Thursday, December 22, 2011

2012 The Journey Back to America: Page Four

Standing with my hands open in a Sunday morning soup line doesn’t guarantee a reason for being. Nor do the chapters written open in the way Moses parted the sea. Then again my upbringing had nothing to do with connecting a performance to a payoff. You do what you do not because you want others to do the same for you but you do what you do because that’s you.

I study. I wishfully think there’s something we can do. I study even harder.

While the winds of the north prepare to blow what little is left on the winter prepared trees; each limb tends to scrape from the sky what little is left for the trunk to carry. The ground is frozen so no water is getting in. The air seems tight so there’ll be no rain tonight. Like a homeless man the tree bends with whatever wave is sent; to make it through the storm seems endless, meaningless and almost next to never a game of let’s pretend.

I study. I carefully listen to the tales connected. I study even harder.

The closer I get so shall the scent; that of wonder salted with what must it be like? Willie is too free while Scott couldn’t escape fast enough. Does the Stock Market guarantee no room at the Rescue or does being people of homelessness come with a modern society?

A set of war torn eyes belonging to Clarence the Chef swell while gently explaining his most recent visit inside the outside; to meet, greet and hold the hands of mother’s wanting nothing more than to find a blanket to cover their child not collect the almighty dollar so many city folk tie to their lost identity.

I study. I patiently wait for the painted face to appear before my writing hand. To share by way of being there. To open is to teach. I haven’t a clue as to how one might be able to heal so rather than steal I hand the writing instrument over to the voices that live beside the darkness waiting for the walkers to suddenly appear.

Jennifer Clark is the Business Manager of the Family Care Center of Catawba Valley, Inc.

Family Care Center is a nonprofit agency that provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless families with dependent children. The program offers a comfortable and secure apartment for each guest. It also provides physical, emotional, social and educational services.

The Goal at Family Care Center is to transition every family into permanent housing through a savings program, in lieu of rent, the guest are required to pay a savings into their office that goes into an account for them.

According to Jennifer, “Basically, they’re paying rent to themselves.”

The key is to have a job and in this area that may sometimes be a challenge. Family Care Center uses valuable resources to help those struggling in their job search. It’s a “helping hand – a hand up” not a hand out. The guests are required to do their part to make their time in this program a success. But together, with the help of the community, local businesses and Churches, we can make a better tomorrow one family at a time.

I am the Interviewer. Jennifer was asked five questions:

Interviewer: Why is it so difficult for the homeless to convince themselves that you can help?

Jennifer: The Family Care Center is designed for families with dependent children who for whatever reason – laid-off, overcrowded situation, fire, domestic violence, etc. – have found themselves in a state of homelessness. They were once self-sufficient and independent and now find themselves in a scary and unfamiliar place in their lives. Once we reassure them that they are not alone and together we can get them back on their feet and restore their self-confidence and pride once again, we can begin the recovery process.

Interviewer: How difficult is it when job applications require an address the homeless don’t have one?

Jennifer: Fortunately, most applications can be applied for online and responses can be sent via email. The families in our program are given an apartment and a mailbox, so that eliminates this problem. However, we have also found that many of the families applying for our program cannot get food stamps without a permanent residence, so many of the families that come into our program have to wait until they have a permanent address before receiving food assistance. This is a problem for families that are living in their vehicles, streets, or tents.

Interviewer: Being face to face with departure with no reason to believe in the horizon what one message have you shared that invites hope?

Jennifer: Jesus cares and so do we! You are not alone. Time after time, families come in desolate, disheartened, and depressed – for just reason. Many of these people have no one to turn to; they see the faces of their children looking at them for reassurance and they have nothing to offer. We through the support of the community can restore some normalcy to what otherwise is a hopeless situation. We offer an opportunity for a second chance at a better life.

Interviewer: Can new beginnings keep someone from returning to homelessness?

Jennifer: With proper training and education, the homeless can become self-sufficient and independent once again. Budgeting is a big part of the long term recovery picture. These families need to be taught how to manage money and what is considered necessities and what can they do without (ie: cigarettes, cell phones, cable t.v., internet, etc.) They need to learn to live within their means, as do we all.

Interviewer: If a homeless family isn’t with you, who are they with?

Some of these people are forced to stay in unsafe and unsanitary places or extremely overcrowded conditions. There is a shelter in this area that gives homeless families and individuals a place to sleep and a warm meal. The doors are not opened until around 3 p.m. and they are required to be out around 9 a.m. therefore for most they have nowhere to go during the day.

Our program however does come with several rules and requirements, first they must be working or diligently searching for employment, in order to get out of the homeless situation they are currently in, they must be willing to work hard to find and maintain employment while in our program. They are required to put money into a savings that goes through our office so that we know they are actually saving. This money is used at the end of their stay to get them into permanent housing, hopefully through an income based housing program. This type program can assure that the families will be able to maintain at the minimum status quo and hopefully in time continue to better themselves and their families’ situation.

Un-bossing a bossy boss

Be open and honest…

How often do you go to work and feel like a loser? Especially after a mandatory pep rally build me up buttercup quarterly meetings geared toward inspiring you to give more!

“We’re going to be great in 2012! We have the best team on earth!”

Three seconds in front of the company bathroom mirror and the scent of vomit filters through your nose because that speech failed to represent the feelings you’re having on the inside.

Art Williams is a brave man for exposing the hidden depths of a Corporate American front. Treat people “good” is a quality to live by. Until you get to work. Then the rules change because according to Art office managers are trained to believe management means treating people in a way they would never want to be treated themselves.

You don’t even have to close your eyes to see the face of the Grinch that stole your Christmas. That mug is fixed to your memory banks like a computer burns an image onto a compact disc. Now try and erase it…

Forget about the idea of fighting back. Total waste of your good energy. I’m shocked Ellen hasn’t tackled the subject of bullies at the workplace.

Overbearing, micromanaging, constantly dumping stuff on your path bosses used to be just like you. Then it happened, an opportunity to lead. Managers become who managed them. Or…the abused becomes the abuser. Ouch!

Art Williams clearly and boldly prints very loudly in his book Pushing Up People: Treat people good.

How do you do that? Do you know how much pressure is on managers?

This is why Art claims managers lead by fear and intimidation. It’s natural to believe that being tough is being a leader.

His solution? Leaders add the human factor to all aspects of their business.

Let me put it a different way. I love my stepfather Joe. I hated him while growing up. He was the meanest, most unfair and harshest with his words person this side of any Star Wars galaxy. And yet when you see him with the grandchildren the tiny tykes wearing teen shoes come back with words like, “Um I’m thinking you were the problem. He’s a far out, nifty cool absolutely the best in the whole wide world guy.”

This isn’t my way of saying, “Have you thought about giving your boss grandkids?”

Art Williams has a different plan: take the word boss out of bossing people around.

Let’s take a good look at a manager’s world. Although I manage the production department of five radio stations I’ve been accused of not being a great leader. Not because I boss but because my way of leading is believing. I believe in my producers and the styles and textures they were gifted with. To shape them like Frank Lloyd Wright carved out his student architects doesn’t offer my vision of how a commercial break should sound any depth.

Treating them with honest respect while trusting their visions of creative flow is looked upon as being flighty.

According to Art such leadership is a sign of weakness. Corporate decision makers are crafted by way of thinking that being too nice gives reason for employees to take advantage. You have to be tough to win people’s respect.

Insert scent of vomit here…

Wait…Arts response is so much better! A caring concerned leader is often welcome in the ranks of getter done. Be firm while making touch decisions without losing strength through an avenue called commitment.

Be committed to your team. See everyone as an individual not a nameless face.

That’s so Disney! Toss in the Charlotte Symphony and let’s call it a Christmas play!

Here’s my challenge. It’s the very invitation I give to everyone that steps within two inches of this Muppet filled radio station production room with a hand painted display of the Beatles in the corner.

You aren’t a real manager until you take your skills as a leader to a school that teaches what your company makes for the world. If you aren’t letting someone steal your art the failure is you not the employee.

I never say no to a school of Broadcasting. Being with a budding imagination teaches patience, the importance of locating personal value in what you offer as a business and even more powerful it prepares the future for quality because when your leadership is on public display fine tuned is communication.

