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Friday, June 29, 2012

Army Considers Combat Options for Women

A series of online conversations in the foreign policy community this week has women asking the question, ‘can we have it all?’ with predominant voices – both male and female – saying no. For female service members, however, new options may mean they can have it all – at least when it comes to taking on male-dominated billets.

As reported in a series of recent articles in the Army Times , U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno is considering possible options towards a more inclusive role for women in combat assignments, to include Ranger School. He is asking senior commanders to provide him with recommendations and a plan this summer.

“If we determine that we’re going to allow women to go in the infantry and be successful, they are probably at some time going to have to go through Ranger school,” Odierno told reporters. “If we decide to do this, we want the women to be successful.”
See more here:
Army Considers Combat Options for Women

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ingratitude: Sharper than a serpent’s tooth, indeed

THANK YOU.  Two simple words, less than ten letters, but capable of producing powerful emotions and deep meaning when communicated. This leads to my question- why is “Thank You” such a difficult concept for many people?

It is truly mind boggling to see how many times a day people will miss an opportunity, or moment, to express their thanks for kindnesses or generosity shown to them by others. Ungrateful people are their own worst enemy. Sadly, they learn too late that being unappreciative and ungrateful is a surefire way to get less from people, and life in general.
We all feel unappreciated by our friends, co-workers, and loved ones from time to time. In our busy lives, we can become overwhelmed or distracted, to the point of forgetting or neglecting to thank people when they do kind or thoughtful things for us. It becomes an issue and a nuisance when certain people in our lives exhibit a consistent and pervasive inability to show gratitude, appreciation, thanks or recognition.

So why is it so difficult? Are ungrateful people oblivious or stingy? Does showing gratitude cost anything spiritually or burn a calorie? I wonder about this all the time in my own life and when I see it happening to others.

Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling, emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions, and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What causes people to be ungrateful? Is it low self worth, or a unhealthy sense of entitlement? Is gratitude taught, or is it a natural occurrence? Does the ability to feel thankful and exhibit appreciation come from a higher sense of maturity, intelligence, or character? Why are some people either unable or unwilling to show gratitude or appreciation?

The older I get the less patience I have for anyone who thinks they are above saying those two simple "magic" words - “THANK YOU”.  Even my four year old granddaughter knows she should say "Thank You" when someone gives her something or does something for her. Children should be taught from a very young age to show appreciation and have proper manners. There is simply no excuse for anyone not to do so anytime they receive a kindness. 

If a person has a grateful spirit, it comes very naturally. Selfish and self-absorbed people live in a world that revolves around the pursuit of their own happiness and satisfaction. They either haven't been taught proper manners or they are too self-absorbed to exercise them.
I suppose being lost in an attitude of entitlement can prevent a person from being aware of the importance of expressing gratitude, or basic civility, for something they received from another. Perhaps entitlement gives some people the feeling that they don’t have to be grateful because they are owed something from the world, and everyone in it. That attitude will hinder most people sooner or later, as the people around them tire of catering to them without gratitude or the slightest hint of thanks.
In the workplace, expression of appreciation or gratitude is often viewed as unnecessary by co-workers or superiors. I think it is critical to show and articulate thanks to anyone who gives assistance or support in any aspect of life, to include places of employment.

Ingratitude surely is one of the most destructive and harmful of all emotions or attitudes. There aren’t many situations that can hurt or anger as much as showing someone a kindness, or doing something thoughtful, with little or no acknowledgement given in return. Feeling hurt and deep frustration is just the tip of the resentment iceberg when being on the receiving end of ingratitude.

Attempting to have a relationship with a person who seldom or never shows gratitude is discouraging, demoralizing, and pointless.  The best way to deal with an ingrate is to accept that their actions are usually “not personal”. Most chronically ungrateful people are equal-opportunity ingrates. They are simply unaware or unconscious of the feeling of gratitude.

Here are some descriptive words which correspond to a lack of gratitude:  inconsiderate, unkind, uncaring, selfish, insensitive, tactless, rude, impolite, careless, heedless, reckless, negligent, unthinking, inattentive, foolish, stupid, absent-minded.

thank·less  (th ngk l s)


1. Not feeling or showing gratitude; ungrateful

2. Not likely to be appreciated

Once an ungrateful person has established a consistent pattern, there are choices to be made. Accepting a person for how they are and losing any expectation of appreciation is certainly a choice one could consider. Another choice would be to communicate feelings of disappointment, and hope that the situation may be remedied. A third option is to keep a distance from the person until such time that they either get the clue and open their eyes, OR lastly, withdraw any further generosity or kindness from them.
Repeatedly giving of one's time, energy, gifts, or favors is truly pointless if they are never acknowledge or reciprocated. Having a generous and giving nature shouldn't be taken advantage of by selfish or thankless individuals. Removing expectation and releasing resentment is an important part of healing the hurt that a chronically ungrateful person can trigger.

