The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

networks

November8

just a quick thought – and, a few observations; followed by opinions, around “networks”, and related words.

why did I use quote (“”) marks around the word: “networks”, you ask? admit, it hundreds of you did ask yourselves, collectively, what I was up to as you paused upon that provocative word. well… it’s due, in part, to the fact that it happens to be an idiomatic utterance with many applications and meanings – a vital element (there’s another one) to the richness of our our English language. and, there begins the approach to my point.

I’m seeing weakness in the broad application of most things associated with some type of network.

to wit:

it can be argued that television programming, as offered by the communication networks, is weak and uninspired. example: Joanne made me watch Grays Anatomy and Private Practice – so, my point is made, there (note: Addison is both a bitch, and pointless).

most of your social and business-oriented networks are also of highly questionable value. daily I hear people say they rely on their networks for job leads, business leads and financing leads. but, they end up feeling like Custer requesting reinforcements at the Little Big Horn.

AT&T’s network has gotten so awful that I abandoned the iPhone  for Sprint and the EVO 4G (interestingly, this did launch me down the path of exploring all things Android, then open-source [so…Linux {Ubuntu} operating systems, and even Windows).

broadly, the word “shallow” comes to mind when I think of “networks”.

maybe some good news is much of these offenses can be resolved by internal “accountability”.

we can easily turn-off the television and speak to one another (no mean feat when I’m competing with Private Practice. but, a worthy effort nonetheless). we can help one another better by being more clear about what we actually need and can do for, and within, our social and business networks. we all really do want to help one another. we just need to understand how. so, being responsible for being less casual, and more focused, is a good direction (this will make us more productive [and less self-entitled] workers, by the way. we can get there by watching less television, to start. then use a cellular service (fewer daily, actually use land-lines any more) that work (this is also a way to hold the service providers accountable) and engage in meaningful exchanges of information, that include dialogue (hint: email and text less, please).

so… ironically, we look to our “networks” to bind (there is an example of a word that is both multi-useful and juxtapositional [look it up]) ourselves together. but, that system has broken down, regardless of the words application. in a period of time when hiring, for example, is now more “mission-specific” than ever – which means we have to be clear, concise and relevant in what we do for a paycheck. the Laws of Natural Selection are going to play a vital role in what happens next. so, we need to communicate, and really (also consider genuinely because it’s so apropos) want to help one another.

me? I’m using the word: “connected”. some how I’ll sort out a way to integrate virtu into that so accountability and responsibility are the baring points. and, all I ask is that you join me in creating that “daisy-chain” that makes life as meaningful as possible.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

authentic human progress

November5

Last week, I recalled that, during my many visits to the desert (you’ll ask: “metaphorically speaking?” I’ll respond: “does it really matter?”), I met a wise man named Buck O’Neil – a prophet, if you will – and, asked him the secret to a long, successful life.

“Good genes,” was all he said, at first.

Buck left us all behind October 6, 2006 – the day before my birthday, just like Dad. There is a rhythm and pattern to life with that. But, we’ll discuss it some other time.

His hair was white and his face was mahogany, calling pleasantly to mind a pint of Guinness. “I’m ninety-years old,” he continued, then pressed his fingertips to unlined cheeks, which shone like polished apples.

“Good black don’t crack”, he mused (I’m not sure he actually mused, but that word works, here).

With that, I was fully prepared to move on, and thanked him. In fact, I was already rising halfway from my seat, like a bluffing panelist on To Tell the Truth, when he said softly: “There is one other thing.”

So, I settled back, curious, I might add, and he said:

“I never fill my stomach. My mother was a great cook, but my father told me, ‘She’s only filling your stomach so another woman never gets to. She’s just trying to hold on to you.’ Ever since, I can eat more, but I never do.”

Look… The stories around Buck are countless. Many of them will bring a tear to your eye. Others will make you slap your thigh with joy in preparation of laughter. He was a black man, and it never mattered to him, even though it did to everyone else. But, everyone respected and loved Buck (Note: That might be a vital difference between men like Buck and Barack Obama. By the way, did you know that  Obama high-tailed it to Asia, pouting over his loss of the House Tuesday? Other than a vital need to drive home a point, here, I’m loathe to include Buck in the same story as Obama. But, the only real difference Obama will make in our lives is he must now change his plans to stay in power).

Let other, more articulate folks tell those stories. Especially those that lived them alongside Buck. I never had that privilege. But, I try to learn from men like him, every day, and any way.

Part of that is my on-going efforts to live the Authentic Life. And, that includes having a life well-lived, and worth remembering by those I’ve lived amongst.

So… What, then, is the secret to a life well-lived?

Here was another hint. “Don’t hate another human being,” said O’Neil, whose father was the son of a slave. “Hate cancer. Cancer took my mother, took my wife four years ago. Hate what happened on September 11. But don’t hate another human being. God made man.”

…oh wow.

I did, in fact, find myself thinking: But God made men who denied you, at various times, a toilet, a hotel room, an education, a living, your very humanity. And, of course, I voiced those thoughts, because that’s what I do (“oh really?[!]”, you exclaim. “Brian has opinions he foists on people?”).

“My parents always told me most people are good,” continued O’Neil. “Even when I was young, (Note: he lived his early days in Carrabelle, Florida), most people were good. The thing was, good people sometimes let the bad people have their way. But who wrapped their arms around Jackie Robinson in his time of need? Pee Wee Reese of Louisville, Kentucky, did. The commissioner of baseball in 1947 [Happy Chandler] was a man from Kentucky.”

With this, his left hand grabbed my forearm, and his right fist rapped his own breastbone as if it were a door.

“It comes from in here,” said he. “Doing the right thing. It takes somebody to change something. My grandfather was a slave. And God saw it wasn’t right, so he sent Abraham Lincoln. And Abraham Lincoln joined hands with Frederick Douglass, who joined hands with Sojourner Truth, who joined hands with Harriet Tubman – and, so on.”

Apparently, and thusly, human progress, in O’Neil’s view, is a chain of men with virtu (the Greek form, mind you) in their hearts (the word virtu always has me thinking of Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford University), linked at the wrist and leading to you.

O’Neil paused, and I could only sit quietly in wonder through what must be churning through that lovely mind, and then he added:

“This is the greatest country on Earth, but we can be better. That is going to be your job.”

He held my forearm like a bat. “In my day we changed some things. Now it’s your turn to change things. And you’ll do it. I know you will.”

I did pause. And, when I confessed that I struggled, with my generation, challenged to change our channels manually, much less to change the world, he invoked the memory of his grandfather Julius, born into slavery in South Carolina, and owned by a man with the surname, O’Neil.

“Grandpa used to tell me he loved Mr. O’Neil,” he said. “And I would ask him: ‘Grandpa, how could you love a man who kept you as his slave?’ And Grandpa said, ‘He never sold off a mother from her children, he never sold off a husband from his wife.’ And Grandpa, this is before all the doctors and all the medicine we have today, lived to be one-hundred-and-two years old.”

Was this good genes, I wondered, or something greater? I was merely seeking the secret of a life well-lived – how to progress – and, felt I was getting closer. So, I asked about that. And when the old man, once again, took my arm in his hand, I felt physically linked in that chain-of-virtu to all who had gone before me…

“Love,” he half-whispered, as if sharing a confidence. “Love, man. This is the whole thing.”

So… You gotta be a “Love Kat”. It’s been awhile since I invoked that one. It’s timely to be sure.

Peace be to my brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

debate

September27

open-minded (and open-hearted) debate is where we sharpen our tongues less, and our minds (if not wit) more.

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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