Did you happen to take note of the Bose speakers connected to my soapbox? You gotta look good when standing on top of the mountain. As far as you see it only seems like it all belongs to you. Real leaders step off the path and help guide the thirsty to water.

That’s pretty fricken flighty isn’t it? Sure glad I’m not employed by the toilet paper people. My stuff might actually come with a fresh pair of undies.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Defeat the beast...

Oh this is it! This is the year! I’m gonna do it! Whew baby! Aint nothing gonna stop me now! Humpty Dumpty pick that lazy butt up off the ground and put yourself back together because I feel the earth move under my feet! Then like a silent spider with his covert operation buddy the snake time sneaks up to your very busy plate and whispers, “December 21st.”

The New Year’s resolution is null and void!

The Yoga mat sits in a room barely used. The piano lessons the same. How about the front yard project that looked incredibly easy on TV? What about the leaves, twigs and everything else squirrel clogging the gutter? You said this was the year you’d save money by dropping cable TV! The washing machine still sugs and clugs when it should be swishing and swooshing. As for the kids getting more active? In what? Video gaming? Channel changing? What about creating excuses as to why those really cool nifty shoes look better in the center of their bedroom floor?

Between 1994 and 2000…the final ten days of the year were deeply, honestly and loyally dedicated to boldly laying out the path of process for the fast approaching next fifty two weeks. No morning page was written unless it included new ideas, the identification of correcting old habits and or unmasking impossibility by way of shrugging fear off like un-liking a friend on Face Book.

Something changed the course of my writing instrument during the Y2K scare of the new millennium. I began to take New Years resolutions too seriously. Two hundred forty hours before the number 19 disappeared from calendars, vivid pictures from an imagination gone wild reached too far into the realms of what if. In doing so, I began to fear.

FDR shook the birth of unborn history with, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.”

And so I let it…

I.T. departments in every corner of the business world became cocky blasting off office emails that belittled more than informed claiming Y2K wouldn’t be what CNN thought it could be.

Although Timothy McVeigh was put away and the Uni-bomber out of sight, America still had no clue what terrorism was except to call it an article read in Time Magazine.

I still remember the conversations about Big Brother. I mean come on, highways and downtown streets could be seen on video screens. Cell phone conversations truly weren’t private and bowling alleys featured black lights, glitter paint, strobes, chasers and speakers the size of Christmas sending out rhythms, rainbows and Hip Hop beats that made the sport extremely exciting.

The only thing missing was George Jettson’s infamous flying car.

Ten days before the millennium changed the prints found on the tips of my fingers laid out poetic expressions that continue to be too real to hold. Only to find the picture vividly becoming clear one year nine months and eleven days into the change. From that moment forward to resolute seemed selfish. It seemed too self serving to wanna change me when “we” needed to rebuild the country our Grandparents gave to us.

Wow! Here we are again. Not just ten days from the change but fifty two weeks from the final page. A little ditty not named Jack and Diane but December 21, 2012. Skeptics, criptic’s, critics and conspiracy theorists and masters who’ve studied the Mayan’s collectively agree this could be.

Kind of weird how we let what other people think control our daily living. Maybe it’s human nature, this thing called fear. What is fear but the lack of knowing?

So when FDR said, “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.” He was truly telling the most powerful nation on earth that your decision to stop learning is every reason to halt growth.

Over the next ten days ask yourself ten questions. Bravely and honestly answer each with the type of openness that a closed society has encouraged you to practice.

There can be no resolutions if what is being changed has no clue as to who…you are.

There won’t be workouts to melt the body unless the doctor says, “You have cancer or it’s a heart attack.”

There won’t be a tighter budget until the online banking reads zero or barely a penny to save.

There can’t be dinner with the family until the smart lip of a tired teen steals from innocence then borrows it to chance making change.

We wait too long to make dents. The new shape of communication is guaranteeing your imagination enough room to be alone to text while driving while hammering out sixteen hours of work with pay that means nothing to you but at least the family has insurance. The price of gas will never bust the wall below three bucks and eating healthy doesn’t begin with drinking more water. That journey starts with clearing your heart and head.

You have twelve months to get to know you. Ask a question a day… What if the eyes looking back at you each morning you pee truly was someone that constantly had your back, stood up for you when life becomes challenged and quietly held your hand in the office during the delivery of more unheard of demands?

Have you ever laughed at a joke only you thought was funny?

Love what is… I will always believe in you first.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Becoming what your mind says you can't...

It’s been written a thousand times, “Thoughts are harmless unless we believe it.”

This is when experts step up to simplify the message, “It’s not our thoughts but the attachment to our thoughts that cause suffering.”

I don’t know about you but my entire childhood was oversaturated with an extremely protective stepfather that constantly grilled five meant for nothing trouble teens, “What were you thinking?”

I must have became him because no morning sunrise passes that my writing instrument doesn’t scrape into the pages of a hard covered book, “Why can’t you let this go?”

In Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is…she presents the idea that fueling a thought feeds your belief. Where weakness is found isn’t necessarily inside the thought but the lack of energy spent inquiring what the thought is truly all about. We tend to believe what we perceive.

Here’s a great example: I’m 49 with natural dark brown not gray hair without a shortage. My musical tastes are Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Usher and Ryan Seacrest. I listen to Hip Hop while texting, Skyping,

Tweeting and Face Booking. I have more energy and less body aches in Tae Kwon Do then most half my age in class. If you ask my soul it’ll tell you, “I’m sixteen!”

But reality bites when trying to further my performance in broadcasting. My thoughts are caked with young ideas, dreams and the willingness to accept all challenges. The industry thinks otherwise. Therefore

I deal with extremely dangerous depressions that resemble a four year old looking up at his mother wondering why he can’t ride a ten speed bike with all the other numb skull kids on the block.

Thoughts are harmless unless we believe it.

Katie unveils her truths by exposing, “One day I wasn’t breathing. I was being breathed. Basically meaning I wasn’t thinking, I was being thought.”

Whoa! That’s even too deep for me. At least until the puzzle pieces begin the process of being shaped on the cold winter floor.

Katie explains, “No one has ever been able to control their thinking. Instead of letting go of your thoughts meet them half way by allowing there to be an understanding. Then let them go.

Case in point; 49 year old radio guy whose thoughts of being successful on a modern Top 40 station aren’t going to happen but he can create better commercials that fit into the places a radio listener stops participating. Rather than pushing ears away his writing and way of thinking and producing don’t create a disconnection to a life and style he lives therefore it comes across as sharing.

Katie asks, “Would you argue with a raindrop?”

Raindrops aren’t personal nor are their thoughts. Once a painful concept is met with understanding, the next time it appears you might find it to be interesting or you might ignore its sudden appearance on the path.

What thoughts in your chapters have been given permission to breathe you?

Think about it…

We hear it all the time! Someone close catches wind of your moments of weakness and compassionately offer the message, “You need to take a few minutes to breathe.”

Are you breathing or is it breathing you?

I play a stupid game called Lost and Found. When it feels like the world has dumped its load on my shoulders I call the spade a spade, “You’re lost. Now it’s time to find.”

Your choice of drugs isn’t always the best addiction. Understanding what gets you high keeps you from reaching what I call the caffeine rush; up one minute sliding into a basement within a few minutes. Talking to friends, coworkers and accepted relations on Face Book is never the answer. Understand the documented rules of sympathy versus empathy. A lot of relationships are shattered if the right words aren’t put into play. Your life isn’t going to get better if your friend perks you up like a Red Bull.

Thoughts are harmless unless we believe it.

It’s not that I’m a skeptic I just know where being pessimistic has led me. Why should you settle for a glass that’s half full when an entire mug of milk always goes better with chocolate chip cookies?

I’ll always believe in you first…

Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 The Journey Back to America: Page Three

To refocus indicates a change of energy. Through education one might be made aware of but in the end to refocus becomes a ticket or a fist full of hope that’s easily burned by chance nestling opportunity.

Only a couple of times have I heard a company general manager say, “Because of economic conditions we’ve decided to make the New Year a learning place. We’re refocusing on several possibilities and in doing so we believe the end result will be a future that includes every player with us today.”

