Best Experienced With: Living Color; Cult of Personality
(please right click the link below to open the suggested background music to this evening’s treatise in a new browser window)
Have flown true First Class across the ocean once: British Airways from San Diego to London in November, 2002. It was magnificent. Bathrooms strewn with rose petals and embossed with diamond encrusted mirrors. Bathrooms large enough for badminton matches or Mayan human sacrifice ceremonies. Flight attendants riding tame giraffes down the aisle offering a choice of Krug or Cristal champagne. Ice cold pilsner beer served by top hat wearing koala bears while trained flying squirrels glided throughout the cabin with napkins hanging from their little feet to wipe the dribbled caviar from our chins. It was magnificent.
The flight attendants not only encouraged us to use our electronic devices during takeoff and landing, they handed out signal jammers, tasers, and (pre-market release) Wii gaming devices to those whom had not brought their own electronic devices. Firearms and explosive devices (as well as comments and jokes regarding firearms and exploding devices) were permitted in First Class, although no one brought any. Shortly after takeoff, three Italian tailors appeared from nowhere and made each of us a custom fit Canali suit. True First Class was simply magnificent.
Change is hard. Since that flight, all other flights have been different and most have paled in comparison. Although I carry eucalyptus on all flights to this day, I have yet to again see the top hat wearing koala bear or taste his pilsner beer again.
Change is hard.
Please fill your mug with pilsner beer from the keg there in the back of The Attic and gather back at the carpet squares. We will toast a Persian change agent in a little while.
People magazine comes out twenty-three times each week and costs two dollars. The Harvard Business Review comes out once per month and costs seventeen dollars. People is populated with photos and the ASP per photo is .0004 cents. Harvard Business Review is populated with words and the ASP per word is .0004 cents. Each is different, yet proportional in the value provided.
The June, 2010 Harvard Business Review is all about managing change within your business. Many of you fly every week. When you are rolling through the airport this week, pick up the issue pictured below. Lots of really smart people and lots of really great articles on getting past that “that’s not the way we have done things around here” objection. The magazine also help with my personal favorite “that will not work in this market because this market space is different than any other market space in the universe.” Every business lesson works in every market space. Change is hard. Get over here. Give me a hug and go buy the magazine below.
Consider The Pope. Last week The Pope explained that even though the church hid pedophiles and might not hide pedophiles in the future, depending upon the plan that the church may or may not have come up with…………the church will still not allow priests to marry. The Catholic Church and I run fast and far from marriage, both for different reasons. Recently moved on over to a Disciples of Christ church in Pacific Beach where the pastor is married with three children. Unbelievably, Pastor Brian is able to love God, his parish, and a family at the same time. Going to have Brian call The Pope soon to see if he can change that marriage rule, or at the very least help the Catholics come up with a plan to change the way they hide pederast priests.
During that phone call, I am going to suggest that The Pope should hide pederast priests in deep, dirt covered holes in the woods of Wisconsin. Wonder what Brian will suggest? Back on point…..change is hard.
Consider Wile E. Coyote and his desire for a tasty roadrunner dinner. Mr. Coyote never changed his offense, consistently ordered the wrong products from Acme, and always expected a different result. The photo below never, ever, ever happened because Wile E. Coyote avoided change, regardless of the feedback loop.
Consider Charlie Brown and his simple desire to kick a football. Mr. Brown never changed his offense, consistently allowed the wrong person to tee up the football, and expected a different result. Mr. Brown chose to never change: all subsequent results were consistent with his choice.
Consider Frederick Douglass and his 1855 work My Bondage and My Freedom. Even abolitionists had a hard time believing that a black man could write such a moving, transformational masterpiece. A story of “a slave that became a man”, Mr. Douglas’s work changed the way thousands of white folks viewed black intelligence. While they made no one laugh like a hyena, Mr. Douglas’s work made people think and feel deeply. Two out of three ain’t bad.
Consider Maya Angelou and her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Ms. Angelou’s quote on courage defines the courage necessary for change: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” Raped by her mother’s boyfriend at the age of eight and choosing to remain mute until twelve, Ms. Angelou changed the way ignorant folks thought about black women and remains one of the most prolific black activists of this century.
Incidentally, the caged bird sings because it has a song.
Consider Somaly Mam. At the age most of us were entering sixth grade, Somaly Mam’s parents sold her into sexual slavery in Cambodia. She was beaten, raped, starved, and mutilated by men, spending the next ten years as a sex slave. After ten years of sex slavery, she married a customer, moved with him to France, and then chose to return to Cambodia to establish AFESIP. AFESIP (a French acronym for Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances) provides shelter for young sex slaves, acts as a mentally rehabilitating safe haven, and trains these young girls with marketable, non sex slave skills like hairdressing and sewing. The Somaly Mam foundation continues to act as a change agent in Southeast Asia.
Consider the youth in Iran and Neda Agha Soltan. This month marks the one year anniversary of the green wrist bands in Iran. There is one Man with many faces. The Man has many forms and The Man exists in all religions and political systems. June 20th is the anniversary of Neda Agha Soltan ’s martyrdom on Khargar Avenue in Tehran. Those that chose to kill Ms. Soltan were ignorant enough to believe that they can stop change with guns. That single bullet to Ms. Soltan’s heart a year ago today changed the peaceful revolution in Iran. The bullet gave the revolution a face and a soul. Moreover, that single bullet ensured that one day the mullah would give over power to people of Iran. The people who voted out The Man one year and three weeks ago.
You still have that pilsner you poured way up there? Raise your glass in toast to those that embrace change and the magical mystical results that come to those courageous enough to embrace change. Even with all the uncertainty change brings. Raise your glass for Neda Agha Soltan and those that will be out protesting and remembering a brave woman dedicated to change in the streets of Tehran on June 20, 2010 and every day until The Man slinks away to the Elburz Mountains up north.
Here’s to you and those like you, Neda.
The Mind of Mully
I exploit you
Still you love me
I tell you
1 + 1 = 3
Links to Go Deeper (if anything tickled your fancy up there)
The link below will take you to the June 20, 2009 video:
To learn more about the Somaly Mam Foundation, please visit the following link:
The link below will take you to a wonderful, in depth interview with Maya Angelou:
And finally, the link here has written proof that Pastor Brian is married, has three sons and still can impart Bible and God wisdom. Shocker.
Thanks for joining this evening and thanks to my dad for joining me in juvenile court back in the 1980’s. Happy Father’s Day, Glove Man. I love you.