The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

there is a fundamental difference between my Dad, Barack Obama and Martin Luther King

January22

my Dad proved himself a genuine patriot on some obvious and meaningful levels. he served his country as an decorated Air Force officer, and he stood firm on a morale high-ground that included firm convictions around his command-in-chief(s). I know this because he often spoke about political philosophy around the dinner table and at the officers club bar. however, he always stood by a president of the era because it was a simple matter of the chain-of-command.

yesterday I tweeted:

I watched the face of my earthly father while he intently listened to Martin Luther King on our black and white television. he had the same look when he watched Neil Armstrong take that other first big step for mankind on the lunar surface.

I’ve not often been kind to president Barack Obama in this blog. however, a few months ago I started taking the position that I need to support him because he is our president by the choice of the people – either through ignorance, or inspiration. while I’ll keep sifting through the debris of media I’ll seek truth and light and help everyone make informed decisions.

in any event, my Dad was very careful in designing and implementing his career-path. his was a career both by need and by design. he was a dirt-poor South Dakota farm boy and genuinely feared poverty. I believe Obama designed his career-path as well. I don’t know if he is the anti-Christ. I can’t say that he is some how chosen, or annoited. but, he has craftily positioned himself to get where he is today. he did so, and rather ironically, by never holding a meaningful job that might qualify him as an executive leader. but, then neither did Jesus Christ, right? so, that can be admired. NOTE: I never planned to be referred to as a “cultural architect”. but, my life took it’s twist-and-turns to get me here, and it fits reasonably well. Martin Luther King probably never asked God to be thrust into the lime light and then be killed specifically for it. while I’m not prepared to compare him to Christ, either, others will.

everyone referenced thus far share something of the opportunist. however, King was literally thrust into his role. overnight, he went from preaching from a small pulpit to addressing huge throngs of people craving leadership and example.

My Dad led by example. Christ certainly made a point of doing that. I’m not sure about Obama. But, I’m hopeful. I’m thinking King will be a wild card for a long time because I know he’s had a great impact, but I can’t find evidence he sought the role.

After renewing his oath of office on Monday, President Obama said in his second inaugural address, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still.”“My fellow Americans,” Mr. Obama said, “we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.” read more, here.

I don’t know what Obama thinks we are seizing. he’s not architecting a national identity unless its socialist in nature. but, perhaps if we look at Norway and other happy Scandinavian countries, it might not be a bad move. but, only time will tell, just as it has with Christ. He turned a world upside down, and saved us all. however, King asked us to be open-minded, open-hearted; tolerant. so, in light of that, and my Dad’s sense of patriotism, I’m thinking hard about Martin Luther King and his legacy, which has become part of our national identity – and, one that my Dad was willing to defend and die for, inspiring me to do the same (while counting on God to sort it all out).

I know why good men remember my Dad, Jesus Christ and, Martin Luther King. I have no idea today why we should follow Obama, or have cause to remember him, other than his place on a list of historically relevant names in our history books. but, my Dad would probably say that Obama, by virtue of being president, commands our attention. and, what we do with the tools he gives us is up to us. that’s what Dad did as an Airman (a “steely-eyed missile man”, eh, Dad).

meanwhile…

Mark Pendleton shared this piece by Kayla McClurg with me

“When I reflect on the life and witness of Martin Luther King, Jr., one thing that strikes me is obvious: he didn’t start out to be who he ended up being. He didn’t set out to be a visionary leader, intent on making an impact on the country and culture of his day. He allowed himself to be created. Slowly, layer by layer, choice by choice, he became himself. He didn’t choose “leader of a mass civil rights movement” from a list of vocational options. His identity emerged gradually from within as he yielded to the guidance of the community and listened and prayed and read and participated and took the risks of creativity that were uniquely his to take.

Underneath who we think we are, who people expect us to be, are as-yet-undiscovered aspects of our true identity–layers waiting to be uncovered. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the minister of a local church, husband and father, a dedicated preacher who devoted hours to preparing sermons that were theologically sound and probing. This was a good fit for him. He wasn’t searching for a new identity. But he found himself interested in the writings of Henry David Thoreau about civil disobedience and Gandhi’s thoughts about nonviolence. He became interested in some folks who were questioning the color barriers in their town and were beginning to devise ways to stand up to them. He didn’t have answers, only questions. He followed the questions, exploring the hints that came layer by layer, thus becoming more of himself.

Thus it was surprising, and yet not surprising at all, that within hours after a seamstress named Rosa Parks had “sat down for what she believed” he had been named spokesperson for a fledgling resistance movement. When he got home and told Coretta what had happened, he said he knew at a gut level that he was being asked inwardly to move beyond words and ideas and to put theory into practice. He said he knew he could no longer stand by and do nothing because to do so was to be a perpetrator of the evil he deplored.

Twenty minutes later the same young man who had a reputation for giving sermons only after hours of preparation was standing before a crowd of about 4,000 people speaking extemporaneously of the challenges and opportunities that lay before them. Part of what he said was this:

Sometimes a person gets tired…. We are here this evening to say to those who have mistreated us so long that we are tired–tired of being segregated and humiliated, tired of being kicked by the brutal feet of oppression…. We come here tonight to be saved from the patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.

King knew he had a calling–to be a preacher and a father and a citizen. What he discovered little by little was that these dreams would be fulfilled far beyond his imagination. What about us? Are we still becoming ourselves? Are our deepest callings still unfolding, beyond our imagination? Or have we become too patient with being less than we really are?”