Being on this side of the white picket fence fear becomes the decision maker. You’ve been warned. There’s nothing you can do to prevent change except to prepare for it.

During the bitterly cold whispers of wind that capsized the month of January 2010 my soul was forced to refocus; a single woman, maybe 26 or less sat on the concrete block that keeps cars from jumping a storefront sidewalk.

She didn’t beg nor borrow from passerbies. Although she sat not stood on the frost covered block nobody approached her to ask, “Are you ok?”

Being only six feet from the steam that rhythmically flowed through her dirt covered nose, I kept wondering making sure I didn’t poison it with assumption. I had been there before; Melrose in Los Angeles. Each who walk beside, within and nearby carry several scents of life and style and my decision was to quickly compare without being aware. In doing so…I felt tremendous guilt.

And there I was again except this time through education and being fully aware of the shortest distance between two dots not being the best path, I chose to step away from the car and offer something as small as, “Are you lost?”

“No…” she embarrassingly replied pulling her face from the conversation as if to locate something more engaging on the fast paced street in front of us.

“Did your car break down?”

“No…” the short answer was released with no reason for me to believe she was in danger.

“Can I help you?’

“I wish somebody would’ve said that when the bank I used to work for decided to rip my department a part. I just wanna live again.”

At that moment I realized how close we all are to being homeless. She was warm compared to how frozen

I instantly became while attempting to push away corporate reality. As if to be a morning dove and I a child chasing the sky for feathers, she stood then flew away.

Walking back to my car I knew had to write. I had been given something beyond my control and in receiving it the energy to refocus became my guide.

The exact words scribbled on the back of a monthly statement from Verizon Wireless to which I’ve never thrown away:

You sit in silence and solitude, not wanting to be found. Your face is muddied by not your hand. Gone tonight is the life you once had.

Palms closed so tight my friend. Open up and let someone in.

Lost and alone on a darkened night. She feels with her memories to give her sight. She’s cold, emotion sold. And then she says, “I wanna live again.”

You sit inside your lonely thoughts holding pictures of forget-me-nots. Your shelter is shattered by not the shell. In your hand you hold your fathers pride.

The times have changed, a new generation. Open up and let someone in.

Lost and alone on a darkened night. She feels with her memories to give her sight. She’s cold, emotion sold. And then she says, “I wanna live again.”

During the arrival of a new Christmas, Pastor Flo reached toward a deeper explanation of the meaning of Mary being a virgin giving birth to a child. Whether you believe or choose to walk away. Her landscape of thought gave reason to refocus on what the symbol of a virgin is; that of new, a challenge, a journey or vision quest that overpowers the present only to find that what’s been shared with you might not be for you but rather everybody you meet along the way.

Ultimately it’s your choice to accept your true north or sit and sag in the middle wondering why the depth of every page is easily scratched away. There’s no religion in that. It’s a walk and what you take in or take away makes or breaks the start of every new day.

Stop searching and start realizing it’s already there. To refocus indicates a change of energy.

While visiting a library I’d spend more time holding chapters in a book that featured bent tips of a single page. Forgetting the story I elected to learn more about why someone before me chose that moment to seal off their reasons from moving forward with the book.

Were they tired? Could the car ride have come to a conclusion or the doctor’s office waiting room been not so busy which allowed them to step inside another reason for being? Might they have been homeless and within the next steps of an environment shut off from reality there was no way the bleeding mind of a poet could inspire them to keep moving forward.

Did my friend Scott win the war against homelessness or was he given a virgin gift that forced him to refocus. His message is powerful but how many along the way stepped from the comforts of life without judgment? It’s not natural to assume someone is homeless. It’s a lack of focus that drives your heart into believing your life is better.

What if you took the time to refocus? Upon your return who in your current circle would you terminate or is the truth of understanding on the streets we beat to death daily with cars that take us away from the places we truly need to be?

What happens if the car stalls?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You did what when you were 15?

We’ve been told for decades that to get the lightbulb it required one thousand Thomas Edison failed attempts. Parental figures around the world use the inventor’s bad days as news to use while teaching a growing imagination to never give up.

Then suddenly life forces you TO dance in a pair of middle aged shoes and everything deemed cool during teen proms and a set of ten twenties comes back faster than the speed of light.

“Why didn’t I trust my gut feeling?”

“I still believe it can sell.”

“Why didn’t I find someone who shared the same vision?”

Tribes author Seth Godin knows all too well that it’s never easy to give up on a great idea. Look at the music industries addiction to press compact discs inside a digital age. I laughed out loud when John Boy and Billy slipped me Bob Seger’s approach to gaining a little air play; a double sided sliver of vinyl that screams 45.

Without hesitation I rushed back into my production studio and hung it on the wall! The goal is to count how many times a person born after 1992 will ask, “What’s that?”

Ideas are gimmicks. They’re designed by the universe to stimulate what otherwise would be emptiness. We’re hit in the forehead with an idea and without a doubt lesser than a few physically pick up the challenge to see it through to its total potential.

I find Clear Channels forecast and vision of I Heart Radio two pages off from reaching the generation that’ll live by its realization. Not because it’s a bad idea but rather too confusing for beer swigging Kevin and Shopaholic Sharon to change their every day stale routine to, “I gotta do what? Can’t my car just come with it?”

To change a habit “chance” has to be given permission to breathe. Someone or several somebody’s set off on a vision quest; it’s what they bring back to other pioneers that quickly shape possibility.

Thomas Jefferson didn’t send Lewis and Clark on a wild goose hunt. Documenting the Louisiana Purchase opened the gates for new beginnings. I’m sure Rush Limbaugh would’ve been all over it, “What kind of a President are you? The land was cheap because there’s nothing there! Who in their right mind can trust a man that believes the hard working, deeply dedicated people of the original thirteen colonies wanted their roots to be shipped out from the places they diligently and faithfully fought for?”

Seth Godin isn’t shy when expressing the importance of never over feeding a great idea. How many copycat Snugglies have flooded the Christmas market? Apple’s Ipod and pad might have been the first but thanks to a community of digital bloodhound inventors the connection to mental destruction continues to grow. Why are you buying music when your favorite songs are free on I Heart Radio?

My support of I Heart continues to earn me hotter than hell flames of disgusted discussions, “How dare you turn your back on the broadcast industry that freed you from Montana!”

“This is the end of a legacy!”

“You’re a fricken bone head loser for believing in the one thing that could silence every tower from Myrtle Beach, SC to Victoria, BC.”

Wow! Where were these brave warriors when it came to perfecting the greatest radio break? Love the spicy talk, why didn’t they use those lips to design a better radio commercial?

While waiting for Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp to begin in Atlanta, my hero in radio Andrew Ashwood leaned over and asked me, “I need to know right now; are you a Broadcaster, a radio performer or a DJ?”

Without hesitation, “Broadcaster…”

“Then get used to the changes that’ll consume this industry like cancer. The only thing I need from you is to guarantee that you’ll never stop learning then teaching it. The moment you hang up the phone…you’re done. The next Broadcaster in line will kick you’re a** off the path and within a second you’ll be known as used to be.”

Seth Godin says, “The good old days are yet to happen and the guys that ran everything up until then will be gone.”

Let’s put it this way; during the Mood Ring craze of the 1980’s… a lot of people made millions off something so simple. Do any of the nickels dimes and quarters earned from a gimmick idea sit in bank accounts some thirty years later?

Take the idea from your sleepless nights and burn it into the channels of American culture.

Ideas are gimmicks! Buy into it or someone’s gonna beat you to it.

Ryan Seacrest is all over I Heart Radio. I’ll never be Ryan but no day passes that an intern/future Broadcaster isn’t sitting with me and it’s he or she that could one day replace Mr. America.

I want nothing but to watch the journey. In a society driven by billion dollar deals; footsteps toward painted horizons is priceless in a world of dreams.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



What are words other than representatives of communication or lack thereof? describes words as a unit of language consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation that functions as a principal carrier of meaning.

Now I’m lost…

Words shared through emails, texting, Face Book and Twitter don’t often come with meaning. Words resemble a gasoline rag landscapers tuck in their back pocket, both are oversaturated with fuel fully capable of igniting disconnection.

My father Joe has never been one who shares a lot of words. Expressions sell his message whereas I tend to use too many words making me just as hated.

