Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Articles

about the rich

In art,business,Community,culture,faith,generosity on May 1, 2018 by mstevensrev

‚ÄúLet me tell you about the very rich, they are different from you and me‚Ķ‚ÄĚ F. Scott Fitzgerald
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There are two parts in viewing the rich. Yes the rich have more money, by definition, which tends to allow them to live different regarding many of the rules regular and poor people have to follow. This means that simple challenges others face are not for them: How do I research something that I can’t go and visit, How do I meet that person of influence, etc.
Lack of access to the money that can get you out of an emergency is one definition often used for poverty. When in a crisis do you have a friend or family member that could lend you $2,000 to get you out? If so you are likely not poor. When my wife and I were doing non-profit work there would be regular conversations about whether we were poor, yes we were a dual master degree family living below the poverty line, but as we finally demonstrated at any point we knew that we had the means and connections to relieve ourselves from the circumstance. This is not true for people in poverty.
On a layer different the rich are exactly the same as every other human being, same problems, hang ups and often their riches only make the flaws in their personality worse. Take care of those items regardless of your stature or rank. Often my experience has been that the rich are more isolated from others and the community around them.
Trust that good is available to transform you so that rich or poor you are living as the person you have been created. Also know that the rich are same as you.
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Articles

Spring…into action

In art,blogging,business,holidays,Mornings,Uncategorized on April 23, 2018 by mstevensrev

images (3)Something happens to me as the days get longer. I’m finally aware of it after the past few years it becoming extremely noticeable. My goal was always to be steady, keep up a baseline of work and activity so that regardless of external factors, I know that I kept what I could in control.

Then there is a shift, both related to waking up and getting out of bed, but also in regards to my thoughts and creativity. The energy of the spring changes the way that I engage the world. At first, I thought it was just coincidence and that other factors in my life provided this energy. The explanation seems reasonable. Now after the fourth year of this change I’m embracing it, the slow pace of fall and winter begins to transition into a flurry of activity. This physical response has helped me better understand the world of liturgy and why spirituality is broken into seasonal expressions by most major religions.

Ecclesiastes 3¬†¬†1There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a¬†time for every¬†[a]event under heaven‚ÄĒ

2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

 

Writing becomes easier, thoughts flow thru more…leaving me excited for this season and the work that is before me.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. -Margaret Atwood

Articles

Dear John,

In art,Books,Community,culture,design,faith,Friends,Fun,home,movies,Parenting,quote on May 19, 2017 by mstevensrev

John,

Mr. Waters there is a god and it sure might be you and I am positive it is not the first time you have been told this (though probably in different circumstances:)

I was born in 1976 at St. Agnus Hospital in Baltimore and by 5 years old I was wandering the city blocks of West Baltimore in Edmondson, a wild thing for a white boy in the 80’s. As life moved on I became a devoted follower of you even attending movies at the Senator. As a young adult, I found the director’s cut of A Dirty Shame and your glossary of sex terms extremely helpful and still recommend it to my children and strangers when they find struggles with such naming conventions. “Full of Grace” is a regular quote in my family attributed to Pecker…and thank you for indulging my fanboy-ness but this note is about divinity, not celebrity.

This morning I realized that tonight at 40 years old I have reached the pinnacle of my life. My oldest daughter is 15 years old and deeply in love with theater and last spring at the drama auction for Ingraham High School in North Seattle I bought a “walk-on role” in the musical this spring. I was delighted to learn in fall that the musical would be Hairspray.

As a sophomore, the production has been a dream come true for my daughter, in addition to landing a role she was also given the responsibly of dance captain. Due to circumstances, she choreographed and co-choreographed several the songs including Good Morning Baltimore. As horrible people say, “the apple does not far fall from the tree” as her mother is a choreographer and movement artist.

Back to me, this week I learned and this morning it dawned on me how significant it is that my walk on role for Hairspray is during Good Morning Baltimore. Not only that but I get to be “The flasher who lives next door”. Following in the footsteps of your cameo role in the recent film.

