGH either – but in looking back, and looking forward, I know I AM BETTER THAN GOOD ENOUGH! I SURVIVED and as a survivor I am here to make better choices for myself and others.

TODAY, this moment, I AM GOOD ENOUGH! and I can choose that for myself forever.

Best,

Joe Koob

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