I use words to help advertisers sell cars, boats, candles and excitement.

Pastor Flo uses words to magnify lost paths so wanderers can focus on true North.

The Transportation Safety Council has introduced a plan geared toward saving lives; no texting or verbally communicating words while behind the wheel of a car.

Bosses would love to enforce a little less word sharing on the company computer.

Having a great voice and delivery is no longer the most important part of a radio career; social networking a tribe of words is measured every day by IT department meters that determine if what’s being shared provides a big enough platform for reasons to sell.

Television sports and newscaster’s guilt trip viewers into believing if you aren’t sharing words on their Face Book pages or texting devices you must not care enough to belong.

Ouch! Ok radio does it too.

With so much weight on our daily shoulders you’d think we’d sink from the word scene and melt between the word cracks.

I laugh out loud when closet writers and poets softly say, “My words mean nothing.”

My daily word writing before each new sun is given birth might seem like nothing until you realize very few remember what it was truly like in America on 9-11. Rather than fight I chose to write.


A playful coworker once worked with others to trip the word addict by presenting a set up Ashton Kutcher you got punked failure only to watch the assumed reaction of anger, depression or lack of belief fail to materialize; but you should’ve read the words written in my journal based on trust, faith and hope.

In martial arts Master Harris taught word Tae Kwan Do: The art of creating movement not with a foot or fist but trusting the way to make waves. It’s no different than a 1970’s pre-Brady Bunch parent guiding their sheep toward a newer place to graze. There was never a need to rip the belt off your waist…short, to the point; no questions asked word sharing shaped a nation that once led the world.

“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” JFK

Today my daughter invites her peeps “Use your words…”

Words once made the leader. Today, words shatter leadership. Using your words makes the playing corporate field uneven. Julia Cameron says we have the right to write…not the right to right. We can fight for the right to right but are your words unrightfully disrespectful?

Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity find no reason to word spar. They professionally set up soap boxes for you to disagree but in the end their word is final.

When there are no words we find alcohol and drugs, energy drinks and chocolate.

When words are sucked from our lungs during baseball triple plays and the unexpected loss of a family member or friends we race to find other word collectors to reboot the word game.

I can’t imagine living life without words.

It’s fun to make up new words! The Shakespeare dictionary offers the best comedy. How ways are there to say, “Bite me?”

Dogs and cats are extremely wordy in the word display telepathy is their way of play.

Choose your words wisely. But why? No matter what word falls from the lips given to you at birth there’s always going to be someone that’s going to receive your loyalty, dedication and determination to be the very best at what you do wrong.

Our failure isn’t lost in a foundation built on words and words alone. We are the generation that has forgotten how to listen. The next time you’re in church listen to how many people are whispering, “Dear God please I want, I need, please

God gift me with…”

Life is a three second intro of a song…what are you going to say that isn’t going to force a listener to tune out?

Love what is…

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Perfectly ripe for the picking

We’ve all done it; from childhood to adult underwear or lack thereof…no moment in history can unfold unless there are questions. Questions can be easy, tiring, playful, intriguing, insightful, worth the enormous amount of patience required to finally burp it up and questions can be the only key that fits the door behind the wall next to the mountain near impossibility.

Author Bryon Katie believes the art of locating inner peace at work, at home, an outrageously expensive restaurant or in a car stuck at a never ending bright red traffic light is four questions away from being accepted then forgotten.

In the opening pages of her book Loving What Is, Katie’s description resembles the image in many mirrors; a life overtaken by fear, guilt, stress, depression and whatever else daytime television talk show hosts create in their race to score better ratings.

I’m not gonna waste your time. The four questions are:

Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
How do you react when you think that thought?
Who would you be without that thought?

These aren’t the questions you instantly whip into action during a heated discussion. The challenger could be fueled with the wrong medicine leaving the situation wide open for accusations that tend to sharpen the environment rather than win the chase on a race toward peace.

Four questions you might ask a troubled friend while sharing hot steamy peppermint flavored coffee with an edge of chocolate smiling up at you each time your desire to look great and feel better becomes weak.

Being one that openly admits to having several personalities…I share with you an example while reaching out to Arroe the artist; a painter, acrylic scented brush breathing former gallery loving promoter of free will expressions until a public display in New Orleans in 2009 silenced him forever.

Interviewer: Is it true you’ve allowed a gallery owner's mid-recession fears destroy what came so incredibly easy to you?

The Painter: I kept telling her that my paintings of the bridges in Charleston, SC wouldn’t sell in New Orleans. Southern cities take great pride in the masterpieces men of construction leave behind and if you can’t physically see the bridge painted on the canvas, why in earth would you invest in a painting? Nothing sold for 90 days. She wanted my stuff out and it came with a letter that said, “Maybe you should think about no longer doing this. Having no reaction from my clients is a sign.”

Interviewer: Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

The Painter: Every now and then I pull up the email for no reason other than to locate an LOL or a Ha Ha Ha. I mentioned to her several times that I understood the reasons for the gallery opening two months late. I lowered my prices to help get her business while at the same time offering to send different pieces of art because my heart kept telling me that paintings of Charleston bridges won’t sell in New Orleans but she was completely addicted to the idea that anyone who enjoys structure will buy structure.

Interviewer: How do you react when you think that thought?

The Painter: Angry, sad, silent yet it’s opened the door for me to explore other avenues of expression such as my music. I’ve always written music and believe the only reason why I got into radio is because I was too lazy to chase stages. If New Orleans hadn’t happened I wouldn’t have challenged myself to take the songs beyond a home studio to a real world with real musicians and producers that talk on funky microphones while never uncrossing their arms or smiling at really stale radio jokes.

Interviewer: Is it true you enjoy the music more than painting?

The Painter: Without a doubt. When I’d paint there was always music in the house which invited my doves and other birds to sing with it. I called it my Jazz. The only reason why I started putting paint on canvas was to invite people to my lyrics. It was a trick I shared with other poets and writers at Barnes and Noble where I had them sit in the section of the store where their books would be on display; after twenty minutes I wanted to hear about the store patrons that found interest in that particular section. They came back with empty hearts. That’s when I challenged myself to take ink and stain pages which later grew to a canvas and in doing so I’d write something in the corner. The picture caught the attention of a passerby who then took the time to read my lyrics.

Interviewer: Who would you be without that thought?

The Painter: A closet writer; someone that rushes to feed the addiction of a once living tree that collects words in order to stay alive. My first book was written while in the second grade, it along with thunderous amounts of poetry remain hidden away because I was too shy to put my visions out there.

Interviewer: Think about it…by painting you created a tool that helped pry open a fear of displaying your true art. You allowed something that you liked to serve as the bodyguard while your true love for music and writing books has been on display on web pages all over the world for nearly two years. Sure, the email sent from the gallery owner cracked the egg but it gave birth to a creative outlet, it also reintroduced you to everything tucked away in the closet. There’s no reason to hate, feel bad about or silence. I can’t imagine what other doors will be opened the moment you pick up the brush again. Let it continue to serve you as the tool it was designed to be.

The book is called Loving What is from Byron Katie…

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012 The Journey Back to America: Page Two

In an age of two clicks and an instant fix we’re finding the shortest distance between two dots isn’t always a straight line. Technology has retrained the human mind to think everything is possible. With such confidence comes a price; professional athletes and coaches caught up in scandals, who knew what a ponzi scam was until Bernie Madoff made off with billions?

For the first time in history not one or two but four generations from Boomer’s to Gen Xer’s, Y’s and all other’s born after 1992 sit in economic timeout. Not just in the United States but around the world. While the price of gold, copper and other precious metals soar, the onetime best investments of housing, banking, retail and The Stock Market continue to shake worse than the most famous fault lines on the California coast.

No single person or group holds the solution, not even a vision that’ll separate the rugged sea for the masses to walk between. The backlash of getting what you want when you want it has unleashed a scene only Hollywood was capable of making.

Rent and mortgage defaults blanket the current conditions forcing families to live with relatives and friends or if you’re lucky pack up the car and live alongside a barely traveled street or behind buildings.

