Thursday, November 29, 2012

Its Time To Believe

I watch a lot of news, I travel all over the country and I see the good and the bad.  Life has its ups and downs, setbacks and achievements but at the end of the day, we can focus on the good or the bad.

Now that the election process is behind us, we are faced with an economy that is struggling, but we are surviving.  As I read the paper and on line, you can see everything from murders, killings, rapes, robberies and the damage from Hurricane Sandy.  That is where "Believe" comes in.

You can face the problems of society head on and then focus on the good.  Life will always bring us tragedy, problems and challenges, but in the holiday season, people start to believe, they start to have a mindset that "all is good" and that we need to watch out for our fellow man. 

From helping others, to politicians becoming "real."  I just noticed where Vice President Joe Biden shopped at Costco yesterday.  Just like you and me, ( except for the secret service all around him) but it made him appear "real."

We are faced with war, with people who don't understand one another and think weapons and bombs are the answer.  Imagine if everyone in the world would just think about life, about respect for mankind and all wars would be resolved around a conference table.  Imagine what a different world that would be.

I believe that someday, we will grow, develop and understand one another so much better, that everyone will learn to treat their neighbors with such acceptance and respect, that we will become "one."  When that happens, imagine using our resources in a positive way, instead of in a negative way.

In this holiday season, I think these balloons sum up where we all need to start on this personal development / personal growth journey, we just need to believe it can happen.

Happy Holidays.


Jeff Visits the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This week I had the opportunity to visit Pigeon Forge Tennessee with the Life Coach Bus.  While in Pigeon Forge, I took the bus and rode up through the Great Smoky Mountains and then came back through Gatlinburg.  Even in the cold winter months, the National Park is just beautiful.  The leaves are off the trees and you can see for miles.

I have been going to Gatlinburg since I was in my early 20's and I have seen so much change.  The town was growing and mom and pop shops were sprouting up everywhere.  Craft stores lined the streets. 

Then Pigeon Forge got into the tourism action, building motels and hotels on the main street.  Malls sprouted up and national restaurant chains lined the street. 

Today, so much has changed.  The craft businesses have all moved out to the rural areas, including Glades Road.  The small mom and pop stores and restaurants have all sold out or closed, due to the high rental rates and today, Gatlinburg, which is still one of my favorite little getaway towns, is lined with national chains. 

This week I noticed they built a large Walgreens, 5 Guys opened in Gatlinburg on the strip and the old Burning Bush restaurant building has been demolished.  In Pigeon Forge, the small family owned motels are slowly being replaced by large, national chain high rise hotels. 

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg will always be a great place to visit, but the reason to visit has changed so much in the past 20 years, from good old fashion mountain hospitality, craft stores and family restaurants, to outlet malls, high rise hotels and chain restaurants.

If you have a chance, visit the area in the off season, the rates are more reasonable, the people are friendly and there is no line or wait for anything.

NYPD - Times Square

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, I took my family to New York to see the parade, shop in Times Square and enjoy the city. 

My daughters remind me often that every time we come to New York / Times Square, I comment on how "tourist friendly" the police are.  I often say, I wonder if Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner since 2002, requires the cops in Times Square to go to "hospitality class."  The cops in Times Square are of a different mind set than most police officers you meet in big cities.

In the media today, we seem to focus on the cops that do bad things, instead of the cops that do kind things, go out of their way to help a tourist and treat tourist as they are the customer of the city.

Today while I was putting together a few pictures of my trip to New York, I came across an article about a NYPD officer named Lawrence DePrimo, who was on counterterrorism duty in Times Square, saw the older homeless man without shoes sitting on 42nd Street. DePrimo, 25, left and then returned with a pair of boots he bought at a nearby store for the homeless man.

This wasn't an act of kindness by a police officer, it was an act of kindness by a human being who happens to be a police officer.  People often say, there are good cops and bad cops, the truth is, there are good people and bad people, some of which are in law enforcement.
I am not sure where the credit goes for the way the cops in Times Square treat the tourist, but it shows that even in a large city with millions of tourist passing through every day, these cops can do their job, keep the peace and still be respectful to their fellow man.
When I speak to large groups about Life Coaching and personal development, I remind everyone, regardless if they are in public service, working at Wal-Mart or selling cars, your actions, each and every one, even if very small, go a long way in someones life.  You may not always be recognized for your actions, but you can and will make a difference in someones life.
For Officer DePrimo, you have my best wishes this holiday season.