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Give Thanks and Carry On

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, if you can

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Thanksgiving: that joyous time of the year when families get together, have a wonderful dinner, catch up on what everyone other is doing, give thanks for all that they have, and perhaps watch some football.

Up for the Challenge?

This Thanksgiving might prove to be a challenge for many people. For one, the cost of the turkey, the bird traditionally served, in some locals cost between 50% to 80% more than last year, and turkey was already expensive.

Among your relatives a few might be vegans or vegetarians. If you have a vegan enforcer in the family, this person will rail on and on against eating meat, and about how turkeys have lives just like we do.

One of your vegan or vegetarian relatives might offer a discourse on how cranberries should be harvested a different way, the dangers of turkey stuffing, and the problem with vegetables that you might be serving, the risk of having too many starches – potatoes or rice – and the evils of wine, beer, and other alcoholic drinks.

Topics Worth Avoiding

The politics to consider abound. Since roughly half of the country votes Democrat and half votes Republican, the odds are overwhelming that you’re going to have somebody with opposing politics at the table. During Trump’s years as president, many families had to navigate around the topic of the presidency, prevailing policies. and so on.

Today, while there’s no question that Joe Biden is completely inane as leader, the same delicate navigation needs to occur. As miraculous as this might seem, some on the left actually approve of what Biden has been doing. Note: don’t be concerned about the Bidens going hungry. With all those under-the-table payment from Ukraine and China, they can EASILY afford a huge, expensive turkey with all of the trimmings.

If you can avoid discussing the eight million invaders illegally crossing our borders, rampant inflation, the U.S. Afghanistan withdrawal, the crisis in Israel and potential for World War III, drag time story hour for children, transgenderism, the bogus lawsuits against Donald Trump, the unending crimes of Hunter Biden, the payola to Joe Biden, FBI corruption, the historic unpopularity and ineptness of Kamala Harris, and about 30 or so other topics, your dinner should go smoothly. Enjoy!

A huge current wrinkle on the political scene is that recent surveys reveal at least one-quarter of Democrats actually approve of Hamas, atrocities and all, and side with Palestine on all issues large and small. They believe that Israel is an apartheid state and that Jews are today’s Nazis. Apparently they’ve never visited Israel and have no Jewish friends.

Depending on how many Democrats attend your Thanksgiving gathering, if it’s four or more, mathematically speaking you have a decent chance that one is a pro-Hamas Democrat. Wooo…  Now, you really have to stay clear of current issues or your dinner table might be as inflamed verbally as the Middle East is with armaments.

Insufferable Stuffing

After everyone is stuffed with turkey, vegeburgers, or whatever the people who like rabbit food eat, you might sit in the den and turn on a football game. Quickly, you’ll have a stark reminder of how far political correctness has infected society.

If the Washington Commanders are playing, it’s hard to forget that they used to be called the Washington Redskins until the wokesters among us demanded that the name must be changed. Not so ironically, 90% of native Americans actually want the name Washington Redskins reinstalled, and currently are petitioning for it.

In baseball, the Cleveland Indians “had” to be renamed to the Cleveland Guardians. Potentially, there’s no end of this malarkey. Should the Minnesota Vikings change their name? After all, people from Scandinavia might object to the term “Vikings.” While we’re at it, consider college basketball. The Wake Forest University Demon Deacons are due for a name change, if you’re on the Left. So, too, the Duke University Blue Devils, the Arizona University Aztecs, and on and on.

Landmines to Side Step

With all these potential land mines to side step, and all the ways that otherwise pleasant conversations on a pleasant day could occur, you have to be on guard.

Nevertheless, I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. May you survive the day, fully intact, and ready to have a decent Black Friday.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Education

Putting North Carolina Public Education Back on Track  

With Michelle Morrow’s leadership, North Carolina public schools can be better equipped to educate and inspire today’s students.

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It’s no secret to conservatives that the nation’s children, every single one of them, are at risk. In the main, not for reasons malnutrition, growing up in a tough neighborhood, or having toxic parents. The risk that all kids face today is the potential to be indoctrinated in public schools by their own teachers, teacher’s aides, and administrators.

America’s Children Are under Siege

Some school districts in America, are populated by boards of education, principals, and school administrators who think it is their sacred duty to indoctrinate children, exposing them to all manner of adult and sex-related topics long before any child should be. As such, they usurp the rights of parents and guardians.

Nowhere is this more evident than in North Carolina where 23% of all kindergarten through 12th-grade students are enrolled in either a charter school or private school, or study at home, and the percentage increase in these three options is 84% over the last 11 years. Why? Parents want to determine the best educational options for their own children and they don’t believe that North Carolina public schools are doing an adequate job.

Fortunately, one candidate running for NC superintendent of public instruction means to the state’s education programs back on track. Her name is Michelle Morrow, and she is a personal dynamo whose grasp on the issues is outstanding.

