The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

LIVE in philanthropy

May1

my buddy (actually, he is a friend; there is probably a difference that could make for its own blog post) Victor shared the following story with me. he has a great many interests, and likely qualifies as something of an, “everyman”. read the article, here: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/eejk45ejjid/cityspire-penthouse-new-york-ny/

$100M homesso… the house I just moved my family into MIGHT be worth $700k. But, I would never pay that much, for anything.

I can’t even get my head around $100M and the sort of person that might care about such things. if I had that much spare cash there would not be a kid in school without reading glasses or shoes.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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Lacrosse Cleats

June30

so…

background…

being married to an (awesome) British woman, it’s long been my want to refer to athletic shoes of any description as, “boots”.

the young Lacrosse and “proper football” (Soccer) players that I coach are first amused by this, but more often than not adopt the expression themselves – my female football players, in particular.

going forward…

I’ve had a crazy but inspirational day. but, most of it has me feeling grateful. so, I’m in the mood to share a short story that offers both insight and perspective into my life that creates the light that I try to share outwardly with all of you.

NOTE: I’ve just learned that Colin, one of my assistant Lacrosse coaches, had his car broken into. some scoundrel made-off with his Lacrosse equipment – including his old High School bag, with it’s sentiments and fond memories of glory. Colin is on one of my mens Lacrosse teams. so, I’m more than interested, and concerned by it all.

what some of you know is that I sponsor A LOT of kids in Lacrosse and Soccer. I also make sure many more have equipment, eye glasses and books. but, I work especially hard to get them “boots”.

much of this comes from my own life experience. this includes being part of a military family rich with love and support, but not much money. Dad was a hero and patriot. but, the United States Air Force has never compensated it’s warriors commensurately with their executive prowess.

so, I learned to value things, and more so, hold them dear. and, make them matter.

this included shoes.

while I only lost a handful of races in High School, most that I won were in the same pair of running shoes – a pair of Adidas SL76’s (lime green with yellow stripes). those were ultimately replaced in my senior year with a pair of New Balance that I won in an open road race.

while at Radford University, I was astounded when my partial scholarship for Cross Country included a pair of racing and also training flats. my coach never knew it, but I never took the racing flats out of the box (and, he never noticed) because, “you never know if someone might need them”.

after I was thrown off the Cross Country team for insubordination and prima donna-like attitude (it was true; so, I could not even deny any of it), and I walked-on the Lacrosse team, I wore my younger brothers cast-off (American) Football cleats for three years. I was just so grateful to be in school and to be on the team that I did not want to draw any attention to myself and ask for new cleats. and, I thought I could some how demonstrate my thankfulness to the school (and my parents) by saving everyone money.

now you know.

today I’m listening to, Courage to Grow by, Rebelution (so should you).

pace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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another Mary's call to Action

January14

Mary Guthrie is the Mother of two of my Shockers (Claire and Grace).

She is also a reader of this Blog, and apparently found a form of stimulation in one of my recent posts: from whence our Inspiration, and, a co-worker.

Divine afflatus /1 certainly abounds. Mary’s own story is rather moving – and, pretty great – especially when you see how terrific her daughters are turning out.

This story is not mine, other than for the telling, as it yet, continues to unfold. But, I will participate, as are many of our fellow Shockers. And, so, as you read this, I’ll hope you will feel free to contact Mary, and add a bag.

In any event, here’s the how all of this started…

“Dear Shocker families,

Karen, my co-worker, has a daughter who is a first year fifth grade teacher at a school south of Atlanta. Karen often shares her daughter’s sweet and funny stories about her rookie year teaching experiences. Yesterday, she told me a disturbing story I will share with you.

Many of the children at Tessa’s (Karen’s daughter) school are living at or below the poverty level. A little girl in Tessa’s class told her she had hoped for, but didn’t get, a matched pair of shoes for Christmas. Tessa looked at the girl’s feet and sure enough, she was wearing mismatched shoes. One of them was held together with duct tape! Later in the day, Tessa took a moment to look around the room. While none of the other children were wearing mismatched duct-taped shoes, many were wearing clothes and shoes that were too small and very worn.

As Karen was telling this story, I thought of my daughters’ drawers and closets overflowing with an abundance of clothes and shoes. Last night, they gathered the clothes and shoes (including size 7 never-worn sneakers for the little girl with the mismatched shoes) they have outgrown or don’t wear to give to the children in Tessa’s class. (The girls didn’t grumble when I sent them to their rooms to purge their closets. They even cheerfully folded the clothes and put them in the bag nicely! Wow! Knowing where the clothes and shoes were going seemed to inspire them.)

If your children have outgrown any of their clothes or shoes, the children at Tessa’s school could really use them. Grace, Claire, and I would be happy to pick them up and bring them to Karen who will deliver them to Tessa.

Thank you, Mary Guthrie”

You can reach Mary via email at: Mary Guthrie mkguthrie@comcast.net.

NOTE: I’ll not add her cellular telephone number because we don’t wanting you to text her (especially as she might be driving). To make the best sense of that plea, read: texting and driving to death.

Meanwhile, here’s am update to round-out this tale:

“Hi Brian,

Have you been traveling around Alpharetta picking up donations instead of teaching the Chinese to golf?

My daughter Hanna has a volleyballl tournament in Chattanooga Saturday. I will be back Sunday. Let me know if you have donations for the little Jackson Elementary (Butts Co., GA) students. I can collect on Sunday.