In our first blog I introduced you to Scott who found his way out. How? We have 52 weeks to share that cure. For now I need to dig deeper; to locate the modern face of those racing to survive. To reach toward the calm palm of the grey bearded wanderer that doesn’t want to come back to America while introducing you to the silent warriors chosen to help re-invite.

When it comes to extending unconditional love Pastor Flo from Segal Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina stands on no line. What is good for one is good for all. Therefore no day passes that the doors leading to her sanctuary aren’t open to someone lost, cold and without answers to such brutal challenges.

While delivering the second of three parts of a series based on locating your personal Star of Bethlehem, Pastor Flo called me out; while with the congregation she spoke directly to me about homelessness, recognizing it as a very powerful issue.

My questions challenged her so she challenged me back with a quote that changed the entire path, “When you say someone is homeless, are they houseless or without connection? Because at Segal Avenue you’ll always have a home and I will do everything within my power to give you a connection to lessons that will strengthen you.”

I am the Interviewer and each person met on this year long quest will only be asked five questions.

Interviewer: What do people fear most during a time when everything around them seems lost forever?

Pastor Flo: Fear of the unknown is definitely our biggest fear. If you don’t have a clue as to where your next meal will come from or where you will lie down for the evening, that’s a huge sense of hopelessness. The despair that accompanies loss is vicious. It gnaws away at the fiber of one’s being. If a man or woman has no existential reality about themselves, the fear is that their existence doesn’t matter at all. If they have no existence, or sense of contribution, as in even being alive matters, then that person has no reason for anything. The purpose of a relationship with God is to instill a sense of being. Therefore the church as an extension of the relationship creates opportunities for people to grow in the reality of being created for a purpose.

Interviewer: With as passionate as you are about the community what becomes the focus on the path to reach out farther than most to help the hungry and homeless?

Pastor Flo: For a long time we have provided a place to sleep (once a week) or food for those who are hungry (twice a month) and weekly we feed children who sometimes wouldn’t eat if the church didn’t provide food. Now the larger questions are having to be addressed such as what is keeping people hungry and homeless?

Interviewer: Can homelessness be conquered?

Pastor Flo: That could be viewed as a trick question. Jesus said the poor will always be among us, however he didn’t say that the homeless would always be among us. We customarily define people who do not have shelter as homeless, however some would say that they are “houseless”. Homelessness could be defined as 'An inadequate experience of connectedness with family and or community,' (Dominic Mapstone). This fact is now recognized by Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Program. If the problem was a lack of shelters (then the answer is easy) but more shelters won't solve the problem. Homelessness is about a lack of connectedness. Belonging somewhere is about belonging with other people. Like belonging to a family, a Church, Synagogue or Mosque or local community. We’ve got work to do. The largest social demographic in first world countries that experiences homelessness are actually elderly people who have shelter, but not a home. Quite often their spouse has died and their children live at a distance. They feel the same loneliness and abandonment as the person living on the street.

Interviewer: Because of his travels wasn’t Jesus homeless?

Pastor Flo: Absolutely not. Jesus was surrounded by community and people he could interact with. Folks he could teach help and empower. He didn’t own a house (to our knowledge) but he was connected.

Interviewer: A homeless child sits in front of you scared of the future,
Christmas to them is a box of hand me downs and almost new toys from the Salvation Army…how do you teach faith in a politically correct world?

Pastor Flo: We need a new paradigm. Unless and until “faith communities”, the public (political) arena, and the private sector come together, there will be no future. Yes time and matter will continue to be, but there will be no understanding of reality that resides in hope for a better tomorrow. Public policies are contradicting what’s needed to instill hope. In like manner religious paradigms must be reshaped to meet the new demands and front new needs. The private sector listens to the “profit” more than the “prophet”. None of them alone can reshape our future. It is not until we all come together that we can change the world. So my first response to the child is I’m so sorry that life hasn’t served you as best as it is capable of serving you. My next steps would be to seek ask and raise the questions and seek to adjust our compasses to reflect True North.

Interviewer: John F Kennedy said it best, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh puke, its another positive inside a negative America

How often has a brilliant mood or great day at work been deflated by the front covers of Face Book and Twitter?

Although 60 Minutes, Oprah and every lifestyle magazine strongly suggest that you don’t do it; I’m seeing a rise in the numbers when it comes to the willingness required to bash your boss and the company.

Bosses are on the edge. It’s the end of the year and nobody wants to lead a team of half witted wanna be warriors into the next chapter of America the Recession.

Demands are high and standards have been set aside. Quality no longer means forever; the new evolution is efficiency.

How do you survive in a world that no longer sees recognizes success? Championed employees are no longer celebrated because the pyramids of business structure have become threatened by what’s quickly becoming a hungry nation. To keep it under control requires leadership that doesn’t reward.

Face it…controlling micromanaging bosses with obviously nothing better to do so than bug you are no different than increased taxes; it’s a way of life. If you think it’s bad, try pulling off self employment where there’s no corporate umbrella to protect you from fast approaching storms.

Dr. Richard Carlson believes there are two different types of employees; complainer’s that spend endless hours verbally beating up their bosses behavior and those who stay focused on the bigger picture which is to locate a positive quality of the head honcho.

Nobody enjoys being pushed to perform!

Dr. Richard clearly states that pushy people are pushy to everyone…it’s their entire act. Basically meaning it shouldn’t be taken personal.

Shocked by the doctor, I’ve learned my way of leading is just as damaging. One that positions themselves to turn negatives into positives tends to influence those having a difficult time to think they don’t have what it takes therefore continue to choose a less likely path.

Rather than be judgmental of either side of the fence the doctor encourages you to look deeper into the value of each personality.

Both only seem different but hold a common connection in the way of being a learning place. Rather than choosing corporate divorce or catching a fake high worse than two Red Bulls from that Arroe clown…keep the overreacting in place and take great notes of what each teach.

Nobody is born smart.

You can take the cutest baby with the brightest eyes and set them free and there’s no guarantee that fate will find them success. Teacher’s make the business world spin.

Open your mind to the contributions they offer then fertilize your soil.

I’ll give you an incredible example: Radio on-air talent are a breed of their own, they’re locked in the mode of performance whereas radio sales executives live and breathe survival. A spec spot or fake commercial can either invite new business or shun a potential client away. The jock that decides his show is more important affects the success of the sales rep.

I got into commercial production because it became my addiction to try and figure out where listeners tuned out. Just yesterday while helping to send thousands of presents to our troops overseas one of the volunteers embarrassingly told me, “I can’t stand it when you stop the music to try and convince me to buy something.”

Rather than belittle the man’s confession I chose to listen. My goal was to locate which style of commercial turned him off. I studied his answers believing Oprah’s heavily promoted Secret book will reveal the single line that meets when two journeys collide. I know clients that need customers and I know listeners that want to better their life. Through advertising and great salesmanship combined with relationship a simple sentence can change the course of history.

My job is no different than your job which is no different from a banker needing credit card dollars to whip up their end of the year profits which is no different than Frank’s bowling alley needs all twenty four lanes filled on a Friday night. The janitor keeping the floor clean means bowling shoes won’t stick on the alley. The oils need to be spread evenly so strikes are struck more which ignites the ego of the visitor making him want to come back again and again.

Stop sweating the demanding boss and quickly running away from my over spirited pump you up vibrations that would make a rollercoaster freak ill to their stomach. If you truly want a life changing weight losing moment to occur in the chapters you keep make your new year’s resolution something as simple as turning the negatives into a tool that can be used in locating your higher success.

Learn to love what is…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Radio Listener...there's something I've been wanting to share...

I wish radio listeners could hear the real show. The funniest, most intriguing best content on earth is nearly almost next to never what’s been delivered between the songs but always when the microphone is off.

If listeners could see, feel and experience a room when three to six or seven Broadcaster’s drop their guard and begin to share…its far better than watching a Fourth of July celebration in New York City.

Radio people have the courage to be so far open scientists are incredibly close to calling it a black hole.

Nobody tries to outperform, over produce, build comedy routines or visually attempt to stimulate strength and passion for the two speaker stage; the channel isn’t formatted and neither are the subjects. Radio performers off the microphone are the missing page on a ninety year old journey that’s been challenged by movies, television, the Ipod, Napster and Pandora.

