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Empowered Governance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMzNuuj1_BQ

A society can only be as lawful as its laws are suitable. Laws can only be as suitable as the lawmakers are both lawful and in touch with the society they govern.

Law is like a custom suit. Every measurement must be taken, cut and sewn, then it must be tried and tested. Governance is an ongoing work and it can't succeed without constant learning and asking.

Even with information and suitability, governance also requires awareness of "source" or "spark". Society is not guaranteed to grow and progress indefinitely. We need charge, recharge, and lift to empower what is governed.

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Drain Your Neighbor’s Swamp

We all need friends. We don't need "yesmen" or people to tell us that we're always doing great even when we're not. While we do need cheerleaders about half the time, once in a while we need help draining the swamps that seem too big to drain.

Rain is good, but too much overflows and garbage clogs the drain. When life makes a swamp in your neighbor's back yard, be a good neighbor, yank the plug, and save the neighborhood from the stench. If the swamp swells in your own back yard, be thankful for good neighbors when they knock.

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Calm as You Can

Hang in there with people who need to do better. Explain it to them. Be nice as you be firm. Things don't need to get ugly every single time we disagree. The feeling that conflict must always end uglily is an addiction to ugliness; it's not a negotiation philosophy. Don't let addiction to ugly endings direct your conflict management strategy.

As a general rule, if you know how to be calm in a way that calms others, if you can put away the dagger and convince others to put away theirs, then do just that as long as you can.

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Stake Your Loss

In the early stages of your "thing", customers and clients will flock to you, but half of them might have nothing to do with your vision or your identity. The core strategy is to find the "one thousand" core customer base—your supporters, your audience who loves what you do and wants to pay you to do it.

They're your visionary compass.

As you grow from fifty to one thousand, you will produce more material in line with your core vision, and you will lose those initial fans who liked what you had early, but not your true vision.

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Beat Carpet

Holding the floor requires first taking the floor. Hope needs to get attention—to be heard. Few things draw attention like well-drawn art.

Have beauty and skill in whatever you think is important. If your message will help people, get them to read it by drawing them in with the artwork you use to present it.

Practicing art strokes with your paintbrush or calligraphy pen may pave the way to tell the world about your cure for cancer. Captivate your captive audience with artistic diligence. They may not care to hear your words, but people just can't ignore good art.

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Competence Wins Wars

We say that courage wins victories. It does, at some level. Overcoming fear with a desire for something more important, determination and willpower, resolve—these things are quite formidable. But, they won't win if they wait until the last minute.

Competence comes from diligence. Skill and know-how need practice and experience—they need time. One can't sluff off, reject counsel, not learn, then expect to win at the last minute by sheer will. The one whose courage and resolve lead to daily practice and improved skill is the one who will win. That's why well-earned competence triumphs over last-minute courage.

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Standing Cheek-Turn

Turn the other cheek and don't back down. That's the idea Jesus gave us. Standing your ground includes opening yourself to unfair violence. If violent, cruel, uncaring people take advantage of your intentional weakness, it may be the last thing they do.

The public doesn't like bullies, no matter what their politics, usually.

Next time a friend doesn't act like one, keep your ideas and opinions. Say what you normally say, maybe more. Just make sure you include that old wisdom of returning good for the evil dealt you by others. If you give goodness, you must be good yourself.

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Forced Voices

Sometimes, people just don't listen. Maybe that should be rephrased—sometimes, people listen. Better yet, people rarely listen.

When we talk nice, we get ignored. For some reason, people only listen to loud voices. Forget all about the fact that the person talking started talking quietly. Forget all about the rudeness of ignoring someone or continuing to do something one shouldn't be doing in the first place. Once the person talking talks loud enough to get overdue attention, the "ignorers" complain about the loud voice.

It's their choice. Voices ignored become voices raised. It's a forced hand—or forced voice.

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Stay Human

Talent and technology enhance each other, but they can't replace each other. Skill and hard work can improve technology and technology, in turn, can empower our skills and diligence so that we can make better and better stuff, more by the day.

The temptation is to rely on technology to replace our skill. Good stories don't result from algorithms or automated production processes. Machines can't invent wit or charm—only well-timed playbacks of real human wit at best.

Don't let tech become your crutch. Put away your GPS and learn the lay of your land. That's how trend-setters get found.

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Break the Glass

Most problems persist because people don't want anything better. Sure, on the surface we could say that problems persist because people won't do anything about them, but people don't do anything about their problems because their problems are the best they ever think they can have.

Actually, everyone's own glass ceiling is mere imagination.

Do you think every conversation must end with someone storming out of the room? Do you think projects won't finish or people won't learn? What imaginary limits do you place on yourself? If you can't imagine your life and stuff being better, they never will be.

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Alpha & Beta

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHBKwCjyt_Q

The "alpha male" and "beta male" roles in society and family are worlds apart. Alpha males and alpha females need each other. In the past, women were expected to take a "beta female" role; today, it's men's turn—probably something like bad karma or the sowing and reaping of weeds come back to haunt them.

The "alpha" doesn't need to oppress others, only to stand his or her own ground. Laying down, playing the slave—men and women who allow themselves to be crammed into the "beta" role become concerned with the opinions of others. Don't join them, be alpha.

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Ignore the Wind

Danger is coming, sooner or later. Bowing and bending is no way to keep danger at bay any more than being nice and friendly will make a mouse appear less appetizing to a hawk. Face it; danger will arrive anyway. It's best to be ready.

Stand your guard. Don't run the failing popularity race. Stay home and stay strong. Be smart. Balance your spending. Stay in a budget. Train and learn. Keep your infrastructure in repair and your needs in supply. Aggressively expand unity among your allies. And, don't spend one second being concerned about the opinions of your predators.

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Patience of Ground

There rests a line to walk between the extremes of standing in defiance and kowtowing to demands. That line is best called "nature".

As you stand your ground for something—so you don't fall for just anything—there's no need to assert yourself on the ground of others. Do what you reasonably can to accommodate for other's brokenness and folly—it's called forbearance. But, don't overdue "help" to the point of enabling.

Patiently study your direction, your purpose, your methods. By knowing who you are and where you are going and not going, gentle help and refusal thereof wisely follows.

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Live Statickly

An "-er" worldview always seeks to compare something to something else. If your goal is to be "better", no doubt everyone else will eventually think that you think you are better than everyone else—and the truth will be that you probably won't be.

With taxes and politics its "higher vs lower"; neither is attainable. "Lower" taxes isn't a number; it is a direction, not a destination, so, by definition, it can never succeed; same with "higher" taxes.

Rather than trying to be "more" or "less", just be you and your best. Choose clear goals, reach them, then choose another.

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