Showing and expressing thanks is more than courtesy or good manners. Expressing gratitude towards others for things they have done, or given, or sacrificed, is a defining quality of character. Individuals who consistently lack appreciation, or express thanks, show a weakness of character that is often a lifelong problem. Accepting something from another, without giving an acknowledgement of thankfulness or appreciation, is beyond poor manners.

In conclusion, we all need to be more diligent, aware and conscious of the expressions of gratitude for others, or the lack thereof, in our lives. Neglecting to show appreciation and thanks for kindnesses and thoughtfulness people bring to our lives- no matter how small- is unkind, petty, and selfish. The key is to be aware and act accordingly. Choosing to do otherwise can bring very unpleasant consequences, and may lead to a life of exclusion and loneliness.

“Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay great ones - with ingratitude.” - Benjamin Franklin

Friday, June 22, 2012

U.S. Army Implementing New Training and Recruiting Methods

U.S. Army Implementing New Training and Recruiting Methods

Nepotism vs. Knowledge: The Age-Old Debate Continues with Encouraging Conclusions

Is it more valuable to “know your stuff” or be known by the right people? That is a question that continues to be debated. Evidence has shown that while it is extremely helpful to know the right people to secure a position, keeping one requires that you also know what you are talking about. 

A recent academic study published in the journal Intelligence found that the popular business adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” may not be so right, after all. It isn’t enough to know someone important, you must also be able to produce and be a valued asset to a company in order to be successful and sustain employment. 

In a twenty-five year study surveyed 12,868 Americans from 1979 through 2004, tracking respondents’ promotions and earnings. Using the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and socio-economic backgrounds to determine intelligence and affluence, researchers determined how those in the survey advanced, and whether their wealth and status played a role in their income and position. 

The conclusion gives hope to all of those who have wondered if those in a more disadvantaged socio-economic status can really compete. 

“Your future success is up to you,” says Prof. Ganzach, a Tel Aviv University researcher at the Recanati School of Management, and the study’s author. “Your family can help you launch your career and you do get an advantage, but it doesn’t help you progress. And once you start working, you can go wherever your abilities take you,” he said.

See more here: Nepotism vs. Knowledge: The Age-Old Debate Continues with Encouraging Conclusions

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to my blog: One year later

Last year on the 9th of June, I took a leap and wrote my first blog post. It took me a few years to actually take that step, but once I did, there was no turning back!
I have learned a great deal in the past year. I’ve learned about following a dream, and carrying it through.  It has been a great journey and I am looking forward to continuing and expanding on the dream.

I feel good about the last year and the blog’s progression. Writing down the thoughts, rants, opinions, encouragements, feelings and musing I have inside my head has been a great exercise. It has improved my ability to communicate and allowed my creativity to flow in all sorts of directions.
Most days I wish I had more time, energy, motivation, and discipline to write more often. Balancing the writing I do for “work” and what I do for myself continues to be a challenge.

I look forward to the future and the next year. I am hoping to make some big improvements and am working on increasing readership and interaction. I had hoped to reach 20,000 views by the end of today, but I am thrilled, humbled, and overjoyed to have reached 19,783. A year ago, I could not have guessed that I would have reached that number!
I want to sincerely thank those people who have done so much to help me promote and advertise my blog. They certainly know who they are. Because of them and their incredible generosity and loyal support, I have reached readers I never would have without their endorsement and promotion.

I am always looking for ways to improve and enhance my work. I would love to see more comments on each post, as communication and opinions are very important and valuable.

Please continue to share and communicate with your friends and personal networks. This blog is meant to be shared and the purpose of sharing is to give people a chance to see my work, and hopefully it will be meaningful or interesting to them.
The greatest joy a writer has it to share their words with others. I hope to share with an even greater audience and improve as a writer and a person in the meantime. We’ll see what it’s like June 9, 2013. It should be interesting to see where this goes!

AGAIN, many, many, many thanks for your continued support and encouragement. I am TRULY and sincerely grateful.