NOTE: Information on Martin Luther King is evidently borrowed from the biography called, King – a Biography by David Levering Lewis.

we may not always be able to choose who we are, or even our specific path. but, we always have a choice about what we do with the options granted us. so, we have a decision to make around being part of the solution and not the problem. my Dad and Martin Luther King have their places in history. Obama and I still have options. so do you.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

pillaging ministries for Prophet

February21

So…

I may well have the coolest job in the world. I might shy away from referring to it as a “calling”. But, I really enjoy the work I do. And, I see evidence, daily, that it’s meaningful.

There are many aspects to what I do. But, relevant to the line-of-thinking tied to this post is my efforts around and through men who start businesses from a “best practices” standpoint – and, also ministries (which are a form of business, but not necessarily oriented around best practices).

I’m guessing I’ll discuss that latter topic on a broader scale later (the list of topics I ache to share is endless, and my energy boundless).

But, readers of this Blog already know that.

In any event, I’m going to share a brief exchange I’ve had in the last twenty four hours with John. He is my good and dear friend. He is struggling. But, it’s a healthy and worthy (possibly noble) form of struggle. It’s cool being around it. Especially having the sense that’s it’s going to end well.

By the way… And, don’t bother rolling your eyes… John is likely a kind of Prophet. And, like many Biblically-oriented figures he often can’t heal himself. But, like any good flame, good things could be drawn to it.

Is this John’s Kobayashi Maru? Or, is my role in walking with such men an example of that un-winnable test always demonstrating, and proves, character development is the best result?

In any event, here’s the exchange. Make of it what you will, or must. I certainly will. In fact, I’ve already started thinking about drawing lines of corollary  thought relative to Charles Darwin, men who think they should start ministries, and the gene-pool (this does not include John).

On Feb 18, 2010, at 6:46 PM, John XXXX wrote:

“Thoughts on doing both e29 and ministry?

Does my passion for ministry exclude the need for work? Is ministry the work?

Ideas coming to mind? You know me and know my heart.  And, you will speak candidly to me.

That’s what I need right now.

Peace & Favor,

John”

What came to my mind, and from my heart:

“I’ve always felt that good work was a form of Ministry in it’s own right.

Show me a man who is evangelistic over his products and services, and you’ll see a man on fire in the belief that he is helping people, supporting his family, and honoring God in more ways than I could describe in this email.

I might humbly use myself as an example. I see evidence, every day, that I am making a keen difference in the lives of good people around me. My own daughter describes my work simply as: “Daddy helps people”.

You know… The Nordic (because there were several varieties) Vikings believed that Valhalla was a  place you went to fight, drink and wench for eternity. This was a reward for doing great work (pillaging was more a hobby) on earth using the skills and strength God (in a manner of speaking) gave them.

…maybe… Just maybe, one reason Ministries fail more often than even secular business startups is because the instigators start on the wrong foot with poorly formed financial models, certainly flawed market validation, and  – and worse, desires.”

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

career Evolution or revolution

March19

When I graduated from college in 1984 it was not possible for me to outline my subsequent career-path.

I had already made a fairly successful transition from moonshine-runner to small business enterprise owner while in school (and, as many of you know sold my first business within weeks of graduation). From there, career points included: Financial Analyst, Program Manager, Professional Triathlete, Model, Stock Broker, Venture Capitalist, Executive Recruiter and Business Coach, and Investor.

However, perhaps now it’s high-time I got really serious about my true calling.

I have decided that I am going to be an R&B Singer (or, just entertainer). I may throw caution and inhibition to the wind and simply surrender to my passion around Rap Music.

Come on…  I converted degrees in Political Science and English into a job as a Financial Analyst (I actually took the job in Los Angeles so I could surf and play volley ball), and later raised over half a billion dollars in private and venture placement capital. At forty eight I can still do more push-ups and pull-ups than most anybody.

Do you feel me?

I look terrific in underwear. And, my truck has an ass-kicking sound system.

Beyond these qualifications, providing my music would be viewed as a form of urban poetry (well… seeing as how I live outside of Atlanta in “horse country” – perhaps “suburban poetry”), I feel that I have a grasp on life that few others share. Might this be reflected in music?

I was raised as a young prince in a military household where I grew up surrounded by men determined that “peace was their profession” – and, willing to die proving it.

My early days of running success were a triumph of will over pain.

I pulled myself through college, and can say I actually learned and earned a lot.

I left one of the country’s largest aerospace company’s much better off than when I found it (or, did they find me?).

I can actually say I was a paid athlete and model.

I raised more money for companies that, to this very day, have changed the world in profound ways, than anyone I know.

I got to be a Firefighter (Louisville, CO Volunteer Fire Department).

I spent sixty days in jail.

I currently have the coolest job (outside of being a suburban rap-oriented poet [and youth soccer coach]) in the world. I sit around all day talking to my friends (old and new), and helping them make ever better decisions. And, if you ask my daughters what I do for a living, they will likely shrug and say:

“Daddy helps people”.

I certainly posess the requisite self-absorption and ego.

However, having said all that, if all goes according to plan (outside of working global benefits with Bono), in the next few years I am piloting a 1971 MiG 19.

What?

More later.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_____________________

1971 MiG 19

1971 MiG 19

NOTES: The MiG-19 was the USSR’s first mass-built supersonic fighter. The highly swept, thin, sharply tapering wing was a remarkable characteristic. The MiG-19 proved to be a capable and sturdy combat aircraft, manoeuvrable and armed with powerful 30mm guns. The prototype of the aircraft first flew in 1963. It entered production in 1965. And, it was the primary fighter of the Russian air force in the sixties and early seventies. The MiG-19S was a simply fair – weather fighter, but the MiG-19P had limited all-weather capability. The People’s Republic of China still manufactures the MiG-19 (under license) as the Jianjiji J-6. They allegedly completed over 4000, which would be about twice as many as the USSR built. The Russians began phasing out the MiG-19 in the sixties with it’s predecessor the MiG-21 Fishbed.

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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