Fixing our addiction to oil

November 1, 2009

Presentation: T. Boone Pickens on reducing our addiction to oil

Just in time for the winter season when heating demand skyrockets.

This 4-minute presentation by a well-known figure does a great job of explaining what the problem is, and how we can begin to fix it.

What’s important is not only the topic of dependency on oil, but the fact that a short and concise presentation by people with influence can go a long way in clearly explaining problems and motivating people to believe that the solution isn’t very far out.

The solutions always tend to be straight-forward.  It’s the leadership or willingness to “move” that seems to be lacking.  It’s a great question to ask ourselves the next time we face a “crisis” – are we really stalling because the solution is too complex, or because we’re just not willing to take that first step?

Jose Antonio Abreu created El Sistema.  It’s a unique music academy whose goal isn’t to teach music.  Instead, their goal is to develop self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth in kids.  Music is just a by-product.

Don’t miss this video.  It will be the best 10 minutes you have spent this week.  Watch how Jose was able to shape an entire generation of kids so they can walk with their heads high regardless of how deep their pocket books are, how fluent they are with English, or how many bedrooms they have in their houses.

Anyone who is in a position of touching or shaping the lives of kids should watch this video.  Make sure to leave the volume on when you’re watching.  Even though Jose may speak in a language you don’t understand, his enthusiasm tells 90% of the story.  We can only hope that our lives emit the same level of enthusiasm Jose does when we get to his age.

A question we should all ask ourselves: If I am good at some skill or art, how can I use that as a tool to do something positive for the next generation?  That is perhaps the greatest gift we can leave behind, and the most prominent legacy we can leave.

Everyone agrees that the President of the United States is in a position to influence others.  What he says, what he does, who we gives importance to, who he avoids, who he ridicules, what he wears, how he speaks, and how he reacts  influences people around the world.  We subconsciously make a note of what people with influence do (celebrities, leaders, role models, etc.).

On February 24, Obama used his position of influence to give recognition to someone who did something unthinkable.  It wasn’t a member of Congress or a figure from the political world.  It wasn’t a celebrity.  It was a bank manager from Florida who did something extraordinary.  He gave away his $60 million bonus to his employees and even his former employees who had left the company more than a year ago.

The very fact that Obama even brought up Leonard Abess is what matters.  It matters a lot.  It matters because the President of the United States is saying it.  It matters because people subconsciously take notice that a good deed was recognized by the highest office in the land.  It matters because the President is recognizing someone who did something morally right at the cost of personal well-being or profit.  It matters because the President gave the limelight to someone who put others in front of himself.

Are we in a position to influence others?  If our immediate answer was NO, take a step back, breathe, and re-think.

Everyone is in a position to influence someone.  While that “someone” may not agree with or abide by the influence we have on them, our actions and behavior do influence them.  Something doesn’t have to be consciously accepted for it to exist.

Think about who is in our sphere of influence.  Kids, grandchildren, students, your spouse, colleagues, friends, parents, bosses, etc.  Now, think about how you act, what you say, and what things you give importance to when you’re in their company.

We’ll each fill in our own blanks as to what the next steps should be.

Download Article: Addressing Radicalism
Source: Los Angeles World Affairs Council

Tony Blair gave this speech during his visit to Los Angeles in 2006. He imparts some very candid, bi-partisan ideas on how to address the recent surge of radical thinking that’s prevalent throughout the world. He differentiates between a battle of fists and a war of ideology that “must be won” in order to bring back sanity to the world.

It seems these radical movements are here to stay until a force (internal to the very people that harbor these thoughts) can muster enough momentum to change its path. How do you feel about the ideas suggested by Tony Blair? Can it be done? Will they work? Why or why not?

You can comment on this article, anonymously, directly on this blog.

Download Article: You’ve got to find what you love
Source: Stanford University News

Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple and Pixar) gave this speech at the commencement ceremony for Stanford University’s class of 2005. If you haven’t read it, find out how this amazing personality has overcome the odds that were presented to him throughout his life. If you’ve read it in the past, I urge you to read it again as you’ll undoubtedly see things in a different light this time around.

Feel free to comment on this article.