So what happened? Where are the modern day shapes of Alan Freed, Wolfman Jack, Cousin Bruce Morrow, Larry Lujack, Scott Shannon, John Records Landecker, Murphy in the Morning from Big Ways and countless other thought provoking gut busting pee your pants geniuses that could burp the alphabet while shaking hands with an entire city of radio listeners.

These were just some of the masters that proved radio isn’t about having a brilliant voice that makes you say wow but becoming a voice that made you say wow.

What about the late night Pied Pipers that impatiently waited for their program directors to haul their tails to bed so they could break out the 45’s and albums blessed with true rhythm and blues and not candy coated Pat Boone remakes?

Thirty two chapters in this biz and I whole heartedly praise the days when Bill Conway slapped my ego and shoved my ambitions onto overnights. No ratings meant no rules. Until the night Chuck Boozer woke up and discovered I was playing sound effects and comedy bites from his show and he very professionally said, “Dude…I get what you’re trying to do. I was once there. Just let me know so that I don’t use the same bite three hours after your show.”

That conversation would’ve made great big dents in our constant grind to locate a relationship with listeners. It was real and blessed with enough content that might inspire a normal person to step up to a company coffee pot and say, “Did you happen to catch Arroe getting busted using Boozer’s bits this morning? I’d love to talk to Mike in cubical six about how he keeps stealing my pencils.”

While with the Pam Stone Show 2002-2005, the nationally recognized comedian held nothing back on inviting radio listeners to the true party. Anthony and I would stare at each other knowing every lesson taught by consultants and programmers meant nothing within the doors that separated our worlds. Her loyalty to the people earned two Gracie Allen Awards.

Radio people find no reason to fear unless there are unexpected gatherings in offices much larger than the on-air studio. What becomes of those meetings is usually a key to another opportunity. Legendary radio host Henry Bogan was brutally too honest for the norm. If he liked you, that required a tough message by way of preparing you for the inevitable, “My job is to plug in these earphones at the beginning of the show then wait for them to tell me it’s the last time such a move will happen.”

Show me a radio person that doesn’t have a story and I’ll introduce you to a liar.

Popping open that microphone is an art that you’re called to. Ministers and preachers locate pulpits, radio people find knobs connected to control boards linked to transmitters that mysteriously beam out bouncing sound waves from an imagination most high school teachers labeled a leader but not in common sense.

And yet you never hear of the days when being with invisible people hurts so bad that impossibility melts the music but the Great Inner Voice from distant planets and no formats chooses not to encourage the radio man and woman but rips from the bowels of I can’t do this and gifts the talker with the greatest show ever performed.

The days and nights you kicked yourself so hard because every break sucks so bad is the moment you realize that why you’re there has nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with sharing reality with a passerby you may never meet but for one split second their decision to call it quits stopped them from ending the story.

Have you ever stared into the eyes of a radio person after they’ve changed a human life? A forever mark is left in their soul and true radio people can see it no matter how cloudy the day or bright the sun. Not a word can be shared and within the metallic shell assumed protective a ring is heard when two radio performers pass each other in hall…it’s that ring that radio listeners never get to hear and that’s what’s missing from radio.

If radio is dead why have the voices between the songs lasted longer than Dave Clark, Foghat, The Captain and Tenniel, Duran Duran, Gangsta Hip Hop and Grunge? We’ve learned to adapt to a constantly changing need to become part of your life and style. The city skyline can change, professional sports owners can sell out and schools can keep farming out future leaders but in the end there’s nothing more solid than what radio people bring with them…the passion to invite something else to think about while the rest of the world has whittled away every dream you’ve held.

Before they throw my ashes into the Charleston Harbor I want my wife to whisper only two words, “Thank you.” None of this would’ve ever happened without radio listeners and that’s the part of this business that never makes it to the air because research shows you should’ve been talking about something else.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Its better to write to have a public then not to write to have no self...

A coworker convinced me to add The Shack to my Kindle; while waiting for its instant arrival the spirited moment became blank when reminded of my elementary school days when selecting a book was based on how cool the cover was.

Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel with its bright red face and black lettering showcased a manly I’m a tough guy approach never realizing how much of a classic it would prove to be to those that grew up ripping dirt piles apart with larger than life heavy metal Tonka trucks and tractors.

Is it wrong to admit I read Are You There God It’s Me Margaret because I couldn’t figure out why the girls were whispering?

Curious George did nothing while Clifford the Big Red Dog glamorized my love for pets. Both featured valuable lessons that could easily be incorporated into everyday life but there was something about that out of control monkey that invited more anger and disappointment than entertainment.

By third grade I knew something was seriously different when Mrs. Stephenson would handout the order forms to purchase paperbacks.

While the majority of the students perked up and shouted, “Wow!”

My heart’s interest invisibly conquered the soul with, “Whoa…look at the lion.”

Yep…a picture fanatic that constantly complained about authors destroying the surface of my getaway with words.

It’s not that I couldn’t read…I was a shy kid with very little to say. Shouldn’t the books I’ve casually savored while slowly turning each page at such an early age be the same?

I’m no different today; any book, magazine or collection of blogged words or Tweets and especially emails that feature more than a single sentence have to come with a voice or its rubble from a fallen imagination.

While dressed in adult clothes I’m an avid reader but only if it’s purpose has a voice.

Two clicks into The Shack and I was quickly introduced to Mack, a thirteen year old that didn’t have much to say. Stop! Now you’ve got my attention. Mack is a thinker not a doer. The only emotion I hold is to figure out a way to get a message to this Mack kid that deeply expresses, “Don’t do radio.”

Mack doesn’t say much unless you ask him directly. In an age of computerized finger talkers where does the tyke fit in? Thinkers are treated like aliens; verbally they’re always in the way, not a pity parade but an idea maker that experiences things differently. Yet every now and then Mack comes up with an idea worth investing a couple of minutes of your time.

One problem…after the conversation has concluded the tendency isn’t to friend Mack but to latch onto a rope and pull yourself away. Mack’s thinking but not doing approach tends to invite the visitor to look in a mirror, realizing what they do doesn’t seem so appealing to the masses inside a world where popularity and acceptance is the only way to gain.

When Mack talks he looks at it as being nothing more than a survival mechanism. Stop! You had me at hello! The Shack didn’t even come with a really cool cover with a steam shovel or bowling ball hitting a congregation of snotty nosed pins.

Maybe this is why it took me thirty one years to publish my book Halloween 78. Although it continues to serve the purpose of being the only reason why I didn’t drop out of school; cutting it in half in the middle to create enough space to add a classic Hollywood generated cliffhanger to a Twilight saturated generation allowed the thinker and not doer to accept artist Peter Max’s challenge and release all things created back into the universe.

Say what? Let’s just call this kind of talk The Mack attack. Not so many big words but a whole lot of vowels and consonants super glued together to resemble an idea that might become a voice.

Writing is personal. Letting go of it is like walking in on bedroom privacy. There is no fear grander than that of expected judgment. When thinkers begin to do the blvd seems less crowded but in the end what’s been done is what you were born to do…write.

Doctors, nutritionists, weight loss geek freaks, fat suckers, body part raisers and workout kings make a lot of money reshaping your outside cover while the true story bubbles beneath the fancy design waiting to be delivered.

It’s ok to be a curious monkey that dresses up in a big red dog costume while digging giant holes in the center of small towns only to learn the latest project forgot to include a way out… The original

Halloween 78 doesn’t conclude like the published release because one night while sipping on incredible wine the depth of my thinking did something undoable…I killed off one of the main characters only to sit back, laugh and calmly say, “Figure it out.”

The only judgment I require is the acceptance of self. That’s what feeds a popcorn seed on a journey to pop its head up above the soil only to be sporting a nifty cool graduation like tassel by summer’s end.

When you write your entire self is given room to breathe. If you’re hell bent on million sellers and popularity contests become a politician elected to office then connected to a scandal. You might get a 30 minute show on CNN or MSNBC.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Before you say, "Hey Arroe shut up!"

While watching Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton perform his art on the hard driven soils of a heavily crowded field of play; I find myself laughing like a child addicted to Christmas sugar cookies and left over Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Like NBA legend Michael Jordon, Cam’s got a style that offers a separate journey for sports fans to follow; one that’s connected more to a test of skill rather than an expansion of ego.