First and foremost, Morrow advocates having safe schools with a culture of academic achievement and civility. If it takes having a security guard in every single school throughout the state to ensure the safety of children attending class as well as teachers and school staff, Morrow is all for it.

She believes that schools should be the safest buildings in the state. Alas, they are not. In North Carolina, school crime and violence increased a whopping 84% in just the past five years. The top three crimes being reported include drug use, weapons possession, and assault – even assault of teachers.

An Advocate for What Counts

As the NC superintendent of public instruction, Morrow will support fair and effective policies that both deter crime and promote classroom civility. She’ll be a strong advocate for teachers’ rights to employ fair and reasonable measures to manage their classrooms as they see fit.

Morrow will insist on parent-friendly schools, recognizing that a child’s academic performance often hinges on the vital partnership between teachers and parents. In too many schools throughout the state, parents are kept completely in the dark about medical treatments and, surprisingly, even academic performance.

Some children are forced to take surveys requiring them to reveal details of their sexual habits and mental state, and schools employ such data to monitor, diagnose, and treat psychological issues. Parents alone, however, have the right to make medical decisions in relation to their children’s health and well-being. Government sponsored data collection needs to end. Morrow will enforce a Parents’ Bill of Rights to ensure that families are protected and that parents have dominion over their own children.

Back to the Basics

Academic achievement has suffered for years on end in North Carolina’s kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms. A staggering one-quarter of eighth graders cannot meet national math, science, or reading standards. Test scores throughout North Carolina reveal that more than 800 schools are under-performing.

As superintendent, Morrow will be focused on ensuring that all the money earmarked for education actually makes its way to the classroom. She will ensure that schools focus on teaching science, math, reading, and real history. She will advocate for small group tutoring when needed by students who are not performing well, and touting for those who are doing exceedingly well and can do even better.

Morrow recognizes that the government in Washington, D.C., has no business in the education of North Carolina students. Parents are not co-parenting with the federal government. The programs and policies that politicians and special interest groups attempt to impose on North Carolina schools must come to an end, and any interference in teaching core academics must cease immediately.

As such, Morrow will sever the ties with public interest groups while helping to strengthen local school districts’ ability to employ proven teaching methods, with the goal of enhancing core academic achievement.

The Big Picture

Morrow will seek to enhance national unity and patriotism. Too many students throughout North Carolina are subjected to one-sided history lessons that portray America as an oppressive, racist, unredeemable nation. Some schools go so far as to stereotype their students and inform them that, as a result of their ethnicity, sexuality, or religion, they are oppressors.

This one-sided, warped view of humanity and method of education must end. Instead of dividing students, Morrow will seek to foster unity and understanding. America is an exceptional country. While every country faces challenges, ours in particular has been fair, compassionate, and forward thinking in recent years.

With Morrow’s leadership, North Carolina schools can be better equipped to educate and inspire the next generation who will become the leaders of our great nation.

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Business

Bite-Sized Motivation

The insights or wisdom we need to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words

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I’ve spoken to 1075 audiences at conventions, conferences, and meetings, and have had the opportunity to hear probably 800 other speakers as well.

The insights, perspectives, or wisdom we need, to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words. Here are 52 of my own six word “speeches,” drawn from my keynotes and breakout session on the topic of work-life balance. Some of these likely will resonate with you:

Choose from what you already have.
Everyone needs breathing space, especially you.
Information overload obscures meaning and relevance.
Deep breathes are essential for well-being.

Make every day an organized day.
Allow your natural rhythms to rule.
Stay confident and in control daily.
Manage your time, manage your life.

Slow down to plot your course.
Look for the best in others.
Make yourself indispensable on the job.
Compete with yourself, not with others.

Learn to take control of today.
Manage your time to make time.
Take control of your desk clutter.
You’re the best when you’re fresh.

Do something to take control now.
Major projects often require a jumpstart.
Methodically pare down your paper piles.
Don’t attempt too much at once.

Evaluate your situation and what’s important.
Narrow your priorities to stay focused.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep.
Learn to embrace your many talents.

Take the time to become organized.
Become aware of how you react.
Arrange your space; help isn’t coming.
Manage the flat surfaces in life.

Periodically challenge yourself to perform better.
Take long, deep breaths as needed.
Reclaim your places, spaces, and graces.
Start big projects well in advance.

Don’t rush the truly important things.
Make the best use of today.
Schedule accordingly: plan for your future.
Be kind, cut yourself some slack.

Opportunity knocks, but are you answering?
Conventional wisdom has diminishing value.
When practical, substitute time for money.
The market for top talent lives.

The self-reliant survive and thrive.
Leadership requires forethought and super-vision.
Learn from and capitalize on mistakes.
Firmly face the future with confidence.

“Now” holds a lot of opportunity.
Control but don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Treading water won’t propel you forward.
Have you ever really tested yourself?

Life goes on; do your best.
Continually seek out the higher ground.
Luck is distributed evenly, but disguised.
You must be doing something right.

 


 

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