Thanks, Mary”

FYI- The first bags of donations have already been delivered. Tessa (the teacher) is busy distributing to happy kids! LOTS of Shockers are getting bags together, too.”

Go shockers. Who wants the ball?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ A strong creative impulse, especially as a result of divine inspiration.

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starve Stunted missions

November12

“ROME – Nearly 200 million children in poor countries have stunted growth because of insufficient nutrition, according to a new report published by UNICEF Wednesday before a three-day international summit on the problem of world hunger.”

You can gather some details around this grim news by reading an article here.

mr. jacques dioufMeanwhile, Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization through the United Nations has called on the world to join him in a day of fasting ahead of the summit to highlight the plight of one billion hungry people.

Mr. Diouf said he hoped the fast would encourage the deliverance of boat-loads of cash action by world leaders who will take part in the meeting at his agency’s headquarters starting Monday.

I certainly don’t mind participating in a fast. However, I do have some questions. And, perhaps this needs to be one of the points of this particular post. I’m skeptical enough people actually ask enough of the right questions before they take any form of action. We’ve all heard the saying: “Fools rush in”. So, let’s hesitate, review some easy to find information, and then consider some options.

So… Apparently most of this “stunting” occurs in Africa (and, Asia, to a lesser extent).

In my community Christian missions to Africa are currently all-the-rage. People from local churches raise a lot of other peoples money to go on holiday and build schools (with no teachers), aqueducts for farms (that have no seeds or education around seasonal planting strategies), and distribute condoms to communities that are led by men that punish their wives for breast feeding because it’s inconvenient taboo to have sex with women who do so (… and, are too stupid to sort out that unmanaged sex combined with moronic traditions equal starving children). Some people call this “rewarding bad behavior” – my Nana (Grandmother) would have. The evangelista’s call it “opportunity”.

This has replaced creationist-frenzied missions to China – that were all-the-rage two years ago when obnoxious Chinese started asking too many questions around logic, evolution, fossils, and accountability.

Perhaps it’s all that fasting that’s got people thinking non-strategically.

Aside from Darwinian-driven campaigns of genocide and various efforts towards ethnic cleansing, what has changed in-and-amongst these continents the last one thousand years? It’s called the “Dark Continent” for a lot of reasons, right? Well… Other than North America and Western Europe pouring billions of dollars into programs that are designed to prolong life and grow populations that exist in arid regions that were, otherwise, designed by God to support thirty percent of their current populations.

…shifting feet, now.

I’m told (only) hundreds of millions of dollars (ministries and non-profits often seemed challenged when it comes to accurate financial accounting) apparently go towards travel to foreign countries and the delivery of poorly distributed resources.

Lest we go too far without recognizing some programs of merit, I do applaud efforts like that of friend Oprah and Madonna opening schools, and making sure they have the resources to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. I like education-oriented and self-perpetuating programs (because this is an indication they work), myself.

In any event, what about troubled children in North America? Remember that 60 Minutes segment on Mountain Dew (owned by PepsiCo) guzzling school-deprived children in the mountains of Tennessee? Their teeth are rotting out of their sugar-saturated heads. Mountain Dew is apparently less expensive than bottled water, and there is often no running water in several of those regions. That’s great profit for PepsiCo, but bad for children. Let’s educate the kids and be a real part of the solution, and not the problem.

It strikes me that boycotting PepsiCo would be both a healthy and noteworthy mission. Possibly more productive than fasting.

I could go into more detail through some of the touchy topics I’ve referenced above. But, I’ll add a short story, of sorts, so we can move and rap this post up…

I’m often approached by locals that want me to pay their expenses for mission trips to Africa. I always say no (I might even arch my eye brow when I do so). This scenario played itself out, yet again, late last week when “Phil” swung by my offices with such a request. When I declined his generous offer to allow me to pay for his family holiday, Phil went all rigid-like and advised me that I am “..not setting a Christian example”. I thanked him, of course, and then asked why he simply did not pay for the trip himself? He was clearly annoyed with me, to be sure, but told me it was not part of their “financial planning”, and they could not afford it. So, I suggested he drive up (I’m sitting next to Haley Anne as I prepare this post, and she assures me, with an emphatic finger pointed up, that’s the right direction) to Tennessee and build a water tower near a school. I offered to pay for the whole trip and materials. He didn’t even hesitate, as he actually looked me in the eye and said: “that’s not Gods will because we make a bigger difference in Africa, and my kids would get more out of the Africa experience any way”.

My first thought, as he said that to me was: “I have standing before me a great example of good money thrown after bad (a lot of bad)”.

Okay… My points are some times clear, and some times not so clear. I know what I mean. Some times people call me about them. I get a lot of emails because of them. Every now and then, I get visits around them. But, I hope this one makes a difference.

You don’t need to fast. But, you can do your homework. And, while your at it, save hundreds of millions of dollars that could then be leveraged into schools in our own backyard, as we develop young and great minds that can then come up with better solutions than holiday junkets to far away lands, visiting with people that think it’s perfectly fair and reasonable to starve their own children, who would rather not fast in such a fashion, if given the choice.

For a lot of reasons (but, probably not why you might think), I’m listening to Only You as performed by Alison Moyet (and Vince Clark) while she was still with Yazoo (They were only known as “Yaz” in the United States). Then under the causality of “why not”, go take a peak at Flying Pickets covering the same arrangement.

Think different. That’s a good point, eh.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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