Colin Powell once said, “Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.”

Losing sight of the greater reality has led several high profile decision makers and those hired to be their support system toward destinations unspeakable. A burial ground that Rig-Veda calls the biggest enemy of humans.

Author and Martial Arts Master Richard Andrew King calls out to the ego to join him in the center of the fighting circle so that it can be defeated by the need to expand growth rather than further the human need of being accepted.

He writes: The goal of competition is to test ourselves; our skill, character and our personal development.

The most recent downsizing of the Corporate American scene has provided the current generation with too many chiefs with not enough willingness to succeed except to keep firing. If all who is left is looked upon as being the best then why isn’t anyone moving mountains?

King clearly makes a statement when describing our reasons to settle with the term power in the flock. It’s a reference to external, social power, the power that manifests itself over others. Power in the flock is false. Using such powers deludes and misguides the masses that follow out of fear.

Fear of what?

I remember in the eighth grade, within the core of the Bicentennial year Riverside Jr. High school Social Studies teacher Mr. Fox laid out a sheet of clean unused paper and asked each of us to step to the front and write down our single most powerful fear.

At fourteen my snickers and doodles were too childish for some yet he saw through it.

My exact words were, “What if tomorrow doesn’t come?”

His reply, “And if it didn’t arrive what would your actions and reactions be during the process of all things coming to an end?”

“To figure out how to warn the people without them thinking the sky wasn’t falling.”

“Wouldn’t you have to be required to hold a power in office or big company in order to reach a conclusion?”

“No sir…I’d stop the record playing on KOOK radio and remind people how great yesterday was.”

Six years later my bedroom driven pretend radio station ambitions unfolded onto the cattle stained grounds off South Billings Blvd with four giant sticks in the Montana mud that shot KOOK as far north as Norway on a clear night in midwinter. Between 1982-85 I feared living out that classroom conversation. The Soviet Union was still a force and who knew what the Middle East was up to?

My friend Brian from Philly kept my feet on the ground while reaching for the stars, “You gotta think like The Boss!”

“Dan Miller?”

“Bruce Springsteen! He’s a hero to my friends and family back home in Philly because he never lets any of his fame go to his head. Everything you say on the air should be about real people. The moment you start believing the stage lights are on you is the day you can’t prove your statement true to Mr. Fox.”

Back to Richard Andrew King…

“Power of ourselves, the concern is not in the act of dominating others but controlling our own mind, passions, ego and all the inner demons and dragons afflicting us from within. External power is the beast. Internal is the true power.

Buddha never stopped teaching, “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.”

Dr. Ronald Mack from Wake Forest University scared a lot of people; not because he was a man of physical power, a voice that rocked the Rockies and whose ego belittled even the strongest of desires to be named the head doctor of a hospital or medical practice. His internal willingness to walk in peace, an ego built on a foundation of tests based on skill rather than expansion of ego made him a leader within the paths that take average dreamers and turn them into healers.

Although I’ve been a student of martial arts for nine blinks in a book of 2,000 plus years…all people who venture near or around a place of study quickly recognize our greatest weakness which is the act of external power. Although I find great pleasure in watching budding egos grow from soils invited by the Master; humility must be openly shared by way of calling a spade a spade…it is the greatest strength.

Why should your business, family or circle of friends be any different? The Christmas party invitations have been handed out and just like last year and the chapter before; cliques and special favors make up the moments that’ll be held the longest. Rather than returning to work on Monday with a heavy heart and or holding too much information about those you work with…feed not Karma but rather protect the mind, body and soul with a simple exercise: when you laugh mean it. When you smile make it real. When you shake hands squeeze a little too hard so they remember more than just your name. Never create what I call shadow talk, taking over corners with a couple of your supporters, your eyes being pointers. Be a leader in life and welcome everyone with a real determination to get to know them.

I’m not a fan of NASCAR but I fricken love the way every driver thanks everyone that made today’s victory a reason to believe in the arrival of tomorrow.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2012 The Journey Back to America: Page One

Constantly I’m asked why. Why radio? Why paint? Why do you hide behind music? Why so much energy in daily writing?

Does there have to be an answer?

While accidentally knocking over the cherry wood laptop writing desk, dark bluish purple ink wasted no time to dance on the unprepared cool wooden floor. Because you can’t put spilled ink back into its well my imagination instantly began to think of the words that wouldn’t make it to my daily writing. Then it occurred to me that I put too much trust and faith in tomorrow and not enough leadership in the given moment.

A trait I blame on radio. Show me an air talent that isn’t planning out a break 20 to 30 minutes or longer in advance and I’ll show you a beginner or someone on the way out. Radio jocks don’t live in the now; everything that transpires requires the same ingredients a book demands: beginning, middle and end.

Poets, writers and storytellers don’t cry over spilled ink. We find worry in the act of what could’ve been.

When it comes to writing I’m a total sick-o. I preach it like a nicely dressed well determined church going minister on call whose goal tonight is to stand on this rugged sweat stained corner and warn the masses of the second coming.

Being a writer and living the path are two different expressions. Knowing the identity of each personality becomes the depth of a page.

Although I still hold handwritten scratches dating back to the second grade, I still remember the day a purpose fell from the birds butt above and hit me in the heart. In the way an artist’s painting sits quietly on a living room wall exposing separate stories from different sides of the sofa a journey to live out the tale of a writer had no choice but to begin.

Like millions around the world, Julia Cameron helped reopened multiple paths with a language that poked through the darkness school teacher’s so often explain as being too far out there.

Mrs. E shouted out in 11th grade Billings Senior High Creative Writing, “Is that the way I showed you how to describe? It was you who elected to take my class and ultimately it’s me who’ll decide if you’re going to pass.”

I laughed out loud at the Transiberian Orchestra concert last week when a well respected radio talent peacefully said, “You wander while writing and yet I find myself following.”

That said…we now begin.

Upon your computerized canvas 2012 The Journey Back To America sits still with a hidden wish to be opened but not lived unless it becomes the case. Then, maybe the only thing owned by many who helped me share this blog can give to you a simple teaching of what schools continue to cover up because homelessness is something they do in a different class, sometimes the basement or near the end of the long hall closest to the door they arrived.

I don’t want to be a radio disc jockey sporting a writer’s jacket therefore I’ll rely on the challenger of my daily writing; a character dubbed The Interviewer. He has no face nor voice yet when asking those that volunteered their paths to be studied their words become the pick, the hammer, nails, knives and spoons designed to replant the seeds of something all too many don’t have in making choices on a trail nicknamed Horizon.

If you’re frowned upon in the avenues of life to call someone a former Marine; shouldn’t the warriors of the streets be looked upon the same?

I won’t call Scott a former homeless man because his journey back to America is vividly painted with lessons that e-books and those still baring hard or soft covers won’t print and in many cases political leaders are tired of hearing about. Backs are turned, subjects are demolished by bigger mass appeal situations and the act of understanding a self taught art of survival is the farthest from their nearest success.

The Interviewer plays by one rule to never ask more than five questions during a single meeting.


Interviewer: The average household in 2011 is two to three paychecks from being homeless...when did you know your path was headed for a collision with the obvious?

Scott: When my car broke down after I got it fixed and I didn't have any more money. I had no car at that point so it was quickly coming.

Interviewer: Could you have prevented homelessness from happening in your life?

Scott: Ya know I at time could not have prevented it. It was out of my control and my mother never got it.

Interviewer: Give me three physical signs that showed the changes that lead to


Scott: Not exactly sure if there are signs I think people make mistakes not knowing their road is gonna end. I think we live in an illusion that we have more support in our life's then we truly do. I hear people always say they would have the support I didn't. All I did was have a $165 car repair. No drugs no divorce no drama just a car repair.

Interviewer: In an age of families melting back together, some apartments featuring two to three different groups at one time. What could you have done with distant relations that may have prevented you from living on the street?

Scott: I assume maybe if I cried louder or kept begging I would not have been homeless but when your family says, “Son we are doing very bad ourselves.” At the time the entire country was going through hard times like we are now.

Interviewer: Before being homeless when did you feel fear for the first time of it basically being the only way to go?