For a kid that grew up the son of window cleaner in Baltimore my life could not be better, for that I am so grateful. I may live to see the marriage of my children, grandchildren born or even become a billionaire but nothing will compare to the moment when I walk out on stage tonight. No better script exists than my own life and this moment certainly makes me consider that all of it has been choreographed for me already. Happy belated birthday, missed you when you were in Seattle a month ago, and I do hope someday our paths will cross in person as they already have in spirit.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Michael Stevens

1004 NW 130th Street Seattle WA 98177

M: 206.390.8142 michaelstevensrev@gmail.com #mstevensrev

 

*This message was originally written on the fan page @JohnWatersFanPage where I realized that you are not on Facebook. Tempted to hand write the letter to you, but I wanted you to read every expression of my heart clearly. Many blessing enlighten one!

Articles

Think about the process

In art,blogging,Books,Localization,mission,Money,Technology on September 13, 2016 by mstevensrev

dominoesThe process is worth thinking about. Not merely the process that your employer has set up to make sure you are meeting each performance metric, but rather the process that makes you successful. Here are my questions:

Where were you the most productive?

What led to your wins? 

Then look to see if your activity is supporting productivity and wins. Here is how I try to evaluate:

Can you make a small adjustment that will lead to getting you the information more easily, or with less distraction?

Are there steps that keep you from acting on new information in an efficient manner?

Can I make it easier for people to find me?

I think of the leadership book by Marshall Goldsmith,¬†What got you here, won’t get you there.¬†The first time I read it I thought, Wow it is really important to re-evaluate. Now that it has sunk in I realize that this is almost a continuous process, one that we regularly need to address.

‚ÄúPeople will do something‚ÄĒincluding changing their behavior‚ÄĒonly if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Articles

The silver bullet

In art,Books,business,Community,culture,design,faith,leadership,mission,Money,principles,quote,Spiritual,Theology on September 12, 2016 by mstevensrev

23463195732_0b5aa8e114_bThe existence of this tool is far overrated. Often in strategy meetings adding that one tool is the over simplified solution for an extremely complex problem, and it is no surprise that it often does not work.

Few things work as well as compound interest. This goes for money and showing up every day to the work before you. Constantly doing your job, regularly and steadily improving small bits that can improve the whole.

For those not paying attention success does look like a silver bullet was discovered, an overnight sensation discovered, and all the lonely days practicing in the garage or at empty shows are forgotten because of the success. For those who accomplish it, they remember all the work and failure that provided the foundation for the win. Once it is achieved it means you have to go out there and do it all over again.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

-Vince Lombardi

Articles

Finding my own and inspiring others voice

In art,blogging,Community,culture,leadership,Uncategorized,work,writing on August 18, 2016 by mstevensrev

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Over half way through this year I would say that has been the biggest change in my life, finding my own voice. A big part of it has been the Globally Speaking Podcast. Blogging and stand up comedy have also been a part of the process as well. Pretty fun and I’m excited to see where it leads.

The second half of the title (inspiring others voice)I’m not so sure about, but I’ll take some credit for it. Two co-workers have published on LinkedIn, if you have a chance check them out:

When (not) to be helpful, Tucker Johnson

Career 3.0 – The climbing cage, Juliette Tanarro

Check them out!

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Articles

Don’t let the crisis go to waste

In art,Books,business,culture,design,faith,family,Friends,Fun,Theology,Uncategorized on August 12, 2016 by mstevensrev

2012-11and12-tt-03-ia-to-the-fire-a-firefighter-searches-for-possible-survivors-300x200In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, there is case study after case study on how organizations unwritten rules led to crisis at the time when the organization needed to function optimally. The King’s Cross fire in the Underground is one example where all those in authority were occupied with their kingdoms and no one was focused on rider safety costing 31 passengers their lives.

Every organization functions with a “common grace” approach that keeps rivalries in check and the orders shipped. During crisis is when the unwritten functional rules of the organization can be re-examined, when great scrutiny is on the operation unproductive power structures can be address. It is even said that in some crisis great leaders prolong the crisis in order to get the greatest positive effect of the change. Great wisdom is required to pull that off.

Is it possible to address this change without the crisis?

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Rahm Emanuel