The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

two sides rhymes with suicide

June9

Readers of this Blog appear to track, enjoy, and possibly value, my transparency. So, it’s no surprise, here, that my earthly father surrendered his soul to God back in 1986, on the eve of my birthday.

I’ve chosen some words carefully in that preamble because I’m evaluating the difference in terms of how we define suicide.

Background Perspective: I have a client that I’ve coached for years that happens to be a fairly well known Congressman and has always feared the path of “political suicide” often realized by all too many of his fellows.

Although I have to good-naturedly roll my eyes with that, it recently raised some thoughts in my head around how we spin things to make them work within the complicated confines of our society – to include faith and community.

Here we go…

Shortly after my Dad’s body was discovered (today that still feels strange to both write and read), slumped over a Zane Grey (apropos, says I) novel in his garage, his secretary tearfully advised me that he was bound for hell. I was a younger man in both body and mind, at the time, and this decree almost floored me. Dad was a genuine hero. And, he was… Well, my Dad. And, he loved my Mom. Together, they set the bar and standard for me in terms of how to be a parent to my own Daughters, and love people in your life. He was a pillar of strength (even when he had his fourth martini after a grueling Day maintaing peace as a Military Officer during a relentless Cold War era), always there for my younger brother and me. He was some times an enigma, mind you. But always smart, witty and resolute. Read my post: do not miss your Chance to blow it for perspective. Dot It! How could such a man face the abyss?

My first thought when told Dad was going to hell was that he had carefully considered his options and rolled the dice hoping to get back to Mom quicker. Selfishly, maybe, I often have this picture in my head of Mom and Dad in their early 40’s – sun-tanned, holding hands and smiling. This is also a reminder that Mom had died the year before (here is some additional background), and Dad was simply never the same after that. So… You can; and, I think you should, read my prior Blog post that explores some of that here: My Dad: Story 22 – Married for Life.

So… With all that said, what is the difference in someone taking their own life, or giving their life back to God? There is a paradox at work, here, because a potential juxtaposition includes (or, is) considerations around soldiers taking life (possibly in the name of God), and giving (as in dedicating) your life to God. My Dad was a soldier that absolutely did take lives under a national flag that was founded with God in mind (just ask Thomas Jefferson who is likely spinning in his grave enough these days to send the planet off it’s axis). He was a model citizen by any definition. And, in the his final hour I feel he gave his life back to God, and Mom was his reward for a life well-lived.

NOTE: I’m choosing to take the Bible out of the evaluative formula and going with discernment – perhaps the greatest tool God has issued to us to help me work through this process. The Bible, I feel, in this case, and of course many others, stymies broad thinking and open-mindedness (have you ever tried to debate a Christian and seen them not get heated, and more often than not, nasty?). Once you make not referencing the Bible part of the process, creative thinking that draws upon all of mankind’s marvelous experience and theory can now come into play for informed decision-making.

I’m tempted to drop a poll into this Blog post to capture your collective opinion. However, I’m only marginally interested in that. So, I’ll invite you to comment. I can’t promise to approve it. But, I might. And, I will respond in one form or another, to be certain.

So, engage me. Help me. Walk with me. Help me realize the Authentic Life.

If suicide is a path to another place that just might be a reward, as opposed to a punishment, why wouldn’t you take it? Is this an example of Kobayashi Maru?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

the secret to successful social networking

May6

First of all, “networking” was invented about the time God created – someone else.

Today, younger, and less imaginative people have decided to call networking aka communicating “social networking”. It’s really cool, and different, just the same.

In any event, social networking sites like LinkedIN work because they are, essentially, platforms where we can discuss and promote ourselves. That’s why we’re attracted to them. There is likely more effort, there, to refine ones own profile, rather than striving to communicate meaningfully with other people. But, racking up contacts is like keeping score, so that’s kind of cool.

I’ll take some initial heat for participating in LinkedIN myself. But, I really do try to make it a tool to better my business community. I have very few talents or skills. However, linking people in ways that help them profit emotionally, intellectually and financially is absolutely one of them. I have more endorsements than you to prove it.

The key, I think, is something Joanne Sanders (see what I just did? Joanne is now famous!) once said – right in front of me: “Its people talking about what you care about”. Or, maybe it was: “It’s people caring about what you talk about”. Either way, that’s got to be a, if not the, standard for successful networking.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

is Bernie Madoff Reflecting or Representing?

March13

As many of you know, I am always considering examples of how we reflect and represent God (possibly the Christ element), and how we reconcile all of that with our lives. That uncertain but earnest quest began here – and, is threaded throughout this Blog.

Meanwhile…

History will decide who Madoff helped or harmed

Ultimately history will decide who Madoff helped or harmed

The inestimable Mr. Brian Visaggio posited a passionate and singular point of view about Bernie Madoff yesterday on his own Blog Saint Superman entitled: Raw in Moral Poverty.

Following were my own immediate thoughts to his posting:

A couple of thoughts here Brian…

1. I won’t believe that Mr. Madoff’s sons were clueless around the machinations of the company. They are very well educated and highly sophisticated business people in their own right. And, I suspect the elder Mr. Madoff is taking a fall for the family.

2. I would be curious to learn how many people, over the years, actually made multiples on their money as they invested, withdrew, reinvested and repositioned those funds over a thirty year period. For those decades, hundreds thousands of people were happy and content. Taxes were paid. Ironically, the IRS has an interesting challenge before them in determining how many of the “dividends” distributions paid out over the years represent “ill-gotten” gains, and how that might affect taxes.

3. What role or responsibility do the numerous charities, cities and schools that benefited from Madoff’s legendary generosity (buckets of millions) share in all of this?

4. What is the Securities and Exchanges (SEC) own culpability in this matter? Over the years they have been contacted by numerous professionals that something was not “right” within the Madoff organization and the financial results they published.

Where might “situational ethics” come into play here?

Bernie Madoff pled guilty today. But, I am not sure we will understand precisely what it is he is guilty of (for example, which rules, conduct, actual financial loss, etc) for years to come.

There is a legal term called scienter that makes all of these points a “perfect storm”. It seems that (most) EVERYONE, generally involved – or, at least observing the activity, knew there was something amiss – from the investors themselves, through the Madoff management team, to federal regulators. However, the “American Dream” was afoot.

Now you have multiple groups standing back, with hands on pistols, ready to volley.

Does our society reflect Bernie Madoff? Or, does he represent our society?

[…]

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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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