Scott: Honestly the night that the shelter wouldn't take me. The next night was the scariest because the night before I slept out in the cold. With a card board box as my shelter and realizing they only had so many spots and if I didn't get in each night I'd have to spend another night sleeping in direct cold. That still scares me every day. I have never really got comfortable thinking that it can't ever happen again. I see people take relationships every day that they dissolve and people move on. Point is we all seem to think the reality we live in is some kind of fact or controllable. Like everyone would understand and help you. Fact is in this country we seem to only understand people that over come not ones that have to go through what needs to be overcome.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two things to remember right when you're about to say, "I can't."

I tripped across a pretty unique quote that seems to make dust heavy during a windy day of assumption: a typically boring collection of word dumping that screams, “Look at me!” only to find yourself reaching for the DVR remote control to spin back life.

Don’t stop faster than you start…

I’d love to finish penning out this blog but…oh well…I stopped faster than I started.

I not only see it every day but deal with it in radio and in Tae Kwon Do.

Although nobody’s admitted to hearing one loosely being let go in places we don’t throw….somewhere out there amongst the shapes of warped Eagles Albums and sunburned Madonna cassette and Bay City Roller 8-track tapes is the larger than life voice of long distance dedications popping up a need for more speed, “If you build it, they will come.”

“Build what?” The receiver’s mumble questions.

“Just fricken do it!”

Unmet is the soul that didn’t kick up a storm somewhere in their teens wanting to accomplish an idea. To act out, play out, build upon or set free is the very reason why the human race has outpaced the monkey. We find success as being the best damn drug on earth. Locate it and the high remains immeasurable until challenged.

In the movie Wall Street Michael Douglas found value in Charlie Sheen believing his talents as a leader, spender and chance taker was worth the company’s investment. A single solo performer had the Rocky Mountain Oysters to make productive waves.

That wouldn’t work today. Decision makers and those in charge of writing business checks have set up an economic take over in the center of two American fads; locate every intern that’s willing to work free and find anyone suffering from bad confidence and lets shape them into believing that our little pay and wealth of knowledge guarantees nothing more than a reason not to apply for unemployment.

Don’t stop faster than you start…


Hit any street on the beat and they’re everywhere! Big, little and somewhere in the middle entrepreneurs bitten by the dream daddy of all vision quests set out to conquer a corner and end up closing the doors.

Twenty seven years ago before every radio show I walked several times around the block never figuring out why the corner of Kings and old Independence Blvd in Charlotte remained empty. Across the street was the state’s first indoor mall, a giant movie complex and a Chinese restaurant that’s been around before Jesse Helms was born. But this corner had nothing, except a big ole tree with branches that reminded me of witch’s teeth.

Four months ago in the freaking core of this nation’s second largest money crisis up goes a building that’s left me begging the God’s of business for a single drop of the juice someone must have swiped from the pulpit.

The building looks awesome! It’s bright! It’s sexy as hell on the corner but why did it take 27 years or longer to plant the seeds to a rooting system that obviously has failed in the chapters before Mom kissed Dad.

So…what’s the first thing my pessimistic imagination latches onto? Don’t stop faster than you start…

Like a toy you get from the dentist that grows when you add water…poof! There’s this unforgettably beautiful building and I’m stuck wondering what it’s gonna look like when stopping faster than they started is put into motion. It’s as if banks and money holders rely on bad decisions to feed their dynamic egos. Or is it that we reward business failure?

I’m constantly questioned why at 40 these size elevens carried me through the hometown gym door toward an art form that’s never inspired me. Yet being part of it has made the path visually more spectacular than catching KISS for the first time at The Metra in Billings, Montana in 1977.

The journey has been mind blowing. If I had walked into my parent’s house fresh from that KISS concert with broken ribs, shredded fingers, bruises larger than I-Hop pancakes laced with crater sized amounts of inner peace, Dad would’ve hauled me to the hospital to check my blood for drug abuse.

The voice said, “What have you invested in your life today that’ll pay off years after tomorrow sets on the horizon?”

I haven’t located that answer yet…mainly because its blocked by a couple of simple commitments that burp themselves up around numbers nine and ten: never retreat in battle and always finish what you start.

Don’t stop faster than you start can’t find air to breathe if you believe.

Clint Brown writes, “The world will always give you the opportunity to quit. But only the world would call quitting an opportunity.”

Richard Nixon said, “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”

Clare Booth Luce, “There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.”

I can’t wait until the stores open on the corner of Kings and the recently renamed Charlottetown. It’s my job to help make sure the owners don’t stop faster than they started… The journey begins with becoming a consumer then a customer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shaking hands with the side of you that you don't like...

Whole heartedly my truest passion feeds the roots of a single line handwritten then delivered to core of this nations continued history: Separation between church and state.

I’m not gonna get all political on ya…

A billion pages in the book ago the tike still hoisting teen wishes and size ten Converse basketball shoes quickly noticed a constant in all that he came in contact with. No two people are the same but can a single person walk that way?

My separation between church and state could easily fit within Webster’s description of selfishness. Rather than waste hard to locate energy dividing highways that which carry a normal peeps multiple personalities; I elected to accept that Dad was always different when away from Mom. My sister Susan seemed distant when with friends compared to family chases and challenges beginning first at the dinner table.

Separation between church and state to me is personally agreeing with the mind, body and ego that today I could be different than yesterday and it’s not your judgment doctor’s job to offer opinions that take value out of goals presented.

I’m not the only one that thinks this way!

Art Williams writes, “The only quality that’s more important is a will to win. You can’t defeat a will to win. Show me someone who’s obsessed with being somebody and I’ll show you a person who can figure out a way to win.”

Arroe on the radio can’t stand Arroe the blog writer and what’s up with the commercial producing side of Arroe? The studio is Muppet Happy! Arroe the musician won’t share a cup of McDonald’s sweet tea with Arroe the painter of giant white canvases. The martial artist Arroe isn’t even called Arroe in class! Arroe at home is a gnome.

I once had a boss that said, “People can’t figure you out so they instantly call you an a** hole.”

I laughed! I know that Arroe! I know them all! The common denominator is the will to win.

Art Williams continues, “Many organizations don’t look for employees with a will to win. It’s something that can’t be measured with a test. Effective leaders “LEARN” how to recognize it.”

I heard somewhere along the way that no morning radio show can or will be successful unless the presentation includes three very important pieces of a very large puzzle; you need a d**k, a dork and a deer. Your personal life should be no different.

The problem is the majority of today’s hardest working employees have been whittled down to nearly nothing by companies that micromanage or invest so much of their purpose into the bowels of the worker bee that the originality that created ruffed up ridges in potato chips is dead.

We’ve entered the age where not just anybody but everybody no longer trusts what could be an honest approach to having a great day at work. Fake smiles! Rubber handshakes! False ambition! In the past year the normal Joe Blow and Sally Nobody should’ve picked up Hollywood’s precious Oscar because the modern way to do your thing is to do it one way…their way.

I have 32 years of radio that I physically sit back and laugh at. I did exactly what they wanted.

Only to realize Arroe the business guy will never dine with any of the other Arroe’s unless it benefits. A willingness to win is a great tool from your Grandfather’s shed but unless you live it every day…its nothing more than a Christmas toy that got some attention only to be tossed into a corner.

I love weddings! That side of Arroe decided one day to do something about this nations 52% divorce rate. Those vocals escaping the torso may sound like a Keith Hawthorne Ford commercial but this message doesn’t end with, “See dealer for details.”

Scott asked me late, late last night, “Why did you decide to sit down with me and to write a yearlong blog series about homelessness?”

You would have too! Scott’s story is unbelievably energetic and inspiring and fully capable of influencing the nay sayers that spend their Sunday afternoons addicted to football games and other things that make them fat.

Wait! No judgment! That’s one of their personalities! Separation between church and state. I totally get it without having to get into it!

The idea of giving it your best shot is no different than a Commodore 64. Giving it your best shot has been replaced by, “I’ll take whatever I can get.”

So what if your personality has eight sides! Julia Cameron teaches us to locate the voices of everything that makes you happy then do it. Do you honestly believe you were born to be bored?

Will to win! Where’s yours?

If you ever wanna get to know the real Arroe get in line behind me.